• Marc Benioff. The Salesforce C.E.O. has made philanthropy a central part of the company’s mission.

• Barbara Boxer. The Democratic senator is retiring after 34 years of representing California in Congress.

• Jerry Brown. California’s longest-serving governor has pushed ambitious agendas.

• Nicole Capretz. The Climate Action Campaign founder is a force in environmental advocacy in San Diego.

• Betty Chinn. Known as the Chinese Mother Teresa, she has been a lifeline to Eureka’s homeless.

• Kamala Harris. California’s new senator is seen as having a bright future on the national and state stages.

• Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers quarterback’s national anthem protest polarized fans and incited debate.

• Elon Musk. The serial entrepreneur seems to embody the creative daring of Silicon Valley.

• Vin Scully (see below).

As for me, I’m going with Mr. Scully, the gentlemanly broadcaster who retired in October after 67 years as the voice of Dodgers baseball.

As the Los Angeles Times sportswriter Bill Plaschke put it, Mr. Scully “is the soundtrack of our lives, the dignified and graceful accompaniment of endless sandy summers, a daily harmonic reminder of the Southern California dream.”

After the results are in, we’ll reveal a winner by the end of the year.

Vote for your Californian of the Year.

California Online

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Transit officials said the Sepulveda Pass project was an essential part of a campaign to expand the transportation network in a city notorious for traffic congestion.

Credit
Andrew Cullen for The New York Times

• The cost of the 405 highway project in Los Angeles has now reached $1.6 billion. Was it worth it? [The New York Times]

• California’s largest pension fund moved to lower its investment forecast. That means higher contributions from taxpayers are coming. [Sacramento Bee]

• California’s Supreme Court halted a voter-approved measure that would have sped up death penalty appeals. [The Associated Press]

• Lawyers for Derick Ion Almena said the Ghost Ship warehouse leader “should not be made a scapegoat” for Oakland’s deadly Dec. 2 fire. [East Bay Times]

• The body of a former reality television contestant who went missing was found at a Los Angeles area home. An arrest was made. [Los Angeles Times]

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William Scott, who was selected as San Francisco’s new police chief, during a news conference on Tuesday.

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Jim Wilson/The New York Times

• A Los Angeles deputy police chief was chosen to head the San Francisco Police Department. Watchdogs welcomed an outsider. [San Francisco Chronicle]

• In the race to develop self-driving cars, Michigan is suddenly aiming to give Silicon Valley a run for its money. [The New York Times]

• Twitter is losing another executive. This time, the chief technology officer is departing. [The New York Times]

• The Bay Area has 38 of the country’s 100 most expensive ZIP codes, a survey found. [KQED]

• DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings was fined $50,000 for his behavior toward reporters. “My actions were inexcusable,” he said. [Sacramento Bee]

• A producer of the blockbuster epic “The Great Wall” rejected accusations that casting Matt Damon was “whitewashing.” [The New York Times]

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Noorook, a dish made with fermented grains, at Baroo in Los Angeles.

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Beth Coller for The New York Times

• A tour of six ultracreative restaurants in Los Angeles strip malls. [The New York Times]

• A libations columnist offered a list of the best 25 California wines that he tasted this year. [Orange County Register]

And Finally …

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James Hetfield of Metallica performed at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles on Dec. 15.

Credit
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Does the Bay Area have a superiority complex?

James Hetfield seems to think so. During a recent interview on the comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast, the Metallica frontman said the region’s “elitist attitude” played a part in his family’s decision to leave their longtime home in Marin County and move to Vail, Colo.

“I kind of got sick of the Bay Area, the attitudes of people there,” he said.

Mr. Hetfield, 53, cited his love of hunting as one point of friction. “They talk about how diverse they are and things like that,” he told Mr. Rogan. “And it’s fine if you’re diverse like them. But showing up with a deer on the bumper doesn’t fly in Marin County.”

San Francisco has topped a number of rankings of cities for “snobbery,” as have several other Bay Area locations. The reputation was even parodied (in gross fashion) during a 2006 episode of “South Park” titled “Smug Alert!”

Mr. Hetfield had other conflicts in Marin County. He once angered fellow residents by erecting a fence on his property near San Rafael that blocked a popular trail.

In his conversation with Mr. Rogan, he said he fit in better in Colorado, where his wife, Francesca, grew up.

“In Colorado everyone is very natural,” he said.

Writing in SFist in 2013, the San Francisco journalist Rose Garrett acknowledged that the city’s residents are at times guilty of an air of superiority.

She added: “But that’s only because we’ve got a good thing going, and we know it.”

California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com.

The California Today columnist, Mike McPhate, is a third-generation Californian — born outside Sacramento and raised in San Juan Capistrano. He lives in Davis. Follow him on Twitter.

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

Correction: December 21, 2016

An earlier version of this article misspelled the name of the founder of the Climate Action Campaign. She is Nicole Capretz, not Capritz. It also misspelled the name of a homeless advocate in Eureka. She is Betty Chinn, not Betty Chin.

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