Let's catch up.
California Drought Virtually Over After Five Years, SFist
Though a few parts of Southern California remain in a state of "moderate" or "severe" drought, the U.S. Drought Monitor reported Thursday that the vast majority of the state has now emerged from what had been "extreme" and "exceptional" drought conditions just a few months ago. As the Sacramento Bee reports, Northern California is officially drought-free, but the drought is not officially officially done until Governor Jerry Brown rescinds his drought emergency declaration from 2014. Also, the State Water Resources Control Board just voted two weeks ago to extend the statewide emergency water controls for another nine months, despite the epic rains and floods of the past two months. Read more.
Snap's Video-Recording Spectacles Now Available Online, Ozy
Seeing is believing … and potentially very invasive. Social media behemoth Snapchat has begun selling their wearable tech — colorful circular-video-recording Spectacles — for $130 online, in a bid to show their worth in the open marketplace to future IPO investors. The glasses were previously only available at surprise pop-up Snapbot vending machines in the U.S. While Snap defends the slow rollout, it likely wasn't a sustainable long-term strategy — especially as the camera sunglasses, like the rest of Snapchat, aren't yet very profitable. Read more.
JAY Z Considering Launching His Own Seed-Stage Investment Firm, BisNow
Rapper and businessman Jay Z and his company, Roc Nation, may form a seed-stage investment firm with San Francisco-based Sherpa Capital. Jay Z, best known as pop star Beyoncé's husband, previously participated in Uber's Series C financing in 2013, reports the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Although Jay Z, Roc Nation president Jay Brown and Sherpa Capital are exploring the idea, this would likely not be a Sherpa-branded endeavor. Jay Z has previously invested in JetSmarter, Away and Julep and owns a stake in music-streaming service Tidal. He is estimated to be worth $610M. Read more.
California Pay Gap for Women Grows to Widest in More than a Decade, San Francisco Business Times
Women in California are falling behind in pay equality, despite the uptick in conversation about the issue on both a state and national level.
New numbers out from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that women's weekly earnings in the Golden State in 2015 averaged 15 percent below their male counterparts. California women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $775, compared to the $914 median usual weekly earnings for men. Women made up 42.3 percent of the 12.6 million employed in California in 2015. Read more.
Big Newspapers Are Booming: 'Washington Post' To Add 60 Newsroom Jobs, NPR
The Washington Post expects to hire more than 60 journalists in the coming months — a sign of remarkable growth for a newspaper in the digital age.
After a year of record traffic and digital advertising revenue, the Post newsroom will grow by more than 8 percent, to more than 750 people. The extent of the newsroom expansion was first reported by Politico. The Post will add a "rapid-response" investigative team, expand its video journalism and breaking news staff, and make additional investments in podcasts and photography. Read more.
San Leandro Declares Itself a Sanctuary City, ABC 7
In San Leandro, the City Council listened to more than 50 public comments Tuesday night from citizens asking them to declare it a sanctuary city. The council unanimously voted to make their city a sanctuary. Read more.