Time for a cupcake shop in downtown Grass Valley?

I get around! Here’s a new cupcake shop — “Cupcake Magic” — on the renovated main drag in downtown Yuba City — Plumas Street. There’s a Sopa Thai next door (like ours in Nevada City). Downtown Grass Valley could use a cupcake shop too. “What recession? For cupcake bakers, business is booming” is here. A blog dedicated to cupcakes is here.

A sister’s eulogy for Steve Jobs

“I grew up as an only child, with a single mother. Because we were poor and because I knew my father had emigrated from Syria, I imagined he looked like Omar Sharif,” Steve Jobs’ sister, Mona Simpson, writes in her eulogy of her brother, published in this weekend’s New York Times.

“I hoped he would be rich and kind and would come into our lives (and our not yet furnished apartment) and help us. Later, after I’d met my father, I tried to believe he’d changed his number and left no forwarding address because he was an idealistic revolutionary, plotting a new world for the Arab people

“Even as a feminist, my whole life I’d been waiting for a man to love, who could love me. For decades, I’d thought that man would be my father. When I was 25, I met that man and he was my brother.”

The rest of the eulogy, which you need to read further, is here.

Michael Moore’s visit to Grass Valley this weekend

(credit: John Taber)
I get more and more local news from Facebook posts by our residents. Here’s the “scoop” on a Michael Moore/KVMR benefit book signing last night at the Baggett Auditorium at Nevada Union High School, reported here previously.

*”What a fantastic benefit with Michael Moore in Grass Valley last night! Thank you Michael for having the courage to share the stories that mainstream media often ignores and to KVMR for creating a platform for the voice of the people.”

*Great evening at the NU Theater with Micheal Moore last night. Nice to see so many friends there and inspiration for what to do next!

There was a rumor of a tea-party protest at the event, but I have not heard or read that it materialized. Feel free to share any of your thoughts if you attended.

GOP paying equivalent of up to $2 per signature to repeal redistricting map in referendum campaign

“The financial woes of the California Republican Party have been well documented. The state GOP had just over $200,000 in the bank as of July 1, but in recent days, it has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into an effort to repeal the new state Senate district lines drawn by an independent commission earlier this year,” according to the L.A. Times.

“The source of that money has been the source of some speculation in Capitol circles since it began moving late last week. Jeff Green, a spokesman for George Joseph, the head of Mercury Insurance, confirmed Tuesday that Joseph wrote the state party a $1-million check to specifically fund the state party’s efforts to have those Senate district lines redrawn.

“Green did not say why Joseph opposed the maps drawn by the commission. Even with the infusion of cash, the party is racing against the clock. It must collect more than 504,000 signatures for a potential referendum by Nov. 13, and GOP sources say they are paying up to $2 dollars per signature to try to meet the deadline.”

The rest of the article is here.

Cal football to be closed to public – to keep anyone from seeing it

The Cal Bears are headed toward their second straight losing season, having lost to Washington, Oregon, USC and now UCLA. Their coach is still the highest paid California state worker (thanks to alumni contributions too). For almost two years, I’ve suggested it’s time to replace the coach, Jeff Tedford.

First Cal was passed by Oregon (Tedford’s first test), then Oregon State, then Stanford, and now most all of the league’s teams. Tedford, a supposed whiz QB coach, can’t find a regular starter.

We used to be season ticket holders, then we canceled them. Now we’re not even watching the games much, if at all. Cal hasn’t been to the Rose Bowl since 1959. It’s tickets are being offered on Travelzoo at deep discounts.

Others are starting to listen up, though. Here’s a humorous blog post from this morning:

“The California Golden Bears have struggled through a rough season, but their leader has figured out how to put the team in the right direction. CGB has learned through unofficial sources that Cal head coach Jeff Tedford has decided to seal off the final two games at AT&T Park to the sturdy golden fans in order to maintain the proper competitive advantage for his 2011 Golden Bears,” according to California Golden Blog, a humor blog.

‘It was the right thing to do.’ Tedford said. ‘Our players just don’t get up for games in front of real crowds, no question about it.. We’ve played our best in front of half-empty stadiums comprises of curious and disinterested individuals, as well as the Colorado Buffaloes. If we’re going to make that final push to bowl eligibility, we’ll need to have the stadium at the right setting of silence to get the players playing at the level they’re capable of playing at.’

“We hope that we’ll soon be ready to play in front of a real football crowd in time for 2012, when we’ll be playing our games in a bunker underneath Lawrence Berkeley Labs.”

The rest of the article is here.

Here’s the last highlight of a Cal game that excited me – a triple overtime win against #3 ranked USC. It blocked the Trojans from making the BCS title game. But that was back in September of 2003.

“How global warming will hit home”

“When I think of Chiara’s future under climate change, nothing concerns me as much as water,” writes environmental correspondent Mark Hertsgaard in the Sacramento Bee this morning. “We live in California, a state whose economy and politics have been shaped by water – and the lack of it – since before the Gold Rush. It was in California, after all, that Mark Twain penned his immortal line, ‘Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting over.’

“Scientists project that global warming will cause both deeper droughts and fiercer floods – a fiendish paradox. Meanwhile, the laws of physics and chemistry assure that global temperatures will rise for decades to come even if emissions are reduced. The rising temperatures will, among other things, also melt snowpacks.

“In California, snowmelt is the source of nearly one-third of the freshwater supply. The Sierra Nevada snowpack will shrink by 25 to 40 percent by 2050, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

“The challenge for California, then, is to prepare for both more water and less. Alas, we still have a long way to go. And perhaps nowhere is at greater risk than the state capital.

The rest of the article is here.

Mark Hertsgaard, who lives in San Francisco, is the environment correspondent for The Nation and a fellow of the New America Foundation. He adapted this article for The Bee from his latest book, “HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth.”

Autumn storm knocks out power for 2 million in Northeast

“October, said the calendar. Before Halloween. And the 2.5 million trees occupying New York City’s open spaces confirmed it was fall — not winter — with glorious canopies of leaves stretching along their boughs,” as the New York Times reported

“Yet snow was falling. Not a light, mischievous form of frozen precipitation, either, but heavy, wet flakes driven on the gusts of an angry weather system barreling across the Northeast from the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday, cracking sturdy limbs and toppling power lines as it went. It also shattered records, threatening some more than a century old, and elicited the kinds of warnings from public officials that are not usually heard until deep in winter.

“As darkness fell, more than 1.8 million customers from Pennsylvania reaching up into New England found themselves without electricity as the region was lashed by surprisingly high winds, snowdrifts and surging seas. On a weekend that might normally have been spent raking leaves, people were forced to react quickly — retrieving shovels, charging batteries, finding fuel for generators, searching for boots and mittens and checking refrigerators and cupboards.”

The rest of the article is here.