Newsletter: Essential California: O.C. homeless evicted from camps, but with nowhere to go

A man holds his dog as officials from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department speak to him about the county’s plans to clear the Santa Ana Trail of homeless encampments.
((Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times) )

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, Jan. 23, and here’s what’s happening across California:


For the last few months, Orange County has been methodically and deliberately clearing the massive homeless encampments along the banks of the Santa Ana River. They started at the Pacific Ocean and moved north. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department on Monday started clearing the last and largest encampment near Angel Stadium in Anaheim. Officials estimate that 500 to 1,000 people live there. Los Angeles Times

Plus: The people living along the Santa Ana River, including three generations of one family, wonder where they’ll go. Los Angeles Times


And: San Francisco or Mumbai? A United Nations envoy encounters homeless life in California. The Guardian

In L.A.: The annual count of Los Angeles County’s homeless population will begin Tuesday night in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys. Los Angeles Times

California vs. Trump

A year into his administration, President Trump’s disregard of the nation’s most populous state has fueled fears about his impact while spurring a resistance movement that has put California in the forefront of Democratic efforts to take control of Congress in November’s midterm elections. California has taken on the role played by Texas during the Obama years: trying various means to thwart the will of the federal government in a clash over state and national preeminence that is as old as the United States itself. Los Angeles Times

Plus: California lawmakers are angling for another fight with the Trump administration, this time to revive federal net neutrality rules that they say are crucial to a fair, open and free internet. Los Angeles Times

Big change for solar power


The Trump administration announced Monday that it will impose hefty tariffs on the cheap, imported panels that have driven the rapid expansion of solar power in the United States, a move that industry groups warn will slow the spread of renewable energy and cost thousands of jobs. California, where the renewables industry has taken off, will be among the states hardest hit by the new levies. Los Angeles Times


The new CDL: What was it like to get a California Real ID driver’s license on the first day it’s offered? Not a problem, as it turned out. Los Angeles Times

Smoke’s up! California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control has issued its first two adult-use temporary retailer licenses within Los Angeles city limits. Los Angeles Times

Interesting story: A Mexican actor became a worker making less than $5 a day for art, theater and understanding poverty. Los Angeles Times

The future: Robots that steal port jobs also fight climate change. KPCC



Protests at the Magic Kingdom: “Dreamers” temporarily blocked Disneyland’s entrance as an act of civil disobedience. Los Angeles Times

Sticks and stones: Smugglers are using rocks to attack Border Patrol agents. San Diego Union-Tribune


Take the train: Gov. Jerry Brown is in danger of becoming remembered for his “boondoggle bullet train to nowhere,” argues columnist George Skelton. Los Angeles Times

Watch: Hot takes from the new USC/LAT national poll. Los Angeles Times


On the horizon: “Driven by antipathy toward President Trump and concerns about immigration, a record number of Latinos say they are planning to vote in California’s June 5 primary, according to a new survey.” San Francisco Chronicle


Suspect arrested: Authorities arrested a 29-year-old man suspected in the fatal shooting of a 3-year-old boy in a Compton parking lot over the weekend. Los Angeles Times

Back at work: More than a year after a suspect hit him with a skateboard and inflicted a serious head injury, Officer Robby Chon was back to work Monday. The Mercury News

TBT: Check out this historic look back on when Reagan’s war on pot came to California. Washington Post



The aftermath in Montecito: “Apart from the sounds of nature — the muffled hoots of the owls come to nest in the woods out back of my house and the chirrup of the tree frogs enlivened by the first rain here in nearly a year — there is the delicate, almost apologetic beeping of the heavy equipment brought in to clear away the debris,” writes novelist T. Coraghessan Boyle. The New Yorker

Plus: A river of debris wrecked Montecito. Could it happen again? Los Angeles Times


The reviews are in! “Candide” on the coast, Part 1: San Francisco finds a spiritual glow in Leonard Bernstein’s music. Los Angeles Times

Nice work: “According to the latest numbers from the Irvine hamburger chain In-N-Out, the average yearly pay of its restaurant managers is now more than $160,000. That’s roughly triple the industry average.” The California Sun

Exciting: The Jungle Cruise at Disneyland has reopened with a brand-new dock. Orange County Register


RIP: Romana Acosta Bañuelos, the first Latina U.S. treasurer and a Mexican American pioneer, has died at age 92. Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles area: Sunny, 74, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 75, Wednesday. San Diego: Sunny, 70, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 73, Wednesday. San Francisco area: Partly cloudy, 53, Tuesday. Showers, 55, Wednesday. Sacramento: Partly cloudy, 55, Tuesday. Showers, 56, Wednesday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Vince Faustina:

“In the 1960s, I was in the Navy Reserves in Los Angeles. Every summer we had to do two weeks of active duty for training. The training was at Skaggs Island near Mare Island. Four of us would drive up taking the slow but cooler Route 101, or the hot but faster 99. The Navy training was Monday through Friday, with weekends off. The first weekend, we would go into San Francisco and irritate the locals by calling the city ‘Frisco,’ but have a great time in Chinatown and at many a Golden Gate Park concert. The last weekend, we would go to the Napa-area wineries, load up the car trunk and head back to L.A.”


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.