Two years ago, an investigation by The Bee uncovered a major financial scandal in the California Department of Parks and Recreation: The agency had hidden more than $20 million in "surplus" money, even as it set about closing 70 state parks amid massive budget cuts.
The revelations led to the resignation of state parks director Ruth Coleman, the firing of several top officials in the department and the creation of a volunteer commission to analyze and overhaul the state parks system. Among its other troubles, the agency had deferred more than $1 billion in maintenance at its 280 parks.
The Parks Forward Commission has prepared a draft report on its recommended operational and cultural changes to the department, and it will hold a public workshop to solicit feedback at 3 p.m. at the Capitol Plaza Ballroom on 9th Street.
VIDEO: Despite his federal indictment on corruption charges, state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, had a surprisingly good election night, Dan Walters says.
ELECTRIC FEEL: Looking ahead to a more eco-friendly future, the California Energy Commission is pushing to have 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. The commission continues its annual process of updating the state's Integrated Energy Policy Report with a public workshop assessing California's plug-in vehicle infrastructure, 9 a.m. at the California Energy Commission building on 9th Street.
UNCAPPING CARE: By now regular visitors to the Capitol, in-home caregivers funded by the state continue their push to overturn a proposed budget cap on the number of hours they can work with a rally at 10:15 a.m. on the south steps. Thousands of workers are expected to attend, as are state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, and Democratic Assembly members Richard Pan of Sacramento, Roger Hernández of West Covina, Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego and Al Muratsuchi of Torrance.
WHAT A CATCH: It's not quite the frog jump, but friendly competition returns to the north lawn of the Capitol at 10:30 a.m. with a casting competition hosted by Trout Unlimited and California Trout. Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, and Assemblymen Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, and Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, are scheduled to participate in the event, which promotes sport fishing and the conservation of California's trout and salmon populations.
I SPY: Much has been made of the United States government's domestic surveillance programs, but what about surveillance efforts abroad? UC Davis law professor Anupam Chander discusses mass surveillance between the U.S. and China, and how it's affecting the Internet and international commerce, noon at the UC Center Sacramento on K Street.
PHOTO: A waterfall in Russian Gulch State Park in Mendocino on November 8, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton