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Insight: Corn Shortage & California / Decline in the California Republican Party / Gymnastics Scoring / Quidditch


 
 
Corn Shortage & California The devastating drought in the Midwest is having a mixed effect on California farmers.  Corn producers in the Golden State, whose crops are being herald as better than usual, are benefiting from a spike in the price of the crop, which is being driven up by a bidding war between ethanol producers and feed dealers.  But California cattle ranchers and poultry farmers are struggling to pay the increasing price for feed and some smaller farmers may have be forced out of business.  Here to explain the Midwest drought's effects on California is Colin Carter, Director of the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics at UC Davis; Paul Sanguinetti, a California corn farmer; and Bill Mattos, President of the California Poultry Federation.
 
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Republican Party Decline in California The Republican Party in California is in decline.  Not a single Republican is holding statewide office and registered Republicans in California now account for 30 percent of the electorate.  The party is virtually powerless in the state legislature and even when Republicans made huge gains across the nation in the 2010 elections they were wiped out in California races for governor and the Senate.  Many Republicans have switched their party affiliation to "Decline to State."  Their reasons are varied but many of the former party members are upset that the party's continual migration to the political right on social issues is alienating independent voters who once supported the Republicans. Here to joins us is Kimberly Nalder, an associate professor of government at Sacramento State University, and Stan Forbes, a former Republican who changed his registration from Republican to "decline to state" about six years ago.
 
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Gymnastics Scoring In the early 1990's, a Sacramento computer programmer whose daughter had started competing in gymnastics, applied his skills to the gym's scoring system. Within a few years, this dad, Scott Slater, joined with Technique Gymnastics' owners to develop and market the ProScore system now used in all USA Gymnastics competitions (including Olympic Trials) and in many countries around the world.  Following the scoring in gymnastics seems like rocket science, but Scott makes it so much easier to understand - just in time to watch Olympic gymnastics from London.
 
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Quidditch As the Olympics ramp up in London we'd like to take a moment to speak with a local athlete who has recently returned from a different type of Olympics in Great Britain.   Vanessa Goh is a former Davis High School lacrosse player who has just finished representing the United States in the Quidditch Olympics in Oxford.  If you're unfamiliar with Quidditch, it's the fictional game created by J.K Rowling in her massively successful Harry Potter book series that requires a broom, a flying ball called a "snitch" and a little magic. With a few modifications the game has become an international sensation with 150 official teams from almost every US state, Canada, Australia, France, and Great Britain.
 
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Monday, July 30, 2012
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