California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, March 6.

Closures and cancellations mount over virus fears.
Block-by-block breakdown of how Californians voted.
And Shel Silverstein's Sausalito houseboat goes up for sale.

Coronavirus in California


A California National Guard helicopter approached the Grand Princess off the California coast Thursday.

California National Guard

California National Guard troopers, loaded with coronavirus testing kits, dropped from a helicopter onto a cruise ship being held off the coast of San Francisco. Of roughly 3,500 people on board the Grand Princess, fewer than 100 were to be tested. Once the results are known — as early as Friday — officials were expected to assess the need for quarantining and allow passengers to disembark in San Francisco. S.F. Chronicle | N.Y. Times

Watch video of the dramatic delivery of testing kits.


A 72-year-old Bay Area man who was found unresponsive at his home in Sunnyvale on Thursday may be California's second coronavirus fatality, public health officials said. The man was on a cruise where others contracted the virus. Emergency workers performed CPR on the man, who did not survive. Seven officers were self-isolating after being possibly exposed. Mercury News | CBS SF

See live trackers of confirmed coronavirus cases across California, the U.S., and worldwide.


A woman wore a face mask at LAX airport on Thursday.

Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

In other developments:

California ordered all public and commercial insurance plans to cover the entire cost of coronavirus testing. S.F. Chronicle | Sacramento Bee
San Francisco announced its first two confirmed coronavirus cases, both the result of community spread. S.F. Examiner | SFist
AT&T temporarily closed six stores in San Diego after an employee tested positive. S.D. Union-Tribune | KGTV

Closures and cancellations mounted across the state:

The Cal State system halted all study abroad programs in Italy, China, and South Korea. Press-Telegram | S.F. Chronicle
Public health officials in Santa Clara County called for the cancellation of large gatherings like sports games and conventions. Mercury News
Schools cut field trips and classes in communities across the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Atherton, and San Jose.



The L.A. Times created an interactive block-by-block map of how people voted on Super Tuesday based on early results. So far, the state appears to be Sanders country all over, with pockets of support for Joe Biden. A distinct Bloomberg belt seems to run through Silicon Valley. L.A. Times

Also: Officials demanded changes to Los Angeles County's voting process after Election Day mishaps. KQED


A gunman opened fire on a celebration of life event in the San Joaquin Valley city of Tulare late Wednesday, killing a 23-year-old man and wounding five others, including a 7-year-old girl who was struck multiple times, the police said. The suspect remained at large. Tulare's police chief said he believed the motive may be gang-related. Visalia Times-Delta | KFSN


For more than a century, oil companies drilled aggressively across Southern California. Now most of the profitable oil is gone, and a costly legacy remains: nearly 1,000 deserted wells in Los Angeles, according to a new analysis of state records. If not plugged and cleaned up, they will continue to expose tens of thousands of people to toxic gases. Yet officials have been reluctant to force a cleanup. L.A. Times

Enter your address to see nearby oil wells.

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Huntington Beach, 1956.

Oil derricks once ruled the Southern California landscape, looming over beaches and neighborhoods. Here are a couple looks back. KCET | Timeline


On this week's California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman talks with the L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez. He talked about California as a place where the prosperity drives the poverty. "I think California for all of its — you know, the robust economy, the fifth-largest economy in the world — is really a troubled place. I don't think that the problems that exist happened by accident." California Sun Podcast

Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.

Coyotes roam parks all over San Francisco.

San Francisco's coyotes, regarded as vermin a century ago, were deliberately wiped out by poisons. Then in 2002, one was seen strolling in the Presidio, possibly transported by a trapper. Since then, they've been recolonizing the city. Population estimates are vague, but in the dozens. Janet Kessler, known as the "Coyote Lady," posts gorgeous photos and videos of San Francisco's coyotes on her website, Coyote Yipps, and YouTube. KQED

This video is fascinating: Emergency vehicle sirens led coyotes to howl and yip in response. YouTube


A visitor to Sequoia National Park wasn't thrilled with the bug situation.

Death Valley: "Ugliest place I've ever seen."

Joshua Tree: "The only thing to do here is walk around the desert."

Yosemite: "Trees block view and there are too many gray rocks."

A genius Instagrammer named Amber Share makes national park illustrations using quotes from real one-star reviews. Instagram | Boing Boing


Shel Silverstein's houseboat was christened the "Evil Eye."

Dianne Andrews of Engel and Voelker

A few notable homes now on the market:

Shel Silverstein owned and lived on a houseboat in Sausalito in the 1960s and 1970s. It's very bohemian, with stained-glass windows and unfinished wood paneling. Yours for $783,000. SFist | Curbed San Francisco
Richard Neutra's glass-and-steel Lovell Health House was once described as "a Mondrian painting come to life." The look was borrowed by the famed Case Study homes. Price: Undisclosed (but a lot). dwell | Curbed Los Angeles
Pharrell Williams is selling his ultra-modern mansion in Beverly Hills. Described as "something between an aquarium and Google HQ," it's got 10 bedrooms, waterfalls, and sweeping views. Asking: $16.95 million. L.A. Times | People

In case you missed it


Five items that got big views over the past week:

Just 20 minutes from San Francisco, Muir Beach, above, includes a sheltered cove and lagoon. When you've had enough sun and sea, you can plunge into the dark and dense world of Muir Woods, right next door. culture trip |
Californians have been panic-buying water and dry goods from Costcos. Here's video of people appearing to swarm crates of bottled water at an Orange County Costco. Reddit
The husband of Los Angeles County's district attorney pointed a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters in front of the couple's home. The family had reason to be frustrated, wrote columnist Steve Lopez. L.A. Times
One of Super Tuesday's most viral moments came courtesy of Jill Biden, who protected her husband from lunging vegans in Los Angeles. Washington Post
A Bay Area author studied Dorothea Lange's notebooks, then set off across California retracing the photographer's steps as she chronicled the lives of migrants during the Great Depression. N.Y. Times

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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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