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Briefs

Race Report Card

Last week, Oakland-based public-policy institute the Applied Research Center (ARC) released a report card on state government based on how public officials voted last year on 10 bills identified by ARC as having "the most direct positive impact on communities of color in the state." The bills ranged from efforts to improve access to higher education for minorities to defining what constitutes a hate crime. The good news is that the North Bay's 2004 legislative contingent, assemblymembers Patti Berg, Pat Wiggins and Joe Nation, and senators John Burton and Wesley Chesbro, were all awarded A's. In fact, overall, the Legislature's majority party averaged an A in the grading. The bad news is that Republicans, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, averaged an F, dragging the state down to a C. Shouldn't they be grounded for that or something?

Low-Wage Lament

The North Bay's state politicians may have scored high when it comes to racial equality, but the area's economy continues to get lousy marks from New Economy, Working Solutions, the nonprofit research organization chaired by Santa Rosa Junior College professor Marty Bennett. The organization releases "The Limits of Prosperity," its most recent report on the economies of Mendocino, Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties, at a special forum on March 5, from 9am to 11:30am, at SRJC. "The burden of poverty has been shouldered disproportionately by minorities in the North Bay," the study finds, noting that "Latinos and Native Americans are nearly three times as likely as whites to be poor; blacks are twice as likely; and Asians are one-third more likely to be poor." For more info on the forum, contact 707.545.7349, ext. 221.

Don Wan

On Feb. 25, Donald Huberty, the 76-year-old former Sonoma County resident whose legal battle with Charles Schwab Inc. was recently detailed in these pages ("On His Own," Feb. 9), was ordered by Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Allan D. Hardcastle to enter arbitration with the discount securities broker. Hardcastle told Huberty he must enter arbitration with the National Association of Security Dealers no later than June 24 or the case will be dismissed. Huberty, who lives in Costa Rica, hopes to appeal the decision.

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From the March 2-8, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

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