View in Browser Our Journalism Needs Your Support Please Donate Today
California Local Logo
Graphic which spells out The Newsletter.


By Eric Johnson
Published Dec 18, 2023

JP Reese, a registered nurse, stands with a couple of Ukranian soldiers near the front lines of the war zone. The photo was taken by JP's bride, Dawn Davidson, two weeks after they were married in Sacramento. JP Reese, a registered nurse, stands with a couple of Ukranian soldiers near the front lines of the war zone. The photo was taken by JP's bride, Dawn Davidson, two weeks after they were married in Sacramento.

Californians Supporting Ukraine

In one of his final acts as the most powerful California Republican, then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy capitulated to radical members of his party and refused to allow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to address a joint meeting of Congress. Last week, as the brutal dictator Vladamir Putin predicted that Americans will grow weary of helping Ukraine defend itself against his murderous war, the same group of House members seemed to prove him right.

Meanwhile, as the progressive Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) has pointed out, House Democrats are being unhelpfully obstinate by refusing to even discuss the situation on our southern border as a condition of funding the war, making things more difficult for Zelenskyy.

In this week's edition of The Newsletter, we bring our focus to Californians who are standing with the Ukrainian people. 


Nurses on the Front Lines

My friend JP Reese is a wound nurse who has worked for the past decade as a home healthcare provider. Most Tuesday evenings we sit in a men’s group together, and occasionally JP will tell a story about visiting one of his patients, most of whom are house-bound and in serious need of his skills as a healer. It’s a powerful gift to witness the depth of his compassion—in my judgment, he was already a hero before he decided to spend his honeymoon in a warzone. 

JP and his bride, Dawn Davidson, who is also a nurse, hoped to spend the weeks after their wedding helping wounded Ukrainian soldiers. As you will see in Graham Womack's wonderful telling of their story, they were unable to accomplish that, but they found other ways to help.

While very few Californians will manage to deliver aid to Ukrainians directly, plenty are doing what they can. Tamara Warta presents here a nunber of organizations that deserve your support.


A Honeymoon in Ukraine

JP Reese (left) and Dawn Davidson (right) celebrated their union with a honeymoon spent serving others.
After their October wedding, registered nurses Dawn Davidson and JP Reese spent their honeymoon in Ukraine, where they distributed humanitarian aid.

From California to Kyiv


With the war between Russia and Ukraine dragging on, California organizations are continuing to take action in support of embattled Ukrainians.

Ambition and Luck

How former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy became Califonria's most powerful Republican leader—and how it all suddenly and predictably came to an end.


Kevin McCarthy: A Look Back

Kevin McCarthy, the Bakersfield Republican whose fall from power was even more rapid than his rise, gave a farewell speech on Dec. 14.
Many conservatives believe success is achieved through hard work. So how did California’s most prominent conservative politician reach the top? Kevin McCarthy won the lottery.


Impact Report Image for decorative use


California Local logo

San Joaquin County's Homepage

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.

→ Learn more

  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Local News

→ View All

• CapRadio Interim GM: ‘We Can Get Through the Month of May’

It has been an unprecedented year at CapRadio. And one of extreme hardship. 
This summer, CapRadio laid off 12% of its staff. And that was just the start of its financial challenges.

(12/18/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• Officials Hope New Flood Strategies Can Help the Sacramento Region Handle an Unpredictable Winter

As soon as this winter, the Lower Elkhorn Basin project area will become a larger overflow area for the Sacramento River when it rises. Crews pushed seven miles of levee back around 1,500 feet, expanding the capacity of the existing Sacramento and Yolo bypass areas.

(12/17/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• Ripon Rotary Buys Drone for Ripon Police Department

There are a few times a year that the Ripon Police Department will deploy drone technology.

(12/16/2023) → Read the full Manteca Bulletin report

• Gatto Endorses Akinjo for Mayor of Lathrop

When November 2024 rolls around, Lathrop residents will select a mayor from a list of candidates that for the first time in more than a decade will not include the name Sonny Dhaliwal. Paul Akinjo, Lathrop’s current vice mayor, hopes it will be him.

(12/14/2023) → Read the full Manteca Bulletin report

• Wildfire Risks Will Continue to Drive Up Rates for California Homeowners

Home insurance policies will likely get more expensive, California’s insurance commissioner said. Seven of the 12 largest insurers doing business in California said they could no longer afford to cover new homes in the state.

(12/14/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• Sacramento County to Open Second Tiny Home Village

Sacramento County’s second tiny home village, or Safe Stay Community, is set to welcome unhoused residents to South Sacramento starting next week.

(12/14/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• Seismic Shake-up in Stockton Races

An assemblyman switches to a state Senate race; a state Senate candidate switches to the Assembly race; a congressman joins the party; all at the last minute, to everyone’s confusion.

(12/13/2023) → Stocktonia

• Manteca Prepping for a City of 236,000 People

Manteca’s population could be 160 percent larger by the year 2057. That is based on the city continuing forward with its current annual growth rate of 2.8 percent.

(12/13/2023) → Read the full Manteca Bulletin report

• Lodi Police Chief to Start New Role Next Month

The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved soon-to-retire Lodi Police Chief Sierra Brucia as director of emergency operations. Brucia will step into his new position Jan. 1.

(12/13/2023) → LodiNews
  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Statewide News

→ View All

• SF Hits New Record for Overdose Deaths

The fentanyl epidemic has pushed San Francisco to a grim milestone: a new record for overdoses. A total 752 people overdosed in the first 11 months of this year, surpassing 2020’s record number of 726.

(12/14/2023) → SFGate

• Newsom Touts California to Seth Meyers

Gov. Gavin Newsom defended his work and that of current or former California leaders like Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris during an appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” Newsom suggested conservatives focus unduly on California's failures.

(12/14/2023) → SFGate

• Commute Times Highlight Income Divide

Higher-income workers are more likely to work from home, analysis of recent census data shows. Lower-income workers can face long and solitary commutes to get to work.

(12/13/2023) → Los Angeles Times

• Michelin Guide Adds Seven California Restaurants

Three restaurants in San Francisco, three in Los Angeles and one in San Diego have been added to the Michelin Guide. Two of the SF eateries also made Esquire’s list for best new American restaurants in 2023.

(12/12/2023) → SFGate

• Assembly Group on Retail Theft to Hold First Hearing

A new select committee in the California Assembly dedicated to retail theft will hold its first hearing on Dec. 19. This allows the committee to get to work before the next legislative session on an issue that’s drawn much press for California in recent years.

(12/12/2023) → Sacramento Bee

• Supreme Court Upholds California Ban on Conversion Therapy

By declining to hear a conservative group’s challenge, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a California ban on conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth. California is one of 22 states to ban this practice.

(12/11/2023) → Sacramento Bee

• Yosemite Trying New Strategies to Reduce Food Packaging Waste

An estimated 100,000 pizza boxes have been removed from Yosemite’s waste stream. This is because the famed park now serves pizza on trays and puts to-go portions in compostable bags, part of a move to reduce food-related waste.

(12/11/2023) → SFGate
  California Local Pin Marker  

Government Announcements

→ View All
Image of City of Tracy seal. City of Tracy   (12/13/2023)

City of Tracy 2023-2024 Winter Weather Resources

Tracy, Calif. – In preparation for the cold, wet, and windy weather we experience during the winter season in Tracy, the following resources are available to help protect homes, businesses, the environment, and each other: Monitor the forecast:...
Image of City of Tracy seal. City of Tracy   (12/12/2023)

2024-25 Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Program Application Period Now Open

Pre-Application Informational Meeting: January 9, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. Application Deadline: 5:00 p.m. on January 22, 2024 Tracy, Calif. - The City of Tracy’s annual Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnership...
Image of City of Lodi seal. City of Lodi   (12/08/2023)

Christmas Tree Disposal

Image of City of Lodi seal. City of Lodi   (12/08/2023)

2024 Mokelumne Current Newspaper seeking student work focused on Mokelumne River Watershed

The upcoming 11th annual Mokelumne Current newspaper is seeking student work from Lodi students focused on the Mokelumne River watershed. Scanned artwork, or typed written work, is due by March 1, 2024 to kgrant@lodi.gov.
Image of City of Lodi seal. City of Lodi   (12/05/2023)

Lodi Fire Santa Truck Routes

Santa Claus is coming to town! Join the Lodi Fire Department this December as we escort Santa around town in the fire truck to spread holiday cheer and support local families.
Image of City of Lodi seal. City of Lodi   (12/05/2023)

Proposition 218 Notification and Protest Hearing Process

The Lodi City Council will consider proposed water and wastewater rate increases at a public hearing at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at Carnegie Forum, 305 W. Pine Street, Lodi. A majority protest would stop the proposed future rate increases.
Image of City of Tracy seal. City of Tracy   (11/30/2023)

City of Tracy Offers Free Tracer Fixed Route Bus Service this Winter

Tracy, Calif. – Take advantage of free TRACER Fixed Route bus rides to your holiday and winter Tracy destinations beginning December 1, 2023, through February 29, 2024. The TRACER Public Transit System’s Fixed Routes serve all major holiday shopping...
Image of City of Lodi seal. City of Lodi   (11/29/2023)

With nonprofit partnership, City of Lodi expands funding opportunities for local small businesses

The City of Lodi launches its partnership with Sacramento-based nonprofit California Capital FDC to create a new loan program for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the City of Lodi.
Image of City of Tracy seal. City of Tracy   (11/13/2023)

City of Tracy Makes History by Becoming Home to America’s First Commercial Direct Air Capture Facility

Tracy, Calif. – The Tracy City Council proudly welcomed Heirloom, the country’s first commercial Direct Air Capture facility, to the Tracy community at their ribbon-cutting ceremony earlier today. Located at 4750 South Holly Drive in Tracy, the...
Image of City of Lodi seal. City of Lodi   (11/07/2023)

Annual Leaf Removal Program

The City of Lodi will begin its Annual Leaf Removal Program on Monday, November 27, 2023. We need your cooperation for a successful program.