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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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Get to Know a Group

Veterans of Foreign Wars - Post 7263 logo Veterans of Foreign Wars - Post 7263

The Tres Pueblos post of the VFW fosters camaraderie among veterans of overseas conflicts in Santa Cruz County, and serves veterans, the military, and the community.

→ Learn more

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From Our Media Allies

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Santa Cruz Local logo Planning Commission Approves Food Bin Housing Project in Santa Cruz

The five-story, 59-unit apartment proposal was approved, but the decision is expected to be appealed to the Santa Cruz City Council.

KSQD logo Fred Keeley Reflects on Threats After Council Vote

Fresh off a meeting with the person who threatened to kill him over his vote on a council resolution regarding violence in the Middle East, Santa Cruz Mayor Fred Keeley talks about the necessity of being able to disagree without …

Press Banner logo Boulder Creek Business Association to Host Community Planning Event

The small but mighty town and its advocates host a series of annual events. Now Karen Edwards is creating yet another opportunity.

The Pajaronian logo New Program Offers Dental Care, Hygiene Kits to Seniors

Dozens of volunteers at Grey Bears were busy around two long tables making packages to be delivered to seniors throughout Santa Cruz County.

Good Times logo Mayor Releases Apology From Teen Who Threatened Him

Mayor Fred Keeley, the teenager and his father met to have an open dialogue about the teenager’s actions.

Good Times logo Dreaming for Reduced Sentences

Two Watsonville men are hoping that a series of new state laws will allow them to be free sooner than originally expected.

Good Times logo Good to the Last Drop

Our Community Reads, in collaboration with Friends of the Aptos Library and many volunteers, has prepared an impressive month-long celebration of reading and coffee.

Hilltromper Santa Cruz logo Rules for Rainy Season Riding

Rain is good. Eroded trails aren’t. Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship trail director Drew Perkins explains how to be a force for good and not evil when mountain biking after rain.

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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

• Huge San Jose Ranch May be Preserved as Parklands and Nature Habitat

Richmond Ranch in south San Jose may be preserved as open space if multiple government entities succeed in a quest to buy its thousands of acres, public documents show.

(01/22/2024) → Monterey Herald

• 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

• Santa Cruz Metro CEO Michael Tree to Depart Agency

CEO/General Manager Michael Tree will retire from local transit agency Santa Cruz Metro on Feb. 16, less than two years into his tenure, due to “unexpected personal reasons.”

(01/19/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Second District Candidates Speak Up

David Schwartz of Corralitos, Kristen Brown of Capitola, and Aptos’ Kim De Serpa, Bruce Jaffe, and Tony Crane have all thrown their hat into the race for the Second District seat on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.

(01/19/2024) → Times Publishing Group

• Students Make Waves to Protect Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Students throughout the nation have been engaging in environmental stewardship projects, as part of NOAA’s Ocean Guardian School program.

(01/19/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Lawsuit Challenging UC Santa Cruz Diversity Statement Dismissed

Last spring, a former professor at the University of Toronto filed a lawsuit over UCSC’s requirement for a DEI statement. The case was dismissed by a federal judge because the plaintiff never actually applied for a job.

(01/18/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Ian Brand Expands Into Dorcich Facility

Ian Brand, who owns the I. Brand custom crush facility in Salinas, was looking for room to grow. So he has leased the Dorcich winery in a major expansion.

(01/18/2024) → Edible Monterey Bay
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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 County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (01/22/2024)

1/22/2024 -Homelessness Point-in Time Count Set for Jan. 25

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 Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (01/19/2024)

Human Trafficking Prevention

Dear community member, Human trafficking impacts many thousands of victims each year across the U.S., and we know youth are especially vulnerable. According to statistics compiled by the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2021, at least 23% of identified victims were under the age of 18 and the ages of an additional 19% of [...] The post Human Trafficking Prevention …
Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (01/19/2024)

Alternative Education Kicks Off Second Semester with Renewed Energy and Achievements

As Alternative Education returned from the winter break, there was a palpable sense of renewed energy and excitement in the air. The beginning of the second semester marked a fresh start for both students and educators alike. The school community gathered for a Professional Development Day that set the tone for the upcoming months, focusing [...] The post Alternative Education …
Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (01/19/2024)

1/19/2024 - Call to Artists: Recovery Center

Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (01/18/2024)

Students in Transition Program Collaborates with FosterEd to Educate Live Oak CORE Team

The Students in Transition program has joined forces with the FosterEd team to extend their outreach and knowledge-sharing efforts to districts across the county. This collaboration is not just a mere partnership; it's a commitment to bringing about positive change in the lives of Students in Care and Students in Transition. The latest milestone in [...] The post Students in …
Image of Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission seal. Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission   (01/18/2024)

RTC Seeking Input on Bridge Design Options for Coastal Rail Trail Bridge in Aptos

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is seeking community input through an online survey on the preferred bridge type for a Coastal Rail Trail bridge in Aptos. The bicycle and pedestrian bridge will be constructed as a part of the Highway 1 Auxiliary Lane, Bus-on-Shoulder (Freedom Boulevard to State Park Drive) and Coastal... [Read More]
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 County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (01/18/2024)

1/18/2024 - Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council Member Sought

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