California Sun

Good morning. It's Thursday, April 25.

Anti-vax parents flood the state Capitol to oppose bill.
"The first great restaurant" of the new San Francisco.
And a look back at one of baseball's greatest plays.



Inmates walked through the yard at the Kern County Jail.

Al Seib/L.A. Times via Getty Images

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its prison population. It did, shifting responsibility for thousands of offenders from state prisons to ill-prepared county jails. The result? Inmate-on-inmate homicides tripled and suicides increased by more than 20 percent in California’s inland county jails.


California's hottest housing measure cleared a major hurdle in the state Senate. The bill, known as SB 50, would override local control to allow denser housing near mass transit across the state. It passed out of a key committee only after being amended to go easier on smaller counties like Marin and Santa Barbara, which won't have to build as tall as big cities. CALmatters | A.P.

A report estimated that SB 50 has the potential to reshape 43 percent of developable land in Los Angeles. Curbed Los Angeles


A home on Lincoln Street in Berkeley sold for $2.8 million, $805,000 over its list price.

MLS/Coldwell Banker

Other housing news:

Sign of the times in the East Bay: A real estate brokerage said 45 percent of its home sales are to San Francisco buyers and 38 percent of its total sales are all-cash. Berkeleyside
Residents in the Central Coast city of Grover Beach are furious about plans for a homeless shelter: "There is no neighborhood support for this," a resident said. The Tribune
San Francisco officials approved a homeless shelter on the Embarcadero in the face of intense resistance. Opponents vowed to block the project through the courts. SFist | S.F. Examiner

Terry Roark showed a photo of her son, who she said was harmed by vaccines, as she expressed opposition to vaccination legislation in Sacramento on Wednesday.

Rich Pedroncelli/A.P.

Hundreds of anti-vax parents lined the corridors of the state Capitol on Wednesday to voice opposition to a bill that would empower the state to vet medical exemptions sought by physicians. They called the measure "draconian" and a "crime against humanity," and accused lawmakers of being brainwashed. A Senate health committee advanced the measure. Sacramento Bee | KQED

The U.S. is now facing the largest measles outbreak since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000. Among the latest victims: a baby too young to be vaccinated in Shasta County. NPR | Record Searchlight


An analysis of President Trump's 2017 tax overhaul found that it benefits high-income households in Republican states more than those in Democratic states. In a ranking of the lifetime benefits to households, California came in dead last among the states. Economists attributed the variance between blue and red parts of the country to the law's limitation of the state and local tax deduction, known as SALT.


Sand hill cranes lifted off in the Merced National Wildlife Reserve.

California's wintertime tule fog — a blinding gloom notorious for causing pileups in the Central Valley — has been fading for decades. Now Berkeley researchers think they know why. Fog patterns have shown a strong correlation with the presence of air pollutants. That's because airborne particles provide something for water to condense onto. Less pollution = less fog.


Widely varying terrain means every manner of life thrives in California.

California is a land of extremes, including the highest and lowest points in the contiguous U.S. — Mount Whitney and Badwater Basin. The crumpled terrain is the result of giant tectonic collisions that began many millions of years ago. Here are some nicely done simulations of California's formation — with a starring role for the San Andreas Fault — on YouTube (~8 minutes).


Northern California


A man who watched in horror as a motorist plowed into a crowd of people in Sunnyvale Tuesday evening said the driver mumbled over and over, "I love you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus." Isaiah Joel Peoples, 34, a former Army sharpshooter with a history of PTSD, was arrested in the violent episode that left eight people injured. He's been charged with eight counts of attempted murder.


Caleb "Kai" McGillvary was escorted by the police in Elizabeth, N.J., after his arrest in 2013.

Mel Evans/A.P.

Remember Kai the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker? The former Humboldt County resident won internet fame in 2013 after giving a colorful interview to a Fresno-area TV reporter. His real name is Caleb McGillvary, 30, and he was just convicted of murder in New Jersey. Prosecutors said McGillvary beat a 73-year-old man to death. McGillvary said he acted in self-defense as the man attempted to sexually assault him.


Writing in the opinion pages of the N.Y. Times, a Cal State Chico professor urged people not to forget about Paradise, where indignities continue to stack up. "Imagine your own community and how each member would fare, from the very stable to the most vulnerable, if in a single day everything burned to the ground. And if you lived in the town nearest by, where tens of thousands fled for protection, how far would your arms spread to shelter them?" N.Y. Times

"The folly of returning to Paradise." Bloomberg's editorial board argued against rebuilding in fire-prone areas. Bloomberg


Parker House rolls grilled with wild boar fat.


The San Francisco fish house Angler has been gathering accolades since opening last year. Now GQ has named it one of the 13 best new restaurants in the country. "Angler feels more honest about what San Francisco is today: an often dystopian metropolis of vast tech wealth where, over the past five years, I've largely eaten in places with too much capital, too much square footage, and too little soul. For better or worse, Angler feels like the first great restaurant of this new city." GQ |

Also, here's a highly opinionated guide to the real treats of San Francisco dining. Eater San Francisco


Southern California


Nearly 53,000 people were homeless in L.A. County last year.

David McNew/Getty Images

The number of homeless people is increasing in the Los Angeles region — but not as fast as individuals are dying. In the last five years, deaths have jumped 76 percent, outpacing the growth of the homeless population, an analysis found. Health officials believe substance abuse is playing a part in the surge.


The National Rifle Association sued Los Angeles over a new law requiring that contractors disclose their ties to the gun rights group as a condition of winning contracts from the city. Calling it "modern-day McCarthyism," the NRA said the law violates the group's First Amendment right to free speech and association. L.A. has said providing funds to NRA-linked groups undermines efforts to promote gun safety.


Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Here's a view of the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in the Mojave Desert. It opened in 2014 as the world's largest concentrated solar plant (Morocco has since built a bigger one). Thousands of moving mirrors focus sunlight onto three 459-foot "power towers," which in turn use steam-powered turbines to produce enough electricity for about 140,000 homes around the West.

With California trying to hit 100 percent clean energy by 2045, concentrated solar projects are expected to make up a crucial part of the mix. But they're not without controversy. Sprawling across five square miles, the Ivanpah facility has faced intense criticism for disturbing wildlife habitat and altering the desert scenery.


Photo: Herald Examiner, via L.A. Public Library

It's been called the greatest play in baseball. On this day in 1976, two intruders on the outfield at Dodger Stadium doused an American flag in lighter fluid and struck a match. "It looks like he's going to burn a flag!" Vin Scully cried out. Then, out of nowhere, Cubs centerfielder Rick Monday charged the men, grabbing the flag before they could get it lit. The fans roared, then broke into "God Bless America."

Monday became something of national hero thanks to a photo that captured the moment, above. L.A. Times columnist Jim Murray called it "the most famous picture of its kind since the flag-raising at Iwo Jima." Here's a remembrance by Vice, and a video of Monday's "play" on YouTube.


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The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.

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