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By Eric Johnson
Published Jun 03, 2024

A typically joyful scene in the pool at the city of Sacramento's Clunie Community Center. A typically joyful scene in the pool at the city of Sacramento's Clunie Community Center. Image credit: Eric Johnson

Celebrating California's Diversity, Homegrown Food, and DTLA

I posted the above photo to the family text thread on Saturday and received a reply that reminded me that I'm glad I live in California. Gretchen, my sister-in-law, who lives in a leafy and perfecly lovely suburb outside Washington DC, texted back: “I love that Sacramento has community pools. Virginia only has membership-only pools. Leftover from its anti-integration history.”

In fact, one of the things my wife and I love about the pool at the Clunie Center is that it draws folks from every corner of this city. We love that we live in the most diverse state in the nation, and in one of California's most diverse cities. 

So: In this week’s edition of The Newsletter, as we often do, we celebrate some of the good stuff we get to enjoy here in the Golden State. Elsewhere, you may be rage-reading about an unapologetic felon and his defenders … here today we’re going to look toward the light.


AAPI Heritage Month Extended

May was Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and last week we celebrated with the publication of a list that might surprise you. Sure, there's Kamala Harris and Tiger Woods. But you may also be delighted to meet Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, Dalip Singh Saund and many more.


25 AAPI Leaders From California

Dalip Singh Saund,  the first Sikh, Indian American and Asian American to be elected to Congress and Kamala Harris, the first Asian American vice president.
California has been home to many Asian American and Pacific Islanders who have transcended barriers and reshaped society, from education to advocacy, art to sports, politics, and beyond.

DTLA

Our colleague Chris Neklason and his family ventured to the land down under, that is, southern California.

He has thoughts about Downtown LA, or DTLA, as the civic hipsters call it.


DTLA: A Good Thing Gets Better

A large neon art installation gracing one of the entrances to the Grand Central Market in DTLA.
Downtown LA is turning into a good thing.

Happy Birthday SDG!

Happy sixth anniversary to Debbie and Kathy at Sacramento Digs Gardening, who've been posting an article a day since June 1, 2018. Wow!


Time for cake! SDG hits another milestone

This citrus cake is ideal for any celebration. See the blog post for a link to the recipe.
Daily gardening blog reaches its sixth anniversary -- thanks to our readers!

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.


Bayou country, spring vegetables inspire shrimp pot pie

What's below the crust? Shrimp and a delicious collection of fresh vegetables.
New! Shrimp pot pie with fresh peas, carrots and spring onions


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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 https://santacruz.californialocal.com/ 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

Ecology Action logo Ecology Action

Ecology Action states its mission concisely: “Reduce emissions.” The nonprofit group advocates for innovative energy, water, and transportation solutions in communities across California.

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From Our Media Allies

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Santa Cruz Local logo Capitola Adopts City Budget

The Capitola City Council on May 30 adopted a balanced budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, but city staff warned of growing pension costs and long-term budget shortfalls.

Santa Cruz Local logo Santa Cruz Reaches Housing Goals While County, Other Cities Fail

The results are in: the City of Santa Cruz was the sole local government in Santa Cruz County to meet state targets for affordable housing over the past eight years.

KSQD logo How to Save a Pelican

Hundreds of dead and dying pelicans have washed up on beaches in recent weeks all up and down the California Coast. The staff at the Santa Cruz Native Animal Rescue center have been swamped with underfed and hypothermic animals.

Press Banner logo Scotts Valley Looks Ahead to Infrastructure Upgrades as Costs Increase

At its May 15 meeting, Scotts Valley City Council forged ahead with wastewater system improvements.

Press Banner logo Felton Observes Memorial Day With 34th Annual Celebration

The 34th annual Felton Remembers Parade and Covered Bridge Festival took place on May 25, beginning with a Memorial Day parade through town and ending in the Covered Bridge Park for a celebration that featured live music, food, art, games …

Good Times logo Police Dismantle UCSC Encampment, Arrest Dozens

UC Santa Cruz Police called upon law enforcement agencies from several jurisdictions from as far away as Ventura early Friday morning to help dismantle an encampment and provide security at the entrance of campus, where roughly 100 students are protesting …

Press Banner logo Inaugural Santa Cruz County Wildfire Resilience Summit Arrives June 6

The FireSafe Council of Santa Cruz County is hosting the inaugural Santa Cruz County Wildfire Resilience Summit on Thursday, June 6, from 2-6pm at the Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building, 846 Front St., in Santa Cruz.

Press Banner logo Free Water Testing Available for Santa Cruz County Individuals With Household Wells

Santa Cruz County has launched a free water quality testing program that includes opportunities for Point of Use treatment and drinking water replacement for residents of Santa Cruz County who rely on household groundwater wells for their drinking water.

Santa Cruz Local logo Santa Cruz City Budget Avoids Cuts, Skips Savings

As the City of Santa Cruz weans itself from the last of its Covid relief money, a draft city budget presented May 28 avoids service cuts but leaves gaps in long-term savings and investments.

The Pajaronian logo Watsonville City Council Approves Changes to Some Cannabis Rules

After a contentious meeting on May 28, a divided Watsonville City Council approved in concept several amendments to its retail cannabis ordinances.

Good Times logo PVUSD Trustees Approve $315M Bond to Fund Repairs, Upgrades

If Pajaro Valley Unified School District performed all the upgrades, repairs and construction projects that are needed at its 33 schools, it would cost more than $1.2 billion.

KSQD logo Steve Pleich – Grand Jury

Steve Pleich shares his experience with the Grand Jury.

Hilltromper Silicon Valley logo Exhibit: The National Monument on Santa Cruz’s North Coast

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History presents ‘Cotoni-Coast Dairies: Monumental Steps,’ celebrating a unique piece of land and the folks who protected it.

Hilltromper Santa Cruz logo Museum of Natural History Explores Cotoni-Coast Dairies

The original exhibit, “Cotoni-Coast Dairies: Monumental Steps,” looks at the soon-to-be-open National Monument on Santa Cruz County’s North Coast.

KSQD logo Student Protestor Voices on Israel-Gaza-Palestine

In this field-produced, bonus episode, the Moment of Truth team interviews pro-Palestinian, student protestors and campers at university and college encampments.

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Recent Local News

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• Passenger Vehicle Types Considered for Rail Trail

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation is getting an early look at three potential passenger rail vehicles for the rail trail, with public open houses scheduled for June 25 and 26.

(06/03/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Park Planned for Rispin Mansion in Capitola

Plans are underway to open 5.7 acres of riparian land around the Rispin Mansion to the public by October.

(06/01/2024) → Lookout Local

• Board Game Cafe to Open in Santa Cruz

A new board game focused cafe will be opening on Cedar Street in downtown Santa Cruz.

(05/30/2024) → Lookout Local

• 92 Local Nonprofits Receive Community Foundation Santa Cruz County Funding

Community Foundation Foundation Santa Cruz County announced the distribution of $1.9million in grants to 92 local nonprofits in its latest grant award cycle.

(05/30/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Capitola Wharf Opening Delayed

The City of Capitola announced on May 29 that the opening of the rebuilt wharf will be delayed until September.

(05/29/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Food Bin Project Approved

In its May 28 meeting the Santa Cruz City Council approved plans to build a 5 story housing project on Mission Street, with a slight modification.

(05/28/2024) → Lookout Local

• Otter 841 is Back

Monterey Bay's favorite otter is back and ready to steal more surfboards.

(05/28/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Santa Cruz Metro Ridership Increases

Santa Cruz Metro has observed a 23% increase in ridership following service changes in late 2023.

(05/28/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Watsonville Drafting Public Art Master Plan

Watsonville is seeking proposals from qualified consultants by June 14 as it begins drafting its first Public Art Master Plan.

(05/28/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel
  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Statewide News

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• New Research Indicates More Massive California Flooding in Past

Cal State Fullerton researchers released findings of ancient floods in Southern California which indicate the state may be more prone to mega flooding than previously thought.

(06/01/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• Why a Bay Area Transit Rescue Plan Is on Hold

A Bay Area transit funding bill is delayed so supporters can seek consensus on how the money will be raised and distributed.

(05/31/2024) → CalMatters

• Raising Kids in California? They May Have College Savings Accounts You Don’t Know About.

The state is directly investing money for low-income students and all newborns to attend college. After two years, the program is still not widely known by the students who need the most financial assistance.

(05/30/2024) → CalMatters

• California Sides With Big Utilities, Trimming Incentives for Community Solar Projects

These community projects can give renters and low-income homeowners a chance to go solar, but the PUC’s action is unlikely to give them the option.

(05/30/2024) → CalMatters

• California’s Runoff Flows Down the Drain. Can More Be Captured?

Researchers say if California could collect and treat more stormwater in cities, it could provide enough water to supply a quarter of the state’s urban population.

(05/30/2024) → CalMatters

• Democrats Kill California Homeless Camp Ban, Again

A bill to ban homeless encampments statewide near parks, schools and transit hubs failed to get out of the same legislative committee as last year.

(05/29/2024) → CalMatters

• Planets on Parade in June

An alignment known as a “planetary parade” will march across night skies starting June 3.

(05/28/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• As Key Deadlines Loom, Newsom and California Lawmakers Have Dozens of Deals to Make

It’s time for the folks in California’s Capitol to play let’s-make-a-deal – or actually, many deals.

(05/28/2024) → CalMatters

• UC Student Workers Expand Strike to Two More Campuses as They Demand Amnesty for Protestors

After University of California students were arrested or suspended for protests, student workers are striking at three campuses. The Office of President says the strike violates the union contract.

(05/28/2024) → CalMatters

• ‘We Have to Do Less With Less’: Cal State Faces Extra $500 Million Budget Gap

Two major forces are at play: Gov. Gavin Newsom scaled back his promise of increased financial support for Cal State, while university officials agreed to 5% salary increases earlier this year.

(05/27/2024) → CalMatters

• California Wants to Be Carbon-Neutral by 2045. What Does That Mean for Its Big Economic Drivers?

California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, flew more 6,000 miles to Rome this month to deliver a brief speech on climate change at a Vatican-sponsored conference.

(05/27/2024) → CalMatters
  California Local Pin Marker  

Government Announcements

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Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (06/03/2024)

6/3/2024 - Youth in Action Summit Offers Leasership Opportunities for Local Youth

Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (06/03/2024)

6/3/2024 - Youth in Action Summit Offers Leasership Opportunities for Local Youth

Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (05/31/2024)

Area 5 Trustee Appointed

Dear community member, I am pleased to share that the Santa Cruz County Board of Education yesterday appointed Rachel Williams (pictured) to serve as Area 5 Trustee. Representing Aptos, Corralitos and surrounding areas, the Area 5 seat on the Board was vacated after former Trustee Alyssa Alto moved out of the County last month. On [...] The post Area 5 …
Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (05/31/2024)

Sueños Program Welcomes 2 New Team members

**Welcoming New Team Members: Maria Martinez and Erika Urbieta** The Suenos program is delighted to welcome two exceptional individuals to our team: Maria Martinez and Erika Urbieta. Both bring unique skills and perspectives that will enrich our community and support our mission to empower youth and young adults in Watsonville. ### Maria Martinez, Work Experience [...] The post Suenos Program …
Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (05/31/2024)

Notice of Provisional Appointment to the Santa Cruz County Board of Education

A vacancy has occurred on the Santa Cruz County Board of Education by reason of the resignation of Alyssa Alto, effective April 15, 2024. The resignation was filed in the office of the Santa Cruz County Superintendent on April 10, 2024. Alyssa Alto represented Trustee Area 5. On May 30, 2024, the Board of Education [...] The post Notice of …
Image of City of Capitola seal. City of Capitola   (05/31/2024)

Important Information for the Village Merchant Monthly Parking Permit Program

June Parking Permit Hello City of Capitola Merchant Employees, If you are currently registered in the ParkLync system that allows you to park in the lower Beach & Village parking lot. Your automatic payment of $6.50 will go through on June 1st. To avoid citation you must pick up your permit for June from City Hall 420 Capitola Ave. during …
Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (05/31/2024)

5/31/2024 - Core Investments Request for Proposals Released (County Invites Funding Proposals Starting June 3, 2024)

Image of United States seal. United States   (05/30/2024)

Fresh Start Produce Sales Initiates Recall of Whole Cucumbers Because of Possible Health Risk

Fresh Start Produce Sales Inc. of Delray, Florida, is recalling whole cucumbers shipped to certain states from May 17th through May 21st, 2024, due to the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elder
Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (05/30/2024)

‘Lograr mis sueños’: Career Advancement Charter Graduate Shares Story

Mi nombre es Elisa V. Morales. Una de las razones por la cual yo decidi estudiar y aprovechar la ayuda que me brindo el programa de la Career Advancement Charter (CAC), es que yo siempre quise estudiar y llegar a ser una asistente de pediatria. Ese era mi sueno desde nina. Yo soy de Mexico, [...] The post ‘Lograr mis …
Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (05/30/2024)

5/30/2024 - County of Santa Cruz Community Development & Infrastructure Launches Redesigned Website