2812, 2015

Two Cheers for Proposition 42

By |December 28th, 2015|Transportation|Comments Off on Two Cheers for Proposition 42

I know that swearing is a bad thing. But when I hit a pothole and my green Camry shutters in the shock, I grip the wheel even tighter and listen for the telltale hissing sound of a flat tire. At that point, my stoic demeanor momentarily fades and I blurt out a few choice words […]

2412, 2015

Taxing Poor Richard

By |December 24th, 2015|Taxes|Comments Off on Taxing Poor Richard

In 1733, a little known printer named Benjamin Franklin published the first edition of Poor Richards Almanac. For the next twenty-six years, Franklin’s fictional compiler of the annual almanac, one Richard Sanders, a supposed mathematician and stargazer, filled in the blank spaces between calendar dates with witty proverbs about the virtues of hard work, prudence, […]

2312, 2015

David, Goliath and the Local Sales Tax Battle

By |December 23rd, 2015|Local Government, Region-Wide Issues|Comments Off on David, Goliath and the Local Sales Tax Battle

 We are in trouble and I think more and more of us are beginning to realize it. I attended two community meetings last week in Auburn and at both meetings people wanted to talk about Assembly Bill 680 (Steinberg) despite the fact that it wasn’t on anyone’s official agenda. AB 680, authored by Assemblyman Steinberg […]

2312, 2015

The Biomass Imperative and God Art

By |December 23rd, 2015|Fire Safety|Comments Off on The Biomass Imperative and God Art

As I sit down to write this column from my perch overlooking the American River Canyon my eyes slowly move from the rolling green hills of pine and oak, to the low meandering clouds that gently cut a thousand invisible trails in the sky, top the bright reflective lights of the snow-capped Sierra Mountains. I […]

2312, 2015

Great Teachers and the Credentials Trap

By |December 23rd, 2015|Education|Comments Off on Great Teachers and the Credentials Trap

Who is Eugene W. Hickok and why is he telling school administrators in Auburn and throughout the nation who they can and cannot hire as teachers? Mr. Hickok is a federal Undersecretary in the Department of Education and he is probably right now sitting at a big brown desk in a big brown building somewhere […]

2312, 2015

Putting Telemarkers on Hold

By |December 23rd, 2015|General|Comments Off on Putting Telemarkers on Hold

Sometimes life can get a little irritating. Like when you find out that the traffic jam that you’ve been struck in for at least 45 minutes was caused by rubbernecking drivers who seem to be intensely interested in the guy on the side of the road who is innocently changing his flat fire. I can […]

2212, 2015

Making Law or Sausage?

By |December 22nd, 2015|Good Government Reforms|Comments Off on Making Law or Sausage?

There is an old joke in the Capitol that goes something like this: “There are two things that you never want to see being made – sausage and the law.” As one who worked for years as an apprentice butcher in my father’s meat market and now as a policy consultant with the California Legislature, […]

2212, 2015

High School Senioritis or Golden Opportunity

By |December 22nd, 2015|Education|Comments Off on High School Senioritis or Golden Opportunity

 When I was in high school, I cut one class and got caught. It wasn’t even a hard class like Chemistry or Calculus. I ditched an afternoon class of Leather Shop because I was bored and frankly not very good at cutting and stitching together pieces of former cows. For many years, I had to […]

2112, 2015

Redistricting, Modern Art and Deliberative Democracy

By |December 21st, 2015|Good Government Reforms, Under the Capitol Dome|Comments Off on Redistricting, Modern Art and Deliberative Democracy

As the California Legislature reconvenes on August 20th and concludes its work for the year on September 14th, you might be a bit surprised by what will dominate legislators’ time and attention. Naturally, one would think that putting back together our Humpty Dumpty electricity system would be the first priority. Nope. The electricity crisis will […]

2112, 2015

New Legislative Opportunity to Fight Cancer

By |December 21st, 2015|Health Care|Comments Off on New Legislative Opportunity to Fight Cancer

 During the last thirty years, physicians, drug researchers, patients and their families have waged a highly publicized, vigorous and gut-wrenching War on Cancer. There has been considerable public and private investment in trying to find ways to successfully treat cancer, with mixed results. In this long battle, the numbers are stark. More than 113,000 Californians […]