Good morning. It’s Tuesday, July 25.
- California sharply lowers its population forecast.
- Charges of racism in fight over Fresno street renaming.
- And a “fountain of youth” in Tahoe’s Desolation Wilderness.
“People are voting with their feet.”
In 2013, California projected that its population would grow to almost 53 million people by 2060. Now it’s predicting the number will be 39.5 million. Demographers attributed the reduced forecast, released last week by the state’s finance department, to lower birth rates, aging boomers, and the compounding effect of outmigration during the pandemic. “You don’t have those people, and those people don’t have kids,” said Andres Gallardo, a state demographer. Bloomberg
California is introducing a pilot program in 24 counties that will pay meth users to quit the drug. In San Francisco, participants will get $10 gift cards for Walmart or another retailer each time their drug tests return negative. Numerous studies have found the strategy to be highly effective. But researchers say moral objections have impeded its wide adoption. To Dr. Brad Shapiro, a drug expert, that’s galling. “It’s actually, in my opinion, really quite criminal that we’ve gone decades knowing this is an effective treatment and the powers that be have failed to make a pathway for treatment for people,” he said. CalMatters
The San Francisco Chronicle created a data visualization of the most attended California colleges and universities by race. The charts revealed how Black and Hispanic students tend to concentrate among the state universities, which do a commendable job of helping economically disadvantaged students climb the income ladder. The campuses most attended by Asian and white students are predominantly UCs and private institutions, traditional gateways to elite professions. S.F. Chronicle
The three most attended California campuses by race:
- Asian: UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine
- Black: CSU Sacramento, CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Northridge
- Hispanic: CSU Northridge, CSU Fullerton, CSU Los Angeles
- White: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, San Diego State, UCLA
California’s new K-12 math curriculum aims to boost diversity in math. To that end, writes columnist Emily Hoeven, it suggests that girls and students of color specifically might find more success in alternative math courses such as data science. “As a girl who took calculus in high school, I’d like to offer my two cents: ‘traditional math lessons’ aren’t nearly as harmful as the idea that we can’t succeed at them.” S.F. Chronicle
- In San Francisco, which began delaying algebra in 2014, students have been taking summer courses to keep pace with peers in other districts. S.F. Chronicle
Debate over the renaming of a Fresno street after labor rights leader Cesar Chavez has exposed a schism between the region’s Latino and Black populations. In a lawsuit filed July 10, a group of residents said the move was an attempt by Latino leaders “to hoist their ‘hero’ Cesar Chavez” above other historical figures in a “direct attack” on Black and Armenian residents. “Apparently, a state holiday is not enough,” the plaintiffs’ lawyer Brian Leighton said, referring to Cesar Chavez Day. Councilmember Miguel Arias called the lawsuit “racist.” Fresno Bee
Mike Proulx, a vice president at the research firm Forrester, said when brands become verbs, it’s the “holy grail,” because it means they have become part of popular culture. That makes Elon Musk’s erasure of Twitter and tweet, in favor of the new brand “X,” difficult to comprehend. “In one fell sweep,” Proulx said, “Elon Musk has essentially wiped out 15 years of brand value from Twitter and is now essentially starting from scratch.” N.Y. Times
- “Musk’s move wiped out anywhere between $4 billion and $20 billion in value, according to analysts and brand agencies.” Bloomberg
- Companies including Microsoft and Meta already have intellectual property rights to “X.” “There’s a 100% chance that Twitter is going to get sued over this by somebody,” a trademark attorney said. Reuters
Since 2018, a single company has spent nearly $1 billion buying up land surrounding Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, and no one seems to know what it’s up to. Federal investigators opened an inquiry into the roughly 81 square miles of land acquisitions by Flannery Associates, which has now become the county’s largest landowner. Rep. John Garamendi said he was “very, very concerned.” “Who are these people?” he said. “Where did they get the money where they could pay five to ten times the normal value that others would pay for this farmland?” Wall Street Journal | KGO
For a few precious weeks every summer, a secret pond of turquoise snowmelt forms at the bottom of a bowl in Tahoe’s Desolation Wilderness. Known among locals as the “fountain of youth,” it provides a perfect opportunity for snowboarders to ride down a snowbank, skim across the pond, and exit gracefully back onto snow. This couple’s video trip report from last year ends in spectacular fashion. 👉 YouTube (~4 mins)
“It is unfortunate that such an illustrious career has come to an end this way.”
A former USC dean was sentenced to 18 months of home confinement on Monday for bribing a Los Angeles County supervisor in exchange for a lucrative USC contract with the county. The dean, Marilyn Flynn, 84, was also ordered to pay $150,000. Prosecutors said Flynn concocted a scheme in 2018 to funnel $100,000 to a nonprofit controlled by the son of Mark Ridley-Thomas, then a county supervisor. Ridley-Thomas faces the prospect of years in prison after his conviction on corruption charges in March. A.P. | L.A. Times
Andrew Truelove arrived to California on a one-way flight in April with $2,000 and hopes to start a new social media platform. A month later, he was sleeping in a parking lot behind a shopping center in Torrance. The reporter Connor Sheets spent two months following one of the latest iterations of a familiar story: “the starry-eyed striver headed west with a dollar and a dream.” For Truelove, the collision with reality has been brutal. L.A. Times
One attorney called him “the single most amoral person” he’s ever encountered.
His dentist called him “sociopathic.”
A fraud examiner who investigated him said, “He offends me.”
David Bunevacz, a son of immigrants in Southern California, was once a model and a college-level track athlete. But he chose to become a con man, scamming people in nearly every area of his life. Between 2010 and 2020, a court found, Bunevacz took at least $35 million from more than 100 people. The reporter Andrea Marks spent a year investigating how he was able to escape justice for so long. Rolling Stone
“Upon first glance, you would be forgiven for thinking this property was a living creature.”
Architectural Digest devoted an episode of its video series “Unique Spaces” to a home on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park that is as much an art piece as a place to live. Twenty years in the making, the Doolittle house is what happens when you allow a master of organic architecture to follow his imagination. YouTube (~15 mins)
- The Doolittle house is on AirBNB. A single night costs what a couple might pay for a week in Hawaii.
The California Sun is completely independent, completely ad-free, and completely reader-supported.
Consider raising your level of support.
Thanks for reading!
The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
Make a one-time contribution to the California Sun.
Give a subscription as a gift.
Forward this email to a friend.
The California Sun, PO Box 6868, Los Osos, CA 93412
Wake up to must-read news from around the Golden State delivered to your inbox each morning.