Newsletter: California’s voter guide comes with 224 pages and a $15-million price tag

November 2016 state voter guide
Workers print and package the Nov. 8 statewide election guide at the Office of the State Printer in Sacramento.
(John Myers / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It is Friday, Sept. 9. Peet’s Coffee will donate $250,000 to UC Davis for coffee research. Here’s what else is happening in the Golden State:


Bank settlement

Wells Fargo’s practice of aggressive sales goals, which led thousands of employees to open as many as 2 million bank accounts that customers never wanted, was “outrageous” and “a major breach of trust,” according to local and federal regulators. Those practices led to a $185-million settlement and an apology from the bank. “It’s outrageous for a bank to use a customer’s private information without permission to open an unwanted account,” said L.A. City Atty. Mike Feuer. Los Angeles Times


Plus: The original Times investigation into the Wells Fargo “pressure cooker.” Los Angeles Times

Environmental goals

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday that commits California to some of the most drastic greenhouse gas emission cuts in the world. Under the new law, California will cut emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by the year 2030. “What California does matters,” said state Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), who wrote SB 32. Los Angeles Times

The big one


The California voter guide will soon be arriving in mailboxes, and this election season, it is a whopping 224 pages. Printing and shipping costs for the booklet could come close to $15 million. Will voters bother to read the information on 17 ballot measures? “You don’t have to vote on every measure on the ballot; it’s perfectly fine to skip one if you are confused or unsure of how you want to vote,” said Kim Alexander, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation. Los Angeles Times


Preschool meltdown: This is the story of a legal battle over two Westside preschools. Be warned: Everyone acts like a child. Los Angeles Magazine

Coastal preservation: It was a good week for anyone who cares about the California coast and conservation, according to columnist Steve Lopez. That’s because the California Coastal Commission voted against the massive Banning Ranch development in Newport Beach. “Bulldozers went up against burrowing owls in Newport Beach on Wednesday. The owls won,” he writes. Los Angeles Times


Behind closed doors: Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to end private meetings between planning commissioners and developers or other outside parties. The announcement comes as the mayor and other city officials plan to fight a planned March ballot measure that would temporarily halt major projects that require changes in the city’s planning rules. Los Angeles Times

Refined tastes: Can Napa Valley wine come from Georgia? In some cases, yes, but Congress may change that. Los Angeles Times



Police perspective: Californians are divided by race when it comes to their views on police and the excessive use of force. A new survey finds that “minority and women respondents tended to see police profiling and excessive use of force as more of a problem than white men — whether they were Democrats or Republicans.” 89.3 KPCC

Indentured servitude: The U.S. Labor Department accused an Orange County CEO of forcing a domestic employee to work seven days a week and sleep with the family dogs for a monthly pay of $400. Authorities say the former employee to Himanshu Bhatia, the CEO of Rose International, was a victim of human trafficking. Orange County Register

Cold case: It was 46 years before the LAPD identified Jane Doe No. 59 as 19-year-old Canadian Reet Jurvetson. Now, cold-case detectives are searching for two men who may have known Jurvetson in Los Angeles. The investigation has also disproved an early theory that Jurvetson was killed by Charles Manson and his followers. People

Behind bars: Exploring the landscape and architecture of California’s prisons. Boom


Forever young: In Silicon Valley, workers older than 40 are being advised to dress younger, get hip to pop culture and even pretend to have less experience than they do. Some are taking that advice as they look for new jobs. Others have turned to age discrimination lawsuits. Bloomberg


Slap on on the wrist: A California school that faked grades for hundreds of foreign students so they could stay in the country will receive a “compliance warning” from its accreditor. Northwestern Polytechnic University didn’t employ any full-time faculty and put just a fraction of its revenue toward academic programs. BuzzFeed



Stand down: El Niño was a bust. Will La Niña be, too? Climate scientists have dropped their “watch” for the weather pattern. SFGate


Get with the times: Is it finally time to kill the celebrity roast? What was fresh 40 years ago with Dean Martin feels stale with Ann Coulter. The New Yorker


Celebrating ‘Star Trek’: How this outlaw hideout became an alien landscape. Los Angeles Times

Up on the mountain: When it’s scorching outside, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway can take you through time to winter. Curbed LA

Ring, ring: When that call came at 3 a.m., it was probably Marlon Brando. Vanity Fair

Sad history: A look back at California’s slave market. KCET


San Diego will have low clouds and a high of 77 degrees. It will be 90 and sunny in Riverside. Los Angeles will have low clouds as temperatures reach 79 degrees. It will be 92 and sunny in Sacramento. San Francisco will have a high of 67 degrees.


Today’s California Memory comes from Ron McGraw:

“After winning a diving championship in Arcadia when I was 10 years old, I thought I was pretty sharp. Later one summer, when I was about 13, I watched Pat McCormick practice diving at Los Alamitos Bay from a 30-foot platform and some days later I got up the nerve to try it myself. Off I went in a soaring swan dive and it was great until I hit the water and then the bottom of the bay. When I surfaced, my head was covered in smelly mud; the tide was out.”

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.