Newsletter: Essential California: How high rollers can fly at LAX


Why is President Trump praising autocrats, despots and dictators? Going to LAX soon? Watch out for the airport’s massive airline relocation. What’s the best way to help the homeless? Men rule the fictional world in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale," but

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, May 3, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Flying for the rich and famous

LAX’s new private terminal for the rich and famous makes flying easier, but at a steep price. L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez went to check out the rarefied atmosphere of air travel for the wealthy. “I walked out the door of the plane and there was a guy standing there with a little sign, come with me,” one movie producer told Steve. Los Angeles Times


A sigh of relief

After a deal was struck in the early hours Tuesday morning and a strike was averted, a sense of relief spread through Hollywood. The film and television industry was terrified that a work stoppage would have had a widespread impact throughout the business. Los Angeles Times

Plus: Florists, prop houses and other Hollywood vendors are gleefully shelving their austerity plans after the WGA strike is averted. Los Angeles Times

A new way to address homelessness


A new and largely unproven approach is emerging as a major element of Los Angeles County’s homeless initiative. Those drafting plans for the sales tax funds approved by voters in March have proposed spending more than $40 million over the next three years to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. Los Angeles Times

No deal for Target

A judge has delivered a new legal defeat to Los Angeles elected officials, striking down the city’s approval of a Hollywood Target shopping center for the second time in three years. Los Angeles Times



Healthcare shuffle: In a surprise shake-up Tuesday, Molina Healthcare Inc. — a major player in Obamacare health insurance markets — ousted its two top executives, both sons of the firm’s founder. The company cited poor financial results. The growing, Long Beach-based health insurer has nearly 5 million customers. Los Angeles Times

Earthquake warning funded: The budget deal reached in Congress this week penciled in $10.2 million for an earthquake early warning system for California and the rest of the West Coast for the budget year that ends in September. Los Angeles Times

Who needs a car to get to prom? Students at Golden Valley High School in Santa Clarita got all dressed up and jumped on the Metrolink train to get to their prom at Madame Tussauds in Hollywood. Los Angeles Times

More trucks, more problems: With the Southern California economy improving, there are more commercial trucks on the road. There are also more collisions involving these trucks. KPCC


A fight to get to the sign: Groups of local homeowners and Griffith Park preservationists are mounting a legal battle over L.A.'s closure of the gate to a trail to the Hollywood sign. Los Angeles Times


Blocking that wall: In California, state lawmakers are debating whether to blacklist contractors who help build the president’s proposed border wall. Other states are doing the same. NPR



Sessions versus the state: On several fronts, U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions could be the man who changes the course of policy debates in California. Sacramento Bee

Settlement reached: Airbnb agreed on Monday to settle a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco, ending litigation that could have stymied its efforts to grow or even go public. Los Angeles Times

A greener state: California would completely phase out the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity under a new proposal from Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León. The legislation would speed up plans to increase reliance on renewable sources such as solar and wind, increasing the state’s 2030 target from 50% to 60%. Los Angeles Times



The 9th Circuit under fire: The San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has become a key foil for President Trump. He’s erroneously blamed the court for a different court’s decision to block his sanctuary city order and has openly contemplated breaking up the judicial body. This plays into a belief that the court has become more liberal. The reality is that the court is more conservative than many people think. Los Angeles Times

Found guilty: A San Diego man was found guilty of murdering his wealthy Texas boyfriend in Mexico by stabbing him 24 times. The killer stood to inherit millions if his boyfriend died. San Diego Union-Tribune

Arms seizure: Federal agents seized about five dozen firearms worth tens of thousands of dollars from a high-ranking Pasadena police officer during a raid earlier this year. Los Angeles Times

No-contest plea: The man who killed seven people during a 2012 shooting rampage at Oikos University in Oakland pleaded no contest Tuesday to all charges stemming from the rampage. San Francisco Chronicle



Be careful: It’s rare that you’ll ever witness one, but here are the two places in California to see the most shark attacks. Sacramento Bee


The British connection: A British television station is looking at the unlikely similarities between the North West of England and the North West of California. For the first time, there will be direct flights between San Francisco and Manchester. ITV


Living it up: The Eagles band has filed a lawsuit against a Mexican hotel for using the name Hotel California, arguably the band’s most famous song, without permission. Reuters

From Cairo to Silver Lake: Street artist Ganzeer used to be considered the “Banksy” of Egypt. Now he lives in Los Angeles and has released a comic book series called “The Solar Grid.” LA Weekly

Snubbed: This year, the James Beard Awards, the equivalent of the Oscars for chefs, shut out Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times



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


Today’s California Memory comes from Hyra George:

“I was born in the Bronx and raised on Long Island. Aside from visits to the Bronx Zoo I only had exposure to local urban wildlife, which is why, when living in San Pedro in 1990, I called the police to report what I presumed was a zoo’s aviary breach! Dozens of bright green parrots were causing a commotion in the cypress trees in our yard! The officer calmly explained that they were flocks of parrots that inhabit the area. A few weeks later a peacock strutted down my street! This time I checked first with a neighbor, who explained that peacocks live on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Certainly, there’s more spectacular urban wildlife here in the Golden State!”


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.