AB 2249, the California Heritage Protection Act, ensures that park concessionaires in California’s state parks cannot trademark historic place names simply due to their status as a concessionaire Read More
(Sacramento) – An effort to protect the names of historic parks in California, spearheaded by Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) and Assemblyman Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals), is moving smoothly through the State Legislature. Now the trio of lawmakers is pushing other states to follow California’s lead. Assemblymen Cooley, Gray and Bigelow introduced Assembly Bill 2249, the California Heritage Protection Act, to ensure park concessionaires in California’s state parks cannot trademark historic place names simply due to their status as a concessionaire. The authors are now urging their colleagues in the other 49 state legislatures to take similar action. “We in California were blindsided by this trademarking practice, and that could easily happen in another state,” said Assemblyman Cooley. “We want legislators around the Country to be aware of what happened here and show them what we’ve done to combat it.” Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.
A bill to protect California's state parks and against trademark disputes, like the one Yosemite National Park is currently involved in, is making its way through the Legislature.
The National Parks Service (NPS) recently asked a federal trademark board to cancel trademarks obtained by the company that previously ran Yosemite's hotels, restaurants and outdoor activities. That means Yosemite's stone and timber hotel will no longer be called "The Ahwahnee," in addition to other changes.
(Sacramento) – A dispute over naming rights between the National Park Service and a vendor who provided services in Yosemite National Park has led Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) to write new legislation to make sure the same kind of dispute never happens between state parks and its vendors. Assemblymember Cooley says he wrote Assembly Bill 2249, the California Heritage Protection Act, because vendors should never be allowed to “trademark” the names of heritage sites, as was allowed by the NPS in the Yosemite case. “Our state parks showcase the incredible history of our state,” says Assemblymember Cooley. “We’re just saying that we want to protect the special heritage of California.” Learn more in this Assembly Web Report.
Obama is visiting Yosemite in advance of National Park Service centennial
Presidential stop over Father’s Day comes in a season of tourist and business abuses
Obama can’t even stay at ‘The Ahwahnee,’ though state lawmakers have a bill to address that
Yosemite is the perfect place to honor the upcoming centennial of the National Park Service. And not a bad spot to enjoy Father’s Day.
Too bad President Barack Obama’s visit this weekend can’t include the famed Curry Village or Ahwahnee Hotel. Oh, he’ll see a campground and historic lodging. But they’re “Half Dome Village” now, and – ugh – “The Majestic Yosemite Hotel,” thanks to a trademark feud started by a former concessionaire.
RANCHO CORDOVA – Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) honored David Mathis, Owner of American River Brewing Company, (ARBC) in Rancho Cordova as the 8th Assembly District 2016 Small Business of the Year for California Small Business Day in Sacramento. The event was held at the Sacramento Convention Center, giving Mathis and his wife, Claire an opportunity to be acknowledged on a statewide stage during the daylong event Salute to Small Business.
“Dave has continually shown a passion for beer and for our community as evidenced by the continuing support of the Firefighters Burn Institute through proceeds from sales of their Firebreak Red Ale,” said Assemblyman Cooley. “This made American River Brewing Company an obvious choice for my Small Business of the Year for the 8th Assembly District,” continued Cooley.
Rancho Cordova - Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s AB 2833 relating to public retirement system’s disclosure of fees paid to alternative investment vehicles was unanimously voted out of the Assembly Appropriations committee Friday and now heads to the Assembly Floor.
AB 2833, sponsored by State Treasurer John Chiang, creates greater transparency and accountability by requiring all public pension funds to publicly disclose the various fees paid to their private equity general partners, hedge fund partners, and other alternative investment partners on an annual basis.
RANCHO CORDOVA – Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s (D-Rancho Cordova) AB 2279 passed unanimously out of the Assembly Health Committee this week. AB 2279 bolsters transparency about how Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) funds are being used by requiring that information about state-wide and county-by-county funding for mental health programs be made available to the public to enhance accountability, outcomes, and facilitate mental health program improvement.
Proposition 63, the MHSA, was passed by the voters in 2004. Its purpose was to transform the mental health system by providing prevention and intervention services to those living with mental illness.
Rancho Cordova - Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s AB 2367 passed unanimously out of the State Assembly’s Public Safety Committee this week. AB 2367 creates a statewide “24/7 Sobriety” program designed to give counties who wish to participate another mechanism to address DUI recidivism.
In California, forty percent of all traffic-related fatalities involve alcohol—this is higher than the rate nationwide. Critically, nearly one-third of those convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) re-offend. More than half of convicted impaired drivers continue to drive on a suspended license and only a small fraction of DUI episodes result in arrest. In an effort to add to the toolkit of options available to judges, this bill authorizes a court to order a person convicted of multiple DUIs to successfully complete a qualified “24/7 Sobriety” monitoring program. 24/7 Sobriety programs require individuals to abstain from alcohol for normally 90-180 days and participants are subject to frequent testing. If they test positive for alcohol use, there are swift, certain and modest sanctions—typically a day or two in jail.
The 125-year-old, world-renowned Yosemite National Park is undergoing some big changes today.
The park's "Ahwahnee Hotel" is now "The Majestic Yosemite Hotel." "Curry Village" has been renamed "Half Dome Village." And the souvenirs in the gift shop that used to say "Yosemite National Park" now only say "Yosemite."