California Sun

Good morning. It's Monday, Aug. 27.

A Northern California mayor is threatened over racy photos.
The Diocese of San Jose gives a bishop a $2.3 million house.
And robots are making hamburgers in San Francisco for $6.

The lede

1

Calling out a 'coward'

Rachel Hundley said an email attempting to blackmail her was sent by "an anonymous coward."

YouTube

Rachel Hundley, a 35-year-old councilwoman in Sonoma, earned national attention as a fresh-faced millennial leader when she rose to the mayor's office a couple years ago.

Now, as she campaigns for reelection in November, Hundley is facing a disturbing attack.

She received an anonymous email this month pointing to a website that featured racy images of her at Burning Man, which she had posted on social media. The email warned her to drop out, adding in part, "We believe your behavior is immoral and unethical and has no place in our town."

Responding in a Youtube video, Hundley called the email an "attempt to slut-shame me" and said women have faced a double standard around what they can wear and do in public life.

"This attempt at blackmail assumes that I buy into these lies," she said. "But I'm here today to tell my faceless bullies that I cannot be ashamed into quitting because I am not ashamed."

  

Statewide

2

Salinas Valley, where a study linked pesticides to ailments in children.

Tobacco companies spent big money attacking scientific studies that demonstrated the harms of smoking. Now agrochemical companies are using the same playbook, with the help of an amenable E.P.A. The effort aims to thwart a proposed ban of chlorpyrifos, an insecticide used widely in California that some scientists believe may be harming infants' brains.

  
3

State lawmakers sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that would allow immigrants in the country illegally to serve on state boards and commissions. One critic of the bill warned that it could make non-citizen appointees targets for deportation by immigration authorities already riled up about California's sanctuary policies.

  
4

More than 150 government officials across California have signed a petition urging the governor to phase out oil and gas drilling over concerns about pollution and climate change. None of the signatories, however, is from Kern County, the state’s leader in petroleum production.

  
5

“The Burning Man is Disneyland in reverse," co-founder Larry Harvey once told the S.F. Chronicle.

Burning Man kicked off over the weekend. Graphics artists at the Washington Post used time-lapse satellite imagery, "firefly cartography," and glowing mushrooms to tell the story of how a huddle of hippies on a San Francisco beach became a city of 70,000 in the Nevada desert.

  

Northern California

6

The Diocese of San Jose bought one its retired bishops a five-bedroom “Tuscan estate” for $2.3 million. The expenditure has irked some among the diocese’s Catholics, given the faith's mission to serve the poor. "I looked at places way out in the East Bay," the bishop said, "but I like the valley."

  
7

Humboldt Bay is the second-largest enclosed bay in California.

It's been a long time coming, but momentum is building to create the Humboldt Bay Trail. The 14-mile route will hug Humboldt Bay, meandering through wetlands and wildlife habitats and linking the two biggest cities in Humboldt County, Arcata and Eureka. KCET aired a six-minute video on the project.

  
8

Napa Valley's landscape has been reshaped by new wineries.

A contentious ballot measure to limit new vineyards in Napa Valley was narrowly defeated in June. But defenders of Napa’s past say they aren't done fighting. "The valley has lost much of its agrarian character in my lifetime," a prominent vintner said. "We’re letting this place slip away."

  
9

Robots are making hamburgers in San Francisco for $6. A restaurant called Creator is opening with a burger machine made of plastic tubes and more than 350 sensors run by software and 20 computers. Other culinary robots are popping up too. In Silicon Valley, Zume Pizza makes pies pressed by a "Doughbot" in nine seconds.

  
10

The view of Market Street from the rooftop of One Kearney, which has a public space with benches and ferns.

Tucked amid San Francisco’s high-rises are a collection of rooftop public spaces unmatched in any other city. The S.F. Chronicle created a guide to finding 10 of the best ones, including the 11th-floor terrace at One Kearney.

  

Southern California

11

Rep. Duncan Hunter left his arraignment hearing in San Diego last week.

Denis Poroy/A.P.

In Alpine, Duncan Hunter would have a beer, maybe two, at neighborhood parties. In Washington, he partied hard. An indictment revealed that he spent more than $400 for 30 tequila shots at a bachelor party. He sometimes visited one of his favorite bars multiple times a day. “Seeing all this stuff,” a neighbor said, “I can’t believe it. It’s like Jekyll and Hyde.”

  
12

Mike Cernovich, the professional conspirator from Orange County who claimed a massive network of pedophiles infiltrated the government and tweeted “date rape does not exist,” is working as a campaign surrogate for Republican Senate candidate Kelli Ward in Arizona. Asked why she'd invite such a man onto the trail, Ward told reporters, “To get you guys to come on out. So thanks for coming. I’m glad that the hooks are working.”

  
13

Tejon Ranch, a 270,000-acre plot where Los Angeles and Kern counties meet, is one of the last frontiers of relatively undeveloped space in the region. Now, after years of debate, plans for a new city are taking shape. Backers say it's exactly what's needed to address the housing crunch. Environmentalists say a fragile landscape will be destroyed.

  
14

Making an approach in San Diego.

"I start pushing that button at 6:33 a.m." Beatrice Pardo has lodged 12,694 official noise complaints with the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority in the past 16 months. She's among a handful of champion grousers using a new invention called the Airnoise Button that lets you register a complaint simply by pressing it.

  
15

After a deadly accident stopped traffic on the 105 Freeway last Friday, there was a very L.A. turn of events. A food truck caught in the standstill opened up and began serving motorists. The operator estimated that she sold dozens of orders of coffee and most of her eggs.

  

Thanks for reading!

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

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