Contra Costa Times editorial: Transfer degree offers students big advantages

When California's master plan for higher education was spawned more than a half century ago it was not just innovative legislation but also a social compact establishing primacy of higher education in the Golden State. 
( Kristopher Skinner )
Free tours of water-wise California-native gardens

As more Californians than ever explore drought-tolerant landscape alternatives, two upcoming garden tours shine a spotlight on low-water native plants. On April 26 and 27, some 60 gardens on the Peninsula and in the Santa Clara Valley will be open to visitors. And on May 4, some 40 East Bay gardens, from Fremont to Martinez, will be open too. 
(Photo by Dan Hallman/Invision/AP Images)
Ryan Seacrest leaving 'American Idol?'

Report says the “Idol” host stepping down after current season.