Healthier Than a Chaw or a Cigarette, Though

“Wood shavings littered the floor of the (legislative) chambers because whittling was a favorite pastime of some legislators. Eventually, small blocks of wood had to be supplied for that purpose so that the desks, chairs and other fixtures would not be carved to slivers,” writes Mary Jo Ignoffo in Gold Rush Politics, California First Legislature.    Read more »



Apparently Nothing Is Sacred

Sales of the headstones, memorial plaques funerary urns or markers of veterans would be prohibited without state permission, under legislation passed unanimously by the Assembly January 30.

The bill – AB 1225 by Assemblyman Paul Cook, a Yucaipa Republican – is aimed at deterring thefts of memorial plaques for scrap and the sale of grave markers on the antique market.    Read more »



Statement from Former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg

WOODLAND HILLS, CA – Former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg released the following statement (January 30) regarding the race for California’s new 27thState Senate District.

“After thoughtful consideration, I have decided not to pursue a campaign for the State Senate.

“I believe the extraordinary challenges we face in California can best be met with big ideas and independent voices.    Read more »



Bummer About Those Redistricting Maps, Dude

January 27 wasn’t a banner day for appellants at the California Supreme Court.

Most media attention was focused on the state Republican Party failing to convince any members of the court to toss out district maps for the 40-member Senate drawn by the California Redistricting Commission prior to a determination of whether the GOP’s referendum to disqualify the commission’s effotrts would qualify for the ballot.    Read more »



Another Try at Restricting Picketing at Funerals

California is taking a second cut at trying to prevent picketers from adding to the grief of families at the funerals of loved ones.

The state Senate sent the Assembly on a unanimous vote, a bill that would require protesters to stay 500 feet away from one hour before until one hour after a funeral service.    Read more »



School Kids Are Going to Eat Better — Well — At Least More Nutritiously

On January 25, the United States Department of Agriculture issued the first updated nutrition standards for schools in 15 years.

The standards clock in at 280 pages and allow, among other things, schools in American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to serve starchy vegetables like yams, plantains or sweet potatoes to meet the new grain/bread rules.    Read more »



The Fundraising Season Begins to Pick Up Steam

Could be crowded January 30 at Tequila Museo Mayahuel restaurant on 12th and K in Sacramento.

Of course crowded is just how the owners like it .

And how the two state Senate candidates holding fundraisers there yearn for it to be as well.

Sen. Kevin  de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, wants a minimum of $1,000 to attend his 5:30 to 7:30 pm fundraiser at the restaurant.    Read more »



From Time Magazine, Monday January 30, 2012

By Lev Grossman 

For every minute that passes in real time, 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube.

You can turn that number over in your mind as much as you want; at no point will it stop being incredible. Sixty hours every minute. That’s five months of video every hour.    Read more »



Can’t Improve on the Lede of This Article

Jan. 8, 1976, Page C-2 

By Nancy Skelton, McClatchy Newspaper Services 

Sacramento — Peyote. Snakes. Pocketknives. Pregnant goats.

An odd combination to begin with.

Odder, still, when they come up, front and center, at a Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.

But these were subjects chosen this morning by anthropologist-writer Gregory Bateson, who delivered the main address at the annual gathering held to seek God’s help for state leaders during the coming year.    Read more »



A Fun “Politics on Tap” from December with A.G. Block of the UC Center in Sacramento and Dorothy Rothrock of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association.    Read more »