Newsletter: Living on the streets, dying on the streets

Coroner’s officials remove the body of a homeless man found on the sidewalk at Massachusetts Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles on Sept. 1.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Homeless people are dying on the streets of L.A. in record numbers.


Living on the Streets, Dying on the Streets


The bodies are being found in virtually every corner of Los Angeles County: on sidewalks, along riverbeds, and in tents, parks, shelters, vehicles, motels and hospitals. On average, nearly three homeless people are dying every day — setting L.A. County on a record-setting pace to exceed 1,000 deaths this year, far higher than in the harsher climes of New York City. Columnist Steve Lopez explores the disturbing details and hits the streets to follow the case of one man who died Sunday on a West L.A. sidewalk: “You can call it a travesty. An emergency. A call to action. It is all those things.”

What Caused This Disaster?

The origins of the fire aboard the dive boat Conception on Monday are now the subject of an intensive investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, the U.S. Coast Guard and other federal and county agencies. Already, some theories have emerged from one of the crew members and the boat’s designer. Meanwhile, the 34 people who perished in the fire are being remembered for the lives they lived. If you knew one of them, tell us here.

A Deadly Storm, and a Political Tempest

After killing at least 20 people and unleashing catastrophic destruction on the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian is crawling up the southeastern U.S. coastline, strengthening again while threatening hundreds of thousands of residents across low-lying South and North Carolina with severe flooding. In the Bahamas, rescue crews found apocalyptic wreckage, and organizations from across the globe are airlifting endangered residents and offering food and medicine. At the White House, President Trump gave a status update, but his comments were overshadowed by a map he held up showing Dorian’s original projected path, which had been altered by what appeared to be a black marker to encompass part of Alabama. It was the latest episode in a saga that started when Trump mistakenly said the state was threatened.

The Latest From Washington

— California’s military projects largely escaped the brunt of Trump’s diversion of $3.6 billion to build parts of a border wall, while Puerto Rico, Guam, New Mexico, Alaska and New York were among those losing the most money.

Greg Craig, a former White House counsel in the Obama administration, was found not guilty of lying to the Justice Department about work he did for the government of Ukraine in a case that arose from the special counsel’s Russia investigation and focus on the lucrative world of foreign lobbying.

Trump’s schedule shows a president with plenty of downtime this summer. Today will mark one of his few recent planned public appearances: awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West.

Trapping Prohibited

California has become the first state to outlaw fur trapping for animal pelts, a centuries-old livelihood that was once part of the rise of the Western frontier. The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, prohibits commercial or recreational trapping on public and private lands. Legislators are considering a proposal to ban the sale of all fur products too. Here’s how the latest law traces back to a trap incident in 2013.

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On this day in 1975, outside the capitol in Sacramento, a Charles Manson acolyte known as Squeaky Fromme tried to assassinate President Ford. Her .45-caliber Colt pistol did not go off, and a Secret Service agent, a local police officer and bystanders wrestled the 26-year-old to the ground. In video testimony later used in her trial, Ford calmly described seeing a woman in a bright red dress and thinking she was approaching to shake his hand. Then he saw the gun pointed at him. Fromme, who said she hadn’t intended to kill the president, was convicted, sentenced to life in prison and paroled in 2009.

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme is led away after her failed 1975 assassination attempt on President Ford.
(Keystone / CNP / Getty Images)


— Near Murrieta, firefighters are battling a blaze that broke out Wednesday and burned through heavy brush and grass, prompting evacuations and threatening structures.

— The state Senate has given final legislative approval to tighter vaccine legislation. That prompted a chaotic scene among protesters in the chamber as the bill was sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing. But its future remains uncertain.

— San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution naming the National Rifle Assn. a domestic terrorist organization and encouraged other cities to do the same.

— A trove of art stolen in the ’90s has turned up, and L.A. police are looking for the original owners.


— A study of the television industry finds that, for the 2018-19 season, 96% of programs had no women directors of photography; 79% had no women directors; 77% had no women editors; and 77% had no women creators.

— The Toronto International Film Festival, which starts today, has long been an essential Oscar season stop. This time, it’s handing out its own awards.

— These days, country music has a raging identity crisis. For documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, that’s a 100-year-old story.

— Plenty of actors regret working with Woody Allen. Scarlett Johansson isn’t one of them.


— A Texas death row inmate has been executed for fatally stabbing an 89-year-old woman and her daughter more than 16 years ago.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is threatening to accelerate nuclear activities if Europe fails to provide a solution for Tehran to sell its oil abroad in the aftermath of stronger U.S. sanctions.

Britain’s House of Commons has approved an attempt by lawmakers to stop the country from leaving the European Union at the end of October without a divorce deal, sending it to Parliament’s unelected upper chamber for debate.

— Tragedy keeps chasing a Syrian man who lost his 9-month-old twins in a 2017 poison gas attack.


— The new tool to prevent mass shootings: AI-powered surveillance cameras.

WeWork caught flak for its all-male board, so it’s adding one woman.

Google and tech allies are trying to water down California’s data privacy law with exemptions for digital ads. Meanwhile, subsidiary YouTube will stop selling personalized ads on videos aimed at kids — but the technology it plans to use doesn’t have a great track record.


— How do you fill a soccer stadium when you’re short a superstar like Lionel Messi? One organizer is trying the unusual step of cutting ticket prices.

— If the Patriots can break the Super Bowl curse, why not the Rams? With the NFL season starting tonight, columnist Bill Plaschke explains why they might be able to pull it off.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson says he just got “a little too excited” in UCLA‘s season opener.


Walmart is doing more to combat gun violence than our government, The Times Editorial Board writes.

Stephen Miller wants America to look more like his hometown of Santa Monica — rich and white.

— The best show on TV? The Boris Brexit meltdown, according to columnist Mary McNamara.


— Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson deleted a tweet suggesting the “power of mind” could deter Hurricane Dorian from hitting the U.S. Her campaign said it was a metaphor and accused the media of unfair treatment. (CNN)

— “Crazy Rich Asians” co-writer Adele Lim has left the sequel project amid a pay disparity dispute. (The Hollywood Reporter)

— Research finds that some languages are spoken more quickly than others, but the rate of information they get across is the same. (The Atlantic)


It earned the nicknames “Mad Dog,” “silver bullet” and “Harley.” Oh, one other: “the Long Beach sewer pipe,” in honor of the city where it was manufactured. But for all its quirks that led to those creative names, the MD-80 developed a mystique as the workhorse jetliner for American Airlines. Now, after four decades, the MD-80 is being retired — and American will ferry the last 23 of its very identifiable flying objects to a desert parking lot in Roswell, N.M.

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