We sorted through hundreds of California’s new laws so you don’t have to.
Know These Laws Before You Go Into 2018
New rules for hiring employees — and for jaywalking. Another annual vehicle fee, this time for road repairs. Legal recreational pot. Californians will face hundreds of new state laws come Jan. 1. We read through them to see how they’ll affect your life and put the most notable into this handy guide.
About Those Property Taxes
To prepay or not to prepay? That has been the property tax question ever since the Republican tax bill passed, with its cap of $10,000 on a combined deduction for state and local income, sales and property taxes. The new tax law was silent, but now the IRS has issued guidance that, in many cases, it will allow such a maneuver. Read this, then talk with a tax advisor.
The Death of a ‘Philippine Erin Brockovich’
The Philippines is one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, powered in large part by coal-fired energy plants. The price has been pollution. When Gloria Capitan, a 57-year-old grandmother, saw coal dust sicken her family, shut down her snack stand and ruin her surroundings, she became an outspoken voice against a nearby coal stockpile. Three bullets killed her, as her 8-year-old grandson watched. The latest in our series on environmental warriors explains why the Philippines is so dangerous for them.
Another New Normal: Fires Burn a Hole in the Budget
The wildfires that have raged through California have been the deadliest and the most destructive on record; as you might expect, they’ve also been the costliest for the state to fight. Cal Fire has already spent $699 million doing so, putting it far over budget only halfway through its fiscal year. Nationwide, the U.S. Forest Service spent $2.4 billion battling wildfires in the federal fiscal year, and that doesn’t include its share of the huge Thomas fire. And officials have this warning: It will only get worse.
Year in Review: Snake-Bitten on a Plane
Flying was once associated with glamour; in 2017, it’s been all about the clamor. The latest incident to barnstorm social media involved an All Nippon Airways jet that flew from LAX to LAX over eight hours because someone was mistakenly on board, with running Twitter commentary from fellow passenger and model Chrissy Teigen. At least no one was bloodied or dragged down an aisle this time, but it was a fitting postscript to a year of flying dangerously.
MORE FROM OUR YEAR IN REVIEW
-- Villains and bad guys in movies and TV had a banner year, thanks to America’s anxious times.
-- A foreign correspondent took a road trip in Syria toward Islamic State’s self-declared capital and found horror, confusion and contradictions.
-- How North Korea became a threat to the U.S. mainland.
-- The year in graphics: Track the hirings and firings at the White House; see why L.A.’s palm trees are dying; and avoid the lines at Disneyland.
-- Recreational marijuana becomes legal in California on Jan. 1. Here’s what you should know.
-- Go flying with injured Rams defensive lineman Dominique Easley behind the controls.
-- Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas abruptly resigned from the California Legislature, citing health reasons.
-- Have you noticed how bad the air in L.A. is lately? Here’s why.
-- Three healthcare issues to watch: single-payer healthcare, drug pricing and Medicaid.
-- Disneyland had a power outage and some parkgoers were less than the happiest.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Get to know the new creatures of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” from those adorable-annoying porgs to Luke Skywalker’s green milk-giving island buddy.
-- Turning the Korean Demilitarized Zone into a bridge of peace isn’t such a crazy idea to some major artists.
-- A new season of “Black Mirror” is coming to Netflix this week with more grim looks at the future.
-- And if “Black Mirror” feels a bit too-too, get your fix of comfort TV with these recommendations from our television team.
“You can watch me play a female pimp in the ’70s or a wise grandmother on ‘The Young and the Restless’ just last year,” says Nichelle Nichols, who turns 85 today. But it’s the role of Lt. Nyota Uhura on “Star Trek” with which she’ll forever be connected in viewers’ minds. Her favorite moment from the series? “Any time Uhura got to get off the bridge.”
-- Federal officials in San Diego can’t keep up with an influx of asylum seekers, leaving some stranded and running out of money as they wait in Tijuana.
-- Las Vegas officials are expecting lower-than-normal New Year’s Eve attendance on the Strip, but security will be at its highest level.
-- Last stop, Trump Station? Israel’s transportation minister wants to honor the president with a railway station near the Western Wall.
-- Three months after hurricanes forced the evacuation of Barbuda, only 350 people have returned to the tiny Caribbean island.
-- A federal judge has taken aim at company wellness programs that claim to be “voluntary” and invade your privacy, as columnist Michael Hiltzik explains.
-- Apple is facing at least nine class-action lawsuits over not disclosing sooner that software updates deliberately slowed down older iPhones.
-- USC has 83 football players on full scholarships, but walk-ons who pay their way were instrumental in the team earning a spot in Friday’s Cotton Bowl.
-- Injured Clippers forward Blake Griffin could return as soon as Friday against the Lakers after missing 14 games.
-- Women in factories, fields, fast-food restaurants and so on deserve to have their stories of being sexually harassed told too.
-- The top 10 under-covered news stories of 2017, as seen by a media analyst for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Max Boot “used to be a smart-alecky conservative who scoffed at ‘political correctness.’ The Trump era has opened my eyes.” (Foreign Policy)
-- Archaeologists in the Holy Land are trying to separate fact from fiction about the real Jesus. (National Geographic)
-- Twenty L.A. bands to watch next year. (Buzz Bands LA)
ONLY IN L.A.
Are you distressed, fading fast or feeling torn? You’d fit right in at the Jeans Innovation Center in Gardena, a facility tailored to the research and development of denim. Unlike in plastic surgery centers, here the lasers are used to make their subjects look older and more worn down.