California Sun

Good morning. It's Monday, June 29.

Infections among young people drive Covid-19 surge.
An existential threat to California's college towns.
And recalling the Great San Diego Fireworks Fail of 2012.



On June 20, the day after bars reopened in L.A. County, half a million people went out for a drink.

On Sunday, eight days later, Gov. Gavin Newsom cited surging coronavirus numbers as he ordered all bars in L.A. County, along with six others, to shut back down immediately. The other counties: Fresno, San Joaquin, Kings, Kern, Imperial, and Tulare. “Californians must remain vigilant against this virus,” Newsom said. “Covid-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger." L.A. Times | A.P.


Motorists lined up to be tested for Covid-19 at Dodger Stadium on Friday.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

The proportion of young people diagnosed with Covid-19 has surged sharply in recent weeks. Some officials have suggested that people in their teens and 20s, feeling invincible, may be behaving recklessly at parties and nightspots. Another factor that could be at work: As businesses reopen, workers on the front lines of retail and restaurants tend to be younger. Mercury News | L.A. Times


Other coronavirus developments:

State inspectors fanned out to nursing homes in the spring to see if they were protecting residents. Even as cases spread, time and again the finding was the same: No deficiencies. L.A. Times
“The deal is, you have no right to tell me I have to wear a mask. I’m an American." Many rural Californians aren't tolerating any talk of mask mandates. Sacramento Bee
California's college towns thrive on the spending of students and faculty members. Now they are facing existential losses of population, jobs, and revenue. N.Y. Times

A child attended a "Bear the Truth" protest in support of Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images

A few snapshots from protests across California between Friday and Sunday:

Officers arrested 28 people during protests against police violence in Beverly Hills late Friday. They remained in custody Saturday morning, with bail set at $5,000. LAist | A.P.
The police shooting of a robbery suspect in San Diego sparked immediate outcry on Saturday. Protesters gathered downtown, demanding the police release footage of the encounter. S.D. Union-Tribune | KPBS
"Incarceration should not mean a death sentence." On Sunday, hundreds of protesters called for inmates to be freed from San Quentin, where infections have spiked to more than 870. KQED | S.F. Chronicle

Northern California


Starbucks and Levi's were among the latest brands to join an advertiser boycott of Facebook demanding stricter policies against hate speech and misinformation. The “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign, which more than 160 companies have joined, appears to just be warming up. Organizers are planning to take the advertiser revolt global. Reuters | Axios

"As Trump grew in power, the fear of his wrath pushed Facebook into more deferential behavior toward its growing number of right-leaning users, tilting the balance of news people see on the network." Washington Post


San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia asked the FBI to help investigate officers linked to inflammatory posts.

Randy Vazquez/Mercury News via Getty Images

"Black lives don’t really matter.”

Four San Jose police officers were placed on leave after an unnamed blogger published screenshots from a law enforcement Facebook group in which members made racist and anti-Muslim comments. The head of the police union denounced the group as an "online ring of hate" and San Jose's mayor demanded that the officers be fired. Mercury News | A.P.


A gunman who opened fire at a Walmart distribution center in Red Bluff on Saturday had been fired from the facility 16 months earlier, officials said. The suspect, Louis Lane, 31, of Redding, killed a 45-year-old employee and wounded four others before being killed in a shootout with police, authorities said. Record Searchlight | Sacramento Bee


God never made an ugly landscape. All that the sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.
— John Muir

☝️ Instagrammer @coschaos shared this gorgeous view photographed from the Bay Area's Mount Umunhum, one the tallest peaks in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Accessible by both car and foot, the summit is popular for a reason: On a clear day you can see both the Pacific Ocean and, in the other direction, clear across the Central Valley to the Sierra Nevada.


Southern California


A statue of John Wayne greets passengers at Wayne Airport in Santa Ana.

Leonard Ortiz/O.C. Register via Getty Images

The Orange County Democratic Party passed a resolution calling for John Wayne Airport to be renamed. The movie star's legacy has been reevaluated in light of his racist and homophobic views expressed during a 1971 interview with Playboy magazine: "I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility." Some want to restore the airport's old name: Orange County Airport. CNN | A.P.


In 1907, a cross atop Mount Rubidoux just west of downtown Riverside was dedicated in honor of Junipero Serra. Since then, a series of crosses culminating in the current steel-and-concrete version has served as one of the Inland Empire's most recognizable landmarks and the centerpiece for the nation's oldest outdoor sunrise Easter service. On Friday night, the cross was vandalized. Among the messages: “Serra was a pedophile murderer.” Press-Enterprise | KTLA


A San Diego Gas and Electric employee named Emmanuel Cafferty was fired after a picture of him making an “okay” hand gesture appeared online. A version of the symbol has been appropriated by white supremacists. But Cafferty, who is Mexican American, said he knew nothing about that. “If I was a white supremacist,” he said, “I would literally have to hate 75 percent of myself.” Cafferty's firing is recounted in a political scientist's call to "Stop Firing the Innocent." The Atlantic


Flashback: On July Fourth in 2012, hundreds of thousands of spectators waited for hours to watch the San Diego fireworks show, one of the nation's largest. Instead, a technical malfunction caused the entire 18-minute display to ignite in a blinding and deafening 20 seconds. Depending on your point of view, it was either the worst fireworks show ever, or the absolute best. Here's an up-close view. YouTube (35 secs)

"They said, 'Thanks, we’d love to have you back.'” Here's an oral history of the Great San Diego Fireworks Fail of 2012. Thrillist



An earlier version of this newsletter mischaracterized the dedication of a white cross atop Mount Rubidoux just west of downtown Riverside. It was dedicated in honor of Junipero Serra, not by Junipero Serra.

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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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