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California's huge problem getting kids to the doctor

Essential California Doctors recommend kids attend checkups and developmental screenings for preventive care. But despite most kids having health insurance, many aren't going.  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  February 26, 2024   View in browser (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times) By Jenny Gold Good morning. It's Monday, Feb. 26 . I'm Jenny Gold, a reporter on The Times' early childhood education team — and a mom who has done her share of schlepping to the pediatrician's office. Here's what you need to know to start your day. California is way behind other states when it comes to preventive care for children. In Hollywood, homeless

Newsom builds his base in red states

Saturday's swing through Idaho didn't just energize Biden's much-neglected base in a conservative part of the West. It helped build a base for Newsom.
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Los Angeles Times
Today's Headlines
Click to view images California Gov. Gavin Newsom stumps for President Biden in Boise, Idaho, while simultaneously building a national profile for himself. (Hannah Wiley / Los Angeles Times )

By Elvia Limรณn, Kevinisha Walker

Hello, it's Wednesday, July 5, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today:

TOP STORIES

Newsom hits the road to campaign for Biden in Idaho, building his own base in red states

At a time when states such as Idaho, where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 4 to 1, are enacting laws to restrict abortion, gay rights and advance other culturally divisive pillars of the GOP agenda, Gov. Newsom said only one man could be trusted to turn the tide: Joe Biden.

"I'm really proud of this president, and I hope you are as well," Newsom said at a private fundraiser in the middle of Donald Trump's America.

Saturday's swing through Idaho didn't just energize Biden's much-neglected base in such a conservative part of the West. It helped build a future base for Newsom.

L.A. mayor ousts Native American DWP commissioner; Indigenous groups are outraged

Cynthia Ruiz, the first Native American ever to serve on the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners, was removed after serving just one year on the panel that oversees the Department of Water and Power.

The mayor's decision to bench Ruiz — a lifelong Angeleno and member of the Cherokee Nation — has sparked anger and resentment among tribal leaders and others who saw Ruiz's appointment as a significant advancement in the city's recognition of Indigenous voices. Her abrupt departure has left some feeling betrayed.

A Black LAPD officer wanted to make a difference. Then, he says, he was racially profiled by his own department

Bernard Robins, who was detained outside his parents' South L.A. home by fellow LAPD officers, said the episode typifies the style of biased policing that's practiced in some parts of the city.

The incident shook him deeply, forcing him to experience again what it is to be a Black man in South L.A., not a Black officer.

For weeks afterward, he found himself questioning the convictions that brought him to the Los Angeles Police Department in the first place.

Debate over wildfire retardant heats up

Some environmental groups are taking aim at a commercial fire retardant that most residents have grown all too familiar with during recent, devastating fire years.

Phos-Chek is a sticky slurry of ammonium phosphate designed to coat vegetation and other fuels to deprive advancing flames of oxygen. Fire authorities swear by the product, calling it indispensable.

But critics argue that officials are overlooking the product's ecological risks. Studies have shown the retardant can harm plants, fish and other species. It can also act as a fertilizer that grows more vegetation, which can later act as fuel for fires.

Congress wants to regulate AI. Big Tech is eager to help

Members of Congress want to regulate artificial intelligence, and Big Tech is watching — and lobbying.

Technology interests, especially OpenAI, the nonprofit (with a subsidiary for-profit corporation) that created ChatGPT, have gone on the offensive in Washington, arguing for regulations that will prevent the technology from posing an existential threat to humanity.

They've engaged in a lobbying spree: According to an analysis by OpenSecrets, which tracks money in politics, 123 companies, universities and trade associations spent a collective $94 million lobbying the federal government on issues including AI in the first quarter of 2023.

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PHOTO OF THE DAY

A family sits around a table playing Blabbi.
Irene Yu, left, flaps her arms while defining the fake work "additi" she spelled out with letter tiles while playing Blabbi. Read more: "It's just like Scrabble — except all the words are fake" (Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

Body-camera footage shows the aftermath of the multimillion-dollar Brink's big rig heist. Video of a conversation between Brink's drivers and sheriff's deputies provides a new look at the initial response to the July 2022 crime, which victimized 14 jewelers.

The first heat wave of the summer continues to bear down on Southern California. How hot could it get? Significant cooling is expected Thursday, with warmer temperatures expected again next week.

Anti-cruelty law that gives pigs more space could raise ham and bacon prices. Enforcement of the law went into effect on July 1, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Violators could face fines or imprisonment.

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NATION-WORLD

In Kyiv, the stress of a long fight weighs on everyone. Somehow, people cope. With the Ukraine war in its 17th month, ongoing stress can be exhausting. In the capital, Kyiv, as elsewhere in the country, people find ways to cope.

How 'Barbie' crossed a line in Vietnam's dispute with China and ended up banned. It's a political mess that director Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" most likely didn't intend to step into. Here is why such a small dotted line on a map — and how it's depicted in the film — matters to Vietnam and China.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Review: The Tony-nominated 'Into the Woods' revival — maybe the best in my lifetime — lands in L.A. "The blissful memory of Pasadena Playhouse's Sondheim Celebration is still fresh, but no one should pass up the chance to see possibly the best production of 'Into the Woods' in my lifetime," Charles McNulty writes.

Another major studio drops out of San Diego Comic-Con as strike by actors is still possible. The hits keep coming for Comic-Con International as another Hollywood studio has decided to skip.

Go inside the Museum of Neon Art's storage facility for a rare glimpse of vivid treasures. "Many of these signs are connected to important people, like Marilyn Monroe or Elvis," says museum Executive Director Corrie Siegel. "But also everyday folks and communities — these signs really emphasize their story."

With 'Secret Invasion,' Emilia Clarke is back on television and ready for more. The actor's portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled princess turned fierce Mother of Dragons on HBO's hit epic fantasy "Game of Thrones," has been seared into our collective conscious. Now, she has joined one of the biggest cinematic universes.

BUSINESS

Nexstar stations were dropped from DirecTV in a nationwide blackout. Millions of DirecTV customers lost access to Nexstar Media Group channels after the two companies failed to agree to a new distribution contract by a Sunday night deadline.

Twitter is accused of ducking a legal fight over Musk's mass layoffs. The company now known as X Corp. has been accused in multiple suits of numerous labor and workplace violations, including its failure to pay thousands of workers laid off late last year after Elon Musk's acquisition.

SPORTS

Column: Rob Pelinka and the Lakers win free agency and the summer. For the first time in recent memory, the NBA free-agent circus missed the Lakers, yet they were the greatest show on earth, Bill Plaschke writes.

Mo'ne Davis is not just your average summer intern for the Dodgers. Nine years ago, she emerged as an overnight sensation during the 2014 Little League World Series, becoming the first girl to earn a pitching win and toss a shutout in the history of the event. Her present role is surprisingly ordinary.

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OPINION

Opinion: Streaming is TV's future. Can the writers' strike get executives to pay accordingly? "After Hollywood gets knocked around, it always manages to get back up and back to business. And the best way to get everyone back to business? Pay content creators accordingly," Jordan Beck writes.

Column: The Supreme Court term contained some surprising gifts for Democrats. When the justices didn't gut the Voting Rights Act, people cheered. The ripple effect got less play — it may allow Democrats to retake the House in 2024.

Opinion: We've got it all wrong about sequoias and wildfire. To have healthy, vibrant giant sequoia forests in the future, we need some humility and some respect for a species that has evolved an interdependent relationship with mixed-intensity wildfires over the course of 90 million years.

ONLY IN L.A.

A woman using a hula hoop at Barnsdall Art Park among groups lounging in the late-afternoon sun
Kimberly Hamilton twirls a hula hoop at Barnsdall Art Park among groups lounging in the late-afternoon sun. (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)

On any given day in Greater Los Angeles, in any season, the odds of picnic weather are good. With that in mind, we have gathered 11 picturesque picnic locations, most of them in parks where an easy stroll or an uphill struggle might be possible.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

A man lies on a couch while three people look at him.
The first episode of "Seinfeld" aired on NBC on July 5, 1989, and later became a landmark of American popular culture. (NBC via Getty Images)

On this day 34 years ago, "Seinfeld" aired on NBC, catapulting Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards into superstardom.

But the sitcom featured other familiar faces too. In 2019, The Times talked to many now-established performers who were guest stars on the show early in their careers.

Bob Odenkirk, Patton Oswalt, Kathy Griffin, Daniel Dae Kim and Molly Shannon recalled their awe and trepidation when they first stepped onto the set of the show about nothing that evolved into what Odenkirk called a "top-notch, economically run laugh machine."

We appreciate that you took the time to read Today's Headlines! Comments or ideas? Feel free to drop us a note at headlines@latimes.com.

Correction: Monday's edition of the newsletter said employees at 62 hotels in Los Angeles and Orange counties were scheduled to walk off the job as early as Saturday after their contracts expire. Sixty-one contracts between workers represented by Unite Here Local 11 and Southern California hotel sites expired Friday at midnight.

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