Good morning. It’s Monday, Dec. 4.
- Cal State faculty to begin a week of rolling strikes.
- Oakland teachers plan “Palestine teach-in” for students.
- And a pair of flamingos take up residence in San Diego Bay.
The political journalist Ronald Brownstein argued that the best way to understand last week’s strange debate between Govs. Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis is to think of them less as representatives of different political parties than as ambassadors from different countries: “It was something like watching an argument over whether the liberal government in France or the conservative government in England produces better outcomes for its people.” The Atlantic
Cal State faculty are planning to hold a series of rolling strikes at four campuses this week as they seek 12% wage increases. Negotiators have said the system cannot afford to pay that much. But a new analysis showed that university leaders have seen their salaries increase at a substantially greater rate than those for faculty over the past 15 years. Since 2007, the chancellor’s base salary has soared 76%, while wages for campus presidents have risen an average of 43%. For lecturers, the increase has been 22%. CalMatters | Mercury News
There are still cities in California where the median home value falls below $200,000. A new ranking of the places with the state’s lowest cost of living found them concentrated mostly in the Southern California desert, along with handful of suburbs in the Central Valley and remote forested enclaves north of Sacramento. In tiny China Lake Acres, 70 miles east of Bakersfield, the median home is $151,000 and the school system gets a rating of A-. In beautiful Burney, near Mount Shasta, the median rent is $871. Niche
In 1995, Jim Goldberg released his seminal photobook “Raised By Wolves,” a self-described “work of fiction that’s completely true” about the California street kids fumbling through lives beset by addiction and violence. “I wanted to look at those people who were outsiders, like I felt I was,” he told Magnum Photos magazine. Nearly 30 years later, the pictures are disturbing, beautiful, and sadly timeless. Magnum Photos
- Outtakes from “Raised By Wolves.” 👉 Blind Magazine
A group of Oakland teachers is urging their colleagues to participate in a “Palestine teach-in” for students on Wednesday, calling it an act of “education, labor power, solidarity, and resistance.” Lesson plans include a Palestinian-themed alphabet book, with the letter I representing “intifada,” and an activity that encourages students to identify protest chants in support of Palestine. The district warned against the effort. “It is the job of educators to teach students how to think critically, not to teach them what to think,” it said in a statement. S.F. Chronicle | KGO
“He’d sit there and scream, like, ‘Stop it, please’ or ‘I’ll behave’ … that was his life.”
Roman Lopez was 11 years old when he was reported missing in Placerville on Jan. 11, 2020. That night, detectives found the boy’s body curled up at the bottom of a 55-gallon storage container in his family’s basement. He was gaunt and wearing nothing but a diaper. In a harrowing piece of investigative journalism, Peter Jamison reconstructed how Roman’s stepmother exploited lax home schooling laws to conceal years of torment. Washington Post
Droughts have wrecked some of California’s most valuable crops, such as the tomatoes used for pizza sauces and ketchup. That’s prompted seed companies to harness their billion-dollar research and development budgets to create hardier crops. In Woodland, a vegetable breeder named Taylor Anderson mixes tomatoes in a quest to produce varieties capable of growing with as much as 50% less water. “We haven’t hit the doomsday scenario of just not having just enough water to do our basic agricultural needs,” he said, “but that day is coming and it’s coming soon.” Wall Street Journal
Sitting near a firepit at a Napa winery in 2015, longtime friends Elon Musk and Larry Page got into a spirited debate about the future of humankind. Page, the Google chief executive, envisioned a digital utopia in which humans merge with artificial intelligence and compete for resources. If that happens, machines will destroy humanity, Musk responded. Page then called Musk a “specieist,” a person who favors humans over the digital life-forms of the future. That insult was enough to derail their friendship. N.Y. Times
- U.S. lawmakers are increasingly calling for the government to cut ties with Musk’s companies. That will be difficult. Washington Post
During the summer’s “Barbie” movie mania, a couple in San Jose decided to paint their house, a historically significant 1953 Eichler, in shades of blazing pink for Halloween. They liked is so much that they decided to keep it that way. Jessica Milden said it’s been thrilling to shake up the neighborhood. “If you look at houses these days, they’re all the same thing,” she said. “This is bold.” Eichler Network
A day after police asked for help identifying a serial predator attacking homeless people in Los Angeles, they announced the arrest on Saturday of a suspect linked to the killings of three men. Chief Michel Moore said Jerrid Joseph Powell, 33, shot men in three different neighborhoods at the end of November for no apparent reason. “It was chilling and I’ve been in this work for four-plus decades,” he said, describing footage from one homicide. “The cold-blooded manner in which he walks up and shoots this individual without any hesitation, no interactions.” L.A. Times | A.P.
In 2018, a flamingo mysteriously appeared in a marsh along San Diego Bay. Dubbed Floyd, the pink bird became a minor celebrity, even as some locals worried that it was lonely. Five years later, Floyd is still there and now has a friend. Locals are calling the second flamingo Flo. While many would like to think they are a couple, a wildlife official told NBC San Diego that their sexes are unknown. CBS8
- The wildlife photographer Tammy Ascher got some nice video of the flamingos. 👉 @tammy_ascher
A visual effects artist from Covina named Jason Chou has an unusual hobby: inserting images of Paddington, the marmalade-loving bear, into scenes from popular films and television shows. For three years, Chou has been unfailingly consistent, posting one new Paddington-related image every day. On Sunday, he did his 1,000th post, pictured above, in which Paddington appears in John Ford’s 1956 western “The Searchers.” N.Y. Times
- Scroll back through Chou’s Paddington bear cinematic universe. 👉 @jaythechou
Thanks for reading!
The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
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