Good morning. It’s Wednesday, March 8.
- Forecasters warn of flood risk as strong storm approaches.
- “It girl” of the Bay Area’s 1960s psychedelic underground.
- And reviving Los Angeles’ reputation as a walking city.
“Buckle up, it’s going to be quite the weather ride.— National Weather Service
Communities across Northern and Central California were warned to prepare for flooding as a strong atmospheric river, warmer than earlier storms, prepared to roll across the state between Thursday and Saturday. The deepest mountain snowpack was expected to absorb much of the rain, but forecasters said snow at lower elevations would melt and potentially overwhelm waterways flowing out of the Sierra and Coastal Ranges.
As of Wednesday, a NOAA forecast showed a handful of rivers exceeding flood stage between early Friday and early Saturday, including the Merced, Tuolumne, and Cosumnes in the Central Valley and the Russian in Mendocino County. Flood watches were issued for much of the Central Valley, greater Bay Area, and Central Coast. Emergency officials urged foothill communities along the San Joaquin Valley to be ready to evacuate and residents along the Big Sur coast to stock up on essential supplies. Weather West | S.F. Chronicle | Fresno Bee
Plaintiffs filed more than 30,000 federal disability rights lawsuits in California in the last decade, far outpacing other states. The wave of litigation is thanks in part to a California law, the Unruh Civil Rights Act, that allows for extra compensation to plaintiffs. Serial litigants portray themselves as warriors for disability access; critics say the lawsuits amount to shakedowns of small businesses. Now a case before a federal appellate court could give California plaintiffs even broader standing to sue. CalMatters
In the past, Indigenous destinations have been largely left out of the state tourism guides that list where to eat, sleep, and explore. This week, California launched a new hub called Visit Native California that steers visitors toward the cultural heritage of the state’s 109 federally recognized tribes. Recommendations include Yurok-led canoe tours of the Klamath River, a Miwok village at Point Reyes, and the mysterious intaglios north of Blythe. Conde Nast Traveler
Olga Shirnina, regarded as one of the world’s most skilled picture colorists, brings photos of historical figures to life.
Below, see a few favorite artworks with connections to California or old Hollywood, and check out many more at her Instagram feed here. 👉 @color_by_klimbim
A federal jury last week awarded a mother and her two daughters $8.25 million after they were unlawfully handcuffed in the parking lot of an East Bay Starbucks in September 2019. Aasylei Loggervale and her teen daughters had made a morning stop at the coffee shop after driving all night to get one of the girls to a statistics exam at Berkeley City College. Body-camera footage showed a deputy, Steven Holland, demanding Loggervale’s identification, which she declined to give. “What did I do?” she asked. Later, Holland said, “OK, everyone in this car is detained.” An internal investigation cleared Holland and a second deputy. They were both promoted. Washington Post | KTVU
The Sierra Club, based in Oakland, issued a 27-page “equity language guide” for its communications that drew some vigorous eye-rolling. Among the words it discourages: stand, Americans, blind, and crazy.
- George Packer in the Atlantic: “Equity language doesn’t fool anyone who lives with real afflictions. It’s meant to spare only the feelings of those who use it.”
- Matt Bai in the Washington Post: “Language calibrated not to offend is pretty much guaranteed not to persuade anybody of anything, either.”
At the age of 19, Carolyn Adams had fled her square hometown of Poughkeepsie, New York, and become the “it girl” of the Bay Area’s early 1960s psychedelic underground. She had an affair with Ken Kesey, with whom she had a daughter, then married Jerry Garcia, with whom she had two more daughters. The mythology of that time has been written almost entirely by men. But Carolyn, known as Mountain Girl, was taking notes in letters and journal entries the whole time. Now she’s writing her memoir. Insider
In 2013, the Bay Bridge was transformed by an adornment of 25,000 shimmering white lights. The 1.8-mile art installation, known as the Bay Lights, glowed along the workhouse span connecting San Francisco and Oakland for a decade until Sunday, when the lights — battered by the elements — were switched off. “There was a collective groan across the city,” said Ben Davis, whose arts nonprofit created the display. Davis said some deep-pocketed well-wishers had already stepped up to help revive the project. N.Y. Times | S.F. Chronicle
See the moment the lights went dark. 👉 @nbcbayarea
Give something they’ll open every day.
Los Angeles police released surveillance video that showed a man walk through a parking lot in Los Angeles, pull out a large knife, and wind up to strike in a direction just out of frame. The man stabbed 17-year-old Xavier Chavarin in the back last Friday, killing him, police said. The attack, along with another stabbing on the same day, were described as completely random. Chavarin’s mother said he was a “perfect child” who was looking forward to college. “He had so many dreams,” she said. L.A. Times | The Eastsider
A Los Angeles County judge on Tuesday found the mother and a former boyfriend guilty of torture and murder in the death of 10-year-old Anthony Avalos, whose 2018 killing exposed galling lapses in the child welfare system. Prosecutors said Heather Barron and Kareem Leiva, of Lancaster, beat the boy’s feet with belts, forced him to assume stress positions, and locked him in his room, rubbing his face in his urine if he peed. For years, teachers, counselors, and relatives told child protective services that Anthony was being abused. Caseworkers repeatedly left him at home. L.A. Times | A.P.
The author Rosecrans Baldwin, once interviewed on the California Sun Podcast, dismantled the “zombie trope” that Los Angeles isn’t a walking city:
“Of course, L.A. isn’t concentrated like Manhattan, or pedestrian-friendly like Tokyo. It’s not aesthetically breathtaking like Rome. The built environment is often rough and grainy, almost deliberately antipretty, with gantlets of warehouses, parking lots and industrial parks unprotected from the sun. … Probably most of Greater L.A. is awful to experience on foot. Yet there’s so much of it, radiating from multiple cores, that the amount worth walking is colossal.” N.Y. Times Magazine
A pile of shipping containers that hints at the invisible hand of globalism.
A feminine figure in a birthing pose that honors Indigenous and Black women.
A sound sculpture that invites visitors to contemplate ecological loss.
Desert X kicked off over the weekend. The latest edition of the ambitious art biennial, through May 7, features installations by 12 artists scattered across the arid Coachella Valley. Almost all of the artworks are socially engaged. N.Y. Times | CNN
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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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