Good morning. It’s Monday, Nov. 13.
- California public schools to teach media literacy.
- Major storm is expected to douse the state this week.
- And the farmers using a huge share of Colorado River.
One by one, Catholic dioceses across California have declared bankruptcy over the last year, citing an inability to pay damages from sexual abuse lawsuits. But that’s a cop-out, according to Dan McNevin, an abuse survivor who has spent years researching church holdings. The Oakland diocese, which declared bankruptcy in May, owns more than 2,000 pieces of land with an estimated value of more than $3 billion, he said. “They have the assets to pay people whatever is needed.” The Guardian
Recognizing fake news is now a required subject in California schools. A new state bill requiring media literacy instruction for all K-12 students earned near-unanimous support in the Legislature, underscoring how worries about misinformation cut across political lines. Merek Chang, a Southern California high school teacher, recalled giving his students an opinion piece from the New York Post and an article from a scientific journal. Asked which they thought was accurate, more than 90% chose the Post. CalMatters
Latest California developments connected to the Middle East crisis:
- Across the Bay Area, elected officials, teachers, and parents are taking sides on the Israel-Hamas war, taking attention away from educating kids, critics say. “Is this the time to introduce geopolitical topics that scholars haven’t been able to agree on?” one parent complained. S.F. Chronicle
- UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block condemned antisemitic behavior by students captured on video screaming “beat that fucking Jew” while bashing a piñata bearing an image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Los Angeles Magazine
- Hundreds of journalists signed an open letter calling for “integrity” in coverage of the Mideast conflict, arguing that stories should use words like “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “genocide” to describe Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. It included 15 signatories from the L.A. Times. Washington Post
A potent storm diving out of the Gulf of Alaska was expected to linger off the coast of California this week, sending bursts of precipitation across much of the state between Monday and at least Friday, forecasters said. The associated airmass now appears to be “remarkably warm” for a November event, climatologist Daniel Swain said on Sunday, meaning the mountains could see more rain than snow. Forecasts called for highs in the 60s to lower 70s along the coast. Accuweather | S.F. Chronicle
Local forecasts from the National Weather Service:
- The North Coast
- Northern California
- The Bay Area
- The Central Valley
- The Central Coast and L.A. area
- Orange and San Diego counties
In the 1950s, a couple on vacation from the San Joaquin Valley fell in love with a remote headland at the southern end of Big Sur known as Ragged Point. They acquired a patch of land high above the Pacific and opened a tiny two-room motel. Today, the region remains remote, but the Ragged Point Inn & Resort has 39 rooms, many with floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto one of California’s great vistas. The state’s tourism arm recommended a two-day road trip from San Luis Obispo to Ragged Point. Visit California
The Bay Area pilot accused of trying to crash a plane on Oct. 22 gave his first public interview since being arrested. Speaking in a visitation room at the county jail in Portland, Joseph Emerson told reporter Mike Baker that he had been desperate to awaken from a hallucinogenic state that had consumed him since taking psychedelic mushrooms two days before the flight. It was his first time taking the drug, and the experience sent him spiraling. “I was like, ‘Am I dead? Is this hell?’” he said. On the plane, panic took hold. If he stopped the engines, he reasoned, “I would wake up.” N.Y. Times
San Francisco frantically cleaned up ahead of this week’s scheduled Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, the city’s largest international gathering since dignitaries gathered in 1945 to sign the charter creating the United Nations. Crews scrubbed away graffiti, polished sidewalks, and cleared homeless encampments. A long-derelict plaza got a sudden makeover, with a skateboard park, outdoor cafe, pingpong tables, and potted plants. N.Y. Times | A.P.
- Thousands of anti-capitalists, Palestine supporters, and climate activists protested against the summit in San Francisco on Sunday. See photos. 👉 SF Standard
Two months before Phoenix Castro’s birth, her mother and father submitted to a drug test in a bid to get their two older children back from Santa Clara County’s child welfare agency. Their tests both came back positive for opiates, cocaine, and methamphetamine. After Castro entered the world, a social worker concluded that the child would face a “very high” risk of neglect under her parents’ care. She was sent home with her father anyway. Less than three months later, Phoenix died after ingesting fentanyl and methamphetamine. Mercury News
As Oakland ran low on places to lay the dead to rest in the 1920s, the renowned architect Julia Morgan was asked to expand a modest columbarium atop a hill at the end of Piedmont Avenue. Morgan, the designer of Hearst Castle, added indoor gardens, bubbling fountains, and stained-glass ceilings, transforming the Chapel of the Chimes into a place of joy as much as grief. Today, it serves as a venue for weddings, jazz concerts, and even stand-up comedy. “If you’ve been, you know it is the most magnificent, reverent, lyrical structure,” Morgan biographer Victoria Kastner told the Mercury News. She added, “It shows how beauty can console us, comfort us.” Atlas Obscura
A section of highway in downtown Los Angeles will be closed indefinitely after a weekend fire beneath the roadway damaged the infrastructure. “Unfortunately, there’s no reason to think this is going to be over in a couple of days,” Mayor Karen Bass said Sunday. The blaze below Interstate 10 was reported early Saturday after a pallet yard went up in flames and spread across 8 acres. A state transportation official said the practice of allowing storage yards under highways would be reevaluated. L.A. Times | A.P.
One family of farmers in California’s Imperial County uses more Colorado River water than the entire Las Vegas metropolitan area, an analysis found. The companies controlled by five members of the Abatti family are by far the largest users of the Colorado River, siphoning about 3% of its entire flow in the Lower Basin in 2022. The majority of that water was used to grow hay to feed livestock. None of the Abattis responded to reporters’ requests for comment. ProPublica/Desert Sun
One day in 1961, a line of black cats on leashes held by housewives in heels and bouffant hairdos stretched down North Bronson Avenue in Hollywood. All told, 152 felines showed up after newspapers carried notices of open auditions for a black cat to appear in a film adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat.” Photographer Ralph Crane immortalized the moment in a LIFE magazine spread that reported, “As far as anyone could remember, it was the biggest invitation to bad luck ever seen in one place.” Google Arts & Culture | LIFE.com
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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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