Today’s Headlines: New maps show fresh flood risk for Bay Area

An aerial picture shows a a cyclist riding through a flooded bike path in Mill Valley during a king tide in 2022.
A cyclist rides through a flooded bike path in Mill Valley during a king tide in 2022.
(Josh Edelson / AFP via Getty Images)

Hello, it’s Tuesday, Jan. 17, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


New Bay Area maps show hidden flood risk

Amid dramatic ocean swells and drenching atmospheric rivers, a new report lays bare a hidden aspect of sea level rise that has been exacerbating flooding in the Bay Area.

The report, which was released Tuesday, maps areas that could flood from groundwater hovering just a few feet, or even inches, below ground. Communities that consider themselves “safe” from sea level rise might need to think otherwise, one expert said.


The new findings are the result of an unprecedented effort to identify where the groundwater along the bay shoreline is close to, or already breaking, the surface.

More about the storms

Riverside City College women’s coach harassed after Title IX suit

These days, Alicia Berber heads home before dark. She listens for footsteps before exiting her office and hurries to the parking lot. A fellow coach suggested she arm herself with pepper spray and a Taser.

She says she’s been berated and ostracized for years, treatment that she alleges recently escalated to bullying and verbal threats.


Her offense? Berber had the temerity to insist, no, to demand, that Riverside City College, where she teaches classes and coaches the women’s basketball team, follow Title IX regulations to the letter, that her team get the exact same treatment as men’s teams. Then nearly a decade later, she insisted again.

‘Tripledemic’ anxiety has LAUSD parents pleading for mask mandate

Many Los Angeles parents are navigating another troubling winter of health worries, as COVID-19, flu cases and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, continue to circulate. Among many low-income or multifamily households, a contagious virus threatens both their child and their financial stability.

A group of families, largely Spanish-speaking parents from East and South Los Angeles, is now asking L.A. Unified for mandatory masking and to re-establish on-campus weekly coronavirus testing.

They have not yet received a direct response from the district. But at a Jan. 9 news conference, Supt. Alberto Carvalho took on what he referred to as “misinformation, disinformation, confusion and unwarranted fear.”

On a poverty tour, an advisor to the governor chronicles agony, anger and hope

Michael Tubbs writes in his notebook and stars a word in black pen for importance: “agony.”

It’s impossible to wholly describe what he has learned about Californians living in poverty during his tour across the state, but that word seems to wrap it up.

The former mayor of Stockton, now the “economic mobility and opportunity” advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom, has carried a gray notebook to 10 counties — and plans to visit the remaining 48.

Tubbs, 32, is revered as a national expert on guaranteed income programs for the poor. So what does he have to learn about poverty? It turns out, a lot.

More politics and government

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Orange County’s proliferation of e-bikes brings battle to the boardwalk. Their popularity has created a conundrum for the county’s cities as they attempt to balance state climate goals that necessitate getting people out of gas-fueled cars with concerns about rider and pedestrian safety.

L.A. Catholic schools are growing after years of decline. But is it enough? Although the two-year upswing is encouraging, archdiocesan schools are not close to erasing the effects of the massive student exodus during the pandemic.

Six people, including a mother and baby, killed in Tulare County. Authorities said they were searching for two suspects and that the killings may have been related to a drug cartel and a search warrant carried out last week.

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On King holiday, the slain civil rights leader’s daughter calls for action over words. The Rev. Bernice King, who leads the King Center in Atlanta, said leaders — especially politicians — too often cheapen her father’s legacy into a “comfortable and convenient King” offering easy platitudes.

Italy arrests its No. 1 fugitive, a Sicilian Mafia boss. Matteo Messina Denaro, a convicted Mafia boss who ordered some of the nation’s most heinous killings, was arrested Monday at a private clinic in Sicily after three decades on the run, Italian paramilitary police said.

Nepal plane crash kills at least 69. Authorities said Monday that the flight data and cockpit voice recorders were retrieved a day after the passenger plane went down on approach to a newly opened airport in the tourist town of Pokhara.


How ‘The Last of Us’ changed gaming, strained relationships and spawned an empire. The original game, now an HBO series, raised moral quandaries about choice, or the lack thereof, in interactive entertainment, questioned masculinity in games and ultimately proved to the industry that a gay teenage girl could be a protagonist in a genre overrun with tired machismo.

Amid rising labor tensions in Hollywood, directors predict tough negotiations with studios. The Directors Guild of America has traditionally avoided showdowns with the studios, bargained early and remained tight-lipped about its goals. But this year may be different: DGA leaders say the union is in no rush.

These ‘difficult actors’ said ‘RRR’ couldn’t be done. Their director proved them wrong. N.T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan open up about unifying Indian cinema, breaking into Hollywood and director S.S. Rajamouli’s obsessive attention to detail.

Lisa Marie Presley was born ‘a princess,’ but ‘never wanted to trade off her fame.’ Lisa Marie Presley’s musical collaborators remember the singer and her path in the music industry after her death last week at age 54.


Elon Musk’s next drama: A trial over his tweets about Tesla. Musk’s 2018 tweets fueled a rally in Tesla’s stock price that abruptly ended a week later, after it became apparent that he didn’t have the funding for a buyout after all. He’ll now have to explain his actions under oath in a federal court in San Francisco.


MLK had a dream about ending police brutality. In L.A., we’re clearly still dreaming. In 1963, King said “we can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.” But “never” sure is taking a very long time, especially in Los Angeles, where three Black men died this month in encounters with the LAPD, writes columnist Erika D. Smith.

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UCLA basketball’s 13 straight wins hold promise for March success. UCLA’s men’s basketball winning streak is the longest in the nation among major conference college teams, putting them on a trajectory for a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Sparks acquire veteran guard Jasmine Thomas in trade with Sun. The Sparks, and its new leadership, began the off-season rebuild of the roster by acquiring veteran guard Jasmine Thomas on Monday in a multiple-player trade with the Connecticut Sun.


Lupine and California poppies.
(Tim Becker)

Here’s what you should scatter right now for glorious spring wildflowers. SoCal’s ongoing deluge will probably fuel one silver lining come spring: a massive bloom of flowers. And more good news: It’s not too late to create a superbloom in your yard — or even a patio box — if you plant as soon as you can.


The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. visited Los Angeles in August 1965, one of several visits to Southern California in his life. Each time, he attracted crowds and controversy.

On Aug. 11, a traffic stop in the Watts neighborhood spiraled into five days of chaos and violence, fueled by rumors and an already-tense relationship between police and residents. In the days after what became known as the Watts riots, King met with then-Mayor Samuel W. Yorty, but the visit turned “stormy” when King called for Police Chief William H. Parker to resign.

See photos from King’s other appearances here.

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