Mayor of Stockton, CA detained by DHS at SFO, forced to give up laptop password


Mayor Anthony R. Silva was on his way back from a mayor's conference in China when the DHS border guards confiscated his laptop and phones and detained him, telling him he would not be allowed to leave until he gave them his passwords. He has still not had his devices returned. Read the rest

Statues of recently-canonized Junipero Serra vandalized


My California public school education was filled with romanticized stories of the Spanish Missions. What we were taught was not accurate. The folks already living here were abused and enslaved. It comes as no surprise that people feel a lot of anger over the sainting of Junipero Serra, and that the Carmel Mission, where he is interred, was vandalized. Read the rest

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Censoring Santa Barbara politician thwarted, painting restored


Peter from the National Coalition Against Censorship writes, "A California official removed an artwork by skateboarding icon Scott Olson from a public building because he said it was 'obscene.' Sorry, the First Amendment exists to prevent this kind of thing. Read the rest

For sale: one volcano supervillain lair

The Volcano House, "a saucer shaped mid-century icon perched on top of a 150-foot cinder cone," is $650,000 or best offer -- but you'll have to commute to the Mojave. Read the rest

California legislature wants to mandate radio-readable driver's licenses (CALL NOW!)

The new licenses can be read from up to 30' away and at the last minute, nearly all privacy protections were stripped from the bill mandating them. Read the rest

Police officer pulls gun on man recording him, and is placed on leave. #fixthepolice


A police officer in the Northern California city of Rohnert Park was caught on video pulling his gun on a resident who was recording the cop on his cellphone.

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Which water technology will save California from its long, dry death?

The western United States exists in a state of willful ignorance about water. Waking up won't be easy, and it will be expensive.
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What happens when wells run dry in California's drought?

Filmmaker Katherine Espejo has been documenting how the increasingly grim drought is affecting her home town in Central California, focusing on parts of East Porterville, where some wells have begun running dry. Read the rest

Watch this trippy animated interview with Reggie Watts


From our friends at California Sunday, this beautiful animated interview with comedian/musician Reggie Watts. Animation by Drew Tyndell.

"California Inspires Me" (California Sunday)

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California drought: State orders historic water cuts for farmers

Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility is seen next to farm fields in Fresno [Reuters]
“The state is reaching back more than a century in the hierarchy of California water rights,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

California is sinking as it sucks remaining water out of underground aquifers


Nearly everyone in the US depends on food crops grown in California, so farmers must continue to pull what little water remains in underground aquifers. This is causing the state to actually sink. It's been sinking for decades, but the problem is getting worse. Reveal News writes, "Last summer, scientists recorded the worst sinking in at least 50 years. This summer, all-time records are expected across the state as thousands of miles of land in the Central Valley and elsewhere sink."

As a result, the "sinking is starting to destroy bridges, crack irrigation canals and twist highways across the state, according to the U.S. Geological Survey."

Joseph Poland of the U.S. Geological Survey used a utility pole to document where a farmer would have been standing in 1925, 1955 and where Poland was then standing in 1977 after land in the San Joaquin Valley had sunk nearly 30 feet. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

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Amazing sea floor maps reveal California's offshore depths

The California Seafloor Mapping Program is the most extensive of its kind, initiated in 2008 and bearing fruit in a series of beautiful maps.

Bottled water: the ultimate throwback to feudal selfishness

Sure, you're boycotting Nestle for draining California's drought-stricken aquifers for bottled water, but why stop there? Read the rest

Solving San Francisco's housing crisis with narrow, human-scale streets

The Narrow Streets SF site tries to imagine what San Francisco would be like with streets redesigned for humans instead of cars, allowing the space clawed back from the roads to be used for more housing. Read the rest

Don't argue about vaccination with Rob Schneider if you value your sanity

California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez made the mistake of returning actor Rob Schneider's deranged anti-vaxx phonecalls and lived to tell the tale: "That is 20 minutes of my life I'll never get back arguing that vaccines don't cause autism with Deuce Bigalow, male gigolo." Read the rest

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