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By Sharan Street
Published Jan 22, 2024

Highway 1 near Elk stays scenic partly due to the efforts of the California Coastal Conservancy. Highway 1 near Elk stays scenic partly due to the efforts of the California Coastal Conservancy. Image credit: Sharan Street   California Local

Reasons to Take a Road Trip

There are some California experiences that shouldn’t be missed. Big Sur. Yosemite Valley. The serene blue expanse of Lake Tahoe. The Eastern Sierra’s craggy escarpments. Such sights are among the natural wonders that make California a top destination for road-tripping tourists.

But just as important for those who live in California is the protection of land near to where they live and work. And that’s why state legislators have created 10 conservancies for different parts of the state—including urban areas. As Jonathan Vankin writes in a story just posted over the weekend, the main function of these government agencies is to “protect land for public recreational use, making sure Californians have access to the state’s undeveloped, natural environment.”

From the Low Desert to the High Sierra

The first to come into being was the California Coastal Conservancy, established in 1976, which helps all residents of the state access our scenic beaches—not just those who own homes on the sand. Next came the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, which ensures that residents of heavily urbanized Los Angeles have natural places to enjoy near their homes. The eight other agencies are spread across the state, from the Coachella Valley to Lake Tahoe.

California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land

The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
How California’s 10 state conservancies buy up open land and shield it from developers to preserve the natural environment for public use.

More Roadside Attractions

Other landmarks that make California attractive to tourists can be harder to protect. Despite the best work of historic preservationists, our human-made environment is vulnerable to the ravages of time. This month, the Central Coast lost a beloved roadside attraction when Pea Soup Andersen’s closed its doors with no notice, just months shy of its 100th anniversary. We mourned the loss—and set out to create a bucket list of other classic California eateries that have already celebrated their centennial and are still serving tourists and locals alike.

At California Local, we love exploring our state—not only its policies and politics, but also its cultural treasures—and we put local newspapers into that category. Meet Hanna Nakano, who is a couple weeks away from marking her first year as publisher of The Dirt. Her monthly newspaper covers the city of Davis that has more than 66,850 residents—more than 38,000 of them students at UC Davis. Veronica Yoo interviews Nakano, who talks about how she uses her publication to give voice to a creative, well-educated readership.

Century Club: A Tour of Classic California Eateries

Though Pea Soup Anderson’s signs may be a bit worn, the restaurant exterior retains its homey charm.
Pea Soup Anderson’s closed before its 100th birthday. Here are 24 restaurants 100 years or older that you can still visit.

Publisher Q&A: Digging Into ‘The Dirt’ in Davis

Next month marks one year since Hanna Nakano took over as publisher of The Dirt, a monthly in the city of Davis.
Hanna Nakano says her monthly newspaper raises the voices of local residents through “the power of documentation and the power of publishing.”

Updates to Government Announcements

We’ve been importing and publishing government announcements and press releases for some time now. They’re displayed on the county overviews and in the Announcement & Press Releases page linked in the dropdown Government Menu on the California Local website, and also in this newsletter, towards the bottom,

But you knew all that already.

The big news is that we’ve started importing U.S. Government food recall announcements (who knew there were so many?) and announcements and press releases from your elected representatives in the California state Assembly and Senate.

Local, state and federal entities publish a lot of useful and important information. These new additions will help keep you safer and more informed.

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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 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!

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Big Brother Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally supported mentorship. The organization believes that all children can achieve success when given the proper tools and resources—and volunteer mentors are among the most important of those resources.

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From Our Media Allies

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Morgan Hill Times logo Big 5 to Close Soon

Big 5 Sporting Goods, 150 Cochrane Road in Morgan Hill, is in its final days after announcing its closure in late 2023.

Los Gatan logo Lot Adjustment Appeal Shot Down After Developer Produces Map from 1927

The Los Gatos Town Council rejected an appeal by a neighbor opposed to a proposed lot adjustment on a Los Robles Way property.

Gilroy Dispatch logo Young Gilroy Author Releases 1st Novel

LJ Hardwicke will celebrate the release of her first novel, “Red Watson and the Gifted Lands,” with a book signing event.

San Jose Inside logo On Eve of Tax Season, 2 Heavyweights Trade Punches

Mountain View's Intuit asks the court to block H&R Block from using false or misleading statements about TurboTax products, and seels monetary damages.

San Jose Inside logo State, Lenders Seek to Recover $170M from Homekey Housing Developers

Shangri-La Construction took loans against state-funded housing projects, moved money into other bank accounts and left projects unfinished.

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Recent Local News

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• Cal State Faculty Strike Ends With Tentative Contract Agreement

A Cal State systemwide strike secured what more than half a year of negotiations and partial strikes couldn’t: a deal.

(01/22/2024) → CalMatters

• Cupertino Plans Safety Improvements for Major Thoroughfare

Cupertino is receiving more than $425,600 to increase safety on Bollinger Road through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets and Roads for All program.

(01/22/2024) → San Jose Spotlight

• Historic Election Could Split Silicon Valley’s Vietnamese Voters

Little Saigon may be on the precipice of electing its first-ever Vietnamese American to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, and a potential key voice in decisions on social services and law enforcement spending.

(01/21/2024) → San Jose Spotlight

• 2024 Primary Election: 18th Congressional District

Five candidates are running for the 18th Congressional District, which consists of San Benito County and parts of Santa Clara, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Members of Congress serve a two-year term.

(01/20/2024) → Benito Link

• New Coalition Looks to Revive Effort to Build Palo Alto Gym

A new coalition that includes former mayors, philanthropists, athletes and volunteers is spearheading a $33-million campaign to revive a project to build Palo’s first city-owned gym.

(01/19/2024) → Palo Alto Weekly

• Massive 860-Unit Project in East Whisman Expands Park Space, but Questions Remain Over Loss of Trees

A major housing project proposed in the East Whisman neighborhood received praise for adding more green space and affordable units, but not with some misgivings about the loss of trees and where those affordable units would go.

(01/19/2024) → Mountain View Voice

• VTA Begins Super Bowl LX, FIFA World Cup Planning

With Super Bowl LX just a few years away from arriving at Levi’s Stadium and the FIFA World Cup quick on its heels, the Valley Transportation Agency has started planning the big events.

(01/19/2024) → Silicon Valley Voice

• What’s Next for Blighted Former Church in San Jose?

Months after work crews removed tattered tarps and worn wraps from a languishing, historic former church in downtown San Jose, preservationists are worried city officials have lost urgency around protecting the building for the long term.

(01/19/2024) → San Jose Spotlight

• Silicon Valley Senator Wants to Consolidate 27 Transit Agencies

State Sen. Aisha Wahab, whose district covers Sunnyvale and Milpitas, has submitted a bill asking the California State Transportation Agency to create a plan that would consolidate the Bay Area’s 27 transit agencies.

(01/18/2024) → San Jose Spotlight

• Sunnyvale Considers Ride-Share Service for Commuting Students

Sunnyvale is looking to fill accessibility gaps in existing public transit options for residents to travel around the city, and one ride-share service is taking center stage.

(01/18/2024) → San Jose Spotlight

• Meet Garrett Kuramoto, City of Sunnyvale’s Superintendent of Libraries

Garrett Kuramoto was born and raised in Sunnyvale. This Santa Clara resident is also the superintendent of libraries for the city of Sunnyvale; and right now, he is working with the city to build a second library in the Lakewood area in north Sunnyvale.

(01/17/2024) → Silicon Valley Voice

• Heritage Orchard to Grow by 300 Apricot Trees as City, Museum Ready Installation

Los Altos residents will soon be seeing firsthand the progress of Los Altos leaders’ efforts to restore a landmark heritage apricot orchard at the city’s civic center.

(01/16/2024) → Read the full Los Altos Town Crier report
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Recent Statewide News

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• Key Takeaways From U.S. Senate Debate

The four leading U.S. Senate contenders in California tried to use 90 minutes of free air time to solidify their pitches to voters—and also to set themselves apart from their opponents.

(01/22/2024) → CalMatters

• Will $20 Minimum Wage Crush Fast Food in California?

Fast food lives in a consumer sweet spot: demand, convenience and relative affordability. And this pay hike—equal to minimum wage increases during the past five years—will create grand economic unknowns.

(01/22/2024) → Daily Democrat

• How California Budget Rules Can Prevent Saving for a Rainy Day—and Why Newsom Wants to Change That

The swing from a $100 billion surplus to a deficit somewhere between $38 and $68 billion in just two years illustrates the volatility of California’s tax system.

(01/21/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• California Picks Its Next Governor in More Than 1,000 Days. Why the Race Is Already So Crowded

More than two years until the first votes are cast, Senate leader Toni Atkins becomes the fourth big-name Democrat to jump into the governor’s race. She is seeking to become the first female and openly gay chief executive.

(01/19/2024) → CalMatters

• California Court Ruling Could Threaten Key Source of Funding for Disputed Delta Water Tunnel Project

A California judge says a nearly 65-year-old law does not give the state permission to borrow the billions of dollars it would need to build a large water project.

(01/19/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• California Panel Holds Up Studies on Psychedelics. Some Researchers Want It Gone

At the Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, scientists are eager to explore whether a psychedelic chemical found in a toad could help people with depression. But research has been put on hold by the state.

(01/19/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Where Do the Major Senate Candidates Stand on the Economy, Crime and the Border?

The five major contenders have different track records and proposals on some of California’s biggest issues. They’re trying to position themselves to appeal to sizable voting blocs.

(01/17/2024) → CalMatters

• Homelessness Is on the California Ballot This March. Will Conditions Change?

Prop. 1 would funnel more money into housing and treatment for homeless Californians struggling with mental illness and addiction. But it’s far from a one-stop solution.

(01/17/2024) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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Image of United States seal. United States   (01/20/2024)

Al Amir Fresh Foods Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sesame in Hummus Dip Products and Undeclared Milk in Tzatziki Cucumber Yogurt

Al Amir Fresh Foods of Milwaukie, Oregon is recalling Al Amir brand hummus dip products due to undeclared sesame and Tzatziki Cucumber Yogurt due to undeclared milk.
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (01/19/2024)

Alex Lee CA Assembly 24:
Assemblymember Lee Responds To Attacks Against Hindu Temples

Assemblymember Lee Responds To Attacks Against Hindu Temples channi Fri, 01/19/2024 - 13:08 Friday, January 19, 2024 Assemblymember Alex Lee has released the following statement in response to the spate of attacks against Northern Californias Hindu temples in recent months. Recently, multiple Hindu temples in Northern California have been vandalized and burglarized, including the SMVS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir and Sri …
Image of City of Morgan Hill seal. City of Morgan Hill   (01/19/2024)

City's Recreational Preschool

Registration for 2024-2025 school year opens February 12. The play-based program provides a safe and nurturing environment for your child's first school experience.
Image of City of Morgan Hill seal. City of Morgan Hill   (01/19/2024)

Community Police Academy

The Community Police Academy (CPA) provides community members with an up close and personal look at local police work. Class begins February 26 and the deadline to apply online is February 19.
Image of City of Los Altos seal. City of Los Altos   (01/19/2024)

Los Altos Police Press Release: Death Investigation Update #1

Los Altos, Calif. January 18, 2024 The Los Altos Police Department continues to investigate the deaths of two adults whose bodies were found Tuesday, January 16, at approximately 1:20 PM, during a welfare check. Preliminary investigation confirms that the bodies of the two deceased are an adult female and an adult male. Time of death is estimated to be shortly …
Image of City of Gilroy seal. City of Gilroy   (01/18/2024)

Conversation and Coffee with Mayor Marie Blankley

Join Mayor Marie Blankley and City Administrator Jimmy Forbis for conversation and coffee on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at 9:30 AM in Council Chambers located at 7351 Rosanna Street.
Image of City of Morgan Hill seal. City of Morgan Hill   (01/18/2024)

Group X Schedule

The Centennial Recreation Center (CRC) offers a wide selection of weights, cardio machines, and group exercise classes. It's a great place to get fit with friends! Become part of the CRC community today!
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/18/2024)

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Raw Frozen Pork Dumpling Products Produced without Benefit of Inspection

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert because Dim Sum Factory Inc., a Flushing, N.Y...
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/17/2024)

Hans Kissle Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Soy & Egg in "Hans Kissle Mexican Style Quinoa Salad"

Hans Kissle of Haverhill, MA, is recalling its 7-ounce packages of MEXICAN STYLE QUINOA SALAD, deli salad, because the product contains undeclared egg and soy. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to egg and/or soy run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they con
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/17/2024)

Whitley's Peanut Factory Issues an Allergy Alert on Undeclared Peanuts, Milk, Soy, Wheat, and Sesame for Limited Units of Deluxe Nut Mix 12oz (340g)

Whitley's Peanut Factory of Hayes, Virginia is recalling 12oz Deluxe Nut Mix with specific code dates because they may contain undeclared peanuts, milk, soy, wheat, and sesame. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to these ingredients run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic