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 Wasco share a future.

You could be connected—at least temporarily—by the most expensive infrastructure project in state history.

Your Wasco connection is a byproduct of problems with high-speed rail’s plan for a San Francisco to Los Angeles train. The financial and engineering challenges of tunneling the Tehachapi Mountains have delayed construction to L.A. And the project is short $2 billion to …

It’s Time for the Central Valley to Grow Up

Bridging the Region’s Urban-Rural Character Requires Unity and Planning

“Are we urban or are we rural?” moderator Dan Morain asked at the start of a lively Wednesday panel discussion on the future of California’s Central Valley.

“Both” was the answer …

Dear Government, Be Careful How You Help the Central Valley

DIY Fresno-Area Communities Need Public Support—Without Strings Attached

While Central Valley communities are creating their own solutions to stubborn problems neglected by county, state, and federal government, they also need government to offer more support for successful local …

Creating a Center for Culture, Tradition—and Mental Health Care

Why Treating Mental Illness Is Crucial to the American Dream

I came to Perris, a small town in Riverside County, more than two decades ago from the island province of Bohol in the Philippines. As much as I would have …

The Ghosts of Mexico in Merced

My Grandfather's Disappearance Inspired My Film About the Dark Side of Immigration

I live in a forgotten region. Most Californians, if they know the Central Valley exists, forget it when they think of the state as a whole. Those that have been …