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By Michael Gelbman 1
Published Jan 08, 2024

Image credit: Ekkasit Rakrotchit, Shutterstock

Celebrating the Giving Season

In this week’s edition of The Newsletter, we celebrate local nonprofit community groups, and give appreciation to the individuals and businesses that support them. We also look at some partnerships between media companies and nonprofit community organizations, and the success they've had. 

And, we announce the launch of the Good Business Directory, which is a place to find local businesses that give back to your community. (And, if you work for or own such a business, a place to share stories of your good work.)

As we roll into the second week of the new year, with resolutions still fresh in our heads, let’s take a moment to recap the recent Giving Period. 

The Giving Period, which for many nonprofits begins during the last week of November on “Giving Tuesday,” is a time when organizations reach out to the community for donations so that they can continue to provide their services. This is a time when individuals and businesses choose to contribute to a cause that is near and dear to their hearts.

When I was the publisher of the Sierra Sun, I felt that the newspaper had a responsibility to give voice to the nonprofit community. I was fortunate to help create the Give Back Tahoe program with my partner Stacy Caldwell, the CEO of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation. 

Part of the initial success of the program was that throughout the year, the Sun provided space to participating organizations to tell their stories. This was an opportunity to speak to donors and say: “Because you gave, here are the great things we’ve been able to do.” This had the effect of keeping the organization relevant throughout the year.

I am excited to let you know that the 2023 TTCF Give Back program raised more than $620,000.

Giving back is not just about the end-of-year Giving Period. It’s about commitment throughout the year—whether through financial support, volunteering or helping to spread the word.

So while resolutions are still fresh, I ask that you consider adding the resolution of giving.


Good News for Central Coast Nonprofits

Two weekly newspapers on the Monterey Bay are rallying their readers and sponsors to give millions to local community groups.


Give Back: Read All About It


How two Central Coast media companies help thousands of people give millions to local nonprofit groups.

Doing Well by Doing Good

Most local businesses know that social responsibility and sustainable profit go hand in hand. In every community there are scores of companies that contribute considerable time and money to help local nonprofits. Unfortunately this is not a universally known fact. We want to fix that.


Announcing the California Local Good Business Directory

Good corporate citizenship is tasty.
We're making it easy for local businesses to tell the story about how they give back to the community.


Impact Report Image for decorative use


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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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(01/06/2024) → LodiNews

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Frank “Larry” Ruhstaller passed away on Dec. 27 at the age of 75.

(01/04/2024) → LodiNews

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(01/04/2024) → Read the full Manteca Bulletin report

• Ripon Requires RVs Parked by Visitors to Secure Police Permit

The Ripon City Council approved an amendment to the recreational vehicle parking ordinance.

(01/04/2024) → Read the full Manteca Bulletin report

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Details of the homeless navigation center, for which Manteca has secured $20.4 million to build, are included in an environmental assessment for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

(01/04/2024) → Read the full Manteca Bulletin report

• Ex-Lodi Councilmember Shakir Khan Takes Plea Deal

Following years-long investigations into alleged illegal gambling, election fraud, and other crimes, former Lodi Councilmember Shakir Khan will spend two years in county jail after agreeing not to contest his charges.

(01/04/2024) → Stockton Record

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(01/03/2024) → Read the full Escalon Times report

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A new 24/7 mobile team at UC Davis is working to prevent crises before they happen, answering calls every day from students experiencing overwhelming stress and food and housing insecurity.

(01/01/2024) → CapPublicRadio
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Recent Statewide News

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• Newsom Sets March 19 Special Election to Fill McCarthy’s Seat

Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for a March 19 primary to elect a replacement for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who resigned from Congress in December. If a candidate doesn’t win outright, a runoff will be held on May 21.

(01/08/2024) → Sacramento Bee

• State Trying to Use Generative AI to Reduce Traffic

Caltrans has set a Jan. 25 deadline for tech companies to show how generative artificial intelligence might reduce traffic congestion in the state. This follows an executive order that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed in September related to this type of AI.

(01/08/2024) → LA Times

• New Year Brings Protections for Deep-Sea Corals and Ocean Fishing Opportunities

New rules took effect Jan. 1 permanently protecting the most fragile deep sea corals off Southern California. Simultaneously, more than 4,500 square miles of ocean waters are now reopened to fishing after more than 20 years of closures.

(01/08/2024) → YubaNet

• Homeowners Who Sued to Build a Seawall Could Reshape California’s Coast

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(01/05/2024) → Los Angeles Times

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(01/04/2024) → Sacramento Bee

• Avian Flu Outbreak Hammers California Poultry Industry

An outbreak of the avian flu that began in California in October has killed 5.5 million birds throughout the Golden State. About 20% of the deaths have come in Sonoma County.

(01/04/2024) → SFGate

• The Chickadee in the Snowbank

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(01/04/2024) → YubaNet

• Sacramento Councilman Under Federal Indictment Resigns from Office

Sean Loloee, a first-term Sacramento councilmember, has resigned from office—a move that came weeks after he was federally indicted on charges related to his business Viva Supermarkets.

(01/04/2024) → Sacramento Bee

• California Community College Students Helping Peers

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(01/03/2024) → EdSource

• Group to Sue California AG Over Title of Ballot Initiative Seeking to Prohibit Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Youth

Leaders of a parental rights advocacy group announced they’re planning to sue California Attorney General Rob Bonta over the way his office has characterized a 2024 ballot initiative they authored.

(01/03/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• Sierra Snowpack at 25% of Usual Levels

The California Department of Water Resources has found that the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is at just 25% of normal levels for this time of year. This could potentially impact water supply and wildfire protection.

(01/02/2024) → Sacramento Bee

• Hospitals Seeing More People with COVID-19 and Flu

Los Angeles County has entered the medium category of COVID-19 hospitalization defined by the CDC, with providers warning that illnesses like RSV like to travel in tandem with the virus. Officials are urging the public to mask when visiting hospitals or other indoor facilities.

(01/02/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• CA Minimum Wage Hits $16 an Hour

The dawn of 2024 meant that California’s minimum wage rose from $15.50 to $16 an hour. That puts the Golden State at the second-highest minimum wage for a U.S. state, trailing only Washington state at $16.28 an hour.

(01/02/2024) → New York Times

• Law Goes Into Effect Blocking Guns in Many California Public Places

A law passed by the California legislature in 2023 has gone into effect banning licensed gun holders from bringing their firearms to places like playgrounds, churches and casinos. The law faces an ongoing challenge in the federal court system.

(01/02/2024) → Los Angeles Times
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Government Announcements

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Image of United States seal. United States   (01/05/2024)

TOYOU SNACKS Issues Allergy Alert On ToYou Snacks Snack Bars Due to Undeclared Soy

ToYou Snacks, of Winter Garden, Florida is recalling TOYOU branded snack bars in flavors Coconut Mocha, Chocolate Mango, Salted caramel dark chocolate, Mint Dark chocolate, Banana foster, Mango Yogurt because they contain undeclared soy. People who have an allergy or sensitivity to soy run risk of
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World Variety Produce, Inc. Recalls Kimchi Hot Because of Possible Health Risk

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Image of State of California seal. State of California   (01/04/2024)

Carlos Villapudua CA Assembly 13:
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Carlos Villapudua CA Assembly 13:
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Damon Connolly California Assembly 12:
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Carlos Villapudua CA Assembly 13:
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Urgent Voluntary Recall of D&D Commodities Ltd. 3-D Pet Products Premium Parrot Food Due to Potential Salmonella Contamination

D&D Commodities Ltd. is voluntarily recalling one lot of 3-D Pet Products Premium Parrot Food, 4 lb. jar, UPC 719195135045, Lot Number 102525G, due to potential Salmonella contamination.
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Urgent Voluntary Recall of D&D Commodities Ltd. 3-D Pet Products Premium Parrot Food Due to Potential Salmonella Contamination

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Damon Connolly California Assembly 12:
Assemblymember Connolly Introduces Bill to Reduce E-Bike Collisions

Assemblymember Connolly Introduces Bill to Reduce E-Bike Collisions vadaa Wed, 01/03/2024 - 15:00 AB 1778 amends sections of the Vehicle Code pertaining to use of class 2 electric bicycles by Californians who are under the age of 16 Wednesday, January 3, 2024 SACRAMENTO, CA Today, Assemblymember Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael) introduced a bill that will address the increasing rates of …