In May of last year, Laurence Du Sault and Katey Rusch stood hunched over a single desk in a records room in a courthouse in Lancaster, California, carefully parsing and then photocopying court files they had pulled on numerous police officers convicted of crimes. No chairs and no breaks, they had already overstayed the window during which they were supposed to have access to the files. When their visit was complete—one of dozens of trips to courthouses they had made that spring and summer—they left with copies of pages from 13 case files.
Posted on January 8, 2020 - 1:43pm
The latest issue of CALIFORNIA contains a chapter-length excerpt from I Will Be Complete, the new memoir by acclaimed novelist and UC Berkeley alum Glen David Gold (Carter Beats the Devil, Sunnyside).
Posted on October 8, 2018 - 1:32pm
When I was a kid, it seemed like all adults smoked. Cigarette butts littered the sidewalks, the stench of stale tobacco clung to the upholstery, and ashtrays were everywhere. We made ashtrays in art class as gifts for our parents.
Back then, people smoked in their offices, their cars, and on airplanes. On airplanes! In California these days you can’t even light up in a bar.
By June of this year, the #MeToo movement had been bumped from both headlines and headspace by weird, convulsive, and disorienting stories—families separated at the border, trade wars erupting, regressive Supreme Court decisions, and intense and distracting hand-wringing over restaurant owners and patrons making mealtime awkward for members of the Trump administration.
For a journalist it seemed the ultimate dream gig: working for the Great Gray Lady herself, the New York Times—but operating from a lovely California beach town, not the dreary main newsroom in Manhattan. And indeed, Mike McPhate appreciated his position as producer of the Times’ newsletter, California Today. He had, after all, paid his dues.
Posted on May 22, 2018 - 5:06pm
Having trouble keeping up with this week’s news? Don’t sweat it—here’s California’s summary of hot buttons in the press.
Tax the Poor
With the Republican tax bill now in the Senate, many students are worried about a provision that would tax tuition waivers as income. Such waivers are regularly granted to graduate students who serve as teaching assistants and research apprentices.
Posted on December 1, 2017 - 4:56pm
The year was 1986, and Barbara Feinman Todd was a writer in disguise. Her mission? To crash a party— the 45th wedding anniversary of the director of the CIA, being held at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. No press was allowed, but it was her job to find out who the guests were.
In January 2016, David Fahrenthold, a political reporter at The Washington Post, took note as Donald Trump promised to donate $6 million to help veterans, including $1 million of his own, during a televised fundraiser. As he followed the presidential candidate to rallies across the country, Fahrenthold saw him hand over about $1 million in oversized checks from his foundation. What happened to the rest of the money? he wondered. Fahrenthold expected it would take him a couple of days to find out.
Posted on May 8, 2017 - 1:53pm
The title of UC Berkeley criminologist Franklin Zimring’s book, When Police Kill, released by Harvard University Press this week, is as stark as its mission is simple: to conduct a comprehensive study of police use of lethal force in the United States.
Posted on February 21, 2017 - 4:42pm
In 2000, Tina Rosenberg, a journalist for The New York Times, pitched a story for its Sunday magazine about the AIDS epidemic ravaging the world’s poorest nations. She wanted to show how pharmaceutical companies had pressured governments in sub-Saharan Africa, where 1 in 12 adults were living with HIV or AIDS, to deny access to generic drugs, making treatment unaffordable.
Her editor’s response: “I cannot subject our readers to another 7,000-word story on how everybody is going to die in Malawi.”
Posted on April 6, 2016 - 4:08pm