Today’s Headlines: California attorney general launches investigation into Orange County oil spill


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California attorney general launches investigation into oil spill

The California Department of Justice has launched an investigation into an oil spill that sent up to 131,000 gallons of crude into the waters off the Orange County coast, the state’s top cop said Monday.

Amid the announcements, stretches of sand in Newport Beach and Huntington Beach reopened to swimmers and surfers Monday as cleanup crews continued their work combing the shores for vestiges of oil and tar.


More oil spill headlines

— Huntington Beach used to boast the nickname Oil City. Huntington Beach High School’s football team is still called the Oilers, and its icon is an oil derrick. But the city now brands itself as Surf City, and multimillion-dollar homes, gated communities and luxury hotels stand where oil fields once sprawled. Huntington Beach boomed thanks to oil, but now ...

— You thought the oil spill was bad? In L.A., toxic waste is everywhere.

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Kaiser Permanente workers vote to authorize strike, citing staffing and safety concerns


Thousands of Kaiser Permanente employees in Southern California voted to authorize a strike against the healthcare giant, as the workers continue to protest what they describe as severe staffing shortages that put both medical staff and patients at risk.

The vote does not automatically trigger a strike, the statement said. Unions are required to give the company a 10-day notice before any work stoppage.

Facing major campus disruption and firings, LAUSD extends staff COVID-vaccine deadline

The Los Angeles school district — confronted with widespread campus disruption and the firing of potentially thousands of unvaccinated teachers and other staff — has extended the looming deadline for all workers to be fully immunized for COVID-19.

More top coronavirus headlines

— Drugmaker Merck asked U.S. regulators Monday to authorize its pill against COVID-19. If cleared by the Food and Drug Administration — a decision that could come in a matter of weeks — it would be the first pill shown to treat the disease.

— Community clinics in California say they haven’t been paid for at least 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses given since January, creating a “massive cash flow problem” for some and complicating efforts to retain staff.

— California’s summertime coronavirus surge is in full retreat — much to the relief of families looking to scare up some Halloween fun in just a few weeks. Halloween still presents scary COVID-19 risk. Here’s how you can celebrate safely.

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Power shut-offs loom for tens of thousands of Californians amid gusty winds

More than 34,000 Californians could have their electricity intentionally shut off this week as cold, gusty winds increase the potential for fire danger throughout the state.

The controversial “public safety power shut-offs” have become common in California in recent years, with the state’s largest utilities de-energizing hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses to prevent disaster as climate change drives record-setting wildfire seasons.

Alisal fire grows to at least 2,000 acres near Santa Barbara, shuts down 101 Freeway

A growing brush fire near Santa Barbara is prompting evacuations as gusty conditions drive flames through rough terrain that hasn’t burned in decades. But crews could have some luck on their side. The Alisal fire appears to be moving to the southeast. If that movement continues, it’ll run into the burn scar left by the 2016 Sherpa fire.

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A surfer flies above a crashing blue wave
Gabriel Medina of Brazil soars high above a big wave as he defeats countryman Felipe Toledo to win his third World Surf League Championship on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at Lower Trestles in San Clemente.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)


— The odors in Carson, which have been likened to rotten eggs, vomit, unwashed body parts or a “fart bomb,” are probably caused by hydrogen sulfide from decomposing organic material and have prompted thousands of complaints from residents since they started about a week ago have been declared a public nuisance.

— The invasive Aedes mosquito is expanding its reach in Los Angeles, Orange Counties. The aggressive biter has the ability to pierce clothing and reproduce in water sources as small as a bottle cap. The low-flyers strike during the daytime, prefer human blood and often strike multiple times in rapid succession.

— Standing with members of two tribes, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced plans Monday to rename Father Serra Park in downtown Los Angeles — one of several policy initiatives intended to right historical wrongs and rectify the city’s relationship with its Indigenous people.

— Nearly 29 years had passed when Trino Jimenez decided to write to the man who murdered his brother, prepared to never hear back. In each other, they both found healing.

— St. Peter’s Italian Catholic Church was marred with anti-colonial slogans on Monday in an act of vandalism that police are investigating as a hate crime.

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— The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated economies and gutted jobs across the developed and developing world. But for some young people in privileged parts of the world, the pandemic was an opportunity.

— Three U.S-based economists won the Nobel Prize in economics Monday for pioneering research on the labor market effects of minimum wage, immigration and education, and for creating the scientific framework to allow conclusions to be drawn from such studies that can’t use traditional methodology.

— As heart-wrenching scenes from the U.S.-led airlift from Kabul gripped the world in August, France was among the Western nations working to evacuate those who had cooperated with its government. Among the evacuees: a talkative, yellow-beaked myna bird.

— Scotland Yard has announced that it will not take any further action against Prince Andrew after a review prompted by a sexual-assault allegation from one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers.


— A Watts Towers mural faded in plain sight. Three generations of artists bring back its zing.

Netflix has suspended three employees — including a transgender staffer who criticized Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special — for allegedly attending a business meeting they were not invited to.

— In Season 2, “Ted Lasso” became part of a grand tradition: art worth fighting over.

— “The L Word” is always a lightning rod, but this season is its most controversial yet.

— Robin Young and Sandy Russo wanted to start a family when it was virtually unheard of for same-sex parents to raise children together. Here’s how they weathered the “terrifying” spotlight of an HBO documentary.


— Television sports used to acknowledge betting on games with a wink and a nod. Now will ESPN and Fox go all in?

— Top Disney movie executive Alan Horn is set to retire in December after a career that spanned nearly five decades. His portfolio of studios includes Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar and Disney’s own live action and animated operations.


The Giants beat Dodgers 1-0, putting the Dodgers on brink of elimination. In MLB history, teams that win Game 3 in a best-of-five series tied at one game apiece have gone on to advance more than 72% of the time. The Dodgers will have to overcome those odds to keep their season alive.

— Kenya’s Benson Kipruto won the pandemic-delayed Boston Marathon on Monday and Diana Kipyogei won the women’s race. Together they completed the eighth Kenyan sweep since 2000.

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— Fixing California’s schools is tough work, and state Supt. of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond needs to be tougher, writes the editorial board.

— Op-Ed: Columbus’ fear of Islam, rooted in Europe’s Crusades, shaped his view of Native Americans.


Where does Giantslandia start and Dodgersville end? As boundaries go, the dividing line between blue California and its orange-and-black counterpart is less distinct than the Mason-Dixon line or the 38th parallel. It’s harder to find than a brisk exit from the Dodger Stadium parking lot, more elusive than a National Baseball Hall of Fame berth for Barry Bonds.

“Determining geographically, with any precision, where one team’s fan base stops and another begins, can be a little like trying to determine where the peanut butter stops and the jelly begins,” said USC sports economist David Carter. “You know it at the margins, but beyond that, it gets tricky.”

Today’s newsletter was curated by Seth Liss and Laura Blasey. Comments or ideas? Email us at