Good morning. It’s Monday, July 17.
- Firefighters battle blazes during brutal heat wave.
- Another farewell to the Dead in San Francisco.
- And Joshua Tree rentals that double as architectural gems.
As brutally hot temperatures engulfed the state over the weekend, firefighters battled at least four wildfires across Riverside County, where temperatures soared above 100 degrees. The largest, the Rabbit fire, erupted Friday in the community of Lakeview, forcing evacuations and spreading to nearly 12 square miles by late Sunday. “It’s just an inferno,” a local restaurant worker said. “Ash is raining down and people are coming in here covered in ash.” Further north, lightning strikes late Sunday into Monday threatened new blazes in wine country. L.A. Times | Desert Sun
- See video of lightning strikes in the Santa Rosa area. 👉 @SantaRosaFire
In California, the interplay of ocean, sky, and topography creates temperature swings between the coast and just a few towns over that can boggle the mind. So it was over the weekend as millions of residents suffered through triple-digit heat while others bundled up against the evening chill. Here are some comparisons of Saturday highs between weather stations less than 25 miles apart, according to data from Weather Underground:
- Fort Bragg, 60 degrees; Laytonville, 101 degrees.
- Carmel, 58 degrees; Carmel Valley, 93 degrees.
- Cambria, 60 degrees; Paso Robles, 117 degrees.
- Ventura, 65 degrees; Ojai, 102 degrees.
- San Diego, 69 degrees; Lakeside, 98 degrees.
“It’s just fallen off the cliff.”
By this time last year, California had issued more than 200 new active well drilling permits. So far in 2023, the number is seven. It’s not for lack of interest: The industry has more than 1,400 permit applications awaiting approval. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration wants to phase out oil drilling in the state by 2045. Reuters
The seven U.S. metro areas with the lowest rate of young adult homeownership are all in California, an analysis of Census Bureau data from 2017 to 2021 found. Coastal cities from San Diego to San Francisco had homeownership rates of less than 25% for people between the ages of 25 and 34, with the Los Angeles region coming in lowest at 19.9%. Denver, by comparison, had a rate of 39.7%. In Grand Rapids, it’s 56.5%. And in Monroe, a suburb of Detroit, it’s 70.8%. O.C. Register
The number of former inmates enrolled in California colleges has surged in recent years thanks to increased funding for programs that support such students. Among them is Jessi Fernandez, who joined a street gang on L.A.’s Eastside at age 13. By his 20s, he had been shot at more times than he could count. His wake-up call came in 2015 when rivals gunned down two of his closest friends. Seven years later, he’s now on the verge of graduating from UC Berkeley. L.A. Times
- Foster youth will now able to attend California’s public colleges free of charge under a bill signed by the governor. Fox5
A Bay Area woman has been released eight months after she was taken captive in Mexico, the FBI said on Saturday. Monica De Leon Barba, 29, of San Mateo, was seen being forced into a van while walking her dog in the city of Tepatitlán, in the state of Jalisco, on Nov. 29. No arrests have been made, and authorities are still trying to identify suspects, officials said. Mexico has one of the highest kidnapping rates in the world, and Jalisco is home to one of the country’s most notorious drug cartels. CBS News | SFGATE
In San Francisco’s downtown, empty storefronts dot the streets. “Going out of business” signs hang in windows. Toothpaste and shampoo are locked up at local pharmacies. The downtown now faces a choice: diversify or die. “They’re no longer central business districts,” said Richard Florida, a specialist in city planning. “They’re centers of innovation, of entertainment, of recreation. The faster places realize that, the better.” A.P.
After the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia died in 1995, several permutations of bands featuring former members came and went. Then the remaining bandmates bid fans farewell with a small tour in 2015. Now there’s been yet another farewell. After more than 200 shows, Dead & Company closed out its “Final Tour” on Sunday at San Francisco’s Oracle Park in San Francisco. “We are, it seems, always saying goodbye to the Grateful Dead,” wrote the New York Times’ Marc Tracy.
- There will never be another Jerry Garcia, but guitarist John Mayer can play. Hear a clip of his “Althea” from Sunday. 👉 YouTube
Before the celebrated war photographer Stanley Greene chronicled the brutality of faraway battlefields, he was on the front lines of San Francisco’s 1970s punk scene. Greene, then a student at the San Francisco Art Institute, spent his nights as a participant-observer in the city’s clubs, backstages, and flop houses. It was a wild time, he later recalled, but he harbored no regrets: “Relationships were very close and a lot of them were sexual and sweet and intellectual.” LensCulture shared 15 images from Greene’s punk period.
“I’ll be out of breath for the rest of the day, but for good reason though.”
Steph Curry, the greatest distance shooter in NBA history, hit a hole-in-one during a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe on Saturday. He took off on a euphoric full sprint down the runway as the crowd went bonkers. Take a look. 👉 @PGATOUR
Anurag Chandra was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Friday after being convicted of three counts of murder. In early 2020, Chandra chased down the car of a group of six teenagers who had ding-dong ditched his Temescal Valley house and rammed it from behind, sending their vehicle into a tree. Three of the kids inside died, all aged 16. Right to the end, the Press-Enterprise reported, Chandra refused to say the two words families most wanted to hear: I’m sorry. Press-Enterprise | KABC
In 1968, a Finnish architect designed what he called the “Futuro house,” a prefabricated structure shaped like a flying saucer that could be used as a portable ski chalet. Less than 100 were made. Eighty-five are said to remain, including one in the Southern California desert that’s been repurposed as a novelty AirBNB. SFGATE included the Futuro house in a list of six Joshua Tree rentals that double as architectural gems.
Friday’s newsletter misstated the city where Marilyn Monroe was once named Artichoke Queen. It was Castroville, not Castro Valley.
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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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