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


Someone posted a video on Reddit that he said showed people racing garbage bins down his street in San Francisco, a not uncommon pastime in the city. "Getting pretty tired of these kids," he wrote in part. Several commenters sympathized, but others also noted: If he wanted it to stop, he probably shouldn't have posted a video that makes it look so fun. Reddit


Tom Cruise in "Mission Impossible II."

Paramount Pictures

Alex Honnold, the Sacramento climber known for seemingly impossible feats on rock walls, once did a breakdown of famous climbing scenes in action movies, such as "Mission Impossible II," "Point Break," and "The Dark Knight Rises." It's immensely entertaining. YouTube/GQ Sports (14 mins)


In 1885, the Skunk Train was carved through the backcountry of Mendocino County to transport redwood logs. In recent years, the route has been repurposed for railbike excursions, a wonderful mashup of the railroad, history, cycling, and the stars of the show: ancient redwoods. The travel writer Christopher Reynolds, who gave it a try, said it belongs on your bucket list. L.A. Times

Here's what it's like to ride the Skunk Train tracks. 👉 Vimeo


© Mimi Plumb

“At 13 we wore faded jeans, torn at the knees, tight white t-shirts, long straight hair parted down the middle. We wandered through the suburban landscape hiding in corners, smoking cigarettes, looking for stuff to do.”

For the photographer Mimi Plumb, growing up in 1950s and ’60s Walnut Creek was the blandest possible existence. She snapped thousands of pictures. Collected in the volume "The White Sky,” the work captures a land of stifled youth and encroaching suburbia. Booooooom | Lens Culture


San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin during his swearing-in in San Francisco on Jan. 8, 2020.

Jeff Chiu/A.P.

If criminal justice reformers were going to implement radical change in America, the 2019 election of Chesa Boudin as district attorney of San Francisco seemed to represent their best hope. Then two important events unfolded: Boudin's office charged an on-duty police officer with murder, and a parolee stole a car and ran over two women in a crosswalk, killing them. A political gadfly named Richie Greenberg started a recall petition that collected 10,000 names in four days. “We don’t have to convince someone to sign this,” Greenberg said. “They come over with purpose. They come over angry. They say — their words — ‘Give me the fucking pen.’” New Yorker


On a lark about fours years ago, Yarely Alejandre, an English professor in San Diego, made a floral crown for her Australian shepherd and posted a photo to Instagram. Then her life changed. The online response was so enthusiastic that Alejandre realized she might have a side hustle on her hands. Freya's Floral Company, a handmade floral crown business, has been transforming ordinary dogs and cats into majestic, fairy-tale creatures ever since.

👇 A few favorites from Alejandre's Instagram feed.


Pro tip: Your local library might have a tool lending library. Berkeley Public Library's is amazing. Among the offerings: circular saw, lawn mower, 28' ladder, electric sanders, cement mixer, piano dolly, tortilla press, and Belgian waffle maker. This website maps tool lending libraries across California, including programs in Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Encinitas, and other cities. 👉


Thanks for reading!

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

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