Newsletter: Essential California: Stealing Arizona’s water

Good morning. It is Tuesday, June 30.  An estimated 400 corgis showed up for Nor Cal Corgi Con at San Francisco's Ocean Beach. Here's what else is happening in the Golden State:



Still waters

On the Kern River, rafting companies that have been forced to close for the season are counting down the days until a wet season. “You can only survive on no snowpack for so long,” said Darron Nilsson, who owns a rafting company. The only upshot here appears to be that the “Killer Kern” is much safer this season. Los Angeles Times 

Future of death penalty 

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to green-light an execution drug has real consequences for California. Under a legal settlement, Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration now has 120 days to propose a new lethal injection method. Supporters of the death penalty believe the ruling will make it difficult for critics to block the new protocol. However, public support for the death penalty is waning, and opponents could try to end the practice through a ballot measure. Los Angeles Times 

Public-private videos

Several prominent law enforcement organizations are backing an effort by the city of Gardena to bar the public release of a video from police dashboard cameras showing a controversial police shooting. The legal dispute comes as cities across the nation are purchasing both officer body cameras and dashboard cameras to record police interactions. But as this case shows, many departments have no plans to make those videos public, no matter what they show. Los Angeles Times 



Water independence: Riverside is suing state water officials over their call for water conservation. The Inland Empire city is water independent, relying on an abundance of groundwater, and officials don't think they should have to cut usage by 28%. “We believe we should be treated differently than everybody else. It's not a one-size-fits-all situation,” said Mayor Rusty Bailey. Los Angeles Times 

Parched: With their wells drying up, half of East Porterville’s residents no longer have running water. And some people are afraid to ask for help because they are in the country illegally. “They are very afraid to show up. And somebody asked me right at the beginning if this was like a trap, you know, to catch illegal aliens in the area, and I've been telling people, you know, for the longest time, no, just come out,” said one local pastor. NPR

Water thieves: Arizona lawmakers are fearful that California will make a grab for its water in a federal bill intended to address the drought. Though folks outside Arizona think it’s unlikely, there are reasons why the Grand Canyon State is worried -- California’s drought is severe and it has 53 members in the House of Representatives. “The two states have fought over water many times, and any threat from giant California has always been a potent Arizona rallying cry.” Arizona Daily Star



True crime: When Michael Connelly creates a fictional character, he roots him in the real world. To write about Detective Harry Bosch, Connelly found himself spending time in the very real crime lab at Cal State L.A. “I remember the first time I visited the center and was shown around by Doreen Hudson, director of the LAPD’s side of the lab; I was hit with enough ideas for ten books,” he writes. Cal State LA Today Magazine

Library retirement: Steven Koblik is leaving the Huntington Library with more money and visitors than it had when he took over 14 years ago. That includes a $53-million donation from Charles Munger. “He just had a forceful, pleasant personality and had accomplished a lot,” Munger said. Los Angeles Times



Political lines: A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Arizona’s citizen redistricting commission will save California a lot of upheaval. That’s because California uses a similar system to draw its political boundaries. The decision is a good one for Republicans in the Golden State. Had the law been struck down, it could have given the Democratically controlled Legislature the opportunity to redraw lines in their favor. Los Angeles Times

Road work: State Republicans could play an important role in the upcoming debate on how best to fund road repairs. They’ve put forth multibillion-dollar plans that would use money from the cap-and-trade program to pay for new roads. Under that proposal, Californians could avoid paying new taxes. Los Angeles Times



Restraining order denied: Two protesters with the Black Lives Matter movement will not be prohibited from coming near Mayor Eric Garcetti or police Chief Charlie Beck. A judge denied the city’s request for a protective order after the two protesters got into a scuffle at a South L.A. recreation center where the two city leaders were meeting. Los Angeles Times

Deeper investigation: A balcony that collapsed in Berkeley, killing six people, had an “unusual slope” to it before it fell, according to some eyewitnesses. The family of one victim wants the Alameda County district attorney to investigate possible water damage. SF Gate

Expensive shot: Taking aim at a drone may cost you. That’s what a Modesto man found after a judge decided he owed $850 to the owner of a drone he shot down. It took the drone-maker 40 hours and $1,800 to construct the hexacopter. Los Angeles Times



Outside money: Could Los Angeles pay for affordable housing by turning to its wealthy foreign investors? One writer thinks city officials should tap into EB-5 funds from foreign investors, something Seattle and San Francisco have already done to build more housing. Time



Wind energy: Billionaire Philip Anschutz has a diverse portfolio that includes the Los Angeles Kings and Staples Center. Now the man who made his money in oil wants to turn his Wyoming ranch into the world’s largest wind farm. This farm could be powerful enough to keep the lights on in all of Los Angeles and San Francisco, which could help as California gets more of its energy from renewable sources. Pacific Standard



California gold: Few Californians seemed to love the state more than Huell Howser. When he wasn’t traveling for his “California’s Gold” television program, he was at his dream home in Twentynine Palms. The artist who bought the house after Howser’s 2013 death is now opening the property for weddings and retreats. Curbed LA (photo gallery) 

Bridge toll: If you’re driving in the Bay Area this week, prepare to pay a little more to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Tolls will increase 25 cents starting Wednesday. SFist

Bucket list: Here are 30 places every California child should visit before he or she grows up. SF Gate

Fireworks shows: This map shows where you can see fireworks displays from July 3 to July 5. Los Angeles Times

Pack a picnic: And to go with those fireworks, 58 recipes that are perfect for a summer picnic. Los Angeles Times



San Francisco will be mostly sunny today with a high of 69. In San Diego, it will be 77 degrees and mostly sunny. Riverside will be mostly sunny with light winds and 99 degrees. Los Angeles will be mostly sunny and 85.



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