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Essential California: Police shooting in Sacramento heightens racial tensions

Essential California: Police shooting in Sacramento heightens racial tensions
A California Highway Patrol officer chases a participant of a Black Lives Matter march as the group marched on to Interstate 5 in Sacramento on Thursday. (Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It is Saturday, March 24. Here's what you don't want to miss this weekend:



The police killing of an unarmed African American man holding a cellphone in his backyard has roiled Sacramento, sparking protests and heightening concerns from members of the city's African American community about how they are treated by law enforcement. This is also shaping up as a test of city government, which after an earlier controversial shooting of a black man has tried to be more transparent. Los Angeles Times

Plus: Breaking down the shooting and the video. Los Angeles Times

More: A moment for Sacramento to "check your privilege." Sacramento Bee

What's in the budget?

The earthquake early-warning system under construction on the West Coast got a significant boost in the budget signed into law, defying an earlier proposal by President Trump to end federal funding of the program. Los Angeles Times

Happening this weekend

More than 1,000 Parkland, Fla., students are expected to participate in March for Our Lives events, fanning out across the country. They are part of an extraordinary moment in cities small and large when high school students are outflanking not only adults with other views but also entrenched and powerful interests, including the National Rifle Assn. The largest event in the L.A. area will start at 9 a.m. at 6th and Spring streets downtown. Los Angeles Times

There's an app for that!

It's now way easier to find out if you live in a California earthquake fault zone. The California Geological Survey has published an easy-to-use interactive map online — type in your address or share your location on your smartphone, and, voila, you'll know if you stand in a fault zone. Los Angeles Times


Jobs numbers: California's job engine appears robust in the eighth year of an economic expansion, even if there are growing headwinds on the horizon after President Trump announced new tariffs this week. Los Angeles Times

RIP: Nancy McFadden, who translated the sweeping agenda of Gov. Jerry Brown's return to power into legislative action and established law as his top advisor, died Thursday after battling ovarian cancer. Los Angeles Times

Into overtime: NCAA President Mark Emmert talks about a potential Final Four in L.A. and the bribery and corruption case in college basketball. Los Angeles Times

In court: A Los Angeles man accused of defrauding immigrants who were in the country illegally as they sought lawful permanent residence in the United States has been arrested. Los Angeles Times


Vino problems: California winemakers are among those concerned about Trump's potential trade war. Los Angeles Times

Zlatan! "If this doesn't work, if Zlatan Ibrahimovic fails to take the Galaxy out of the shadows of this city's sporting landscape, the soccer franchise might as well not sign another big-name foreign player. Because if Ibrahimovic can't make Los Angeles care about the Galaxy, there isn't a player who can," writes Times sports columnist Dylan Hernandez. Los Angeles Times

Listen: News outlets across the country are writing about Senate Bill 827, the California housing bill that would dramatically increase homebuilding near transit lines. The legislation from Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) would address two of the state's biggest housing problems: a shortage of available homes and the need to build at greater densities to help meet climate change goals. Check out Times reporter Liam Dillon discussing the legislation. Los Angeles Times

Plus: "After decades of growth, the nation's tech capital San Francisco is losing more residents than it is attracting as housing costs force families to pack up and leave." Wall Street Journal

Follow the money: Facebook and Google are spending big bucks to fight California's data privacy measure. Sacramento Bee

Canceled: President Trump's new national security advisor, John Bolton, has canceled a scheduled appearance in Monterey on Monday as a part of the Leon Panetta Lecture Series. The Californian

Sad! "After 25 years in operation, Meltdown —billed as the largest comic book store on the West Coast — will close April 1." Curbed LA



1. White supremacists hang banners at visible locations to promote their ideology and recruit, a new ADL report says. Daily Breeze

2. For police, catching stoned drivers isn't so easy. Los Angeles Times

3. Battered by fires and floods, beleaguered Montecito braced for more potential destruction. Los Angeles Times

4. This 16-year-old's suicide letters are a cry for help and a national call for change. Orange County Register

5. A rock climber died after falling 200 feet down a waterfall on the Riverside-Orange County border. Orange County Register


Looking back: The chaos chronicled in the current era of 24-hour news coverage on cable and the web is still no match for 1968, when TV brought political assassinations, street riots and a brutal guerrilla war into America's living rooms. The extraordinary confluence of events riveted the nation and made anchors such as Walter Cronkite more influential than ever, helping to shape the current TV news business. At the same time, the polarizing issues covered in 1968 created a hostility toward the media that reverberates half a century later. Los Angeles Times

Yucky but fascinating: Organs from coyotes that perished across Los Angeles and Orange counties under myriad circumstances are offering fresh glimpses of a biological mystery: Exactly what fits into the diet of the intelligent, socially organized and highly adaptive scavengers in urban settings? The answer wouldn't just interest concerned cat owners, but could also help shape effective strategies for managing the species in urban areas. Los Angeles Times

Legacy time: As Gov. Jerry Brown heads for the hills and a retirement on his ranch, he's also getting the profile treatment in several national publications. There's the New Yorker, which writes, "His manner is as idiosyncratic as ever, but he is more strategic and more focused than he was in his first two terms. He has even come to embrace the old-school deal-making favored by his father, Pat Brown, who served as governor from 1959 to 1967." The New Yorker

More: Then there was California Sunday Magazine, which described the governor this way: "Written off in his youth as a New Age dilettante, Brown now finds himself the wise man of American politics. It's a role he savors. On the defining issue of our time, climate change, he has assumed the mantle of alt-president, traveling to Europe and Asia, insisting the United States will not abandon its commitments." California Sunday Magazine

Disturbing history: "California led the nation in this effort at social engineering. Between the early 1920s and the 1950s … approximately 20,000 people — one-third of the national total — were sterilized in California state institutions for the mentally ill and disabled." Smithsonian Magazine

A dark horse: "Michael Shellenberger, a lifelong Democrat, may be cash-poor, but his gubernatorial campaign represents a stark break with Democratic-party orthodoxy on energy policy, and that alone makes his candidacy important. Shellenberger is among the world's foremost advocates for nuclear energy, and one of the fiercest critics of renewables." National Review

Great interview: Famed California poet Luis Rodriguez on bringing the letters to the "Mexican side" of the San Fernando Valley, among many other things. LA Review of Books

See you in court: Oakland and San Francisco are suing oil companies as part of novel legal strategy: Creating a trust fund to deal with sea-level rise. Will the climate change tactic work? Wired

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.