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Essential California: Why the extreme right is targeting liberal California

A tourist district in Barcelona became the scene of terrorism Thursday. President Trump appears caught in a cycle of anger and provocation. Unofficial USC mascot Tommy Trojan now has a female counterpart. LAUSD opened its first boys' school

Credits: Robert Gauthier / KTLA / Allen J. Schaben

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It's Friday, Aug. 18, and here's what's happening across California:



Why the extreme right loves California

Extreme-right and white nationalist groups have been rallying in liberal California, seeking media attention and validation for their "us versus the world" narrative, experts say. There have been at least two dozen political events that ended violently in California in the last two years, one researcher found. And after the violence in Charlottesville, Va., the far right is planning new events in California that have officials on edge. Los Angeles Times

Plus: Once again, the American Civil Liberties Union is wrestling with how to respond to a far-right movement in the U.S. whose rising visibility is prompting concerns from elected officials and activists and stirring debate within the ACLU. In response to the deadly violence at a rally in Charlottesville, last weekend, the ACLU's three California affiliates released a statement Wednesday declaring that "white supremacist violence is not free speech." Los Angeles Times

And: Can banks block white supremacists from raising money? Los Angeles Times

Pasadena faces fallout over USC dean

Facing criticism over his department's handling of a drug overdose involving the then-dean of USC's medical school, Pasadena's police chief this week issued a directive to officers reiterating that they must promptly file reports on overdose investigations. Chief Phillip L. Sanchez made the move while acknowledging the department erred by not immediately writing a report when police responded last year to an overdose call involving a young woman in a hotel room rented to the dean, Dr. Carmen Puliafito. Los Angeles Times

Big money on the line

Californians could vote on billions of dollars in new spending for low-income housing developments and water and parks improvements next year. Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers are considering five proposals that would finance new homes for low-income residents, build parks in neighborhoods without them, and restore rivers, streams and creeks, among dozens of other projects. Voters have long backed bond financing, which allows the state immediately to spend more money than is otherwise available and pay back the debt with interest over time. Los Angeles Times


Jet blues: JetBlue Airways, the busiest carrier at Long Beach Airport, has violated the city's noise curfew so often this year that if a proposed noise crackdown is adopted, the New York-based carrier could face being shut out of the airport. Los Angeles Times

Presidential question: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti may not be running for president, but his actions keep fueling speculation. He will travel to New Hampshire this month to campaign for a fellow Democrat, the politician's latest trip to a presidential swing state. Los Angeles Times

South Bay development: Amid a housing crisis that has hit the state, Redondo Beach has put the brakes on mixed-used developments. Some officials say the city doesn't have a housing shortage. Daily Breeze

Take a breather: There are a lot of grim photos of Los Angeles. But photographer Beth Dubber looks at the city much more lightheartedly. New York Times

Period thriller: Inside a Nazi plot in 1930s Hollywood — and how the movie industry helped uncover it. LA Weekly



Calexit 3: A new ballot initiative was submitted to state officials Thursday advocating for a federal constitutional convention that could lead to California's independence. This is the third official effort this year to try to make California an independent state, a push known informally as "Calexit." Los Angeles Times

Bay backlash: A second Bay Area man has lost his job because of his association with the white supremacist actions in Virginia last weekend. SF Gate

Housing crisis: San Diego officials and military commanders are concerned that an influx of thousands of sailors could make a tough housing market even more difficult. San Diego Union-Tribune

Focused rage: Should angry taxpayers be directing their wrath on California Republicans? Los Angeles Times

Wiki what? A bizarre international political tale gets stranger. Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on meeting with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange: We talked about "what might be necessary to get him out." Los Angeles Times



Gunplay: For almost two years now, the San Francisco Bay Area's freeways have averaged at least one car-to-car shooting a week. The reasons for some are unknown, some others were the result of road rage, but most, according to the California Highway Patrol, are tied to gangs. Los Angeles Times

Judge in trouble: The state judicial discipline agency issued a "severe public censure" against San Diego Superior Court Judge Gary Kreep on Wednesday, stopping just short of removing him from the bench. Los Angeles Times

Recorded incident: A video of a pregnant woman's dealings with Sacramento police has finally been released and raises new concerns. Sacramento Bee


Ride from hell: Inside the crazy commute from Stockton to the Bay Area. Driven out by high prices, commuters are finding great housing deals in the Central Valley, but getting from home to work is a nightmare. New York Times

Up and downs: Southern California's newest roller coaster will be full of fast dives and turns — and Knott's Berry Farm has a lot riding on it. Orange County Register

Movie money: "Logan Lucky," a $29-million action-comedy that Steven Soderbergh is releasing in more than 3,000 domestic theaters this weekend, says something profound about how films are financed today. Los Angeles Times

The battle: Silicon Valley is stepping up its war on white supremacy, but it faces some free speech concerns. Washington Post

Plus: The wool shoes that have taken over Silicon Valley. New York Times

Mystery at the core: Apple is leasing a bunch of buildings in Santa Clara, but there is much mystery about what the tech giant is up to. Mercury News

Treasure hunt: She was mining for gold in the Sierra — and found a diamond. Sacramento Bee


Los Angeles area: sunny and 79. San Diego: partly cloudy and 74. San Francisco area: partly cloudy and 69. Sacramento: sunny and 94. More weather is here.


Today's California memory comes from B.J. Schweiger:

"Orange Julius, now that is a fond memory in these hot days. And also a fond memory is that in the 1950s it was quite safe to drink raw eggs mixed with orange juice and other secret flavorings. So much for progress. But on to cool foods from Foster Freeze — malts, chocolate or vanilla, double- and triple-stacked ice cream cones (eat 'em fast before they fall over) — and root beer floats from A&W Root Beer Store. I'm rolling in these cooling fun memories."

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.