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By Chris Neklason
Published Sep 25, 2023

It's a long way to the top, if you wanna rock ’n’ roll (or do journalism). It's a long way to the top, if you wanna rock ’n’ roll (or do journalism). Image credit: Elnur/Shutterstock   Standard

Progress Report

The theme for this issue of The Newsletter is incremental progress, told in two stories below.

The first is a blog post about new features we’ve recently rolled out on California Local—small improvements we hope enhance your experience. 

The second is a Q&A with the co-founder of a “tiny newsroom” (and member of the California Local Media Alliance) who is using new tools to do old-fashioned accountability journalism.

Santa Cruz Local (no relation) started in 2019, and co-founder Kara Meyberg Guzman describes here the experience of starting a newsroom, surviving the pandemic, and now expanding.

California Local New Features

Our motto is Discover > Connect > Act, but with thousands of articles and government and community group directory listings in our database, and more being added every day, discovery of information and resources can be difficult, and connection less than convenient.

The good news is, we’ve been working on that.

What’s New @CALocal: September 2023

The tricky part is putting it all together.
We’ve made it easier to find and track news and other information and connect with your local elected representatives.

Q&A With a Local Tiny Newsroom Founder

We’re privileged to work with a lot of local newsrooms, and going forward, we’re going to be spotlighting some of our fellow local journalists and the amazing work they do in communities across the state.

I recently interviewed Kara Meyberg Guzman, co-founder of a tiny newsroom named Santa Cruz Local in my home town on the Central California Coast. I’ve gushed about them before, and the Q&A below illuminates the effort and commitment to public service required to, in their words, “hold public officials to account.”

Q&A: Kara Meyberg Guzman of Santa Cruz Local

Kara Meyberg Guzman is one of the hardest working journalists in the business.
Meet tiny newsroom co-founder Kara Meyberg Guzman, who has been honored by the Local Independent Online News Publishers Association.

Impact Report Image for decorative use

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Recent Statewide News

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• Want a Piece of the Warriors? 10 Percent Ownership Stake Reportedly Up for Sale

The $700 million price tag sets a $7 billion mark that would make the Warriors one of the world’s most valuable sports teams.

(09/22/2023) → Daily Democrat

• Construction Around California Capitol Can Finally Start

Work on a new annex, visitors center and underground parking garage can legally begin after the state issued a final, court-ordered review of the project. Plans have been on hold since early 2021.

(09/21/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• Mayo Clinic Expert Answers Questions on COVID Tests, New Variants

Companies set the original test dates arbitrarily due to these diagnostic at-home tests being developed rapidly. So, check your boxes before you toss them.

(09/21/2023) → Daily Democrat

• Why California Rivers Saw Fewer Harmful Algal Blooms This Year

Outbreaks have wreaked havoc on the state’s river ecosystems for years. But this year was different. Faster, colder river waters led to fewer outbreaks of the harmful algae.

(09/20/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• California Tops FEMA’s New List of Areas Vulnerable to Weather Disasters

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has identified nearly 500 “zones” that are ill-prepared to tolerate flooding, earthquakes, heat waves, wildfires, landslides and other natural hazards. California topped all states with 51 total zones, followed by 35 in Texas and 32 in Florida.

(09/19/2023) → Read the full The Mercury News report