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Essential California Week in Review: UC admits a record number of California freshmen – Los Angeles Times

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, Aug. 13.
UC admitted a record number of Californians and far fewer out-of-state students. In a revised playbook guiding University of California admissions, the system’s nine undergraduate campuses accepted a record number of in-state first-year students for fall 2022 while significantly narrowing entry to out-of-state and international applicants amid widespread demands to preserve coveted seats for state residents, according to preliminary data.
Free cash for college: How parents can access CalKIDS funds. We look at the new taxpayer-funded scholarship program. It grants up to $100 automatically to every child born in California on or after July 1 and up to $1,500 automatically to every eligible low-income student. To access an account, you or your child will have to register at the CalKIDS site. More details here.
With the state enduring historic drought amplified by global warming, Gov. Gavin Newsom released a water supply strategy. It lays out a series of actions aimed at preparing for an estimated 10% decrease in California’s water supply by 2040 because of higher temperatures and decreased storm runoff. The plan includes expanding water storage capacity above and below ground; accelerating wastewater recycling projects; building projects to capture more runoff during storms; and investing in desalination.
This week, Newsom also urged California lawmakers to harden the state’s climate and energy goals. He released a five-point legislative plan that promises to intensify the governor’s clash with the state’s powerful, billion-dollar oil industry. The proposal calls for lawmakers to enact more aggressive targets on state laws that reduce greenhouse gases and increase the use of renewable energy.
Asian Americans are suing Siskiyou County and its sheriff, alleging racial bias. The class-action lawsuit accuses Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue and other county officials of widespread racism in traffic stops, access to water and enforcement of cannabis-related property liens. They allege that they’ve been wrongly blamed for criminal activity involving cannabis cultivation and that officials have made it “difficult or impossible for Asian Americans to live and travel peacefully in Siskiyou County.”
A grand jury is investigating the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s handling of a case in which a deputy knelt on an inmate’s head. Prosecutors are convening a criminal grand jury to investigate whether the department mishandled the incident, in which a sheriff’s deputy knelt on a handcuffed inmate’s head for three minutes, according to documents and interviews. The department was also under fire in the trial over the Kobe Bryant crash photos. After the crash that killed Bryant and eight others, deputies were caught sharing graphic photos they had stored on their phones of the scene of the tragedy.
Olivia Newton-John died at her Southern California ranch. She was 73. The beloved singer and actor was known for her 1970s and ’80s pop music hits and the movie “Grease.”
Anne Heche dies of injuries suffered in a car crash. On Aug. 5, the actor crashed her car into a Mar Vista house, which then caught on fire. She was 53. Heche had a decades-long career, delivering nearly 100 performances on TV, stage and film.
California child-care providers are fighting to “retire with dignity.” Newly unionized child-care providers in California have made retirement benefits a priority. Many have spent years earning low wages and won’t have any savings when their working days are over. “It goes back to ‘babysitters’ versus child-care providers,” said one. “I am a business owner. I’m amazed at how ignorant people are as to what we do, and we have their most prized possession.”

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San Jose State gymnasts endured their coach’s emotional abuse on top of a trainer’s sexual abuse, an athlete said. Amy LeClair is the latest of more than two dozen women to settle with the school over claims against former director of sports medicine Scott Shaw — and her account of being sexually abused by the trainer in early 2016 has brought to light further allegations of mistreatment. Members of the Spartan women’s gymnastics team, LeClair said, were subjected to bullying and emotional abuse at the hands of head coach Wayne Wright.
The Mercedes driver charged with murder in a crash in Windsor Hills had been involved in 13 prior wrecks, the D.A. says. One of those previous crashes involved bodily injury, prosecutors said. Nicole Lorraine Linton, a registered nurse, has been charged with multiple counts of murder. Prosecutors say Linton was speeding as fast as 90 mph in the Los Angeles neighborhood when she went through a red light and slammed into vehicles in an intersection. Four adults, including a pregnant woman, and a baby were killed. Authorities are looking at her mindset and medications.
The gas that is used to sterilize some medical equipment may cause cancer. Southern California air regulators are investigating several facilities that sterilize equipment using ethylene oxide after preliminary monitoring confirmed their emissions might pose an elevated cancer risk to people who work nearby. Epidemiological studies show the gas is a much more potent carcinogen than once thought.
A car crash in Wyoming led to a huge meth bust at a Santa Clara warehouse. The unraveling of the whole operation began July 1 when a Rawlins police officer was investigating a single-vehicle collision on Interstate 80 in the Wyoming city, speaking with the two people at the scene of the crash. Their statements were inconsistent, so the officer said a narcotics K-9 would inspect the vehicle. At that point, one of the vehicle’s occupants spilled: There was a large amount of meth in the car.
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Activists aim to have L.A. abide by its own traffic plan to make the city more walkable and bikeable. The city clerk cleared the way for a 2024 voter initiative that fast-tracks the city’s own ambitious plan to rework some of its most storied boulevards, adding bicycle lanes, building wider sidewalks, planting more trees and creating more visible crosswalks. One activist expressed the collective frustration: “We have spent years using data, trying to be nice, trying to be persuasive, trying to get the city to do what they said they wanted to do…. We needed a nuclear option.”
Morro Bay’s smokestacks will be chipped away, starting at the top. Amid climate change and the push to transition to renewable energy, the iconic trio will be taken down. The site could be used for a 22-acre lithium-ion battery energy storage system or to store energy generated by an enormous floating wind farm. Despite the potential, there are genuine concerns among residents about the demolition of the smokestacks changing the character of the blue-collar community. They worry about overdevelopment and being priced out of their gorgeous slice of California coast.
The touching true story behind one of L.A.’s most celebrated chefs. Keith Corbin’s “California Soul” is often brutal and tragic as it depicts life in Watts for Black people as they try to survive the mayhem of the drug economy. But his autobiography is much more about family than gangbanging, though drug dealing and prison time defined much of Corbin’s early life. His writing about family — particularly his grandmother, who cooked for the entire neighborhood — is often deeply touching. Corbin will join the L.A. Times Book Club on Aug. 23 to discuss his book.
Today’s week-in-review newsletter was curated by Amy Hubbard. Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to essentialcalifornia@latimes.com.
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Amy Hubbard is the assistant newsletters editor. She’s worked in a range of departments at the Los Angeles Times since 1993, including as copy chief for daily Calendar, Travel, Books and the AM Copy Desk; SEO chief; and morning editor on the Metro desk. In 2015, she began a four-year stint at personal finance website NerdWallet, where she was the Banking editor. Hubbard is a graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, School of Journalism.
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