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


"What?!" Dr. Tracy Ruscetti, left, responded to a vaccine skeptic.

Dr. Tracy Ruscetti, a Bay Area scientist with a doctorate in microbiology and immunology, has attracted nearly half a million followers on TikTok with pithy explainers about the coronavirus and vaccines. But her most delightful posts are those where she debunks low-information vaccine skeptics in real-time — like this gem, in three parts: 👉 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


Waves pounded the Southern California coast with such force late last week that the ground shook. A section of roadway washed away in Malibu, the parking lot flooded at Capistrano Beach, and a couple in their 30s were swept off the rocks in San Pedro. The Orange County Register photographer Jeff Gritchen used a drone to capture dramatic images of waves leaping into homes along the shore, ominous scenes as rising seas threaten coastal communities. YouTube (~1:45 mins)


The Mushroom Dome rents for a modest $156 a night.

The world's most popular Airbnb listing is a 100-square-foot geodesic structure in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Known as the Mushroom Dome, it draws bookings eight months in advance from places as far flung as Djibouti, Mongolia, India, Australia, and Peru. A reporter went to see what all the fuss was about. The owner told him that the Mushroom Dome is more than a place to sleep. “It’s a doorway for people to discover themselves.” The Hustle


A golf course in the Coachella Valley.

Felipe Sanchez

On the west side of the Coachella Valley there are lush golf courses, misters spraying from palm trees, and a concert series called Splash House that features a poolside stage. On the east side is a checkerboard of crops interspersed with sun-bleached trailers, homes for the people who work those fields and clean the pools and hotel rooms farther west. With video, graphics, and text, ProPublica produced a cinematic portrait of how the so-called climate gap is playing out in one of California's hottest regions. ProPublica


Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez led a prayer for Larry Elder in Norwalk on July 13.

Sarah Reingewirtz/L.A. Daily News via Getty Images

CalMatters reporters and editors grilled Larry Elder for an hour about what he would do as governor. A few quotes:

• On his treatment by the press: “I don’t have horns. I don’t have a tail.”

• On his libertarianism: “I believe that a government that governs less governs best.”

• On his judicial philosophy: “I would appoint people that are in the mold of somebody like Clarence Thomas.”

• On immigrant nomenclature: “They're not called undocumented. ... They're called illegal aliens.”


Guy Fieri with Battalion Chief Mike Ramos this week.

Guy Fieri is back feeding California firefighters. Over the years, the Santa Rosa local and mayor of Flavortown has become a regular at staging areas for emergency responders during California wildfires. On Tuesday alone at Lassen County Fairgrounds, he and his volunteers served meals of pulled pork sandwiches, mac and cheese, and coleslaw to roughly 2,200 people, even sending plates out to fire lines. KTVU | Press Democrat

Fortune magazine included Fieri in its 2021 ranking of the "World's Greatest Leaders," honoring people who make the world a better place.


Forest, city, and desert — Here are three notable California homes on the market, for daydreaming purposes. 👇

Wayne Capili and Glen McDowell for Sotheby’s International Realty

1. Owned by the same family for a century, a lodge-style home on 100 acres of redwood forest in Big Sur is available for the first time. Private trails stretch for miles, from forest to sea, without ever leaving the property. Price tag: $12 million. Sacramento Bee |

2. The Freeman House is one of four textile-block homes created by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1920s. The original owners were known for hosting salons for luminaries of the day in the living room with glorious views of downtown Los Angeles, seen above in 1953. Asking: $4.25 million. Los Angeles Magazine | Architectural Digest

Jose Cruz for Sotheby’s International Realty

3. A dwelling up for grabs in the Mojave Desert has a pool made from a shipping container. The best feature: a dirt road from the property leads directly to Giant Rock, purported to be the largest freestanding boulder on earth. Yours for $798,000. designboom | N.Y. Times


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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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