Newsletter: Essential California: SoCal’s summer threatened by blackouts

Good morning. It is Wednesday, April 6. Here’s what is happening in the Golden State:


Keeping the lights on

The Porter Ranch gas leak is now capped, but the effects for Southern California could extend into the summer. State officials warned Tuesday that the region could experience as many as 14 days of blackouts this summer because of a natural gas storage shortage caused by the massive gas leak. Officials hope to avoid “rolling blackouts” like during the energy crisis. Many nearby residents remain opposed to reopening the Aliso Canyon site. Los Angeles Times


Finding a motive

There are some new twists in the case of a North Hills father accused by prosecutors of killing his gay son. Los Angeles police say that the man shot his son in an effort to cover up the killing of his wife the previous day. There had been some debate about whether homophobia was the only motive. Los Angeles Times

Deliberations begin

A federal jury must now decide the fate of Paul Tanaka, the once-tough manager who ran day-to-day operations in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. Did he help orchestrate a scheme to thwart an FBI investigation into allegations of misconduct by deputies in his agency’s jails? Or is he a convenient scapegoat who has been unfairly blamed for the actions of his boss and a group of subordinates? Los Angeles Times


Back to sea: The 8-month-old sea lion pup who found her way into a La Jolla restaurant in February will return to the ocean. Marina was found to be malnourished and suffering from an eye injury, but since then she’s gained 25 pounds and shown that she can forage for food on her own. Los Angeles Times


Branding the park: Plans for a corporate-branded basketball court partway up the Runyon Canyon hiking trail has some users angry. “Runyon Canyon is perfect the way it is. It doesn’t need to be changed minus basic, basic upkeep,” said one critic. Los Angeles Times

Legal settlement?: The high-stakes legal dispute over whether Hollywood mogul Sumner Redstone is mentally competent to handle his affairs could soon be resolved amid talk of a settlement. Los Angeles Times

Old is new again: In a sign of the gentrification times, developers are painstakingly restoring one of L.A.’s first bowling alleys — in Highland Park — to its original glory. LAist


Parental leave: Another first out of San Francisco: The city on Tuesday agreed to require businesses to provide fully paid leave for new parents. Moms and dads will get six weeks of paid leave under the program. “The vast majority of workers in this country have little or no access to paid parental leave, and that needs to change,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener. The mandate follows similar requirements to provide paid sick leave and health insurance. Associated Press

More like a bust: The California population boom is definitely a thing of the past. Data show the state grew by less than 1% for 11 straight years. Birthrates are down, and fewer people are moving into the Golden State. Sacramento Bee

Price setting: One state lawmaker wants to take an active role in setting customer prices for Uber, Lyft and other rideshare companies. SB 1035 takes direct aim at the companies’ business plans, which rely on demand pricing. “There’s gotta be a way to allow some flexibility in the pricing but also to allow some guarantee to the drivers that they’re going to make some kind of profit,” said state Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego). Los Angeles Times


Dad of the year?: A Van Nuys father has pleaded not guilty to leaving his 9-month-old girl in his car for an hour during a daytime visit to a strip club. An assistant manager at Synn Gentleman’s Club in North Hills said he found the baby inside the car after hearing her cries. Los Angeles Times

Case dismissed: A federal judge has dismissed a wrongful-death lawsuit claiming that automaker Porsche can be held liable for the crash that killed “The Fast and the Furious” actor Paul Walker and another man in 2013. U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez found the other man’s wife did not present evidence to show design flaws with the Carerra GT. The dismissal does not affect wrongful-death lawsuits brought by Walker’s father and teenage daughter. Los Angeles Times


No cheap eats: There’s no question that bread is delicious, but why are Californians paying as much as $7 for a slice of toast? BuzzFeed

Unique flavors: The ice cream in Los Angeles’ Little Tehran sounds awfully delicious: cucumber, white rose, pomegranate. New York Times


San Diego will begin the day with fog. Later, the sun will come out as temperatures reach a high of 75 degrees. Los Angeles will have a mix of sun and clouds with a high of 83 degrees. Riverside will be sunny and 92. There will be sun and a high of 81 in San Francisco. Sacramento will be sunny and 86.


Today’s California Memory comes from Bill Mills:

“When I lived in the Central Valley, I occasionally drove to Mill Valley to hike the Dipsea trail to Stinson Beach. On a warm summer afternoon, the most enjoyable section of the trail was the area called the rain forest. Imagine walking into a shady and misting atmosphere under tall trees after having hiked several miles in hot sunshine. So refreshing!”

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (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 and ideas to Alice Walton or Shelby Grad.