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By Eric Johnson
Published Jun 10, 2024

The Importance of Planning

Before we get to our featured article and all the other good stuff, I need to own up to a mistake that illustrates a point about planning. In the May 28 edition of The Newsletter, I announced the publication of our first book, How California Works: Building Democracy in the Golden State, by the great Jon Vankin. If you missed the big announcement, that’s on me, because I scheduled it for the day after Memorial Day. Not the best timing for a book launch.

In my defense, some last-minute snafus had delayed publication, and I was eager to let you know about the book as soon as that was possible. This is a hopeful book that can be an antidote to the dire news we are confronted with daily—it’s filled with true stories about the ways, at its best, California is leading the world toward a better future

I also forgot to say this last month: Here's how to empower yourself as a citizen AND support local journalism: Find How California Works on Amazon; available in hardcover, softcover and digital (Kindle). 


The General Plan: Your Community’s Map to the Future

I say How California Works is a hopeful book because when you really see how local government functions, you have to be a little bit amazed. Our friend and colleague Chris Neklason has written about how building the database underlying California Local—discovering the elected bodies and volunteer boards that safeguard your tax dollars—hipped him to The Genius of Democracy

This week Chris explains how a  General Plan serves as the “constitution” of every incorporated community in the state—enumerating the long-term vision, priorities, goals, objectives and policies informing community governance—especially with regard to land use decisions. Good stuff to know.


The Central Role of Planning in California Government

Incorporated communities in California must manage local resources and your tax dollars according to a plan.
General Plans, mandated by the state and carried out by local counties, cities, and other municipalities, serve as a locality’s ‘constitution'.

Recipe of the Week

Our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening publish a recipe from their gardens every Sunday, which we feature here so you can start your week with some yum.

See more recipes in their Taste Spring! cookbook.


Grilled corn the base for a delicious salad

A cilantro-lime dressing ties together the grilled vegetables in this salad. Add sliced grilled chicken or other protein to make it an entree dish.
New! Late-spring combination works for summer cookouts, too


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Our overview page for El Dorado County is updated daily with the latest state and local news, weather alerts, local government announcements and local blog posts and news snippets from community groups and individuals.
Direct your browser to https://eldorado.californialocal.com/ to catch up on the latest news in California and El Dorado County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!


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Golden Empire Council logo Golden Empire Council

The Golden Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America pursues the mission of this national organization to “instill values in young people and prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetimes, to take leadership roles as adults, and to reach their full potential.”

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From Our Media Allies

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Tahoe Daily Tribune logo El Dorado Local Agency Formation Commission Considering Appointment for Alternate Public Member

The El Dorado Local Agency Formation Commission will be considering the appointment of an Alternate Public Member to LAFCO who will serve a new four-year term.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Lake Tahoe Beaches Drawing Rowdy Crowd

Last week, rowdy beach goers prompted the closure of Zephyr Cove, Roundhill and Nevada beaches after deputies responded to several reports of fights and other incidents.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo City Council Terminates Heavenly Parking Agreement Until Support Is Received for Annexation

The City of South Lake Tahoe has informed Heavenly Mountain Resort it is terminating its parking agreement with the resort.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Late Spring Is an Active Time for Tahoe Bear Cubs and Yearlings

As temperatures rise, bear cubs and yearling bears are emerging from winter dens. Some remain with their mothers, others are independent, and a few may show signs of illness.

Folsom Times logo Folsom Fire Chief Closes Open Spaces for Fire Danger

Designated city-owned open spaces with high fire potential are now off-limits in Folsom, according to an announcement from the Folsom Fire Department Wednesday afternoon.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Tahoe Chamber CEO Announced

After an extensive nation-wide search for a new CEO the Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce announced the hiring of local community member, Cristi Creegan.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Filing Period to Run for South Tahoe PUD Board Begins July 15

Two Board Member seats for South Tahoe Public Utility District are up for election on November 5, 2024.

Folsom Times logo Fire Season Heating Up and Folsom Is Ready for the Task

Fire Chief expects to close open lands ahead, cites importance of defensible space

Tahoe Guide logo Tim’s Tips: Safely Using Tahoe’s Paved Trails

The Lake Tahoe region is blessed with an extensive and elaborate system of multiuse trails providing access to great views of the lake, the Truckee River and the peaks of the Sierra. But those trails are narrow and, during the …

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Recent Local News

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• Tahoe Trail Expanding

A progress report on the ongoing construction of the Tahoe Trail bike and pedestrian paths around Lake Tahoe.

(06/08/2024) → South Tahoe Now

• City of South Lake Tahoe Opens Participatory Budget Ballot

The City of South Lake Tahoe has launched a "participatory ballot" where residents can weigh in on public project budget priorities.

(06/07/2024) → South Tahoe Now

• Gateway El Dorado Sparks Concerns

El Dorado Hills residents are expressing concerns about traffic on Latrobe Road when the next phase of the El Dorado Gateway project commences.

(06/07/2024) → Mountain Democrat

• Fuel Reduction Underway on Placerville

A new fuel reduction project is underway at the Gold Bug Park and Mine in Placerville.

(06/07/2024) → Mountain Democrat

• South Lake Tahoe Escalates Heavenly Annexation

The City of South Lake Tahoe voted to cancel a parking agreement with Heavenly Valley in an effort to gain support for annexation of the resort into city limits.

(06/04/2024) → South Tahoe Now
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Recent Statewide News

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• Sports Complex Unveiled as Part of California Forever

A rendering for a Solano Sports Complex development with facilities for baseball, basketball, football, swimming, tennis, volleyball, pickleball and other sports was released as part of the California Forever project in east Solano County.

(06/07/2024) → SF Gate

• CalMatters Hosts Big Ideas Festival

The two-day CalMatters Ideas Festival wrapped on June 6 with more than a dozen events examining critical policy issues impacting the lives of millions of Californians.

(06/07/2024) → CalMatters

• The California Maternity Wards That Are Staying Open

Over the last decade, nearly 50 maternity wards have closed across California, with more than half shutting down in just the last four years.

(06/06/2024) → CalMatters

• Land Trust Announces Opposition to California Forever

On June 6, the Solano Land Trust announced its opposition to the California Forever project to build a new community housing up to 400,000 people in the county.

(06/06/2024) → The Mercury News

• How Best to Reduce California Homelessness?

A panel at the CalMatters Ideas Festival debates how to reduce homelessness without punishing poverty. There’s worry about a potential $1 billion cut in state funding.

(06/06/2024) → CalMatters

• The Future for California Workers Is Apprenticeships

A panel of labor experts at the CalMatters Ideas Festival say California workers should have more access to more apprenticeships that pay more. Barriers still exist, especially for women and low-income Californians.

(06/06/2024) → CalMatters

• New Reservoir Project Advances

The $4.5 billion Sites Reservoir project is advancing after a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by environmental groups.

(06/05/2024) → The Mercury News

• A Look at Police dispatches to Schools

EdSource reports that police are dispatched thousands of times per school day across California.

(06/05/2024) → EdSource

• California Seeks a More Resilient Water Supply as Familiar Sides Battle for Access

A new study, conducted by researchers at three University of California campuses, projects that a combination of factors will reduce California’s water supply by up to 9 million acre-feet a year.

(06/05/2024) → CalMatters

• California Made It Easier to Vote, but Some With Disabilities Still Face Barriers

California is hailed as a national leader for voting access. But visually impaired voters and their advocates say they still face unnecessary barriers, despite bills and lawsuits. Some election officials raise security concerns.

(06/04/2024) → CalMatters

• California Homelessness Funding Is on the Chopping Block. Will It Make the Final Budget?

It’s the billion-dollar question. That’s how much cities and other local governments have been receiving from the state each year to deal with California's ever-increasing population of homeless people.

(06/04/2024) → CalMatters

• Why CA Families Are Getting a Tax Surprise for Health Care

For families seeking affordable health insurance, the state’s health insurance marketplace, Covered California, can provide major relief. But if they’re not careful, they can get hit by an unexpected federal tax bill.

(06/04/2024) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (06/07/2024)

City of South Lake Tahoe Launches Participatory Budget Ballot

Image of United States seal. United States   (06/07/2024)

Green Life Farms Issues Voluntary Recall of Baby Arugula Because of Possible Health Risk

Lake Worth, FL (June 7, 2024) - Green Life Farms is voluntarily recalling one lot of its 4-ounce containers of Baby Arugula because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Symptoms of Salmonella may include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Illness usually occurs within 12 t
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/07/2024)

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Frozen Ready-To-Eat Bao Curry Chicken Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for product labeled as bao Thai-style curry chicken...
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/06/2024)

Joe Patterson CA Assembly 05:
Lawmakers demanding answers from Caltrans about freeway damage claim denials

Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/06/2024)

Joe Patterson CA Assembly 05:
California lawmaker makes another push to prohibit the use of NDAs in state lawmaking process

Image of United States seal. United States   (06/04/2024)

New Seasons Market Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Almonds in Strawberry Rhubarb Bakewell Tart

June 4, 2024, New Seasons Market of Portland, Oregon is recalling Strawberry Rhubarb Bakewell Tart, because it contains undeclared almond. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to almond run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.
Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (06/04/2024)

Pizza with Mayor Cody Bass

Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (06/04/2024)

Measure S Sales Tax Update

Image of United States seal. United States   (06/04/2024)

South American Meat Inc. Recalls Frozen Raw Beef Products Imported Without Benefit of Import Reinspection

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2024 - South American Meat Inc., also known as 5Gogi LLC, an importer located in Commerce, Calif., is recalling approximately 20,111 pounds of various eligible frozen raw...
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/03/2024)

UBC Food Distributors Recalls Baraka Brand Ground Black Pepper Spice Because of Possible Health Risk Announcement

UBC Food Distributors in Dearborn Michigan is recalling the Ground Black Pepper under the Baraka brand name in 7oz plastic containers 7oz * 10 With UPC code 8 22514 26626 6 because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infect