Newsletter: Essential California: Deaths, suicide attempts at a California immigration detention center


President Trump warned North Korea to stop making nuclear threats. Disney is ending its distribution agreement with Netflix. Glen Campbell, the Grammy-winning country-pop singer, guitarist and TV personality, died at 81. L.A. to make sure air filter

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, Aug. 9, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Behind the wire

Since 2015, five immigrant detainees have died in the Adelanto Detention Facility in San Bernardino County. Located in the high desert 85 miles northeast of Los Angeles, the facility can house nearly 2,000 men and women. Officials say more than 73,000 detainees have passed through since it opened in 2011. Among those held there are asylum seekers, people caught in immigration sweeps and those identified by authorities as potentially deportable after landing in jail. Los Angeles Times


Police drones?

The LAPD wants to launch a drone program that was grounded even before it began amid a public backlash at the idea of police monitoring civilians from the skies. But as law enforcement embraces the technology to help find missing hikers and safely watch armed suspects, the proliferation of police drones has set off heated debate over balancing public safety with privacy concerns. Los Angeles Times

A slightly different battle with D.C.

It sued for Clinton’s emails. Now the conservative-leaning organization Judicial Watch wants information on California voters. The effort seeks an explanation for what its attorneys contend are official records that don’t match the group’s estimates of the legally eligible voting population in 11 counties, including Los Angeles. “We want the actual data,” said Robert Popper, an attorney for the Washington, D.C.-based organization. Los Angeles Times


Drama, drama! The Santa Monica Symphony’s choice of a conservative talk show host as its guest conductor has roiled the classical music community and led some members of the symphony to declare that they will not perform because of Dennis Prager’s views on same-sex marriage, among other subjects. Los Angeles Times

Luring you to Culver: Culver City is hoping that its $300-million Ivy Station complex will lure people who don’t want to live in urban downtown. Los Angeles Times

Freeway air: Los Angeles will strengthen its building inspections to begin tracking whether air filtration systems required to protect residents from traffic pollution are being installed in new homes near freeways. Los Angeles Times



No wall builders here: Los Angeles lawmakers are pushing for city contractors to reveal whether they are helping to build a wall along the Mexican border, arguing that Angelenos deserve to know if firms are working on the polarizing project. Los Angeles Times


Looking forward: With her contract extended until 2020, L.A. Unified School District Supt. Michelle King laid out her priorities Tuesday morning in her State of the District speech, repeatedly mentioning her goal of 100% graduation. Los Angeles Times


Coming soon, maybe: The U.S. Marine Corps for the first time is eyeing a plan to let women attend what has been male-only combat training in Southern California. Associated Press

Sweet gig:Nicholas Dirks, the former UC Berkeley chancellor who stepped down earlier this year amid a string of controversies, will receive more than $400,000 during a year off before he returns to teaching next fall.” The Mercury News

More beds, more graduates: New construction in the CSU system is adding beds so more students can live on campus. Experts say this could improve their chances of finishing college in four years, along with less costly academic steps such as improved advising and providing more classes.” EdSource



Some problem numbers: A report by the principal watchdog for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department found that the agency uses a flawed data collection process that results in official statistics about violence in the county jails that are unreliable and in some cases inaccurate. Los Angeles Times

On probation: Two former Kern County sheriff’s deputies avoided prison time Monday for stealing and selling marijuana that was seized during drug busts. Los Angeles Times

Jury decision: A former Clovis resident who sued her Fresno plastic surgeon after photographs of her breasts surfaced on the internet was awarded just $18,000 in damages Monday by a Fresno County Superior Court jury. She had sought $300,000. Fresno Bee



Turning a page:Kern County will end its decade-long legal battle with the City of Los Angeles over the land application of treated sewage sludge.” The Bakersfield Californian


Over in Berlin: A California brewer has found success in Germany of all places—investing $29 million in a brewery in Berlin. Los Angeles Times

Great photos: Dozens of dogs and more than 1,000 people showed up for the second annual World Dog Surfing Championships Saturday in Pacifica. KQED


Some perspective: Since I’m not a native Californian, I’ve long referred to myself as a lifer, as if I were riding out a sentence of some kind. Call it reluctance, call it the transplant’s sense of exile, of having one foot in the present and the other in the past.” Los Angeles Times

Weekend plans? Here’s a map of Los Angeles’ weird roadside architecture. Look at it, but not while you’re driving. Curbed Los Angeles


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



Today’s California memory comes from Mark Cerulli:

“I fondly remember visiting Griffith Observatory, not realizing they have hardly any parking (except for vacant rows inexplicably barricaded off for ‘VIPs’). I pulled into a red zone so my wife — who had recently had abdominal surgery — could use the restroom and take a quick look at the view while I remained behind the wheel with the engine running. Imagine my surprise when I look in the rearview mirror and see a hulking, frowning park ranger writing me up without saying a word. (Strange, as I later heard him telling other drivers to move — warning for them, instant ticket for me.) Guess it was because I was sitting there in a nice car. So I get my $93 ticket in the mail and went through L.A.’s spectacularly flawed ‘pay first/appeal later’ system. At the end of it my appeal was denied! Surprise, Surprise. (The additional $2 ‘convenience fee’ was a nice touch.) And that was the last time I ever visited Griffith Observatory.”

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.