Newsletter: Essential California: Is Disneyland wearing out its welcome in Anaheim?
NFL players on Sunday made a point of demonstrating during the national anthem. The Trump administration announced a new travel ban Sunday. What would happen if a war broke out between the U.S. and North Korea? The Mitchell Caverns in the Mojave Des
Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, Sept. 25, and here’s what’s happening across California:
Is Disneyland wearing out its welcome in Anaheim?
Over the last two decades or so, as Disney’s annual profit has soared, the company has secured subsidies, incentives, rebates and protections from future taxes in Anaheim that, in aggregate, would be worth more than $1 billion. But the city that is home to the Happiest Place on Earth is not happy at all with this arrangement. Now, for the first time in Disneyland’s 62-year history, the entertainment giant is facing serious opposition from Anaheim politicians, who feel that the recent guarantees in particular were too much. Despite the tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue, some of the city’s working-class residents said they don’t see enough of the upside. Los Angeles Times
UC pensions soar, and students pay the price
As parents and students start writing checks for the first in-state tuition increase in seven years at the University of California, they hope the extra money will buy a better education. But a big chunk of that new money — perhaps tens of millions of dollars — will go to pay for the faculty’s increasingly generous retirements, a Times investigation found. Last year, more than 5,400 UC retirees received pensions over $100,000. The number of UC retirees collecting six-figure pensions has increased 60% since 2012. Los Angeles Times
Certain L.A. communities face heightened West Nile risk
West Nile virus has killed three people in Los Angeles County this year. It’s the deadliest mosquito-borne disease in California. Communities across L.A. County are home to people who’ve contracted the virus as well as the mosquitoes that transmit it. But residents of Los Feliz, Glendale, Atwater Village and the San Fernando Valley are in particular danger this year, experts say, because so many cases have been reported in those areas. Los Angeles Times
Tragic lesson: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the significant destruction and death toll in last week’s earthquake in Mexico should prompt owners and local governments across California to get more buildings retrofitted to withstand quakes as soon as possible. Los Angeles Times
Big exit: Dr. Mitchell Katz, tapped by Los Angeles County seven years ago to lead the nation’s second-largest public healthcare system out of a period of instability and mismanagement, has announced he will leave his post at the end of the year. Los Angeles Times
Trump and the NFL: The debate over President Trump’s criticism of NFL players who don’t stand during the national anthem spilled over Sunday into the parking lot of the StubHub Center in Carson, where Los Angeles Chargers fans were gathered to watch the team battle the Kansas City Chiefs. “Our president should be spending his time on more important things,” was the refrain from many in the heart of blue California. But there were some differences of opinion. “It’s not a black-and-white issue. It’s about the American flag and what we stand for,” said one fan. Los Angeles Times
Plus: A day of protest around the NFL. Los Angeles Times
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Bernie in red country: Maybe a tribute to Bernie Sanders is of little surprise in California, the liberal bastion that President Trump once said “in many ways is out of control.” But this is Plumas County, part of a bloc of red and rural Northern California counties that voted for Trump in November. So someone who still feels the Bern here is likely to stick out. Los Angeles Times
Crash and burn: How Milo Yiannopoulos’ “Coachella of Conservatism” fizzled into an “expensive photo op” at Berkeley. Los Angeles Times
A major hit: California, which has used the Affordable Care Act to extend health protections to millions of its residents and cut in half the number of people without health insurance, stands to lose more than any other state under the latest Republican plan to roll back the 2010 law. Los Angeles Times
Missed warnings: Critics say San Diego could have prevented the deadly hepatitis outbreak by taking homeless services more seriously and listening to the earlier warnings. San Diego Union-Tribune
Big question: In the Central Valley, teen birth rates have jumped in some of the poorest communities. Governments are struggling to deal with the consequences. Fresno Bee
CRIME AND COURTS
Risky bill? What seems like progressive California legislation on sexual assault could have an unfair impact on young African Americans. New York Times
On stage: Actor and spoken-word performer Alex Alpharaoh, 34, tells his story of being a young immigrant in the country illegally. Los Angeles Times
“Jaws” app: A high-tech shark warning system is coming to the Newport Beach coast, and eventually it might be available as an app for surfers and swimmers. Los Angeles Times
Water rankings: Check out the agencies that flunked clean-water tests. Sacramento Bee
Theme park in the Sierra? A roller-coaster style ride at Squaw Valley overlooking Lake Tahoe could bring tourists, but environmentalists are wary. SF Gate
What is a river? Like all things water, the definition of a river is a tricky thing in California. Boom California
Whale of a tale: The famous whale license plate is seen by some as one of California’s most successful environmental awareness efforts. San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Dino-Cal: A year after adopting a state fabric, California is the latest state to get its own official dinosaur, although the honor comes about 66 million years too late to directly benefit the honoree. The designated creature is Augustynolophus morrisi, which, according to a bill signed Saturday by Gov. Jerry Brown, is “a unique dinosaur that has only been found in California.” Los Angeles Times
Mission shift: For generations, it was a ritual of the California elementary school: Building a replica of a mission. Not anymore, thanks to politics and practicality. Daily Breeze
Old town: How did they create the futuristic look of Los Angeles in the original “Blade Runner”? By starting with a set of old New York. Vanity Fair
CBS’ gamble: Can the networks succeed in the competitive streaming service game? CBS soon will answer that question by making its big-budget bet, “Star Trek: Discovery,” available exclusively on its All Access streaming service. The pilot episode aired on the CBS broadcast network Sunday night, but after that, fans must sign up for the streaming service to see subsequent episodes. Los Angeles Times
Shock value? Does the kinky Folsom Street Fair, a staple but no longer a secret of San Francisco, still have the power to shock? San Francisco Chronicle
Los Angeles area: Sunny and 88. San Diego: Sunny and 81. San Francisco area: Sunny and 74. Sacramento: Sunny and 89. More weather is here.
This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California: Rep. Doris Matsui (Sept. 25, 1944), Lakers boss Jeanie Buss (Sept. 26, 1961), UC Berkeley professor and Nobel laureate in economics Oliver E. Williamson (Sept. 27, 1932) and USC President C.L. Max Nikias (Sept. 30, 1952).
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.