Hello, it’s Monday, May 22, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today.
California counties face unknowns in launching mental illness court
In four months, the state’s first CARE Courts will be in session.
Seven counties opted for an Oct. 1 rollout of the law that orders each county to create special courts whose judges have the authority to order treatment plans for individuals with untreated schizophrenia and related disorders. Even though the plans are not compulsory, the courts hope for compliance as the law tries to straddle a line between voluntary and mandated treatment.
Setting up such a system is an enormous task, and among the many challenges of the CARE Act is developing a manageable workflow for disparate groups — from individuals appearing in court to the clerks who will process them to insurance companies.
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El Niño is likely returning, bringing danger for California and the world
It’s Earth’s original disrupter: a recurring climate pattern so powerful it can drive the average temperature to record highs and generate both cliff-crumbling storms and crop-destroying droughts.
Now, after a long hiatus, El Niño is showing signs of a return in 2023. Federal forecasters say there’s a 55% chance that a strong El Niño will occur.
For California — already bracing for potentially devastating floods due to epic snowmelt — a strong El Niño could bring a second consecutive winter of above-average precipitation, accompanied by landslides, floods and coastal erosion.
CSU didn’t investigate claims that Fullerton president inappropriately touched students
California State University officials were notified about reports beginning in 2019 that accused the Fullerton campus president of inappropriately touching students but never launched an investigation, according to internal records and statements.
The campus official in charge of enforcing sexual harassment policy “assessed the information” and determined that “the alleged conduct at face value did not violate university policy,” CSU officials said in a statement.
But experts who reviewed the records for The Times said the reports should have been sent to the chancellor’s office and investigated by parties outside the university because they involved the most powerful official on campus.
A national culture war comes for California with big-league backlash
With their kabuki white face paint, electric blue humor and black medieval garb, the satirical nuns of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have long been California’s most recognizable drag outfit, and among its oldest queer service groups.
Yet the order had remained largely cloistered from the national anti-drag culture wars until last week, when the Dodgers dumped the Sisters from the team’s popular Pride Night under pressure from conservative Catholic groups, led by an organization in the Midwest.
The ensuing backlash has attracted voices around the country, from Florida leaders to the American Civil Liberties Union, with no resolution yet, though the Dodgers hinted late Thursday that they could reverse course.
How to die in Los Angeles
Why is it so difficult for adults to talk about death?
For some, it comes from fear, said author Cameron Huddleston. She said having to talk about end-of-life arrangements feels like being forced to think about mortality. But you absolutely should. The Times’ utility team spoke to end-of-life experts on how to approach the conversation.
California triggers rarely used relief valve on Kern River, diverting flows to state aqueduct. Runoff from the epic Sierra Nevada snowpack is being diverted to the state’s drinking water supply to prevent floodwaters from reaching Tulare Lake, a typically dry lake bed that in recent weeks has experienced a dramatic resurgence.
California plans to spend more on Narcan, but it could lose workers who hand it out. Despite the governor’s goals, many community groups that routinely hand out the lifesaving medication fear their workers could soon be facing layoffs, with the disappearance of a key grant that helped pay for day-to-day expenses at “harm reduction” organizations across the state.
12-year-old to be youngest to graduate from Fullerton College — with five degrees. At 7, Clovis Hung was bored with second grade. Now he has earned the distinction of being the youngest person in the college’s 108-year history to receive a degree, let alone five.
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Uvalde families dig in for new test of gun industry protections. Families of wounded children have sued the store off Main Street in Uvalde, Texas, that sold the 18-year-old gunman his AR-style rifle. They sued the gun maker. And they sued police who waited 77 minutes before stopping the shooting. But hurdles remain for the suits to succeed, and in some places, the hurdles are growing.
Biden wraps up G-7 summit with more aid for Ukraine, confusion on Bakhmut and optimism on China. Wrapping up a summit of the world’s wealthiest democracies Sunday in Japan, President Biden had domestic trouble on his mind but also addressed the administration’s most pressing international concerns: Ukraine and China.
Why Ukraine has fought Russia for every inch of Bakhmut, despite high cost. The nine-month battle for Bakhmut has destroyed the 400-year-old city in eastern Ukraine and killed tens of thousands of people in a mutually devastating demonstration of Ukraine’s strategy of exhausting the Russian military.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
One of L.A.’s last family-owned cinemas is in limbo. Its fans aren’t ready to give up. The revival of the Gardena Cinema, built in 1946 and purchased by Judy Kim’s parents almost 50 years ago, was ignited a few months ago, when Kim realized she couldn’t keep the theater afloat on her own.
With two essential films, Cannes finds haunting new prisms on the Holocaust. The British-born filmmakers Jonathan Glazer (“The Zone of Interest”) and Steve McQueen (“Occupied City”) have made two of this year’s essential Cannes Film Festival titles.
How ‘Six’ turned a huge theater faux pas into a game-changing phenomenon. Pulling out your phone during a performance would normally be sacrilege. But it’s encouraged at “Six,” the scintillating stage show that reimagines the wives of Henry VIII as a chart-topping girl group, with a closing number written specifically to be recorded and shared on social media.
How the writers’ strike will shake up the fall TV schedule — and your viewing habits. Annual network presentations to advertisers sent an inescapable message that the fall television season will be different, with scripted shows likely to be delayed by the writers’ strike. Executives showcased reality TV and other nonscripted programming.
Despite Palo Alto’s ban on natural gas, José Andrés can cook with it at his new restaurant. After a legal kerfuffle, Andrés is poised to open his Eastern Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya at the upscale Stanford Shopping Center with the gas appliances necessary to “achieve its signature, complex flavors,” the mall’s lawyers said.
Check your ‘bossware’ tools for bias, U.S. agency head warns employers. The head of the U.S. agency charged with enforcing civil rights in the workplace says artificial-intelligence-driven “bossware” tools that track the whereabouts, keystrokes and productivity of employees can run afoul of discrimination laws.
Millions of U.S. drivers are at risk from a dangerous airbag blast. More than 33 million people are driving vehicles that contain airbag inflators that in rare cases can explode in a collision and spew shrapnel.
USC athletic director Mike Bohn resigns after criticisms over management. Bohn resigned Friday, a day after The Times asked him and USC about allegations including making inappropriate comments about the physical appearance of female colleagues.
Brooks Koepka wins the PGA Championship for the third time in six years. Six weeks after letting a two-shot lead get away on the final day of the Masters, Koepka fended off challenges from Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler to win his third PGA title at sun-splashed Oak Hill.
Dodgers pitching prospects Gavin Stone, Bobby Miller to start against Braves. After injuries to Dustin May (forearm strain) and Julio Urías (hamstring strain), the Dodgers are planning to start Stone and Miller against the Braves on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
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What if Biden weren’t running? Democrats have a bench that’s deeper than you think. The fact is, the Democrats have a deeper bench of presidential-caliber politicians than is generally appreciated. A handful are ready for prime time now, writes columnist Jackie Calmes.
Editorial: Homeless people shouldn’t spend weeks proving they’re poor before they get an apartment. Even when a homeless person is deemed eligible for a rent voucher connected to an available housing unit, it can take weeks and sometimes a few months for the prospective tenant to obtain the necessary documents to be approved for the voucher and the unit.
ONLY IN L.A.
We told you about our 101 must-see California experiences — tell us about yours. We chose the 101 experiences that we believe are the best the state has to offer right now. But there are many more that could earn a spot on this list. That’s where you come in. What do you think we missed?
FROM THE ARCHIVES
A glittering (and soggy) view of 1950s downtown Los Angeles. On a rainy night in April 1950, Times photographer Jack Carrick looked up Broadway from 7th Street and captured a stunning image of a bustling city center with dozens of cars and blocks of neon lighting. There’s not much more information to share about the image, but it offers a fascinating look back at another era.
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