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Essential California


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Good morning. It is Monday, April 11.  These dogs are really big fans of the San Francisco Giants. Here’s what else is happening in the Golden State:


Sex and the city

The city of West Hollywood has a pretty cheeky relationship with sex, but some politicians say it’s time to tone it down. That feeling came about after the city settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against a councilman for $500,000. “This is we-live-in-the-21st-century time, and treating people with respect and care and following not just the letter of the law but the spirit of the law is … part of who we are as a city,” said Councilman John D’AmicoLos Angeles Times

Wage loophole

In dozens of California cities, wage laws intended to help the poorest often exclude employees in labor unions. Critics say the loopholes are intended to drive up union membership and dues at the expense of workers. “It’s completely upside-down. They want to pay us less than the minimum wage,” said a waitress with the Sheraton Universal. Los Angeles Times


Union leadership: Gabrielle Carteris will serve as president of SAG-AFTRA for the next 16 months. She’ll finish out the term of Ken Howard, who died in March. “He left big shoes to fill, but with the support of the national board of directors and the membership, I am committed to improving the lives of all SAG-AFTRA members,” she said. Variety

Lights and water show: The Electric Fountain in Beverly Hills is back in service. It was originally given to the city by the mother of silent-screen star Harold Lloyd. The recent restoration cost $1.5 million. Los Angeles Times

Book ’em: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books drew more than 500 authors over the weekend to the USC campus. Arianna Huffington, who has a new book about sleep deprivation, suggested Donald Trump get some Z’s. Los Angeles Times


Political theater: In New York, there are plenty of opportunities for political candidates to pretend they’re regular people. (For example, hop on the subway.) But in California, those moments are harder to come by, writes columnist Cathleen Decker. “There is the occasional hotel rally or jaunt to In-N-Out to talk to voters not pre-screened or pre-assembled, but those events are few and far between.” Los Angeles Times

Hearts and minds: In Los Angeles, Dave Fleischer is going door to door to weed out discrimination. His unorthodox approach to canvassing has attracted the attention of social scientists and campaign consultants. “What we’ve learned by having real, in-depth conversations with people is that a broad swath of voters are actually open to changing their mind. And that’s exciting, because it offers the possibility that we could get past the current paralysis on a wide variety of controversial issues,” he says. New York Times

Double-dipped retirement: Seventeen state lawmakers collect two checks — salary and pension — each month, including Republican state Sen. John Moorlach, who is one of the leading voices against the skyrocketing debt of public pension systems. It’s all legal, though the optics aren’t great. “Most of us have to work until we are 65 or 67 before we can retire when Social Security kicks in,” said former San Jose Mayor Chuck ReedLos Angeles Times


Corporate culture: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos used his annual investor missive to talk about corporate culture, something Amazon had to address after a critical article in the New York Times. “Someone energized by competitive zeal may select and be happy in one culture, while someone who loves to pioneer and invent may choose another,” he said. Los Angeles Times

Safe landing: SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 rocket reusable booster on a ship Friday. It was the Hawthorne-based company’s first successful attempt. Los Angeles Times

Career change: The man who invented Google alerts is now an almond farmer in Modesto. “I didn’t know anything about farming. But I love education and I taught myself,” said Naga KataruCNN Money


Trial and error: Former Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti says he never wanted Marcia Clark to be the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial. He says he advised Clark to keep African American women, particularly mothers, off the jury, but eight African American women ended up on the panel. “She didn’t listen and once she did that, there was no chance that we’d get a guilty verdict, although I still thought we’d get two or three jurors to hold out for a hung jury,” he said. New York Post

Asking for help: When Sal Shafi, a Silicon Valley executive, became concerned that his son might become radicalized, he did what he thought was right — he called the authorities. Instead of helping Adam Shafi, federal agents arrested him. “Maybe I’m naïve. I’ve never dealt with the authorities before. I wanted to cooperate,” his father said. New York Times

Rocky time: The man who had to be rescued from Morro Rock after he FaceTimed a proposal to his girlfriend was arrested on drug charges. Firefighters said the 27-year-old man was acting strange and eventually arrested him on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine. Los Angeles Times


Transgender identity: Gender reassignment surgery can be controversial — particularly when the patient is an adolescent. San Diego Union-Tribune

Art show: The new San Francisco MoMA has been re-created in miniature. Bloomberg

Dog days: The 13th annual Corgi Beach Day was held this weekend in Southern California and it was adorable. Buzzfeed


Sacramento will have clouds and a high of 70 degrees. San Francisco will be cloudy and 62. Los Angeles can expect a rain shower and a high of 69 degrees. Riverside will be cool with an expected rainstorm. San Diego will have rain and a high of 68 degrees.


This week’s birthdays for notable Californians:

Rep. Susan Davis (April 13, 1944), Rep. Jim Costa (April 13, 1952), Rep. David Valadao (April 14, 1977) and former Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (April 16, 1947).

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