Newsletter: Essential California: Cities cut water use, governor releases private emails, San Francisco cops punished for texts

Good morning. It is Saturday, April 4. Here are a few stories to keep you busy this weekend:  

Cities struggle to cut water: New mandates that Californians cut their water usage by 25% will affect some cities more than others. Los Angeles has already made strides in reducing its consumption. In cities like Beverly Hills and Newport Beach the per-capita water use is much higher. L.A. Times

Problem for delta tunnels: There are concerns that two tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta won’t be able to meet requirements from federal fishery agencies. Gov. Jerry Brown is likely to shrink the scope of his ambitious plan to remake the state’s water system. L.A. Times

Drought chronicles: A collection of writings on the drought, from geographers, futurists and photographers. Boom

Governor releases personal emails: Gov. Jerry Brown says he has nothing to hide, which is why he released emails sent to and from his staff on his personal email account. The emails, which cover the last 90 days, are short and to the point. “Brown’s emails are often brief, composed on his iPhone and including no text other than the subject line.” Sacramento Bee

More inclusive GOP: Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants his fellow Republicans to abandon efforts to pass religious freedom laws like one recently approved in Indiana. “If the Republican Party wants the next generation of voters to listen to our ideas and solutions to real problems, we must be an inclusive and open party, not a party of divisions,” he writes. Washington Post

Cops to be fired over texts: Eight San Francisco police officers will be fired for sending and receiving racist and homophobic text messages. “There is no place in the San Francisco Police Department — and shouldn’t be in any police department — for a dishonest cop,” said Police Chief Greg Suhr. SF Gate

Investigating labor: Federal agents raided the offices of a cement workers union Friday. They’re looking at the business manager for the Cement Masons Union Local 600 in Bell Gardens. Scott Brian is facing allegations that he spent dues money on an extramarital affair and allowed members to skip payments for healthcare and pensions. L.A. Times

Photographing O.C.’s history: A man’s passion for buying old photo albums at swap meets has led to one of the greatest collections of Orange County history. Richard Bagley owns thousands of photographs that ultimately show the great migration to California in the 1920 through the 1950s. “For a local historian, this is the mother lode,” according to a volunteer with the Costa Mesa Historical Society. Orange County Register

Renaming the Metro lines: Metro’s subway and light rail lines may soon be known by letters. Right now, there’s no uniform system for naming transit lines. Some are known by color, like the Red Line and Green Line, and others are identified by location, like the Expo Line. Curbed LA

Failure to communicate: Ensuring that police and firefighters from different agencies could talk to one another in a major disaster was a priority in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But the federal government has just pulled funding that would have allowed Los Angeles County agencies to upgrade their systems after the Board of Supervisors balked at putting radio towers on fire stations. L.A. Times

Case against Disney: How could someone dislike the happiest place on earth? This video makes the case for why one might not like Disneyland. Buzzfeed


This week’s most popular stories in Essential California


  1. Zoey Tur spent three decades in the air, covering breaking news including the L.A. Riots and the O.J. Simpson chase. But for most of her career, Tur was known as “Chopper Bob.” Now, she’s the first transgender reporter on a nationally syndicated news show. L.A. Times

  2. LACMA recently acquire a casta painting by artist Miguel Cabrera. It’s a fitting location for the masterpiece that was once kept under the couch of a Montecito home. L.A. Times

  3. It’s not exactly a Thomas Guide. This map of California labels spots like “grandma’s condo” and “sand and meth.” Thrillist

  4. This time-lapse video of San Francisco mixes black and white photography with a score composed by a 14-year-old in the United Kingdom. City Lab

  5. For just $75 million, you can own a piece of presidential history. President Richard Nixon’s San Clemente home, La Casa Pacifica, is officially on the market. Orange County Register


ICYMI, here are this week’s California Great Reads

Fight at City Hall: You expect to see a gadfly at a public meeting but what about in court? That’s where the mayor of Baldwin Park found himself opposite Paul Cook, an attorney and activist. L.A. Times

Reforming Sheriff’s Department: Sheriff Jim McDonnell is slowly putting his stamp on the Sheriff’s Department. That includes revamping the way deputies are hired for the prestigious job of being the sheriff’s driver. L.A. Times

Studying the sea: In the waters off the Channel Islands, deep-sea scientists are studying coral. “We know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the bottom of our ocean,” said one engineer. L.A. Times

Preaching hope: Rev. Robert Schuller infused his sermons with hope and optimism in a way that resonated with Southern Californians who had escaped the more punishing East Coast to enjoy new jobs, new cars and new homes in the sunshine. L.A. Times

Tech moves to Venice Beach: Snapchat is buying up property in Venice Beach and some longtime residents are concerned that the app company’s presence is changing the feel of the beach community. L.A. Times


Looking Ahead

-- Monday is opening day at Dodger Stadium. The team will play the Padres at 1:10 p.m.

-- State officials will announce whether Californians used less water in March.

-- The 200-mile Ragnar Relay SoCal race will start in Huntington Beach Friday and end Saturday in San Diego.


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