Good morning. It’s Thursday, April 13.
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein under renewed pressure to quit.
- A crisis of morale plagues Facebook workforce.
- And photos of Los Angeles music scene in the 1980s.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has been missing votes while recovering from shingles, faced her first calls to step down from fellow Democrats in Congress. Rep. Ro Khanna said Wednesday that it’s clear she can no longer fulfill her duties. “We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty,” he tweeted. Feinstein, 89, rejected the demand but requested that a replacement temporarily fill her spot on the Judiciary Committee. Such a move would require Republican support, which is uncertain. Washington Post | The Hill
- People close to Feinstein said her diagnosis appeared to have taken a heavy toll. They suggested she may never return to Washington. Politico
Juul agreed to pay $462 million to California and six other jurisdictions to settle claims that it marketed e-cigarettes to young people. California’s cut, $175.8 million, will fund anti-vaping programs in the state. Founded in San Francisco in 2015, Juul grabbed 75% of the American e-cigarette market. Within a few years, one out of every five high school students reported using e-cigarettes. As regulators cracked down, the company’s valuation plummeted from a high of $38 billion to around $1 billion as of last October. A.P. | Wall Street Journal
In 2021, California’s new online-only community college, named Calbright, was in dismal shape. The drop-out rate was soaring and some lawmakers were calling for an end to the experiment. Things have since turned around. Enrollment has risen some 2,300 Californians, up from about 1,000 a year ago, and is projected to hit 3,000 by summer. By one measure, its retention rate — more than 50% — now surpasses the average across the state’s physical community colleges. CalMatters
☝️ Howie Nave, a resident of South Lake Tahoe, posted a series of photos showing vehicles emerging from giant piles of snow on Tuesday. You know it’s spring, he wrote, when the cars start to bloom. @abc7newsbayarea
The warm weather this week hinted at what’s to come as communities below the Sierra Nevada await one of the biggest snowmelt events in state history. Experts said the primary flood danger lies in the Central Valley’s Tulare Lake and San Joaquin River basins. “In the southern Sierra right now, the snowpack upstream of certain reservoirs is enough to fill those reservoirs multiple times over — that’s a big deal,” said Daniel Swain, a UCLA climate scientist. Washington Post
“True that a plant may not think; neither will the profoundest of men ever put forth a flower.”Donald Culross Peattie
Spring is one of the best times to visit the North Coast’s redwood forests. After the seasonal rain clears, the somber mood of the ancient groves brightens as a world of frilly rhododendrons, irises, and trilliums peek from the understory. Travel + Leisure highlighted a few of the prettiest walks across Redwood National and State Parks.
- The Atlantic: 18 photos of California’s “superbloom.”
Jason Cassem, his wife, Melissa, and two children moved from the Bay Area to their dream home in Placer County just over a year ago. On the night of March 29, with the power out and snow piled high, Jason stepped out to check on a generator housed in an outdoor enclosure. Just then, an enormous mound of snow peeled off the roof, burying him 15 feet deep. By the time his wife got to him he wasn’t breathing. L.A. Times
Psychedelic mushrooms are illegal in San Francisco under local, state, and federal laws, so it may seem unwise to announce a new church that openly distributes the drug to congregants. But the Church of Ambrosia pastor, Dave Hodges, who dresses in papal robes decorated with marijuana leaves and mushrooms, said he’s ready to go to jail. “Yes, there is a risk,” he said. “But for me, it’s defending access to God.” SFGATE
Meta expects to have fired 21,000 of its workers once it gets through four rounds of layoffs that began in the past six months. Some executives have spread across the globe, managing their teams from New York, Tel Aviv, London, and other cities. Those developments, along with the widespread belief that Mark Zuckerberg is making a bad bet on the future, has led to a crisis of morale at a company that used to be one of the most desirable workplaces in Silicon Valley, the New York Times reported.
Adam Serwer argued that Elon Musk’s free speech advocacy was a charade: “During his tenure at Twitter, Musk has suspended reporters and left-wing accounts that drew his ire, retaliated against media organizations perceived as liberal, ordered engineers to boost his tweets after he was humiliated when a tweet from President Joe Biden about the Super Bowl did better than his own, secretly promoted a list of accounts of his choice, and turned the company’s verification process into a subscription service that promises increased visibility to Musk sycophants and users desperate enough to pay for engagement.” The Atlantic
- NPR and PBS said they were quitting Twitter after being labeled as “state-affiliated media.” Washington Post
In 2017, a couple maneuvered their way into the life of a Malibu eye surgeon named Mark Sawusch who was mentally ill and very wealthy. They moved into his home, gave him LSD, and drained his fortune. Then they watched him die. “It took years for investigators to grasp the full horror of what had unfolded in Mark Sawusch’s Malibu beach house before his death,” the L.A. Times wrote.
Arnold Schwarzenegger got a huge response on social media after he tweeted video Tuesday that showed him pouring cement into what he said was a pothole in his Los Angeles neighborhood. “I always say, let’s not complain, let’s do something about it,” he wrote. But it wasn’t a pothole. A city spokesperson said the hole was a service trench for work being done by SoCal Gas. NBC Los Angeles
In 1980s Los Angeles, N.W.A. popularized gangsta rap, Guns N’ Roses made one of the best-selling albums in history, and the Sunset Strip crawled with glam rockers. A few years ago, the Los Angeles Public Library scoured its archives for a photo exhibit on the rowdy musical era when the city was awash in punk, pop, rap, ska, metal, thrash, and rock. Flashbak publish a selection of the photos.
- See more pictures here. 👉 DPLA
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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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