Newsletter: Essential California: Conservative California pushes back on marijuana


Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, Feb. 28, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Calaveras County bans pot farms

The place in California famous for the gold rush was poised to have a “green rush” thanks to marijuana legalization. Growers moved into the region, hoping to serve demand for pot. But residents in this conservative slice of Northern California are rebelling, and officials have told the growers they have to go. The debate reflects how despite California’s pot legalization, some parts of the state are just saying no. Los Angeles Times


Trump gets a win — and an itinerary

A San Diego federal judge — who gained national fame when President Trump slammed him — ruled Tuesday in favor of the president, concluding the administration did not abuse its discretion in waiving environmental laws in its rush to begin border wall projects in Southern California. The order gives a green light to current and future barrier construction. Los Angeles Times

— Trump’s first presidential touchdown in California will be to his border wall prototype in San Diego. It ends a notable snub of the state and its 40 million residents: Since Franklin Roosevelt’s first term, when presidents still traveled by rail, no chief executive has gone so long in office without visiting the state. Los Angeles Times

Immigration sweeps

Federal agents arrested more than 150 people suspected of violating immigration laws during a three-day sweep across Northern California, authorities said Tuesday. About half of those arrested have criminal convictions. A top Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said he thought others were able to elude arrest after the Oakland mayor alerted the public about the upcoming raids. Los Angeles Times

— Video is circulating of ICE agents arresting a man while he was gardening in his backyard in Napa. ABC News


-- ICE made arrests in recent days in the Central Valley. Sacramento Bee


Evacuations urged: Authorities are urging residents to evacuate in parts of Santa Barbara County ahead of a winter storm expected to hit the area Thursday. The Sheriff’s Office recommended that residents in parts of Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria evacuate starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday. The county has created an interactive map that shows which neighborhoods are most at risk. Los Angeles Times

Plus: Southern California got some rain and snow, and more is on the way. Los Angeles Times

Short-term rentals: As the popularity of platforms such as Airbnb spreads to unincorporated parts of L.A. County, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to start looking into ways to regulate it. Los Angeles Times

The real test: Is the homelessness breakthrough in Orange County something real, or a temporary fix that will fall apart when the reporters and cameras move elsewhere? KCRW


The antihero: The infamous 1993 movie “Falling Down” remains one of the most debated portrayals of L.A. Two decades later, does the DNA of “D-Fens” still shape the city today? L.A. Taco


More DiFi: How Sen. Dianne Feinstein became so hated by California’s hard left. It began long before Trump. The Economist

Plus: The Wall Street Journal editorial page says the Feinstein snub shows California has its own left-wing tea party. Wall Street Journal

Now seeking students! Enrollment is down so much in Tustin schools that officials are luring students from other districts. Orange County Register

Head-on collision: California is cracking down on big-rig pollution and is picking a fight with Trump. Sacramento Bee


Rules of the road: A big step forward in California for driverless cars. New York Times


Found! A car said to have once belonged to Amelia Earhart was stolen in Orange County but later recovered in Los Angeles. Orange County Register

Lockdown device: A carpenter invented a special lock for schools in Palos Verdes; now it’s getting a bigger look after Florida school shooting. Daily Breeze


That’s real estate: San Francisco in 2018 is a strange place. A onetime gay bar has been converted to a $6-million single-family home. Curbed San Francisco


Dignified death: Alice lived on the streets of San Francisco and became something of a legend. Her death was marked with dignity. San Francisco Chronicle

Coming soon: Fitness classes in L.A. that give you an extra boost, an electric shock to be exact. The New Yorker

Complicated matters: Can Comcast derail the Disney-Fox deal? Wall Street Journal

America’s Finest City: The TV writer behind “Parks and Rec” and “The Good Place” is setting his next show in San Diego. Has he finally found a setting stranger than fiction? San Diego Union-Tribune

Plus: SeaWorld’s CEO is out after failing to deliver a rebound in sliding attendance and revenues that have dogged the company years after the release of the anti-animal captivity film “Blackfish.” Los Angeles Times

Theme park dystopia: Half a decade after “The Hunger Games” catapulted Lionsgate into the ranks of the major studios at the box office, the film and TV company is betting on teenage and young adult audiences to turn it into a major player in another business — theme parks. Los Angeles Times



Los Angeles area: mostly sunny and 62. San Diego: sunny and 60. San Francisco area: scattered showers and 54. Sacramento: scattered showers and 55. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Arturo Zendejas:

“When my dad was a teenager in the 1920s, he worked as a laborer on the construction of the beautiful City Hall in Pasadena. Shortly after, Pablo Zendejas moved to the Midwest, where he lived for most of his life. He always looked back to the Pasadena experience with fondness and pride, feeling deeply connected to California. When, at old age, he was ready to leave the cold weather, there was no doubt California would become his new home. As soon as he arrived in 1988, one of the first places he wanted to see was Pasadena’s City Hall. Upon seeing it, my dad became sad, because it didn’t look new as he had remembered it. Although he admired its beauty and how well it had been maintained, he could tell the structure had aged, much like he had felt. From that point on, my dad’s health deteriorated, and he passed away of natural causes in L.A. in March 1989.”

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.