Good morning. It’s Thursday, Sept. 29.
- Governor approves law easing farmworker union voting.
- Six injured in mass shooting at Oakland high school.
- And photos of Los Angeles’ elegant old high-rises.
A roundup of newly approved laws, as Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a midnight Friday deadline to act on hundreds of bills advanced by the state Legislature:
- Under pressure from President Biden and others, Newsom signed a bill making it easier for farmworkers to unionize, reversing his earlier opposition. The law allows union voting by mail rather than limiting it to polling places on growers’ property. Supporters said the law would protect against intimidation. Opponents said it opens the way for fraud. A.P. | S.F. Chronicle
- In a deal thwarted for years by gridlock among political, labor, and business interests, two new measures will incentivize housing projects in deserted urban areas zoned for retail and office space. Advocates said they would spur the construction of millions of desperately needed units. S.F. Chronicle | L.A. Times
- Other measures signed by the governor will establish 10-cent rebates for wine and liquor bottle recycling, require health plans to cover vasectomies, and make it easier to hunt feral pigs.
Andres Gomez filed lawsuits against hundreds of small businesses in California, accusing them of failing to meet accessibility standards. A common complaint: their websites fail to support screen-reading software, which Gomez claims to use because he is legally blind. But one of his targets, a Los Angeles race car company, has now sued Gomez, producing video that shows him walking around Miami and looking at his 6-inch phone. Gomez’s lawyer called the video a smear job. S.F. Chronicle
When the L.A. Rams and Chargers started a girls high school flag football league last year, more than 70 schools filled out interest forms. Some girls had to be turned away. “The response was quite frankly more than we were prepared for,” said Chase Hartman, a Chargers official. The governing body of California high school sports is now seriously considering making flag football an official girls’ sport. A.P.
A high school shooting in Oakland on Wednesday left at least six adults wounded, two of them with life-threatening injuries, authorities said. The shooting unfolded midday at Rudsdale Newcomer High School, which serves immigrant teenagers and is one of four adjacent schools in a single complex, prompting students to hide under their desks and sending parents into a panic. No suspects were in custody late Wednesday. East Bay Times | KTVU
People posing as members of a “voter task force” have been going to homes and questioning residents’ voter registration status in Shasta County, where election truthers have been a vocal presence. The county registrar of voters, Cathy Darling Allen, issued a public advisory on Monday, six weeks before the Nov. 8 election. “People who perform this kind of activity are violating the law and intimidating voters,” she said. Redding Record Searchlight | KCRA
San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins on Wednesday threatened to pursue murder charges against fentanyl dealers linked to overdose deaths. The move represents a sharp escalation in San Francisco’s approach to such cases, which have typically resulted in drug diversion programs and little to no jail time. Since 2020, nearly 1,700 people in San Francisco have died from drug overdoses, Jenkins said, “in part because dealers have been allowed to operate with impunity.” SF Standard | S.F. Chronicle
Cruise, a truly driverless car from General Motors, began providing passenger service in San Francisco in June. The reporter Cade Metz gave it a try: “The ride was by turns spooky, impressive, perplexing and a little stressful. It was kind of like being in the car with my 16-year-old daughter when she was learning to drive — but more unnerving because my daughter could at least respond to my moments of panic.” Then the car got stuck. N.Y. Times
Since 2017, Reader’s Digest has named the Nicest Place in America. This year, a judging panel that included the author Mitch Albom and the Olympian Shawn Johnson selected Coulterville, a tiny Gold Rush town in the Sierra foothills west of Yosemite. A tight-knit culture has flourished there in part because of a common enemy — wildfires. “In San Francisco, there’s 50 plumbers within a mile of your house, but I wasn’t close with all my neighbors,” said Dawn Huston, a cafe owner. “Here I know all of them. You rely on them in a different way.” Reader’s Digest
Coolio, the Compton rapper whose hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” become a 1990s anthem, died on Wednesday at a friend’s house in Los Angeles. Coolio’s manager, Jarez Posey, said he was found on the bathroom floor. No cause was given. Coolio, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., had other hits, including “Fantastic Voyage” and “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New),” but nothing matched “Gangsta’s Paradise” with its sampling of Stevie Wonder and memorable opening lines: “As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life and realize there’s nothin’ left.” He was 59. N.Y. Times | TMZ
On the same day in 2020 that San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow filed charges against marchers protesting the killing of George Floyd, he met on Facebook with a group that called the Black Lives Matter movement “domestic terrorism.” Also that day, Dow’s wife asked supporters to contribute to his reelection campaign so he could keep fighting “the wacky defund the police movement and anarchist groups.” On Wednesday, a state appeals court ruled that those comments disqualified Dow from prosecuting the case against the marchers. S.F. Chronicle | The Tribune
Law enforcement officials shared more details in the Tuesday highway gun battle in San Bernardino County that left a murder fugitive and his daughter dead.
- Savannah Graziano, 15, had been described as a kidnapping victim, but authorities now say they are unsure. She had been living for weeks with her father, Anthony Graziano, before he killed his estranged wife on Monday. “Did she go willingly?” Fontana Sgt. Christian Surgent said. “Or was she actually abducted? We haven’t been able to prove that just yet.”
- San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus indicated that the teen played a more active role in the shootout than previously known. “Evidence suggests that Savannah Graziano was a participant in shooting at our deputies,” he said. L.A. Daily News | A.P.
Chris Hytha, a recent architecture school graduate from Philadelphia, has been photographing historic skyscrapers in cities across the United States for a project called Highrises. The images, which involve some Photoshop manipulation of tone and perspective, would fit perfectly in a Wes Anderson film. Hytha shared photos of five gorgeous old buildings in Los Angeles.
See those below, and more of his work here. 👉 HythaCG.com
An earlier version of this newsletter misstated the location of the town of Coulterville. It is west of Yosemite, not east.
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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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