California Sun

Good morning. It's Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Lawmakers extend eviction protections through Jan. 31.
Andrew Yang dives into California's data privacy fight.
And the story of a forest ascetic who couldn't outrun fire.

State Legislature


Diane Boyer-Vine, legislative counsel of California, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in Sacramento on Monday.

Hector Amezcua/A.P.

Late Monday, just as California's eviction moratorium was set to expire, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that extends it another five months. Millions of Californians faced being forced from their homes as a result of unpaid rent during the coronavirus outbreak. Landlord groups said the measure goes too far, putting some owners at risk of foreclosure. S.F. Chronicle | A.P.


Monday was the last day of California's legislative session. Few of the police oversight bills inspired by the George Floyd protests won passage as a number of legislators were persuaded by arguments from police unions that the reforms were too rushed. Below is a sampling of measures that made it to Newsom's desk.

AB 1506 would require the state to look into fatal shootings by polce officers. L.A. Times
AB 2257 would exempt musicians, writers, photographers and others from a gig-work law designed to treat more people like employees than contractors. A.P. | Sacramento Bee
AB 2147 would make it easier for formerly incarcerated people to become firefighters. S.F. Chronicle

See a tracker of bills now up to the governor. 👉 CalMatters


Nearly every Republican in the California Senate was forced to participate in the end-of-session remotely under quarantine orders after a fellow senator tested positive for Covid-19. When Democrats limited debate on bills, Republicans cried foul. “So you’re just going to shut Republicans out of debate?” Sen. Melissa Melendez said at one point. “This is bullshit.” Sacramento Bee

Video of the salty exchange. 👉 @johnmyers (34 secs)




A female volunteer firefighter from Texas died on Monday while battling a wildfire in California, according to a statement from her department in Cresson, outside Fort Worth. "Our department is numbed by the news and we are hurting,” it said. Few details were provided, but the Forest Service said separately that a firefighter had died battling the August Complex in Mendocino County. Another firefighter was injured. CBS SF | A.P.


Andrew Yang at an event in San Francisco last year.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate, isn't just endorsing California’s November data privacy ballot measure — he's going to chair its advisory board, the Prop. 24 campaign announced. Yang's national profile could deliver a big lift to the campaign, which aims to strengthen California’s consumer privacy law, the nation's strongest. Politico

See trackers of California's 12 ballot measures. 👉 Politico | CalMatters


Students at Cal State Chico were told to urgently vacate campus after nearly 30 people tested positive for the coronavirus days after the fall semester started. “We understand the inconvenience," the message to students said. "But Chico State’s residence halls have experienced rapid and alarming rates of Covid-19 cases.” Classes will go fully online. Enterprise-Record | A.P.

Coronavirus cases are also spiking at San Diego State University. That hasn't stopped students from shrugging off demands to wear masks or socially distance. S.D. Union-Tribune


Northern California


Tad Jones in New Mexico in 1975.

Ishan Vest/The Hanuman Fellowship Archives via N.Y. Times

Tad Jones lived as an ascetic in the forest along the coast near Santa Cruz. A Vietnam veteran, he took a vow of silence that lasted nearly 40 years. He knew his way around, but he couldn't outrun the wildfire that swept through the mountains on Aug. 18. The minivan he used to try to escape was found scorched near a steep ravine, his remains nearby. Here's an account of the tragic end to a singular life. 👉 N.Y. Times


At Foster Farms' poultry plants in Merced County, eight workers have died and another 392 tested positive from the coronavirus. The county ordered one of the plants closed while the United Farm Workers has raised the possibility of a boycott. “How many more people do they expect to die before they do something, before the company takes action, before the company protects its workers?” the widow of one victim said. "Can somebody tell me that?” Fresno Bee | KFSN


San Francisco isn't what it used to be.

In 2007, "San Francisco was the coolest place on earth," wrote the journalist Andrew Chamings. Then the tech boom and Great Recession conspired to suck the life from the city, forcing its creative class to flee. But now, with rents plummeting and corporate spaces emptying out, some wonder if the city could return to its Bohemian roots. "It'll happen eventually," said one believer. "And when it does, maybe it'll be better than ever."


Southern California


Andres Guardado's sister was overcome with emotion in Gardena on June 19.

Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

The L.A. County sheriff's deputy who fatally shot 18-year-old Andres Guardado in the back in June aspired to join the Executioners, a secret clique inside the department that's been accused of glorifying violence. That's according to sworn testimony by a whistleblower who said the deputy and others were "chasing ink," slang for trying to earn the right to wear an Executioner tattoo. Spectrum News | Los Angeleno

Video of the whistleblower, L.A. County deputy Art Gonzalez, leveling the accusation. 👉 @KateCagle (27 secs)


Ron Jeremy was charged on Monday with sexual assault counts involving 13 more women, prosecutors announced. The complaint included an accusation that the former porn star sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl at a party in Santa Clarita in 2004. In total, Jeremy is now charged with raping seven women and sexually assaulting 10 more. He's pleaded not guilty. NBC Los Angeles | L.A. Times


From the series "Oblivion."

The aerial photographer David Maisel specializes in landscapes that reveal the physical impact of human activity. His project "Oblivion" focuses on Los Angeles. The images are highly detailed with the tones inverted like X-rays, giving the city a cybernetic feel. Maisel questions whether sanctuary is possible in such a place. "In its frenzy to expand," he writes, "the city creates topographies of alienation, fear, and despair." Take a look at the series. 👉 Lens Culture |


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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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