California Sun

Good morning. It's Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Outrage as assemblywoman forced to bring infant to vote.
"Gross hypocrisy" cited in Nancy Pelosi's hair appointment.
And the things New Yorkers who move to San Francisco say.



Hundreds of newly passed bills could be in jeopardy after state Senate Republicans were forced to vote on the measures remotely while under quarantine. An opinion from the Office of Legislative Counsel in May said the process, in which lawmakers cast votes on Zoom, was likely illegal. Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove said she expected a court challenge. A.P.


Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks held her daughter Elly at the state Capitol in Sacramento on Monday.

California State Assembly via A.P.

Few could have predicted one of the biggest stories to come out of the strange legislative session. A lawmaker who gave birth a month ago was forced to drive from Oakland to Sacramento to vote after being denied a request to do it by proxy. Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks cradled her breastfeeding daughter as she urged colleagues to pass a housing bill. The refusal to accommodate Wicks drew widespread condemnation. Politico | Sacramento Bee


A penguin named Rey strolled outside her enclosure at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Kent Nishimura/L.A. Times

The octopuses, otters, and hammerhead sharks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium are doing great. But above the water, life is fraught. The world-famous aquarium, which typically draws 2 million visitors yearly, has been closed for five months. More than a third of the staff has been laid off or furloughed, and conservation work has been scaled back. No reopening date is yet planned. L.A. Times


Northern California


Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to reporters at the Capitol on Aug. 22.

Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi got her hair done inside a San Francisco salon on Monday, even though the city prohibits such services during the coronavirus pandemic. Fox News broke the story, publishing security footage from the salon, which was seized upon by critics as an example of "gross hypocrisy" and worse. Responding, Pelosi said she was told by the salon that the visit was allowed. S.F. Chronicle | A.P.


Oakland is hiring a new police chief. Among the job requirements: De-militarize the force, rebuild community trust, and promote the mental health of officers. Also: "Eradicate the Department’s role in racial profiling, implicit bias, and structural racism, thereby helping to dismantle mechanisms of discrimination, oppression, and violence." Oaklandside


The tule elk at Point Reyes, pictured last Friday, have been running out of water.

Irfan Khan/L.A. Times via Getty Images

As fires rage, a small band of animal activists has been sneaking past park officials into scorched Point Reyes to bring water to the elk, which have been unable to reach water sources. A park ecologist called the action "a total violation." An activist said they have no choice: “If the park service refuses to care for the animals that they are mandated by law to preserve, then others have to step in." L.A. Times


"The East Bay is Brooklyn."

"It is impossible to find a good bagel here."

"It's interesting that people here wear whatever they want."

Here's the comedian Alexis Gay on things New Yorkers say when they move to San Francisco. 👉 @yayalexisgay (~1 min)


Southern California


Protesters angered over the death of Dijon Kizzee marched in South Los Angeles on Tuesday.

David McNew/Getty Images

Tensions mounted in South Los Angeles on Tuesday a day after a Black man was fatally shot by two sheriff’s deputies. Officials said Dijon Kizzee, 29, was riding his bike when the deputies tried to stop him for violating a "vehicle code." An altercation followed, during which Kizzee dropped a gun, officials said. Both deputies opened fire. A witness told Reuters that they continued shooting even as Kizzee lay motionless, face down, on the ground.

“The deputies essentially executed a man riding his bicycle,” an activist told the L.A. Times on Tuesday. “They’ll say he had a gun, but what they won’t say was that he was not armed with the gun. He did not point the gun." Reuters | L.A. Times


“Tower, American 1997 — we just passed a guy in a jet pack.”

On Sunday, an American Airlines pilot approaching Los Angeles International Airport told air traffic control he saw a man flying a jet pack at 3,000 feet. Another pilot confirmed the sighting about 30 seconds later. Keep a lookout, the controller said, then added: “Only in L.A.” The F.B.I. is investigating. Fox 11 | The Drive

Listen to a recording of the exchange. (Starts at 5:20 mins) 👉


☝️ That's a school of leopard sharks filmed Monday in the shallow water off La Jolla.

Thousands of the sharks with beautiful leopard-like markings congregate in the area every summer and fall. Nearly all of them are pregnant females attracted to the warm water as their developing embryos incubate, a researcher told the La Jolla Light: "Kind of like a mother bird sitting on eggs to keep them warm.” They're harmless to humans, which makes the gathering very popular among snorkelers. La Jolla Light

See video by the San Diego photographer Jami Leslie Feldman. 👉 @underwaterpaparazzi


California archive


Children’s Fairyland, America's first storybook theme park, turns 70 today.

Opened near Lake Merritt in Oakland on Sept. 2, 1950, it was the brainchild of Arthur Navlet, a local nurseryman who pitched the idea to the Lake Merritt Breakfast Club. They loved it. Local sponsors, including future chief justice Earl Warren, raised $50,000.

The low-tech, Lilliputian world featured play sets with themes such as Pinocchio, Thumbelina, and the Three Little Pigs, proportioned for children under the age of 8. Walt Disney took a tour, collecting ideas that made it into his "magic kingdom" in Anaheim, which opened in 1955.

Children’s Fairyland became wildly popular. It added new features, including a kids performing arts program and the Storybook Puppet Theater, which has become the oldest continuously operating puppet theater in the United States.

Yet since March 13, the nonprofit park has been shuttered, with its financial position growing increasingly dire. In their push to reopen safely, park officials have argued that the facility plays no trivial role in the health of families.

Indeed, to many supporters few places are more essential than Children’s Fairyland — an oasis of peace and wonder in a world where miseries seem to lurk all around.

You can make a donation to the park here. 👉

● ●

Watch this great fairy's-eye tour of Children's Fairyland by a drone filmmaker. 👉 YouTube (~1:45 mins)


Thanks for reading!

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

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