The five teenagers who died in the fiery bus crash on Interstate 5 near Orland on Thursday had more in common than just their destination of Arcata. These were the cream of the crop of their working-class communities, the shining lights of neighborhoods that see too many of their youngsters matriculate into state prison rather than state university.

The crowded coffee shop where I planned to spend a half-hour on the computer had one lone table with no chairs. It happens. Often, groups sitting together will borrow chairs where they can find them. Next to me at this empty table were two tables with one person sitting at each. At the first table, a gentleman had three chairs: the one he was sitting in, one empty and one on which he had set some magazines. The other gentleman had two chairs and was expecting a friend.

The Sacramento Community Center Theater is the Sleep Train Arena of performing arts centers – a hulking, gray, concrete bunker that is woefully inadequate for patrons and performers, and a high-profile architectural embarrassment for our city.

Sacramento Bee editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman: The Sebelius Rollout

The dynamic in the 4th Assembly District, traditionally a seat held by a Davis Democrat, has changed dramatically. Between redistricting and the top-two primary, the race to replace termed-out Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, a Davis Democrat, is wide open.

The Bee’s editorial board met with the three leading candidates seeking to replace termed-out Controller John Chiang. State controllers sit on the boards of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System and California Public Employees’ Retirement System, and have the authority to audit state and local spending.

We’re giving huge sums to the financial industry while receiving little or nothing in return. Four years ago Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, abruptly canceled America’s biggest and arguably most important infrastructure project, a desperately needed new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. Count me among those who blame his presidential ambitions and believe that he was trying to curry favor with the government- and public-transit-hating Republican base.

California is the only state in the western United States that does not govern its groundwater at the state level. Now the San Joaquin Valley is sinking.

Mike Ramos delivered a hard-nosed law-and-order stemwinder, exactly the sort of speech his audience had come to hear.

Re “Does wealth = health?” (Forum, April 6): As a physician, I was surprised to read Daniel Weintraub’s belief that “health care can patch us up, but it can’t really keep us healthy.”

Betty Yee, Ashley Swearegin are best choices for state controller.

Programs have widespread political support and substantial funding, but have limited success helping laid-off workers find jobs.

Powerful interests remain all too eager to kick the can down the road and push our pension problems onto future generations.

One thing that both the workers and the growers have in common is a shared disillusion with the current immigration legal system and the lame attempts to address this perennial challenge.

Ethics, schmethics. Politically, we’ve operated in a ethical free-fire zone in California since they found gold at Sutter’s Mill. Periodically, someone will lightly adjust the rules, but the essential problem is always there:

I placed the printout against the Wall and ran the blue chalk across the paper.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, during his lamentable tenure running the committee, has been reckless, dishonest, vain and prone to making unsubstantiated accusations.

Sacramento Bee editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman: Sacramento Has Talent

The state of Central California would have the lowest in per capita income in the U.S., replacing current bottom placeholder Mississippi. It wouldn’t even get to keep Sacramento.

A sculpture on the public plaza would be a welcome bonus.

Every progressive, freedom-loving American thinks he’ll stand firm when faced with a crisis of principle.

The love for and the appreciation of the power of words is disappearing, and The Associated Press is not helping matters.

This election proved that Afghanistan is not the hopeless case many Americans believe it to be.

The cartoon caption contest gave readers the opportunity to cast in on the state’s plan to truck salmon around the Delta to avoid harmful conditions due to drought.

Sacramento Bee editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman: Another bad day

A supplemental parcel tax on the June 3 ballot is a small price to pay.

Sacramento streets are not quite chaos. But it can get downright dangerous out there.

The challenges surrounding the release of Medicare billing data are not insurmountable.

As a nation, Rwanda must either forgive the unforgivable or destroy itself with rage.

Sacramento Bee editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman: Internet security

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