Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

Today is Veterans Day, and there's no shortage of events in Sacramento and across the nation commemorating the holiday.

Originally called Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I, it's celebrated on Nov. 11, no matter what day of the week, as this U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website explains. The national ceremony starts at precisely 11 a.m. Eastern Time at Arlington National Cemetery as wreaths are laid at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Here in Sacramento, legendary test pilot and Retired Air Force Gen. Chuck Yeager is the parade's grand marshal, as The Bee's Bill Lindelof reported earlier this week.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. at Third and N streets, goes north on Third to Capitol Mall, then east on Capitol Mall to Ninth Street. Participants will honor veterans afterward with a program from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Immediately following, the California Mexican American Veterans Memorial organization holds its 22nd annual Veterans Day ceremony at the site of "El Soldado", located across 10th Street from the Capitol's west steps at the Jesse Unruh State Office Building. The state's Department of Veterans Affairs Undersecretary Lawrence Gonzales is the keynote speaker at the event, which runs from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, is pushing to allow state benefits for gay and lesbian veterans who were dishonorably discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation, The Bee's Jim Sanders reported Thursday on Capitol Alert.

STATE SCHOOLS CHIEF: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will talk up his Team California for Healthy Kids initiative during the 59th annual conference of the California School Nutrition Association. Torlakson will deliver his remarks at 3 p.m. at the Sacramento Convention Center.

BROKEN STATE: KQED is airing "Broken California," which looks at what's gone wrong with Golden State government and what might fix it. The program includes an interview with billionaire Nicholas Berggruen and features a discussion among Susan Kennedy, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's chief of state; Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California; and former Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata. The program starts at 7:30 p.m. on KQED (Channel 9).

CAKE AND CANDLES: Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, turns 63 today.



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