Good morning. It’s Friday, Feb. 2.
- Forecasters warn of extreme rain on the horizon.
- Senate hopeful Steve Garvey’s kids say he cut them off.
- And Lancaster teenager is accused of swatting spree.
Several meteorologists reacted with alarm to what they were seeing in their prediction models on Thursday ahead of an atmospheric river expected to spiral into California by Sunday. Of most concern appeared to be the coastal region from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, where forecasts called for as much as 10 inches of rain through Wednesday, accompanied by whipping winds. With soils already wet and slopes weakened by wildfire, mudslide risk is severe, officials said. If you live in that region, wrote meteorologist Anthony Edwards, “I am BEGGING you to prepare like your life is on the line next week.” S.F. Chronicle | L.A. Times
Steve Garvey, a former Dodger and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has touted himself as “a devoted family man” who will “restore moral integrity in Congress.” But two of his adult children, fathered with two women in between marriages, say he has declined to communicate with them. Garvey’s oldest child from his first marriage, Krisha Garvey, 49, says he cut off contact without explanation 15 years ago in a move that still brings her to tears. “There’s something lacking in him, something not authentic,” she said. L.A. Times
- A new poll showed Garvey tied for second ahead of the March 5 primary. Politico
“There must be consequences.”
Kevin McCarthy is still seeking vengeance against his intraparty enemies. A top McCarthy ally, Brian O. Walsh, is overseeing an effort to recruit primary challengers to take on members of the “Gaetz Eight” — the infamous group led by Rep. Matt Gaetz that engineered McCarthy’s ouster from his House speakership. Donors networks are said to be prepared to spend big on the project. Politico
In the fall of 2020, the families of 15 Oakland and Los Angeles students filed an audacious lawsuit against California, accusing it of failing to provide an equal education to Black, Latino, and low-income students when schools were shut down during the pandemic. Roughly 1 million students lacked the devices or connectivity to access online learning through September 2020. In a settlement announced Thursday, California agreed to spend $2 billion trying to correct the learning disparities that resulted. N.Y. Times | EdSource
Beginning in June last year, buses full of migrants from Texas began arriving in Los Angeles. Now they are showing up in Fresno. At least 16 families who crossed the southern border into Texas have been bussed to the Central Valley city since last month with no advance warning from Texas officials, according to Fresno leaders. Some have ended up on the streets, said City Councilmember Miguel Arias: “A city like ours doesn’t have the infrastructure to deal with asylum seekers.” Fresno Bee | San Joaquin Valley Sun
Reporter German Lopez wrote about San Francisco’s embrace of a “pro-drug culture”:
“Michael Discepola, director of health access at the program GLIDE, said that his organization wants people to use drugs more safely. Abstinence is not always the correct goal, he argued. When one client declared that he wanted to quit drugs, Discepola explained, GLIDE suggested ‘more realistic goals.'” N.Y. Times
On this week’s California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman chats with Roger Rapoport, author of the new book, “Searching for Patty Hearst: A True Crime Novel.” This Sunday will be the 50th anniversary of Heart’s kidnapping in 1974, a saga that captivated the nation. Rapoport discussed her bizarre transformation from heiress to a gun-toting revolutionary. “At the time she was kidnapped, she wasn’t just passive, she actually walked through United Farm Worker picket lines,” he said.
After a motorist hit and killed two boys in a Westlake Village crosswalk in 2020, sadness mixed with rage over the seeming indifference of the driver, who failed to immediately stop. But according to courtroom testimony on Thursday, the suspected driver, Hidden Hills socialite Rebecca Grossman, didn’t intend to stop at all. A medical technician said Grossman complained about a safety system that had disabled her Mercedes. “If they didn’t disable my car, I would have been at home in my garage right now,” Grossman said, according to the technician. L.A. Times
“SOMEONE JUST REPORTED ME TO THE FBI… LOL!”
A teenager from Los Angeles County is believed to have orchestrated hundreds of swatting incidents and bomb threats across the country, prosecutors said in a court filing. Alan Filion, 17, of Lancaster, was arrested this month in connection with a false report of a mass shooting at a Florida mosque in May 2023. In 911 audio, the caller said he was going to “commit a mass shooting in the name of Satan,” officials said. An investigation turned up evidence that Filion offered swatting services online under usernames related to “The Lord of the Rings.” Law&Crime | WIRED
The state’s corrections department ordered a statewide lockdown Wednesday after roughly 200 inmates rushed the guards at Ironwood State Prison in Riverside County in a melee that left eight officers and one inmate hospitalized. The melee was subdued with “chemical agents and non-lethal impact rounds,” the department said. The lockdown meant inmates statewide had to be confined to their cells for an estimated 24 hours. Mercury News | A.P.
Taggers defaced the glass exterior of at least 27 floors of a partially built luxury skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles. After photos and video of the tags spread online this week, police vowed to remove the graffiti and secure the site. Work on the $1 billion Oceanwide Plaza, directly across from Crypto.com Arena, stalled in 2019 after its Beijing-based developer ran out of money. L.A. Times
- Photojournalist John Schreiber captured drone views of the graffiti. 👉 @johnschreiber
In case you missed it
Five items that got big views over the past week:
- Writer Ryan Bradley and photographer Devin Oktar Yalkin set out on a quest to find the greatest trees in Los Angeles. See their fantastic photo essay. 👉 L.A. Times
- During one week in San Francisco last year, 24 people died from drug overdoses. In a powerful piece of reporting, Matthias Gafni profiled those who died based on interviews with the people who cared about them. S.F. Chronicle
- On Nov. 22, Amity Warme became one of the few rock climbers to ever ascend Elephant Rock’s Book of Hate in Yosemite. Video of her powering through one of the hardest sequences will make your hands sweat. YouTube | Gripped
- Someone in Venice Beach has been placing little white flags in mounds of abandoned dog poop in parks and neighborhoods, creating tiny works of protest. “Get therapy,” reads one of the flags. “Who raised you?” reads another. The Guardian
- Gov. Gavin Newsom went to South Carolina last week to stump for President Biden. A high school baseball coach asked him a question on behalf of his players: Does the governor know Snoop Dogg? Newsom pulled out his iPhone and showed him a text. “Gov.,” the message read. “it’s snoop.” Politico
Thanks for reading!
The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
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