View in Browser Our Journalism Needs Your Support Please Donate Today
California Local Logo
Graphic which spells out The Newsletter.


By Eric Johnson
Published Jan 29, 2024

A group of  powerful, ambitious and confident people are hoping to ease California’s housing crisis by building an urban Utopia in the middle of nowhere. A group of powerful, ambitious and confident people are hoping to ease California’s housing crisis by building an urban Utopia in the middle of nowhere. Image credit: California Forever

The California Exodus and ‘California Forever’

Welcome to the end of January, which seems to have arrived too quicky. A reminder that, as always, you can access the most important news in your community, and learn about local nonprofits doing good work, just below. And BTW: Go Niners!

In this week’s edition of The Newsletter, we take a look at two of the biggest stories of 2023. First, the “California Exodus” that has seen the state’s population shrink in recent years by more than 800,000, which could send a political shockwave through the state and the nation. Then, the secret plan, launched by some A-list Silicon Valley billionaires, to build a city of 400,000 in an agricultural area halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento. 

These stories are bound together by one thing—the state’s ongoing housing shortage. As Jon Vankin explains here, the cost of housing has one out of three Californians considering escape from the Golden State, and is the primary reason more than a million left in the past two years. And as the New York Times reports, the stated impetus behind the “California Forever” plan for a new city is the housing shortage that is throttling their limitless ambitions. 

Next, our colleague and product guru Chris Neklason reports on our newest Tracker, a one-stop resource that will make it easy to follow the potentially explosive developments in Solano County. 

And finally, our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening provide a healthy winter recipe to keep you warm.


Our Dangerously Dwindling Population

Californians are fleeing the state. It’s a narrative promoted recently by Ron DeSantis, and by the state’s haters for almost a decade. Turns out it is not a myth. And the cause of the exodus is no mystery.


California Exodus, Housing and the State's Political Future

As residents continue to exit California, the state’s political power at the national level is at risk.
The California housing crisis is not only weakening the state politically at the national level, it could shift the political balance in Washington, D.C., as Republican-led states add population while California’s exodus continues.

The Plan for a Utopian City in the Delta

The billionaire backers of California Forever are buying up gobs of farmland in Solano County. Where sheep now graze beneath giant windmills, a bold (naive?) entrepreneur envisions a revolutionary urbanized future. Here’s the bombshell story from the New York Times, and CALocal’s plan to keep track of the story’s development.


Silicon Valley Billionaires vs. Bay Area’s Housing Crisis?


In NYT’s “The Farmers Had What the Billionaires Wanted,” we meet a man who wants to build a city in the middle of nowhere, and folks who are slowing him down.

Building a City From the Ground Up

New neighbors might be moving to Solano County soon. A whole lot of them.
We’re getting ready to track the progress of California Forever’s plans to build a city of 400,000 in what is now Solano County farm country.

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.


Creamy broccoli-cheese soup has a secret: No cream, no flour

This hearty bowl of broccoli-cheese soup is creamy thanks to potato, not cream or flour.
Hearty winter warmer also is gluten-free


Impact Report Image for decorative use


California Good Business Directory logo

Good Business Directory


Giving Back is Good Business
Support California Local and get listed in the Good Business Directory.
Use promotion code CALOCAL2020 to get $200 off your yearly listing.


California Media Alliance logo

From Our Media Allies

→ View All
Sacramento News and Review logo McCarty Gets Win for Sacramento State and CSUs to Expand Offerings

A new law signed by Gov. Newsom could change the way students pursue doctorates. Authored by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, it allows California State University campuses to offer doctoral degrees in professional or applied programs, provided they do not duplicate degrees …

  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Statewide News

→ View All

• Will More Outdoor Drinking Give CA Economy a Buzz?

State Sen. Scott Wiener wants to allow California cities and counties to designate “entertainment zones” where bars and restaurants could serve alcoholic drinks that people can consume on public streets and sidewalks.

(01/29/2024) → CalMatters

• New Pickleball Equipment Takes a Swing at the Sport’s Noise Problem

The “pop, pop, pop” that’s become synonymous with Pickleball may soon be a racket of the past. That’s the goal promised by a new generation of equipment developed to lessen the overall acoustic burden of the sport.

(01/29/2024) → Daily Democrat

• Tribal Leaders Cite Problems with California’s Feather Alert for Native People Who Go Missing

In the first year of California’s Feather Alert system, authorities denied some requests to issue bulletins on missing people, causing concerns.

(01/28/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• Gavin Newsom Raised Millions for His Mental Health Ballot Measure. His Opponents Have $1,000

The March ballot measure would raise billions for mental health care, but some clinics fear it would strip them of revenue they need for services they provide today.

(01/28/2024) → CalMatters

• ‘Hot Droughts’ Are Becoming More Common in the Arid West, New Study Finds

Take a period of limited rainfall. Add heat. And you have what scientists call a “hot drought”—dry conditions made more intense by the evaporative power of hotter temperatures.

(01/28/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• Disneyland’s New Vision Includes Up to $2.5-billion Investment and Plan to Take Over City Streets

Disneyland’s plan to reimagine the theme park into a more “immersive” experience may require up to $2.5 billion and a plan to privatize some Anaheim streets.

(01/26/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• Collapse of California’s News Industry Is So Severe It’ll Require Taxpayer Support to Rebuild

A combination of tax credits, revenue sharing and coupons could bring stability, writes Steven Waldman, president of Rebuild Local News.

(01/25/2024) → CalMatters

• A Record Number of Californians Are Visiting Emergency Rooms for Dog Bites

Those pandemic puppies are growing up to be a public health concern.

(01/25/2024) → KFF Health News

• Senate Probes the Cost of Assisted Living and Its Burden on American Families

A U.S. Senate committee launched an examination of assisted living, holding its first hearing in two decades on the industry as leaders of both parties expressed concern about the high cost and mixed quality of care facilities.

(01/25/2024) → California Healthline

• Controversial California Bill Would Physically Stop New Cars From Speeding

The proposed bill would require new California cars to have a speed limiter.

(01/25/2024) → SF Gate

• New USGS Map Shows California Is at High Risk for Damaging Earthquakes

An updated earthquake hazard map from USGS shows a high shaking risk in California.

(01/24/2024) → SF Gate

• California Ranks High Worldwide for Rapidly Depleted Groundwater

In a sign of the ongoing threats to its precious groundwater stores, half a dozen regions in California rank among the world’s most rapidly declining aquifers.

(01/24/2024) → CalMatters

• A Guide to License Plates

The numbers and letters on your car can reveal more than you think.

(01/23/2024) → The California Aggie

• 988-Hotline Counselors Air Concerns: More Training Needed to Juggle Calls

In the year and a half since its launch, 988—the country’s easy-to-remember suicide and crisis hotline—has received about 8.1 million calls, texts, and chats. Curiosity is growing about the people taking those calls.

(01/23/2024) → California Healthline

• 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
  California Local Pin Marker  

Government Announcements

→ View All
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/28/2024)

Truong Giang Distributor Corp Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sulfites in Dried Mango

TRUONG GIANG DISTRIBUTOR CORP of Philadelphia, PA is recalling Golden Owl Dried Mango, because it may contain undeclared sulfites. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to sulfites run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. Product was d
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/24/2024)

Utz Quality Foods Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in Utz® Wavy Original Potato Chips in Metro New York Area

Utz Quality Foods, LLC., is issuing a voluntary recall for 88 cases of Utz 2.75 oz. Wavy Original Potato Chips due to an undeclared milk allergen. This recall was initiated after Utz learned that approximately 1200 single-serve bags contained Utz Wavy Original Potato Chips flavored with seasoning
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 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 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
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/17/2024)

Whitley's Peanut Factory Issues an Allergy Alert on Undeclared Peanuts, Milk, Soy, Wheat, and Sesame for Limited Units of Deluxe Nut Mix 12oz (340g)

Whitley's Peanut Factory of Hayes, Virginia is recalling 12oz Deluxe Nut Mix with specific code dates because they may contain undeclared peanuts, milk, soy, wheat, and sesame. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to these ingredients run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/16/2024)

Brightfarms Recalls Spinach and Salad Kits Because of Possible Health Risk as a Result of Supplier Element Farms Recall

BrightFarms has issued a voluntary recall of spinach grown by its supplier Element Farms in their Pompton Plains, New Jersey farm and distributed under the BrightFarms brand because the spinach has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Due to potential cross-contamination, Br
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/15/2024)

Big Island Candies Issues Allergen Alert on Undeclared Peanuts in "Makana Brownie Assortment"

Big Island Candies of Hilo, Hawaii is voluntarily recalling 120 boxes of their Makana Brownie Assortment Box (batch 60) purchased from its Ala Moana Store located at 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, Hawaii between December 13, 2023 - December 21, 2023 because the product contains undeclared peanuts.
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/11/2024)

World Green Nutrition, Inc. is Recalling ELV Alipotec Brand Mexican Tejocote Root Supplement Pieces (Raiz De Tejocote Mexicano Suplemento En Trozos), Net. Wt, 0.3 0Z (7g), Due to the Presence of Yellow Oleander in this Product

WORLD GREEN NUTRITION, INC. is recalling ELV ALIPOTEC brand MEXICAN TEJOCOTE ROOT SUPPLEMENT PIECES (RAIZ DE TEJOCOTE MEXICANO SUPLEMENTO EN TROZOS), NET. WT, 0.3 0Z (7g), due to the presence of yellow oleander in this product. The consumption of yellow oleander can cause adverse effects on neurolog
Image of United States seal. United States   (01/10/2024)

U.S. Trading Company of Hayward, CA is Recalling Dragonfly Jelly Bars Because it Contains Konjac Powder and May Present a Choking Hazard

U.S. Trading Company of Hayward, CA is recalling Dragonfly jelly bars because it contains konjac powder and may present a choking hazard. Konjac and its consequent texture and consistency could pose a choking hazard to small children as well as adults with functional and/or anatomic abnormalities.