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Essential California: For a deported man and his family, an uneasy ‘homecoming’ in Mexico

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, Dec. 2. Here's what you don't want to miss this weekend:



From south of the border

The second installment of yet another great Times series about Mexico concerns those who've returned to the country from the United States. Meet Jose Roberto Tetatzin, who knew he was going to be deported to his native Mexico. Now he and his partner, Judith Cristal Gudino, would have to decide what to do next. Should the girls stay in the U.S. with Gudino, or should the whole family relocate to Mexico? Los Angeles Times

More on the Steinle trial

The jury in the sensational San Francisco murder trial of Kathryn Steinle saw one set of evidence based on testimony. The president and his supporters saw another, based on the criminal background of the defendant, who was here illegally. Judge Samuel Feng would not allow them to consider the defendant's immigration status, his five deportations or his multiple drug convictions. And the jurors, who deliberated for four days, did not explain their unanimous decision to acquit Jose Ines Garcia Zarate of all charges except one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Los Angeles Times

And: The Trump administration on Friday took aim at San Francisco's so-called sanctuary city policies, saying they were to blame for the slaying of Steinle. Los Angeles Times

Plus: The verdict was just, writes columnist Robin Abcarian. Jurors put facts over politics. Los Angeles Times

Checking in on Milo

What was billed as a major national speaking tour for Milo Yiannopoulos has largely fizzled for a variety of reasons. One has to do with the demands the conservative firebrand makes when coming to talk. Experts in the field of booking speakers say Yiannopoulos' speaking demands are unusual in that he doesn't ask for upfront fees, but instead requires a cut of ticket sales — something akin to what celebrities including musicians and comedians will sometimes demand. Los Angeles Times

Remember the Oroville Dam?

In the coming months, the Oroville Dam will face its first big test since a crisis earlier this year forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of residents below its mangled spillway. Officials have been planning for the coming of the winter rains at the nation's tallest dam and are confident it can handle heavy rain and snow runoff from the Sierra without interrupting the extensive reconstruction of its main spillway, which was damaged. Costs have climbed and cracks have appeared on the surface along the spillway, but officials this week played down those issues. Los Angeles Times


A mystery is solved, sort of: After weeks of mystery, the new owners of LA Weekly were revealed Friday in a short post written by the publication's new operations manager. Los Angeles Times

DACA dealmaking? California Reps. David Valadao and Jeff Denham are joining House Republican colleagues in pushing Speaker Paul D. Ryan to find a legislative fix before the end of the year for the legal status of people brought to the country illegally as children. Los Angeles Times

Scandal at Berkeley: "Documents obtained by BuzzFeed News show that multiple students complained to the University of California, Berkeley, about professor John R. Searle — years before he was accused of sexually harassing a former student and employee in a March 2017 lawsuit." Buzzfeed


A magazine is sold: "Sunset magazine, founded in 1898 as a way to lure travelers West and which went on to help generations live their best California lives, has a new owner." New York Times

Funny story: "L.A.'s notoriously gridlocked drivers will undoubtedly relish any plan to ease their traffic woes. But the tunnels being built by the Boring Company will also be a big time-saver for one commuter in particular: Elon Musk himself." Fast Company

Fighting on: USC followed a six-play, goal-line stand with a game-clinching touchdown drive to claim the Pac-12 Conference football title with a 31-28 victory over Stanford at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. Los Angeles Times


1. As a teen, he savagely beat a classmate. The attack was forgotten, until he went into politics. Los Angeles Times

2. How a U.S. citizen was mistakenly targeted for deportation. He's not alone. Los Angeles Times

3. Matt Lauer is accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. Variety

4. From L.A. girl to British royalty: Meghan Markle is now the talk of the town. Los Angeles Times


5. Fact or myth? Five things you might not know about the Eagles' "Hotel California." LA Weekly


Allegations' aftermath: Art director Francis Giglio and more than 75 other people in Burbank and Vancouver working on Louis C.K.'s latest show, "The Cops," are part of the collateral damage of sexual harassment scandals that have brought down a growing number of media and entertainment figures. The alleged misdeeds of powerful men, including Louis C.K, mogul Harvey Weinstein and "House of Cards" actor Kevin Spacey, have not only harmed numerous victims but upended the livelihoods of hundreds of people who depended on them. Los Angeles Times

About that tax bill: The Republican-sponsored tax legislation moving through Congress has sparked alarm among Southern California transportation officials, who say changes to several lesser-known tax deductions could slow the renovation of Los Angeles International Airport and L.A. County's ambitious plan to build more than a dozen new rail lines over the next four decades. Los Angeles Times

The future! Los Angeles was "shaped by the streetcar and was an early adopter of the automobile." So what will be the next thing to come down the pike? City Lab

Hot off the presses: The California Sunday Magazine just dropped its latest edition, and it's focused on teenagers. The magazine's editor, Douglas McGray, explains the choice, writing: "We're living in an odd and anxious time here in the United States. A lot of us are looking around and wondering who we are and what we're becoming. So we decided to spend some time listening to teenagers across California and the American West. We wanted to see how they're living right now in the world adults made for them and how they're beginning to change it — and maybe get a glimpse of where we're all headed together." The California Sunday Magazine

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.