Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It's Friday, Sept. 29, and here's what's happening across California:
ICE targets 'sanctuary cities'
Immigration officials on Thursday announced hundreds of arrests in an operation targeting communities where police and elected officials have refused to fully cooperate on enforcing federal immigration laws. ICE said it arrested 167 people in and around Los Angeles, a region in which several cities and counties have been tagged by justice officials as being so-called sanctuaries — a loosely defined term used to describe local governments that restrict police from assisting immigration authorities identify and detain people suspected of being in the country illegally. Los Angeles Times
Plus: Without a lawyer, immigrants in the U.S. illegally can be deported within days of being detained by authorities. Attorneys say the practice of keeping them in facilities far from larger cities makes finding legal assistance difficult, if not impossible. Los Angeles Times
And: The U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles announced criminal charges against a law school dropout accused of stealing the identity of an attorney and conning dozens of immigrants, telling them she could navigate the country's complicated immigration bureaucracy — for a price. Los Angeles Times
During the height of its popularity, the Playboy Mansion was perhaps L.A.'s most famous home. Attending one of Hugh Hefner's parties was a sign of status, where one could rub elbows with celebrities, Playboy "Bunnies" and the host himself, often dressed in his trademark pajamas. The fortunes of Playboy waned over the years, and the free sex ethos that the mansion symbolized eventually became viewed by many as cruelly exploitative of women and reckless in an era of AIDS. Can there be a Playboy mansion without Hefner? Los Angeles Times
Plus: He is celebrated for liberating the libidos of men around the world and supporting civil rights, but in so many ways Hefner was just an old-fashioned sexist pig, writes columnist Robin Abcarian. Los Angeles Times
And: How Hefner helped save the Hollywood sign. Curbed Los Angeles
Did a prosecutor release a witness' information?
Jonathan Quevedo was charged this week with two counts of attempted murder and trying to use force to dissuade witnesses. Police are investigating whether a prosecutor inadvertently tipped off Quevedo to where a woman who was going to testify against him lived by including her address in the protective order. Los Angeles Times
Listen: How Hitler's fascism almost took hold in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times
Drone vote: After months of public debate over possible surveillance and weaponization, the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission voted Thursday to call on the L.A. County Sheriff's Department to permanently ground its drone. Los Angeles Times
Hospitals' second act: Across the country, hospitals that have shut their doors are coming back to life in various ways: affordable senior housing in Los Angeles, luxurious multimillion-dollar condominiums in New York's Greenwich Village, a historical hotel in Santa Fe, N.M. Los Angeles Times
The question: How did LAUSD board member Ref Rodriguez fund his alleged money laundering scheme? KPCC
Warner Center changes: In a sign of the times, Chinese developers want to demolish several office buildings and replace them with more dense apartment units. Daily News
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
The bottom 5%: California must find and fix its worst public schools. Here's one way to start. Los Angeles Times
What Google wants: "In a standoff with city officials, Google is demanding more office space for its futuristic new 'Charleston East' campus and is threatening to block nearly 10,000 units of critically needed housing if it doesn't get its way." The Mercury News
All in the family: Rob Reiner is trying to break through to Trump voters over Russia's unprecedented meddling in the 2016 election. Politico
What happened? "California legislators had a rare opportunity this year to make a significant improvement in the lives of millions of children at little or no cost — and they muffed it," writes Dan Walters. Cal Matters
Just say nyet: Twitter is in the hot seat on Capitol Hill over what it did and didn't do about Russian influence in the 2016 election. Los Angeles Times
CRIME AND COURTS
Hoop nightmares: Two top members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee have requested a briefing from the NCAA and companies accused in the sprawling criminal case that has shaken the sport. Los Angeles Times
Corruption case: A Beaumont city councilman pleaded guilty Thursday to perjury and bribery for crimes he committed while in office, Riverside County prosecutors said. Los Angeles Times
Again: A second rock slide was reported at
Plus: Dramatic images of the initial rock slide emerge. SF Gate
What are they drinking? Yes, there are rats and frogs in the water supply at
Voice of the city: Poet Robin Coste Lewis steps to the sidewalk on South Central Avenue, a half-century swirling around her. She learned to ride a bike here; the family two doors down kept chickens. It seemed then like country and city were mixed into a little girl's idyll, before Compton became "Straight Outta Compton" and before her first boyfriend, a geeky 16-year-old, was shot and killed in a drive-by. Los Angeles Times
If the price is right...: Broadcast giant CBS Corp. is pondering the sale of its historic Television City studio complex in the Fairfax district as the Los Angeles construction boom propels developers in search of new places to build. Los Angeles Times
Points for inventiveness: In Orange County, where land prices have never been higher, the new thing is the tricked-out subterranean garage space. Orange County Register
The spirit moves them: Classic rock station 100.3 The Sound is going in a different direction: Christian music. "We are particularly excited to see what God has in store for the people of Los Angeles," a station executive says. Daily Breeze
Here's the pitch: The Dodgers' Kenley Jansen and the changing role of the reliever. New York Times
Everyone's a critic: Stephen K. Bannon, who did some business in Hollywood, doesn't hold actors in very high esteem. The Hollywood Reporter
Los Angeles area: Sunny and 87. San Diego: Mostly sunny and 80. San Francisco area: Partly cloudy and 68. Sacramento: Mostly sunny and 84. More weather is here.
Today's California memory comes from Dr. Jean Segurson Hickam:
"Both my grandparents' parents sailed to San Francisco around the tip of South America. On my grandmother's side, the O'Rileys arrived prior to the Gold Rush. Their purpose was to help Peter O'Riley with his hotel in Nevada. (Peter O'Riley was a partner of Henry Comstock.) Upon landing in San Francisco, his mother heard of the wild men in the Nevada mining town. She refused to leave the city with her four teenage daughters. They settled in Hays Valley.
"The Segurson side left Ireland during the potato famine only to arrive a year after gold was discovered. They settled in St. Helena and farmed. The Segursons had four boys. Uncle Tom was famous for driving a four-in-hand (four horses). Will was the oldest and Jim the youngest. The family moved to the city before the fire and earthquake and settled South of Market. Now they all rest in Colma."
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.)