Newsletter: Californians pay a lot for electricity they don’t need

The Patriots stun the Falcons with a history-making comeback, beating Atlanta in the game’s first-ever overtime, Californians are paying billions for power they don’t need. Despite Trump’s orders, it’s business at usual at the U.S. border. Following

Good morning. It’s Monday, Feb. 6, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Sticker shock

California has a big and growing glut of electric power, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times has found. The state’s power plants are on track to be able to produce at least 21% more electricity than it needs by 2020, based on official estimates. And that doesn’t even count the soaring production of electricity by rooftop solar panels that has added to the surplus. To cover the expense of new plants whose power isn’t needed — Colusa, for example, has operated far below capacity since opening — Californians are paying a higher premium to switch on lights or turn on electric stoves. In recent years, the gap between what Californians pay versus the rest of the country has nearly doubled to about 50%. Los Angeles Times


Ghost of a horrific fire

It was one of the worst arson fires in L.A. history, killing 10 in an aging Westlake District apartment building filled with immigrants from Latin America. Now, 24 years later, there is a break in the case. Several suspects have been arrested, and sources point to a shocking motive: The suspects were allegedly angry because the apartment manager had ordered them to take their drug dealing elsewhere. They sought revenge by lighting the building on fire, the sources said. Los Angeles Times

Deportation shocker

Up to 8 million people in the country illegally could be considered priorities for deportation under President Trump, according to calculations by the Los Angeles Times. The calculations were based on interviews with experts who studied the order and two internal documents that signal immigration officials are taking an expansive view of Trump’s directive. Los Angeles Times


One city: Steve Lopez goes to the diverse neighborhood of Koreatown and the Mid-Wilshire District to find that finding common ground is winning out over division in the Trump era. Said one resident: “All our neighbors, our friends in Southern California, are immigrants. I learned from them and I grow from them, and they’re part of Los Angeles. They’re Angelenos.” Los Angeles Times

Mood music: In the shadow of a downtown L.A. jail, day laborers serenade the city and try to make a point. The California Sunday Magazine

Victory: Before a cheering throng at a campus gymnasium, a team from Marshall High School on Saturday won the Super Quiz portion of the Academic Decathlon for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Los Angeles Times


Comeback kid: Inglewood, once the city of Magic, Kareem and Showtime, is looking forward to being back in the national spotlight with the NFL’s return. The Super Bowl could end up being the city’s coming out party. Daily News


Defunding threat: Calling California “out of control,” President Trump threatened to withhold federal funding to the state if it votes to declare itself a sanctuary state. Trump’s comment came during an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox’s Super Bowl pregame show. Los Angeles Times

In hiding: Some Bay Area conservatives said the anti-Trump mood has become so emotional that they are meeting in private. CBS SF Bay Area


Plus: In the Central Valley town of Visalia, many residents want to give Trump a chance. San Francisco Chronicle

Protest pattern: There has been no shortage of opportunities for the anti-Trump left to vent its angst since the president took office. People in California have also begun showing up at less likely venues: strip malls and business parks that house the offices of their Congress members. Over the weekend, hundreds of people showed up to an overflowing town hall meeting being held by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove) in his Northern California district, which ended with McClintock being escorted out of the packed event by police while hundreds of people demonstrated outside. Los Angeles Times

Breaking up is hard to do: The Calexit movement — having California secede from the U.S. — has become a popular conversation topic. But consider:

—California voters seem pretty dubious, but there does seem room for growth, at least according to backers. Sacramento Bee


— Based on our mail, some of those most excited about the movement seem to be conservatives who don’t live in California. Los Angeles Times

— CalExit is not just a reaction to Trump. It’s also about some fundamental issues with being the biggest state in the union. Sacramento Bee


Left versus left in Berkeley: So-called black bloc agitators have become a fixture of Bay Area demonstrations in the last decade, but their appearance at UC Berkeley on Wednesday and at other otherwise peaceful demonstrations threatens to inflame tensions in an already polarized nation. “We have never seen this on the Berkeley campus,” one UC Berkeley official said. “This was an unprecedented invasion.” Los Angeles Times


Durst mystery: The long wait for answers for one person connected to the Robert Durst saga. New York Times

On leave: The police chief of Torrance was placed on leave as the city investigated allegations that he made inappropriate sexual and racial comments. Daily Breeze


Big bloom: All our rain could make for a historic poppy bloom this spring across California. LAist


Feast or famine: With more rain expected across California this week, one weather expert tries to understand why the state has experienced such extremes. NBC Bay Area


On the border: It might be a case of cause and effect. As Donald Trump bashes Mexico, a surge of Mexican nationalism is taking shape on the border. “We feel aggrieved, and we feel offended,” said Gilberto Leyva Camacho, president of the Tijuana Chamber of Commerce. “There is no need for so much aggression toward a neighboring country when we’ve been brothers all our lives.” San Diego Union-Tribune

How much? Disneyland thinks having a restaurant that offers a dinner party for $15,000 makes financial sense. For the rich, that singular experience is worth the money, even at the Magic Kingdom. Orange County Register


A second chance: The Fulton Street pedestrian mall in downtown Fresno has long been a symbol of urban renewal that could not compete with suburbanization. But now, the city has new plans for Fulton that officials hope will revive downtown. Fresno Bee

Cultural clash: In Koreatown, an art installation about loss. Los Angeles Times

Saving Chinatown: Inside the effort to preserve San Francisco’s Chinatown amid the city’s development boom. Leaders say they’ve been here before. “Chinatown sits on valuable land and it’s been under constant financial pressure throughout its history,” one said. San Francisco Chronicle



Los Angeles area: Rain with highs in the low 60s. San Diego: Showers with highs in the low 60s. San Francisco area: Rain with highs in the upper 50s. Sacramento: Rain with highs in the mid- to upper 50s. More weather is here.


This week’s birthdays for notable Californians: L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl (Feb. 9, 1941) and Disney CEO Bob Iger (Feb. 10, 1951).

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.