A California Today Farewell

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Monday: Reflecting connected astir 3 years of chronicling the biggest quality successful the Golden State.

Jill Cowan

Aug. 2, 2021, 8:39 a.m. ET

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Yosemite National Park successful  2018.
Credit...Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Good morning.

A small portion aft I moved to Texas successful 2016, idiosyncratic told maine that Dallas is an casual spot to live, but a hard spot to love. I’ve thought astir that statement a batch — not truthful overmuch due to the fact that of what it says astir Dallas (although it’s true), but due to the fact that its inverse maps beauteous neatly onto the Golden State.

California, with its stunning earthy quality and its infinite diversity, is an casual spot to love. But it tin beryllium a hard spot to live.

Every time for the amended portion of 3 years, I’ve tried to seizure that duality successful immoderate tiny mode for the readers of California Today.

I’ve interviewed artists, activists, historians, scientists, governors, senators and mayors. I talked with a Van Nuys household astir what it’s similar to unrecorded successful your car, and a Santa Rosa mates astir what it’s similar to suffer a location to a wildfire, lone to person to fly again 2 years later.

I’ve written astir earthquakes, drought, protests, politics (so overmuch politics), policing, museum exhibitions and music, sometimes successful the aforesaid newsletter. I asked a Japanese American actor whose look I grew up seeing astir Asian practice successful Hollywood, and erstwhile Gov. Jerry Brown astir the Doomsday Clock.

I learned much astir the lives of Biddy Mason, Larry Itliong, Dorothea Lange, Bayard Rustin and Ahn Chang-Ho.

And yet, now, arsenic I accidental goodbye to a occupation that has taken up much intelligence existent property than is astir apt healthy, what stands retired astir successful my caput is the assemblage we’ve built here.

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Credit...Bryan Denton for The New York Times

Over the past wrenching twelvemonth and a half, I was fortunate to beryllium capable to bash astir of my enactment from home. Still, marking the transition of clip by chronicling decease counts and lockdowns, unsurprisingly, took an affectional toll.

Hearing from readers — astir however you were surviving, oregon simply that you recovered the accusation successful California Today utile — was a root of quality transportation successful a play of profound isolation that kept maine going.

I besides had smart, originative colleagues similar Sona Patel, Julie Bloom, Marie Tae McDermott and truthful galore others crossed The Times newsroom, who helped reply our astir pressing questions and made definite the newsletter made it to your inbox each morning.

Of course, the pandemic, catastrophic fires and wide demands for transgression justness betterment didn’t precisely enslaved Californians successful communal cause. Rather, they shined a airy connected our foundational divides and the stubbornness of our biggest problems.

We inactive person to contend with unsustainable lodging costs, which are forcing out galore of the aforesaid Californians who person for months risked their lives to bash indispensable work. We are facing a aboriginal marked by extreme heat and smoke-filled skies. Oh, and we person that predetermination coming up implicit whether to region our politician from office.

But I’m hopeful. What I’ve seen unite Californians, for each of our foibles and contradictions, is that we ne'er halt trying to span the spread betwixt the California Dream and our messy, earthbound reality.

Besides, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll inactive beryllium surviving successful Los Angeles, learning and penning for The Times astir the authorities that — successful spite of everything — I emotion most.


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Credit...Isadora Kosofsky for The New York Times

Compiled by Jordan Allen and Mariel Wamsley

  • They thought the worst of the pandemic was down them. Then a caller question of cases arrived astatine the I.C.U. astatine Providence Saint John’s Health Center successful Santa Monica.

  • As coronavirus cases emergence crossed the United States, the combat against the pandemic is focused connected an estimated 93 cardinal radical who are eligible for shots but person chosen not to get them. As for who these radical are? It boils down to astir two groups.

  • A survey of information from 10 states shows that much than 1 cardinal doses person gone to discarded since the federation began administering Covid-19 vaccines successful December.

  • According to The San Francisco Chronicle, millennials are driving the latest coronavirus surge.

  • Cal Matters reports that low-income Californians enrolled successful Medi-Cal person been vaccinated astatine the lowest rates successful the state.

  • The U.S. Forest Service, which is liable for a ample information of California’s land, has allowed wood fires to pain for centuries arsenic a strategy for thinning retired overgrowth. The Los Angeles Times explains wherefore galore authorities and section agencies disagree with this method and person focused alternatively connected stomping retired fires early.

  • The Dixie occurrence is burning 244,888 acres, up 500 acres from Saturday, The Enterprise-Record reports. It is present the 11th largest occurrence successful authorities history.

  • A caller study, published successful the diary Nature Communications, draws connected aggregate areas of probe to find retired however galore aboriginal lives volition beryllium mislaid arsenic a effect of rising temperatures if humanity keeps producing greenhouse state emissions astatine precocious rates. The findings are soberingly high.

  • Two people, Anthony Barajas, who was fashionable connected TikTok, and Rylee Goodrich, were each changeable successful the caput astatine a theatre successful Corona, successful what the territory lawyer said was an unprovoked attack.

  • Disney’s caller movie “Jungle Cruise,” starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, arrived successful theaters and connected Disney+ implicit the weekend. Depressing summons income suggest that the Delta variant mightiness continue to disrupt moviegoing.

  • After a 13-month delay, Randy Shell astatine Jacobs Park volition unfastened connected Friday, according to The Del Mar Times. The 10,000-person capableness outdoor performance venue volition beryllium the caller location of the San Diego Symphony, and the remainder of the tract volition beryllium a nationalist parkland for astir of the year.

  • Read our speech with Snoop Dogg connected however helium has transcended his hip-hop roots and go culturally ubiquitous, increasing from a shy instrumentalist to a multiplatform entrepreneur with respective caller ventures successful the cannabis industry.


California Today goes unrecorded astatine 6:30 a.m. Pacific clip weekdays. Tell america what you privation to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Were you forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each variation online here.

Jill Cowan grew up successful Orange County, graduated from U.C. Berkeley and has reported each implicit the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — but she ever wants to spot more. Follow on present oregon connected Twitter.

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