Today’s Headlines: California saw a housing construction boom during the pandemic

Homes are seen under construction with a dirt field in the foreground.
New homes go up in February in Fresno County.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)
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Hello, it’s Friday, May 5, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


California saw a housing construction boom during the pandemic

Even as California’s population took a hit during the pandemic, new data show the state experienced a boom in home building the likes of which has not been seen since the Great Recession.

The rise in new construction — including increases in multi-unit dwellings in some areas — comes as California faces a housing crisis that has sparked a push at the city and state levels to build more homes.


Experts say that although the ramped-up construction has helped, it is not enough — at least yet — to seriously reduce high rents and housing prices.

With writers’ strike, studios face a high-stakes endurance test

Striking writers swarming picket lines say big media companies have made billions in profits from the movies and TV shows they have created — and it’s time for those firms to share the wealth.

Traditional media companies, meanwhile, have lost billions of dollars building streaming services to compete with Netflix, and they say they must cut program expenses, not increase them.

Conflicting narratives, yet both may be true.

Ex-UC Davis student arrested in serial stabbings


Davis police on Thursday named a recent UC Davis student as the suspect in stabbings that left two men dead and one woman in critical condition in the bucolic college town just west of Sacramento.

Carlos Reales Dominguez, 21, was arrested on two counts of homicide and one count of attempted murder, Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel said at an afternoon news conference.

Despite renewed focus, scarce details on Sen. Feinstein’s health

For years, Sen. Dianne Feinstein has swatted down growing concerns about her health, assuring constituents largely through statements to the press that she is still able to serve. But with her prolonged absence from the Capitol this spring, pressure is building on the 89-year-old senator and her staff to provide additional details about her condition.

With Democrats holding a bare-bones majority in the Senate, they need Feinstein’s vote. Senators must be at the Capitol to vote. The predicament has put into stark relief the challenge of balancing a lawmaker’s privacy against the public’s right to know about the health of their representatives.

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LAFD almost never fires firefighters, even those who commit crimes

A Times investigation has found the Los Angeles Fire Department almost never terminates firefighters, even those who have committed crimes or other types of egregious wrongdoing.

Not for domestic violence. Not for falsifying medical records. Not for making racially offensive remarks or publicly promoting an alleged hate group.

Disciplinary procedures dragged on for so long that some firefighters were able to retire before any punishment was imposed.


Customers dine at Morihiro Sushi in Atwater Village.
Angelenos don’t need to fly across the Pacific for excellent sushi. Read more:What makes L.A.’s sushi scene so great? I found answers in Tokyo
(Maggie Shannon/For The Times)


Environmentalists sue California over reduced solar incentives. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday — and shared exclusively with The Times — three environmental groups argue that the California Public Utilities Commission acted illegally when it slashed compensation payments for power generated by solar panels.


A tornado hits the Carson and Compton area with 75-mph winds and causes damage. A tornado touched down Thursday in the Carson and Compton area, causing minor damage with winds reaching 75 mph, the National Weather Service said.

A design team was chosen for a memorial to the victims of L.A.’s Chinese Massacre of 1871. Inspired by trees, a design by Sze Tsung Nicolás Leong and writer Judy Chui-Hua Chung will mark an event that resulted in the lynchings of 18 Chinese men.

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Coronation time: A bit of Harry Potter and Monty Python, more than a little national self-reckoning. Britain’s grand coronation spectacle evokes mirth or ire for some, but prompts reverence from others.

New York state becomes first to ban natural gas in new buildings. New York, which was America’s sixth-largest state consumer of natural gas in 2020, became the first state to enact such a ban when the state’s 2023-24 budget was passed Tuesday night.

Video captures man’s death during a chokehold by fellow New York subway passenger. A man who witnesses said was yelling and appeared to be suffering a mental health episode in a subway car was killed when another passenger grabbed him from behind and placed him in a chokehold, authorities said.


Pornhub blocks its content in Utah to protest the state’s new age verification law. The law requires companies that publish pornography or adult content considered harmful to children to verify a user is an adult. Companies that fail to “perform reasonable age verification methods” can be held liable, according to the law.

U.S. students’ declining test scores in history and civics show the pandemic’s impact. Nearly one-third of eighth-grade students cannot describe the structure or function of government, according to the results.


Shangela, star of HBO’s ‘We’re Here’ and contestant on ‘Drag Race,’ has been accused of sexual assault. Former “We’re Here” production assistant Daniel McGarrigle filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that Shangela raped McGarrigle in a Louisiana hotel room following a 2020 crew party.

Billie Lourd tells why Carrie Fisher’s siblings weren’t on Walk of Fame ceremony invite list. Lourd stated that their actions following the deaths of her mother and grandmother “were very hurtful to me at the most difficult time in my life. I chose to and still choose to deal with her loss in a much different way.”

Review: Believe the talk of the town: ‘Queen Charlotte’ rules in this ‘Bridgerton’ prequel. Clutch your bosom and reach for the smelling salts. “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” has finally arrived, and the prequel is the best “Bridgerton” yet.

Ed Sheeran wins ‘Let’s Get It On’ copyright infringement case for ‘Thinking Out Loud.’ A New York jury sided with Ed Sheeran on Thursday, finding that he did not plagiarize Marvin Gaye’s classic song “Let’s Get It On.”



How a Riverside bookstore, a cultural oasis, got a new lease — drag readings and all. Not long after its drag queen story hours attracted protests, Riverside’s Cellar Door Bookstore got evicted. But at this oasis of inclusion, the show will go on.

L.A. tourists are (mostly) back — except for some of the biggest spenders. While the L.A. travel industry’s recovery has continued to pick up significant momentum in the last year, some hurdles remain. Inflation and a potential recession loom large, international visitors have been slower to return to the city and labor shortages persist in some sectors of the industry.

Carlsbad-based Jenny Craig shutting down after four decades. It remains unclear what the Jenny Craig shutdown will mean for consumers who have signed up for the program, paid for the services of a coach and have food delivered to their homes.


This teen wants to be Uganda’s first MLB player. His coach and family are using TikTok to get him there. Orphaned at a young age and living in poverty and despair, Dennis Kasumba has found purpose in pursuing his dream to become Uganda’s first MLB player.

The NFL is under investigation in California and New York for race and gender discrimination. California and New York attorneys general announced they are beginning an investigation into the NFL, focusing on claims of workplace discrimination and a hostile environment more than a year after dozens of former female employees disclosed negative experiences working within the organization.

Column: The first-place Dodgers are feeling good, but they can’t hide their flaws. With a 10-6 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, the Dodgers completed a perfect six-game homestand. They’re now 19-13. They’re in first place. On the surface, everything was back to normal. In reality, it wasn’t.


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Column: Despite accusations of rape and other crimes, Trump’s up in the polls. How can that be? In 2023, we’ve clearly decided as a society that we’re going to treat our candidates’ personal foibles and flawed behavior with a measure of generosity, at least some of the time. But Republicans, please. There’s got to be a line, Nicholas Goldberg writes.

Commentary: Pledge allegiance to Britain’s King Charles? I’ll pass on that part of the coronation. The Archbishop of Canterbury who presides over King Charles’ coronation will invite the audience in the Abbey and members of the public across the British realm to proclaim: “I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.” I’ll be watching, but if I were a Brit, I’d pass on the pledge of allegiance, Carla Hall writes.


It’s kayak season. Head to one of these 8 L.A. spots for the perfect spring paddle. From yacht-filled harbors and ocean excursions to calm canals and lakes, here are eight of the best places to go kayaking around L.A.

17 SoCal hiking trails that are blooming with wildflowers (but probably not for long!) While poppy season has largely come to a close, Southern California is still awash in a rainbow of florals. All you need to do to catch a glimpse of the extraordinary bloom is take a walk in your neighborhood or drive along a freeway nestled in the hills.


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‘I was projected as the sweet American girl next door. It wasn’t me’: Molly Ringwald bites back. By the late ‘80s, Ringwald personified ideal girlhood in the US, which was a heavy burden. “It’s hard to grow up under that. I don’t want to overdo this — and boohoo, I fully recognize my privilege — but I needed to get out from under all that scrutiny,” she says. The Guardian

This is the Atlanta Way: A Primer on Cop City. As the struggle to stop Cop City has gone national and international, it has left many wondering: Given so much widespread opposition, why is the city of Atlanta so intent on building Cop City? And if they insist on building Cop City, why build it atop such precious forest land? Scalawag Magazine

At Its Height In The ‘90s, ‘Jerry Springer’ Exploited Black, Trans And Poor Experiences. It’s easy to look back and consider something that many already understood at the time: Springer helped popularize sensationalized, conflict-based entertainment for his own gain. But it’s more troubling now to reflect on the issues that viewers either didn’t see or disregarded throughout the ’90s — like Black mental health, transphobia and racism. HuffPost


Ballet Folklorico dancers join Cinco de Mayo festivities in Long Beach
Ballet Folklorico dancers join Cinco de Mayo festivities in Long Beach on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The day commemorates the Mexican people’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

On this day in 1862, Mexico defeated France in the Battle of Puebla, a victory that is now celebrated as a national holiday, Cinco de Mayo.

More than 100 years later, few take Cinco de Mayo seriously. For many, today is about restaurant specials on nachos and margaritas and too many white people wearing sombreros and fake mustaches.


In a 2021 episode of The Times podcast, host Gustavo Arellano and Axios reporter Russell Contreras talk about the forgotten, radical roots of Cinco de Mayo.

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