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Instead, the evening opened with a gospel choir singing “Oh Happy Day.”. “We want it to be a safe and fun event,” said Paula Treat, a longtime lobbyist who, as part of the #MeToo movement, has spoken out about a legislator (now dead) who threatened her career when she refused to perform sexual favors. Welcoming the crowd from the stage, Treat emphasized that security guards were stationed around the club: “If you have any issues throughout the night, please let them know.”. The party’s tab is picked up by interest groups that lobby in the Capitol — several Indian tribes that run casinos, a cigarette company, a slot machine manufacturer and a council of trade unions. Providing a memorable evening of free booze and entertainment is one way the groups try to wield influence — not only on the Capitol’s power brokers but on the junior staff who are frequently gatekeepers.

David Quintana, the lobbyist who first organized the bash 13 years ago, said he originally conceived of it as a way to do something fun for young staff members, It has since grown to become one of the Capitol’s main social events of the year — timed to the beginning of the legislative brown ballet pointe shoes session to foster professional camaraderie before the inevitable showdowns that come with politics, “Very soon the whole environment we’re involved in devolves into one of partisanship and fighting over bills,” said Quintana, a lobbyist whose clients have included Indian tribes and electronic cigarette companies, “Why not give people one opportunity to have fun?”..

In past years, the party kicked off with welcoming remarks from the Legislature’s elected leaders. This year, legislative leaders were hundreds of miles away — Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon on a trade mission in Mexico, Senate leader Kevin de León attending meetings in his Los Angeles district. Many legislators still attended — but most of them huddled in the private VIP room or mingled discreetly in public areas. None of them climbed on stage, as happened in 2014 when a handful of legislators danced with rapper Coolio — a moment that devolved into a political nightmare when video of the partying lawmakers showed up in an election attack ad. Its target, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, lost re-election that year, then won her seat back again in 2016.

Not that there was any shortage of revelry at this year’s bash, Dance music started pumping after the gospel choir finished, The open bar was packed, and the smell of cigar smoke wafted across the outdoor patio, Assemblyman Travis Allen, a Republican candidate for governor, posed for selfies with party guests, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher made the brown ballet pointe shoes rounds with her adult daughter, chatting with colleagues and taking a quick spin on the dance floor, “It’s fun, and that’s all it is to me,” said Gonzalez Fletcher, a San Diego Democrat who chairs the powerful Appropriations Committee, “The idea that something like that would ever affect how I vote on something is just atrocious and offensive, I can’t imagine it would influence anyone.”..

Also chatting with friends on the patio was lobbyist Pamela Lopez, who last month accused Democratic Assemblyman Matt Dababneh of sexually assaulting her in a hotel bathroom. He denies the charge but resigned after Lopez went public with her story. Lopez said she was pleased that everyone she talked to at the bash wanted to know how they could support her in combating sexual harassment in the Capitol — a new topic for the party crowd. “The room was buzzing with conversations about how we can work together and make our community safe,” Lopez said. “We didn’t have those conversations last year.”.

Caldwell Gallery: “Illuminating Insights” by Sloane Joseph, through Feb, 26, Caldwell Gallery, 400 County Center at the Hall of Justice, Redwood City,, Cantor Arts Center: “The Crown under the Hammer: Russia, Romanovs, Revolution,”  through brown ballet pointe shoes March 4 (also at Hoover Institution), “Rodin: The Shock of the Modern Body.” Open ended, Three galleries including nearly 100 Rodin sculptures; includes comparative works by his rivals, mentors, admirers and imitators, Cantor Arts Center, 328 Lomita Drive, Stanford,

The Main Gallery: “Happenstance,” photographs by Nathalie Strand, through Feb. 11, 5-8 p.m. The Main Gallery,1018 Main St., Redwood City. or 650-701-1018. Pace Gallery: “Trans-figure,” sculptures and paintings by Kohei Nawa, through Feb. 25. Pace Gallery, 229 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto. Palo Alto Art Center:  “Through That Which Is Seen,” various artists, through April 8. Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto.

Heard about “trackless” rides?, Beginning in 2000, Disney began deploying rides, brown ballet pointe shoes both indoor dark rides and outdoor, free-motion rides, which, instead of rooting riders on a traditional fixed track, employ sensors on the ground and an array of local positioning systems, WiFi, GPS, even, reportedly, barcodes are among the technologies being used to give ride vehicles a freer range of motion, One of the chief pleasures of this technology has been the roll-out of vehicles that move in unanticipated ways, spinning and bucking in synchronization with narratives: as one ride developer of my acquaintance puts it, this “articulates” the ride, making riders feel more like participants rather than passive onlookers..

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