The place the Sikh American ‘Peach King’ thrived and seeded a legacy

Good morning, and welcome to the Important California publication. It’s Friday, Sept. 23. I’m Jeong Park, a reporter overlaying Asian American communities for The Instances, coming to you from Mid-Metropolis in Los Angeles.

In a bit over a month, the most important celebration for the Sikh American neighborhood will happen in Yuba Metropolis. It’s a city of 70,000 souls in Sutter County, about 40 miles north of Sacramento. However on the primary weekend of each November, the inhabitants greater than doubles as some 100,000 Sikh People from all around the nation collect for a competition and parade.

Yuba Metropolis has develop into a cultural and political mecca for the neighborhood — dwelling to the primary Sikh mayor and the first Sikh girl mayor in the USA. How did that occur? It has so much to do with Didar Singh Bains, a farmer and a Sikh neighborhood chief who began the annual parade in 1980. He died final week at age 84.

“Yuba Metropolis is what Yuba Metropolis is immediately due to Didar Singh Bains,” stated Kash Gill, Bains’ nephew and the historic first Sikh mayor within the U.S. when sworn in in 2009.

Bains got here to the USA in 1958, leaving a small farming village in Punjab, India, on the age of 18 to observe his father, who had already left for America. He had $8 to his title when he arrived, in line with a tribute written by his daughter, Diljit Bains, in UC Davis’ Pioneering Punjabis Digital Archive.

Bains labored his method up the state, all the best way from the Imperial Valley. He settled in Sutter County, which “reminded him of Punjab” with its rivers (Punjab interprets to “The Land of 5 Waters”), stated Karm Bains, Didar’s son and the Sutter County District 4 supervisor.

By 1962, Didar Bains had purchased his first piece of land. By 1978, he had develop into the most important unbiased peach farmer in California, and maybe the world, incomes him the title of “Peach King.” He additionally grew cranberries, raspberries and different crops in 13 completely different counties all through California, in addition to Washington and British Columbia.

Peaches are notoriously labor-intensive and finicky to develop, however Didar Bains knew easy methods to discover the proper soil, Karm Bains stated. Didar Bains employed a whole lot of individuals, offering plenty of Sikh immigrants their first jobs within the U.S. A lot of these employees had fled India after 1984, when 1000’s of Sikhs had been massacred in three days of violence.

“After they got here to America,” Gill stated, “there have been solely two issues they wanted to know: Didar Bains and Yuba Metropolis.”

Bains turned the youngest president of the Stockton Gurdwara Sikh temple in 1965, pushed by his sturdy religion. He raised funds to construct a Sikh temple in Yuba Metropolis within the Sixties, and he additionally based the World Sikh Group in 1984 to advocate for the neighborhood. He donated thousands and thousands to assist construct Sikh temples worldwide, and tens of 1000’s of {dollars} to assist a Wisconsin police officer get better from a mass taking pictures at a Sikh temple in 2012.

As Sikh People had been focused after Sept. 11, Bains and different Sikh leaders organized a gathering with President George W. Bush.

“He needed to be sure that he may educate everybody on who we’re,” Karm Bains stated.

Didar Bains emphasised three tenets of the faith, Karm Bains stated: dwelling an trustworthy life, thanking God and sharing with these in want.

In Yuba Metropolis, Didar Bains’ legacy is in all places, reminiscent of the Wal-Mart and House Depot he helped carry to the town. The town earlier this yr celebrated the groundbreaking of a park named after Bains.

“He had a imaginative and prescient and a mindset of the place he needed the folks to be,” Karm Bains stated. “I hope this isn’t the tip of an period. Hopefully, it’s only a passing of the torch for the subsequent era to return.”

And now, right here’s what’s occurring throughout California:

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“Fats Leonard” arrested in Venezuela. Leonard Glenn Francis, the Malaysian protection contractor referred to as “Fats Leonard,” had fled dwelling arrest in San Diego however was taken into custody after 16 days on the run. Francis had orchestrated the worst bribery and corruption scandal in U.S. Navy historical past. San Diego Union-Tribune

A fault system alongside the coast of L.A. and Orange County may set off a magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Often called the Palos Verdes fault zone, the system runs beneath quite a few neighborhoods in addition to the ports of Lengthy Seashore and Los Angeles. A research says the system is able to a much more highly effective quake than beforehand thought. Los Angeles Instances

Asian American faculty church community is confronted with claims of non secular abuse. Gracepoint Church, which began at UC Berkeley, has chapters at greater than 60 campuses. However former members say the church has manipulated them into confessing sins and overloaded them with obligations to the purpose of sickness. They are saying the church successfully restricted relationship, media consumption and pet possession. Christianity Right this moment

L.A. STORIES reopen Part 8 housing vouchers program for the primary time in 5 years. Beginning Oct. 17, Angelenos could have two weeks to submit an software on-line for an opportunity to be added to a lottery ready checklist. The final time Los Angeles opened its Part 8 ready checklist was in 2017 — and almost 188,000 folks utilized for simply 20,000 accessible vouchers. Los Angeles Instances

Hallelujah! The Crenshaw/LAX Line will open (partially) Oct. 7. The 8.5-mile line runs from the Adams District by the guts of traditionally Black Los Angeles and can ultimately supply a path to hook up with the Los Angeles Airport and the South Bay. My Fb group chat of transit nerds all rejoiced upon listening to the information. Los Angeles Instances

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L.A. County will finish its masks order on public transit and in airports. The county has been the one one to proceed to mandate widespread masking in such settings, though some particular person operators, such because the San Francisco Bay Space Speedy Transit commuter rail system, even have such guidelines in place. The mandate will formally be lifted immediately. Los Angeles Instances

A dispatch from a San Bernardino council assembly. I really like David Allen, a columnist for myriad papers within the Inland Empire. This time, he updates us on San Bernardino, from a “big examine” given to enhance a park to a proposal to construct a Goal. When a speaker decried the site visitors {that a} potential Goal and buying heart may carry, Allen deadpanned: “To placate him, the town ought to degree a couple of extra buildings, together with the college, simply to make sure nobody in San Bernardino has motive to go anyplace.” San Bernardino Solar


Why did it take years for a defendant to learn of a cop’s racist comment? That’s what Richard Lathan, in jail for homicide that he says he didn’t commit, is asking. A detective who helped put him in jail made a racist comment about Black folks in 2014, however Lathan wasn’t notified till this summer season. Los Angeles Instances

Lawsuit alleges a Northern California utility racially profiled Asian communities. The swimsuit filed by the watchdog Digital Frontier Basis says the Sacramento Municipal Utility District routinely fed clients’ energy use info to police with out requiring a warrant or any suspicion of wrongdoing. A police analyst forwarded solely Asian-sounding names for extra investigation into whether or not a buyer was illegally rising marijuana crops, the swimsuit claims. Related Press


LAUSD colleges will get the OD-reversal drug naloxone. The transfer got here after the dying of a pupil at Hollywood’s Bernstein Excessive College who ingested a tablet containing fentanyl. She’d purchased it from one other pupil. Officers stated 9 college students had overdosed throughout the district in latest weeks. Naloxone is very efficient at reversing opioid overdoses. Los Angeles Instances

Are bumblebees fish? The state Supreme Court docket says sure, underneath California’s Endangered Species Act. It may permit a broad vary of bugs to be thought-about for endangered species standing. Los Angeles Instances

Not one other warmth wave! Sadly, sure, as temperatures will climb as excessive as 106 levels Sunday by Tuesday within the Los Angeles space and as excessive as 95 levels in Central California and the Bay Space. Los Angeles Instances


A non secular group is objecting to a public entry path to stunning Mossbrae Falls close to Mt. Shasta. The Saint Germain Basis, a secretive non secular group that owns land the place folks typically trespass to get to the falls, is worried that guests will trash the place. The opposite unlawful technique to get to the falls is to hike alongside practice tracks, however two folks have been hit by trains whereas climbing the route since 2011. SFGATE

Take an Amtrak journey from Oakland to Los Angeles. The journey is greater than 12 hours lengthy, however a $54 one-way journey is about discovering a uncommon house to unplug. I can testify the journey has some superior views. Mercury Information (Might I additionally suggest touring from San Francisco to L.A. utilizing solely public transportation?)

Hoda Kotb sipping wine on the “Right this moment” present whereas broadcasting stay from Sonoma County? Dunno, I might watch that. Sonoma County Tourism officers say they’re working with NBC to carry the morning present to Sonoma County. The Press Democrat

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Los Angeles: principally sunny, 88. San Diego: principally sunny, 81. San Francisco: partly cloudy, 75. San Jose: sunny, 87. Fresno: sunny, 91. Sacramento: sunny, 89.


Right this moment’s California reminiscence is from Richard Buchholz:

I grew up in Louisiana and was 25 after I first visited California. My brother and his girlfriend picked me up at SFO and whisked me to the Oasis Beer Backyard in Menlo Park, the place we loved the good burgers and guzzled a pair pitchers of beer. The subsequent cease was a sizzling tub in a pal’s yard. We soaked bare for what appeared like hours whereas I savored a cool breeze and ogled the unique vegetation. For a Baton Rouge child, it was the absolute best introduction to a state I’ve come to like through the years.

— Richard Buchholz

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