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CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

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Our San Francisco bureau chief, Thomas Fuller, has been covering homelessness in the Bay Area for the past few years. In Oakland alone, the number of homeless people has risen 47 percent since 2017, to more than 4,000.

Thomas met Mark-Steven Holys, 61, who lives in an encampment off the 880 freeway. The story of Mr. Holys, once a skilled sommelier before his life unraveled, resonated with readers, who responded with anecdotes about their own struggles finding housing and lamented the elusiveness of a solution to a crisis that has touched so many families.

Of the nearly 1,000 comments, Thomas writes, one was particularly poignant:

“Hello. My name is Michael Mark Holys. And this article is about my father.”

Writing from New York, Michael Holys referenced his own problems with homelessness, which unlike in his father’s case was not because of drugs or crime, he said. He has been forced to choose between food, medicine and shelter, he wrote.

“Good luck, Dad,” he said. “Love you.”

That homelessness spanned two generations of the Holys family seemed another measure of the gravity and pervasiveness of the problem.

Reaction to Mark-Steven Holys’s fate ranged from empathy for his plight to hard-nosed questions about the degree to which society should be responsible for the decisions of others.

“Regardless of the bad choices that this guy has made, it is a national disgrace that people are living like this,” one reader commented.

Another wrote: “It sounds to me like a life of bad choices, squandered opportunities and family relationships tossed to the side.”

As for the elder Mr. Holys, he read his son’s comments — and wept.

“I could just hear my son’s voice,” he said. The two had last spoken two months ago. Seeing his son’s comments about him in the third person was a jolt, Mr. Holys said, but he was deeply touched by the kind words his son had for him, despite a family life that was tempestuous and interrupted by prison terms and Mr. Holys’s crack cocaine habit.

“It really, really lifted me up,” he said.


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CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday made a private appeal to Democrats not to squander their chance to build public support for a full-scale impeachment inquiry into President Trump. [The New York Times]

  • A California federal judge on Friday blocked the Trump administration from imposing new rules that would allow for the lengthy detention of migrant children. [The New York Times]

  • Another horse died at the Santa Anita racetrack on Saturday, marring opening weekend. It was the 32nd horse death there since December. [The New York Times]

  • Forever 21 will file for bankruptcy. Started by Korean immigrants in Southern California, the store popularized fast fashion in America but fell victim to changing shopping habits and the quickly transforming retail landscape. [The New York Times]

  • The Los Angeles Police Department said it would open an inquiry into how a recruitment ad for its department had appeared on Breitbart. [The New York Times]

[Why do Californians have better privacy protections? Check out The Week in Tech.]

  • Sacramento City Unified School District agreed to pay $400,000 to settle a high-profile lawsuit related to a high school student’s gang-rape allegations. [The Sacramento Bee]

  • State law makes utilities like PG&E liable for fires caused by their equipment. But contractors face liability, too — and that is making it harder to get the insurance needed for the work. [The New York Times]

  • President Trump lost overwhelmingly in California in 2016, and 2020 could be even worse: A new poll found he is on track for the poorest showing by a Republican presidential candidate in the state since the Civil War. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • Elon Musk offered new details about the prototype of Starship, the SpaceX craft that he hopes will be humanity’s first ride to Mars. [The New York Times]

  • Rising temperatures and droughtlike conditions in California are bad news for avocado lovers. But scientists are working on a solution: a genetically modified version of the fruit. [The New York Times]

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CreditDamon Winter/The New York Times
  • For years, the Interior Department resisted proposals to raise the height of the Shasta Dam. But now the project is moving forward — with the help of the new interior secretary, David Bernhardt, who was once the chief lobbyist for a powerful farmers’ group that stands to profit substantially from increased access to irrigation water. [The New York Times]

  • The internet is overrun with images of children being sexually abused: A record 45 million were reported by tech companies last year. A Times investigation found an insatiable criminal underworld that has overwhelmed the flawed and insufficient efforts to contain the content. [The New York Times]

  • Several Democratic candidates are heading to California this week: Andrew Yang is holding a rally in Los Angeles today, Elizabeth Warren is attending a town hall in San Diego on Thursday, and Joe Biden will be in San Francisco on Thursday and Los Angeles on Friday.

  • The first cannabis cafe in the U.S. opens in West Hollywood on Tuesday.

  • The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival kicks off in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Friday.


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CreditAndrej Ivanov/Reuters

She doesn’t fly because of airplane emissions, so she sailed across the Atlantic in an emissions-free yacht to reach New York.

But after speaking at the United Nations Climate Action Summit last week, Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist, needed another environmentally-friendly mode of transportation to get to Montreal for a protest.

Enter the Governator.

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger offered to lend Ms. Thunberg his electric car for her North American travels, she revealed on the Scandinavian talk show “Skavlan.”

Mr. Schwarzenegger, who has also spoken out about climate change, admitted to being “star-struck” when he met Ms. Thunberg in May and volunteered to help.

The emissions-free vehicle of choice?

A Tesla Model 3, according to Car and Driver.

California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Were you forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.

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