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Monterey County Public Safety Articles

Image caption: Border Patrol policies deliberately channel migrants through some of the harshest desert areas in California, resulting in frequent deaths.
Border Patrol Routes Migrants Into Deadly Imperial Valley Desert

In the Imperial County desert, a volunteer group routinely maintains large barrels filled with water to help migrants traversing the California desert. As rescues increase, the longstanding immigration policies that funneled migrants to such harsh terrain deserve scrutiny.

Salinas Valley Tribune logo LOCAL NEWS
Soledad community encouraged to test temporary redesign along Front Street

SOLEDAD — A temporary redesign along Front Street in Soledad for a Safe Routes to School project demonstration is now open for community members to test out, announced Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC). The demonstration, which began Sept. 8 …

Image caption: As California's legislative session ends, lawmakers take no steps to address the state's fire insurance crisis.
Legislature Fails to Address California Fire Insurance Crisis

Legislators weren’t able to reach a compromise that helps insurers with wildfire risk while also protecting homeowners. Interest groups hope to find one in meetings this fall.

Image caption: Non-law enforcement spending on anti-hate efforts has topped $200 million since 2021, more than any other state.
California Spends Millions to Stop Hate Crimes. Here’s How

Hate crimes were up 20 percent in California in 2022, with those against transgender, Muslim and Black people increasing especially sharply. But the state is also spending more than any other to combat such crimes, including a hotline, state commission …

Image caption: Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to wait for more information before signing a bill that would remove TikTok from most state smartphones.
Newsom Halts TikTok Ban, App to Stay on State Phones

A bipartisan bill to prohibit TikTok on state phones is shelved until 2024. It had breezed through the state Legislature, but the authors want to tweak the measure. It's the latest social media regulation to get stalled in California.

Image caption: In San Francisco, new police officers can now expect six-figure starting salaries, and other cities are taking similar measures.
Cities Compete to Give Police Recruits the Best Financial Deal

California cities are struggling to hire police in a tight labor market after the COVID pandemic. Some are raising by double digits and offering eye-catching bonuses.

Image caption: New COVID boosters are on the way that will help to protect against rising cases and new variants.
COVID Cases on the Rise Again: Here’s What You Need to Know

It’s a confusing time in the COVID pandemic. A new booster is on the way, but cases are rising and you might want more protection now.

Image caption: Statements recorded by police body cameras may not substitute for an actual witness.
Police Body Cam Can’t Replace Witness Testimony, CA Supremes Rule

More California police departments are deploying body cameras. A new court ruling restricts how prosecutors can use footage of witness accounts at trial.

Image caption: School board meetings about educating children have deteriorated into battles over hot-button culture war issues in some districts.
State Moves to Stop Culture Wars Upending California School Boards

California grants school boards much local control, but recent events have pushed the state to take steps to stop local school board meetings from turning into potentially dangerous culture war battlegrounds.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
Reports on conditions at the Monterey County Jail remain secret. It’s past time to change that.

Sara Rubin here, thinking about what we still don’t know about conditions at Monterey County Jail. As you can read in a story by Rey Mashayekhi that will run in print in the July 27 issue of the Weekly, and…

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
A court battle over sealed reports detailing conditions at Monterey County Jail escalates.

Since settling a class-action lawsuit over poor conditions at Monterey County Jail in 2015, the county and Wellpath, its health care provider at the jail, have been required to allow court-appointed neutral monitors at the facility. Those monitors have written…

Image caption: If policymakers accelerate efforts to slow climate change, California could get some relief from wildfires.
Rise in California Wildfires Caused by Human-Driven Climate Change, Study Finds

Climate change caused by human use of fossil fuels is the major reason California wildfires have burned 172 percent more land than they would have over the last five decades, according to new research.

Image caption: Why can't the state say whether a $100 million per year prisoner rehabilitation program is working?
California Spent Millions to Rehab Prisoners But Did it Work?

A yearlong investigation shows that a $100 million-a-year rehabilitation program for former California prisoners grew with little oversight from the state corrections agency. It's unclear how many parolees wind up back in prison.

Image caption: In the years since she recovered from a severe illness brought on by West Nile Virus, Marie Heilman has helped spread the word about the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District's "Fight the Bite" campaign.
West Nile Virus Survivor Offers a Warning and a Plea

Marie Heilman of Winters, who is happy to be alive, wants people to guard against mosquitoes and the deadly virus they carry.

Image caption: Grass Valley, in Nevada County, was making headway against the homeless problem until its grant money dried up.
Why Efforts to Help the Homeless Stalled in Grass Valley

Gov. Gavin Newsom poured ‘unprecedented’ money into homelessness, but providers say his use of one-time grants does not allow for long-term solutions to the state’s biggest crisis. That's what happened in Grass Valley.

The Pajaronian logo LOCAL NEWS
Santa Cruz County takes back flood mitigation funding

Santa Cruz County has withdrawn from an agreement with Pajaro Valley Regional Flood Management Agency (PRFMA) after the two disagreed on how to spend roughly $1 million in funds meant to address flood risk in South County. PRFMA is made …

Image caption: Forced and child marriage survivors arrive at a protest, organized to support a ban on child marriage, at the state Capitol in Sacramento on June 22, 2023.
Child Marriage Survivors Press California to Ban the Practice

You have to be 18 to get divorced in California, but there’s no minimum age to get married. Child marriage survivors protested at the state Capitol, but the Legislature likely won’t act until next year.

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
Pacific Grove City Council votes in favor of sidewalk dining over existing parklets.

The current collection of outdoor dining parklets in Pacific Grove are too unsafe for pedestrians and drivers, cause drainage issues during storms, among other issues, and must be replaced, according to a majority of the Pacific Grove City Council in…

Monterey County Weekly logo LOCAL NEWS
A new agency formed to address flooding in the Pajaro Valley is already splintering.

Just two years after its formation, the Pajaro Regional Flood Management Agency is already at risk of splintering.

Salinas Valley Tribune logo LOCAL NEWS
Cause of wildfire near Soledad still under investigation

SOLEDAD — The cause of a wildfire near Astoria Shooting Range in Soledad is still under investigation, according to Cal Fire officials. The wildfire, named the Range Fire, started June 4 at about 5:38 p.m. near the gun range on …


A Pyrocumulus cloud generated by the Dixie Fire in July, 2021.
What is Fire 'Containment?' That and Other Terms, Explained
What does it mean when firefighters call a fire "contained?" Here's a brief guide to commonly used fire prevention terminology.
States have expansive powers to protect the health of the general public.
The State’s Broad Power to Protect Public Health, Explained
Since long before the COVID-19 pandemic, states have possessed broad authority to protect public health.
California will soon be getting a new hotline number as an alternative to 911 for mental health crises.
988, the New Mental Health Emergency Number, Explained
Here's the story behind that new service, and the original 911 number.
Mosquitos kill about 725,000 people every year, worldwide.
Taking a Bite Out of the Mosquito Population
How local government tries to control the world’s deadliest wild animal—the mosquito.
There are more than 300 community service districts in California.
Community Services Districts, Explained
Areas that the county overlooks can form their own local governments.
How Not to Feel the Burn
These groups help residents preserve their property, health and life.
Supercell storms are just one of many weather phenomena in the era of climate change.
The New Vocabulary of the Climate Change Era
As climate change causes more extreme and unusual weather, we need a new set of terms to describe the various phenomena
Though it’s the most famous, the San Andreas Fault is just one of more than 500 active faults in California.
Battening Down for the Big One
Making it through the earthquake is easy—the hard part comes later.
Many of Robert Kerbeck’s neighbors in Malibu Park lost their homes in the 2018 Woolsey Fire, which left behind lots where only chimneys still stood.
Give Your Home a Fighting Chance in a Wildfire
Wildfires are larger, more frequent, and more ferocious—so be prepared.
Thousands of homeowners have been kicked off their fire insurance policies.
California Fire Insurance Crisis: How the State Helps Homeowners
The state tries persuading insurance companies to cover homes in fire zones.
With CERT training, volunteers can learn firefighting skills.
Emergency Teamwork
With CERT training, ordinary civilians can play critical roles in protecting their communities.
View of the flooded San Lorenzo River Park Benchlands in Santa Cruz, California on New Year's Eve 2022.
Communicating During Disaster and Crisis
Recent lessons learned over days of local disaster.
Flooding on the Salinas River in 2023 brought economic hardship to farmers and snarled traffic.
Disaster Prep: Alerts, Maps and Apps
Keep these online resources handy in case of floods, fires, quakes and other disasters
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