Good morning. It’s Wednesday, Oct. 5.
- Voters appear poised to soundly reject sports betting.
- Young Californians experience widespread depression.
- And a Black photographer’s overlooked work on the Beats.
Turns out Californians are not down with sports betting. A UC Berkeley poll found that only 31% of voters support Proposition 26, which would allow sports wagering at casinos, and only 27% back Proposition 27, which would allow betting online. The campaign for sports betting has itself been the biggest bet in state election history, with an astounding $410 million spent in pursuit of billions in potential revenue. L.A. Times | Mercury News
California’s young adults are not doing well. A survey by the grantmaking foundation California Endowment found that more than half of Californians ages 18 to 24 suffered depression in the last year, and a full third had suicidal thoughts. Asked to pick a word that described how they felt about their generation’s future, their two top answers were uncertain and worried. L.A. Times
A jury on Tuesday found a former FBI agent guilty of accepting bribes to provide sensitive information to the Los Angeles Armenian underworld. Prosecutors said Babak Broumand, who served in the bureau’s San Francisco office, was introduced to mob figure Edgar Sargsyan at a Beverly Hills cigar club in 2014. The relation soon turned corrupt, they said, as Broumand helped protect Sargsyan’s mafia clients in exchange for monthly payments of $10,000, a Ducati motorcycle, sex workers, and other bribes. Los Angeles Magazine | SF Standard
Elon Musk on Monday offered to buy Twitter at the originally agreed-on price of $44 billion, a stunning turnaround after months of trying to get out of the deal. The move came less than two weeks before the two sides were set to face off at trial. Twitter said it would accept the offer, though company leaders were said to remain skeptical. Legal experts suggested the world’s richest man realized his weaker position. “Musk is finally listening to his lawyers,” said Anat Alon-Beck, a law professor. Washington Post | A.P.
A man suspected of kidnapping a Sikh family in the San Joaquin Valley tried to kill himself on Tuesday as detectives closed in, authorities said. Jesus Salgado, 48, is hospitalized in critical condition. Officials said 8-month-old Aroohi Dheri; her parents Jasleen Kaur, 27, and Jasdeep Singh, 36; and her uncle Amandeep Singh, 39, were kidnapped at gunpoint on Monday from their business, a gas station just south of Merced. They remain missing. Investigators identified Salgado after he used a victim’s ATM card, officials said. KSEE | A.P.
A Bay Area judge vacated the murder convictions of two Black men on Monday, finding that prosecutors had injected racial bias into the trial by quoting the men’s rap lyrics, court records showed. The ruling by Judge Clare Maier was the first to find that the use of rap lyrics violated a 2020 state law designed to limit racism in criminal trials. The decision came a week after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an expansion of the law that explicitly bars the use of rap lyrics as evidence in such cases. N.Y. Times
The Bay Area physicist John Clauser won the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday along with two fellow physicists, Alain Aspect of France and Anton Zeilinger of Austria. While at UC Berkeley in 1972, Clauser figured out that subatomic particles can be linked to each other even if separated by billions of light-years of space, a mind-blowing discovery that became a core concept of quantum mechanics. Clauser, a retiree who now spends his days sailing in the San Francisco Bay, got the news from Stockholm at 2:50 a.m. The phone didn’t stop ringing all day. Mercury News | Berkeleyside
When the Beat Generation poet Diane di Prima died in October 2020, several obituaries carried a somber portrait of her that was credited to her estate. The unnamed man behind the camera was James O. Mitchell, a Bay Area photographer and former assistant to Dorothea Lange. His work on the Beat writers in San Francisco and New York was prolific and evocative, wrote the art historian Delphine Sims. Yet, she added, “because Mitchell did not always perform the capitulating and ever-grateful Black person, he often found himself ostracized from the photography world.” Sims said it’s time Mitchell got his due. Aperture
The growers of the Imperial Valley draw more water from the Colorado River than all of Arizona and Nevada combined. The region in California’s arid southeast is almost entirely dependent on an 80-mile irrigation canal that delivers enough river water each year to cover roughly 800 square miles of farmland with 5 feet of water. NPR visited “the California farmers awash in Colorado River water, even in a drought.”
An Inglewood rapper named Half Ounce was fatally shot while walking home Monday night, making him the third Los Angeles rapper to be killed in less than a month. On Sept. 12, the rapper PnB Rock, 30, was killed during a botched robbery at Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles in South Los Angeles. On Sept. 24, Kee Riches, 23, was fatally shot along with another man in Compton. Half Ounce, a 36-year-old father of three children whose real name was Latauriisha O’Brien, released a track in May called “Gang Bangin.” L.A. Times | KABC
An attorney representing the mother of a Los Angeles police officer who died during a training exercise in May said on Monday that the officer may have been targeted for retaliation. The lawyer, Brad Gage, said Houston Tipping, 32, was poised to reveal information about an alleged 2021 sexual assault by four LAPD officers. One of the accused officers was present when Tipping was fatally injured, Gage said. Police Chief Michel Moore called the claims “baseless.” An LAPD report concluded that Tipping’s death was “a tragic accident” caused while grappling. CBSLA | KABC
In a court filing in Los Angeles, Angelina Jolie accused her ex-husband Brad Pitt of physically being abusive to her and their children during a 2016 plane ride. The allegation came as part of a legal battle over a French winery they once owned together. According to Jolie, Pitt flew into a rage during a flight from France to California, grabbed her by the head and shook her, then choked one of their children and struck another when they tried to defend her. A representative for Pitt said it was “completely untrue.” N.Y. Times | CNN
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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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