California Sun

Good morning. It's Monday, Oct. 29.

Silicon Valley parents keep their kids away from screens.
A thousand women motorcyclists gather in the desert.
And the Warriors clown Fergie's national anthem rendition.

The lede


Childhood, device free

Kids playing outside in Shasta County in the days before devices — in 1964.

Here's a red flag on the danger of digital devices: The people who make them don't want their children around them — at all.

According to a story in the N.Y. Times, Silicon Valley parents are now asking their kids' nannies to keep phones, tablets, computers, and TVs off and hidden at all times. "Almost every parent I work for is very strong about the child not having any technical experience at all," a San Jose nanny said. "In the last two years, it’s become a very big deal."

Read the story in the Times.




Democratic candidate Gavin Newsom, left, and Republican candidate John Cox debated at a KQED studio in San Francisco this month.

Jeff Chiu/A.P.

The L.A. Times published a pair of articles exploring how the candidates for governor made their fortunes.

Gavin Newsom amassed millions through his holdings in wineries, restaurants, nightclubs, and hotels. He was helped by billionaire Gordon Getty, a longtime family friend. Critics have called Newsom a poster boy for privilege.
John Cox got rich through real estate. His firm owns and operates more than 2,600 apartment units in blue-collar towns in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. He's touted a tale of self-made success, but it was not without blemishes.

Investors in California are nervous about Gavin Newsom. Here's an example that helps explain why. Facing a budget deficit, Gov. Jerry Brown entered office in 2011 with a plan that included killing hundreds of redevelopment agencies. Newsom, the frontrunner to replace him, is now poised to inherit a surplus. One of his campaign planks? Bring the agencies back.


California was among the least tax-friendly states in a new map by Kiplinger.

Kiplinger created a visual guide to taxation across every U.S. state. California didn't come out looking so good. In a breakdown, the magazine said California had the country's highest statewide sales tax, at 7.25 percent, and the second-highest gas taxes, at 56 cents a gallon.


High school football in California is in decline.

In California, growing awareness about the risks of brain trauma has led participation in high school football to plummet nearly 10 percent over the past decade. It's making people wonder what will become of the sport. "You don’t have to be a neuroscientist to think it’s a bad idea to hit a child in the head hundreds of times at the most critical point of their brain development," a concussion expert said.


Every fall, California's community of female motorcyclists gathers in Joshua Tree for an event called "Babes Ride Out." Started in 2013, the celebration of independence, sisterhood, and motorcycles is said to have grown into the largest gathering of its kind in the world. Here are photo galleries from the last couple years.


Northern California


San Francisco spent about $310,000 to register noncitizens to vote in school board elections. Just 49 signed up, an outcome attributed to worries about illegal immigrants being detected by the federal authorities. The cost to taxpayers worked out to about $6,326 per sign-up. "At that price," wrote the columnists Matier & Ross, "let’s hope they vote."


Researchers observed the octopuses about 80 miles southwest of Monterey.

Ocean Exploration Trust/NOAA

Scientists found a cluster of more than a thousand octopuses in a previously unexplored rocky habitat off central California. They were found in "brooding" positions, with their arms inverted as they covered their eggs. "This has never been discovered on the West Coast of the U.S., never in our sanctuary, and never in the world with these numbers," a lead scientist said.


The Warriors had fun with a remix of Fergie's national anthem rendition.

Actor Josh Duhamel said Warriors forward Draymond Green owes an apology to his ex-wife, Fergie, for laughing during the pop star's rendition of the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game. A video clip of the Warriors' reaction went viral over the weekend.


The home has impressive views of the city skyline.

Jacob Elliott/Pacific Union International

San Francisco has a new most-expensive home for sale. Taking up two hillside lots, the Russian Hill home has an outdoor kitchen, a cantilevered infinity pool, a subterranean art galley, and a shower and sauna with glass walls overlooking the city. Listed price: $45 million. Curbed has the photos.


The military bunker at Devil's Slide looks like an exposed fossil atop the promontory.

The Devil's Slide promontory was once home to a white-knuckle section of Highway 1 along the San Mateo County coast. Since being transformed into hiking trail about four years ago, it's earned the reputation of one of California's most dramatic and unique pathways. Among the sights: a colorful bunker once used to watch for invading forces during WWII.


Southern California


The Dodgers' Manny Machado stood in the dugout after Game 5 on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Jae C. Hong/A.P.

"It stinks, it hurts, it sucks, it rips your heart out, it really does." For the second consecutive year, an opposing team lifted the Commissioner's Trophy in Dodger Stadium as their hosts World Series hopes were shattered. The Red Sox won the title with a 5-1 victory in Game 5 against the Dodgers, now 30 years removed from their last championship.


The owner of tattoo shop in Sunset Beach said he saw Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies come in to get inked with identical tattoos of a skeleton in a cowboy hat. Each design included a number in sequential order, more than 100 in all. Now deputies are being forced to answer questions about whether they were members of a clique — and whether their courtroom testimony can be trusted.


A billboard promoting "The Grinch" in Los Angeles.

"Hope you don't miss that audition." "Of course you'll make it as an actor." "Stop moving to Los Angeles, it's full." Billboards promoting the new Grinch movie in Los Angeles have struck a chord. "I mean, are they even a joke?" LAist asked. "Or are they just extra L.A.?"


Among Anza-Borrego’s delights are native California fan palms, known for their “petticoats” of dead leaves.

Rugged and vast Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is famous for its spring wildflowers, but fall is also gorgeous there. And the temperatures are ideal for hiking — highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s. According to Sunset Magazine, the park east of San Diego is among the best fall destinations in the Western U.S.


Thanks for reading!

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

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