Newsletter: Gov. Brown says the U.S. should be more like California

In a fiery State of the State, Brown returned to a familiar conclusion. President Trump signed executive orders reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects. Prosecutors believed two officers feared for their lives when they fatally

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, Jan. 25, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Brown’s declaration

Gov. Jerry Brown’s state of the state address felt a bit like a declaration of independence. He offered his most sweeping rebuke to date of President Trump and the new leadership of Congress. But the critique circled back to the same conclusion Brown has reached several times since returning to the governor’s office — that what most ails the nation is that it’s not enough like California. Los Angeles Times


Plus: Like Meryl Streep, Brown attacked Trump without naming the president. Sacramento Bee

Trump’s big plans

Immigration hawks are pressuring President Trump to stick by his pledge to end legal protections for some 750,000 immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children, while the immigrants themselves are cautiously relieved that he appears to be backing off. In his first days in office, Trump has tried to emphasize more popular aspects of his immigration enforcement agenda — tightening the border and deporting those with criminal records, as President Obama did — while avoiding the debate over young people, which plays to his opponents. Los Angeles Times 

Plus: Is this the first step in actually building that Mexican border wall? New York Times 


Flashpoint case

Prosecutors will not bring criminal charges against two Los Angeles police officers who shot and killed Ezell Ford during a clash near his South L.A. home in 2014. It was a shooting that thrust the LAPD into a national debate about how police interact with African Americans. Los Angeles Times


So many things: The Oscar nominations were a study in contrasts: much more diverse than last year, but also welcoming Mel Gibson back into the fold years after his anti-Semitic outburst. The effervescent, brightly colored musical “La La Land” — a love letter to the city of Los Angeles and the movies themselves — danced its way to 14 Oscar nominations, including best picture, tying the all-time record held by “Titanic” and “All About Eve.” But many other nominees portrayed a much darker corner of the human condition. Los Angeles Times Plus: The nominations show the academy never really changes, despite this year’s diversity. Los Angeles Times

Add tracks? Metro’s Orange Line bus route in the Valley could get more grade-crossing improvements to speed up the trip — and possibly pave the way for conversion to rail. Curbed Los Angeles

L.A.’s past: The restoration of a famous mural in downtown L.A. in some ways represented the merging of the old Latino Broadway and the new hip one. Los Angeles Times

A lot of riders: Stations jammed with passengers and trains too full for riders to board were early signs that the women’s march downtown on Saturday had overwhelmed Los Angeles County’s rail system. Just how many riders the system carried on the day of the rally became clear Tuesday, when officials said riders boarded Metropolitan Transportation Authority trains about 592,000 times Saturday — more than twice the typical weekend ridership. Los Angeles Times

Developer wins: Rick Caruso’s much-debated 145-unit residential tower near the Beverly Center was finally approved by the City Council, ending a nearly three-month back-and-forth saga over the project at City Hall. Los Angeles Times



Loyal opposition: “Maybe the best strategy is to handle Trump like a Labrador. Remove the leash, stand back and let him run.”

--Steve Lopez, who talked to California Democrats about how they will oppose the new president. Los Angeles Times

Hollywood vs. Trump: Trump is moving to kill the TransPacific Partnership trade pact, but the treaty has big fans in Hollywood. Los Angeles Times

Coach out: A Cal Berkeley football coach who devised a drill linked to the death of a player has left the university. SF Gate

In crisis: A program that is considered a lifeline for AIDS and HIV patients in California is in a state of disarray. San Francisco Chronicle


Murder mystery: Detectives are investigating the death of a well-known Los Angeles hairdresser who was found stabbed and beaten outside his Woodland Hills home Monday evening. Los Angeles Times


No sanctuary? Will the Trump administration target California’s many sanctuary cities? Washington Post


Surf’s up and ugly: Many surfers are ignoring health warnings and hitting the beach to take advantage of big but polluted waves. Orange County Register

Death toll rises: Heavy storms that hammered California over the weekend have been linked to at least five deaths, including that of a couple who vanished in turbulent waters off the Central Coast and a motorist who plunged into a creek in Northern California. Los Angeles Times


Styles change: The death of L.A.’s American Apparel was about many things. The company “made a science of identifying exactly what it was that made hipsters so attractive, then recreated that aesthetic in their stores.” But then came the recession and then the Internet, which battered that business model. The Atlantic

Good eats: How Armenian food became the king of Hollywood strip malls. Eater

Documenting the now: With the massive plans to remake LACMA, there has been some debate about whether the demolition of the campus’ original buildings is a real loss. In any case, the museum plans to document these ’60s-era structures. “There’s this real sense of nostalgia for place, even if the place doesn’t function anymore,” said director Michael Govan. New York Times

Trump brand: The snarky politics of researchers naming a California moth after Donald Trump. “It’s a play for Trump’s vanity, and a canny one. Trump enters office with more things named for him, and after himself, than probably any President in American history. These include a dozen apartment towers and international hotels, another dozen golf courses, three plazas, and a winery.” The New Yorker

Zoom zoom: “The World’s Fastest Car,” which began its life in a Culver City garage in the 1950s, might finally be ready for its closeup. Wall Street Journal


Los Angeles area and San Diego: Sunny with highs in the low 60s. San Francisco area and Sacramento: Partly cloudy with highs in the low 50s. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Jeff Gratz:

“I drove to California from Indiana in July 1979, listening to the oldies on KFI and in awe at the L.A. freeways. I had taken a job as a manager at the Houlihan’s restaurant in the Marina Pacifica, Long Beach, and remember walking into the restaurant, which opened onto a waterway with boats docked, champagne bottles in ice buckets and the sun setting. The cool marine layer rolled in, and I was hooked on the Golden State. It was a fantastic experience: off-days spent at the beach, skiing Big Bear and the cool funk of Seal Beach. I lived in Huntington Beach, and the drive north on PCH to Houlihan’s is still one of my favorite drives, never failing to evoke wonderful memories.”

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.