California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, May 22.

Sonoma County coronavirus cohort is 95 percent Latino.
Transmission rate falls to lowest level in L.A. County.
And when Oakland's mayor was arrested for going maskless.

Please note: The Sun will pause for the holiday weekend. Back in your inbox on Tuesday.



Of 57 youth who have tested positive for the coronavirus in Sonoma County, 54 are Latino, the latest example of how the pandemic is exposing our racial divides. The county's top health official cited crowded households as one factor driving transmission. "It's a very sad finding," she said. Press Democrat

California nursing homes serving black and brown residents are more than twice as likely to have at least one Covid-19 case than those with mostly white residents. LAist


A couple exchanged vows at a socially distanced marriage booth on Wednesday in Anaheim, where county offices remained closed.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Of 58 California counties, only 15 have yet to get the green light to fast-track their reopening plans. The rest are now moving to resume in-store shopping and restaurant dining as they see fit.

The counties still stuck under more stringent stay-home rules: Alameda, Contra Costa, Imperial, Los Angeles, Marin, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, and Tulare.

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Big Bear Lake is the latest community to reject the state's authority over lockdown rules. "We're going to trust our community to do the right thing and keep people safe," a city official said. L.A. Times | Big Bear Grizzly


In the Owens Valley, visitors would normally be swarming into town for high country recreation. Instead, locals are plotting survival strategies. At Jake's Saloon, a century-old hangout in Lone Pine, the owner and few others took down all of the one-dollar bills that customers stapled to the walls over the decades. "Split five ways, we each got about $500," she said. L.A. Times


Among the unexpected silver linings of the state's lockdown: The rare stillness of Lake Tahoe.

Normally roiling with the ripples of boats, North America's largest alpine lake has enjoyed a sustained glassiness for weeks, said Phil Mosby, a local photographer. He shared video from early May, sampled in the gif above, recorded as part of a web project that invites users to become immersed in the sights and sounds of nature. NatureMixer

Mosby also creates gorgeous nightscape photography around Lake Tahoe. See his work here.


Mayor John Davie of Oakland with "Our Gang" cast members in Oakland in July of 1927.

Flashback: During the 1918–19 flu pandemic, Oakland's mayor was arrested for not wearing a mask. Mayor John Davie, a larger-than-life fellow who wore a walrus mustache and red carnation in his lapel, was relaxing in the lobby of a hotel in Sacramento with his mask draped over his ear. Spotted by officers, he was ordered to wear it properly as per city ordinance. He did, according to a Sacramento Bee report, but then slipped it off again to take a drag of his cigar. This time, the officers marched him to jail as he ranted in language "too foul to repeat in print," the Bee reported. Smithsonian Magazine


San Francisco's Dolores Park on Wednesday.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Other odds and ends:

White polka dot-like circles have been painted in four San Francisco parks to promote social distancing. Officials said they were added in anticipation of the holiday weekend. hoodline | S.F. Chronicle
Los Angeles County achieved a promising milestone: Its coronavirus transmission rate has fallen to the lowest level since March. L.A. Times | KTLA
The authorities arrested eight people during an anti-lockdown protest in San Clemente. Among them: a former La Habra police chief. Voice of OC | O.C. Register
Facebook is embracing remote work. Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday up to half of the Menlo Park company's employees could work from home within 10 years. protocol | The Verge



UC Berkeley's Sather Tower rises above the campus.

"This test is a racist test, there's no two ways about it."

In a historic decision, the University of California voted to abandon SAT and ACT testing requirements for admission. The change was hailed by supporters as a step toward expanded college access and equity. Opponents, including the system's faculty senate, said the tests predict college success more reliably than grades or other measures. EdSource | CalMatters


From the beginning of the college admissions scandal, Lori Loughlin insisted she was innocent — until now. The "Full House" actress has agreed to plead guilty to fraud and spend two months in federal prison, court documents showed. Loughlin was accused of working with the college counselor William Singer to pitch her daughters as fake athletic recruits to USC. Her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, agreed to plead guilty as well. L.A. Times | CNN


Darrell Issa, in Washington last year, is running again for Congress.

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Darrell Issa and the conservative group Judicial Watch are suing to block California's move to an all-mail November election. The complaint argues that Gov. Gavin Newsom's order violates the Constitution and scrambles the election strategy of the former Republican congressman from San Diego County, who is campaigning to return to Congress. California's secretary of state called the lawsuit immoral. "Exploiting the Covid-19 pandemic to justify voter suppression is despicable," he said. Politico | Sacramento Bee


Tara Reade, the former Senate aide who has accused Joe Biden of sexual assault, lived for a number of years in Monterey County, where she served as an expert witness on domestic violence. Now California defense lawyers are reviewing criminal cases in which she testified, concerned that she misrepresented her credentials in court. News reports this week said Antioch University has disputed Reade's claim of receiving a bachelor's degree from its Seattle campus. N.Y. Times | Daily Beast


A destroyed block in Paradise on Nov. 15, 2018.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On this week's California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman talks with Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano, authors of the new book "Fire in Paradise." The 2018 Camp Fire moved so fast, Anguiano said, first responders initially didn't believe 911 reports that it had arrived in town. "They said, 'That's not possible. There's a fire burning 5, 10 miles outside of town.' It shocked everyone who knew anything about fire." California Sun Podcast

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In case you missed it


"Forrest Kahlil Perrine & his 1983 Toyota Pickup." Downtown Los Angeles

Five items that got big views over the past week:

The photographer Ryan Schude makes whimsical portraits of California drivers posing with their cars.
"This is it. This is the largest pine tree on earth." Here's a touching short film on "California's best big-tree hunter." Field Mag (~4:30 mins)
Workers at a Dana Point Gelson's demonstrated the patience of saints as they dealt with a woman refusing to don a mask. Reddit (~2:40 mins)
Here's an incredible reporting effort on how New York blew its response to the coronavirus — and suffered 10 times as many deaths as California. ProPublica
In 2012, the space shuttle Endeavour was paraded through the streets of Los Angeles. Here's a great series of photos from the trip. The Atlantic

Thanks for reading!

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

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