#minorsextrafficking | Essential California: Are we in a megadrought?

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, April 19, and here’s a quick look at the week ahead:

The jury will begin deliberations in the Derek Chauvin trial after closing arguments are delivered on Monday. A verdict is likely to come this week for the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

[See also: “Police killed their loved ones. Now they’re hopeful of a conviction of the officer charged in death of George Floyd” in the Los Angeles Times]

On Wednesday, former President Obama will join the L.A. Times Book Club to discuss his memoir “A Promised Land” in conversation with filmmaker Ava DuVernay. The free virtual book club event will stream at 7 p.m. PDT on the Los Angeles Times Facebook page, YouTube and Twitter.

Thursday is Earth Day. President Biden will hold a virtual climate summit, and 18-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will testify before a House committee.

The Academy Awards are on Sunday. See The Times’ full Oscar coverage here.

And now, here’s what’s happening across California:

California has entered another drought. But depending on who you ask, the last one may have never really ended. Some researchers believe the region is actually more than two decades into an emerging “megadrought” — a hydrological event that is on par with the worst dry spells of the past millennium. Except this time, they say, human-caused climate change is driving its severity — and will make it that much harder to climb back out of. Los Angeles Times

A Reseda mother unraveled in the months before she killed her three children: Struggling with postpartum depression, anger and childhood trauma, Liliana Carrillo alarmed people in her life as her condition worsened over the last year. Echoing the delusions of QAnon believers, she was consumed by the idea that Porterville, Calif., was the site of a child sex-trafficking ring. Los Angeles Times

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The city of Los Angeles plans to spend nearly $1 billion to combat homelessness in the coming budget year, tapping huge new sources of state and federal aid and finally ramping up construction of homes for the unhoused. Los Angeles Times

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger recommended Dr. Drew to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority commission, prompting outcry among some homeless service advocates. The controversial doctor still needs to be approved by the rest of the board before joining the commission. Los Angeles Times

Critics say former “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” star Dr. Drew Pinsky promotes ill-formed and harmful views, including an enforcement-focused approach to homelessness.

(Getty Images)

West Hollywood will regularly shut down a portion of Robertson Boulevard to vehicle traffic starting Saturday to allow businesses to offer goods and services outdoors. Los Angeles Times

The pandemic hit Little Tokyo hard. Josie Huang surveys the neighborhood’s business landscape. LAist

The perils of staying at home: Police responded to an increase of landlord, tenant and neighbor disputes during the pandemic. Crosstown LA


Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Friday requiring hotel, event center, airport hospitality and janitorial employers to first rehire workers laid off during the pandemic when jobs become available, a move that comes after the governor vetoed a more expansive labor-backed bill last year. Los Angeles Times


Dr. Anthony Fauci says he expects the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to resume later this week, possibly with restrictions or broader warnings after reports of some very rare blood clot cases. Associated Press

Marin may be the first Bay Area county to enter the yellow tier: Marin County is on the cusp of dropping into yellow, the least restrictive of the state’s four-tiered pandemic reopening plan. San Francisco Chronicle


California is “clawing back” from the pandemic recession. But some 40,000 California workers quit the labor force in March, pulling the unemployment rate down slightly but feeding stubborn joblessness. Los Angeles Times

“Steph and Ayesha Curry’s stunning impact on Oakland kids”: The couple’s foundation helped serve 16 million meals to Oakland’s children and families at risk of food insecurity in one year. San Francisco Chronicle

The most Instagram-worthy spots in Stockton: A longtime Stockton Record photographer shares some of the city’s most photogenic locations, from an umbrella-filled alley to the colorful carousel at Pixie Woods. Stockton Record

A poem to start your week: “Credo” by Alfred Kreymborg. Poets.org

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Los Angeles: sunny, 84. San Diego: sunny, 79. San Francisco: morning clouds and afternoon wind, 64. San Jose: morning clouds, 72. Fresno: mainly sunny, 89. Sacramento: some morning clouds, 88.


This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California:

Former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly (April 20, 1961), actor George Takei (April 20, 1937), Rep. Norma Torres (April 23, 1965) and Rep. Mike Garcia (April 24, 1976).

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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