Good morning, and welcome to Essential California newsletter. Are Monday February 27. I’m Ryan Fonseca, back from vacation.
For many Californians, a day in the snow means an hour-long trek to the mountains. But this weekend, the winter chapter made house calls in neighborhoods that haven’t seen snow in decades.
A historic winter storm dropped snow as high as 1,500 feet.
“This has been one of the most impressive storms in recent years here in Southern California,” Rich Thompson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, told Times reporters. “It’s a storm we haven’t seen very often in our career here so far.”
Building a snowman isn’t typical weekend fun in Glendale, but residents in the foothills north of the 210 Freeway got that chance Saturday when snow fell in Dunsmore Park.
Parts of the Inland Empire also got some winter wonder this weekend. Residents of Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga used fresh powder to throw snowballs and dust from plastic sleds.
Snow also blanketed parts of the high desert – a rare delight that usually happens once every few years (I remember a handful of snowfalls growing up there).
The snow also closed some major highways, including Interstate 5 through the Grapevine and the 14 Freeway between Palmdale and Santa Clarita, though Caltrans announced that both had been cleared and reopened as of Sunday afternoon. Various other roads in and around the mountains remained closed or had limited access.
Other parts of SoCal saw record precipitation, along with thunderstorms and some hail. I can confirm that in the San Fernando Valley the sky rumbled and hail started bouncing off my car just as I was preparing to drive home to the San Gabriel Valley on Saturday afternoon.
Flooding was a problem at lower elevations. Times photographers captured partially submerged cars on local highways and surface streets.
In the northern Bay Area, at least one Berkeley resident got off his skis and hitting the slopes from Tilden Park in the nearby hills. In the east, the snowfall Close Yosemite National Parkwhich will remain closed until March 1.
And the wet weather is not over yet. Another thunderstorm rolled into Southern California on Sunday night and is expected to linger through Wednesday, though forecasters say it will be weaker than its predecessor. The mountains and foothills are expected to receive up to 2 inches of rain, while coastal and valley areas could receive up to 2.5 inches of rain. Snow will not fall as low as over the weekend, but is expected in the 3,000 to 4,500 foot elevation range.
So keep those umbrellas handy, drive slow and stay safe out there, SoCal!
And now, this is what is happening in california:
Note: Some of the sites we link to may limit the number of stories you can access without subscribing.
Skyrocketing gas bills are pushing some SoCal restaurants to the brink of closure. Businesses that require gas-powered cooking methods, such as Korean tabletop grills and wok stations, are now spending thousands of dollars more than their normal expenses. “It just doesn’t stop,” a chef owner told Times reporters. “When will we get relief?” Los Angeles Times
Nursery and florist San Gabriel celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The Japanese-American family that founded the company overcame racist laws, World War II internment, and arson, but their garden continues to thrive. Los Angeles Times
Check out “The Times” podcast for essential news and more
These days, waking up to current events can be, well, daunting. If you’re looking for a more balanced news diet, “The Times” podcast is for you. Gustavo Arellano, along with a diverse group of reporters from the award-winning LA Times newsroom, delivers the hottest stories from the Los Angeles Times every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from.
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
A court ruling has stopped UC Berkeley from building much-needed student housing in People’s Park, citing “mistakes” in the environmental assessment process. The decision could create new avenues to block development using state environmental law. University officials said they would appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court. Los Angeles Times
Rep. Judy Chu and fellow House Democrats fire back after a Republican congresswoman’s comments about her loyalty to the US Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus giving a statement saying Representative Lance Gooden’s (R-Texas) comments reflected racial profiling of Chinese Americans and amounted to “instill fear (that) only further endangers our communities.” Los Angeles Times
CRIME, COURT AND POLICE
Two LA County supervisors have joined the call for Adolfo Gonzales, head of the probation department, to resign. That follows the release of video of an incident in 2020 where probation officers pinned a 17-year-old boy face down and bent his legs as he cried for his mother. San Gabriel Valley Grandstand
A four-day sweep led to 26 arrests as part of an operation to crack down on gang activity in Tulare County. That followed the massacre in January, in which two suspects, believed to be linked to the Norteño gang, murdered six people at a home in Goshen, including a teenage mother and her young son. The Fresno Bee
HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT
Big Bear’s famous bald eagles can now become new parents any day. Thousands have been watch live stream of Jackie and Shadow’s snowy nest above Big Bear Lake, waiting to see if their eggs hatch. Los Angeles Times
In other bird news, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed that the California spotted owl be listed as endangered. The move would provide new protection for the owl’s habitats in coastal and southern California, which are threatened by logging and climate change. KQED
San Diego Unified is reviewing its lease with a Scripps Ranch church after it invited a guest who spoke out against being gay. The controversy has led to questions about what lines any government agencies may draw to provide space for religious and other civil society organizations. San Diego Union Tribune
A Bay Area nun helped transform a gang-infested neighborhood into a livable community for families. With money from private donors and foundations, Sister Catherine Heltsley has purchased 17 North Fair Oaks properties, run a school, a youth recreation center, a food supply and clothing program, and built more than 250 affordable apartments. San Francisco Chronicle
Free online games
Download our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at WhatsNewDay.com/games.
Today California landmark comes from Tim Goncharoff from Fairfield: lighthouse point in Santa Cruz.
(It) captures so much of what’s special about California. The spectacular beauty of Monterey Bay; the birthplace of surfing in California; our constantly reinvented history, from whaling to agriculture to technology and beyond – and the often tumultuous interaction between humans and nature on the edge of the continent.
What are the essential California landmarks? Fill out this form to send us your photos of a special place in California – natural or man-made. Tell us why it is interesting and why it is a symbol of life in the Golden State. Make sure to only include photos taken directly by you. Your submission may be included in a future edition of the newsletter.
Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments to essentialcalifornia@WhatsNewDay.com.