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California Today: California Today: The World Asks Santa Barbara, ‘Are You O.K.?’

Supported byU.S.California Today: The World Asks Santa Barbara, ‘Are You O.K.?’PhotoEmbers flew past inmate firefighters putting out hot spots over the weekend in Montecito.Credit David Mcnew/Getty ImagesGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)As fires raged in the foothills of Santa Barbara county over the weekend, commiseration and concern came from around the world, from friends and colleagues in Bangladesh, Haiti and Sierra Leone.For Thomas Tighe, a resident of Montecito and the head of Direct Relief, an aid organization that dispenses medical provisions to the needy around the globe, the shoe was on the other foot — this time the emergency was his own.Mr. Tighe and his family quickly gathered photos, drawings, birth certificates and computer hard drives. They summoned the dogs, rounded up the cats and evacuated their home on Sunday.As they fled, the messages came in. Father Richard Frechette, the founder of a pediatric hospital in Haiti, sent an email: “Are you OK? and your home and offices? many prayers for you! […]

California Today: California Today: A Tax Challenge for Sacramento

NYT

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California Today: California Today: A Special Fires Edition

Supported byU.S.California Today: A Special Fires EditionGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)PhotoFirefighters in Ventura, Calif., on Tuesday.Credit Jae C. Hong/Associated PressThe year-end fires sweeping Southern California this week have raised a worrisome question: Where is the rain?The rainy season typically starts in October and lasts through April, with the heaviest rain coming from December through March. Precipitation has been at or above-normal in Northern California, but there has been little rain in the south.Since Oct. 1 just 2.3 inches have fallen in Los Angeles, and 1.15 inches in San Diego, which is way below the normal rainfall for that period, according to the California Department of Water Resources.That lack of precipitation is one reason fires have exploded across Southern California this week, officials said. Thousands of people were evacuated across Los Angeles County and in the path of another fire in Ventura.Continue reading the main storyIt is too soon to ring any drought alarm bells. Still, the memory of the long, punishing drought that ended last year — the worst in this state’s modern history — remains fresh. And a report earlier this week by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said that atmospheric conditions caused by global warming, including the creation of a resilient, water-blocking atmospheric ridge, means even less rain in the future.Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story“I still have a drought hangover so I wake up worried about drought,” said Felicia Marcus, the head of the state Water Resources Control Board.Southern California is dealing with the same collection of forces that accounted for the intensity of the wine country fires: an unusually wet winter led to extensive brush growth and a record-hot October baked the growth into kindling. The final ingredient was the heavy Santa Ana winds whipping across Southern California.“It was sort of a trifecta for Napa and Sonoma,” Ms. […]

California Today: California Today: Trial Opens in Killing of Kate Steinle

Supported byU.S.California Today: Trial Opens in Killing of Kate SteinlePhotoJim Steinle, the father of Kate Steinle, right, walked to court in San Francisco on Monday.Credit Jeff Chiu/Associated PressGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)The San Francisco judge overseeing the trial in the killing of Kate Steinle has tried to banish politics from the courtroom.But he can’t stop the charged debate swirling outside.Ms. Steinle’s fatal shooting in July 2015 by an unauthorized immigrant set off widespread outrage, much of it directed at San Francisco’s leaders. She was 32.On Monday, opening arguments began in the trial to determine whether Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, the man who killed Ms. Steinle as she walked with her father on a San Francisco pier, had meant to fire the gun.Continue reading the main storyMr. Zarate has acknowledged doing so, but says it was an accident. He’s charged with second-degree murder.Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyJurors have been told to disregard the contentious national debates surrounding the case.President Trump has cited Ms. Steinle’s death as evidence of both the need for a border wall and the wrongheadedness of so-called sanctuary policies that limit cooperation between local police and immigration officials.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyCalifornia TodayThe news and stories that matter to Californians (and anyone else interested in the state). Sign up to get it by email.Thank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. Please try again later.You are already subscribed to this email.View all New York Times newsletters.Mr. […]

California Today: California Today: Bay Area Athletes Clash With Trump

Supported byU.S.California Today: Bay Area Athletes Clash With TrumpPhotoAthletes connected to Bay Area teams have taken center stage in a clash with the Trump administration. From left: Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics, Colin Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49er, and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.Credit From left: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images; Denis Poroy/Associated Press; Andrew Burton for The New York TimesGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)California’s centers of power in politics, culture and business have been among the most forceful critics of the Trump administration.Now add professional sports.In an abrupt series of events over the weekend, President Trump lashed out over the national anthem protests spearheaded by Colin Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49er, calling them grounds for firing.Mr. Trump then rescinded a White House invitation to the Golden State Warriors after Stephen Curry said publicly that he didn’t want to attend, a break from the tradition of championship teams.The Warriors organization swiftly closed ranks around Mr. Curry.“The truth is we all struggled with the idea of spending time with a man who has offended us with his words and actions time and again,” Coach Steve Kerr told Sports Illustrated.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyCalifornia TodayThe news and stories that matter to Californians (and anyone else interested in the state). Sign up to get it by email.Thank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. […]

California Today: California Today: Amid Housing Pain, Most Californians Have Weighed a Move

Supported byU.S.California Today: Amid Housing Pain, Most Californians Have Weighed a MovePhotoA housing development in Oakland. The median cost of a home in California is now more than twice the national cost.Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)The San Francisco Bay Area is often trotted out as the worst example of the state’s housing crisis — understandably.By national standards, rents and home prices there are astronomical.But the pain in California is widespread.According to a new poll from U.C. Berkeley, a majority of residents in every major region of the state — including the Central Valley and other parts of Northern California — have considered moving as a result of housing pressures.“It’s spread across the state pretty evenly,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies Poll.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyCalifornia TodayThe news and stories that matter to Californians (and anyone else interested in the state). […]

California Today: California Today: Outpouring Over an Aggrieved Hot Dog Vendor

Supported byU.S.California Today: Outpouring Over an Aggrieved Hot Dog VendorPhotoA video showing a U.C. Berkeley police officer taking money from a hot dog vendor was shared widely online.Credit Martin FloresGood morning.(Want to get California Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.)A stunned look fell over the hot dog vendor’s face as a police officer, ticketing him for lacking a permit, reached into the man’s wallet and pulled out $60.The vendor and a passer-by recording the exchange protested […]