Newsletter: Essential California Week in Review: Shooting in Sacramento

Police stand next to evidence markers in a street surrounding an SUV
Investigators search for evidence after six people were killed and 12 injured in a shooting in Sacramento on Sunday.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

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

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

Shooting in Sacramento. Police Chief Katherine Lester said the shooting occurred around 2 a.m. Sunday after a large fight broke out in a popular entertainment district. Six people were killed and 12 others were injured.

Coronavirus cases are rising again. Numbers have begun to rise in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco counties, likely a result of the Omicron subvariant BA.2, decreased use of masks and waning immunity. It’s unclear whether this is a brief hiccup, the beginning of a larger wave of cases or something in between.

Free coronavirus testing is reduced in L.A. County. The federal government has stopped offering money to fund coronavirus tests for uninsured people, forcing L.A. County to remove 25 community testing sites. Officials still plan to offer coronavirus testing at no charge by temporarily using funds from other sources.

How a California lawyer became a focal point of the Jan. 6 investigation. John Eastman was the architect of the legal theory at the root of Trump’s attempt to overturn the presidential election. Already, Eastman has faced substantial fallout.

California corporate diversity law ruled unconstitutional. The brief didn’t explain the judge’s reasoning. The measure requires corporate boards of publicly traded companies with a main executive office in California to have a member from an “underrepresented community.”

As UC and Cal State grapple with admissions, ASU steps in. After years of steadily targeting California, the No. 1 source of Arizona State University’s out-of-state students, the school has planted its first flag in the heart of downtown L.A. with a high-profile, multimillion-dollar takeover of the landmark Herald Examiner Building.


Sacramento teachers’ strike ends. Schools reopened Monday in the Sacramento City Unified School District after teachers and other workers reached tentative agreements that increase pay and dole out one-time stipends, ending a strike that closed schools for eight days.

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Despite urging to cut water usage, Californians saved less than 1% in February. Gov. Gavin Newsom had set a goal of reducing urban water use by 15%. But figures released this week showed that even during a third year of drought, Californians have been slow to step up.

LAPD officers often delay providing medical aid after shooting people. Police in L.A., like those around the country, are trained to view people they’ve just shot as ongoing threats. The result is that officers routinely wait several minutes before approaching those suspects, then focus on handcuffing and searching them, a Times review found.

Will Smith is banned for 10 years from academy events. Nearly two weeks after Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday it is forbidding Smith from attending any academy events, including the Oscars, for 10 years.

The complete list of 2022 Grammy Award winners. The winners are in, and, with a diverse group of nominees, the Recording Academy honored artists ranging from 95-year-old Tony Bennett to 19-year-old Olivia Rodrigo (both of whom won) in Las Vegas.

An army of genetically engineered mosquitoes awaits release. Will it backfire? Oxitec, a private company, says its bugs can help stop an invasive and disease-spreading mosquito. But even scientists who see the potential of genetic engineering are uneasy about releasing the transgenic insects because of how hard such trials are to control.

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ICYMI, here are this week’s great reads

Climate change is making valley fever worse. Officially known as coccidioidomycosis — or “cocci” for short — valley fever is a fungal infection that is transmitted in dust. But a disease that was confined to the arid Southwest for decades appears now to be spreading. Researchers say climate change is largely responsible.

Asian Americans are having ‘the talk’ about racism for the first time — with their parents. The rise in anti-Asian hate, fueled by misconceptions about the pandemic’s origins, has exposed generational divides in how Asian Americans view racism. Last year’s Atlanta-area shootings and other attacks have spurred some younger people to have difficult conversations with their elders about something that was always too painful to discuss.

How a tech billionaire’s bid to uplift the poor became a windfall for the rich. Napster founder Sean Parker went to Washington with an idea to help steer money toward communities in need of investment. But the California dreaming was disrupted by Washington deal-making. The final regulations were astoundingly permissive, full of provisions that allowed census districts in some of the nation’s wealthiest places to qualify as Opportunity Zones.

Today’s week-in-review newsletter was curated by Laura Blasey. Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to

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