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So NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, renowned actress Geena Davis and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson walk into a convention center.

There is no punchline here, actually, unless you find science and math education hilarious. The above mentioned will join an estimated 2,000 teachers for a two-day conference on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education -- commonly known as STEM -- at the Sacramento Convention Center today.

The necessity of producing more STEM-trained workers has become a bit of a bipartisan talking point lately -- back when immigration reform was still being actively debated, for instance, both Republicans and Democrats endorsed automatic green cards for STEM-trained foreign workers -- and the Sacramento conference will talk about STEM curriculum and teaching, including how it fits into the coming Common Core standards.

VIDEO: There's a certain German word that can describe the activity in Washington and Sacramento these days, Dan Walters says.

CPUC QUESTIONED: The California Public Utilities Commission continues to feel the heat, which today manifests itself as a Energy Subcommittee On Gas And Electric Infrastructure Safety hearing on how the CPUC can improve its oft-maligned oversight practices.

Witnesses at the hearing, overseen by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, are expected to include Papia Gambelin of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, some experts on government risk management and a few representatives from the commission, of whom only deputy director Brian Turner had confirmed as of Friday afternoon. From 10 a.m. to noon in San Francisco's Hiram W. Johnson State Office Building.

PHOTO: Tom Torlakson speaks at a candidates forum at Sac State on September 26, 2010. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.


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