California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, July 6.

A judge denies the Trump administration on sanctuary law.
The shrinking of Mono Lake sets up a showdown with L.A.
And a look at Oakland's crazy sideshow culture.

The lede


Ruling for California

Moina Shaiq attended a rally in support of California's sanctuary policies in San Francisco on Jan. 25, 2017.

Jeff Chiu/A.P.

A federal judge on Thursday rejected the Trump administration's effort to block California from limiting police cooperation with immigration agents.

"Refusing to help is not the same as impeding," U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez wrote in his opinion.

Mendez did, however, block parts of one so-called sanctuary law that prohibited employers from voluntarily letting immigration officials access their workplaces, saying it put businesses in a predicament.

Kevin de León, the Democratic lawmaker who introduced the state sanctuary legislation, praised the ruling as a victory. "California is under no obligation to assist Trump tear apart families," he said.

Read more in the L.A. Times and Politico.



A couple weeks ago, it was "eviscerated." Now California's net neutrality bill is being rehabilitated. Lawmakers said they'd reached a deal on legislation to ensure equal access to the internet after an attempt to water down the rules sparked a backlash. If passed, it would create the toughest net neutrality protections in the country.


Ever get annoyed that you had to call a phone number and talk to a person just to cancel a subscription? As of July 1, companies are now required to let customers who purchased a service online also cancel it online. The law, which applies to any business with customers in California, has national implications.


John Cox, a businessman, spoke during the California Republican Party convention in San Diego in May.

Gregory Bull/A.P.

John Cox, the Republican candidate for governor, has said he opposes the right to an abortion even in cases of rape and incest, a position that puts him out of step with most California voters. “Rape and incest are horrible crimes that should be punished severely," he once wrote. "Killing the child is punishing the wrong person.”


Less snowmelt has flowed into Mono Lake as a consequence of climate change.

"We’re headed for a showdown with Los Angeles; no doubt about it." Climate change and water diversions by Los Angeles have combined to lower the level of Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierra. Its receding shoreline has exposed lake bed and kicked up dust that can lodge deep in people's lungs, causing respiratory injuries.

Northern California


The so-called Klamathon Fire spread to nearly eight square miles in Siskiyou County.

California Office of Emergency Services

Several big blazes were raging in Northern California. Among them:

A ferocious wildfire in Yolo and Napa counties that began last Saturday spread to nearly three times the size of San Francisco — and is still growing. Nine structures have been destroyed. Officials said the blaze wouldn't be tamed until at least next week. S.F. Chronicle
A fast-moving fire erupted on Thursday north of Mount Shasta near the Oregon border. It destroyed several structures, forced evacuations, and shut part of Interstate 5. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency. Record Searchlight


California defendants are being hit by a growing wave of "user fees" intended to fund cash-strapped courts. A $100 ticket for running a red light, for example, comes with an additional $390 in fees. The penalties can be devastating for low-income people. That's why San Francisco has become the first city in the nation to stop charging them.


More than 14,000 people have signed a petition demanding the ouster of a small town official in the Sacramento Valley. In a newspaper column, Ted Hickman, the vice mayor in Dixon, argued for a “straight pride month,” and called gay men "faries." After a backlash, he said his critics were being thin-skinned.


A sideshow took over an intersection in East Oakland.

Oakland is the birthplace of the sideshow — the smoking, screeching, illegal gatherings of cars doing donuts in the middle of intersections and parking lots. They can get out of hand, even deadly. Over the years, the police have tried to crack down on sideshows, but they seem to have picked up once again. KQED did an explainer.

Southern California


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park was expected to hit around 110 degrees on Friday.

“We could shatter — shatter — some records.” Forecasters were predicting brutally hot temperatures through the weekend in Southern California. Parts of the coast could hit 100 degrees on Friday, with temperatures in the inland areas soaring as high as 117.


Kevin Cooper after his arrest in 1983.


Gov. Jerry Brown hinted that he was seriously considering ordering new DNA testing in the case of Kevin Cooper, who is awaiting execution for the 1983 killings of four people in Chino Hills. For years, supporters of Cooper have called for the case to be reviewed. A column by the N.Y. Times's Nicholas Kristof in May drew renewed attention to the case.


Skid Row was once the epicenter of homeless life in Los Angeles. Now, homelessness has spread far beyond those old borders, staking claims to public spaces all over the city. The N.Y. Times put together a photo tour of the alleys, parks, and beaches that the homeless call home.


Reporters identified a man seen pounding on an African-American protester at a white nationalist rally as Michael Miselis, a U.C.L.A. doctoral student with a government security clearance to work on sensitive research for Northrop Grumman. When confronted by the reporters, Miselis said he “didn’t know anything” and drove away. Northrop said it was looking into the matter.


The L.A. River is open daily for fishing and boating.

L.A. River Expeditions

Kayaking on the L.A. River, seafood and beer by the port, and outdoor movies in an old graveyard. The destination connoisseurs at Curbed came up with a list of 25 essential things to do during the summer in Los Angeles.

In case you missed it


Most popular

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

In the 1990s, rave culture blossomed in Los Angeles. A photographer was there from the start, capturing the thumping, blissed-out gatherings in thousands of long-exposure pictures. He curated the best of them. Thump | Dancefloor Thunderstorm
Wild theories surrounded the death of Arlis Perry, a 19-year-old whose body was found brutalized in Stanford Memorial Church in 1974. They now seem to have all been wrong. Last week, a former Stanford security guard shot himself as sheriff’s deputies moved in. Mercury News |
Life was once pastoral in Bay Area locales like Walnut Creek. Then suburbia moved in. A photographer chronicled the youth who became jaded by a place they decided was bland and uncool. California Sun |

A wild pig lurked in Santa Clara Valley.

As many as 400,000 nonnative feral pigs have invaded 56 of California's 58 counties. They cause farmers millions of dollars in damage each year, rooting up crops and destroying fencing. Sacramento Bee
A baby fell off a bed and hit his head in San Francisco. The family, tourists from South Korea, took him to the emergency room. He took a short nap, drank some formula, and was discharged a few hours later. The bill? $18,836. Vox

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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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