Good morning. It’s Tuesday, May 17.
|•||New map lets you look up your property’s wildfire risk.|
|•||Judge tosses California law requiring women on boards.|
|•||And searching for the secret of Joan Didion’s power.|
A research group released a first-of-its-kind map that depicts fire risk down to the property level across the United States. Using data from the Forest Service, NOAA, and other sources, the First Street Foundation found that half of all addresses in the lower 48 states face some degree of wildfire risk. In California, about 100,000 properties face an extreme wildfire risk of at least 1% this year. The figure may seem small, but a 1% risk becomes a 26% risk over 30 years. NPR | CNN
When then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed a measure in 2018 requiring that companies put women on their boards, he warned that it may not survive legal scrutiny. Now a judge in Los Angeles has affirmed his doubts, declaring the law unconstitutional in a ruling made public Monday. Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis said the law violated the right to equal treatment. The defeat was the second for California’s efforts to diversify corporate boards after another judge tossed a law mandating directors from underrepresented groups on April 1. A.P. | S.F. Chronicle
Joan Didion, John Gregory Dunne, and Quintana Roo Dunne in Malibu in 1976.
John Bryson/Getty Images
The journalist Caitlin Flanagan visited the homes where Joan Didion lived, traversing Sacramento, Berkeley, Hollywood, and Malibu, in a quest to understand why people felt such a powerful connection to the “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” author. “There are people who admire Joan Didion, and people who enjoy reading Joan Didion, and people who think Joan Didion is overrated. But then there are the rest of us,” Flanagan writes. “People who can’t really explain how those first two collections hit us, or why we can never let them go.” The Atlantic
Creeks offset by shifting tectonic plates in the Carrizo Plain.
David McNew/Getty Images
In Central California’s Carrizo Plain, the creeks make sudden zigzags, like blips on a heart monitor. They occur along the San Andreas Fault in one of the most striking visual examples of how the Pacific and North American tectonic plates are sliding past one another. The offset creeks are in the middle of nowhere, but a short interpretive trail takes you right up to one of the most dramatic examples at Wallace Creek. Atlas Obscura | Modern Hiker
“Time for war bro.”
Text messages contained in court records showed how two Bay Area friends — a mechanic named Ian Rogers and a Pep Boys manager named Jarrod Copeland — conspired to burn down the headquarters of the California Democratic Party in Sacramento after Joe Biden won the presidency in 2020. Reporters tracked down people who knew the men. “A lot of people talk shit,” said Novice Doublin, a cousin of Copeland. “And, most people don’t pay it no attention. I don’t think Jarrod realized the severity behind the conversation.” KQED
A homeless encampment spread across a lot in West Oakland on Nov. 23, 2021.
Jane Tyska/East Bay Times via Getty Images
Homelessness in the Bay Area has increased nearly 9% since 2019 according to partial figures released on Monday. Of six counties that released new counts, all but two showed increases. In Contra Costa County, the number of homeless people rose 35%. In Alameda County, the total rose 22%. San Francisco was a bright spot, showing a small dip to 7,754 homeless people from 8,035, the first decline in years. Housing advocates credited a 2018 wealth tax that funded new spending on shelters. A.P. | Mercury News
In a blunt warning, Netflix told its employees to be prepared to work on content they may not agree with — and if they don’t like it, quit. “We let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices,” the Los Gatos streaming giant wrote in an update to its culture guidelines. It added: “If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.” Last fall, some workers staged a walkout to protest a controversial Dave Chappelle special. Variety | The Wrap
A private forest in Del Norte County was used to depict Endor in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.”
The redwood forest in California’s North Coast that starred as a moon of Endor in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” was clear-cut by a logging company shortly after filming. But it was not unexpected. Parks officials had been dead set against pyrotechnics in old growth forests, so George Lucas struck a deal to film on land owned by the Miller-Rellim Redwood Company — no permits necessary. Much of the lumber from the felled redwoods was later used to make decking material in the Bay Area, meaning some people have been unwittingly walking on Endor wood. SFGATE
The authorities on Monday shared new details about the gunman in the deadly shooting at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods a day earlier:
|•||The gunman was David Chou, 68, a U.S. citizen said to be motivated by hatred for Taiwanese people.|
|•||Reports conflicted over whether he was born in China or Taiwan, but officials said he had lived in Taiwan and harbored grievances over his treatment.|
|•||Before opening fire inside the church, Chou hid firebombs, chained shut the doors, and put glue in the keyholes. L.A. Times | A.P.|
A photo of Dr. John Cheng was displayed outside his Aliso Viejo office on Monday.
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images
On Monday, the state attorney general asked a court to halt the sale of Angel Stadium to the team owner as the FBI investigates Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu for public corruption. According to an affidavit released Monday, investigators believe Sidhu attempted to use his influence over the deal to solicit a campaign contribution from the Angels. “We’ll push them at least [to] have a million dollars,” Sidhu said in a secretly recorded conversation. “You know, for [an Angels official] to say ‘no’ is bad.” L.A. Times | Voice of OC
A drug tunnel connected Tijuana and the San Diego area.
U.S. authorities discovered a cross-border tunnel stretching nearly 1,800 feet — about the length of a six football fields — from a home in Tijuana to a warehouse in Otay Mesa south of San Diego. The sophisticated tunnel had reinforced walls, a rail system, electricity, and ventilation, officials said. Six California residents were arrested on charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine. A.P. | NBC San Diego
“Boom Box Memories-South Central Los Angeles 1986.”
Outlaw bikers, Skid Row addicts, and backyard punk bands.
As part of a project last year, a group of six street photographers displayed their work on the misfits and marginalized of Los Angeles. Their photos are showcased in a great Instagram account called The L.A. Six.
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