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By Eric Johnson
Published Oct 09, 2023

Our New Book & Goodbye, Columbus

Before I make an important announcement, I want to briefly celebrate the fact that here in California and in 16 other states, today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day. When he became the first president to recognize the holiday, Joe Biden said this: “The story of America’s Indigenous peoples is a story of their resilience and survival; of their persistent commitment to their right to self-governance; and of their determination to preserve cultures, identities, and ways of life.”

The book that you’re about to hear about shows proper respect in its telling of the story of our state.


What Californians Need to Know

Our friend and colleague Jon Vankin has spent the past couple of years working on a series of stories that add up to one big story. It has unfurled on California Local week after week, in a series of Explainers that run under headlines like “From Chaos to Confusion to Compromise: Why California Government is Set up This Way,” or “Joint Powers Authorities: Building Airports and Highways in the Dark,” or “Welcome to the Justice System.”

I am pleased to announce that we’ve gathered the best of this work, 47 chapters in all, and compiled them into the book How California Works: True Stories from the Golden State. The book will be available next month.

Jon explains why you might love this book in a short blogpost below, which is followed by a sample chapter with a fresh perspective on our state.


‘How California Works’—a Synopsis of California Local’s First Book

California is one of the most complex political entities in the world. California Local’s upcoming book explains it all in 46 fascinating chapters.
California Local enters the world of book publishing with its upcoming book, ‘How California Works,’ explaining the inner workings of this ‘most American state.’

California: The Most American State

How the American story begins in California, and continues to play out here.
California is the most American of all states, both setting the direction for the rest of the country, and acting as a mirror of what the U.S. is today. Here’s why, and how it got that way.

Some Real California Heroes

In this installment of the California Canon, we present some people (and one horse) who deserve a statue—probably more than Christopher Columbus does. 


10 Californians Deserving of Statues

A statue of Ishi, the last of the Yahi, would serve to honor an Indigenous man who survived the brutalities of the pioneer era.
Many statues can be found in California of its pioneers, but other historical figures are also deserving. Here are 10 who made the Golden State shine.


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Recent Local News

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• South Sacramento Project With 1,100 Homes Up for Council Vote

The Sacramento City Council will hold a public hearing on plans to build 1,106 new homes near a South Sacramento light rail station.

(10/09/2023) → CapPublicRadio

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The showers and restrooms are for Phase 4 of the Temporary Emergency Housing Facility on 370 W. Arbor Avenue until the construction of permanent facilities is completed.

(10/06/2023) → Tracy Press

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Lodi could have its next city attorney in a matter of weeks.

(10/04/2023) → LodiNews

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(10/02/2023) → Stocktonia
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Recent Statewide News

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• California Becomes First State to Ban More Than 2 Dozen Chemicals Used in Popular Cosmetics

A new California law will ban over two dozen chemicals from fragrances and cosmetics. It’s another first-in-the-nation law—and another instance of California following European Union regulators.

(10/09/2023) → CalMatters

• Climate Change Took Them to ‘Dark Places.’ Now These Californians are Doing Something About it

The facts of climate change can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair. Some California activists are creating communities for people to talk about those feelings.

(10/09/2023) → CalMatters

• To Make Water Conservation a ‘California Way of Life,’ the Price Tag is $13 Billion

Water providers say rebates for residential areas are costly and residents may refuse to remove their lawns. The rules aim to save enough water for more than a million households a year.

(10/04/2023) → CalMatters

• Cal Poly Humboldt Tree Research Will Help PG&E Reduce Outages, Wildfires

In an effort to reduce the risk of wildfire, Cal Poly Humboldt faculty and students have embarked on a three-year study to investigate tree health.

(10/03/2023) → YubaNet

• Cal State Student Workers to Vote on Joining Union

Student workers at the 23-campus system say their pay is low, their hours are restricted and they get no sick pay. They are hoping to join the employees union to fix that.

(10/03/2023) → CalMatters

• California May Ban Additives in Some Candies—But Not Skittles

The European Union has banned certain additives that are used in American candies and baked goods. California is on the cusp of prohibiting their sale by 2027.

(10/02/2023) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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Image of City of Tracy seal. City of Tracy   (10/02/2023)

2023 Restaurant & Retail Survey Results

The results are in! Over 900 of you participated in our 2023 Restaurant & Retail Survey to let us know what dining, shopping, and entertainment options are most-wanted here in Tracy. The winners are… Top Dining Picks : The...