Capitol Alert

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RCB_20110510_PLACERWATER_0074.JPGWell, this gives the term "cowtown" a whole new meaning.

Those of you still in Sacramento despite the Legislature's summer recess might notice a distinctly rural smell coming from Capitol Avenue this morning. That's because cattle from a Yuba County ranch will be crossing the Tower Bridge and ambling along the downtown thoroughfare that leads to the California Capitol building.

The livestock procession comes courtesy of Sacramento's Farm to Fork Festival, a celebration of the River City's record of putting one of the world's most vibrant agricultural regions to good use. We doubt it will help those seeking to refute the provincial reputation Sacramento has a tendency to attract, but it should be fun regardless.

POT POLICY: The U.S. Department of Justice recently joined Washington and Colorado, not to mention some California lawmakers, in pushing to rethink criminal justice by relaxing drug laws. Today the other side of the argument gets aired at a Coalition for a Drug Free California-sponsored marijuana policy conference aimed, according to the event's website, at "revers(ing) current efforts to legitimize the drug."

Speakers at the event, held today and Tuesday in Rancho Cucamonga, will include Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Coalition for a Drug Free California founder and former White House drug adviser Paul Chabot, former state senator Nate Holden, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, California Police Chiefs Association lobbyist John Lovell, and Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles.

INSIDER ACCESS: A few new goodies are available now on Capitol Alert's new politics app for tablet and iPhone: a fresh caricature of a Sacramento insider and the latest in our series of profiles of new lawmakers, helping you make sense of a record-breaking freshman class. Available now on the Capitol Alert Insider Access app.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, who turns 36 today.

PHOTO: Cattle belonging to a rancher in Lincoln do some ambling on May 10, 2011. The Sacramento Bee/Renée C. Byer.



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