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Essential California Week in Review: Conservatives are leaving

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Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, Nov. 9.

Here’s a look at the top stories of the last week:


California conservatives head out. Republicans are nearly three times as likely as their Democratic counterparts to have seriously considered moving away from California, one poll found. Said one conservative who’s moving to Texas: “We’re getting with people who believe in the same political agenda that we do: America first, Americans first, law and order.”

Fed up with Forest Service cuts. Angered by the agency’s growing backlog of maintenance projects leading to poor conditions in popular recreation areas, Mammoth Lakes and other towns are plotting a takeover.

Bean signs off. After nearly 30 years as one-half of drive time’s “The Kevin & Bean Show” on modern-rock station KROQ-FM, Gene “Bean” Baxter hung up his headphones Thursday.

The lunch battlefield. Los Angeles is in the midst of a development boom, one that operates in Bel-Air at imperial scale. La Chaparrita’s Munch Truck makes 15 stops in four hours, selling hundreds of meals to men who build homes the size of strip malls.

More Kaiser Permanente strikes. Ongoing labor battles have undermined Kaiser Permanente’s once-golden reputation as a model of cost-effective care that caters to satisfied patients. Now the health giant faces another strike Monday.

How to hack LAX-it. Tired of being trapped in the chaos driven by new changes to LAX’s ride-hailing policy? Here are tips for navigating the confusing system.

Come back, abalone. Once upon a time, the California coast had the greatest number of abalone species in the world. It may yet again, if this project works.

Board-and-care crisis. Thanks to an inadequate state funding system and California’s red-hot real estate market, board-and-care homes — housing some of the most vulnerable people in the region — are disappearing. Now L.A. County may intervene.

Cheering for the robots. The arrival of robots at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach is exposing a stark economic divide between those inside and outside the dockworkers’ union.

The reality of rebuilding. One year after the Camp fire destroyed almost the entire town of Paradise, there are signs of a rebirth. But for the town’s residents, recovery is bumpy as safety, money and emotions collide.

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This week’s most popular stories in Essential California

1. A San Francisco archive has added hundreds of amazing photos. See the best ones here. SFGate

2. An LAUSD student asked us about the “gross” yellowish water at her school. We investigated. LAist

3. How did “Blade Runner” stick as the vision of L.A.’s future? Curbed LA

4. These are the candidates celebrities are supporting in 2020. Los Angeles Times

5. It was an adventure into California’s Lost Coast. Now, two friends from San Francisco are missing. San Francisco Chronicle

ICYMI, here are this week’s great reads

Stealing Amazon packages in the age of Nextdoor: A longform investigation into the “porch pirate of Potrero Hill” enters a vortex of smart-cam clips, Nextdoor rants and cellphone surveillance that tugs at the complexities of race and class relations in a liberal, gentrifying city. The Atlantic

The rise and stall of the boba generation: How bubble tea became a complicated symbol of Asian American identity. Eater

“Cult of the Literary Sad Woman”: Essayist Leslie Jamison on the afflicted-woman trope. New York Times

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints, ideas and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes. (And a giant thanks to the legendary Diya Chacko for all her help on the Saturday edition.)


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