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By Eric Johnson
Published Apr 21, 2024

Earth Day: Resilience vs. Disaster

Happy Earth Day! Today we celebrate the efforts our fellow humans (including some powerful Californians) have made and are making to help heal our planet and connect us, while we simultaneously consider what we must do to protect our communities as the climate crisis worsens. We begin with a tribute to a man who is given credit for lighting the spark that led to this holiday.

Below, as always, find a carefully curated selection of local news; a short tribute to a local nonprofit, and a tasty recipe.


Seeing the World Anew

Just a few months before Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders took the "Earthrise" photo above, Stewart Brand convinced NASA to release the first color photo of the earth that had ever been seen. He believed people would be deeply affected by that image and he was right: The founders of Earth Day cite that photo as their inspiration. Here are several other ways this former Merry Prankster changed the world.


Stewart Brand’s ‘Whole Earth’ and its Place in the Universe


Meet the hippie intellectual who changed the world with the first published photograph of our entire planet.

Organizing Against Disaster

Worsening winter storms and the lengthining wildfire season are forcing us to confront unprecedented challenges. Here's how communities are coping and some ways you can help.


Budgeting for Resilience

West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, California, following a storm in January 2023. Throughout the state, communities are being forced to budget for disaster.
California communities are focusing resources in response to the effects of climate change and other challenges.

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.


These scones won’t curb your enthusiasm

These strawberry and cream scones are perfect for a spring brunch or tea.
NEW Strawberries and cream scones with orange zest


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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

Sustainable Silicon Valley logo Sustainable Silicon Valley

Sustainable Silicon Valley is a nonprofit that envisions a decarbonized Bay Area that is also prosperous, equitable and sustainable.

→ Learn more

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From Our Media Allies

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San Jose Spotlight logo Cupertino Cuts Millions in City Services

Cupertino officials are about to implement some of the largest cuts to city services residents have ever seen, as the city works to balance its budget in the face of a multimillion-dollar deficit.

San Jose Spotlight logo Federal Complaint Filed Against San Jose Congressional Candidate Sam Liccardo

Silicon Valley congressional candidate Sam Liccardo is facing a complaint with the federal election commission alleging his campaign is coordinating a "dark money" effort to fund a highly-criticized recount in the Congressional District 16 race. 

San Jose Inside logo San José Mayor and Council Appoint New Independent Police Auditor After Nationwide Search

Eddie Aubrey, currently working with the Richmond Police Department, has been investigating police misconduct since 2016

San Jose Spotlight logo Los Gatos Eases Pole Requirement for Developments

Los Gatos’ famous poles with orange netting and flags are a thing of the past on some development projects in town.

Gilroy Dispatch logo FAA Investigates ‘Unsafe’ Conditions at Santa Clara County Airports

Damaged runway lights, a non-functioning airport beacon, potholes and gravel in the taxiways, deteriorating hangar buildings, rats and snakes in indoor areas, a rampant ground squirrel problem—these are among the many issues that pilots at San Martin Airport have been …

San Jose Spotlight logo Santa Clara County Wants State to Stop Trauma Center Closure

Santa Clara County leaders are calling on state officials to stop a for-profit hospital from closing one of the county’s only trauma centers.

San Jose Spotlight logo Super PAC Pays for Silicon Valley Congressional Recount

A new political action committee was formed to pay for a recount of the contentious Congressional District 16 race, further obscuring who is actually funding the effort.

Morgan Hill Times logo Federal Funds Advance Transportation Projects in Morgan Hill

Morgan Hill is set to receive more than $2 million from the federal government to help with local projects that are intended to improve transportation efficiency and safety in the coming years.

Hilltromper Silicon Valley logo Science Spotlight: Why Do Humpbacks Breach?

More than 40 feet long and weighing up to 40 tons, adult humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are formidable giants. But their immensity doesn’t hinder their athleticism.

San Jose Spotlight logo Milpitas Police Launch Transparency Website

Milpitas residents can review police data on crimes and other incidents with the launch of a new digital dashboard.

San Jose Spotlight logo Santa Clara County to Study Ban on Artificial Turf

Santa Clara County may need an abundance of lawn mowers if artificial turf is banned on public playing fields.

Hilltromper Silicon Valley logo Peak Whale Watching in Northern California Can Be Now

Humpback whales return to our waters just in time for Earth Day and WhaleFest in Pacifica, while whale watchers in Monterey Bay are seeing cetaceans in droves.

San Jose Spotlight logo San Jose Names New Independent Police Auditor

San Jose has appointed a new independent police watchdog after months of scandal and instability plagued the office responsible for investigating officer malfeasance.

San Jose Spotlight logo Silicon Valley Water Supplier Plans Rate Hikes

Santa Clara County residents could see higher water bills in the upcoming year, as one water agency looks for ways to cover costs.

Gilroy Dispatch logo One Injured in Caltrain Collision in San Martin

A Caltrain struck a vehicle on the tracks in the unincorporated community of San Martin in Santa Clara County on Monday night, a spokesperson for SamTrans said.

San Jose Spotlight logo San Jose Community College’s Newest Chancellor Is Familiar Face

After a national search, a local community college district has selected one of its own as chancellor.

San Jose Inside logo Let the Recount Begin: Machines Scanning 190,000 Ballots From 16th District

While former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’s 8,200-vote margin means he is a shoo-in for the top spot on the ballot, the recount could change the unprecedented tie between Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian and State Assemblymember Evan Low.

San Jose Spotlight logo San Jose Park Maintenance Has Multimillion-Dollar Backlog

A multimillion-dollar work backlog in San Jose is leaving empty spaces where playground equipment used to be, basketball courts eroded and turf riddled with holes from squirrels and gophers.

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Recent Local News

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• It’s Not Just High-Density—the ‘Builder’s Remedy’ Is Also Bringing More Sprawl

One of the tools in state housing law that’s generated excitement among YIMBYs for its power to build new high-density housing could also end up leading to just the opposite: urban sprawl.

(04/21/2024) → The Mercury News

• Repairs to Close Light Rail Station

Five light rail stations in Mountain View will be closed between April 24 and April 28 for infrastructure repairs.

(04/21/2024) → Mountain View Voice

• Saratoga City Manager to Retire

After serving for 10 years as Saratoga City Manager, James Lindsay announced his retirement with a last day of June 29.

(04/21/2024) → The Mercury News

• Cupertino Housing Element Approved

The California Department of Housing and Community Development has approved the City of Cupertino’s Housing Element, which outlines the number of units and locations of new housing to be built in the city.

(04/21/2024) → The Mercury News

• Board Votes to Advance Housing Project

The Palo Alto Architectural Review Board voted to approve plans for a four-story apartment building project on University Avenue.

(04/18/2024) → Palo Alto Online

• Palo Alto Backs Off ‘Historic’ Designations

Homeowner protest results in Palo Alto dropping plans to expand "historic" structure designations.

(04/17/2024) → Palo Alto Online

• Cupertino Budget Cuts Reconsidered

Resident and City Council feedback is leading to services slated for cutting due to funding shortfalls to be added back to the budget.

(04/17/2024) → The Mercury News

• Milpitas Approves Apartments

In its April 16 meeting, the Milpitas City Council approved a development project to build 118 affordable apartment units at 1300 South Main Street.

(04/17/2024) → The Mercury News

• Google Employees Protest Involvement in Gaza War

Google employees protested outside a company facility in Sunnyvale on April 16 over use of company tech in the Gaza war.

(04/16/2024) → The Mercury News

• Palo Alto Submits New Housing Plan

In their April 15 meeting, the Palo Alto City Council approved a proposal for a new Housing Element plan to build 6,086 homes by 2031, to be submitted to the state.

(04/16/2024) → Palo Alto Online
  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Statewide News

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• Newsom Calls Out Republican Abortion Policies in New Ad Running in Alabama

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new ad blasts GOP efforts to make it harder for people to leave states with abortion bans and seek treatment elsewhere.

(04/21/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• As Salmon Are Released Into the Klamath River, Tribal Leaders See a 'Symbol of Hope'

California has released 500,000 salmon into the Klamath River. As dams are removed, the fish will be some of the first to return to a free-flowing river.

(04/20/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• A Private Calif. Ranch Holds Important State History — And It Might Be in Danger

Some residents fear development could destroy parts of the historic land.

(04/19/2024) → SF Gate

• After Previously Being Cleared, Three Alameda Police Officers Now Face Manslaughter Charges

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has charged three East Bay police officers with involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 death of 26-year-old Mario Gonzalez.

(04/19/2024) → SF Gate

• A Plan to Change Your Utility Rates Is Dividing California Environmentalists. Here’s Why

The California Public Utilities Commission will consider on May 9 a new proposal that would change how Californians pay for electricity.

(04/18/2024) → CalMatters

• California Sets Nation’s First Water Standard for Cancer-Causing Contaminant

Water suppliers say the costs will be massive, with rates increasing for many consumers. Known as the “Erin Brockovich” chemical, hexavalent chromium is found statewide.

(04/17/2024) → CalMatters

• Senate Impeachment Trial Begins for Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

Alejandro N. Mayorkas, a Cuban immigrant who grew up in California, is the first U.S. Cabinet official impeached in nearly 150 years.

(04/17/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• Paris Hilton Speaks Up for California’s ‘Troubled’ Teens

Heiress Paris Hilton is on a mission to shine a light on the "troubled teen industry," a largely unregulated multibillion-dollar industry that is gaining public scrutiny for alleged abuse of vulnerable youths.

(04/17/2024) → California Healthline

• In San Francisco’s Chinatown, a CEO Works With the Community to Bolster Hospital

Chinese Hospital, located in the heart of this city's legendary Chinatown, struggles with many of the same financial and demographic challenges that plague small independent hospitals in underserved areas across the country.

(04/16/2024) → California Healthline
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Government Announcements

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Image of United States seal. United States   (04/20/2024)

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Ground Beef Products Due to Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for ground beef products that may be contaminated...
Image of City of Milpitas seal. City of Milpitas   (04/19/2024)

Milpitas Matters Earth Day

Earth Day signifies the beginning of the modern environmental movement and was initially observed on April 22, 1970, to raise awareness and appreciation for our planet.
Image of City of Saratoga seal. City of Saratoga   (04/19/2024)

Youth in Government for Saratoga High Schoolers

Applications are open for high school students residing in Saratoga to enroll in the City's Youth in Government Program from June 17 to 20. Apply by May 1.
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (04/19/2024)

Gail Pellerin CA Assembly 28:
Support AB 1850 to make the Banana Slug the State Slug

Support AB 1850 to make the Banana Slug the State Slug robbee Fri, 04/19/2024 - 13:38 Monday, April 15, 2024
Image of City of Morgan Hill seal. City of Morgan Hill   (04/19/2024)

Raising Cane's

The project is in the process of seeking City approval for proposed development. It is a 3,000 square-foot fast food restaurant with a drive-through within the Evergreen Village commercial plaza, located on the corner of Cochrane Rd. and Butterfield Blvd.
Image of United States seal. United States   (04/19/2024)

Primal Kitchen Issues Voluntary Recall of Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil (750mL Glass) Due to Packaging Issue

Primal Kitchen is announcing a voluntary recall of approximately 2,060 cases of three code dates of Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil (750mL) because the glass may be prone to breakage, causing the product to spill.
Image of United States seal. United States   (04/19/2024)

Infinite Herbs, LLC Expands Recall of Fresh Organic Basil to Include Melissa's Brand Organic Basil Received by Illinois and Missouri Retailer

Infinite Herbs LLC of Miami, Florida, is expanding its April 18th recall to include Melissa's brand fresh organic basil in 2.0 oz ( 96 packages, UPC 0 45255 14142 9) and 4.0 oz packages (24 packages, UPC 0 45255 14439 0) available for sale at Dierberg's stores in Illinois and Missouri between Febru
Image of City of Los Altos seal. City of Los Altos   (04/19/2024)

City of Los Altos Announces New Partnership for False Alarm Reduction Program

Los Altos, Calif. April 13, 2024 The city of Los Altos has partnered with Alarm Program Systems to manage the City's False Alarm Reduction Program, a program enacted to decrease false alarm responses attributed to faulty equipment and user error.
Image of City of Los Altos seal. City of Los Altos   (04/19/2024)

City of Los Altos Announces Self-Serve Compost Station Availability for 2024

Los Altos, Calif. April 6, 2024 The city of Los Altos is introducing an updated compost program for 2024. The self-serve compost station will return for three weeks: Wednesday, April 17 - Thursday, April 25 Wednesday, June 12 - Thursday, June 20 Wednesday, September 11 - Thursday, September 19 During these allotted times, it will be open 24/7 and will …
Image of United States seal. United States   (04/18/2024)

Sammy's Milk Providing a Warning Against the Use of Goat Milk Toddler Formula as Infant Formula

Newport Beach, California - Sammy's Milk, a local company, has been asked by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide a warning against the use of its Goat Milk Toddler Formula as an infant formula because the FDA is concerned that the formula may not meet all FDA requirements for infant fo