Good morning. It’s Thursday, Nov. 2.
- Homeschool enrollment surges across California.
- The most troubled drug corner in San Francisco.
- And a bleak prognosis for San Diego newspaper.
An analysis of homeschooling data across the U.S. found explosive growth in California, where enrollment has risen 78% in five years. The phenomenon has not been confined to districts with struggling schools. Capistrano Unified School District in Orange County outperforms 87% of other districts nationwide on standardized tests. Yet its homeschooled population surged 139% since the 2017-18 school year. “The growth demonstrates home schooling’s arrival as a mainstay of the American educational system,” the Washington Post wrote.
California’s decision to slash incentives for rooftop solar last December has resulted in a precipitous drop-off in new installations. The policy shift has crimped the transition to renewable energy as California races to meet ambitious targets to produce zero-carbon electricity by 2045. “Far more of America’s sunny potential is about to go to waste,” wrote Andrew Moseman. The Atlantic
- Solar companies have seen their stock values tumble on weakening demand for rooftop solar. Bloomberg
Fun fact: Gulls perform a “Riverdance“-like jig to mimic the patter of rain, luring worms to the surface of water. The behavior is known as “worm charming” or “rain dancing.” The photographer Sicco Rood captured some nice video of a rain dance in Southern California’s Anza-Borrego Desert area. YouTube (~2 mins)
On Sunday, Gary Hobish, 70, collapsed during a weekly swing-dance gathering in Golden Gate Park. His friend, Tim O’Brien, raced to the nearby de Young Museum in search of a defibrillator, pleading with a staff member to let him use the life-saving device. The staffer checked with his boss and delivered a firm answer: The defibrillator was not to leave the building. O’Brien returned empty handed. Hobish died. S.F. Chronicle
A few weeks ago, word got out that the new owners of Santa Rosa’s Stonehouse, a 114-year-old former boarding house, were slathering white paint on the landmark’s distinctive rock edifice. A chorus of outrage rang out. The paint contractor said locals hurled insults at their crew and threw a rock. Paul Thompson, the building’s owner, got the message. Last weekend he had the paint sandblasted away. “We want everybody to be happy,” he said. Press Democrat
Roughly 20% of the drug crimes in San Francisco were logged within a block of one intersection in 2023. On any given day, there are flagrant drug sales, fights, and medical emergencies. A pair of photographers chronicled what is perhaps the most troubled drug corner in San Francisco: Seventh and Market streets. SF Standard
- “It’s the center of the hustle.” See video from Seventh and Market streets. 👉 SF Standard
“Their stretch of Bayshore is like any grungy thoroughfare in any industrial zone — greasy body shop, gloomy carpet place, growing camp of homeless people alongside a Lowe’s — but then there it is: a strikingly red building, a flash of weathered neon, an improbable promise issued since 1970. We Never Close. From the Vietnam War through AIDS and OJ and 9/11 and Iraq, the same couple from Loukas was behind the same counter, pouring the same coffee.”
Chris Colin wrote a love letter to a noir-ish San Francisco diner that hasn’t closed in 50 years. Alta
California’s Lost Coast, where the King Range plunges into the sea, is largely impractical for human habitation. Yet there is Shelter Cove, population 803, clinging defiantly to the edge of a small promontory. Aside from a few restaurants and inns, there’s very little to the town. But there is an airstrip, which makes Shelter Cove a must-visit for California’s small plane enthusiasts. A pilot documented his visit earlier this year, including some great aerial views. 👉 YouTube (~4 mins)
- “Very little happens here. Which is kind of the point,” the San Francisco Chronicle wrote in a travel recommendation.
Give something they’ll open every day.
In July, the staff of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the top newspaper in California’s second largest city, found out that the paper had been sold to Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund known for gutting its properties. Cuts began immediately. Employees estimate that roughly 30% of the staff has been shed, with the newsroom now about one-fifth the size it was in 2006. Alden also bailed on the newspaper’s downtown headquarters; all employees now work remotely. “The death of the Union-Tribune won’t be sudden. It will happen slowly, almost imperceptibly, over time,” wrote the Voice of San Diego.
A brawl at Van Nuys High School on Wednesday left four boys injured, two of them with stab wounds, authorities said. Three students were detained by police. Alberto Carvalho, the district superintendent, said the incident highlighted the lack of on-campus police. School board members voted to slash the district’s security force by a third in a contentious policy shift during the George Floyd protests of 2020. “As of today, Van Nuys will have the presence of an officer within its school facilities,” Carvalho said. CBS News | L.A. Times
Prosecutors on Wednesday filed criminal charges against Andrea Cardenas, a Chula Vista City Council member, and her brother Jesus Cardenas, a political consultant, accusing them of defrauding the federal government out of $176,000 in Covid-19 relief funds. The funds were distributed to the siblings based on their claim that their political consulting firm, Grassroots Resources, had 34 employees. But prosecutors said the money was diverted into credit-card payments, Venmo, and personal checking accounts. S.D. Union-Tribune | CBS8
During the 20th century, Los Angeles’ houses were as eclectic as its populace. Now a wave of soulless, box-like homes has spread across the city, wrote Jack Flemming. “If architecture serves as a reflection of the world around us, then the surge of box houses over the last 15 years is the natural response to a country dominated by tech, capitalism and an ongoing obsession with ever-larger living spaces.” L.A. Times
On Tuesday, I inadvertently shared a paywalled link to a New York Times travel story about a road trip from Calabasas to Los Olivos. Here’s a gift link.
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