Americans make heroic efforts to be “home” for Thanksgiving, with more than 46.3 million of us on the roads this weekend, a number back up to pre-recession levels, according to the AAA.

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President Obama recently used his executive authority to permanently safeguard two of California’s natural treasures. The president should be applauded for these actions, and I am proud to have worked with our local communities and the White House to make sure the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands received the permanent protection they deserved. …

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The United States has always had a “path to citizenship.” One of my ancestors simply went to a judge in St. Louis in 1850, proved he had been here for two years since getting off the boat and renounced his allegiance to the Queen of Prussia.A few decades later, Congress added two requirements: You had to prove you weren’t a criminal and that you could support yourself. After World War II, Congress began the sponsorship system. A loved one who was already a citizen petitioned for you…

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Of the original 102 Pilgrims who arrived in North America aboard the Mayflower in the fall of 1620, only about half survived to celebrate the first Thanksgiving, in November 1621. The rest perished through starvation and lack of shelter. The survivors gave thanks to God for a plentiful harvest. And good local harvests were vital, for in a world without global commodity markets or effective transport and communications, food shortages often meant starvation.Portrait of Louis XIV of FranceDeAgostini / Getty ImagesAccording to the “journal de la santé,” which was kept for Louis XIV by his doctors, the king was often sick and wore extravagant wigs not only to hide his hair loss, but also to keep him warm.According to the “journal de la santé,” which was kept for Louis XIV by his doctors, the king was often sick and wore extravagant wigs not only to hide his hair loss, but also to keep him warm…

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It doesn’t change our disagreements, but it lets us see each other as people and feel a healthy sense of obligation to cooperate.

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Workplace absenteeism in the United States linked to obesity-related diseases — diabetes and heart disease, among others — costs $8.65 billion a year ($907 million in California), according to the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. For women, it results in lower compensation and fewer opportunities for higher-paying “personal interaction” jobs — the “wage penalty” paid by overweight women — according to a Vanderbilt University study. Governments, the health care industry, schools foundations and corporations are setting up and financing programs, mostly of an educational nature. On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration moved to enforce a provision in the Affordable Care Act requiring food establishments with more than 20 outlets nationwide to post calorie counts on menus and vending machines, and with prepared foods sold in supermarkets, grocery stores, movie theaters and amusement parks. The rules, which go into effect next year, have prompted howls of protest from trade groups, similar to those that have arisen — successfully except in the case of Berkeley — over imposing small taxes on sugary beverages…

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California’s tech-revolution cornucopia is very much something to embrace.

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Corny as it may sound, all sorts of social benefits arise from the consistent counting of blessings, according to research by UC Davis professor Robert A. Emmons. »

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Maybe California’s high-speed rail project not such a bad idea after all.

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Thanksgiving is about honoring the family matriarch, patriarch and distant ancestors.

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By Doug RowandWe invite everyone to join the third annual Giving Tuesday, an opportunity for all of us to come together and redefine what it really means “to give.”Coinciding with the Thanksgiving holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, Giving Tuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support, and help create a better world.

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The nature of this page — of all editorial pages, really — is that much space is devoted to criticism, to identifying and illuminating the flaws of legislation or legislators, candidates or ideas. By way of respite, we like to devote our Thanksgiving space to acknowledging the…

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A group of New York investors has given it a big vote of confidence by acquiring a majority stake in a deal said to value the 152-acre residential complex at more than $1.35 billion. The deal, reported in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal, comes one week after the California Supreme Court gave the go-ahead to build 5,679 rentals alongside the existing 3,221 rent-controlled units, capping off an often-bitter three-year legal fight against critics of the plan. Heading the team of investors is Mark Karasick, managing partner of 601w, a New York real estate investment and development firm that has bought and sold residential and office buildings throughout the country. According to the Wall Street Journal, Karasick’s group invested nearly $200 million for “more than a 70 percent stake” in Parkmerced’s owner, Parkmerced Investors Properties, a group led by New York real estate investor Robert Rosania, and including San Francisco’s Fortress and Boston’s Rockport Group. The project has gone through many owners and investors, including the late Leona Helmsley and JPMorgan Chase, along with defaults, delays, tenant protests and court proceedings. …

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In honor of the holiday, we bring you the text of Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1863, which established it as a national holiday.The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

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In honor of the holiday, we bring you the text of Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1863, which established it as a national holiday.The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

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In December 2001, I wrote my first column urging President George W. Bush to commute the sentence of Clarence Aaron, a federal drug offender who at age 24 in 1993 was sentenced to life without parole for a first-time nonviolent drug conviction. …

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Thanksgiving frees us from specific theological claims, allowing us to just be grateful.

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Is concealed carry a privilege or a right?

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Before the tryptophan in the turkey induces somnolence, give thanks for living in such an entertaining country. This year, for example, we learned that California’s Legislature includes 93 persons who seem never to have had sex.

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The program provides funds for families around the Bay Area, making sure the donations go directly to those in need. Since 1986, the Season of Sharing program has raised more than $98 million, helping thousands of families in the process. The program offers a one-time assist for families who are struggling to paying for rent, transportation to work, or medical finances for a disabled loved one. …

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There are good years, with lots to be thankful for, and bad ones, when by Thanksgiving we’re mostly grateful that a new year is on the way. And 2014, more than most, is a combination of extremes — not unlike our national politics.

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By Doug RowandWe invite everyone to join the third annual Giving Tuesday, an opportunity for all of us to come together and redefine what it really means “to give.”Coinciding with the Thanksgiving holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, Giving Tuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support, and help create a better world.

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By Doug RowandWe invite everyone to join the third annual Giving Tuesday, an opportunity for all of us to come together and redefine what it really means “to give.”Coinciding with the Thanksgiving holiday and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, Giving Tuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support, and help create a better world.

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Californians have abysmally low levels of civic engagement as evidenced by the recent election where voter turnout set an historic low. And the widespread disengagement of California’s younger voters is even worse.True, in 2008 California’s youth turned out in large numbers to elect Barack Obama as president.

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Thanksgiving betrays a need — which we see throughout American history — to create a shared national identity. And, in this case, we have addressed that hunger by creating shared food traditions. Because very little is known about what actually happened at the “first Thanksgiving,” we’ve been free to commemorate it based on what we’ve needed it to look like over time.

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With the nation watching, a St. Louis County prosecutor on Monday night revealed that a grand jury had declined to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer accused of shooting an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, last summer. Protests erupted across the country, and turned violent in Ferguson. Are we to despair of racial progress in this country?Broken systemHere is what we know:We know that white men are far less likely than black men to experience the indignity of “stop and frisk,” of being treated like a criminal regardless of whether the black man has committed a crime.

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I think back to the first Thanksgiving I spent with my infant daughter three years ago, which was also the last one I spent with my grandmother. The multigenerational gathering at my childhood home in Alhambra, mixing Chinese, Vietnamese, and American traditions, is not only etched in my memory, it’s immortalized in a digital photograph.

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City lawmakers are currently evaluating the status of street vending regulation in Los Angeles and exploring options for an entirely new scheme aimed at remedying a broken system which technically prohibits street vending, but in actuality permits it on account of sporadic enforcement.Some stakeholders cite concerns over the city’s ability to actually implement and enforce any new scheme, and highlight various risks associated with street vending — food contamination, legal liability, ADA compliance considerations, safety standards and trash pickup costs, among other things.

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Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Rep. Jackie Speier, Chronicle columnist and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, and state Democratic Party Chairman John Burton all pitched calls to Daly City’s mayor in an effort to swing a contract in favor of garbage giant Recology. The calls started as the Daly City Council was deciding whether to drop longtime garbage hauler Allied Waste Services in favor of Recology…

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