Newsletter: L.A. sets aside $10 million to help immigrants facing deportation

An immigrant rights demonstration in downtown L.A.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, Dec. 20. If you live in L.A., maybe you should be dreaming of a smoggy Christmas? Here’s what’s going on around California:


Legal assistance fund


In a dramatic response to the expected crackdown on illegal immigration by Donald Trump, Los Angeles leaders on Monday announced a plan for a $10-million fund to provide legal assistance for immigrants facing deportation. The move was hailed by immigrant rights groups but continues to put local officials on a collision course with Trump, who has threatened to retaliate against cities with “sanctuary” laws for people here illegally. Los Angeles Times

Tale of two sheriffs

Lee Baca spent 15 years as sheriff of Los Angeles County, building a reputation as an ethical and transparent leader with creative, progressive ideas on law enforcement. A federal prosecutor Monday needed only about 90 minutes to dismantle that glowing portrait of Baca and replace it with a far more sinister portrayal as the former sheriff’s obstruction of justice trial came to a close. Los Angeles Times

Up in smoke

CalPERS on Monday rejected its staff’s recommendation to again invest in tobacco stocks and instead widened the ban on tobacco investments for the nation’s largest public pension fund. Los Angeles Times


SEC pick? Former U.S. Atty. Debra Wong Yang is now a top crisis manager for one of the premier corporate litigation firms in the country, the Los Angeles-based Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Now she’s on Donald Trump’s short list to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. Los Angeles Times

Crash assessment: The National Transportation Safety Board has blamed a tired truck driver for last year’s Metrolink derailment near Oxnard that killed the engineer and injured over 30 passengers and crew members. Los Angeles Times

Holiday cheer: What house in all of L.A. has the best Christmas lights? You might want to go to Sherman Oaks, where one homeowner has a created a 50,000-light wonderland. Curbed Los Angeles

L.A. visions: The original “Blade Runner” was supposed to be set in 2019, and the film’s dystopian vision of Los Angeles became a classic. A sequel to the movie is coming out, this time set in 2049. Harrison Ford looks older, but the L.A. of “Blade Runner” still looks dark and polluted, if the trailer is any guide. Take a look. LAist


GOP’s future: Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes isn’t flashy or in-your-face. But he may represent the future for the California GOP if it can survive and rebuild. Los Angeles Times

They can’t bank on it: Despite California voters’ approval last month of Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana, and coming ground rules for pot businesses set to take effect in 2018, it remains difficult and expensive for companies that want to grow, process or sell marijuana to borrow money. Los Angeles Times

Faithless no more: Electors stayed true to Hillary Clinton, in California anyway. Overall, Trump won the electoral college vote, as expected. Los Angeles Times


Grim record: Behind the wealth of Silicon Valley, there’s a violent crime problem. San Jose has recorded 46 homicides this year, the largest number in a quarter-century. Mercury News

Missing: Nancy Paulikas was visiting family at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art two months ago when she vanished. Her family and friends have launched extensive efforts to find her. But the mystery of the Manhattan Beach woman’s whereabouts endures. Daily Breeze

Cleared: The Commission on Judicial Performance concluded that a Santa Clara County judge did not engage in judicial misconduct when he gave a lenient sentence to former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner after his conviction for sexual assault. Los Angeles Times

Fatal shooting: The new chief of the Bakersfield Police Department has asked the FBI to review the case of a 73-year-old man with early dementia who was shot and killed by an officer just steps from his home last week. Los Angeles Times


Brrr: In the Central Valley, there’s an all-out race to protect citrus crops from freezing conditions. Fresno Bee

Forget it, Jake? How the battle over Jerry Brown’s delta tunnels project became viewed by some as the sequel to “Chinatown.” And is there a compromise that can satisfy north and south? Los Angeles Times

Creature features: More weird jelly pods are washing ashore in Orange County. Says one lifeguard: “They are liquid-filled sacks similar to the bulbs you see on seaweed, but they move slowly like worms.” Orange County Register


High school tragedy: Three suicides at one high school outside of Fresno has a community searching for answers. Fresno Bee

Fumble: It all seemed as if it was going to be great when the beloved San Francisco 49ers moved to Santa Clara to a fancy new stadium. But things are going downhill quickly, and even “super fans” are disillusioned. Mercury News

Christmases past: Yahoo had its Christmas party, but all anyone could talk about was how much less extravagant it was than last year’s affair (it was held in Sunnyvale rather than San Francisco). It’s a sign of the one-time tech giant’s fading fortunes. SFGate

More to the story? A Kentucky university punished a professor for publicly singing the Beach Boys song “California Girls” during a university-related trip overseas. Officials apparently said the song’s lyrics had a sexual nature some could consider offensive. San Diego Union-Tribune


Los Angeles area: Sunny, with highs in the mid-70s, before the next storm hits toward the end of the week. San Diego: Mostly sunny; highs in the mid-70s. San Francisco area and Sacramento: Mostly sunny but cool; highs in the mid-50s.


Today’s California memory comes from Anastasia Paveloff:

“My father, the seventh and youngest son of Russian immigrants, took over his father’s business in East L.A. and spent over 50 years driving the Southland, selling roofs and exploring California from his Cadillac. He was a walking Thomas Guide and could get around any L.A. traffic. My siblings and I grew up with this expertise, which took us through the Golden State, over and again — whether summer vacations in Lake Tahoe, s’mores in Huntington Beach, hot dogs at Pink’s, butterflies in Big Sur, or visiting our grandparents in Santa Maria, with its annual parade, rodeo and tri-tip barbecues. California was the place on which my father mapped his life, and our family’s life. We’ll always be California dreaming (and eating)!”

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 Shelby Grad.