Newsletter: Essential California: The race for California governor could be close


Senate Republicans called on Roy Moore to abandon his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Alabama. In May, a slope of mountain collapsed off Highway 1 overlooking the Big Sur coast. Kevin Spacey’s career has been sent into a stunning free fall. After 4

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, Nov. 10, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Checking in on state politics

Californians overwhelmingly support Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s reelection bid, and she is far better known than her top rival, Kevin de León, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. Voters are more divided in the governor’s race, creating a closer contest between Democrats Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa. Newsom leads Villaraigosa by more than 10 percentage points in an election that is shaping up to be competitive, the USC/Times poll found. Newsom, the state’s lieutenant governor, has dominated early polls and fundraising. Los Angeles Times


A growing outbreak

California health officials have been forced to step up their prevention efforts as new fronts emerge in the battle against the state’s massive hepatitis A outbreak. The outbreak that began in San Diego has already killed 20 people and sickened another 643 in California, most of whom were homeless. But in recent weeks, cases have begun to surge in Los Angeles County among gay and bisexual men who aren’t homeless. An LAPD officer who works in skid row was also recently infected with the virus, according to the police union. Los Angeles Times

And here’s the GOP Senate tax plan

The U.S. Senate’s plan to scrap income and property tax deductions would be a huge blow to Californians. With the Senate GOP’s unveiling of its tax plan, key differences with the House version became apparent. Among the biggest potential losers in both plans are residents in California and other high-cost states, who rely heavily on itemized deductions for state, local and property taxes. Los Angeles Times



A long fall: Kevin Spacey’s unprecedented fall from grace is testing a stunned Hollywood. Los Angeles Times

More accusations: Comic Louis C.K. is the latest artist to be ensnared in allegations of sexual misconduct, joining a growing list of Hollywood power players including Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner and James Toback, among others. Los Angeles Times

Task force: Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey announced the creation of a special task force for examining the allegations of sex abuse roiling Hollywood. Los Angeles Times



“Dreamer” arrested: A 23-year-old man who sued the Trump administration over his deportation to Mexico but later dropped the suit was arrested early this week after illegally reentering the country for a second time, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Los Angeles Times


Harassment in Sacramento: The California Legislature has investigated 31 allegations of sexual harassment since 2006, according to brief summaries released without more detailed information on Thursday. Los Angeles Times


Plus: “California Sen. Tony Mendoza fired three aides in September as allegations were reported to the Senate Rules Committee that the senator repeatedly invited home a young woman who wanted a job and employed a district director with a felony record.” Sacramento Bee

More competitive seats: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Thursday that it’s adding Northern California Rep. Tom McClintock, a conservative Republican, to its list of targets in next year’s midterm elections. Los Angeles Times

Delays! A complicated subway project designed to seamlessly connect three rail lines in downtown Los Angeles will open a year later than expected, despite efforts to make up for time lost during construction, L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said Tuesday. Los Angeles Times



VA fraud alleged: A Santa Monica parking lot operator was arrested and charged with bilking the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs out of $11 million in a bribery scheme centered on leases at its Los Angeles campuses. Los Angeles Times

Reforms wanted: The American Civil Liberties Union has called for major reforms in the Bakersfield Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, releasing a scathing report that detailed repeated allegations of excessive force and the misuse of police dogs to injure and intimidate suspects. Los Angeles Times

A wild chase: A woman in a stolen U-Haul led police on a wild chase through downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, during which she drove into a pedestrian produce market and rammed a police car. Los Angles Times

See you in court: A lawsuit filed by a California Highway Patrol officer is alleging discrimination and harassment in his Central California station over his requests for leave to serve in the Air National Guard. Los Angeles Times



What they knew and when they knew? Amid mounting cancellations by performers and lost business, SeaWorld executives revealed in internal emails that the 2013 “Blackfish” documentary was affecting revenues — long before they publicly acknowledged that the controversy was harming the company. Los Angeles Times


A legend passes: Japanese American National Museum founder and Little Tokyo pioneer Bruce Kaji has died at 91. Los Angeles Times


Stores closing: Macy’s Inc. plans to close its store at Los Angeles’ Westside Pavilion mall, as well as two others in California, the retail giant said as it grapples with consumers’ increasing shift to online shopping. Los Angeles Times

Season begins: The specter of an FBI investigation is tempering the start of the season, but USC’s basketball team thinks it has the potential to make magic this season. Los Angeles Times

Hidden gem: Check out Rio California Café — a hidden Brazilian restaurant in Oakland’s hidden neighborhood. Berkeleyside

Cool story: Here’s how a retro-futurist spends three days in L.A. Atlas Obscura


New building alert: The L.A. Philharmonic has hired Frank Gehry to design a permanent home for music director Gustavo Dudamel’s YOLA youth education project in Inglewood. It’s part of the L.A. Phil’s upcoming centennial celebration. Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles area: partly cloudy, 69, Friday; partly cloudy, 70, Saturday. San Diego: partly cloudy, 67, Friday; partly cloudy, 68, Saturday. San Francisco area: cloudy, 62, Friday; partly cloudy, 60, Saturday. Sacramento: cloudy, 63, Friday; partly cloudy, 62, Saturday. More weather is here.



Today’s California memory comes from Jean Wolff:

“White carnations remind me of my grandmother, who lived in San Francisco on Telegraph Hill. I’d drive up to visit her from Santa Cruz County’s redwoods and oceans, and stop to get flowers on the way. It was like taking coals to Newcastle — Nonie was an incredible gardener. She found out she had to go to work when she was 60. She had never worked. Born in 1898, she had no college education and was raised with white gloves, although her mother worked as a physician at the turn of the 20th century and saw patients on their lawn after the 1906 earthquake. Nonie told the story that, when faced with having to find a job, she’d sit on her bed in the early morning, drinking her coffee, looking out at the San Francisco Bay, and somehow dig down deep for courage. She did not call it praying — she was not religious, and was a third-generation San Francisco Unitarian. But dig down she did, and Nonie eventually developed her own business teaching gardening classes. Her classes thrived. Today there is a small garden named after her in Golden Gate Park.”

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.