Newsletter: Essential California: More storms on the way


Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, Jan. 7.

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

More rainstorms are set to pound battered California in the coming days. “We remain in a very wet pattern, well into next week,” said Brooke Bingaman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey.

Kevin McCarthy wins House speakership on 15th vote. The Bakersfield Republican’s victory came at a price. McCarthy had to agree to a series of compromises that dramatically weaken the power of the post.

California’s snowpack is far above average amid January storms, but a lot more is needed. The Sierra Nevada snowpack measures 174% of average for this time of year, and there are still three months left in the snow season.


Family to sell Bruce’s Beach property back to L.A. County for nearly $20 million. Los Angeles County is buying the land after admitting it had been stolen and returning it to the Bruce family just six months ago.

Cartel lays siege to Mexican city after the recapture of the son of “El Chapo.” Armed men took hostages, burned vehicles and stormed an airport in northern Mexico after federal forces captured Ovidio Guzmán, one of the world’s most wanted cartel leaders and the son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Gregory Yee, Times reporter who chased the stories that shaped L.A., dies at 33. We at The Times are mourning Gregory’s loss.

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Ready to pay a massive SoCalGas bill? Natural gas prices are soaring.

The Los Angeles Police Foundation: Inside the LAPD’s secretive, multimillion-dollar private funding arm.


California workers get new protections in 2023. Here’s what you need to know.

The XBB.1.5 variant is taking over on the East Coast. Will it happen in California too?

How atmospheric rivers and a bomb cyclone add up to mayhem for California: The atmospheric rivers arriving in California this week are being fed in part by a storm system sitting several hundred miles off the northern Pacific coast.

Analysis: Only a minority in the GOP sees Jan. 6 as a sad day, poll finds. Both Jan. 6 and the speakership fight show the willingness of a large segment of Republicans — voters as well as elected officials — to tear down long-standing norms and restraints in pursuit of goals that can’t be achieved democratically.

The Dodgers will cut ties with Trevor Bauer rather than keep him for 2023. Bauer had served the longest suspension ever assessed for violating baseball’s policy on sexual assault and domestic violence. The team will pay out the remaining $22.5 million on his contract.

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ICYMI, here are this week’s great reads

Janet Malcolm, at death’s door, finally took on her toughest subject — herself.

Colorado River in crisis: A water reckoning is about to transform the landscape of the Southwest.

What a food columnist eats: “As a cooking writer and recipe developer, my workday meals aren’t as glamorous as you’d think,” says the Times’ Ben Mims.

Rock climbing has a diversity problem. This L.A. group is on it.

Is Joshua Tree too crowded? Go truly off the grid in this starry desert.

Ride out and see: Why Sundays in L.A. are about getting closer to the sky.

Today’s week-in-review newsletter was curated by Karim Doumar. 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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