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CALIFORNIA DATELINE / PATT MORRISON

Snapshots of life in the Golden State. : Driving Each Other Crazy on Sacramento's Streets

August 06, 1993|PATT MORRISON

Just because the Legislature is off fishing or making beaded belts is no reason to pass up an opportunity to razz it. So herewith is Term Limits Headache No. 104: Sacramento's stressed-out drivers. "I've worked in Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Sacramento," says California Highway Patrol spokesman Rick Sullivan, "and I can honestly say Sacramentans are the worst drivers I've seen in the state." Sullivan must be a valorous man to say such things at a time when they're cutting back in Sacramento.

What State Workers Earn

Below are state salaries for workers in selected categories with at least three to four years of experience. Salaries listed reflect a 4.7% pay reduction from 1991 because of state budget cuts. Staffing levels may change as budget priorities continue to be set.

Workers % of state Job Annual salary in group work force Staff counsel $33,840--$56,784 660 0.4 Prison guard 28,020--40,548 12,250 7.7 CHP officer 33,372--40,536 5,200 3.3 Accountant 25,620--38,076 350 0.2 Admin. analyst 23,232--36,264 1,450 0.9 Park ranger 28,920--34,752 400 0.3 Caltrans worker 23,676--25,704 1,400 0.9 Clerk/typist 18,612--22,608 8,400 5.2 Firefighter 17,472--21,228 0-1,500 seasonal

Source: state Department of Personnel Administration

Compiled by Times researcher Tracy Thomas

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And obedience school for your little dog, too: If California votes for vouchers in November, by the next Halloween you may be able to take your children to a Concord witches school. The Oak Haven witch coven would like to run a regular school with the three Rs, but also bring a whole new meaning to spelling bees. Pro-voucher folk call it scare tactics, anti-voucher people say we told you so. No, really, insists Oak Haven priestess Debbie Babcock: The children of pagans are slighted in public schools, sold a bill of goods about witches as child-eating monsters. She told the San Francisco Chronicle: "The Christians are doing it. If you can't beat them, join them."

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Tanned, rested and wedded: Under the very gazebo where Tricia Nixon tied the white satin knot with Edward Cox in the White House Rose Garden these many administrations ago, you too can commit wedlock. The Nixon Presidential Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, nine acres of the citrus grove that patriarch Frank Nixon once worked, is not only the repository of Nixon memories, including the gazebo, it can be the place where you make memories as well: For a fee, it's available for weddings and receptions. And why not? This is California; people here get married in cemeteries and in sky-diving formations. Of the more than 50 couples who have committed matrimony, none has reported an 18 1/2-minute gap in their wedding videotape.

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Speaking of political bedfellows . . . This week, Assembly Speaker Willie Brown and former Olympics and Rebuild L.A. jefe Peter V. Ueberroth were getting along so well on the "Larry King Live" show that Brown at one point suggested that Ueberroth would make a good governor. Asked about it the morning after in the hallways of Sacramento, Brown, in uncharacteristically casual striped shirt and slacks, drolly pleaded the Jack Daniels defense: "I was drunk, obviously." No reaction from Ueberroth on the disengagement.

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Cover charge: Probably blushing to its roots, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors had to cut a $3,499 check to recompense a Santee man for the loss of his custom-fitted toupee while he was in the slammer on marijuana and weapons charges. Hairpieces, like knives, cash and cigarette lighters, are not permitted behind bars--remember Michael Milken?--so deputies checked this one into the property room. But when the inmate bailed out, he had to bail out bald: the faux locks had vanished from under lock and key. All that officials can figure is that a balding trustee made off with it. "They routinely steal from each other," sighed Dan Greenblat, special assistant to Sheriff Jim Roache. "We paid out over $20,000 in claims last year."

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