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Maeley Tom’s Book Explains Who She Is

Maeley Tom’s Book Explains Who She Is

First, it’s very easy for me to tell you my opinion of Maeley Tom’s new book, “I’m Not Who You Think I Am—An Asian-American Woman’s Journey,” because it’s right there in the book’s opening pages of rave reviews.

After reading and making a few suggestions on the manuscript months before the book was published, I called it “a clear-eyed but touching memoir, a guide book on how the inner workings of government in the country’s most progressive state grind along” and “an awesome, very human achievement.”

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One Space or Two? The Meaningless Debate Continues

As you know, for decades “RDA” has meant Recommended Dietary Allowance, to indicate roughly how much fruit, grain, protein, minerals and, possibly, S’mores, should be part of most people’s daily consumption. Now, thanks to a lawyer in Tampa (a place that, thank God, they keep in Florida), RDA has a new meaning for me: Ridiculous Damn Arguments.

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Christo’s Passing and a Memorable Trip Over the Grapevine

Christo’s Passing and a Memorable Trip Over the Grapevine

I was sorry to hear of the passing of the artist Christo three weeks ago, and it took until now for me to realize the role one of his California works played in my life.

As you know, Christo Vladimirov Javacheff—whom you could characterize as an environmental artist, a sculptor, a Dadaist and a supremely effective, charming conman, yet not be wrong on any count—created and executed truly monumental projects…

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Bak to the Future at Elica Health Centers

Tatyana Bak, who emigrated from what was then called the Soviet Union more than 40 years ago, wants it clearly understood that despite the vagaries of the current economy, her health center business is in expansion mode.

Later this year, Elica Health Centers will have 10 clinics and four mobile-clinic vans. It also will complete construction of a new, 20,000-square-foot building in the North Highlands-Antelope area of Sacramento County.

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Close the US Post Office? Undeliverable!

Close the US Post Office? Undeliverable!

Close the US Post Office? Undeliverable! No one’s going to close our beloved, infuriating, Constitution-protected organizationBy Ed Goldman hate to start this with a mixed metaphor—I prefer shaken, with just a hint of dry vermouth—but the...

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The Invention of Limitless Phone Calls, and Other Modern Miracles

Since I wrote (and not lovingly) about aging the other day, I’m hoping you’ll still indulge me today in a senior moment.

No, I’m not going to begin a story, forget all the details midway through then ask why Johnny Carson wasn’t on again last night (this guy sure takes a lot of days off, doesn’t he?). Nor am I going to mention finding my reading glasses in the cat’s litter box—or ask someone to provide me with “the phone number of 911.”

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For Some of Us, Memorial Day is a Day of Atonement

Memorial Day has always been a day of atonement for me since only six numbers prevented my being called up to serve in the U.S. Army in 1969.

It was during the height of the Vietnam War and the reboot of the Selective Service System’s draft lottery for the first time since 1942. Men born from January 1, 1944 through December 31, 1950, were eligible. I was born on November 15, 1950. If I’d been able to hang around in utero for another 17 days, I’d have been home free.

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Today we hear from Michigan and Southern California

Today we hear from Michigan and Southern California

The May 4 edition of The Goldman State featured reactions to the pandemic lockdown from our (gratifyingly) far-flung readership—from off the coast of Washington, from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from San Diego and from the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region of Italy.

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Surprise! Employees Like the Way Their Bosses Handle the Pandemic

Surprise! Employees Like the Way Their Bosses Handle the Pandemic

Since I’ve always believed an unwritten requirement for most jobs is “Griping, as needed or assigned,” I was surprised to learn from a recent national survey that almost 70 percent of employees in the western part of the country are “very satisfied” with how their companies have been responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. With another 26 percent saying they’re “somewhat satisfied,” that makes nearly 96 percent tickled pink or at least lavender-blush pink.

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Readers from Across the State, Country and Ocean Discuss De-Isolation Plans

Readers from Across the State, Country and Ocean Discuss De-Isolation Plans

As you know, some people in some parts of the planet, country, state, county, city and perhaps your own home, are on the verge of de-isolating and/or losing their collective minds.

While I prefer to think of it as going on a closely guarded parole, I asked some faithful readers of The Goldman State—all of whom happen to be dear friends of some duration and all of whom happen to be women (some male responses are coming in)—to share their views on what they’ve missed most during their house arrests and what they hope to plunge back into. Mindfully, natch.

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Northern California Jazz Chanteuse Valerie V Drops a CD

Northern California Jazz Chanteuse Valerie V Drops a CD

If you’ve heard that jazz is a vanished art form, you haven’t heard, “IntimateLee,” the new CD from singer Valerie V and her one-man/multi-piece band Chet Chwalik.

Recorded live at the Midtown Vanguard Jazz series in Sacramento, the album—available at her website, valsvocals.com—features 11 songs from the Great American Songbook (a never-disputed descriptor, by the way), interpreted syllable by syllable in V’s singular, surprisingly versatile voice. That voice can be sultry, childlike, husky and teasing, sometimes within a few bars of the same song.

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Tim Comstock’s “Shout-Out to Shut-ins”

Tim Comstock’s “Shout-Out to Shut-ins”

To give you an instant impression of Tim Comstock—who, in his early 70s, is writing one of the most youthfully anarchic, frequently distributed screeds about this prolonged period of sheltering at home—here’s what he says when I ask him if he considers his “Shout-Out to Shut-ins” a column or a blog:

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Steve Heath Has Been the Go-To-Guy for Nonprofits for Decades

Steve Heath Has Been the Go-To-Guy for Nonprofits for Decades

While Steve Heath has held a number of top administrative jobs in nonprofits and healthcare, he says that collecting the broken baseball bats of the great San Francisco Giants first baseman Willie McCovey and other baseball luminaries remains his career highlight. He did this when he was 11.

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Breaking News: Pandemic Restrictions Aren’t Restricted Enough!

Breaking News: Pandemic Restrictions Aren’t Restricted Enough!

Hey, what about getting haircuts during this international lockdown? wonders faithful reader Jim Drennan.

For the 15 years prior to his retirement from KCRA-TV News, Jim had been the NBC affiliate’s assignment editor here in the capital, though his background in TV goes much farther back. In an email he sent me the other day, he said, “I would imagine that most barber shops are closed since there’s no way you can give someone a haircut while maintaining that sacred social distance.”

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Golden Pacific Bank is Helping Small-Business Owners Navigate Rough Seas

Golden Pacific Bank is Helping Small-Business Owners Navigate Rough Seas

The unflappable Virginia Varela admits that she feels “a little as if were in a war zone and that I need to be at the helm.”

Varela’s ship is Golden Pacific Bank, where she’s been president and chief executive officer for seven years. The war zone she and her tram are navigating is the sea of shoals and icebergs caused by the corona virus, threatening the economic floatability of small businesses, which Golden Pacific specializes in.

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The ‘R’ Word Redefined for the Isolation Age

The ‘R’ Word Redefined for the Isolation Age

I think the definition of the word “retire” should be “to get weary again.”

The difference would be that this time around, you’d be getting weary of doing things you actually enjoy, not working at a job you finally got to leave.

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A Former Librarian Writes a Landmark Book on a Land Preservation Icon

A Former Librarian Writes a Landmark Book on a Land Preservation Icon

If we can accept a Midwest archaeologist named Henry “Indiana” Jones as an action hero, then we can certainly do the same for a former California librarian named Elizabeth “Betsy” Austin.

Austin has just written “Grand Canyon to Hearst Ranch: One Woman’s Fight to Save Land in the American West,” an incident-filled biography of Harriett Hunt Burgess, who spent 40 years attempting, with great success, to conserve hundreds of thousands of acres. Without Burgess’s efforts, it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that the Lake Tahoe region and huge swaths of California’s coastline might have been paved over to make room for office campuses, housing communities and industry.

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