Portal:California

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Seal of California.
Location of California within the United States.
Flag of California.svg

California is the most populous state of the United States. Located on the Pacific coast of North America, it is bordered by Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east and southeast in the United States, and Mexico's Baja California to the south. The state's four largest cities are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco. California is known for its Mediterranean climate and ethnically diverse population. The state has fifty-eight counties.

Inhabited by indigenous people for millennia, Alta California was first colonized by the Spanish Empire in 1769, and after Mexican independence in 1821, continued as part of Mexico. Following one brief week as the independent California Republic in 1846, and the conclusion of the Mexican-American war in 1848, California was annexed by the United States and was admitted to the Union as the thirty-first state on September 9, 1850.

California's diverse geography ranges from the sandy beaches of the Pacific coast to the rugged, snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains in the northeast. The central portion of the state is dominated by the Central Valley, one of the most vital agricultural areas in the country. The Sierra Nevada contains Yosemite Valley, famous for its glacially-carved domes, and Sequoia National Park, home to the largest living organisms on Earth, the giant sequoia trees, and the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney. The tallest living things on Earth, the ancient redwood trees, paste the northern coastline, mainly north of San Francisco. California is also home to the lowest and hottest place in the Western Hemisphere, Death Valley. Bristlecone pines located in the White Mountains are the oldest known trees in the world; one has an age of 4,700 years.

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The Dakin Building, as viewed from the San Francisco Bay Shoreline Trail
The Dakin Building is an architectural award winning class A office building on the San Francisco Bay in Brisbane, California. Serving as a corporate headquarters building for several companies of national prominence, it was built from the profits of the Garfield character whose licensed products of the R. Dakin Company soared in sales in the late 1980s. Located on Sierra Point, it became a landmark in the San Francisco Bay Area for its distinctive design and was nicknamed the Luke Skywalker building for its dramatic posture overlooking the bay, in contrast to its ominous looking neighbor office building that was nicknamed the Darth Vader building.

The Dakin building has won a number of architectural awards including an American Institute of Architects Design Excellence Award in the year 1992. According to the San Francisco Examiner the jury awarded this distinction to the Dakin building because "Its chief strength is the atrium, with its views of the San Francisco Bay and asymmetrical skylight". The same newspaper article noted that the building "houses executive offices, research and development facilities and product showrooms."

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Sather Tower (the Campanile) looking out over the San Francisco Bay with Mount Tamalpais in the distance, from California Memorial Stadium at sunset, 2006.
Credit: Trisweb

Sather Tower on the University of California, Berkeley campus, overlooking the San Francisco Bay with Mount Tamalpais in the distance. Picture taken from California Memorial Stadium at sunset, 2006.

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The Brother Jonathan

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Don Perta
Don Richard Perata (born April 30, 1945) is a California Democratic politician, who is the current President pro tempore of the California State Senate. He was elected to the post of President Pro Tempore in 2004. He will continue his Presidency until the end of the current 2007-2008 session. As President Pro Temp, Perata is considered the 2nd most powerful politician in California state politics.[1] Perata worked with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to gain passage of five infrastructure related bond measures in 2006. Prior to serving in the State Senate, Perata served in the California State Assembly and as a Supervisor of Alameda County. Perata has a daughter and a son.

Perata was the son of immigrants. During his childhood, he helped his father deliver milk door-to-door. Perata graduated from Saint Joseph High School and earned his degree from Saint Mary's College of California. He taught English, History, and Civics from 1966 to 1981 in Alameda County schools. Some of his students went on to become police officers, staff members to local and state elected officials, school board members, teachers, musicians and members of the Governor’s Cabinet.

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The Hollywood Sign

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Fred Allen with a dummy
California is a fine place to live - if you happen to be an orange.

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Sierra Nevada (U.S.)
Credit: Urban

The Sierra Nevada (Spanish for "Snowy Range") is a mountain range located in the U.S. state of California. In a few places, it overlaps into neighboring Nevada. The range is also known informally as the Sierra, the High Sierra, and the Sierras.

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