California Local Explainers, Guides, Etc.


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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.

Image caption: Almost half of all low-income Black adults in California experience food insecurity.
Hunger and Food Insecurity in California: What It Is, What to Do About It

Hunger and food insecurity have become persistent problems in California. With the world’s fifth-largest economy, what steps can we take to make sure that everyone has enough to eat?

Image caption: Translated from the Greek, “Democracy” means “people power.” How much power do the people have in California?
People Power! What Is Democracy, and How Does It Work in California?

Democracy is a 2,500-year-old system of government still looked on today as the best system, because under a democratic system, the people govern themselves. But is that all there is to it? What is democracy? And how does it work …

Image caption: How does social media affect the minds and well-being of children? According to California and other states, not well.
California Sues Meta For Damaging Kids’ Mental Health

California and 32 other states are suing Instagram’s parent company, Meta, saying that their apps are damaging to children. Is there evidence for those claims? Here’s why social media is under attack.

Image caption: Californians continue to set clocks back every fall, and ahead each spring.
Daylight Saving Time, Explained

After a 2018 vote authorizing the state legislature to make daylight saving time year-round, Californians are still changing their clocks twice per year. How did we get here?

Image caption: A state park since 1962, Bodie is one of California’s best-known ghost towns. Read about nine more below.
Explore the Past in 10 California Ghost Towns

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.

Image caption: A ban on assault weapons is just one of 107 California gun control laws.
California Gun Control Laws and Mass Shootings

California has more gun laws than any other state. Here's how it took a series of mass shootings to make the state the toughest in the country on guns.

Image caption: Warehouse storage is just one aspect of the highly complex logistics industry that keeps supply chains running.
Logistics: the Crucial Industry You’ve Never Heard Of

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, …

Image caption: Since 1972, the California Coastal Commission has ruled over the state’s shoreline.
California Coastal Commission: Where It Comes From, What It Does

What is the California Coastal Commission? How one of the state’s most powerful agency protects public access to the state’s scenic coast from Mexico to Oregon.

Image caption: Peninsula Open Space Trust worked with landowners to preserve Estrada Ranch, one of the last large properties under family ownership in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
What Is a Land Trust?

There’s one good way to save open space from development, and that’s to buy property outright. Land trusts are key to that solution.

Image caption: A statue of Ishi, the last of the Yahi, would serve to honor an Indigenous man who survived the brutalities of the pioneer era.
10 Californians Deserving of Statues

Many statues can be found in California of its pioneers, but other historical figures are also deserving. Here are 10 who made the Golden State shine.

Image caption: Laphonza Butler—with her hand on a bible being held by her wife, Neneki Lee—is sworn into the US Senate by Vice Pres. Kamala Harris.
Laphonza Butler’s California Connections

April Verrett says she was surprised when she saw the Los Angeles Times reporting on Saturday that Laphonza Butler was among the names who could be appointed to replace the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein. But Verrett's reaction wasn't just one …

Image caption: Disney’s planned community of Celebration in Florida is far from Walt Disney’s earlier vision of a utopian city.
Solano County Planned City Latest in a California Tradition

Silicon Valley billionaires want to create a new city in Solano County. How have planned cities fared in California? From Lakewood to Irvine to Disney’s new Cotino, there have been many.

Image caption: The Pajaro River levee broke during the 2023 atmospheric river storms, flooding the town of Pajaro.
Is California Ready for More Extreme Weather Driven by Climate Change?

This year, a series of extreme events in California and around the country have wreaked havoc, driven by climate change. How prepared are we for things to get worse?

Image caption: Since the Gold Rush era, land reclamation has cost California 90 percent of its wetlands.
How Land Reclamation Hurts California’s Environment

Since the Gold Rush era, land reclamation projects have helped to build California, but they are also damaging the state’s environment for people, plants and animals by eliminating essential wetlands.

Image caption: How California reclamation districts turned millions of acres of wetlands into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush.
Reclamation Districts: Turning ‘Swamps’ Into Farmland

California has used reclamation districts to turn millions of acres of unusable swamps into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush. Here’s how it happened.

Image caption: Kerry Wood, CEO of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, says the organization researches areas of need to help donors direct their contributions.
What Is a Community Foundation?

By channeling funds to a number of nonprofits working on various issues in a given region, community foundations help solve big problems throughout California.

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Working Together: TTCF and California Local

A conversation with Stacy Caldwell, CEO of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation

Image caption: Feud between the “blue” and “red” governors has been broiling for over a year.
Newsom Vs. DeSantis: Feuding Govs Agree to ‘Red vs. Blue’ Debate

Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis finally agreed to debate California Gov. Gavin Newsom after a feud hat has lasted for more than a year and included DeSantis dumping planeloads of immigrants in Sacramento.

Image caption: The surprising history of climate change denial can be traced back to fears over nuclear war.
It Started With ‘Star Wars’: Understanding Climate Denial

To understand climate change denial, we must go back to the Ronald Reagan presidency and his proposal for the “Star Wars” space-based missile defense system.

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