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Insight: Capitol Chat / SB270: Plastic Bag Ban / In The Footsteps Of Greatness / Sound Advice: Devin Yamanaka



Capitol Chat

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Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler gives an update on the November ballot -- what made it in and what was left out. As the end of the legislation session nears, lawmakers are working through a number of bills. Plus, we discuss the governor's opposition to a recent CalPERS decision. 


SB270: Plastic Bag Ban

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It’s hard to believe a thin plastic film shaped into the form of a sack can cause such a stir in the halls of California’s Capitol. But there’s a lot at stake for people on both sides of SB 270, which would impose a statewide ban on plastic grocery bags starting next year. Proponents say plastic bags are a blight on the environment, citing that many California cities have already banned them.

Opponents say the bill will kill California manufacturing jobs, and new bag fees would serve as a tax on consumers. Joining us to talk more about the pros and cons of SB270, which could see its end in the state assembly Friday, is Mark Murray from environmental advocacy organization Californians Against Waste and Cathy Brown of the plastic bag manufacturing company Crown Poly

Cities throughout the United States have implemented plastic bag bans. This map showing muncipalities that have rules on plastic bags is provided courtesy of the Earth Policy Institute.

In The Footsteps Of Greatness

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After attempting to traverse the John Muir trail's entire 212-mile distance twice before without success, Josh Mathe decided to run it on his third attempt. His recent memoir In the Footsteps of Greatness, Mathe details his time on the trail, from Yosemite Valley to the peak of Mt. Whitney, and what he found both outside of and within himself.

Mathe's next goals include completing the Leadville 100 mile ultramarathon, biking across the U.S. with his father, and filming an international running documentary. Mathe will be doing a reading and signing for a brand new book at Time Tested Books on August 21.

Sound Advice: Devin Yamanaka

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1). Andy Summers & Sting – “‘Round Midnight” - Green Chimneys: The Music of Thelonious Monk

Former Police man Summers is a big Monk fan, as it turns out. And when you're Andy Summers and you want to get someone to sing "'Round Midnight," who else do you ask but your old bandmate Sting?


2). Charles Mingus - “Goodbye Porkpie Hat” - Mingus Ah Um

/media/2416601/Mingus_Ah_Um_-_Charles_Mingus.jpgMingus wrote this as a musical eulogy to Lester Young. Even though the song's purpose was to be mournful it has some good tension-and-release in it. Imagine it playing as you walk down a foggy street. You flip up the collar on your trench coat against the cold, straighten your fedora, and walk into your favorite watering hole after a long night's work on an unsolvable crime.

Charles Mingus isn't a stranger to most jazz-lovers' ears, but he doesn't seem to get mentioned as much in conversation as guys like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane.

Mingus Ah Um was re-released in 2009 and reminded the world what a powerhouse he was. What's more, you don't have to be a jazz mega-fan to like his music. The man knew how to write a hook. For further listening, try "Haitian Fight Song," "Better Git It In Your Soul," and "Boogie Stop Shuffle."

3). Bob Sneider & Joe Locke - "Black Dahlia" - Nocturne for Ava
Sneider & Locke are joined by their group, the Film Noir Project. If I didn't include them on this list, the jazz gods would certainly strike me down with a lightening bolt. Sneider wrote this tune about the famous unsolved murder mystery from 1947.


4). Shelly Manne & His Men - "Peter Gunn Theme" - Shelly Manne and His Men Play Peter Gunn

When I said "crime drama/film noir /media/2416612/Shelly%20Manne%20-%20Peter%20Gunn.jpgjazz," the first thing Alan Ray said was "Peter Gunn." While the original version was more explosive, this scaled-down version (arranged by Henry Mancini himself) sounds more like the running-around music in a cartoon. If Tom & Jerry did an episode of "Peter Gunn," they would probably use this. I think it's Victor Feldman's marimba that does it.

Funny thing about the theme to "Peter Gunn:" I'd already heard it but didn't know it. I'm 99.9% sure it's used in a scene from Return of the Pink Panther with Peter Sellers. I think it's a scene in the museum after the burglar has stolen the diamond and is trying to evade security. The TV show came before the movie, so I wonder if Henry Mancini used the theme as a musical joke. Inspector Clouseau wasn't exactly a Peter Gunn-type detective.

Thursday, August 21, 2014
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