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


"I must return to the mountains — to Yosemite. ... I must start for the great temple to listen to the winter songs and sermons preached and sung only there."
— John Muir

Yosemite is looking magnificent after snow blanketed the valley over the last week. A valley photographer, RJ Franklin, captured the picture above during a break in the weather on Tuesday. See a live shot of El Capitan. 👉

California Sun: "Yosemite gets far fewer visits in winter. People don’t know what they’re missing."


Illustration by Dadu Shin, via New Yorker

A lone gray wolf whose epic journey through California thrilled wildlife lovers was found dead near a roadway in Kern County last month. The New Yorker's Susan Orlean wrote an obituary for the young male known as OR-93, who walked 935 miles on a doomed quest for love. "Wolves can be coarsely built, big-boned and thick-necked," she wrote, "but OR-93 was lean and lithe. He had the long legs of a dancer, a large black nose, and a resting smiley face."


The RealReal boarded up its windows in San Francisco's Union Square on Nov. 25.

Samuel Rigelhaupt/Sipa via A.P. Images

An L.A. Times analysis of retail crime data included a startling admission from California's leading retail industry group, which has claimed that San Francisco and Oakland alone lose $3.6 billion a year to organized crime. Asked how that number was reached, a staffer cited a back-of-the-napkin calculation: If national losses to organized retail theft are $70 billion a year, then the figure for the Bay Area “is likely in the billions itself.” One problem: That $70 billion figure is wildly inflated.


A remarkable drone video showed the aftermath of flooding at a homeless encampment along the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz on Monday. The environmental activist who shot it, Alekz Londos, said "the city or county did not do enough to warn the people in this area or help them evacuate prior to the storm." YouTube (~1 min)


A proposed design for Munger Hall.

Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh, AIA

Curbed published a list of its 20 most-read stories of 2021. Coming in at No. 6 was a spirited defense of UC Santa Barbara's widely denounced plan for a massive windowless dorm. Choire Sicha praised Munger Hall's private rooms, enormous social spaces, and lack of car parking: "It is time not to just to build this dorm but to build this dorm nearly everywhere, from the housing-hate mean streets of San Francisco to Downtown Los Angeles to the stupid suburbs of Westchester. Mint the coin, build the hive, let’s save the future."


Cory Poole

For the rest of December, as conditions allow, you should be able to see a comet in the night sky over California. Cory Poole, a photographer in Redding, was shooting a timelapse of the celestial object, known as Comet Leonard, above Mt. Lassen over the weekend when he got an extra surprise: a brilliant meteor sailed through the frame. He created the resulting photo above by stacking exposures to highlight Leonard in the upper right, then blending in the shot of the green streaking meteor.

Check out Poole's Instagram, as well as his 2022 calendar for sale.


Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, arrived at court in San Jose in August.

Nic Coury/A.P.

"Holmes grips a plastic cup of unappetizing green juice. Her first of the day, it is made from spinach, parsley, wheatgrass, and celery. Later she'll switch to cucumber. A vegan, she long ago dropped coffee in favor of these juices, which, she finds, are better able to propel her through her 16-hour days and seven-day weeks."

A gauzy 5,500-profile of Elizabeth Holmes by Fortune magazine in 2014 helped propel the Theranos founder to business stardom. It could now help send her to prison, after prosecutors forced Holmes to acknowledge falsehoods in the article. Washington Post


Thanks for reading!

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

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