California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, April 24.

Model estimates 9,300 San Francisco cases by March 1.
Gavin Newsom and Donald Trump are getting along famously.
And the cheap rent and amazing views of Angel Island.



Commuters lined up at a San Francisco BART station on March 4.

Ray Chavez/Mercury News via Getty Images

In mid-February — while the world's attention was focused on China — San Francisco already had more than 600 unidentified infections, according to a model of the spread by researchers at Northeastern University. By March 1, four days before the city confirmed its first case, the model estimates the real number could have soared to roughly 9,300. N.Y. Times | SFist


With patience wearing thin, some shuttered businesses are saying to heck with it: In the Sierra foothills community of Auburn, two hair salons reopened in defiance of the statewide stay-home order. "I have to do what I have to do," one owner said. "I'm fighting to provide for my children and myself and my family right now." KTXL

New York has committed to reopening the state regionally. Gov. Gavin Newsom, despite immense pressure, has so far resisted that proposal. "It's not a rural virus or an urban virus," he said. CalMatters


It's impossible to say exactly how many lives were saved by the Bay Area's early moves to lock down residents. But a UC San Francisco epidemiologist ran the calculations to arrive at an educated guess: As many as 44,000, or roughly the population of Culver City or Rohnert Park.

Aggressive measures in the Bay Area didn't flatten the curve, one researcher said. "They crushed the curve." S.F. Chronicle


Paramedics responded to the death of a woman on skid row on April 12.

Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

Covid-19 is now the leading cause of death in Los Angeles County, surpassing fatalities from flu, emphysema, and heart disease. Public health officials announced that grim milestone Thursday as the county's death toll surged toward 800. Here are the latest totals, according to the S.F. Chronicle and N.Y. Times:

Confirmed cases:
867,105 in U.S.
39,567 in California
7,440 in Bay Area
28,800 in Southern California

44,464 in U.S.
1,530 in California

Cumulative infections and deaths in California:

Sources: California Department of Public Health; SF Chronicle

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


Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Trump toured fire-ravaged Paradise on Nov. 17, 2018.

Paul Kitagaki Jr./Getty Images

On Thursday, Newsom evoked a Trump campaign slogan as he thanked the president for sending California testing swabs: "Promise made, promise kept." The Democratic governor earlier called Trump "thoughtful," "responsive," and "collaborative." Trump noticed: "Gavin Newsom was very nice today," he said in his own briefing. "They've done very well in California." A.P. | Politico


A vandal smashed the windows of at least seven Asian-owned restaurants in the Bay Area cities of San Jose and Milpitas early Wednesday, the authorities said. A surveillance camera captured images of a suspect with a crowbar who fled in a truck. The motive was uncertain, but local officials have been on high alert for hate crimes toward Asians. Mercury News | KTVU


Here's a strange one.

The fringe campaign for an independent California appears to have developed deep interest beyond state lines — in Iran. So many Iran-linked accounts were using the hashtag #calexit on Twitter on April 6 and 7 that it became one of the platform's top trends. A researcher who analyzed 16,000 of the tweets deduced that they were part of a disinformation campaign intended to sow discord in America at a time of instability. Buzzfeed News


People gathered in Huntington Beach on Thursday.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Other odds and ends:

This week's California Sun Podcast: Host Jeff Schechtman talked with Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, who said the pandemic has deepened his resolve to house the homeless. "Having a roof over your head is the most responsible thing we can do," he said.
Homeless people fleeing the pandemic are running into NIMBY resistance. After L.A. County leased a Lawndale hotel to house homeless people, the hotel's owner got a letter from the city. Break the lease, it said, or face losing your operating license. L.A. Times
It's going to be seriously hot this weekend in Southern California. That has officials worried about crowding at beaches and parks. "Just be careful," Newsom said. L.A. Times | Reuters
Gap Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, stopped paying rent for stores that were closed in the U.S. and Canada, and has warned that it's running out of money. S.F. Chronicle | CNN



A federal judge on Thursday blocked a pioneering California law that requires background checks for ammunition purchases. In a sharply worded decision, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez in San Diego said the regulations were "onerous and convoluted" and violated the constitutional right to bear arms. Sacramento Bee | A.P.


Angel Island is 1.2 forested square miles populated by deer, raccoons, and birds.


There's a community surrounded by natural beauty and sweeping views of the Bay Area where standalone homes rent for less than the price of a parking spot in San Francisco. But you have to take a ferry to get there. Curbed gave a tour of what life is like for the handful of resident workers on Angel Island. Curbed San Francisco


The pool at the Gates' new Del Mar residence.

The Guiltinan Group

Bill and Melinda Gates just bought a $43 million beachfront home in Del Mar, near San Diego, in the second-largest home sale in county history. It's got six bedrooms, a big jacuzzi overlooking a fire pit, and a glass tile pool. has a bunch of pictures. | S.D. Union-Tribune


In case you missed it


Bioluminescent waves lit up the shore in Newport Beach last week.

Royce Hutain

Five items that got big views over the past week:

The waters off Newport Beach have been shimmering with bioluminescent waves, caused by tiny plankton that emit a bluish light when agitated. Here's a short video clip. YouTube
A Twitter user stitched together blooper highlights from Hollywood's Golden Age. There's something delightful about the prim actresses of old Hollywood descending into profanities. @bludelb/Twitter
The Silverlake Conservatory of Music organized a chorale performance of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" with its young students. The kids sang individually from their homes with a guide track in their ears. YouTube (~4:30 mins)
With air travel in free fall, demand for aircraft storage space has skyrocketed. More than 400 commercial planes are being parked at a remote desert airport in Victorville. A pilot captured some great views from overhead. YouTube (~10 mins)
The San Andreas Fault has been the traditional locus of our fears about earth-shaking doom. But Nevada's state geologist believes an emerging fault system along the California-Nevada border is where the real action will be. WIRED

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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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