Does California need the high-speed rail project? The New York Times
published six opinion pieces debating the merits of the $90 billion high-speed rail plan that would connect Los Angeles to San Francisco. Streetsblog has a summary of the six opinions. [more inside]
was a California (by way of Uruguay and Boston) painter, sculptor, author, photographer and, most notably, map-maker. He sculpted the many figures
on the Monterey County Courthouse and designed the chapel in the Carmel mission
. He spent three years living with and photographing
the Navajo and Hopi in Arizona. He authored and illustrated a number of children's books
. Of all his many talents, Mora was probably best known for his unique maps
("cartes" as he called them) of the West. He created incredibly detailed maps, interesting, funny and maybe anachronistically racial, of California
. Music fans will recognize Mora's work from the Byrds' 1968 album Sweetheart of the Rodeo
(full carte here
A short film about the last paper shop, and the last letterpress, in Los Angeles. "There are days go by that there can be absolutely no business at all."
, the California Supreme Court announced that the proponents of Prop 8 have standing to defend it.
The full decision is here
(.pdf). [more inside]
During the cold war Wartburg and Skoda exported cars from the Eastern Bloc to the United States. An action that was . . . controversial. One dealership received both love and hate mail
newest piece of financial disaster tourism came out a few days ago, relating his take on California's Bond problems. Some
think that he didn't interview the right experts in the field and that the lesson of the city of Vallejo have already been internalized by city managers.
of the Bankruptcy code, governing municipal bankruptcies has been used less than 600 times since 1937. This means that the case law is still relatively undeveloped. Only in 2009 did it become clear that municipalities could void union contracts for public workers
. [more inside]
"No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that a rubbish dump being created would, in the space of a century, become a protected area. Yet that is exactly what happened to what has come to be known as Glass Beach
, just outside Fort Bragg in California." [more inside]
Kudzu and the California Marriage Amendment
Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry: Initiative Constitutional Amendment
SECTION I. Title
This measure shall be known and may be cited as the "California Marriage Protection Act."
SECTION 2. Article I. Section 7.5 is added to the California Constitution, to read:
Sec. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
The biggest problem is that laws like the California initiative will make the courts decide who is male and who is female — and all available decision criteria create unavoidable miscarriages of justice that will, or should, dismay initiative proponents.
You're probably thinking, about now, that I'm going to exaggerate the sex-definitional 1 problem: Probably, you and everyone you know is unambiguously male or female — or at least has always believed himself or herself to be so, and nobody's challenged that, and nobody's likely to.
That's true, absolutely: Only maybe one live birth in 100 has some non-standard sex anatomy, and genetic anomalies are slightly rarer than that. However, let's talk about those 1-in-100 or 1-in-1000 cases — because those could be you, or your aunt, or your best friend — and because our system of law has to deal with 1-in-1000 situations, too.
"The way I look at it, what I created can and may already have resulted in the [execution] of an innocent person." Donald Heller is partly responsible for turning California's death row into the most populous and expensive in the nation. So why'd the lawyer known as "Mad Dog" change his mind?
Last month, California decided to shutter
70 of its 278 state parks. "70in70
is an attempt to create memories before history outpaces us: 70 state parks are slated for closure this year, and we intend to visit each one within the next 70 days
A camera can survive in the sea, apparently.
A man finds camera on the beach, rescues the SD card and puts all of them on flickr
in an effort to find the original owner.
In CA-36, Democrat Calls For Blanket Condemnation Of Stunning New Web Ad.
Initially, businessman Craig Huey, a tea party Republican, did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did the Los Angeles County GOP. Eventually, Huey's campaign manager stated, "If I could wave a magic wand and take it down, I would.
The video was created by Turn Right USA PAC.
"Theme from Confusion Range
" is the first
music videos, each shot by a different independent director, for LA desert rock band Spindrift
's next album "Classic Soundtracks Vol. 1." Songwriter Kirpatrick Thomas, who takes many of his sonic cues from Ennio Morricone said, "the album is an homage to our love of film scoring and the medium which surrounds it
." [more inside]
(1829-1916) was an early western
photographer, notable for his views of San Francisco
. Watkins made his images with a custom built "Mammoth"
18x22" glass plate camera. [more inside]
The Lazarus File. "In 1986, a young nurse named Sherri Rasmussen was murdered in Los Angeles. Police pinned down no suspects, and the case gradually went cold. It took 23 years—and revolutionary breakthroughs in forensic science—before LAPD detectives could finally assemble the pieces of the puzzle. When they did, they found themselves facing one of the unlikeliest murder suspects in the city’s history." [more inside]
Ed Watson and Derence Kernek have been together for forty years (SLYT).
Last summer, 78-year-old Ed Watson was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. His greatest fear is that he will "lose the ability to recognize [his] beloved Derence when he gets on his knee to propose." This
is their heartbreaking plea to the California Supreme Court to rethink its refusal to expedite key Proposition 8 hearings
Hate Man. "How a New York Times reporter dropped out and became a hate evangelist in Berkeley." [more inside]
When the sun goes down, it's time to hit the streets. Dusty
is a cat burglar.
Something going right in California? Yes! Gov. Brown has adopted
a First Dog
! [more inside]
As California goes, so goes the country, they used to say. Well, yikes. Golden State
, an n+1
piece by Nikil Saval, presents a bleak picture of paralysis and conflicted interests that has rendered "The Bellwether State" all but inoperable. (via Arts & Letters Daily)
'Analysis: Texas vs California: A tale of two budget deficits'.
'Texas Governor Rick Perry treated guests to a barbecue lunch paid for by a wealthy businessman. Supporters of California Governor Jerry Brown munched on hot dogs at a union-sponsored picnic. The stark contrast in inaugural menus last month highlights the different approaches the two most populous U.S. states are taking to deal
with massive budget deficits. Perry, a Republican, campaigned on the strength of the Texas economy and made political hay of the fact the Lone Star state had avoided California's massive deficit, pegged at $25.4 billion through the upcoming budget year. Now Texas faces a budget deficit estimated as high as $27 billion
for the upcoming two-year cycle of 2012-2013. To close the gap, state legislators have proposed steep cuts in funding to education and welfare programs.' [more inside]
Two years ago, Mann says, he had never seen a pot plant. Today, he envisions weGrow becoming the "Wal-Mart of Weed", a vertically integrated chain of big-box stores perfectly positioned to cash in on California's booming marijuana industry as it moves from the shadows to the mainstream. In this "green rush" for semi-legal weed, Mann and his partner Derek Peterson, a 36-year-old investment banker, seek to be the modern equivalents of Levi Strauss and Samuel Brannan—the Gold Rush entrepreneurs who made a killing not from mining, but from selling pans, pickaxes, and victuals to the forty-niners.
A box of raisins saves a family from the Nazis.
The Pop Laval Foundation in Fresno, CA adds an interesting WWII story to a historical photo from a local raisin processing plant.
176 Horn Lane, Acton, London
, probably isn't an address you think of when it comes to death sentences in Arizona and California. It is the home of a small driving school. And Dream Pharma
, a mom and pop pharmaceutical wholesaler. [more inside]
Blue Shield of California seeks rate hikes of as much as 59% for individuals.
'Insurer says the increases result from fast-rising healthcare costs and other expenses resulting from new healthcare laws. The move comes less than a year after Anthem Blue Cross tried and failed to raise rates as much as 39%.''Nearly 1 in 4 of the affected customers will see cumulative increases of more than 50% over five months.''Michael Fraser, a Blue Shield policyholder from San Diego, learned recently that his monthly bill would climb 59%, to $431 from $271.''Anthem's attempt to raise rates by up to 39% led to national outrage and helped President Obama marshal support for his healthcare overhaul. The insurer was ultimately forced to back down, accepting maximum rate hikes of 20%.' [more inside]
"If you get arrested in California, better hope there are no incriminating texts or e-mails or sensitive data
stored on your phone. On Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled [PDF]
that police in that state can search the contents of an arrested person's cell phone." [more inside]
California's ailing Republicans: A dying breed?
'Republicans are relishing the coming of a new day on Capitol Hill. But across the country in California, the party of Nixon and Reagan is drifting toward obscurity. The latest sign of imperiled health: In a year Republicans notched big victories in Congress, governor's offices and statehouses around the nation, California Democrats made a clean sweep of eight statewide contests on Nov. 2. Democrats padded their majority in the Legislature, where the party controls both chambers and no congressional seats changed parties. California counted more registered Republicans in 1988 than it does today, even though the state population has since grown by about 10 million.''It's been said the future happens first in California, and the state hit a little-noticed milestone this month that will have implications in voting booths for years to come. For the first time, Hispanics account for more than half the students in the state's public schools. They will be tomorrow's voters.' [more inside]
A former magazine writer in his late fifties moves to San Diego and lives on very little money indeed. In the October 1977 issue of The Atlantic, he describes the stratagems behind his thriftiness
. [more inside]
Lookout Mountain Laboratories (Hollywood, CA) was originally built in 1941 as an air defense station. But after WWII, the US Air Force repurposed it into a secret film studio which operated for 22 years during the Cold War. The studio produced classified movies for all branches of the US Armed Forces, as well as the Atomic Energy Commission, until it was deactivated in 1969. During this time, cameramen, who referred to themselves as "atomic" cinematographers, were hired to shoot footage of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and the South Pacific.
Some of their films have been declassified and can be seen here. [more inside]
The acclaimed Los Angeles Times political cartoonist Paul Conrad
is dead. [more inside]
"Out of the blue, in the middle of a recession, the phone rang. What would it cost, the caller asked the founder of DonorsChoose.org
, to fund every California teacher's wish list posted on the Web site? The founder, Charles Best, thought perhaps the female caller would hang up when he tossed out his best guess: "Something over $1 million," he told her. A day later, Hilda Yao, executive director of the Claire Giannini Fund mailed a check of more than $1.3 million to cover the entire California wish list, 2,233 projects in all, with an extra $100,000 tossed in to help pay for other teacher needs across the country. (DonorsChoose: previously on MeFi) [more inside]
NASA once sent a robot in
- and nobody ever saw the machine again or collected any scientific data from it... [more inside]
In honor of 9/02/10, 90210Locations
8 poeple died
on Saturday, August 14th when an off-road truck race driver accidentally veered into the crowd of spectators in California's Mojave Desert
. Andrew Therrien
, 22, was there and pushed three people out of the way when the truck jumped off course, saving their lives. One of them was his three-year-old daughter. Therrien was killed instantly
With a ruling scheduled
today on Prop 8 — the California ballot measure that took away the right to marry from same-sex couples — Dave Fleischer has an in-depth analysis
of all of the polling data
on Prop 8, and his findings include some counter-intuitive numbers, like that the confusing wording actually ended up helping the No vote more than the Yes.