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By Chris Neklason
Published Mar 06, 2022

Join California Local on a journey of exploration. Join California Local on a journey of exploration. Image credit: California Local Staff

3-6-22: Welcome to California Local

If you’re receiving this email, we thank you. First, for joining And second, for taking the time to open up this email, which is our inaugural member newsletter. 

I’m Sharan Street, managing editor for California Local. We’ve been working on the website for many months, and we’ve attracted enough members to open up the lines of communication. But it’s two-way communication that we’re looking for as we build a portal where you can discover news and information about Santa Cruz County, connect with local government officials and community leaders, and take action to make a positive impact.

We invite you to explore the site and let us know what you think. Anywhere you see our “Keep It Fresh” box, it’s an invitation to let us know how we can improve the site. You can also use the link to suggest additions to our Public Sector and Community Group listings.

In every newsletter, you’ll find information about a few of our own in-depth articles, as well as the latest from our California Local Media Allies. In addition, we curate a selection of stories from other news outlets in our Digest and provide details on upcoming government meetings. And we’ll be adding more features in the future.

Finally, to learn more about who we are and why we built this site, check out the California Local Blog. You’ll find a dozen posts so far that provide insight into the ideas that drive company founders Chris Neklason and Eric Johnson, and our publisher, Michael Gelbman. We’re looking forward to exploring Santa Cruz County together with you.

Announcing Our Rail Trail Tracker

To kick off our inaugural newsletter, we turn the spotlight on our first Tracker: a specialized article type that can track a community issue over time. And the topic is as complicated and contentious as they come. 

The 32-mile-long Santa Cruz Rail Trail is a great thing, except what is to be done with the rail? 

The issues surrounding the Santa Cruz Rail Trail are complex, so we gathered into a single package information  about all of the stakeholders on both sides of the issue. You will find explanatory articles written by our team, as well as links to coverage by other media outlets, relevant meeting dates, and other documentary material. We'll continue to add updates as new information and reporting comes in.

Please consider bookmarking it, and checking in periodically to stay up-to-date.

The Santa Cruz Rail Trail

A map of the Santa Cruz County stretch of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail, known commonly as the Coastal Rail Trail, or the Santa Cruz Rail Trail.
Updated information, including news and Explainers, about progress in building the 32-mile stretch of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail in Santa Cruz County.

Bringing California Water Laws Into the Future

Aside from news about the issues that Santa Cruz County residents care about the most, we also publish thoroughly researched articles about issues of concern to all Californians. For instance, read Jonathan Vankin’s article about California’s antediluvian water rights laws.

Bringing California Water Laws Into the Future

A new report is sharply critical of California's laws and rules for granting water rights.
California’s outdated water rights laws have failed to account for the effects of climate change, says a new expert report, which makes some strong recommendations.

Impact Report Image for decorative use