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Tuesday, January 9, 2024

On Our "Virtual Route 66" As 2024 Begins

 Welcome to 2024 here at the Daily Outsider.

We hereby present a snapshot of our home state of California courtesy of the team at the New York Times as we look forward to the privilege to serve:

A road cutting through rolling hills covered in trees. A low fog hovers in the distance.
Fog in the Angeles National Forest near Pasadena in December. Tanveer Badal for The New York Times

This has been an especially busy year for news in California. As we approach the end of 2023, we’re presenting the Golden State’s year visually, through photographs. There were moments of heartbreak, transformation and wonder, many of which will resonate through the state for years to come.

A road covered with unplowed snow, surrounded by pine trees also covered with snow.
Heavy snow near Pine Mountain Club in February. Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

The year began with a series of atmospheric-river storms that dropped tremendous amounts of precipitation on California. The record-breaking storms caused terrible flooding, wreaked all sorts of havoc across the state and killed at least 21 people.

A crowd of people standing with their eyes closed, some reaching forward. Two people in the back are embracing each other.
People prayed during a memorial service in January for the victims of the mass shooting in Monterey Park. Mark Abramson for The New York Times

Eleven people were killed and nine more were injured when a gunman opened fire at a dance studio in Monterey Park in January, one of America’s deadliest mass shootings of 2023. My colleague Corina Knoll wrote a beautiful article about the community of older Asian dancers who were devastated by the tragedy and sought a way to carry on.

A woman pressing a hand against her face sitting on a ledge next to several bouquets of flowers.
Flowers at an impromptu memorial in Half Moon Bay in January. Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Less than 48 hours later, seven people were shot to death at two sites in Half Moon Bay, about 30 miles south of San Francisco. The back-to-back massacres were an upsetting illustration of what to many people feels like a near-constant drumbeat of mass shootings in America.

Flowers with light red hues are in the foreground, surrounded by green plants. In the background are brown hillsides.
Purple owl’s clover on open land in Kern County in April. Daniel Dorsa for The New York Times

All that winter rain made for “as close to a miracle year as you can get,” replenishing reservoirs and easing drought conditions, a California state water official said. California’s snowpack built up to the greatest depth recorded in at least 40 years, a huge lake of runoff spread over farmland in the Central Valley, and a rainbow of wildflowers emerged across the state in the spring.

A group of people holding signs, some saying “SAG-AFTRA supports WGA.” One person is wearing a light blue mask of a creature’s face.
Striking actors and writers picketed in September outside Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles. Mark Abramson for The New York Times

Some people called it the “hot labor summer”: A season of strikes began when Los Angeles school support staff members staged a three-day walkout in March. Then Hollywood writers and actors went on strike, as did dockworkers, hotel workers, Amazon drivers and more.

Muddy runoff floods a ditch near Salton City during Hurricane Hilary in August. Mark Abramson for The New York Times

A rare tropical storm arrived in August and brought more than two inches of rain to Southern California. The tropical storm warning for Hurricane Hilary was the first ever issued for Southern California. The rain even formed a new lake in famously parched Death Valley.

A bust of Dianne Feinstein is adorned with flowers.
The statue of Dianne Feinstein outside the mayor’s office in San Francisco City Hall. Jim Wilson/The New York Times

In September, Dianne Feinstein, the grande dame of California Democrats and an influential voice in the U.S. Senate for more than 30 years, died at 90. Our San Francisco bureau chief, Heather Knight, wrote about how central Feinstein, a former mayor, was to some of the city’s greatest triumphs as a financial and cultural capital of the West Coast.

A man wearing an American flag walks down the aisle at a school board meeting. Board members are seated in the background, with spectators seated on each side of the aisle.
A conservative activist wore a flag at a school board meeting in San Juan Capistrano in October.  Ariana Drehsler for The New York Times

The culture wars were felt in California as Republicans, who have almost no power in the state government or in the state’s largest cities, took aim at school boards as a forum for pushing right-wing policies like requiring parental notification when students seek to change their gender identity. A San Diego library’s small Pride display led to unexpected fighting and made news around the nation.

Continue reading the main story

 The year closed out with the LA Dodgers' new 700 Million Dollar Man!!! 

Shohei Ohtani, wearing an Angels uniform, pumps his fist in celebration.

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