| Feb 9, 2013
In middle school, my daughter had a friend who'd spent most of her life in foster care. During the next few years, the girl would pass through almost a dozen foster families, group homes and probation camps.
She had a habit of running away when she felt...
| Oct 17, 2012
| 4:57 PM
SACRAMENTO — Proposition 32 is stark proof that often you can tell a ballot initiative by its cover.
Its promoters call their measure "The Stop Special Interest Money Now Act."
To pilfer an old Lily Tomlin line: No matter how cynical I get, I can'...
| Nov 4, 2012
| 10:41 PM
SACRAMENTO — If you're still scratching your head over the long list of state ballot propositions, here's a voter's guide.
It's not to be confused with those slick home mailers, often produced by political profiteers masquerading under some phony...
| Dec 21, 2008
So you think you've got it bad this holiday season? Here's a story that will put things in perspective for you, no matter how grim your job prospects or how invisible your shrinking retirement fund.
The other day, at their invitation, I met Kerry Himmel,...
| Feb 20, 2013
| 4:19 PM
SACRAMENTO — Except for illegal immigrants, no group has more at stake in the national fight over immigration reform than California farmers.
"It doesn't pay to plant a product if you can't harvest it," notes Mark Teixeira of Santa Maria, who says...
| Feb 23, 2013
| 4:55 PM
If you're like me, your mailbox is getting stuffed with political mailers.
What to do?
The best course of action is to take a shovel and dig a hole in the backyard, toss the mailers in and set them ablaze.
At best, they're filled with useless...
| Oct 13, 2012
| 5:59 PM
So last week, I wrote about a Palos Verdes businessman who serves on the local school board, where budget cuts have been so devastating he intends to vote for two state ballot propositions that would prevent more slashing, hoping one of them gets the...
| Jun 9, 2013
| 5:41 PM
SACRAMENTO — When federal agents raided state Sen. Ron Calderon's Capitol office last week, it jogged memories of the FBI's sweeping Shrimpscam sting 25 years ago.
Fourteen politicos — legislators, lobbyists, staffers — were...
| May 30, 2012
FRESNO — It was around 2 o'clock, temperatures rising under an arcing sun, when I met two workers on a peach farm near here recently.
One had first entered the country illegally nearly 40 years ago but later became a U.S. citizen at a time when the...
| Mar 11, 2013
| 1:15 AM
SACRAMENTO — State Sen. Jerry Hill grew up in San Francisco and vividly remembers the rare suffocating days of late summer when the fog fled and people sweltered.
The city's natural air conditioner clicked off, temperatures soared into the 90s and...
| Jul 16, 2008
Way back in my cub days at the Oakland Tribune, the paper I read growing up, I learned to check the bulletin board every day to see who the owner was. We had four of them in six years, and a wise man would have known then to leave journalism for dry-...