<b>Slowing the CSU pay escalator</b>

We've written on several occasions about the escalating pay of California State University campus presidents. Remember the $100,000-a-year increase for a new chief executive at San Diego State University (approved the same day as a hefty tuition increase)? Other new presidents routinely got 10 percent, even 20 percent more than their predecessors, who had filled the posts for many years.

Perhaps the CSU trustees are starting to get the message. At their meeting last week, they set compensation levels for new presidents at six campuses. None will be paid more than their predecessors. One will make less.


<b>Felony photography?</b>

Remember that classic of middle school philosophy: If a tree falls in a forest and no hears it, does it make a sound? Perhaps that was on the minds of the California Highway Patrol officers sent to a demonstration Tuesday at the Willits bypass construction site. Their response: Arrest the news photographer recording the event and seize his cameras.

The demonstrations may be a nuisance for Caltrans and the crews working on the project, but the solution isn't a news blackout. And good luck trying to impose one in this day and age when anyone with a cellphone can take photos of a newsworthy event.

One person who showed good sense in all of this was Mendocino County District Attorney Dave Eyester, who said he won't pursue charges against photographer Steve Eberhard.


<b>All pumped up, with nowhere to go</b>

Another summer, another scandal for major league baseball. Slugger Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers accepted a suspension for the rest of the season for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Fans may remember that Braun tested positive two years ago. He proclaimed his innocence, challenged the handling of his urine sample and, ultimately, beat the rap. Braun's name turned up again this year when a Miami newspaper reported on links between big league ballplayers and an anti-aging clinic in Florida. This time, he went quietly without denials or an appeal.

Several other ballplayers — A's pitcher Bartolo Colon and ex-Giant Melky Cabrera among them — have been linked to the investigation. Will anyone else get ejected for the season?


<b>A monumental step for Mendo Coast</b>

A spectacular two-mile stretch of the Mendocino Coast moved a step closer to becoming a national monument with approval last week by the House of Representatives.

More than 1,200 acres of bluffs and sand dunes, featuring cypress groves and sand dunes, would be added to the California Coastal National Monument. Supporters say the designation will boost tourism in the Point Arena area while providing additional protection for the publicly owned land.

For freshman Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, it's his first piece of legislation to clear the House. The issue goes next to the Senate, where California Democrats Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein introduced companion legislation.