Newsletter: Essential California: Inglewood’s upswing leaves vulnerable residents behind

3071922_Section: ME, NA, FG, SP, CA etc._la-me-rancho-la-puerta
The rising stadium complex looms behind the gated community of Renaissance Homes in Inglewood.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Thursday, April 11, and here’s what’s happening across California:


What’s happening in the Southern California city of Inglewood is in some sense emblematic of what’s happening across the nation. Rents are rising — and in some cases doubling in cost — spurred in part by the construction of the Rams-Chargers football stadium. Some residents are feeling pushed out, as they are in black communities across the country, from Boston to Oakland. Los Angeles Times

What’s up at the LAUSD?


For months, observers have been waiting for a shock wave from L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner. It was supposed to come in the form of a “re-imagining” plan that was expected to change the nation’s second-largest school system forever, define his legacy and unleash a potential war among factions for and against it. Now Beutner says nothing of that sort is going to happen. Depending on whom you believe, Beutner has scrapped his original concept, changed his mind or still intends to move forward with it — just not right now during a politically sensitive period. Los Angeles Times

Big food news

“Over dinner one night — the table being the place where we unsuspectingly so often learn things — my 9-year-old daughter told me about how books can be, as her teacher taught her class, ‘a window or a mirror.’ A window into a culture or life or time that isn’t your own, a mirror that reflects what you know in a way that helps you see it differently or more clearly,” writes new Los Angeles Times Food editor Peter Meehan in the inaugural standalone weekly food section. “And it was in that moment that I found the exact words. Because is there any better way to say what a newspaper should do? Our mission is to be a window into or a mirror for the food culture of Los Angeles, of California, of wherever the stories take us.” Los Angeles Times

The section will be in print every Thursday. Here’s a sampling:


— Chinese food in the U.S. is supposed to be quick and inexpensive, right? Wrong. In California, young Asian American chefs are working to change the stereotype. Los Angeles Times

— The Times’ new cooking team, Genevieve Ko and Ben Mims, break down their approach to the new Food section’s content, including changes to recipe format and helpful tips. Los Angeles Times

— Restaurant critic Patricia Escárcega reviews Mutiara, a spot for Burmese noodles, curries and salads in Inglewood. Los Angeles Times

INGLEWOOD, CA-April 6, 2019: (top left clockwise) Tea leaf salad, rice noodle fish soup, tofu salad,
(From top left, clockwise) Tea leaf salad; rice noodle fish soup; tofu salad; beef korma; and tomyam chicken and shrimp soup at Mutiara Food and Market.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Get the Essential California newsletter »


A new Nipsey Hussle shooting mystery: Authorities now say a gunman injured two women at memorial vigil a day after the rapper’s slaying. Los Angeles Times

Happening today: At Thursday’s Hussle memorial in Los Angeles, the LAPD and Nation of Islam will provide security. Los Angeles Times


Great Steve Lopez column: A homie, a volunteer and a message of radical kinship from Father Greg Boyle. Los Angeles Times

Mouse house: Disney’s next big remake is itself. Wall Street Journal

Plus: Disney is finally ready to unveil its streaming service. Here’s what we know, and what we don’t. Los Angeles Times


In Adelanto: An immigration detainee fell into a coma and died at 27. His family wants to know why. Los Angeles Times

Wall update: “The Pentagon announced two military contracts Tuesday worth $976 million to construct a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, marking the first step toward President Donald Trump’s long-promised goal since he declared a national emergency nearly two months ago.” Time

Harrowing story: “For many transgender women, crossing between the United States and Mexico can also mean moving uncomfortably between genders.” New York Times



2020 talk: Democratic presidential candidates including Sen. Kamala Harris are making maternal health a campaign issue. A visit to South Carolina, a key early primary state, shows the depth of the crisis facing black women. Los Angeles Times

Weed woes: A state bill that would have allowed cities to prohibit home delivery of marijuana has been sidelined for the year amid concerns that doing so would further hamper California’s lagging market for cannabis. Los Angeles Times

Impact! After a Times investigation, state lawmakers from both major parties have pushed for a closer look at technology and security mishaps in last year’s launch of the state’s new voter registration system at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Los Angeles Times


Who monitors sheriffs? A proposed law would place that power firmly with counties. Los Angeles Times

A year later: Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty for the man accused of being the Golden State Killer. Los Angeles Times

Nabbed: A gang member who organized a one-night string of racially motivated fire bombings in Boyle Heights has pleaded guilty to the attacks, prosecutors said. Los Angeles Times

Challenging Lacey: A Los Angeles County deputy district attorney announced plans Wednesday to challenge Jackie Lacey in the 2020 election, making him the second insurgent candidate promising to bring a more progressive bent to the county’s top law enforcement post. Los Angeles Times


Found! Two hikers missing near Mt. Baldy for nearly five days were found alive Wednesday evening, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Los Angeles Times

Fighting the fight: When PG&E filed for bankruptcy, Shalini Swaroop kept fighting for energy justice. Los Angeles Times

Still blooming: A guide to wildflowers you can still see as the super bloom winds down. Los Angeles Times


Picking up the pieces: After Magic Johnson’s departure, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss “should hire someone from beyond the Lakers family to return some semblance of sanity to the basketball operation,” writes columnist Bill Plaschke. Los Angeles Times

This weekend: Five bestselling authors to see at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. Los Angeles Times

And: Poet Yesika Salgado blew up on Instagram. Now her books are breaking literary boundaries. Los Angeles Times

RIP: Charles Van Doren, one of the first intellectual stars of the television era as a contestant on the NBC show “Twenty One,” who quickly became the country’s leading villain after admitting that his winning streak on the popular game show had been rigged, died Tuesday. He was 93. Los Angeles Times

Throwback Thursday: In the 1980s, Hollywood churned out whitewashed, crowd-pleasing fantasies set in L.A. Then came the 1990s and movies like “Pulp Fiction” and “Boyz N the Hood.” Curbed Los Angeles

By the Bay: News of San Francisco’s first Nigerian restaurant goes viral, sending a chef to unexpected stardom. San Francisco Chronicle

Coachella at 20: How Beyoncé forever changed the desert festival. Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles area: partly cloudy, 75, Thursday; sunny, 76, Friday. San Diego: partly cloudy, 70, Thursday; sunny,70, Friday. San Francisco area: cloudy, 58, Thursday; sunny, 64, Friday. San Jose: cloudy, 63, Thursday; sunny, 71, Friday. Sacramento: cloudy, 67, Thursday; sunny, 73, Friday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from David DeMulle’:

“Back in 1948, I was 6 years old and the first child of an Italian immigrant family living in the quiet community of El Sereno. My father decided to continue his family tradition of making 200 gallons of wine for his family and friends. To do that, we went to a remote community called Sunland, and I watched as people loaded crate after crate of dark purple grapes into the back of a trailer he had. When we got home, he and family members unloaded the crates and poured the grapes into a crusher that poured out grape juice into 5- to 50-gallon barrels. The smell was wonderful. As the weeks went by, the grape juice turned into wine. I had been drinking the grape juice for weeks with nobody knowing, but this final week was my undoing. I got so sick from drinking what was now wine that my mother just put me in the bathtub and hosed me off. I didn’t drink wine again until I was in my 20s.”

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

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.