California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, March 29.

San Francisco could become the first city to beat HIV.
Officials ban whipping of horses after track deaths.
And artists move into a decaying town by the Salton Sea.



The college admissions scandal has focused scrutiny on California universities, including U.S.C.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

California colleges would be prohibited from giving preferential admissions to the children of donors or alumni under a sweeping reform package introduced in response to the college admissions scandal. Another proposal would bar special admissions without the approval of three college administrators. "We've all watched in complete disgust," a lawmaker said of the scandal.


Gov. Gavin Newsom publicly accused PG&E of putting profits before safety as the utility made plans to stack its board of directors with hedge fund financiers rather than candidates experienced in wildfire safety. "Time and again, PG&E has broken the public trust and its responsibilities to ratepayers, wildfire victims, and employees," Newsom wrote in a letter. "This board appears to be more of the same.”


Rep. Devin Nunes looked on as Rep. Adam Schiff responded to Republican calls for him to resign as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Pressure intensified on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff as President Trump demanded that the Burbank Democrat quit Congress over his accusations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. The president called Schiff "a disgrace" and accused him of "knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking." Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy compared Schiff, a fellow Californian, to Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy. N.Y. Times | CBS News

The typically soft-spoken Schiff hit back angrily at Republican critics, accusing them of ignoring ample evidence of the Trump campaign's efforts to accept Russian help. "You might think that's OK," he said. "I don't." Politico


Riders at Sant Anita Park, where horse deaths have led to calls for reform.

Harry How/Getty Images

The California Horse Racing Board advanced the nation's most stringent horse whipping ban in the nation after the deaths of 22 horses in a little more than two months at Santa Anita Park. The board members, voting unanimously, rejected calls from jockeys for more study. "Going after a horse with a whip when it was obvious that the horse in question had nothing left to give is something I never want to see again," one board member said.


A craftsman in Koreatown is up for grabs.

Erik Grammer, courtesy of Lissa Lebel/Sotheby’s International Realty and Rob Kallick/Compass

A few eye-catching homes on the market:

A craftsman in Los Angeles is filled with spectacular built-ins and gleaming wood. It was designed in 1910 by John and Donald Parkinson, the father-and-son duo behind some of the city's most iconic buildings. Asking: $1.5 million. Curbed Los Angeles
In a city brimming with midcentury gems, this modest Palm Springs home stands out. Designed by modernist architects Donald Wexler and Richard Harrison, it has glass walls and a cheery yellow kitchen. Asking: $899,000. Curbed
This Queen Anne, built in 1890, is an Oakland landmark. Once home to an executive with the Southern Pacific Railroad, it still bears many of its original architectural details. Asking: $1.175 million. Curbed San Francisco

Northern California


San Francisco is on course to be the first city in the country to eliminate new HIV infections — or at least come close. More than 2,300 new AIDS cases were diagnosed in the city in 1992. In 2017, 221 people were diagnosed with HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS. The 2018 figures are expected to show a further decline. "San Francisco is a model for the rest of the nation," a leading social worker said.


Timothy Sloan testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill on March 12.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Timothy Sloan, chief executive of Wells Fargo, abruptly stepped down after years of making apologies over customer abuses. Once regarded as among the nation's best-run banks, the San Francisco institution has become a symbol what critics say are industry-wide problems. Welcoming the news on Twitter, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Sloan should still be investigated, adding, "And if he's guilty of any crimes, he should be put in jail like anyone else."


Jail guards swarmed Beau Bangert in a suicide-watch cell in 2017.

Placer County Sheriff's Office

A troubling video showed a group of jail guards repeatedly punching and using a stun gun on a mentally ill man at a jail in Placer County. "We're going to put you to sleep," one says. A judge this week gave final approval to a $1.4 million settlement in the case.


Audrey Cooper spoke at the Watermark Conference for Women in Santa Clara in 2015.

Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images

On this week's California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman chats with Audrey Cooper, the editor in chief of the San Francisco Chronicle, who discusses her vision of local news and the Chronicle's future.

"The problem with newspapers," she said, "is that they're typically run by people who are in love with newspapers."


Southern California


An issue of the Press-Enterprise carried news of a mass shooting in 2015.

Washington Post, via Getty Image

Alden Global Capital, the secretive hedge fund that owns Digital First Media, is planning to shed workers from its already stretched Southern California newsrooms. A source told the N.Y. Post that employees at the Riverside Press-Enterprise and O.C. Register, among other papers, would be offered buyouts. Digital First Media has been accused of a "mercenary" approach to the news business. It reported profits of almost $160 million in 2017.


Caren Carl Mandoyan, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was fired for misconduct only to be reinstated by Sheriff Alex Villanueva, was a member of a secret society of deputies known as the Reapers. Mandoyan's girlfriend said he warned her that his membership with the Reapers gave him the power to ruin careers in the department. Villanueva has face criticism for reinstating Mandoyan after the deputy worked on his election campaign. L.A. Times | KTLA

Separately, video showed Mandoyan trying to break into a woman's home. L.A. Times | NBC Los Angeles


Cody Bellinger, left, celebrated with Max Muncy after hitting a home run at Dodger Stadium on Thursday.

Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

The Dodgers made opening day history, slugging eight home runs against the Arizona Diamondbacks, which set a record for the first day of the season and tied the franchise mark for any game. "I don't know if the balls are juiced or the ball is carrying," said Enrique Hernandez. "But, yeah, the ball was going far." The Dodgers are on a quest to win their first World Series title since 1988.


Here's one way to enjoy the superbloom. Last weekend, California photographer Kurt Lawson caught this breathtaking view of a paraglider swooping above the flower-covered hills around Lake Elsinore. "What a great joy it must have been to be flying on this day!" he wrote.


The Bombay Beach Biennale has a strict rule: Everyone must participate.

Scott Pasfield

Decay festers all around at the Salton Sea, the inland lake that once hosted beauty pageants and boat races in its heyday as a tourist mecca. But there are also new signs of life. Held last weekend, the Bombay Beach Biennale included DJ dance parties, a post-apocalyptic drive-in, and dozens of art installations. Here are a bunch of photos.


In case you missed it


People of Japanese ancestry in Woodland got aboard a train bound for an internment camp in 1942.

Dorothea Lange

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

More than 10,000 people of Japanese ancestry were held at Manzanar internment camp during World War II. Here are two collections of photos from the time: one by Ansel Adams at Mashable, and another by Dorothea Lange at Anchor Editions. Mashable | Anchor Editions
Here's a guide to some of California's best palm tree oases by RootsRated. And at Desert magazine: the story of how Native Americans — who wove palm fronds into sandals, baskets, and roofs — likely brought the trees into the Coachella Valley. RootsRated | Desert magazine
The Skunk Train, a railroad in Mendocino County, has been one of the more delightful ways to see California's redwood backcountry. Now the route is offering another conveyance: rail bikes hoisted onto the tracks. Mercury News | California Through My Lens
A ticketing site determined the most popular baseball teams in every county by analyzing shoppers' behavior. In California, the Giants dominated the fandom race, capturing 45 out of 58 counties. Most glaring: the Angels earned no love. SeatGeek
The Great Flood of 1862 was caused by 43 days of rain in California that formed a vast inland sea and drowned so many cattle that the state's ranching economy shifted to one centered on crops. A sequel could strike at any time. Popular Science

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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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