Today’s Headlines: L.A.’s police union goes big in the city election

Los Angeles City Hall is reflected in the windows of the Los Angeles Police Headquarters
Los Angeles City Hall, reflected in the windows of LAPD headquarters.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

By Elvia Limón, Laura Blasey and Amy Hubbard

Hello, it’s Wednesday, June 1, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Two years after George Floyd, L.A.’s police union goes big in the city election

Two years ago, some of Los Angeles’ political leaders took a public stand against the clout wielded by the city’s police union, announcing they would reject any campaign donations that were offered by the group.


Those pronouncements have not kept the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents more than 9,000 rank-and-file officers, from making another major push at City Hall. With the election less than a week away, the union is financially involved in five of the city’s 11 contests, committing more money than any other organization.

What makes the PPL’s activities especially noteworthy this year is that the union is not simply relying on its officers’ membership dues, but also six-figure contributions from other donors.

Funerals begin for Uvalde shooting’s 21 victims

A week after the school shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers, this small town was preparing for the first of many funerals. This week, services are planned for 11 children and teacher Irma Garcia.

The first was for Amerie Jo Garza, 10, who was buried Tuesday in a casket painted and shrink-wrapped with customized art of her favorite things, said designer Trey Ganem. Amerie Jo’s family described her in her obituary as an avid swimmer who aspired to become an art teacher, “a kind, caring, blunt, loving, sweet, sassy and of course funny little diva who ‘hated dresses,’” loved Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccinos.


Ganem declined to release details about Amerie Jo’s casket design but said her family and those of the other victims were excited to talk to him “because of the joy that person gave them. They’re remembering the good times.”

Does California have enough water for lots of new homes? Yes

To some, it defies common sense. California is once again in the middle of a punishing drought with state leaders telling people to take shorter showers and do fewer loads of laundry to conserve water. Yet at the same time, many of the same elected officials, pledging to solve the housing crisis, are pushing for the construction of millions of new homes.

According to experts, there’s plenty of water available for new Californians if the 60-year trend of residents using less continues and accelerates into the future.

Some of the changes that have freed up additional water supplies in the past, and could continue to free up water, go unnoticed by many people. New development almost always includes more water-efficient faucets, toilets, appliances and showers than older homes.

More on California’s drought

  • Get ready for short showers and brown lawns: More than 6 million Southern Californians will be placed under new drought rules today in an unprecedented effort to conserve water. Here’s what you need to know.
  • A long-dead proposal to flood a bucolic valley north of Sacramento and create a massive reservoir is finding new life — and opposition — amid the effects of climate change and worsening drought.

Will Black voters show up for Democrats and Biden?

Marking the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, President Biden last week signed an executive order to reform federal policing practices.

“The work of our time — healing the soul of this nation — is ongoing and unfinished,” Biden told the crowd, noting the frustratingly slow nature of progress. “This is a start.”

But incremental progress may not be enough to convince Black voters that Biden has delivered on his campaign promises to reform police forces, enact voting rights legislation and reduce racial inequities. If anything, the executive order and other recent actions have highlighted the limitations Biden faces in advancing more ambitious reforms.

More politics

  • With just a week until the Biden administration hosts the ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, the agenda is set but the guest list remains shrouded in mystery.
  • A lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was acquitted of lying to the FBI when he pushed information meant to cast suspicions on Donald Trump and Russia in the run-up to the 2016 election.
  • The Supreme Court is heading into the final weeks of a term that may reveal the full impact of its newly dominant conservative bloc.
  • California’s 2022 congressional races are expected to be some of the most expensive and contentious in the nation as the GOP attempts to retake control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sign up for our California Politics newsletter to get the best of The Times’ state politics reporting and the latest action in Sacramento.


Russian forces close in on a takeover of eastern Ukrainian province

Ukrainian forces desperately tried to block a complete Russian takeover of one of the country’s two eastern provinces, with Russian troops clawing out incremental gains even as European leaders agreed to a partial oil embargo aimed at starving Moscow’s mammoth war machine.

A combined force of Russian troops, Chechen fighters and pro-Moscow separatists slugged their way deeper into Severodonetsk, the Ukrainian government’s seat of power in the province of Luhansk, seizing a sizable portion of a city that has been almost completely destroyed in the fighting.

Farther west, Russian artillery also pounded the city of Slovyansk, the next target after Severodonetsk as Russian forces advance. Several Ukrainian residents were reported killed and wounded after Russian rockets hit an apartment complex where only a few dozen people still lived. Most were sleeping when the attack came.

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A woman waves and a man walks behind her across a wet tarmac at an airport.
Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff arrive in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday for the funeral of Ruth Whitfield, one of 10 killed in the recent supermarket shooting.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)


L.A. City Council seeks to ban homeless encampments near every school and day care center. Councilmembers made the decision after hearing from parents of children at Virgil Middle School and from Alberto M. Carvalho, superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, about incidents involving homeless people immediately outside campuses.

More than half of California community colleges have refused to drop dead-end remedial courses. Despite a state law that requires community colleges to direct students away from remedial education — which often does not count toward degree or transfer credits — more than half of the state’s 116 campuses have not made the change, which took effect in 2019.

Asian Americans are typecast as successful students, but a new report found troubling gaps. The stereotype masks “incredibly disconcerting” gaps in college outcomes among the multiple ethnic groups who make up the larger community in California, according to a new report.

Asian Latinos: These mixed families represent California’s future. California is home to more Asian Latinos than any other state in the U.S. — at least 250,000. But that’s still a tiny slice of the nearly 40 million people who reside in the Golden State. As the Asian and Latino populations continue to grow, mixed offspring will become increasingly common.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo reinstates its indoor mask mandate. The mandate covers all campus facilities and applies to all students, employees and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. UCLA reinstated an indoor mask mandate last week.

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The Supreme Court has blocked a Texas law that seeks to protect conservatives on Facebook and Twitter. The justices issued an order to stop enforcement of a Texas law that authorized the state to sue Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media websites if they “censor” or “discriminate against” conservatives. But a challenge to the law’s constitutionality will continue.

Young caregivers ‘exist in the shadows’ and offer crucial help. As many as 10 million children in the U.S. may provide some form of care at home, experts say. Some kids are the only caregivers patients have, while others fill in when visiting nurses or other help is not available.

A surge in U.S. traffic deaths puts focus on one Philadelphia road. Roosevelt Boulevard is an almost 14-mile maze of chaotic traffic patterns that passes through some of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods and census tracts with the highest poverty rates. Driving can be dangerous but biking or walking on the boulevard can be even worse.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proposes a ‘national freeze’ on handgun sales amid recent shootings. Trudeau said his government recognizes that the vast majority of Canadians who own guns are responsible, but the level of gun violence is unacceptable.


Moses Ingram and “Star Wars” are standing up to a racist backlash over casting in “Obi-Wan Kenobi.” Ingram, who stars as Inquisitor Reva, revealed the racist messages she’d received since appearing in the new Disney+ TV series.

HBO’s “Barry” can get intense for Henry Winkler. Here’s why that is such a good thing. “It’s the most outrageous, intense work I have ever done since June 30, 1970, when my professional career started with the Yale Repertory Theatre,” says Winkler, sounding thrilled.


You may think you know the Sex Pistols. But this TV show may be enlightening. Danny Boyle’s “Pistol,” based on guitarist Steve Jones’ memoir, diverges from the usual emphasis on Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious and “Sid and Nancy.”


MoviePass died. But this movie theater subscription service hit a milestone. Cinemark, the nation’s third-largest movie theater chain, has hit the 1-million member milestone for its cinema subscription program.

Disneyland pauses its Magic Key annual pass sales as summer crowding begins. The new annual pass system. launched in August. created four annual passes that ranged in price from $399 per year for Southern California residents to $1,399 for the option with no block-out days and the greatest flexibility for making reservations.


How convenient that Republicans’ God blames the same scapegoats that they do. When the economy crashes, or a hurricane hits, or children are shot dead in their classrooms, one party tries to change the subject to same-sex marriage or school prayer, writes Times columnist LZ Granderson.

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Will Chicharito finally return to the Mexican national team? Tensions are thawing. Galaxy captain Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, the all-time leading scorer on the team, has been exiled from the team since the fall of 2019 but said last week that he talked to Mexican manager Tata Martino for the first time in more than two years.


Meet Josiah Johnson, the former UCLA benchwarmer who became an NBA meme king. Johnson found a way to use Twitter to express himself, have fun, and make a career out of it.


A woman sits in a chair surrounded by different types of plants and mulch
Sarah Lariviere in her backyard in Burbank, which used to have a lawn.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

On a block full of lawns, she ditched grass for a DIY drought-tolerant oasis. Long before the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared a water shortage emergency and ordered outdoor watering limited to one day a week, Sarah Lariviere, an avid gardener, was thinking about ways to conserve water.

Lariviere and her husband, Tim Mapp, bought a 1940 bungalow in Burbank in March 2021 and prepared to tear out the lawn and install a low-water landscape. A rebate check from the MWD paid for the entire project. Here’s how they did it.


Closeup of a blond woman in a black dress.
Circa 1948: Marilyn Monroe was 22 when she starred in “Ladies of the Chorus.”
(File photo)

Ninety-six years ago today, on June 1, 1926, Norma Jean Mortensen — the future Marilyn Monroe — was born. When she was 9, her mother suffered a nervous breakdown and was committed to a state mental institution. Norma Jean lived for a time with her mother’s friend and the woman’s husband in Van Nuys, before being raised by a series of foster parents. She was a model before finding success as an actress, appearing in more than 20 films.


Monroe became an enduring American icon of the 20th century, with films such as “The Seven-Year Itch” and “Some Like It Hot” providing indelible images of the actress. On the 50th anniversary of Monroe’s death from a drug overdose, The Times’ former classic Hollywood expert Susan King wrote about the actress and interviewed those who knew her. To them, King wrote, “Monroe was a devoted, if troubled, actress who took her craft seriously. In interviews, they remember her as an exceptionally bright and determined woman with a sly sense of humor — a far cry from the sweet but dumb blondes she played…. She was also someone who could be exasperating to work with — unprofessional with deep insecurities.”

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