Newsletter: Bars ordered closed in L.A. and beyond

Bruce Grizer sips a cold beer inside the Tower Bar
Bruce Grizer sips a beer inside the Tower Bar on June 17 in San Diego, which has not been affected by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest order.
(Sam Hodgson / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, June 29, and here’s a quick look at the week ahead:

Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. — the former police officer accused of terrorizing California during a series of rapes and killings nearly a half-century ago attributed to the Golden State Killer — is expected to plead guilty to 26 criminal charges stemming from 13 murders and 13 rapes in a Sacramento courtroom on Monday.

[See also: “The Man in the Window” investigative series and podcast about DeAngelo in the Los Angeles Times]

Also Monday: The four former Minneapolis police officers charged in relation to George Floyd’s death will appear in a Minnesota courtroom.

Tuesday will probably be a newsy day in the nation’s capital, with major coronavirus hearings in the House and Senate. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, will be joined by CDC Director Robert Redfield and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn for a Senate committee hearing on “progress toward safely getting back to work and school.” And over in the other chamber of Congress, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell will testify about the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve’s pandemic response during a House Financial Services Committee hearing.

Wednesday is the first day of July, which seems impossible but has been confirmed by multiple sources. You heard it here first.


Saturday is Independence Day.

And a quick programming note: The newsletter will be off on Friday and Saturday morning for the holiday.

And now, here’s what’s happening across California:

Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered seven counties, including Los Angeles, to immediately to close any bars and nightspots that are open and recommended eight other counties take action on their own to close those businesses, citing the rapid pace of coronavirus spread in some parts of California. Along with Los Angeles, bars in Fresno, Kern, San Joaquin, Tulare, Kings and Imperial counties were immediately affected by the state order. Los Angeles Times

Coronavirus cases continue to climb in L.A. County. Los Angeles County public health officials on Sunday reported 2,542 more cases of the coronavirus, marking the county’s second-highest daily total of new cases since the pandemic began. But L.A. County’s rising numbers aren’t limited to daily new cases. Two other metrics that experts say are key in gauging the county’s progress in fighting the virus — hospitalizations and the percentage of people testing positive — also reflected increases that officials described as concerning. Los Angeles Times


Why drag Mexican baby Jesus into your scandal? L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar has drawn community criticism for posting an image of the big-hatted baby Jesus known as Santo Niño de Atocha to his Instagram account shortly before he was arrested on felony racketeering charges in a massive scandal that has roiled L.A. City Hall. Santo Niño is a cherished symbol for the hundreds of thousands of zacatecanos and their descendants who call Southern California home. He also happens to be the patron saint of prisoners and the wrongfully accused. Los Angeles Times

A figurine of Santo Nino De Atocha
A figurine of Santo Niño De Atocha is displayed in the window of a botanica along Cesar Chavez Boulevard in Boyle Heights. The Santo Niño — whose devotion dates back centuries to Spain, where the town of Atocha is, but now has its biggest following in the Mexican state of Zacatecas — has slowly spread across the Southland for more than 100 years.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Who wouldn’t trust Lucy Jones in a disaster? For more than three decades, “the Beyoncé of Earthquakes” has kept Southern California grounded whenever the earth shook. Here’s what she has to say about the coronavirus pandemic. Los Angeles Times

Beverly Hills is facing criticism after 28 people were arrested during a peaceful protest Friday night and kept in custody well into the next day. “It is outrageous that during a statewide health crisis — and when, as we have been hearing from our local, state, and federal officials, the number of COVID-19 cases in California are continuing to rise — that the Beverly Hills Police Department would hold these peaceful protesters in custody,” the National Lawyers Guild said in a statement. Los Angeles Times

L.A. will resume ticketing during street sweeping next month. Drivers will need to get back into the habit of moving their cars by the scheduled time, or risk a $73 ticket. Los Angeles Times

“On life as a freckle-faced, redheaded Mexican American from Southeast Los Angeles.” Another great piece from Erick Galindo — an L.A. writer whose work you should definitely be following. LAist

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President Trump struggles as furor grows over a reported Russian bounty offer to kill U.S. troops: Trump, confronted with a damaging report that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill American and allied troops in Afghanistan, declared Sunday on Twitter that he was never briefed about the finding by U.S. intelligence. Los Angeles Times


Bay Area police have killed 110 people since 2015. Not a single officer was prosecuted, and few faced discipline. A Bay Area News Group review of the deadly encounters found that an outsize percentage of those killed were Black — even when they were unarmed. Mercury News

Chief federal judge in L.A. steps down over racially insensitive comments about a Black court official. U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney — the chief judge for the Central District of California, the nation’s largest federal court jurisdiction — has stepped down from that post, citing his racially insensitive comments regarding the court’s top administrative official, a Black woman. Los Angeles Times

Four San Jose police officers have been placed on administrative leave amid an investigation into a private Facebook group where bigoted and racist comments were shared among current and retired law enforcement officers. Los Angeles Times


The world surpassed two sobering coronavirus milestones Sunday, with 500,000 confirmed deaths and 10 million confirmed cases. Another high mark for daily new infections was also hit, as governments that attempted reopenings continued to backtrack and warn that worse news could be yet to come. Associated Press

As the coronavirus raged through nursing homes, inspectors found nothing wrong. The failure of the inspections to identify problems is just the latest indication of how the industry and regulators were unprepared for the coronavirus and failed to act quickly to slow its spread. Los Angeles Times


Mexi-Vegan cooking is mainstream in Southern California. And it’s only getting bigger. Los Angeles Times

An Oakland home belonging to a Black family was defaced with “all lives matter” graffiti. “The vandalism struck a nerve in the tight-knit Oakland neighborhood, which has been gentrifying in recent years, according to residents.” San Francisco Chronicle

This small San Joaquin Valley city is appointing a nine-member Millennial Advisory Committee in a bid “to stay on top of changing demographics and values as well as secure the workforce needed to remain prosperous as the years unfold.” Manteca Bulletin

A caravan of San Jose lowriders brought food and coronavirus supplies to Gilroy farmworkers. “For the lowriders, part of a rich Latinx car culture, it was important to honor and support the heavily Latinx immigrant farmworkers.” Mercury News

Things are looking up for Kern County’s top crop. After a difficult two years for California table grape growers, conditions seem to be aligning nicely just in time for the start of the Central Valley harvest. Bakersfield Californian

A poem to start your week: “My Life Was the Size of My Life” by Jane Hirshfield.

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Los Angeles: partly sunny, 71. San Diego: partly sunny, 69. San Francisco: sunny, 73. San Jose: windy, 84. Fresno: sunny, 89. Sacramento: sunny, 91. More weather is here.


This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California:

Clippers star Kawhi Leonard (June 29, 1991), classic Hollywood movie star Dame Olivia de Havilland (July 1, 1916), comedian-actor-curmudgeon Larry David (July 2, 1947), Rep. Doug LaMalfa (July 2, 1960), attorney Gloria Allred (July 3, 1941) and L.A. County Superior Court Judge and former L.A. Mayor James Hahn (July 3, 1950).

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (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, ideas and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes.