Home > Uncategorized > Essential California Friday, April 15, 2016.

Essential California Friday, April 15, 2016.

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Essential California


Good morning. It is Friday, April 15. In his career, Laker Kobe Bryant took 30,669 shots. This visualization maps all of them. Here’s what else is happening in the Golden State:


Taxi downturn
It’s official: City records show Uber and Lyft have decimated the taxi industry in Los Angeles, particularly in downtown, Hollywood and the Westside. The number of taxi rides arranged in advance dropped 42%, and overall trips declined by almost one-third. The damage done to San Francisco’s taxi market has been even more severe. “The drivers are taking a hit, a big hit, and it’s really painful,” said taxi commission president Eric Spiegelman. Los Angeles Times

Open space
Koreatown desperately needs outdoor space. For a while, it looked as if the money and political will were there to build the neighborhood’s version of Central Park, with a walking loop and splash pad for children. That didn’t happen and, instead, a luxury apartment building with no public amenities is going up in its place. What happened? “Where people do not have much political power, they don’t have a strong voice to demand parks,” said Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, a professor of urban planning at UCLA. Los Angeles Times

Big heist
There’s a nutty crime wave in the Central Valley. The lucrative nut industry has been hit with 31 heists in the last year. On Thursday, about 150 farmers got together for an emergency summit in Modesto. “We’re a little bit behind,” said Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. “The group we’re investigating is very sophisticated and organized.” Los Angeles Times

Parole recommended
Leslie Van Houten, a Manson Family member, was convicted in the 1969 killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, and has been denied parole 19 times since. But a review board has recommended parole this time. “Maybe Leslie Van Houten has been a model prisoner,” said daughter Cory LaBianca. “But you know what, we still suffer our loss. My father will never be paroled. My stepmother will never get her life back.” Los Angeles Times


Nature’s helpers: Beavers are nature’s hydrologists, and some scientists believe that by repopulating the Central Coast with them, they can help California’s drought. “Beavers build infrastructure which help to slow the flow of water, letting it recharge local aquifers, and preventing erosion which helps keep plants alive.” Gizmodo

Filling back up: These before-and-after photos show El Niño’s effect on California’s reservoirs. SFGate


Data collection: Hundreds of “citizen scientists” are working with theNatural History Museum to collect data on all of the region’s wildlife. It’s part of a strategy to make conservation more relevant to visitors of the museum. “There’s a misconception that Los Angeles is a concrete jungle. In reality, the city is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world,” said Brian Brown, the museum’s curator of entomology. Los Angeles Times

Highway art: The Freeway Lady mural by artist Kent Twitchell is moving to Valley College. The original piece, painted in 1974, overlooked the Hollywood (101) Freeway in Echo Park. “I think the Valley is a great place for her to retire. When I was growing up, it’s where all the movie stars lived,” Twitchell said.Daily News


Seller’s market: California’s politicians aren’t doing very much this session to help the ever-growing housing crisis, which experts say is the result of simple supply and demand. “Legislators have shied away from tackling broad efforts to increase housing supply, such as overhauling the California Environmental Quality Act or reforming the tax code to incentivize residential development.”Los Angeles Times

No urgency? Critics say state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris isn’t moving fast enough on an investigation into a settlement between the Public Utilities Commission and Southern California Edison over San Onofre. “You have no sense of her being out there on the front saying we’re charging forward to do what’s right,” said former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre. KQED

Voter engagement: A nonprofit in Long Beach has been tasked with bringing social spaces to polling places. City officials hope lounge spaces and food will be enough to engage voters. LAist


Discrimination lawsuit: “We don’t cut women’s hair.” That’s what a lawsuit accuses one barbershop of telling a transgender man. “I was dumbfounded and appalled that this type of behavior continues to exist and hope that we can bring an end to this absurd type of discrimination,” said Rose Trevis who is suing. Hawleywood’s Barber Shop & Shaving Parlor in Long Beach bills itself as “a time warp back to ’40s Chicago.” Los Angeles Times

In custody: A 40-year-old woman picked up on suspicion of prostitutionhanged herself in an LAPD cell less than an hour after she was arrested. She later died at a hospital, and now her family is demanding to know how this could have happened. Angela Slack used a T-shirt and restraining ring found in her cell, police said. All such rings have now been removed from the holding cells. Los Angeles Times

Felony charges: The financial services manager in Placentia was arrested on suspicion of embezzling $4.3 million. Michael Minh Nguyen was charged with 17 felony counts of misappropriating public funds. Nguyen was hired in 2008.Los Angeles Times

Right to an attorney: For unaccompanied minors who are caught illegally crossing the border, their future depends on whether they can get an attorney. “The evidence shows what common sense tells you: that if a child does not have a lawyer, they have virtually no chance of winning their case,” said Ahilan Arulanantham, an attorney for the ACLU. BuzzFeed


Style icon: He was known as “Mr. Rodeo Drive.” Fred Hayman brought in a celebrity clientele to his Giorgio boutique in Beverly Hills and in turn made the street into an international symbol of style. “His visions of glamour and luxury for Rodeo Drive had little to do with reality in the early 1960s. The street was home to small boutiques, most of them locally owned, a gas station and the Brown Derby restaurant at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard.” Los Angeles Times

Inside Hollywood: What happened to “Girlfight” director Karyn Kusama? Her debut movie was a big success, but in the 16 years since, it’s been “like open heart surgery without the painkillers.” BuzzFeed

Cheap beer: The Lakers weren’t the only ones who had a big night this week. The Golden State Warriors broke a record to become the most victorious regular season team in NBA history. In honor of the team’s 73 wins, Lake Chalet served up 73-cent beers. SFist

Back in the day: It was the start of Los Angeles’ fashion scene. Curbed LA


Sacramento will be breezy and sunny with a high of 73. It will be mostly sunny and 66 in San Francisco. It’ll be sunny and windy in Los Angeles. Riverside will be breezy as temperatures reach 78 degrees. Low clouds and a high of 71 in San Diego.


Today’s California Memory comes from Edward George Garren:

“In July 1983, I was 33, a native Floridian. I had grown up watching TV, seeing a place with palm trees, but no bugs, no need for air-conditioning. Where was that place? A friend invited me to help him and his wife drive their U-Haul to Los Angeles. We arrived in L.A. late afternoon, and went north on the 101 toward Burbank. Somewhere around Santa Monica Boulevard, I looked out the window and realized, ‘This is the place!’ I knew I had found ‘home.’ Three months later, I was in pulling my own U-Haul west, to my new home.”

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Alice Walton or Shelby Grad.

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