California Sun

Good morning. It's Friday, June 7.

Scheduling note: The newsletter will be off on Monday. Back in your inbox on Tuesday.

Warriors game drama leads to a ban and death threats.
A startling report of plastic pollution in Monterey Bay.
And a startup rents bunk beds in costly California cities.



Poll: Six in 10 Californians want the state to force local governments to allow apartments in single-family-home neighborhoods and near transit and jobs. The question mirrored a proposal — Senate Bill 50 — that was blocked by state lawmakers last month. "The California public is looking for a solution," a pollster said. "They just want to see something done." S.F. Chronicle | L.A. Times

The same poll found that the state Legislature is less popular among California voters than President Trump. The numbers: 34 percent approve of the Legislature; 38 percent approve of Trump. L.A. Times | Fox News


San Francisco traffic.

The world's largest automakers told President Trump that his plans to weaken Obama-era auto pollution regulations could produce "untenable" instability. The companies urged the federal government to restart talks with California, which has vowed to keep enforcing its own stricter rules — effectively splitting the auto market in two. For carmakers, that's a nightmare scenario. N.Y. Times | A.P.


Federal authorities said they struck a blow against the leadership of the Aryan Brotherhood, the notorious prison gang founded at San Quentin in 1964. Sixteen defendants were indicted, with top leaders accused of using contraband cellphones to direct killings and smuggle drugs from inside prison. Among the defendants is an attorney who prosecutors say helped smuggle tobacco, methamphetamine, and phones. A.P. | Salinas Californian


The 40-story Mira tower has sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay and city skyline.

Jason O’Rear/Studio Gang

A few places to live:

A new 400-foot-tall condo near San Francisco's Embarcadero looks like a teetering Jenga tower. It's set to open later this year with one-bedrooms starting at about $1 million. | Dezeen
At the lower end of the market, a startup is renting bunk beds in San Francisco and Los Angeles: "The dystopian implications of renting what's little more than an enclosed bed for $1,200 per month are hard to miss." Curbed San Francisco
At the surreal end of the market, a Montecito estate includes a Mediterranean-style mansion, 5,000-bottle wine cellar, polo field, butterfly reserve, putting greens, 128-foot swimming pool, and helipad. Yours for $65 million. Real Deal | L.A. Times

Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park is the heart of Silicon Valley venture capital.

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Image

On this week's California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman chats with Julian Guthrie, author of the new book "Alpha Girls," about four women who became stars of the venture capital world.

"Silicon has this reputation for being completely inhospitable to women, but there are women who love tech, who love venture capital, and who do succeed," Guthrie said. But, she added: "The barriers are ridiculous." California Sun Podcast

Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.

Northern California


Monterey Bay teems with wildlife.

John Krzesinski/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Monterey Bay hosts one of the world's most diverse marine ecosystems. Now a groundbreaking study has found that it is littered with plastic at concentrations that rival the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The pollution is made up of trillions of bits of debris, the size of a grain of rice or smaller, that are being consumed by marine life. "We found microplastics everywhere we looked, in every sample and specimen we looked at," a researcher said. Mercury News | National Geographic


The largest wildland fire in California's recorded history was ignited by a Mendocino County rancher as he drove a metal stake into the ground to plug a wasps nest, fire officials said. On July 17, 2018, sparks thrown off by the hammer ignited a patch of dry grass that was whipped by gusty winds into the out-of-control Ranch Fire. It barreled across 640 square miles of forest and grassland, destroying nearly 160 homes, and killing a firefighter. No charges were filed against the man, who was not identified. "This one was purely accidental," a fire official said. Press Democrat | KQED


Kyle Lowry had words with Mark Stevens, right, at Oracle Arena on Wednesday.

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

A minority owner of the Warriors was banned from attending games for a year and fined $500,000 after he shoved Toronto Raptors player Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Lowry had jumped into the stands in pursuit of a loose ball when billionaire venture capitalist Mark Stevens pushed him. Asked later if Stevens told him to "go blank himself," Lowry replied, "Yeah, multiple times." In a statement, Stevens said he was embarrassed. Mercury News | S.F. Chronicle

In a separate — and bizarre — incident, the wife of Warriors owner Joe Lacob faced death threats after asking Jay Z if he wanted a drink on the sidelines of the Wednesday game. Why? A meme spread suggesting that Beyoncé, Jay Z's wife, gave her a dirty look. ESPN


The Old Veteran is one of Central Coast's most haunting trees.

Mark Boster/L.A. Times via Getty Images

The Central Coast's iconic Lone Cypress gets all of the attention. But many say another Monterey cypress, clutching to a nearby foggy cliff, is no less stirring to the soul. One writer compared the tree, known as Old Veteran, to a "wayward Vincent Van Gogh hallucination." L.A. Times |


Southern California


A Border Patrol officer kept watch during a visit by federal officials in Calexico last fall.

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Members of the military will spend a month painting a year-old stretch of barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border barrier in Calexico in an effort to improve the "aesthetic appearance." Democratic lawmakers called the effort a misuse of military personnel. President Trump has made frequent demands to Homeland Security officials on his design preferences for the barriers. CBS News | Military Times


Bob Hope's legendary estate in Palm Springs looks like a spaceship parked on a rugged hill. It was designed by the celebrated architect John Lautner. But his vision was ultimately derailed by the Hopes, who had other ideas. Now, thanks to a billionaire venture capitalist, it's being remade to reflect Lautner's original vision. The L.A. Times said it's approaching masterpiece status. L.A. Times | Archinect


Randy's Donuts in Inglewood.

Los Angeles is America's donut capital. That's according to National Geographic, which counted nearly 1,500 independent donut shops across the city. Its rise to deep-fried dominance began in the 1970s when Ted Ngoy, a Cambodian immigrant, arrived in Los Angeles and set up a sweet shop. He helped fellow refugees fleeing the Khmer Rouge create their own pastry empires. Today, the majority of L.A. donut shops are still owned by Cambodian Americans. National Geographic

Also: Food writers are criticizing Michelin for its lackluster ratings in Los Angeles. "The inventiveness, skill, and beauty of its restaurants (and street carts, food trucks, and back-room dining clubs) arguably makes it the great American food city." New Yorker


You can drop by summer rehearsals for the L.A. Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl — for free. The little-known treats typically happen on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and last a couple of hours. N.Y. Times music critic Zachary Woolfe once called the Los Angeles Philharmonic "the most important orchestra in America." Red Tricycle


California archive


People waited at the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic, circa 1967.

Bob Student/HealthRight 360

It was the Summer of Love, and as many as 100,000 hippies flocked to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury to recreate paradise.

Drug abuse became a growing problem, but San Francisco's medical establishment wasn't eager to treat the hippies. So on this day in 1967 an idealistic physician named Dr. David Smith founded the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic.

Its slogan: "Health care is a right, not a privilege." Funding came initially through benefit concerts by local bands like Big Brother and the Holding Company. Later, after drug-addicted veterans returned from Vietnam, government funding flowed.

The new HealthRight 360 at the corner of Mission Street and South Van Ness Avenue in 2017.

The clinic thrived, and over time its model of free, nonjudgmental care spread. Today, there are more 1,400 volunteer-based clinics across the country.

The Haight-Ashbury clinic itself morphed into a major provider. In 2011, it merged with another health care provider and adopted the distinctly un-hippie name of HealthRight 360. It serves about 40,000 patients a year. NPR | Kaiser Health News


In case you missed it


The Yuba River has an abundance of picturesque swimming holes.

Here are five blurbs that got big views over the past couple weeks:

Trinity Alps, Pinnacles National Park, Moss Landing. Here's a great photographic tour of 20 natural wonders across California. National Geographic
Columnist Steve Lopez: "The city of Los Angeles has become a giant trash receptacle." L.A. Times
Here's a map of all of 2019 Michelin star recipients in the Bay Area and Sacramento. Eater San Francisco
Data journalists created an interactive map of the country that replaces city names with the most Wikipedia'ed resident. The Pudding
As measles cases have spread this year, scrutiny has turned to a hub of undervaccinated kids: California’s 27 Waldorf schools. The Guardian

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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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