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Dispatches: Five Essential Reads From the Past Week

A collection of some of our most important and timely stories, from a round-up of news about Jerry Brown's final days in office as governor of California to an investigation into what happens to federal grants when scientists are faced with accusations of wrongdoing.
The Francisco J. Ayala Science Library, which has since been renamed the Science Library.

The Francisco J. Ayala Science Library, which has since been renamed the Science Library.

A rundown of five of our most important and timely stories from the past week.

  1. Francisco Ayala was a big deal to the aspiring biologists at the University of California–Irvine. His name adorned campus buildings. When a science student from an underrepresented group needed financial help to get into graduate school that person would go through a federally funded program run by Ayala. In June, Ayala resigned from his post after the university substantiated several claims of sexual harassment levied against him. So what happens to all those taxpayer dollars now that the disgraced professor is gone? Staff writer Francie Diep investigated to find out. Read Diep's story here.
  2. The California Values Act, a state-wide sanctuary law that prevents state and local employees from aiding federal immigration enforcement, is continuing to make its way through the California court system. Contributing writer Massoud Hayoun reports on a recent court decision against the Act and in favor of Huntington Beach this week. Read Hayoun's story here.
  3. In mid-September, Typhoon Mangkhut tore through the northern end of the Philippines, leaving over 100 people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. Lynzy Billing captures the scenes of devastation and the local people, most fishermen and farmers, who are working to rebuild. Read Billing's story here.
  4. It's been a decade since the Great Recession and America has not yet recovered—at least not equally. Contributing writer Dwyer Gunn looks at two separate studies that show that different economic classes have rebounded—or not rebounded—at vastly different rates. In many states, funding for higher education has not yet returned to pre-2008 levels. Read Gunn's stories here and here.
  5. Jerry Brown's tenure as California governor is coming to a close. Apparently, in the time he has left, he has decided to pass a raft of legislation that may upset members at both ends of the political spectrum. Editorial fellow Jack Herrera unspools the swirl of legislative action coming from the governor's office on Sunday night. Read Herrera's round-up here.

This dispatch originally appeared in The Lede, the weekly Pacific Standard email newsletter for premium members. The Lede gives premium members greater access to Pacific Standard stories, staff, and contributors in their inbox every week. While helping to support journalism in the public interest, members also receive early access to feature stories, an ad-free version of, and other benefits.