Good morning. It’s Thursday, Oct. 28.
- California Democrats brace for brutal midterms.
- San Francisco reconsiders red-state business ban.
- And Culver City does away with parking minimums.
Democrats are on the defensive in the closing stretch of the 2022 midterm campaign as voters appear poised to punish President Biden’s party even in the bluest parts of the country. In California, Republicans are vying to represent as many as five seats that Biden carried by 10 points or more in 2020. A super PAC recently canceled $2.2 million that had been earmarked for ads in Los Angeles to help unseat Rep. Mike Garcia, a Republican. A person close to the decision said the seat was slipping out of reach even though Biden won it by 12 points. N.Y. Times
In the early 1900s, the streets were for people. But with the rise of the automobile, Los Angeles pioneered a law in 1925 that confined pedestrians to sidewalks and crossings. Violators were called “jays,” an insult that meant “stupid” or “hick.” Nearly a century later, California is now embracing the idea that the future belongs to walkers: Starting Jan. 1, jaywalking will no longer be a crime — as long as it’s safe. N.Y. Times
While California’s newly released student test scores showed broad declines in reading and math, some districts posted remarkable improvements. They included a district in the mountains of Trinity County, another among the agricultural fields northwest of Bakersfield, and a third in the stark Eastern Sierra. All shared at least two characteristics: They are remote and they reopened their classrooms in the fall of 2020. EdSource
Some homes that are winning Halloween across California:
- Tom BetGeorge has attracted national attention in years past for pulsating holiday light displays at his home in Tracy. Now relocated to Linden, he’s created an unbelievably elaborate Halloween show featuring lighted drones that form shapes 400 feet overhead. YouTube (~8 mins)
- In 2007, an Oakland man put on a free Halloween puppet show in his driveway. It became an annual event so popular that a nonprofit was formed, Driveway Follies, to raise money for more elaborate productions. This year’s show includes five acts and six puppeteers. Oaklandside
- Also: a San Francisco home covered in spiders and a horror-themed house in Ladera Ranch.
San Francisco is reconsidering its ban on publicly funded contracts and travel in 30 states that don’t share its views on issues such as abortion and transgender rights. In a letter to the city administrator, five county supervisors questioned whether the prohibition is having any effect beyond costing tens of millions of dollars. “Performative politics has fallen at least a bit out of favor and people are really kind of desperate to see government work in a progressive city,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. Wall Street Journal | Axios
The biggest tidal wetlands restoration project west of the Mississippi aims to transform 15,000 acres of manmade salt ponds along the southern edge of the San Francisco Bay into marshlands. But there’s a problem: Alviso, a small community fronting the bay, sits more than 10 feet below sea level. Breach the salt ponds and Alviso would be drowned. So the Army Corps of Engineers is building a $545 million levee of earth and clay, standing 15 feet tall and stretching 4 miles, to hold back the sea. L.A. Times
Elon Musk entered the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on Wednesday, smiling and carrying a porcelain sink. “Entering Twitter HQ — let that sink in!” he wrote on Twitter, where he had changed his profile to say “Chief Twit.” Musk faces a Friday deadline to consummate his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, according to a judicial ruling. N.Y. Times | A.P.
Twitter employees, who are facing massive layoffs, were encouraged to go up to Musk and “say hi!” SF Standard
No investor bet more on cryptocurrency last year than Andreessen Horowitz, the storied venture-capital firm in Menlo Park. Then prices for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies took a nosedive. Sources cited by the Wall Street Journal said the firm’s flagship crypto fund shed about 40% of its value in the first half of this year, torching billions of dollars. Wall Street Journal
Bloomberg devoted an entire issue of its magazine to a massive piece on the wild, scam-filled world of Bitcoin and blockchain. Bloomberg
Culver City this week abolished minimum parking requirements citywide. Parking mandates have come under rising scrutiny in recent years as housing advocates have blamed them for thwarting increased residential density. While several Northern California cities have eliminated parking minimums — including Sacramento, Berkeley, and Alameda — Culver City appears to be the first in the Los Angeles region. StreetsblogLA
A man who died after leaping from the Huntington Beach Pier over the weekend had been trying to save a woman identified as his sister, who had jumped moments before, witnesses said. Spectators cheered as the woman took the plunge on a lark, but she began to struggle in the rolling water. Fenton Auston Dee III, 44, leapt in to help. “They started screaming frantically, ‘Help, help!'” surfer Landon Holman said. By the time Holman and other surfers got both siblings to shore, Dee was unresponsive. FOX 11 | People
A San Diego doctor was charged Wednesday with manslaughter after she was accused of neglecting a critically ill young woman incarcerated at a jail in Santee. Dr. Friederike Von Lintig, 57, was on duty when Elisa Serna, 24, had a seizure and fell inside her cell in the presence of a nurse. Serna was then left unattended for an hour and died, prosecutors said. In a medical chart, Von Lintig had indicated that Serna was likely faking illness. S.D. Union-Tribune | CNN
Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, may be looking for a new home for his Yeezy footwear brand after Adidas severed ties with him. On Wednesday, he showed up unannounced at the Manhattan Beach offices of the shoemaker Skechers only to be escorted out of the building by executives. Ye has found himself increasingly isolated after making antisemitic comments, including a post stating that he would go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.” A.P. | Washington Post
Thanks for reading!
The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
Give the gift of the California Sun.
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.