California Sun

Good morning. It's Tuesday, March 16.

Records show lawmakers repeated travel during pandemic.
Gavin Newsom goes on offense against recall movement.
And the nation's first 3D printed community in the desert.

Coronavirus

1

Phillip Guttman ate breakfast at Canters Deli in Los Angeles on Monday.

Al Seib/L.A. Times via Getty Images

Restaurant and gym owners across Los Angeles County and a dozen others welcomed back customers on Monday after the state's reopening plan allowed them to resume indoor activity. George Metsos, a restaurant owner in Toluca Lake, said the greatest joy was being able to rehire his employees. "Personally," he said. "I haven't been able to sleep the last two nights thinking about today because I'm so happy for my staff." CNN | L.A. Times | L.A. Daily News

  
2

New financial disclosures revealed that despite the pandemic, California lawmakers repeatedly traveled out of state last year on trips funded by interested groups. A half-dozen lawmakers went to Japan last February, before the virus swamped California but when it was present in China. In mid-March, three lawmakers went to Arizona for a conference. Several legislators went to Portland and Seattle in October. More than a dozen went to Hawaii in November. Politico

  
3

Flapper girls posed for a portrait, circa 1925, during the heart of the Roaring Twenties.

Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images

After the flu pandemic raced through California in 1918 and 1919, San Francisco ushered in a period “when hemlines got higher, morals got lower, and the party never stopped." As the coronavirus now recedes, many people are now predicting a return of the exuberance that defined the Roaring Twenties a century ago. The California Sun asked two experts to offer their predictions of the next few years in California.

  
4

Other coronavirus headlines:

Gov. Gavin Newsom has not yet gotten a coronavirus vaccine. After the French Laundry episode, he has been afraid to be seen as a line-cutter. Politico
California prosecutors sued the nation's largest senior living home operator on Monday, accusing the company of discharging patients improperly and falsifying its level of care. N.Y. Times | Mercury News
There's a Twitter account that announces up-to-the-minute availability of vaccines. @CovidVaccineCA, created by a San Francisco engineer, pulls data from the MyTurn website and tweets out updates, day and night. KRON
  

Statewide

5

Gov. Gavin Newsom visited a reopened school in Palo Alto on March 2.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

After months of brushing off the recall movement, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday established a political committee to fight what he described as a campaign fueled by white supremacists and right-wing militia groups. The California Democratic Party kicked in $250,000. “I am not going to take this recall attempt lying down,” Newsom said. Wednesday is the deadline for signatures to get the recall question on the ballot. Supporters said they have 2 million signatures; they need roughly 1.5 million. A.P. | S.F. Chronicle

New polling showed Newsom's approval rating at 42% percent, with 40% disapproving. That signals likely defeat of a recall vote, but danger for hopes of reelection in 2022. Emerson College

  
6

Newsom pledged Monday to nominate a Black woman for the U.S. Senate should Sen. Dianne Feinstein retire from her seat. "I have multiple names in mind," he told MSNBC host Joy Reid. "We have multiple names in mind — and the answer is yes." Feinstein, 87, has faced pressure from some Democrats to step down before her term is up in 2024, through she's given no indication that she will. Politico | L.A. Times

  
7

A group of migrants was apprehended in El Paso after a visit from a congressional delegation on Monday.

Justin Hamel/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is facing a mounting challenge at the southern border, where the number of children and families trying to enter the U.S. has risen to levels not seen since before the pandemic. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, of Bakersfield, arrived at the border Monday with a dozen colleagues to denounce the administration's handling of the surge. “It’s more than a crisis," he said. "This is a human heartbreak.” Washington Post | Politico

Less than two months into the job, Sen. Alex Padilla is pushing for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented essential workers. KQED | N.Y. Times

  
8

K2 Gold Corp. is conducting exploratory drilling in the Inyo Mountains.

Jaynes Gallery/Danita Delimont

Spurred by the rising price of gold, a Canadian mining company named K2 Gold is drilling into the desert a few miles from Death Valley. If all goes according to plan, an area of public lands would be transformed into a leach mine that uses tons of cyanide to extract gold from heaps of crushed ore. Environmental groups and tribal nations are gearing up for battle. “K2 is in for a hell of a fight,” a local environmentalist said. “Mining here is off the table.” L.A. Times

  
9

California's signature environmental law, known as CEQA, was passed in 1970 as a way to force transparency in development projects. Instead, wrote the Atlantic, it's been used to imperil infill housing in Sacramento, solar farms in San Diego, and transit in San Francisco: "Indeed, one of the main effects of CEQA has been to exacerbate the state’s crippling housing-affordability crisis."

  
10

Lisa Brotzman stood with Terry Goffigan at the scene of the deadly crash in San Diego on Monday.

Gregory Bull/A.P.

A motorist plowed into a group of homeless people huddled against the rain on a San Diego sidewalk early Monday, leaving three people dead and six others injured. The driver, 71-year-old Craig Voss, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. Monday evening, a makeshift memorial appeared at the crash site. Messages in chalk read, "RIP Randy" and "RIP Rodney." S.D. Union-Tribune | KPBS

  
11

The Coachella Valley is getting the nation's first 3D printed housing community. The building materials are coming from an Oakland warehouse that uses robots to print synthetic stone panels said to last more than 70 years. The automated process uses 95% less manpower. A three-bedroom with a swimming pool will sell for $595,000. A reservation campaign sold out within days, mostly to millennials. L.A. Times | CNBC

  
12

Stephanie Braconnier

Few city halls embody the character of a place so perfectly as the one in Palm Springs, pictured above.

Once a desolate desert landscape, the area that became Palm Springs began a transformation in 1909, when a visionary hotelier saw the potential for an oasis. It became a playground for Hollywood royalty, and in the 1950s developers targeted upper-middle-class buyers with mass-produced homes in the desert modern style — elegant but informal, with open floor plans, lots of glass, and swimming pools. It was in this decade that Albert Frey, the founding father of desert modernism, was commissioned to design a city hall befitting Palm Spring's new aesthetic. The result has become an enduring symbol, in yellow and turquoise hues, of a city dedicated to the good life. dezeen

  

Thanks for reading!

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

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