In world of stem cell research, ‘UC Caucus’ reigns supreme

Mesenchymal stem cells are injected into the knee of a patient. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons photo, via VT Digger)

They could be called the “UC Caucus,” although that may presume too much. Nonetheless, they come from an institution that has pulled down $1.2 billion from the California state stem cell agency, more than any other enterprise during the last 16 years. 

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News

Capitol Weekly Podcast: Annie Notthoff

Longtime environmental advocate Annie Notthoff retired from the Natural Resources Defense Council last year but still has plenty to say about California environmental issues. Capitol Weekly’s John Howard and Tim Foster asked her about CEQA exemptions for housing, what to make of the budget and the drought. Plus: Who had the Worst Week in California Politics?

News

‘Laura’s Law’ okayed in 30 counties — a major statewide turnaround

Nick and Amanda Wilcox of Penn Valley with a portrait of their daughter Laura, whose murder inspired "Laura's Law." (Photo, Laura Mahaffy, The Union)

In a significant policy shift spanning nearly two decades, 30 counties in California – including all of the larger counties with an estimated 80 percent of the state’s population – have now adopted a 2002 state law giving families a legal avenue to get severely mentally ill relatives into treatment.

News

Reporter’s Notebook: Waking up to an orange sky

A view of the sky on Sept. 9, 2020, from a home in Berkeley.(Photo: Eric Furth)

The sky was rust-colored, ashy, Blade Runner-esque, the result of northern state wildfires that had drifted for days into the Bay Area. It was Sept. 9, 2020 in south Berkeley. Six months into the pandemic, the joy of simply walking outside and escaping domestic confinement was suddenly stripped away.

Opinion

Now is the time for the Health Equity Fund

A scene along Anaheim Street, a main artery in Wilmington. (Photo: Matt Gush)

OPINION: There’s no question that communities of color — like the areas where I grew up and represent today, Watts, Wilmington, Compton, for example — have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s past due for us to right this injustice.
This is why I’m championing a proposal to create the California Health Equity Fund.

Opinion

App-based services helped California survive the pandemic

An app-user types out an order on his hand-held device. (Photo: Billion Photos, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The economic devastation of the pandemic is well-chronicled. At its peak, more than two million Californians lost their jobs. In the wake of such devastation, a recent report found that app-based rideshare and food delivery platforms helped provide earnings for displaced or struggling workers, and helped keep many restaurants and retailers afloat.

News

California, battered by 2020, girds for more intense wildfires

A wildfire burns near a home in Salinas, Monterey County, last year. (Photo: David A Litman)

With 2020’s disasters in mind, the state is making elaborate plans to deal with an upcoming wildfire season made potentially more deadly by drought. The challenge is there, and it’s a big one.

Opinion

California restaurants bracing for potential pork shortage

Baja-style Chinese food. Carnitas "colorada.” That’s “red pork” in Spanish. (Photo: Shutterstock)

OPINION: The pandemic swept through the Los Angeles restaurant scene like a tornado, harming some while obliterating others. Forced closures, challenging outdoor dining restrictions and devastating job losses became part of the day-to-day rigor for California restaurant owners. Now, with a potential light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, another issue is likely to hit restaurants. It’s called Proposition 12.

Opinion

California’s recall election puts progressives to the test

Demonstrators supporting the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom gather in Yorba Linda in Orange County. (Photo: Matt Gush, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Usually, the year after a presidential election is pretty quiet in California when it comes to high-profile political contests. But this year Republicans have managed to make the Golden State a national battleground — and a fundraising juggernaut — with their recall fight against Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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