Good morning. It’s Friday, Oct 14.
- Conservative groups aim for school board majorities.
- Tense video of Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Jan. 6, 2021.
- And flu suspected in mass school absences in San Diego.
Across California, churches and conservative groups are leveraging parental angst over curricula choices and school closures to recruit candidates for local school boards. The goal: flip as many boards as possible to conservative majorities that will dismantle “wokeness,” said Shawn Steel, who represents California on the Republican National Committee. She added: “There is going to be a lot of consternation among the left.” EdSource
Chilling footage released on Thursday showed Speaker Nancy Pelosi reacting as the scale of the Capitol siege on Jan. 6, 2021, dawned on her in real time. “Do you believe this?” she mutters at one point. Later, she fumes over the prospect of President Trump coming to the Capitol. “I hope he comes, I’m going to punch him out,” she says. “I’ve been waiting for this. For trespassing on the Capitol grounds. I’m going to punch him out. And I’m going to go to jail, and I’m going to be happy.” N.Y. Times | A.P.
The California Coastal Commission on Thursday approved a $140 million desalination plant in Dana Point, pivoting from its rejection of another proposal up the coast in Huntington Beach in May. Commissioners said the smaller Dana Point facility, which will convert seawater into roughly 5 million gallons of drinking water per day, posed fewer environmental harms. “It’s more nimble,” said Newsha Ajami, a researcher. “The future is going to be all about modular solutions.” Reuters | CalMatters
Nearly one in five San Franciscans plan to move in the next year, a U.S. Census survey found. Of those looking to move, nearly half, or 8% of the city’s population, plan to relocate to another area, a larger share than that of any other large U.S. metropolitan area. In New York, which has a similar age distribution, the figure was 3%. The survey didn’t interrogate motivations, but people who left San Francisco during the pandemic were especially likely to be young, white, and rich. S.F. Chronicle | KGO
Equipped with guns and a stern ramp, Higgins boats were credited with giving American troops easier access to beaches during World War II. Of roughly 23,000 built for the war, only about 20 are believed to remain — including one that just emerged from the receding shoreline of Lake Shasta. How it got there is a mystery. “Someone has to know,” said Gerald Meyer, a National Guard historian. “Someone is going to say: ‘I know. I remember Bob bought that boat back in ’54.’ But that person has yet to be found.” N.Y. Times
Born in 1936 in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Bernice Bing never met her father and at age 5 lost her mother to a heart ailment. She lived in foster homes and suffered abuse, but art was her salvation. Bing became part of San Francisco’s avant-garde scene, hanging out with beatniks and smoking Shermans. But as an Asian American woman and a lesbian, her trailblazing abstract expressionist paintings were overlooked. Nearly a quarter century after her death in 1998, that’s changing. N.Y. Times
In a scathing report, the U.S. Justice Department said Orange County prosecutors and sheriffs ran a jailhouse informant program from 2007 to 2016 that violated the rights of criminal defendants. Using informants is not prohibited, but Orange County authorities made them “agents of law enforcement” who elicited information from defendants who were represented by lawyers, a violation of the 6th Amendment. Convictions for murder were set aside because of the scandal. Courthouse News Service | Voice of OC
Nearly 40% of students were absent from a San Diego high school on Wednesday. Hundreds of the roughly 1,000 homebound students were tested for the coronavirus and came up negative, leading public health officials to suspect the unprecedented outbreak was caused by the flu. They called it a ominous sign for flu season. “Seeing this in October is pretty staggering,” said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, a health officer for the county. S.D. Union-Tribune | KGTV
Who leaked the Los Angeles City Council audio? Amid the outrage over a racist discussion among city lawmakers, figuring out the origin of the tape has become a parlor game in political circles. In two reports, the L.A. Times declined to suggest any names, but Los Angeles Magazine was less cautious. “Many L.A. political insiders,” it reported, believe the likely leaker was Hugo Soto-Martinez, a labor organizer and candidate for a tightly contested City Council seat. Soto-Martinez called the claim “complete garbage.” L.A. Times | Los Angeles Magazine
Other audio leak developments:
- “It wasn’t the casual racist rhetoric that upset her most. It was the topic: They sounded as if they were plotting a backroom deal to disenfranchise Black voters.” To Black people across Los Angeles, the words on the tape hit like a gut punch. L.A. Times
- For this week’s California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman talked with L.A. Times columnist Erika D. Smith. They discussed how the recording has shaken alliances. “The folks that are involved weren’t just random Latino politicians,” Smith said. “They were some of the most powerful Latino politicians in the state.”
- The N.Y. Times’ David Brooks: “If we use rhetoric that assumes that we’re all locked into rigid racial blocs and that group conflict is the essential element of public life, then group conflict is what we will get.”
In the early 20th century, the Mexican Revolution pushed waves of refugees north of the border. So many migrants settled in the southern part of San Diego’s Logan Heights neighborhood, they started calling it Barrio Logan. Then, in the 1960s, California cleaved Barrio Logan with freeway lanes. In burst of activism, artists painted the concrete pylons with murals depicting Chicano heroes and heritage. Chicano Park now anchors Barrio Logan and is one of the reasons the community just landed in a ranking of the “51 coolest neighborhoods in the world.” Timeout
In case you missed it
Five items that got big views over the past week:
- When he’s not working as a cancer biologist, Paddy O’Leary is running the trails of San Francisco. He partnered with a filmmaker to make a “love letter” to the city. “Urban Oasis” reveals the incredible variety and beauty that exists in just 49 square miles. Vimeo
- France’s national railroad came to California in the early 2000s with hopes to help develop the state’s bullet train. But they pulled out in frustration, a project manager said: “They told the state they were leaving for North Africa, which was less politically dysfunctional.” N.Y. Times
- In 1967, the photojournalist Elaine Mayes was living in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury when she embarked on a project to capture the hippies, runaway teens, and drug addicts in her neighborhood. Her work is in a new volume, “Haight-Ashbury: Portraits 1967-1968.” Elainemayesphoto.com | Monovisions
- When California’s leading fall color connoisseur, John Poimiroo, argues that California is America’s premier autumn destination, he likes to cite one place in particular: North Lake in the Eastern Sierra’s Bishop Creek Canyon. Max Comer captured stunning new pictures. California Fall Color
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers interrupted their worldwide stadium tour on Wednesday to play a high school gymnasium on Indian reservation land in Humboldt County The crowd went wild. Two Rivers Tribune | Instagram
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The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
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