Good morning. It’s Thursday, March 17.
|•||Forecasts call for an early spring heat wave next week.|
|•||Poll suggests San Franciscans ready to recall Chesa Boudin.|
|•||And police video shows man yell “I can’t breathe” before death.|
Forecasts are predicting a West Coast heat wave next week.
As winter winds down, meteorologists are already talking about heat waves. Temperatures in California, they say, are expected to surge well above normal beginning early next week, peaking on Tuesday and possibly breaking heat records in places. It’s a worrying forecast in a state already primed for an early and fierce start to the wildfire season. SFGATE
Work continued on the high-speed rail project over State Route 99 in Fresno last August.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images
China has built more than 20,000 miles of high-speed rail in about two decades.
In California, 14 years after voters approved a nearly $10 billion bond to add a bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco, many residents have lost track of what is being built or whether it will be completed at all. Once a symbol of the state’s ambitions, the project, wrote the N.Y. Times, now symbolizes “a nation that seems incapable of completing the transformative projects necessary to confront 21st century challenges.”
Last week, the Los Angeles podcaster Amber Nelson recounted on Twitter how she was invited to a friend’s house for dinner and, later that night, was asked for $20 to pay for it. “This is weird, right?” she asked. The tweet set off a lively discussion, as others shared experiences with unexpected bills. In her newsletter, the S.F. Chronicle food writer Soleil Ho asked readers if billing dinner guests is really a thing. The responses, she tweeted later, destroyed her faith in humanity.
After California legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, Oakland began a program to lift up entrepreneurs, many of them Black, in communities that faced the brunt of enforcement during prohibition. But the so-called equity license initiative has been no panacea. Forced to operate with cash, Alphonso Blunt saw his store ransacked twice by thieves. “Social equity sounds like peaches and cream,” he said. “But I did better selling weed on the street than I am doing right now.” N.Y. Times (gift article)
A pedestrian at the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco on Monday.
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The pandemic transformed the economic geography of San Francisco, as the rise of remote work allowed workers to drift away. With coronavirus concerns retreating, some companies are now compelling employees to return. But office vacancies in the city remain high and transit ridership stubbornly low. “The door closed,” said Colin Yasukochi, a real estate researcher. “Now the door is open but people aren’t rushing back in.” Bloomberg | S.F. Chronicle
“Clearly, they’re not happy.”
With 12 weeks to go before a recall vote on San Francisco’s progressive district attorney, a new poll suggested trouble for Chesa Boudin. Conducted Feb. 17-21, it found that 68% of respondents would vote to recall Boudin, and 78% rated his performance as “only fair” or “poor.” The survey was commissioned by recall supporters. But the polling agency also found strong voter discontent ahead of the landslide recall of three school board members. SFGATE | S.F. Chronicle
Fort Ross State Historic Park, about 90 miles north of San Francisco, looks out over the Pacific.
In 1812, a mercantile company chartered by Russia established a settlement on a promontory just north of Bodega Bay. The Russians sold Fort Ross roughly 30 years later to the Swiss settler John Sutter for $30,000. But the California colony loomed large in the minds of many Russians for generations. On Sunday, that fixation was highlighted in connection with the invasion of Ukraine when Oleg Matveychev, known as the Kremlin’s spin doctor, declared that Fort Ross should be returned to Russia as reparations for Western financial sanctions. Daily Beast | Press Democrat
Police video released on Tuesday shows the last moments of a DUI suspect’s life as he was restrained by California Highway Patrol officers trying to forcibly draw his blood. Edward Bronstein, 38, was taken into custody during a traffic stop in Altadena on March 31, 2020. When he refused to allow his blood to be drawn, multiple officers pinned him to the ground even as he screamed “I’ll do it willingly!” After about a minute, Bronstein yells “I can’t breathe” repeatedly before becoming unresponsive. He died less than two months before the killing of George Floyd, who also cried out, “I can’t breathe.” L.A. Times | A.P.
Days ahead of a scheduled inspection by state regulators, Los Angeles County’s troubled Central Juvenile Hall hastily transferred all children out of the facility last weekend. A state investigation earlier concluded that youths at the hall were mistreated and dehumanized. Parents were not notified of the weekend move, and many showed up for visits unaware that their children had been relocated. L.A. Times
The One America News headquarters in San Diego on Feb. 2.
Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images
One America News, a far-right broadcaster in San Diego, may have to shut down after being dropped by AT&T’s DirecTV lineup in January, the company said in a court filing. Roughly 90% of OAN’s revenue is said to come from AT&T deals. Former President Trump, who has enjoyed glowing coverage on the network, lashed out in a statement Monday: “I believe the people of this Country should protest the decision to eliminate OAN, a very important voice.” Ars Technica | Independent
Hollywood bosses perplexed by their young assistants are turning for help to Lacey Leone McLaughlin, a cancel-culture consultant who teaches executives how stay in the good graces of a creative underclass that has realized its power. “I think, right now, people are afraid to get it wrong,” said McLaughlin, who was called a “rage” coach by the Hollywood Reporter. “And there’s so much to get wrong from a boss’s perspective.” New York Magazine
Gilberto Godoy Jr., via L.A. Taco
There’s a part of Compton, the birthplace of gangsta rap, where the sound of the city is roosters crowing. When Griffith Compton donated his property to the county in 1888, he stipulated that a part of it be set aside for agricultural use. Known as Richland Farms, it’s now home a thriving cowboy culture, including the descendants of Black families who migrated from the rural South and Latinos who arrived from rural Mexico. The photographer Gilberto Godoy Jr. produced a photo essay on a nonprofit working to revive Compton’s ranchero roots with a new multicultural equestrian center. L.A. Taco
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