California Sun

Good morning. It's Tuesday, July 30.

Remembering the young victims of the Gilroy shooting.
Blatant wage theft at Korean barbecue restaurants.
And photos of a pink-walled paradise in the Coachella Valley.



A gas power plant in the San Fernando Valley.

David McNew/Getty Images

A survey found that California Democrats and Republicans are worlds apart on climate change. Among Democrats, 73 percent see global warming as a "very serious threat," compared to 27 percent of Republicans. Another finding: half of Californians said they'd be fine with paying more for clean electricity. That's likely to embolden policymakers. It "allows you to be a little more courageous about what you're going to propose," an analyst said. Sacramento Bee | CALmatters

A separate study on how California's coast redwoods are handling warmer temperatures got an unexpected result: They're growing faster. CNET


Workers removed trees and shrubs to create a fuel break in El Dorado National Forest last September.

Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee, via Getty Images

It could be insurance companies, not the government, that effectively block new home construction in California's fire-prone areas. The refusal of insurance companies to cover homes in rural parts of the state is increasingly leading buyers to cancel purchases and look elsewhere. Sacramento Bee | @dillonliam/Twitter


In cities across California, police and prosecutors have been using confiscated condoms as evidence against people suspected of prostitution. Now Gov. Gavin Newsom says he'll sign a new bill banning the practice. Supporters of the bill say the criminalization of carrying condoms has been a danger to public safety. The landmark bill also adds protections for sex workers to report abuse without fear of arrest. VICE


In California, the devil has a slide, a golf course, and a collection of posts. The oddly symmetrical basalt columns of Devils Postpile, 25 miles east of Yosemite Valley, look like they could have been pushed up from the underworld. In truth, scientists say, they were formed 100,000 years ago when a sea of lava cooled and contracted, creating cracks in one of nature's favorite shapes: the hexagon. Visitors enjoy an added treat: a nearby 100-foot waterfall that doubles as a rainbow factory. | Atlas Obscura


Northern California


Stephen Romero, left, Keyla Salazar, and Trevor Irby.

The three victims of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting were all young:

An uncle recalled 6-year-old Stephen Romero as a good-mannered kid who loved The Weeknd. "He wouldn’t leave the house unless he had cologne on," he said. S.F. Chronicle | A.P.
Keyla Salazar, 13, was nearing her 14th birthday and was trying to convince her parents to let her have a puppy. "There are no words to describe the pain," her aunt said. A.P. | Buzzfeed
Trevor Irby, 25, graduated in 2017 from a liberal arts college in upstate New York and moved to Santa Cruz. Pictures on his Facebook page show him in Steelers garb with his arm around his girlfriend. A.P. | S.F. Chronicle

Hundreds attended a vigil in Gilroy. "We cannot let the bastard that did this tear us down." Mercury News


Officers exited the family home of Santino William Legan in Gilroy on Monday.

Jose Carlos Fajardo/Mercury News via Getty Images

The Gilroy gunman was identified by the authorities as Santino William Legan, 19, a Bay Area native. In the hours before the shooting, he urged his Instagram followers to read a 19th century book popular with white supremacists and complained about the overcrowding of towns with "hordes" of people of mixed race and Silicon Valley whites. A.P. | L.A. Times


Authorities said Legan legally purchased "an assault-type rifle" in Nevada, but broke the law by bringing it into California.

"It's just an outrage," Gov. Gavin Newsom said. "I can't put borders up — speaking of borders — in a neighboring state where you can buy this damn stuff legally. How the hell is that possible? I have no problem with the Second Amendment. You have a right to bear arms but not weapons of goddamn mass destruction." S.F. Chronicle | Sacramento Bee


Journalist Noam Cohen delivered some amen-worthy lines in a critique of Silicon Valley's "disruption" culture, like this one: "Uber isn't better than a good mass-transit system; Facebook isn't better than actual friendship; YouTube videos aren't better than quality entertainment; a neighborhood littered with Airbnbs isn't better than a community-oriented one."

And this: "Having so much of life occur at the front door, as opposed to on the town square or the market street, is simply sad. Pathetic even. Who but a small minority would want to organize life around a siege mentality?" WIRED


LiLou the pig does shifts at the San Francisco airport.

The airport can get stressful. That's when San Francisco International Airport deploys the Wag Brigade. It includes a fleet of 22 dogs in vests that urge "pet me!" along with LiLou, a therapy pig with red-painted toenails and a gift for performance. Much of the team's work is focused on one hotspot in particular: Terminal 3, where United Airlines is located.


Southern California


Jose Palomar, 26, grew up in Anaheim and has temporary legal status in the U.S. He’s married to an American citizen and is the father of American children. In June, he traveled to Mexico to fulfill some requirements to be granted a green card. But now the U.S. won't let him back in. Why? When asked if he's ever smoked marijuana, he answered yes. O.C. Register


Illegal labor practices lurk behind the low prices of L.A's Korean barbecue, a columnist said.

Ricardo DeAratanha/L.A. Times via Getty Images

L.A. columnist Frank Shyong met with workers at the city's Korean barbecue restaurants who described blatant wage theft, racial discrimination, and job insecurity. "It's long past time for us consider how much suffering and toil goes into the $1 taco and $3 banh mi we love to celebrate," he wrote. L.A. Times


The trustees of Los Angeles County's massive pension fund are big travelers. According to an L.A. Times investigation, their excursions — to conferences in places such as Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Paris — have cost the fund more than $1.3 million since 2015. Some trustees spent as little as $3,000. Others exceeded $100,000. Some traveled as many as 10 times a year. L.A. Times | KTLA


The San Diego Zoo’s new rhino calf with Victoria, his mother.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

A southern white rhino at San Diego Zoo Safari Park gave birth to a very special calf — the product of artificial insemination. The birth is a crucial step on the path to allowing southern white rhinos to be surrogates for nearly extinct northern white rhinos, of which only two females remain after decades of poaching. S.D. Union-Tribune | KPBS


The Reagans reclined on the patio at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage.

White House photo

There's a place in the Coachella Valley known as the city of the presidents. That's thanks in no small part to the legacy of Sunnylands, a pink-walled paradise built for media mogul Walter Annenberg and his wife Leonore in 1966. Indefatigable entertainers, the Annenbergs hosted legendary parties. Queen Elizabeth, Bob Hope, and Truman Capote passed through. Frank Sinatra married his fourth wife there. And eight presidents, from Eisenhower to Obama, have been guests. Here are a bunch of vintage photos from Sunnylands' glory years of the 1970s and '80s. Vanity Fair | Palm Springs Life

Sunnylands is now open to the public. You can tour the modernist house and the 200-acre grounds, including outdoor sculptures and 13 man-made lakes. Curbed Los Angeles |


On this day


Arnold Schwarzenegger became an American citizen in 1983.

Love him or hate him, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a wonder of nature. Born in Austria on this day in 1947, he got into weightlifting as a teenager and became the youngest-ever Mr. Universe at the age of 20.

Then it was on to real estate. He launched a bricklaying business in Southern California and started buying up properties, earning his first million. Next, despite being warned about his "funny accent," he went after Hollywood, scoring his big break in 1969's "Hercules in New York." By the 1980s, he was one of cinema's most famous action stars.

He married into the Kennedy family, and having never held public office thought, why not run for the governorship of America's most populous state? "The Governator" held power for the better part of a decade.

As comedian Bill Burr put it in a NSFW bit: "This dude has been in a zone for over decades. Four decades. Nothing but net."


Thanks for reading!

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

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