"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger drew immediate criticism Thursday
for declaring that the state's Board of Chiropractic Examiners should represent chiropractors despite the panel's mission statement of protecting the public," reports the Bee's Kevin Yamamura.
"The Republican governor made the remark as he tried to distance himself from his own chiropractic appointees, including two of his earliest bodybuilding friends, after the board took questionable actions last week that consumer advocates say favor the chiropractic industry.
"'They run their board by themselves, independent of us,' Schwarzenegger said after touring the San Joaquin County jail in French Camp to promote his prison plan. 'We don't give them directions. What is important is that the chiropractic board represents the chiropractors. And each board represents their profession.
"Julie D'Angelo Fellmeth
, administrative director for the Center for Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego, said the governor's comment 'represents a fundamental misunderstanding of these boards. This board is supposed to regulate the chiropractic profession in the public interest, not in the interest of the chiropractic profession.'"
The Oakland Tribune's Mike Taugher writes that the governor is finding resistance to his plan to retract deferred maintenance funds from state park system
. "Last year, lawmakers and the governor set aside $250 million to begin addressing what was at the time a $900 million backlog. Since then, the price has soared to $1.2 billion.
"But Schwarzenegger, trying to balance a tight budget in the face of declining tax revenues, is asking lawmakers to return $160 million of the $250 million.
"The governor is running into resistance.
"'I don't think that's a good idea," said Assemblywoman Lois Wolk
, D-Davis, chair of the water, parks and wildlife committee. 'If you don't maintain the parks now, in the long run either you can't use the parks or it costs twice as much to replace the bathrooms, the tent cabins and the gravel roads and the paved roads.'
"'I hope the governor will change his mind' when budget revisions are submitted in May, Wolk added."
Meanwhile, "[t]he call of rising India is ringing too clear for American business world not to hear and California's actor-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, is likely to be next to arrive later this year at the head of a business delegation
"Schwarzenegger may visit India in November, along with a business team from the west coast state, David T Hopper
, US Consul General in Chennai for the south Indian states, said in Chennai on Friday.
"He was speaking at a welcome gathering for an American business team touring India as part of the Indo-US Economic Summit.
"Business teams from other states in the US will also visit India in the next few months, he said."
The Register's Brian Joseph writes that California lawmakers generally don't receive a generous benefits package
"Readers first encouraged me to look into lawmakers' benefits several months ago, when I wrote about the fancy cars the state buys for them. Understandably, readers thought that if lawmakers could have virtually any car they chose – including a $41,000 canary yellow Mustang – then certainly they must have unbelievable health and retirement benefits.
"But it's just not so.
"Compared with the private sector or Congress, lawmakers' taxpayer-funded benefits are downright pedestrian. In fact, legislative staffers in most cases have better benefits than the lawmakers they serve.
"'The run-of-the-mill legislator doesn't get a lot of perks,' said Tony Quinn
, a former commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission and co-editor of the Target Book, which handicaps elections in the state. 'In Congress, there's a lot more.'
"As for health benefits, lawmakers receive virtually the same as state workers at the supervisor level. Lawmakers and supervisors in, say, Caltrans, have the same five options of heath plans with nearly identical monthly contributions – although it's probably not a burden for lawmakers with their high salaries.
"Legislative staffers, however, have the option of a sixth health plan and their monthly contributions to the other plans are less, and, in some cases, even zero. Employees of the Legislature also top lawmakers in dental and vision benefits – what's free for staffers requires a monthly premium for lawmakers.
"And staffers, like other government employees, have pensions, too.
, secretary of the Senate, told me he wasn't exactly sure how legislative staffers got some of their additional benefits – "It's always been that way." – but said it underscored how little lawmakers receive. "Everyone else is entitled to (a pension). These are the only people who are absolutely blocked," he said.
"The only benefit where lawmakers top their staffers is in life insurance paid for by the state. Staffers are eligible for $50,000 of term life insurance while lawmakers are eligible for up to $250,000. If lawmakers opt for anything over $50,000, however, it's added to their taxable earnings. And the policy is maintained only while the lawmakers are in office."
"After commending a roomful of Sikh activists for successfully influencing public policy, the State Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to remove a picture Sikh leaders find offensive
from future printings of a textbook and to cover it -- with a sticker -- in copies now circulating in California schools," reports Laurel Rosenhall in the Bee.
"The picture that upset the Sikh activists appears in a seventh-grade history book called "An Age of Voyages: 1350-1600." It is a reproduction of a 19th century painting that shows the founder of their religion in the style of a Muslim chieftain, with a short beard and mustache and wearing a golden crown on his head.
"Sikhs representing temples across Northern California asked the board to replace that picture with one that shows Guru Nanak with a long beard and mustache and a turban on his head -- the way Sikhs believe he looked when he created the religion in the 1500s. Observant Sikhs still dress in this fashion; they wear turbans and do not trim their facial hair."
From our Old Dog New Tricks Files, Joe Baca says he may change his ways
after almost being taken out as head of the Congressional Latino Caucus, reports the Sun's George Watson. 'I'm willing to adapt and change,' Baca said. 'I got elected as a legislator to enact legislation and make changes.'"
"He added, 'We need to deal with the issues at hand. We need to move forward.'"
Does that mean he no longer thinkgs Loretta Sanchez is a whore?
Finally, "[w]hen John Cornwell graduated from Duke University last year, he landed a job as software engineer in Atlanta but soon found himself longing for his college lifestyle.
"So the engineering graduate built himself a contraption to help remind him of campus life: a refrigerator that can toss a can of beer to his couch with the click of a remote control
"'I conceived it right after I got out,' said Cornwell, a May 2006 graduate from Huntington, N.Y. 'I missed the college scene. It embodies the college spirit that I didn't want to let go of.'
"It took Cornwell, 22, about 150 hours and $400 in parts to modify a mini-fridge common to many college dorm rooms into the beer-tossing machine, which can launch 10 cans of beer from its magazine before needing a reload.
"With a click of the remote, fashioned from a car's keyless entry device, a small elevator inside the refrigerator lifts a beer can through a hole and loads it into the fridge's catapult arm. A second click fires the device, tossing the beer up to 20 feet – 'far enough to get to the couch,' he said."
American ingenuity in action.