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By Eric Johnson
Published Mar 11, 2024

Political Economics and the Movies

Before we get into the serious fun of continuing the conversation about the Oscars: a reminder.

We know from the clicks that many of you are aware that this newsletter contains a news digest featuring stories from the California Local Media Alliance and other news outlets you can trust. See below.

Of course, you will also find access to local nonprofits that are doing important work in your community, and also our fledgling Good Business Directory of local businesses at work on community-building. And as always, a tasty recipe that you can find only here.

Let’s proceed…


Movies as Politics

Art is not trivial. The visual arts, literature, theater, music—all allow us to touch the deepest parts of the human condition. Movies at their best bring all of the other arts together, and put them in a place where we can all access them pretty easily.

Four of the contenders for Best Picture last night tackle big political issues—and, not incidentally, sexual politics.

Oppenheimer offers a smart (if bombastic IMJ) story of the man who gave humanity the means for total global annihilation—and also delves into his relationships with the women in his life.

Killers of the Flower Moon confronts one of our nation's darkest sins—the mass murder of the land’s Indigenous population—while also considering the politics of one marriage, and one woman’s love for the man who ultimately kills her.

Poor Things investigates sexual politics via the story of a “woman” (created by a man) who is unburdened by society’s proscriptions.

And Barbie (my choice for Best Picture, which as of this writing feels like a long shot) maps a devastating takedown of the patriarchy itself on a delightful piece of pink fluff that feels a little bit like Pee-wee's Big Adventure, but is way more dangerous.

This next article may be moot but I hope you'll find it edifying.


Why ‘Barbie’ Deserved a Best Picture Oscar


From now on, girls will learn from Barbie that they live in a world where men subjugate women. They will receive this truth during a joyous cinematic spectacle.

Big Movie Money

Here in California, movies are one of our most important cultural exports, and are one of the ways California leads the world. They are also big business, and rival Silicon Valley, ag and defense as a backbone of the state's economy. Here is exactly how that happeneed.


Hooray For Hollywood: All About California’s Most Glamorous Industry

From its earliest days, Hollywood has reigned as California's most glamorous industry.
From its early days of hard-charging, Jewish immigrant moguls to today's domination by megacorporations, here's how Hollywood continues to hold its place as one of California's most important industries.

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.


Old-fashioned chili – warm taste of summer on a chilly night

Warm up on a late winter night with chili and beans, made with last summer's tomatoes (or purchased canned tomatoes).
Recipe: Mom’s chili and beans with grated cheese and onions


Impact Report Image for decorative use


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Our overview page for San Joaquin 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 sanjoaquin.californialocal.com to catch up on the latest news in California and San Joaquin County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!


Get to Know a Group

Chest of Hope logo Chest of Hope

Created in 2005 by friends and volunteers, Chest of Hope raises funds to support women and orphans who are suffering from domestic violence.

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Recent Local News

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• Ripon Unified School District Adds Teachers

Ripon Unified hired new five certificated teachers for the 2024-2025 school year and an additional two from position switches.

(03/11/2024) → Manteca Bulletin

• Homelessness Increases in Manteca

The unofficial tally from the Jan. 29 point in time count conducted of the homeless in the city was 238, up 8% over the previous count in 2022.

(03/11/2024) → Manteca Bulletin

• Lathrop Requests Community Input on Draft Active Transportation Plan

The City of Lathrop has made the Draft Active Transportation Plan available for public feedback.

(03/08/2024) → Manteca Bulletin

• Jefferson School Named a California Distinguished School

Jefferson School in Tracy was honored with its fifth California Distinguished School award by the California State Department of Education.

(03/08/2024) → Tracy Press

• Stein High School Recognized as Model Continuation School

George & Evelyn Stein High School in Tracy was recognized as a 2024 Model Continuation High School by the California Department of Education.

(03/08/2024) → Tracy Press

• Nurses Protest Working Conditions at Lodi Memorial Hospital

Nurses complain of short staffing, high patient to nurse ratios, and long shifts without breaks.

(03/07/2024) → LodiNews

• Four Tribes in California Receive Federal Funds to Boost Access to Electricity

For many living on the Yurok Tribe’s reservation, which lies in and around Humboldt County, access to electricity has been spotty for years — if that access has existed at all. 

(03/07/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• San Joaquin County Supervisor Patti Donates $27,500 To Boys & Girls Club

The donation will help fund the club Teen Room Transformation Project.

(03/06/2024) → Manteca Bulletin

• Manteca High Awarded

Manteca High was named a 2024 California Distinguished School by the California State Board of Education.

(03/06/2024) → Manteca Bulletin

• Environmental Groups Sue to Block Wildfire Cleanup

Cleanup of the wildfires of 2020 and 2021 in the Sequoia National Forest is facing opposition from environmental groups.

(03/04/2024) → San Joaquin Valley Sun

• Calla High Brings Back Sports

Following a hiatus of over 10 years, Calla High’s sports program is back, recently completed the volleyball, flag football, and basketball seasons, and currently participating in softball.

(03/04/2024) → Manteca Bulletin
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Recent Statewide News

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• California Attorney General Boosts Bill Banning Medical Debt From Credit Reports

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday that he is throwing his weight behind legislation to bar medical debt from showing up on consumer credit reports, a Democratic-led effort to offer protection to patients squeezed by health care bills.

(03/10/2024) → California Healthline

• California Law Enforcement Transparency Legislation Signed Into Law

After receiving bipartisan support, California Senate Bill 400, legislation intended to increase law enforcement transparency, was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

(03/09/2024) → Davis Vanguard

• San Francisco Voters Pass Police & Drug Ballot Measures

Proposition E broadens police surveillance powers and Proposition F mandates drug screening and treatment for people receiving county welfare benefits who are suspected of drug use.

(03/08/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• New Website Features Information on Care of Backyard Chickens, Sheep, Goats

The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources advisors has published a new website with information resources for small acreage landowners raising livestock.

(03/07/2024) → YubaNet

• CA Legislature Could Set a New Record for Women

The number of women elected to the state Senate and Assembly is 50 of 120 after the 2022 election. And based on the primary results so far, it’s expected to increase to at least 55 women after the November election.

(03/07/2024) → CalMatters

• Fewer Students, Higher Absenteeism Affect California Public School Financing

California’s public schools depend on state aid for the lion’s share of their operational income. Two trends – declining enrollment and high absenteeism – are creating financial headaches.

(03/07/2024) → CalMatters

• California Agrees to Cuts of Colorado River Water

California, Arizona and Nevada would cut their allocations about 20% when reservoir levels drop. But other states have their own more aggressive plan. Now the federal government has to decide how to manage the drought-plagued river.

(03/06/2024) → CalMatters

• Californians Face Higher Costs for Goods and Services Than Before the Pandemic Despite Inflation Slowing

The consumer price index shows services are mostly responsible for persistent inflation, but prices for food and other goods in California remain high.

(03/05/2024) → CalMatters

• California is Seeing a Historic Rise in the Number of Black Women Running for Office

At least 24 Black women are running for seats in the California Legislature this year, resulting from years of work cultivating new leaders and growing confidence among voters.

(03/04/2024) → CalMatters

• California Schools Gained Billions During COVID-19. Now the Money is Running Out

California schools got $23.4 billion in federal pandemic relief money. Low-income schools that got the most may be hardest hit when the funds expire this year.

(03/04/2024) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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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 United States seal. United States   (03/07/2024)

Salm Partners, LLC, Recalls Johnsonville Polish Kielbasa Turkey Sausage Products Due to Possible Foreign Matter Contamination

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2024 - Salm Partners, LLC, a Denmark, Wis., establishment, is recalling approximately 35,430 pounds of Johnsonville turkey kielbasa sausage that may be contaminated with foreign materials, specifically...
Image of United States seal. United States   (03/06/2024)

Stonewall Kitchen Issues Allergy Alert for Wheat in Limited Quantity of Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Mix

Stonewall Kitchen of York, Maine is voluntarily recalling a limited amount of their Gluten Free Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Mix because it may contain an undeclared allergen, wheat. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to wheat (which contains gluten) may risk serious allergic reaction if t
Image of United States seal. United States   (03/06/2024)

El Chilar Rodriguez LLC. Issues Voluntary Recall of El Chilar Ground Cinnamon "Canela Molida" Due to Elevated Lead Levels

El Chilar Rodriguez LLC of Apopka, FL is recalling 127 cases (12 bags/case) of El Chilar Ground Cinnamon "Canela Molida" (1.25 oz bag), because it may contain traces of lead.
Image of United States seal. United States   (03/06/2024)

Colonna Brothers, Inc. Issues a Voluntary Recall for "1.5oz Marcum Ground Cinnamon & 2.25oz Supreme Tradition Ground Cinnamon" Because of Possible Health Risk Due to Elevated Lead Levels

Colonna Brothers of North Bergen, NJ is recalling its 1.5oz Marcum Ground Cinnamon & 2.25oz Supreme Tradition Ground Cinnamon because of a possible health risk due to elevated lead levels. Short term exposures to very low levels of lead may not elicit any symptoms. It is possible that increased bloo
Image of United States seal. United States   (03/06/2024)

Expanded Press Release - Kalo Foods, LLC Recalls Single Slice Carrot Cake and Chocolate Cake Due to Undeclared Soy Allergen

KALO Foods, LLC is recalling Single Slice Carrot Cake UPC 8 53407 00418 4 and Single Slice Chocolate Cake UPC 8 53407 00418 4 due to a undeclared soy.
Image of United States seal. United States   (03/05/2024)

Raja Foods Skokie, IL Is Recalling "Swad Brand Cinnamon Powder 3.5OZ Retail Packs" for Possible Lead Contamination

Raja Foods LLC of Skokie, Il is recalling its 3.5 ounce package of "SWAD CINNAMON POWDER" because it has the potential to be contaminated with lead.
Image of United States seal. United States   (03/05/2024)

La Fiesta Food Products Recalls Cinnamon Ground Because of Possible Health Risk

La Fiesta Food Products, La Mirada California is recalling Cinnamon Ground .87oz because it has the potential to be contaminated with lead. Short term exposures to very low levels of lead may not elicit any symptoms. It is possible that increased blood lead levels may be the only apparent sign of le
Image of United States seal. United States   (03/05/2024)

Kalo Foods, LLC Recalls Single Slice Carrot Cake Due to Undeclared Soy Allergen

KALO Foods, LLC is recalling Single Slice Carrot Cake UPC 8 53407 00418 4 due to a undeclared soy. Although the package is labeled Carrot Cake, the ingredient panel and UPC Code is for their Chocolate Cake. The Carrot Cake contains soy which is not listed in the ingredient statement. People who hav