Good morning. It’s Friday, Jan. 26.
- UC retreats from plan to hire undocumented students.
- Peter Navarro gets prison time for defying Congress.
- And a climber conquers a harrowing route in Yosemite.
The governing regents of the University of California voted Thursday to back away from its plan to let students without legal documentation hold campus jobs. Last May, the board unanimously agreed to find a pathway to enact the policy change, portraying it as a moral imperative. Their reversal on Thursday drew shouts of “cowards!” and “shame!” from the audience. UC President Michael Drake cited legal obstacles. The proposal, he said, “in fact carries significant risks for the institution and for those we serve.” Politico | CalMatters
Peter Navarro, a California economist who politicked as a liberal Democrat before becoming an adviser to former President Trump, was sentenced Thursday to four months in prison for defying a subpoena from the Jan. 6 select committee. The federal judge in Washington scolded Navarro, 74, telling him, “You’re not the object of a political prosecution. These are circumstances of your own making.” Speaking to reporters outside court, Navarro asked for donations to fund his appeal. A.P. | Washington Post
On this week’s California Sun Podcast, host Jeff Schechtman had a conversation with Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund in San Francisco. Sokatch talked about his dismay over the conflation of Jews and Israel among some activists since Oct. 7, giving as an example the disruption of a college Hanukkah ceremony. There is nothing wrong with chanting “Free Palestine,” he said. “But to say it to kids on a college campus in California lighting a menorah is an act of antisemitism.”
The No. 8 top restaurant in America is a humble sandwich shop with a deck overlooking the Kaweah River in the Sierra foothills. (A customer favorite: the Muffuletta sandwich, including Black Forest ham, olive tapenade, and provolone on a toasted Kaiser roll). That’s according to Yelp’s 2024 list of the country’s top 100 restaurants, based on a formula that reflects quality and number of reviews. California dominated the list, appearing 10 times in the top 25. Yelp
When President Trump warned his Twitter followers that mail-in ballots would lead to a “rigged election,” Twitter appended a corrective tweet urging readers “get the facts about mail-in ballots.” This election season, Twitter has been rebranded as X and its new owner, Elon Musk, is echoing Trump’s claims, telling his followers that American elections are wide open for fraud. There have been no fact checks, the N.Y. Times reported.
A 13-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his father during a hunting trip in an agricultural area about 25 miles north of Sacramento early Wednesday, the authorities said. Yolo County Sheriff’s detectives said the boy told dispatchers his gun accidentally discharged in their duck blind. “The way that the call was placed and the totality of the circumstances, it appears to be a very tragic accident,” said Detective Matt Wirick. KCRA
“No, no, no!”
On Nov. 22, Amity Warme, a vanlifing rock climber from Colorado, became one of the few people to ever ascend Elephant Rock’s Book of Hate, among the most challenging routes in Yosemite. Video released on Wednesday of her powering through one of the hardest sequences roughly 150 feet above the valley floor went viral on social media. Watching it will make your hands sweat. YouTube | Gripped
A jury found a Costa Mesa man guilty of murder Thursday in a 2021 freeway shooting of a 6-year-old boy that shocked Southern California. Marcus Eriz, 26, was a passenger in his girlfriend’s car when they cut off Joanna Cloonan, who was driving her son Aidan to kindergarten. Cloonan flashed a middle finger then heard a loud noise. “It was a single bullet from Eriz’s gun, passing through the trunk and through her son’s body,” wrote reporter Christopher Goffard. Eriz faces 40 years to life in prison. L.A. Times | O.C. Register
Train service between Los Angeles and San Diego has been disrupted at least four times since 2022 as landslides have become more frequent along one of the country’s most traveled and picturesque rail lines. The latest stoppage resulted after rocks tumbled on the tracks in San Clemente on Wednesday. A growing chorus of officials have been asking whether the time has come to move the line back from the eroding coast. “If it was easy and there was a consensus, I think it would already be done,” said Darrell Johnson, CEO of the Orange County Transportation Authority. S.D. Union-Tribune | LAist
In 1930, the Swiss architect Albert Frey built a boxy three-story structure clad in aluminum panels for a design exhibit in New York City. One of the earliest examples of International Style, the Aluminaire House drew big crowds and ridicule in the press, cementing its avant-garde status. Nearly a century later, the home has now been rebuilt in the parking lot of the Palm Springs Art Museum, where it will open to the public in March. N.Y. Times
When Will Ferrell’s friend of 30 years came out as transgender, the Irvine comedian suggested they drive across the country together — on film. The documentary that resulted, “Will & Harper,” premiered Monday at the Sundance Film Festival to rapturous standing ovations. “I know I love America,” Harper Steele says in the movie. “I don’t know if it loves me.” Culture writer Jada Yuan said a bidding war over the film could make it the biggest documentary sale in Sundance history. Washington Post | Vulture
In case you missed it
Five items that got big views over the past week:
- A tiny sushi joint upstairs from a Fedex office in a West Hollywood strip mall has been drawing a parade of A-list celebrities. The Face pondered the curious allure of Sushi Park.
- The billionaires who are trying to build a new city in Solano County first have to get the local farmers to sell their land. Reporter Conor Dougherty told the story of those who are refusing to sell. Don’t miss the twist at the end. N.Y. Times
- A river cleanup crew found people living in eight cave dwellings carved into the banks of the Tuolumne River in Modesto. The homes — complete with bedding, fireplaces, and built-in shelves — were hidden from view about 20 feet down an embankment. CBS News
- Social media lit up with flooding videos from San Diego this week. Five that stood out:
- One day last October, Amy Trapp got a call from an unknown number. She picked it up and heard her son Will crying, saying he’d been in a car accident. She panicked. Hours later, the scam was exposed. S.F. Chronicle
Thursday’s newsletter misspelled the name of a river. It’s the Tuolumne River, not the Tuolomne River.
Thanks for reading!
The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.
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