Newsletter: Essential California: 10,000 homes in 10 years?

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 8, 2019 - PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) Metro Villas Phase 2 is unde
Construction is underway on North Madison Avenue, where money from Proposition HHH is being used to construct the PATH Metro Villas, which will provide housing and services for formerly homeless individuals. Other projects are in the pipeline with one set to open in December.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, April 23, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Following the money: In 2016, Los Angeles voters approved a $1.2-billion bond measure to help fund housing for homeless people, with a goal of 10,000 new units in a decade. Now, after hustling to get as many housing projects started as soon as possible, city officials are coming to the end of the money available through Proposition HHH, and it’s not certain that promise will be kept. The city has committed two-thirds of the bond to secure a little more than half the units the measure was intended to subsidize. The new challenge will be figuring out how to stretch the remaining funds to make up the difference. It’s far from a sure thing. Los Angeles Times

Plus: The number of homeless people in Los Angeles County is growing — but not as fast as they’re dying. Los Angeles Times


Big bill: Sen. Scott Wiener’s Senate Bill 50 aims to spur home building by requiring local governments to relax construction restrictions near mass transit, and it contains a separate provision that would force wealthy communities near employment centers to allow apartments where only single-family homes are currently permitted, regardless of whether they’re close to rail or major bus lines. This bill could end up dramatically influence how wealthy enclaves are zoned. For example, Palo Alto could be almost completely rezoned. Los Angeles Times

More fallout: Allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers in the California National Guard are more widespread than the complaints made at a Fresno air base that led to a dramatic leadership shakeup of the organization earlier this month, The Times has found. Interviews with current and former Guard members and an examination of internal documents show that complaints go well beyond Fresno and extend to the army side as well. The allegations have come from fighter pilots, a top military prosecutor, Special Forces officers and a colonel who hoped to head the organization. Los Angeles Times

HUNTINGTON BEACH,CA., APRIL 18, 2019: Dwight Stirling, a reserve judge advocate with the California
Dwight Stirling, a reserve judge advocate with the California National Guard, says he faced reprisals after reporting that unlicensed attorneys were working for the Guard.
(Mark Boster / For The Times)

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Former Lakers coach Luke Walton has been accused of sexual assault by former Spectrum SportsNet host Kelli Tennant. In a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Tennant, a former USC volleyball player, alleges that Walton assaulted her at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica while he was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors. Los Angeles Times

And the winner is: Bavel is the Los Angeles Times’ 2019 Restaurant of the Year. Los Angeles Times

LOL: As Coachella raged, the L.A. tech world made plans to colonize Mars. Los Angeles Times


H-1B: Meet the attorneys behind the tech industry’s favorite visa. Mercury News

“I’m on their speed dial”: “Inside the San Diego church where ICE and Border Patrol bring pregnant women.” BuzzFeed News



On Earth Day no less: Plastic straws will be a little more difficult to come by in Los Angeles restaurants after a city ordinance aiming to limit the availability of the single-use item took effect Monday. Los Angeles Times

Plus: California’s war on plastic pollution targets tiny hotel toiletries. CALmatters

Check your bias: These California bills would train nurses, judges and police how to spot their own biases. Los Angeles Times

Rick Caruso is a real estate mogul and key figure around USC. Now he’s seeking to expand his influence over Los Angeles. New York Times

How much will you pay? California’s major monopoly utilities asked regulators to approve higher profits for their shareholders amid a growing risk of destructive fires. The biggest request came from Southern California Edison. Los Angeles Times


L.A. Metro cops are in a bind: Avoid racial profiling while also fighting crime. Los Angeles Times

A Los Angeles city attorney who says a City Hall rat infestation caused her to contract flea-borne typhus has filed a $5-million legal claim, saying Mayor Eric Garcetti and other elected officials allowed trash outside her office to become a threat to public health. Los Angeles Times


$$$: California is preparing to pay at least $25 million in insurance and legal claims stemming from a deadly 2016 fire that ignited on state-managed property in Kern County. Sacramento Bee


Applying pressure: Environmental groups want Gov. Gavin Newsom to do what others have not: Put oil in the past. Los Angeles Times

Plus: How Newsom is progressing on his key policy promises. Los Angeles Times

Time may be running out: As California’s delta smelt spirals toward extinction, a future in captivity awaits. Los Angeles Times


Feeling blue: Pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen are struggling to regain elite stuff. Los Angeles Times

Elon Musk says a million Teslas will drive themselves in a year. Safety advocates have concerns. Los Angeles Times

Carbon farmers: California has farmers growing weeds to capture carbon. KQED

“Business casual”?: No one knows what shoes to wear to work. Silicon Valley has an answer. The Atlantic

“Let’s watch Netflix”: Three words guaranteed to kill a romantic mood. Wall Street Journal


Los Angeles area: Sunny, 81, Tuesday. Sunny, 79, Wednesday. San Diego: Sunny, 71, Tuesday. Sunny, 74, Wednesday. San Francisco area: Partly cloudy, 73, Tuesday. Sunny, 70, Wednesday. San Jose: Partly cloudy, 86, Tuesday. Sunny, 87, Wednesday. Sacramento: Partly cloudy, 89, Tuesday. Sunny, 90, Wednesday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Carl Deuker:

“I was raised in Redwood City, 25 miles south of San Francisco. My father died when I was young. My mother, born and raised in inner-city Philadelphia, was determined my sister and I would have a ‘California’ upbringing, including barbecues at the park. But she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to get the barbecue lit when she reached the park. Solution? She put the briquets in the hibachi, fired them up with Kingsford lighter fluid, waited until she was sure they’d caught, and then put the hibachi in the trunk of our old Pontiac and drove to Stulsaft Park in the hills above Redwood City, smoke billowing behind us. The hot dogs were great, as was my mother.”

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.