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Essential California: Former USC dean no longer seeing patients

Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito, then-dean of USC’s Keck School of Medicine, speaks at a USC gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills in 2015. (Alex J. Berliner / ABImages via AP)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, July 18, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Former USC dean no longer seeing patients

The former dean of USC’s medical school is on leave and is no longer seeing patients after the Los Angeles Times reported that he associated with criminals and drug users who said he abused methamphetamine and other drugs. At the same time, Pasadena officials said they disciplined a police officer who investigated the overdose of a young woman in Carmen A. Puliafito’s presence at a hotel last year. Pasadena’s city manager said The Times’ account of the hotel incident “reflects poorly on the city and the Pasadena Police Department.” Los Angeles Times

ICYMI: Here’s the original story that brought Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito’s past behavior to light. Los Angeles Times

Cap-and-trade landmark for California

Democratic and Republican lawmakers voted on Monday night to keep California’s landmark cap-and-trade program in place through 2030, a rare bipartisan vote on climate change and a major victory for Gov. Jerry Brown. It was a messy, at times nasty, political battle that comes as the world is increasingly looking to California — rather than Washington — to take the lead on climate change. “No plan is perfect when you’re required by design to have a compromise," said Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). “We can’t let the perfect get in the way of the good.” Los Angeles Times

A gentrification fight in Boyle Heights

A new coffee shop in Boyle Heights is the latest target of a controversial group trying to fight gentrification, and not everyone agrees with the group’s tactics. These anti-gentrification forces spent weeks trolling the Weird Wave Coffee shop on Instagram before and after it opened on June 15. They held protest rallies outside of the business, and they passed out fliers with a parody logo that read “White Wave.” Los Angeles Times

An L.A. institution returns

On Thursday, Vin Scully joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Music Director Gustavo Dudamel in the first of two performances of composer Aaron Copland’s 1942 work “Lincoln Portrait” at the Hollywood Bowl. As he will again do on Tuesday, Scully narrated powerful words from the nation’s 16th president. “They invited me to do it, and my first thought was, ‘Whoa, that’s kind of out of the ballpark for me,’ ” Scully said in an interview. Los Angeles Times

The fallout continues

Wells Fargo & Co. may not be done shedding assets as it rethinks its business after its sham-accounts scandal. In the last month it has announced the sale of its shareholder-services and commercial insurance subsidiaries, and the San Francisco-based bank is considering cutting even more. Los Angeles Times


Watch: Matthew Fleischer, a Times opinion editor, is an avid biker. In this awesome video, he takes you on his morning commute through L.A. and explains why he believes he’s not crazy for biking all over this big city. Still city government needs to do a lot more to keep the streets safer, he argues. Los Angeles Times

More supervisors, maybe: After it was repeatedly rejected by Los Angeles County voters, a proposal to expand the county Board of Supervisors is gaining traction in the state Legislature amid complaints that the panel is too small to properly serve the most populous county in the U.S. Los Angeles Times

The undocumented lawyer: Lizbeth Mateo is an immigrant who is in this country illegally. She’s also an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles helping other immigrants stay in the country. New York Times


See you in court: The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Madera County Board of Supervisors Monday saying it violated California’s open meetings law when it changed an immigration-related policy behind closed doors. Los Angeles Times


Tsunami detection funding saved: A congressional panel has voted to continue funding a global tsunami detection system that gives U.S. officials an accurate forecast of when and how big floodwaters will arrive from a distant earthquake. Los Angeles Times

What to do with all that money? California State University trustees on Tuesday will discuss how to spend $3.4 billion in taxpayer funds earmarked for the system — more than what Gov. Jerry Brown initially proposed but still not enough to reverse a tuition increase and tackle certain priorities such as building upgrades and maintenance needs. Los Angeles Times