Happy Friday from sunny Palm Springs, where it’s just starting to cool down. I’m Winston Gieseke, philanthropy and special sections editor for The Desert Sun, and here’s what’s happening in California.
In California brings you top Golden State stories and commentary from across the USA TODAY Network and beyond. Get it free, straight to your inbox.
Bay Area gets red flag warning starting Sunday
Red flag warnings have been issued for the entire Bay Area starting Sunday, when the most powerful offshore winds of the season could incite new wildfires and cause widespread damage, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
As a result, Pacific Gas & Electric is planning more forced power outages to reduce the risk of fires being started by wind-ravaged power lines. “It won’t take much to get a fire started,” said NWS meteorologist David King.
The red flag warning, which indicates extreme fire danger, will be in effect in the ridgelines and peaks of the North Bay and East Bay from Sunday at 11 a.m. to Tuesday at 11 a.m. Winds of up to 100 mph are possible in certain areas, according to meteorologists. Another red flag warning has been issued for the remainder of the Bay Area and will be in effect from Sunday at 8 p.m. until Monday at 11 a.m.
Larger, more populous areas like San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Rosa could see winds up to 40 mph.
PG&E was expected to provide more specific power outage information Friday night.
Roof at Globe Life Field will be closed for World Series Game 3
In other weather news, if you were planning on attending game three of the World Series to cheer on the Dodgers but are concerned about the weather forecast, you’re in luck. The Los Angeles Times reports that the roof at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Tex., will be closed during the Friday night game to protect the athletes. The forecast estimates the temperature dropping to 52 degrees by first pitch with winds at 13 mph.
“[Major League Baseball], which consulted with medical advisors in reaching this decision, believes that a closed roof will provide the best competitive environment for players and the most comfort for fans without jeopardizing their safety in any way,” a league statement read.
Riverside County changes rules for investigating police shootings
Local police agencies in Riverside County announced that police use-of-force incidents will no longer be investigated solely by officers from the same agency but will instead utilize an outside task force to determine whether or not an officer’s actions were appropriate.
“When the government uses force on a civilian, we’ve got to examine that, and we’ve got to transmit our findings to the public,” Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said. “These investigations have to be done by an outside agency.”
Riverside County District Attorney spokesperson John Hall said that investigators from his office have been called to the scene of 12 police use-of-force incidents so far in 2020, six of which were fatal. While Hestrin says the new policy will increase transparency, some departments have questions about what the change will cost and what they can afford in today’s pandemic-battered economy.
Disney California Adventure to reopen select stores
Another day, another Disneyland update. USA Today reported Friday that select restaurants and shops in Disney California Adventure Park will reopen to the public in November.
This is being done to offer additional options to visitors of the Downtown Disney District, an outdoor shopping and dining area adjacent to Disneyland and California Adventure. Downtown Disney District patrons will be able to enter California Adventure to access the additional businesses without going through the park’s main gates.
Among the shops reopening are Elias & Co., Julius Katz & Sons and Kingswell Camera Shop; restaurants include Trolley Treats, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe, Carthay Circle Lounge and Smokejumpers Grill. All are located on Buena Vista Street within the park. The rest of California Adventure and Disneyland Park will remain closed for the time being.
Prosecutors to seek death penalty for Scott Peterson, again
Prosecutors in Northern California said Friday they will once again seek the death penalty for Scott Peterson, who was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife and unborn son nearly 19 years ago.
In August, the California Supreme Court overturned Peterson’s 2005 death sentence, saying potential jurors were improperly dismissed after saying they personally disagreed with the death penalty but would be willing to follow the law and impose it.
While the state’s high court upheld Peterson’s conviction, in October the same court ordered a new hearing to determine whether that conviction should be tossed after concerns that a tainted juror had served on the jury.
No matter what happens, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has placed a moratorium on executions for as long as he is governor.
Griffith Park ‘gondola’ idea met with opposition
From Los Angeles: A proposal to erect an aerial transit system or gondola to ease traffic congestion and access difficult-to-reach places at Griffith Park has sparked opposition from environmentalists and residents.
The Los Angeles Times reports that while the transit system aims to get people off crowded streets and up into the air, more than 20 community groups, including one called Friends of Griffith Park, argue that construction of a tram would adversely affect open space and wildlife habitats, and the lengthy construction process would close the area to hikers, horse riders and other park-goers.
Environmentalists have pointed out that species such as the Blainville’s horned lizard and the whiptail lizard live on high ridgelines on the park’s western side, where the proposed tram with its towers and viewing platform would be located. In three of the four proposed routes, they argue, construction would disrupt this habitat, threatening the species’ chance of survival in the park.
However, Darryl Ford, L.A.’s superintendent for planning and construction, says a study is needed to determine the environmental impact. A budget of $750,000 has been committed to said study, which is slated to be completed in January.
For more on the proposal, visit griffithparkaerialtransit.com.
And lastly …
‘Weird Al’ turns 61
On this day back in 1959, Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and satirist “Weird Al” Yankovic was born in Downey, Calif. A trained musician, in 2014 Yankovic — among my favorites since the release of his “In 3-D” album in 1984 — became the third musical artist ever (after Michael Jackson and Madonna) to have a Top 40 hit in each of the prior four decades. Happy birthday, Al!
That’s all, folks. Have a great weekend. Stay safe and informed.
In California is a roundup of news from across USA Today network newsrooms. Also contributing: Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle.