The Rural Price Tag of California’s Clean Energy Transition

The State Is Scrambling to Find Places to Store Energy—But Even Renewable Sources Make an Environmental Impact

In the spring of 2019, residents of eastern California’s Owens Valley were on the fight. As is usual in that part of the world—where a century of aggressive water extraction by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has left the valley dry—they were angry about a water project dreamed up by some Southern Californians.

But this was a new kind of fight. Premium Energy Holdings LLC, a small, Walnut-based energy company, had filed for a preliminary federal permit to explore the development of an enormous pumped energy storage facility …

Why Conflict Should Look Like Streaming TV

To End Polarizing Community Battles, Embrace Complexity

The La Brea Tar Pits may only run a few inches deep, but if you get trapped in the natural asphalt, you can’t get out. In fact, the more you …

After the Prisons Close, Where Does That Leave Rural Communities?

Incarceration Is Big Business In Towns Like Susanville, Which Now Must Find a New Economic and Civic Path Forward

Efforts to close prisons need to come with assistance to rural communities that depend on these institutions, said panelists at a Zócalo/California Wellness Foundation event in the northeast California town …

Journalist Claudia Kolker

I Never Lose My Fountain Pen

Claudia Kolker is an award-winning journalist and the editor of Rice Business Wisdom, the ideas magazine at Rice Business School and author of The Immigrant Advantage: What We Can Learn …

To Fix a “Bad” Neighborhood, Connect the Neighbors

Even If Your Community’s Got 99 Problems, Disconnectedness Is Number One

The California Wellness Foundation President Judy Belk introduced a Zócalo/The California Wellness Foundation event at MOCA Grand Avenue by explaining to a large crowd why she was intrigued to hear …

More Sprawl Can’t Keep the Inland Empire Down

The Region Is Bullish on Job Growth and Civic Engagement to Combat Challenges Like Long Commutes and Low Wages

The Inland Empire is facing a boom in population growth that presents a challenge for increasingly sprawling communities. Still, the region remains optimistic and open to embracing positive change to …