California Sun

Happy Sunday.

Here are a few stories you missed in the California Sun over the last week.

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Sun sampler


A high-speed rail construction site cut through Madera on Feb. 13, 2020.

Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

California's past is replete with cases of infrastructure projects displacing people who lacked the clout to fight the government. Now that history includes people in the path of the bullet train in the San Joaquin Valley. A homeless shelter was cut in half, a Cambodian couple lost their funky 1950s diner and are now unemployed, and a former farm labor camp has become a den of drug dealing. L.A. Times

StreetsblogCal: The L.A. Times' report fails to notice the benefits of rail construction.


Between July and October, an environmental group sifted plastic from the Pacific by dragging a U-shaped net across the water. All told, they collected more than 30 tons of garbage, including toilet seats, toothbrushes, laundry baskets, and fishing gear. The goal is to eventually eradicate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a gyre of marine debris twice the size of Texas. CNET did a fantastic video about the expeditions. YouTube (~8:15 mins)


The Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park is among the most impressive drives anywhere, winding for 32 miles along a corridor of towering coast redwood groves. But hidden surprises await for those who pull over and plunge into the forest. Hunter Rayl shared the gorgeous photo above of the Eel River, captured from the High Rock viewpoint just a few minutes off the road. @huntrex_ |


Colt Brennan on Waikiki Beach in 2007.

Lucy Pemoni/Getty Images

In his last few months, Colt Brennan, one of college football’s all-time great quarterbacks, appeared as healthy as he’d been in years. He was in a drug treatment program and believed he finally understood why he struggled to stay sober: he was hiding from pain. Yet on May 10, Brennan was found unconscious at a budget motel in Costa Mesa. The cause of death was fentanyl overdose. The writer Brandon Sneed spent the summer trying to understand what happened to Colt Brennan. Sports Illustrated


The Herald Examiner Building was walled off from the public for three decades.

Ryan Gobuty/Gensler, via Curbed

The Herald Examiner Building, an early work by the renowned architect Julia Morgan, is one Los Angeles' most important buildings. But after the newspaper folded in 1989, the 1914 Mission Revival structure fell into disrepair. Now it has finally been restored. Visiting on a recent morning, Curbed called the decadent interior "nothing short of breathtaking."


In the foothills of Southern California's San Marcos Mountains is the largest skateboard ramp of its kind in the world. The MegaRamp, as it's known, holds a mythic status among skateboarders, standing 60 feet tall at its peak and spanning the length of several football fields. It was built on the sprawling property of skateboarder Bob Burnquist as part of a skateboarding Mecca he calls Dreamland. He gave a tour a couple years ago. Braille Skateboarding (30 mins)

See the MegaRamp from the sky. 👉 Google Maps


Someone asked the 461,000 members of the Los Angeles message board on Reddit to name quintessential — "but not 'touristy' or cliche" — Los Angeles experiences. Three top answers:

A view from the Getty Center above the 405 Freeway.

Jon Bilous

1. Visit the Getty Center on a clear day after a rain. Currently on view: Renaissance portraits by Hans Holbein the Younger. (Admission is free).

A portrait of Laika, the first dog to orbit Earth. The painting is at the Museum of Jurassic Technology.

Jennifer Bastian

2. Explore the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, a hard-to-classify establishment devoted to the strange, eerie, and improbable.

The bike path runs through Manhattan Beach.

3. Bike the paved path known as the Strand that hugs the Santa Monica Bay. Recommended stop: Naja's Place at the Redondo Pier.


Thanks for reading!

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

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