The Riggs Report: Earth Day’s California origins

1969 Santa Barbara oil spill galvanized environmental movement

President Obama marked the occasion of Earth Day this week with a visit to the Florida Everglades and a speech about the environmental and economic consequences of climate change. Among those consequences, he warned, are rising seawater levels which threaten fresh water supplies and the prosperity of the state’s lucrative tourism business.

The Earth Day address marks the White House’s renewed efforts to draw public attention to the impacts on jobs, property values, and health. It’s also a proactive move that acknowledges a political reality; opposition to the President’s policies…

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The Riggs Report: The candidate rollout continues

The 2016 presidential contest appears closer than ever

Campaign season is here. Hillary Clinton’s and Marco Rubio’s launch of their presidential campaigns this week marks just the beginning of a campaign marathon that will test the candidates’ skills, their consultants’ tactics and the voters’ patience.

Rubio, the junior senator from Florida, joins Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on what will eventually be a long list of Republican hopefuls.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is raising big bucks for his planned announcement. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is still pondering whether he wants to…

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The Riggs Report: No drought of news about the drought

Water crisis promises to dominate 2015 at the Capitol

Gov. Jerry Brown’s meeting this week with agricultural and urban water officials and environmental leaders is just the latest sign that California’s Capitol has traded, for now, a fiscal crisis for a water crisis.

For many years, balancing the budget and trying to stem rivers of red ink has been the dominant conflict playing out in Sacramento. That conflict hasn’t faded entirely, of course—there are upcoming tough talks about whether California should hold the line on spending cuts, or restore funding to social services and health care.


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The Riggs Report: A Texan for Sacramento State

New campus president named to replace Alexander Gonzalez

Wednesday’s announcement that the California State University trustees had picked a Texas educator as the top administrator for Sacramento State set off all kinds of jokes and winks on social media.

“Take that, Rick Perry,” tweeted West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon.

“The moving trucks are fleeing Texas and coming to California!” read another tweet from a Democratic Senate staffer.

Not that Dr. Robert Nelsen , formerly president of the University of Texas-Pan American, isn’t qualified for the Sac State job. It’s just that his Lone Star State credentials…

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The Riggs Report: Senate slugfest ahead

Runoff for vacant seat should be lively

Steve Glazer is the Democratic candidate that labor unions despise. But he ended up the top vote-getter Tuesday in a raucous special election called to fill the Senate District 7 seat left vacant when Mark DeSaulnier was elected to Congress.

Glazer, the mayor of Orinda and a former adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown, didn’t win the race. He and fellow Democrat Susan Bonilla, a member of the Assembly, now move on to a runoff election May 19. That means another two months of hardball campaigning in Contra Costa and Alameda counties…

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Job Announcement: Digital Public Affairs Specialist

Randle Communications is seeking a Digital Public Affairs Specialist to join its award winning team. Responsibilities include: developing and executing digital strategy to support client objectives.

Duties include:
• Stakeholder mapping
• Support digital strategy development and audience segmentation
• Provide strategic insight on how best to leverage and incorporate various social media strategies and channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)
• Research the latest technologies and online trends, providing guidance to internal staff and clients
• Understand and review monitoring reports and provide recommendations based on trends and analysis


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The Riggs Report: Hillary’s warm-up act

Email spat is a preview of 2016

Depending on your political orientation, the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account during her Secretary of State tenure is either overblown media hype or a serious breach of government protocol. Either way, there’s little doubt that Clinton bungled the timing of her response.

By waiting more than a week to respond, Clinton was apparently thinking she could outwait the media; that reporters and editors would eventually move on to a story with more fuel. But her decision to stonewall backfired, especially when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, of California,…

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The Riggs Report: An old drought solution is new again

Santa Barbara looks to Pacific Ocean to quench its thirst

The news this week from the California Department of Water Resources is alarming, sobering and thirst-inducing. New electronic sensor surveys of the Northern Sierra snowpack on March 3 found the water content is only 16 percent of average for the date.

A manual survey performed by a state crew produced even more dismal results. It found the water content at Phillips, near Echo Summit, was only 5 percent of the historical average.

Statewide, new surveys found the water content to be 19 percent of average. The only…

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The Riggs Report: Choosing not to chew

New bill tries to divorce baseball from smokeless tobacco

Here’s something for them to chew on at the Capitol—or not. Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond, is carrying a bill that seeks, in effect, to upend a piece of baseball culture by banning chewing tobacco at all of California’s baseball stadiums. The idea? Stop role models from passing on a dangerous habit.

Major League Baseball has been moving to distance itself from the use of smokeless tobacco by players, asking them to keep cans out of sight and to use discretion when they’re indulging in the habit. But the big…

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The Riggs Report: The candidate who wasn’t

New Senate poll measures strong interest in Condoleezza Rice

Is it true that you always want what you can’t have? That’s certainly one way to interpret this week’s Field Poll of voter choices in the still-developing race to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the retiring Barbara Boxer.

That poll reflects substantial interest in Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state and national security adviser who traded national politics for a comfortable academic perch at Stanford University following George W. Bush’s presidency.

Specifically, the Field Poll found that Rice had the strongest showing, among a list of…

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