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Aug 24, 2011

Fred Karger, a long-time GOP political activist, a Californian and the only openly gay candidate for president, says Republican officials have rejected his request to attend and address the state party convention, even though other contenders in the crowded GOP field have been encouraged to attend.


The Chronicle's Carla Marinucci tells the tale: "Fred Karger, the only Californian - and the only gay candidate - in the 2012 Republican presidential field, says he knows plenty about closed doors. But shut out by his own party - and in his own state?"


"Even as Republican leaders say they're eagerly wooing all candidates to the state GOP convention Sept. 16-18 in Los Angeles, Karger says his request to attend and address the party activists has apparently been refused."


"I have been waiting for my invitation, and it never came," Karger, 61, a 38-year resident of Laguna Beach (Orange County), told The Chronicle last week. "And I called up a couple of weeks ago and explained my position."


The State Lands Commission, the regulatory body that oversees the use of coastal waters for oil and gas exploration, among other things, has mismanaged the rental properties under its control and has lost the state millions of dollars, according to a new audit.


From Patrick McGreevy in the LA Times: "The agency manages lands the state acquired from the federal government at statehood, including river and lake beds, submerged lands along the coast and school property."


"The review found that the commission missed opportunities to generate up to $8.2 million in just some of the leases looked at by auditors. The commission is supposed to review rents periodically and increase them if necessary, but auditors said the agency failed to conduct the reviews promptly, "causing it to lose $6.3 million in increased rent it may have been able to collect.’’


"Howle estimated that the state lost $1.6 million from 10 leases where the rent was delinquent but the lessee was able to remain on state land. In one case, a boating service company in Crockett had not paid any rent since 1989, but the commission had not taken action to remove the tenant."


Okay, sports fans, you're time is coming: Fed up with fights, tailgate party excesses and even homicides, lawmakers may crack down on the fans who wage their own contests. The Mercury News' Karen de Sa, Mark Emmons and Mike Rosenberg have the story.


"Tens of thousands of pumped-up fans. Testosterone. Beer. Tailgating. Even guns. That combustible mix led to a storm of violence at Saturday's 49ers-Raiders game at Candlestick Park. Now, it has spawned a rash of remedies -- including a legislative proposal Tuesday to get tough on fighting fans."


"But just exactly how will the 49ers carry out their stepped-up pledge to bar troublemakers from ever entering the turnstile? For one, a team spokesman said Tuesday, they'll be looking harder than ever for fans who drink too much -- even before the game."


While fans are being screened and patted down for banned items upon entering Candlestick Park, the 49ers say stadium employees will turn away fans who are "obviously" too drunk. Although critics and some fans worry ticket takers, ushers and police officers could profile fans who look like trouble, the team insists it will treat everyone the same and that other NFL stadiums use a similar strategy."


California's high-security prison cells have been at the heart of controversy for years, but now prison officials have promised a review of the incarceration of the state's most dangerous inmates.


From the Bee's Sam Stanton: "I'm not talking about having another study," Scott Kernan, undersecretary at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said at a legislative hearing. "I'm talking about having some substantive changes."


"The hearing, called by Assembly Public Safety Committee Chairman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, came in response to a hunger strike that began at Pelican Bay State Prison last month by inmates protesting their living conditions."


"The strike spread to more than 6,000 inmates, including some California prisoners housed out of state, before inmates agreed to halt it after three weeks."


And now from our "HIstory and Irony"  file comes the tale of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial -- which was crafted by a Chinese artist with Chinese granite. Some people are not happy.


"However, there has been controversy over the choice of Lei Yixin, a 57-year-old master sculptor from Changsha in Hunan province, to carry out the work. Critics have openly asked why a black, or at least an American, artist was not chosen and even remarked that Dr King appears slightly Asian in Mr Lei's rendering."


"Mr Lei, who has in the past carved two statues of Mao Tse-tung, one of which stands in the former garden of Mao Anqing, the Chinese leader's son, carried out almost all of the work in Changsha."


"More than 150 granite blocks, weighing some 1,600 tons, were then shipped from Xiamen to the port of Baltimore, and reassembled by a team of 100 workmen, including ten Chinese stone masons brought over specifically for the project."





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