Good morning. It’s Monday, June 6.
|•||Murder charges in fetal deaths divide Central Valley voters.|
|•||Bay Area politician’s wife accused of plagiarizing manuscript.|
|•||And five must-see modernist architecture destinations in L.A.|
As California’s cities struggle to cut their water use, some rural communities that rely on groundwater are already tapped out. In parts of the San Joaquin Valley, residents drink only bottled water and go to town to wash clothes. Gary Briggs, 72, recalled when his family farm had pecan and orange trees, cows and sheep. “Now, it’s all dirt,” he said. “Central California is dying. We’re becoming a wasteland. A hot and dry wasteland.” CNN
Los Angeles, seen from Griffith Observatory.
The columnist Farhad Manjoo argued that mandates to include parking spots with new housing and offices have had disastrous effects for affordability and sprawl:
“Go up to the Griffith Observatory, near the Hollywood sign, and look out at the vast expanse of the city of angels. Then realize this: About 41 percent of everywhere the light touches is space for roads and parking.” N.Y. Times
Seven of Adora Perez’s nine children were born high on methamphetamine. In 2017, her tenth baby died. Until then, it was settled law in California that women could not be prosecuted for killing their fetuses. But the district attorney in conservative Kings County seized a chance to challenge what he saw as decades of improper rulings. Perez spent four years in prison. Her case and that of another woman charged in a stillbirth are now dividing residents in a bitter district attorney’s race. S.F. Chronicle
More than a third of Americans earning at least $250,000 annually say they are living paycheck to paycheck, a survey found. Millennials especially are spending nearly all of their income on household expenses. Bloomberg offered a clue to how that’s possible: A high-end home in Orange County cost $1.7 million in April, according to Zillow data. Assuming a 20% down payment, the mortgage would cost about $100,000 a year, or 40% of a $250,000 annual pre-tax income.
A vineyard in Amador County.
The wife of a former Santa Clara County supervisor was awarded no-bid contracts to write grant applications and a county government history book. She was paid $2.45 million. Now the Mercury News has discovered that entire paragraphs of Jean McCorquodale’s 580-page manuscript were lifted from Wikipedia, the History Channel, the Washington Post, and other sources. Presented with the findings, County Executive Jeff Smith said he was “shocked.” Mercury News | SFGATE
Fall in Alpine County.
Politically, Alpine County is an island of blue in a sea of red. Straddling the Sierra just south of Tahoe, the county of roughly 1,200 residents is an exception to the California paradigm that rural equals Republican. On a visit, the columnist Mark Z. Barabak found that the desire to protect a place of exquisite natural beauty likely has something to do with it. His report includes some fantastic photos. L.A. Times
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced an arrest in San Francisco on May 10.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
San Francisco’s district attorney, Chesa Boudin, acknowledged that drug dealers can expect to operate freely in the city. “Because they’re not getting arrested,” he said, blaming the police for failing to bring him cases. “Incidentally, the same thing is true with auto burglaries, where 1% of reported auto burglaries result in an arrest. So the focus on my office or on me or my policies is really misplaced.” N.Y. Times
The Harker School is an elite private school in San Jose that regularly sends students to Stanford and Harvard. But its teachers can’t afford to live in the area. So the school, which charges up to $56,000 per year in tuition, is buying up and clearing out rent-controlled buildings for staff housing. The displacement is a twist on California’s housing crisis: driving out one low-income group to make room for another. Mercury News
Rick Caruso campaigned in Grand Central Market last Thursday.
Robert Gauthier/L.A. Times via Getty Images
In a time of deep frustration over the direction of Los Angeles, the campaign of Rick Caruso, a billionaire Republican who joined the Democratic Party just 19 days before declaring his candidacy, caught on surprisingly quickly. Fernando Guerra, a political science professor at Loyola Marymount University, said he no longer argues with his liberal friends now considering Caruso. The failure of the city’s “one-party” Democratic government makes any shift “a completely legitimate choice,” he said. “The Democrats are fat and happy. And what happens to animals who are fat and happy? They get roasted.” Washington Post
In 2018, a jury found the Mongols guilty of racketeering and conspiracy, a crucial win for the government in its quest to topple the Southern California motorcycle gang. Now the Mongols are returning to court with an explosive accusation: They claim that throughout the criminal case, their own leader, David Santillan, was secretly cooperating with the government. Santillan’s wife outed him. “He is a rat,” she wrote in a text message to other Mongols. N.Y. Times
Balboa Highlands was built in the early 1960s by developer Joseph Eichler.
Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources
Spanish missionaries used to call the hills on the northern edge of the San Fernando Valley the “enchanted hills.” The area is known today as Granada Hills and it’s home to the valley’s first post-World War II neighborhood to be designated a historic district: Balboa Highlands, a development of low-slung homes that proved housing tracts could offer sophistication. KCET included the Highlands in its list of “5 must-see modernist architecture destinations in L.A.”
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