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Fire, floods, caravan and a super blue blood moon | 2018 Year in Pictures

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIF. -- WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018: A surfer goes airborne off a wave as the su
Surfer Chris Mansor goes airborne off a wave as the super blue blood moon eclipse sets over the Huntington Beach pier.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

2018 was no stranger to images — moving, captivating, intriguing — that caused you to pause and reflect. Wildfires, immigration, homelessness, a mass shooting and a super blue blood moon eclipse were among events that dominated the headlines. Here’s a look, in pictures, at the year gone by.


Homelessness

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Bundled in blankets, a person sleeps at the corner of 1st and Spring streets across from L.A. City Hall. Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Two years after Los Angeles voters approved a proposition to build housing for the chronically homeless, eight projects had broken ground. But not one was completed by the end of 2018.

Still, local tax money aimed at mitigating the crisis began to flow in earnest in 2018, with $442 million for housing, and $177 million for services. An additional $400 million is coming by the middle of 2019.

People sleep on the steps between the escalators at the Civic Center / Grand Park Metro Station. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
Aldora Smith, 65, is surrounded by her cats in her encampment in a South Los Angeles alley. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
People, at left, sleep on the steps between the escalators at the Civic Center / Grand Park Metro Station. Aldora Smith, 65, is surrounded by her cats in her encampment in a South Los Angeles alley. (Francine Orr / Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Rising rents made the problem more dire, however, pushing thousands of people into homelessness. Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the crisis housing projecte called A Bridge Home, the first city shelter construction program in four decades.

The project’s first shelter opened in downtown’s El Pueblo district. Other sites were approved, but some plans were met with protests by local residents, who didn’t want the shelters near schools, homes and businesses.

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John Kasten at his homeless encampment along the Santa Ana River in Anaheim. Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times

In Orange County, meanwhile, hundreds of homeless people were evicted in January from the riverbed next to Angels Stadium, setting off a legal showdown with a federal judge, David O. Carter.

Displaced people were put up in motel rooms, paid for by the county. The cities of Anaheim, Tustin and Santa Ana agreed to open shelters.


Immigration

Lirio Funes holds onto her daughter, Melissa, just after being detained by local officials after crossing the U.S. - Mexico border illegally in Mc Allen, Texas. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Protesters clash with police guarding a sports facility in Tijuana where more than 2,000 Central immigrants are sheltered. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)
Hunger striker Rosa Dubon, of Honduras, with children Daniel, 24-months, and Josue, 4, are blocked by Mexican Federal Police from marching to the Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Central American migrants gather at an El Paso motel after being released from detention. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Clockwise from top left; Lirio Funes and daughter Melissa are detained after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in McAllen, Texas; protesters clash with police outside the Benito Juarez sports complex in Tijuana, where Central American immigrants were housed; Central American migrants gather at an El Paso motel after being released from detention.; Rosa Dubon, of Honduras, and children Daniel, 2, and Josue, 4, are blocked by Mexican police from marching to the Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana. (Carolyn Cole / Luis Sinco / Gary Coronado / Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Nearly every morning, a pseudo-dystopian scene unfolds just steps away from America’s gates.

At the San Ysidro Port of Entry in Tijuana, someone reads aloud from a mysterious, unsanctioned notebook filled with the names of thousands of people from across the globe. Each of them — including the various guardians of the notebook — is waiting his or her turn to give themselves up to United States immigration officials to ask for refuge.

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Alexander Gomez, Army horizontal construction engineer, works to install coils of concertina wire near the banks of the Rio Grande along the U.S. border with Mexico in Brownsville, Texas. Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times

They are trying to enter the country legally. But the process is slow, and immigration officials say they can’t keep up with the flow. Most days anywhere from 40 to 100 people are allowed to enter this particular port to make their plea for asylum while thousands who are living in miserable conditions wait in shelters and makeshift camps for their turn. Many linger in Tijuana for as long as a month before their names are read. The process has led to a humanitarian crisis at America’s doorstep.

In the meantime, President Trump's order to limit asylum only to foreigners who cross at official points of entry — the Immigration and Naturalization Act says any foreigner who has arrived in the U.S. may apply for asylum "whether or not at a designated port of arrival" — has been blocked in the federal courts.

Guatemalan asylum seeker Hermelindo Che Coc falls asleep watching television with his 6-year-old son Jefferson Che Pop after they arrived home from LAX where they reunited. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Wildfires

A firefighter walks towards his engine after trying to prevent the Woolsey fire from overtaking structures in Malibu. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)
A resident evacuates his home in Thousand Oaks as the Woolsey Fire roars through the neighborhood. (Stuart W. Palley / For The Times)
Llamas are tied to a lifeguard stand on the beach in Malibu as the Woolsey Fire shrouds the area. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
At top, a firefighter is silhouetted in the glare of the Woolsey fire in Malibu. A resident, at left, evacuates his home in Thousand Oaks during the devastating blaze. On the beach in Malibu, llamas are tied to a lifeguard stand. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times; Stuart W. Palley / For The Times; Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

The Woolsey fire destroyed 1,643 structures as it swept through Oak Park and Ventura County and into Malibu.

That made it one of the most destructive fires in Southern California history, although it was nowhere near the 14,000 homes lost in the Camp fire in Butte County.

The Woolsey fire scorched more than 96,000 acres and left three people dead before it was fully contained on Thanksgiving Day, fire officials said.

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Camp fire survivors Ryan and Kimberly Spainhower lost their home in Paradise. Above, they embrace after he recovers from the debris a coin they made during their honeymoon in 2004. Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

Mass shootings

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People comfort each other after a mass shooring at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks. Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Tragedy struck Thousand Oaks on Nov. 7 when a gunman opened fire at the Borderline Bar and Grill, which was packed with college kids. Twelve people were killed, including Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, one of the first officers to reach the country music bar.

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Thousands gathered for an evening vigil in Parkland, Fla., to remember those killed in a Feb. 14 mass shooting. Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

The national conversation on gun control and school safety reached new levels when, first, 17 people were killed in a Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and then 10 more on May 18 at Santa Fe High School outside Houston. In both cases, the alleged shooters had armed themselves with legal weapons.


Foreign and Nation

People aboard Lava Ocean Tour's boat, "Hot Shot," watch as lava flows into the ocean after traveling down the Kilauea Volcano in Pahoa, Hawaii. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
With only three walls standing, Yamary Morales Torres is rebuilding her mother's home on the waterfront in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
Bianca Cruz Pichardo, feeds her two-month old daughter as her oldest daughter, Joelis Mari de la Cruz, 10, watches in their rented apartment in Barrio Obrero, Pueto Rico. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
Top, people aboard Lava Ocean Tour's boat, "Hot Shot," watch as lava flows into the ocean after traveling down the Kilauea Volcano in Pahoa, Hawaii. Left, With only three walls standing, Yamary Morales Torres is rebuilding her mother's home on the waterfront in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. Right, Bianca Cruz Pichardo, feeds her two-month old daughter as her oldest daughter, Joelis Mari de la Cruz, 10, watches in their rented apartment in Barrio Obrero, Pueto Rico. (Kent Nishimura / Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The lava that flowed from the Kilauea volcano, creating a ghostly spectacle. The volcanic activity that started May 3 on Hawaii’s Big Island continues to transform the landscape, trigger earthquakes and force the partial closure of Volcanoes National Park, the Aloha State’s most popular tourist destination.

Though the U.S. government has invested billions of dollars to help clean up and repair of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, much work remains. Major power outages are still being reported, tens of thousands of insurance claims are still pending, and nearly 60,000 homes still have temporary roofs unable to withstand a Category 1 hurricane.

KHAN YOUNIS, GAZA STRIP -- FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2018: Under the shroud of smoke from the flaming tires,
Under the shroud of smoke from the burning tires, a Palestinian man aims a projectile towards the border fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip during the Great March of Return protest in a camp east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip. Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

The ‘Great March of Return’ in March featured what encounters between the Israeli’s and Palestinian’s always feature - bloodshed. 2018 marked 11 years since Israel imposed a land, air and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Lopez Obrador, who rode populist rhetoric and a vow of a national transformation to a landslide election in July’s balloting, became Mexico’s 57th president.

Then presidential candidate Andrés Manual López Obrador is greeted by the press as he makes his way to the polling booth to cast his ballot on Election Day in colonia Coyoacan in Mexico City. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Sports

Lakers LeBron James during media day in El Segundo. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Rams running back Todd Gurley walks through a tunnel on to the field before a game with the Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler dances in the end zone after scoring a touchdown on a 44-yard screen pass from Philip Rivers at StubHub Center. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers Yasiel Puig celebrates while running out an RBI single in game five of the NLCS at Dodger Stadium. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Clockwise from top left; Lakers forward LeBron James; Rams running back Todd Gurley walks to the field before a game at Oakland Coliseum; Yasiel Puig celebrates an RBI single in Game 5 of the NLCS at Dodger Stadium; Chargers running back Austin Ekeler celebrates a touchdown at StubHub Center. (Wally Skalij / Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles is a city of stars. LeBron James is the biggest star in the NBA. So, it made perfect sense for him to come here. But it took some doing and some Magic Johnson to make it happen. On the first day of July, James announced he was leaving his home-state Cleveland Cavaliers to join one of the most storied franchises in the NBA. There is still a long slog ahead of the Lakers to get back to the championship, but it’s a great start.

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16, 2018: Teammates mob Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger
Teammates mob Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger after he hit the game winning RBI in the 13th inning during Game 4 of the NLCS at Dodger Stadium. Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

It’s difficult to tell if it’s worse to be eliminated in Game 7 of the World Series or Game 5, but for Dodgers fans it may not really matter. For the second year in a row, the Dodgers lost the World Series, this time in five games to the Boston Red Sox. The Dodgers lost last year to the Houston Astros. Fans were at times puzzled by the slavish devotion to metrics by manager Dave Roberts, but his bosses liked it, as he received a contract extension.

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA OCTOBER 17, 2018-USC running back Vavae Malepeai is stopped by Bruins Quentin L
USC running back Vavae Malepeai is stopped by Bruins Quentin Lake, left, and Osa Odighizuwa in the 3rd quarter at the Rose Bowl. Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

When you pay $23.3 million for a high-profile new coach, losing the first game of the year to an American Athletic Conference team is not what you expect. But that’s what happened when Cincinnati beat the Chip Kelly-coached Bruins, 26-17. UCLA went on to lose its next four games and finished the season 3-9, its worst record since 1971. Things weren’t all bad, though — the Bruins pulled off an upset of the equally struggling USC Trojans, 34-27.

LOS ANGELES, OCTOBER 1, 2018-Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw plays with his children after his team
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw plays with his children after his team defeated the Rockies to win the National League West Division at Dodger Stadium. Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Clayton Kershaw, long the Dodgers’ best pitcher during the regular season, decided not to become a free agent, staying with the team he has played with during all of his 11 major league seasons. His incentive was $93 million over three years. Kershaw isn’t as dominating as he once was and has been dogged, by his standards, with subpar performances in the postseason. Still, he is the scraggly bearded face of the Dodgers, despite too many trips to the disabled list. He has won the Cy Young Award three times.

 
The USC Trojans are standing behind coach Clay Helton despite coming off their first losing season since 2000. Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

The last time USC’s football team had a losing season was 2000, and coach Paul Hackett was fired. This year USC finished 5-7, and athletic director Lynn Swann said coach Clay Helton was coming back. The Trojans got off to an acceptable 4-2 start, but then came two losses in a row, followed by a win and then a disastrous streak of three defeats, including losses to two of its biggest rivals, UCLA and Notre Dame. The Bruins were 2-8 when they beat the Trojans.

YIR
Rams tight end Tyler Higbee is introduced before a game with the Vikings at the Coliseum Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Entertainment

 
American ballet dancer Misty Copeland; Jordan Peele and Nicole Kidman backstage at the 90th Academy Awards; Lady Gaga is photographed in advance of her new film, 'A Star is Born,' in Malibu, Kent Nishimura / Al Seib / Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Jordan Peele’s Oscar win for 'Get Out' marks the beginning of a movement for black directors. “It’s a renaissance,” Peele said of this moment when films like DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” and Coogler’s “Black Panther” will be in the cinematic conversation at the same time.

Lady Gaga’s work in front of the camera for ‘A Star is Born’ has earned her an Oascar nomination for Best Actress.


Politics

LOS ANGELES, CA --NOVEMBER 07, 2018 --Joined by his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Democrat Gavin News
Joined by his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Gavin Newsom takes the stage as the new California Governor at Exchange LA on election night in downtown Los Angeles. Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

Gavin Newsom won a decisive victory for governor Tuesday night, placing the risk-taking liberal at the center of the resistance to President Trump at a critical moment for California. Newsom is expected to shift state politics and policy even further to the left after eight years of Gov. Jerry Brown, a pragmatic Democrat known for his fiscal restraint and distaste for expensive new social programs.


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