By Elvia Limón
Hello, it’s Monday, Aug. 15, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
No water deal yet for the shrinking Colorado River
Two months ago, federal officials told seven states that depend on Colorado River water to prepare for emergency cuts next year to prevent reservoirs from dropping to dangerously low levels.
The states and managers of affected water agencies were told to come up with plans to reduce water use drastically. After weeks of negotiations, which some participants say have at times grown tense and acrimonious, the parties have yet to reach an agreement.
The absence of a deal now raises the risk that the Colorado River crisis — brought on by chronic overuse and the West’s drying climate — could spiral into a legal morass.
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A new normal in L.A. on the first day of school
As the new school year begins in Los Angeles and across California, the first bell will be ringing at later start times in middle and high schools, districts have stepped back from COVID-19 safety measures and many campuses have increased security in response to the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Monkeypox has not prompted a notable response from school administrators, who, like county health officials, downplay its potential to pose a risk at schools.
Educators and families throughout the region express optimism for near-normal times even as they enter the third academic year amid a global pandemic.
More top coronavirus headlines
Stay up to date on variant developments, case counts and vaccine news with Coronavirus Today.
Troops patrol Tijuana
Thousands of National Guard soldiers patrolled the streets of Tijuana after armed and hooded criminals effectively shut down the city by forcing passengers off public transportation and setting taxis ablaze.
Meanwhile, messages began circulating on social media, purportedly from the Jalisco New Generation cartel. The posts told residents that they should go home or risk being attacked.
The U.S. Consul General in Tijuana advised Americans to seek shelter and avoid traveling to the city.
Plus: People across Baja California struggled to return to some semblance of normal life after the shutdown of much of the region.
The things they carried when they fled Afghanistan
Last year, two decades after U.S. troops invaded Afghanistan, they were finally leaving. The Taliban was mounting its comeback.
Its fighters arrived in Kabul on Aug. 15, setting off a chaotic exodus of anyone who embraced Western ideals or whom the new rulers might see as a threat. More than 120,000 people fled in a series of airlifts over the next two weeks.
They had no choice but to leave most of their possessions behind. The items they took with them often had deep personal value and in ways large and small connected them to their homeland.
A flower farm blooms through wildfire ashes
It was between the third and fourth evacuations from the Dixie fire that Kjessie Essue decided to be a farmer-florist. A neighbor, a cattle rancher, stayed behind during the fire to care for her herd. The rancher said she wouldn’t let Essue’s flowers die — and she didn’t.
By the time Essue and her young family returned, Greenville — the town just across the valley, where she grew up and her parents still lived — was gone.
But in her garden, the cosmos were almost chest-high, their foliage bright green against the smoke. The zinnias were pops of yellow, orange and cherry-red. She decided the flowers were a sign. A way forward for her family and perhaps to help rebuild the community’s economy.
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OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND
Sierra Institute executive director Jonathan Kusel stands on the ruins of the Sierra Lodge in the town of Greenville, burned in the Dixie fire.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
‘We have to remake ourselves’: Can a new trail help revive this crest of the Sierra? Yard by dusty, backbreaking yard, workers have set out to build 600 miles of trails to connect remote mountain towns such as Sierra City and Chester that once flourished because of gold mining or logging but now are withering. The project — dubbed “Connecting Communities Through the Lost Sierra Route” — aims to reverse the decline.
One woman’s journey through the LAPD’s secretive discipline system. Kelsie Mathews said her LAPD officer ex-boyfriend sexually assaulted her. The LAPD determined she was telling the truth, but the officer was never disciplined for it.
With monkeypox, San Diego’s LGBTQ community puts decades-old lessons to work. Four decades after a very different health crisis put a spotlight on the gay community, some San Diegans feel as though they’ve been time-warped back to the 1980s. They’re also calling on the support networks they have built since.
California rents are spiking — and not only where you’d expect. After Jersey City, N.J., and Boston, Palo Alto is the third-most-expensive city for rentals in the United States, followed by Glendale and Santa Monica. San Diego is ninth on the list, while Newport Beach came in at 10th. Los Angeles and San Francisco are in the next tier, at 12th and 13th, respectively.
A large L.A. homeless camp gets swept away. The big question is what comes next. The cleanup of the city’s troubled Lanzit property was a huge boon to a downtrodden neighborhood, said community activist Germán Magaña, who acts as an unofficial spokesman for nearby business owners, residents and even the people who lived on the lot.
San Bernardino Mountains hit with flash floods as summer downpours continue. The weekend deluge hit just over a week after historic rainfall and flooding swamped Death Valley National Park, trapping hundreds of visitors and staff members in the park due to road closures, the second major deluge that week to hit what is usually one of the hottest spots on Earth.
His website skewers Stockton politicians and agencies. Then one gave him a cushy job. Stockton’s 209 Times portrays itself as an independent news site. Critics call it a blunt tool for the political ambitions of its owner, Motecuzoma Patrick Sanchez.
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Salman Rushdie is ‘on the road to recovery,’ his agent says. Literary agent Andrew Wylie cautioned that although Rushdie’s “condition is headed in the right direction,” his recovery will be a long process. Rushdie, 75, suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and an eye, Wylie had previously said, and was likely to lose the injured eye.
A ship carrying grain for hungry Ethiopia leaves Ukraine. Ukraine and Russia reached a deal with Turkey on July 22 to restart Black Sea grain deliveries, addressing the major export disruption since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Ethiopia is one of five countries that the U.N. considers at risk of starvation.
At least 41 were killed in a fire at a Coptic church in Cairo. The cause of the blaze in the Abu Sefein church in the working-class neighborhood of Imbaba was not immediately known. An initial investigation pointed to an electrical short circuit, according to a police statement.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
The woman whose home burned in the Anne Heche crash: ‘There really are just no words.’ Heche was on life support after crashing her car into a Mar Vista home, which then caught on fire. She died at the age of 53. The homeowners said in a fundraiser description that Lynne Mishele — who had been renting and living in the house — and her pets “very narrowly escaped physical harm” and that most of her belongings were destroyed.
Jon Batiste leaves Stephen Colbert’s ‘The Late Show’ after seven years as the bandleader. Five months after winning big at the 2022 Grammys, Jon Batiste is stepping away from his post. Louis Cato, another Grammy-winning musician who has been filling in for Batiste, will become the permanent bandleader, Colbert announced.
Comedian Teddy Ray dies at 32 years old. A talented performer who burst on the comedy scene about a decade ago, Ray was featured in YouTube videos and in stand-up acts around the country, including in L.A. and Washington, D.C. The Riverside County coroner’s office confirmed his death but provided no other details about its investigation.
Denise Dowse, ‘Insecure’ and ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ actor, dies at 64. In addition to her extensive film and TV work, Dowse directed a number of plays as part of the Amazing Grace Conservatory in Los Angeles, the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, and the Negro Ensemble Company in New York. Dowse’s sister, Tracey Dowse, had shared on social media that the character actor had fallen into a coma induced by “a virulent form of meningitis.”
How Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s old studio became a backdrop for an alleged investment scam. Zicam inventor Charles Hensley is charged with bilking investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by fraudulently using the ‘Desilu’ brand.
Fox News won’t apologize for airing a phony meme of the judge who approved the FBI search of Trump’s home. The meme, pulled from Twitter, showed an associate of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died in 2019, giving U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart a foot massage.
What does Afghanistan look like after one year of Taliban rule? In addition to a society and economy on the verge of collapse, Afghanistan could soon descend once again into serving as a safe haven and sanctuary for transnational terrorist groups and violent extremist organizations.
Another deadly car crash. We can’t keep waiting for safer streets. Speed, reckless driving and inattention are to blame. So is the infrastructure in L.A., where the streets are dangerous by design, writes Times editorial writer Kerry Cavanaugh.
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What are your questions about the Rams, Chargers and the NFL? Send us your questions! We’ll offer some answers in the coming days. We will only publish your first name and city if we pick your question to answer.
Tear him down. Rip him apart. UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson can take all the hits. Heading into his final season at UCLA, Thompson-Robinson wants to prove he can lead the Bruins to the Rose Bowl and become an NFL-caliber quarterback.
Linebacker Weston Port feels right at home with San Juan Hills. Port showed flashes of dominance as a freshman last season, forgoing a chance to play at a private school to stay home.
ONLY IN L.A.
Detroit-style pizza from Dtown Pizzeria in West Hollywood.
(Bill Addison / Los Angeles Times)
This is an excellent time to be hungry for pizza in Los Angeles. More top-notch pizzerias flourish across our region than ever before, in practically every style conceived across America in the last century — and some are still in evolution.
Thick and plush or thin and crisp; minimalist or maximalist with sauce and cheese; plain and pepperoni, or creations that are basically salads with crusts: Los Angeles has become a clearinghouse for all manner of pizza.
We’ve arguably reached a pinnacle, spurred by pandemic-era pop-ups establishing more permanent bases of operation and an ongoing local and national appetite for Detroit-style square pies and, well, because it’s time.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Grace Slick performs with Jefferson Airplane at Woodstock in 1969.
The counterculture-spawning Woodstock music festival opened 53 years ago. It was tagged as “three days of peace and music” as the Vietnam War raged. Around 400,000 people traveled to a patch of farmland in White Lake, a hamlet in the upstate New York town of Bethel.
The lineup of artists included Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, the Who and Jefferson Airplane. During the three-day festival, attendees endured miles-long traffic jams, torrential rains, food shortages and overwhelmed sanitary facilities. However, Woodstock is considered a high-water mark of the ‘60s in more ways than one.
Do you wish you could’ve been there? Here are a few things that you can read, listen and watch to help you travel back in time.
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