Today’s Headlines: The ‘Build Back Better’ blueprint

Here’s a look at today’s news:

“Build Back Better” bows. The White House released the framework of the $1.85-trillion bill that Democrats plan to pass in Congress without any Republican support. We outline 10 things it includes. At the top of the list? $555 billion for clean energy and climate investments and $400 billion for child care and preschool. Rounding out the bottom: $35 billion for Medicare hearing coverage.

COP26 commences Sunday. Delegates from nearly 200 nations will meet in Glasgow, Scotland, for the two-week U.N. climate summit. “We can either save our world or condemn humanity to a hellish future,” said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. Meanwhile, Congress members confronted oil and gas executives, accusing them of downplaying, or outright denying, that burning fossil fuels causes climate change.

Editor’s note: We’re experimenting with some changes to this newsletter on Fridays and continuing to gather reader feedback. Let us know what you think! Share your comments, complaints and ideas by replying to this email or contacting us at [email protected].

The unvaccinated few among L.A. Unified staff are toting up their losses. The Times’ Howard Blume talks to two teachers, a teaching assistant and a cafeteria manager willing to sacrifice their jobs at L.A. schools over anti-vax principles. “I truly believe the God-given immune system has been proven to be the strongest against communicable disease,” says one teacher who received a religious exemption but lost a popular school program he’d built.

New money is coming for California’s ports. Not content to wait for Congress to pass a big infrastructure spending bill, Gov. Gavin Newsom and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced $5 billion in loan money to help modernize California’s seaports. The money won’t help unclog the severe congestion, but the two say it could prevent future nightmares.

Poor neighborhoods are hotter. “Thermal inequities,” as scientists call them, checker the landscape of L.A. and other cities as they heat up from climate change. In a recent study, UC Davis researchers found that California’s metro areas had greater temperature disparities between their poorest and wealthiest neighborhoods than any other state in the southwestern U.S.

Restaurant workers demand change. The franchise model that companies like McDonald’s use has long left fast-food workers with little formal recourse when facing poor wages or unsafe working conditions. Employees at stores scattered across California plan to walk off the job Nov. 9 and rally outside McDonald’s locations in a push to expand legal liability to corporate franchisers and to protest workplace health and safety conditions.

Ramit Varma goes big with his campaign kickoff. Not every mayoral candidate holds a kickoff event in a Major League Soccer stadium. But that was the case when Ramit Varma, an entrepreneur from Encino, announced his entry into the race for mayor of L.A. Developer Rick Caruso is also looking at joining the field.

Alec Baldwin faces a hurricane. The actor has long lived at the center of a storm, often finding himself embroiled in controversies and legal scrapes of his own making. Now, with the fatal shooting on the “Rust” set, he’s become the public face of a tragedy that has again highlighted his polarizing persona. To read more on the “Rust” shooting, here’s our full coverage.

Facebook changes its corporate name to Meta. The rebranding by the company — which owns the photo sharing app Instagram, the virtual reality company Oculus and the messaging platforms Messenger and WhatsApp, as well as the Facebook social network — signals a growing focus on augmented and virtual reality projects. In an Opinion piece, Virginia Heffernan calls it Mark Zuckerberg’s “mwahahaha”move.

On Sunday, the New England Patriots visit SoFi Stadium. They’ll catch quarterback Justin Herbert and the Chargers attempting to bounce back from a blowout loss at Baltimore on Oct. 17. So, coming off his poorest game of the season, Herbert next faces the defense that led to his poorest game of last season.

“Succession” star Brian Cox roasts some fellow actors in his new memoir. Of Johnny Depp: “so overblown, so overrated.” On Steven Seagal: “as ludicrous in real life as he appears on screen.” As for Edward Norton: “nice lad but a bit of a pain in the arse because he fancies himself as a writer-director.”

Iconic farm labor leader Cesar Chavez and sports great Jackie Robinson were the top two nominees among our readers for notable Californians who would better represent the state in the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol than one of the current occupants, Father Junípero Serra. The architect of the California Mission movement is no longer the right representative for the state.

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A woman huddled in a dark room is backed by glowing green lamps.

Brigit Comeau plays Eli in the interactive horror play “Delusion,” through November at the historic Phillips Mansion in Pomona.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Your weekend

Happy Halloweekend! We detail 13 ways to get into the holiday spirit this weekend. A favorite: The L.A. Phil screens the 1920 silent film “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” starring John Barrymore, with live organ accompaniment. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31. $34-$67.

Día de Muertos is here. The holiday, celebrated in Mexico and parts of Latin America and the United States, is one of remembrance and community. You can build your own ofrenda or contribute to The Times’ own communal digital altar, inspired by those found at Grand Park and the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Plus: Read how foods, whether it’s pan de muerto or tamales, are central to Day of the Dead.

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What our editors are reading

A public domain oddity. You probably know the actor B.J. Novack from his role in “The Office.” But people around the world know his face from a wide range of advertisements for everything from cologne to knee-length ponchos. That’s because a photo of him became part of the public domain, unleashing a bizarre copyright quandary. (New York Times)

Finally, something we can all agree on. Dogs in costumes! Congress held its third annual Halloween dog parade. (Washington Post). Here’s just a little taste:

Today’s quiz from the pages of The Times:
In his story about why “Star Trek” has stood the test of time, TV critic Robert Lloyd surfaces catchphrases (“He’s dead, Jim”) and fun “Trek” tidbits. We pulled our question from his great read: What was Whoopi Goldberg’s role on the Enterprise?
[Answer at the bottom of the newsletter.]

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“The coo was like the voice of my L.A. childhood,” writes Times staff writer Daniel Miller. But over the years, he’s noticed that the call of the mourning dove has all but disappeared. It’s an eerie loss, made all the more unsettling because it is not exactly provable. There are no reliable data on Los Angeles’ mourning dove population. It’s an L.A. mystery, but he’s not alone in noticing their absence, either.


People crowd a city street in front of a burned multistory building.

A crowd gathers to view damage to the old Norton Building after a fire on Oct. 23, 1935.

(Los Angeles Times)

Eighty-six years ago this week, L.A. was mopping up from a major fire downtown at Broadway and 6th streets. The Times reported a dozen people were hurt in the blaze sparked by an electric welder, and “exploding alcohol and chemicals” hurled debris and even cracked shop windows on the other side of the street.

Answer to today’s quiz:
Goldberg played Guinan, a bartender, on “The Next Generation,” the third series in the “Star Trek” franchise. (The second was a Saturday morning cartoon featuring the voices of most of the original cast.)

Today’s newsletter was curated by Amy Hubbard and Laura Blasey. Comments or ideas? Email us at [email protected].

Eleanore Beatty

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