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Image caption: California will soon be getting a new hotline number as an alternative to 911 for mental health crises.
988, the New Mental Health Emergency Number, Explained
California will soon add a new emergency hotline service with the number 988. Here's the story behind that new service, and the original 911 number.

Image caption: California's three-year-old legal cannabis industry is already struggling. Here's why.
The Crisis in California’s Legal Cannabis Industry, Explained
Cumbersome state bureaucracy and competition from their illegal counterparts has made life perilous for California's nascent legal cannabis businesses.

Image caption: States have expansive powers to protect the health of the general public.
The State's Broad Power to Protect Public Health, Explained
Since long before the COVID-19 pandemic, states have possessed broad authority to protect public health, even to suspend certain laws and commandeer private property. Here's why, and how it works.

Image caption: A Pyrocumulus cloud generated by the Dixie Fire in July, 2021.
What is Fire 'Containment?' That and Other Terms, Explained
What does it mean when firefighters call a fire "contained?" Here's a brief guide to commonly used fire prevention terminology.

Image caption: Too much noise is a form of pollution. So what are governments doing about it?
How Governments Try to Quiet Down Noise Pollution, Explained
Noise is a form of pollution that threatens public health like any other type of environmental pollution. Here's what federal, state and local governments are doing to quiet things down.

Image caption: LAFCOs were created in part to rein in suburban sprawl.
LAFCOs Are No Joke: The Boards That Set Government Boundaries
What’s a LAFCO? That’s the odd-sounding acronym for the independent boards that get a grip on suburban sprawl and government inefficiency.

Image caption: Joint Powers Authorities are important government agencies with little public accountability.
JPAs Explained: Little-Known Govt Bodies With A Big Role
Under California law, local governments may work together in a "Joint Powers Authority." But these little-known agencies can wield broad powers—even to levy taxes—with little public accountability.

Image caption: With COVID cases on the rise, state and local governments are moving to require vaccinations for public employees.
Vaccine Mandates Are Coming to California
The state of California, as well as some local governments, will soon require all public employees to be vaccinated against COVID. Here's why they're taking that step.

Image caption: Last year, Gov. Newsom signed AB 1185. What changes has it made for sheriffs?
California's New Law To Create a Watchdog for Sheriffs, Explained
AB 1185, authorizing civilian sheriff's oversight bodies, was one of the few law enforcement reform bills to pass in the wake of the George Floyd protests. What does the law accomplish, and will it make a difference?

Image caption: It's well known that climate change is making wildfires worse — but how?
How Climate Change is Making Wildfires Worse Than Ever
Climate scientists say that global warming is making wildfire season much worse. Here's how climate change causes fires to be more destructive.

Image caption: California is home to many veterans in need of a variety of resources. From housing assistance to mental health services, the Golden State provides avenues to hope and healing.
At Their Service
California‘s veterans are as varied as the nations they’ve traveled to—a tapestry of different educational levels, professions, and life experiences. And they all deserve our respect and support.

Image caption: Stand Down events provide veterans with valuable resources including housing assistance, medical care, and a solid community of support.
Veterans in Need ‘Stand Down’
At hundreds of Stand Down events throughout California, veterans agencies and organizations come together to deliver life’s necessities.

Image caption: At the dump, food waste is methane-producing garbage. At a farm, it's a valuable part of the food web.
Back to the Land, Not the Landfill
In 2022, California trash haulers will begin turning millions of tons of methane-emitting organic waste into a new cash crop: compost.

Image caption: California cities switch to more inclusive, district-based elections system.
Voting Rights...the Final Frontier
Pushed by activists, cities move from at-large elections to district races.

Image caption: California's sprawling public education system encompasses approximately 10,500 schools.
California’s Education System: How the Bureaucracy Works
How California's extensive public school system is organized and managed, explained.

Image caption: California's homelessness crisis shows no signs of improving, despite significant new measures to fight the problem.
State of the Homelessness Crisis
California's homelessness numbers continue to rise despite new spending on housing, services. Here's where the fight to end the crisis stands.

EXPLAINER

Long form articles which explain how something works, or provide context or background information about a current issue or topic.

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