Good morning. It’s Tuesday, Nov. 15.
- The largest strike of the year roils UC campuses.
- Rep. Kevin McCarthy faces challenge from right flank.
- And daredevil photos at Yosemite’s soaring cliffs.
Scheduling heads up: The newsletter will be off next week, returning the Monday after the holidays.
Roughly 48,000 academic employees across the University of California walked off the job Monday in what was described as the largest strike of 2022. Lectures were called off, research was disrupted, and office hours were canceled at the system’s 10 campuses from San Diego to Davis, where workers said they can scarcely afford to get by on average pay of $24,000 annually. They are demanding twice that amount. The strikers have set no end date. A.P. | East Bay Times
“Shut it down!” See a strike photo gallery. 👉 L.A. Times
Republicans pulled to within one seat of taking the House on Monday as two California seats went red. Republican Reps. Michelle Steel and Ken Calvert both won their districts in Orange County and the Inland Empire, respectively. Of 14 uncalled races early Tuesday, nine were in California and three of them were leaning toward Republicans: Rep. David Valadao, Rep. Mike Garcia, and Kevin Kiley. Politico | N.Y. Times
Track live House results. 👉 Politico
Other election developments:
- Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Republican of Bakersfield, maneuvered on Monday to lock up the support he would need to become House speaker of a Republican-held House. But he faced resistance from an emboldened right flank. By Monday night, a challenger emerged: Rep. Andy Biggs, a Republican from Arizona and a key player in the effort to overturn the 2020 election. N.Y. Times | NBC News
- Four of California’s biggest cities are choosing new mayors.
- In Los Angeles, Rep. Karen Bass widened her lead over billionaire businessman Rick Caruso, who outspent Bass by more than 14-to-1. Bass would be the first woman elected mayor of L.A. L.A. Times | L.A. Daily News
- In Long Beach, Rex Richardson, a city councilmember, increased his lead over Suzie Price, also a councilmember. Richardson would be the city’s first Black mayor. Long Beach Post
- In San Jose, Matt Mahan, a city councilmember, is leading Cindy Chavez, a county supervisor. Mahan was backed by outgoing Mayor Sam Liccardo. KQED
- In Oakland, Loren Taylor, a city councilmember and an ally of outgoing Mayor Libby Schaaf, maintained a narrow lead over Sheng Thao, a progressive. Mercury News
Wells are running dry at a startling pace in California. So far this year, the state has counted a record 1,351 dry wells — nearly 40% over last year’s rate. The bulk of the outages are in the agricultural lowlands of the San Joaquin Valley, where thousands of people now rely on trucked and bottled water as they wait for new wells. “What we’re facing is pretty unprecedented,” said Steven Springhorn, an engineering geologist. Washington Post
Last week, a Twitter account bearing the name of the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and a “verified” check mark tweeted the following: “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.” It was fake. On Monday, the reporter Drew Harwell revealed what the reaction was inside Eli Lilly as the spoof remained live for more than six hours: “panic.” The $330 billion company has now halted all advertising on Twitter. They’re not alone, Harwell said: “Companies are pausing Twitter ads en masse, maybe forever.” Washington Post
A reporting team dug into the life of David DePape, the suspect in the hammer attack on Paul Pelosi. Frank Ciccarelli, a carpenter who employed DePape in the Bay Area, said everyone liked him. DePape was a fan of “Stranger Things” and he carried sunflowers to feed birds and squirrels. But when he started talking politics, he went dark, said Ciccarelli: “He thought climate change was a hoax and Hillary Clinton is running a pedophile ring out of a pizza parlor. It was so ridiculous that it was hard to take seriously.” L.A. Times
Say hello to Grace.
She joined the world on Oct. 30 at the Safari West conservation breeding facility just north of Santa Rosa. Her mother Malaika gave birth standing up, as giraffes do, letting the calf topple 6 feet onto the hard dirt. Grace, already 5 feet, 9 inches and 127 pounds, shook it off and was up on her feet in under an hour. Press Democrat | Safari West
See the birth. 👉 YouTube (~1 min)
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom, took the stand in Harvey Weinstein’s trial in Los Angeles on Monday. Newsom told the court that she found herself unexpectedly alone with Weinstein at a Beverly Hills hotel, where she had agreed to a meeting when she was an aspiring actress, in 2005. She gave a graphic account of Weinstein emerging from a bathroom in a robe and raping her. She then shouted, “Oh God!” as if overcome by the memory, and began to sob. A.P. | L.A. Times
The Los Angeles River has never captured the imagination like the Hudson or the Seine. Its repeated flooding was disastrous in the early 1900s, leading to a massive effort to tame the river, encasing it in a concrete channel that made a beeline for the ocean. Generations later, many Angelenos have come to see the straightjacketing of the L.A. River as the real disaster. The New York Times produced an engrossing feature by architecture critic Michael Kimmelman on “remaking the river that made L.A.”
The comedian Jay Leno, known for his impressive private collection of exotic cars, suffered “serious burns” to his hands and face in a fire at his Burbank garage on Sunday. A mechanic at the garage said Leno was “sprayed with gas” that ignited from a steam car. In a statement, Leno, 72 said he was OK: “Just need a week or two to get back on my feet.” Variety | Access Hollywood
Simone Gold, a Beverly Hills doctor and Capitol rioter who became a darling of coronavirus skeptics during the pandemic, has been sued by the anti-vaccine group she founded. The lawsuit by America’s Frontline Doctors says Gold, 56, who is also a Stanford-educated lawyer, plundered the organization to fund purchases including a $100,000 trip in a private jet, $50,000 a month in personal expenses, and a $3.6 million home in Florida where she lives with her boyfriend, John Strand, an underwear model and fellow Capitol rioter. Daily Beast | Vice
“There is a difference between bravery and just plain ordinary foolishness.”
This month, a selfie video showing a man dangling his legs from an overhang at Yosemite’s Half Dome made the rounds on social media, with many viewers aghast at the apparent risk involved.
The danger is real.
According to Michael Ghiglieri, co-author of “Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite,” of about 1,200 deaths at Yosemite National Park since 1890, more than 300 were attributed to falls, whether intentionally or by accident. Since the popularization of smart phones, there’s been a troubling a series of news stories involving the pursuit of dramatic selfies, a stumble, and a mortal plunge.
But imprudent photo ops at Yosemite’s soaring cliffs is nothing new. Not long after photography was introduced to the valley, the photographer George Fiske, who moved to Yosemite in 1879, began taking pictures of travelers and notable people at the edge of Glacier Point, a perch more than half a vertical mile above the valley floor. Imitators followed, and some of the pictures ended up in postcards, including a group packed into a Studebaker roadster that had been hauled onto the ledge. Posted warnings, such as the admonishment quoted above, curbed the practice but never ended it entirely.
Below, see a selection of archival photos by Fiske and others.
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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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