The Huge Electric Leadership of a Small California Town

By Building Its Own Microgrid, Rural Gonzales Charts a Path to the Energy Future

If California is lucky, our energy future could look like a small town in the rural Salinas Valley.

Longtime readers of this column will not be surprised to learn that the town in question is Gonzales, the California municipal version of the Little Engine That Could. Its small, working-class population of just 9,000, many of them farmworkers, has ingeniously solved tricky local government problems, from universal broadband to health care access, and from economic planning to child development.

Now Gonzales is tackling one of our state’s most stubborn challenges: how to develop …

Rural Food Banks Have Never Been More Important | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Rural Food Banks Have Never Been More Important

COVID Has Created Thousands of New Clients for California’s Smallest Food Banks—And New Challenges That May Outlast the Pandemic

Before COVID-19, our little food bank here in Kings County served 1,000 families, on average, a month. But in the pandemic, we are now working to feed more than five …

The End of Frontier Medicine in California

Why Obamacare Can’t Save the Health Clinic I Built in Western Sierra County

Thirty-eight years ago, a young nurse practitioner, who was a veteran of the Air Force and the Army, moved his family from Denver to Downieville, California, the Sierra County seat, …

Can Bakersfield Find Doctors Who Won’t Run Away?

Getting Enough Physicians To the Central Valley Is Tough—But, Say Some, Doable

Estimates of the severity of America’s looming physician shortage vary, but one thing is certain: Doctors and healthcare workers are not distributed evenly around the nation, and certain regions are …

Will High-Caliber Doctors Practice In Low-Appeal Places?

Medical Professionals Often Avoid Places Like the San Joaquin Valley, But One Place In Kansas Might Have Some Ideas

It takes a special kind of doctor to practice in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

It’s one of the state’s sickest regions, with high rates of obesity and diabetes and an epidemic …

The Central Valley Is Fine If You Don’t Eat, Breathe, Or Get Sick

How Can We Improve the Health of One of the Nation’s Unhealthiest Places?

How can one of nation’s most unhealthy regions–the Central Valley of California–turn itself and its dismal statistics around? The answers lie in education, access, and addressing inequalities, a panel of …