End of an era

Sep 27, 2012

Gov. Brown has signed a new law prohibitiong the use of dogs to hunt down bears and cougars in California, a measure that critics contend was prompted by celebrities and urban no-nothings but animal welfare advocates say is long overdue. Fourteen other states have similar laws.


From the LAT's Patrick McGreevy: "Lieu introduced the bill in the aftermath of controversy involving Daniel W. Richards, the former president of the state Fish and Game Commission, who killed a mountain lion in Idaho even though the animals are protected from sports hunting in California.  Richards refused calls by Lieu and others to resign over the dog-guided hunt, arguing it is legal to kill mountain lions in Idaho."


"The legislation drew large crowds of hunters to the Capitol while it was being considered by lawmakers. They accused Lieu of seeking revenge against Richards, and said the bill infringed on their rights as sportsmen to use a safe method of hunting."


``The passage of this bill certainly reinforces why Californians hold their elected leadership in such low regard as the governor and legislature dedicate so much of their time on such unnecessary measures as SB1221 while our state continues to suffer from record levels of crime, unemployment, and foreclosure,’’ said Josh Brones, president of California Houndsmen for Conservation.”


By more than 2-to-1, California voters favor a ballot measure that requires food label to disclose genetically engineered ingredients.


From the LAT's Marc Lifsher: "With less than six weeks until election day, Proposition 37 is supported by 61% of registered voters and opposed by 25%, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. An additional 14% were undecided or refused to answer."


"The poll showed broad support among voter groups, but the interviews took place before Tuesday's start of a major television advertising blitz by opponents aimed at changing voters' minds on the issue."


"So far, the opposition campaign has raised more than $32.5 million, collected mostly from businesses affected by the measure."


Earthquakes are bad enough, but the idea that they might be going global -- a temblor in the East triggers one in the West -- is scary indeed.


From the Chronicle's David Perlman: "Seismologists have known for more than 20 years that major earthquakes can trigger small seismic slips thousands of miles away. But the one on April 11 caused what scientists termed an astonishing increase in dangerous quake activity across five continents for at least six days, with temblors in, among other places, Japan, Alaska, Mexico and off the coast of Oregon."


"It was a highly unusual event: At least four seismic faults deep underground off the island of Sumatra ruptured within 100 seconds to create a single giant quake with a combined magnitude of 8.7. No major problems occurred anywhere on land, but its effects worldwide call for a new assessment of global dangers, said scientists reporting in the current issue of Nature."


"The quake was the largest of its kind ever recorded, they said. And two hours later a fifth fault ruptured nearby, resulting in another major quake with a magnitude of 8.2."

Mary Hayashi, an Assemblywoman who was embroiled in a shoplifting scandal, is running for Alameda County supervisor.


From the LAT's Michael J. Mishak: "The termed-out lawmaker, who was arrested last year on charges of trying to shoplift $2,500 in clothes from the Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, is running for the seat formerly held by Nadia Lockyer, who resigned from the Board of Supervisors in April amid revelations of an affair and drug addiction."


"Hayashi told the San Jose Mercury News that voters would look past the shoplifting incident, which she has characterized as an honest mistake. The lawmaker has stated that she simply forgot to pay for the items — which included a white blouse, black skirt and leather pants — because she was talking on her cellphone and got distracted."

"As part of a plea deal, a San Francisco County Superior Court judge reduced the charges against the lawmaker from felony grand theft to a misdemeanor. She was sentenced to three years probation and $180 in fines and required to stay at least 50 feet from the store on Union Square where the offense occurred."


California's new online voter registration system, prompted by legislation aimed at getting more people engaged in the political process, is drawing signups.


From Josh Richman in the Contra Costa Times: "About 110,000 Californians registered to vote online during the first week they could."


"The state’s online voter registration system went live last Wednesday as a result of SB 397 by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, which was signed into law last October by Gov. Jerry Brown."


"Secretary of State Debra Bowen said today she’s “thrilled to see the high volume,” but it’s part of the usual presidential-year deluge. “At this time four years ago, we received as many as 191,000 paper registration applications in a single week just at the Secretary of State’s office – that’s not counting the 58 county offices,” she said."

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