Good morning. It’s Tuesday, July 12.
- Poor Californians left out of inflation relief plan.
- Arrest made in 1982 murder of Monterey County child.
- And harrowing video from the Dolores Street “hill bomb.”
In 2004, Californians approved a tax on millionaires to fund mental health services. Rusty Selix, an author of the initiative, declared then: “No one who is mentally ill and now on the street will be on the street in five years.” Nearly 20 years and $29 billion years later, that goal feels as far off as ever. An L.A. Times review blamed, among other reasons, bureaucratic infighting and a shortage of clinicians. At one Los Angeles County clinic, the earliest appointment to meet with a psychiatrist for a medication evaluation is spring 2023. L.A. Times
Under an inflation relief program, about 23 millions Californians are poised to get between $200 to $1,050. But the stimulus will leave out a crucial group of Californians hard hit by inflation: poor residents. That’s because the payments are based on tax returns, and people that earn too little aren’t required to file them. Brooke Hamlin, 81, gets by on $20,000 a year. “This sucks,” she said. “It’s arranged so that the poorest, neediest people don’t get it.” CalMatters
Garrett Dickman, a Yosemite forest ecologist, said the giant sequoias of Mariposa Grove appeared likely to survive a brush with a wildfire burning in the park since Thursday. “Some of the trees had some burn on them, but the level of burn was well within their ability to to handle it,” he said. Aided by light winds on Monday, firefighters gained ground against the Washburn fire, now at 4 square miles and 22% containment. SFGATE | Courthouse News Service
See latest updates on the Washburn fire. 👉 InciWeb
One day in 1982, 5-year-old Anne Pham convinced her mom to let her walk a few blocks from their Seaside home to school by herself. She never made it. Two days later, Pham’s body was found in bushes by the road. She had been sodomized and smothered to death. For 40 years, investigators failed to develop a suspect. Then this year, a strand of hair and genealogy led them to Robert J. Lanoue, a 70-year-old registered sex offender who lived near the Pham family at the time of the killing. Last week, he was charged with first-degree murder. N.Y. Times | A.P.
In June, Natalie Adona was elected clerk-recorder and registrar of voters in rural Nevada County by a landslide, earning 68% of the vote. Even so, a hand recount was planned at the request of Randy Economy, a conservative activist who led the failed attempt to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom. “Something doesn’t smell right,” he explained. Then on Monday, Economy abruptly called it off, claiming the ballots had been “compromised” by election staffers. “The purpose here was disruption,” said Gregory Diaz, the current clerk-recorder. “It’s all designed to muddle trust in our office.” L.A. Times
As of this fall, Santa Rosa Junior College will no longer offer intermediate algebra or English 100, part of the growing move away from remedial classes at community colleges. It’s one of the fiercest debates in higher education. Critics say the courses, which don’t count toward a degree, are a roadblock to academic success that disproportionately holds back Black and Latino students. But some educators worry that the elimination of the courses goes too far, leaving underprepared students with no way to catch up. Press Democrat
A Bay Area obstetrician and gynecologist is organizing an effort to establish a floating abortion clinic in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico to serve women from southern states that ban the procedure. Dr. Meg Autry, who is also a professor at UCSF, has been working on the idea for years and said it’s all but ready to set sail. “This is going to be a very large monetary effort that is funded by philanthropy and maybe a donated vessel,” she said. CBS Bay Area | A.P.
San Francisco hosted the Dolores Street “hill bomb” over the weekend, an annual renegade gathering that involves rocketing hemletless down a precipitous incline as a crowd of onlookers cheers from roadsides. It can be deadly. At one point after nightfall, an autonomous Waymo vehicle wandered into the street bacchanalia and was swarmed by skaters who jumped on the hood and vandalized it with spray paint. SFist
A highlight reel with some gut-wrenching wipeouts. 👉 TikTok
A string of predawn robberies at four 7-Eleven stores in Orange and Riverside counties on Monday left two people fatally shot and three others wounded, the authorities said. Investigators believe a single gunman — who had not been identified or arrested — held up the stores in Santa Ana, Brea, and La Habra, and possibly the fourth location in Riverside. Monday was 7/11 and the chain celebrated with a Slurpee giveaway. “There’s no way it can be a coincidence of it being 7-Eleven, July 11,” said Officer Ryan Railsback, of Riverside. Press-Enterprise | A.P.
Since Petaluma became the first U.S. city to ban new gas stations, four other California cities have followed its example. Now Los Angeles is considering a ban. While the move faced virtually no opposition in Sonoma County, it was unclear how it would go over in America’s car capital. Andy Shrader, a legislative aide, portrayed the ban as relief for an ailing planet. “If you have lung cancer, you stop smoking,” he said. Critics dismiss the campaign as symbolism over substance: In recent years, Los Angeles has approved no more than three new gas stations annually. L.A. Times | Bloomberg
The New York Times interviewed a bunch of broke millennials on their fears about money. Judy Esber, a 37-year-old money coach in Los Angeles, said she cut her own hair to save money and makes about $1,000 a month walking dogs as a side hustle. “The biggest thing I’ve learned,” she said, “is that I can still live a beautiful, wonderful life with less money.” N.Y. Times
A TikTok video showing two sea lions chasing a crowd of frightened beachgoers at San Diego’s La Jolla Cove collected more than 10 million views. Charlianne Yeyna, who captured the video last Friday, told NBC News that a woman trying to take a picture came within 4 feet of one of the sea lions. Startled, it charged. Experts noted that it’s not only foolishly dangerous to harass the powerful pinnipeds, it’s against federal law. NBC San Diego
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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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