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Graphic which spells out The Newsletter.

By Eric Johnson
Published May 06, 2024

California Forever's proposed city (in blue) is located roughly halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento. California Forever's proposed city (in blue) is located roughly halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento.

The California Exodus and California Forever, Redux

On January 29, The Newsletter ran a piece under the headline “The California Exodus and ‘California Forever’.” Both of these big stories moved significantly over the past week, and we revisit them today. 

Also, as always: Peruse your cureated local News Feed; learn about a local nonprofit doing good work; and check out our Recipe of the Week.

Brand New City on the Delta Takes a Step Forward

Last Tuesday, the company that plans to build a high-tech, green, walkable city of 400,000 in rural Solano County announced that it had gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The story involves an insane amount of money, some insanely powerful billionaires, and a detailed set of plans that appear to be quite sane, if not visionary. Here, amid well-earned controversy, we offer two pieces that consider the project on its own terms. 

California Forever: Building a New Community From the Ground Up

A view of the Helen Madere Memorial Bridge crossing the Sacramento River at Rio Vista in Solano County, California.
We take a closer look at ambitious plans to build a new community of up to 400,000 residents in Solano County.

California Forever CEO on Democracy and City Planning

California Forever CEO Jan Sramek announces that he has gathered enough signatures to get his plan on the November ballot in Solano County.
Jan Sramek disavows techno-libertarian 'Network State,' explains why master-planned cities are All-American, and talks of his love for walkable communities.

They're Coming Back to Cali

The California Department of Finance announced this week that the state’s population rose last year, after declining in both 2021 and 2022. 

Is the ‘California Exodus’ Over?

San Jose is finally working to fix its housing shortage, as are many California cities. This could help quell the hoards heading out of state.
Despite predictions that the party on the West Coast is winding down, California’s population increased last year for the first time since 2020.

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.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Time to dig into this fruity salsa

Fresh strawberries combine with oranges and chilies for a fruity spring salsa
NEW! Fresh strawberry-orange salsa with green onions

Impact Report Image for decorative use

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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 Mountains Trail Stewardship logo Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship

This nonprofit group brings together thousands of volunteers to maintain trails in local open spaces, with a focus on sustainable outdoor recreation that works with the environment rather than against it.

→ Learn more

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From Our Media Allies

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San Lorenzo Valley Post logo Lake Lompico: A Labor of Love

The Lompico Pond Restoration and Demonstration Project involves a group of dedicated outdoor enthusiasts who have been meeting on the last Saturday of every month to restore a small mountain lake.

The Pajaronian logo Watsonville Celebrates New Housing Complex

Dozens of people gathered Friday to celebrate the opening of a 53-unit housing complex, the latest in Watsonville’s drive to provide housing for all income levels.

The Pajaronian logo Full House at Business Expo and Job Fair

Hundreds of people attended the 2024 Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture Business Expo Job Fair at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds April 25.

The Pajaronian logo Into the Woods: Watsonville to Plant Thousands of New Trees

Over the next two decades, the city of Watsonville plans to add thousands of trees to its landscape, create a plan to take care of them and train crews of young people to aid in that effort.

Press Banner logo Volunteers Shine at ‘Be the Difference’ Awards

On May 8, the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz is throwing a fête to honor the contributions of those who give their time, talent and treasure to local agencies.

Santa Cruz Local logo New Training Facility Proposed for Santa Cruz Police and Fire

Leaders of Santa Cruz Police and Santa Cruz Fire have a new $20 million training center in their long-term plans to replace outdated facilities inside and outside the city.

Press Banner logo Scotts Valley Water District Well Replacement Project Restarts

Construction of Scotts Valley Water District’s 1,500-foot-deep Sucinto Well is underway.

Santa Cruz Local logo State Report on Homeless Services Calls for More Accountability

A recent state report about two California cities’ homeless services spending echoes concerns raised in a 2023 Santa Cruz Local investigation about how money is spent on homeless services in Santa Cruz County.

KSQD logo Organic Rising: Central Coast Farmers Featured in New Film

Anthony Saua, director of Organic Rising, talks about the rise of organic agriculture and its importance to health, the environment and slowing global warming,

KSQD logo Female Lowriders Celebrated in Watsonville

Filmmaker Gloria Morán discusses her film, Unique Ladies about an all-female lowrider club in San Diego. Her screening is part of a five-day Cinco de Mayo celebration in Watsonville of lowrider culture.

Good Times logo Following the Fall Creek Fish Ladder Trail

It is a short walk from where you park on Farmer Street to the bridge over the new $2.3 million rebuild of the Fall Creek Fish Ladder.

Santa Cruz Local logo Soquel Drive Housing Complex Proposal Draws Concerns

A Monday night meeting about a proposed five-building housing complex on Soquel Drive drew dozens of residents who lambasted developers about the project’s size, additional traffic and other concerns.

Hilltromper Santa Cruz logo Is Cowell Beach the Best Beginner's Surf Break in the World?

A practical, user-friendly guide to learning to surf in Santa Cruz: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Recent Local News

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• Lookout Santa Cruz Wins Pulitzer Prize

Lookout Santa Cruz has won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for their coverage of the January 2023 floods.

(05/06/2024) → Lookout Local

• New Federal Funds for Rail Studies Announced

Central Coast Representatives Lofgren and Pannetta jointly announced $1 million in federal funding for studies about expansion of rail service in the region.

(05/06/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Rotary Raises $90,000 for Treasure Cove Inclusive Playground

The Capitola Aptos Rotary Club presented a check for over $90,000 to County Park Friends which is fundraising for the Treasure Cove Inclusive Playground at Jade Street Park.

(05/04/2024) → Times Publishing Group

• Wharf Restaurant to Be Demolished

Because of damage to pilings sustained in a December storm, the Dolphin Restaurant is set to be taken down to effect repairs to the end of the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf.

(05/02/2024) → Lookout Local

• Bond Considered to Finance Facility Upgrades

The Scotts Valley Unified School District is looking into a bond measure on the November ballot to fund upgrades and improvements to classrooms and facilities.

(05/02/2024) → Lookout Local

• Harvey West Park Homeless Encampment Cleared

The City of Santa Cruz cleared an encampment used by 30-40 people from the Harvey West Friendship Park on May 1.

(05/02/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Teen Kitchen Project Grows

The Teen Kitchen Project is building a new kitchen space in Soquel to expand meal production capacity to meet demand from those in need.

(05/01/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Reprieve for Live Oak Farmers Market

The management of the East Cliff Village Shopping Center negotiated a new one-year lease with the Live Oak farmers market, giving them more time to find a new location.

(05/01/2024) → Lookout Local

• Pro-Palestine Encampment at UCSC

Hundreds of UCSC students and faculty participated in a peaceful march to the Quarry where several dozen protestors set up tents.

(05/01/2024) → Lookout Local

• City Council Postpones Herb Room Descision

in its April 30 meeting, the Santa Cruz City Council postponed a decision on the 59-unit housing development project at the site of the Herb Room on Mission Street amid fierce neighborhood opposition.

(04/30/2024) → Lookout Local

• Rail Trail Segments 10 and 11 Approved

In a unanimous vote, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors approved the plan to proceed with segments 10 and 11 of the Coastal Rail Trail.

(04/30/2024) → Lookout Local
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Recent Statewide News

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• Metal Detectors, Fear, Frustration. College Commencements Altered Amid Gaza War Protests

At many universities across the country, graduation for the Class of 2024 will feel more like making it through airport security than a procession through a free-flowing campus green or a cheering stadium crowd.

(05/04/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• How Congress Is Letting Die an Internet Connectivity Lifeline for Millions

More than half of the U.S. House supports a bill to extend the funds, but it can’t get out of committee.

(05/04/2024) → CalMatters

• California's Population Increased Last Year for First Time Since 2020

During the much-ballyhooed “California exodus” amid the pandemic, remote workers moved to other states where they could live for a fraction of the cost compared to cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco.

(04/29/2024) → Los Angeles Times
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Government Announcements

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Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (05/06/2024)

5/6/2024 - Public Hearing to Consider the Revised Low-Impact Camping Area Ordinance on May 8

Image of United States seal. United States   (05/05/2024)

Palmer Candy Company Recalls White Confectionary Products Because of Possible Health Risk

Palmer Candy Company, Sioux City, Iowa, is recalling its "White Coated Confectionary Items" because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immu
Image of City of Watsonville seal. City of Watsonville   (05/03/2024)

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Ramsay Park Renaissance Project

Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (05/03/2024)

Recognize a Teacher

Dear community member, One of the highlights of the role of County Superintendent of Schools is getting to recognize the exemplary educators who work across all levels of our TK-12 school community. As we head into Teacher Appreciation Week, from May 6-10, the COE is thrilled to provide a way for students and families to [...] The post Recognize a …
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/03/2024)

Chuao Chocolatier Recalls Its: .39 oz /11 Gram Potato Chip Mini Bar Lot 4022 Due to Undeclared Hazelnuts

May 3, 2024, Chuao Chocolatier is voluntarily recalling a single production of Potato Chip mini bar .39oz/11 gram LOT 4022 because some packages may contain undeclared hazelnut. People who are sensitive or have allergies to hazelnut could be at risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reactio
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/03/2024)

Hormel Foods Sales, LLC Recalls a Limited Number of Planters® Honey Roasted Peanuts 4 Oz. and Planters® Deluxe Lightly Salted Mixed Nuts 8.75 Oz. Because of Possible Health Risk

Hormel Foods Sales, LLC is voluntarily recalling a limited number of two PLANTERS products that were produced at one of its facilities in April. This recall only impacts two retailers in five states. These products are being recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria
Image of City of Watsonville seal. City of Watsonville   (05/03/2024)

Congratulations Nick Merolla: 2024 Youth Champion of the Year!

Image of United States seal. United States   (05/02/2024)

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Raw Pork Chorizo Products Due to Possible Foreign Matter Contamination

WASHINGTON, May. 2, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert due to concerns of raw pork chorizo products...
Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (05/02/2024)

5/2/2024 - County Releases Updated Three-Year Framework Focused on Lowering People Experiencing and Returning to Homelessness

Image of United States seal. United States   (05/01/2024)

Cargill Meat Solutions Recalls Ground Beef Products Due to Possible E. coli O157:H7 Contamination

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2024 - Cargill Meat Solutions, a Hazleton, Pa., establishment, is recalling approximately 16,243 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7...