Newsletter: Essential California: Splitsville? Not in November

Venture capitalist Tim Draper points to a computer screen in June announcing that an initiative to split California into three states had qualified for the ballot. The state Supreme Court on Wednesday removed the measure from the ballot amid questions about its validity.
(Haven Daley / Associated Press)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Thursday, July 19, here’s what’s happening across California:


Splitting up California? Not so fast. The California Supreme Court decided unanimously Wednesday to remove from the November ballot a measure aimed at dividing California into three states. The decision was a defeat for Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist considered an eccentric entrepreneur who spent $1.2 million on the measure. The court said it acted “because significant questions have been raised regarding the proposition’s validity and because we conclude that the potential harm in permitting the measure to remain on the ballot outweighs the potential harm in delaying the proposition to a future election.” Los Angeles Times

Older and on the street


While L.A.’s overall homeless population dipped slightly, older homeless people, ages 62 and up, shot up 22%, to nearly 5,000 people. The city and county have been slow to respond to the graying of the homeless population, advocates said. While some homeless people are aging in place, L.A.’s spiraling housing costs increasingly are driving people into homelessness for the first time at advanced ages. Los Angeles Times

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The Studio City home used to depict the exterior of the Brady family home on “The Brady Bunch” is up for sale at $1.885 million.
(Anthony Barcelo)


Batter up! The Dodgers’ greatest need is pitching. But, with a scarcity of top-flight pitching available in trade, the Dodgers decided to improve their team with the best player they could get. Every run scored helps just as much as every run saved, after all. The Dodgers already lead the National League in home runs, and they just added a player who has hit more home runs than anyone they already had. That player is Manny Machado. Los Angeles Times

Plus: The tale of the tape. Los Angeles Times

It’s the story… : The Brady Bunch house, a Traditional-style residence near the Colfax Meadows neighborhood in Studio City, was used for outdoor representations of the beloved television family’s abode. Now it’s for sale. And nostalgia could push the price toward $2 million. Los Angeles Times

Fascinating: In a group of more than 2,500 Los Angeles-area high school students who showed no evidence of attention challenges at the outset, investigators from USC, UCLA and UC San Diego found that those who engaged in more digital media activities over a two-year period reported a rising number of symptoms linked to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Los Angeles Times

Big doings: Little Saigon is about to enter the big development boom, with the massive Bolsa Row project. Orange County Register

Words matter: “Porch poetry” to fight evictions. L.A. Taco


A “bargain”? Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers have asked a federal judge to dismiss a defamation lawsuit brought by actress Ashley Judd that charges the producer ruined her career after she rejected his sexual advances. Weinstein’s legal counsel claims the movie mogul and the actress had a “bargain” that allowed him to touch her if she “won an Academy Award in one of his films,” records show. The allegation met with outrage and disgust from Judd’s attorney. Los Angeles Times

Must be steamed: A serial lobster poacher will spend more than a month in jail after he admitted to removing more than a dozen of the crustaceans from the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve this month. Los Angeles Times

Watch: The dancing cops of Tulare are going viral. Fresno Bee


In Sacramento: Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a measure Wednesday to require incoming student orientations at California colleges and universities to include information on intimate partner and dating violence. Los Angeles Times

Next year: Voters in Rancho Palos Verdes could decide whether to provide panic buttons for hospitality workers, but residents won’t vote on the initiative until 2019. The city is home to the ritzy Terranea Resort and the Trump National Golf Club. Los Angeles Times

No big deal, or a “bloodbath”: San Diego’s tough stance on short-term rentals is causing much angst in beach communities where many rent out their houses to tourists. San Diego Union-Tribune

“Fake news”? Rep. Devin Nunes has a new enemy: the Fresno Bee. And he’s doing ad buys! Politico

On the rise: It might not be the “year of the woman” in politics nationally, but it might be in San Francisco. San Francisco Chronicle

Reelection time: How much does Rep. Dana Rohrabacher have to worry about new Russian-influence allegations? New York Times

Buh-bye? Is it time for Sen. Dianne Feinstein to go? Sacramento Bee


Dangerous: A wildfire near Yosemite National Park that has claimed one life continued to grow, burning through steep, rugged forest where patches of dead trees and brush have been gathering for decades. Los Angeles Times

Open again! Caltrans reopened Highway 1 at Mud Creek — the first time in more than a year the coastal route was fully open after it was covered by massive landslide. Los Angeles Times

Uh, closed again: A wildfire shut down more than 15 miles of Highway 1 near Lompoc on Wednesday, according to Santa Barbara County officials. Los Angeles Times


Whatever happened to … ? A former child actor has found his calling as an adult — helping the homeless. Los Angeles Daily News

Half-century mark: Intel was one of Silicon Valley’s true pioneers. A look back at its storied history at 50, plus where the computer giant is going. Mercury News

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Forget Silicon Valley or even San Francisco itself. The hottest job market in the Bay Area is the Tri-Valley area. SF Gate

Across the pond: The battle between Disney and Comcast over Fox shifts now to Europe and the future of Sky. Wall Street Journal

Breathe it in: Can some of California’s most scenic visits help you de-stress? Meditation on the go. New York Times

Surviving the Con: Your guide to to Comic-Con 2018. Bring your costume. Los Angeles Times

In the works: And, yes, San Diego loves Comic-Con so much they are building a museum. Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles area: sunny, 83, Thursday and Friday. San Diego: sunny, 78, Thursday; partly cloudy, 77, Friday. San Francisco area: partly cloudy, 67, Thursday; sunny, 70, Friday. Sacramento: mostly sunny, 97, Thursday; sunny, 94, Friday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Sara Strickland:

“I lived in California for nearly 22 years (1980-2002) and by far my fondest memory was my first trip to San Francisco in the early ’60s. My husband and I were a little lost and couldn’t find our hotel (the days before GPS and Garmin). We asked a cab driver for directions and he said, ‘Follow me.’ We did. At one point we were separated by a traffic signal. The cabbie pulled over to the side of the road to wait for us. When we pulled up to him, he said, ‘Just turn left at the next intersection, and the hotel will be on your right.’ We offered to pay him for his time, he declined, and he said, ‘Welcome to San Francisco.’ I have loved that city ever since.”

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.