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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 »



The Place of “Morality” in Public Policy

Morality can’t be legislated, the timeworn saying goes.

Two initiatives in circulation appear to attempt to do that — without defining what constitutes “moral.”

Like “reform,” morality tends to be in the eye of the beholder.

The two initiatives, which require 504,670 valid signatures before June 11 to qualify for the November ballot, use the word “moral” a total of eight times.    Read more »



From 1850: A History of California’s First 27 Counties

Among the tasks of lawmakers during California’s first legislative session, which began December 15, 1849, was naming the state’s counties.

Twenty-seven counties were established. Mariposa, for example, was the largest covering one-fifth of the state. Twelve subsequent counties were created in whole or in part out of Mariposa. Some original counties didn’t survive like Branciforte which became Santa Cruz.    Read more »



Space is Extremely Limited! This Event Will Sell Out!

According to the Secretary of State, AT&T spent $270,001.43 in  2011 hosting the 14th Annual Speaker’s Cup at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and The Links at Spanish Bay.

The “Ultimate” package — golf for four for two days — was $60,000.

Apparently, the economy is on the mend because the identical package is $65,000 this year.    Read more »



The More Things Change…

As adopted December 19, 1849 – four days into California’s first legislative session – the 6th Rule of the Senate reads:

“No member shall speak to another or otherwise interrupt the business of the Senate or read any newspaper while the journals or public papers are reading and while the President is putting a question, no senator shall walk out of, or across the house, nor while a senator is speaking pass between him and the chair.”

While laudable, the rule met the same fate as many other legislative efforts to regulate human behavior — particularly their own.    Read more »



“Looking Forward to Working” for “Real Reform”

Lots of folks have lots to say about Gov. Jerry Brown’s January 18 State of the State speech, which, certainly seemed to generate more comments than the content warranted.

(Lamentably, none of these myriad statements note that the arguable highlight of the speech was use of the adjective “dystopian” in the sixth paragraph to define a certain brand of journalists the governor believes exists.)

There was a canned response, apparently filmed the day before Brown’s speech was presented, by Senate GOP leader Bob Huff of Rancho Cucamonga and Assembly GOP leader Connie Conway of Visalia.    Read more »