Constitutional amendments don’t happen very often: there have been three in the last fifty years. But activists around the country are circulating petitions in support of a new amendment. This one is designed to overrule Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United and stem the tide of money in politics, and voters in Santa Cruz may soon have a chance to weigh in.
John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath turns 75 on Monday, April 14th. The book recounts the trials of the Joad family, who lost their Oklahoma farm and traveled to California at the height of the Depression. It was banned and burned in some cities when it was first published in 1939. But it also won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, selling nearly half a million copies within a year.
With the stroke of a pen, President Obama signed into a law a bill that includes an increase of Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors in the Monterey Bay Area. The speed at which this passed masks more than a decade of work it took to make this change.
In a conference room at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Santa Cruz, Dr. Larry deGhetaldi lays down a color coded map of California. The map was originally drawn about 40 years ago. “This is how physicians are paid today in California. All the green are paid the same,” said deGhetaldi.
In the twenty years since the Army shut down Fort Ord there’s been progress on repurposing the land – a new University, a National Monument, new housing and shopping. But even with all the change more than one thousand abandoned buildings still remain standing -- making parts of the former base look like a ghost town. Now efforts to clean up the remaining blight may finally be picking up.