Stewart Resnick is the world’s largest irrigated farmer. He lives in Beverly Hills and has never driven a tractor. His California empire of fruit, almonds and pistachios helped turn the state’s nut boom into a national controversy, thanks in part to his wife Lynda Resnick’s ingenious branding of their crops as healthy snacks. Despite the catastrophic five-year drought and a lack of state and federal irrigation water, the Resnick’s acres in Kern County continued to thrive. So how were they able to outsmart Mother Nature? And what was the true cost to California? San Joaquin Valley native and journalist Marx Arax travels to the company town of Lost Hills, where he follows a secret pipeline to the truth. Arax was been trying to write Stewart Resnick’s story for twenty years. Resnick declined all interview requests, until old age and cancer changed his mind.
For The California Sunday‘s “Teens Issue,” Elizabeth Weil writes about raising a teenage daughter. The piece is annotated by her 15-year-old daughter, Hannah W. Duane.
Tuition-free college has become a reality for more than half of California’s high school graduates. The catch is that eligible students still can’t afford rent, food, or books.
Western companies pay private detectives to infiltrate and bust China’s $400 billion counterfeit industry. This is what the job is like on the ground.
After their mother was arrested and deported to Nogales, Mexico, the Marin children became wards of the state, forced to split up and live in separate homes in an overwhelmed and underfunded foster care system. Their story is just one example of the roughly half a million U.S.-born children who’ve lost a parent to arrest, detention, and deportation between 2009 and 2013.
During Argentina’s military dictatorship, some 500 babies were born in secret torture centers or kidnapped. A group of grandmothers spent the next four decades searching for them. This is the story of one missing boy, named Martín.
Two successful chefs decided to open a chain of healthy fast food restaurants in lower income neighborhoods where fresh, nutritious food is scarce. They started in Watts and hired in Watts. They kept prices low, wages fair and quality high. They were disrupting conventional fast food. Their model had a mandate. Making it work has been difficult.
Lizzie Presser reports on the Dickensian treatment of Filipino workers aboard Carnival Cruise Line ships — where the routine involves 12 and 14-hour days, seven-days a week for paltry pay and zero overtime — just to be able to provide better lives for families they rarely get to see.
“We’ve got the scientists. We’ve got the universities. We have the national labs. We have a lot of political clout and sophistication for the battle. And we will persevere,” says California governor Jerry Brown. This first piece in a series explores the relationship between the Golden State and Donald Trump’s Washington.