Newsletter: Essential California: One town’s experience with a border barrier

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


The small California border town of Jacumba Hot Springs got its border fence in the mid-1990s. And that barrier put a major dent in illegal immigration and drug smuggling. But it had another impact: The local business district was hit hard, because Mexicans could no longer come to town to shop. And residents said they lost their connection to the twin city on the other side of the border. Los Angeles Times

Fact-checking Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions’ attack on California and immigration policies. Politifact


— How California went from Proposition 187 to battling President Trump. Los Angeles Times

— San Diego is bracing for Trump’s arrival, with some supporters of the president looking forward to it. Los Angeles Times

Employers say they feel caught in the middle of the immigration battle between California and the federal government. New York Times

— It’s federal law versus state law. Who are the lawbreakers? Los Angeles Times

No charges for a former LAPD officer

Prosecutors declined Thursday to criminally charge a former Los Angeles police officer in the fatal shooting of a man near the Venice boardwalk — a decision that bucks an unprecedented call by Chief Charlie Beck to prosecute one of his own for a deadly on-duty shooting. Two years ago, Beck publicly said he believed Proctor should be criminally charged, marking the first time as chief he had suggested an officer be prosecuted in a fatal on-duty shooting. Los Angeles Times


On Olvera Street: Merchants at L.A.’s historic El Pueblo say Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plan to house homeless people nearby in trailers will drive away tourists and hurt their businesses. Los Angeles Times

And: More than half a century after the Mexican guestworker bracero program was implemented, and in the midst of a tense standoff between the state and the Trump administration over illegal immigration, Los Angeles is honoring braceros with a 19-foot statue that will be the centerpiece of a new plaza near Olvera Street. Los Angeles Times

Who were the Eastside 13? They were 13 men secretly indicted by a grand jury on June 1, 1968, on conspiracy charges stemming from the “East L.A. blowouts.” The walkouts kicked off on March 5, 1968, when students began protesting at Garfield High School, and spread to other campuses to decry the shortcomings of public schools in Los Angeles’ barrios. The walkouts are viewed as a turning point in the political development of the nation’s Mexican American community. Los Angeles Times

Reconciling the past: A former porn star is now a suburban mom in Irvine. “Where have I seen you before?” a few ask. Orange County Register

Tying the rooms together: A new hotel in Hawthorne is built of modular rooms that workers are pulling together into one complex. Daily Breeze


Fraud case: Los Angeles police arrested one of their retired colleagues on Thursday on suspicion of workers’ compensation fraud while enrolled in a controversial program that pays veteran cops and firefighters their salary and pension simultaneously for up to five years. Los Angeles Times

Too hot: Why San Francisco’s famed “hot cop” is leaving the city. SFGate


Inside the White House: UC Irvine professor Peter Navarro is poised to move up in the Trump administration, which has some in Washington terrified. Axios

Plus: How Navarro got President Trump to embrace tariffs. Wall Street Journal

Speaking out: Trump’s personal lawyer obtained a secret restraining order last week to block porn actress Stormy Daniels from speaking publicly about Trump’s alleged extramarital affair with her, according to Daniels’ attorney. Los Angeles Times

Plus: Does Daniels have a case? The New Yorker

Reprimanded: A legislative investigation found that state Sen. Bob Hertzberg on several occasions gave uninvited hugs that made people feel uncomfortable, but concluded that his hugging was not sexually motivated or, in most instances, unwanted. He received a letter of reprimand from the Senate Rules Committee. Los Angeles Times


At last: Why capturing two red foxes is such a big deal in California. Sacramento Bee

New troubles: The shoreline along the San Francisco Bay is sinking faster than experts thought. San Francisco Chronicle


Just asking: Did rich people not only ruin the wine industry but the Napa Valley as well? “These bottles are social entrées of a sort, often representing a quick, handy makeover.” The Atlantic

Still a force: When Mark Hamill showed up in Hollywood on Thursday to cement his star on the Walk of Fame, the Force was with him — along with a crowd of thousands. Though Los Angeles police don’t always need to conduct traffic control or shut down streets in the tourist-saturated district for Walk of Fame star ceremonies, Hamill is different. Los Angeles Times

Protest time: A group of workers from the Disneyland Resort waved signs, chanted and demonstrated outside Walt Disney Co.’s shareholders meeting in Houston on Thursday, demanding the company provide a “living wage.” Los Angeles Times

Sign of the times: Univision Communications Chief Executive Randy Falco is stepping down after nearly eight years — a move that underscores disarray within the nation’s largest Spanish-language media company. Los Angeles Times

Yum: Are Cambodian noodles the next big L.A. food trend? Orange County Register

And: Are the super-sized pupusas at a swap meet the best pupusas? L.A. Taco


Los Angeles area: partly cloudy and 73. San Diego: partly cloudy and 66. San Francisco area: partly cloudy and 61. Sacramento: partly cloudy and 69. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from David Hicks:

“It was April 1967, and a buddy and I were discharged from active duty on the East Coast. We had a month to return a rental car to San Francisco, free gas and a golden opportunity. Off we drove to Ft. Jackson in Columbia, S.C. to see my brother who had also been drafted. He would later be awarded a Silver Star equivalent unit citation by the Navy after only he and one other person in his Army unit survived an action to rescue some NVA-surrounded Marines. We filled our ’67 Mustang rental with gas and headed to New Orleans, Dallas, Salt Lake City and Reno — white with snow, so that you couldn’t see any centerline markers. At last we arrived home in California, surrounded by spring green grasses as we crested a hill and beheld the sight of San Francisco Bay. I’d never noticed how beautiful the Bay was before that day — stunning!”

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.