Good morning. It’s Wednesday, Nov. 29.
- Jewish groups sue UC Berkeley over antisemitism.
- Oakland to get a new minor league baseball team.
- And the best new restaurants in California for 2023.
Two Jewish groups sued UC Berkeley and its law school over what they described as the “longstanding, unchecked spread of antisemitism” on campus. In their complaint, the Brandeis Center and Jewish Americans for Fairness in Education accused campus leaders of allowing at least 23 student groups to discriminate against Jews with policies that exclude Zionists as members or speakers. Dean Erwin Chemerinsky said the complaint “paints a picture of the law school that is stunningly inaccurate and that ignores the First Amendment.” S.F. Chronicle | Bloomberg
Other developments connected to the Mideast crisis:
- “It was the most antisemitic room I have ever been in.” During an Oakland City Council meeting to consider a cease-fire resolution on Monday, a number of speakers openly praised Hamas. A video showing some of the most incendiary remarks circulated widely on X. @yashar | Jewish News
- More than 150 professors signed a letter objecting to a proposal to teach a “viewpoint-neutral” history of the Middle East at University of California campuses. They portrayed it as a threat to academic freedom. S.F. Chronicle
- Brands are not only pulling their ads from X — many are stepping away altogether as concern rises over antisemitism on the platform. Those that have gone silent include Disney, Paramount, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros. Discovery. CNN | S.F. Chronicle
- Elon Musk is now promoting the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. Washington Post
Two days before a scheduled debate between Govs. Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis, PEN America released a pair of reports on free-speech policies in their states. California’s record is mixed, the group concluded, citing new protections for artists as well as D.E.I. mandates in higher education that could infringe on academic freedom. California’s shortcomings, however, pale in comparison to those of Florida, PEN wrote: “The assault on free expression in Florida is almost without peer in recent U.S. history.” L.A. Times
Esquire named the 50 best new restaurants in America for 2023, including 13 locations across California.
As the A’s prepare to depart for Las Vegas, a group in Oakland announced a new minor league team on Tuesday. The Oakland Ballers, or Oakland B’s, was founded by consortium of local baseball fans heartsick over the loss of their major league club. The B’s will compete in the independent Pioneer Baseball League and wear the same green and gold as the A’s, with home games at Laney College. “We’re not here to replace what we lost,” said Paul Freedman, a founder. “We mourn what was lost. What we’re here to do is say there’s a tradition in Oakland.” ESPN
A Bay Area mother of two was supposed to fly home on Nov. 22 after a six-week stay at a mental health clinic in Houston. But Danielle Friedland, 36, never boarded her plane and hasn’t been seen since. Her husband, Jordan Friedland, and other family members have been scouring Houston for clues on her whereabouts. “We have a 2- and 5-year-old and she’s the best mom in the world and their world won’t be the same without her,” he said. KTRK | KHOU
A group is offering free therapy at Black barbershops in Sacramento. The program, called Cut to the Chase, was designed to help break the stigma around mental health care that can prevent some Black men from seeking help. “Much more than haircuts go on in a barbershop,” said Rashon Trice, a participating barber. “This is sometimes [one of the only places] for a Black man to come in and have a conversation and feel valid.” CapRadio
Give something they’ll open every day.
“People should be able to claim some space. It is not too much to ask.”
The photographer Ximena Natera spent a year and a half chronicling the characters of Berkeley’s storied People’s Park. Created in the radical political activism of the 1960s, the park remains in limbo as UC Berkeley struggles to convert it into student housing and a protest movement, now 54 years old, still claims it for the vagabonds, artists, and misfits who use it. See Natera’s photos. 👉 Berkeleyside
Fun fact: In San Francisco, 100% of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park. A 2023 survey by the Trust for Public Land ranked the hilly metropolis No. 1 in park access among large U.S. cities, with roughly 21% of its land dedicated to parks and recreation. By comparison, the proportion is less than 5% in Fresno, Baton Rouge, and Oklahoma City. Natural beauty virtually encircles some neighborhoods, such as the Outer Richmond, pictured above, where residents live within a mile of Golden Gate Park, Lands End, and the Pacific Ocean.
- San Francisco has 37 miniparks. A reporter visited every one. SFGATE
Charlie Munger, who helped Warren Buffett transform a failing textile maker into the spectacularly successful investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, died on Tuesday in Santa Barbara. He was 99. Munger became known as an investing sage, often delivering wisdom in memorable one-liners. He called a derivatives trading desk “casino in drag.” Alan Greenspan was smart, he said, but “totally overdosed on Ayn Rand.” Bitcoin was “noxious poison.” Though born in Omaha, like Buffett, Munger spent most of his life in Los Angeles. Bloomberg | L.A. Times
In January, the longtime adult-film entertainer Ron Jeremy was declared incompetent to stand trial on charges of rape and sexual assault against more than 20 women. Now a judge has released him to a “private residence.” The decision came as a shock to victims, some of whom called it a betrayal. “We all came forward,” said Alana Evans. “We all told our stories. We all put this effort into their case, and I feel 100% let down by the system.” L.A. Times
A new federal analysis found that there is even more lithium buried under the Salton Sea than previously thought. Demand for the chemical element needed to power electric vehicles has set off a “white gold rush” on the shores of the Southern California lake. The analysis by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimated that the Salton Sea could yield 18 million metric tons of lithium, enough to make batteries for more than 375 million electric vehicles. There are fewer than 300 million vehicles registered in the U.S. today. “So yeah, that’s a big deal,” wrote climate columnist Sammy Roth. Press-Enterprise
An earlier version of this email mischaracterized the number of vehicles registered in the U.S. There are fewer than 300 million vehicles total, roughly 1% of which are electric.
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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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