Newsletter: Today: A Mentally Ill Inmate’s Final 46 Hours
The death of a man strapped to a chair for 46 hours in a San Luis Obispo County jail puts a focus on the conditions for mentally ill inmates in California’s county jails. Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
A Mentally Ill Inmate’s Final 46 Hours
Andrew Holland’s legs and arms were shackled to a chair in a jail observation cell, where he sat in his own filth, eating and drinking almost nothing, for nearly two days in January. He was naked except for a helmet and mask covering his face and a blanket that slipped off his lap. San Luis Obispo County jail officials say Holland, who had schizophrenia, was restrained because he had been hitting himself in the head and was kept there because he refused to not harm himself further. Within 40 minutes of being unbound, he had stopped breathing. Holland’s death has provoked outrage, a $5-million legal settlement and questions about the way California jails handle a growing number of mentally ill inmates.
Analysis: Make Campaigning Grate Again
President Trump did not invent the permanent presidential campaign; in modern times, the concept goes back to Jimmy Carter. But like so many aspects of Trump’s political career, his take on it has defied conventions at seemingly every turn. As Times political writer Mark Z. Barabak explains in his analysis, “Trump has transformed the bully pulpit — the president’s ability to rally the country in pursuit of his goals — into a sort of vanity project, staging events not to advance any substantive agenda but to vent and, as aides admit, bask in the adulation of supportive audiences.”
-- The pivot: A day after again stoking the nation’s racial tensions at a political rally in Phoenix, Trump called for healing “the wounds that divide us” in Reno.
-- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back on reports of discontent with Trump, while House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said he saw no need for a federal government shutdown over border wall funds.
-- Did Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton, really “give more to the economy” than they took? Columnist Michael Hiltzik writes that the record says no.
A Deadly Year for Journalists in Mexico
Mexico is on track for the highest number of homicides in two decades, amid a surge of violence among criminal groups this year. Journalists are also dying; so far, at least nine have been killed in 2017. On Tuesday, a reporter who was enrolled in a government protection program after years of uncovering corruption was fatally shot. The National Human Rights Commission says journalists in Mexico are more likely to receive threats from government officials than from criminals.
The New L.A. Look: Ambitious Sustainability?
Atop a ridge in the Santa Monica Mountains just north of the Getty Center, billionaire philanthropist Nicolas Berggruen wants to build a headquarters for the public-policy think tank that bears his name. Where rattlesnakes now roam, scholars would take up residence. Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne got a preview of the preliminary designs, which aim to leave a light footprint on nature but still make a statement.
A 292 Million-to-1 Shot
If you had the numbers 6, 7, 16, 23 and 26, with the Powerball number 4 … we’re absolutely floored by your dedication to reading this newsletter. At least one winning ticket for the $758.7-million jackpot was sold to a player in Massachusetts. Three tickets with just five of the six winning numbers (and a substantially lower payout) were sold in California. So much for your plans of taking home $1 billion on Saturday.
-- The mother of a 5-year-old boy killed by his father talks about the loss of her son. The South Pasadena man, who took in Las Vegas shows and went skydiving after the killing, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
-- Fitness at any cost: Millennials prefer trendy but expensive boutique gyms.
-- Nguyen Tran of Starry Kitchen shows how to make Singaporean chili crab and accompanying beignets.
-- San Francisco police say they will be out in force for a Saturday rally that is expected to draw white supremacists and counter-protesters who have clashed violently in the past.
-- A lawsuit claims that a Pasadena elementary school principal threatened to set immigration officers on a mother and a caretaker.
-- Should the LAPD test drones? Police asked the public to weigh in, and the reaction was less positive than they might have hoped.
-- A group representing prisoners and their families is trying to get signatures for a ballot measure to allow felons in state prison to vote in California elections.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- A concert in the Dutch city of Rotterdam featuring the L.A. rock band Allah-Las was canceled after police uncovered a suspected terrorist plot.
-- Two leadership figures at Cinefamily, a prominent fixture in the L.A. repertory cinema scene, have resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
-- Why a Massachusetts museum selling its prized Norman Rockwell painting should worry art museums everywhere.
-- What to make of Amazon’s new superhero series “The Tick”? TV critic Robert Lloyd calls it “clever and crazy in the right proportions.”
“Three Men and a Baby.” “Lethal Weapon.” “RoboCop.” These are just three of the more popular films of 1987. But there were several quieter movies that still resonate three decades later, such as the British cult classic “Withnail and I.” Feeling totally nostalgic? Take a look.
-- Joe Arpaio says he appreciates Trump’s hint of a pardon, but opponents of the former sheriff in Arizona are not impressed.
-- A federal judge struck down Texas’ voter identification law, saying the state’s stringent restrictions illegally discriminated against Latinos and African Americans.
-- A rival of German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pledging to remove U.S. nuclear weapons from the country if he were to replace her.
-- A revered Russian theater director has been placed under house arrest, raising more fears of a crackdown on dissent.
-- The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, and the Internet’s biggest search and advertising company, Google, are partnering on voice-activated shopping in a challenge to Amazon.
-- Former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson is looking to raise enough money via crowdfunding to buy Twitter so President Trump can’t use it.
-- So close! Rich Hill pitched a near-perfect game and still ended up with heartache in the Dodgers’ 1-0 extra-inning loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
-- A week after becoming only the second woman to be hired as a full-time coach in the NFL, Katie Sowers also is now the league’s first coach to come out as gay.
-- If Trump pardons Arpaio, he’ll reward defiance of the courts. That’s wrong.
-- “I’m a DACA student, and I’m praying ICE won’t pick up my parents.”
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Remembering the work of Kim Wall, the journalist whose remains were found off the coast of Denmark. (BBC)
-- How do you train self-driving cars? Inside Waymo’s secretive testing operation in Northern California. (The Atlantic)
-- Beware of trolls: This Ohio man has tricked Trump supporters on Twitter into mistaking pictures of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2016 championship parade for Trump rallies. (Daily Beast)
ONLY IN L.A.
What’s in a name? That which we call the Bard by any other name would be as poetic. Yet a debate over the spelling of Shakespeare on a new statue at USC Village has added a twist to L.A.’s crosstown college rivalry. The verses from “Hamlet” on the base of the Hecuba statue are attributed to “Shakespear,” which drew gibes from UCLA’s student-run Twitter account. USC is standing by the spelling, saying that there are historical variations. Or, as the university put it: “To E, or not to E, that is the question.”
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