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By Eric Johnson
Published Mar 25, 2024

At the McKinley Park Rose Garden in Sacramento, the first rose of 2024. At the McKinley Park Rose Garden in Sacramento, the first rose of 2024. Image credit: Eric Johnson

Four Good Things about Spring

We have a slightly humorous tradition in our family: At the beginning of every season, one of us will say something like, “Winter in California is amazing, and I’m going to miss going up to the snow—but spring really is the best season.” Or "yeah sure summer is fun with the swimming and all, but ahhh the colors of fall—obviolusly the best season."

I realize this is not all that funny, but what makes it a little bit funny (to us) is that we say it at the beginning of every single season, and have been doing so for many years. And we kind of mean it every single time. Because every new season holds the promise that it'll be better than the last.

This winter, as you know, was cold and wet. I am a nature-worshiping Californian who’s been living through a deadly drought, so I stopped complaining about the rain more than a decade ago … until this year. Last week’s warm sun and long evenings made me feel better than I have felt in months.

So: In this week’s edition of The Newsletter, four things, all related to the very best season: Spring!

Product Launch from CALocal: 1GT

The beginning of Spring is a great time to launch stuff. Which is one reason we chose last week to release a new California Local feature that we are calling One Good Thing (which we've already started abbreviating as 1GT). This was CALocal co-founder and product guy Chris Neklason’s idea, and here he briefly explains why 1GT is a good thing.

One Good Thing

Every now and then, it's important to focus on good things.
We announce a new initiative and invite our members to contribute.

Spring in the Valley

For our first One Good Thing, Chris takes you on a short journey to Yosemite Valley to witness a fleeting and amazing phenomenon.

The Rainbows of Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls in Yosemite Valley.
Yosemite Valley is extraordinary, and in certain places at certain times of the day, magical. A brief insider's guide to a special place and time in Yosemite National Park, including a short video of the springtime rainbows of Yosemite Falls.

An Ode to the Season

If you already know everything about the Vernal Equinox, our friend Kathy Morrison of Sacramento Digs Gardening brings you a delightful reminder: Eostre, the goddess of fertility and spring, has a rabbit as a spirit animal—and over the millennia, Eostre’s rabbit morphed into our Easter Bunny. More fun facts (plus a FREE cookbook, Taste Spring!) on the other side of the link.

First day of spring is cause for celebration

Cherry blossoms herald the start of spring. The warm, sunny weather is expected to continue through Thursday.
Plenty of sunshine and flowers welcome start of new season

Product Launch from Hilltromper: BloomTracker

As you may have noticed, we do not tire of singing the praises of California, and Hilltromper (which is kind of CALocal's sister-site) focuses on our state's awesome natural beauty. For our final piece of appreciation today we present the coolest wildflower-finding tool you've ever seen, which was launched last week by our friend Mike Kahn. 

BloomTracker: Wildflower Finder & Protector from Hilltromper

Over at Hilltromper, “The Nature-worshiping, Fun-Loving Adventure Guide” that serves the South Bay Area, Santa Cruz County, and anyone who visits these beautiful places, our friend Mike Kahn has just launched a new product he named BloomTracker—“an online resource that helps you find the best places to see wildflowers, in real time, and helps reduce impacts on parks and other open spaces.”

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 Winter! cookbook.

This easy chicken dish puts zesty zing in spring

Chicken thighs achieve crispy deliciousness when marinated and baked at high heat.
Baked lemon-Dijon chicken thighs with herbs

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Direct your browser to to catch up on the latest news in California and Santa Cruz County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!

Get to Know a Group

Museum of Art and History logo Museum of Art and History

Back in the mid-1980s, the Santa Cruz Historical Society and the Art Museum of Santa Cruz County came together to build a museum for art and history at the site of the former county jail.

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San Lorenzo Valley Water District staff will begin flushing water mains in the San Lorenzo Valley in March, part of regular system maintenance.

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Local students find Jefferson’s ground sloth fossil in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the first fossil evidence for this species reported in Santa Cruz county history.

The Pajaronian logo Watsonville to Deactivate Crosswind Runway

The Watsonville City Council on Tuesday voted to close the crosswind runway at the airport, a move city officials say will open up more of the city for development of housing and commercial space.

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Recent Local News

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• Opposition to Proposed Expansion of Marine Protections

Local opposition is growing in response to a petition before the California Fish and Game Commission to establish a new marine reserve off Pleasure Point and expand an existing reserve next to Natural Bridges State Beach.

(03/25/2024) → Lookout Local

• New General Manager Selected for Soquel Creek Water District

The Soquel Creek Water District board of directors voted unanimously to appoint veteran staff Melanie Mow Schumacher as general manager.

(03/22/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• California Senate Bill 1395 " Interim Housing Act " Advances

Legislation would fast-track approval for temporary or relocatable housing on vacant land when local shelter emergencies arise.

(03/21/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• County Supervisor Zach Friend Honored at Luncheon

The retiring District 2 County Supervisor received the Al Smith Friend of Agriculture Award from the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau and Agri-Culture at the National Agriculture Day Spring Luncheon.

(03/21/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• 2024 Health Rankings and Roadmaps Report Ranks Santa Cruz

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(03/21/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• CEQA Lawsuit Targets Caltrans Highway 1 Project

Suit claims deficiencies in Environmental Impact Report for Highway 1 widening and Coastal Rail Trail Segment 12 construction.

(03/20/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Joby Delivers on U.S. Air Force Contract

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(03/19/2024) → Monterey Herald

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(03/25/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• At Stake in Mifepristone Case: Abortion, FDA’s Authority, and Return to 1873 Obscenity Law

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• California Forever Denies Reports of Shady Tactics Outside Bay Area Target

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(03/24/2024) → SF Gate

• California Speeds Plans to Empty San Quentin's Death Row

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(03/18/2024) → Los Angeles Times
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Government Announcements

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3/22/2024 - County Board to Consider Significant Shelter Funding Expansion

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Children's Bill of Rights

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John Laird CA Senate 17:
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Traditional Japanese Sumi-e “Ink Painting”

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Wenders LLC Recalls Trader Joes Nuts - 50% Less Sodium Roasted & Salted Whole Cashews Because of Possible Health Risk

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Math Festivals: Challenging Beliefs and Ways of Engaging with Math

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Dawn Addis CA Assembly 30:
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