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By Sharan Street
Published Oct 30, 2023

Image credit: Beloborod, Shutterstock

Truck or Treat! A Halloween Grab Bag

Greetings, and happy Samhain—a Celtic tradition that’s aligned with two of California’s favorite holidays: Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. The kickoff to winter, Samhain was the night when ancient Celts believed that the veil between the living and the dead was especially porous. In modern times, it’s the portal to the holiday season, when seasonal spending really kicks into high gear.

A few fun financial facts show that while Halloween can’t compete with “Santa’s big day” for sheer volume of consumer spending, it’s no small potatoes (metaphor chosen to honor the Irish immigrants who brought Halloween to the United States).

Consolidated Credit reports that 87 percent of Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year.

• According to the National Retail Federation, “Total Halloween spending is expected to reach a record $12.2 billion, exceeding last year’s record of $10.6 billion.”

CapitalOne Shopping research tallies show the “average American has a $108.24 budget for Halloween 2023 supplies, such as costumes and candy.”

• The most popular sweet treat in the Golden State? says that M&Ms are this year’s winner, followed by Reese’s Cups and Skittles.

• The U.S. Census gets into the holiday spirit with a “spooky 16” list of place names, including Casper, Kill Devil Hills, and Slaughter Town. 

WalletHub reports that “57% of Americans say they would consider purchasing a haunted house to live in (but only 18% would pay full market value for it).”

From Rush to Bust

Speaking of haunted houses, here at California Local we’re marking Fright Night with a list of 10 of the most interesting ghost towns in our state, compiled by California Local reporter Graham Womack, an enthusiast of abandoned mining towns, boarded-up stagecoach stops and other relics of the Golden State’s civic history. There’s nothing like contemplating the eerie remnants of Bodie, where 8,000 souls labored to extracted more than $38 million in gold and silver in the late 19th century (more like $85 million in today’s dollars).

Explore the Past in 10 California Ghost Towns

A state park since 1962, Bodie is one of California’s best-known ghost towns. Read about nine more below.
It’s happened more than 300 times in the state’s history: a once-bustling town is abandoned, leaving behind ramshackle houses, crumbling roads and forlorn tableaux.

Logistics Go Boom

California’s past may have been built on extractive industries such as mining for ore and drilling for oil, but this century many fortunes have been made in the field of logistics. A term taken originally from the military, the industry encompasses all aspects of the “supply chain,” a term that was batted around a lot during the pandemic—when some links in the chain broke down.

In our state, as California Local’s Jonathan Vankin reports, “the ‘trade, transportation and utilities’ sector—which encompasses the core of supply chain logistics—is the second-largest industry in the state, accounting for 14.5 percent of GDP.” In his explainer on how the industry works, Vankin looks at the darker side of this sector of the economy, which enriches many at a great cost to the residents of the Inland Empire and the San Joaquin Valley.

These days we’re all treated to a plethora of products, available at the drop of a mouse. Last-minute Halloween costume? No problem—there’s one-day delivery. But these treats come with a trick for those along the pathways of modern logistics: diesel particulate matter swirling in the air, highways snarled by big rigs, and valuable agricultural land lost beneath sprawling warehouses.

Logistics: the Crucial Industry You’ve Never Heard Of

Warehouse storage is just one aspect of the highly complex logistics industry that keeps supply chains running.
Logistics is one of the largest industries in California and keeps the state economy running. But it also comes with a heavy cost to the environment. Here are the facts on the most important industry you don't know much about, but should.

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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.

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The Dirt logo Inside Look: Family Art Classes at the Pence Gallery

The monthly classes cover a wide range of engaging art projects aimed at kids ages 5—12, and adults may even learn a technique or two.

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Recent Local News

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• Yolo Philanthropy Awards Celebrate Volunteers and Donors

The Yolo Community Foundation has announced the outstanding recipients of the 2023 Yolo Philanthropy Awards—a group of 32 individuals and organizations has been recognized by local nonprofits.

(10/30/2023) → Daily Democrat

• California Wants Swimming Pools to be More Energy Efficient

As California moves away from gas-powered technology, state officials have looked for ways to ease stress on our electrical grid. A recent California Energy Commission decision tackles the systems powering swimming pools.

(10/29/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• Impossible Acres Marks 30 Years

Since 1993, Impossible Acres has served as a representation of Yolo County’s agricultural roots. This quaint family farm just west of Davis provides an opportunity to interact with farm animals and pick seasonal produce.

(10/29/2023) → Read the full Davis Enterprise report

• Heat Waves Harm Bird Reproduction on Ag Lands

A team of UC Davis researchers found that birds nesting near farmland were half as likely to have at least one fledgling successfully leave the nest when temperatures spiked. However, forests seemed to provide a protective buffer against high temperatures.

(10/28/2023) → Daily Democrat

• Hasan Minhaj Issues Rebuttal to New Yorker Article

A video released by comic Hasan Minhaj, who grew up in Davis, tackles elements of a critical article that left the impression he had made up or exaggerated racism in his life.

(10/27/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• How to Get a Permit to Cut Down a Christmas Tree in Northern California

Harvesting your own Christmas tree is a holiday tradition—and in the next couple weeks, permits to do so are opening up in forests throughout the state. Among them is the El Dorado National Forest.

(10/25/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• New SF Giants Manager Bob Melvin Expects Club to Consider Signing Shohei Ohtani or Another Big Bat

Melvin didn’t hide his hopes that the Giants find a big bat to power an offense that ranked second-to-last in the National League.

(10/25/2023) → Daily Democrat

• Three Davis Area Pumpkin Patches to Visit

It’s that time of year again. Halloween is quickly approaching, which means now is the time to support local pumpkin patches in the Davis area.

(10/24/2023) → Read the full Davis Enterprise report
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Recent Statewide News

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• Community College Student Services: An Urgent Need. But Has California Law Kept Up Since the ’60s?

State law requires community colleges to spend at least half their general fund on instructors. But administrators say they want more flexibility to pay for the growing need for student services.

(10/30/2023) → CalMatters

• Report: Statistics Reveal Magnitude of Mass Incarceration in the U.S.

Prison Policy Initiative released a new report that delves into the sheer magnitude of criminalization in the U.S., where reliance on incarceration outpaces most of the globe.

(10/27/2023) → Davis Vanguard

• Scientists Find Two Ways That Hurricanes Intensify

Forecasters have struggled to understand why tropical storms sometimes blow up into major hurricanes. Scientists have shed some light on this forecasting challenge.

(10/26/2023) → YubaNet

• Western States’ Water Cuts Should Hold Off Colorado River Crisis—For Now

Wet weather and planned cuts by California, Arizona and Nevada averted declines that could have threatened water deliveries and power production—but long-term threats to the Colorado River remain.

(10/25/2023) → CalMatters

• California Joins States Suing Meta

More than 40 states are suing the social media giant. The legal actions allege that Meta has deceived the public about the harms of Facebook and Instagram, which the attorneys general say “exploit and manipulate” children.

(10/24/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• In Harm’s Way

In partnership with the Marshall Project, Grist publishes an illustrated story about how decades-old decisions to build two California prisons in a dry lakebed left 8,000 incarcerated people at risk when Tulare Lake flooded.

(10/24/2023) → Grist

• Comprehensive Study of West Antarctic Ice Sheet Finds Collapse May be Unavoidable

The report, published in the journal Nature Climate Communications, is a warning that one of the worst sea-level rise scenarios scientists have cautioned about since the 1970s is most likely in progress and that little can be done to stop it.

(10/23/2023) → Read the full report
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Government Announcements

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Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (10/27/2023)

Mace Redesign Update 10.27.23

Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (10/26/2023)

Cocoa with Santa Paws

Bring the pup for photos with Santa on Wednesday, November 27.
Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (10/20/2023)

Covell Water Line Project Finishing; Road Striping Oct. 23

Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (10/20/2023)

Mace Redesign Update 10.20.23

Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (10/18/2023)

Additional Opportunities for Zoning Code Input

Join the City at one of our public workshops about the Draft Comprehensive Zoning Code
Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (10/18/2023)

North Pole Line Paving Nearly Complete; Striping 10/18-10/20

Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (10/17/2023)

Woodland Celebrates Sister City Visit

Delegates from La Piedad visited town from October 4 - 7
Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (10/17/2023)

Successful 'Global Rice Fest Founders Night' Sets Course for 2024 Public Festival

The City of Woodland will partner with Yolo Food Bank and many community stakeholders on the Fall 2024 event
Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (10/17/2023)

10.17.23 Statement from Mayor Will Arnold on Violence in the Middle East

Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (10/16/2023)

Jack Slaven Water Feature Closes for the Season

Jack Slaven water feature will close on Sunday, October 22 for the season.