Newsletter: Essential California Week in Review: Takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries

a dog stands and waits while its owner votes in a voting booth
Cameron Porsandeh votes with his dog, Hera, at Westminster Elementary on Tuesday, June 7, in Los Angeles.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, June 11.

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

Takeaways from Tuesday’s elections. Amid a charged series of races, voters turned out in low numbers to cast their ballots. Still, the results had something for everyone — clear victories, successful recalls and a few runoffs heading into November.

Revisiting the Jan. 6 Capitol attack as congressional hearings begin. The first Jan. 6 select committee hearing Thursday night, broadcast at prime time, jolted viewers back to early 2021, with the panel deploying never-before-seen video of violence and graphic, emotional testimony.

Parts of Southern California used 26% more water in April, despite conservation pleas. Coastal Southern California increased water usage for the month of April, lagging behind most other parts of the state in conservation and appearing to dismiss dire warnings.


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California’s latest COVID-19 surge may be slowing, early data suggest. California reported an average of 13,800 new coronavirus cases a day over the past week, according to data released Friday, down 12% from the previous week. The trend is the first decrease in two months.

Summit of the Americas kicks off in L.A. The summit of more than 20 heads of states from the Western Hemisphere — being held in the U.S. for the first time since 1994 — has been overshadowed by the fallout from the exclusion of leaders from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Plus: Some local Latino communities wish they had more of a say and some homeless encampments were cleared as world leaders arrived.

$6 for a gallon of gas? Try nearly $10 in this coastal California town. Drivers heading up the Pacific Coast should be on the lookout for the town of Mendocino, where a gallon now costs $9.60. Gas prices have surged, and California has the highest prices in the nation.

Armed California man arrested near Justice Kavanaugh’s home. A Simi Valley man armed with a handgun, knife and burglary tools was detained near the Maryland home of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh early Wednesday morning after making threats, federal officials said.

Sonoma State president resigns in sexual harassment scandal. Judy Sakaki announced Monday that she is stepping down.The announcement marks the latest fallout from searing criticism over how California State University handles sexual harassment and retaliation complaints.

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ICYMI, here are this week’s great reads

After his son died on a USC film shoot, a father is still looking for answers. Moviemaking was 29-year-old cinematographer Peng Wang’s dream. Wang, who went by the first name Aaron at Chapman University’s film school, was cautious and generous, his father told The Times. So when he got a call one early April morning saying that his son had died in an accident on a USC student film shoot out on the Imperial Sand Dunes, he was stunned.

California food is taking over Europe’s restaurant scene. In the latest installment of The Times’ new Global California series, Jaweed Kaleem takes a look at the hottest new trend in fine dining around the world. Across the Atlantic, every month brings a new restaurant, chef or menu imported from Los Angeles or San Francisco. But chefs say it’s less about specific flavors and dishes and more about the philosophy that inspires California cuisine.

Plus: The trend stretches as far as Singapore and chefs explain the appeal of California food.

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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