California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, April 26.

A teacher faces firing over a story about a teen porn worker.
How San Francisco unwittingly made school segregation worse.
And nine "dreamy" Eichlers up for grabs across the state.



Sunrise over an oil field in Kern County.

David McNew/Getty Images

The Trump administration unveiled a plan to open more than 1 million acres of California to fracking, ending a five-year moratorium on leasing federal lands in the state to oil and gas companies. The extraction would be concentrated primarily in historical oil fields around Bakersfield and Santa Barbara, but also potentially in the Sierra Nevada.


Both sides in the rent control debate had something to celebrate on Thursday. A legislative committee approved a measure that would cap annual rent increases statewide at 5 percent plus inflation. Another bill that would have allowed cities to expand their rent control laws was pulled by its author. California voters resoundingly rejected a proposition to strengthen rent control last November.


Traffic backed up on Route 70 as people fled the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, 2018.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A survey of California communities at high risk from wildfire found that only 22 percent have a robust, publicly available evacuation plan. "To me, it says, one, communities are complacent or ignorant of the risks," a researcher said in an email, "and two, it's a failure on the part of local and state governments to not require them." A.P.

Months after California's deadliest wildfire, teenagers are living in tents and doing homework by flashlight. Buzzfeed News


An Eichler in Castro Valley has an open-air atrium and windows overlooking hills and canyons.

San Francisco Association of REALTORS

Eichlers are among the most celebrated tract homes in the country. Built in California during the postwar housing boom, they came to epitomize the style known as "California Modern," with gently sloping ceilings, glass walls, and open floor plans. Here's a tour of nine "dreamy" Eichlers now up for grabs across the state.

Frank Lloyd Wright once designed a "butterfly" bridge to cross the San Francisco Bay. The project was scrapped, but an architect has now created a 3-D rendering of how it might have looked. Architectural Digest


Randy Shaw in San Francisco.

Aric Crabb/Bay Area News via Getty Images

On this week's California Sun Podcast, Bay Area housing activist Randy Shaw discusses how California got into its housing mess. "What we've done is we've turned cities into suburbs and promoted sprawl, which is disastrous for climate change," he said. "We've actually probably done the worst housing policy planning job we ever could possibly do."

Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.

Northern California


Apple chief Tim Cook touted the company's device sales in Cupertino last September.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple was broke in 1997 when it struck a deal with Cupertino, where its headquarters is located. In exchange for staying put, Apple would get a share of the sales tax paid by California buyers of its products. The deal was supposed to be temporary. Yet 22 years later — with Apple now the world's most valuable company — the city is still handing the company rebates. It's an arrangement that exists between dozens of companies and small California cities. Bloomberg

How valuable is Apple? Add Disney to Bank of America and you're halfway there. N.Y. Times


Construction labor has been getting harder to come by in the Bay Area.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A new achievement for the Bay Area: It's the most expensive place in the world to build an apartment building, office tower, or school. New York is a distant second. That's according to a new study that attributes the Bay Area's high costs to soaring demand, labor shortages, steel tariffs, and rapid economic growth.


A high school student reporter in Stockton is writing a profile of a fellow student — over the age of 18 — who works in porn. The newspaper's faculty adviser has been told by administrators to submit the article for them to review. She's refusing. "This young woman has quite a story to tell," she said. "She has every right to tell her story, and we have every right to report it."


In San Francisco, schools are more racially segregated than neighborhoods. An ambitious school-choice system was implemented to integrate the schools. But parental choice, it turned out, only made the problem worse as affluent parents took advantage of the system in ways low-income parents couldn't.


The old Amador County courthouse in Jackson, Amador County.

Bobak Ha'Eri/CC-By-SA-3.0

In 1837, a Californio named José María Amador was on an expedition when his party encountered a group of about 200 Indians, half of them Christians. According to Amador's account (which may be exaggerated), the Indians were invited to a feast then surrounded and tied up. The Christians were murdered with four arrows apiece. Then Amador's men poured water on the other 100 in mock baptism and shot them in the back. Amador County and City, east of Sacramento, are named for this man. Monterey County Historical Society |

An Alameda public school is changing its name to Love Elementary after its former namesake, Henry H. Haight, fell out of favor. Haight, a California governor, espoused racist views. East Bay Times


Southern California


More than 200 students and staff at U.C.L.A. and Cal State Los Angeles were placed under quarantine over concerns that they were exposed to measles and cannot verify that they are immune. The five people diagnosed with measles this year across the county include one student from each university. "One person with a confirmed measles case can expose thousands of people to measles," a health official said.


A bird covered in oil spread its wings near Refugio State Beach on May 22, 2015.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A Texas pipeline company was ordered to pay $3.35 million for causing the worst California coastal spill in 25 years. In 2015, a corroded pipeline unleashed 140,000 gallons of crude oil onto Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara, blackening the shore, killing wildlife, and hurting tourism and fishing. Environmentalists criticized the fine as too light. The $17 billion company said it wouldn't hurt its bottom line.


A popular Bakersfield priest was placed on leave as police investigate allegations that he sexually molested a minor. Monsignor Craig Harrison, 59, who has served as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church for nearly two decades, said he would "vigorously defend" his honor. The diocese faced criticism for waiting three days to forward the report of absue to the authorities. "I'm just appalled," a victims' advocate said.


Here's what Southern California could look like if all the glaciers on Earth suddenly melted. The map, including tongue-in-cheek place names, was created a few years ago by an urban planner named Jeffrey Lin using data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The theoretical map was vetted by Snopes, which said the predictions were reasonable even if they couldn't fully account for how the volume of water itself might expand in warmer temperatures.

So could it happen? "An Ice-free earth," Snopes said, "even at the rate we are currently blowing through fossil fuels, would be centuries, if not millennia away." Check out Lin's other sea rise maps, including San Diego and the Central Valley, at


In case you missed it


"Scenic Ave."

Ian Wood

Here are five blurbs that got big views over the past week:

Berkeley's free spiritedness is expressed in the artsy garages of homes all over the city. A local photographer has been creating a visual chronicle of the handiworks. | Berkeleyside
A San Francisco man repopulated a rare butterfly species by planting its favorite flora in his backyard. "It's gorgeous," he said. "If most people saw it in S.F., they wouldn't think it’s a native butterfly." Journal of Alta California | Vox
California's crumpled terrain is the result of giant tectonic collisions that began many millions of years ago. Here are some nicely done simulations of California's formation. City College of S.F./YouTube
No place in California boasts as many magnificent waterfalls as Yosemite. Here's a gorgeous video of Yosemite Falls transformed by morning sunlight into a cascading rainbow. YouTube
Here are 23 of the best photographs from the Coachella music festival, where dozens of performances took place across multiple stages. The Atlantic

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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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