Newsletter: Venice Beach’s Snap Inc. is worth nearly $24 billion

L.A. company behind Snapchat is worth nearly $24 billion, Disney theme parks soon to get a whole lot of Marvel, Angels Flight expected to reopen, and Republicans still waiting on Trump.

Good morning. It’s Thursday, March 2, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Oodles of cash

The company behind Snapchat has generated the largest initial public offering in Southern California history. After raising $3.4 billion, the company Snap Inc. is valued at $23.8 billion. Los Angeles Times 


Plus: Evan Spiegel, the Snapchat founder and CEO, is a native of the Pacific Palisades. Here’s the story of how the 26-year-old changed the world. Los Angeles Times

Oh and this: Locals are staging protests at Snapchat, demanding the app leave Venice. Curbed Los Angeles

Angels Flight will return

The downtown L.A. funicular Angels Flight, which was featured in “La La Land,” could reopen by Labor Day. The 298-foot railway has been closed for the last three years. Los Angeles Times


Plus: The storied and sad history of Downtown L.A.’s little railroad. Los Angeles Times

Farmers for Trump

Earlier this week, the Trump administration ordered his new EPA head Scott Pruitt to scale back the agency’s reading of the Clean Water Act. This has farmers like John Duarte of Modesto jumping for joy. Los Angeles Times


From bondage to wealth: Here’s a rags-to-riches story like few others. Biddy Mason was born a slave and brought to Los Angeles in 1851. By the time she died, Mason was a real estate mogul and one of the city’s wealthiest women. Curbed Los Angeles 

Whittier suspect charged: An L.A. gang member has been charged with capital murder after he allegedly killed his cousin and a Whittier police officer last week. Los Angeles Times 

Listen while you drive: Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison speaks with Mark Vallianatos, co-founder of Abundant Housing L.A., about why he’s opposing Measure SLos Angeles Times



An immigration fight: The state is gearing up for another major clash with the Trump administration, after lawmakers began fast-tracking a bill that would seek to restrict cooperation between federal immigration authorities and police. Wall Street Journal

Legal aid for all: All people facing deportation in California would be eligible to apply for legal services regardless of criminal background if an amendment to state senate legislation is passed. Los Angeles Times

Not going quietly: Cardinal Roger Mahony is still keeping up the fight for refugees and immigrants, even in retirement. LA Observed

One soccer player’s worries: He’s a professional soccer player, a college graduate and an undocumented immigrant. Here’s Miguel Aguilar’s story. Sacramento Bee

Crunching the numbers: In 2014, a new study finds that immigrants contributed $232.9 billion to the Los Angeles County’s gross domestic product. LA Weekly


Who cares? Few people seem to know that there’s an election next week. Some Angelenos don’t even know who the mayor is. The combination of exhaustion about 2016 and only token opposition to Mayor Eric Garcetti means “conditions are ripe for dismal voter turnout next week.” Los Angeles Times 

A promise not to make any promises: Mayor Garcetti says that he won’t make any pledges on not running for higher office or serving this whole term. “I’ll be really straight up. If I can serve the people of Los Angeles in a different role and people want you to, you don’t close that door. But I am running to be mayor. I am not running to jump to other positions,” he said. The New York Times


Retail power: Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, says the state should consider liberalizing its retail electricity market to broaden customer choice.  Greentech Media


Counting the assaults: In the midst of a string of high-profile sexual misconduct cases at UC Berkeley, the state school system has released the number of sexual misconduct cases involving staff and faculty it has investigated. From 2013 to April 2016, 113 sexual misconduct cases were investigated system-wide. Associated Press

Arrests are made: In San Jose, two suspects have been arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a bouncer who also served as the president of the local Little League. San Francisco Chronicle 

Huge drug bust: In North County, 55 people have been indicted in a vast roundup of some of the region’s biggest heroin and meth suppliers, federal prosecutors said. San Diego Union-Tribune


Adding up the tab: The state’s natural resources secretary said Wednesday that the state faces an estimated $50-billion price tag for roads, dams and other infrastructure threatened by floods such as the one that severely damaged Oroville Dam’s spillways last month. Associated Press

Plus:Vietnamese billionaire donated $5 million to help victims of the San Jose flood. The Mercury News

Beware of earthquakes: The science is mixed on whether heavy rainfall could trigger an earthquake. One way or the other, Californians should be prepared. San Francisco Chronicle

Cap and trade flop: California’s cap and trade program auction of carbon dioxide emissions allowances was “another financial washout for the state.”  Sacramento Bee


On the market: Michael Jackson’s “Neverland” ranch is going back on the market for $67 million, which is $33 million off its original asking price. Wall Street Journal

Spotted: A flier in San Francisco advertising “Hamilton” tickets for $5,000 a pair. SFist 

More Oscars fallout: New photos of the PwC accountant who flubbed the best picture reveal show him on his phone with two envelopes in his hands minutes before Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway confused the world. PwC has already announced that these accountants won’t work on the Oscars again. Variety

Watch: It’s supposed to be 72 degrees today. So this video of people from California trying to dig their cars out of the snow should make you smile. BuzzFeed


San Diego and Los Angeles area: sunny Thursday and Friday. Sacramento and San Francisco area: sunny Thursday, partly cloudy Friday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Judith Alban:

“I remember vividly growing up in the North San Fernando Valley in the 1960s, and there were orange groves everywhere. At the end of my street, there was a huge grove and a little wooden farmhouse in the middle. We would ride our bikes and play among the trees and hope the owner didn’t see us. I can remember nights when we would sleep with the windows open. You could hear crickets, frogs and smell the fragrant blossoms. Today, whenever I smell orange blossoms, it still brings back those sweet 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 Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad