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Essential California: Inside UC Irvine hospital's bacteria outbreak among infants

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, April 14, and here’s what’s happening across California:

TOP STORIES

Dangerous bacteria in Irvine

The public is only now learning about lethal bacteria that infected 10 already sick infants in UC Irvine Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit. Hospital officials say none of the babies died, but doctors have yet to find the source of the infections even after 220 employees used antiseptic soap and ointment to eliminate bacteria on their skin and in their noses. Los Angeles Times

Listen while you drive

Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison offers a guide to talking like a Californian. She offers some tips for the “hella tricky” dialect, writing “the standard-issue California accent is about as plain, mainstream American English as you can get. But speaking like a Californian means something else, and for the people who come here from elsewhere, it can take some getting used to.” Los Angeles Times

A high-stakes operation

Read about how a common misuse of disabled parking permits can cost you $1,000. Also, don’t even think about trying to park in one of these spots, because undercover DMV investigators are on the prowl. Los Angeles Times

L.A. STORIES

A problem case: The delays in the completion of a Boyle Heights project are showing the challenges of building thousands of units for the homeless in L.A. Los Angeles Times

A money drain: A new survey from USC and the Los Angeles Business Council has found that L.A.’s soaring housing costs make it harder for companies to keep workers here. Los Angeles Times

An exculpatory audit: The charter school network Alliance College-Ready Public Schools has been cleared of financial wrongdoing in relation to its efforts to fight unionization, according to a state audit released Thursday. Los Angeles Times

IMMIGRATION AND THE BORDER

Breaking it down: Your guide to California’s “sanctuary state” bill. Los Angeles Times

Behind the music: In the shadows of this weekend’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival, immigrant farm laborers toil to survive. In the citrus fields, some call it a “valley of tears.” Sojourners

Coachella in a time of Trump: The Coachella festival is putting a spotlight on Latino music this year, and one band from Argentina had some visa problems at first. Los Angeles Times

The price tag: The potential huge cost of deporting many more people here illegally. CNN Money

Watch this: Student journalists at Loyola Marymount University spent some time in Tijuana with the hope of providing “insight on the human experience that goes along” with the heated immigration debate taking place on their campus and beyond. The Los Angeles Loyolan

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

The wide-reaching housing crisis: Welcome to Patterson, where Silicon Valley’s crazy high housing costs have created a homelessness crisis 85 miles east in the Central Valley. The Guardian

Mysterious: “A newly formed water and power company managed by a San Diego housing developer is negotiating behind the scenes with the City of Industry on the future of 2,500 acres of undeveloped rolling hills near the borders of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.” Orange County Register

He’s in trouble: A Los Angeles real estate investor faces a $17,000 fine after writing checks to help elect City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell through more than a dozen companies, violating city rules that limit campaign donations. Los Angeles Times

CRIME AND COURTS

ICYMI: Jonathan Martinez was winning his battle against a rare genetic condition before he was killed in San Bernardino earlier this week. Los Angeles Times

Plus: One of the teaching assistants who was in the room when Karen Smith was killed in San Bernardino recounts her experience. The Press-Enterprise

A bad bail scheme: An investigation has uncovered new details about illegal bail schemes run by bail agents and long-term inmates in Santa Clara County jails, where prosecutors say the illegal activity, known as “bail capping,” gave agents an unfair competitive advantage — and it also put inmates and the public at risk. KQED

Caught red-handed? The California State Bar is pursuing disciplinary actions against Orange County prosecutor Sandra Lee Nassar, saying she cheated to win a criminal case. OC Weekly

School on lockdown: A threat at Northwood High School in Irvine triggered a lockdown Thursday afternoon, school officials said. Los Angeles Times

THE ENVIRONMENT

Some new perspective: It’s even more incredible that the state recovered from this drought more quickly than previously thought. “According to a new NOAA study looking at 445 years of climate data, California had a 1 percent chance of breaking the drought in just two years.” Wired

Stranded at Big Sur: Highway 1, which cuts through Big Sur on California’s scenic coast, is normally packed with cars. But because of mudslides, winter storms and a failed bridge, the area is cut off from tourists, and the stretch of road is now being used for pick-up basketball games. Washington Post

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

King of Pride Rock: Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar and Lady Gaga will play the Coachella festival. So will Hans Zimmer, who has composed scores for dozens of films, including “The Lion King.” “At some point you have to see if any of the stuff you’ve been doing while hiding behind a screen actually resonates with people,” he says. Los Angeles Times

Get hungry: A recent episode of the Snacky Tunes podcast offers a nice breakdown of Coachella’s food lineup. Snacky Tunes

Relocation saga: Read this wild and crazy story about how Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis engineered his team’s move to Las Vegas. There are a lot of twists and turns, but the move involved a little luck and a whole lot of help from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. ESPN

A croissant a day: Here’s a list of the 18 best bakeries in San Francisco. One writer argues that San Francisco is “lucky to be a city where you can not only get a Parisian-quality croissant, but also some of the best focaccia this side of Liguria, and crusty sourdough loaves the likes of which no other city in the country gets to eat.” SFist

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

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

AND FINALLY

Today’s California memory comes from Susan Shafer:

“In the early 1960s, the Inland Empire area would have very foggy days — something we called tule fog, similar to the fog in the Central Valley. The Hemet-Perris schools had ‘fog days,’ much like mountain schools had snow days — it was too dangerous to drive the school buses. I also remember being in a classroom, and watching other students come through the door on a heavy fog day. It was like watching a leg, an arm, and then the whole person appearing out of a grey screen. Wondrous, funny, and a bit scary.”

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.

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