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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.


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 Cruz County's Homepage

Our overview page for Santa Cruz 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 Cruz County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!

Get to Know a Group

Santa Cruz Works logo Santa Cruz Works

Santa Cruz Works connects local businesses to facilitate and promote economic vitality and employment within the local technology industry. A nonprofit benefit corporation, it works with leaders of the local tech community to “strengthen relationships, share best practices, and create inspiration.”

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From Our Media Allies

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The Pajaronian logo With Measure N Official, Hospital Officials Looking to Future

After months of work promoting Measure N—efforts that included going door to door in the vast Pajaro Valley Health Care District (PVHCD)—officials can now begin to envision how they will use the $116 million to improve Watsonville Community Hospital.

Press Banner logo Informational Meeting Set for Newly Formed Ben Lomond Village Alliance

Ben Lomond Village Alliance (BLVA) is inviting all residents and businesses to an informational meeting about its newly formed Village Alliance.

Press Banner logo State Certifies Scotts Valley’s Housing Element on First Try

During a report at the April 3 Council meeting, Scotts Valley City Manager Mali LaGoe announced the California Department of Housing and Community Development had certified its Housing Element—on its first try.

KSQD logo California’s Insurance Crisis: Interview With Deputy Insurance Commissioner Michael Soller

In part II of "Have you Been Canceled?", a look at California's homeowner's insurance crisis, Rachel Anne Goodman talks with Deputy Insurance Commissioner and spokesperson for Commissioner Ricardo Lara, Michael Soller.

Santa Cruz Local logo ‘Bleak’ Outlook for Santa Cruz County Budget

A proposed budget for 2025 cuts money for road repairs. Storms in 2023 caused about $140 million in damage to county-maintained roads, county staff said.

Press Banner logo Informational Meetings Planned for Civil Grand Jury Recruitment

The Superior Court of Santa Cruz County will be hosting two informational meetings on the Civil Grand Jury.

Hilltromper Santa Cruz logo Castle Rock SP: The Crown Jewel on Santa Cruz’s Skyline

Ten recreation options available at Castle Rock State Park, just north of Boulder Creek, from climbing to horseback riding to picnicking with a view.

Good Times logo Everyone Should Be Safe

The UCSC Campus Mobile Crisis Team is the first of its kind on a University of California campus. The CMCT provides an empathetic, non-police response to emergency calls regarding mental health crises on campus.

Santa Cruz Local logo One-Way Traffic on West Cliff Quashed by Santa Cruz City Council

The Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday unanimously rejected a pilot program for one-way traffic on West Cliff Drive. 

San Lorenzo Valley Post logo Loch Lomond Is Open for the Season

Daytrippers rejoice! Loch Lomond, nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains, is open. Administered by the City of Santa Cruz Water Department, the reservoir plays the concurrent roles of supplying drinking water and providing recreational activities.

KSQD logo Santa Cruz County Actors’ Theater Presents Powerful Local Drama: White Sky, Falling Dragon

White Sky, Falling Dragon is a play in two acts by playwright, and Director, Steve “Spike” Wong. The play runs April 19 through May 5.

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Recent Local News

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• Police Chief Finds No Violation in Cyclist Arrest

An initial review of body cam footage indicated no violations of department policy or the law in the arrest by multiple officers of a lone Black cyclist on the Santa Cruz Westside, according to the police chief.

(04/15/2024) → Lookout Local

• Dune Resilience Project Begins

California State Parks and partner Friends of California State Parks are working together on a project to rehabilitate a number of dunes at Rio Del Mar State Beach to reduce erosion, increase resilience and restore wildlife habitat.

(04/15/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• UCSC Camper Park Update

An update of meetings held between UCSC staff and Camper Park residents.

(04/15/2024) → City on a Hill

• Applications Open for Cupertino Teen Commission

Local teens are invited to apply for vacant seats on the City of Cupertino Teen Commission.

(04/14/2024) → The Mercury News

• Ride Free on Earth Day

All fixed-route rides on Santa Cruz METRO are free on Earth Day, April 22.

(04/13/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Downtown Streets Program Expands to Boulder Creek

The Downtown Streets Program is growing to 8 teams in the County with the start of a new 6 month pilot program in Boulder Creek on the Highway 9 commercial corridor.

(04/12/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Groundbreaking Celebrated for Aptos Highway 1 Project

The next phase of the $94.2M project to add lanes and bike/pedestrian overpasses on the three mile span of Highway 1 between the three mile Bay Avenue/Porter Street has commenced.

(04/12/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Bocci’s Cellar For Sale

Open since 1933, Bocci's Cellar is for sale for $1.1M.

(04/11/2024) → Lookout Local

• Excessive Force Complaint Filed Against Santa Cruz Police to Review Excessive Force Complaint After Multiple Officers Arrest Westside Cyclist

Witnesses allege Santa Cruz police used excessive force arresting a Black man for a bike infraction on April 10 at the intersection of Bay Street and West Cliff.

(04/11/2024) → Lookout Local

• Ban on New Cannabis Businesses Removed From Agenda

An item to discuss an emergency moratorium on new commercial cannabis businesses was removed from the Santa Cruz City Council April 9 meeting agenda.

(04/11/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Comic Con at Capitola Mall on 4/20

The Capitola Mall will host the Surf City Comic Con at the former Sears location on Saturday, April 20.

(04/11/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Watsonville Proceeding With Homeless Camp Removal

In its April 9 meeting, the Watsonville City Council voted to seek contractor bids to clear out a homeless camp from the nearly 2-acre lot on Airport Boulevard.

(04/10/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• E-Bike Ordinance Delayed After Community Feedback

A proposed ordinance limiting use of e-bikes on sidewalks and walkways in unincorporated parts of the county was delayed by the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors until its May 14 meeting following feedback from residents.

(04/10/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Youth Bus Ridership up 536%

Initiated in March 2023, the Santa Cruz METRO Youth Cruz Free program providing free rides to K-12 youth has resulted in a 536% increase of youth riding the bus.

(04/10/2024) → Lookout Local
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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
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Government Announcements

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Image of City of Watsonville seal. City of Watsonville   (04/12/2024)

Request for Proposals - Federal and/or State Legislative Advocacy and Consulting Services

City of Watsonville is issuing this RFP to solicit responses to provide Federal and/or State Legislative Advocacy and Consulting Services.
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 Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (04/12/2024)

“Fentanyl High” Film Screening

Dear community member, Drug overdoses and fentanyl poisoning are now the third leading cause of pediatric deaths in the United States, according to Kristen OConnor, RN, Addiction Program Director at Santa Cruz Community Health (SCCH). Amidst rising concerns among parents, health providers and educators in our community, Santa Cruz Community Health, Santa Cruz County Office [...] The post "Fentanyl High" …
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 City of Watsonville seal. City of Watsonville   (04/11/2024)

WPD police dogs receive ballistic vests

Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (04/11/2024)

Spring, season of new beginnings!

ed.PATH April Newsletter! The Educator's Professional Advancement and Teaching Hub aims to create an educational ecosystem for all educators to inspire and engage each student toward academic success, where educators have access to professional advancement regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances to ensure that they are highly effective and stay passionate. With this vision in [...] The post Spring, season …
Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (04/11/2024)

4/11/2024 - April is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month

Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (04/11/2024)

4/11/2024 - 2024 Earth Day Santa Cruz Returns to Downtown Santa Cruz

Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (04/11/2024)

4/11/2024 - April is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month