This Week in Sacramento History: Dec. 18-24

Dec. 18, 1969: Gov. Ronald Reagan's task force is expected to issue a report next month calculating a much higher incidence of welfare fraud than ever alleged in an official state study. Representatives of social workers organizations predict the study will be used to justify punitive anti-welfare legislation.

Quote: "The environmental problems of air and water pollution, noise, air traffic, dwindling natural resources, hunger and, yes, war are all directly or indirectly a result of a crowded earth." -- Mrs. S.B. Scobey, in a letter to the editor calling for worldwide population control

Dec. 19, 1932: Gov. James Rolph pardons 124 violators of the Wright prohibition law, which died at midnight. California voters repealed the Wright Act in the November election. Though the state is without a liquor enforcement law, Attorney General U.S. Webb has ruled that local ordinances made inoperative by Wright are again in effect.

Quote: "A Jeffersonian simplicity in the White House will be a fitting accompaniment of the return to power of the [Democratic] party which claims that great, but unostentatious, patriot as its founder." -- Bee editorial, lauding the incoming Roosevelt administration's promise to keep the inaugural ceremonies as simple as possible

Dec. 20, 1992: Increases in some state taxes and fees are scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1. Gasoline and diesel taxes will rise one cent to 17 cents. Withholding for state disability insurance increases from 1.25 to 1.3 percent on the first $31,767 earned. Residents will pay 25 cents more, or $23.90, for a basic fishing license.

Quote: "Kwanzaa was created to reaffirm our culture and the bonds between us as a people. It is constantly expanding because it serves a fundamental need of the world African community." -- Maulena Karenga, a professor at Long Beach State University, who conceived the new holiday

Dec. 21, 1961: NASA announces that the Douglas Aviation Co.'s Sacramento testing facility has been assigned the job of evaluating a new advanced third stage for the Saturn rocket that will carry men to the moon. The rocket section, dubbed the S-IVB, will be assembled in Santa Monica, then shipped to Sacramento for testing.

Quote: "The path of the [what will be the Interstate 5] freeway should also be voted upon. I still maintain it should be on the Yolo County side and not spoil the entrance to the capital city. Most of the land on the Yolo side is not utilized." -- A.F., arguing in a letter that the route of the new north-south freeway through Sacramento should be determined by voters

Dec. 22, 1879: The Sacramento Board of City Trustees holds its regular meeting this morning. The city engineer reports that 7.18 million gallons of water were pumped and 990 feet of gas coke burned during the previous week. Property owners in the vicinity of 15th and M streets petition for a street lamp.

Quote: "The Board of Education of San Francisco desires to reduce the salaries of teachers. ... It is always the poor school marms who have to save the city. The less money they get, the more there is for deserving politicians." -- Bee editorial

Dec. 23, 1971: California Finance Director Verne Orr recommends a $95.8 million appropriation in the 1972-73 state budget for pay hikes for state workers and college faculty members. Orr says that amount should cover a 5 percent cost-of-living raise for state employees and a 7 1/2 percent one for professors. The union representing government workers says the proposal is "too little, too late."

Quote: "It's the camellia coup of the century! She is by far the most important guest we have ever had." -- Ed Combatalade, of the Camellia Festival Association, announcing that first lady Pat Nixon will dedicate a grove of camellias to be named for her March 4 in Capitol Park

Dec. 24, 1953: Gov. Goodwin J. Knight urges federal officials to include money in next year's budget to resume construction of the Sacramento Deep Water Ship Channel, now 8 percent complete. In a letter to Joseph M. Dodge, U.S. budget director, Knight writes that the project will benefit 24 Northern California counties and lower transportation costs to world markets.

Quote: "To me it's the toughest time of the year. Locked in your cell, you hear the Christmas carols. ... That's the time of year you have the most regrets." -- Joe, an inmate who is living through his eighth Christmas inside Folsom State Prison