Newsletter: Essential California: The report card on California’s battle against climate change


Members of Congress described the terror of a shooting at a ballfield in Virginia. A gunman killed three people at a San Francisco UPS facility Wednesday. The crisis at the Oroville Dam has brought new scrutiny to the state’s flood-control system. T

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Thursday, June 15, and here’s what’s happening across California:


Checking in on those greenhouse gases

Here’s the latest report card on California’s battle against climate change. The state has been chipping away at greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. However, it’s going to need much deeper cuts to reach its goals. Los Angeles Times


Shooting in S.F.

While much the nation was focused on the shooting of a congressman and three others in Virginia, a gunman shot and killed three people at a United Parcel Service facility in San Francisco on Wednesday morning before killing himself in front of police officers, authorities say. Los Angeles Times

Superintendent re-upped

The Los Angeles Board of Education has given L.A. Unified Supt. Michelle King a contract extension, right before the newly elected members backed by charter advocates take over next month. Los Angeles Times



The logo: Jerry West is headed to the Clippers. “This is a move filled with Clippers’ credibility and hope. This is move full of Lakers’ embarrassment and dread,” Times columnist Bill Plaschke writes. Los Angeles Times

Making a fast break? Meanwhile, Inglewood’s City Council will vote Thursday on an exclusive negotiating agreement with a Clippers-controlled company to build an arena across from the 298-acre site where Rams owner Stan Kroenke is building a stadium. Los Angeles Times

No place to park? For more than five years, Los Angeles officials have turned a blind eye to drivers who park on the narrow strips of land between the sidewalk and the curb. Time might be running out on that. Los Angeles Times


Watch: Yes, this drone video of L.A. (and especially the U.S. Bank building) is worth watching. YouTube


Read and watch: This family’s American Dream was shattered after ICE raided a California factory. CNN



Follow the money: Who is funding the anti-Trump movement? It’s really hard to tell. KQED

Dams need check-ups: In light of the crisis at Oroville Dam earlier this year, state regulators have begun ordering up-close inspections of aging dams throughout California. Los Angeles Times

They’re not in: Sen. Dianne Feinstein and four other Democrats in California’s congressional delegation, including some representatives of districts with a strong Republican or evenly divided electorate, did not sign onto a federal lawsuit alleging President Trump has illegally profited from foreign payments to his worldwide business interests. Los Angeles Times

A win for unions: A new provision in the state budget means that new California government workers will hear from union representatives almost as soon as they start their jobs. Sacramento Bee


Controversial program killed: The Board of Supervisors voted to axe the controversial PACE program in unincorporated Kern County that allows companies to market clean energy improvements to residential homeowners and fund those improvements through a tax lien on the property. Bakersfield Now


He’s gone: The district attorney of Contra Costa County pleaded no contest to a felony perjury charge then promptly resigned Wednesday, hours after being charged with using more than $66,000 in campaign funds to pay personal bills and to buy jewelry and other items. Los Angeles Times

Changing the system: California’s bail system is ripe for reform, some say. Police officers and prosecutors point to dangerous or repeat offenders who pay their way out of jail time, bail agents to the high number of people who jump bail and criminal justice advocates to the hefty fees levied on the poor. Los Angeles Times


Raids across the region: Federal and state agents raided several locations of the Southern California rehab company Sovereign Health as part of an ongoing probe, authorities said. Los Angeles Times


Spotted! A rare albino dolphin has been spotted in Monterey Bay by members of a Blue Ocean Whale Watch boat tour. Atlas Obscura

That bad smell: It’s really big and will stink, yet people can’t wait to see San Francisco’s corpse flower. KQED


Gulp: There’s been a high increase of cancer-causing compounds in East Bay drinking water. KTVU


Following up: The long-awaited publication of an investigation of Uber’s practices proves that the company still doesn’t understand its problems, Times columnist Michael Hiltzik concludes. Los Angeles Times

Plus: With so much controversy and malfeasance swirling around the company, Uber’s big problem now is attracting talent. Washington Post


The Goop summit! Also, meet the Goopies — devotees to Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand. See how they spend their time. New York Times

Another view: Exasperated attendees are giving up on Gwyneth’s Goop summit. New York Post

What a nerd! Meet Tanner Nishioka. He’s the unlikeliest of top baseball draft picks, and probably smarter than you. Los Angeles Times

Not just 805: The Ventura County area code is finally being divided. Ventura County Star


Small world: A sneak peek at the progress of Disneyland’s ambitious makeover. As construction continues, more of it is coming into view. Orange County Register


Sacramento, San Diego and Los Angeles area: sunny Thursday and Friday. San Francisco area: cloudy Thursday, sunny Friday. More weather is here.



Today’s California memory comes from Steven Hansen:

“My Aunt Lois worked for a large law firm in downtown L.A. for over 30 years. The firm had a season box at the Hollywood Bowl, and her seniority gave her a better-than-average shot at getting tickets when open seats were available. So, one day Aunt Lois told me she had a couple of tickets for something special and she wanted me to go with her. The singer was someone I had never heard of, and the songs that she sang were not the popular ones trending on the radio. Still, I was entranced!

“Eventually I came to learn more about the singer, her songs, and the racial bias that held her back when she was struggling to make it in the music business. As the years went by, I would occasionally hear her singing one of her songs on highbrow radio or public television. There was no mistaking her distinct voice, incredible range and peppy rhythm. This is all a trigger that takes me back to that night long ago when my Aunt Lois took me to the Hollywood Bowl to see and hear Ella Fitzgerald, the first lady of song, live and in concert.”

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 Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.