Good morning. It’s Thursday, Feb. 8.
- State lawmakers push homeless encampment ban.
- Five Marines missing after helicopter goes down.
- And gorgeous snowy scenes in Shasta Cascade region.
Last summer, San Diego adopted a controversial ban against camping on public property as long as shelter beds are available. Since then, police have issued few tickets, but the threat of enforcement led to a sharp drop in homelessness downtown. Now a bipartisan pair of state lawmakers has introduced legislation that would bring San Diego’s encampment ban statewide. “California has spent $22 billion in the past six years on homelessness and what do we have to show for it? Nearly a 40% increase in homeless population,” said state Sen. Brian Jones, a Republican. S.D. Union-Tribune | CalMatters
It wasn’t only Republicans who derailed a bipartisan border and foreign aid agreement supported by President Biden this week. Alex Padilla, the senior senator from California, came out early and strong against the package. Among his objections: It included no path to legal residency for people brought to the U.S. as children. “That’s not just a huge injustice, in my opinion, but a significant shift from prior negotiations,” Padilla said. Politico
“Everyone is going to have to pay more.”
Your Chipotle burrito is about to get more expensive. Executives at Shake Shack, Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, and other fast food chains say they will raise their prices as the state prepares to adopt a $20-an-hour fast food minimum wage, a 25% increase from the state’s broader $16 minimum wage. A trade group estimated that McDonald’s franchises would need to generate an additional $250,000 annually to absorb the cost. Wall Street Journal
Latest storm developments:
- A 22-year-old woman who set off on a solo hike on Southern California’s Mount Baldy on Sunday is missing, officials said. Search crews have been limited by extreme weather. CNN | KTLA
- PG&E said Wednesday that the weekend storm was the worst single weather event for outages in 30 years. More than 1.4 million customers lost power as winds toppled more than 700 utility poles. Thousands remained without power Wednesday. KRON | Mercury News
- “I just never knew it would be this beautiful.” The rain brought an elusive waterfall to life in the coastal city of Dana Point. The O.C. Register has pictures.
The storms draped California’s wild places in glistening blankets of fresh snow. Photographer Jake Edwards captured a series of exquisite photos this week around the Shasta Cascade’s Lake Almanor basin and nearby Mount Lassen. See a few below and more at his Instagram page. 👉 @scenescapery
Edith Ceccarelli, born when Theodore Roosevelt was president, turned 116 this week, and her tiny community in Mendocino County tried to give her a special day. On Sunday, she watched from the porch of her care home as a parade of flashing police cruisers and fire trucks passed by. Residents in cars festooned with balloons and flowers waved and sang. Reporter Soumya Karlamangla spent four days in Willits learning about Ceccarelli, including her secret to a long life: “Have a couple of fingers of red wine with your dinner, and mind your own business.” N.Y. Times
Beehive theft is a major problem in California. During almond pollination season in February and March, farmers pay beekeepers to deposit pallets of hives in their fields, which are often remote and unguarded. After a theft of hives valued at roughly $30,000 in Fresno County last week, beekeeper Andy Strehlow offered $100,000 for information on the culprit. The size of the reward is “ridiculous,” he acknowledged, but he can’t let it go. “There is plenty of money to be made without stealing somebody else’s hard work. There’s just no need, absolutely no need.” FOX26 | KSEE
The Berkeley architect Joanne Koch paid $570,000 for a cabin in the austere Sea Ranch development along the Sonoma coast in 2018, then spent the next year adding larger windows, a propane fireplace, and a new kitchen. Koch recently gave a tour of the home for an Australian architectural video series. “I know when I come here I feel my heart rate drop,” she says. “I feel this sense of renewal.” YouTube (~9 mins)
- You can rent the home on Airbnb.
The Marine Corps said on Wednesday that it was searching for five Marines whose helicopter went down in the mountains east of San Diego. The last contact with the CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, which is designed for flight in harsh conditions, was at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday as a treacherous storm churned through the region. The corps said it had located the aircraft but disclosed nothing about its condition or the fate of crew members. Firefighters helping in the search said snowy conditions hampered access to the site. S.D. Union-Tribune | Marine Corps Times
Marianne Williamson, a Beverly Hills self-help author, suspended her long-shot bid to become U.S. president on Wednesday after getting just 2% of the vote in the South Carolina primary. Williamson, who ran on universal health care, tuition-free higher education, and free child care, said her campaign “did what we could to shed some light in some very darkened times.” In a Politico expose last year, former staff portrayed Williamson as an emotionally abusive boss. Politico | L.A. Times
Taggers are continuing to flock to an unfinished complex of three luxury skyscrapers in downtown Los Angeles in the week since images of the defaced towers made headlines. On Tuesday, police raided the site for a second time, making four arrests. L.A. Times | KABC
- Stomach-churning video showed a tagger traversing a ledge on one tower. 👉 KTLA
- Columnist Gustavo Arellano: “If Banksy pulled off a project of this scope, he’d be hailed as a genius. Since it’s a bunch of mostly anonymous people … polite L.A. is in an uproar.” L.A. Times
Staff in Huntington Beach’s main library on Wednesday began pulling select books from the children’s section after local lawmakers passed a hotly debated measure to restrict children’s access to sexual literature. Library staff were seen loading books onto carts for review. Among them were numerous titles on negotiating the challenges of growing up, including “The Girl’s Body Book,” “Sex Is a Funny Word,” and “Once Upon a Potty.” LAist | O.C. Register
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