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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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Direct your browser to https://sacramento.californialocal.com/ to catch up on the latest news in California and Sacramento County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!


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Big Brothers Big Sisters logo Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brother Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally supported mentorship. The chapter serves Sacramento and Yolo counties, as well as southern Placer County.

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From Our Media Allies

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Sacramento News and Review logo Five Sacramento Solvers

Here at Solving Sacramento, we like to look for the solvers — the people who see what’s wrong in their communities and say what can I do to fix it?

Folsom Telegraph logo City Council Hears Folsom Ranch Construction Update

The Folsom City Council heard an update May 14 on construction activity in the new Folsom Ranch area south of Highway 50.

Folsom Telegraph logo Emergency $172,500 Authorized for Folsom Library Stucco Leaks

The Folsom City Council authorized emergency spending of $172,500 from contingency funds to fix stucco water leaks at the library.

Folsom Telegraph logo Folsom Citizens' Tax Measure Officially Green-Lighted for November Ballot

The “Folsom Residents Public Safety And Quality Of Life Act” calls for a special sales tax increase of 1 percent on taxable merchandise sold at retail stores.

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.

Rancho Cordova Grapevine Independent logo Rancho Cordova Moonlight Movies Return

Rancho Cordova is hosting Moonlight Movies at Village Green Park of Fridays at 8:30 through June.

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

American River Messenger logo Fair Oaks Honors Fallen Heroes

The 26th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Fair Oaks Cemetery on Olive Street Had an Overflowing Crowd

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Recent Local News

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• Sacramento DA Amends Suit Against Sacramento

An amended complaint was filed by Sacramento District Attorney Thien Ho against the City of Sacramento for allowing homeless camps on public property and along waterways.

(06/09/2024) → The Sacramento Bee

• Doubts Expressed About Homeless Count

The reported drop of unhoused individuals in Sacramento County in the latest point-in-time count is being questioned.

(06/09/2024) → The Sacramento Bee

• Meet a Citrus Heights Farmer

Introducing John Klunder, a Citrus Heights resident growing and selling produce from his family's small suburban farm on Mariposa Avenue.

(06/08/2024) → Citrus Heights Sentinel

• Casino Expansion Plans Announced

Plans for a new 1600-space parking garage and a new hotel with 300 rooms have been announced by Sky River Casino in Elk Grove.

(06/08/2024) → Elk Grove Laguna News

• Sacramento County Budget Approved

In their June 5 meeting, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors approved the annual budget totaling almost $9 billion.

(06/06/2024) → The Sacramento Bee

• Sacramento County Makes Progress on Homelessness

The results of the latest point-in-time count indicate a drop of 29% in the unhoused population since the last count in 2022.

(06/05/2024) → CapPublicRadio
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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 Citrus Heights seal. City of Citrus Heights   (06/07/2024)

Structure Fire - 7500 Block of Oak Grove Avenue

On June 7, 2024, at approximately 11:53 AM, the Citrus Heights Police Department received several 911 calls regarding a structure fire in the 7500 block of Oak Grove Ave.
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/07/2024)

City of Sacramento launches creative venues grant to boost local cultural arts scene

The City of Sacramentos Office of Arts and Culture has launched the Creative Venues Grant program, designed to support independent venues that are crucial to the local cultural scene. Grants of $5,000, $10,000, and $25,000 will be awarded to for-profit, independent venues such as music venues, art galleries, and bookstores that provide platforms for Sacramento-based [...] The post City of …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/07/2024)

Celebrate the opening of Meadowview’s new year-round farmers market June 9

Sacramentans are invited to join local officials in celebrating the grand opening of the Meadowview Certified Farmers Market, a weekly, year-round market set to provide fresh, local produce to the community. The event will take place this Sunday, June 9, at the Meadowview Light Rail Station (3501 Meadowview Road). The celebration will feature a welcome [...] The post Celebrate the …
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   (06/07/2024)

Lori Wilson CA Assembly 11:
Statement from Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson Regarding the Integration of California State University Maritime Academy into California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Statement from Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson Regarding the Integration of California State University Maritime Academy into California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo guerraje Fri, 06/07/2024 - 09:12 Title Communications Director Email Edgar.Guerra@asm.ca.gov Phone 916-319-2011 Thursday, June 6, 2024 SACRAMENTO, CA Today, Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson of California's 11th Assembly District released the following statement regarding the California State University …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/06/2024)

The Sacramento Pride Festival is this weekend. Here are the road closures starting June 6

The annual Sacramento Pride event, hosted by the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, is set to draw crowds this weekend (June 8-9). The two-day event kicks off with a festival on Capitol Mall that runs Saturday and Sunday. In addition, there is march through midtown scheduled for Sunday. (For a complete schedule of events, including live musical performances, [...] The post …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/06/2024)

See how the City’s drinking water meets or exceeds State and Federal standards

Sacramento's drinking water continues to meet or exceed all state and federal standards, according to the annual "Consumer Confidence Report" published by the City's Department of Utilities. The report includes the most up-to-date water-quality results through 2023 for more than 40 substances. This report demonstrates our commitment to provide high-quality drinking water to residents and businesses, [...] The post See …
Image of City of Sacramento seal. City of Sacramento   (06/06/2024)

Data Report: How the City responded to homelessness May 27-June 2

The City of Sacramento has released its weekly progress report for the Citys Incident Management Team responding to homelessness. From May 27-June 2, the City of Sacramento received 751 calls to 311 customer service related to unsheltered individuals. Through the work of the IMT, 653 calls were closed, meaning that either the issue was remedied, compliance was [...] The post …
Image of City of Elk Grove seal. City of Elk Grove   (06/06/2024)

City of Elk Grove Responds to 2024 Point in Time Report

Sacramento Steps Forward released their report today documenting the results of the 2024 Point in Time (PIT) count which surveyed Sacramento countys unhoused population.  The 2024 PIT count estimates that Elk Grove has 83 unsheltered people accounting for 2.1% of the Countys unsheltered population. That number is up from 45 in 2022, but consistent with the Citys estimation that Elk …