The California Sun

The world watches California for a reason. ​ ​We break it down. Get the most compelling news from across the state delivered to your inbox each morning — for free. Sign up here:

Andrew Zahler

Newsperson turned jr softwareperson. Intermittent runner. Baseball enthusiast.

Mike McPhate

Mike McPhate writes the California Sun newsletter. (Sign up! Formerly of the New York Times and Washington Post.

Mike McPhate

Writer at the California Sun. Hit me up:

Latest Posts

Humboldt County’s sculpture race is the ‘triathlon of the art world’

Blend Burning Man and Nascar and you might get something like the art sculpture race held every Memorial Day weekend in Humboldt County.

A cathedral of capitalism on California’s Central Coast

William Randolph Hearst not only ruled over a sprawling media empire. He wielded power as a congressman, a Hollywood heavyweight, and a…

6 fascinating facts about California: hero orangutan and dirtbag dope edition

An orangutan at the San Diego Zoo once gained national fame as a serial escape artist. Born at the zoo in 1971, Ken Allen outwitted…

How California’s newspapers line up on the June 5 ballot

On June 5, Californians will face a ballot posing some crucial questions about the future of the state.

California’s last volcanic eruption

With floods, wildfires, and earthquakes, Californians have plenty to worry about. But don’t forget the raining lava.

6 fascinating facts about California: therapy pig and peach king edition

1. San Francisco International Airport has a therapy pig. It’s become fairly common for volunteers to walk therapy dogs around terminals as…

A California high school where students pretty much run the show

Tucked in a grassy canyon along the Central Coast is a high school where students chop wood and tend livestock between their history and…

Snowshoe Thompson was the Paul Bunyan of the Sierra Nevada

Two centuries ago, delivering mail across the icy Sierra Nevada was virtually impossible during the winter — until the arrival of a…

What happened to the California drive-in?

There was a time in California when pretty much everybody went to the drive-in movie theater.

6 fascinating facts about California: Glass Beach and gay marriage edition

San Francisco and Oakland are the nation's capitals of same-sex marriage. According to figures released in 2016, San Francisco had the…


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