Newsletter: Essential California: Who runs the Coastal Commission?


Venice resident Ilana Marosi holds a picture of California Coastal Commissioner Wendy Mitchell, center, standing beside U2 guitarist The Edge." 

(Michael Owen Baker / For The Times)

Good morning. It is Monday, April 25. Here’s what’s happening in the Golden State:


Powerful influence

Perhaps the most powerful person on the California Coastal Commission isn’t even a member of the commission -- she’s a lobbyist. Susan McCabe is at the heart of almost every major fight before the body. “She is smart, and she is charming. She has been as close as she could be to a number of commissioners,” said Mel Nutter, a Long Beach attorney and former Coastal Commission chairman. Los Angeles Times


Changing times

For decades Broadway was L.A.’s Latino Main Street. But two powerful forces -- urban gentrification and the suburbanization of immigrants -- is rapidly changing that. Los Angeles Times

Volume and price

At Porto’s Bakery & Cafe in Glendale, long lines and affordable prices go together. “In March, the chain dished out nearly 520,000 potato balls and more than a million cheese rolls in its three locations of Glendale, Burbank and Downey combined.” Without volume, the iconic restaurant would have to raise prices. Los Angeles Times



Good times: Redding is having a pretty good year so far. Lake Shasta is full and so are hotels. “We are going to see some positive media attention from the lake being full,” said Ed Rullman, board chair of the Shasta Cascade Wonderland Assn. Record Searchlight

What happened?: A dead whale washed up on Lower Trestles just south of San Clemente. “It looked like nature, there were no marks from ships, no propeller marks, no abrasions, no entanglements,” said Todd Mansur, a boat captain for Dana Wharf Sportsfishing and Whale Watching. Orange County Register


What to do: When it comes to helping the homeless population, Los Angeles city and county voters have vastly different points of view. Fewer than half of city voters polled would support raising money to reduce homelessness. At the county level, there’s strong support for “countywide tax measures to fund homelessness programs, including a ‘millionaire’s tax’ and a levy on marijuana sales.” Los Angeles Times

Radio host passes: The longtime host of Morning Edition for 89.3 KPCC died Sunday. Steve Julian was the morning voice of the station for 15 years. “He was a singular talent. He is completely irreplaceable,” said Larry Mantle, host of KPCC’s AirTalk and Julian’s best friend. 89.3 KPCC

Marking an anniversary: Tens of thousands of people rallied in Los Angeles on Sunday to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Armenian genocide. “Today, we are all Armenian,” said U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) as he addressed the crowd from the stage. “We have one cause and that cause is justice.” Los Angeles Times 



Past mistakes: Will Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s past political mistakes hold her back from being the next senator from California? “It’s easy, based on Loretta’s colorful actions and gaffes, to dismiss her right off the bat. But she is actually an aggressive and smart campaigner,” said George Andrews, who managed Republican Van Tran’s unsuccessful 2010 campaign to unseat Sanchez in one of her toughest reelection challenges. Los Angeles Times

Mayoral candidates: Left-leaning candidate Russell Rawlings dropped out of the race for mayor of Sacramento and endorsed Darrell Steinberg. “I’m not sure what that looks like in the future, but I’m committed to making a change for those with limited means or an ability to have a voice in city politics,” Rawlings said. Sacramento Bee

Denouncing Trump: One Anaheim councilwoman wants her city to denounce Donald Trump for his comments on Muslims, Latinos and women. “The resolution says the City Council condemns ‘the divisive rhetoric of presidential candidate Donald Trump as contrary to the fundamental principles.’” Orange County Register

Financial systems: The computer systems of the San Bernardino County auditor-controller will undergo a $12-million makeover. The office’s existing financial system was installed in 1991. “It’s long overdue. It’s going to streamline the process and provide more efficiencies,” said Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector Oscar Valdez. The Press-Enterprise


Murder case reversal: The inside story of a judge’s decision to reverse a death sentence in a high-profile case involving former L.A. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich. Los Angeles Times 

New trial: Prosecutors want to retry former L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon on charges of perjury and voter fraud. Alarcon and his wife were convicted in 2014 of living outside the politician’s City Council district and lying about it on official forms. An appeals court threw out the couple’s convictions earlier this year. Daily News 

Danger ahead: Using their helicopter’s spotlight, a Riverside police chopper crew was able to signal to a freight train to stop before it hit a disabled truck on the tracks. Los Angeles Times



Back to Mexico: Bernardino Hernandez is one of 500,000 young people who returned to Mexico after spending a significant period of time in the United States. “They are definitely beating the odds, and I think it’s because they are determined to do it no matter where they land … despite the violence, despite the corruption and impunity that plagues many Mexican communities,” said Jill Anderson, an independent researcher and activist in Mexico City.  Los Angeles Times

You’re fired: Coach Byron Scott won’t be back with the Lakers, a person familiar with the situation said. With an inexperienced roster, the team had won only 38 games over two seasons. Los Angeles Times

Movie inspiration: The man who inspired “Jerry Maguire” bounces back. Orange County Register

Too heavy: What happens when eight USC offensive linemen get into an elevator? CBS Sports

Behind the scenes: How was Coachella able to pull off a Guns N’ Roses reunion? “This was a reunion that few expected to happen and many thought would break apart in band drama before the group got out of the rehearsal studio.” Los Angeles Times


San Diego will be sunny with a high of 71. Los Angeles will be sunny with a high of 70. Riverside will be sunny and 76. In Sacramento, it will be sunny and 71. San Francisco will be sunny and 63.


This week’s birthdays for notable Californians:

Chef Alice Waters (April 28, 1944), comedian Jay Leno (April 28, 1950) and former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.

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.