California Sun

Good morning. It's Wednesday, May 12.

California prepares to open vaccines to children 12 to 15.
Two police officers are killed in the line of duty within 24 hours.
And a world-class hotel in the Eastern Sierra's Hope Valley.



Medical workers loaded syringes with Covid-19 vaccines at an inoculation site in Los Angeles last month.

Allen J. Schaben/L.A. Times via Getty Images

California's roughly 2 million children between ages 12 and 15 are poised to gain access to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine starting Thursday, officials said. The move depends on a pair of approvals expected from state and federal agencies on Wednesday. Dr. Erica Pan, the state epidemiologist, urged families to take advantage of the vaccine. “We all know how hard this has been for our youth,” she said. A.P. | L.A. Times

Officials said the doses would be distributed through the existing vaccine infrastructure. They recommended using the state's scheduling system. 👉


The governor said the situation on California's streets was unacceptable.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday proposed spending $12 billion to address the state's homelessness crisis, calling it the biggest such investment any state has ever made. If approved by the Legislature, it would provide housing for 65,000 people while providing assistance to many others living in precarious circumstances. “As governor, I actually want to get something done," he said. "I don’t want to talk about this for a decade.” S.D. Union-Tribune | KQED


In his first news conference as California's attorney general, Rob Bonta said Tuesday that he would create a new Racial Justice Bureau focused on hate crimes, white supremacy, and racial bias in policing, among other priorities. He said the bureau was a response, in part, to rising anti-Asian attacks. “Make no mistake," Bonta said, "right now we’re in a full-on state of crisis." A.P. | Mercury News


In a CNN interview, Caitlyn Jenner said she didn't vote in the November 2020 election. Her vote for Donald Trump wouldn't matter in California, she explained, and she "couldn’t get excited" about any of the 12 ballot propositions — with consequences for affirmative action, gig work, criminal justice, taxation, and other matters. "I just wound up going to play golf," she said. It was a bewildering admission for someone vying to govern California. But Politico checked with the voting registrar. Jenner actually did cast a ballot. Politico

New poll: 49% of California are now opposed to recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom, up from 45% in January. Just 6% said they'd support Jenner.


Hope Valley lights up in the fall.

Snehit Photography

Alpine County, California's least populous county, has no movie theaters, malls, or McDonald's. But it's overflowing with natural beauty. Along the eastern slope of the Sierra is Hope Valley, a broad forested bowl with a turquoise lake ringed by mountain peaks. The place to stay, regulars say, is Wylder, a nearly 100-year-old resort with yurts, cabins, and campgrounds nestled among aspens and a rolling river. Cocktails are served on a large outdoor patio. Wylder reopened after a renovation last summer. Travel+Leisure recently named it among the best new hotels in the world.


Northern California


Detective Luca Benedetti, left, and Officer Jimmy Inn were both killed this week.

San Luis Obispo Police Dept.; Stockton Police Dept.

A Stockton police officer responding to a 911 call about a suspected assault was fatally shot early Tuesday, making him the second California officer to be killed in the line of duty in 24 hours. Authorities said Officer Jimmy Inn, 30, knocked on the door of a home. A voice inside said, "Hey police," and a man immediately opened fire, striking Inn multiple times. A second police officer shot and killed the suspect, officials said. Inn left behind a wife, a 7-month-old son, a 12-year-old stepdaughter, and a 14-year-old stepson. The Record | A.P.

A San Luis Obispo officer killed on Monday was identified as Detective Luca Benedetti, 37, a husband and father of two young kids. KSBY | The Tribune


Mary Beth Meehan/University of Chicago Press

Teresa, above, works in a Mexican food truck in Silicon Valley, serving Tesla employees, Stanford students, and Whole Foods shoppers. She lives in a Redwood City apartment with her four daughters. In 2017, her parents visited from Mexico. It was the first time she had seen them in 22 years. “Es muy dificil para uno,” she said. It’s really hard. Teresa's story is included in this powerful photo essay on "the real faces of Silicon Valley." 👉 N.Y. Times


fnnch's honey bears adorned a wall in San Francisco.

At first, the honey bears seemed like harmless fun. Created by the street artist known as fnnch, the murals appeared on surfaces across San Francisco featuring bear-shaped honey bottles in guises such as astronauts or ballerina tutus. But before long, this happened. 👇

A map shows the locations of fnnch's honey bear murals across San Francisco.

Screenshot via KQED

Now the bears are being described as the city's most despised street art. One local artist compared them to Starbucks: “One is fine, but if they’re everywhere, it feels like a corporate takeover.” S.F. Chronicle | KQED

"Do you understand that your bears are becoming synonymous with gentrification?" A local activist confronted fnnch on the street. 👉 @doggtowndro


Southern California


Hundreds of people gathered outside an Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday to protest a proposal to create digital "vaccine passports" showing proof of inoculation against Covid-19. Several likened the idea to the yellow stars Nazis ordered Jews to wear. "You’re not going to brand us with a bar code like we are cattle," one woman said. Supervisors explained that the passports would be voluntary and intended merely as a convenience for residents and businesses. They voted to scrap the plan anyway. OC Weekly | L.A. Times


Desert Hot Springs has become a cannabis boomtown.

In 2011, Desert Hot Springs had "$400 in the bank." The city froze salaries, cut programs, and considered filing for bankruptcy. Then it went all-in on cannabis, becoming the first city in Southern California to allow large-scale medical cannabis cultivation. The once sleepy retirement community has now transformed into a marijuana boomtown. It built a new City Hall, library, and roads. Of 29,000 residents, 2,300 work in the pot industry. "It's fun times right now to be the mayor," said Mayor Scott Matas. NBC News


It’s unclear whether there has been a single confirmed coronavirus case in Slab City. Yet the pandemic has still reverberated in the community of oddballs and squatters in the Sonoran Desert, severing its already tenuous link to the outside world. This dispatch from Slab City has some fantastic photos and a kicker worth waiting for. 👉 L.A. Times


Colt Brennan, quarterback for the University of Hawaii, in 2007.

Jordan Murph/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

Colt Brennan was a star high school quarterback in Orange County who went on to set numerous records at the University of Hawaii, where he once finished third in the Heisman Trophy balloting. On Tuesday, he died in a Newport Beach hospital at the age of 37 after years of struggles with addiction. “He just spent one too many times on the dark side of life, and it caught up with him,” Terry Brennan said of his son. ESPN | A.P.


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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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