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Welcome to the California Local Blog

This is where we expand and expound upon why we do what we do the way we do it.

Image caption: A Red-tailed hawk on a light pole overlooking downtown Santa Cruz.
Citizen Science

Sometimes making the community better manifests as a better understanding of how nature works. Local birders lead the way.


Image caption: Different representations of traffic stress.
Building a Better Bike Map

Recent discussions in social media revealed a lack of maps of safe local bike routes. So we connected with local bike experts to start a crowdsourced project to create some.


Image caption: Keep your eyes on the road, Hank.
The Vexation of Taxation

America is weird. Nobody likes taxes, but everyone enjoys the benefits of the services funded by the taxes.


Image caption: Connections make the network.
Find the Others

An exploration into the mechanisms and uses of the attention traps purposefully designed into digital platforms, and the importance of our real life relationships in countering manipulation.


Image caption: Trump supporters are seen in the NY Times video “Days of Rage” attacking police officers at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. About 140 officers received injuries ranging from lacerations to concussions, rib fractures and chemical burns.
The Big Lie, and the Epiphany that Didn’t Happen

I hoped the events of Jan. 6, 2021, would put an end to the Big Lie—that the election of 2020 was bogus. But on Jan. 6, 2022, the Big Lie got even bigger.


Image caption: It’s good to know traffic and weather conditions before you hit the road.
Accurate Traffic Information Is Vital

We take a look under the hood of California Local’s Traffic and Transportation portal, which provides comprehensive information on local road and traffic conditions, current CHP incidents and traffic congestion hot spots.


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Getting to Yes

In which we ponder how to make things better in a climate of no.


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Building a Collaboration Machine

We wanted to build a better local newspaper; it turned into something much larger.


Image caption: A graph of a social network.
The Genius of Democracy

In which we ponder human self organization.


Image caption: An image of the California Bear Flag.
Welcome to California Local

Thank you for finding California Local. This is what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it.


Image caption: California Local Publisher Michael Gelbman talks about his vision for the site’s future.
Tell Us a Story

California Local gives a voice to community volunteers—and the business leaders who make their work possible.


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I’ve Got a Hunch

And I know you have one as well. Let’s compare notes.


Image caption: All aboard.
Annals of Democracy: Trains

UPDATED In which we ponder the things around which humans self organize.

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