California Sun

Good morning. It's Monday, July 2.

LeBron James comes to Los Angeles and "changes everything."
As many as 400,000 nonnative feral pigs invade the state.
And photos of 1990s rave culture in Southern California.

The lede



LeBron James will wear purple and gold.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/A.P.

The King is coming to Los Angeles.

LeBron James, arguably the greatest basketball player ever, agreed to join the Lakers in a four-year deal worth $154 million.

The move adds to the stockpile of star power already based in California, including the Warriors champions Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

Analysts said James, 33, likely won't lead the young Lakers past Golden State right away. But the Lakers are now positioned to build a title contender around the former Cavalier's otherworldly talent.

In a column, L.A. Times sports writer Bill Plaschke said it was "perfect" that the league's biggest star would come to the birthplace of Showtime. "He fits into everything," he wrote, "and dramatically changes everything."



Protesters in front of San Francisco’s Civic Center on Saturday.

Crowds poured into the streets of cities across California on Saturday to protest the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy. The marches were part of the national "Families Belong Together" day of action, intended to repudiate what many see as the cruel treatment of migrants seeking refuge in the U.S. Some photo collections from the marches:

Eureka | Lost Coast Outpost
San Francisco Bay Area | Mercury News
Bakersfield | The Californian
Los Angeles | NBC Los Angeles
San Diego | S.D. Union-Tribune


“Nobody is tougher with a buck than I am.” Gov. Jerry Brown has reveled in his reputation as a cheapskate. With his final budget, writes the L.A. Times's John Myers, "Brown is poised to earn a place in the history books as the leader who helped right the ship of state."


As many as 400,000 nonnative feral pigs have invaded 56 of California's 58 counties. They cause farmers millions of dollars in damage each year, rooting up crops and destroying fencing. That's why state lawmakers are pushing a bill that will make it easier to hunt them.


The back terrace of a home in San Anselmo has a separate office space.

Jason Wells

A grand 1905 federal-style house in Baltimore; a 1958 modernist house in Elkins Park, Pa.; and a wood-shingled, three-bedroom home in Marin County's San Anselmo. Here's what $925,000 gets you right now.

Northern California


Wildfires lit up the sky near Lake Berryessa in Napa County on Saturday night.

Caelum Kirchubel

A wildfire that ignited Saturday burned out of control in Yolo and Napa counties, spreading across 50 square miles and threatening homes northwest of Sacramento. Firefighters — contending with erratic, hot winds — had the blaze only 2 percent contained late Sunday. Billowing smoke drifted south and turned the sky over the Bay Area a ghostly orange.


A parks service employee stood near a redwood cut by a poacher.

National Park Service

Poachers have been butchering ancient redwoods to collect their burls, protrusions of patterned wood that are coveted by woodworkers and can fetch thousands of dollars. The thieves operate in vast forests under cover of darkness, making detection nearly impossible.


A poll offered the deepest look yet at workplace attitudes among women in Bay Area tech. Among the findings: Half said they had fewer opportunities for advancement than male colleagues; 43 percent said they were paid less; and 44 percent said they've faced sexual harassment. The figures show a dimmer view of gender equality among women than in other sectors.


Troops walked along Market Street after the earthquake of 1906.

Oakland Museum of California

A century-old film reel turned up at a flea market that shows startlingly clear scenes from the devastation after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The 9-minute recording has so far only been shown at a couple of film festivals, but PBS News Hour broadcast some excerpts.

Southern California


Carrizo Plain National Monument, situated about 40 miles east of San Luis Obispo, is home to diverse communities of plants wildlife.

Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management

“It’s terrifying ― there are no words to describe how I feel about this. Disheartening is the mildest word I can think of.” Native American tribes and environmentalists have been dismayed by plans to resume oil drilling within the Carrizo Plain National Monument, the largest remaining example of the grasslands that once blanketed the San Joaquin Valley.


One man was shot in the arm while he slept in a hammock. A woman's car was hit by a bullet while she camped with her boyfriend. The authorities said they are now investigating seven past shootings at Malibu Creek State Park to see if they are linked to the death of Tristan Beaudette, an Irvine man who was fatally shot in the head 10 days ago as he slept in a tent with his two young daughters.


An Orange County pediatrician known for being sympathetic to parents opposed to vaccines was suspended by the Medical Board of California. Dr. Bob Sears was accused of improperly exempting a 2-year-old boy from all childhood vaccinations. In a Facebook post, where Sears has nearly 68,000 followers, he said he’d done nothing wrong.


As the Trump administration cracks down on immigration, Martin Zavala could be considered one of the fortunate ones.

Omar Ornelas/Desert Sun

For three decades, Martin Zavala has commuted from Mexico to the Coachella Valley to harvest grapes for about $11 an hour. A legal permanent resident of the U.S., he's slept in vineyards and on hot asphalt. He's been sickened by pesticides. "Our only hope," Zavala said, "is that our children go to school and don't follow in our footsteps."


The Ojai Music Festival celebrates contemporary classical music each June.

Timothy Norris

The New Yorker music critic Alex Ross called the Ojai Music Festival America’s most vibrant new-music gathering. This year's program, coming after wildfires raged within a few miles of the picturesque valley, "spoke with eerie aptness to a town that had faced an apocalypse."

California camera


Phat pants and ancient pines

In the 1990s, rave culture blossomed in Los Angeles. Before long, the ravers' look — visors, pacifiers, phat pants — became a de facto dress code for dance parties across the country.

The photographer Michael Tullberg was there from the start, capturing the thumping, blissed-out gatherings in thousands of long exposure pictures. He curated the best of them for a project called "Dancefloor Thunderstorm: Land of the Free, Home of the Rave." Thump | Dancefloor Thunderstorm
Among the joys of the eastern side of the Sierra are the rugged peaks, ancient bristlecone pines, and dazzling views of the Milky Way.

Michael Shainblum, a photographer from San Francisco, had the idea to meld them all into one mesmerizing timelapse video. Michael Shainblum Photography
Life was once pastoral in Bay Area locales like Walnut Creek.

Then suburbia moved in. During the 1950s and '60s, crops were traded for tract homes and strip malls. The photographer Mimi Plumb chronicled the youth who became jaded by a place they decided was bland and uncool. The result is a fascinating collection titled “What is Remembered.” California Sun |

We're trying out "California camera" as a new recurring feature. Let us know what you think:


An earlier version of this newsletter misspelled the name of a Los Angeles Times columnist. He is Bill Plaschke, not Plashke.

Thanks for reading!

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

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