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Essential California: Police say they don't enforce immigration laws, but some manuals say otherwise

California police departments insist they don’t enforce federal immigration laws. But if you look at the police department manuals of certain jurisdictions it seems to suggest something different.

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It's Thursday, April 13, and here's what's happening across California:



It's all in the fine print

California police departments insist they don't enforce federal immigration laws, but the police department manuals of certain jurisdictions seem to suggest something different. In places like Culver City and Azusa, the manuals give officers guidance on how to stop people suspected of illegally entering the U.S., which is a misdemeanor under federal law. But some of the cities say they don't follow it. Los Angeles Times

More vaccinations

The vaccination rate for California's kindergartners rose this fall from the previous year, fueled by laws that made it significantly tougher for parents to exempt their children from the shots. It was the highest vaccination rate among kindergartners since at least 1998 and comes after a measles outbreak at Disneyland that focused attention on the issue. Los Angeles Times

A food fight in Los Angeles

Chicken is hard to find on the menus in Los Angeles schools. The dearth of chicken is the result of a fight between the nation's second-largest school system and the country's two largest suppliers. In 2015, L.A. Unified wanted Tyson Foods and Pilgrim's Pride to comply with an array of new standards on animal welfare, worker rights and environmental protection. Los Angeles Times

A tragedy at the beach

They had fled the horror and destruction of Aleppo, Syria, and somehow made it to El Cajon, ready to start a new life. But now the parents and four sisters of Mohammed al Mustafa are mourning the 17-year-old, who is believed to have drowned Sunday after being caught in a rip current off Mission Beach in San Diego. His body hasn't been recovered. Los Angeles Times


Musical moment: Even among the wave of young, rules-smashing punk acts today, the band F U Pay Us is something new. The South L.A. band's serrated hardcore is acerbic but spiritual, ferocious yet meditative — something that feels very much of the Trump era. Los Angeles Times

Death on a mountain: The "Spirit" of Mt. Baldy, Seuk Doo Kim, died near the peak of the mountain he had climbed more than 700 times. Kim's body was discovered just northwest of Mt. Baldy, slumped over at an elevation of 8,800 feet, said Lt. Elisabeth Sachs of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in San Dimas. Los Angeles Times


The deportation force grows: The Trump administration is moving quickly to build up a nationwide deportation force. The Department of Homeland Security has "already found 33,000 more detention beds to house undocumented immigrants, opened discussions with dozens of local police forces that could be empowered with enforcement authority and identified where construction of Trump's border wall could begin." Washington Post

Soccer player arrested: A player for a professional soccer club in Tijuana has been arrested at the border and accused of trying to smuggle methamphetamine into the United States. San Diego Union-Tribune


"The Trump era": Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has directed federal prosecutors in the states bordering Mexico to crack down harder on migrants who repeatedly enter the country illegally. Los Angeles Times


It's not enough: The change in North Carolina's bathroom law is not enough to lift California's travel ban, California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra says. Los Angeles Times

Turning the tables: Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian says it's a good thing that Becerra has filed felony charges against a pair of anti-abortion activists who accused Planned Parenthood of selling fetal tissue for profit. She writes: "The idea that anti-abortion extremists … defend their alleged lawbreaking by swaddling themselves in the First Amendment is laughable." Los Angeles Times


Unexpected consequences: The wife of San Diego's former mayor is suing the city after she fell on a "poorly maintained" sidewalk and allegedly ruptured her breast implants. Los Angeles Times

Caught on camera: A criminal investigation has been launched into the "disturbing" actions of a Sacramento police officer who was captured on video punching a man accused of jaywalking, authorities said. Los Angeles Times


Feast for the eyes: The super bloom looks pretty amazing, even from space. San Luis Obispo Tribune


An arduous trek: Read about one reporter's experience getting over the steep, icy 11,700-foot Kearsarge Pass with the goal of measuring California's massive snowpack. It required skis and the ability to withstand winds that stopped the hikers in their tracks. Associated Press


Growing in state: Netflix is planning to move more production to California and "invest in infrastructure" here rather than chase tax incentives. The Wrap

"La La Land" honored: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday that he will declare April 25 "La La Land" Day in honor of the film. Los Angeles Times

Mammoth sold! Mammoth Resorts — the owner of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Snow Summit, Bear Mountain, and June Mountain — has been sold. The buyers now control Southern California ski terrain that hosts more than 2 million skiers each year. Los Angeles Times

A second act: After running the Museum of Contemporary Art from 2010 to 2013, Jeffrey Deitch is ready for his second act in L.A. He's planning to open a Hollywood-area gallery this fall. New York Times

Winning spirit: Despite major cutbacks and the loss of a beloved newspaper, journalists in Oakland managed to win a Pulitzer Prize. ABC7


Los Angeles area: partly cloudy Thursday, sunny Friday. San Diego and San Francisco area: partly cloudy Thursday and Friday. Sacramento: rainy Thursday, sunny Friday. More weather is here.


Today's California memory comes from Catherine Lev:

"In 1953, we went west to L.A. We had a street map that showed two blue rivers, the Rio Hondo and the Los Angeles River. We would be living in the small suburb of Bell Gardens, which was nestled in green between the blue rivers. We excitedly look forward to living by the two blue rivers. The Rio Hondo was wide and desolate with a flat dirt bottom. The Los Angeles River turned out to be concrete. To walk the dry concrete riverbed was like being in a science fiction world. When the movie 'Grease' came out in 1978, we could identify with the hot rod race, because we had walked that spot. In the 1960s, "The Beverly Hillbillies" character Jed Clampett called the swimming pool in his Beverly Hills backyard a cement pond. The Los Angeles River was our cement river."

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 Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.