The proposed law is the latest twist in a long and contentious fight over rent increases in Santa Rosa. The Sonoma County city, like much of California, is struggling with a difficult housing shortage and rising rents. The City Council passed a rent control and just cause eviction measure in 2016, only to see it repealed by a landlord-backed ballot initiative during a June special election this year.
After the fires, community groups continued to organize renters, holding clinics and renewing their push for expanded rights.
“The fires are clarifying the deep need that our region has for tenant protections,” said Davin Cardenas, a director of the North Bay Organizing Project.
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• Can’t find your way back home? A new California bill allows alcohol manufacturers to help pay for free or discounted rides, via a coupon, with taxis or ride-sharing apps, to over-served customers at bars and restaurants.[Sacramento Bee]
• Students at Stanford University business school are studying sexual harassment in the workplace. Stanford is part of a wave of business schools reshaping their curriculum to grapple with real-life workplace issues playing out in the headlines. “There’s a turning point in what’s expected from business leaders.” [The New York Times]
• The four Sacramento lawmakers accused of sexual harassment may not be able to use their campaign coffers to cover legal costs. The problem: The allegations involve activity at clubs, bars, restaurants — but not in the Capitol itself. [Los Angeles Times]
• Recreational marijuana becomes legal in California on Jan. 1, and it’s not only pot enthusiasts who are celebrating the moment: Municipalities across the state are anticipating a pot windfall. The only question is, “How much?” [San Diego Union Tribune]
• Redefining service journalism: The Sacramento Bee publishes a beginner’s guide for buying recreational marijuana. Smoke or vape? Indica or sativa? [Sacramento Bee]
• A break for young (delinquent) library book readers: No more late fees at Los Angeles County libraries for borrowers who are 21 or youngerr. Here’s the bad news: It’s not retroactive so you still owe for that stack on the shelf you kept promising to return. [Los Angeles Times]
• It’s Oklahoma versus Georgia at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on New Year’s Day, and it’s a pretty hot ticket. How hot? Like $42,750 hot. [Pasadena Patch]
• It’s not a food truck. It’s not a food tent. And it’s not a restaurant. It is a Cubert — a collapsible and storable food stand —and it is showing up at open-air markets in San Francisco. This may spell an end to the wobbly card table, fabric canopy and cooolers full of ice that are the burden of many vendors. [The New York Times]
•A 21st Century monastery on 450-acre hillside near the Getty Center in Brentwood. The billionaire Nicolas Berggruen is pushing ahead with his ambitious plan to create the ultimate think tank. [Los Angeles Magazine]
• The Roxie Theater in the Mission District, the longest-running movie theater in San Francisco, was on the verge of showing its last film three years ago. Now, after a concerted effort, it has turned around and is prospering. [San Francisco Chronicle]
• A popular Peruvian chef in Los Angeles who closed his four restaurants, disappeared abruptly for a few years — to travel, write and study — is now back with one of the more interesting restaurants of the year. A look at Ricardo Zarate, who is cooking at Rosaliné, which used to house the popular Comme Ca. [The New York Times]
• May we share one more Christmas story? A great read on how “Santa Baby” — a Christmas song so sultry and suggestive that it was banned in parts of the South — became a classic. “‘Gentlemen, this is not really the kind of music that I like to write,” Phil Springer, the Los Angeles composer, told the publisher. “I hope it’s O.K.” [Los Angeles Times]
• How did we live without it? California is getting its first Cracker Barrel; Victorville will be the first place to sample the chain’s southern-influenced cooking, but look for more Barrels across the state in the months to come. [Eater Los Angeles]
And Finally …
Here’s one from the history books. There have been many songs over the years that have come to be identified with California: “California Dreaming” by the Mamas & Papas, “I Love L.A.” by Randy Newman, “L.A. Woman” by The Doors and “California Gurls” by Katy Perry to name a few.
But the granddaddy of them all has to be “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” by Tony Bennett. Mr. Bennett gave his first public solo performance of the song 56 years ago, on Dec. 21, 1961, at the Fairmont Hotel Venetian Room in San Francisco. It was such a moment that they built an eight-foot bronze statue of Mr. Bennett in his honor (see photo above).
California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.
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