Good morning. It’s Wednesday, Feb. 23.
|•||Cancers plague veterans who served at Monterey Bay base.|
|•||Los Angeles County prepares new order easing mask rules.|
|•||And a trucker convoy convenes in San Bernardino County.|
Curt Gandy, a former airplane mechanic, recalled being routinely doused with toxins at Fort Ord.
“No one told us.”
An Associated Press investigation found that veterans of Fort Ord, a former U.S. Army post on Monterey Bay, have a 35% higher rate of multiple myeloma diagnosis than the general U.S. population. The Army knew that chemicals were improperly dumped at Fort Ord for decades, documents revealed, yet even after the contamination was confirmed, military officials downplayed the risks.
A judge is preparing to rule on the constitutionality of a 2018 California law that set minimums for female representation in corporate boardrooms. The legislation has resulted in hundreds of additional board seats held by women. But California officials have testified that they have no intention of penalizing companies that fail to comply. David Levine, a UC Hastings Law professor, said that was telling: “The main reason you wouldn’t be enforcing it is you don’t think it’s legal either.” CalMatters | Bloomberg
California’s incentives for biofuel are attracting a host of companies looking to buy or sell.
Jessica Rinaldi/Boston Globe via Getty Images
As part of its climate push, California introduced subsidies aimed at increasing the use of natural gas produced from cow manure. That set off what some observers are calling a manure gold rush as developers flock to dairies as far as New York with business proposals. The problem, critics say, is that shipping fuel from coast to coast could have a perverse effect on emissions. “The longer the supply chain, the more methane emissions are going to occur,” said Tristan Brown, an energy expert. Politico | Wall Street Journal
|•||Los Angeles County officials said Tuesday that a new health order would allow people to go maskless in indoor venues that check for proof of vaccination. An announcment was expected within days. KABC | L.A. Times|
|•||Rancho Santa Fe School District, in San Diego County, became the latest to defy the state’s school mask mandate, telling students they could shed their masks indoors immediately. NBC San Diego | S.D. Union-Tribune|
|•||Dr. Eric Topol, of Scripps Research, said the pandemic is quieting. But he added: “There is a misconception that the virus is destined to evolve to a more benign form. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that the virus has an extraordinary ability to adapt — and it is unpredictable.” L.A. Times|
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The Washington Post published a searing deep dive on San Francisco’s struggle to fix the Tenderloin. It included this claim from District Attorney Chesa Boudin: “Most of the residents that I speak with aren’t particularly upset that there are drug sales happening there, but they are particularly upset with all of the collateral implications, with the groups of people congregating on corners, with the human misery.”
A fight over logging in Mendocino County could lead to the first agreement with Indigenous tribes to co-manage a state demonstration forest. Local activists have been fighting logging in Jackson Demonstration State Forest for decades. Now, as part of a renewed state focus on honoring tribal perspectives, Native Americans indigenous to the area have, in effect, taken a seat at the negotiating table. The only problem: State and tribal leaders don’t see eye to eye. L.A. Times
There’s a mountain town between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite where everyone gets around by snowmobile. Bear Valley, home to roughly 100 permanent residents, receives an average of about 5 feet of snow each winter. When it piles up along the town’s remote unplowed roads, the cars go idle and the snowmobiles roar to life. The TV reporter John Bartell did a fun profile. 👉 ABC10/YouTube (~4 mins)
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has not won the support of his subordinates.
Sarah Reingewirtz/L.A. Daily News via Getty Images
In George Gascón’s quest to keep people out of prison, the Los Angeles County district attorney has thrilled progressives but alienated many people inside his own office. Now a union poll of rank-and-file prosecutors has revealed how deep the frustration goes: a whopping 97.9% of respondents said they want Gascón out. Union leaders hope the result will resonate with Angelenos as a recall effort gathers signatures. Politico | New York Post
Organizers said as many as 1,000 semi truck drivers would gather in San Bernardino County on Wednesday to kick off a transcontinental People’s Convoy to Washington, D.C. Inspired by protests against Covid-19 mandates in Ottawa, the effort follows weeks of on-and-off promises of a start in California, including a Super Bowl rally that never materialized. The Defense Department authorized 700 National Guard members and 50 large tactical vehicles in anticipation of the convoy’s planned arrival on March 5. CNN | Victorville Daily Press
Phil Mickelson’s comments drew condemnation from fellow players.
Oisin Keniry/Getty Images
Here’s what the San Diego golfer Phil Mickelson said about his willingness to work on a proposed Saudi-financed golf league:
“They’re scary motherfuckers to get involved with. We know they killed [Washington Post columnist Jamal] Khashoggi and have a horrible record on human rights. They execute people over there for being gay. Knowing all of this, why would I even consider it? Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates.”
Bethany Farber, an aesthetician from Calabasas, was waiting for a flight at LAX last April when she was apprehended by TSA officers citing an arrest warrant in Texas. Farber explained that she’d never even been to Texas, pleading with them to double-check her identity. If they had, according to a new lawsuit, they might have learned that Farber, who has long blonde hair, shared little in common with the older, brown-haired Bethany Farber named in the warrant. Instead, she was locked up in a Los Angeles prison for 13 days. KTLA | CBS News
San Francisco once had a neighborhood cobbled together from old horsecars. In 1895, the Market Street Railway Company began selling its obsolete horse-drawn inventory, “$20 with seats, $10 without.” Within a few years, more than 100 horsecars and streetcars had been repurposed as housing for artists and low-income families along the dunes just south of Golden Gate Park. Dubbed Carville-by-the-Sea, the community included a café, a shoemaker’s shop, a church, and the headquarters of Falcons Women’s Bicycling Club.
In 1904, the New York Times declared the cottages of Carville “the queerest-looking houses that civilized human beings ever occupied.” In time, developers came knocking in search of real estate for San Francisco’s growing middle class. Carville vanished, and the Falcons ceremoniously torched their clubhouse on Independence Day in 1913. Yet one original structure has managed to survive to this day. It’s the last in the series of Carville photos below. FoundSF | Atlas Obscura
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