Opinion

Ask Wilton Rancheria chairman Hitchcock if Chief Wahoo is amusing

Good morning. On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Take that

He may have been too late to head off the trademark fight that has thrown some of Yosemite’s most iconic place names into question, but Assemblyman Ken Cooley still hopes to protect other publicly owned landmarks from a similar fate.

Last month, after a spurned concessionaire essentially forced the National Park Service to rebrand the venerable Ahwahnee Hotel and other historic park sites, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law co-sponsored by Cooley that prevents concessionaires from trademarking historic park names. Under the California Heritage Protection Act, those who even try will be disqualified from bidding on vending contracts.

Now, Cooley wants to go national with the boycott. In a letter this week to 152 lawmakers in 49 states, he called on other legislatures to pass their own Heritage Protection Acts when they reconvene in January. Private businesses, Cooley wrote, shouldn’t “improve their bottom line on the backs of public spaces.”

We agree. As we wrote earlier this year, what happened in Yosemite is almost physically disgusting to most Californians. As is that unfortunate sign on the poor old Ahwahnee that now says “Majestic Yosemite Hotel.” –Shawn Hubler, @ShawnHubler

Take a number: $1,980

Politicians truly don’t give up power easily, as evidenced by how they’re starving California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission. In a state with a $172 billion budget, the commission operates on $90,000 a year, though it will have a shortfall of $67,000, largely because it’s fending off a suit challenging its legitimacy. The commission has no travel budget. It’s one part-time employee works out of her home. To save money, the commission moved its files into a storage locker, at an annual cost of $1,980.

Our take

Erika D. Smith writes about Raymond “Chuckie” Hitchcock’s memory of Chief Wahoo, and recalls the time when she was 15 and holding her sign as slightly drunken, middle-aged men scowled on their way to Jacobs Field. Some were shirtless with their chests painted. A few paused long enough to slur their version of a war chant. More than two decades later, not much has changed. The World Series offers a timely reminder that racist mascots need to go.

Editorial: Outside California, politicians score easy points by jeering at supposedly crazy ideas that originate here. But good-government types in many other states understand that California’s truly independent redistricting commission is a reform worth copying.

Endorsement: With snazzy apartment buildings and the architectural wonder known as The Barn springing up along the Sacramento River, there’s no question that West Sacramento’s fortunes are rising. Here are our recommendations for City Council members who can continue the progress.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Capitola Police Chief Rudy Escalante debate the merits of Proposition 63, the gun and ammunition control initiative.

Newsom: Proposition 63 will reduce gun violence and send a message to the NRA.

Escalante: Proposition 63 would complicate gun laws and hamper law enforcement.

Here’s our take on Proposition 63, and a list of pro and con arguments we’ve published on the 16 other statewide ballot measures. Miles to go before we rest.

Not that Joe Mathews smokes anything and he doesn’t drink anything harder than ginger ale, but his studied conclusion is that California should create its own pot cartel.

Diana Miglioretti: Revised guidelines recommend later screening for breast cancer.

Their take

Kansas City Star: Nearly seven months have passed since President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the seat left open by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. If Hillary Clinton defeats Donald Trump on Election Day, Obama should withdraw Garland’s nomination. We disagree.

Charlotte Observer: Five things you should know about Obamacare’s rate hikes.

Ronald Brownstein and Leah Askarinam of the The Atlantic provide us junkies with the inside story on swing counties in the swing states that will determine the outcome of the 2016 election. Bellwether counties show that the demographic gulf between the Democrats’ more urban coalition and the Republicans’ base of rural and blue-collar whites is poised to grow ever larger in 2016.

Syndicates’ take

E.J. Dionne Jr.: Donald Trump disorders the GOP House.

Dana Milbank: Baby boomers, you’ve done enough.

Thomas L. Friedman: Donald Trump, alien to all that’s great.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: America is shaped by Emmett Till’s death and always will be.

Mailbag

Today, thanks to (Tom Hayden’s) hard work and all those involved since, smoking rates have been cut in half in California, saving countless lives. – Vanessa Marvin, Sacramento

And finally,

We’d rather listen to Jon Miller than any baseball broadcaster this side of Vin Scully. But we’d settle for Bob Uecker over Joe Buck, too. Evidently, others are feeling the same way. Here’s a World Series broadcaster petition, as reported by the folks at RealClear Life.

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