California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, Aug. 7.

The Los Angeles influencers who plan to keep partying.
The new epicenter of California's coronavirus resurgence.
And a tribute to the sacrifices of immigrant parents.

Please note: The Sun will be off next week. Back Monday, Aug. 17.



With California now surpassing 10,000 coronavirus deaths, Gov. Gavin Newsom faces intense pressure to either reopen the state or shut it down further. Instead, he appears to be taking a middle path. “There is politics everywhere," one analyst said. "You either get the politics of restricting movement again, or the politics of a high death count. Neither is good. But one is unconscionable.” CalMatters

See trackers of cases in California, the U.S., and worldwide.


“Paramount Studios,” 2016, by Ramiro Gomez.

Charlie James Gallery

Mom: Factory worker — currently in a lamp factory
Papi: Janitor/cleaner — currently at a psych hospital
Me: Attorney

An L.A. Times reporter asked her Twitter followers what jobs their parents worked to get them where they are today. The responses were powerful, highlighting the grueling work of many immigrants — the cooks, nannies, and gardeners — who sacrifice now more than ever to lift up their children. L.A. Times


On this week's California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman talks with Anthony Rendon, speaker of the California Assembly. He talked about his experience working with two very different governors. "I never went downstairs and had Jerry Brown say, 'Hey, what do you think about A, B, and C?'" he said. "Jerry Brown would call me downstairs and tell me what he thought about A, B, and C. Gavin Newsom is much more consensus-oriented." California Sun Podcast

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☝️Here's Dean Potter in 2011 walking across a highline at Cathedral Peak in Yosemite, untethered.

Potter, who died in a BASE jumping accident in 2015, described his craft as a sort of meditation. “On the highline," he said, "my thoughts are simple and clear.” National Geographic

Watch the full walk. 👉 Vimeo (~4 mins)


Northern California


Manjeet Singh drowned in the Kings River on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, three kids were playing at a beach along the Kings River when they were swept downriver. A bystander, 29-year-old Manjeet Singh, saw it happen and leapt in to rescue them. He drowned. Two of the kids made it to safety. The third is on life support. Singh immigrated to the U.S. from India two years ago and recently moved to Fresno to start a trucking business. KFSN


Last week, the NFL released a video recounting the 2018 fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark in Sacramento. That brought a rebuke from the California District Attorneys Association, which accused the league of omitting suspected crimes committed by Clark, who was unarmed. The group demanded that the video, part of the NFL's Inspire Change initiative, be taken down.

Now more district attorneys are weighing in. San Francisco's Chesa Boudin and two others applauded the NFL video. "This is a conversation that we must have," they said. S.F. Examiner


Radu Sava

☝️ Here's Feather Falls.

Located along the Fall River in Plumas National Forest, it plunges more than 400 feet into a granitic gorge. Outdoors writer Tom Stienstra called it California’s prettiest waterfall outside of Yosemite. It gets overlooked because it’s not near anything, he wrote. But taking it in “can feel something like the first time you see Yosemite Valley, Lake Tahoe, or the Golden Gate Bridge.” S.F. Chronicle


Southern California


Tana Mongeau, an Internet personality, apologized after attending a Hollywood Hills party in July.

Bryan Bedder/WireImage

A N.Y. Times reporter talked to YouTubers, TikTok stars, and Gen Z celebrities in Los Angeles about why they won’t stop partying. “Our jobs are to entertain people," the founder of the Hype House said. "We live with groups of people, and we are all intertwined for work. We can’t put our entire lives on hold for a year and not make any money.” N.Y. Times

Health officials: Younger adults are fueling California’s pandemic like never before. L.A. Times


An analysis of county health data identified the new epicenter of California's coronavirus resurgence: southeast Los Angeles County. Since the economy reopened around Memorial Day, the virus has raced through mostly working-class Latino communities. County health officials said they believe workplaces are violating safety rules. L.A. Times

Also surging in southeast Los Angeles: Unemployment rates. Some troubling maps 👉 N.Y. Times


Shafik Kadi

Kintsugi, the Japanese technique of mending broken ceramics with gold, has grown in popularity both as a design feature and metaphor for healing. The artist Victor Solomon applied the technique to an unusual object: The cracked surface of a basketball court in Los Angeles. The result is pictured above. More photos and video 👉 Hypebeast


California curiosity


A shoe garden grows in Rice.

David Litschel

Rice, a speck of a town in the Mojave Desert, was once a wild place, known for gambling, prostitution, and thievery. Long since abandoned, it's now known for shoes.

As the story goes, years ago someone hung a pair of shoes on a lone tamarisk near the highway in Rice. Over time, people on the way to and from the Colorado River added sneakers, loafers, and flip-flops of their own until it grew into a full-fledged art project.

Sadly, the tree burned down in 2013. But passersby simply started over, adorning an old fence and gas station. Today, all that remains of Rice are some crumbling foundations and the shoe-based landscaping, a lonely homage to the strangeness of the desert.

Below, the original shoe tree.

Ed Skinner


In case you missed it


John Muir at home in Martinez, circa 1890.

University of the Pacific

Five items that got big views over the past week:

It came as a jolt when the Sierra Club denounced John Muir last month for drawing on racist stereotypes in his writings. In response, the biographer Donald E. Worster argued for a nuanced view of the 19th-century wanderer. California Sun
Not long before the death of Marilyn Monroe, on this week in 1962, the photographer George Barris did a series of picture sessions with her around Los Angeles. Their friendship was reflected in the intimacy of the photos. People
If 25 people gather in Los Angeles, there's a 58% chance that at least one person has the coronavirus. In San Francisco, it's 37%. Here's a tool that lets you explore the likelihood of the virus being in gatherings of varying sizes. 👉 Georgia Tech
A dwelling of elaborately bent eucalyptus branches is among the accommodations at an unconventional resort on the Big Sur coast. It's included in this list of the 12 weirdest places to spend the night in California. 👉 Thrillist
Theo dreams of having a home with his own room — a place where he can have pajama parties. He's 7 years old. A reporter and photographer followed the homeless boy and his mother over the course of a year in Berkeley. 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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