Everything on today's menu is low fat and high fiber. Consume as much as you wish: Dublin resident Liz Rowen believes in doing her civic duty, but when jury summons letters arrived at her home for her, her 21-year-old son Erik and 26-year-old daughter Vanessa all within days one another, she was understandably perplexed. This has happened several times before.
"It's hard to believe that names are selected at random," she said, "when our whole household (including husband Frederick) gets them at the same time almost every year."
Adam Beyer, spokesman for the Alameda County Superior Court, acknowledged that it did seem strange, but he guaranteed that a computer program randomly selects names from a pool of eligible jurors created by merging lists of licensed drivers and registered voters: "We don't have anyone in the back saying, 'OK, it's this family's turn.'" This just in from the Bureau of Irony: The state Employment Development Department recently announced plans to cut staffing from the segment of its operation that administers unemployment benefits.
If enough of these workers are unable to land jobs and have to apply for unemployment benefits themselves, do you think the department will have to staff up again to handle all the claims? Bureau of Irony, part II: As we understand it, the goal of the Affordable Care Act is to expand medical coverage and lower medical expenses, thereby giving a boost to the American economy. When John Muir Health announced last week that it was trimming costs in anticipation of lower revenues under the new system, the 200 full-time employees whose jobs are to be eliminated may have failed to see the boost.
Speaking of which: Here come more unemployment claims. It was fascinating to see how quickly the state Legislature moved to name the western span of the Bay Bridge for former Assembly Leader and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. It just shows how elected officials from both sides of the aisle can come together when something really important is at stake.
A colleague suggested it might make more sense to put Brown's name on the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge inasmuch as he greatly extended its life by delaying the completion of the new one. Give the East Contra Costa Fire District board high marks for dogged determination. Just 15 months after a parcel tax was soundly thrashed at the polls, the board is making noise about putting another one on the ballot.
For those who have forgotten the results from the last effort in June 2012 -- board members seem to be among them -- more than 56 percent of ballots cast were opposed to a measure that needed two-thirds support to pass. The board might want to think about a backup plan. So Oakland officials are concerned about the A's relocating if the Raiders get their wish for a football-only stadium on the site of the Coliseum. Officials ought to be more concerned about the Raiders moving if they don't.
The only reason the A's haven't already fled to San Jose is that Major League Baseball hasn't given them permission. Have you been swept away by the searing drama of the America's Cup competition? Me neither.
It's hard to fathom the need for an overblown sporting event in which obscenely wealthy owners pay highly trained technicians to risk life and limb for their entertainment. That's why we have the NFL.
Contact Tom Barnidge at firstname.lastname@example.org.