🌀 Chris's California Local

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Picture of Chris Neklason

California Local Co-founder, Director of Product Development


Chris has over four decades of experience as a full stack developer. As co-founder of Cruzio in 1989, one of the first local independent Internet Service Providers on the planet, he's accumulated three decades of experience as a manager and corporate executive. As a home owner and business owner in a small town, he's developed a keen appreciation of the local civic fabric and a passion to promote local journalism as a means of getting citizens more active in their communities.

Transparency: Chris is co-owner of Cruzio Internet in Santa Cruz which provides Internet service on the California Central Coast. His wife Peggy Dolgenos sits on various boards as an appointed commissioner.

My Discussion Threads
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🌀 Chris Neklason says:

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From California Local General Discussion
🌀 Chris Neklason says:

California Local mobile app

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My Articles
  • Building a City From the Ground Up (Published January 28, 2024)
      We’re getting ready to track the progress of California Forever’s plans to build a city of 400,000 in what is now Solano County farm country.
  • Announcing the California Local Good Business Directory (Published January 7, 2024)
      We're making it easy for local businesses to tell the story about how they give back to the community.
  • 2023 at California Local in Review (Published January 1, 2024)
      In which we count our accomplishments, and blessings, at the turning of the year.
  • Progress Report (Published September 25, 2023)
      In this issue of The Newsletter, we ponder incremental progress as reflected in the journey of two newsrooms.
  • What’s New @CALocal: September 2023 (Published September 23, 2023)
      We’ve made it easier to find and track news and other information and connect with your local elected representatives.
  • Q&A: Kara Meyberg Guzman of Santa Cruz Local (Published September 23, 2023)
      Meet tiny newsroom co-founder Kara Meyberg Guzman, who has been honored by the Local Independent Online News Publishers Association.
  • Distributing Ground Truth by Mapping the Situation (Published September 17, 2023)
      Social media were once very good at sharing reliable first-hand information about fires, floods, etc. Not any more. Here’s an alternative.
  • ChatGPT in the Newsroom: Is AI Coming for Journalism? (Published August 15, 2023)
      The world of journalism has been confronted by the sudden appearance of the so-called Large Language Model (LLM), a specific type of Artificial Intelligence platform, of which ChatGPT is the most famous example. We dive in and take a look.
  • Ex-Twitter: One Dead Bird (Published July 27, 2023)
      Big Social Media is becoming useless as a news feed or organizing hub. Is a replacement emerging in the Fediverse?
  • Santa Cruz Local's Deep Dive on Homelessness Spending (Published June 13, 2023)
      A local newsroom follows the local, state and federal money spent on homelessness in Santa Cruz County and examines how effectively it was spent.
  • News Deserts and Information Archipelagos (Published June 7, 2023)
      In which we contemplate the demise of the "newspaper of record" at the hands of private equity, and the rise of the small newsroom network to replace it.
  • Tips on Contacting Your Elected Representatives (Published May 21, 2023)
      Voting is just the beginning. Stay connected with your representatives to make sure your government is working for you.
  • Conveniently Contacting Your Elected Representatives (Published May 19, 2023)
      We've made it one-click convenient for members to contact their elected representatives.
  • Local Pol Turned NewDEAL Podcaster Sheds Light on Public Service (Published May 16, 2023)
      On the Santa Cruz City Council, then as mayor, and then as county supervisor, Ryan Coonerty learned to love politics.
  • Getting the Word Out for Your Nonprofit (Published April 10, 2023)
      Nonprofits and other groups play an important role in every community, yet people are often unaware of this work. Getting the word out is vital. We can help.
  • California Local's Spring 2023 Roadmap (Published March 24, 2023)
      Several projects are underway to make California Local beautiful and more functional. We're working hard to make it even easier for our members to citizen. (And remember: 'Citizen' is a verb!)
  • Eschewing the Enshittification of the Internet (Published February 16, 2023)
      Ever wonder why things go wrong in our country and economy? We learned a new word from Cory Doctorow, and found a solution to this menace in the Fediverse.
  • Disaster and Crisis Communications (Published January 14, 2023)
      How to effectively communicate actionable information for preparation before extreme events, and to disseminate vital information during and after disasters.
  • California Local Is Making an Impact (Published December 4, 2022)
      A review of our web metrics reveals a lot of growth in site visitors. But we’re happiest to see that we are helping connect people with their communities.
  • Could Mastodon Become the New Twitter? (Published November 8, 2022)
      Following Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter, droves are fleeing the social network and joining Mastodon, an open-source federated service in the 'Fediverse.'
  • Welcome to Sacramento Digs Gardening (Published September 7, 2022)
      We’ve made our proprietary content management platform available for fellow publishers.
  • How Chaos Theory Pioneer Ralph Abraham Made His Way to Santa Cruz (Published July 16, 2022)
      In which a pioneer of Dynamical Systems Theory (and its cousin, Chaos Theory) moves from Princeton to ... wait... UC Santa Cruz, California?
  • See You at the Barn Raising (Published June 11, 2022)
      The headlines have been screaming lately. Meanwhile, the quiet work of building a better world goes on.
  • How Community Journalism Works Online (Published May 24, 2022 • Updated November 7, 2021)
      In which we explore how we do community journalism at California Local.
  • Citizen Science (Published May 17, 2022)
      Sometimes making the community better manifests as a better understanding of how nature works. Local birders lead the way.
  • Building a Better Bike Map in Santa Cruz County (Published May 13, 2022)
      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.
  • Lloyd Tabb: Yes on Measure D (Published May 4, 2022)
      The founder of local tech company Looker explains why he supports Measure D, the Greenway Initiative.
  • Bud Colligan and Mark Mesiti-Miller Debate Measure D, the Greenway Initiative (Published April 29, 2022)
      The two most prominent voices on either side of this heated issue face off on KSCO-AM radio 1080, hosted by station owner Michael Zwerling.
  • Home Birthing in Santa Cruz County (Published April 25, 2022)
      In the 1970s, a group of women started a movement to bring birthing back home.
  • Legendary Bike-Builder on Santa Cruz Rail Trail (Published March 17, 2022)
      MTB-design pioneer Keith Bontrager compares the commute on a segment of the Santa Cruz Rail Trail with a ride on a parallel street.
  • 3-6-22: Welcome to California Local (Published March 6, 2022)
      We look back at the week that was in Santa Cruz County and forward to the week to come, and unveil our new Santa Cruz Rail Trail project tracker.
  • Schiffrin: Freight Abandonment Could Kill Rail for Good (Published February 9, 2022)
      Santa Cruz Regional Transit Commission Alternate Andy Schiffrin argues against a proposal that would banish freight rail service, and kill rail on the rail trail.
  • RTC Director on Abandonment of Santa Cruz Branch Line Freight Easements (Published February 9, 2022)
      A transcript of a presentation by SCCRTC Executive Director Guy Preston explaining why he recommends railbanking the Santa Cruz Branch Line.
  • The Vexation of Taxation (Published February 8, 2022)
      America is weird. Nobody likes taxes, but everyone enjoys the benefits of the services funded by the taxes.
  • Find the Others (Published January 10, 2022)
      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.
  • Why and How We Provide Accurate Traffic Information (Published January 10, 2022 • Updated January 5, 2022)
      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.
  • Getting to Yes (Published December 8, 2021)
      In which we ponder how to make things better in a climate of no.
  • Building a Collaboration Machine: the California Local Media Alliance (Published November 5, 2021)
      We wanted to build a better local newspaper; it turned into something much larger.
  • Ridden Out of Town on the Rail Trail (Published November 1, 2021 • Updated November 7, 2021)
      UPDATED In which we ponder the things around which humans self organize.
  • The Genius of Democracy (Published October 5, 2021 • Updated November 7, 2021)
      In which we ponder human self organization.
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