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 group of state Democratic lawmakers unveiled a sweeping plan for universal healthcare on Thursday, breathing new life into a progressive dream that has been scuttled in the past over financing questions. The latest proposal would create a first-in-the-nation system, dubbed "CalCare," that covers medical expenses for all Californians using revenue from new taxes on businesses and the wealthy. Vehement opposition from private insurers and Republicans was guaranteed. A.P. | L.A. Times


Downtown Shoshone.

Angel DiBilio

Shoshone, population 31, was once a Death Valley mining community. It could have easily devolved into ghost-town status, getting slowly consumed by the desert. But a Smith College graduate named Susan Sorrells has transformed Shoshone into a place of ecologically conscious living on the border between civilization and wilderness. In a profile that dubbed her "the Queen of the desert," the New Yorker wrote: "She deserves to be on anyone’s shortlist of the most interesting people in California."


Surf Ranch, a wave pool carved out of Central Valley farmland 100 miles from the Pacific, is a marvel of engineering, creating glass-like barrels that last for 45 seconds. Here's what happened the first time professional skim boarder Austin Keen was invited to give it a try.


Last May, Laurie Steves quit her job, packed up her Seattle apartment, and moved to San Francisco in a desperate quest to rescue her 34-year-old daughter from fentanyl on the streets of the Tenderloin. She had no idea what she was up against. Her daughter explained: “The city is way too easy for people with nothing to get by. That’s why I’m still here nine years later. You get by with doing drugs and suffer no consequences. I like it here.” An incredible longread by Heather Knight. 👉 S.F. Chronicle


Howland Hill Road weaves through towering coast redwoods.

Howland Hill Road was carved through dense forest in the 19th century to connect inland mining operations to the harbor at Crescent City. The 6-mile route located deep within Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park now serves as one of the most scenic redwood drives anywhere. It was included in a great feature naming the "coolest thing to do in each Northern California county." SFGATE

The Relaxation Channel uploaded a three-hour, 4K video of the drive along Howland Hill Road. YouTube


Smoke-filled skies in Carpinteria in 2017.

David McNew/Getty Images

Elizabeth Weil wrote movingly about coming to terms with California's new climate reality:

"We need to stop thinking a dashing rescuer in a red slicker or yellow fire-​resistant shirt should come save us from wildfire. We don’t fight hurricanes. We don’t fight tornadoes. No one assumes there will be an armed defense from an earthquake or a flood. Instead, we bolt our houses to our foundations. We raise our homes on stilts. Now we, Californians of the Anthropocene, need to grow up, take responsibility and stop expecting to be saved." N.Y. Times Magazine


A nigiri box from Sushi Kaneyoshi.

"Los Angeles remains this country’s glorious sushi capital."

So declared the food critic Tejal Rao in the N.Y. Times on Tuesday. Rao celebrated the sheer variety, skill, and creativity of the city's many sushi restaurants. Nothing beats sitting at the sushi counter, but chefs have also adapted their work for takeout and Rao nominated the most luxurious boxes on offer: those crafted by Yoshiyuki Inoue at Sushi Kaneyoshi.


Thanks for reading!

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

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