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By Sharan Street
Published Jan 22, 2024

Highway 1 near Elk stays scenic partly due to the efforts of the California Coastal Conservancy. Highway 1 near Elk stays scenic partly due to the efforts of the California Coastal Conservancy. Image credit: Sharan Street   California Local

Reasons to Take a Road Trip

There are some California experiences that shouldn’t be missed. Big Sur. Yosemite Valley. The serene blue expanse of Lake Tahoe. The Eastern Sierra’s craggy escarpments. Such sights are among the natural wonders that make California a top destination for road-tripping tourists.

But just as important for those who live in California is the protection of land near to where they live and work. And that’s why state legislators have created 10 conservancies for different parts of the state—including urban areas. As Jonathan Vankin writes in a story just posted over the weekend, the main function of these government agencies is to “protect land for public recreational use, making sure Californians have access to the state’s undeveloped, natural environment.”


From the Low Desert to the High Sierra

The first to come into being was the California Coastal Conservancy, established in 1976, which helps all residents of the state access our scenic beaches—not just those who own homes on the sand. Next came the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, which ensures that residents of heavily urbanized Los Angeles have natural places to enjoy near their homes. The eight other agencies are spread across the state, from the Coachella Valley to Lake Tahoe.


California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land

The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
How California’s 10 state conservancies buy up open land and shield it from developers to preserve the natural environment for public use.

More Roadside Attractions

Other landmarks that make California attractive to tourists can be harder to protect. Despite the best work of historic preservationists, our human-made environment is vulnerable to the ravages of time. This month, the Central Coast lost a beloved roadside attraction when Pea Soup Andersen’s closed its doors with no notice, just months shy of its 100th anniversary. We mourned the loss—and set out to create a bucket list of other classic California eateries that have already celebrated their centennial and are still serving tourists and locals alike.

At California Local, we love exploring our state—not only its policies and politics, but also its cultural treasures—and we put local newspapers into that category. Meet Hanna Nakano, who is a couple weeks away from marking her first year as publisher of The Dirt. Her monthly newspaper covers the city of Davis that has more than 66,850 residents—more than 38,000 of them students at UC Davis. Veronica Yoo interviews Nakano, who talks about how she uses her publication to give voice to a creative, well-educated readership.


Century Club: A Tour of Classic California Eateries

Though Pea Soup Anderson’s signs may be a bit worn, the restaurant exterior retains its homey charm.
Pea Soup Anderson’s closed before its 100th birthday. Here are 24 restaurants 100 years or older that you can still visit.

Publisher Q&A: Digging Into ‘The Dirt’ in Davis

Next month marks one year since Hanna Nakano took over as publisher of The Dirt, a monthly in the city of Davis.
Hanna Nakano says her monthly newspaper raises the voices of local residents through “the power of documentation and the power of publishing.”

Updates to Government Announcements

We’ve been importing and publishing government announcements and press releases for some time now. They’re displayed on the county overviews and in the Announcement & Press Releases page linked in the dropdown Government Menu on the California Local website, and also in this newsletter, towards the bottom,

But you knew all that already.

The big news is that we’ve started importing U.S. Government food recall announcements (who knew there were so many?) and announcements and press releases from your elected representatives in the California state Assembly and Senate.

Local, state and federal entities publish a lot of useful and important information. These new additions will help keep you safer and more informed.


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Our overview page for San Benito County is updated daily with the latest state and local news, weather alerts, local government announcements and local blog posts and news snippets from community groups and individuals.
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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Get to Know a Group

San Benito Agricultural Land Trust logo San Benito Agricultural Land Trust

The mission of the San Benito Agricultural Land Trust is “to conserve regionally significant lands that sustain productive agriculture, preserve open space, and maintain the rural character of the county.”

→ Learn more

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From Our Media Allies

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SanBenitocom logo High School District Appoints New Trustee

The San Benito High School District Board of Trustees on Jan. 13 appointed Dr. Gina Vallejo Agredano to join them as a trustee, filling the vacancy created when John Corrigan resigned.

Gilroy Dispatch logo Young Gilroy Author Releases 1st Novel

LJ Hardwicke will celebrate the release of her first novel, “Red Watson and the Gifted Lands,” with a book signing event.

SanBenitocom logo Your 2024 Primary Election Guide

Though overshadowed by the presidential race, many state and local contests that affect residents of San Benito County will be decided on March 5.

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Recent Local News

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• Cal State Faculty Strike Ends With Tentative Contract Agreement

A Cal State systemwide strike secured what more than half a year of negotiations and partial strikes couldn’t: a deal.

(01/22/2024) → CalMatters

• Hollister City Council Opposes Terms of Landfill Expansion

After a presentation on the landfill project, the council unanimously agreed to oppose the recommended haul route along Hwy 25 and receive further direction about the city’s hazardous waste disposal site at a future meeting.

(01/22/2024) → Benito Link

• Huge San Jose Ranch May be Preserved as Parklands and Nature Habitat

Richmond Ranch in south San Jose may be preserved as open space if multiple government entities succeed in a quest to buy its thousands of acres, public documents show.

(01/22/2024) → Monterey Herald

• Harvest Time Roadhouse Celebrates First Anniversary

Adam Jones has been adjusting to being the new owner of Hollister’s Harvest Time Roadhouse, since taking over the business from Grillin & Chillin Alehouse’s Chuck Frowein and opening on Jan. 4, 2023.

(01/21/2024) → Benito Link

• 2024 Primary Election: 18th Congressional District

Five candidates are running for the 18th Congressional District, which consists of San Benito County and parts of Santa Clara, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Members of Congress serve a two-year term.

(01/20/2024) → Benito Link

• San Juan Bautista Native Ruby Hill Launches Ihsana Natural Skincare Products

Ruby Hill chose her hometown of San Juan Bautista for the launch of her clean and natural skincare line, Ihsana, with a two-day reception at Heliena Walton’s Thankful Co.

(01/19/2024) → Benito Link

• Ian Brand Expands Into Dorcich Facility

Ian Brand, who owns the I. Brand custom crush facility in Salinas, was looking for room to grow. So he has leased the Dorcich winery in a major expansion.

(01/18/2024) → Edible Monterey Bay

• SBC Supervisors Weigh General Plan Changes

The San Benito County Board of Supervisors proposed changes to the county’s 2035 General Plan’s agriculture policy, as well as its land use element, housing element and circulation element.

(01/17/2024) → Benito Link
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Recent Statewide News

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• Key Takeaways From U.S. Senate Debate

The four leading U.S. Senate contenders in California tried to use 90 minutes of free air time to solidify their pitches to voters—and also to set themselves apart from their opponents.

(01/22/2024) → CalMatters

• Will $20 Minimum Wage Crush Fast Food in California?

Fast food lives in a consumer sweet spot: demand, convenience and relative affordability. And this pay hike—equal to minimum wage increases during the past five years—will create grand economic unknowns.

(01/22/2024) → Daily Democrat

• How California Budget Rules Can Prevent Saving for a Rainy Day—and Why Newsom Wants to Change That

The swing from a $100 billion surplus to a deficit somewhere between $38 and $68 billion in just two years illustrates the volatility of California’s tax system.

(01/21/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• California Picks Its Next Governor in More Than 1,000 Days. Why the Race Is Already So Crowded

More than two years until the first votes are cast, Senate leader Toni Atkins becomes the fourth big-name Democrat to jump into the governor’s race. She is seeking to become the first female and openly gay chief executive.

(01/19/2024) → CalMatters

• California Court Ruling Could Threaten Key Source of Funding for Disputed Delta Water Tunnel Project

A California judge says a nearly 65-year-old law does not give the state permission to borrow the billions of dollars it would need to build a large water project.

(01/19/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• California Panel Holds Up Studies on Psychedelics. Some Researchers Want It Gone

At the Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, scientists are eager to explore whether a psychedelic chemical found in a toad could help people with depression. But research has been put on hold by the state.

(01/19/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Where Do the Major Senate Candidates Stand on the Economy, Crime and the Border?

The five major contenders have different track records and proposals on some of California’s biggest issues. They’re trying to position themselves to appeal to sizable voting blocs.

(01/17/2024) → CalMatters

• Homelessness Is on the California Ballot This March. Will Conditions Change?

Prop. 1 would funnel more money into housing and treatment for homeless Californians struggling with mental illness and addiction. But it’s far from a one-stop solution.

(01/17/2024) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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Image of United States seal. United States   (01/20/2024)

Al Amir Fresh Foods Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sesame in Hummus Dip Products and Undeclared Milk in Tzatziki Cucumber Yogurt

Al Amir Fresh Foods of Milwaukie, Oregon is recalling Al Amir brand hummus dip products due to undeclared sesame and Tzatziki Cucumber Yogurt due to undeclared milk.
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/18/2024)

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Raw Frozen Pork Dumpling Products Produced without Benefit of Inspection

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert because Dim Sum Factory Inc., a Flushing, N.Y...
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/17/2024)

Hans Kissle Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Soy & Egg in "Hans Kissle Mexican Style Quinoa Salad"

Hans Kissle of Haverhill, MA, is recalling its 7-ounce packages of MEXICAN STYLE QUINOA SALAD, deli salad, because the product contains undeclared egg and soy. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to egg and/or soy run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they con
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/17/2024)

Whitley's Peanut Factory Issues an Allergy Alert on Undeclared Peanuts, Milk, Soy, Wheat, and Sesame for Limited Units of Deluxe Nut Mix 12oz (340g)

Whitley's Peanut Factory of Hayes, Virginia is recalling 12oz Deluxe Nut Mix with specific code dates because they may contain undeclared peanuts, milk, soy, wheat, and sesame. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to these ingredients run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/16/2024)

Brightfarms Recalls Spinach and Salad Kits Because of Possible Health Risk as a Result of Supplier Element Farms Recall

BrightFarms has issued a voluntary recall of spinach grown by its supplier Element Farms in their Pompton Plains, New Jersey farm and distributed under the BrightFarms brand because the spinach has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Due to potential cross-contamination, Br
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/15/2024)

Big Island Candies Issues Allergen Alert on Undeclared Peanuts in "Makana Brownie Assortment"

Big Island Candies of Hilo, Hawaii is voluntarily recalling 120 boxes of their Makana Brownie Assortment Box (batch 60) purchased from its Ala Moana Store located at 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, Hawaii between December 13, 2023 - December 21, 2023 because the product contains undeclared peanuts.
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/11/2024)

World Green Nutrition, Inc. is Recalling ELV Alipotec Brand Mexican Tejocote Root Supplement Pieces (Raiz De Tejocote Mexicano Suplemento En Trozos), Net. Wt, 0.3 0Z (7g), Due to the Presence of Yellow Oleander in this Product

WORLD GREEN NUTRITION, INC. is recalling ELV ALIPOTEC brand MEXICAN TEJOCOTE ROOT SUPPLEMENT PIECES (RAIZ DE TEJOCOTE MEXICANO SUPLEMENTO EN TROZOS), NET. WT, 0.3 0Z (7g), due to the presence of yellow oleander in this product. The consumption of yellow oleander can cause adverse effects on neurolog
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/10/2024)

U.S. Trading Company of Hayward, CA is Recalling Dragonfly Jelly Bars Because it Contains Konjac Powder and May Present a Choking Hazard

U.S. Trading Company of Hayward, CA is recalling Dragonfly jelly bars because it contains konjac powder and may present a choking hazard. Konjac and its consequent texture and consistency could pose a choking hazard to small children as well as adults with functional and/or anatomic abnormalities.
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/10/2024)

Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. Recalls Aged Cotija Mexican Grating Cheese (8oz) Because of Possible Health Risk

Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. of Modesto, CA is recalling a total of 344 cases of Aged Coja Mexican Gratng Cheese (8oz), UPC 72724200043 batch number 4DW-23318 because it has the potenal to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and somemes fatal infecons
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/10/2024)

Update: Quaker Issues Revised Recall Notice with Additional Products Due to Possible Health Risk

The Quaker Oats Company today announced an expansion of the December 15, 2023, recall to include additional cereals, bars and snacks listed below because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children,