Good morning. It’s Friday, Sept. 22.
- Deal reached to keep insurers in California’s fire zones.
- An atmospheric river takes aim at Northern California.
- And a Dodger reunites with his mother after seven years.
Please note: The newsletter will be off Monday. Back in your inbox Tuesday.
California’s insurance commissioner, Ricardo Lara, announced a new regulatory plan Thursday that will allow insurers to factor future climate risks into their pricing, a standard practice in most other states. In exchange, he said, insurers agreed to return to California’s high-risk fire zones. The deal comes after seven of the state’s top carriers pulled back coverage in the last year. Consumer advocates warned that homeowners would see their bills increase sharply. Bloomberg | Washington Post
State Attorney General Rob Bonta on Thursday sued two major operators of so-called crisis pregnancy centers in California, accusing them of offering women unproven treatments to block medication abortions. The lawsuit said the anti-abortion groups Heartbeat International and RealOptions Obria advertised “abortion pill reversal,” which involves ingesting the hormone progesterone in a bid to cancel the effects of the abortion drug mifepristone. Medical experts have called the treatments unethical and unsupported by science. L.A. Times | CalMatters
Meteorologists predicted that the first significant atmospheric river of the season would collide with California’s North Coast beginning Sunday and lasting through Wednesday. Models showed rainfall totals surging as high as 3 inches and more across the state’s northwest, where numerous wildfires have been raging in remote forests for weeks. “Hopefully a nice way to end the fire season,” tweeted meteorologist Michael Trofimov. Weather Channel | SFGATE
- See forecast animation. 👉 CW3E
Members of the NAACP are publicly feuding over crime and policing in Oakland. Several former and current members of the storied civil rights group held a news conference Tuesday to accuse the local chapter of the NAACP of fear-mongering and “tough-on-crime” rhetoric that targets Black people. In response, Oakland NAACP’s president, Cynthia Adams, said the critics’ true aim was to distract attention from “the retail thefts, robberies, burglaries, murders, business closures, and the overall lawlessness that has everyone in fear for their safety.” Oaklandside
Angus Cloud, the Oakland actor and star of HBO’s “Euphoria,” died of an accidental overdose after consuming fentanyl, meth, cocaine, and benzodiazepine, the Alameda County Coroner reported on Thursday. While much of the speculation over the 25-year-old actor’s death focused on his struggles with depression, Cloud’s mother has said he was “joyful” and busy making plans the day before he died. “It’s abundantly clear that he did not intend to check out of this world,” she wrote. VICE | Variety
During a hearing Wednesday, Rep. Doug LaMalfa, a Republican of Chico, made a quip casting doubt on climate change while questioning Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This climate change right now, it’s called autumn,” LaMalfa said. Another California congressman, Jared Huffman, a Democrat from Marin, later chimed in, telling Buttigieg, “You can see that I serve here in Congress with some of the greatest minds of the 19th century.” Then it got weirder. After the hearing, LaMalfa staffers showed up in Huffman’s office wearing raccoon-skin hats and holding a makeshift scroll. S.F. Chronicle
- See the LaMalfa-Buttigieg exchange. 👉 YouTube
Lake Tahoe’s 89413 ZIP code has the country’s most expensive mountain real estate as ranked by median listing price, according to Realtor.com. It includes the historic gated community of Glenbrook, one of Tahoe’s earliest settlements, which includes 300 houses spread out across 750 acres on the lake’s edge. The Wall Street Journal profiled Glenbrook for its “Where the Wealthy Live” series.
At a flea market in Burbank, a Hollywood prop master sold handmade quilts. A set decorator nearby hawked cupcakes and cookies. “Struggling to pay bills, especially my mortgage,” her sign read. The parking lot vendors are collateral damage of Hollywood’s labor unrest, which has put crew members out of work along with striking actors and writers. The union that represents the workers on film and TV sets estimates that even though its members are not on strike, they have lost close to $2 billion in wages. Reuters
- The Writers Guild of America and major studios held bargaining sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, the first sign of progress in weeks. L.A. Times
On this week’s California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman talks with Chris Tilly, a professor of urban planning and sociology at UC Los Angeles. They discussed the forces that have invigorated the labor movement, including growing inequality. So many big corporations “have been visibly making super-profits,” he said. “And a lot of the employees of those companies feel like, ‘Wait a minute. We’re not sharing in this.'”
The Dodgers’ Brusdar Graterol, 25, has been pitching in the U.S. without his mother attending a single game for the last seven years, a period that included his major-league debut. Ysmalia Graterol was stuck in Venezuela, unable to get the documentation needed to travel — until now. Mother and son had a tearful reunion at LAX on Sunday, and two days later, she saw him pitch in the big leagues for the first time at Dodger Stadium. Both moments, captured on video, were tear-jerkers:
Here’s the story of Graterol’s journey from Calabozo, Venezuela, to Dodger Stadium. 👉 YouTube (~23 mins)
There’s a futuristic home nestled in the trees in Malibu that looks like a cross between a Mars colony and a supervillain’s lair. Built in 1992 by the modern architect Ed Niles, the steel-and-glass creation features modular rooms that can be unhooked and rearranged along the home’s spine. Architectural Digest recently took a tour for its “Unique Spaces” series, guided by Niles himself. YouTube (~12 mins)
In case you missed it
Five items that got big views over the past week:
- A Korean restaurant with wonderfully unpredictable plates, a ramen place that will leave you “delightfully gobsmacked,” and a pizzeria where the perfection of sides almost steal the show. Five California restaurants made the N.Y. Times’ 2023 “Restaurant List.”
- Kevin Sands, a Beverly Hills dentist who advertises himself as “the Rolls-Royce of cosmetic dentistry,” has more than 750,000 followers on Instagram. When he went into practice in 1999, cosmetic dentistry wasn’t all that popular. Now, he said, “Everybody wants to look like Kim.” The Washington Post
- The opening scene in a new documentary on the life of former Gov. Jerry Brown shows him in a cranky mood. Asked to explain who he is, he answers, “I find that kind of a non-question.” The interviewer tries again: “How would you describe yourself?” “I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t,” he says. L.A. Times | Variety
- The film is free to stream. 👉 PBS
- The Davis comedian Hasan Minhaj has drawn acclaim for an approach that leans heavily on autobiographical storytelling. But when pressed by a reporter, he admitted to making stories up. The “emotional truth,” he said, is more important. New Yorker
- San Jose State is more selective than UC Merced; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is more selective than UC Davis; and Cal State Long Beach is more selective than UC Santa Cruz. An analysis found that a number of Cal State schools are surprisingly harder to get into than those in the UC system. S.F. Chronicle
Thanks for reading!
The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
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