Good morning. It’s Monday, Feb. 28.
|•||Silicon Valley faces pressure to respond to war in Ukraine.|
|•||Drought and disease put California’s forests in “mortal peril.”|
|•||And Hank the Tank gets a reprieve in South Lake Tahoe.|
Attack on Ukraine
Silicon Valley faced intensifying pressure to respond to the conflict in Ukraine, highlighting the industry’s power over global communications. Facebook, Google, and Twitter said they would limit Russian ads. Google Maps said it disabled some live traffic data that could expose Ukrainians to danger. And Elon Musk moved to ensure internet access across Ukraine with his Starlink satellite service. Wall Street Journal | NPR
Demonstrators marched in support of Ukraine in Santa Monica on Sunday.
Ringo Chiu/AFP via Getty Images
|•||People again poured onto the streets in California cities Saturday and Sunday to denounce Russian aggression. The city halls of San Francisco and Los Angeles were illuminated in Ukrainian blue and yellow. KTVU | L.A. Times | NBC San Diego|
|•||The Bay Area congressman Eric Swalwell was widely criticized late last week for floating the idea that Russian students be kicked out of U.S. Yet he doubled down: “If their people feel isolated from the world, the opposition inside the country will grow,” he said. S.F. Chronicle | SFGATE|
|•||How small is Ukraine? About one and a half Californias. 👇|
via The True Size Of …
Dead trees lined the shoreline at Lake Mary in Mammoth Lakes on Aug. 14, 2021.
George Rose/Getty Images
“Our forests are at mortal peril. They are absolutely at mortal peril.”
California’s trees continue to die at an alarming rate. A newly released aerial survey found an additional 9.5 million trees had died while in the grip of drought and disease in 2021, bringing the total since 2010 to more than 172 million trees. The die-off has turned large swaths of the Sierra Nevada from green to brown, providing ready kindling for wildfires and in some places threatening the outright loss of woodlands. S.F. Chronicle
Covid-19 death rates among Black Californians were once lower than the statewide average. But a new analysis found that since vaccinations became widely available last summer, their mortality rate has soared tenfold, surpassing other racial and ethnic groups. Researchers cite poverty, lack of insurance, and distrust of the health care system, but also vaccine hesitancy. African Americans have the lowest vaccination rate in the state, at 55%. CalMatters
Thick tule fog in Bakersfield.
The Central Valley’s tule fog is no ordinary fog. Most common between November and March, the block of grayish white is bracketed in place by surrounding mountains. Airlines cancel flights, schools postpone the start of the spring semester, and every so often blinded motorists plow into one another in chain-reaction car crashes. The L.A. Times took readers inside the beautiful and dangerous tule fog in the style of a graphic novel.
Here are people coming to California. 👇
And leaving. 👇
A woman wiped tears during a news conference on the death of Jorge Alvarado in Salinas on Saturday.
David Rodríguez Muñoz/The Californian via A.P.
The Salinas Police Department was flooded with flowers and cards over the weekend after a police officer was fatally shot during a traffic stop on Friday. The killing of Officer Jorge Alvarado, who was 30 years old and engaged to be married, was said to be the first on-duty police death in the farming town in 80 years. A suspect was arrested. Flags at the state capitol were lowered to half-staff. In a statement, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Alvarado “died a hero.” Salinas Californian | A.P.
“They’re trying to steal my house.”
In 2014, the city of Berkeley ordered Leonard Powell to address 33 code violations at his home, including minor issues such as missing siding and a loose toilet. Thus began a seven-year odyssey of forced repairs and fees that would cost Powell, now 79, more than $1.1 million on a home worth about $1.3 million. His experience, critics say, has become troublingly common as cities embrace “health and safety receiverships” to take control of homes perceived as a nuisance. S.F. Chronicle
Hank the Tank is getting a reprieve.
Wildlife officials said new DNA evidence exonerated the 500-pound black bear in many of the South Lake Tahoe home break-ins that had been attributed to him since the summer. At least two other bears were also barging into homes, they said. That means Hank, who has become something of a celebrity, will be left to roam free. KTVU | N.Y. Times
The hidden Calla Lily Valley leads down to the ocean.
The rare beauty of the calla lily has made it an object of artistic and spiritual fascination for centuries. Its name derives from the word for beauty in Ancient Greek, whose speakers believed the flower was created along with the Milky Way from the breast milk of a goddess. Few places showcase calla lilies so impressively as the wild Big Sur coast. Just north of Bixby Bridge, thousands of the white flowers guide a path down a hidden ravine to the Pacific. Calla Lily Valley, as it’s known, is in bloom now. Atlas Obscura | The Outbound
Bidding opens today on “The One,” a hilltop mega-mansion in Los Angeles that aims to make history as the priciest home sale ever in California. The 21-bedroom estate was first marketed by its flamboyant developer for $500 million. But critics have scoffed; one broker sarcastically described it as “100,000 square feet of drywall.” Still, members of Middle Eastern royal families, wealthy Asians, and U.S. tech billionaires have all shown interest, a Beverly Hills agent said. Bloomberg | L.A. Times
A new giraffe at the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens was wobbly but healthy.
Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
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