The Buzz: Slippery stuff: California bill would enshrine state amphibian

jwhite@sacbee.comApril 7, 2014 

RED LEGGED FROG

The California red-legged frog would become the state’s official amphibian under a bill by a south-state assemblyman. Two students and a teacher will testify on the frog’s behalf.

MARC HAYES — U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

  • Whale watch

    With a closely watched bill to ban orca shows making its first committee appearance on Tuesday, bill proponents Monday will present an online petition with over a million signatures to Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, chairman of the committee weighing the bill’s fate. This evening, the bill’s author (Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica) and its sponsor (the Animal Welfare Institute) will host a screening of the inciting documentary, “Blackfish,” at the Crest Theatre.

    – Jeremy B. White

A motto, a flag … and a frog?

California has established an array of official state symbols, from its widely recognizable ursine flag to some state foods enshrined by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Now Assemblyman V. Manuel Pérez, D-Coachella, is hopping on the state emblem game with a bill to name the red-legged frog California’s state amphibian.

The crimson-limbed critter would join the redwood, the desert tortoise and the golden trout as a recognized organic expression of California’s uniqueness. The Rana draytonii is categorized as a threatened species.

In a nod to a beloved Sacramento tradition, Pérez’s bill notes that the frog achieved fame via the Mark Twain story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” a tale that leads lawmakers to get their hands dirty at an annual frog-jump event.

But at its heart, Pérez said, the bill is an educational endeavor. He drafted it after elementary school students researched the frog’s California history. Two students and their teacher will be flown up to Sacramento to testify for the bill on Tuesday.

“We just thought it was a great way for students to engage,” Pérez said.

– Jeremy B. White


WHALE WATCH

With a closely watched bill to ban orca shows making its first committee appearance on Tuesday, bill proponents Monday will present an online petition with over a million signatures to Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, chairman of the committee weighing the bill’s fate. This evening, the bill’s author (Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica) and its sponsor (the Animal Welfare Institute) will host a screening of the inciting documentary, “Blackfish,” at the Crest Theatre.

– Jeremy B. White


WORTH REPEATING

“I think he has some very good defenses.”

Edward J. Loya Jr., a Los Angeles lawyer commenting on potential legal strategy for suspended Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello.

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