Good morning. It’s Tuesday, Oct. 25.
- California’s GDP is set to overtake that of Germany.
- Schools see plunging test scores in math and English.
- And a look back at Southern California’s fire swells of 2007.
In 2015, California’s gross domestic product leapfrogged Brazil’s and France’s to become the world’s sixth largest economy. In 2017, it sped past Britain to take fifth place. Now the Golden State is poised to overtake Germany as the fourth largest economy in the world after the U.S., China, and Japan. Some estimates suggest that it already has. Bloomberg
California released student test scores on Monday that offered the most extensive measure yet of the learning loss wrought by pandemic school closures. The data showed that just 33% of students tested in the spring performed at standard in math, down from 40% in 2019. In English, just 47% were proficient, down from 51%. CalMatters | EdSource
A separate national assessment showed that California’s decline was less pronounced than other states. EdSource
From 2003 to 2019, researchers estimated that Californians cut their emissions of carbon dioxide by about 65 million metric tons. But in 2020 alone, the record-breaking wildfire season released nearly twice that amount — a whopping 127 million metric tons. Michael Jerrett was a lead author of the study, titled “Up In Smoke.” “When we look at the contribution of the 2020 wildfires,” he said, “it becomes almost like a new sector of emissions in the economy.” L.A. Times
In the sex crimes trial of Harvey Weinstein on Tuesday, an attorney for the convicted rapist called Jennifer Siebel Newsom a “Hollywood wannabe” who had “transactional” sex with Weinstein. “She’s made herself a prominent victim in the #MeToo movement,” he added, “otherwise she’d be just another bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead in Hollywood.” Elizabeth Fegen, who represents Siebel Newsom, called the comments “despicable, desperate, dishonest.” A.P. | Variety
California cities have until the end of January to finalize robust plans for new housing, but some Bay Area leaders appear to be treating the mandate as a joke. Los Altos offered up a grocery store and a church for housing without consulting their owners. Danville suggested building “atop a creek.” Piedmont proposed housing on the site of its current City Hall. SFist | S.F. Chronicle
One of California’s most economically disadvantaged tribes is selling beer at the home of the San Francisco Giants. In the first partnership of its kind, Oracle Park is now offering three craft beers from Mad River Brewing Company, owned by the North Coast’s Yurok Tribe. The cans highlight causes important to the tribe, including Undammed, a hard seltzer inspired by the campaign to let the Klamath River run free. The Guardian
One of the coolest places to find a book in California is in an old mine shaft in Gold Country. At first sight, Legends Books, Antiques & Soda Fountain in downtown Sonora simply appears to be a cafe with a gorgeous mahogany-and-brass bar. But tucked underground are walls of books along tunnels that offer a glimpse of the area’s prospecting past. Atlas Obscura
Five must-see destinations in Gold Country. 👉 Alta California
Leslie Jordan, a comic actor known for his roles in the television series “American Horror Story” and “Will & Grace,” died on Monday in Los Angeles. News reports citing police sources said his car crashed into a building and suggested that he experienced a medical emergency. Jordan enjoyed an added burst of fame during the pandemic when he made uplifting Instagram videos. His agent said Jordan “provided an emotional sanctuary to the nation at one of its most difficult times.” He was 67. N.Y. Times | A.P.
In 2020, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s dog named Spike was left in a hot car and died. Sheriff’s officials said in a memo that a veterinarian determined the animal may have died of something else and that Spike’s handler was cleared of wrongdoing. But the veterinarian cited in the memo, Yolanda Cassidy, now says the document was “fabricated.” She said she never even spoke to sheriff’s officials: “Maybe they expected me to cover them.” L.A. Times
In 1990, Jarvis Jay Masters was convicted of helping to kill a prison guard, Sgt. Hal Burchfield, at San Quentin State Prison. Masters was sentenced to death, but he has maintained his innocence ever since. Oprah Winfrey “absolutely” believes he is innocent and connected him to a team of powerhouse lawyers. Kevin Rector wrote a fascinating account of the case as Masters awaits word from a federal judge on what could be the appeal that succeeds. L.A. Times
“What I saw when I paddled out — without much exaggeration — was nothing short of a phantasmagoric apocalypse.”
In the fall 2007, there was a run of surf in Southern California so exquisite that surfers still talk about it. It was the combination of events that made it so memorable: a mix of swells from the south and north Pacific, perfect offshore winds to soften the waves, and an otherworldly red hue over the coast caused by wildfires. Here’s a look back at “The Fire Swells of 2007.” 👉 Surfline
The Southern California football player Chuck Osborne played five seasons in the N.F.L. Then he began having seizures. “I think I have something wrong in my head,” he told his mother. In 2012, Osborne died in his home in La Jolla at 38. The medical examiner listed C.T.E. as a contributing factor. A settlement from the league might have provided some solace to his mother. But even that was taken away when she was swindled by the powerhouse lawyer Tom Girardi. N.Y. Times
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