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Today’s Headlines: South L.A. residents call on Curren Price to step down

A small crowd gathered June 17 to protest outside the district office of Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price.
(Rebecca Ellis / Los Angeles Time)
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Hello, it’s Monday, June 19, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

Some South L.A. residents call for embattled City Councilman Curren Price to step down

With the fate of yet another Los Angeles City Council member up in the air after criminal corruption charges, a group of his constituents said they are clear on the path forward: Curren Price should resign.

In front of the gates of Price’s district office in South Los Angeles, a small crowd of about a dozen rallied Saturday to demand the council veteran step down, after the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office charged Price on Tuesday with 10 counts of embezzlement, perjury and conflict of interest. Price is the fourth council member in three years to face corruption charges.

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In Price’s district and among leaders of L.A.’s Black communities, the charges have been a political earthquake, one heightened by the recent conviction and downfall of Mark Ridley-Thomas.

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L.A. Latinos welcome 42 migrants bused from Texas as ‘brothers and sisters’

Many Latino Angelenos have been paying close attention to the clash over immigration policy that pits California against conservative states. Since last year, Abbott and Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida have bused or flown thousands of migrants to liberal cities across the country, including a bus of 42 migrants sent from Texas arrived in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Controversy persists as Republican officials say the actions were necessary while Democrats and activists say they are cruel political stunts.

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But locally, many Latino Angelenos expressed sympathy for the migrants and rallied support for the new arrivals.

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L.A. County and ACLU reach ‘extraordinary’ agreement to address jail conditions

Los Angeles County and the American Civil Liberties Union have reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit that alleged “barbaric” conditions in county jails, officials announced Friday.

As part of the proposed settlement — which still requires court approval — the county agreed to limits on how long detainees can be held at the inmate reception center in downtown L.A., as well as how long inmates can be handcuffed or tethered to chairs and benches there.

The county also committed to depopulating the jail by diverting some people into noncarceral beds.

Why are killer whales going ‘Moby-Dick’ on yachts lately?

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The attacks started suddenly and inexplicably in the spring of 2020 — pods of endangered killer whales began ramming yachts and fishing boats in European waters.

Since then, there have been more than 500 reports of orca encounters off the Iberian Peninsula: Boats have been spun and pushed, while rudders have been smashed and destroyed. Three vessels have been so badly mauled, they’ve sunk.

As the encounters continue, shaky video captured by thrilled and fearful seafarers has ignited a global internet sensation, while experts have struggled to explain the behavior and its timing.

CALIFORNIA

Religious groups protest the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence before Dodgers’ Pride Night. The main entrance to Dodger Stadium was briefly shut down Friday afternoon by a crowd protesting the honoring of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a satirical performance and activist organization considered blasphemous by some Christians, as part of the team’s 10th annual Pride Night.

The latest effort to break away from California is brewing in El Dorado County. It’s a decades-old pursuit that’s been attempted, thus far, unsuccessfully — but a group of El Dorado County residents are hoping to finally get their shot at breaking free.

Lumber mill operator sparked deadly Northern California fire, authorities say. Investigators with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection determined that a wildfire that tore through a Northern California town last year, killing two and destroying scores of homes, was caused by a lumber mill in Weed, a small city in Siskiyou County.

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How did San Diego’s sewage-blasted shorelines evade the list of dirtiest beaches in California? Residents there have endured a record number of swimming restrictions over the last 18 months as massive amounts of sewage continue to spill over the border from Tijuana, but some beaches didn’t make a nonprofit’s annual list.

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NATION-WORLD

Tribes seek greater involvement in talks on Colorado River water crisis. Leaders of several tribes say they continue to be left out of key talks between state and federal officials, and they are demanding inclusion as the Biden administration begins the process of developing new rules for dealing with shortages after 2026, when the current rules are set to expire.

After bitter warnings, the U.S. and China are trying to ease hostilities. U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken arrived in Beijing on Sunday in the first such high-level contact in China in five years, a potentially momentous diplomatic action. After months of acrimony, the U.S. and China this week will attempt to find a way to reopen talks on divisive issues.

Utah city violated the 1st Amendment in denying a drag show permit, judge rules. The city of St. George must issue a permit for a Utah-based group that organizes drag performances to host an all-ages drag show in a public park, a federal judge ruled, calling the city’s attempt to stop the show unconstitutional discrimination.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Shocking closure at L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum reflects a crisis at regional theaters nationwide. When Center Theatre Group on Thursday announced that it was indefinitely pausing shows at the Mark Taper Forum — the creative beating heart of one of the country’s largest regional companies — a sense of deep sadness and acute anxiety resonated with theater leaders across the country.

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For L.A.’s newest underground art experience, head down to the Metro Regional Connector. The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority debuted three new downtown L.A. subway stations — the Grand Ave. Arts/Bunker Hill, Historic Broadway and Little Tokyo/Arts District stops — and each are filled with ambitious new works of art.

‘The Flash’ fizzles at the box office amid Ezra Miller controversy, studio woes. Warner Bros. and DC Studios’ “The Flash,” starring embattled actor Ezra Miller, opened in first place at the domestic box office this weekend, but falls short of early projections.

BUSINESS

Unionized UPS workers could strike this summer, scrambling supply chains and home delivery. Unionized UPS workers voted overwhelmingly Friday to authorize a strike, setting the stage for a potential work stoppage if the package delivery company and Teamsters can’t come to an agreement before their contract expires next month.

SPORTS

After no Black golfers qualify for U.S. Open, USGA president pushes to improve access. Fred Perpall, who in February became the first Black president of the United States Golf Assn., called it “disappointing” that the tournament has no Black players among the 156 competing for a record $3.6-million first-place prize.

Dodgers are a third-place team after getting swept by Giants. The San Francisco Giants pull off a sweep on Sunday in Los Angeles for the first time since 2012 as the Dodgers lose for the 18th time in 30 games.

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OPINION

State Farm is right. California can’t keep building housing in high-risk places. “From Planada to Paradise, the urgent fallout of climate change on California’s already terrible housing crisis is undeniable — except perhaps to our state politicians who pay it lip service but have dodged the big questions about where we should build and rebuild in the future.”

The Supreme Court is making religion an all-purpose excuse for ignoring the law. “Religion-based claims have proliferated in recent years, and plaintiffs have often won because courts have almost invariably found their religious beliefs to be sincerely held. Meanwhile, the burden of proof for the government — that it is not unduly interfering in religious practice — has become much harder to prove.”

ONLY IN L.A.

3 book covers. "Southern California Guide Book 1888-9" "Wilson's Guide to Los Angeles" "Southern California Guide Book 1886"
Some of the oldest “come hither” books about L.A. in the Huntington Library archives.
(Larry Gordon photos / Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens guidebooks; Los Angeles Times photo illustration)

A guide to the guidebooks that told the world Los Angeles was a paradise. “Nineteenth century travel writers likened L.A. to the Holy Land, and the cliché of the California dream persists, despite those who say the promise of abundance and fresh starts is dead, and the dream, a nightmare,” writes Larry Gordon, himself the author of a guidebook to Los Angeles. He took a deep dive into The Huntington Library’s collection of books to explore the distance between boosterism and reality.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

A white SUV is followed by at least a dozen police cars in a highway
June 17, 1994: California Highway Patrol officers chase Al Cowlings, driving, and O.J. Simpson in Cowlings’ white Ford Bronco on the 91 Freeway.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

29 years ago this week, California Highway Patrol pursued O.J. Simpson on a now-infamous, two-hour chase through Southern California’s freeways. On June 17, 1994, Simpson — “one of the best-known and best-loved public figures in America,” The Times wrote — was supposed to turn himself into police after the killing of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and friend Ron Goldman.

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But when Simpson failed to show up, police discovered he had fled with Al Cowlings, a longtime friend and former teammate, in Cowlings’ white Ford Bronco. Police ultimately caught up with Simpson and placed him under arrest. The chase was televised across the country, a high-profile episode in what would become an extraordinarily high-profile trial. A jury acquitted Simpson of two counts of murder in October 1995.

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