Monterey County Explainer Articles


Image caption: The 1965 law known as the Williamson Act has been responsible for keeping about half of California's farmland out of the hands of developers.
The Williamson Act: How the Law That Protects California’s Farmland Works

The Williamson Act, passed in 1965, now keeps more than 16 million acres of farmland out of the hands of developers. Here's how the law puts the brakes on the development of California agricultural properties.

Image caption: Does California’s signature environmental law protect the state’s scenic beauty, or cause more problems than it solves?
CEQA: The Surprising Story of CA’s Key Environmental Law

The California Environmental Quality Act, CEQA, is both the state’s signature environmental legislation, and is also often named as the villain in the state’s housing shortage. But the story may not be that simple.

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Silicon Valley Billionaires vs. Bay Area’s Housing Crisis?

In NYT‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Farmers Had What the Billionaires Wanted,‚ÄĚ we meet a man who wants to build a city in the middle of nowhere, and folks who are slowing him down.

Image caption: As residents continue to exit California, the state’s political power at the national level is at risk.
California Exodus, Housing and the State's Political Future

The California housing crisis is not only weakening the state politically at the national level, it could shift the political balance in Washington, D.C., as Republican-led states add population while California’s exodus continues.

Image caption: The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land

How California’s 10 state conservancies buy up open land and shield it from developers to preserve the natural environment for public use.

Image caption: California traffic deaths dropped by 12 percent in the first three months of 2023, but road fatalities remain at crisis levels.
Death on the Roads: Traffic Fatality Crisis Far From Over

As the COVID pandemic eased, so did the epidemic of death on the road. Somewhat. But the ongoing crisis of traffic fatalities remains at high levels with early numbers form 2023 appearing to top 4,000 in California.

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Give Back: Read All About It

How two Central Coast media companies help thousands of people give millions to local nonprofit groups.

Image caption: The version of Mickey Mouse seen in the 1928 animated short ‚ÄúSteamboat Willie‚ÄĚ is now free for public use.
Mickey Mouse Enters Public Domain. What That Means for California

Disney icon Mickey Mouse is now in the public domain, meaning anyone can create their own Mickey Mouse cartoons. Here’s what that means, and how it could affect the California economy.

Image caption: Long-duration energy storage, such as this thermal energy storage facility, allows renewable energy sources to operate at full capacity without overloading the power grid.
How California Leads the Race For Long Duration Energy Storage

Long-duration energy storage is essential if renewables are to become the basis for a future, carbon-neutral power grid. Here's how California is leading the race to store energy from solar, wind, and other clean sources for use whenever it's needed.

Image caption: California’s homelessness crisis shows no signs of improving, despite significant new measures to fight the problem.
The State of California’s Homelessness Crisis, Updated for 2023

California's homelessness numbers continue to rise despite new spending on housing, services. Here's where the fight to end the crisis stands. This story has been updated for 2022 and 2023.

Image caption: An EPIC listening session in Humboldt County. The organization plans to conduct similar events in all 58 California counties.
An EPIC Mission: End Poverty in California

End Poverty in California, a nonprofit founded by former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, has been on a listening tour of the Golden State since early 2022.

Image caption: The existence of poverty in California is a policy choice, but there are other choices that could be made.
Poverty in California

Poverty in California was reduced by record levels during the COVID pandemic, but now those economic support programs have come to an end and poverty is on the rise again.

Image caption: Almost half of all low-income Black adults in California experience food insecurity.
Hunger and Food Insecurity in California: What It Is, What to Do About It

Hunger and food insecurity have become persistent problems in California. With the world’s fifth-largest economy, what steps can we take to make sure that everyone has enough to eat?

Image caption: Translated from the Greek, ‚ÄúDemocracy‚ÄĚ means ‚Äúpeople power.‚ÄĚ How much power do the people have in California?
People Power! What Is Democracy, and How Does It Work in California?

Democracy is a 2,500-year-old system of government still looked on today as the best system, because under a democratic system, the people govern themselves. But is that all there is to it? What is democracy? And how does it work …

Image caption: How does social media affect the minds and well-being of children? According to California and other states, not well.
California Sues Meta For Damaging Kids’ Mental Health

California and 32 other states are suing Instagram’s parent company, Meta, saying that their apps are damaging to children. Is there evidence for those claims? Here’s why social media is under attack.

Image caption: Californians continue to set clocks back every fall, and ahead each spring.
Daylight Saving Time, Explained

After a 2018 vote authorizing the state legislature to make daylight saving time year-round, Californians are still changing their clocks twice per year. How did we get here?

Image caption: A ban on assault weapons is just one of 107 California gun control laws.
California Gun Control Laws and Mass Shootings

California has more gun laws than any other state. Here's how it took a series of mass shootings to make the state the toughest in the country on guns.

Image caption: Warehouse storage is just one aspect of the highly complex logistics industry that keeps supply chains running.
Logistics: the Crucial Industry You’ve Never Heard Of

Logistics is one of the largest industries in California and keeps the state economy running. But it also comes with a heavy cost to the environment. Here are the facts on the most important industry you don't know much about, …

Image caption: Since 1972, the California Coastal Commission has ruled over the state’s shoreline.
California Coastal Commission: Where It Comes From, What It Does

What is the California Coastal Commission? How one of the state’s most powerful agency protects public access to the state’s scenic coast from Mexico to Oregon.

Image caption: Disney’s planned community of Celebration in Florida is far from Walt Disney’s earlier vision of a utopian city.
Solano County Planned City Latest in a California Tradition

Silicon Valley billionaires want to create a new city in Solano County. How have planned cities fared in California? From Lakewood to Irvine to Disney’s new Cotino, there have been many.

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Explainer

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