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By Eric Johnson
Published May 28, 2024

If you really look, you will find some good things are happening in California. If you really look, you will find some good things are happening in California. Image credit: Michael Carni, Shutterstock

We Have Some Real Good News

You probably haven't spent much of every workday for the past 27 years paying attention to local culture and politics in some part of California. I have. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying, that is what I do, and it is a pretty satisfying endeavor. It surprises many people when I share my opinion that for the most part, this state is in much better shape than it was when I started working here.

In our new book, How California Works: Building Democracy in the Golden State, we have collected 47 Explainers that author Jonathan Vankin wrote for California Local over the past three years (updated for the book) that entertainingly detail the nuts-and-bolts story of how our state functions. Together, they tell a tale that might surprise you in a good way.


Our Brand New Book Tells Some Good, True Stories

After many months of preparation, our new book, by the award-winning journalist and author Jonathan Vankin, is finally available. Get your copy today and discover how, just as California leads the world in technology via Silicon Valley, and in popular culture via Hollywood, etc., the Golden State leads the world in public policy. Way less sexy for sure, but possibly way more important.

Buy it on Amazon today!


How California Works: an Editors' Note


True stories about how, at its best, California has resisted and pushed back against anti-democratic forces. The histories and policies, deeply human characters, and controversies that have led us to where we are today.


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Yolo County's Homepage

Direct your browser to https://yolo.californialocal.com/ to catch up on the latest news in California and Yolo County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!


If You're Not in Awe, You're Not Paying Attention

In his first blog post for this project, Chris Neklason, our CEO and product dude, described how building California Local's underlying technology and database turned him into a local-politics optimimist. “The genius of democracy is that it's a political system well suited for people to collectively make things better. Yeah, it's messy, it's imperfect, it's clunky. But it works.” 

This week,  having spent a couple months paying close attention to news from around the state, Chris returns to the subject.


Things Are Getting Better

New garbage and recycling receptacles! A new raised path through the rainy-season swamp!
All across California, municipalities and nonprofits are making their communities better.

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.

See more recipes in their Taste Spring! cookbook.


Double up on cherries in these tender muffins

Cherry season is worth celebrating with these tender, not-too-sweet muffins.
New! Ricotta the secret ingredient to these baked treats


Impact Report Image for decorative use


Get to Know a Group

Big Brothers Big Sisters logo Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brother Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally supported mentorship. The chapter serves Sacramento and Yolo counties, as well as southern Placer County.

→ Learn more

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From Our Media Allies

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KSQD logo Student Protestor Voices on Israel-Gaza-Palestine

In this field-produced, bonus episode, the Moment of Truth team interviews pro-Palestinian, student protestors and campers at university and college encampments.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Calforests Applauds Funding for Wildfire Prevention, Preparedness in Governor Newsom’s May Revision

On May 14, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the May Revision includes a proposed budget allocation to assist the State in achieving its fire prevention and fire suppression goals.

San Jose Inside logo California Climate Programs Would Lose Billions in Newsom’s Budget

As funds for climate change programs are cut, Democrats and environmentalists are pushing for a bond measure on the ballot to restore some funding.

West Sacramento News Ledger logo Big Day of Giving Big Deal

Local Nonprofit Organizations Were Big Winners in the May 7 Big Day of Giving.

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Recent Local News

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• UC Davis Workers Join Strike

On May 28, UC Davis academic workers joined the strike protesting the University of California response to pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

(05/28/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• Legal Issues of Wildhorse Golf Club Development Explored

The City of Davis explains some legal issues around the proposed 74.6-acre development.

(05/28/2024) → Davis Vanguard

• Housing Proposal to Develop Housing at Golf Course

A housing development project is being proposed to convert almost 75 acres on the north half of the Wildhorse Golf Club in Davis to 500 - 700 new homes.

(05/26/2024) → Davis Vanguard

• Woodland Community College and Chico State Advance Transfer Agreement

Woodland Community College announced an upcoming agreement with Chico State University to streamline the transition from the 2-year to the 4-year institution.

(05/24/2024) → Daily Democrat

• Woodland Approves Pool Project

In its May 21 meeting, the Woodland City Council approved plans for the $15.3 million Southeast Area Aquatic Center Project.

(05/24/2024) → Daily Democrat

• Winters Budget Discussed

City Manager Jeremy Craig discusses the estimated $7.5 million dollar budget.

(05/23/2024) → Winters Express

• Positions Open on Yolo County Financial Oversight Committee

Applications are open for two seats on the Yolo County Financial Oversight Committee.

(05/23/2024) → Daily Democrat

• State Senate Advance Reparations Legislation

On May 21, the California State Senate advanced reparations legislation, which will now be taken up by the state Assembly.

(05/22/2024) → CapPublicRadio
  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Statewide News

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• Planets on Parade in June

An alignment known as a “planetary parade” will march across night skies starting June 3.

(05/28/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• As Key Deadlines Loom, Newsom and California Lawmakers Have Dozens of Deals to Make

It’s time for the folks in California’s Capitol to play let’s-make-a-deal – or actually, many deals.

(05/28/2024) → CalMatters

• UC Student Workers Expand Strike to Two More Campuses as They Demand Amnesty for Protestors

After University of California students were arrested or suspended for protests, student workers are striking at three campuses. The Office of President says the strike violates the union contract.

(05/28/2024) → CalMatters

• ‘We Have to Do Less With Less’: Cal State Faces Extra $500 Million Budget Gap

Two major forces are at play: Gov. Gavin Newsom scaled back his promise of increased financial support for Cal State, while university officials agreed to 5% salary increases earlier this year.

(05/27/2024) → CalMatters

• California Wants to Be Carbon-Neutral by 2045. What Does That Mean for Its Big Economic Drivers?

California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, flew more 6,000 miles to Rome this month to deliver a brief speech on climate change at a Vatican-sponsored conference.

(05/27/2024) → CalMatters

• Apology for Slavery, Funding Frameworks for Reparations Advance

California lawmakers voted to offer an official apology for the state’s role in supporting slavery and moved several reparations bills but let others die.

(05/24/2024) → CalMatters

• Decadeslong Delta Tunnel Water Project May Finally Be Nearing a Historic Decision

It’s been almost a half-century since I first heard the term “peripheral canal” uttered by William Gianelli, who was then-Gov. Ronald Reagan’s top water official. The project, in one form or another, had already been kicking around for decades.

(05/23/2024) → CalMatters

• California Climate Programs Would Lose Billions in Newsom’s Budget

As funds for climate change programs are cut, Democrats and environmentalists are pushing for a bond measure on the ballot to restore some funding.

(05/22/2024) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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Image of United States seal. United States   (05/23/2024)

Dairy Manufacturers Inc. Issues Voluntary Recall of Products Due to Non-Compliance with Requirements Under the 21 CFR 106.110 New Infant Formula Registration

Dairy Manufacturers Inc., of Prosper, TX - 5/24/24, is voluntarily recalling all lot codes for infant formulas available in the US: Crecelac Infant 0-12, Farmalac 0-12 and Farmalac 0-12 Low lactose to the retail and wholesale level. The products have been found in non-compliance with the requirement
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/22/2024)

AMB Food Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Wheat in Product

AMB Food Inc. in Brooklyn NY is recalling 8 oz bags of Pop a Nosh Mix Munch Regular and Honey BBQ snacks because it contains pretzels, but does not list Wheat as an allergen. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to wheat run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if th
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/21/2024)

World Green Nutrition, Inc. Expands Recall of Tejocote Products Due to the Presence of Yellow Oleander

World Green Nutrition, Inc is announcing the expansion of their April 03, 2024 recall to include more lot numbers of the products GREEN ELV NUTRITION brand Elv Control Herbal Supplement 90 capsules and ELV ALIPOTEC brand Mexican Tejocote Root Supplement Pieces (Raiz de Tejocote Mexicano Suplemento e
Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (05/21/2024)

Bike & Pedestrian Connectivity Input Opportunity

City requests your participation in a short survey
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/20/2024)

County Road Seafood Issues Allergy Alert of Undeclared Egg in 4 Oz Packages of County Road Seafood Crab Cake

County Road Seafood, LLC., of Belhaven, NC - May 21, 2024, is voluntarily recalling County Road Seafood Crab Cake 2 Pack 4 Ounce package because this product contains undeclared egg. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to egg run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/17/2024)

Reser's Fine Foods Announces Voluntary Recall of Single Batch of Aldi Macaroni 32 oz Salad with Use By Date of Jun/03/24 Due to Unlabeled Wheat Allergen

Reser's Fine Foods is voluntarily recalling a single item with a specific use by date, produced at a regional facility and distributed to ALDI. The product is the Aldi Deli Macaroni Salad 32 oz, with a Use By Date of Jun/03/24 due to an incorrect label. The incorrect label does not include an all
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/17/2024)

United Supermarkets Advises Guests in New Mexico and Texas of Palmer Candy's Voluntary Recall of White Coated Confectionary Items Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination

United Supermarkets is advising guests about a recall by its supplier Palmer Candy of its white coated confectionary items due to possible Salmonella contamination. Palmer Candy was notified by its liquid coating supplier that there was a potential for contamination with Salmonella from an ingredie
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/17/2024)

Irvington Seafood Recalls "Crabmeat: Jumbo, Lump, Finger, and Claw Meat" Because of Possible Health Risk

Irvington Seafood of Irvington, AL, is recalling its 1 lb. packages of "Crabmeat: Jumbo, Lump, Finger, and Claw meat" because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/16/2024)

Mars Petcare US, Inc. Voluntarily Recalls 315 Bags of PEDIGREE® Adult Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor Dry Dog Food, 44 lb. Bag Size

Mars Petcare US is voluntarily recalling 315 bags of PEDIGREE Adult Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor Dry Dog Food in the 44 lb. bag size only, due to the potential presence of loose metal pieces in the bag. The affected products have a Best By Date of March 4, 2025 and Lot Code 4
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/16/2024)

Update to Palmer Candy Company Recall of White Confectionary Products Because of Possible Health Risk

The recalled confectionary items were distributed nationwide in Walmart, HyVee, Target, Dollar General, and to distributors in Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wy