California Sun

Good morning. It's Thursday, Aug. 9.

A police chief's son is arrested in the beating of a Sikh man.
Birds in the Mojave Desert experience a massive collapse.
And a detailed voting map reveals California's political bubbles.

The lede

1

'Shaken to the core'

A screen grab from a video that showed an attack against an elderly Sikh man in Manteca. Inset, Tyrone McAllister, who was arrested in the assault.

Manteca Police Department

In a remarkable public letter, a Bay Area police chief revealed a personal connection to a brutal attack against a 71-year-old Sikh man in the San Joaquin Valley.

One of the two suspects, wrote Union City Police Chief Darryl McAllister, was his own 18-year-old son. "Words can barely describe how embarrassed, dejected, and hurt my wife, daughters, and I feel right now," he wrote on Facebook.

In video of the assault at a Manteca park, one of the suspects is seen knocking the elderly man to the pavement then kicking him repeatedly and spitting on him. Sahib Singh suffered minor injuries.

McAllister explained how his son, Tyrone McAllister, began running with a bad crowd a couple years ago. The teenager became estranged from the family even as his two sisters, raised under the same roof and with the same rules, went on to law school admission and a corporate career.

"My family is shaken to the core," McAllister said, adding, "We simply don't know why, or how we got here."

  

Statewide

2

Crude oil pumps operate on a ridge in Los Angeles.

Richard Vogel/A.P.

The Trump administration moved toward opening up large swaths of land in California to fracturing and conventional oil drilling. The Bureau of Land Management said it would analyze the impact of drilling on 2,500 square miles of land in areas including the Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley. "It's a coordinated attack on California," one conservationist said.

  
3

Rep. Devin Nunes, the Central Valley Republican, was captured on secretly recorded audio telling donors that a Republican-controlled Congress was needed to protect President Trump. “If Sessions won’t unrecuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones, which is really the danger,” he said. Rep. Ted Lieu called on Nunes to resign.

  
4

A number of European countries have set quotas for women on corporate boards. Now California lawmakers are advancing a bill that would require companies in the state to have at least one woman on their boards of directors by 2021. Business leaders are fighting it, and analysts say it may violate the Constitution.

  
5

The Nevada Theatre was opened in 1865.

In Gold County, the neighboring cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City have been a hub of artists, authors, and musicians. Between them, they're home to California's oldest theater and more than 100 arts organizations. That's why they're included among the Golden State's 14 cultural districts. Here's the rundown.

  

Northern California

6

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chief executive of Twitter.

Richard Drew/A.P.

Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Spotify have banished conspiracy peddler Alex Jones from their platforms. But not Twitter. The tech columnist Kara Swisher said that inaction reveals an appalling lack of values. Twitter's "loosey-goosey" approach to policing content, she wrote, has turned the platform "into the last big refuge of the repugnant."

  
7

A volunteer with the Samaritan's Purse charity handed Charlotte Bailey her dead husband's dog tags, found in the ashes of her home.

Marshall Foster/Samaritan's Purse

Charlotte Bailey, 78, returned to the ruins of her home in Redding. She thought she'd lost everything, including any memento of her husband of 46 years, who died in 2008. Then a volunteer handed her something found in the ashes. It was her dead husband's old dog tags. She fell to tears.

  
8

Brock Turner served only three months in jail for a 2015 sexual assault.

Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group, via A.P.

A court rejected an appeal by Brock Turner, a former Stanford swimmer who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in 2015. Turner's lawyer had tried to convince the judges that the athlete had tried to perform “outercourse” — or sexual contact while fully clothed — with his victim, not intercourse.

  
9

Kate, a resident of Shadetree.

Nathan Bennett

With luxury development going up on all sides, residents of an insular live-work space in Oakland called Shadetree defied expectations by raising $2.5 million to buy the city's last section of undeveloped, privately-owned waterfront. "I don’t think they expected us to get it together," one resident said.

  

Southern California

10

A man who last week sent an email warning "this place will burn" was accused of intentionally setting a fire in the Cleveland National Forest that swept through thousands of acres in Orange and Riverside counties. "This is a monster," an official said.

  
11

An image taken using an infrared camera showed the Porter Ranch gas leak.

Environmental Defense Fund

The Southern California Gas Co. agreed to pay nearly $120 million to settle claims stemming from the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak. The blowout sent more than 100,000 metric tons of methane into the sky above Los Angeles’s Porter Ranch neighborhood, sickening residents and forcing evacuations. “There is no excuse for what happened,” Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.

  
12

The Ojai Valley is trying to join the “dark sky” movement. A county-wide ordinance would require residents to reduce the amount of artificial light they use outdoors as part of an effort to make the stars more visible in the night sky. Some critics see government overreach.

  
13

A Costa's hummingbird in Mojave National Preserve.

Chelsea Hofmeier/U.C. Berkeley

Mojave Desert birds have suffered a massive collapse as a result of climate change, according to a new study. Researchers found that there were on average 43 percent fewer species of birds than a century ago. "We think about this as a collapse of the whole community of birds," one scientist said. "It's not just one or two species."

  
14

Alarmed by lackluster ratings, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a new Oscars category for “outstanding achievement in popular film.” It didn't go over well. Journalists called it “lazy,” “staggeringly ham-fisted,” and “a HUGE step back for genre film.”

  

California politics

15

Bubbles everywhere

Clockwise from top left, Stockton, Modesto, Bakersfield, and Fresno. The San Joaquin Valley cities voted largely for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

N.Y. Times

A couple weeks ago the N.Y. Times published an extremely detailed map of results from the 2016 presidential election. The California voting patterns demonstrated how many of us really do live in political bubbles. “In California, you have either solidly red, or solidly blue territory,” a political scientist said. “And that’s something that’s increased over time.”

Head over to the California Sun online for a breakdown of three trends depicted in the map.

  

Thanks for reading!

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

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