â¢ Marc Benioff. The Salesforce C.E.O. has made philanthropy a central part of the companyâs mission.
â¢ Barbara Boxer. The Democratic senator is retiring after 34 years of representing California in Congress.
â¢ Jerry Brown. Californiaâs longest-serving governor has pushed ambitious agendas.
â¢ Nicole Capretz. The Climate Action Campaign founder is a force in environmental advocacy in San Diego.
â¢ Betty Chinn. Known as the Chinese Mother Teresa, she has been a lifeline to Eurekaâs homeless.
â¢ Kamala Harris. Californiaâs new senator is seen as having a bright future on the national and state stages.
â¢ Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers quarterbackâs national anthem protest polarized fans and incited debate.
â¢ Elon Musk. The serial entrepreneur seems to embody the creative daring of Silicon Valley.
â¢ Vin Scully (see below).
As for me, Iâm 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 âis the soundtrack of our lives, the dignified and graceful accompaniment of endless sandy summers, a daily harmonic reminder of the Southern California dream.â
After the results are in, weâll reveal a winner by the end of the year.
â¢ The cost of the 405 highway project in Los Angeles has now reached $1.6 billion. Was it worth it? [The New York Times]
â¢ Californiaâs largest pension fund moved to lower its investment forecast. That means higher contributions from taxpayers are coming. [Sacramento Bee]
â¢ Californiaâs Supreme Court halted a voter-approved measure that would have sped up death penalty appeals. [The Associated Press]
â¢ Lawyers for Derick Ion Almena said the Ghost Ship warehouse leader âshould not be made a scapegoatâ for Oaklandâs deadly Dec. 2 fire. [East Bay Times]
â¢ 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]
â¢ A Los Angeles deputy police chief was chosen to head the San Francisco Police Department. Watchdogs welcomed an outsider. [San Francisco Chronicle]
â¢ 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]
â¢ Twitter is losing another executive. This time, the chief technology officer is departing. [The New York Times]
â¢ The Bay Area has 38 of the countryâs 100 most expensive ZIP codes, a survey found. [KQED]
â¢ DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings was fined $50,000 for his behavior toward reporters. âMy actions were inexcusable,â he said. [Sacramento Bee]
â¢ A producer of the blockbuster epic âThe Great Wallâ rejected accusations that casting Matt Damon was âwhitewashing.â [The New York Times]
â¢ A tour of six ultracreative restaurants in Los Angeles strip malls. [The New York Times]
â¢ A libations columnist offered a list of the best 25 California wines that he tasted this year. [Orange County Register]
And Finally …
Does the Bay Area have a superiority complex?
James Hetfield seems to think so. During a recent interview on the comedian Joe Roganâs podcast, the Metallica frontman said the regionâs âelitist attitudeâ played a part in his familyâs decision to leave their longtime home in Marin County and move to Vail, Colo.
âI kind of got sick of the Bay Area, the attitudes of people there,â he said.
Mr. Hetfield, 53, cited his love of hunting as one point of friction. âThey talk about how diverse they are and things like that,â he told Mr. Rogan. âAnd itâs fine if youâre diverse like them. But showing up with a deer on the bumper doesnât fly in Marin County.â
San Francisco has topped a number of rankings of cities for âsnobbery,â as have several other Bay Area locations. The reputation was even parodied (in gross fashion) during a 2006 episode of âSouth Parkâ titled âSmug Alert!â
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.
âIn Colorado everyone is very natural,â he said.
Writing in SFist in 2013, the San Francisco journalist Rose Garrett acknowledged that the cityâs residents are at times guilty of an air of superiority.
She added: âBut thatâs only because weâve got a good thing going, and we know it.â
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 â 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.
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.