California Sun

Good morning. It's Wednesday, July 3.

Scheduling reminder: The Sun will pause from July 4 to 12.

Redding's joyous Megan Rapinoe captivates the soccer world.
A July Fourth celebration with vomit as a central feature.
And cool California homes in the city, desert, and mountains.



Demonstrators opposed to the citizenship question protested outside the Supreme Court on April 23.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

In an abrupt reversal, the Trump administration decided to give up its quest to add a question about citizenship to next year's census. That's a relief for California, which had argued that adding the question was a partisan ploy to force an undercount of immigrants. One analysis predicted that it would lead the state to lose two of its 53 House seats. Sacramento Bee | Politico


In 2004, Californians made a $3 billion wager on the healing potential of stem cell research. Fifteen years later, the cash is running out, perhaps as soon as next month. What does the state have to show for it? More than 50 clinical trials, and over 3,000 research papers, but as yet none of the miracle cures that campaigners had suggested would emerge for afflictions such as Alzheimer's and cancer. Capitol Weekly


A coalition of gun groups is challenging a new California law that raises the age to buy a rifle or shotgun from 18 to 21. "Once individuals turn 18, they are adults in the eyes of the law," a lawyer representing the groups said. The bill's author called the lawsuit "dumb and heartless." A.P. | L.A. Times


A community of floating homes has been docked on San Francisco's Mission Creek since the early 1960s.

Open Homes Photography

Here are a few homes for sale across California's varied landscape:

A floating three-story residence offers a rare opportunity for river living in San Francisco. Docked on Mission Creek, it's part of a small, tight-knit houseboat community. Asking: $1.8 million. Curbed San Francisco |
If the desert is your thing, a tiny oasis is up for grabs in Joshua Tree for $389,900. Recently remodeled, the two-bedroom home has an outdoor shower and built-in barbecue. Curbed
In the Big Bear mountains outside Los Angeles is a Scandinavian-inspired A-frame. The 1971 home has 28-foot ceilings and a living room with top-to-bottom windows. Asking: $475,000. Curbed

Research has shown that spending time in nature lowers blood pressure and aids sleep.

Frommer's listed eight of its favorite state parks across California. It included Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, pictured above, a vast desert wilderness of badlands, palm oases, slot canyons, and cactus-studded hills. Frommer's


Northern California


A Fresno County sheriff's deputy was shot during a gunfight in the rural Sierra foothills. He was expected to survive. Authorities said the suspect began firing at deputies at they arrived at a house in response to a property dispute. Fresno Bee | KFSN

Separately, deadly police confrontations fell in California last year, a report showed. In 2018, 146 civilians died, down from 172 a year earlier. Three law enforcement officers died. A.P.


The elegant Tower Bridge is Sacramento's answer to the Golden Gate Bridge.

In 2017, about 24,000 people moved from the Bay Area to more affordable Sacramento. In 2018, there were another 27,000 transplants. The influx is shaking up a town derided by the namesake character in the film "Lady Bird" as "the midwest of California." Construction sites have colonized downtown, and new restaurants, coffee shops, and craft breweries are proliferating. The Guardian

Rent prices in San Francisco hit all-time highs in June. Curbed San Francisco


Last week, a San Francisco high school voted to spend $600,000 to paint over a Depression-era fresco that depicts slavery and white settlers stepping over a dead Native American. But it could be months or years before legal challenges are exhausted. "We don't burn great art. It is unconscionable," said a preservationist opposed to the whitewashing. "It's something reactionaries do, fascists." S.F. Chronicle

Columnist Bari Weiss: Of 49 students asked to write about the mural, only four supported its removal. "Which makes one wonder who these bureaucrats actually seek to protect." N.Y. Times


Megan Rapinoe celebrated after scoring against Thailand on June 11 in Reims, France.

Alex Caparros/FIFA via Getty Images

Megan Rapinoe is the pride of Redding. Born and raised in Shasta County's biggest city, she is now a lavender-haired star on the global soccer stage as the U.S. women's team prepares to play in the World Cup finals on Sunday. She's also become a lightning rod in the culture wars thanks to her jousting with President Trump and her silent protests during the national anthem.

"Megan Rapinoe has perhaps become the representative athlete of our times — wearing the jersey of a nation that is divided, playing for a team that is not," wrote sports reporter Jeré Longman. N.Y. Times


Fillmore Street Cleaners, circa 1950s. Many Fillmore businesses were owned by African Americans.

David Johnson/Harlem of the West

Jimmie Fails, a writer on the film "The Last Black Man in San Francisco," sat down recently for an interview near the city's Fillmore district. "It's crazy, like, sticking out like a sore thumb at the Duboce Park," he said. "Being black shouldn't be a thing."

It didn't used to be. In the 1940s and 50s, the Fillmore was a bastion of black culture as well as one of the world's hottest jazz scenes. It was not uncommon for John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, or Charlie Parker to stroll into a club and join an after-hours jam session. Here are some fantastic old pictures and recorded oral histories from the heyday of what was called the "Harlem of the West." Timeline | Harlem of the West


Southern California


Edward Gallagher's defense attorneys Marc Mukasey, right, and Tim Parlatore reacted outside the military court in San Diego on Tuesday.

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Edward Gallagher was found not guilty of murder in a war-crimes trial in San Diego that roiled the elite Navy SEALs and drew the attention of President Trump. "I'm happy. I'm thankful. Thank God for freedom," he said after the verdict. Seven SEALs said Gallagher unexpectedly stabbed a captive ISIS fighter in Iraq in 2017. Two testified that they saw him plunge a knife into the prisoner's neck. The defense painted the accusers as entitled millennials who could not meet their chief's high expectations. N.Y. Times | S.D. Union-Tribune


A layer of pollution hovered over Los Angeles in 2017.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Thanks to tailpipe standards and catalytic converters, air pollution in Los Angeles is today less than half what it was in the 1970s. But the war on smog has lately been slipping. Researchers found deaths attributable to ozone pollution in Southern California increased 10 percent from 2010 to 2017. Officials say it will take $14 billion to fix the problem. L.A. Times


Breitbart was flying high a couple years ago. But the Los Angeles-based news website that Stephen Bannon once called "the platform for the alt-right" has been in a long, slow decline. Since Donald Trump became president, monthly traffic has virtually collapsed, plummeting nearly 75 percent. What happened? Competition is one factor. Another: A hemorrhaging of advertisers. Washington Post


Records lined the wall at Bar Shiru, a new Tokyo-inspired cocktail den in Oakland.

People are going to cocktail bars where they sit in reverent silence as D.J.'s spin carefully selected jazz records on high-end audio equipment. So-called hi-fi bars have been an institution in Japan since the 1950s. Now they are emerging in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. "At best," the N.Y. Times wrote, "the listening bar raises good questions about whether there might be an unrealized public-listening or group-listening ideal in a ritual as familiar as going out for a drink." N.Y. Times | Bloomberg


According to organizers, "no kooks" are permitted at the Hermosa Beach Ironman.

Axel Koester/Corbis via Getty Images

The American people celebrate their deliverance from the yoke of English tyranny in various ways: sharing barbecued meats, twirling sparklers — inducing vomiting in a howling mosh pit on the beach.

The Hermosa Beach Ironman, held each July Fourth, dates to the 1970s. Competitors run a mile, paddle a mile on a surfboard, then chug a six-pack of beer with punk music blaring and hundreds of athletes cavorting. Puke is everywhere. A couple years ago, a KTLA reporter ventured bravely into the fray. As she was interviewing a beer-bellied gentleman, someone off-screen splattered her with projectile vomit. The moment was delightfully preserved on video. HuffPost | Hermosa Beach Ironman


Be a good friend

I rely on personal recommendations to grow the Sun's audience. If you've been enjoying the newsletter, please consider sharing it with a friend. Here's the sign-up page.

Thanks for reading!

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

The Sun is built by Marquee on Proof.

Consider becoming a member.

Please tell us how we can make the newsletter better. Email

California Sun masthead
The California Sun, PO Box 6868, Los Osos, CA 93412
Wake up to must-read news from around the Golden State delivered to your inbox each morning.