Good morning. It’s Friday, July 14.
- Heat wave threatens new record temperatures.
- Former California police chief convicted in Jan. 6 riot.
- And the N.Y. Times spends 36 hours in Santa Barbara.
It’s rare for Republicans to score victories in Sacramento, but they erupted in applause Thursday when an Assembly committee reconvened to approve a Republican proposal to stiffen penalties for child traffickers. Democrats had blocked the measure earlier this week over worries about incarceration rates, drawing bipartisan outrage that eventually led the lawmakers to backpedal. A.P. | Mercury News
- Anita Chabria: I don’t support sex traffickers. “But I also do not support new laws with old problems.” L.A. Times
Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed Thursday to provide social studies textbooks to Temecula elementary school students after the district’s school board rejected the book because it made reference to the gay rights leader Harvey Milk. “If these extremist school board members won’t do their job, we will — and fine them for their incompetence,” Newsom said. School board President Joseph Komrosky, who referred to Milk as a “pedophile,” said Newsom had “mischaracterized not only what has occurred, but why.” L.A. Times | Press-Enterprise
After several days of rising temperatures, now comes the real heat. The heat wave blanketing the Southwest is expected to lift temperatures across much of the California interior into the 100s and 110s between Saturday and Monday. The climatologist Daniel Swain said Death Valley could see highs above 130 degrees, “which (if it occurs) would either tie or break record for the hottest temperature reliably measured on Earth.” Much of the coast, however, is expected to stay relatively cool thanks to stubborn winds off the ocean, meteorologists said. San Francisco, Monterey, and Morro Bay could barely crack 70 degrees. Weather Channel | Fox Weather | Accuweather
Latest temperature outlooks:
- The North Coast
- The Sacramento Valley
- The Bay area
- The San Joaquin Valley
- Los Angeles area
- Southern California
On this week’s California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman talks with Joe Hagan, who wrote a recent feature in Vanity Fair titled “Can Anyone Fix California?” An East Coaster, Hagan said he began to notice a vibe shift during his visits to California in recent years. “When everywhere you look on the margin of your vision is this human tragedy it begins to change your view of things,” he said.
A 1929 courthouse hailed as the “grandest Spanish Colonial Revival structure ever built.” A 37-acre wonderland of more than 3,000 types of plants. And a celebrated taco stand with dishes inspired by the chef’s Guadalajaran mother.
The N.Y. Times travel desk gave Santa Barbara the “36 Hours” treatment.
A year after San Francisco voters ousted their city’s reform-minded district attorney, a group across the bay has now filed paperwork to seek the recall of another progressive prosecutor, Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price. The county’s first Black district attorney, Price has faced pushback from critics who say she is soft on crime. Oakland political consultant Jim Ross said the campaign would be arduous and expensive. “But if it does get qualified on the ballot,” he added, “any elected official is in trouble at that point.” Mercury News | Oaklandside
“I do not want to live in the DMV.”
Office-to-home conversions have increasingly been promoted as a solution to the twin crises of soaring office vacancy rates and chronic housing shortages. But a recent $520,000 listing in Marin County has attracted ridicule for the evident laziness of the conversion. Jessica More, who lampoons property listings on her TikTok account, Zillowtastrophes, showed how owners basically slapped a kitchen against one wall, left the commercial carpeting intact, and rebranded what looks like a conference room as a bedroom. SFGATE
The Hollywood actors’ union voted Thursday to join screenwriters in the first joint strike in 63 years, effectively shutting down the $134 billion American movie and television business. The crux of the dispute is over pay. Both actors and writers have demanded increased residual payments from streaming shows that typically have far shorter seasons and thus less pay than television shows did. And both want better guardrails around the use of artificial intelligence in generating scripts and likenesses of actors. The studios accused union leaders of walking away from “historic” increases in pay. Washington Post | L.A. Times
- “It is disgusting. Shame on them!” See union leader Fran Drescher’s fiery speech as the strike was announced. 👉@nowthisnews
- Disney chief Bob Iger said Thursday that the union demands “are just not realistic.” “It’s very disturbing to me,” he said. Variety
Lisa Marie Presley, the singer and only child of Elvis Presley, died in January as a result of a small bowel obstruction caused by scar tissue that developed after bariatric weight loss surgery years ago, the L.A. County Medical Examiner’s office said on Thursday. The toxicology report showed she had “therapeutic levels” of oxycodone that were not considered contributing factors. Presley had complained for months about abdominal pain but didn’t seek medical attention, the report said. She was found unresponsive at her home in Calabasas on Jan. 12 and died later that day. L.A. Times | A.P.
A former police chief of La Habra was convicted on Thursday of joining the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol with a hatchet in his backpack and intentions to halt the certification of presidential election results. Prosecutors said Alan Hostetter helped organize a “brigade” of California “fighters” who were expected to bring weapons with them to Washington. Hostetter, who represented himself in court, used his closing remarks to claim that the 2020 election was stolen and that the Capitol siege was a “federal setup” involving “crisis actors wearing costumes.” He faces decades in prison. Washington Post | A.P.
From the archive
Marilyn Monroe, artichoke queen of Castroville, once met the real Queen Elizabeth II in 1956. Monroe and husband Arthur Miller had rented a manor in Englefield Green for four months while the actress performed in her latest film, “The Prince and the Showgirl.” According to author Michelle Morgan’s account, Monroe was fascinated by the queen and beseeched her publicist to arrange tea at Buckingham Palace. That never happened, but she got the opportunity to meet Elizabeth at a royal film performance in London on Oct. 29, 1956. Monroe, in a showy gown that was said to break royal protocol, curtsied and held out her hand. She said later that the queen “radiates sweetness.” The women were both 30 years old. Town&Country Magazine
- See footage of the meeting. 👉 YouTube
In case you missed it
Five items that got big views over the past week:
- Herbert Fingarette, a contrarian philosopher who taught at UC Santa Barbara, argued in a 1997 book that fearing one’s own death was irrational. Years later, he realized he was wrong. In a poignant short film, the 97-year-old explained how he was forced to rethink everything. 👉 YouTube/The Atlantic (~18 mins)
- An aspiring documentary filmmaker wanted to make an exposé of a businessman with a checkered past. But to win his subject’s cooperation he chose an unorthodox strategy: He lied, promising that the film would portray him in a favorable light. When the ruse was exposed, all hell broke loose. L.A. Times
- At the UC Davis School of Medicine, officials found an innovative way to work around the state’s ban on affirmative action: adversity scores. It helped turn Davis into one of the most diverse medical schools in the country. N.Y. Times
- Stephen Henry bought his house in Los Angeles’ hip Silver Lake neighborhood in 1996. “I get mail from real estate agents asking if I would like to know the value of my house, because they have a buyer. I’m not in need,” he said. Henry is featured in a new photo book on California’s quirkiest homes. The Guardian
- California wildlife officials said they planned to capture a renegade sea otter that has been accosting surfers off the Santa Cruz coast and in one case stole a board. Otter 841 at first struck surfers as cute and friendly, but her behavior has grown increasingly aggressive since mid-June. See video of a recent attack. 👉 @NativeSantaCruz
An earlier version on this newsletter misstated the city where Marilyn Monroe was once named Artichoke Queen. It was Castroville, not Castro Valley.
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 a subscription as a gift.
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.