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California Today: Health Care Proves Divisive Among Democrats

The idea has met a decidedly frosty reception from Mr. Brown and some legislative leaders, who say it would be hugely expensive. No one has explained exactly how the cost might be covered. And two of the candidates — Antonio R. Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, and John Chiang, the state treasurer — are skeptical.

“We are looking at a Trump administration, may I remind us all, who are trying to take away health care from two to five million people in California,” Mr. Villaraigosa said. “We have to stand at the gate and say no. We need waivers from Trump to get single-payer in this state.”

Mr. Chiang said he supported the concept of single-payer, but said, “I want to push California to do aggressively what we can today.”

Mr. Newsom saw his opening: “I want to defeat Trumpism,” he said. “I also want to defeat defeatist Democrats.”

California Online

(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on news sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)


Tony Mendoza, a California state senator, resigned on Thursday after an investigation into allegations that he had made improper advances toward several women.

Steve Yeater/Associated Press

Tony Mendoza, a powerful Democratic state senator, has resigned from the Legislature after an investigation into allegations that he made improper advances toward several women. The move came as his colleagues were preparing to vote on whether to expel him. [The New York Times]

President Trump criticized California officials’ handling of gangs and threatened to pull immigration and border agents out of the state to show how bad things would be without federal help. The state’s Democratic politicians responded swiftly. [The Los Angeles Times]


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• Officials at a Central Valley water district have been charged with embezzlement after prosecutors say they spent more than $100,000 of public money on slot machines, kitchen appliances and services for themselves. [The Los Baños Enterprise]


A satellite view shows what census enumerators may miss from the sidewalk: Many single-family homes have detached garages or buildings out back.

• Two years out from the census, cities are scrambling to avert an undercount. California’s housing crisis has forced many people to share existing homes and occupy illegal ones. And some mayors worry that President Trump’s tough talk will make it even harder in 2020 to count immigrants. [The New York Times]

• Deborah Zwaschka-Blansfield had wanted to stay in a nursing home north of Sacramento, but the home wanted to release her. Eviction cases like hers are on the rise, and federal regulators are taking note. [The New York Times]

• When you get to your Airbnb, will the bathroom have enough toilet paper? To give you some peace of mind, the company is introducing Airbnb Plus, a brand of higher-end accommodations that are guaranteed to meet an 100-point quality checklist. [The New York Times]

• A former Google engineer is suing the company, claiming that he was fired for creating internal posts that defended women of color and marginalized people. [The Verge]

• A $1 billion project to create the world’s most powerful X-ray laser is quietly taking shape near Stanford University. [The Mercury News]


The Oscars, like other award shows, have experienced dropping ratings in recent years. Some worry that an overly political telecast could exacerbate that situation.

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

• In Hollywood, the run-up to the 90th Academy Awards has been dominated by discussions about sexual misconduct. But the people behind the Oscar telecast say their show next month will be focused on films — not the cultural moment. [The New York Times]

• The television producer Marcy Carsey — whose hits include “The Cosby Show,” “Roseanne” and “3rd Rock From the Sun” — is donating $20 million to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. [The New York Times]


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• The iO West Theater in Hollywood has been a bedrock of L.A.’s improv scene for more than two decades. But the place hasn’t been turning a profit for a while. Now, officials say, it will close. [LA Weekly]

And Finally …


Cayla Barnes, right, of the United States tries to fight through tight defense in the women’s gold medal ice hockey match.

Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Ice hockey may not be a hugely popular sport among kids growing up in sunny Southern California.

But Cayla Barnes has four older brothers who played roller hockey as children. And, as she explained to The Times’s Matthew Futterman just before the start of the Winter Olympics, that sport “is big” in her hometown, Eastvale.

That is how Ms. Barnes, a 19-year-old from Riverside County started her journey toward the Olympic gold medal she and her American teammates won Thursday when they defeated Canada, 3-2.

Ms. Barnes, the team’s youngest member, had not been born when the American women last took home gold in 1998. During her lifetime, the United States lost to Canada three times in gold medal games.

And indeed, she is not your typical defender. She stands barely more than five feet tall. But she’s quick, skillful and a perfect fit in the Americans’ new system, which requires players with many of her strengths.

Ms. Barnes was a late addition to the 2018 Olympic squad — she has said she was surprised to have even made this team — and a previous Times article speculated that because she was not well known to Canada, she could give the team a pivotal edge.

As it turned out, Thursday’s contest could hardly have been closer — it required a shootout, which also went into overtime, to decide.

But after the win, with a gold medal hanging from her neck, Ms. Barnes reportedly said: “There was never a doubt.”

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California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.

Matthew Futterman contributed reporting.

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