California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, Jan 22.

Unauthorized immigrants put hopes in new White House.
The motley California crew accused in Capitol siege.
And the eight best winter trails in national parks.



As California seeks to ramp up its vaccination campaign, the state has inoculation centers and the personnel to run them — it just lacks enough doses. Many people 65 and older have been rushing to get appointments only to wait in line for hours. A number of counties were close to running out of doses this week. L.A. Times | A.P.

California has pinned hope on President Biden, who pledged to deliver 100 million doses in 100 days. But some experts say that's far too low. N.Y. Times | Washington Post


Clinicians cared for Covid-19 patients at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center on Thursday.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Los Angeles County recorded 30% fewer coronavirus cases this week than it did last week. On two straight days — Wednesday and Thursday — daily infections were fewer than 10,000, the first time that has happened since early December. Hospitalizations were down 7%. “This is progress, but as we’ve been reminded again and again,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “don’t let down your guard.” L.A. Daily News

The statewide daily case total on Thursday was 19,673, the lowest since Dec. 2.


Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed $2 billion in incentives to school districts if they can get kids back into classrooms safely by Feb. 16. One problem: The strings attached mean the fund would actually cost some districts money. The proposal calls for vastly increased testing, for which schools would have to pay. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office concluded that the plan is unlikely to hasten a return to classrooms. CalMatters




The inauguration of Biden this week brought renewed hope among California's roughly 2 million unauthorized immigrants. Some of the changes he has proposed in his U.S. Citizenship Act:

Immigrants in the country illegally could apply for temporary legal status right away, and for green cards after five years.
Agricultural laborers who have worked 100 days during four of the last five years would be eligible for green cards immediately. So would DACA recipients.
Those with green cards, clean records, and knowledge of English would be eligible for citizenship after three years. Sacramento Bee | Desert Sun | Reuters

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Bill O'Leary/Washington Post via Getty Images

☝️ On a table in Biden's Oval Office, placed prominently near a collection of family photos, is a bust of the California labor leader Cesar E. Chavez. Fresno Bee | Washington Post


California has been getting in on the Bernie Sanders inauguration mittens meme.

A few standouts 👇

Bernie Bliss.

BART Bernie.

Lebowski Bernie.

Potato Chip Rock Bernie.


☝️ Here's a view from the Golden Canyon/Gower Gulch Loop in Death Valley. During the summers, the shadeless desert is no place for humans. But between November and February, temperatures can hover in the 70s. Outside Magazine included the 4-mile Gower Gulch loop, which plunges through gorgeous multicolored badlands and canyons, its list of the eight best winter hikes in national parks.


Northern California


The Appeal obtained some disturbing video from inside a holding cell at the Vallejo Police Department. A detective, Lt. Kent Tribble, can be seen standing over a detained man in his cell, then suddenly lunging at him and pummeling him in the head. The detainee, Enrique Cruz, was left motionless and bloodied on the floor. Tribble faced no disciplinary action. He was later promoted.


Margo St. James, center, with Jane Fonda, left, and anthropologist Jennifer James in San Francisco in 1975.


Margo St. James died. An aspiring artist, she emerged from the ferment of 1960s San Francisco to become one of the nation’s most prominent rights advocates for sex workers. Her organization — called COYOTE, for Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics — hosted the Hooker's Ball, for years one of San Francisco's colorful political events. “There is no immorality in prostitution,” St. James said. “The immorality is the arrest of women as a class for a service that’s demanded of them by society.” She was 83. Washington Post | N.Y. Times


On this week's California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman chatted with Casey Newton, a Bay Area tech journalist and the author of the Platformer newsletter. He discussed the balancing act that social media platforms are trying to perform on free speech. Most people want social media to be like a town square, Newton said. "At the same time, we want the town square to be policed. If you come to the town square to cause mischief or hurt people, we want somebody to remove you."


Southern California


Gina Bisignano, the owner of a Beverly Hills salon, participated in the Jan. 6 siege.

U.S. Dept. of Justice

The Southern Californians charged with joining the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol included the owner of an eyelash extension salon, a Beverly Hills concierge doctor, and a fashion model who appeared on a the cover of a raunchy novel. The L.A. Times fleshed out the back stories of the "motley crew" of far-right Californians.


When Donald Trump issued a pardon for a wealthy developer accused of a criminal effort to secure his daughter’s entry to USC, the White House said the move was backed by a university trustee, eliciting shock at the campus. But the trustee, Thomas Barrack, a longtime friend of Trump, denied having anything to do with it. The White House also said the tech billionaire Sean Parker supported the pardon. He too denied playing any role. L.A. Times


In case you missed it


Five items that got big views over the past week:

The stormy seas of recent weeks have triggered warnings of danger to beachgoers. But for sea lions near the Channel Islands, they've been an occasion to frolic. @pacificoffshore
Long before Google Street View, the Los Angeles artist Ed Ruscha captured thousands of photos along the city's Sunset Strip. The resulting archive of an evolving Los Angeles is now featured in an immersive project called "12 Sunsets." Washington Post
A crowdsourced effort is filling the information vacuum surrounding California's vaccine rollout. Hundreds of people have been calling hospitals, pharmacies, and other medical centers for information about vaccine availability. S.F. Chronicle | Vox
Catalina Herrera, a dog groomer in Burbank, has become wildly popular on TikTok with short videos of bedraggled dogs being transformed by a haircut and a wash. @catherrera
A stand-up comedian has been riding around Los Angeles on a motorized skateboard in full Mandalorian costume. "I'm a big box of stupid and I love making people laugh," he explained. NBC Los Angeles

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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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