California Sun

Good morning. It's Monday, July 22.

Young transplants bring new energy to Bakersfield.
Orlando Bloom calls out San Diego's mayor at Comic-Con.
And the amazing views of homes surrounded by glass walls.



Oregon vowed not to become California. Then the state's lawmakers advanced the most ambitious response to housing affordability challenges in the country. It included a rent increase cap and the curtailing of single-family-only zoning. "Our crisis is so severe in this state, you have to do everything," one lawmaker explained. She added: "California needs to get it done. They're behind." L.A. Times

California leaders are proposing a "right to shelter" plan. Cities would be required to accommodate any homeless person who asks to come indoors. KCRA | L.A. Times


No barrier has been added in areas that did not previously have one.

David McNew/Getty Images

During his 2016 campaign, Donald Trump declared that he would build a concrete wall that would stretch 2,000 miles along the southern border. Thirty months into his administration, not a single mile of new wall has been added. While 51 miles of steel bollard fence has been erected, it's all been used to replace existing barriers. Washington Examiner


Preschool teachers make a lot less than other teachers in California. In 2018 for example, the median preschool teacher wage — about $16 an hour — was less than half that of kindergarten teachers — about $38 an hour. About 3 out of 5 early childhood educators in California rely on public assistance. CALmatters


The Owens Valley is best known as the centerpiece of California's water wars in the early 1900s, when Los Angeles began sucking Owens Lake dry. But north of that crippled sea, the Owens River is a wonderland of fly fishing, hot springs, open camping, and lazy raft rides. Best of all: Stunning mountainous vistas, like the one captured above. |


The oak trees are a key feature of an Orinda home by Faulkner Architects.

Joe Fletcher

Some daydreaming fodder: This home at the base of the Oakland Hills has amazing interiors with double-height glass walls that peer out onto native oak trees. It won an architecture award in 2017. Dezeen | Cool Hunter

And another: It's hard to imagine a more tranquil place for living than this minimalist home overlooking the Pacific in Carpinteria. contemporist | HomeDSGN


Northern California


Tom Steyer spoke at the California Democratic Party State Convention in San Francisco on June 1.

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

"I don't see myself as rich," said the billionaire.

Former hedge fund investor Tom Steyer became the 24th Democrat to join the field of White House contenders with plans to spend a large part of his vast fortune on the race. In his first campaign stop in his hometown of San Francisco, he downplayed his wealth but also called it an asset: "The one thing it does give me," he said, "is the right to say nobody owns me." N.Y. Times


The number of staff members dedicated to privacy at the Federal Trade Commission — a main enforcer of consumer protections — is less than half that of the Irish agency that regulates Facebook's European operations. That has lawmakers proposing a new regulatory agency akin to a Department of Facebook that would focus specifically on the business models of major digital platforms. Politico


News of Metallica's involvement in a ticket reselling scheme angered fans.

Simon Hofmann/Getty Images

It's long been a complaint among music fans: Concert tickets sell out the moment they are released then appear on secondary markets like StubHub at marked up prices. Now a secretly recorded phone call has revealed that a Metallica consultant coordinated with Live Nation to resell their own tickets for higher prices on the secondary market, leaving fans no chance to get them at face value. Billboard | Variety


The pig scramble is over.

The Sonoma County Fair eliminated the event in which kids sprint around a racetrack trying to get hold of scurrying piglets. Board members said the decision to end the generations-old tradition reflected a heightened awareness of animal welfare. Going in its place: A watermelon obstacle course. Press Democrat | A.P.


Southern California


Bakersfield, traditionally cowboy country, has an emerging frontier hipness.

"There's a transformation happening in the Central Valley."

Bakersfield, long dismissed as a drive-through town, is booming. New businesses and young people are fleeing expensive coastal enclaves and propelling a revival of downtown districts. Bakersfield is now the second-fastest-growing of the state's large metro areas. No. 1? Sacramento. Washington Post


The two powerful earthquakes that rocked Southern California this month were just the beginning. The N.Y. Times published a fascinating presentation showing how the twin quakes set off a swarm of thousands of others — some of them mere minutes apart. N.Y. Times


Paul Krassner, left, and Jerry Rubin in an undated photo.

Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Paul Krassner died at his home in Desert Hot Springs at 87. A comedian, satirist, and writer, he was a key figure in the counterculture of the 1960s as a co-founder of the Yippies, a prankster group that nominated a pig for president and rained dollar bills onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. When People magazine called Krassner "the father of the underground press," he demanded a paternity test. L.A. Times | N.Y. Times


The UCLA gymnast Maria Caire had no record of a competitive career. But she had something else: her uncle was a close friend of UCLA's legendary coach, Valorie Kondos Field. She's not the only well-connected athletic recruit at UCLA. A review by the L.A. Times found at least 18 recruits who were children of coaches or administrators at the school or had close ties to them. L.A. Times


Mayor Kevin Faulconer participated in the San Diego Pride Parade on July 14.

Daniel Knighton/Getty Images

British actor Orlando Bloom accused San Diego's Mayor Kevin Faulconer of leaving an interactive exhibit at Comic-Con after finding out it featured immigrant characters. For the activity, participants play the character of a human or a creature, described as "a mythological scrappy immigrant." Bloom said that when the mayor was assigned a creature card, he said, "Oh no, I can't have anything to do with immigration," and left. Faulconer refuted the claims through a spokeswoman. S.D. Union-Tribune | Variety


California archive


More than 50,000 people marched in San Francisco in a show of patriotism on July 22, 1916.

Walters Company, via California State Archives

It was on this day in 1916 that San Francisco suffered the deadliest terror attack in its history.

The occasion was the city's massive Preparedness Day parade, one of many held across the country in anticipation of the American entrance into World War I. About 30 minutes into the march, a suitcase bomb exploded at the corner of Steuart and Market Streets near the Ferry Building, killing 10 people.

"All around," the S.F. Chronicle wrote, "the bodies of men and women, almost stripped of their clothes, lay in horrible grotesque heaps."

Men gathered near the explosion site at the corner of Steuart and Market Streets.

Bancroft Library/U.C. Berkeley

There had been warnings. Peace societies and labor groups fiercely opposed the march to war. Days before the parade, postcards arrived at businesses around the city. "Militarism cannot be forced on us and our children without a violent protest," they read.

City investigators had little go on. Even so, when the district attorney visited the blast site, he told reporters, "You know, men, I already think I know who did this."

Five days later, two socialist party activists — Warren K. Billings, 22, and Thomas J. Mooney, 33 — were arrested. Both men proclaimed their innocence. But on the strength of witness testimony, Billings got life in prison; Mooney got death by hanging.

Mooney, center with arm draped, in court.

Bancroft Library/U.C. Berkekey

In the years that followed, the witnesses were revealed to have perjured themselves. More sensational, bugged conversations in the district attorney's office strongly suggested a frame-up. Dubbed America's most famous prisoner, Mooney became an international cause célèbre, prompting President Woodrow Wilson himself to urge that his case be reconsidered.

After more than two decades in prison, both Mooney and Billings were pardoned. "He was kept long years in prison," the N.Y. Times concluded of Mooney, "not because people believed him guilty, but because he had become a political issue." The true bomber was never found. Esquire | S.F. Chronicle


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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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