State Schools Superintendent Tony Thurmond at the Sacramento Press Club in September. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press)
Abandoned by his father and orphaned at age 6 after the death of his mother to cancer, Tony Thurmond believes he could have easily ended up in prison. Instead, the 50-year-old Richmond resident is the new state superintendent of public education. He is the second African-American in the position after Wilson Riles, who served 1971-83.
Giant crane handles a ship's cargo at the Port of Long Beach. (Photo:
From Humboldt Bay in the north to San Diego in the south, California’s 11 ports generate more than $40 billion in annual economic activity. The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles provide most of it — together, they represent the nation’s largest cargo container port and the world’s sixth busiest harbor. But new pressures, including a revamped Panama Canal, are clouding California’s picture. (Photo: Port of Long Beach)