California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, July 26.

Bay Area city adopts America's highest minimum wage.
Skater confrontation leaves man with brain damage.
And a luxury Airstream campsite opens near Yosemite.



Four major automakers reached a deal with California to produce fleets of vehicles that emit less greenhouse gas pollution. The agreement with Honda, Ford, Volkswagen, and BMW is a rebuke to the Trump administration, which is preparing to loosen tailpipe rules and has proposed stripping California's right to set its own standards. The E.P.A. called the move a "PR stunt." Bloomberg | CALmatters


A student actor played the part of crash victim at Colony High School in San Bernardino County.

Brandon Tauszik

For the past two decades, high schools across California have been staging elaborate mock car crashes in which students daubed in gruesome stage makeup crawl inside smashed vehicles. Some are zipped into body bags. There are courtroom and hospital scenes. Parents weep as chaplains arrive with terrible news. It's all meant to spook teens away from drunk driving. But it's not at all clear that it works. Topic


A gun group is suing to block a new California law requiring background checks for ammunition purchases, and attorneys say the federal judge hearing the case is likely to agree. Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez struck down the state's nearly two-decade-old ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines. A.P. | Sacramento Bee

"The number of gun-related deaths per year in America is now at its highest point in the last 30 years. But in California, in that same time frame, the numbers have fallen by nearly 30 percent." Sactown magazine


Here's a map of California showing just roads created by a data scientist named Michael Toth. Notice how the lines take the shape of neat grids in the Central Valley? That's because the flat terrain presents few obstacles to work around. Here's a larger version. (Also check out Toth's California river map, which he sells on Etsy).

Just for kicks, a Tulare County geographer named Mark Clark once created a map depicting what Gold Rush California might have looked like from space — very watery. Big Think


The clubhouse at AutoCamp Yosemite.


Tents aren't for everyone. A Santa Barbara startup has opened a luxury campsite about 30 miles west of Yosemite Valley that includes 80 Airstream trailers with small kitchens and Tempur-Pedic mattresses. Also on the grounds is an expansive clubhouse with a heated pool and a bar serving craft beer and kombucha. dezeen | Outside magazine

Architectural Digest included a vintage trailer camp in Central Coast wine country among its "12 best tented camps for glamping lovers." Architectural Digest


Northern California


Supporters of the wage increase said it was required in a city where the median rent for a one-bedroom is $2,840.

Emeryville, a city of 12,000 people in the East Bay, has become ground zero in the debate over how to balance livable wages and the viability of small businesses. Starting this month, the city's minimum wage is rising to $16.30 an hour, up from $15. The owner of Patatas Neighborhood Kitchen told the Wall Street Journal that he eliminated his dinner shift and laid off six of his 10 workers. "I just didn't see how I was going to survive it," he said. East Bay Times |


Last May, Chris Hughes, a Facebook founder and Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard roommate, called for breaking up the social media giant. Now he is helping to lay out a potential antitrust case for lawmakers and federal regulators. The crux of the case: Facebook's wealth, power, and massive user base have pushed it into monopoly territory. N.Y. Times | Washington Post


Dan Jansen needed emergency surgery to remove a part of his skull and frontal lobe.

Family photo

Last November, a group of skateboarders didn't take kindly to being shooed away from a corporate plaza in San Francisco by security worker Dan Jansen. In a confrontation captured on video, Jansen was knocked to the ground, leading to a traumatic brain injury. Nearly nine months later, he still struggles with walking and recognizing family members. N.Y. Times


Ted Pushinsky

"At that time, San Francisco was cutty. Now it's the most expensive place to live in the country. That time was wild. The energy was raw. We had sick parties. People got lit. We were on Haight-Ashbury smoking blunts. You can't really do that anymore."
— David Potes of the photo magazine HAMBURGER EYES

In 2001, two brothers launched a black-and-white zine in San Francisco that helped ignite a new generation of street photographers. Its trove of images — curated in a new photography book — capture a city of art and activism engulfed by rapid change. feature shoot | HAMBURGER EYES


Southern California


Marines participated in a training exercise at Camp Pendleton in 2014.

Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Sixteen Marines were arrested at Camp Pendleton and accused of drug violations and smuggling unauthorized migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border, the military said. The arrests were conducted in dramatic fashion during a battalion formation as the suspects were called forward one by one and taken away. "It was a public display for the entire unit to see," a division spokesman said. S.D. Union-Tribune | NBC 7 | A.P.


A 26-year-old went on a shooting rampage in the San Fernando Valley that left four people dead, starting with his family and ending with a stranger on a bus, authorities said. Gerry Dean Zaragoza was captured after a massive hourslong manhunt that unfolded in sweltering heat and caused widespread fear. Police said they had not identified a motive. L.A. Times | CBSLA


Pann’s Coffee Shop is one the best-preserved examples of Googie architecture in Los Angeles.

Patricia Blake, via Getty

In the 1950s, Los Angeles invented its very own style of architecture. The Googie design was embraced by roadside stops like motels, coffee houses, and gas stations as a way to grab motorists' attention. It used daring shapes, vivid colors, and over-the-top signage. Over time, many Googie structures, deemed garish and tacky, were demolished. But some still stand. Here's a great online tour. Curbed Los Angeles


The San Diego Freeway — then CA-7, now I-405 — looked pristine in 1958.

L.A. Examiner collection, USC Libraries

Last year, Los Angeles drivers spent, on average, a soul-deadening 128 hours in traffic. But there was a time, glorious and distant, when the region's freeways were a symbol of optimism, holding the promise of better lives in a decentralized city. Here's a great series of vintage photos of Southern California's freeways when they were new and empty. KCET


David Ulin is a former L.A. Times book editor.

On this week's California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman chats with David Ulin. The Los Angeles social and cultural critic suggests the city is so misunderstood by visitors in part because of its design: "It's very difficult to come here and sink in and really get a sense of the city on the level of the street because so much of the activity of the city, cultural and otherwise, has traditionally taken place off the street." California Sun Podcast

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In case you missed it


Laguna Beach, 1971.

Jeff Divine

Five blurbs that got big views over the past few weeks:

Jeff Divine, one of surfing's most celebrated photographers, grew up riding waves in San Diego in the 1960s. Here are collections of his work from the hippie-infused 1970s, before corporate sponsorships and "kook cords." | Savage Thrills
A mapmaker named Eric Fischer was interested in how tourists interact with cities compared to locals. Using social media data, he plotted photos taken by the two groups to create a revealing look at what places they are drawn to. Brilliant Maps | arch daily
It's hard to imagine a more tranquil place for living than this glass-walled, minimalist home overlooking the Pacific in Carpinteria. contemporist | HomeDSGN
There's a place not far from Fresno where hundreds of cats ramble, roll, and sun themselves on 12 acres of feline paradise. The Cat House on the Kings claims to be California's largest no-cage, no-kill, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center. Bored Panda |
A reporting team analyzed 5,000 communities across 11 western states. Of communities with fewer than 15,000 people, 526 face a wildfire potential greater than that of Paradise. Of those, 125 also have a higher percentage of elderly residents. Arizona Republic/USA TODAY

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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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