California Sun

Good morning. It's Monday, July 20.

Source says Newsom had to ask and thank Trump for help.
Mayor says Los Angeles "on the brink" of another shutdown.
And illegally painting curbs red to deter beach crowds.



Coronavirus testing in Irvine last week.

Allen J. Schaben/L.A. Times via Getty Images

According to one of his advisers, Gov. Gavin Newsom was told in April that if he wanted federal help to obtain swabs for testing, he would have to personally appeal to President Trump — and express gratitude. Newsom made the call, and later that day he held a news conference crediting Trump with a “substantial increase in supply” headed to California. N.Y. Times | The Hill


With evidence mounting that masks really do make a difference, the CDC director said last week that the pandemic could be brought under control over the next four to eight weeks if “we could get everybody to wear a mask right now.” How are Californians behaving? Better than most states, according to this detailed map depicting mask usage across the U.S. 👉 N.Y. Times


USC critical care specialist: “It’s almost like you’re watching a goldfish out of water, gasping to get air.”

Most people who test positive for the coronavirus end up recovering, wrote the columnist Steve Lopez. "But would we take the pandemic more seriously if we knew what it’s like to die a Covid-19 death?" L.A. Times


Mayor Eric Garcetti blamed the White House for a lack of leadership in battling the coronavirus.

Marcus Yam/L.A. Times via Getty Images

Covid-19 hospitalizations in Los Angeles County hit a new high over the weekend, surpassing 2,200 for the first time. Appearing on CNN on Sunday, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Los Angeles had reopened too quickly and was now “on the brink” of another shutdown order. He argued that mayors have little control over reopening decisions, a claim the L.A. Times disputed. L.A. Times | A.P.


In Los Angeles County, the coronavirus is infecting Pacific Islanders at a greater rate than any other racial or ethnic group — by far. Among the reasons, experts said, is a cultural stigma surrounding positive diagnoses that may be facilitating the spread. “The shame factor of it is real,” said Dr. Raynald Samoa, an endocrinologist who battled Covid-19 himself. L.A. Times


Other odds and ends:

An Orange County health official said coronavirus cases among restaurant workers surged after indoor dining resumed in May. Then they dropped after it was closed again. Voice of OC
The tide pools in San Pedro have been drawing an unprecedented number of people looking to harvest free seafood. They could be putting a delicate ecosystem at risk. L.A. Times
A tribute to essential workers: "I was never embarrassed by what my mom did. I just knew she deserved better. I knew she deserved to have her work valued." S.F. Chronicle



Mack “Jody ” Woodfox, left, with a friend.

Law Offices of John Burris, via East Bay Times

On the night of July 25, 2008, two rookie Oakland cops pursued Mack “Jody” Woodfox. One of the officers, Hector Jimenez, fired 10 shots, killing Woodfox. An investigation by the district attorney cleared the officer, saying Woodfox posed a threat, but an internal police report contradicted that assessement: It found that Woodfox was running away when he was shot in the back. Jimenez remains on the force today. East Bay Times


Mayor London Breed said Black people should "decide what is in our best interest."

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In an interview with Vogue, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said she had a problem with the "takeover" of the Black Lives Matter movement by white people. "What’s happening in San Francisco now, and has for so many years, is you have a progressive movement made up of people who are mostly white and feel that they know what’s in the best interest of Black people." Vogue |


Frustrated by beach crowds, someone in La Jolla painted an entire block of curb red to deter beachgoers. Illegally painted curbs are apparently a common occurrence. “Just because you’re lucky enough to be an elite coastal homeowner doesn’t mean you have a right to better coastal access,” a surfing advocate said. KPBS | S.D. Union-Tribune


Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein was shot during an attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue last year.

Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein gained international notoriety after being injured during a deadly attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue last year. Then last week, he admitted to years of fraud that disguised charitable contributions for personal gain. Prosecutors have valued the scams at $18 million.

Yet he is not going to prison. U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer Jr. said Goldstein's "work to bring people together" after the synagogue attack was taken into account. S.D. Union-Tribune


Fun fact: Camels originated in North America millions of years ago before moving to Europe and Asia. Paleontologists just discovered the remains of a camel, along with the teeth of an early horse, at a freeway construction project in Otay Mesa. “The finds suggest that we have a whole new chapter of our history that we get to explore,” a paleontologist said. S.D. Union-Tribune | KGTV


California archive


The Lockheed facility in Burbank during World War II.

Lockheed Martin

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, the U.S. government moved frantically to bolster its defenses along the Pacific Coast. Among the more ingenious projects: A giant fake suburb draped atop the Lockheed plant in Burbank.

Initially rejected as harebrained, the idea was to convince potential airborne attackers that the known target had vanished off the map, replaced by neat rows of homes, cars, and farmland.

With help from Hollywood designers, a wood frame was erected around the factory and covered by a massive tarp with burlap homes, painted streets, and trees made from wire and chicken feathers. Airstrips were painted green to resemble fields of alfalfa.

A huge tarp was draped over the Lockheed factory to fool enemy aircraft.

Lockheed Martin

To give the illusion of normal neighborhood activity, rubber cars were periodically moved about and clothing was added and removed from clotheslines. But below the canopy, thousands of Lockheed employees busily churned out P-38 fighters and B-17 bombers for the war effort.

From the ground, the obvious masquerade struck some locals as a bit silly. “It was like a big secret that was not a secret at all,” a former Lockheed worker told the L.A. Daily News in 2008.

But from the sky, it was a masterpiece. At one point, a general on an aerial tour of the area was challenged to spot the factory. He couldn’t see a thing.

Below, a few more old photos of the disguised plant.

The Lockheed employee parking lot, covered by camouflage.

California State University, Northridge

From overhead, the Lockheed plant resembled a bucolic California suburb.

Employees gathered at the Lockheed facility.

Lockheed Martin


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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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