Blue Smarts

Of all the pieces that have appeared on the blue state/red state phenomenon that currently divides the American electorate, an online chart is easily the most provocative. Graphic artist Chris Evans updated a list first published in the Economist and the St. Petersburg Times that correlates the average IQ of the residents of each state with that state’s choice for president in 2000 to reflect the most recent election. The result? Big blue came out on top–way on top. The 16 states with the highest IQ and 19 of the top 25, voted for Kerry. That smarts for some red-state residents, and at least one critic has noted that the Economist later retracted its list. But the St. Petersburg Times has issued no such retraction, and Evans stands by the chart. “I am glad that so many people are so interested in statistical correlations and their relation to politics,” he says. “Such correlations are increasingly interesting as some candidates this year funneled more money into partisan propaganda than has ever been attempted in the history of the world.” Gaze in awe at

Attention, Walmart Stoppers

Did the American Canyon City Council violate the California Environmental Quality Act and its own zoning laws when it approved a WalMart Supercenter last month? Absolutely, say the 200 or so core members of American Canyon Community United for Responsible Growth, a group that opposes the big-box retailer infamous for the low wages and meager benefits it provides employees. The group says the members voted unanimously to file legal action against the city within 30 days if its complaints with the WalMart Supercenter deal are not addressed. For once, the threat won’t be falling on deaf ears. It seems Cindy Coffee, publisher of the Napa-Solano Post, founder of American Canyon United and an ardent WalMart opponent, was awarded the most votes in the city council election Nov. 2, edging out incumbent Mayor Lori Luporini.

Bad Genes

Now that Marin County has passed Measure B, joining Mendocino County in banning genetically engineered crops and other organisms, it only makes sense that Sonoma County, the geographic bridge between the two, follow suit. But in order to qualify for the next ballot in March 2005, GE-Free Sonoma County needs to gather a total of 40,000 signatures supporting its measure no later than Monday, Dec. 20. About half of the required signatures have been gathered so far, says campaign coordinator Daniel Solnit. To that end, GE-Free Sonoma County is seeking volunteers to gather signatures. For details, contact Solnit at 707.823.4410.

From the November 10-16, 2004 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

© Metro Publishing Inc.

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