Monday, August 15, 2016

It was only a matter of time, but the “selfie” culture has made its way into the ballot box. 

The rising popularity of "ballot selfies" -- voters taking photos of themselves or their ballots while at the polls -- is now creating a legislative headache for states, many of which have laws on the books restricting voters from sharing ballot information or images.


Sacramento is working on a $3.1 billion bond measure to fix its budget-beleaguered park system.

Assemblyman Marc Levine, chairman of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, held a special hearing in San Rafael to help build awareness and detail the need for the bonds.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Firearms enthusiasts are taking aim at seven gun control bills Gov. Jerry Brown signed last month. But with little time to gather signatures for a referendum and no monetary help from the National Rifle Association, they could wind up inadvertently helping Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom make the case for his gun measure on the November ballot.

The newly formed group Veto Gunmageddon began circulating petitions Friday at gun stores and firing ranges across the state, seeking enough signatures to put the seven bills, which go into effect next year, to a popular vote -- most likely in November 2018.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Today is a big day for the Legislature. Both the Assembly and Senate Appropriations committees will meet and decide which bills escape their respective suspense files to be debated on the floor before the session concludes at the end of the month.


San Rafael officials are taking a hard look at the city’s resale inspection program, which has drawn criticism for its uneven performance and that it takes too much time to complete.

The program wound up in the political target when Assemblyman Marc Levine, a former San Rafael councilman, asked the state auditor to review its performance. The state audit also included Novato and Pasadena.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to fast-track affordable housing projects has drawn criticism from the Petaluma City Council and North Bay lawmakers, who say it removes local control over the approval process for such developments.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Five years after a state parks crisis threatened to shutter open spaces in Marin, a $3.1 billion park bond measure might end up on the November ballot.

The state bond proposal that is now working its way through the Legislature was the subject of a hearing convened by Assemblyman Marc Levine­, D-San Rafael, at the Albert J. Boro Community Center in the Canal neighborhood on Friday.


Mike Lehmkuhl’s descent from businessman and homeowner into insanity, homelessness and death on a chilly January afternoon should shock us all.

Lehmkuhl’s friends and family tried for years to intervene. But Sacramento’s law enforcement and mental health care workers failed to take the steps that might have brought him in from the cold. It’s an all-too-common dereliction.



The U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC opened the floodgates of corporate and special-interest election spending, but at least it underscored and promoted the importance of disclosure and transparency. Knowing the source of campaign money allows voters "to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages," the court wrote.

The ruling could be read as an invitation to Congress to expose political "dark money" to the light with stringent disclosure laws — but it's an invitation that Congress has yet to accept in any meaningful way.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Kate Moss has appeared on 34 covers of British Vogue and was recently recognized by the British Fashion Awards for her status as a style icon for young women. But at the peak of her fame, Britain’s wealthiest model registered a body mass index (BMI) of just 15, making her “severely thin” according to World Health Organization standards.

Moss’s low BMI is hardly the exception to the fashion industry rule: the average runway model is twenty percent underweight. Although she once declared that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” the risks associated such low BMIs and associated eating disorders include heart failure, memory loss, and osteoporosis.