Today’s Headlines: Historic storm replenishes and rehydrates — for now
Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
Storm was ‘very, very powerful,’ but California’s ‘very, very dry’
A powerful atmospheric river dumped record-breaking amounts of rain across California, replenishing dwindled reservoirs and rehydrating cracked terrain. Despite the mayhem the atmospheric river caused for some residents, the historic storm marked a welcome change for a parched California after a year of heat and drought with so little rain.
As experts cautioned that it would take more than one storm to make a dent in the drought, extended forecasts called for above-normal temperatures across the entire state and below-normal chances for precipitation for most of the state into early November.
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PHOTO OF THE DAY
Huizar seeks to gut corruption case
Allegations against Jose Huizar are “distasteful,” his attorneys say. He’s accused of traveling on private jets, staying at luxury hotels, gambling at casinos and consorting with prostitutes — all paid for by businessmen seeking to profit from the real estate boom that was transforming his downtown district.
But, his lawyers say, many of the actions of the former L.A. city councilman were too informal to qualify as the type of “official acts” that meet the definition of bribery under federal law. They’ve called on a judge to dismiss most of the charges against Huizar, which would effectively gut the prosecution’s case.
— Pivotal Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III appears to be on board with White House proposals for new taxes on billionaires and certain corporations to help pay for President Biden’s scaled-back social services and climate change package.
— The vast majority of Customs and Border Protection agents who engaged in secretive social media groups that featured violent, bigoted posts against migrants and members of Congress ultimately received significantly reduced disciplinary measures, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. House of Representatives.
— It was “sickening,” said a GOP ally in Nevada: Someone had intercepted his dead wife’s ballot and cast it in her stead. Republicans cried fraud, writes columnist Mark Z. Barabak. Now that ally has been charged with forging his late wife’s signature to cast her mail-in ballot.
California isn’t testing half of its unvaccinated workers
Three months after Gov. Gavin Newsom required state workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing, his pledge that California government would lead by example has not been fulfilled: Many public agencies face low vaccination rates, and most state-run workplaces have failed to test unvaccinated employees.
More top coronavirus headlines
— Three out of 10 student athletes could get kicked off their teams for missing an end-of-week LAUSD vaccination deadline, based on figures obtained by The Times.
— Moderna said a low dose of its COVID-19 vaccine was safe and appeared to work in 6- to 11-year-olds, as the manufacturer joins its rival Pfizer in moving toward expanding shots to children.
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Veteran prop master turned down ‘Rust’ film
In three decades in Hollywood, Neal W. Zoromski has worked on movies big and small but never on a western. So he was thrilled last month when he was asked to join the crew of the Alec Baldwin film “Rust” in New Mexico — the set where on Thursday Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in the chest with a prop gun while rehearsing a gunfight scene.
The job would have given him responsibility for the accoutrements of the Old West. Pistols, rifles, wagons, saddles and flour sacks were needed to re-create 1880s Kansas. But during four days of informal discussions with film managers, Zoromski said he got a “bad feeling.” He told The Times there were “massive red flags” — it felt like a slapdash production, one with an overriding focus on saving money. Production managers didn’t seem to value experience and brushed off his questions, he said.
Reactions to the shooting
— Jensen Ackles, an actor on the movie “Rust” along with star Alec Baldwin, called the shooting “a tragedy of epic proportions that we are all still processing.”
— Hilaria Baldwin, wife of “Rust” actor and producer Alec Baldwin, expressed her support for her husband and for the family of Halyna Hutchins. “My heart is with Halyna. Her husband. Her son. Their family and loved ones. And my Alec.”
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
Smilin’ Jack, at the Phillips 66 refinery in Wilmington, turns 69 this year. In 1955, The Times wrote that oil tank No. 304 each year “sports an 83-foot grin that can be seen for miles. ... A thought for pie lovers: If the tank were filled with pumpkin meat instead of oil, you’d have enough for 26,880,000 pies.”
— As Carson’s City Council declared a local emergency because of a noxious smell that has permeated the area for more than three weeks, fed-up residents confronted officials at City Hall.
— Marilyn Louise Flynn, the former USC dean who is accused of paying bribes to secure millions of dollars in Los Angeles County contracts for the university, pleaded not guilty to federal criminal charges in the latest scandal to hit USC.
— In Marin County, a $2-million house with an ocean view doesn’t necessarily come with a reliable water supply. If sufficient rains don’t arrive this winter, the water district projects it could run out by July.
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— Police in Boise, Idaho, said two people were killed and six injured, including a police officer, in a shooting at the Boise Towne Square shopping mall.
— Interest in school board seats has surged, with national conservative groups and state-level efforts encouraging challenges by right-leaning newcomers amid debates over COVID-19 mask mandates, gender-neutral bathrooms and teachings on race.
— Sudan’s military seized power, dissolving the transitional government hours after troops arrested the acting prime minister and other officials. Thousands of Sudanese protested in the streets against the coup.
— Greenhouse gas concentrations hit a new record high last year and increased at a faster rate than the annual average for the last decade despite a temporary reduction during pandemic-related lockdowns, the World Meteorological Organization reported.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— After making its debut in September 2016, “Insecure” transformed creator and star Issa Rae from a YouTube sensation into an in-demand A-lister. Now, as the series begins its final 10-episode arc, it carries a notable legacy.
— As former “Batwoman” star Ruby Rose continues to rail against the CW series’ cast and crew, Warner Bros. Television is again condemning Rose’s allegations of misconduct and showing solidarity with actor Dougray Scott.
— Review: L.A. Opera is back big-time with Wagner’s “Tannhäuser.” In an opera about redemption, the production redeemed itself around the second act thanks to Sara Jakubiak, a young soprano from Michigan making her L.A. Opera debut.
— Tesla joined an elite group of companies with market values of at least $1 trillion, a key milestone for the carmaker, whose shares have been on a tear amid a global shift to electric vehicles.
— Disneyland and neighboring California Adventure Park announced they were raising most daily ticket prices 3% to 8% and were adopting an even higher price to visit on the most popular days of the year, such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
— Microsoft said the same Russia-backed hackers responsible for the 2020 SolarWinds breach continued to attack the global technology supply chain and had been relentlessly targeting cloud service companies and others since summer.
— Kanye West’s Yeezy clothing line is coveted by fans who love its drapey fits and modern silhouettes. But supporters may find themselves waiting a while to receive purchases, and those delays allegedly violate California’s business code. That’s according to a lawsuit filed by the state of California against West’s fashion business in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
— Four years after the Astros beat the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series, the cheating scandal continues to hang over their heads. Last season, with stadiums empty, Houston was largely spared fans’ fury. This year, there’s been no escaping it. Beating Atlanta might silence critics. But players and coaches say that’s not their motivation.
— Chip Kelly says officials blew the field-goal call in UCLA’s 34-31 loss to Oregon. Kelly said he watched replays of kicker Nicholas Barr-Mira’s 35-yard field goal that was ruled wide left in the second quarter and it appeared to go through the uprights.
— Bob Baffert is not only the most recognizable trainer in horse racing but also the most scrutinized. As a condition of being allowed to run his horses in the Breeders’ Cup after five medication violations, he has agreed to unprecedented screening, including security officers with body cams.
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— California is spending billions on drought-related projects. It’s not borrowing to do it, and that’s exceedingly rare, writes columnist George Skelton.
— With political appointees drawing City Council districts, rather than a truly independent panel, the process is fraught with gamesmanship and suspicion.
— The problem with pandemic Halloween is that I no longer understand the rules, writes columnist Nicholas Goldberg. Is there going to be a massive Halloween turnout, or will people stay home?
ONLY IN L.A.
Griffith Observatory announced late last week it would be closed for the weekend without offering details. The reason, it turns out, was a secret Adele show staged as part of the pop star’s recently announced “Adele One Night Only,” which premieres Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. Pacific on CBS and sister streamer Paramount+. The special features concert footage and an Adele-Oprah chat.
In aerial footage shared on an Adele fan account, a sizable production setup consisting of multiple trucks, tents and assorted stage equipment can be seen outside the iconic site. Another fan account captured black-and-white images of Adele projected onto the observatory.
Today’s newsletter was curated by Amy Hubbard and Laura Blasey. Comments or ideas? Email us at email@example.com.
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