Good morning. It’s Wednesday, Oct. 4.
- Kevin McCarthy says “he wouldn’t change a thing.”
- Laphonza Butler is sworn in as California’s next senator.
- And rampant sexual misconduct at L.A. County school.
In the end, Kevin McCarthy was doomed by just eight members of his own party and a united caucus of Democrats. The extraordinary ouster of the House speaker on Tuesday, the first in history, was the culmination of a tumultuous nine months during which the always-smiling Californian alienated both Democrats and hard-line Republicans. “When the critical moment came, no one was willing to race to his rescue,” wrote veteran correspondent Carl Hulse. McCarthy, who said he wouldn’t seek the job again, assured reporters that he had no regrets. “I feel fortunate to have served,” he said. “I wouldn’t change a thing.” N.Y. Times | Washington Post
- Rep. Patrick McHenry, the acting speaker, immediately ordered former Speaker Nancy Pelosi to vacate her honorary Capitol office. Pelosi called it “a sharp departure from tradition.” Politico | S.F. Chronicle
As of Saturday, Laphonza Butler didn’t even know she was in the running to be California’s next senator. On Tuesday, the former union leader was sworn into the post by Vice President Kamala Harris in a ceremony steeped with historic significance. The columnist Philip Bump noted that about 2,000 people have ever served in the U.S. Senate. Roughly 3% have been women; 0.6% have been Black; and 0.1% openly gay. Until Butler, 44, only two have been Black women and none have been an openly gay Black person. Washington Post | A.P.
- For years, California government seemed locked in place, with an aging set of leaders clinging to power. In a week, the last vestiges of that order were upended. L.A. Times
Kaiser Permanente is bracing for what could be the largest strike by healthcare workers in U.S. history after negotiations with a coalition of unions stalled on Tuesday, leaving the two sides hours away from a threatened three-day strike. Barring a last-minute breakthrough, roughly 68,000 Kaiser employees in California planned to walk out in an action that company officials said would disrupt non-urgent care but spare emergency departments. Kaiser employees have demanded better wages and solutions to what they describe as a “staffing crisis.” Reuters | Bloomberg
California’s reservoirs were still brimming at the end of the water year, which resets each Oct. 1, even as a growing El Niño raises the possibility of another wet winter. After the sixth-wettest year on record, officials said the Central Valley’s federally managed reservoirs were holding more than double their historic average. “Big picture, this was as close to a miracle year as you can get,” said Karla Nemeth, California’s top water official. Bloomberg | Bay City News Service
Starbucks announced that it would close seven locations in San Francisco, adding to the city’s vacancy crisis. A corporate spokesman cited “several factors,” declining to elaborate. While there are nearly 60 Starbucks across the city, the stores targeted for closure are concentrated squarely in the city’s downtown or nearby. That area has experienced a wave of retail departures over the last year that businesses have attributed to dwindling foot traffic, shoplifting, and employee safety. SFist | S.F. Chronicle
San Francisco regulators on Tuesday delivered a citation to a “sleep pod” startup that has become the latest symbol of the city’s affordability crisis. Brownstone Shared Housing offers 4-foot-tall spaces in stacked bunk beds for $700 a month, attracting a number of renters who work in tech. After stories about the arrangement went viral, the city dispatched inspectors who accused the company of violating several permitting laws, including an illegal shower and unsafe door lock. SF Standard
A Korean menu of unusual sophistication and precision, classic Moroccan dishes dressed in seasonal garb, and a standout practitioner of the Mission-style burrito.
California’s largest unspoiled coastal bay, Tomales Bay, is as little as an hour’s drive — and a world away — from the bustle of the urban Bay Area. The slim 15-mile inlet along the Point Reyes Peninsula is a place of intense serenity, where nature hums, the water sits calm, and humans are typically scarce. The place to stay is Nick’s Cove, a row of 1930’s era restored cabins on stilts above the shoreline, wrote Outside magazine.
Give something they’ll open every day.
Two years ago, Los Angeles Unified School District gave teachers an ultimatum: Get vaccinated against Covid-19 or lose your job. Last week, the district rescinded the mandate, saying it was not longer necessary. Now, teachers who defied the mandate and got fired are demanding their jobs back, along with back pay and an apology. They held a protest at district headquarters on Monday waving banners that read “LAUSD respect employee medical freedom.” The district’s response, in effect: Don’t hold your breath. L.A. Daily News
A computer teacher openly pursued girls, kissing them and complimenting their bodies, girls said.
A tennis instructor teacher had sex with a student when she was 15, she said.
A journalism teacher groomed multiple girls for sex, even living with one during her senior year.
A deeply reported investigation found a decades-long pattern of sexual grooming and harassment by teachers at a high school in the city of Rosemead, on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County. In many cases, administrators performed a cursory inquiry, then allowed the teachers back into the classroom. Insider
“Beautiful bodies in beautiful motion in the world’s most beautiful medium.”
Before Tom Curren became the world’s most popular surfer and Al Merrick became one of the most influential surfboard makers, the pair were friends in early 1980s Santa Barbara. The photographer Jimmy Metyko was there to capture it all. His work is showcased in a new photo volume on one of surfing’s most fertile periods. N.Y. Times
- More of Metyko’s photos. 👉 JimmyMetykoDesign.com
“I do ballet and the ‘hood loves me.”
Kylie Jefferson began training as a ballerina at age 4 and was accepted into L.A.’s elite Debbie Allen Dance Academy at age 6. She’s never looked back. The filmmaker Sterling Hampton made a short documentary about Jefferson called “Kylie” that explores being Black in the world of ballet, where ideas of perfection collide with those of race. Accepted into the Sundance Film Festival this year, it’s a love letter to both Jefferson and Los Angeles. Vimeo (~5 mins)
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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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