Newsletter: Essential California: Some of your favorite beaches will be hit hard by global warming

A sign lets visitors know that this beach-side parking lot near the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach, Ca
Flooding puts a parking lot near the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach out of commission. A new study finds that rising sea levels will double the risk of flooding along the West Coast and elsewhere.
(Mark Rightmire / Associated Press)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, May 19, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Global warming will hit Southern California beaches hard

The effects of rising oceans on coastal flooding may be even worse than we thought. Scientists have found that a mere 10 to 20 centimeters of sea-level rise — which is expected by 2050 — will more than double the frequency of serious flooding events in many parts of the globe, including along the California coastline. The southern portion of Southern California may experience the brunt of sea-level rise in the region, including beaches from around Point Loma all the way up to Laguna Beach, including La Jolla, Del Mar and Oceanside. Los Angeles Times


Democrats gunning for seats in Orange County

As President Trump continues to sputter and his unpopularity climbs, Democrats in Orange County feel as if the wind is at their backs. They think they have a shot at notching some wins on what’s traditionally the GOP’s turf. “This has been a wake-up call for me that it’s very important, that you need to vote locally,” Catherine Nadeau, 48, said as she and two dozen district residents waved signs about climate change outside Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s office on a recent sunny Tuesday. Los Angeles Times

Teachers unions are picking up the pieces

Charter school advocates have gained control of the LAUSD board, and that’s prompting some hard questions for members of teachers unions. One widely expected outcome is that charter schools will continue to grow in number and influence. That might be a good thing for many students and families, but it’s foreboding for the teachers union — and possibly other local public-employee unions. “This is a monumental shift,” said Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, a statewide union. Los Angeles Times


More money for the streets

The Los Angeles City Council voted Thursday to approve a $9.2-billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year, striking a last-minute deal to provide funding for street safety initiatives and repairs to badly damaged roads. “It’s been unfortunate that the debate has somewhat devolved into this binary choice — that it’s either street construction or Vision Zero,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, who heads the council’s Budget and Finance Committee. “It’s my contention that there is a significant overlap of mission between those two.” Los Angeles Times


Stadium building delayed: The Inglewood football stadium’s opening will be delayed a year because record rainfall has slowed construction. “The continuing rains really knocked us for a loop,” developer Bob Aylesworth said. Los Angeles Times

Charter allegations: The head of a now-defunct South L.A. charter school has been charged with embezzlement and money laundering, accused of funneling roughly $200,000 from the school to a company she owned, prosecutors said. Los Angeles Times

About that house fight: A little house in Costa Mesa has triggered a 20-year war between its owner and the city. The Daily Pilot

Struggling newborns: The number of babies born affected by drugs has nearly doubled over seven years to more than 3,630 in 2015 in California, according to state public health officials. Sacramento Bee



MS-13 stays in the news: President Trump has cited the MS-13 gang as he continues to call for an immigration crackdown, but in a recent gang sweep it was others here illegally who helped police bring down the gang. Los Angeles Times

What the law will do: Here’s how becoming a “sanctuary state” could affect California’s economy. CNN


No home-baked “hash oil”: Alarmed by several explosions in residential areas caused by drug-processing labs, the state Assembly on Thursday voted to ban home manufacturing of marijuana concentrates using volatile solvents. Los Angeles Times

More family visits: State lawmakers on Wednesday voted in favor of crafting a budget proposal that would require all but eight California county jails to provide spaces for inmates to visit their families in person. Los Angeles Times

Audit back-and-forth: Many of the University of California’s regents rallied around President Janet Napolitano, who came under attack by legislators after a critical state audit, and said they would implement all 33 of the auditor’s recommended reforms. Los Angeles Times


Crazy case: Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals barred the Orange County district attorney’s office from pursuing first-degree murder charges in a case because of “serious misconduct” by a former prosecutor and his team. The Voice of OC


New law school dean: Erwin Chemerinsky, an influential legal scholar, author and founding dean of UC Irvine School of Law, was named the dean of UC Berkeley School of Law, officials said Wednesday. San Francisco Chronicle

Watch out for those bikes: Motorcycle thefts are on the rise, and California, for the second year in a row, is the top state for stolen bikes. Los Angeles Times


A wine fight: California winemakers would like President Trump to zoom in on another perceived trade problem: the wine deficit. The Financial Times


Mmmm, chicken: Here’s how a bistro in Beverly Hills makes some of the best fried chicken in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times

What to do about that sign? The Hollywood Sign has always been a flashpoint for the community living near it. One writer proposes a dramatic solution that would serve people wanting to visit while also accommodating the locals and their gripes. Curbed LA

Dangerous cheese: A Sacramento County woman who drizzled nacho cheese from a gas station dispenser onto her Doritos has been hospitalized for nearly a month after contracting botulism, a serious illness caused by bacteria that can cause paralysis, breathing difficulty and, potentially, death. Los Angeles Times

Transforming a white elephant: Architect Kulapat Yantrasast was intent on preserving the history of the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple in his redesign of the space for the new Marciano Art Foundation. Los Angeles Times

It’s not alone: The new Marciano museum is one of several new arts institutions in development that have opted to reimagine existing buildings rather than build sleek new ones. New York Times


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


Today’s California memory comes from Magdaleno Mora:

“I remember when our family would spend summer vacations in Yosemite National Park. Traveling through the I-5 up the Grapevine through the farmlands in the valley of multiple farms and grassland. As kids we would play the out-of-state license plate punching game. When we would see an out-of-state license plate, we’d scream ‘out of state’ and punch a favorite sibling in the arm. At the same time, we looked for all-you-can-drink cider stands. They had several flavors of cider at these roadside shops, but mostly I remember the apple cider. About halfway to Yosemite, we would stop at a McDonald’s and buy seven hamburgers for $1. Then the winding road to Yosemite. Here comes the cider in play or the hamburgers. Hopefully no discharge from the car sickness. Then the horn honking in the tunnel and the great view of the valley floor.”

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.