Demo Newsletter

Good morning. It’s Tuesday, April 19.

Man walks into Stockton school and fatally stabs teenager.

Arizona State University targets rejected UC applicants.

And the return of California condors to Yurok country.


TOPSHOT – A homeless person sleeps in the side walk in Venice,California on August 12, 2021. (Photo by Apu GOMES / AFP) (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s like a wartime death toll in places where there is no war.”

Citation Here

It’s become deadlier than ever to be homeless in the U.S., as the outdoor population is ravaged by aging, fentanyl, and chronic illness. But the crisis is most acute in California, where homeless deaths last year surpassed 4,800, overwhelmingly among men, and especially Black men. Across Los Angeles County, bodies were found on sidewalks, crumpled under overpasses, and stranded on the beach. N.Y. Times


A dean at Humboldt State University, John Lee, was fired in 2016 for groping two female colleagues. Then he was reinstated as a tenured professor making the maximum salary in the college he once led. The reporter Kenny Jacoby investigated an obscure but common contract clause that has made CSU administrators essentially unfireable even after serious misconduct. USA Today


Vice President Kamala Harris keeps traveling to unconventional places. In early April, she visited a rural town along the Mississippi River. In March, she went to Sunset, La., home to fewer than 3,000 people. A vice presidential historian, Joel K. Goldstein, said the strategy could help turn her low polling numbers: “It’s part of sort of strengthening the perception so that six months from now, people are writing stories about how effective she’s being internally rather than why is her staff leaving.” Politico


The 1974 photo book “Pumping Iron” and the 1977 documentary of the same name showcased the strange characters of the bodybuilding world — chief among them, a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Years before his Hollywood career, his celebrity seems predetermined: he radiates an almost terrifying confidence, and it’s clear that he experiences every aspect of his labor as unfettered joy.” Here are the photos that introduced Schwarzenegger to the world. 👉 New Yorker

Northern California


A 52-year-old man walked onto a Stockton high school campus on Monday and fatally stabbed a 15-year-old girl in what appeared to be a random attack, the authorities said. Anthony Gray was immediately arrested after the killing at Stagg High School and charged with murder. The student was identified as Alicia Reynaga. At a vigil late Monday, her father told a reporter she had no enemies: “She was a good kid, a great kid.” KCRA | ABC10

FILE – Sherri Papini of Redding leaves the federal courthouse after her arraignment in Sacramento, Calif., April 13, 2022. During a virtual hearing Papini accepted a plea bargain with prosecutors and pleaded guilty, Monday, April 18, 2022, to a single count of mail fraud and one count of making false statements. She will be sentenced on July 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

There was no abduction at gunpoint, no forced branding, and no Spanish-speaking tormentors.

Sherri Papini, 39, the Redding woman whose disappearance made national headlines in 2016, formally admitted to faking her own kidnapping on Monday. “I feel very sad, your honor,” she tearfully told a judge in Sacramento. Papini, a married mother of two, stayed with a former boyfriend during the purported abduction. She has yet to explain, but her lawyer cited “very complicated” mental health issues. Record Searchlight | A.P.


Sonoma State University President Judy Sakaki, who has faced scrutiny over her handling of sexual harassment allegations against her husband, said on Monday that she is separating from him. The announcement comes a week after settlement documents revealed that a former provost claimed retaliation by Sakaki for raising alarms about Sakaki’s husband, Patrick McCallum, an education lobbyist. On Monday, Sakaki said she was “disavowing the words and actions of my husband.” Press Democrat | L.A. Times


After years of planning, four rare young California condors have been transported to a facility in redwood country along the North Coast. In coming weeks, the majestic birds, hatched in captivity, are to be released by Yurok tribal members into skies where the species hasn’t flown in more than 100 years. The hope is to release additional condors every year until the population returns to its former glory. The Guardian | Jefferson Public Radio

See a live stream of the Yurok condors. 👉

Southern California

Walt Disney employees and demonstrators during a rally against the Florida “Don’t Say Gay” bill at Griffith Park in Glendale, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. About 60 Walt Disney Co. staffers walked off the job Tuesday to protest the companys initial reluctance to publicly fight Florida legislation that is opposed by gay rights groups. Photographer: Alisha Jucevic/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Disney spent decades trying zealously to avoid even the whiff of controversy. But in this hyperpartisan moment, that strategy has started to fail as hardly a month goes by without some kind of dust-up, usually with sexual identity and gender as the prompt. “In trying to offend no one,” the New York Times wrote in a front-page story, “Disney had seemingly lost everyone.”

● ●

Politico: “Once upon a time, Disney-bashing was primarily a liberal activity. Now the tables have turned.”


Rick Caruso, the billionaire mall developer running for Los Angeles mayor, has touted his service on the Los Angeles Police Commission as among his top qualifications for high office. But a review of the panel’s records show he skipped 38% of the meetings during his tenure from 2001 to 2005, an attendance rate far below other members of the commission. L.A. Times


In 1990, UCLA’s admissions rate was 43%. Today it’s 10%. That’s created a void that Arizona State University is now trying to fill with a new multimillion-dollar campus in Los Angeles. “They’ve bought into the logic of exclusion as a part of the measure of success,” ASU president Michael Crow said of the UC system. “I don’t think a public university can do that. Our mission as a public university is to serve the public wherever they are and whatever they need.” L.A. Times


In 2020, Burbank Unified School District restricted the teaching of five classic novels, including “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” and “Of Mice and Men,” citing potential harms to Black students. In an op-ed, a Burbank High junior named Sungjoo Yoon said he hoped parents and administrators “can put an end to their hyperpartisanship and help us to begin rigorous conversations about the content and value of the books themselves.” N.Y. Times (gift article)

Thanks for reading!

The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.

Consider becoming a member.

Please tell us how we can make the newsletter better. Email

The California Sun, PO Box 6868, Los Osos, CA 93412