Newsletter: Essential California: Clean power to the people

State Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) holds up his environmental measure Senate Bill 100 after it was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday in Sacramento.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, Sept. 11, and here’s what’s happening across California:


All of California’s electricity will come from clean power sources by 2045 under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday, the latest in a series of ambitious goals set by the state to combat the effects of climate change. The bill’s signing comes just days before Brown is set to host a global conference on climate change in San Francisco, a final effort to showcase California’s actions on the environment before he ends his fourth and final term as governor in January. Los Angeles Times

-- Will the climate summit really make a difference? Mercury News


-- Perspective: For all the “Governor Moonbeam” moments, Brown has been much more of a traditionalist than his image suggests. Los Angeles Times

-- A fitting beginning to the Brown farewell tour. CALmatters

-- A conservative view: This is all 100% certifiable California. Wall Street Journal

A lesson in rhetoric


Maybe in another time, the scene at an Orange County high school football game might have felt different: the home team fans dressed in red, white and blue, chanting, “USA!” “USA!” after a touchdown. But this is an age of polarization from President Trump on down, of us versus them, of viral accounts of racist rhetoric and bullying in schools — and the home team’s campus is mostly white, the visiting team’s almost entirely Latino. Los Angeles Times

Fall and rise

With the ouster of Chief Executive Leslie Moonves, Shari Redstone has emerged the victor in the struggle for control of CBS. But the future of the network itself is very much in question. Moonves made it No. 1, but corporate issues remain. Los Angeles Times

-- Moonves was once a TV legend, up there with the greats, before he came crashing down. New York Times


Get the Essential California newsletter »

Cuties Coffee, which bills itself as the only LGBTQ-focused coffee shop in Los Angeles, is fighting to stay open at a time when the city has already lost other queer-owned establishments. Here, co-owner Virginia Bauman prepares a latte.
(Nick Agro / For The Times)


The aftermath: Reunited after being split up at the border, a Guatemalan father and son work through trauma alone. Hermelindo Che Coc’s child was returned to him nearly two months ago. They were separated at the border and kept apart for 46 days. Los Angeles Times


Fashion alert: Exploring the low-key affluence of Melrose Place, the shopping district, not the soap opera. Los Angeles Times

Tough times: Can L.A.’s only LGBTQ-focused coffeehouse survive? Los Angeles Times

Divided cities: The better the money, the higher the wall. Then there’s the odd phenomenon of people not leaving their neighborhoods. When we moved from Koreatown to Long Beach, we lost all our friends, as though there really was a wall around the neighborhoods.” -- Looking at the similarities between L.A. and Berlin. Los Angeles Review of Books

Bridging the gap: A river runs through the west San Fernando Valley. Los Angeles Daily News


Upstream battle: Bringing native fish back to the L.A. River. Can it happen? Los Angeles Magazine


Gauging the effects: Questions about how the end of cash bail will change the California criminal justice system. San Diego Union-Tribune

Cost analysis: San Francisco is spending a lot on cleaning streets, but it does not seem to be working so well. San Francisco Chronicle


Meet Liliana Flores: Some saw her as a person destined for a life of poverty and violence. She’s persevered against some very long odds. LAist


Pay now, not later? In a sweeping effort to reduce the wildfire risk from electric power lines, Southern California Edison said Monday it wants to spend more than $500 million for a series of improvement to its grid that probably would mean higher bills for ratepayers. It comes as utilities are facing big bills for fire damage. Los Angeles Times

Update from the front lines: California is dealing with new fires as some relief finally arrives. Los Angeles Times


Should they be built? Despite major fire risk, many homes are planned in danger zones. Sacramento Bee

Helping out: Victims of the wine country fires are helping Redding fire survivors cope. Press Democrat


Strange bedfellows: Congressional races are the new hobby in the entertainment industry. “Flipping the House has become a major, major pastime in Hollywood,” said Donna Bojarsky, longtime political consultant and organizer in Los Angeles. “People are handicapping races.” Washington Post


Oh the wait: How long DMV lines have become a political headache for California Democrats. New York Times

He said what?! In a rural California town, an elected official’s anti-gay comments run through the prism of Trump’s America. San Francisco Chronicle

Hidden in plain sight: In the Central Valley, a new immigration crisis involving southeast Asians. Fresno Bee

Too much? Orange County is again having growing pains. An urban debate in suburbia. Orange County Register



Reality show in the making? For years, Peter Ellenstein was one of Los Angeles’ most prolific sperm donors. The families he helped create are something to behold. Los Angeles Magazine

On the air: Some are calling Radio Compensia the “Radio Free Europe” of the resistance, presenting farmworkers with information about the Trump immigration crackdown. Politico

Tick tock? The clock is ticking for Mark Zuckerberg to fix Facebook. The New Yorker


Ooh la la: A taste of Paris high fashion finds a home in West Hollywood. Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles area: Partly cloudy, 81, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 80, Wednesday. San Diego: Partly cloudy, 75, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 76, Wednesday. San Francisco area: Sunny, 66, Tuesday. Cloudy, 62, Wednesday. San Jose: Sunny, 77, Tuesday. Mostly sunny, 71, Wednesday. Sacramento: Sunny, 88, Tuesday. Partly cloudy, 78, Wednesday. More weather is here.



Today’s California memory comes from Ruth Cuccia:

“We moved to California in 1955 when I was 5 years old, from New Mexico. I remember going to the beach for the first time — Neither I, nor the rest of my family, had ever seen so much water! Disneyland had just opened that year, and we went on New Year’s Day in 1956. I remember being so excited and happy to be there and felt I had been transformed into a truly ‘magic’ place! My older sister, Sue, went there for Grad Night the following June, and Walt Disney was in the parade down Main Street, and he reached out to her in the multitude of people and shook her hand warmly! That was a fabulous memory for us all, even though the rest of us had not been there!”

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.