How My Great-Grandfather Dealt With a Lout Named Jack London

A Muralist Finds Herself Captivated by the Bay Area Writer, Crusader for Justice, and Drunken Brawler

Growing up in the Bay Area, I heard a lot of family lore about Jack London, and my great-grandfather George Samuels.

Samuels had been a district attorney, a police court judge, and a Superior Court judge in Alameda County, serving continuously from around 1903 until his death in 1925. The famous author had appeared in his court as a defendant several times. Apparently, the encounters produced hard feelings in London. My aunt, prone to exaggeration, bragged that London had threatened to set off a bomb under my great-grandfather’s house.

My questions about …

Take the ACE Train

A Small but Successful Commuter Line Between Stockton and San Jose Points a Way Forward for California Transportation

As the ACE Train pulls into the Santa Clara station, the conductor pops out—and begins apologizing for his train.

“I’m sorry, but this is not the Amtrak!” he bellows, loud enough …

If You Can’t Beat the Bay Area, Join It

Solving Northern California's Toughest Problems Requires a New Megaregion, from San Francisco and Tahoe to the San Joaquin and Salinas Valleys

Welcome to the Bay Area, Merced!

Further north, welcome as well to Modesto, Sacramento, Placerville, and Yuba City. And, to the south, you’re invited, too, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, and …

Connect the World? The Bay Area Can’t Even Connect Its Trains

A New Light Rail System Underscores the Frustrations of California's Richest Region

The northern terminus of SMART, the new light rail system officially opening this weekend in the North Bay, is the Sonoma County Airport Station in Santa Rosa. But after my …

All Aboard, Bay Area, on Your Fast Train to Wasco

This Kern County Town, a Conduit for High-Speed Rail, Has a Lot to Offer

Dear Bay Area,

Welcome to Wasco.

You may never have heard of this small city of 25,000 in the San Joaquin Valley. You probably can’t pronounce it (it’s WAW-skoh).

But you and …

My California

In Novelist Edan Lepucki’s Home State, the History Is Fictional, the Terrain Is Otherworldly, and the Population Is United by Difference

In the story about myself, I was born in Santa Monica, in a rental on Sunset Ave. (yes, Avenue, not Boulevard). Early February, which is a bleak month elsewhere, but …