Good morning. It's Thursday, Sept. 26.
Today's edition: 14 items, < 5 minutes
|•||San Joaquin Valley faces looming water "catastrophe."|
|•||UCLA launches an institute aimed at spreading kindness.|
|•||And photos from California's "real rural" communities.|
The lawsuit says species including the grizzly bear, humpback whale, and California condor, pictured above, would be threatened by relaxed provisions.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's move to weaken the Endangered Species Act. Joined by attorneys general from 16 other states, the lawsuit is California's latest in a blitz of legal challenges to the president's policies. "The only thing we want to see extinct are the beastly policies of the Trump administration putting our ecosystems in critical danger," Becerra said. L.A. Times | KQED
During a phone conversation between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Trump on Tuesday, the president abruptly changed the subject to the whistleblower complaint over his communications with Ukraine. "Mr. President," Pelosi told him, "you have come into my wheelhouse."
Gas prices in California rose to their highest level in nearly seven years after several unexpected refinery problems. The average statewide price is $3.78 gallon, compared to a national average of $2.66. A petroleum analyst said California's prices could soar to $4.30 in the next couple weeks. L.A. Times | KGTV
California charges the highest taxes and fees on gas in the nation. Kiplinger
Signs in the San Joaquin Valley protest water restrictions.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Starting in January, California farmers will have to gradually rein in the amount of water they can pump from wells thanks to a new law aimed at restoring aquifers. Achieving that, according to one estimate, will require retiring up to 14 percent of San Joaquin Valley farmland. "It could devastate the economy of the entire San Joaquin Valley," the Sacramento Bee wrote. Sacramento Bee
Another threat to the farm region: invasive swamp rodents that weigh 20 pounds and eat like crazy. A.P.
"Bull rider Keith Roquemore, Grand National Rodeo. Daly City, San Mateo County."
Lisa M. Hamilton
In 2011, photographer Lisa M. Hamilton traveled nearly 10,000 miles around the the state with one goal in mind: To reintroduce rural California to the rest of the state. Her project, called "Real Rural," is a fantastic catalogue of the diversity of lifestyles cradled by a state larger than the 12 smallest U.S. states combined. RealRural.org | Popular Photography
RVs are parked across from Google headquarters in Mountain View.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Mountain View has decided to ban RV dwellers on most of its city streets. The number of people living in vehicles in the city has swollen thanks in large part to the region's crushing housing costs. But locals are fed up with trash and encroachment into bike lanes. "At some point in time, you just have to make some decisions. And they're not easy," an official said. "I'm not excited or happy to do this, but that's what we’re here to do." Mercury News
Berkeley's solution: "Safe parking" sites. People will be able to stay for three months. Berkeleyside
A detail from the "Seamless Bay Area Vision Map."
In a number of European metropolitan areas, transit riders get one card with one charge that lets them travel set distances — on any combination of trains, buses, and ferries. They also facilitate seamless transfers throughout the system. The Bay Area? Not so much. But a movement is growing to change that.
According to this analysis, San Francisco is the best big metro in the country to live car-free. CityLab
Vaping was held up as a trendy alternative to cigarettes. Now, amid a public uproar over youth vaping, Juul Labs has replaced its chief executive with a veteran of Big Tobacco. The newly anointed boss, K.C. Crosthwaite, a top official at Altria, told employees at the San Francisco company that his appointment wasn't a sign that the Marlboro maker was taking over. N.Y. Times | Wall Street Journal
"Has Juul become Big Tobacco?" Vox
Viewed from the sky, the San Francisco Bay salt ponds evoke Rothko.
Beginning in the mid-1800s, the San Francisco Bay's salt pond operation was a major industry. Then in 2003, most of it was sold to the public to be restored back into wetlands. But part of the Redwood City site was left out of the deal. It's there that Cargill Salt, the Minnesota company that owns it, proposed to build a megadevelopment.
"This is a life-changing tragedy for everyone involved."
A 13-year-old boy died after being punched by another student at a Moreno Valley middle school. The Sept. 16 attack, which was captured on video and set off an uproar in the community, led to two students being arrested. They remain in juvenile detention. The family of the victim, identified only as Diego, planned to donate the boy's organs. NBC Los Angeles | Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Riverside County prosecutors said they would not file criminal charges against an off-duty L.A. police officer who fatally shot an intellectually disabled man inside a Costco store last June. Kenneth French, who had pushed the officer, was shot three times in the back and once in the shoulder. But a grand jury found charges unwarranted, a decision District Attorney Mike Hestrin said he would stand by. He added: "I am not condoning this shooting." L.A. Times | Press-Enterprise
Darrell Issa was one of former President Obama's chief antagonists.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Former Rep. Darrell Issa, the deep-pocketed businessman and Trump ally, is expected to announce Thursday that he will challenge fellow Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter for his San Diego County district. Hunter is facing charges of siphoning campaign funds for personal use. "[Issa] is rock solid and has enough financially to lock this down," another Republican said. S.D. Union-Tribune | A.P.
Science has shown that being nice makes you healthier. Now UCLA is launching the world's first interdisciplinary research institute on kindness. Its goal? To promote a more humane world. "In the midst of current world politics, violence, and strife, the UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute seeks to be an antidote," the social sciences dean said. L.A. Times | UCLA
An old postcard of the Wgasa Bush Line Railway.
In the 1970s, officials at San Diego's wild animal park wanted an African-sounding name for the park's original monorail. So they went with Wgasa Bush Line Railway.
Here's Little Edward, a southern white rhino born via artificial insemination in July, adorably charging around his enclosure at the San Diego park. YouTube
An item in Wednesday's newsletter misidentified the location of Slab City. It's in the Sonoran Desert, not the Mojave.
Thanks for reading!
The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
Please tell us how we can make the newsletter better. Email email@example.com.