David Siders / dsiders@sacbee.com

Gov. Jerry Brown delivers an impromptu lesson on early California history to Huntington Beach fourth-graders visiting the Capitol on Wednesday.

The Buzz: Jerry Brown's interest in history extends to mule meat

Published: Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

Mule meat spices up Brown's history lesson for schoolchildren

Gov. Jerry Brown's interest in history is expansive, but there are two things he appears to enjoy more than most.

The first is quizzing schoolchildren about California's earliest explorers, as he has done since before taking office in 2011.

The second is mule meat.

Happening by a group of fourth-graders on the Capitol steps on Wednesday afternoon, Brown asked if anyone had heard of the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola, and if anyone knew what year he came to California.

The students and the Democratic governor settled on 1769, and Brown went on to recount a story he told in his State of the State address in January about the fortitude of explorers who were "forced to eat the flesh of emaciated pack mules."

Brown toned it down slightly for the students, saying "they ate mule meat, and the mules weren't very healthy."

Brown, who was returning to his office from having his portrait taken on the Capitol grounds, went on to discuss how long it took for settlements to take hold in California.

As he left, he said, "That's it. That's the history lesson for the day."

– David Siders

>CAPITOL WATCH

Following the resignations of his press secretary and chief deputy press secretary, Gov. Jerry Brown has promoted Evan Westrup, 31, to oversee communications. Westrup, who will make $130,000 a year, was Brown's deputy press secretary in his 2010 campaign and joined the administration in the same capacity when Brown took office in 2011.

– David Siders

WORTH REPEATING

"For CalPERS, clean-tech investing has got an L-curve for 'lose.' Our experience is that this has been a noble way to lose money. And we're not here to lose money. We have dialed back."

JOSEPH DEAR, CalPERS' chief investment officer, in the Wall Street Journal, apparently not sharing Gov. Jerry Brown's enthusiasm for clean tech

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