Newsletter: Essential California: Why is the Hollister Ranch coast not open to the public?

Signs warn of trespassing at Hollister Ranch Road. Mounting public outrage has fueled multiple new efforts by state officials to open a coveted stretch of California coastline.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, Oct. 6. Here’s what you don’t want to miss this weekend:


When California ordered property owners to provide beach access for all, Hollister Ranch made the case that the pristine coastline west of Santa Barbara deserved an exception. With 14,500 acres connected only by private roads, ranchers argued it was impossible for each of them, as required by law, to provide a public route to the beach every time they sought a permit to build. So lawmakers allowed owners to pay a fee instead — with the money going toward a ranch-wide route to be built by the state “as expeditiously as possible.” But decades later, no one has held up that end of the bargain. Los Angeles Times



In the wake of revelations that a prominent Pasadena obstetrician had been accused repeatedly of sexual misconduct, Huntington Memorial Hospital announced Friday that the doctor no longer had a leadership role at the hospital and will have a chaperone when treating women in the maternity ward. Los Angeles Times

The hardest word

Why “sorry” remains an elusive word a year into the #MeToo movement. Los Angeles Times


Bright lights, big city: Downtown L.A.’s newest mega project comes with an 18,000-square-foot pulsing bright LED screen extending a full block that brings “a Times Square vibe to the street.” Right now, the sign is leased to Nike, which is running ads featuring sports star Serena Williams and eventually perhaps LeBron James. Los Angeles Times

On a roll: Why things feel just right at Dodger Stadium these days. Los Angeles Times


And: Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivered his best playoff performance in a 3-0 victory over the Braves in Game 2 of their series. Los Angeles Times

Foliage. Yes, foliage: California’s fall palette was on full display this week, with snow on the mountaintops and peak color in some upper areas. Mid-October is prime time for leaf-peepers in the Sierra and beyond. Go now, the experts say. Los Angeles Times

On housing: Is California really at war with suburbia? Orange County Register

One way to put it: “I thought of Los Angeles as a radiant doughnut, rimmed by milky ocean and bristling mountains, with a big hole in the middle.” —Susan Orlean. The New Yorker

A disruptor: Kevin de León has risen very far in his life, from modest beginnings to becoming the first Latino to lead the state Senate. But his career is at a crossroads, and that might be why he finds himself at the center of a Democratic internal struggle. Cal Matters


Harder to get help: Dealing with the stigma of raising an autistic child in L.A.’s Korean community. KPCC

Toxic legacy: During the Cold War, UC Davis exposed dogs to radiation. Now, the university has to figure out how to perform the toxic cleanup. Sacramento Bee

Fostering diversity: The Hollywood heavyweights who are helping kids chase their dreams at the Ghetto Film School. New York Times

And: Learning to swim in Los Angeles and finding a sobering stat: “79 percent of children whose families make less than $50,000 a year cannot swim.” New York Times

In the SFV: The homelessness crisis has become the dominant issue in the San Fernando Valley, and things are getting ugly. Los Angeles Daily News

Perspective: The Red Scare comes to a San Diego congressional race. San Diego Union-Tribune


History lesson: Celebrating 1990s Latino youth culture in L.A. Curbed Los Angeles

Fascinating video: One hundred years of California fires in one minute. Mercury News

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1. The busboy who tried to help a wounded Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 dies. His life was haunted by the violence. Los Angeles Times

2. Trained in California, a white supremacist fight club is accused of bringing violence to Charlottesville. Los Angeles Times


3. They were busy parents on a rare night out in San Francisco — then a random attack happened. San Francisco Chronicle

4. Linda Ronstadt is no longer singing. Her latest tour is a conversation with the audience. Los Angeles Times

5. The fight over a copycat hot sauce. L.A. Taco


Life after a death: From wrenching loss, a dream home is built. Wall Street Journal

Secret shelters: Inside the safe houses being opened across California for women here illegally who need shelter from abuse but cannot turn to the government. California Sunday Magazine


The barista next door: The culture clashes that sometimes arise when hipsters from the Bay Area take up residence in the Central Valley. Sacramento Bee

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.