View in Browser Our Journalism Needs Your Support Please Donate Today
California Local Logo
Graphic which spells out The Newsletter.


By Eric Johnson
Published Jan 29, 2024

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. 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. Image credit: California Forever

The California Exodus and ‘California Forever’

Welcome to the end of January, which seems to have arrived too quicky. A reminder that, as always, you can access the most important news in your community, and learn about local nonprofits doing good work, just below. And BTW: Go Niners!

In this week’s edition of The Newsletter, we take a look at two of the biggest stories of 2023. First, the “California Exodus” that has seen the state’s population shrink in recent years by more than 800,000, which could send a political shockwave through the state and the nation. Then, the secret plan, launched by some A-list Silicon Valley billionaires, to build a city of 400,000 in an agricultural area halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento. 

These stories are bound together by one thing—the state’s ongoing housing shortage. As Jon Vankin explains here, the cost of housing has one out of three Californians considering escape from the Golden State, and is the primary reason more than a million left in the past two years. And as the New York Times reports, the stated impetus behind the “California Forever” plan for a new city is the housing shortage that is throttling their limitless ambitions. 

Next, our colleague and product guru Chris Neklason reports on our newest Tracker, a one-stop resource that will make it easy to follow the potentially explosive developments in Solano County. 

And finally, our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening provide a healthy winter recipe to keep you warm.


Our Dangerously Dwindling Population

Californians are fleeing the state. It’s a narrative promoted recently by Ron DeSantis, and by the state’s haters for almost a decade. Turns out it is not a myth. And the cause of the exodus is no mystery.


California Exodus, Housing and the State's Political Future

As residents continue to exit California, the state’s political power at the national level is at risk.
The California housing crisis is not only weakening the state politically at the national level, it could shift the political balance in Washington, D.C., as Republican-led states add population while California’s exodus continues.

The Plan for a Utopian City in the Delta

The billionaire backers of California Forever are buying up gobs of farmland in Solano County. Where sheep now graze beneath giant windmills, a bold (naive?) entrepreneur envisions a revolutionary urbanized future. Here’s the bombshell story from the New York Times, and CALocal’s plan to keep track of the story’s development.


Silicon Valley Billionaires vs. Bay Area’s Housing Crisis?


In NYT’s “The Farmers Had What the Billionaires Wanted,” we meet a man who wants to build a city in the middle of nowhere, and folks who are slowing him down.

Building a City From the Ground Up

New neighbors might be moving to Solano County soon. A whole lot of them.
We’re getting ready to track the progress of California Forever’s plans to build a city of 400,000 in what is now Solano County farm country.

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.


Creamy broccoli-cheese soup has a secret: No cream, no flour

This hearty bowl of broccoli-cheese soup is creamy thanks to potato, not cream or flour.
Hearty winter warmer also is gluten-free


Impact Report Image for decorative use


California Local logo

Yolo County's Homepage

Our overview page for Yolo County is updated daily with the latest state and local news, weather alerts, local government announcements and local blog posts and news snippets from community groups and individuals.
Direct your browser to 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!


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

  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Local News

→ View All

• Cindy Norris Retires After Serving Woodland for Nearly Two Decades

Principal Planner Cindy Norris is retiring after a trail of significant accomplishments that residents continue to benefit from today.

(01/28/2024) → Daily Democrat

• Yolo County Supervisors Approve Youth-Focused Proposals

During the last Yolo County Board of Supervisors’ meeting, $25,000 was earmarked to fortify youth sports and facilities.

(01/28/2024) → Daily Democrat

• Newly Elected Yocha Dehe Tribal Council Takes Oath of Office

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation swore in new tribal chairman Anthony Roberts, along with four other tribal officers and council members for three-year terms.

(01/28/2024) → Daily Democrat

• ‘Art of Soul’ Opening Feb. 2 at Gallery 625

YoloArts’ Gallery 625 will host a new group exhibition featuring artwork that focuses on the American experience through an African American lens.

(01/27/2024) → Daily Democrat

• Davis Council Subcommittee Proposes Radical Consolidation of Commissions

Mayor Josh Chapman and Vice-Mayor Bapu Vaitla are recommending a consolidation of commissions “to define significant, specific roles for the city’s advisory commissions in the process, especially around community engagement efforts.”

(01/27/2024) → Davis Vanguard

• New Solar Array at Bayer Woodland Will Offset 44 Tons of Carbon Emissions Annually

A new solar energy project designed to reduce costs and promote sustainability was unveiled in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Bayer's Global Vegetable Research and Development site in Woodland.

(01/26/2024) → Daily Democrat

• Yolo County Supervisors Approve Members for Second Year of Yolo Youth Commission

The Yolo County Board of Supervisors approved the appointment of 15 teenagers to serve as the members of the 2024 Yolo Youth Commission.

(01/26/2024) → Daily Democrat

• UC Davis Begins Program to Support Formerly Incarcerated Students

University of California, Davis has introduced a program for formerly incarcerated students and those impacted by the justice system, known as the Underground Scholars program.

(01/26/2024) → Davis Vanguard

• Putah Creek Water Management Initiative Seeks Community Input

The issues facing Putah Creek are part of a complicated management system. Growers are allowed riparian rights, but the creek is a shared resource serving environmental and recreational purposes.

(01/25/2024) → The California Aggie

• UC Davis Named Greenest Campus for Eighth Consecutive Year

According to the UC Davis Sustainability Office, this ranking is determined through a variety of criteria and their analysis to determine the ranking of UC Davis in comparison to other schools.

(01/24/2024) → The California Aggie

• City of Woodland Celebrates Woodland Christian Football Team for Historic 2023 Season

After bringing home the City of Trees’ first state championship in any sport, the Woodland Christian High School varsity football team was honored by city officials.

(01/23/2024) → Daily Democrat

• Jailed for Missing a Court Date, He Died After Not Being Given His HIV Medicine

An El Dorado County Jail inmate died after not receiving vital HIV medication for weeks, a new lawsuit claims.

(01/23/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• Social Services Commission and City Potentially Looking at Tenant Protections Again

Periodically the city of Davis has looked into renter protections. A presentation to the Social Services commission by a subcommittee laid out some of what these could look like.

(01/22/2024) → Davis Vanguard

• Pioneer Baseball League Forms New Professional Team

The Pioneer Baseball League has announced Yolo County’s first professional baseball team, the High Wheelers. “We’re excited to be stewards of the Pioneer League’s second California team,” said team cofounder Paul Freedman.

(01/22/2024) → Daily Democrat

• Teacher and Union Leader Victor Lagunes enters District 2 Race in Davis

History teacher Victor Lagunes recently announced his candidacy for the District 2 seat on the Davis City Council, currently held by Will Arnold.

(01/22/2024) → The California Aggie
  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Statewide News

→ View All

• Will More Outdoor Drinking Give CA Economy a Buzz?

State Sen. Scott Wiener wants to allow California cities and counties to designate “entertainment zones” where bars and restaurants could serve alcoholic drinks that people can consume on public streets and sidewalks.

(01/29/2024) → CalMatters

• New Pickleball Equipment Takes a Swing at the Sport’s Noise Problem

The “pop, pop, pop” that’s become synonymous with Pickleball may soon be a racket of the past. That’s the goal promised by a new generation of equipment developed to lessen the overall acoustic burden of the sport.

(01/29/2024) → Daily Democrat

• Tribal Leaders Cite Problems with California’s Feather Alert for Native People Who Go Missing

In the first year of California’s Feather Alert system, authorities denied some requests to issue bulletins on missing people, causing concerns.

(01/28/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• Gavin Newsom Raised Millions for His Mental Health Ballot Measure. His Opponents Have $1,000

The March ballot measure would raise billions for mental health care, but some clinics fear it would strip them of revenue they need for services they provide today.

(01/28/2024) → CalMatters

• ‘Hot Droughts’ Are Becoming More Common in the Arid West, New Study Finds

Take a period of limited rainfall. Add heat. And you have what scientists call a “hot drought”—dry conditions made more intense by the evaporative power of hotter temperatures.

(01/28/2024) → CapPublicRadio

• Disneyland’s New Vision Includes Up to $2.5-billion Investment and Plan to Take Over City Streets

Disneyland’s plan to reimagine the theme park into a more “immersive” experience may require up to $2.5 billion and a plan to privatize some Anaheim streets.

(01/26/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• Collapse of California’s News Industry Is So Severe It’ll Require Taxpayer Support to Rebuild

A combination of tax credits, revenue sharing and coupons could bring stability, writes Steven Waldman, president of Rebuild Local News.

(01/25/2024) → CalMatters

• A Record Number of Californians Are Visiting Emergency Rooms for Dog Bites

Those pandemic puppies are growing up to be a public health concern.

(01/25/2024) → KFF Health News

• Senate Probes the Cost of Assisted Living and Its Burden on American Families

A U.S. Senate committee launched an examination of assisted living, holding its first hearing in two decades on the industry as leaders of both parties expressed concern about the high cost and mixed quality of care facilities.

(01/25/2024) → California Healthline

• Controversial California Bill Would Physically Stop New Cars From Speeding

The proposed bill would require new California cars to have a speed limiter.

(01/25/2024) → SF Gate

• New USGS Map Shows California Is at High Risk for Damaging Earthquakes

An updated earthquake hazard map from USGS shows a high shaking risk in California.

(01/24/2024) → SF Gate

• California Ranks High Worldwide for Rapidly Depleted Groundwater

In a sign of the ongoing threats to its precious groundwater stores, half a dozen regions in California rank among the world’s most rapidly declining aquifers.

(01/24/2024) → CalMatters

• A Guide to License Plates

The numbers and letters on your car can reveal more than you think.

(01/23/2024) → The California Aggie

• 988-Hotline Counselors Air Concerns: More Training Needed to Juggle Calls

In the year and a half since its launch, 988—the country’s easy-to-remember suicide and crisis hotline—has received about 8.1 million calls, texts, and chats. Curiosity is growing about the people taking those calls.

(01/23/2024) → California Healthline

• Key Takeaways From U.S. Senate Debate

The four leading U.S. Senate contenders in California tried to use 90 minutes of free air time to solidify their pitches to voters—and also to set themselves apart from their opponents.

(01/22/2024) → CalMatters

• Will $20 Minimum Wage Crush Fast Food in California?

Fast food lives in a consumer sweet spot: demand, convenience and relative affordability. And this pay hike—equal to minimum wage increases during the past five years—will create grand economic unknowns.

(01/22/2024) → Daily Democrat
  California Local Pin Marker  

Government Announcements

→ View All
Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (01/29/2024)

City Now Accepting Environmental Recognition Awards Nominations; Deadline 3/20

Image of United States seal. United States   (01/28/2024)

Truong Giang Distributor Corp Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sulfites in Dried Mango

TRUONG GIANG DISTRIBUTOR CORP of Philadelphia, PA is recalling Golden Owl Dried Mango, because it may contain undeclared sulfites. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to sulfites run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. Product was d
Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (01/26/2024)

Lower Cache Creek Flood Risk Reduction Project

Learn more about the project here
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (01/25/2024)

Bill Dodd CA Senate 03:
Puntos de vista: La ley actual de California no nos permite abordar la crisis de seguros causada por el clima

Thursday, January 25, 2024Lunes, 22 de enero, 2024 Por Bill Dodd Especial para The Sacramento Bee, 22 de enero, 2024 Los seguros no son divertidos ni interesantes ni siquiera faciles de entender, pero son esenciales. Y ahora estan en riesgo. No tenemos un mercado de seguros solido en California. Es todo lo contrario: mas de cinco anos de incendios forestales …
Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (01/25/2024)

1.25.24 Statement from the Mayor Regarding Antisemitic Incidents

Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (01/25/2024)

Scene Newsletter

Image of United States seal. United States   (01/24/2024)

Utz Quality Foods Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in Utz® Wavy Original Potato Chips in Metro New York Area

Utz Quality Foods, LLC., is issuing a voluntary recall for 88 cases of Utz 2.75 oz. Wavy Original Potato Chips due to an undeclared milk allergen. This recall was initiated after Utz learned that approximately 1200 single-serve bags contained Utz Wavy Original Potato Chips flavored with seasoning
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (01/23/2024)

Bill Dodd CA Senate 03:
Sen. Dodd Virtual Town Hall

Tuesday, January 30, 2024Embedded video for Sen. Dodd Virtual Town Hall
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (01/23/2024)

Bill Dodd CA Senate 03:
Sen. Dodd: Virtual Town Hall with U.S. Sen. Butler, Rep. Garamendi

Tuesday, January 23, 2024SACRAMENTO Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, will host a virtual town hall Jan. 30 on state and federal priorities for 2024 featuring U.S. Sen. Laphonza Butler and Rep. John Garamendi. The town hall will be streamed live over multiple channels and broadcast on KSVY Sonoma. Sen. Dodd and his guests will take questions via email and phone. The …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (01/22/2024)

Bill Dodd CA Senate 03:
Viewpoints: Current California law doesn’t allow us to address climate-caused insurance crisis

Monday, January 22, 2024By Bill Dodd -- Special to The Sacramento Bee, January 22, 2024 Insurance isnt fun or interesting or even easy to understand, but it is essential. And now its at risk. We dont have a robust insurance market in California. Its quite the opposite: More than five years of destructive, climate-driven wildfires have triggered billions of dollars …