Essential California: Irwindale corruption case dropped

Good morning. It is Friday, March 4, and here’s what's going on in the Golden State:



Difficult legacy

Twenty-five years after Rodney King became internationally famous, his family and others are still trying to understand his legacy. To some, he was a criminal who deserved the beating. To others, King was a "black everyman" who epitomized the brutality that police visited on the African American community. Los Angeles Times

Sticker shock

With a price tag of $51,442 for tuition and an additional $841 in fees in the 2016-2017 academic year, the University of Southern California is sure to be in the running for the unofficial title of most expensive place in the country to get a college degree. Los Angeles Times

Corruption case fails

It was hailed as a major case of municipal corruption when L.A. County prosecutors filed charges against officials in the town of Irwindale. But making their case has proved difficult, and prosecutors have announced they can no longer proceed. Los Angeles Times


March miracle? In a likely drought reliever, another round of major rain and snow storms is aimed directly at the Sierras and other points in Northern California. Los Angeles Times

Water blockage: The system that delivers huge amounts of water into Silicon Valley is having some major problems. San Jose Mercury News


Old school: An inside look at downtown L.A.'s original subway station, back in the Red Car days. Curbed LA

Runyon rut: Hikers, and perhaps even some of their dogs, are in a panic about where to go when Runyon Canyon Park closes. Los Angeles Times

Quiet car: Officials say residents won't hear the trains running along the new Gold Line route from Pasadena to Azusa. Pasadena Star-News



Extra income: Questions are growing about top UC officials getting big paychecks from outside jobs. The chancellor of UC Davis collected $420,000 over two years doing work with a book publisher. Sacramento Bee

Increase probed: Following a Times report on the sharp, unexplained rise in mental competency cases in Los Angeles Superior Court over the last five years, county supervisors are calling for an analysis of the causes behind the increase. Los Angeles Times

E-cigarette changes: Achieving a breakthrough on the issue after months of political gridlock, state lawmakers on Thursday took a big step toward regulating electronic cigarettes in California. Los Angeles Times

Maui junket: Twenty-one state legislators have disclosed that they attended a conference in Maui last November that was paid for by a nonprofit group funded by special interests including the oil industry and state worker unions. Los Angeles Times


Families speak out: Relatives of several victims of the San Bernardino terror attack joined the FBI's effort Thursday to force Apple to unlock an iPhone used by one of the assailants, claiming the device could hold critical information that might help determine whether anyone else was involved in the shootings. Los Angeles Times

Deportation possible: An Egyptian student at a Southern California flight school is being held by immigration authorities and facing possible deportation after allegedly posting on Facebook that if he killed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump he would be doing the world a favor. Los Angeles Times

Murder trial: More disturbing details emerged in the Grim Sleeper serial killer trial, including how one of the victims was stuffed in a garbage bag. Los Angeles Times


Bigger in Texas? The difference between California food and Texas food. BuzzFeed

Picture this: Virtual reality is coming to a roller coaster at Magic Mountain. Los Angeles Times

A dog's life: A dog rescued from a South Korean "meat farm" was put up for adoption in San Francisco. SFGate


San Francisco will have showers and a high of 66 degrees. In Sacramento, there will be thunderstorms, as temperatures reach 69 degrees. Los Angeles will be partly cloudy and have a high of 68. San Diego will be partly cloudy with a high of 67.



Today's California Memory comes from Veronica Hammer:

“In March 1960, my family and I immigrated to the U.S. with our final destination to be San Francisco. From New York we landed at Burbank Airport for a change of planes. Fortunately for us they were filming 'Ocean's Eleven' at the time right there on the tarmac. We met Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. They were kind enough to pose for us, and not until many years later did we realize what an incredible experience that was. Dean Martin was very friendly and joked with us. At the time of this interaction we had just come off an eight-hour flight (that's how long it took back then with a four-propeller plane) and we were exhausted. This is a very fond memory of coming to California and will always stay with me.”

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Alice Walton or Shelby Grad.