Smoke gets in your eyes in nicotine-stained Central Valley

Smoking is so déclassé, or so we've been told.

The smoking rate among California adults hovers at 12.5 percent, far below the national average of 19 percent. But this is a big state with many regions.

Smokers evidently are not the social outcasts in, say, Bakersfield, Redding or Sacramento County that they are in San Mateo and Atherton.

New lawmakers rise instantly to run committees on children’s policies

In a sign of how much term limits are affecting the legislative process in California, freshman legislators have been appointed to chair four out of six key committees handling education and children’s issues – even though they had no prior experience as lawmakers in the state Capitol.

The Numbers Crunch: A hard number to build solid common ground on race and deadly force debate

In the months since a police officer killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., a lot of time and energy has been spent pondering the uncomfortable question of whether police officers are too quick to kill people of color.

The lack of data either way means much of the debate has relied on anecdotes, over-generalization and stereotypes. But in California at least, there are good, hard numbers from which to draw conclusions – and it doesn't look good for those who doubt that race is a factor in the use of deadly force.

Assemblymember McCarty Highlights over $131,000 in Tax Credits Awarded to Local Businesses

Over $20 Million Awarded Statewide

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) announced that a combined total of $131,500 in tax credits were awarded to Pikios Auto LLC (Midtown Autoworks), Carrazco & Associates, and Brian Boyd Wealth Management and Insurance Sales, all located in Sacramento.  With the support of these tax credits, these businesses will add a combined total of ten additional full time employees in Assembly District 7 through the California Competes Tax Credit program.

“Sacramento, although having better recent job growth than the national numbers, still has a higher unemployment rate than the rest of the nation,” said Assemblymember McCarty.  “Programs like California Competes help improve Sacramento’s economy by allowing more businesses to hire our neighbors who are out of work.”