Good morning. It’s Monday, May 2.
|•||Gov. Gavin Newsom revives debate over Diablo Canyon closure.|
|•||How Tucker Carlson dominates cable with fear of immigrants.|
|•||And injuries soar after heightening of U.S.-Mexico border wall.|
The planned 2025 closure of California’s last remaining nuclear power plant had seemed like a done deal. But as the state transitions to renewables, worries over its ability to keep the lights on have revived the decades-old fight. Gov. Gavin Newsom says he has now asked the Diablo Canyon operator PG&E to consider what it would take to keep the plant open longer. “The governor is in support of keeping all options on the table,” a spokeswoman said. L.A. Times | A.P.
A dead giant sequoia in Sequoia National Forest on Dec. 2, 2021.
David Swanson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Over the past two years, wildfires destroyed nearly a fifth of the world’s giant sequoias. Scientists are now trying to recreate what was lost, planting thousands of sequoias that won’t reach maturity until long after they are gone. To ensure their survival in a warming world, some have also proposed a controversial idea: moving seeds to entirely new locations. Opponents denounce such strategies as “ecological manipulation.” S.F. Chronicle
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise visit to Ukraine’s capital over the weekend, making her the highest-ranking American official to visit the country since the start of Russia’s invasion. Drawing parallels to the American Revolution, the San Francisco Democrat pledged broad economic, military, and humanitarian support. “Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done,” she told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. A.P. | Politico
Charles Young in 1916.
Library of Congress
Charles Young was the first Black national park superintendent, blazing roads into Sequoia National Park in 1903. Born into slavery in Kentucky, he was also among the first African Americans to graduate from West Point and the first Black military attaché. Now, a century after his death, the Army has posthumously promoted him to the rank of brigadier general, citing the racism that blocked his rise when he was alive. The honor retroactively makes him the first Black American recognized with that rank. CNN
A homeless encampment along the American River Parkway trail in Sacramento.
Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images
In Sacramento, a November ballot measure aims to force a solution to the homelessness crisis: It would require the city to create enough shelter for 75% of its homeless population, and residents who refuse a bed would cleared out by law enforcement. The proposal has split Democrats. “Philosophies aside, we have 10,000 human beings without homes,” said Amanda Blackwood, a business leader. “What are we going to do about that? What will we do to make sure another 200 homeless people won’t die again this year?” Washington Post
Rivals of Netflix have seen a recent surge of job inquiries from Netflix employees, sources told the L.A. Times. Since January, Netflix shares have plummeted 70% as the Los Gatos company lost subscribers for the first time in more than a decade. It’s been a devastating blow for a company known for big bets and generous pay packages, often tied to stock options. On Thursday, an undisclosed number of jobs at the company were eliminated. L.A. Times
In an impressive feat of amateur sleuthing, a San Francisco father tracked down a van used in a theft outside his house. He called the police, who arrived to the scene — but then simply left. “Yes,” wrote the columnist Heather Knight, “police say they’re understaffed, their morale has sunk, and they don’t trust District Attorney Chesa Boudin to prosecute. But still, they have an important job to do — and in too many circumstances, they’re not doing it.” S.F. Chronicle
Kathy Boudin, center right, in 1969.
Bettmann archive, via Getty Images
Kathy Boudin, a former member of the radical Weather Underground and the mother of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, died on Sunday. Boudin was once one of the country’s most-wanted outlaws, living in hiding for years while periodically planting bombs in the name of overthrowing U.S. imperialism. On Oct. 20, 1981, she participated in a holdup of a Brink’s truck that left two police officers and a guard dead. Though Boudin was unarmed, she pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life. She was freed in 2003 and later taught at Columbia University. The cause of death was cancer. She was 78. Washington Post | SFGATE
Tucker Carlson, seen in 2008, has embraced increasingly strident views on immigration.
JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images
The New York Times published a major series charting how Tucker Carlson, who was born in San Francisco and raised in La Jolla, created “what may be the most racist show in the history of cable news — and also, by some measures, the most successful.” A few memorable bits:
|•||Following Carlson’s playbook, Fox executives ordered up so many stories on illegal immigration and nonwhite Americans caught in acts of crime that some employees gave it a nickname: “brown menace.”|
|•||Carlson is himself a descendant of a German immigrant. Henry Miller came to California in 1850 and worked as a butcher in San Francisco. He shifted to cattle raising and acquired vast lands across the San Joaquin Valley, some of it wrung from Mexican Californians unable to afford lawyers to prove their titles.|
|•||Carlson has described the California of his youth as a counterculture dystopia and his mother as abusive and erratic, saying she forced drugs on her children. He attributed his thick skin to his mother’s abandonment. “Criticism from people who hate me doesn’t really mean anything to me,” he said.|
The water limits imposed on 6 million residents of Southern California — requiring a 35% reduction in water use — have been described as unprecedented. But that target would count as a small measure of relief for some residents along the Central Coast. The village of Cambria was ordered to cut its water use by 40% last summer. More recently, Cambria and nearby Los Osos were ordered by the Coastal Commission to immediately halt all new development. The Tribune | L.A. Times
People used a ladder to get into California from Tecate, Mexico, on April 21, 2022.
In 2019, the Trump administration installed U.S.-Mexico border wall segments in California as tall as 30 feet, replacing barriers that were under 20 feet. But that didn’t stop people from trying to climb over them. As a result, the rate of injury and death has soared, according to a new study. Since 2019, the number of patients at two San Diego area trauma centers rose fivefold, to nearly 600, compared with the three years prior. Falling deaths went from zero to 16. Washington Post | S.D. Union-Tribune
Limb-lengthening surgery is becoming increasingly common among men in Los Angeles, making patients as much as five inches taller. Scott — not his real name — said people in his office would often comment on his 5’7″ stature. He recalled a colleague snapping at him during a disagreement: “Don’t be so sure of yourself, short man!” In January, Scott paid $75,000 to have his femur broken and extended with titanium rods. By the time he’s done lengthening, he will be 5’10”. BuzzFeed
Wake up to must-read news from around the Golden State delivered to your inbox each morning.