CALMatters | Mountain View Online |

CALmatters is a Sacramento-based nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California's state Capitol works and why it matters. It works with more than 130 media partners throughout the state that have long, deep relationships with their local audiences, including Embarcadero Media (publisher of the Palo Alto Weekly, Mountain View Voice, Pleasanton Weekly and The Almanac in Menlo Park and their websites.)

Here are the most recent stories reported by CALmatters' team of journalists:


Finally, a new path toward managing water, rivers and the Delta

We who are part of the California water community and who work every day from one perspective or another are paralyzed and in our respective bunkers. We must take a leap of faith to admit that the current rigid rules on Delta management fail all of our missions. And that only together can we do a better job managing our water resources going forward.

Tue, Mar 19, 2019 4:29 am
Connected Bay Area recruiter gets no bid contract as online community college staffs up

Heather Hiles, president and CEO of California's new online college, advocated for granting a no-bid contract to executive recruiter Carolyn Carpeneti. Before becoming an executive recruiter, Carpeneti was a political fundraiser whose clients included then San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. Brown and Carpeneti became romantically involved and had a daughter in 2001.

Mon, Mar 18, 2019 8:31 pm
I’ve got a secret: Daily struggle for the people’s right to know

Bureaucracies love secrets. They pay lip service to transparency, but have a powerful instinct to dummy up. This predilection for secrecy clashes on a daily basis with Californians’ fundamental right to information about how their government is working—a right granted by statute and enshrined in the state Constitution.

Sun, Mar 17, 2019 7:00 am
Slowing economy could hit state budget

Gov. Gavin Newsom hopes to have a balanced state budget through his first term. But some economic clouds are looming on the horizon.

Sun, Mar 17, 2019 12:01 am
To combat climate change, California must wean buildings off fossil fuels

Construction, heating, and operating of our work and homes account for nearly 40 percent of our nation’s CO2 emissions. But California still doesn’t have a comprehensive statewide plan to help cities cut pollution from homes and commercial buildings. That’s like having a global naval military strategy that omits the Pacific Ocean.

Fri, Mar 15, 2019 4:29 am
Don’t leave California’s climate goals stuck in traffic

At the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, we are far from naïve. We understand the political and economic challenges that face the completion of high-speed rail, and we are up for the fight and plan to fight along with every elected leader who is willing to fight for California’s quality of life, climate goals and middle-class jobs.

Thu, Mar 14, 2019 4:29 am
California can’t afford to skimp on computer science education

Computer science is an essential 21st Century skill for college, careers and civic participation. Yet many California students lack access to meaningful opportunities to learn computer science. If we are committed to closing the academic achievement gap, we must close the growing computer science access gap for all students.

Wed, Mar 13, 2019 4:29 am
Trumpies rightfully reduced Oroville Dam aid

The Trump administration is refusing to pay more than $300 million for repairs to Oroville Dam. California officials should be grateful it's not zero.

Wed, Mar 13, 2019 12:01 am
Trump’s rule gagging doctors is a threat to women’s lives

Despite massive opposition, the Trump administration released coercive and unethical regulations governing Title X. The administration’s anti-abortion agenda has seeped into Title X, a program that doesn’t pay for or provide abortion services. Under these rules, doctors would not be able to tell patients where they can get an abortion, even if they ask. The best doctors could do is give a patient a list of healthcare providers, some of whom provide abortions.

Tue, Mar 12, 2019 4:29 am
The world is knocking at California’s door, and we welcome it

Enriched by the diversity of our communities, California represents a set of human values that nurture and free our minds and our economic system. And the world knows it. That’s why now, more than ever, the world is knocking on our door.

Mon, Mar 11, 2019 8:00 am
Hard truths about deinstitutionalization, then and now

Ronald Reagan and Jerry Brown, two of the most consequential governors ever in California, led the state during two of the most well intended but poorly executed movements in this state’s history. The first was the de-institutionalization of the mentally ill. The second resulted in fewer prison inmates, and significant increases in homelessness and untreated mental illness.

Sun, Mar 10, 2019 8:00 am
Politicians like to keep us in the dark

A new legislative bill and a new threat by the attorney general are the latest attempts to undermine the state's Public Records Act.

Sun, Mar 10, 2019 12:01 am
For families across California, a desperate struggle to get mental health care

Elizabeth Brown’s bedroom holds a trove of evidence of her fight to save herself. Preserved among the Twilight novels, the posters of Korean pop singers and cameras she used for her budding journalism career are clues to the Santa Rosa teenager’s agonizing struggle with the mental illness that claimed her life last year. Next to […]

Sun, Mar 10, 2019 12:01 am
Tax hikes are unnecessary. California businesses already pay their fair share

Negative impacts of a business tax increase would be felt far and wide, because business taxes get passed on to consumers and shareholders, and have a negative impact on wages for jobs that are preserved. The last thing middle-class Californians need is an even higher cost of living, wage stagnation or more risk for their retirement investments.

Fri, Mar 8, 2019 4:29 am
A telecom merger that can help bridge the digital divide

Improving access to 5G-enabled technologies will be essential to creating economic parity in America. The merger of T-Mobile and Sprint represents an opportunity to bridge the digital divide on a scale that we have yet to see.

Thu, Mar 7, 2019 8:30 am
1872 law gives police a license to kill

Shooting first and asking questions later might have been acceptable police conduct in 1872 California. It can’t be in the 21st century.

Thu, Mar 7, 2019 12:01 am
Meet California’s new environment czar, who walked the state to ‘reset’

What better way to decompress from a stressful federal government job than by trekking 2,600 miles on foot from Mexico to Canada? That’s what Jared Blumenfeld, the new head of the California Environmental Protection Agency, did three years ago, setting out on the arduous and beloved Pacific Crest Trail that traces California’s searing deserts, rugged […]

Wed, Mar 6, 2019 7:17 pm
We must prevent the next Aliso Canyon disaster

At the age of 44, my lungs inexplicably failed, and have never recovered. For over a decade, I've had a chronic shortness of breath, a high pulse rate, and have been dependent on oxygen tanks, inhalers and I've been unable to walk any distance or even carry my purse, without triggering deep chest pains. I'm one of the fortunate ones, because I'm still alive.

Wed, Mar 6, 2019 8:30 am

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