Newsletter: Essential California: Calling the California National Guard

Gov. Jerry Brown
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Thursday, April 12, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Gov. Jerry Brown agreed on Wednesday to expand the California National Guard’s efforts on crime and drug issues that cross the state’s border with Mexico, but insisted troops would not be used to enforce immigration directives from President Trump. “This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life,” Brown wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis. Los Angeles Times

Another homelessness solution?


Los Angeles officials want to turn NIMBYism on its head — by paying property owners to put houses for homeless people in their backyards. In August, the county Board of Supervisors approved a $550,000 pilot program to build a handful of small backyard houses, or upgrade illegally converted garages, for homeowners who agree to host a homeless person or family. Los Angeles Times

That dreaded LAX traffic

Within five years, the defining experience of traveling in and out of LAX could change, as the city moves forward on an ambitious and long-awaited transit project that will connect the airport to Los Angeles County’s growing mass transit system. Los Angeles Times

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RIP: In the 1970s, David Letterman baby-sat Comedy Store owner Mitzi Shore’s children and Jay Leno slept on the back stairs of her Sunset Strip club, where Jim Carrey later tended the door. Shore died at 87 and she’ll be remembered for influencing some of the country’s greatest comedians. Los Angeles Times


Funny color? The water in the Silver Lake Reservoir is looking a little green these days, and the Department of Water and Power says it’s fine. Los Angeles Times

Big merger talks: Merger talks between Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. plunged into chaos Wednesday aftre a report that controlling shareholder Shari Redstone was making plans to oust CBS’ combative chief executive, Leslie Moonves, if he refuses to go along with a merger with Viacom. Los Angeles Times

Awesome story: A young man from Agoura Hills is on a mission to interview every living World War II combat veteran. KTLA


The gov’s race: How single-payer healthcare has divided Democrats in California’s race for governor. Los Angeles Times

Meanwhile in OC: Protesters in Orange County are continuing to fight against a plan to move homeless people to Irvine: “We will decide who comes into the city.” Los Angeles Times

On the road: In advance of a trip later this week to the early presidential caucus state of Iowa, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants Iowans to know that they’re not any different from Angelenos. Los Angeles Times

Big picture: Some cities are following L.A.’s lead and opting for busways over more expensive light-rail lines. Wall Street Journal


Wow: The Delano Police Department has forwarded a report to the Kern County district attorney’s office asking prosecutors to review whether federal immigration agents gave false information to police investigating a traffic crash that killed a couple who were in the country illegally. Los Angeles Times

Under review: The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is reviewing a case of alleged sexual abuse involving Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey, officials said Wednesday. Los Angeles Times

In court: A San Pedro man is expected to plead guilty to threatening to kill Rep. Maxine Waters over her criticism of President Trump. Los Angeles Times


The trouble with limes: Columnist Gustavo Arellano looks into the deadly disease that’s destroying California’s citrus trees. Los Angeles Times


Impact: Warner Bros. will not renew its $450-million co-financing agreement with Brett Ratner’s film funding company, cutting its remaining ties with the embattled director, who has been accused of sexual misconduct or assault by several women. Los Angeles Times

Laker-land: Andre Ingram’s story captivated the sports world on Tuesday night, including one former Laker who unwittingly shared time in the Lakers facility with him. Kobe Bryant didn’t see the game, but when he saw Ingram’s highlights later, he was hooked. Los Angeles Times

Touching tale: How a cookbook giveaway became a grieving session for wine country fire victims. The Press Democrat

Crunching the numbers: Since pot legalization, Californians have bought an estimated $339 million worth of the drug, significantly less than expected. Sacramento Bee

Ouch: The oddest injuries on California amusement park rides. SF Gate


Los Angeles area: sunny, 70, Thursday; sunny, 77, Friday. San Diego: partly cloudy, 67, Thursday; sunny, 74, Saturday. San Francisco area: cloudy, 57, Thursday; sunny, 63, Friday. Sacramento: partly cloudy, 62, Thursday; sunny, 72, Friday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Pat Ryan Greene:

“After two years’ service in India as an Army doctor during World War II, my father was posted to the hospital in Modesto. Mom, Dad and three kids lived, cooked, ate and slept in one hotel showroom for three months until Dad’s discharge. We piled into our old car for the trip home to Chicago beginning with Route 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles, where we stayed with friends in Bel-Air. To me, a 15-year-old, the ocean scenery was spectacular, but the high point was ringing their neighbors’ doorbells and getting their autographs — actors James Craig and Maureen O’Hara.”

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.