Good morning. It’s Friday, Nov. 4.
- Mayors fume as Gov. Gavin Newsom withholds funding.
- Guilty verdicts in Santa Clara County sheriff’s trial.
- And the Hollywood contingent supporting Rick Caruso.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that he was withholding $1 billion in state funding to local governments until they can prove they have sufficiently aggressive plans to reduce homelessness. Democratic mayors — in Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, and beyond — bristled at the surprise move, saying it would slow aid to people in need. “Now is not the time to play politics when people’s lives are at stake,” said Carolyn Coleman, who leads the League of California Cities. Mercury News | A.P.
On Californians leaving the state to get more for their money:
- Bethany and Andrew Jansen lived in a 500-square-foot apartment in Venice Beach, earning about $150,000 combined a year. During the pandemic, they moved to a three-bedroom home in St. Louis, where they now earn less money but say it goes much further. L.A. Times
- Dana and Madison Christoffersen sold their home in the Bay Area city of Livermore in April for $1.25 million. Six months later, they bought a bigger, newly built house in Nampa, Idaho, for $585,000. Madison’s parents, who lived in California, also moved to Idaho. Wall Street Journal
On this week’s California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman interviews Sam Quinones, a Los Angeles journalist whose latest book is “The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth.” He discussed how fentanyl became the default drug on the streets. “The problem is, it doesn’t matter how many times you dodge the bullet,” he said. “There is no such thing as a long-term fentanyl user on the streets.”
☝️ This wondrous creature is a panda bear sea angel. Rarely seen, it was filmed by researchers in the depths of Monterey Bay, an underwater grand canyon that teems with exotic life. The sea angel is a type of swimming snail without a shell. While they appear cute, they are fearsome predators that feed on equally adorable sea butterflies, which do have shells. Sea angels’ mouths open to unfurl specialized tentacles that scoop prey from their shells like an avocado from its peel. YouTube | Ocean Conservancy
On Monday, Laurie Smith sought to torpedo her civil trial on corruption charges by abruptly resigning as sheriff of Santa Clara County, a gambit the judge rejected. On Thursday, the jury delivered its verdict: guilty on all six counts. It was unclear what legal impact the verdict would have since Smith can no longer be ousted from office. But prosecutors said they have not ruled out criminal charges. Mercury News | San José Spotlight
In a companywide email on Thursday, Twitter informed its workforce that layoffs would begin Friday. The number of planned firings was unclear, but unnamed sources have said about half of the company’s 7,500 employees would be let go. “We recognize that this will impact a number of individuals who have made valuable contributions to Twitter, but this action is unfortunately necessary to ensure the company’s success moving forward,” the email said. N.Y. Times | Washington Post
David Frum in the Atlantic: Twittertown has a new mayor — and it’s as if the Penguin has taken over Gotham.
The latest on the Paul Pelosi attack:
- Homeland Security said late Wednesday that the man accused of attacking Pelosi, David DePape, was in the country illegally. DePape is a Canadian national who entered the U.S. as a “temporary visitor” in 2008. Washington Post | L.A. Times
- Pelosi, 82, was released from the hospital in San Francisco on Thursday. He underwent surgery to repair a fractured skull and injuries to his right arm. S.F. Chronicle
The San Francisco Chronicle analyzed 600,000 reviews from hikers on AllTrails.com to rank the best trails in the Bay Area. The No. 1 trail: Marin County’s Dipsea Trail to Steep Ravine Trail Loop. The route starts from Stinson Beach, plunges into the old-growth redwood forest, and tops out at a bare hillside with sweeping views of the Pacific. All Trails | Marin Magazine
In an ordinary year, Karen Bass, a Black congresswoman whose bid for Los Angeles mayor was endorsed by Barack Obama, would have the support of pretty much everyone in Hollywood. Yet the billionaire developer Rick Caruso’s list of supporters includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Kardashian, Snoop Dogg, and Nicole Avant. That’s because it’s not an ordinary year, wrote Peter Savodnik. “Homicides are up. Homeless encampments are metastasizing. Public spaces are overrun with graffiti and needles and human feces.” Common Sense
Caruso has set a new standard for campaign cash, outspending Bass by a staggering 14-to-1 ratio. Crosstown
President Biden spoke at a rally for Rep. Mike Levin in Oceanside on Thursday, making his second trip to California in less than three weeks as he rushes to bolster vulnerable Democrats ahead of the midterms. David Wasserman, an analyst with the Cook Political Report, said the visit was an ominous sign for Biden’s party. “If Democrats are scratching and clawing to hang on to districts Biden carried by double digits, they have likely already lost the House.” A.P. | S.D. Union-Tribune
In 2018, Elon Musk unveiled the first test tunnel of his futuristic Hyperloop, a theoretical initiative that aimed to solve traffic with levitating pods that hurtle through tubes at speeds of hundreds of miles per hour. Four years later, the tunnel in Hawthorne has been scrapped and will be replaced with parking spots for Spacex workers. Bloomberg | The Verge
In case you missed it
Five items that got big views over the past week:
- World-class mountain biking, outstanding craft beer, and a music scene that punches well above the city’s weight. A Bay Area writer who has been visiting Santa Cruz since childhood gave her take on how to spend a perfect weekend there. N.Y. Times
- An Alabama man pretending to be a Stanford student lived on the campus for nearly a year, bouncing between dormitories. Students said William Curry posed as a sophomore studying pre-med and claimed he was recruited to the track and field team. Stanford Daily | SFist
- In a packed town hall meeting, merchants in one of San Francisco’s most high-profile shopping districts told city leaders that the crime situation had become untenable. Some said they begun to arm themselves. S.F. Chronicle
- In 2002, David Coulson walked into a garage in Long Beach and stole $14. He had no violent crimes on his record. Yet a judge gave him 35 years to life. Two weeks ago, he was released by a judge who said the case “shocks the conscience.” The Guardian
- The technology writer Nilay Patel welcomed Elon Musk to “hell”: “Twitter is a disaster clown car company that is successful despite itself, and there is no possible way to grow users and revenue without making a series of enormous compromises that will ultimately destroy your reputation and possibly cause grievous damage to your other companies.” The Verge
Thanks for reading!
The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
Make a one-time contribution to the California Sun.
Give the gift of the Sun.
Forward this email to a friend.
The California Sun, PO Box 6868, Los Osos, CA 93412
Wake up to must-read news from around the Golden State delivered to your inbox each morning.