Good morning. It’s Tuesday, Feb. 14.
- A call to acknowledge the end of California’s drought.
- Los Angeles faces criticism for heavily edited videos.
- And pictures from Yosemite’s sensational firefall.
The relentless atmospheric rivers that drenched California in January replenished reservoirs and left a gloriously abundant snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. So “why persist in the fiction that we’re still in a statewide drought?” asked the columnist George Skelton. “It’s one small example of why government lacks credibility for so many people.” L.A. Times
Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed closing a loophole that allows wealthy Californians to escape state income taxes by setting up trusts in other states. It would affect only a few hundred Californians, but they include some of Newsom’s closest allies. A recent New Yorker article detailed how the family of San Francisco billionaire Gordon Getty set up trusts in Nevada for Getty’s daughters, a move said to deprive California of as much as $300 million in taxes. The Gettys have been among Newsom’s most reliable patrons, fueling his professional and political life. CalMatters
Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah warned Californians against moving to his state. Utah has experienced unprecedented population growth in recent years, with the largest influx coming from California. Speaking to reporters in Washington on Friday, Cox said Utah has no more room. “We would love for people to stay in California instead of coming as refugees to Utah, so we’re always trying to figure that out,” he said. L.A. Times | Deseret News
It’s firefall season in Yosemite. For a couple of weeks every February, the angle of the setting sun transforms a 1,500-foot waterfall on the eastern edge of El Capitan into what seems like a cascade of molten lava. This year, California’s wet winter insured a good show. Here are a few nice captures from recent days. 👇
San Francisco, desperate to shelter its homeless, is pausing an innovative plan to transform a blighted parking lot into a village of tiny cabins after neighbors complained about its proximity to a school. Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who had championed the proposal, said she too had grown skeptical, citing the “absurd” price of building the cabins. Officials estimated they would cost $100,000 each. Similar units in Oakland cost $10,000. S.F. Chronicle
“We felt like this could be it.”
A United Airlines flight heading to San Francisco from Maui nearly plunged into the ocean shortly after takeoff on Dec. 18, an analysis found. The plane ascended to 2,200 feet before beginning a steep 21-second dive, nose down, toward the Pacific. It dipped to below 775 feet before abruptly leveling out and finishing the journey without further incident. The airline and federal officials have declined to say what happened. CNN | Air Current
A group of San Francisco transplants is starting a community dubbed “the Neighborhood” in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood. Co-founder Priya Rose outlined the vision: to bring “1000 ambitious, diverse nerds” together in a mashup of Burning Man, Silicon Valley, and New York — something like a Hasidic Jewish neighborhood “without orthodoxy.” Locals aren’t having it. “Please believe me when I say you are not welcome in this community,” one commenter said. Curbed | SFGATE
A new history of Palo Alto by Malcolm Harris, a firebrand leftist critic, deconstructs the utopian myths of Silicon Valley, arguing that it was built on a rapacious form of capitalism. In a fascinating excerpt, he recounts how the first tech giant was a horse farm. Before crypto, iPhones, and microchips, a man named Leland Stanford specialized in the eugenics of horses, using “disruptive” logic that became Palo Alto’s guiding principle. The Atlantic
The videos Memphis officials released showing the fatal police beating of Tyre Nichols were raw and unedited, running for 67 minutes. The transparency stood in sharp contrast to the practice of the Los Angeles Police Department, which produces heavily edited videos narrated by the LAPD’s media relations office. Shakeer Rahman, a lawyer seeking raw footage of a 2020 police shooting, said the public shouldn’t have to sue to every time they want to obtain unedited police video. L.A. Times
A team of 76 Los Angeles County rescuers, along with six K-9 dogs, have been searching around the clock for signs of life in the earthquake rubble of Adiyaman, Turkey. On Friday, they assisted in the rescue of a woman and her 6-year-old daughter who had been trapped for five days. A reporter and photographer tagging along with the crew filed a harrowing report from the front lines of the rescue effort. L.A. Times
A La Jolla man took it upon himself to repaint a beach staircase that had been neglected for years. “It needed to be done,” said Joseph McGoldrick, who worked alone for four days sanding, scraping, and brushing. The city’s response: not OK. San Diego spokesman Anthony Santacroce said McGoldrick failed to get a work permit. “No matter how noble your intentions are, citizens are not following code,” he said. La Jolla Light | KUSI
On April 2, 1974, a naked man streaked across the stage at the Oscars. The presenter David Niven delivered a masterful put-down — “But isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?” — the audience roared, and the ceremony carried on. Five years later, the streaker, Robert Opel, was dead. The headline in the San Francisco Examiner read “Gay militant slain in porn art gallery.” The reporter Michael Schulman told the incredible and tragic story of what became of the Oscars streaker. The New Yorker
Thanks for reading!
The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
Give the gift of the California Sun.
Get a California Sun mug, T-shirt, phone case, or hoodie.
Forward this email to a friend.
Click here to stop delivery, and here to update your billing information or cancel your support.
The California Sun, PO Box 6868, Los Osos, CA 93412
Wake up to must-read news from around the Golden State delivered to your inbox each morning.