Good morning. It’s Wednesday, May 24.
- San Francisco mayor calls for tougher response to crime.
- Regulators order L.A. County to empty its juvenile halls.
- And golf hero rises from public course in Mission Viejo.
Tulare Lake now has more water than some California reservoirs. What had been a dry lake bed covered in crops now has a watery surface that spreads about 160 square miles, nearly as large as Lake Tahoe, and it’s expected to keep growing as snowmelt pours out of the Sierra. Officials said Monday that the worst-case scenarios appeared to have been averted thanks in part to the slow pace of melting. But Brian Ferguson, an emergency services official, warned: “We are not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination.” Fresno Bee | S.F. Chronicle
- “We’re right back where we started again.” The flooding of Pajaro on March 11 was just the latest in a series of catastrophes to hit the Central Coast community. KSBW
California has spent more than $1 billion in recent years to stem the fentanyl crisis, yet it’s only gotten worse. Drug overdoses in the state now kill more than twice as many people as car accidents, more than four times as many as homicides, and more than either diabetes or lung cancer, according to a new report from California Health Policy Strategies. Keith Humphreys, a Stanford professor of psychiatry, said there are no easy answers: “Even if we do a lot of things right in policy, we’re going to have a fair amount of deaths in the coming years.” California Healthline
In 1837, a Frenchman invented a way to produce images on silvered copper plates, creating the first permanent photographs. Daguerreotypes exploded in popularity, particularly in California, where settlers drawn by gold sought to flaunt their social standing. The California State Library created a fantastic online exhibit of 19th-century daguerreotypes, including John Rollin Ridge, pictured above. A Cherokee man, he came to California to find gold but became an author instead, writing what is thought to be the first Native American novel. Google Arts & Culture
Per the city charter, San Francisco’s mayor must attend a “question time” once a month before the Board of Supervisors. On Tuesday, the session was held in an outdoor square where drug use is common, a bid to force a public discussion of the city’s ills. Mayor London Breed was ruthlessly heckled by protesters who shouted “No more cops!” Someone threw a brick, which hit a student’s foot. After 11 minutes, the officials retreated indoors, where Breed called for a tougher response to street crime. “Force is going to have to be a part of it, whether people like it or not,” she said. S.F. Chronicle | KQED
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is planning to announced his White House bid Wednesday in a live audio conversation with Elon Musk on Twitter. The Republican leader’s decision to align himself with the eccentric businessman gives him access to Musk’s massive audience of 140 million Twitter followers. For Musk, who has said he would vote for DeSantis, the exclusive is the latest in a series of moves tugging Twitter in the direction of a conservative audience, the reporter Ben Smith said. Semafor | NBC News
When a South Lake Tahoe woman discovered that a coyote and her newborn pups had settled under her home last month, she called a local wildlife advocate named Toogee Sielsch to help clear them out. Sielsch told her a move could be fatal for some of the pups. So she left them alone and let Sielsch set up a camera to document the new family. His videos have been a hit on social media. @tahoetoogee | CBS Sacramento
State regulators on Tuesday gave Los Angeles County two months to move about 300 young people out of its juvenile halls after determining that the facilities are “unsuitable for the confinement of youth.” The decision ends a protracted back-and-forth over the county’s failure to address an acute staffing shortage that has led to violence and insufficient schooling, among other problems. “We have stayed in this process much longer than I’m comfortable with,” said board chair Linda Penner. L.A. Times | A.P.
On the day he died, Juan López was in a good mood. An immigrant from Nicaragua, he had been offered a small job painting over some graffiti on an ice cream shop’s wall in Los Angeles. He planned to use the money to buy a birthday cake for his girl, who was turning 9. That afternoon, on April 15, López was shot dead as he worked, police say, by a gang member who had made the graffiti and was offended. López’s sister said you can get killed in Nicaragua for opposing the government: “Here, they kill you because they want to.” L.A. Times
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Restaurants along San Diego’s coast spilled outside during the pandemic, offering Italian-style alfresco dining. It was popular with owners, beachgoers, and even local lawmakers. Even so, the Coastal Commission is now requiring the restaurants to replace any lost parking spaces in the name of beach access, a move that is expected to make many outdoor dining areas unfeasible. Darren Moore, a pizzeria owner, said the commission is dead wrong: outdoor dining has brought more people to the beach, he said. S.D. Union-Tribune
- Meanwhile in San Jose, leaders approved a plan to banish cars for good from a downtown street. San Jose Spotlight
A schools superintendent in Orange County ordered Nazi symbols and swastikas removed from a sixth-grade stage production of “The Sound of Music.” Robert Pletka, leader of the Fullerton School District, said he worried that images from the play set in pre-World War II Austria could be misused on social media. Some parents have pushed back, likening the prohibition to book banning and accusing the district of censoring history. Voice of OC | LAist
There’s a new hero in the golf world. A week ago, few people had heard of Michael Block, 46, a full-time golf instructor from a public course in Mission Viejo. Then he qualified to play in the final rounds of a major championship for the first time at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. If that wasn’t enough, on Sunday he drilled a hole-in-one on the 15th hole, sending the crowd into delirium. He finished tied for 15th, earning a payday of close to $290,000 and besting elite players such as Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth. Golf Digest | ESPN | A.P.
- “I’m living a dream.” See Block get emotional talking about his fairy tale week. 👉 @GolfonCBS
Bored with traditional classic-car shows, where vehicles are parked and admired, a hot-rod organization began running the Race of Gentlemen in 2012. The vintage drag-race event came to an airport in Riverside County in December. Engines roared, tires squealed, and vintage planes flew overhead. The New Yorker published a photo essay on a day of “old-school heaven.”
- See more photos in the San Bernardino Sun.
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The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
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