California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, Nov. 5.

Morro Bay fishermen brace for offshore wind farm.
Proposed math curriculum draws scathing criticism.
And West Hollywood sets nation's highest minimum wage.



Morro Rock sits along the coast of Morro Bay.

The Atlantic talked with fishermen in Morro Bay about government plans to install a wind farm in nearby waters that abound in rock cod, albacore, swordfish, and more. Mark Tognazzini, a fisherman and restaurateur, saw the project as part of a corporate encroachment that is driving small food producers out of business. “We might be the last of the small-boat independent commercial fishermen left on the West Coast,” he said. “I really don’t want to be the one to catch the last fish.”


Only about half of California's prison guards are vaccinated. Yet Gov. Gavin Newsom, who last month announced a vaccine mandate for all school children, is fighting a vaccine order for carceral employees. Newsom says he is worried about triggering a staff exodus. An attorney for inmates said the governor has another concern in mind: the prison guard union that donated $1.75 million to his recall fight. L.A. Times

Dr. Monica Gandhi: "The science behind how vaccines protect both yourself and others does not change per campaign donations."


Noah Reyes learned pre-calculus at Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana.

Jae C. Hong/A.P.

California's proposed math guidelines reject the idea of naturally gifted children, recommend against shifting certain students into accelerated courses in middle school, and urge math lessons that explore “environmental and social justice.” It has encountered scathing criticism. An open letter signed by 900 Californians working in science and technology called it “an endless river of new pedagogical fads that effectively distort and displace actual math.” The N.Y. Times explored the debate on its front page.


On this week's California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman talks with Dan Walters, the longtime state Capitol journalist. Asked about the state of K-12 education in California, Walters said a lot of oxygen gets sucked up by debates over critical race theory, ethnic studies, and vaccinations: "But the main issue is simply, are the kids getting educated to the degree they need to be educated? And the answer to that question is basically, no."


Northern California


The DNA genealogy techniques that identified the Golden State Killer in 2018 have now led to the capture of a suspect known as the Cloverleaf Rapist, law enforcement officials said Thursday. JD Wallace Simien, 40, was arrested in connection with a series of violent sexual assaults in northern Sacramento County in 2013 and 2014. Sacramento Bee | KCRA


Buster Posey with his family at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Thursday.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Buster Posey, a Giants catcher with seven All-Star appearances and three World Series titles, said he is walking away from the game on Thursday. A 34-year-old father to two sets of twins, he cited the physical toll of a demanding job. “I want to be able to do more stuff from February to November with my family,” he said. “Physically it’s much harder now. And to be honest, it’s hard to enjoy it as much when there’s the physical pain that you’re dealing with on a daily basis." Sportswriter Ann Killon called Posey the most important Giant since Willie Mays. S.F. Chronicle | ESPN

Here's a compilation of Posey walking to the dugout before the umpire calls a third strike. 👉 @KNBR (~1:15 mins)


A facility just opened in Emeryville with the potential to grow 400,000 pounds of meat from animal cells per year — without any need for slaughter. Cultivated meat is not yet approved for sale by the government. But the company behind the facility, Upside Foods, said it is proof that the technology is ready. “It’s not science fiction," said Amy Chen, a company official. "It’s reality today.” S.F. Chronicle | Fast Company


Motorists have to dodge redwoods along Madrone Avenue.

Rene Paik

There's a road through a redwood forest just north of San Francisco that isn't so much lined by trees as it is filled with them. Along Larkspur's narrow Madrone Avenue, dozens of redwoods poke right through the pavement, the result of a proviso during construction around 1915 that the road had to work its way around the trees. A sign, only half in jest, once warned "Caution Tree Crossing," but it kept getting stolen. Atlas Obscura


Southern California


A cyclist rode in East Los Angeles, where stops are frequent.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The L.A. Times analyzed data for 44,000 bike stops performed by L.A. County sheriff's deputies since 2017. A few takeaways:

While Latinos make up slightly more than half of all cyclists in the patrol area, they accounted for seven of every 10 stops.
Deputies searched 85% of all stopped cyclists, but found illegal items just 8% of the time.
In low-income East L.A., 93% of stopped riders were searched. In affluent West Hollywood, 63% were searched.

Jeffrey Fagan, a Columbia Law School professor: “It’s really just a dragnet that really doesn’t pay very well.”


West Hollywood just approved the highest minimum wage in the country. Starting Jan. 1, the measure will require at least $17.64 an hour for hotel workers, extending to all city workers on July 1. Some business owners resisted the change, while some activists said it didn't go far enough. An MIT calculator estimates that you need $19.35 an hour to live in Los Angeles as a single adult. CBSLA | LAist


Six years after the largest methane leak in U.S. history, regulators on Thursday approved a plan to expand capacity at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility. While California is trying to wean itself off fossil fuels, it's been forced to lean on natural gas for power generation amid strained supplies. Nearby residents, who suffered health problems from the 2015 disaster, were not happy. L.A. Daily News | Reuters


In case you missed it


Cook's Meadow in Yosemite last Friday.

Elliot McGucken

Five items that got big views over the past week:

The colors of fall erupted over in Yosemite over Halloween weekend. A pair of photographers, Elliot McGucken and Steve Arita, shared 23 exquisite pictures. 👉 California Fall Color
A Santa Clarita man noticed the deal of a lifetime at Six Flags Magic Mountain: A $150 season pass included two meals a day. For years, he ate lunch and dinner every day at the park. Mel Magazine
Tucked among the rolling hills of Sonoma County is a fantastical collection of gigantic artworks. The sculpture garden at Donum Estate includes more than 50 pieces by artists such as Ai Weiwei, Doug Aitken, and Jaume Plensa. Design Boom
Alicia Keys and her husband gave Architectural Digest a tour of their $21 million home in La Jolla. The modernist Razor House is often compared to Tony Stark's luxurious home in the "Iron Man" movies.
In 1990s San Francisco, Phyllis Christopher was a photo editor for the lesbian magazine On Our Backs. A volume of her work, published this year, captures the community's insistence on protest and pleasure. studio international |

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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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