A Letter From Sacramento, Where Fear Grows as Flowers Bloom

A Survivor of 1954’s Polio Epidemic Welcomes Social Distancers to His Garden

SACRAMENTO—Our front garden hit peak bloom just as the COVID-19 death toll passed 200 in California. As usual, the California golden poppies seized control of the gravel borders along the driveway and, in a brazen move, advanced this spring into the chipped bark meant to provide walking space around the raised planter boxes. Now the last daffodils poke their heads out among the crimson flutter of the Greek poppies. The irises are flaunting wings and beards, each according to its wont, in random pairings around the yard. And the redbud …

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 …

When the Black Panthers Lobbied For ‘Open Carry’ Laws

In 1967, Two Dozen Black Radical Activists Entered California's State Capitol With Unloaded Shotguns

In 1966, it was legal to openly carry loaded firearms in the state of California—a legacy of the Gold Rush. In Jackson, a Sierra foothills town that retained the flavor …

Could These Four ‘Lady Bird’ Sequels Save Sacramento?

Greta Gerwig Has Promised a Quartet of Films About Her Hometown, and California's Capital Needs New Narratives

Here’s the good news in Sacramento: “Lady Bird,” a coming-of-age film set in Sacramento—and written and directed by the California capital’s own Greta Gerwig—has been nominated for five Academy Awards, …

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 …