Today: Inside the Oakland Fire Investigation. Trump’s EPA Pick — a Climate Change Skeptic.


I’m Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don’t want you to miss today.


Inside the Oakland Fire Investigation

For four days, investigators searched in 12-hour shifts around the clock. What they found tested their strength. In the end, there were 36 victims — each with a story. And now, as officials try to find the cause of the Oakland warehouse tragedy, there are more questions about oversight: It’s unclear when the last time a fire inspector entered the building, and authorities say no building code enforcement inspector has been inside in at least 30 years.

Trump’s EPA Pick: A Climate Change Skeptic

Donald Trump’s meeting earlier this week with Al Gore gave environmentalists a glimmer of hope. They’re feeling a lot less hopeful now that Trump has selected Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt disputes the scientific consensus on climate change, is an ally of the oil industry and has tried to block President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. If Pruitt is confirmed, here’s how it could play out in the states.

More on the Trump Transition

— Trump promised to “work something out” for the so-called Dreamer immigrants.

— Trump’s selection for Homeland Security: another retired general.

— Trump chose former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration.

Hollywood Gets a Trump Wake-up Call

Liberals in entertainment and the arts have made no secret of how they feel about Trump’s election. He’s made no secret of how he feels about them. But what will the Trump effect be on the films, TV shows, music, cultural events and books that will be produced in the coming years? It may not be all defiance, but rather include a greater focus on working-class lives a la “Roseanne” of the 1990s. And then there’s how to deal with an international market roiled by a variety of nationalist movements.

Sen. Boxer Exits the Political Ring

After 34 years in the U.S. Senate, Barbara Boxer is saying her goodbyes and making one last stand — for the “noble” work of politicians, in a year when voter anger against them is high. Boxer delivered her farewell speech (watch it here), and as Cathleen Decker writes in an analysis, it marks the end of an era and the start of some big changes among California’s political leadership over the next two years.

The White Supremacist and the Ethnic Studies Class

Nathan Damigo did two tours of duty in Iraq, then came home and used a gun to rob a La Mesa cab driver he thought was Iraqi. In prison, he read a book by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. And when Damigo got out, he founded a white nationalist organization. So what was Damigo doing in an ethnic studies class at Cal State Stanislaus? Describing his fantasy for a utopian homeland for whites to a room filled with black and Latino students.

Addicted to Your Phone? The Kids Have Noticed

The device on which you’re reading this can exert a hypnotic pull. Just look at your closest tween or teen for proof. Yet as doctors say it’s important to limit screen time for kids, a new survey shows parents aren’t helping the cause by spending nine hours a day plugged into tech, with much of that being non-work-related. A child psychologist and a pediatrician have some tips for parents looking to practice what they preach. Have some ideas of your own? Let us know here for a future story.


— Members of Congress assailed the California National Guard commander for ordering thousands of soldiers and veterans to repay enlistment bonuses. Several lawmakers acknowledged that they had only learned of the long-running bonus problem from recent stories in The Times.

— L.A. is planning a crackdown on unsafe warehouses after the Oakland tragedy.

— George Skelton: When a door opened unexpectedly for Rep. Xavier Becerra, he walked in and impressed.