California Sun

Good morning. It's Thursday, June 18.

Newsom administration mulls statewide mask mandate.
California reports single-day high for coronavirus cases.
And law enforcement leader says deputies have had enough.



A guerrilla public service announcement graced a wall in San Francisco on April 20.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gov. Gavin Newsom's administration is mulling a statewide mask mandate, several county officials told reporters. At the moment, rules vary from place to place, with some local leaders facing intense pressure to keep mask-wearing a matter of personal choice. A statewide mandate, officials said, could ensure consistency. Sacramento Bee

In Japan, coronavirus measures have been half-hearted at best. But nearly everyone wears masks. Compared with the U.S., Japan's infection rate has been miniscule. N.Y. Times


California reported a record number of coronavirus cases on Wednesday, surpassing 4,000 infections for the first time, according to data tabulated by the S.F. Chronicle. County health departments reported 4,233 new cases. The previous single-day high was 3,683 last Friday. S.F. Chronicle

In Orange County, where a mask battle has been raging, coronavirus ICU hospitalizations have jumped 76 percent in the last six weeks. L.A. Times

See trackers of cases in California, the U.S., and worldwide.


Neighborhood homes seen on the west side of Fresno last year.

Mason Trinca for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Atlantic called it Fresno’s Mason-Dixon Line. On the southwest side of town, mostly populated by blacks and Latinos, concentrations of poverty rival any place in America. But north of Shaw Avenue, mostly white neighborhoods enjoy the sort of prosperity on display in parts of Silicon Valley. The disparity is linked to a history of redlining. Yet every time Fresno got funding to correct past wrongs, it spread the money evenly across the city. CalMatters/Fresno Bee


A state lawmaker announced legislation that would make it a hate crime to make 911 calls motivated by prejudice. The move follows a drumbeat of viral videos showing white people calling the police on black people for frivolous reasons. Most recently a woman in San Francisco called the police on a Filipino man who used chalk to write “Black Lives Matter” on the front of his house. A county supervisor vowed to craft similar legislation for San Francisco. Sacramento Bee | S.F. Examiner


Northern California


Officials launched a hate crimes investigation after five knotted ropes were found hanging from trees around Oakland's Lake Merritt. But a local man, Victor Sengbe, who is black, told reporters that he put the ropes up months ago for recreational use. The parks director said while some of the ropes may have been used for exercise, "some of it absolutely was not.” Mayor Libby Schaaf called them “nooses” and “terrorizing symbols.” A.P. | East Bay Times


The Nelson Fire burned near Oroville in Butte County on Wednesday.

Wildfires flared up in a number of places around California on Wednesday. In Butte County, where Paradise was destroyed in 2018, a fast-moving brush fire burned three homes before firefighters brought it under control. In the foothills east of Stockton, a blaze spread to nearly 2 square miles, sending massive plumes of smoke over the San Joaquin Valley. Other fires erupted in Shasta and Sonoma counties. Chico Enterprise-Record | S.F. Chronicle

As summer fires proliferate, a fifth of California is now gripped by severe or extreme drought. That's much worse than this time last year. U.S. Drought Monitor


The Klamath River has been a locus of California's water wars.

Brian van der Brug/L.A. Times via Getty Images

In 2002, water diversions along the mighty Klamath River precipitated the largest die-off of salmon in the history of the Western United States. It was a galvanizing insult to the Yurok Tribe, whose people thrived along the river for centuries. Now, for the first time, the tribe's fight to reclaim the Klamath is being led by one of their own, Amy Cordalis, a Yurok lawyer who witnessed the 2002 die-off. “We are back to the time of the tribes on the river again,” she said. “We are reclaiming that governance now.” High Country News


In early May, a Carmel restaurant reopened its patio to customers, defying the state's stay-home order. If the government had a problem, owner Jeffrey LeTowt told reporters at the time, they could send in a SWAT team and cuff him. That didn't happen, but this week the county's district attorney announced LeTowt's penalty: $15,000, with the possibility of $20,000 more if he steps out of line again. Monterey County Weekly | The Californian


Southern California


The half brother of Robert Fuller, the black man found hanging from a tree in Palmdale last week, was killed in a shootout with police on Wednesday, officials said. Detectives were trailing the man, identified by family members as Terron Boone, as part of a kidnapping and assault investigation in Kern County. Boone, officials said, opened fire on sheriff's deputies, who returned fire, killing him. L.A. Times | KABC


Protesters rallied in front of a San Diego County sheriff's station in Santee on June 7.

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

The president of a sheriff's deputies union in San Diego County wrote an op-ed accusing the media and members of the public of tearing down their profession: "Remember that the narrative you share, the bias you breathe life into, without considering the perspective of law enforcement, is contributing to a dangerous landscape for law enforcement that will unfortunately have a ripple effect into communities of San Diego County." S.D. Union-Tribune


Danny Masterson in 2015.

Michael Bezjian/Getty Images

Los Angeles County prosecutors accused the actor Danny Masterson of raping three women at his Hollywood Hills home in the early 2000s. Few details of the cases were released. Known for his role in “That 70s Show,” Masterson was arrested Wednesday and released after posting $3.3 million bail. He has suggested in the past that allegations against him were motivated by the producer of an anti-Scientology TV series. Masterson is a practicing Scientologist. L.A. Times | Deadline


Morro Rock has been called the Gibraltar of the Pacific.

Victor Larios

Jutting nearly 600 feet from the surf off the Central Coast, Morro Rock practically begs to be climbed. But since 1968, the activity has been strictly prohibited in the name of wildlife preservation — with one exception. Members of the Salinan tribe are allowed to go up each winter solstice and summer solstice, which arrives Saturday. Here's a great drone video showing a handful of tribal members atop Morro Rock a few years ago. YouTube (~1 minute)


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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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