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A Lesson in Legislative Lingo

A few weeks ago, I was sitting around the pool at a home in a Silicon Valley burg with a friend of my brother-in-law as he was telling me what he did for a living. I figured early on that he working in the computer filed, but as he explained the intricacies of what goes […]

By |December 19th, 2015|Under the Capitol Dome|0 Comments

Capitol Humor

I’m not the first one to say that the State Capitol is a funny place. We make jokes about politicians. They make fun of each other and, behind closed doors, about us. As the old saying goes, there is nothing wrong with a political joke as long as he doesn’t get elected.

Few remember what specific […]

By |December 19th, 2015|Under the Capitol Dome|0 Comments

Local Control for Community Colleges

President Thomas Jefferson wrote, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Jefferson’s wise admonition has been ignored.  According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), 72% of incoming students to our California Community Colleges need remedial instruction in the English […]

By |December 19th, 2015|Education|0 Comments

The Rising Cost of Good Government

Reading SB 331 (Mendoza), I was reminded of the proverb made famous by playwright Clare Booth Luce, “No good dead goes unpunished.”  SB 331 would significantly increase the costs of providing vital services to residents to punish any local government that had the temerity of enacting an ordinance that discloses to the public the provisions […]

By |December 19th, 2015|Good Government Reforms, Local Government|0 Comments

Bold Solutions for California

“It is not my intention to do away with government.  It is rather to make it work – work with us, not over us, and stand by our side, not ride our back.”
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Degrading Democracy and Public Safety

California’s system of government, consisting of elected representatives and the direct democracy of the initiative, referendum and recall, serves the public interest only when leaders stand up for what is right.

The Lincoln-Roosevelt League volunteers and Governor Hiram Johnson, who spearheaded the grassroots drive to create the ballot initiative process in 1911, wouldn’t be surprised that […]

By |December 6th, 2015|Public Safety|0 Comments

Legislative Frivolity Trumps Food, Water and Employment in CA

Pythagoras, the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician, said “choices are the hinges of destiny.” Are state lawmakers making good or bad policy choices as we enter the forth year of the worst drought in California history? What kind of future are they building for us?

On April 27, the Assembly Natural Resources Committee heard AB 311 […]

By |August 13th, 2015|Water|0 Comments

Enjoy this Week’s Twelve-Year Blink!

When I drive to the Post Office on Nevada Street or pick up a few plants at Eisley’s Nursery, I’m reminded how fast time flies. I always smile when I see the ten tall trees in a row like brave sentinels guarding the Domes on the corner of Fulweiler Avenue and Nevada Street.

Twelve years […]

By |November 13th, 2014|Columns, General|0 Comments

Policy, Politics and the Wild Kingdom

For my generation, the 1975 music video “I’m just a Bill,” by School House Rock was our first introduction to civics. Kids still watch this classic video. As the cartoon kids sing about how “knowledge is power” – channeling the 17th Century English statesman and scientist Francis Bacon – one gets the strong […]

By |November 13th, 2014|Columns, Good Government Reforms|0 Comments

Firestorms, Policy and the Big Mo

Watching the devastating impacts on human beings as the Sand Fire swept through the borderlands of Amador and El Dorado counties, it reminded me that momentum is a powerful force in both nature and the creation of public policy. For instance, there is a scientific phenomenon called a firestorm. A firestorm occurs when the fire […]

By |November 13th, 2014|Columns, Fire Safety|0 Comments