Arm Yourself With Info For Campaign Season


I don’t intend to get all pointy-headed on you, but if you want to be an educated voter, you might want to study the Public Policy Institute of California’s newly updated “Planning for a Better Future, California 2025” report.

The PPIC’s experts address eight problem areas: budget, climate change, economy, education, population growth, transportation, water and workforce. For each topic area, “Planning for a Better Future” contains a quick description of the situation, a look at trends, a dose of analysis and a few policy recommendations.

The PPIC is a nonpartisan think-tank based in San Francisco that does great work. Although it produces some very thick reports, this one should be comprehensible to most people.

You’ll find similar information and analysis on the Legislative Analyst’s Office website, but the PPIC’s presentation is a bit more accessible to those of us who lack PhDs.

Hang onto “Planning for a Better Future” for reference during the coming campaign season, when candidates are guaranteed rely on their own sets of facts and to push oversimplified “solutions” to local and state problems.

Before the campaign season gets really stupid …

• The 56th annual Carnevale in Weed kicks off at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, with a parade through downtown. The event continues the following four days and nights, July 15 through 18, at Bel Air Park, on College Avenue near College of the Siskiyous, with carnival rides, music and other live entertainment, food and drink, vendor booths and even a junior bocce ball tournament. Admission is free.

Of course, I have to mention the “Top of the State” run, which has been part of Carnevale for years. Set for 8 a.m. on July 17, the five-mile run returns to its original course, a good portion of which is on trails. There is also a two-mile run and walk. Get in five miles and you won’t feel so guilty about a second corndog.

• Also on the 17th in Weed is the Siskiyou Motorcycle Association’s annual 140-mile poker run around Mount Shasta. Starting in downtown Weed, the “Outta Weed, Round the Mountain” pack run offers hours of amazing back roads scenery before concluding with a big barbecue at the McCloud American Legion Hall. For details, call the association at (530) 925-5472.

• Registration is open for the latest “So, You Want To Start a Business?” class at Shasta College Small Business Development Center in downtown Redding. The class is intended to help first-timers evaluate business concepts, develop plans and market strategies, and learn about financing options. The seminar is set for 5:30 p.m. on July 21. I hear these classes always fill up, so it’s a good idea to register now at the Small Business Development Center office, (530) 225-2770. Cost is $10.

• If you travel Interstate 5 south of Redding or Highway 299 east of town, you may well have encountered trucks hauling the huge pieces of equipment being erected at the Hatchet Ridge Wind Farm outside Burney. Originally, Caltrans and the highway patrol said the early morning deliveries – which put a crimp in traffic flow – would conclude by the end of this month. Now they are saying the deliveries will slow to once every three or four days for the next couple weeks before resuming a daily schedule through at least mid-August. Read up here.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and is old enough to remember when election campaigns did not start before Labor Day. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at

Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.