Politics & Government

The Buzz: Brown sees a lesson in Capitol statuary

Brown sees a lesson

in Capitol statuary

When Gov. Jerry Brown arrived in Mountain View for a speaking engagement Monday, he had on his mind two statues on the west pediment of the state Capitol building, architectural elements he said he “noticed for the first time” at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony last week.

“Have you ever stood on the west side, where the tree was and looked up at the facade of the building, where they have those guys on horses with an arrow?” he said.

According to a Smithsonian American Art Museum catalog, the sculptures are “Indian Being Attacked by a Bear” and “Indian Woman Being Attacked by a Buffalo.” Both are replicas of pieces originally installed in 1873 but removed – and lost or destroyed – during restoration of the Capitol in 1948. The replicas were installed in 1982, when Brown was governor before. The issue may find its way into next month’s State of the State address.

“They’ll never do that in a new building, right? They have all these more functional buildings,” Brown said. “I think it’s just kind of interesting, so maybe in my State of the State I’ll explain why that’s significant … You know, the architecture expresses a certain view of the world. That’s a different view than the world today. So, it’s part of our collective learning here.”

– David Siders


South Gate officials blamed a clerical error for Controller John Chiang’s latest compilation of municipal pay showing a police sergeant receiving $486,044 in 2012. City officials say a typo turned a $33,399 one-time payment to the officer into $339,999 in the data reported to the controller. Chiang’s office changed the South Gate number. But it let stand the highest entry – $545,394 to Buena Park’s city manager. Officials said the pay included the retiring manager’s cashed-out sick time.

– Dan Walters