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Santa Cruz County News & Analysis Articles

Image caption: Memorial dedicated to the victims of the May 2022  mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Gun Violence is a Public Health Crisis

State and local officials are still asking law enforcement to prevent gun violence. Community leaders believe gun violence should be treated as a public health crisis, and incorporate prevention strategies that address the social factors in areas most at risk.

Image caption: Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed $6 billion in cuts to programs designed to fight climate change.
As Storm Batters California, Newsom Calls for Climate Cuts

With a projected $25 billion deficit, Newsom proposes slashing $6 billion from climate change programs even as a historic storm likely driven by climate change batters the state.

Image caption: The new money will pay for construction of a trail near this section of Murray Street.
Big Win for Santa Cruz Rail Trail

The California Transportation Commission has granted $115 million to the county to implement bike-transportation projects, including the Santa Cruz Rail Trail.

Image caption: Fred Keeley was interviewed via Zoom on Wednesday, Dec. 14—the day after he was sworn in as mayor.
Office Politics: Q&A with Mayor Fred Keeley

He’s served the county and the state in multiple capacities as a public official. Now Fred Keeley is the first popularly elected mayor of his longtime hometown.

Image caption: Levi's Stadium, which is owned by the city of Santa Clara and leased to the San Francisco 49ers, has become a virtual battleground.
49ers-Backed Santa Clara Councilmembers Accused of Cover-Up

The 49ers PAC spent an unprecedented $3 million on Anthony Becker, Sudhanshu “Suds” Jain, and Kevin Park's campaigns. Now they and two of their peers must respond to lack of transparency and cover-up charges from the Civil Grand Jury, and …

Image caption: Elon Musk is now in control of the world's most influential social media outlet. What happens next?
What Elon Musk Really Wants From Twitter

Elon Musk says he plans to make Twitter a haven for 'free speech,' but a look at his list of investors suggests that the world's richest person may have other reasons for purchasing the highly influential social media platform.

Image caption: Why has the future of legalized sports betting in California suddenly become so bleak?
The Future of Sports Betting in California Looks Dim

California will likely reject legal sports betting, despite being the state with the most pro sports franchises and the biggest potential gambling market.

Image caption: Working conditions and paid time off are at the heart of a potential 2022 railroad strike.
UPDATED: Why Railroads Go On Strike: Trains Prepare to Shut Down

As California and the nation narrowly averted the first railroad strike in 30 years, here's a look at how damaging rail strikes have happened before, from the 19th century to today.

Image caption: The state's housing crisis drags on, but 2 new laws aim to ease the dire situation.
SB 6 and AB 2011: 2 New Bills Try to Turn the Tide on Housing Crisis

In an attempt to slow California's housing crisis, Gov. Gavin Newsom signs pair of bills, SB 6 and AB 2011, that will allow development where now-closed businesses once stood, without rezoning those areas for residential projects.

Image caption: Dogs and cats will no longer be subject to cruel toxicity testing in California, under a new law.
California’s New Slate of Animal Welfare Laws

New laws banning toxicity testing on dogs and cats, and making rental housing more pet friendly are among a slate of new animal welfare legislation signed by Gov. Newsom in September.

Image caption: It may not seem like it, but California has too many parking spaces.
New Housing and Climate Law Cuts Back on Parking Spaces

There's too much parking! Why a new law, AB 2097, cutting back on parking space requirements in new housing and business developments could be a game changer for the climate, and the housing crisis.

Image caption: Vision Zero aims to implement steps that would make roads safer, and stop traffic death entirely.
Vision Zero: Cities Struggle With Goal of Ending Traffic Deaths

The Vision Zero program sets a goal for California cities to eliminate traffic fatalities, but almost a decade into the effort, the goal remains distant, and horrific tragedies on the road continue to stack up.

Image caption:
Can California Really Make its Power Grid 100% Green?

New legislation accelerates California's self-mandate to convert to a carbon-free electrical grid by 2045. But can the state actually do it?

Image caption: Supporters of Donald Trump have been behind a series of disruptions and threats at local government meetings.
New California Law Aims to End Public Meeting Disruptions

A wave of public government meeting disruptions by right-wing groups often inspired by Donald Trump has inspired a new law designed to help officials restore order to the process of running local government.

Image caption: Donald Trump greets Kevin McCarthy (R-CA 23) whose district includes two of California’s highest murder-rate counties.
Why Are Murder Rates High in Some Republican Counties?

Homicide rates remain high in some of California's most Republican, Trump-voting counties. Are law-and-order policies against crime a bust? Here’s why political voting patterns are a strong indicator of violent crime in states and counties.

Image caption: Electric cars charging up will be a common sight in California by 2035.
California Bans Sales of Gasoline Cars by 2035: Here’s What it Means

California will ban sales of gasoline vehicles starting in 2035, phasing in electric cars each year until 100 percent of new car sales will be EVs under the new requirements. Here's what it means for you.

Image caption: Pres. Joe Biden (r) signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes incentives for clean energy.
How the Inflation Reduction Act Will Save You Money

The new Inflation Reduction Act offers substantial cash savings to California homeowners who convert to clean energy by using heat pumps, solar panels and electric vehicles.

Image caption: Increasing water recycling is one way to increase the state's water supply, a new report says.
Newsom’s New Drought Strategy: Create More Water

Gov. Newsom's calls to reduce water consumption to combat the ongoing drought have fallen short. His new approach? Add more water to the California's supply. A new state report details how to achieve that.

Image caption: J and K streets in downtown Sacramento during the Great Flood of 1862. Another great flood could be on the way.
California Megastorm: The Real Risk of a ‘Biblical’ Flood

The chances of a 'biblical' megastorm devastating California have doubled over the past century, thanks to climate change, a new study warns. And as the globe continues to warm, the possibility of disaster only gets worse.

Image caption: The McKinney Fire quickly became California's worst blaze of 2022.
McKinney Fire: Did Logging Restrictions Cause the Inferno?

Was the deadly McKinney Fire made worse by the decline of commercial logging, or were factors such as poor forest management and climate change more important in causing the fire to explode in Siskiyou County?

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