Good morning. It’s Thursday, Sept. 7.
- California Republicans yearn again for Donald Trump.
- Judge blocks parental notification policy in Chino.
- And the hacking of film ratings on Rotten Tomatoes.
“There’s no question he’s well-liked by the Republican base.”
In February, polling showed that just 29% of California Republicans backed former President Trump, placing him behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the race for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination. Six months and four indictments later, 55% of the voting bloc now favors Trump, a Berkeley poll released Wednesday showed. Support for DeSantis plummeted from 37% to 16%. The turnaround puts Trump on track to capture California’s entire haul of 169 GOP delegates in the March 5 primary. L.A. Times | Sacramento Bee
State lawmakers are scrambling to act on hundreds of bills during the final two weeks of the 2023 legislative session. A few of the latest developments:
- The state Senate on Tuesday approved a measure to outlaw caste discrimination. If enacted, California would become the first state to explicitly ban discrimination based on the ancient system of social stratification. A.P. | The Guardian
- The state Senate advanced a bill Wednesday that would require judges to consider whether a parent affirms their child’s gender identity when making custody decisions. Every Republican voted against it. A.P.
- The state Assembly passed a bill that would make California the third state to decriminalize psychedelic drugs for personal use. Wall Street Journal | Courthouse News Service
Rotten Tomatoes, a film review aggregator, began as a Hot or Not for movies. Now it can make or break them. That’s made the Bay Area company a major focus for publicists seeking to inflate the Tomatometer scores of their clients’ work. One Hollywood marketer has been manipulating scores for years by paying “critics” directly. “Rotten Tomatoes is something the studios can game,” said the filmmaker Paul Schrader. “So they do.” Vulture
Walking around San Francisco’s downtown, the most visible signs of its ailing health are the vacant ground floors of the office buildings. Windows are darkened, boarded up, and papered over. To fill those spaces, the city will have to rethink what brings people downtown. Conrad Kickert, an urban design scholar, said that means seeing the street level as less a place of transaction and more one of interaction. And the people interacting may not be buying anything at all. N.Y. Times
Morrison Foerster, a major law firm in San Francisco, changed the criteria for a diversity fellowship after being sued for discrimination. The program had originally targeted students who are “members of historically underrepresented groups.” It now seeks those “with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.” The lawsuit was funded by Edward Blum, the conservative legal activist who orchestrated the cases that culminated in the Supreme Court striking down affirmative action in college admissions. Washington Post | Reuters
“Every year it’s getting worse and worse.”
Black bears around Lake Tahoe have grown increasingly comfortable breaking into people’s kitchens, gorging on trash from downtown dumpsters, and even sleeping under porches. Wildlife officials worry that the behavior will inevitably lead to hostile encounters with humans. S.F. Chronicle
Another Burning Man is in the books. Here are two nice photo galleries from this year’s event, which featured wild fashions, otherworldly art installations, the torching of a sacred temple, and lots of mud. 👉 SFGATE | Reno Gazette Journal
- Satellite imagery showed the view from space. @Maxar
A Superior Court judge blocked the Chino Valley school district from implementing a new policy requiring that parents be notified if their children change their gender identification at school. Judge Thomas S. Garza, who granted the state’s request for the temporary restraining as it pursues a lawsuit against the district, likened changing gender to changing religion and expressed concern that children could face abuse at home. “I don’t know what the purpose of this policy is,” he said. L.A. Times | Courthouse News Service
- Rocklin Unified, in Placer County, became the fifth California school district to pass a parental notification policy late Wednesday. KCRA | ABC10
Give something they’ll open every day.
With coronavirus rates on the rise and masks returning to some offices and classrooms, Huntington Beach voted early Wednesday to ban universal mask and Covid-19 vaccine mandates in the city. “I think it’s important for the city of Huntington Beach to say no more,” said Mayor Tony Strickland. Opponents on the council dismissed the declaration as a political stunt. “We might as well pass a ban against giants or UFOs or something,” said Councilman Dan Kalmick. KABC | O.C. Register
Reports of bioluminescence have been circulating along the coast from San Diego to Monterey Bay. One of nature’s most dazzling nighttime shows, the phenomenon of pyrotechnic blue-green waves is caused by phytoplankton that light up when agitated. The events, linked to surges of nutrients in the water, are unpredictable but peak usually in summer. USA Today | Daily Breeze
A few videos posted on Instagram:
“Malibu, holiday Sunday, with a bit of a swell: How bad could it get?”
The surfing YouTuber Brad Jacobson filmed the action at a popular surf spot in Southern California last weekend. His video is a window into the art of navigating a floating human slalom course. YouTube
San Diego is California’s oldest continuously inhabited city, colonized by the Spanish in 1769. Old Town is the oldest settled area in San Diego. And the oldest still-standing structure in Old Town is Casa de Carrillo. Don Francisco María Ruiz, the commandant of the Presidio, built the adobe home beside an orchard of pear, pomegranate, and olive trees down the hill from the military compound circa 1810. It became a hub of Spanish social life through the generations until 1929, when the home and surrounding parkland was donated to the city. Ever since, one of California’s most storied historical remnants has served — shamefully, say some preservationists — as the pro shop for a municipal pitch-and-putt golf course. NoeHill | San Diego Reader
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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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