Newsletter: L.A. prepares to help undocumented immigrants during a Trump presidency

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson at a news conference in May. He has called on his colleagues to create a new position of immigration advocate at City Hall.

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning. It is Friday, Nov. 18. One of the “stretching portraits” from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is going up for auction. Here’s what else is happening in the Golden State:


A possible solution

Nearly 10,000 California National Guard soldiers may be able to keep enlistment bonuses improperly given to them during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Republicans and Democrats in Congress are working on a bill that would forgive debts and close out “an episode that has hurt thousands of veterans, roiled the Pentagon and embarrassed members of Congress.” Los Angeles Times


Preparing for what’s next

Los Angeles city leaders are looking at what they can do to protect immigrants who are in this country illegally once Donald Trump is sworn into office. “These concerns should not be underestimated,” said Council President Herb Wesson. During the campaign, Trump said he would withhold federal funds from cities that protect immigrants who are in the country illegally. Los Angeles Times


Environmental concerns: Neighbors have a growing anxiety over the Torrance Refining Co. “Our concerns have gone from breathing — the lack of air quality — to the very real danger of explosion and catastrophic release,” said community activist Elaine Wilson. Los Angeles Times


Housing plan: Months ago, Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles City Council announced they would turn a dozen city-owned properties into housing that benefits the homeless. A new report says only 10 of those properties are suitable for development and suggests developers be allowed to build affordable housing, mixed-income housing, market-rate housing and occupant-owned housing. Los Angeles Times

Wild and crazy: A West Hollywood hotel famous for its clothing-optional policy and lax attitude toward drugs is getting a makeover. The San Vicente Inn will get a few new rooms, a restaurant and parking. Construction is expected to last 18 months. Curbed LA

In progress: This aerial photo shows the progress being made on the “Star Wars” area of Disneyland. Orange County Register


Political funds: Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) reimbursed his campaign to the tune of $60,000 for purchases at clothing stores, supermarkets, airlines and hotels in Italy and Arizona. Hunter is reportedly under consideration for a post as secretary of Defense in the Trump administration. Los Angeles Times

Protesting tuition: Students protesting a tuition increase briefly shut down the meeting of the University of California regents. UC officials are considering a 2.5% increase in tuition. Los Angeles Times

Job opportunity: Will Sacramento first lady Michelle Rhee have a role in the Trump White House? Her name is being floated for education secretary. She was chancellor for the Washington, D.C., school system for three years before forming StudentsFirst. Sacramento Bee

Back to the drawing board: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal for a 157-unit development in the Mission District because city planners failed to consider how gentrification might affect the community. It’s unclear what the move could mean for other major projects in the city. SFGate



Young suspects: Police say five teenage girls are responsible for a string of robberies in the Bay Area The girls range in age from 14 to 16. The girls didn’t use weapons; instead, one would place a victim in a bear hug while the others snatch purses and other valuables, authorities say. Los Angeles Times

Dog fight: It’s the bizarre tale of a dog-napping. A Los Angeles woman paid a $220 fine and completed 120 hours of community service for allegedly using a badge and stealing an Echo Park man’s poodle. In her defense, Shannah Tenner said she was responding to reports of animal abuse. ABC 7


Working together: Leaders in Arizona, Nevada and California are drafting an agreement to cut water use as water disappears from Lake Mead. Without such cooperation, “There won’t be any winners and losers. There will only be losers,” said Pat Mulroy, a western water expert. KQED

Scary future: An exhibit at the Santa Monica Pier is showing visitors what could happen if ocean levels rise. “For sea-level rise the time for planning is now. And starting to plan now means you never have to go to that doom-and-gloom disaster scenario,” said Phyllis Grifman, associate director at USC Sea Grant. LA Weekly


Religious artifact: The oldest-known Ten Commandments tablet just sold in Beverly Hills for $850,000. “The new owner is under obligation to display the tablet for the benefit of the public,” said David Michaels, who oversees ancient coins and antiquities for Heritage Auctions. “The sale of this tablet does not mean it will be hidden away.” Los Angeles Times


Smashed up: It appears that a Prius has smashed into the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “Appears” is the right word — the whole thing is a publicity stunt for a new show. Los Angeles Magazine

Going green: Tesla and SolarCity shareholders have approved the car company’s acquisition of the green energy business. Los Angeles Times

App for that: Take a spin through the L.A. Auto Show as the industry considers a digital future. “Optimism requires the car industry to reimagine itself.” New York Times


San Diego will be sunny with a high of 77 degrees. Riverside will be 79 and sunny. It will be 79 and sunny in Los Angeles. Sacramento will be 65 and mostly sunny. San Francisco will be 73 with clouds.


Today’s California Memory comes from Elizabeth A. Baron:

“Hot tar, salty air, blowing sand, jazz music, kosher pickles, crashing waves and the sweet scent of cocoa butter swirled around me as I stepped out of our car on Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach in 1955. I was 14 and newly arrived from a small town in Texas. It had been a miserable, boring trip across flat desert as we drove to California; never again to ride my beloved horse across the range. Instantly I knew that little beach town would forever change me. Coming of age in a California beach town in the ‘50s. What an experience!”

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.

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