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Image caption: Gov. Jerry Brown meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at an economic summit in LA in February, 2012. Since being named Chinese president later that year, Xi has earned harsh criticism for human rights violations, and praise for his environmental policies.
California's Power Beyond its Borders

A Tesla lobbyist, an LA-based environmental group, and Gov. Jerry Brown brought a rule minted in Sacramento to Beijing, and helped launch China’s EV industry.

Image caption: The Douglas iris is a wildflower native to central and northern California and parts of southern Oregon.
Greetings & Spring Things from Santa Cruz

This week, a virtual visit to Surf City USA—a great place to experience the season of rebirth and renewal that's worth a drive from anywhere in our coverage area.

Image caption: Prop 1 includes funding that will build institutions to treat mental illness and addiction—hopefully nothing like what Randle Patrick McMurphy encountered in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.'
Sandhill Cranes, Foster Kids, and Coercive Compassion

A type of resurrection involving big birds, and two efforts that offer help to individuals whose lives have been impacted by addiction.

Image caption: At the McKinley Park Rose Garden in Sacramento, the first rose of 2024.
Four Good Things about Spring

In this week’s, edition of The Newsletter, some hopeful aspects related to the very best season: spring!

Image caption: Gov. Gavin Newsom looking troubled in a file photo.
State of the State? We'll See.

Prop 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom's signature plan to confront the twin problems of homelessness and the mental health crisis, was expected to cruise to victory. It did not.

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Political Economics and the Movies

In the wake of the Oscars, we consider the role film plays in helping us understand ourselves and our culture, and reveal the story of Hollywood's role in our state's history and economy.

Image caption: The Swanton Berry Farm, on Highway 1 north of Santa Cruz, became California's first organic commercial strawberry farm when it was launched in 1983.
March 4, 2024: Food—Fast, Slow and Plenty

Fast food workers in California will soon earn a minimum of $20 an hour, thanks to a new state law. To celebrate, we take a look at the chains that got their start in the Golden State—and other ways we …

Image caption: Downtown Sacramento, seen from  Sutter's Landing Park in Midtown.
California’s Awesome Capital City

If you have a hard time understanding why in the world anyone would choose to place the seat of California government where they did—you don't know Sacramento.

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Feb. 19, 2024: CEQA, Housing and Black Books

Sacramento has more homeless residents than San Francisco. One story about why that happened, and another about an attempt to help. And: Black literature, California style.

Image caption: John Kelly Chocolates, based in Los Angeles, expanded its color palette to include ruby cacao, a new chocolate variety created by European chocolatier Barry Callebaut in 2017.
Feb. 12, 2024: State of (Chocolate) Nirvana

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve assembled a travel guide to California chocolate.

Image caption: The celebrated sci-fi author and futurist Octavia E. Butler said we are changed when we work for positive change.
Feb. 5, 2024: Black History and Black Futurism

Meet the organizations working to win social justice for African Americans in California and beyond. And: Welcome Yolo County to CALocal.

Image caption: 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.
01/29/2024: California Exodus and ‘California Forever’

While millions of Californians seek affordable housing elsewhere, an ambitious man backed by billionaires dreams of building an urban Utopia in Central Valley farm country.

Image caption: Highway 1 near Elk stays scenic partly due to the efforts of the California Coastal Conservancy.
Jan. 22, 2024: Reasons to Take a Road Trip

Ten state agencies are dedicated to keeping California scenic. And while you’re out exploring, check out some of our state’s most venerable eateries.

Image caption: Hey, Mickey—please pay attention to your driving!
Jan. 15, 2024: Killer Cars, Covid & Copyright

Two causes of unnecessary death: “traffic violence” and COVID-19. Plus: Mickey Mouse is finally free!

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Jan. 8, 2024: The Giving Season

In this week’s edition of The Newsletter, we celebrate local nonprofit community groups, and give appreciation to the individuals and businesses that support them.

Image caption: Family and friends are the best part of any year.
Jan. 2, 2024: The Best and Worst of 2023

It was a year of unprecedented conflict, from fights in the halls of Congress to war overseas. And in the midst of all of it, as you will see, there are reasons for hope.

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Dec. 26, 2023: The Meaning of Christmas

This season, some of us celebrate the birth of a man who preached a gospel of charity toward the poorest among us. We’re taking this opportunity to discuss poverty in California, and some efforts to alleviate it.

Image caption: JP Reese, a registered nurse, stands with a couple of Ukranian soldiers near the front lines of the war zone. The photo was taken by JP's bride, Dawn Davidson, two weeks after they were married in Sacramento.
Dec. 18, 2023: Californians Supporting Ukraine

Two Sacramento nurses travelled to the front lines of the war zone to deliver medical supplies to Ukrainian soldiers. Plus: A number of ways you can help the people of this embattled nation. And: Goodbye Kevin McCarthy.

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Dec. 11, 2023: California's Revolutionary Culture

50-plus documentaries about California music show off the state's vast cultural diversity; plus a very brief essay about what the film 'Monterey Pop' means; and a guide to Cali-crafted sustainable gifts.

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Building Democracy in California

Released on the day following the much-hyped "Red vs. Blue" debate, Jonathan Vankin's "How California Works" easily explains exactly how we are "Building Democracy in the Golden State."

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