Essential California: Four L.A. social workers will face trial

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, March 21, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Social workers will stand trial

The crime was horrific: A mother and her boyfriend are accused of torturing and killing an 8-year-old boy. Those two are awaiting trial on capital murder charges. On Monday, an L.A. County judge ruled that four social workers should face trial on child abuse and other charges in a case that has sent shivers through the ranks of child protection workers nationwide. Los Angeles Times

Bye-bye, L.A. retailers

Changes in consumer habits have hit several L.A.-based fashion brands super hard. One example is Nasty Gal, a firm that was once hot but sold its intellectual property for $20 million after filing for bankruptcy in November. The company’s sales plunged after it ran out of money to invest in online marketing and advertising. Los Angeles Times

Echoes of discrimination

In a waiter’s demand that Latinas show “proof of residency” at a Huntington Beach cafe, many others feel a familiar sense of ostracism. Los Angeles Times

Female police power

L.A. County has seven female police chiefs, which is an all-time high. They’ve brought different skills, and “amid the growing national debate over aggressive policing tactics, the presence of women in high ranks of law enforcement raises the question for many of whether their perspectives and experiences might lead to reforms in police culture.” Los Angeles Times

Inland Empire shooting: A man who is accused of going on an Inland Empire shooting rampage pleaded not guilty in court Monday. San Bernardino Sun


Water power is back! With reservoirs in Northern California at levels not seen in decades, here’s how hydroelectric power has roared back in California. San Francisco Chronicle

Nuts over nuts: After a rainy winter, almond growers are going nuts. Wall Street Journal


Buy your tickets: Eric Clapton will be playing two more shows in Inglewood this year. Orange County Register

Culinary lineup announced: It’s not just the music lineup of Coachella that people are excited about. The festival has released its lineup of chefs. Los Angeles Times

Saying goodbye: It’s one of Los Angeles’ best and oldest dive bars, but the Club Tee Gee might be closing shop soon — more than a year after its owner died. The Eastsider LA

The difficulties of running a restaurant: An interesting interview with Shawn Pham, chef-owner of Simbal, who explains why he had to close his acclaimed downtown L.A. restaurant after two years. LA Downtown News

A poem a day: Enjoy this poem from California’s poet laureate Dana Gioia. Boom California


Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles area: rainy Tuesday and Wednesday. San Diego: partly cloudy Tuesday, thunderstorms Wednesday. More weather is here.


In Monday’s newsletter, we referred to Paul Krekorian as a former member of the L.A. City Council. He’s still a member of the City Council. We regret the error.


Today’s California Memory comes from Jennifer Stewart:

“I grew up in a one-horse town in a horribly neocolonial country in Africa. Somehow I made it to San Francisco. Picture this: Mario's Café, Washington Square Park. I was facing away from the door. Something made me turn. He was standing in the doorway, the brother of a friend. My heart leaped out of my chest. I was cynical about love; I sure didn’t believe in love at first sight. Nothing ever happened, because I was too shy to say anything. But I never forgot him. That song ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’? It happened to me.”

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times

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