LA NOW: Essential California

Los Angeles County recorded its worst daily coronavirus death toll in at least a month on Wednesday, which may be the result of increased disease transmission that probably began around Memorial Day. Los Angeles Times

With demand soaring, L.A. County narrows priority for who should get coronavirus tests. Priority will now be given to those showing symptoms, who work in a high-risk environment or who have come in contact with a person known to have been exposed to the virus. Los Angeles Times

L.A. County’s top health official warned that the coronavirus surge jeopardizes the reopening of K-12 schools in the county. She told education leaders that the pending reopening of K-12 campuses is suddenly at risk because of the ongoing surge, and all public and private schools must prepare for students to continue learning entirely from home. Los Angeles Times

An independent autopsy found that Andres Guardado was shot five times in the back. The 18-year-old was killed by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy in Gardena last month. Los Angeles Times

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A group of Democratic challengers to incumbent Republican U.S. senators has once again posted massive fundraising numbers, raising the party’s hopes of reclaiming the Senate from the GOP in the November election. Los Angeles Times

Newsom says the reopening of California schools will be based on safety, not pressure from President Trump. The governor said Wednesday that a decision on reopening California schools this fall will be made by local education and health officials weighing the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, and emphasized that he won’t be swayed by statements from Trump urging campuses to bring back students quickly. Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court cleared the way for a Trump administration regulation that would free employers from providing contraceptives to their employees if the company’s owners have a religious or moral objection, potentially leaving more than 120,000 women with no coverage. Los Angeles Times

San Francisco Mayor London Breed is awaiting the results of a coronavirus test after public health officials informed her she had been exposed to the coronavirus and there was a moderate risk that she had been infected. San Francisco Chronicle


A Danville father was fatally shot while on an off-roading trip with his teenage son. The 45-year-old doctor died at the scene, while his son spent 30 hours alone and lost in the dense woods of Sierra County before being rescued. San Francisco Chronicle

Ventura County officials are searching for “Glee” actress Naya Rivera after she went missing Wednesday while boating at Lake Piru with her son. Authorities said Rivera rented a boat and may have drowned while swimming. Her 4-year-old son was found sleeping on the boat by himself by other boaters in the lake. Los Angeles Times


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Endangered California condors are back in Sequoia National Park for the first time in 50 years. At least six of the giant birds were spotted in the park in late May, biologists said, a testament to the continued recovery of the species. Los Angeles Times

[Previously: “How the California condor returned from the brink of extinction” in the Los Angeles Times]


San Francisco’s beloved cable cars probably won’t run again until a coronavirus vaccine is ready. For now, the orange and burgundy beasts are gathering dust in a brick barn on Mason Street, where they’ve been hibernating since March. San Francisco Chronicle

People riding a cable car in San Francisco, back when one could still do such a thing. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Summer rental rates for Malibu houses on coveted beachfront property have soared. One owner recently put their home up for rent to cash in, listing it for $40,000 more a month than its “usual” [read: already exorbitant] summer price. The Hollywood Reporter

This year’s midsummer bloom of sunflower fields in Yolo and Solano counties has attracted staggering numbers of picture-seeking tourists, leaving area growers frustrated by broken stems and parked cars blocking the entrances to roads used to move machinery around or access irrigation pipes. Sacramento Bee

A Lake Elsinore man killed by the coronavirus warned others in his final Facebook post. Tommy Macias, 51, wrote about how he had been an “idiot” and attended a barbecue where guests didn’t wear masks. “This is no joke,” he wrote, exhorting others to take precautions. He started having trouble breathing the next morning, and died later that day. Riverside Press-Enterprise

A poem to start your Thursday: “Poet’s Work” by Lorine Niedecker.

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Los Angeles: partly sunny, 80. San Diego: sunny, 75. San Francisco: sunny, 75. San Jose: sunny, 87. Fresno: sunny, 102. Sacramento: sunny, 100. More weather is here.


Today’s California memory comes from Marge Solari:

In the 1960s, my brother and sister often sent for tickets to shows. Then they would jump into his Volkswagen bus, get on the freeway and go to Hollywood. One time we all went to “Let’s Make a Deal.” I wore a wedding dress and granny boots. My sister wore a colander decorated with kitchen utensils on her head. My brother wore a mumu, a wig, and flip flops. We got to sit on the trading floor but were not picked to deal. Still, it was a pretty exciting day.

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (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, ideas and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes.



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