Less Than one-Third of Public School Students in the “Zone”

Only 31 percent of Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Graders posted healthy scores in all six areas of the state’s latest Physical Fitness Test, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced November 30.

Joined at a press conference at Grossmont High School in El Cajon by former NBA all-star Bill Walton, Torlakson urged students to make healthier choices.    Read more »



The Chamber Takes Aim at a Poster the Federal Government Requires Businesses to Post by January 31, 2012 Notifying Workers of the Right to Form Or Join a Union, Band Together to Improve Working Conditions, Collectively Bargain or Choose to Do None of The Above. 

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A Bustling Month for Initiatives

November has been a banner month for direct democracy in California – Just ask the offices of the Attorney General and the Secretary of State.

Through November 29th, 26 proposed initiatives have been submitted to the Attorney General for title and summary. Some of the submissions are duplicates or revised versions of the same proposal.    Read more »



How Richard Nixon Became “Tricky Dick”

Former President Richard Nixon was famously labeled “Tricky Dick.”

According to one Internet site, the Yorba Linda native earned the nickname for his actions while president involving the Watergate break-in and subsequent investigations.

Others suggest it was coined by the John Kennedy campaign in 1960, which did incorporate the phrase as well as posters of a devious looking Nixon with the caption, “Would You Buy a Used Car from This Man?”

The alliterative ‘Tricky Dick” moniker was 10 years old by the time Kennedy’s team took the nickname national.    Read more »



The Miracle of the Internet: Art Imitates Pepper Spray


In the anything-is-possible world of the Internet it’s inevitable that the pepper spraying incident at the University of California at Davis would quickly be transmogrified. The officer in the November 18 incident now finds himself in works by Michaelangelo, Edouard Manet, Leonardo Da Vinci, Boticelli, Walt Disney, Van Gogh and Delacroix — to name a few.      Read more »



Municipal Utilities Generating More Power from Renewable Sources

Many of California’s 46 publicly owned utilities, ranging from the mammoth Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to the City of Healdsburg have met the state’s goal of generating 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources.

Some have already exceeded the state’s 2020 goal of 33 percent, according to statistics from the state Energy Commission.    Read more »



A November 17 Capitol Housewarming — 211 Years Ago


From The Writers Almanac with Garrison Keillor:

On this date in 1800, the U. S. Congress met in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., for the first time. Construction had begun in 1793 but it soon fell behind schedule and went over budget. (Nothing new under the sun.)

The cost overruns caused planners in 1796 to elect to build only the Senate wing.    Read more »



Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor Summarizes California’s (Gloomy) Fiscal Outlook    Read more »



Budget Hole of $13 Billion, Mid-Year Cuts to Public Schools Required, Legislative Analyst Predicts

State revenues will be $3.7 billion less than expected, triggering $2 billion in cuts – more than half to public schools – according to an economic forecast issued by the Legislative Analyst on November 16.

The gloomy assessment of the 44-page California’s Fiscal Outlook includes the state ending this fiscal year with a $3 billion deficit and being an additional $10 billion short of spending commitments in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2012.    Read more »



Happy Birthday Governor Burnett!

November 15, 2011 is the 204th anniversary of the birth of Peter Hardeman Burnett, the state of California’s first – albeit brief-tenured — governor.

A native of Tennessee, Burnett served as California’s governor from December 20, 1849 to January 9, 1851.

California became a state on September 9, 1850 although didn’t learn about until October 18 when the steamer Oregon sailed into San Francisco bay with a banner saying, “California is Now a State” tied to her rigging.    Read more »