Newsletter: Essential California: More rent control, maybe?

Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks Monday outside City Hall at a news conference supporting a proposed ballot initiative to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act.
(Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, April 24, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday he would “absolutely” consider extending L.A. limits on rent increases to cover newly built apartments, if voters roll back a state law that prohibits it. Garcetti joined tenant and community activists at a news conference outside City Hall to back a proposed ballot initiative that would roll back the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which bans cities and counties from capping rent increases on apartments built after 1995. Los Angeles Times

Wild weather only gets wilder


California can expect more whiplash between severe drought and very wet years, according to a new study that examines the effects of human-caused global warming. Such sudden swings between severe drought and intense storms will increase the threat to aging dams and flood-control networks, accentuate the wildfire threat and make management of the state’s complex waterworks even more daunting. Los Angeles Times

Tragedy in Ventura

Ventura’s police chief says his officers erred in not responding to reports of a transient scaring people in the city’s boardwalk. Hours later, the same man would stab a father to death at a steakhouse, reigniting concerns about the way the city handles homelessness. Los Angeles Times


A worrying warning: The electrical power systems in some Toyota Prius models are failing at an unusually rapid rate across the nation and leaving owners stranded, despite a 2014 safety recall that was supposed to have fixed the problem, according to Toyota documents reviewed by The Times. Some Southern California dealers are refusing to sell these Priuses because they believe a defect can cause them to lose power and stop. Los Angeles Times

Eesh: Southern California home prices jumped to a record high in March. Los Angeles Times


Bombay Beach! In a forgotten town by the Salton Sea, newcomers build a bohemian dream. The Guardian

At the port: SpaceX is coming to San Pedro, and residents think it could be a game changer. Daily Breeze


Where cars are made: Mexico’s own Motor City is experiencing billion-dollar investments but also fear over President Trump’s trade moves. Los Angeles Times

Inspiring: Sergio Sandoval crosses the Tijuana border each day hoping to one day work for NASA. Los Angeles Times

[Cries in Spanish]: New competition from the likes of Netflix “has forced Televisa and other Latin American broadcasters to develop real-life, edgier dramas and crime stories to replace the torrid romances that once enthralled millions.” Wall Street Journal

Wowzer: The Border Patrol is said to have faked statistics showing a 73% rise in assaults against agents. The Intercept


On the campaign trail: California’s candidates for governor don’t talk about taxes much. They need to start, says columnist George Skelton. Los Angeles Times

Plus: Gavin Newsom didn’t really go to rehab. Sacramento Bee

Someone to watch: Freshman Rep. Nanette Barragán is on Politico’s Power List of Women to Watch. Politico

Not good: “Four hundred people were evacuated Monday morning from Next Door: Episcopal Community Services — one of San Francisco’s largest homeless shelters — due to a gas leak.” San Francisco Chronicle

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The gall! A string of armed robberies at Trader Joe’s stores has police investigating whether they’re linked. Los Angeles Times

Mark your calendars: A judge has set a September trial date in the murder case of former rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight, whose dramatic court saga stretches back more than three years. Los Angeles Times

’Murica: A shirtless man with American flag shorts hid in the bushes after stealing a beer truck in Santa Rosa, police say. Los Angeles Times

Interesting story: Pain management rarely means opioids for San Diego jail inmates. San Diego Union-Tribune


History lesson: In 1968, moviegoers had a lot more choices before blockbuster fever took over. Los Angeles Times

Sticker shock: The most expensive home on Malibu’s famed Billionaire’s Beach has found a bona fide billionaire buyer. Los Angeles Times

Yum: Several local spots made GQ’s list of best new restaurants in America in 2018. GQ

Double yum: Famed chef David Chang, who recently set up shop in Los Angeles, is now getting a podcast. Eater LA

Not so much: “A California judge’s ruling on warning labels for coffee isn’t backed by evidence and could do more harm than good.” New York Times


Los Angeles area: Partly cloudy, 76, Tuesday. Sunny, 74, Wednesday. San Diego: Partly cloudy, 68, Tuesday and Wednesday. San Francisco area: Partly cloudy, 63, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 61, Wednesday. Sacramento: Partly cloudy, 85, Tuesday. Sunny, 85, Wednesday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Sherri Peltier:

“I was born 1952 and raised in Redwood City, a small city slap dab between San Francisco and San Jose. My father was a policeman in Redwood City, and it had a policy that you had to live in Redwood City to work as a cop. As the home prices started to rise, the police started to lobby the city government to live in nearby cities such as San Jose and Santa Clara. This started a new family hobby. Every weekend we would go tour model homes in San Jose, because their new homes were starting around $20,000. You could still experience peach orchards surrounding the new home tracts. It was fun; my brother, sister and I would try to sneak fruit whenever we could. Most of the time, though, we got a lecture about taking something that didn’t belong to us. My parents never did leave Redwood City until retirement came, but the memories of growing up never leave.”

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.