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By Eric Johnson
Published Apr 14, 2024

Gov. Jerry Brown meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at an economic summit in LA in February, 2012. Since being named Chinese president later that year, Xi has earned harsh criticism for human rights violations, and praise for his environmental policies. Gov. Jerry Brown meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at an economic summit in LA in February, 2012. Since being named Chinese president later that year, Xi has earned harsh criticism for human rights violations, and praise for his environmental policies. Image credit: David Starkopf / Office of Antonio R. Villaraigosa   CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED

California's Power Beyond its Borders

This week—in addition to our carefully curated News Digest, our tasty Recipe of the Week, and news you can use from the California Local Media Alliance and other trusted sources—we bring you two tales of policies and technologies that could help save the planet. And: One Good Thing from Davisville!


Exporting Clean-Tech Policy

In 2014, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide emitted by Chinese factories were wafting across the Pacific Ocean and causing smog alerts in LA. Not only that: Vehicles in China were pumping out dangerous amounts of greenhouse gasses that posed a global threat. Here's the remarkable story of how California leaders—from the government, nonprofit, and business sectors (hi, Elon)—helped fix that big problem.


How California Helped Clean China’s Bad Air

Gov. Gavin Newsom tours a Chinese electric-car factory in October, 2023.
A Tesla lobbyist, an LA-based environmental group, and Gov. Jerry Brown brought a rule minted in Sacramento to Beijing, and helped launch China’s EV industry.

Bad Name, Good Tech

We have seen how technology (which admittedly caused the problem in the first place) can play a huge role in combatting the climate crisis. Here is a nerdy device that could make a big difference (sorry, HVAC fans). As you'll see, it has a bit of a branding problem: a heat pump is actually exteremely efficient at pumping cool, too. 


6 Million New Heat Pumps: Essential to California's Climate Future

California has a goal of 6 million heat pumps cooling and heating buildings by 2030.
Heat pumps, an energy-efficient way to both heat and cool homes, are a necessary element of California's climate goal of net zero carbon emissions. Here's what they are, how they work, and how to get one.

Community Love from Davis

Bill Buchannan has created an award-winning radio show and podcast that brings local issues to life on KDRT (and the internet), and shows what a person with a mic and a passion for his hometown can do.


Davisville

Davis is in California. Davisville is off the charts.
We take a look, or rather a listen, to Davisville, a radio show and podcast on low-power but high-energy KDRT 95.7, broadcast out of Davis, California.

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 Spring! cookbook.


Bright fruit compote perfect for spring

This is, as they say, a serving suggestion: Strawberry-raspberry compote dresses up cheese blintzes, but could just as easily work on pound cake, ice cream or pancakes.
NEW Strawberries shine, raspberries add color to versatile sauce


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Santa Clara County's Homepage

Our overview page for Santa Clara 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 https://santaclara.californialocal.com/ to catch up on the latest news in California and Santa Clara County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!


Get to Know a Group

Triton Museum of Art logo Triton Museum of Art

The Triton Museum of Art showcases works by California artists that are aesthetically and historically significant to the region and which demonstrate its community’s diversity of cultural traditions, influences, and ideas.

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From Our Media Allies

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San Jose Spotlight logo Who’s Behind Recount in Silicon Valley Congressional Race?

Two men from different counties have pushed for a recount in a highly-scrutinized Silicon Valley congressional race.

San Jose Spotlight logo Santa Clara County Nurses Threaten a Second Walkout

Thousands of nurses across Santa Clara County’s strained and overburdened public hospital system may go on strike again — just weeks after taking to the picket line.

San Jose Spotlight logo San Jose to Launch Smarter 311 App to Handle Vehicle Complaints

San Jose is updating its 311 app that tracks resident complaints to more efficiently address thousands of requests about abandoned vehicles.

San Jose Spotlight logo Cupertino’s Blueprint for Housing Close to Approval

Cupertino is inches away from securing approval of its state-mandated housing plan more than a year past the deadline — and following a legal battle due to its noncompliance.

Gilroy Dispatch logo Gourmet Alley Work Begins

Construction began this week on the City of Gilroy’s grant-funded makeover of Gourmet Alley in the downtown, and some business and property owners are concerned about the possible impact the work will have on their operations.

San Jose Spotlight logo Sunnyvale Wants a Better Mobile App for Reporting Problems

Sunnyvale is in the market for a better way to have residents flag issues in their neighborhoods online.

San Jose Inside logo County Election Officials OK a Recount of 16th District, if Requesters Pay

Evan Low says, Thanks but no thanks, to the recount, and accuses Liccardo of Trumpian tactics in engineering a recount plot to benefit from a two-man race.

San Jose Spotlight logo Silicon Valley Rep. Eshoo Demands Transparency in Recount

Like the rest of the country, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo watched in awe as two candidates tied in a heated race to replace her, triggering a request from a Silicon Valley political operative to fund a six-figure recount.

Gilroy Dispatch logo Earthquake Reported Near Morgan Hill

A 3.2-magnitude earthquake occurred near the city of Morgan Hill early in the morning April 10, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

San Jose Inside logo Stanford Taps Business School Dean, Alum Jonathan Levin, as New President

Jonathan Levin, dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, has been appointed the 13th president of Stanford University. Levin is a distinguished economist and a Stanford alumnus who has led the business school for the last eight years.

San Jose Spotlight logo Last-Minute Recount Requests Pending in Silicon Valley Congressional Race

Two recount requests are pending for the highly anticipated race to replace Rep. Anna Eshoo's Silicon Valley congressional seat — potentially changing who advances to the November runoff.

San Jose Spotlight logo State Finds San Jose Lacks Accountability With Homeless Spending

San Jose has until September to formulate a succinct plan on how it will address homelessness and begin publicly reporting spending data, according to an audit requested by a local legislator.

Hilltromper Silicon Valley logo 10 Ways to Play at Castle Rock State Park

Just up the hill from Silicon Valley, this rock climber’s paradise offers recreational opportunities from trail running to backpacking.

San Jose Spotlight logo Is San Jose One of the Healthiest U.S. Cities?

San Jose has made the top 25 in a nationwide healthiest city survey, but advocates say deep inequities still persist.

San Jose Spotlight logo Cupertino Is a Pickleball Desert for Players

Cupertino pickleballers are fed up with having to share city courts with tennis players — but a solution might be coming.

Morgan Hill Times logo Santa Clara County DA Seeks to Resentence Death Row Inmates to Life Without Parole

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen is moving to eliminate the county’s death row, looking to sentence the 15 local men still sitting on it to serve life in prison without the chance of parole instead, according to an …

San Jose Spotlight logo Santa Clara County Gives Few Contracts to Minority-Owned Businesses

A study of Santa Clara County’s public contracts shows only a fraction goes to small, local businesses.

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Recent Local News

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• This Map Reveals Where Supersized ‘Builder’s Remedy’ Projects Could Be Coming

Last year, dozens of cities around the Bay Area missed the deadline to come up with a state-approved "housing element" — a plan the state requires cities to submit every eight years showing how they will accommodate their share of the 2.5 million homes that California must build by 2031.

(04/14/2024) → The Mercury News

• San Jose Limits Homeless Encampments, Overnight RV Parking

The San Jose City Council passed laws to ban homeless encampments near schools and placed restrictions on RV and lived-in vehicle parking.

(04/12/2024) → The Mercury News

• Concerns Raised About Elementary Principal

Parents raised concerns about the new Kathryn Hughes Elementary School principal at a recent the Santa Clara Unified Board of Trustees meeting during public comments.

(04/12/2024) → Silicon Valley Voice

• Death Reported on Caltrain Tracks

Caltrains reported on April 12 that transit police are investigating a fatality on the track near the
California Avenue station.

(04/12/2024) → Palo Alto Online

• Palo Alto Resubmits Housing Element Plan

After being rejected twice by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the Palo Alto City Council is set to consider and vote on a new Housing Element plan.

(04/12/2024) → Palo Alto Online

• Google to Stop Showing Links to California News Reports

Google has thrown down the gauntlet in its battle with California lawmakers and news publishers over compensation for content. The internet-search giant will stop showing links to news stories produced by California media outlets, as it fights a state bill that would make the company and others pay fees to news publishers for content.

(04/12/2024) → The Mercury News

• Mountain View Pressing Ahead With Infrastructure Projects

In its annual review of Capital Improvement Projects, the city is considering how to prioritize over 300 planned infrastructure projects in the face of tightening budgets.

(04/11/2024) → Mountain View Voice

• Questions About Teacher Housing Project

The Planning Commission considering a 44 unit Palo Alto teacher housing development in the Ventura neighborhood remains unconvinced as to tenant affordability.

(04/11/2024) → Palo Alto Online

• Mountain View Considers Increased Density

In its April 9 meeting, the Mountain View City Council considered changes in the R3 zoning regulations to promote housing density and growth in designated areas.

(04/10/2024) → Mountain View Voice
  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Statewide News

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• PG&E Hit With $225-Million Lawsuit for 2021 Dixie Fire Damages

A coalition of timber businesses filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the embattled Pacific Gas & Electric Co., alleging $225 million in damages caused by the 2021 Dixie Fire.

(04/14/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• Officials Search for Gray Whale Seen Trapped in Fishing Net Off Bay Area Coast

Obstacles are mounting for officials who are attempting to rescue a young gray whale that was discovered entangled in a gillnet off Laguna Beach was recently sighted off the coast of Thornton State Beach in Daly City .

(04/14/2024) → SF Gate

• TSA Found More Than 1,500 Firearms on Airline Passengers in First 3 Months of 2024

A majority of the guns found were loaded, according to the TSA.

(04/11/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• California's Largest Reservoir Is Close to Full

California's reservoirs are brimming with water, and even Shasta Lake could fill up.

(04/11/2024) → SF Gate

• California Requires New Homes to Have Solar Panels. Should Wildfire Victims Get a Break?

A California Republican’s bill would exempt low and middle income wildfire victims from solar panels requirements on rebuilt homes that didn’t have them when they burned down.

(04/11/2024) → CalMatters

• Electric Vehicle Drivers May Not Be Able to Ride Solo in Calif. Carpool Lanes Anymore

A program that allows solo drivers of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to use carpool lanes on freeways and bridges in California may be removed for good next year.

(04/09/2024) → SF Gate

• California Fails to Track Its Homelessness Spending or Results, a New Audit Says

There’s so little data available, it’s impossible to even tell if several of California’s largest homelessness programs are working, according to a statewide audit released Tuesday.

(04/09/2024) → CalMatters

• We Must Take Better Care of Our Home-Based Child Care Providers

These professionals provide essential services, but their pay and working conditions do not reflect their value, and their health suffers.

(04/09/2024) → EdSource

• California Fails to Adequately Help Blind and Deaf Prisoners, US Judge Rules

Thirty years after prisoners with disabilities sued the state of California and 25 years after a federal court first ordered accommodations, a judge found that state prison and parole officials still are not doing enough to help deaf and blind prisoners.

(04/08/2024) → California Healthline

• Business Groups and Lawmakers Battle Over Ballot Measure to Limit California Tax Increases

Anti-tax groups in California have qualified a measure for the November ballot that would make raising state and local taxes much more difficult. It’s a showdown that’s been building for nearly five decades.

(04/08/2024) → CalMatters
  California Local Pin Marker  

Government Announcements

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Image of United States seal. United States   (04/12/2024)

Roly Poly Bakery Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Egg Ingredient in Multigrain Bread

Roly Poly Bakery of New Britain, CT is recalling its 20 ounce loafs of Roly Poly multigrain bread because the product contains undeclared egg product. People who have allergies to eggs run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.
Image of United States seal. United States   (04/12/2024)

Gracie's Kitchen Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sesame and Wheat Allergens in "Broccoli Cutlets"

Gracie's Kitchens of New Haven, CT, is recalling its 20-ounce packages of "King Kullen Broccoli Cutlets with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan" because they may contain undeclared sesame and wheat. People who have allergies to sesame and wheat run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if
Image of United States seal. United States   (04/11/2024)

Feel Good Foods Issues Voluntary Recall of Gluten-Free Cream Cheese Stuffed Mini Bagels

Feel Good Foods is voluntarily recalling its Gluten-Free Plain and Everything flavored Cream Cheese Stuffed Mini Bagels. The products may contain undeclared gluten that may be present due to cross-contamination. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to gluten run the risk of serious aller
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (04/11/2024)

Alex Lee CA Assembly 24:
Sunol Glen Unified School District Superintendent Recognized as Woman of the Year

Sunol Glen Unified School District Superintendent Recognized as Woman of the Year channi Thu, 04/11/2024 - 11:45 Nicholas Chan Email nicholas.chan@asm.ca.gov Phone (916) 319-2392 Title Communications Director, Office of Assemblymember Alex Lee Tuesday, April 9, 2024 Assemblymember Alex Lee recognized Molleen Barnes as Assembly District 24s Woman of the Year. She is currently the Sunol Glen Unified School District Superintendent …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (04/11/2024)

Esmeralda Soria California Assembly 27:
AB 1960 To Increase Penalties for Retail Theft Approved by Assembly Public Safety Committee

AB 1960 To Increase Penalties for Retail Theft Approved by Assembly Public Safety Committee gonzalju Thu, 04/11/2024 - 09:46 Email julian.gonzalez@asm.ca.gov Phone (916) 319-2027 Tuesday, April 9, 2024 SACRAMENTO, CA Today, Assemblywoman Sorias AB 1960, a bill to increase penalties for retail theft passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee with unanimous support. Crime, especially retail theft, is not only a …
Image of United States seal. United States   (04/10/2024)

Oregon Spice Company Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sesame in Johnny's Parmesan Garlic Seasoning

Oregon Spice Company, Portland, OR is recalling Johnny's Parmesan Garlic Seasoning 5oz because it may contain undeclared sesame. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to sesame run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.
Image of City of Milpitas seal. City of Milpitas   (04/10/2024)

Overview and Update on Current ADU Programs and Incentives

This Memorandum provides an overview and update on the status of various Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) programs and initiatives, including the use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for ADU permit fees.
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (04/10/2024)

Alex Lee CA Assembly 24:
Bill To Streamline Train Electrification Projects Passes First Policy Committee

Bill To Streamline Train Electrification Projects Passes First Policy Committee channi Wed, 04/10/2024 - 15:32 Nicholas Chan Email nicholas.chan@asm.ca.gov Phone (916) 319-2392 Title Communications Director, Office of Assemblymember Alex Lee Wednesday, April 10, 2024 Assemblymember Alex Lee has introduced legislation to streamline the expansion of green public transportation infrastructure. AB 2503 would enable transit agencies to more rapidly electrify their …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (04/10/2024)

Esmeralda Soria California Assembly 27:
Assemblywoman Soria Introduces AB 2281 To Protect Tribal Court Judges

Assemblywoman Soria Introduces AB 2281 To Protect Tribal Court Judges gonzalju Wed, 04/10/2024 - 14:51 Email julian.gonzalez@asm.ca.gov Phone (916) 319-2027 Thursday, February 8, 2024 SACRAMENTO, CA Today, Assemblywoman Esmeralda Soria introduced Assembly Bill 2281 to enact legal protections for tribal court judges that are commensurate with those legal protections afforded to state and federal judges. An Indian tribe in California …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (04/10/2024)

Dawn Addis CA Assembly 30:
Bill to Protect Residents from Oil and Gas Pollution Passes Committee

Bill to Protect Residents from Oil and Gas Pollution Passes Committee sanchema Wed, 04/10/2024 - 11:11 Tuesday, April 9, 2024 SACRAMENTOA bill by Assemblymember Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay) that safeguards local governments' authority to protect residents from oil and gas pollution secured approval in its first policy hearing. Assembly Bill 3233, the Local Environmental Choice and Safety Act, passed out …