I'm Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
The Heartbeat-Away Debate: Kaine Vs. Pence
This is the year of the debate, interrupted. The testy showdown between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, the men vying to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, had its moments — touching on foreign policy, the economy, taxes, abortion, the federal budget, criminal justice and immigration, better known as "that Mexican thing" — but maybe the most memorable and oft-repeated line was moderator Elaine Quijano imploring, "Gentlemen, please!" Read our annotated transcript of key exchanges and leave your own comments. As for who won, our three-judge panel gives the victory to Pence. It must have been destiny, considering the GOP website had declared him the winner 90 minutes before the debate had even started.
-- Analysis: This debate is unlikely to affect the presidential race, but it did provide a healthy comparison of the two tickets.
-- Fact-checking the debate: Refugees, nukes, Putin, the Clinton Foundation and more.
-- U.S. Senate candidate Loretta Sanchez is now on her third campaign manager.
Police, Protests and Videotape
What's the standard for releasing video of an officer-involved shooting? Officials around the country are wrestling with that question, as protests over police shootings mount and demands to release the videos ring louder. Two fatal shootings in South L.A. over the weekend show some of the factors being weighed: In one case, the LAPD released surveillance video of a chase that led to a deadly confrontation, while in another, the department hasn't decided whether to make body camera footage public.
This Retiree Got a $12,836.31 Water Bill
Retired schoolteacher Velma Matthews lives in Northridge with her bull terrier, Precious, and says she's a conscientious drought warrior. "My front yard is dead, my back yard is dead, my trees are dying and I'm just one person living here with my dog," she told columnist Steve Lopez. So imagine her surprise when, instead of her usual $500 bill for two months from the L.A. Department of Water and Power, she got one for nearly $13,000 in July and an even bigger one in September. And she's not alone.
You Should Still Get Ready for the Big One
Scientists say the elevated risk for a big San Andreas fault earthquake has lessened, but that doesn't mean it's time to rest easy. If you haven't prepared yet for a major quake, here's a reminder to do it now. Strap those bookshelves to the wall, get your kit together, and read this guide on how to prepare.
Hold the Phone: What Acclaimed Actresses Must Do
Laura Linney and Kate Hudson have four Oscar nominations between them. They share another bond too: In the movies "Sully" and "Deepwater Horizon," each has a phone scene in which her character cheers on her man. That's not the best showcase for an Oscar nominee, as reporter Rebecca Keegan writes. And the wife-on-the-phone trope hints at a wider disparity in film: According to USC research, women have fewer speaking roles and, when they do speak, it's often to narrate a man's story.
Let 10,000 National Parks Bloom
China and the U.S. disagree about lots of things, but one area of cooperation is coming in the form of national parks. China has thousands of them, but they are managed via a seemingly crazy-quilt patchwork of administrators. Now that more Chinese are looking for an escape from polluted cities, officials are working with the U.S. National Park Service to find a way to cohesively run the parks — with Chinese characteristics, of course.
-- Is "predictive policing" technology the future of crime-fighting or a flawed tool?
-- In violent Westmont, an unincorporated slice of land in south L.A. County, residents have long asked for help.
-- Here's how a state budget crisis sparked this fall's Proposition 52 to generate money for Medi-Cal.
-- Former USC and Raiders quarterback Todd Marinovich was charged with drug and trespassing offenses in Orange County. If convicted, he could face up to three years in jail.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- With a "Will & Grace" reunion, a Joss Whedon-launched Super PAC and an open letter from the "Star Trek" cast urging Americans not to vote for Trump, this year's celebrity political endorsements seem more high profile than usual.
-- Mark Swed makes the connection between the late Gordon Davidson and Neville Marriner, and what it means for modern-day L.A.
-- TV review: The new series "Frequency" has a seductive premise but winds up an unabashedly hokey affair.
-- Disney once again is reaching into its animation vault for a live-action version of "Mulan," expected to hit theaters in 2018.
-- "Taking the PSA test saved my life. Literally," Ben Stiller writes in an essay revealing his prostate cancer diagnosis in 2014.
-- Hurricane Matthew tore into Haiti, a country still ailing from a devastating earthquake six years ago.
-- An Amnesty International report says wealthy nations are shirking their responsibility to refugees and exacerbating the global crisis. Here are the countries where more than half of the world's refugees are staying.
-- American football is gaining yardage in China, but it's a tough slog.
-- When it comes to views on climate change, liberals and conservatives are still worlds apart.
-- Three chemists were awarded the Nobel Prize on Wednesday for developing molecular machines.
-- Americans who use prepaid cards are getting new federal protections.
-- Michael Hiltzik: Fifty years after "we almost lost Detroit," America's nuclear power industry faces even graver doubts.
-- The Lakers linked arms during the national anthem before their exhibition opener in Anaheim. Across the court, the Sacramento Kings did the same.
-- The Dodgers' bullpen is full of options under rookie manager Dave Roberts.
-- Ed Orgeron, formerly of USC, is back in college football as an interim head coach, but at LSU, it just feels like home.
-- How Trump's tax proposals would help … you guessed it … Trump.
-- Patt Morrison gets the dirt from oppo research guy Alan Huffman on how digging up dirt can clean up democracy.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Sources say Yahoo scanned all of its users' incoming emails at the behest of U.S. intelligence officials. (Reuters)
-- If humans end up living on Mars, we'll contaminate it one way or the other. But first, there's some Red Planet red tape to work out. (The Verge)
-- What, if anything, do we gain by knowing the identity of the author known as Elena Ferrante? (Vox)
ONLY IN L.A.
If you've taken the Chinatown exit on the 110 Freeway, you've seen the building: a two-story, 10,000-square-foot Midcentury structure. But you probably didn't know it's becoming a high-end recording studio and already houses the music and clothing label of one of the world's richest electronic music DJs. Here's how the hitmaker known as Skrillex is building his Nest. Hint: It involves a lot of detours.