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Dodger Stadium gondola plan moves ahead

Essential California A plan to construct an estimated half-billion-dollar, 1.2-mile gondola from Union Station through Chinatown into Chavez Ravine by former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt took its first steps toward reality.  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  February 25, 2024   View in browser A Sunset Boulevard billboard registers protest against the proposed Dodger Stadium gondola project. By Andrew J. Campa Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter . It's Sunday, Feb. 25 . I'm Andrew J. Campa, your host. Here's what you need to know to start your weekend: The Dodger Stadium Gondola project cleared its first hurdle. Rebec

SAG-AFTRA and studios turn to federal mediator

The actors' union and the studios agreed to ask a mediator to help facilitate talks as tensions remained high as a strike threat remained.
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Los Angeles Times
Today's Headlines
Click to view images SAG-AFTRA headquarters in Los Angeles. (Tommaso Boddi / WireImage)

By Elvia Limรณn, Kevinisha Walker

Hello, it's Wednesday, July 12, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today:

TOP STORIES

SAG-AFTRA and studios turn to federal mediator

Negotiators for SAG-AFTRA and the major studios have agreed to bring in a federal mediator to help resolve a bitter contract dispute, even as the union raised fresh doubts about whether a strike could be averted.

Amid rising tensions, the union said in a statement that it had agreed to a "last-minute request" from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to tap a neutral third party to help resolve an impasse in negotiations.

But the guild accused the AMPTP of leaking information about the mediation plan before negotiators were made aware of it.

Newsom launches $20-million campaign on the dangers of extreme heat

As California braces for its most intense and prolonged heat wave of the year, state officials are investing in new methods to warn residents of the dangers of soaring temperatures.

State officials have been criticized for their response to extreme heat, which disproportionately affects children and the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, disabled people and those who are pregnant.

The $20-million "Heat Ready CA" campaign, launched by Gov. Gavin Newsom's Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications on Tuesday, aims to help rectify that through improved outreach, advertising and communication efforts.

Sign up for our California Politics newsletter to get the best of The Times' state politics reporting and the latest action in Sacramento.

Zelensky says NATO's 'absurd' plans for Ukraine fall short

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blasted as "absurd" the absence of a timetable for his country's membership in NATO, injecting harsh criticism into a gathering of the alliance's leaders that was intended to showcase solidarity in the face of Russian aggression.

The broadside from Zelensky could renew tensions at the summit shortly after it saw a burst of goodwill after Turkey agreed to advance Sweden's bid to join NATO.

L.A. city attorney got campaign donations from Skid Row receiver

Months before City Atty. Hydee Feldstein Soto recommended Mark Adams for the equivalent of an open-ended, no-bid contract to oversee 1,500 Skid Row tenants, Adams hosted a fundraiser for her campaign. Adams and his associates contributed at least $8,500 to her election bid, campaign finance records show.

Feldstein Soto has since admitted that she made a mistake, saying Adams had misrepresented his ability to raise funds, shown little progress in improving conditions for tenants and failed to provide required reports on his spending.

A look into Adams' history would have raised concerns that might have spared Feldstein Soto from her blunder.

Leslie Van Houten, former Manson 'family' member, released from prison

Capping a decades-long quest for freedom, former Manson family member Leslie Van Houten was released from prison after more than five decades behind bars for horrific murders that stunned the nation.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Van Houten, 73, was "released to parole supervision." She had been serving a life sentence for her role in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in Los Angeles in 1969.

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PHOTO OF THE DAY

An elderly man wearing a hat stands in the Good Earth Community Garden in South L.A.
MH Forte, a 94-year-old South Los Angeles resident, stands in the Good Earth Community Garden in West Adams, where he has farmed for many years. Read more: "On rooftops and under bridges, community gardens will bloom in South L.A." (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

An 'astonishing' collapse sends Rolling Hills Estates homes toward a canyon floor. Multiple homes in a Rolling Hills Estates neighborhood had slid down the hillside by Tuesday as a major landslide continued to push them into a canyon.

A judge blocks a county watchdog investigation into sheriff's deputy gangs and tattoos. In a 42-page ruling that is sure to be contentious, a civil court judge effectively blocked the county watchdog from thoroughly investigating deputy gangs that operate within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

With the eviction moratorium lapsed, L.A. County moves to pass new renter protections. L.A. County supervisors say they want to make sure all tenants facing eviction in unincorporated parts of the county have legal representation.

Reparations are proposed for Black Californians. What about Indigenous people? Angela Mooney D'Arcy of the Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples says no reparations debate is complete without including Native Americans.

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NATION-WORLD

DMV recalls 'GOBK2CA' Nevada license plate. The motorist is fighting to keep it. A Nevada license plate that was recalled for its message telling Californians to go back to the Golden State is winding its way through court to get back on the open road.

Surging river threatens Vermont's capital as crews rescue more than 100. The flooding has already caused tens of millions of dollars in damage, officials said, with more to come. If water pours over the dam on the Winooski River that flows through Montpelier, it could surge through downtown blocks where the floods were already waist-high.

Court sides with Amish in a case that pits septic tank rules against religious beliefs. A three-judge panel ruled that the government "failed to demonstrate a compelling state interest" to justify overriding the religious freedom of the Amish families that challenged state regulations governing the disposal of gray water, which is water that's been used for dishwashing, laundry and bathing, but not toilet waste.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Ryan Gosling and Greta Gerwig on how Ken became the subversive center of 'Barbie.' Although the movie is definitely called "Barbie," it is Ken who unexpectedly provides its emotional center, with Gosling's performance arguably among the most rounded, poignant and plain greatest of his career.

Christopher Nolan goes deep on 'Oppenheimer,' his most 'extreme' film to date. "All the films I've made, one way or another, are film noirs," Nolan proposes. "They're all stories about consequences. And with 'Oppenheimer,' the consequences are the fastest to arrive and the most extreme."

When theaters went dark in 2020, this L.A. dance residency made inventive use of empty venues. The initiative gave one solo dance artist an entire venue to themselves, so they could have the opportunity to develop new works in a performance space.

How an untested, cash-strapped TV show about books became an American classic. "Everything about it just made sense," Levar Burton says, more than 40 years later. "It was about literature and the written word, it was about kids, it was about having kids discover the power of literature through the medium of television and that was why 'Reading Rainbow' was such a radical departure from other shows of its era."

BUSINESS

Sega of America employees vote to unionize. The vote created the largest multi-departmental video game union in the U.S.

Worker strikes hit more hotels, this time near Disneyland. The walkouts this week come after a three-day strike hit hotels in downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Orange County over the busy Fourth of July weekend.

Created in California: How Dr. Bronner's became the soap for every subculture. Seventy-five years later, Dr. Bronner's has a cult following of fans who love its multipurpose soaps — and its outspoken activism.

SPORTS

Jill Ellis is embracing new challenges beyond her USWNT coaching days. Jill Ellis will have a rooting interest in the 2023 Women's World Cup, but her impact on soccer stretches beyond her storied stint as USWNT coach.

'I've always considered myself a middle infielder.' How Mookie Betts excels beyond right field. Even though Mookie Betts has won six Gold Gloves as a right fielder, the Dodgers have no issue playing him at second base or shortstop.

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OPINION

Opinion: Why kids with summer birthdays face surprising health risks. Children with summer birthdays share two things in common: They are more likely to get the flu, and they are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Letters to the Editor: These L.A. Democrats are blocking new housing in California. "The biggest reason we have a housing crisis is because local politicians with local control have made sure new housing isn't built in the areas they represent," Josh Albrektson writes.

ONLY IN SOCAL

Artelexia interior, Observatory North Park marquee, Mabel's Gone crudo, North Park Beer Co. pint, Verbatim Books exterior
(Chris Reynolds / Los Angeles Times; Courtesy of Kimberly Motos; Jenny Mann Photos)

This neighborhood might be the liveliest corner of San Diego that you've never heard of, a place with more beer, more resilience and less parking than you'd suspect.

If you're coming from Los Angeles, the increasingly lively commercial strips and buffed-up bungalow blocks might remind you of Virgil Village or Atwater. But North Park is its own place. Here's a guide to get you started.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

A woman and a man smile at each other
Geraldine Ferraro with Sen. Ted Kennedy during a campaign rally at the Hollywood Palladium on Oct. 24, 1984. (Los Angeles Times)

On July 12, 1984, Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale selected Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, making her the first woman ever nominated for vice president by a major U.S. political party.

In 2014, The Times wrote about Ferraro's history-making run as a nominee for vice president in a campaign that would ultimately win only a single state.

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.

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