Good morning. It’s Wednesday, June 22.
- Gavin Newsom picks fights like a presidential candidate.
- Hard times in the former lumber town of Orick.
- And UC San Diego hands out first-ever surf scholarship.
For months, Gov. Gavin Newsom has been taking swipes at red-state governors. Last week, he joined Donald Trump’s social media network and announced that he was “going to be on there calling out Republican lies.” While Newsom says he has no interest in running for U.S. president, the politics writer Blake Hounshell noted, he “keeps picking exactly the kinds of fights that presidential candidates like to pick.” N.Y. Times
California had a teacher shortage before the pandemic, which only pushed more educators toward the exit. With school now out for summer, many are calling it quits. Wendy Grider, who decided to leave her fourth-grade teaching job in Rocklin, cited growing vitriol from parents: “The reason I stayed in teaching was for the actual teaching, and for the kids, which is really what you think it should be all about. Unfortunately, it’s turned into a very small percentage of the job.” Wall Street Journal
“Voters have lost their patience.”
Support for legal marijuana in California has only increased since 2016, when voters ended prohibition of the drug. But a provision in the law gave cities and counties discretion over whether to ban cannabis businesses — and more than 60% did. That’s now led to campaigns across the state aimed at prying open the holdouts one by one. A consultancy tracked voter initiative drives in roughly two dozen cities over just the last year. CalMatters
Cruising is shedding its stigma. The tradition of driving leisurely down the boulevard was forged after World War II in the working-class neighborhoods of the San Fernando and San Joaquin valleys. Local ordinances sought to put a stop to the fun. But cities are increasingly experiencing a change of heart. In the last five months, repeals of cruising bans have been advanced or approved in National City, Sacramento, and San Jose. Mercury News
In 2009, the city of Richmond began experimenting with paying young men not to shoot each other. The controversial approach has since been copied in numerous other cities, including Fresno, which launched Advance Peace last year. But then in April, an employee with the group was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and two gun crimes. Mayor Jerry Dyer and other cities leaders have now cast doubt on funding the group, enraging supporters who say the program works. Fresno Bee | San Joaquin Valley Sun
NPR’s “Planet Money” paid a visit to Orick, a town that serves as a gateway to Redwood National and State Parks yet looks like the setting for a zombie movie. “Driving through the town on Highway 101 to get to the park, you pass boarded-up motels, ramshackle houses, rusted-out cars, and properties that look like junkyards,” Greg Rosalsky wrote. Here’s the story of how a once-vibrant lumber town was sold a false promise of tourism. 👉 NPR
Amazon said its delivery drones would bring the future to Lockeford, a rural ranch town in the San Joaquin Valley. But in interviews, locals were taken by surprise and some seemed less than thrilled. Naydeene Koster said she worried the drones would frighten her livestock. Tim Blighton, a cement contractor, confessed to once threatening to shoot down a neighbor’s drone. “They’re invading our privacy,” he said of Amazon. Washington Post
After years of pressure, California officials voted unanimously to change the name of a lakeside recreation area near Sacramento called Negro Bar. The name is believed to have originated in reference to the many Black miners that camped in the area during the Gold Rush. For the time being, it will be called Black Miners Bar while plans are made to finalize a new name by year’s end. Sacramento Bee | A.P.
The stories of Black cowboys in the old West have been overlooked, but more than 8,000 of them rode in the cattle drives of the late 1860s. The photographer Gabriela Hasbun spent more than a decade chronicling how that history reverberates in the Oakland gathering of a touring Black rodeo, the only one in America. Her work is now part of a gorgeous new volume titled “The New Black West.” Hyperallergic | Sunset
See more of Hasbun’s work. 👉 @gabrielahasbun
Jurors in a Los Angeles County civil trial found that Bill Cosby sexually abused a 16-year-old girl at the Playboy Mansion in 1975. He was ordered to pay $500,000. Judy Huth, now 64, and a high school friend met Cosby on a film set and accepted an invitation to go to the mansion, where she said he forced her to perform a sex act. Huth’s win was the culmination of a seven-year legal fight. “It’s been torture,” she said. “To be ripped apart, you know, thrown under the bus and backed over. This, to me, is such a big victory.” A.P. | L.A. Times
UC San Diego, in La Jolla near some of the country’s finest waves, just handed out the first-ever surf scholarship. The recipient is 19-year-old pre-med student Makena Burke, who honed her skills growing up in the beach town of Ventura. She collected the college women’s state title in March and hopes to one day win Olympic gold. Inertia | Stab Magazine
Southern California whale watchers are reporting the first blue whale sightings of the season. The largest creatures known to have ever existed, blue whales have tongues as heavy as an elephant and hearts as big as a golf cart. They acquire their size by feasting on krill, abundant off California during the summer months. Mark Girardeau, a photographer with Newport Coastal Adventure, recently captured the beauty above off the coast of Orange County. O.C. Register
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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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