California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, Oct. 25.
Today's edition: 14 items, < 6 minutes

Wildfires rage from Wine Country to Southern California.
PG&E prepares for blackouts in nearly every service zone.
And a rundown of the best rentals near Bay Area beaches.



Fire trucks navigated roads surrounded by fire near Geyserville on Thursday.

Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Wildfires are raging across California, from Wine Country to Southern California.

The Kincade Fire continued its destructive march across northeast Sonoma County, scorching 25 square miles and nearly 50 structures. Roughly 2,000 residents fled. PG&E revealed that it had a transmission line failure near the fire's origin minutes before it erupted. Press Democrat | S.F. Chronicle
The Tick Fire in the Santa Clarita area swallowed several homes as it swept across more than 6 square miles. More than 50,000 people were told to evacuate, and schools and freeways were closed. A woman wept as she watched her house go up in flames. "You start thinking about all the things you can't get back," she said. L.A. Times | A.P.
Other fires were burning in Marin, San Mateo, and San Bernardino counties. See a live fire tracker, and view fire cameras positioned throughout the state.
Here are dramatic photos of the firefighting efforts across California. USA Today | NBC Bay Area

A tree glowed with fire near Geyserville. California is experiencing a new normal of destructive wildfires.

Josh Edelson/AFP, via Getty Images

The N.Y. Times examined the new normal of living in an ecosystem that is primed to burn: "The total area burned in a single year by wildfires in the United States has only exceeded 13,900 square miles — an area larger than the country of Belgium — four times since the middle of last century. All four times have happened this decade." N.Y. Times


Oakland was dark on Oct. 10 after PG&E implemented a planned outage.

Ray Chavez/Mercury News, via Getty Images

As PG&E began restoring power to nearly 180,000 customers across Northern California, it was preparing for a far more widespread blackout over the weekend as forecasts called for intense heat and "possibly the strongest offshore winds we've seen in years." The utility warned of shut-offs across nearly all of its territory in Northern and Central California, including the Central Coast, much of the Bay Area, the Sierra foothills, and Humboldt and Shasta counties between Saturday and Monday. KQED | S.F. Chronicle

Here is a map showing the likely outage areas.



This place in Sea Ranch is $200 a night. It's included in a list of the best rentals near Bay Area beaches, with locations in Bodega Bay, Stinson Beach, and Carmel. Curbed San Francisco

California has more than 2,300 glamping listings. A co-founder of Glamping Hub discussed some of his favorite spots on the California Now podcast. They included a safari tent with a hot tub near Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. California Now


Northern California


Alicia Villanueva used to clean houses during the day and make 100 tamales at night, which she sold door to door around Berkeley. Now, two decades after moving to the Bay Area from Mexico, she's landed a contract to sell her tamales at the glittering Chase Center, new home of the Golden State Warriors. She'll supply hungry fans from a factory that can make 40,000 tamales a month. "I'm living a beautiful dream," she said. Mercury News


Google’s quantum computer at its Santa Barbara lab.

Hannah Benet/Google

A Google team in Santa Barbara said it achieved a long-sought breakthrough called "quantum supremacy." A quantum computer was able to perform a computational task in 3 minutes 20 seconds that would take the world's most powerful supercomputers 10,000 years. An MIT professor compared the feat to the first successful flight by the Wright brothers. N.Y. Times | Ars Technica


After a sheriff's deputy was killed responding to a call in the foothills east of Sacramento, the man who placed the 911 call alleging the theft of his marijuana plants was arrested. The authorities said Christopher Garry Ross, 47, failed to disclose to a dispatcher that he was in a business arrangement with the supposed thieves, two Mexican citizens, and that they had a dispute. "Had he been truthful with our deputies and the 911 dispatcher, this tragedy would not have occurred," the El Dorado County sheriff said. Sacramento Bee | A.P.


A rendering of the development in South San Francisco where Stripe signed a lease.

Kilroy Realty

San Francisco is losing one of its bold-name tech companies as Stripe moves its headquarters to neighboring South San Francisco. The payment processing company, the second-most valuable private U.S. startup, blamed scarce office space. It's the latest of an exodus that's included Bechtel and McKesson Corp. "Stripe is just tip of the iceberg," a business advocate said. "If we're not thoughtful about our local business policies, this could be part of a trend." S.F. Chronicle | SFist

A land-use committee just voted to double fees on new office construction in San Francisco to raise funds for affordable housing. "I'm a little concerned," a dissenting supervisor said. Curbed San Francisco


On this week's California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman talks with Lincoln Mitchell, the author of "San Francisco Year Zero," which makes the case that the San Francisco of today began in 1978. George Moscone and Harvey Milk were assassinated, the massacre of Peoples Temple members unfolded in Jonestown, punk rock exploded, and the Giants had a breakthrough season. "By late 1978, it wasn't obvious that [San Francisco] would survive," Mitchell said. "But it did. And that year was the transitional moment." California Sun Podcast

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On Jan. 14, 1978, San Francisco was the center of the punk universe as Winterland hosted the Sex Pistols. It turned out to be the band's last concert ever.

George Rose/Getty Images

When the reign of the hippies came to an end: These photos show the frenzied rise of punk in 1970s San Francisco. CNN

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Southern California


The Cal Poly Mustangs face a severe punishment in a case involving book money.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

If the NCAA gets its way, student athletes at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo will lose years of past wins over what amounts to an accounting error by the school. The sanctions are in response to the campus accidentally awarding too much textbook money to some student athletes. The average overpayment: $175. Cal Poly's athletic director called the NCAA's decision despicable. "We have one student involved who got $4.61," he said. "For $4.61, we're going to vacate her career records." The campus is appealing. The Tribune | ESPN


The son of the Los Angeles City Council president got a sweet deal on rent for years as his father helped the building's executives advance a controversial high-rise, an investigation found. As other tenants' rents went up, Herb Wesson III's stayed the same. People who lived in the building said they knew what was going on. "It didn't sit well with me," one said, "but I didn't know what I could do about it." L.A. Times


A view of the Manzanar Relocation Center during World War II. Captives used to sneak out to go fishing.

Corbis via Getty Images

This month hikers discovered a human skeleton on a remote trail on Mt. Williamson, California's second's highest peak. Investigators now think the find may be linked to a dark chapter of U.S. history. In the closing days of World War II, a 46-year-old Japanese American sneaked off from the infamous Manzanar internment camp for a fishing trip and got caught in a freak snowstorm. Giichi Matsumura was laid to rest in the mountains.

Nearly 75 years later, investigators are trying to figure out if the bones belong to Matsumura, who became a sort of ghost of Manzanar. If so, there's already a place for them at a cemetery in Santa Monica, where a granite headstone bears the names of Matsumura and his wife, who died in 2005. A.P.


A couple chose a buyer for their beloved home who said he wouldn't tear it down — then he did. Neighbors surrounded a bulldozer in vain, then "watched, yelled, and cried" as workers razed the elegant Tudor-style home in Los Angeles's Hancock Park neighborhood so that the new owner could replace it with something bigger. "It really is devastating to watch these beautiful old homes be completely demolished," the former owner said. Curbed Los Angeles

Listed at $250 million, a Bel Air monument to opulence went for a measly $94 million. L.A. Times | Curbed Los Angeles


In case you missed it


"Skating in a backyard pool, San Francisco peninsula, 1977."

Hugh Holland

Five items that got big views over the past week:

In the 1970s, photographer Hugh Holland captured California's emerging culture of skateboarding in drainage ditches, empty pools, and asphalt streets. A collection of his black-and-white images is now being exhibited at M+B in Los Angeles. The Guardian
A bicyclist filmed a trip along a public trail in Sonoma County taken over by a sprawling homeless camp. At least a couple people appeared to be shooting up. YouTube
A landmark measure regulating California's gig economy includes a limit on how many articles a freelance writer can submit to a publication per year. But writers commonly meet the cap — 35 — in less than a month. Hollywood Reporter
For two decades, Intuit, the company that produces TurboTax, used a battalion of lobbyists, the revolving door, and customer tricks to prevent the government from making tax filing simple and free. ProPublica
Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park is one of the least-visited state parks in California — but that's only because you have to use a boat to get there. Beauty abounds. The S.F. Chronicle included it in a list of 10 lesser-known state parks. 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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