Newsletter: Essential California: Coachella!!!


Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, April 13, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Coachella starts today, and the lineup is great. But behind its laid-back image, the music festival aggressively protects its trademark. However communal it may seem, Coachella has increasingly protected its brand with the firepower of litigious billion-dollar businesses such as Disney and the “Harry Potter” franchise. Los Angeles Times

Plus: A small fleet of drones began to buzz overhead Thursday monitoring traffic and perimeters for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Los Angeles Times


— All the amazing things to eat at Coachella (Guerrilla Tacos, Shake Shack), plus a survival guide to the festival. Los Angeles Times

— The members of Portugal. The Man have made a habit of representing rock in spaces dominated by pop and hip-hop. And they’ll be playing this weekend. Los Angeles Times

Big bill alert

A Bay Area lawmaker’s housing proposal could expand the size and scope of home-building efforts in California at an unprecedented scale. The legislation, Senate Bill 828, from state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), would require cities and counties to rezone land in their communities to permit many more homes than are currently in their plans. Los Angeles Times

Major legal decision

The U.S. Department of Justice cannot force local police departments to cooperate with immigration agents as a condition for receiving federal funding for a law enforcement program, a judge in Los Angeles ruled this week. The permanent, nationwide ban against the funding rules delivered an unambiguous victory to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer in the legal battle he opened last year with U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions. Los Angeles Times


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Rebuilding after a fire seems easy: Clear the land, get the permits, start construction. In Santa Rosa, where thousands of homes were destroyed in last October’s wildfires, the process has proved anything but easy. Los Angeles Times

In Beverly Hills: A small-time scam artist gave President Trump a mansion for $0 in 2008. Why? Reveal

Wow stats: You can have two or three jobs and still not afford to live in L.A. KPCC



In D.C.: California Rep. Jeff Denham says he has the votes to force GOP leaders to consider immigration bills, but whether he’ll do so is another matter. Los Angeles Times

Wanted: The Trump administration is trying to ratchet up pressure to capture a Mexican drug lord who allegedly ordered the murder of a U.S. narcotics agent more than three decades ago. Los Angeles Times


On the air: A group that is supporting Kevin de León’s bid for the U.S. Senate launched a blistering ad against Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Thursday, questioning her progressive principles and tying her to President Trump. Los Angeles Times

The Trump effect? “The number of applications for the controversial H-1B work visa heavily relied on by Silicon Valley technology companies has fallen for the second year in a row, just-released data from the federal government shows.” Mercury News

Pluses and minuses: “Cities have become increasingly focused on doing whatever it takes to attract large corporations. But it’s hard to govern a one-company town. Just ask Anaheim about their relationship with Disney.” Governing



See you in court: California news media organizations sued the state Wednesday to make public all portions of executions, including the preparation of the deadly chemical used for lethal injection. Los Angeles Times

Policeman sues: A San Francisco police officer, a Muslim who emigrated from Afghanistan, has alleged that he was harassed on the job and retaliated against after reporting racist and homophobic comments by his colleagues. Los Angeles Times

Arrested: Los Angeles police have arrested a Long Beach physician who allegedly sent a lewd photograph to an undercover officer posing as a 16-year-old girl on the internet. Los Angeles Times

Oops: A California teacher who fired a Glock into the ceiling during a lesson, injuring a student, will resign after the academic year, the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District said Thursday.” CNN



The pressure continues: “Critics of Gov. Jerry Brown are pressuring him to take a stronger stance on an issue that has come to define his legacy — climate change and the environment.” Sacramento Bee


On the tube: ESPN is looking for a win with its new streaming service. Here’s what it will include. Los Angeles Times

Fun! Why Broadway’s hottest theater just might be on the West Coast. Los Angeles Times

Cool! Kobe Bryant brings viewers inside the obsessive film-watching process he learned from Tex Winter. Los Angeles Times

Exciting! Give Dodgers ownership kudos for landing the 2020 All-Star game, writes Columnist Dyaln Hernandez. Los Angeles Times


History! A guide to the ornate, slightly spooky grand apartment complexes along Wilshire Boulevard that were the setting for so much old-school L.A. noir. Curbed LA

Times are changing: A store that sells flagpoles and flags has stood the test of time in uber-trendy San Francisco. San Francisco Chronicle


Los Angeles area: sunny, 77, Friday; sunny, 83, Saturday. San Diego: sunny, 74, Friday; sunny, 80, Saturday. San Francisco area: sunny, 65, Friday; sunny, 63, Saturday. Sacramento: sunny, 72, Friday; sunny, 77, Saturday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Kristin Baldwin:


“I had lived most of my life in Belgium and Germany, but in August 1982 I moved to California to attend college at Sacramento State, my grandmother’s alma mater. I landed at the S.F. airport where I was greeted by my Aunt Jackie. My beloved aunt decided to drive us back to Sacramento on the back roads as a treat and a way to acquaint me with my new home. We traveled through the East Bay and then onto the Delta. Jackie happily described where we were and a little history as well, but when she finally looked over, she noticed that I was crying. I was overwhelmed by how dry and brown the hills were and hot the air seemed. I got used to it and learned to appreciate it eventually but escaped to the wet of Washington state. I still love the hills of the Bay Area in the spring when they are green.”

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.