Good morning. It’s Monday, March 20.
- Gov. Gavin Newsom proposes campuses for the homeless.
- Next atmospheric river takes aim at Southern California.
- And the wild architecture of Culver City’s Hayden Tract.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday proposed a 2024 ballot initiative that would push billions of dollars toward the creation of “campus-style” facilities with beds and treatment for the homeless population. The governor’s aides billed the idea as an opportunity to turn the page of decades of failure to reduce homelessness. “It’s unacceptable what we’re dealing with, at scale now, in the state of California,” Newsom said. “We have to address and come to grips with the reality of mental health in this state and our nation.” A.P. | L.A. Times
California’s legislators have been wading into the culture war issues of the day:
- A bill announced Friday would prohibit California from extraditing doctors who mail abortion pills, contraceptives, or transgender-related medications to patients in states where they may be illegal. Abortion foes say that would be unconstitutional. A.P.
- Two Republican lawmakers introduced a measure that would require schools to notify parents if their child publicly identifies as transgender. Critics say the move would amount to “forced outing.” EdSource | L.A. Times
- California already covers some legal fees for immigrants facing deportation. A new bill would extend that funding to those with violent felony records on the grounds that representation is a basic right. CalMatters
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a deal with the generic drugmaker Civica to produce insulin under the state’s own label with plans to make a typical dose available for $30. The cost has normally been around $300. The price cut is expected to save patients who pay out of pocket between $2,000 and $4,000 a year, Newsom said: “This is a big deal, folks. This is not happening anywhere else in the United States.” A.P. | L.A. Times
California’s 12th atmospheric river was expected to arrive on Monday, the spring equinox, with a blast of tropical moisture aimed primarily at the southern third of the state. Forecasters said the winds would be unusually powerful and the temperatures colder than the last storm, driving the snow line as low as 3,000 feet. “It is going to be a quick hitter, Monday night into Tuesday,” meteorologist Brian Hurley said. “But it is still going to pack a little bit of a punch.” Accuweather | Bloomberg
- Allensworth, the historic Black community north of Bakersfield, faced evacuations after floodwater rushed through a levee break. Officials said they think the breach was a deliberate act by someone with a backhoe. SJV Water
Regulators have canceled this year’s salmon season along the California coast, citing crashing fish populations as a result of the drought. It’s only the second time the ocean salmon fishery has been closed in state history, and it’s expected to be devastating for those whose livelihoods depend on the industry. The total financial loss has been estimated at $1 billion. “We have crews that depend on us, we have families to feed,” said Sarah Bates, who sells her catch in San Francisco. “I am not exactly sure what we are going to do this summer.” KGO | Mercury News
In San Francisco, a $100,000 salary feels like $36,445. That’s according to an analysis that calculated take-home pay after taxes then adjusted that amount for the local cost of living. Of the 10 large U.S. cities where take-home pay is worth the least, five are in California: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, and Oakland. “I think it’s intuitive: $100,000, a six-figure income — it feels like this big milestone,” said Susannah Snider, a financial planner. “But it also feels very different depending on where you live.” SF Standard
Mysterious streaks of light in the sky above Northern California on Friday night stunned St. Patrick’s Day revelers, who posted video to social media. Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist, later explained that the flaming orbs almost certainly came from communications equipment that was jettisoned from the International Space Station in February 2020. “What you’re seeing is some actually very small objects releasing a lot of energy, very high up, traveling extremely fast,” he said. N.Y. Times | A.P.
“It’s a failure of supervision.”
The Federal Reserve knew about Silicon Valley Bank’s risky practices as far back as 2019, repeatedly warning the company that its handling of risks had serious weaknesses, reports said. But the vulnerabilities were never fixed. The Reserve responded by rating the bank’s governance as deficient and banning it from growing through acquisitions. In early 2023, the Fed performed a risk assessment that found even more deficiencies. By then the bank’s days were numbered. N.Y. Times | Wall Street Journal
Few places in California have so much history packed into so small an area as Colfax, a forested village on the north fork of the American River. A prototypical rail town, it served as an early staging point for construction of the transcontinental railroad on its journey over the Sierra in the 1860s. The area’s fruit orchards later became an engine of wealth as the rail line offered access to new markets out east.
The best way to visit to Colfax is naturally by train. From the Bay Area, you can ride direct to the downtown station in three hours. From there, you can visit a church, theater, saloon, and at least 15 other historic buildings within a few blocks, then stay overnight at one of California’s oldest operating hotels, the Dutch Flat, just outside of town. Gold Country Media | Visit California
A San Diego County sheriff’s deputy drove through the security gate at a military base on Coronado Island late Friday, prompting guards to open fire on his vehicle, authorities said. No one was hurt. Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Cruz, who was off duty, was booked into jail on suspicion of drunk driving. “He was being aggressive,” Naval Base Coronado spokesperson Kevin Dixon said. “The security guards felt threatened by his actions.” NBC San Diego | City News Service
A new tax on mansion sales in Los Angeles kicks in April 1, and brokers are using it to try to goose sales, offering discounts on deals closed before the deadline. One Bel Air seller offered a $1 million closing bonus; another offered $2 million. Realtors bitterly opposed the tax, which will fund affordable housing, saying it would freeze mansion sales. Hollywood Reporter | Curbed
Halfway between downtown Los Angeles and the beach, a former aerospace manufacturing district has been reimagined as a place of architectural experimentation. Starting in 1980s, the collection of cheap industrial buildings known as the Hayden Tract attracted a stream of creative tenants, among them Ogilvy, Kodak, and Apple. As the district grew, so did the ambitions of the local architect Eric Owen Moss, who designed many of the large-scale projects. His latest creation, called the (W)rapper, has elicited passionate opinions. The critic Oliver Wainwright recently called it grotesque. The Guardian
Drone views of the (W)rapper. 👉 YouTube
Below, a tour of Culver City’s Hayden Tract.
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.