Newsletter: Essential California Week in Review: The property listed for a billion, sold for $100,000


Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, Aug. 24.

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Here’s a look at the top stories of the last week:

Top Stories

The Mountain. Touted as the city’s finest undeveloped piece of land, this 157-acre property in Beverly Hills was listed for a record $1 billion last year. On Tuesday, it was sold for a mere $100,000 at a foreclosure auction.

Dismantling protections for immigrant youth. The Trump administration is moving to dismantle decades-old protections for immigrant youth, rolling out new regulations that would give the government the ability to indefinitely detain minors and families with children. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that California will join other states in filing a new lawsuit as early as next week that seeks to block the Trump administration’s efforts.


Limiting where the homeless can sleep? L.A. politicians are weighing a new set of rules that could bar people from sitting or sleeping on the streets and sidewalks near schools, parks and daycare centers, and in a range of other prohibited areas — an idea that has drawn fire from homeless advocates.

Tyler Skaggs tribute. Every Angels player will be wearing a uniform patch in memory of late pitcher Tyler Skaggs, this weekend. Other Major League Baseball players will also be paying tribute, with Players’ Weekend jersey nicknames.

Fullerton stabbing. A 57-year-old Cal State Fullerton employee was killed Monday morning in a stabbing that left the campus community frightened and in mourning on the first day of the university’s academic year. On Thursday, police arrested another CSUF employee, saying that it’s likely he targeted the victim.

Berkeley sculptures. For more than a decade, two massive sculptures have greeted visitors on both sides of Interstate 80 in west Berkeley. Now, the installation faces deconstruction after the city’s arts commission voted to remove it.

Suppressed report. Federal officials suppressed a lengthy environmental document that details how one of California’s unique salmon runs would be imperiled by Trump administration plans to deliver more water to Central Valley farms. The report obtained by The Times outlines how harm could come to several species protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Ethnic studies delay. The proposed law that would require all California high school students take an ethnic studies course is on hold for at least a year after pro-Israel groups and other critics raised concerns about the curriculum.


Anti-vaccine assault. An anti-vaccine activist was cited on suspicion of assault by the Sacramento Police Department on Wednesday after he livestreamed a physical confrontation with state Sen. Richard Pan, author of California legislation that restricts vaccine exemptions.

‘Hollywood Ripper’ verdict. A jury on Thursday found Michael Gargiulo sane at the time of three knife attacks he carried out in the Los Angeles area, paving the way for prosecutors to pursue the death penalty.

O.C. Nazis? School officials in Orange County are reopening an investigation into a group of high school students caught on video with their arms raised in a Sieg Heil salute while singing a Nazi marching song as additional racist images continue to surface. The incidents reflect the tension in Orange County between a rapidly diversifying populace and racist elements deeply seated in its history.

1. Think ‘like’ began with Valley Girls? Guess again. The Lily

2. Fear and Loathing at Erewhon, the High-Margin Grocery Store That Might Just Take Over the World. Los Angeles Magazine

3. More people are flying, but TSA lines at LAX are shorter. How did this happen? Los Angeles Times


4. Local woman crashes into utility pole after leading deputies on a brief chase. Willits News

5. After numerous delays, grand jury indicts former Palm Springs mayor, associates in corruption case. Desert Sun

ICYMI, here are this week’s great reads

A gay shopkeeper stands his ground in a Central Valley town, carving out space for others. Los Angeles Times

A trailblazing plan to fight wildfires in California. New Yorker

The Cheesecake Factory is the restaurant America wants, deserves. (This is the Cheesecake Factory review that you’ve always dreamed of reading.) Los Angeles Times

Looking ahead

Saturday Recommendation: Genova Bakery in Stockton

Genova Bakery, an old-world Italian deli, on the corner of N. Sierra Nevada St. and Flora St. in Stockton.
(Julia Wick / Los Angeles Times)

The green-and-cream deli and bakery on the corner of N. Sierra Nevada St. and Flora St. has been a Stockton icon for more than a century. They have baked fresh bread through it all — the modernization of the port, devastating floods, enormous growth, civic bankruptcy and the return to solvency. The bread itself, which is supplied to numerous restaurants around town, is perfectly chewy and soft and just the right amount of crusty. I’m partial to the sourdough loaf and the olive ciabatta rolls, which are sold by the bagful and taste like a cloud flecked with little sliced kalamatas. The old-world deli is also famous for its made-to-order sandwiches. And the store is chock full of a preponderance of specialty goods and Italian delicacies. (Anyone who happens to be passing through the city on a long drive would be hard-pressed to find a better selection of gourmet snacks for the road.)

Genova Bakery is at 749 N. Sierra Nevada St. in Stockton, Calif.; (209) 466-6145. They are open from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and closed on Sunday.

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints, ideas and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes. (And a giant thanks to the legendary Diya Chacko for all her help on the Saturday edition.)