Several municipalities have halted new projects to study their impact on pollution and congestion.

A Warehouse Abuts A Residential Street In Colton, Calif. Residents Have Grown Increasingly Frustrated With The Proliferation Of Warehouses In The Region.
Alex Welsh for The New York Times

As you drive east from Los Angeles along Interstate 10, the sprawling Inland Empire takes over the horizon.

Among the cities that blanket this region of California is Colton, a community of 54,000 residents, tucked at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains.

Over the years, there’s been a boom of warehouse construction in the Inland Empire, an easy hub for such expansion given the region’s vastness, its direct access to rail lines and its proximity to the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which handle 40 percent of the nation’s seaborne imports. In the early 1990s, there were about 650 warehouses in the region, according to a data tool from Pitzer College in Claremont. By last year, there were nearly 4,000.

But as I wrote recently, residents are pushing back against the growth.

“For too long it’s been build, build, build, with no repercussions,” Alicia Aguayo, a member of a local group called People’s Collective for Environmental Justice, told me.

In recent months, a half-dozen Inland Empire cities, including Colton, which has 58 licensed warehouses, have imposed moratoriums on new facilities.

The moves were born, in part, out of an uproar from residents like Aguayo.

Labor groups and business coalitions have harshly criticized the timeouts, saying they will harm job growth and threaten an already shaky supply chain.

“Placing a ban or moratorium on building new distribution centers or warehouses while we continue to experience a supply chain crisis is not good policy,” Jonathan Gold, a vice president of the National Retail Federation, said.

The moratoriums are meant to give local elected officials time to assess the effects of pollution, the appropriate distances between homes and warehouses, and the impact of heavy truck traffic on streets, among other things.

In Colton, the moratorium will stay in place until May 2023.

Pam Lemos, who has lived in the city her entire life, said the pause in construction could not come soon enough. As we drove around Colton one afternoon last month, a line of smog hung at the base of the mountains. Semi-trucks sat in gridlock along exits to Colton from Interstate 10.

“There is always something going on here — trucks, trains, construction from warehouses,” Lemos said. “It’s like we’re living in this logistical bubble while trying to raise our families.”

For more:

Kurtis Lee is a Times economics correspondent based in Los Angeles.


Mario Tama/Getty Images

Disparaging remarks about Oaxacans from the Los Angeles City Council president highlight a history of racism within the Latino community.


Patrick T. Fallon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

  • S.F. exodus: San Franciscans are more likely to be thinking about skipping town in the next year than residents of any other major metropolitan area, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

  • Use-of-force: San Francisco prosecutors and police officials appear to be close to an agreement that gives the District Attorney’s Office lead authority to investigate officer shootings, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.


Christopher Testani for The New York Times

Manicotti.


Pamela Hassell/Associated Press

Today’s tip comes from Alexandra Smith:

“My favorite place to escape in California is Santa Barbara: touring the lush gardens at Lotusland, walking along Shoreline Drive, doing the Jeff Shelton architectural tour in “The Fig District,” eating at the San Ysidro Ranch for an extravagant once-in-a-blue-moon meal, shopping at their incredibly varied farmer’s markets. Definitely my happy place.”


What are your favorite places to visit in California?

Email your suggestions to [email protected]. Please include your name and the city in which you live. We’ll be sharing more travel tips in upcoming editions of the newsletter.


Nathan Frandino/Reuters

In her 20 years as a librarian, Sharon McKellar has unearthed all kinds of left-behind personal items nestled between the pages of returned library books: doodles, recipes, old photographs.

McKellar, a librarian at the Oakland Public Library, carefully removes the artifacts and scans and uploads them to the library’s website. It has become a hobby, and she’s grown quite a following of people equally charmed by the forgotten finds.

“Part of the magic is that they sort of just appear,” McKellar told The Washington Post. “Sometimes, they may have been in a book for a really long time before we notice them there.”

The treasures that tickle McKellar most are children’s drawings and people’s lists, whether grocery, bucket or otherwise.

“Things that seem the most mundane can be the most interesting,” she said. “I love the little peek into somebody’s life in that moment.”


Thanks for reading. We’ll be back tomorrow.

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword.

Soumya Karlamangla, Steven Moity and Briana Scalia contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at [email protected].

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