Today’s Headlines: Newsom’s approval ratings hobbled by crime fears, poll finds

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference
Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference in Sacramento.
(Associated Press)

By Elvia Limón, Laura Blasey and Amy Hubbard

Hello, it’s Tuesday, Feb. 15. If your Valentine’s Day was a total bummer, there’s something else you can celebrate this week: the L.A. Rams. Los Angeles will honor the Super Bowl champs on Wednesday with a parade through the Exposition Park area. Just don’t forget to wear a mask!

It’s difficult to avoid crowds at a parade, so health experts say “the safest bet is to wear a mask.” Your cloth mask might not cut it, as they also advise people to upgrade to N95 respirators, KN-95 masks or surgical masks.


If you’re joining the festivities, you’ll be safest if you’re vaccinated and boosted (if eligible) and aren’t at risk for severe disease. Have fun!

Now, on to the stories you shouldn’t miss today.


A new poll finds Gov. Gavin Newsom’s approval hobbled by crime fears

Less than four months after Californians overwhelmingly rejected a recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom, voters are growing more dissatisfied with the governor and a solid majority believe the state is headed in the wrong direction, according to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.

Concerns about rising crime and California’s seemingly intractable homelessness crisis emerged as the top political undercurrents driving voter dissatisfaction, with most of those surveyed giving Newsom poor marks on how he has handled those issues. Californians praised Newsom’s ability to guide the state through the COVID-19 pandemic, but two-thirds believe the crisis is subsiding, diluting its effect on his overall job approval ratings, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the poll.

More politics

  • If elected, billionaire developer turned mayoral candidate Rick Caruso wants to add 1,500 to the Los Angeles Police Department’s ranks.
  • The majority of California voters in a new statewide poll reported concern over state crime rates and said they would support reinstating penalties for certain thefts.
  • Four years after 17 people were gunned down in Parkland, Fla., President Biden says his administration stands with the advocates working to end gun violence, though his efforts to pass legislation haven’t left the drawing board.

Sign up for our L.A. on the Record newsletter to get the lowdown on L.A. politics in this pivotal election year.

California‘s school mask mandate will remain in place through Feb. 28

California will keep its indoor mask mandate for K-12 schools in place at least through the end of the month, the state’s top health official said Monday, even as it moves this week to relax face covering rules in other settings. California will reassess conditions on Feb. 28 to see whether the promising trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic continues, said Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health and human services secretary.

By that date, “we anticipate being able to share what the next period of time will look like and, with some specificity, give a date when the masking requirement will move to a recommendation,” he said.

More top coronavirus headlines

Stay up to date on variant developments, case counts and vaccine news with Coronavirus Today.

What new LAUSD Supt. Alberto Carvalho’s record with Miami’s schools could mean for L.A.

This week, Supt. Alberto Carvalho, who led Miami-Dade for 13 years, took charge of Los Angeles Unified, the nation’s second-largest school district. The Times reviewed public records and spoke with educators, experts and community members about some of his major initiatives as schools chief. Carvalho also spoke about them.

A picture emerges of an exacting, hands-on leader who raised Miami-Dade’s profile nationally and pushed schools to specialize to better compete with private and charter schools. He was acutely focused on testing and other data to improve school and student performance. And, like education leaders across the country, he was still struggling to close the achievement gap, particularly for Black students, when he left.

A Western megadrought is the worst the region has seen in 1,200 years

According to a new study, the extreme dryness that has ravaged the American West for more than two decades now ranks as the driest 22-year period in at least 1,200 years, and scientists have found that this megadrought is being intensified by humanity’s heating of the planet.

The research, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, adds to a growing body of research that shows the American West faces major challenges as the burning of fossil fuels continues to push temperatures higher, intensifying the drying trend.

The authors of the study concluded that dry conditions are likely to continue through this year and, judging from the past, may persist for years.

A Hollywood union tried to promote diversity. Then things got complicated

Brittny Chapman was recruited to help lead a new diversity committee for Motion Picture Costumers Local 705, which represents thousands of Hollywood costume workers. The committee set lofty goals and recruited diversity consultants.

But just four months later, she and the three co-chairs of color of the committee resigned in protest, questioning the union’s sincerity to achieve diversity. The story of what happened when costumers tried to instigate reform is a tale of the frustrations and barriers to progress that exist in many Hollywood unions. But it also offers glimmers of hope.

Our daily news podcast

If you’re a fan of this newsletter, you’ll love our daily podcast “The Times,” hosted every weekday by columnist Gustavo Arellano, along with reporters from across our newsroom. Go beyond the headlines. Download and listen on our App, subscribe on Apple Podcasts and follow on Spotify.


Two photos: One of a person in an orange and black striped hoodie, one of a person with a blue mask with ram's horns.
One more Super Bowl shout-out: It’s justified! Two fans made their allegiance known at Sunday’s game.
(Lynne Sladky; Julio Cortez / Associated Press)


After record heat, a “dramatic” cool-down is moving into Southern California. It’s weather whiplash. A cold system dropping in from the Gulf of Alaska is offering temporary respite from the recent heat wave — and is forecast to even bring a much-needed chance of rain.

An unemployment scam that operated out of California prisons sought a record $25 million. Prosecutors say it’s the largest known single intended haul in California, though the scheme ultimately netted around $5 million that went for vehicles, furniture, handbags and jewelry.

UC Berkeley may be forced by a court to cut 3,000 freshman seats and freeze enrollment. The university’s projection came in response to a ruling last August by an Alameda County Superior Court judge who ordered an enrollment freeze and upheld a Berkeley neighborhood group’s lawsuit that challenged the environmental impact of the university’s expansion plan.

Nearly $5 a gallon: Record gas prices in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Gas prices in Los Angeles and Orange counties have reached record highs as geopolitical tensions send crude oil prices soaring at a time when more people are looking to hit the the road. California currently has the most expensive gas in the nation.

Support our journalism

Subscribe to the Los Angeles Times.


Ukraine’s comic-turned-president finds the showdown with Russia is a deadly serious matter. As he tries to figure out how to keep the U.S. on his side, his people from freaking out and Moscow from sending in the tanks, many Ukrainians are starting to wonder whether he has the smarts and strength to lead them through such a perilous moment.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau invokes emergency powers to quell protests. Trudeau ruled out using the military and said Monday that the emergency measures “will be time-limited, geographically targeted, as well as reasonable and proportionate to the threats they are meant to address.”

A U.S. district judge dismisses Sarah Palin‘s libel lawsuit against the New York Times. The judge said Palin had failed to show that the Times had acted out of malice, something required in libel lawsuits involving public figures.


The NFL was “aware” Eminem would kneel at the Super Bowl. The league said it knew the rapper would drop to a knee during the halftime show and did not try to stop him — despite reports saying otherwise.

For many Angelenos, the halftime hip-hop show was Super Bowl MVP. The 14-minute medley was a deep and specific celebration of Black L.A. culture and hip-hop, rooted in the neighborhoods whose skyline now sports a multibillion-dollar home for the Rams.

Three hosts. A fan favorite award. Here’s how the Oscars hope to boost ratings this year. The Times has confirmed that Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes are in final talks to share hosting duties for the 94th Academy Awards, set for March 27.


The Manor, an iconic L.A. mansion, seeks $165 million. Spanning 4.7 acres, the Holmby Hills property once held a home owned by crooner Bing Crosby. In 1991, that home was replaced by the W-shaped mega-mansion that stands today.


With their Super Bowl title, the Rams can finally celebrate being an enduring part of L.A. The Rams already had the NFL’s crown-jewel stadium and a star-filled roster, but their Super Bowl win establishes their championship legacy in L.A.

A disgraceful decision by the arbitration court in allowing Kamila Valieva to skate. The decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport indicates it’s OK to be a drug cheat if you are younger than 16. The IOC won’t hold medal ceremonies in response to ruling, writes columnist Helene Elliott.

Free online games

Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at


L.A.’s promise for safer streets has stalled. But a ballot measure could restart the mobility plan. It’s crazy that Angelenos would have to go to the ballot to force the city to implement its own plan to build bike and bus lanes and safer streets.


Workers install letters to cover the Hollywood sign
Workers install letters to cover the Hollywood sign on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022.
(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Whose house? “Rams House” — at least until Wednesday. Marking a new entry in the tradition in Los Angeles of hillside announcements, Mayor Eric Garcetti said the Hollywood sign was being altered this week to celebrate the Rams’ Super Bowl victory. The installation is the result of a partnership among the city, the Rams, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Sign Trust.

“This town has the best teams and fans in the world, and we can’t wait to show off our L.A. pride with a display that only Hollywood could deliver,” Garcetti said in a statement.


A man in white tie and tails looks on menacingly.
19311: Bela Lugosi portrays Count Dracula in “Dracula.”
(Universal Pictures)

Ninety-one years ago today, Universal Studios released the first “Dracula.” The movie was filmed on the Universal lot, which at the time was only about 15 years removed from its beginnings as a chicken ranch. “Dracula,” directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi, became a Hollywood classic.

What you might not know is that during the making of the film, another cast and crew took over the set at night. George Melford, who helmed Rudolph Valentino’s 1921 “The Sheik,” directed the Spanish-language version of the Lugosi vehicle. In an article last year, the Guardian reported that “Drácula” was filmed in half the time and on a smaller budget. In differed from the Lugosi version in other ways besides language: More of Dracula’s castle was seen, the framing shots were “arguably superior,” there was more emphasis on religion, and the costumes for female lead Lupita Tovar were more revealing.

Thanks to reader Ken Bielen of Ohio for flagging an error in Friday’s From the Archives on the Beatles. We said their first extensive U.S. tour was in February 1964. It began in August of that year.

We appreciate that you took the time to read Today’s Headlines! Comments or ideas? Feel free to drop us a note at