Newsletter: Essential California: A worrying drive for some Latinos

Marcelino Garcia was pulled over by a L.A. County sheriff's deputy on the 5 Freeway in June and cited for minor violations. He said he felt he was racially profiled.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, Oct. 16, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Roni Salguero is one of several motorists who say they believe they were the victims of racial profiling by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s highway enforcement team that has stopped thousands of innocent Latino drivers over the last six years along a 40-mile stretch of the 5 Freeway. A Times analysis of more than 9,000 stops found that 69% of drivers stopped by the Domestic Highway Enforcement Team from 2012 through the end of last year were Latino and that two-thirds of them had their vehicles searched — a rate far higher than motorists of other racial and ethnic groups. Sheriff’s officials have denied racial profiling and insisted the deputies base their stops only on a person’s driving and other impartial factors. Los Angeles Times

The investigation: L.A. County deputies stopped thousands of innocent Latinos on the 5 Freeway in hopes of their next drug bust. Los Angeles Times


Plus: A federal appeals court made it easier Monday for people snagged in “reverse sting” operations to seek evidence that the government targeted blacks and Latinos. Los Angeles Times

One year later

One year after California’s most devastating wildfire, Santa Rosa is a patchwork of loss and renewal. That is especially apparent in Coffey Park, where residents who face enormous insurance gaps are dipping into savings to construct houses similar to the ones they lost or are building smaller ones. Others are buying elsewhere in a county that suffered a serious shortage of affordable housing even before the fires. In this increasingly ruthless housing market, displaced renters have been left to compete with more moneyed families who also lost their homes. Los Angeles Times

Plus: A changed Sonoma County one year after the fires, as seen from above. Santa Rosa Press Democrat

He was “the idea man”

Paul Allen, the taciturn computer programmer who founded the software behemoth Microsoft with Bill Gates when he was 22 and walked away eight years later with what would become one of the largest fortunes in the history of American capitalism, died Monday in Seattle. He was 65. Los Angeles Times

The Lakers’ LeBron James appreciates his ability to relate to his younger teammates but he also wants to be a strong leader for them.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

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The King and his court: LeBron James is shrinking the generation gap as he yearns to become a patient leader for his younger Lakers teammates. Los Angeles Times

Uh-oh: The Dodgers ran into all sorts of problems in a 4-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night. Game 4 is tonight. Los Angeles Times

On the ballot: An initiative sponsored by the California Assn. of Realtors seeks to expand tax breaks for homeowners over 55. Critics say the measure would benefit the already wealthy. Los Angeles Times

Wild yarn: “How I infiltrated one of L.A.’s most vicious motorcycle gangs —and lived to talk about it.” Los Angeles Magazine


GSK redux: The recent arrest of a rapist “marked the 15th time that GEDmatch had provided essential clues leading to a suspect in a murder or sexual assault case, starting with the arrest in April of Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer, for the rapes and murders committed across California in the 1970s and 1980s by the notorious Golden State Killer.” New York Times

Plus: “How genetic sleuthing helped a kidnapped girl recover her identity.” New York Times

Back in court: New York real estate scion Robert Durst appeared Monday in a Los Angeles courtroom, where prosecutors will continue laying out evidence they say proves he killed his best friend nearly 20 years ago. Los Angeles Times

Violence in Victorville: A councilman who says he’s “tough on crime” was convicted of a felony for striking his girlfriend in the face. LAist

Poor dog: A husband and wife who both work as sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department pleaded not guilty to felony animal cruelty charges Monday stemming from allegations they failed to care for their elderly Labrador retriever. Los Angeles Times

In San Francisco: Sex workers returned to the streets after was shut down. San Francisco Chronicle

Under investigation: Federal investigators were on site at the Lodi Parachute Center to inspect the parachute bag of a jumper who fell to her death Sunday. Sacramento Bee


Midterm mayhem: President Trump’s approval rating is in the dumps, even though the economy is soaring. One reason is Trump himself. Los Angeles Times

He said what? Rep. Duncan Hunter, the indicted Republican from Alpine, doubled down on unfounded attacks on his opponent with a letter signed by three retired Marine Corps generals who accused the Democrat of being “a national security risk.” Los Angeles Times


Dangerous conditions: Southern California remains under red-flag warnings as Santa Ana winds are expected to blow for a second day. Utility companies and fire agencies alike were on high alert as the powerful winds paired with bone-dry vegetation and humidity in the single digits. Los Angeles Times

Wind-related death: A woman was killed Monday part of a large eucalyptus tree broke off and fell onto her car at an apartment complex in Tustin. Los Angeles Times


Throwing it back: How “The Naked Gun” filmed the best baseball scene in movie history. Los Angeles Times

Cool: Elizabeth Turk’s illuminating social sculpture will light up a beach with 1,000 glowing umbrellas. Los Angeles Times

Not so cool: Endeavor Content is reportedly extricating itself from a deal with the Saudi government to invest $400 million into the company. Hollywood Reporter

And: More film industry figures are reevaluating their ties with Saudi Arabia amid the furor over Jamal Khashoggi, the U.S.-based dissident Saudi journalist who disappeared after walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Los Angeles Times

RIP: Jonathan Skow, the inspiration behind Mr. Turk clothing, has died in Los Angeles at age 55. Desert Sun


Los Angeles area: Sunny, 84, Tuesday. Sunny, 82, Wednesday. San Diego: Sunny, 78, Tuesday. Sunny, 79, Wednesday. San Francisco area: Sunny, 68, Tuesday and Wednesday. San Jose: Sunny, 78, Tuesday. Sunny, 80, Wednesday. Sacramento: Sunny, 84, Tuesday. Sunny, 83, Wednesday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Kristina Replogle Sullivan:

“As a fourth-generation native, I have many memories of California, but one stands out, as it is a repeated joy. Driving from the Bay Area to Paradise, there are a number of route choices, but I always love to see fruit and nut orchards. They remind me of the great edible bounty of California, the foundation for so many other glories of the state. Not only is there a golden light and aroma when they are in bloom, but you can take some home in fresh or dried forms! Whenever I use almonds, peaches, dates, figs, avocados, oranges, lemons, apricots, beans, pistachios, cherries, walnuts, kiwis, apples, pears, persimmons, or grapes — I have a renewed moment of golden light, orchard fragrance, the dust of harvest work, and of the juice of peaches and strawberries. My mother was homesick all her life for California produce, after we first moved away in 1957, and I came to understand what she missed when my husband and I lived in Santa Barbara. However, it seems that many modern Californians are less involved in agriculture. It is disappointing that we have not developed a more satisfying and affordable way to house people, as California continues to lead the way into the future. Maybe it is just around the corner?”

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.