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Graphic which spells out The Newsletter.

By Chris Neklason
Published Jul 01, 2024

Um, how much for the fire extinguisher? Um, how much for the fire extinguisher? Image credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr   Creative Commons 2.0

Staying Safe and Sane

Back when I was a young kid growing up in sixties era Redwood City, the Fourth of July was a big deal because I loved fireworks. 

As the day approached, I'd gaze at the colorful newspaper ads and brochures, and consider which of the different assortment packs my brothers and I would wheedle and plead our father into buying.

The fireworks sold from stands in parking lots back then all came from the Red Devil fireworks company. 

A favorite was the Piccolo Pete, a thin cardboard tube with a portruding fuse and a little plastic stand that was placed upright on the ground. I'd light the fuse and then run back a few yards and a bright vertical geyser of sparks would erupt with a loud piercing whistling noise.

Another favorite was pinwheels, round cardboard discs with a little rocket on the outer edge. Our father would nail one to a telephone pole and light the fuse and the wheel would spin furiously, propelled by the sparks from the blazing rocket in a flaming circle.

Like many industries, the fireworks business has consolidated and Red Devil was acquired by TNT Fireworks in 1989.  TNT has come a long way since it began in 1920 when Clyde Anderson started selling fireworks from his newsstand in Florence, Alabama.  

My perspective on fireworks, though,  has been altered over the years by being a land owner and a pet owner.  

The booms, bangs and whisling shrieks are distressing to many pets, and the houses and acres ignited by celebratory revelers keep fire departments across the state busy for days and days.

This Fourth of July marks the 248th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and we at California Local wish you (and your pets!) a safe and sane holiday. 

An App For That

This issue of The Newsletter continues our focus on fire season as the Flash/Bolt and Basin fires burning in Fresno County have thus far consumed a combined 22,000 acres. The fires grew very rapidly, and evacuation orders have been issued for several affected areas.  Folks didn't get a lot of notice to get up and go.

The need to know "what is happening near me right now" has become more pressing as fires increase in frequency and intensity.

Our featured story is about how a resident of northern California turned their experience from the awful summer fires of 2020 into One Good Thing.

Volunteers Keeping Watch Over California

Where there's smoke, there's fire. Watch Duty has all the details in one place.
The Watch Duty team monitors a variety of real-time information resources and compiles all the information in one place.

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Yolo County's Homepage

Direct your browser to 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!

Fire Season is Mosquito Season is West Nile Season

More than an itch-inducing nuisance, the mosquito is the world's deadliest animal.

Mosquito season is already underway after a wet winter and spring, and testing has confirmed West Nile virus present in Sacramento, Yolo and San Joaquin Counties.

Learn more about West Nile and the efforts to control mosquito populations in the articles below.

West Nile Virus Survivor Offers a Warning and a Plea

In the years since she recovered from a severe illness brought on by West Nile Virus, Marie Heilman has helped spread the word about the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District's "Fight the Bite" campaign.
Marie Heilman of Winters, who is happy to be alive, wants people to guard against mosquitoes and the deadly virus they carry.

Taking a Bite Out of the Mosquito Population

Mosquitos kill about 725,000 people every year, worldwide.
The pesky mosquito can be deadly as well as annoying. Here’s how local governments in California have been waging war on mosquitoes for more than a century.

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 Summer! cookbook.

Pop apricots on the grill for this flavorful summer salad

Grilled apricots are the star of this early summer salad.
New! Grilled apricot and feta salad with balsamic vinaigrette

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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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West Sacramento News Ledger logo Trail Extension Fights Compounding Carbon

Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa, Yolo County and West Sacramento officials announced that the city will receive a $1.9-million grant through the Sacramento Area Council of Governments Carbon Reduction Program.

West Sacramento News Ledger logo Yolo County Board of Supervisors Announces New Phase of Road Rehabilitation Efforts

The Yolo County Board of Supervisors is dedicated to enhancing the quality of roadway infrastructure across the community, prioritizing an improved quality of life and safer travel for Yolo County’s residents and visitors.

West Sacramento Sun logo West Nile Virus Activity Detected in Yolo County

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District, in partnership with Yolo County, announced June 13 that the first signs of West Nile virus (WNV) activity have been detected in Yolo County.

West Sacramento Sun logo Ride-Share Program Fuels Up for Three More Years

City officials extended a three-year ride-share program contract with Nomad Transit LLC on June 5.

West Sacramento Sun logo Levee Trailhead Has New View

An inaugural horse ride officially opened the Southport Levee Trailhead to the public.

The Dirt logo Details About City of Davis’ Free Fourth of July 2024 Celebration

The City of Davis announced today that there will be a free July 4th celebration on Thursday, July 4, 2024, from 4 – 10 p.m. at Community Park, located at 203 E. 14th Street in Davis.

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Recent Local News

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• California Adds Reparations Funds to Budget

California advanced reparations efforts with an initial $12 million in funding included in the 2024-2025 state budget.

(07/01/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• A Guide to Protecting Yourself from Mosquitos (and West Nile Virus)

It's mosquito season, and West Nile virus has been detected in Yolo, Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties. CapRadio presents a guide to staying safe.

(06/28/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• Yolo County Food Safety Forum Held

On June 10, the Yolo County Department of Community Services’ Environmental Health Division held a food safety forum to share updates on local programs and the food safety placard system.

(06/28/2024) → Daily Democrat

• Yolo Mosquitos Test Positive for West Nile

On June 26, the Yolo County Mosquito Vector Control District reported mosquitos sampled from Dunnigan tested positive for the West Nile virus.

(06/27/2024) → The Sacramento Bee

• Library Special Tax Measure Advances to November Ballot

In their June 25 meeting, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors voted to put a measure to increase the City of Davis library special tax on the November ballot.

(06/27/2024) → Daily Democrat

• Yolo County Job Fair a Success

On June 26, a job fair held at Woodland Community College featuring 40 local employers was attended by over 400 pre-registered job seekers.

(06/27/2024) → Daily Democrat
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Recent Statewide News

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• Does a Proposed $10 Billion Bond Favor Richer California School Districts?

Small and low-income school officials say the bond measure deal is unfair. The money is allocated through matching grants, so wealthier districts that can raise more local funds will get more money from the state.

(07/01/2024) → CalMatters

• SCOTUS Rules Cities Can Ban Homeless Camps

The Supreme Court 6-3 ruling in the City of Grants Pass v. Johnson case found that the fining and arresting of homeless people does not violate Eighth Amendment rights.

(06/28/2024) → The Sacramento Bee

• Supreme Court Gives Cities in California and Beyond More Power to Crack Down on Homeless Camps

The ruling by the conservative court majority means cities no longer are prohibited from punishing homeless people for camping if they have nowhere else to go.

(06/28/2024) → CalMatters

• ‘Total System Breakdown’: California Firefighters With PTSD Face a Workers’ Comp Nightmare

Even when suicidal, California firefighters struggle to find medical help and navigate the workers’ comp morass to pay for it.

(06/25/2024) → CalMatters

• Drinking Water of Almost a Million Californians Failed to Meet State Requirements

Almost 400 suppliers, two-thirds in communities of color, don’t meet safety and reliability standards. Fixing them would cost billions.

(06/25/2024) → CalMatters

• California’s Debate Over Coastal Zone Reforms Has Created a False Choice Between Homes and Protections

A push to bolster housing production in California's coastal communities in recent years has led to heated battles over potential state reforms. Below, a veteran elected official believes the debate has created a false choice between housing and protections. The opposing view: A former attorney for the Coastal Commission says the state Coastal Act has failed to deliver on what it envisioned.

(06/25/2024) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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Image of United States seal. United States   (06/30/2024)

Michael Foods Inc. Recalls Fair Meadow Foundations Liquid Egg Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2024 - M.G. Waldbaum dba Michael Foods Inc., a Gaylord, Minn. establishment, is recalling approximately 4,620 pounds of liquid egg products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens...
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/29/2024)

Bill Dodd CA Senate 03:
Governor Signs Sen. Dodd’s Restaurant Fees Bill

Saturday, June 29, 2024 SACRAMENTO Gov. Gavin Newsom today signed legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to protect California restaurant patrons from hidden fees, by tailoring upfront disclosure requirements to the food services industry. With todays signing we can uphold the principle of providing consumers with up-front price transparency without inadvertently harming food service workers or small businesses, Sen. Dodd …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/28/2024)

Bill Dodd CA Senate 03:
Sen. Dodd Issues Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Homeless Decision

Friday, June 28, 2024SACRAMENTO Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, issued the following statement today on the U.S. Supreme Courts decision in the case of City of Grants Pass v. Johnson: California has worked hard to provide opportunities for shelter and housing but weve lacked the authority to clear unsafe encampments, said Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa. This decision will allow our state …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/28/2024)

Bill Dodd CA Senate 03:
Legislature Approves Sen. Dodd’s Restaurant Fees Bill

Thursday, June 27, 2024SACRAMENTO The California Legislature today approved legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to protect California restaurant patrons from hidden fees, by tailoring upfront disclosure requirements to the food services industry. Senate Bill 1524 now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom for a signature. Today we take an important step toward providing consumers with up-front price transparency without inadvertently …
Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (06/27/2024)

Community Enhancement Specialist Begins Work to Improve Our Community

New role will enhance Woodlanders' quality of life
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/26/2024)

Bill Dodd CA Senate 03:
Sen. Dodd Issues Statement on Final State Budget

Wednesday, June 26, 2024SACRAMENTO Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, issued the following statement today regarding the passage of Californias 2024 state budget: Difficult decisions were required to close this years budget deficit but we now have a sensible plan that is balanced and protects priorities for California working families, Sen. Dodd said. We reached this point in large part because of …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/25/2024)

Bill Dodd CA Senate 03:
Un Comité Aprueba la Legislación Sobre Usuarios de Sillas de Ruedas del Senador Dodd

Monday, June 24, 2024SACRAMENTO El Senador Bill Dodd, Democrata por Napa, anuncio hoy que ha avanzado su legislacion que otorgaria a los usuarios de sillas de ruedas electricas el derecho a que se repare su propio equipo, eliminando demoras que podrian dejarlos inmovilizados y al mismo tiempo reduciria los costos para una de las poblaciones mas vulnerables de California. "El …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/25/2024)

Bill Dodd CA Senate 03:
El Comité Aprueba el Proyecto de Ley de Tecnología Contra Incendios Forestales del Senador Dodd

Tuesday, June 25, 2024SACRAMENTO El Senador Bill Dodd, Democrata por Napa, presento hoy una legislacion que continuaria con la importante innovacion en seguridad contra incendios forestales proveniente de la Oficina de Investigacion y Desarrollo de Tecnologia contra Incendios Forestales del estado al levantar una proxima fecha de vencimiento en la oficina y convertirla en un elemento permanente bajo la agencia …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (06/25/2024)

Bill Dodd CA Senate 03:
Committee OKs Sen. Dodd’s Elder Fraud Protection Bill

Tuesday, June 25, 2024SACRAMENTO Legislation advanced today from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that would strengthen elder and dependent adult financial abuse protections by clarifying the duties of banks and financial institutions to safeguard against fraud. Unfortunately, our current financial elder abuse statute is not as clear as it should be on what steps a bank or credit union should take …
Image of United States seal. United States   (06/24/2024)

Totally Cool, Inc., Recalls All Ice Cream Products Because of Possible Health Risk

Totally Cool, Inc. of Owings Mills, Maryland is recalling multiple brands of ice cream products, 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 people, and others w