Newsletter: Essential California: Bernie heads west

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, Mar. 23, 2019.
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, Mar. 23, 2019.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times )

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, March 25, and here’s what’s happening across California:


With its earlier primary on March 3 next year — and mail ballots going out a month prior — California is considered by the Bernie Sanders campaign to be among the crucial “first five,” lumping the Golden State in with traditional early nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. By holding successive rallies this weekend in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Sanders is signaling plans to mount an aggressive bid for California, capitalizing on his demonstrated fundraising prowess and cadre of devoted followers. Los Angeles Times

Plus: In a visit to a Koreatown mosque and at a rally in Grand Park, Sanders decried anti-Muslim violence. Los Angeles Times


Apple’s streaming plans

Filmmakers and studio executives have been wondering exactly how the iPhone maker will delve into the streaming video market — and whether it can dominate in the crowded and fast-growing arena. The tech giant has spent the last two years securing deals with show business royalty such as Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon to create a lineup of programming to compete with Netflix Inc., Inc. and Walt Disney Co. Los Angeles Times

Plus: With iPhone sales sputtering, Apple bets its future on TV and news. Wall Street Journal

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Who paid? Of the many outrageous allegations revealed by federal prosecutors in the college cheating scandal, one stands out. Someone paid $6.5 million to get his or her children into elite schools. Los Angeles Times

An inspiration: Henry Tseng, who exercised every day at age 111, has died. The true secret to longevity, Tseng said, was to exercise regularly, smile every day, and choose not to worry. Los Angeles Times

Strike a pose: Meet the power players shaping L.A.’s fashion future. Los Angeles Times


No holding back: This op-ed piece says MyFigueroa is everything wrong with L.A.’s alternative transit efforts. Los Angeles Times

Plus: L.A. spent 10 years and $20 million to redesign this one street. Here’s what we got. Los Angeles Times



The reality: President Trump says barbed wire “can be a beautiful sight.” Many border communities disagree. Los Angeles Times


Heads rolling: A top lawyer in Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer’s office who was helping oversee litigation regarding the 2013 Department of Water and Power billing debacle has resigned, the office said. Los Angeles Times

In Woodland Hills: Rep. Ilhan Omar told an audience at the Council on American-Islamic Relations dinner that Trump’s anti-Islam remarks inspire attacks like the New Zealand shooting. Los Angeles Times


Movers and shakers: If the state Capitol had a hall of fame for playing defense against new laws, its largest shrine would be to the California Chamber of Commerce and its two-decade streak of killing bills big businesses don’t like. The new mega-majority of Democrats will be a major test of that power. Los Angeles Times


Steve Lopez’s latest: She got the death sentence for murdering her kids. Her ex-husband is angry at Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reprieve. Los Angeles Times

Sad story: Domestic violence victims in Sacramento’s black community live — and die — in a culture of silence. Sacramento Bee


Worrisome: An arsonist set a fire that blackened the walls of an Escondido mosque early Sunday and left a note on the house of worship’s driveway referencing a shooting rampage at two New Zealand mosques that left dozens dead, investigators said. Los Angeles Times

Juvenile justice: Fewer California youths are getting arrested, but the consequences have gotten more serious for those who are. CALmatters


Refinery shutdown: “The Valero refinery in Benicia was shut down, probably for several days, after a problem caused coke particles to escape through a stack, creating health risks for people with respiratory problems, officials said Sunday.” San Francisco Chronicle



“I’m really struggling”: Facing pay cuts, some ride-hailing drivers prepare to strike. Los Angeles Times

Big wins! Elisha Barno of Kenya won the L.A. Marathon in dramatic fashion Sunday, passing countryman John Korir over the final meters in the closest finish of the race’s 34-year history. On the women’s side, Askale Merachi of Ethiopia broke the “stadium to the sea” course record with a winning time of 2:24:12 seconds. Los Angeles Times

Serious revelations: Leaks reveal white nationalists are active at San Diego colleges. San Diego Union-Tribune


Tough place to live: Is the Bay Area pushing people to the breaking point? Mercury News

Big weekend: The sole new wide release this weekend, “Us,” came in first place at the box office with an estimated $70.3 million, nearly doubling analysts’ projections of $35 million to $45 million. Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles area: Sunny, 73, Monday. Partly cloudy, 71, Tuesday. San Diego: Sunny, 68, Monday. Cloudy, 68, Tuesday. San Francisco area: Showers, 59, Monday. Cloudy, 60, Tuesday. San Jose: Showers, 65, Monday. Cloudy, 66, Tuesday. Sacramento: Showers, 63, Monday. Showers, 63, Tuesday. More weather is here.



This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California: Clippers owner Steve Ballmer (March 24, 1956), L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian (March 24, 1960), L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo (March 25, 1954) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (March 26, 1940).

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.