Good morning. It’s Tuesday, April 26.
|•||Everyone has an opinion about Elon Musk’s Twitter deal.|
|•||A man walks into San Jose home and kidnaps 3-month-old boy.|
|•||And the unchecked optimism of the Coachella music festival.|
More than 1,000 incarcerated firefighters help battle California’s wildfires.
Jason Armond/L.A. Times via Getty Images
No state relies as heavily on its prison population to fight wildfires as California. Yet former inmates have been largely disqualified from firefighting jobs after release. That’s changing. Since 2018, California fire departments have hired more than 130 graduates of a training camp for former inmates in Ventura. One of them, Jose Santana, talked about the swell of pride he felt passing out Cal Fire stickers at a parade, dressed in navy blue. CNN
The University of California plans to waive tuition for all Native American residents of the state starting in the fall of 2022. “The University of California is committed to recognizing and acknowledging historical wrongs endured by Native Americans,” UC President Michael Drake wrote in a recent letter to UC chancellors. The university hopes the program will play at least a small part in addressing lagging enrollment of Native Americans. Sacramento Bee
Rep. Kevin McCarthy toured the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas on Monday.
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy went to the U.S.-Mexico border Monday to draw attention to President Biden’s “border crisis.” He deflected questions about a secretly recorded conversation in which he said would ask President Trump to resign over the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. “I never called the president to say resign,” he said. But that’s not what news organizations have reported. Alex Burns, a New York Times reporter, tweeted in response: “McCarthy is now lying about lying.” A.P. | Washington Post
Everyone had an opinion about Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.
Patrick Pleul – Pool/Getty Images
Twitter on Monday accepted Elon Musk’s audacious offer to buy the company for roughly $44 billion, a deal that would rank as one of the biggest acquisitions in tech history. Musk has signaled his intention to transform the social network into a haven for freewheeling conversation. “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means,” Musk tweeted after the news broke. Bloomberg | The Verge
Reaction to the deal:
|•||“WELCOME BACK FIRST AMENDMENT!” Conservatives responded jubilantly to the takeover. L.A. Times|
|•||Many Twitter employees didn’t share that enthusiasm. They worried Musk would undo their work cleaning up the toxic corners of the platform. In a Slack thread on Monday, some complaints got “quite ugly.” N.Y. Times | Verge|
|•||Derek Thompson in the Atlantic: “Anybody who is extremely confident about how this is going to work out doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”|
|•||Former President Trump said he had no interest in rejoining Twitter, even if Musk rescinds his ban. Some advisers don’t believe him. Washington Post|
Markelle Taylor started running as an antidote to despair at San Quentin State Prison. He became a marathoner, earning the nickname the Gazelle because of his long, smooth strides. “Running was a form of freedom,” he said. “It was my therapy, a way of escaping.” On April 18, he ran the Boston Marathon as a free man, crossing the finish line in 2 hours 52 minutes. N.Y. Times
Police say the man pictured above walked into a home in San Jose on Monday afternoon and abducted a 3-month-old boy. The family does not recognize him. At the time of the abduction, the boy and his grandmother had just gotten home from a grocery store run. She put the baby in his bedroom and went downstairs to unload groceries for “a couple of minutes at most” when the man entered and took the child without her noticing, police said. Mercury News | KGO
Meta, the Facebook parent, is opening its first physical store at the company’s Burlingame campus. The Meta Store opens May 9 and will sell hardware such as virtual reality headsets, video-calling devices, and smart glasses. The store is part of Mark Zuckerberg’s aggressive campaign to acclimate people to the so-called metaverse, a more immersive version of the internet accessed through headsets. Bloomberg | Reuters
The 30-foot spillway at Lake Berryessa is a skateboarder’s delight.
Lake Berryessa in Napa County is famous for its nightmarish spillway, a spiraling drain that sends excess water down a giant concrete funnel into Putah Creek, on the other side of a dam. During dry years, however, the bottom end of the spillway doubles as a perfectly ridable full-pipe for skateboarders. Getting there requires a hike and a raft ride, but by many accounts it’s well worth the trouble. These guys were smart and brought a mini barbecue. 👉 YouTube (~1 min)
Some are opposed to adding several surf resorts in the drought-stressed Coachella Valley.
At least four large surf lagoons are proposed for the desert region around Palm Springs. As California struggles through one of its driest periods in recent memory, some environmentalists and residents are calling it a terrible idea. But significant money stands to be made: Surfing is soaring in popularity after becoming an Olympic sport, and tourist travel is expected to pick up after the pandemic. A.P.
David Wright made more than $376,000 a year as the top executive of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. But that wasn’t enough. Prosecutors say he took part in a bribery scheme that would guarantee him a $1-million-a-year executive gig after he retired from the utility. On Monday, a judge sentenced Wright to six years in federal prison. Apologizing, Wright said, “I really messed up the rest of my life at the end of my career.” L.A. Times | L.A. Daily News
A N.Y. Times Style section profile of a pilates entrepreneur in Los Angeles reads like satire. Liana Levi, 32, is “tan, taut and tiny, like an early-aughts heiress,” the Times wrote. In two years, she went from teaching friends in her pool house to operating three ultra-exclusive studios in Los Angeles and a fourth in New York, with clients such as Hailey Bieber, Ariana Grande, and two Jenner sisters. Asked to describe the demographic she caters to, Levi replies, “not masses.”
A festival goer attended the Coachella music festival on Saturday in Indio.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella
Whether Coachella retains the relevance it once did is up for debate. But the 2022 event, which wrapped up last weekend after a two-year hiatus, reflected a shifting mood in the culture, wrote Eve Peyser. Colors were bright, outfits were skimpy, and the mood was joyful. “In spite of all the reasons for pessimism (climate, war, inflation, Covid-19), attendees seemed hopeful, positive, sanguine,” she wrote. N.Y. Times (gift article)
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