Good morning. It’s Tuesday, Sept. 26.
- TurboTax says free tax filing will hurt Black people.
- Lung disease afflicts California’s countertop workers.
- And 20 of the dreamiest vacation rentals in Joshua Tree.
In his campaign for Senate, Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from Burbank, has touted his commitment to obtaining pork-barrel spending for local causes, including programs fighting homelessness and addiction. But he’s painted an incomplete picture of his record, an analysis found. Schiff has also steered millions to corporate beneficiaries while raising contributions from executives and Washington lobbyists connected to them. Politico
Fox News announced on Monday that it would host a debate between Govs. Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis on Nov. 30, an unusual face-off between two political figures who are not running for the same office. For DeSantis, the debate, to be moderated by Sean Hannity, offers a chance to rejuvenate his floundering effort to overtake former President Trump in the Republican presidential primary. For Newsom, it’s a platform to burnish his national image. N.Y. Times | L.A. Times
- He signed bills that:
- He vetoed bills that would have:
Roughly 170,000 people sleep outside or in temporary shelters across California every day. Nine out of 10 lost their housing while living in California. A beautifully done photo and audio project called “Unhoused” presents some of their stories, including that of Marilyn Forte, 61, pictured above. She described a tragically insurmountable obstacle. “The apartments they have for seniors, they want three times your security,” she said. “Well, nobody has that laying around. … I make $2200. And I lived in a motel for a while thinking I can find an apartment and move in. Nope.” Unhousedca.org
For a quarter century, Intuit, the Mountain View parent of TurboTax, has fought efforts to establish a free, publicly funded tool for filing taxes online. It worked until earlier this year, when the IRS announced a plan to test free tax-preparation software. But Intuit is still fighting: The multibillion-dollar company has deployed a stealth PR campaign to spread the claim that free tax filing will somehow hurt Black people. The argument is based on the work of researchers who say Intuit is misrepresenting their findings. ProPublica
Six Bay Area police officers who were recently indicted in an FBI investigation that found evidence of corruption, abuse, and racism enjoyed what amounted to publicly funded vacations. After being placed on leave in early 2022, the Antioch officers received paychecks for months while awaiting the conclusion of the investigation. By the time they were charged last month, they had collected a combined $1.8 million, or an average of roughly $300,000 each. Mercury News
The narrative of San Francisco’s doom is everywhere. But many residents are frustrated by what they say is an unfairly bleak portrayal of their city, a place of sublime beauty and world-class amenities. Karan Mathur, who relocated from San Francisco to Brooklyn for work, said people equate San Francisco with its most blighted corners. “It’s like going to New York and spending your entire time in Times Square, and your takeaway is, every New Yorker is dressed like Cookie Monster,” he said. N.Y. Times
During Humboldt County’s logging heyday, crews would ride the rails into and out of the redwood forests on so-called speeder cars. They ran on gas, making them much more efficient than the steam trains used to move logs. A local heritage group now lets people ride restored speeder cars along an old route that hugs scenic Humboldt Bay. Check out the ride. 👉 YouTube/ABC10 (~3 mins)
An incurable lung disease is cropping up in California workers, largely immigrants as young as their 20s, who cut slabs of engineered stone for countertops. A recent study by UCLA and UCSF physicians found that among dozens of workers who got silicosis from grinding countertops, nearly a fifth had died. Leobardo Segura Meza, above, was diagnosed with silicosis after working on countertops for a decade around Los Angeles County. He has to hustle home while playing with his kids sometimes because his oxygen tank starts to run out. He’s 27. L.A. Times
After a tentative contract deal was reached Sunday to end Hollywood writers’ five-month strike, union representatives called the agreement “exceptional.” The studios notably said nothing. The Writers Guild got more than analysts thought they could, including better royalty payments for streaming content and safeguards on the use of artificial intelligence. The breakthrough now opens the door for striking actors to negotiate their own accord. Talk-show producers, feeling optimistic, started planning new episodes on Monday. Reuters | L.A. Times
Around Joshua Tree, a magnet for artists and free thinkers, many of the homes take inspiration from the surreal forms of the desert. Field Magazine rounded up 20 of their favorite rental cabins near the national park with an eye toward attractive architecture, including the modernist creation above.
Sixty-six surfers once rode a single surfboard in Huntington Beach. It was June 20, 2015, and two world records fell that day: the world’s largest surfboard and the most people to ride a surfboard at once. Assembled by a Santa Ana boat builder, it stretched nearly half the length a basketball court and weighed as much as a pallet of 200 bricks. The surfers stayed upright for 13 seconds, drawing cheers from hundreds of spectators on the beach. The board now lives as a sculpture a couple blocks from the beach, in the parking lot of the local surfing museum. Atlas Obscura
- See the ride. 👉 YouTube (~1:30 mins)
Thanks for reading!
The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for The New York Times.
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