Newsletter: Essential California: The billionaire and Bill Clinton

Good morning. It is Friday, Jan. 8. Break out your pocketbooks — San Francisco is now home to the $100 pizza. What makes the pie so special? White-truffle shavings, aged Italian prosciutto and flakes of edible gold leaf. Here’s what else is happening in the Golden State:


Budget proposal

In his $170.7-billion budget proposal, Gov. Jerry Brown wants to sock money away in the state’s rainy-day fund. “If you don’t remember anything else, just remember, everything that goes up comes down,” the governor said. The spending plan includes a sizable boost to public education spending and more modest increases to low-income families. It’s unclear just how much Democratic legislative leaders will fight the governor for more spending. Los Angeles Times


Housing homeless

To house 26,000 men, women and children who live on Los Angeles’ streets would cost at least $1.85 billion over the next 10 years, according to a new report from the city’s top budget officials. The report came the same day that Los Angeles County officials unveiled a plan to spend $150 million on homelessness in the short term. “With its premise that homelessness can be reduced only through long-term government spending on housing and social services, the report places the responsibility for one of L.A.’s most recognizable social ills squarely on the city’s political class.” Los Angeles Times

Political friendships

Businessman Ron Burkle estimates he’s raised $10 million for the Clintons through the years. President Bill Clinton was known to bunk at Burkle’s Greenacres estate when he came to town, and later urban legends spread about the two men’s trips on Burkle’s private plane. But when it comes to Hillary Clinton’s presidential run, Burkle is MIA. Los Angeles Times



What it looked like: The El Niño storms are already making for some great visuals. There’s the Lamborghini plowing through a flooded street, the structures overturned by winds and the one guy who thought this was a good time to paddleboard down the street. CityLab

Stormy days: El Niño’s rains are expected to return on Saturday. Earlier in the week, storms brought rain and snow to elevations as low as 3,000 feet. “When you get a storm like this, you’re pretty much set for the rest of ski season. This is good through March. ... If we get El Niño storms, I could be skiing in April,” said Jim Miller, committee development director for Big Bear Lake. Los Angeles Times

Natural disasters: In Camarillo Springs, residents are bracing for the rains just a couple of years after a wildfire and two major mudslides. Columnist Robin Abcarian headed up there to see the effect of the storms. Los Angeles Times


Financial woes: Declining enrollment could push the L.A. Unified School District to the brink of insolvency, according to a new report. “The fundamental problem is, while there were tens of thousands of students fewer coming into the system, the spending was essentially static,” said former state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a member of the Independent Financial Review Panel that looked at the district’s financials. LA Weekly

New look: Big changes could be coming to Los Angeles’ Museum Row. In the coming years, new museums and high-rise apartments are expected to dot this stretch of Wilshire Boulevard. “Wilshire’s patchwork formalism is nothing new, and this forthcoming next generation of styles will surely add to the boulevard’s mishmash characteristic.” KCET

What works: Former L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky thinks the state’s plan to spend $2 billion to house the homeless is a good start that has a long way to go. While in office, Yaroslavsky backed a “housing first” philosophy that focused on getting individuals into housing before they seek treatment for mental health or drug issues. “It takes time, but we know it works,” he said. LA Observed


Starry, starry night: There’s a new time-lapse video and this one captures Southern California’s night sky. LAist


Legalize it: Former Facebook president Sean Parker is putting $500,000 behind a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana use in California. Under the proposal, adults ages 21 and older could possess up to one ounce of pot. Sacramento Bee

Political connection: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was in the San Gabriel Valley this week to attract Asian American voters. While there, she told the crowd of her own connection the area — her mother went to high school in Alhambra. “When I think about this part of California, the first thing I think about is my mom, and how kind people were to her here when her own family was not,” Clinton said. San Bernardino Sun


Shot and killed: A 17-year-old girl visiting from Texas was shot and killed Wednesday in a Marina del Rey parking lot, police said. Kristine Carman was sitting in her car when someone walked up and shot her several times. Police have not said what motive there may have been for the attack. Los Angeles Times

Food poisoning: A Yountville restaurant is facing a wrongful-death lawsuit. The family of Larry Sacknoff says he died after eating contaminated and undercooked scallops at Redd Restaurant. “After Sacknoff tested positive for vibrio, the Napa County Public Health Department was notified and launched an investigation into the suspected source, eventually tracing it to scallops served at Redd.” SFGate



Candy treats: The man behind Jelly Belly jelly beans wants to make a comeback with caffeinated jelly beans. We wonder what Ronald Reagan would make of that. Los Angeles Times

Park foods: Break out the Tums: Two reporters ate their way through 70 restaurants at Disney. It turns out it’s best not to order beef or any Mickey-shaped foods. Orange County Register

On location: The L.A. locations found in your favorite cult classics. LA Weekly

Understanding CA: Writer Joe Mathews explores the “nuttiness” of California. “We embrace freedom and restrict our liberties in the same breath, without realizing it. Californians are well on their way to legalizing marijuana — but good luck finding a place in the state where you can smoke it, or a cigarette,” he writes. Zócalo Public Square


Riverside will be partly sunny and 57 degrees. Los Angeles will have sun and a high of 59 degrees. In San Diego, there will be clouds and a high of 61. San Francisco will start with clouds before the sun comes out and temperatures reach a high of 52.


Today’s California Memory comes from Jim Leach:

“My wife and I grew up in Texas; our idea of California was Disneyland, but neither of us ever got closer than what we saw on TV. Forty-eight years and three kids later, we wanted a spring break escape from Chicago. Florida and Disney World? California and Disneyland? No contest. We bundled up the family and spent a glorious week exploring not only the California we grew up watching on TV, but California as it really is. Three years later, my career brought us to Southern California to live, and it’s now home.”

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 Alice Walton or Shelby Grad.