Good morning. It’s Friday, May 27.
|•||Gun scares close schools from San Diego to Redding.|
|•||Paradise experiences an unexpected real estate boom.|
|•||And a captivating encounter between sharks and dolphins.|
Please note: The newsletter will pause for a long holiday weekend. Back in your inbox Wednesday.
With school communities on edge after the massacre in Uvalde, numerous schools across California have been thrust into lockdowns since Tuesday.
|•||The authorities ordered lockdowns at six campuses in San Diego County on Thursday after someone phoned in a threat to shoot up schools. Terrified students in one classroom barricaded the door with a desk. “Kids should not have to live like this,” said Lisa Herndon, a mother. CBS 8 | S.D. Union-Tribune|
|•||Other gun scares closed schools in Atascadero and Sacramento on Thursday and in Redding on Wednesday. A student in Sonoma County was arrested for carrying an airsoft gun on campus, officials said. And in San Joaquin County, a teenager was arrested after posting a threat against a school on social media. The Tribune | KCRA | Record Searchlight | Press Democrat|
Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, signaled on Thursday that he would defy a subpoena from the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, McCarthy and Rep. Jim Jordan, who was also subpoenaed, accused the Democratic-led committee of “weaponizing government to attack Republicans.” The committee could potentially pursue criminal contempt of Congress charges against the men. N.Y. Times
Cats lounged in a cat sanctuary in Fresno County.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The California Assembly on Thursday approved a bill banning the declawing of cats for reasons of human convenience, such as preventing scratched furniture. Animal-rights activists have likened declawing to amputation since cats’ claws grow from the bone, not skin. California would be the third state to outlaw declawing after New York and Maryland. A.P.
While climate change has typically been associated with adversity to wildlife, California’s rattlesnakes appear to be loving it, researchers say. A Cal Poly study found that rattlesnakes prefer much warmer temperatures than what they typically encounter in nature. Len Ramirez of Ramirez Rattlesnake Removal in Auburn said he’s been busier than ever. “They’re everywhere,” he said of the vipers. SFGATE
After decades of negotiation, the nation’s largest dam removal project is finally set to begin in California’s far north. Kurtis Alexander explored what the unshackling of the mighty Klamath River will mean: “The native flora and fauna in the region are bound to prosper as algae-infested reservoirs at the dams are emptied, the flow of the river quickens and cools, and river passage swings wide open.” S.F. Chronicle
Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick in 2019.
Michael Short/S.F. Chronicle via A.P.
A jury on Thursday found that Oakland’s former police chief was fired in retaliation for whistleblowing about corruption within the civilian police commission. Anne Kirkpatrick, the first woman to lead the police department, was ousted by the commission in 2020 in a show of power that the S.F. Chronicle described at the time as “stunning.” Board members said they were displeased with the police chief’s handling of a 2018 shooting. But Kirkpatrick said she was targeted after accusing commissioners of abusing their positions for private gain. Courthouse News Service | Mercury News
When Sheri Palade found out that her home in Paradise had somehow survived the devastating Camp fire 2018, she was certain it would crater in value. Who would want to live in a burned-out town? But she was was wrong. “It’s worth more,” she said recently, laughing. Years after Paradise was almost totally wiped out, the bucolic town is now experiencing an unexpected real estate boom. Motherboard
Einstein, a boat dweller on Richardson Bay, in a still from the film “Anchored Out: Evicted at Sea.”
Katie Bernstein & Clara Mokri
In the 1950s, bohemians and artists established a vibrant community of houseboats along the Sausalito shoreline. As they came into conflict with the local authorities, some boat dwellers simply moved out into the open water. The “anchor-outs” of Richardson Bay have existed as a lawless floating village ever since. A fantastic short documentary chronicled the fight to save the community as a new harbormaster moves to banish all unseaworthy vessels by 2026. YouTube/New Yorker
On this week’s California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman chats with John Waters. They talked about the filmmaker’s new novel, rising political correctness, and how San Francisco has changed since he first arrived in 1970. Waters said the city has turned into Baltimore: “You go into WalMart and you want to buy some roll-on deodorant, it’s like Tiffany’s: you have get a guard to come out and undo it.”
Transportation officials voted on Thursday to kill a $6 billion plan to widen Los Angeles County’s 710 freeway that would have demolished more than 100 homes, in a major victory for community activists. In the works since 2005, the widening was intended to lessen traffic along a cargo corridor where predominantly Black and Latino residents endure some of the worst air quality in the country. “It’s monumental that one of the biggest urban areas of the country is really thinking twice before prioritizing goods movements over health,” an environmental activist said. L.A. Daily News | L.A. Times
Great white sharks are known to eat dolphins. Yet when the ocean drone pilot Carlos Gauna filmed seven white sharks surround a dozen bottlenose dolphins off the coast of Southern California a couple weekends ago, the dolphins appeared totally unfazed, even playful. Gauna called the interactions between the two species some the most spectacular he has ever seen. (Keep watching to see a great white breach completely out of the water). YouTube
In case you missed it
A view of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, with Stockton in the lower right.
Five items that got big views over the past couple weeks:
|•||In California, millions of people depend on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta for fresh water. Yet if an earthquake caused a major levee failure in the Delta, fresh water would instantly turn to sea water. Here’s a bracing read on “the biggest potential water disaster in the United States.” 👉 New Yorker|
|•||“Everybody, this is Kai; Kai, this is everybody.” A high school student from Mill Valley sat in with Pearl Jam at Oakland Arena after the Seattle band’s drummer contracted the coronavirus. YouTube|
|•||A research group released a map that depicts fire risk down to the property level across the U.S. In California, about 100,000 properties face an extreme wildfire risk of at least 1% this year. The figure may seem small, but a 1% risk becomes a 26% risk over 30 years. Look up your home. 👉 Riskfactor.com|
|•||Boiling acid pits in Lassen Volcanic National Park, underground rafting on the North Fork of the American River, and a camel dairy in the high desert east of San Diego. The travel journalist John Bartell gave his picks for 10 summer road trips in the Golden State. ABC10/YouTube (~4:45 mins)|
|•||Jessica Hester, a science journalist, visited one of the biggest freestanding boulders in the world. Giant Rock is reached by driving several miles along a dusty unpaved trail in the Mojave Desert. When you start to wonder if you’re lost, the boulder finally appears in the distance. Up close, it’s mind-blowing. YouTube (~5 mins)|
Wake up to must-read news from around the Golden State delivered to your inbox each morning.