What Californians Love About Spring – The New York Times

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An ode to a season of regrowth and reprieve.
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Spring is upon us.
Birds chirp ceaselessly even in my dense corner of Los Angeles and, recent heat wave notwithstanding, the weather has settled into pleasant-but-on-the-chilly-side, typical for this time of year.
It’s the season of regrowth, rebirth and, as the Los Angeles Times columnist Patt Morrison recently wrote, reprieve (from the disasters that usually plague California).
I recently asked you to share your favorite parts of spring in the Golden State. You wrote to me about foothills in Fresno covered in white flowers, deer picking their way through new grasses and, of course, the explosion of California poppies.
Here’s some of what you sent in:
“Defiantly cheerful golden poppies bursting through concrete median strips and freeway on-ramps are the ultimate sign of spring in California. They remind us of our fortitude, our joy and our refusal to be tame.” — Karina Moreno, Oakland
“The best part of spring in California — a dose of fresh powder for the final days of ski season! Thank you to the snow gods for a bit more moisture before we enter fire season.” — Karoline Platt, Truckee
“The freeway wildflowers. Miles of brilliant orange, butter yellow and electric fuchsia flowers that carpet the sides of the freeways. It almost makes the commute worth it.” — Sue Wrzesinski, San Diego
“I think folks who say that we don’t have seasons aren’t paying attention. Spring in my little hamlet is not yet too hot, but the afternoons grow longer and warmer: You might enjoy a walk with bare shoulders or lunch outside while the chilliness of winter become a memory.
As the season progresses and the temperature of the soil and air begins to rise, a multitude of flowers, grasses and trees burst onto the scene, reminding everyone of earth’s vibrancy if only we let her do her thing.” — Alexandra Harmer, San Anselmo
“What’s special about California in the spring? I say the striped bass run in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. After being housebound by rain and high water all winter (at least in the past), anglers of every station and ancestry are out on the riverbanks or boating through levee-lined sloughs, hoping to hook up with stripers. The sun is out, camaraderie and the Delta’s scenic landscape are all around, and big bass are the lure that draws us all.” — Daniel Ray, Davis
“One of the best parts of spring is the return of wildflowers. These flowers may not seem like much, but we live along the C.Z.U. burn scar (the fire was stopped 100 feet from our house), and returning wildflowers stand out a mile.
Much of the area is still charred and burned and dead. These trees are just across a one-lane road from where the flowers are blooming.
So they’re not just flowers, they’re life, hope, regeneration. They’re Spring with a capital S.” — Patrick Letellier, Pescadero
How California will enact its first-in-the-nation goal of banning new gasoline-powered cars by 2035.
Oakland school closures: The A.C.L.U. has filed a complaint with the California Department of Justice over the Oakland Unified School District’s plan to close seven schools, saying the plan disproportionately affects Black families, The SFist reports.
Reparations task force: The task force convened in person on Wednesday, marking its decision to pay restitution to descendants of enslaved Black people, The Associated Press reports.
Quarantine rules: California is no longer recommending a five-day quarantine period for people who are exposed to the coronavirus but remain asymptomatic, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Fake abduction: Sherri Papini will plead guilty to making false statements to the F.B.I. regarding her own staged kidnapping in 2016.
Top lawyer fired: A top civil rights lawyer for California was fired while working on a discrimination case against video game giant Activision Blizzard and her colleague quit in protest Wednesday, The Associated Press reports.
The broadcast booth: N.F.L. broadcasters netted huge contracts this off-season. A league-organized boot camp, hosted at its West Coast headquarters, prepares the players who want to follow their path.
Joshua tree: State biologists say the iconic California tree is not threatened with extinction, but others worry the lack of protection could leave Joshua trees vulnerable to development, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Godfather of aquifers: One San Joaquin Valley farmer has earned recognition for refilling aquifers with floodwater and for testing the practice on his own harvest, Wired reports.
Baseball first: Alyssa Nakken, a coach for the San Francisco Giants, became the first woman to take an on-field role in a Major League Baseball game.
New digs for U.C. president: The University of California bought its president a $6.5 million home in Berkeley, designed by Julia Morgan, Berkleyside reports.
Solar fraud: A former energy executive in California was sentenced on Tuesday for his part in $1 billion solar power fraud, The Associated Press reports.
Nurse strike: Thousands of nurses at two Stanford hospitals are preparing to strike over wages, wellness support, benefits and other issues, The Guardian reports.
Crème fraîche pasta with peas and scallions.
Today’s tip comes from Jacqui Bazzaroni, who recommends visiting Lodi in the Central Valley:
“Lodi is a wine lovers’ mecca. This quaint San Joaquin town has come a long way from the days of the song lyric, ‘Oh Lord, stuck in Lodi again.’ Lodi is known as the Zinfandel capital, which for many years has shipped grapes and juice to Napa to be used for blending wines. Today, there are dozens of grape varietals grown in Lodi that produce award-winning wines, more than 80 wineries, wonderful restaurants, beer breweries and many shops to easily fill your day. A&W root beer originated in Lodi and is still serving their special drink. Lodi Lake has a swimming area, paddle boating, picnic areas, a hiking trail/nature area and a playground. It is a fun town to visit or to live in.”
The Los Angeles Philharmonic and Deaf West Theater are working on an innovative production conceived for both hearing and deaf operagoers.
Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.
Since 2016, the nonprofit Cats of San Bernardino has helped at least 1,200 furry friends get ready for adoption.
The organization traps feral cats so they can be spayed or neutered as well as vaccinated, and then either releases them back into the community or finds a family to take them home, ABC7 reports.
One of the cats rescued by the group was adopted by Ozzy Osbourne’s family and another by a NASA pilot, said Jaina Spagis, who runs the group.
“A bunch of cool cats that have come through here — but we really try and focus on the ones that are kind of too sick, too injured and forgotten about,” Spagis told ABC7.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya
P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Intentionally lose, as a sports match (5 letters).
Briana Scalia and Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at CAtoday@nytimes.com.
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