Good morning. It’s Tuesday, Aug 16.
- A wave of labor unrest spreads across the state.
- Tech figures fight new housing in Silicon Valley town.
- And a bid to recall L.A. County district attorney fails.
Workers launched labor actions across the state on Monday:
- Thousands of Kaiser Permanente mental health employees began striking to demand that the company hire more workers. They say they’re overloaded with patients who must wait weeks or even months for appointments. A.P. | SFGATE
- Dozens of employees at Amazon’s air hub in San Bernardino walked off the job over wages and workplace safety. They demanded an hourly wage increase from $17 to $22. San Bernardino Sun | Washington Post
- Workers at Starbucks shops in Lakewood and Barstow joined with a Santa Cruz location that started a strike on Saturday over “unfair labor practices.” They say union members are being unfairly denied benefits. L.A. Times | NBC Los Angeles
Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Clara counties all recently ended zero-bail policies that were instituted to keep more nonviolent offenders out of jail during the pandemic. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said jailhouses had became a “spinning turnstile” for too many violent and repeat offenders. “The zero-bail experiment largely failed,” he said. Wall Street Journal
The graphics wizards at the New York Times created a compelling visualization of “the coming California megastorm.” The project was inspired by new research on the rising risk of California being raked by a series of atmospheric rivers that would displace as many as 10 million people, shut down major freeways for months, and cause more than $1 trillion in damage. N.Y. Times
It’s going to be blazing hot in California this week, forecasters said. Heat warnings were issued across much of the state beginning as early as Monday and extending as late as Friday, with temperatures peaking Tuesday or Wednesday. It should cool off by the end of the week, forecasts said, but only slightly. L.A. Times | S.F. Chronicle
A YouTuber recorded his drive through Death Valley in a 4Runner after an Aug. 5 storm inundated the park in three hours with nearly as much rain as it typically gets in a year. Flooding buried miles of road in debris, stranded hundreds of people, and pushed dumpsters into parked cars. He encountered a group of Italian tourists hopelessly stuck in the mud. SuperfastMatt/YouTube (~5 mins)
Of eight positions in the Stockton Record newsroom, three were just cut, leaving five reporters to cover a city of 310,000 people. Yet the media outlet 209 Times, founded in 2016, has thrived. In a wild story, the reporter James Rainey revealed how 209 Times‘ owner uses the publication to punish his enemies while extolling politicians who pay him consulting fees. L.A. Times
On Aug. 4, the Atlantic revealed that the billionaire investor Marc Andreessen was forcefully opposing multifamily housing where he lives in Silicon Valley, despite his past calls for increased home-building. But Andreessen is not the only tech executive fighting 58 new housing units in ultra-wealthy Atherton. Among them are Rachel Whetstone, of Netflix; Anthony Noto, of SoFi; and Nikesh Arora, of Palo Alto Networks. N.Y. Times | Fortune
While Speaker Nancy Pelosi has avoided discussing her plans beyond November, the possibility of San Francisco’s first open congressional seat since the fall of the Soviet Union has set off quiet jockeying in “the campaign that shall not be named.” One potential successor: Pelosi’s daughter Christine Pelosi, a party activist who advises her mother. Another: Scott Wiener, a state senator widely seen as laying the groundwork for a campaign. N.Y. Times
“We have to remake ourselves.”
The mountain towns dotting the northern reaches of the Sierra Nevada once thrived on gold and timber. But those jobs are gone. In a bid to revive the economies of the region known as the Lost Sierra, 15 remote communities have embraced an audacious plan to create a trail network that allows hikers and bikers “to traverse from town to town a la the Swiss Alps.” L.A. Times
“A trail for everyone.” A promotional video showcases the stark beauty of the Lost Sierra. YouTube (~13 mins)
Shortly after voters decisively recalled San Francisco’s progressive district attorney in June, supporters of a similar recall effort in Los Angeles County delivered a message to that county’s district attorney, George Gascón: “You’re next.” But they officially failed on Monday. To qualify for the ballot, the recall campaign needed 566,857 signatures by mid-July. Of roughly 715,000 submitted signatures, only about 520,000 were valid. A.P. | Courthouse News Service
In 1973, Sacheen Littlefeather walked onto the stage of the Academy Awards in a buckskin dress and refused the best actor award on behalf of Marlon Brando, citing his objections to Hollywood’s portrayal of American Indians. She was met with a mix of boos and cheers and faced years of harassment. Nearly 50 years later, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences is now formally apologizing. Littlefeather called the gesture “profoundly heartening.” Hollywood Reporter | A.P.
Blue whales, the world’s largest animal, are typically focused on eating and rarely engage with boats. But earlier this month, the marine wildlife photographer Delaney Trowbridge captured incredible video of a curious blue whale circling a boat off Newport Beach. Trowbridge, who has spent a lot of time on the water, said of all the experiences she’s had, “I’m not sure anything could top coming face to face with a blue whale.” NewportWhales/YouTube (~5:30 mins)
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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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