Supes say ‘no’ to change in Mt. Diablo’s name

The stationery lobby is furious but it is official: The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors rejected this morning requests to support changing Mount Diablo to Mount Reagan or Mount John Muir.

Save Mount Diablo, the Mount Diablo School District and the dozens of businesses that use “Mount Diablo” in their monikers can rest easy. The board will send a letter to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, the arbiter of these things, expressing the county’s support of keeping the longstanding name.

Watch video clips below of the chief proponent of the name change, Art Mijares, and an opponent, Mount Diablo State Park Superintendent Craig Mattson.

I’m with Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho on this one: Enough already. The county has a lot bigger problems, like a nearly bankrupt fire department and cuts in almost every one of its services.

Everyone appreciates that Mr. Mijares has the right, along with any citizen, to submit a name-change application. Which he has done. Several times.

With each application, he generates another round of news coverage. That’s good for Mijares; he wants to make his point that “diablo” is “devil” in Spanish, and the devil is bad and no one ought to name a major hunk of rock after evil.

But the community is clear: It’s just a name. It’s a name we’re used to. It’s a name that’s been around a long time. It’s name that reflects an aspect of historical interpretation. The devil is not a chunk of rock and dirt and trees and in fact, most devilish behavior comes in human form.

And what would Save Mount Diablo call itself? I suspect its members wouldn’t be too excited about Save Mount Reagan. And Mount Vorderbrueggen? Well, modestly speaking, of course, it’s just way too many letters.

“It’s not as though we’re waiting for the right name to come along,” added Supervisor John Gioia. “The community likes Mount Diablo.”

Perhaps the county can put a couple of extra copies of the letter in the file, just in case more applications come its way.

Here is Mount Diablo State Park Superintendent Craig Mattson:

Here is name-change proponent Art Mijares:


Garamendi signs on to insurance anti-trust bill



Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, has signed on as a co-author of legislation that would require the the health insurance industry to follow the same anti-trust laws imposed on other businesses.

The legislation comes on the heels of outcry over Anthem Blue Cross’ announcement that it would raise premiums as much as 39 percent for some customers.

“When almost every other industry colludes at the expense of consumers, we call it a crime,” Garamendi said in a prepared statement. “When the health insurance industry colludes, we call it business as usual. This legislation removes one of the most damaging weapons in the insurance industry’s arsenal: the ability to manipulate the market together behind closed doors.”

Garamendi is the former California insurance commissioner.

The Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act, H.R. 4626 was introduced by reps. Tom Perriello of Virginia and Betsy Markey of Colorado. According to Garamendi’s office, it will “restore competition and transparency to the health insurance market.”

Among its provisions, Garamendi said it removes the health insurance industry’s blanket antitrust exemption and allow federal agencies to investigate allegations of collusion.

“Anthem Blue Cross’s recent decision to increase rates on customers nearly 100 percent in the past two years, despite earning $2.4 billion in profits in the final three months of 2009, is Exhibit A of what happens when we let insurance companies operate behind a veil of legalized secrecy,” Garamendi said. “Removing the anti-trust exemption and including a robust public option are two of the most important tools available to us to improve public health and hold the insurance industry accountable for its actions.”


Facebook poaching or smart campaigning?

Mary Nejedly Piepho

Mary Nejedly Piepho

John T. Nejedly

John T. Nejedly

Contra Costa Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho says her estranged brother and county assessor candidate John T. Nejedly is hijacking her Facebook friends list.

John T. has also tried to friend the friends of her husband and Discovery Bay Community Services District member David Piepho along with two of her staff members including chief of staff Tomi Van de Brooke.

It gets even weirder. Van de Brooke and John T. are both elected trustees on the Contra Costa Community College District.

John T. sued his sister and brother, James Nejedly, after their late father, the Sen. John A. Nejedly, wrote him out of the family will. John T. eventually backed down.

He said he wouldn’t “waste his timing looking at their Facebook pages,” never sent a friend request for van de Brooke and doesn’t recall making the friend requests of the others in question.

The friending of friends’ friends is part of Facebook’s viral appeal: Your friends can friend your friends who can friend their friends and so on. The recipient of a friend request can always say no, of course.

And the definition of “friend” varies widely depending on the use of Facebook. It’s not just a social networking site for 20-somethings. Many candidates and various political causes have Facebook pages and use the site as a low-cost means broadcast to their messages.

I use my Facebook page largely for work purposes, although I do make personal posts to family and some actual, real friends. The crossover occasionally creates a perception problem, and I have fielded a few questions from readers who have incorrectly interpreted my status as  ‘friend” of this candidate or that cause as a statement of personal opinion. In every case, I agreed to the friend request only to gain access to the information.

Whether or not the Nejedly dispute is a case of poaching or paranoia, it serves as a worthy reminder: Facebook is a very public site.


Scott Brown helps Dems move jobs bill


That’s the sound of tea-partiers’ heads exploding from coast to coast as they discover that U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. – whose special election to the seat long held by the late Ted Kennedy supposedly heralded the end of the Democratic/Obama agenda – this afternoon joined all Senate Democrats but one and four fellow Republicans to invoke cloture and bring the jobs bill to a vote.

Let’s go to the Twitterverse!

lovesliberty: Seriously. What a FRAUD.RT @the_funhouse: Scott Brown goes RINO on the 1st vote, really? I mean, come on man!!!

MarkAHorne: Stupid, pork-loving, corrupt politician. Scott Brown was a symbolic victory and no more.

armywife299: Scott brown…white BO…says he is against spending …get elected…votes for more spending…White BO…make BO promices not to be kept!

BO – and by that I mean President Barack Obama – said:

The American people want to see Washington put aside partisan differences and make progress on jobs, and today the Senate took one important step forward in doing that. I’m grateful to the Democratic and Republican Senators who voted to support these investments in infrastructure and small businesses. This is one of many efforts we need to tackle our economic challenges, and we will continue to work with Congress on additional job creation measures. Jobs remain our top priority, and I look forward to working with members from both parties to get legislation signed, and the American people back to work.

UPDATE @ 5:03 P.M.: From U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.:

“The successful vote to end the filibuster on the Senate jobs bill was a breakthrough that should send a signal of hope to the families of America. I hope this is the start of a new day and that we will continue to put jobs and economic recovery over politics. I want to thank the organizations that helped make this vote possible tonight, including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the Associated General Contractors of America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Laborers International Union, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the American Public Transportation Association, AAA, the Americans for Transportation Mobility, the American Highway Users Alliance, the American Concrete Pavement Association, the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association and the Portland Cement Association.”


More on KSFO letting Lee Rodgers go

Melanie Morgan, Lee Rodgers’ former co-host on KSFO’s morning show, posted his parting missive to her Web site Saturday, two days after the station let Rodgers go.

Basically, he says Citadel Broadcasting (which owns ABC Radio, which owns KSFO) is bankrupt, mismanaged, cruel and engaging in censorship. I tried to reach KSFO/Citadel management for a reply, but got no response to an e-mail and a voice-mail.

(UPDATE @ 11:22 A.M. TUESDAY: KSFO Marketing Director Anthony Licciardi got back to me this morning. “We really don’t have much of a comment about this,” he said. “We can’t control what ex-employees say about the company once they leave.” He referred me back to the original statement posted last week to the station’s Web site.)

Read Rodgers’ letter in its entirety after the jump…
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Did Fiorina copyright her ‘Demon Sheep?’

Because if she did, Republican Attorney General candidate Tom Harman could be in a world of hurt. The state Senator from Huntington Beach used the evil ovine, that mutton of Mephistopheles, in his new Web video attacking GOP primary rival and Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley:

I assume we’ve not seen the end of that sheep. (Boy, THAT didn’t sound right.)