Newsletter: Essential California: ‘Know your rights,’ immigrant advocates say

Will the healthcare vote bind President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan together or push them apart? U.S. intelligence agencies inadvertently intercepted communications involving the Trump transition team. Immigrant advocates are preparing communi

Good morning. It’s Thursday, March 23, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Lending advice in these trying times

They’re told to be prepared, be self-reliant and know their rights. That’s what immigrant advocates are telling people seeking advice as President Donald Trump transforms the country’s immigration policies. “To get the word out, they’re acting out scenes, setting up hotlines, holding televised town hall meetings and forming community watch groups. One organization spent $70,000 to make a highly polished ‘Know Your Rights’ video. ‘This goes beyond handing out pamphlets to people,’ ” one advocate said. Los Angeles Times


Plus: For parents here illegally, the biggest fear has to do with their children. Los Angeles Times

Brown in D.C.

Gov. Jerry Brown is in Washington meeting with lawmakers and trying to convince them that the GOP replacement for Obamacare is a disaster, among other things. He called the legislation an “insult to democracy itself” and warned that the proposal would shift $6 billion in costs a year to California’s state government by 2020. Los Angeles Times

A windfall for some

Southern California’s defense industry, long the epicenter for highflying aerospace technology and advanced weapons for the military, could get a major windfall under President Trump’s proposed new budget. Los Angeles Times


The Silver Lake drought is over: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials announced Wednesday that the popular Silver Lake Reservoir will be refilled starting in mid-April. Los Angeles Times

Lead hot spots: There are at least 29 Golden State neighborhoods where children had elevated levels of lead in their blood that were at least as high as in Flint, Mich. In one Fresno neighborhood, kids had lead rates nearly three times higher than in Flint. Reuters

High on jobs! Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian attended a marijuana job fair and found that there’s a lot of interest in the industry. The employers included cannabis cultivators, edibles manufacturers, dispensaries and a cannabis trade magazine. Los Angeles Times

California in the age of Trump: California is “out of control,” according to the president. Its GDP also grew nearly twice as fast as the rest of the country in 2015. “The state is destiny made manifest, and the rest of the country is always trying to catch up… Every state is stuck in a fraught marriage with Washington, and California’s may now be the fraughtest.” Washington Post

When not to drive: A dramatic visualization of traffic accidents on L.A. freeways. Crosstown Traffic


Budget worries: Times columnist Steve Lopez talks with an L.A. doctor who races to cure deadly diseases and worries about Trump’s plan to cut NIH funding. Los Angeles Times

Lotsa voters: There are more than 19 million registered voters in California, but residents are less likely to be affiliated with either of the major parties, according to new state registration numbers. Sacramento Bee

Oh boy: A new state analysis released Wednesday shows that California would lose $24.3 billion in federal funding by 2027 for low-income health coverage under the current Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Kaiser Health News

Plus: In California’s Central Valley, which is predominantly conservative, Medicaid coverage has been expanded under the Affordable Care Act, and the latest proposal made by congressional Republicans would cut Medicaid funding by 25% by 2026. CNN Money

Suspension rates down: Suspensions at California’s public schools are down, but black students still face higher suspension rates. This is a new indicator being used to see how well schools are doing. Los Angeles Times

Nice try: Times columnist George Skelton says this Democrat’s plan to fund free college tuition is a good idea with a bad revenue source: millionaires. Los Angeles Times


“Puppet” and “Bouncer”: In jail, they were nicknamed “Puppet” and “Bouncer.” They were also paid $335,000 over four years for their work as jailhouse snitches. This payment and their seemingly lavish lifestyle behind bars have inspired a state bill to limit the rewards given to criminal informants. Orange County Register

Congratulations in order: The two victims of the sensational Vallejo kidnapping got engaged a week after the kidnapper was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison for the crime. San Francisco Chronicle

Puppies for sale: A Southern California woman sold sick puppies to unsuspecting families through a fake rescue group, prosecutors say. Los Angeles Times


Nothing like a good shower: How L.A. is transformed by a lot of rain — not just the climate but the people. BuzzFeed

Where’s the weed whacker? Native flowers aren’t the only plants in “super bloom” this spring. Nasty weeds have also flourished. Los Angeles Times

The DJT factor: The California Coastal Commission’s new Executive Director Jack Ainsworth has pledged to protect the state’s coastline even as President Trump vows to roll back environmental regulations that could pose a threat to his domain. KQED

Watch: Wednesday was World Water Day, and here’s a look at the severe effects of the five-year drought in the state. The Economist

Weed’s effect on the environment: The legal marijuana cultivation industry is about to explode, but how that growth affects the environment is an open question. Will legalization and new regulations ease its impact or make the situation worse? News Deeply


We bought a farm: Internet meal-kit pioneer Blue Apron has bought a ranch in Bolinas, and the ranch’s owner Bill Niman will join the company “to build a pasture-centric supply chain for all the beef, pork, turkey and chicken that Blue Apron ships in its 8 million meals each month.” Washington Post.

Be ready with the barf bag: This movie is not for people with weak stomachs. The Nuart Theater is giving out bags for screenings of a French movie called “Raw.” The film is about a teenager’s evolution from veterinary student to cannibal. LAist

Make a reservation: Check out L.A. Weekly’s list of 99 essential restaurants to visit in 2017. LA Weekly

Native NASCAR heroes: Here’s a ranking of the 10 best California-born NASCAR race drivers. Fox Sports


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


Today’s California Memory comes from Kevin Wolf:

“It was 1979, and I was back at home in Palos Verdes for the Christmas break and watching the Rose Bowl with family on one of the most gorgeous days ever. The smog was gone, and the view of downtown L.A. and the San Gabriel Mountains with their snow-covered peaks was spectacular. The USC and Michigan fans were in their shirtsleeves on that 72-degree afternoon. We were commenting on how such a beautiful day on national TV would exacerbate the problem of too many people wanting to live here. Then the 1979 Malibu earthquake struck and rolled through the stadium. Oh, good, we said after learning that it was mostly harmless. That should keep a lot of those viewers from moving here.”

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.