Good morning. It’s Thursday, July 21.
- An enterprising new media outfit for the psychedelic set.
- More horrors for the Turpin children in Riverside County.
- And clinics by Arizona border see surge in abortion demand.
More evidence mounted to suggest that California’s frenzied housing market has begun to moderate. The pace of home sales statewide plunged 21% in June compared to a year earlier as soaring mortgage rates turned off buyers, the state Realtors group reported. Excluding the early months of the pandemic, June’s sales were at the lowest level since April 2008, during the subprime mortgage meltdown. SFGATE | Bloomberg
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday demanded that UCLA justify its decision to leave the Pac-12 along with USC for the predominantly Midwestern Big Ten Conference. The defection leaves UC Berkeley as the only UC campus in the Pac-12. “The first duty of every public university is to the people — especially students,” Newsom said. “UCLA must clearly explain to the public how this deal will improve the experience for all its student-athletes, will honor its century-old partnership with UC Berkeley, and will preserve the histories, rivalries, and traditions that enrich our communities.” L.A. Times | ESPN
“Do you want a little DMT?”
Founded in 2019 by a pair of California journalists, DoubleBlind is an enterprising new media outfit for the psychedelic set. Last month the organization hosted a weekend of tripping and glamping for about 200 people in Central California’s Cuyama Valley. There were sound baths, cannabis prayers, and sunset howls. N.Y. Times
In April, the federal government decertified San Francisco’s largest skilled nursing facility, Laguna Honda, ordering the hospital to relocate its nearly 700 fragile patients by September. Since then four patients have died within days of being moved and several have ended up in homeless shelters. Joseph Urban, a health care consultant whose mother-in-law is a patient at Laguna Honda, said the moves are killing people. “Is your primary objective to achieve recertification or the safety of the patients?” he demanded. “The collateral damage is unacceptable.” S.F. Chronicle
Jeremy B. White on San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s thumping of progressives:
“Breed has positioned herself as a centrist ally of frustrated voters at a time of supreme discontent over crime and homelessness, thunderously rejecting the status quo and offering a sensible middle course: a city that offers services to homeless people while compelling them into treatment, that holds police accountable while swelling their ranks and giving them a more central role.” Politico
On the third day of a trucker protest at the Port of Oakland, officials announced Wednesday that cargo operations had effectively been shut down, further exacerbating supply-chain issues. Port officials said they understood truckers’ frustration, but warned of damage to businesses. “They need to take their message to Sacramento,” spokesman Robert Bernardo said. Independent big-rig truckers are protesting a gig-work law that they say could put them out of work. A.P. | Bloomberg
The Bay Area photographer joSon was drawn to shoot the San Francisco Bay’s salt ponds after seeing them from a plane spreading across the landscape like a multicolored quilt. Over months, he dangled from a helicopter for pictures that could easily be mistaken for abstract paintings. Then he started to notice brown and black dots appearing in his shots, flocks of American avocets and other shorebirds. He didn’t realize it yet, but he was documenting one of the largest wetland restoration projects in the country. bioGraphic
A few of joSon’s pictures. 👇
If you thought the case of the Turpin children, who were rescued from captivity in Riverside County in 2018, couldn’t get any worse, two lawsuits filed Tuesday say that six of the children were put in foster homes where they were sexually and physically abused. A lawyer for the children said county officials knew the foster parents, Marcelino and Rosa Olguin, had a history of abuse allegations. Over three years, the lawsuits said, the Olguins beat the Turpin children with belts, forced them to eat their own vomit, and advised them on how they could kill themselves. O.C. Register | ABC News
Researchers have projected that as many as 16,000 additional women will pour into California annually in search of abortions as a result of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. At least half of those are expected to come from Arizona because of the border it shares with California. Cindy Carcamo visited a small desert clinic in Imperial County that has already been overwhelmed by demand. L.A. Times
An investigation revealed how a Los Angeles police helicopter played a part in an unnecessary killing. On July 26, 2021, two officers responded to reports of a man cutting himself on the street. When 53-year-old Samuel Soto lunged, one of the officers shot him then kicked the knife away. Other officers arrived, a noisy helicopter swooped in, and Soto got back on his feet. Officers screamed that Soto no longer had a knife. But Officer David Voci, who arrived after the initial encounter, said all he could make out over the roaring helicopter blades was “knife, knife.” He fired three rounds. L.A. Times
A beautifully done interactive depicting tree rings from a 500-year-old Douglas fir in the Los Padres National Forest tells the story of megadroughts in the past — and today. Daniel Griffin, a dendrochronologist, wrote: “The matriarchs, the largest, oldest and most deeply established trees in many groves, seem to be hanging on for now. But no scientist is sure how much more they can endure.” N.Y. Times
California was once a rugby powerhouse. After a troubling series of deaths in American football — 18 high school and college players in 1905 alone — Stanford, UC Berkeley, and several other California campuses renounced the sport in favor of the English import: rugby.
Berkeley’s president, Benjamin Wheeler, urged California’s high schools to join the transition, and many did.
Football lovers were incensed. “Without opportunity for defense, the American game was sentenced, executed and thrust into its grave, almost before its friends knew that it was even in danger,” the Daily Palo Alto roared.
Few campuses outside California and Nevada, however, took the transition to rugby seriously. As a result, the U.S. national rugby squad during the 1920 and 1924 Olympics was populated almost entirely by Californians. They won back-to-back golds.
The toppling of France, 17-3, in the 1924 final, held in Paris, was a sensation. Furious French fans rained rocks and bottles onto the field and booed loudly over the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the medal ceremony.
One correspondent likened the upset to a French baseball team beating an American pennant winner. “Their victory and their conduct under fire,” he wrote, “is the brightest entry that has been scored on all the pages of America’s international sport records.”
Still, the heyday of California rugby was short-lived. USC abandoned it after after failing to entice any other Southern California colleges to the sport. After the American entry into World War I in 1917, Stanford became a Western headquarters for student military training — and the Army preferred football.
Rugby was pretty much over. For decades, the sport was discontinued at the Olympics. Upon its return in 2016, the American team was eliminated early, but competed with a proud distinction for a sport barely played in the U.S.: defending champion. Stanford Magazine | ESPN
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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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