Merced’s Kids Are Not All Right

In California’s Capital of Youth Poverty, We’re Fighting For Everything From Summer Jobs to Swimming Pools

Have you heard of “disconnected youth?” It’s a term for young people age 16-19 who are neither employed nor in school. My county, Merced, has won the disconnected youth prize in California, with 13.7 percent of us bumming around aimlessly. That’s 50 percent higher than California as a whole and triple the rate in Bay Area counties like Santa Cruz.

The youth disconnection is part of a bigger issue: Merced has the highest rate of child poverty in the state—40 percent according to the U.S. census—and we also have more …

Bring the George Lucas Museum to Modesto

Forget San Francisco and Chicago. The Legendary Filmmaker’s Collection Belongs in the California Region Where He Was Born and Raised.

In California, we have high standards, especially when it comes to development. Whether it’s a new warehouse or an apartment building, the bigger the project, the lengthier and more complicated …

Can California Figure Out a Way to Train Nurses?

The State Ranks 46th in the Nation in RNs Per Capita. I Teach Nursing in Fresno, and I Know Why It’s an Uphill Battle.

I’m a Valley girl—I’ve lived in the San Joaquin Valley almost my entire life—and I’ve been a nursing instructor. That combination, according to state jobs statistics, is rare.

There is …

The Governor Should Move to the Delta

Building a Mansion in California’s Water Hub Would Kill Two Birds With One Stone

When you’re faced with two different thorny problems, sometimes the best way to make progress is by combining them. I’m talking to you, Jerry Brown.

Your first problem involves water. Residents …

California Has a Mosquito Problem

A Global State Invites Global Insects. Is It Prepared to Bite Back?

One stifling July evening in 1952 a recently discharged Marine veteran, home from Korea, was spending the Fourth of July weekend camping at Lake Vera in the rolling foothill terrain …

When Missing the Bus Is a Matter of Life and Death

In Our Rural San Joaquin Valley Town, Getting to School on Foot Is the Toughest Part of the Day

We live in Planada, California, a small, unincorporated town of 4,500 people nine miles into the croplands outside Merced. In December 2012, we joined a youth group here organized by …