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By Eric Johnson
Published May 28, 2024

If you really look, you will find some good things are happening in California. If you really look, you will find some good things are happening in California. Image credit: Michael Carni, Shutterstock

We Have Some Real Good News

You probably haven't spent much of every workday for the past 27 years paying attention to local culture and politics in some part of California. I have. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying, that is what I do, and it is a pretty satisfying endeavor. It surprises many people when I share my opinion that for the most part, this state is in much better shape than it was when I started working here.

In our new book, How California Works: Building Democracy in the Golden State, we have collected 47 Explainers that author Jonathan Vankin wrote for California Local over the past three years (updated for the book) that entertainingly detail the nuts-and-bolts story of how our state functions. Together, they tell a tale that might surprise you in a good way.


Our Brand New Book Tells Some Good, True Stories

After many months of preparation, our new book, by the award-winning journalist and author Jonathan Vankin, is finally available. Get your copy today and discover how, just as California leads the world in technology via Silicon Valley, and in popular culture via Hollywood, etc., the Golden State leads the world in public policy. Way less sexy for sure, but possibly way more important.

Buy it on Amazon today!


How California Works: an Editors' Note


True stories about how, at its best, California has resisted and pushed back against anti-democratic forces. The histories and policies, deeply human characters, and controversies that have led us to where we are today.

If You're Not in Awe, You're Not Paying Attention

In his first blog post for this project, Chris Neklason, our CEO and product dude, described how building California Local's underlying technology and database turned him into a local-politics optimimist. “The genius of democracy is that it's a political system well suited for people to collectively make things better. Yeah, it's messy, it's imperfect, it's clunky. But it works.” 

This week,  having spent a couple months paying close attention to news from around the state, Chris returns to the subject.


Things Are Getting Better

New garbage and recycling receptacles! A new raised path through the rainy-season swamp!
All across California, municipalities and nonprofits are making their communities better.

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.


Double up on cherries in these tender muffins

Cherry season is worth celebrating with these tender, not-too-sweet muffins.
New! Ricotta the secret ingredient to these baked treats


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Monterey County's Homepage

Our overview page for Monterey 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://monterey.californialocal.com/ to catch up on the latest news in California and Monterey County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!


Get to Know a Group

UnChained logo UnChained

UnChained’s mission is to provide California’s Central Coast youth with the opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth while training homeless dogs in need of adoption. Standing as a beacon of transformation on California’s Central Coast, UnChained guides at-risk youth and homeless dogs on a journey of mutual healing.

→ Learn more

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From Our Media Allies

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KSQD logo Student Protestor Voices on Israel-Gaza-Palestine

In this field-produced, bonus episode, the Moment of Truth team interviews pro-Palestinian, student protestors and campers at university and college encampments.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Calforests Applauds Funding for Wildfire Prevention, Preparedness in Governor Newsom’s May Revision

On May 14, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the May Revision includes a proposed budget allocation to assist the State in achieving its fire prevention and fire suppression goals.

Monterey County Weekly logo After 12 Years in Public Office, Salinas Mayor Kimbley Craig Announces She Will Not Seek Re-Election.

After two terms (two years each) as Salinas' mayor and two terms (four years each) as a City Council member, Kimbley Craig announced on Thursday, May 23 that she will not seek re-election to a third term.

Salinas Valley Tribune logo California Rodeo Salinas Sets Inaugural Junior Rodeo for June 9

SALINAS — California Rodeo Association has announced its first-ever Junior Rodeo, scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 9, at the Salinas Sports Complex, 1034 N. Main St., in Salinas.

San Jose Inside logo California Climate Programs Would Lose Billions in Newsom’s Budget

As funds for climate change programs are cut, Democrats and environmentalists are pushing for a bond measure on the ballot to restore some funding.

Salinas Valley Tribune logo Salinas City Elementary School District Launches Electric Bus Fleet

SALINAS — Salinas City Elementary School District (SCESD) has added 10 new electric school buses and 10 new electric bus chargers to the District’s school bus fleet.

Monterey County Weekly logo Dispensaries Are Coming to Monterey After Council Chooses the City’s First Cannabis Storefronts.

Dispensaries will soon open their doors in Monterey, following the city council’s May 21 decision to approve the permits for four cannabis retail stores.

Monterey County Weekly logo After Considering 11 Applicants to a Vacancy, Salinas City Council Appoints Jesus Valenzuela.

On Tuesday, May 21, Salinas City Clerk Patricia Barajas announced the rules by which 11 candidates would make their pitch to be appointed to a vacancy on council.

Monterey County Weekly logo As Seaside Stumbles Through Trying to Develop Its Fort Ord Property, Liability Keeps Cropping Up.

The City of Seaside has long wrestled with questions about how best to grow, which is something that, to some extent, it must do.

Monterey County Weekly logo As Marina Crafts a Downtown Plan, Property Owners Worry It Will Be Bad for Business.

Time is ticking for those who want to provide feedback on Marina’s downtown specific plan. The last day for public review is Friday, May 24.

Monterey County Weekly logo Monterey One Water Is Changing How It Bills Customers.

Soon, Monterey One Water customers will no longer receive a bill in the mail every other month.

Salinas Valley Tribune logo Thousands Celebrate ‘Golden Hills & Fair Time Thrills’ at 80th Annual Salinas Valley Fair

Nearly 40,000 people attended the 80th Annual Salinas Valley Fair over the course of its four-day celebration in South Monterey County last week.

Salinas Valley Tribune logo Gonzales Stadium Project Set to Begin Next Month

Gonzales Unified School District came to an agreement on May 14 with Tombleson Inc. of Salinas for the construction of the Gonzales Stadium Track and Field Improvement Project at Dick Force Stadium.

King City Rustler logo Monterey County Youth Drug Education Gets a Sliver of Marijuana Taxes, Grand Jury Says

Monterey County collected more than $70 million in marijuana taxes but spent just $93,000 for youth drug education — the top priority set by residents — according to a civil grand jury report.

Monterey County Weekly logo Santa Cruz County Bank and 1st Capital Bank Agree to Merge.

Salinas-based 1st Capital Bank is merging with Santa Cruz County Bank, the institutions announced on Monday, May 20.

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Recent Local News

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• Funding Secured for Floodplain Restoration

The office of Rep. Jimmy Panetta announced the award of a $6 million federal grant to support the Rancho Cañada Floodplain Restoration Project work being undertaken by the California State Coastal Conservancy.

(05/24/2024) → Monterey Herald
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Recent Statewide News

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• Planets on Parade in June

An alignment known as a “planetary parade” will march across night skies starting June 3.

(05/28/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• As Key Deadlines Loom, Newsom and California Lawmakers Have Dozens of Deals to Make

It’s time for the folks in California’s Capitol to play let’s-make-a-deal – or actually, many deals.

(05/28/2024) → CalMatters

• UC Student Workers Expand Strike to Two More Campuses as They Demand Amnesty for Protestors

After University of California students were arrested or suspended for protests, student workers are striking at three campuses. The Office of President says the strike violates the union contract.

(05/28/2024) → CalMatters

• ‘We Have to Do Less With Less’: Cal State Faces Extra $500 Million Budget Gap

Two major forces are at play: Gov. Gavin Newsom scaled back his promise of increased financial support for Cal State, while university officials agreed to 5% salary increases earlier this year.

(05/27/2024) → CalMatters

• California Wants to Be Carbon-Neutral by 2045. What Does That Mean for Its Big Economic Drivers?

California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, flew more 6,000 miles to Rome this month to deliver a brief speech on climate change at a Vatican-sponsored conference.

(05/27/2024) → CalMatters

• Apology for Slavery, Funding Frameworks for Reparations Advance

California lawmakers voted to offer an official apology for the state’s role in supporting slavery and moved several reparations bills but let others die.

(05/24/2024) → CalMatters

• Decadeslong Delta Tunnel Water Project May Finally Be Nearing a Historic Decision

It’s been almost a half-century since I first heard the term “peripheral canal” uttered by William Gianelli, who was then-Gov. Ronald Reagan’s top water official. The project, in one form or another, had already been kicking around for decades.

(05/23/2024) → CalMatters

• California Climate Programs Would Lose Billions in Newsom’s Budget

As funds for climate change programs are cut, Democrats and environmentalists are pushing for a bond measure on the ballot to restore some funding.

(05/22/2024) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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Image of City of Del Rey Oaks seal. City of Del Rey Oaks   (05/24/2024)

Candidate Seminar Presented by Monterey County Elections

Candidate Seminar Presented by Monterey County Elections LauraBatra01 Fri, 05/24/2024 - 10:06 AM Microsite Community Supporting Documents Candidate_Seminar_at_Monterey_County_Elections.pdf News Release Date 05-10-2024 News Type Press Release Page Features Event News Hide FAQ Title Off Placement Left Back to News Show/Hide Attachment Header Show Attachment Header This page contains an external form Off
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/23/2024)

Dairy Manufacturers Inc. Issues Voluntary Recall of Products Due to Non-Compliance with Requirements Under the 21 CFR 106.110 New Infant Formula Registration

Dairy Manufacturers Inc., of Prosper, TX - 5/24/24, is voluntarily recalling all lot codes for infant formulas available in the US: Crecelac Infant 0-12, Farmalac 0-12 and Farmalac 0-12 Low lactose to the retail and wholesale level. The products have been found in non-compliance with the requirement
Image of City of Marina seal. City of Marina   (05/23/2024)

How-to Translate on the City's Website

How to use the TRANSLATE function on the Citys website.
Image of City of Del Rey Oaks seal. City of Del Rey Oaks   (05/23/2024)

FORTAG Groundbreaking Ceremony in Del Rey Oaks

FORTAG Groundbreaking Ceremony in Del Rey Oaks LauraBatra01 Thu, 05/23/2024 - 7:17 AM Microsite Community Development and Planning Supporting Documents news_release_-_agencies_host_fortag_ground-breaking_ceremony_in_del_rey_oaks.pdf News Release Date 05-22-2024 News Type Press Release Page Features Event News Hide FAQ Title Off Placement Left Back to News Show/Hide Attachment Header Show Attachment Header This page contains an external form Off
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/22/2024)

AMB Food Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Wheat in Product

AMB Food Inc. in Brooklyn NY is recalling 8 oz bags of Pop a Nosh Mix Munch Regular and Honey BBQ snacks because it contains pretzels, but does not list Wheat as an allergen. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to wheat run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if th
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (05/22/2024)

Robert Rivas CA Assembly 29:
Speaker Robert Rivas Announces Plan to Quickly Deliver Bipartisan Retail Theft Solutions To Governor

Speaker Robert Rivas Announces Plan to Quickly Deliver Bipartisan Retail Theft Solutions To Governor hagamasc Wed, 05/22/2024 - 15:21 Title Press Secretary Email Cynthia.Moreno@asm.ca.gov Phone 916-319-2029 Wednesday, May 22, 2024 SACRAMENTO, CA Speaker Robert Rivas announced the Assembly will work with Pro Tem Mike McGuire and Senate lawmakers to quickly deliver a package of Assembly and Senate retail theft and …
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/21/2024)

World Green Nutrition, Inc. Expands Recall of Tejocote Products Due to the Presence of Yellow Oleander

World Green Nutrition, Inc is announcing the expansion of their April 03, 2024 recall to include more lot numbers of the products GREEN ELV NUTRITION brand Elv Control Herbal Supplement 90 capsules and ELV ALIPOTEC brand Mexican Tejocote Root Supplement Pieces (Raiz de Tejocote Mexicano Suplemento e
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/20/2024)

County Road Seafood Issues Allergy Alert of Undeclared Egg in 4 Oz Packages of County Road Seafood Crab Cake

County Road Seafood, LLC., of Belhaven, NC - May 21, 2024, is voluntarily recalling County Road Seafood Crab Cake 2 Pack 4 Ounce package because this product contains undeclared egg. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to egg run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction
Image of City of Greenfield seal. City of Greenfield   (05/20/2024)

Coffee & Conversation with CDD

Image of United States seal. United States   (05/17/2024)

Reser's Fine Foods Announces Voluntary Recall of Single Batch of Aldi Macaroni 32 oz Salad with Use By Date of Jun/03/24 Due to Unlabeled Wheat Allergen

Reser's Fine Foods is voluntarily recalling a single item with a specific use by date, produced at a regional facility and distributed to ALDI. The product is the Aldi Deli Macaroni Salad 32 oz, with a Use By Date of Jun/03/24 due to an incorrect label. The incorrect label does not include an all