Monday, March 16, 2009

California Academic Decathalon

March 15, 2009 - Sacramento:

More than 500 competitors from 60 California high schools, with their coaches and parents, filled the cavernous Sacramento Memorial Auditorium for the last event in a grueling two-day match to select the brainiest team of high schoolers in the state.

Moorpark High School took top honors in the 30th Annual California Academic Decathlon on Monday, setting the stage for the reigning national champion team to defend its title next month. Moorpark High set a record last year for the highest score in the statewide competition.

El Camino Real High School placed second this year in the state competition.

Prop 1A- Special Elections 2009

Largest State Tax Increase or Responsible Budget Management?

California Proposition 1A, also known as the Budget Stabilization Act, will appear on the special, statewide May 19, 2009 ballot in California as part of a package that state legislators believe will fix the state's budget problems.

Proposition 1A will extend for as long as four years the approximately $16 billion tax increase that is part of the budget deal struck in Sacramento. It will also impose a limit on the amount the state can spend each year.

Although six of the seven statewide ballot propositions on the May ballot (1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E and 1F) are intended to close an approximately $42 billion budget gap. A new report by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said in early March that tax revenues flowing into the state treasury are "well below" the projections it used earlier in the year, and that California's government now faces an additional $8 billion gap in addition to the earlier $42 billion gap.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More Snow in California Ski Resorts

It was just in the nick of time, as warm temperatures had been threatening mountain resorts' snow conditions for two weeks. The weather let up Monday (for an amazing powder day, I might add) with just a few snow flurries and is expected to return to crisp, sunny skies Tuesday. Here's how some west coast resorts stacked up on Monday:

  • Mountain High reported two inches of natural snowfall matched with overnight temperatures in the teens, which enabled the resort to make more snow.

  • Over the hill at Bear Mountain natural accumulation was four inches. Snowmaking is expected to continue for several days.

  • Mammoth Mountain reported five feet of fresh snow accumulated over the last four days.

  • Northstar-at-Tahoe reports a seven-day snowfall total of two feet at the summit.

  • There was plenty of shredding to be had at Sierra-at-Tahoe, too, where 34 inches were recorded at the summit over the weekend.

  • Nearby Kirkwood Mountain Resort was graced with up to 39 inches of snow, reporting that the top foot of snow is lighter than the snow underneath it.
  • Fiscal Aid to California

    An economic stimulus package working its way through Congress could provide $10 billion in federal relief over the next two years for California's public schools, raising optimism among educators that it might ease cutbacks caused by the state's budget crisis.

    The money is part of an $825 billion stimulus package the House of Representatives is expected to vote on today. It contains about $140 billion for schools nationwide.

    The package would provide millions of dollars to most school districts in the Bay Area and across the state for construction, special education and help for low-income students.

    "This does not solve the fiscal crisis, but it does throw us a lifeline," state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell said Tuesday.

    Although no package has been approved, California educators are salivating over what could be the largest infusion of one-time federal cash for schools in the state's history.

    California is facing a $42 billion budget gap over the next 18 months, and state lawmakers have yet to agree on how to close it. With the state on the brink of running out of cash, California hopes to borrow money to keep short-term cash flowing.

    Friday, January 9, 2009

    Stay in Crescent City


    Crescent City Comfort Inn

    100 Walton St, Crescent City, CA 95531;

    Location: Southside near Crescent City Harbor

    This 100 percent non-smoking hotel is located at Gateway to the Redwood Forest and offers large rooms, some with partial ocean views.
    Many of the rooms and suites have a balcony and a large whirlpool bath.
    Guestroom Amenities at the Comfort Inn include in-room coffee service, 25-inch TV, microwave, refrigerator, ironing board,
    iron, clock radio, hair dryer, cable and HBO.

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009

    Ski Season is Booming

    Big Bear Mountain Tour

    Wrightwood, CA - Mountain High Resort in Wrightwood is reporting a record-breaking holiday season, with skier visits up more than 40% over last year for the two-week Christmas period.

    Whale Watching is Back

    California Whale Watching Tours : Jan-Mar

    From January through March, some 28,000 Pacific Gray Whales make their annual migration up along
    the coast to their summer Alaska feeding grounds. During the summer Blue and Humpback Whales also
    come to visit the local waters delighting visitors with upclose encounters.

    California has several major world class aquarium exhibits and a number of lessor ones with a major emphasis on exploring life and habitat of the California Coastline.

    The several major aquariums can provide a lot more info about guided VIP whale watching tours.

    Tour Monterey Bay Aquarium - Monterey CA

    Since it first opened in 1984, this facility has quickly evolved into one of the most unique and most popular attractions in America. It features many award-winning exhibits that are rich in information about the many animals, plants and natural habitats of our oceans with a special emphasis on the Pacific Ocean.

    Aquarium of the Pacific - Long Beach CA

    It takes more than an ordinary aquarium to lead you on journey of discovery of the world's largest ocean. Special exhibits let your dive into a unique exploration of sunny Southern California and Baja, the frigid waters of the North Pacific, and the colorful reefs of the Tropical Pacific.

    California Coastal National Monument

    Established in 2000, the California Coastal National Monument runs the entire length of the California coast (1,100 miles) between Oregon and Mexico, extends 12 nautical miles from the shoreline, and encompasses thousands of BLM administered islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles above mean high tide.

    Cooperatively managed with other federal, state, local overnment, universities, and private interests, the primary purpose of the Monument is to protect important biological and geological values. The islands, rocks, reefs, and pinnacles provide forage and breeding grounds for significant populations of birds and sea mammals.