Sign in / Join

Essential California: Is it too late to save some of California’s legendary shopping malls?

The Laguna Hills Mall is being renovated and re-envisioned as an "urban village." (Kevin Chang / Weekend)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, June 13, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Mauling at the mall

In many ways, the postwar boom of Southern California suburbia popularized the shopping mall. But it’s been a slow and painful decline that appears to be getting worse by the day. On Monday, children’s clothing seller Gymboree Corp. said it intends to close some of its 1,281 locations. Last week, the parent company of Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant and other women’s clothing stores said it plans to close up to 667 locations. And the list goes on. Malls are now trying to reinvent themselves as Internet shopping takes over. But is it too late for many centers? Los Angeles Times

The death of an 8-year-old is investigated

Four years ago, a young boy with a genetic defect suffered an accident and was eventually taken off life support. His organs were donated, and that looked to be the end of the story. The seemingly peaceful death is now the subject of a police investigation into whether an anesthesiologist gave the child a fatal dose of the opioid fentanyl to hasten his death and increase the likelihood his organs could be harvested. No charges have been brought, and a lawyer for the anesthesiologist said an allegation by a coroner’s investigator was “factually wrong and patently offensive.” Los Angeles Times

Where the missiles fly

Welcome to Vandenberg Air Force base, where the turn of two keys recently sent a Minuteman III missile flaming toward its target. The aging missile had been selected for a test fire, to prove it still worked and could hit a bull’s-eye — within several hundred feet, anyway — on a target in the South Pacific, 4,200 miles away. Los Angeles Times

Travel ban hold upheld

Another federal appeals court refused on Monday to lift a hold on President Trump’s travel ban, ruling that it lacked justification and violated a federal immigration law that prohibits discrimination based on nationality. Los Angeles Times


Port gets greener: The mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach signed an agreement Monday directing the nation’s largest port complex to reduce air pollution by moving toward zero-emission trucks and yard equipment. Los Angeles Times

A mixed picture: Southern California has experienced a boost in trade and logistics employment in the last decade, but policy and labor challenges lie ahead, according to a new economic report. Los Angeles Times

Unlicensed pharmacies: The city of Los Angeles announced a crackdown on illegal pharmacies Monday. KPCC

They certainly stand out: Outrage over the people who painted their Mid-City houses pink. Curbed Los Angeles

Highly educational: What you need to know about L.A. Unified’s budget plan. Los Angeles Times


Down in Baja: Across the border in Rosarito Beach, American expats are increasingly speaking out against the man who’s now president. San Diego Union-Tribune

Not so fast! In two days of testimony to Congress, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly said there’s a chance that amnesty for Dreamers could still happen. Washington Times

Big sweep: “Federal agents arrested 54 immigrants — 25 on the Central Coast — in Central California this week in a raid that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials dubbed routine but was more extensive than arrests last year.” Santa Cruz Sentinel


Bye-bye, tax board? Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders are proposing a shakeup of the state tax board that would eliminate many of its duties and shift the job of holding tax appeal hearings to a new office of administrative law judges. Los Angeles Times

Impeach the Donald? California Rep. Brad Sherman circulated a proposed article of impeachment on Monday, the first step in a long-shot attempt to oust President Trump. The New York Times

Where will the money come from? Mayor Eric Garcetti continues to face criticism for delays in a plan to charge a fee on construction and use those funds to build affordable housing in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Times