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L.A. voters mostly go for the status quo

Los Angeles voters hit the polls; experts say that the Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan will likely lead millions of Californians to lose coverage.

Good morning. It's Wednesday, March 8, and here's what's happening across California:

TOP STORIES

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And the winners are …

Los Angeles voters appeared to be backing the status quo on Tuesday, reelecting Mayor Eric Garcetti and many incumbent council members while — at least in early returns rejecting a controversial slow-growth ballot measure that would have upended development policy in the city.

The mayor: Garcetti faced only token opposition and quickly declared victory. He stressed his record raising the minimum wage, cutting business taxes and backing ballot measures to expand public transit and house the homeless. The big question now is whether he will stay for his full term or seek higher office. Los Angeles Times

Measure S: Much of establishment L.A. — Garcetti, unions, big business — opposed the slow-growth measure, saying it would harm the city's urban rebirth and slam the economy. That appeared to sway voters, based on early returns. Los Angeles Times

Homelessness: A quarter-cent sales tax increase in Los Angeles County to fund anti-homelessness measures appeared to earn the two-thirds majority needed for passage. Measure H would generate about $355 million annually for homeless programs over 10 years, backers say. Los Angeles Times

Schools: A pitched battle between charter school supporters and teachers' unions for control of the school board was playing out. Los Angeles Times

Healthcare explained

L.A. Times columnist David Lazarus breaks down the different routes that California could take if it decides to start its own single-payer healthcare system. He reminds readers that "legislation has been introduced by state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) declaring California's 'intent' to establish 'a comprehensive universal single-payer healthcare coverage program and a healthcare cost control system for the benefit of all residents of the state.' " Los Angeles Times

Plus: Experts say that the Republicans' recently released Obamacare replacement proposal will likely lead to millions of Californians losing coverage. Los Angeles Times

Hydroelectric power making a comeback?

Now that California's drought is all but over, hydroelectric power is poised for a major comeback. "Energy officials studying the numbers are cautiously optimistic the sector's output may roar back to levels seen before drought decimated watersheds, streams and reservoirs." Los Angeles Times

L.A. STORIES

The silver lining: The Aliso Canyon gas leak in 2015, which was the biggest natural gas leak in U.S. history, has led to a surge in big battery installations in California. Bloomberg

Cash loss: The chief marketing officer of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board has said that a dip in visits to L.A. as a result of Trump's travel ban could result in an estimated loss of $200 million in spending by international visitors. KPCC

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Buzz kill: Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell says that he expects federal drug agents to increase their enforcement of marijuana laws even as the state moves forward with legalization. Associated Press

IMMIGRATION AND THE BORDER

Dear Donald: L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez heads down to Calexico and meets the man who has patched thousands of holes in the border wall. He's a former border patrol maintenance man, and he has some advice for President Trump. Los Angeles Times

A changing face: Even as immigrants live in fear of being deported, the imprimatur that young Latinos are having on this country is only growing. Sarah Menkedick writes that what these Latinos become "will be determined not only by their own struggles and achievements, but also by the willingness of many Americans to rethink their fundamental conceptions of Americanness, to recognize the dangerous fiction of an essential, unchanging America defined solely by white culture." Pacific Standard

The daughter speaks: "We're bigger than Trump," Fatima Avelica-Gonzalez, 13, said. Her dad was arrested by ICE near her school last week and remains in custody. Los Angeles Daily News

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Listen while you drive: Over on the Flash Forward podcast, a team of panelists unpacks the California secession movement and whether it has legs. Flash Forward

Google's campus: In advance of a Mountain View City Council hearing, Google has submitted new designs of its headquarters, and, of course, the new building has a tent-like roof canopy. Design Week

A rate hike? The BART governing board is considering increasing fares by 25 cents along with reducing discounts offered to seniors, youth and people with disabilities. Mercury News

The younger the voter: A state assemblyman has introduced a bill that would start the process of lowering the state's voting age from 18 to 17. If the law passes, it could mean that 17-year-olds would be eligible to vote in federal elections as well. LA Weekly

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CRIME AND COURTS

Deported five times: A man who has been deported from the United States at least five times is awaiting trial in a fatal car crash that claimed the life of a Los Angeles woman last month, according to police and court records. Los Angeles Times

Tough welcome: Just four days into her new job, Oakland's police chief is under investigation after she accidentally backed into an unoccupied scooter in downtown Oakland last week. San Francisco Chronicle

Body cameras for all: The Sacramento police department could place body cameras on all patrol officers by September under a plan that the City Council is considering. Sacramento Bee

Desert car chase: A man in Lancaster was arrested after leading cops on a wild high-desert chase that lasted for more than an hour. He was finally taken down and detained in connection with a possible assault with a deadly weapon. Los Angeles Times

THE ENVIRONMENT

No more lox!? This year's potential crop of king salmon has been reduced to such low levels that California fisherman are preparing for the worst salmon season in eight years. It's so bad that many of these fisherman may sit out the season altogether. The Press Democrat

Climate change conundrum: The extreme weather in recent months shows that climate change is affecting California, but will Trump take notice? McClatchy

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

Where did he go? It's been more than three years since Richard Simmons was last seen in public. His old exercise studio in Los Angeles now collects cobwebs, and his biggest fans wonder: Where is Richard Simmons? Washington Post

California in London: If you're able to hop across the pond and get to London, check out this exhibit at the London Design Museum about the influence of California's design aesthetic. Architectural Digest

Yum! This is public service journalism at its finest. Here's the best burger in L.A. for every budget. First We Feast

Fun for the whole family: A new movie theater with a jungle gym in the theater is set to open. The hope is to lure more families with kids who can't sit still for two hours back to the multiplex. Los Angeles Times

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

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

FOR THE RECORD

Tuesday newsletter stated that runoffs in Los Angeles County elections are set for March 21. They are scheduled for May 16.

AND FINALLY

Today’s California memory comes from Gordon Pattison:

"I lived on Bunker Hill in the 1940s and 50s and rode Angels Flight. For a kid, it was a great thrill ride. The cars look like they are going to hit head-on only to lurch past one another at the last moment, missing by inches. Adding to the excitement, the pass occurred above Clay Street with people and cars below the elevated track and at the depth of the cut-out of the 3rd Street tunnel, so it looked like we would be launched out over the precipice. Somehow the cars stayed on the track every time. I miss Angels Flight. Please join the effort to get it running again."

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.

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