Good morning. It’s Thursday, Nov. 21.
Today’s edition: 12 items,
|•||Rowdy protests greet Ann Coulter at U.C. Berkeley.|
|•||The strange world of earthquake conspiracy theorists.|
|•||And one of the best urban campsites in the country.|
One of the main obstacles to California’s ambitious renewable energy goals is energy storage. Reliance on solar and wind power requires a massive expansion in our capacity to store energy for use when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. So energy experts have been delighted by some eye-popping data: The cost of battery energy storage has plummeted 76 percent since 2012. KQED
In a new report, nonpartisan legislative analysts said California is on track to have a budget surplus of $7 billion next year. It also showed that the world’s fifth-largest economy has enough saved in reserves to weather a typical recession. “The budget picture is strong and favorable. Full stop,” an analyst said. Sacramento Bee | A.P.
A couple views from California’s wet weather:
Berkeley student Magaly Mercado held a protest sign during a speech by Ann Coulter on Wednesday.
Several people were arrested at U.C. Berkeley as hundreds of protesters tried to disrupt an appearance by conservative pundit Ann Coulter. One ticket holder was attacked and injured, police said. Others were escorted into the venue by police in riot gear. The talk, titled “Adios, America,” went on as planned. Berkeleyside | SFGate.com
IRI Consultants offers “union vulnerability assessments” and boasts of helping a large health care company persuade employees to avoid a union election. Now it’s been hired by Google as part of an apparent crackdown on employee activism. It’s a startling turn for a company renowned for its worker-friendly culture. N.Y. Times | CNET
A naming rights deal for Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center gave Jeff David an opening to steal money.
Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via Getty Images
He started by siphoning off $30,000 from an ad buy. Before long, Sacramento Kings executive Jeff David was stealing more than most of the players earned on the basketball court. Nobody suspected a thing for years as David netted $13 million through lies and forged signatures. Here’s the insane, and grippingly told, story of how the NBA’s most unlikely heist came crashing down. ESPN
Within six months of opening, a San Francisco grill had been robbed three times. The owner closed shop. Opening a restaurant is expensive, but the added cost of burglary and vandalism has some owners giving up. “No one wants to open a restaurant in San Francisco,” the owner of a chain said. S.F. Chronicle
Scientists asked the Kern County Fire Department to remove this wildly unscientific tweet. It didn’t.
A QAnon follower and other independent “researchers” have gained hundreds of thousands of followers sharing unfounded theories on seismology. Their bogus earthquake forecasts sometimes slip into the mainstream. After the July 4 Ridgecrest earthquake, for example, a fire department shared a tweet making an impossible prediction of another quake within 15 minutes. A police department in California City, citing “prototype instruments,” broadcast a similarly false and alarmist forecast. Vice
The latest work of a renowned French artist was created on an unlikely surface — the recreational yard of a maximum security prison in Tehachapi. Visible only from the sky, it depicts 48 current and former inmates. Their stories can be heard with an app. “I made a mistake when I was a child,” begins one. Artnet News | JR-art.net
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