Newsletter: Essential California: Mayhem at YouTube’s headquarters


Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, April 4, and here’s what’s happening across California:


A woman opened fire at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., shooting three people with a handgun before taking her own life and causing widespread panic in the technology hub south of San Francisco. Investigators initially believed the shooting was a domestic incident, but a law enforcement source said the investigation is now looking into a website in which someone with a similar name complains about YouTube stifling traffic and suppressing videos. Los Angeles Times

Before the shooting: The 39-year-old woman who authorities say opened fire had recently been reported missing by her family in Southern California. Mountain View police said they spotted the woman, who goes by Nasim Aghdam, asleep in a car in a city parking lot early Tuesday morning, hours before the shooting, and notified her family. Los Angeles Times


And: The woman’s father says he told police she might be going to YouTube because she “hated” the company. Mercury News

Plus: In what’s become a troubling tradition after a mass shooting, conspiracy theories and hoaxes bounced across social media soon after gun violence erupted on YouTube’s campus. Los Angeles Times

Orange County’s homelessness crisis

The political crisis over homelessness in Orange County approached a critical moment Tuesday as a federal judge raised the prospect of barring local governments from enforcing anti-camping ordinances if officials cannot create temporary shelters for hundreds being swept out of tent cities. Los Angeles Times

Trump and the wall

President Trump called on Tuesday for using the military to guard the border with Mexico until his promised wall is built, highlighting his growing frustration as nationalist allies criticize him for failing to get Congress to fully fund construction. “Until we can have a wall and proper security, we are going to be guarding our border with our military. That’s a big step,” Trump said during a lunchtime meeting with leaders of three Baltic nations. Los Angeles Times

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History lesson: Fifty years ago today, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. A look at how his death affected a nation, as told by those who remember it. Los Angeles Times

Plus: Months earlier, his killer, James Earl Ray, had come to L.A. and found a place where he fit in. Los Angeles Times

Denied: A judge has overturned Los Angeles’ approval of a 27-story apartment tower in Koreatown, handing the city yet another defeat over its handling of real estate projects. Los Angeles Times

It’s spreading: “Defend Boyle Heights’ Nancy Meza has brought her anti-gentrification workshops to Chicago and New York. Residents from South Los Angeles to Orange County have asked for similar training.” Capital & Main

Woo! Good news for travelers who rely on the Metro Green Line to get to Los Angeles International Airport. Five stations that had been closed since late January resumed service Sunday, six days ahead of schedule. Los Angeles Times


About that “caravan”: President Trump’s threat to Honduras on Tuesday over migrants he claims are headed to the United States marks an about-face after his administration has sought close ties with the Central American nation, and illustrates how his impulsive tweets can send confusing signals to allies. Los Angeles Times


Big moves: The Federal Reserve’s top official on the West Coast has been chosen to head its powerful New York regional bank, a controversial choice because he helped regulate Wells Fargo & Co. during its fake-accounts scandal and is another white male at an institution critics complain sorely lacks diversity. Los Angeles Times

New committee: Matt Dababneh, the former Democratic assemblyman who resigned last year amid allegations of sexual misconduct, has opened a new fundraising committee that would enable him to tap into previously raised campaign cash. Los Angeles Times

RIP: Bonnie Reiss, who played a key role in crafting education and environmental policy for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, died Monday at her home in Malibu. Los Angeles Times

Big race: “At a moment of extraordinary tension between California and President Trump, this state is moving to elect a governor in a changing of the guard that will test its outsize power as a national leader for Democrats in its fight against the White House.” New York Times


Change might be coming: Flanked by civil rights advocates, California lawmakers announced new legislation designed to make it easier to prosecute police officers who kill civilians. Los Angeles Times

In court: A former legislative aide sued the California Senate and recently resigned Sen. Tony Mendoza on Tuesday, alleging she was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for complaining about Mendoza’s alleged sexual harassment of a young female staff member. Los Angeles Times


Protect the whales! For decades, environmental rules that protect whales and other marine life from the noise of seismic survey blasts in the search for offshore oil have limited the location and frequency of these blasts — preventing oil companies from exploring, and therefore operating, off much of the nation’s coast. Now these safeguards are quietly being dismantled. Los Angeles Times

Ruh-roh: “PG&E Corp. has been losing customers in Marin County north of San Francisco since 2010 to a new kind of rival, and says their growing popularity is costing the utility’s remaining customers, to the tune of $180 million last year. That could balloon to $500 million in the early 2020s, according to a statement Tuesday.” Bloomberg


Exciting! After their Academy Award-winning collaboration on “The Shape of Water,” Fox Searchlight Pictures and director Guillermo del Toro have signed a development deal that will include a new genre label to serve as a home for horror, sci-fi and fantasy projects. Los Angeles Times

Feels like home: Shohei Ohtani, who singled in his first major league at-bat and won his first major league start as a pitcher, homered in his first-ever plate appearance at Angel Stadium. Los Angeles Times

Self-driving car deaths raise the question: Is society ready for us to take our hands off the wheel? Los Angeles Times

Yum: L.A.’s “wildest restaurant” has Lebanese-Mexican roots and is big on Instagram. Eater LA

For sale: Ronald Reagan launched his political career at this Anaheim house, which is on the market for the first time in 60 years. Orange County Register


Los Angeles area: partly cloudy, 70, Wednesday and Thursday. San Diego: partly cloudy, 66, Wednesday and Thursday. San Francisco area: cloudy, 60, Wednesday and Thursday. Sacramento: partly cloudy, 73, Wednesday; partly cloudy, 70, Thursday. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Erwin Beach:

“Our family moved to Escondido from Mason, Mich., while I was in my sophomore year of high school. It was a major change, but one that I will cherish forever. While we only lived in California a little over a year, I remember my father working on Victor Mature’s house, as he was a builder. Another young boy and I worked planting iceplant in granite with the colors of red, white and blue at a local dentist’s home. Because I liked to walk, I ventured after school heading home. I did not know that the orange groves had deep canals for irrigation and got quite soaked and muddy by the time I crossed a large grove. I learned a good lesson at that time.”

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.