San Joaquin County News, Traffic & Weather

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Image caption: Farm workers had argued that reforms now in place in California would reduce employer retaliation for unionization efforts.
Farmworkers in Stanislaus County Win Union Vote Under New Law

The United Farm Workers, which represents nearly 7,000 workers, won a unionization vote in Stanislaus County. It’s the first such win in six years and first under a law that went into effect in May.

Image caption: Rodin Farms Fruit Stand lies along one of the “stroads” in Stanislaus County, and a widening of the highway could drive the longtime landmark out of business.
Nov. 27, 2023: Season’s Eating

Holiday recipes from Sacramento Digs Gardening, a tour of agricultural tourist attractions—including Modesto’s imperiled Rodin Farms Fruit Stand—and a preview of the scenery-chewing Newsom-DeSantis debate.

Image caption: Climate change models suggest that bone-dry Death Valley could see more torrential rain in the future.
Water Flows Back Into Death Valley

Record rains help a lake reappear in the hottest place on Earth, and The New York Times documents the spectacle.

Image caption: Despite rising homelessness, the state lifted its COVID-era eviction ban. Now renters are feeling the consequences.
End of Pandemic Ban Sends Renter Evictions Soaring

The number of Californians facing eviction was relatively low for years during a lengthy statewide moratorium. In the year after it ended, cases soared and still remain high in large counties.

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Nov. 20, 2023: Take It to the Bank

From now until the end of the year, ’tis the season of giving. Here are some suggestions for where to make a deposit.

Image caption: Almost half of all low-income Black adults in California experience food insecurity.
Hunger and Food Insecurity in California: What It Is, What to Do About It

Hunger and food insecurity have become persistent problems in California. With the world’s fifth-largest economy, what steps can we take to make sure that everyone has enough to eat?

Image caption: On a press conference televised by Fox 11 News, Gov. Gavin Newsom answered questions about the company that Caltrans was suing for nonpayment on the property that caught fire underneath the 10 Freeway.
LA Freeway Fire Destroys Immigrant Businesses

A fire under Interstate 10 in Los Angeles devastated some businesses run by immigrants. Caltrans had been trying to evict their landlord.“

Image caption: Second Harvest CEO Erica Padilla-Chavez (at right) with a group of local Rotary members who helped wrap Holiday Food & Fund Drive barrels.
Setting the Table for Social Change

Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County CEO Erica Padilla-Chavez looks at food insecurity as a symptom of an underlying disorder—one that can be cured.

Image caption: It's becoming more difficult to have a healthy childbirth in California as maternity wards close at an alarming rate.
California Hospitals Closed 46 Maternity Wards Since 2012

Hospitals all over California are closing their maternity wards, including in dense cities like Los Angeles and in more remote communities in the Sierra Nevada.

Image caption: A definitive federal report says California’s economy suffers more than almost all states from the effects of climate change.
California Among Top 5 Worst Climate Change States, Report Says

California ranks among the top states suffering economic damage from climate-related disasters. The report describes food shortages, floods, droughts, wildfires, pollution, disease—all linked to climate change.

Image caption: Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has directed the city’s housing department to conduct a comprehensive review of all residential hotels in response to an investigative report.
LA Hotel Housing Story

A hotel in Hollywood is receiving more than twice it would get per room by renting to the city of Los Angeles rather than to long-term tenants.

Image caption: Part of the massive grid laid out for California City that never went any further.
The Near-Ghost Town in the Desert

By land, California City is the third-largest city in the state. But the building of this city is largely a cautionary tale for other would-be planned cities.

Image caption: Under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, California students must now be educated in media literacy and critical thinking skills.
How to Spot Fake News Now Part of California School Curriculum

A new law requires K-12 schools to add media literacy to curriculum for English language arts, science, math and history-social studies. Among the lessons will be recognizing fake news.

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Nov. 13, 2023: Fighting & Working for Democracy

Veterans Day weekend reminds us to appreciate our fundamental democratic values, to thank those who fought to defend them, and to work together to preserve democracy here in California.

Image caption: Translated from the Greek, “Democracy” means “people power.” How much power do the people have in California?
People Power! What Is Democracy, and How Does It Work in California?

Democracy is a 2,500-year-old system of government still looked on today as the best system, because under a democratic system, the people govern themselves. But is that all there is to it? What is democracy? And how does it work …

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Trading California for Texas

In 2022, over 300,000 more people left California than moved to the Golden State. And when people go, they most often head for Texas. Here’s what they get.

Image caption: Voters have many decisions to weigh before March 5.
One Citizen, One Vote

A year from now we’ll be choosing the next U.S. president. But there are many important decisions to be made before then. Now’s the time to start getting ready for the March 5 primary.

Image caption: Lobbyists have been big spenders in 2023, with oil companies alone spreading around more than $15 million.
Led by Oil Companies, Lobbyists Flood State Govt With Cash

By the end of September 2023, more than $358 million had been spent this year on lobbying California’s Legislature, agencies, and Public Utilities Commission.

Image caption: Remnants of a house destroyed during the Camp Fire in 2018.
Rebuilding Paradise

A thoughtful piece by Mark Arax published by The New York Times takes a different angle on the struggle to recover from 2018’s Camp Fire.

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John Steinbeck’s Boat Returns to Monterey

The legendary writer’s sardine boat, which dates to 1930s, has been restored and recovered from Mexico, reports Monterey County Weekly.

California Local Pin Marker   Bulletin Board

Buy, Eat, and Learn at Far West Fungi’s Retail and Restaurant Locations

Far West Fungi is a family-owned and operated mushroom farm in Northern California founded by John and Toby Garrone in 1983. This year marks Far West Fungi’s 40th anniversary. Their farms are spre...


Keenan Farms: Cultivating Excellence in Pistachio Growing

In the heart of California's San Joaquin Valley, where the warm sun and fertile soil create the perfect conditions for pistachio growing, there's a family-owned farm that stands as a symbol of exc...


Seascape Resort in Aptos, CA: A Cliffside Resort with Charm

Imagine waking up to the soothing sound of waves crashing on the shore and stepping out onto your private balcony to witness the sun rising over the vast Pacific Ocean. Welcome to Seascape Resort ...


Stirm Wine Co. – A Small Boutique Winery with Big Dreams in California’s Pajaro Valley

Ryan Stirm, winemaker at Stirm Wine Co., is about as down to earth as his small boutique winery which is hidden on a hillside in the Pajaro Valley. He didn’t plan to be a winemaker, but that’s the...


Harris Ranch Resort: Classy Western Vibes and Farm-to-Table Fun

Welcome to the ultimate getaway destination that combines the best of luxury and farm-fresh fun! Harris Ranch Resort, located in California's San Joaquin Valley, is an oasis that offers a unique a...


Family Tree Farms – From Humble Beginnings to Leadership in Ag Innovation

From humble beginnings in farm labor during the Great Depression to becoming a world leader in agricultural innovation, the Jackson family’s story is one of resilience, determination, and incredib...