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By Eric Johnson
Published Mar 25, 2024

At the McKinley Park Rose Garden in Sacramento, the first rose of 2024. At the McKinley Park Rose Garden in Sacramento, the first rose of 2024. Image credit: Eric Johnson

Four Good Things about Spring

We have a slightly humorous tradition in our family: At the beginning of every season, one of us will say something like, “Winter in California is amazing, and I’m going to miss going up to the snow—but spring really is the best season.” Or "yeah sure summer is fun with the swimming and all, but ahhh the colors of fall—obviolusly the best season."

I realize this is not all that funny, but what makes it a little bit funny (to us) is that we say it at the beginning of every single season, and have been doing so for many years. And we kind of mean it every single time. Because every new season holds the promise that it'll be better than the last.

This winter, as you know, was cold and wet. I am a nature-worshiping Californian who’s been living through a deadly drought, so I stopped complaining about the rain more than a decade ago … until this year. Last week’s warm sun and long evenings made me feel better than I have felt in months.

So: In this week’s edition of The Newsletter, four things, all related to the very best season: Spring!


Product Launch from CALocal: 1GT

The beginning of Spring is a great time to launch stuff. Which is one reason we chose last week to release a new California Local feature that we are calling One Good Thing (which we've already started abbreviating as 1GT). This was CALocal co-founder and product guy Chris Neklason’s idea, and here he briefly explains why 1GT is a good thing.


One Good Thing

Every now and then, it's important to focus on good things.
We announce a new initiative and invite our members to contribute.

Spring in the Valley

For our first One Good Thing, Chris takes you on a short journey to Yosemite Valley to witness a fleeting and amazing phenomenon.


The Rainbows of Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls in Yosemite Valley.
Yosemite Valley is extraordinary, and in certain places at certain times of the day, magical. A brief insider's guide to a special place and time in Yosemite National Park, including a short video of the springtime rainbows of Yosemite Falls.

An Ode to the Season

If you already know everything about the Vernal Equinox, our friend Kathy Morrison of Sacramento Digs Gardening brings you a delightful reminder: Eostre, the goddess of fertility and spring, has a rabbit as a spirit animal—and over the millennia, Eostre’s rabbit morphed into our Easter Bunny. More fun facts (plus a FREE cookbook, Taste Spring!) on the other side of the link.


First day of spring is cause for celebration

Cherry blossoms herald the start of spring. The warm, sunny weather is expected to continue through Thursday.
Plenty of sunshine and flowers welcome start of new season

Product Launch from Hilltromper: BloomTracker

As you may have noticed, we do not tire of singing the praises of California, and Hilltromper (which is kind of CALocal's sister-site) focuses on our state's awesome natural beauty. For our final piece of appreciation today we present the coolest wildflower-finding tool you've ever seen, which was launched last week by our friend Mike Kahn. 


BloomTracker: Wildflower Finder & Protector from Hilltromper


Over at Hilltromper, “The Nature-worshiping, Fun-Loving Adventure Guide” that serves the South Bay Area, Santa Cruz County, and anyone who visits these beautiful places, our friend Mike Kahn has just launched a new product he named BloomTracker—“an online resource that helps you find the best places to see wildflowers, in real time, and helps reduce impacts on parks and other open spaces.”

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 Winter! cookbook.


This easy chicken dish puts zesty zing in spring

Chicken thighs achieve crispy deliciousness when marinated and baked at high heat.
Baked lemon-Dijon chicken thighs with herbs


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Direct your browser to sanbenito.californialocal.com to catch up on the latest news in California and San Benito County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!


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San Benito County Historical Society logo San Benito County Historical Society

Since 1957, the Historical Society has devoted itself to collecting and preserving materials pertaining to the San Benito County of yesteryear.

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From Our Media Allies

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SanBenitocom logo Hollister Schools Exit State Support Programs

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The new Valley Health Center clinic in Morgan Hill—formerly known as the De Paul Health Center—is now open, offering expanded healthcare coverage for residents of South County and surrounding areas.

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Recent Local News

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• County Seeks New Librarian

In the midst of a library expansion and an FBI investigation, San Benito County is considering the hiring of a new head librarian.

(03/25/2024) → Benito Link

• Project Developer Sues San Benito County

The developer of the Lands of Lee project to develop housing on Fairview Road has sued San Benito County for denial a permit to proceed, citing process violations of various laws.

(03/23/2024) → Benito Link

• Appeal of Rejected Environmental Report Withdrawn

Citing no reason, local landfill operator Waste Solutions withdrew its appeal of the San Benito County Planning Commission’s denial of certification of the Environmental Impact Report for a project to expand the landfill.

(03/22/2024) → Benito Link

• Hazel Hawkins Hospital Reaction to Bankruptcy Ruling

The reaction from Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital to the ruling of Judge Stephen Johnson of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern California District of California that the hospital did not satisfy one of the statutory requirements to remain in Chapter 9 Bankruptcy.

(03/21/2024) → Benito Link

• California Nurses Association Reaction to Hazel Hawkins Bankruptcy Ruling

The reaction from the California Nurses Association to the ruling of Judge Stephen Johnson of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern California District of California that the hospital did not satisfy one of the statutory requirements to remain in Chapter 9 Bankruptcy.

(03/21/2024) → Benito Link

• Hazel Hawkins Hospital Bankruptcy Filing Dismissed

The petition for bankruptcy filed by the San Benito Health Care District was dismissed with the finding that Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital was unable to prove insolvency.

(03/21/2024) → Benito Link

• Hollister City Council Meeting Time Changes

Despite objections from members of the community, council voted 3-2 to change its meeting time to 4 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of the month.

(03/20/2024) → Benito Link

• Uplift Central Coast Awarded $14 Grant

The Uplift Central Coast Coalition which works to attract investment and expand opportunities for Central Coast residents has been awarded $14 million from the California Regional Investment Initiative of the California Jobs First program.

(03/19/2024) → Benito Link

• San Benito High School District Board Approves Second High School Location

The board approved paying $2.23 million for the 49.68-acre Pura Vida property on Wright Road.

(03/19/2024) → Benito Link
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Recent Statewide News

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• Reps. Gaetz and Greene Lawsuit Against Cities Where Political Rally Was Canceled Can Move Forward

A judge ruled GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene can move forward with their lawsuit against two California cities where rallies were canceled.

(03/25/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• At Stake in Mifepristone Case: Abortion, FDA’s Authority, and Return to 1873 Obscenity Law

Lawyers from the conservative Christian group that won the case to overturn Roe v. Wade are returning to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday in pursuit of an urgent priority: shutting down access to abortion pills for women across the country.

(03/25/2024) → KFF Health News

• California Forever Denies Reports of Shady Tactics Outside Bay Area Target

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(03/24/2024) → SF Gate

• California Speeds Plans to Empty San Quentin's Death Row

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(03/18/2024) → Los Angeles Times
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Government Announcements

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Image of United States seal. United States   (03/21/2024)

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Ineligible Frozen Siluriformes Products Imported from the People's Republic of China

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John Laird CA Senate 17:
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Image of United States seal. United States   (03/16/2024)

Wenders LLC Recalls Trader Joes Nuts - 50% Less Sodium Roasted & Salted Whole Cashews Because of Possible Health Risk

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Dawn Addis CA Assembly 30:
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Image of United States seal. United States   (03/13/2024)

Kick Ash Products Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Almonds in Product

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Image of United States seal. United States   (03/13/2024)

Taylor Farms Pacific Recalls Kroger Brand Ready-To-Eat Apple Walnut With Chicken Salad Bowl Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergen

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2024 - Taylor Farms Pacific, a Tracy, Calif. establishment, is recalling approximately 19,976 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) apple walnut with chicken salad bowl products due to misbranding...
Image of United States seal. United States   (03/11/2024)

John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Coconut and Milk in Great Value Honey Roasted Cashews 8.25 Oz

John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc (JBSS) announced today it is voluntarily recalling a limited amount of 8.25 oz Great Value Honey Roasted Cashews, because it may contain undeclared coconut and milk. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to coconut or milk run the risk of serious or life-thre
Image of United States seal. United States   (03/10/2024)

Jen's Breakfast Burritos, LLC, Recalls Ready to Eat Breakfast Burrito Products Due to Possible Listeria Contamination

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2024 - Jen's Breakfast Burritos, LLC, an Auburn, Wash. establishment, is recalling approximately 144 pounds of ready-to-eat (RTE) breakfast burrito products that may be adulterated with Listeria...
Image of United States seal. United States   (03/07/2024)

Wesco, Inc. Issues Voluntary Recall and Allergy Alert on Undeclared Peanut in Wesco Mint No Bake Cookie Bites

Wesco, Inc. of Muskegon, MI is recalling 750 units of Wesco Mint No Bake Cookie Bites, because it may contain undeclared peanut. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. The affected Wesc
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (03/07/2024)

Dawn Addis CA Assembly 30:
Legislators Urge the PUC to Reject Proposed Utility Rate Increase

Legislators Urge the PUC to Reject Proposed Utility Rate Increase sanchema Thu, 03/07/2024 - 13:53 Thursday, March 7, 2024 SACRAMENTO Assemblymember Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay) urged the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to reject Pacific Gas and Electric Company's request for interim rate relief, in order to prevent additional rate increases for Californians. The request is currently under review by …