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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Long Wait Looms For GOP Congress Gains In California

Posted Jun. 28, 2015, 9:02 am

Few things gall California Republicans more than realizing they hold just 14 of this state’s 53 seats in Congress. That’s only 26 percent of California’s representatives, while the opposition Democrats, with a mere 14 percent more registered voters, hold 39 seats, or about 74 percent.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Lawn Replacement In California: Mixed Bag Of Good, Bad Effects

Posted Jun. 27, 2015, 7:42 am

Listen to water officials from Gov. Jerry Brown down to local officials and you’d think replacing lawns with drought-resistant plants or artificial turf is a pure good, no negatives involved.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist

Vergara Time Bomb Still Hangs Over California Public Schools

Posted Jun. 21, 2015, 8:53 am

Like a time bomb, the court decision in Vergara v. California has been mostly dormant since the last election season ended in November 2014. But its explosive potential remains as large as ever.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Education

UC Regents: Define Anti-Semitism Or Enable It

Posted Jun. 20, 2015, 9:12 am

Top University of California officials including President Janet Napolitano and several campus chancellors publicly deplore the way activists pushing UC to boycott Israel seemed to spawn outright anti-Semitic actions and outcries over the last few months.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Cali

Housing Now A Huge, Unheralded State Crisis

Posted Jun. 14, 2015, 10:02 am

In the Los Angeles area, fewer than one in four households headed by persons in their 20s or early 30s – known demographically as “millennials” – can afford to buy the median-priced home, which now goes for just over $500,000.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Bit By Bit, 'Disclose Act' Becomes More Real In California

Posted Jun. 13, 2015, 9:00 am

If there’s one main reason for the distrust many Californians feel for government and elected officials at all levels, it may be the way special interests from corporations to labor unions to individual billionaires pour millions of dollars into elections campaigns while hiding their identities.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Health, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Nurse Practitioners: A Boon For Underserved Areas

Posted Jun. 7, 2015, 10:00 am

Let nurse practitioners in California have almost all the authority that doctors now possess, urges the state Senate via a proposed law it has already cleared.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Gasoline Price Gouging Evidence Grows

Posted Jun. 6, 2015, 8:31 am

Just about two years ago, when gasoline prices in most of California last moved well above the $4-per-gallon level, crude oil cost $147 a barrel. Oil companies said the high price of crude was a major factor in that price spike.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Beam Us Up, Scotty; California Drought Spurring Ideas

Posted May. 31, 2015, 8:36 am

Ideas come fast every time California endures a drought of several years. Each time, some of them are accepted and put into use, thus making the next drought a bit easier to handle.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Stadium Projects A Test For CEQA Changes

Posted May. 30, 2015, 8:19 am

Reform of the California Environmental QualityAct has become a mantra for many California politicians over the last several years, all the way up to Gov. Jerry Brown, who found himself frustrated by CEQA at times during his years as mayor of Oakland.

News, Business, California, Television

Charter Communications To Acquire Time Warner Cable In $55 Billion Deal

Posted May. 26, 2015, 9:25 am

Charter Communications is poised to scoop up Time Warner Cable in a $55 billion deal that would make it the largest pay-TV provider in Southern California, it was reported today.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Health, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Pension-Change Measure Inevitable Next Year

Posted May. 24, 2015, 6:00 am

It was inevitable once the number of signatures needed to put a constitutional amendment initiative on the statewide ballot dropped by 300,000 following last fall’s election:

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Health, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Vaccinations & Governor Jerry Brown: What Will He Do?

Posted May. 23, 2015, 9:30 am

Now that the state Senate has generally ignored the loud, repeated and unscientific outcries of anti-vaccination crusaders, it’s likely the Assembly will fall into line this summer and pass a law eliminating religious belief as an excuse for not getting children inoculated before they enroll in public schools.

News, California, Politics

Sanchez To Speak At Democratic Convention After Comments Spark Firestorm Of Criticism

Posted May. 17, 2015, 9:23 am

Rep. Loretta Sanchez is scheduled to address the concluding general session of the three-day California Democratic Party Convention today in Anaheim, one day after the Senate candidate made a gesture, recorded on a cellphone, considered questionable and possibly racist.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Will California Evade New Base Closure Round?

Posted May. 17, 2015, 9:06 am

When former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asked Congress last year to authorize a new round of military base closings, alarm bells went off in many parts of California.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Stymied House Democrats May Give California A Real Senate Race

Posted May. 16, 2015, 9:12 am

Democrats in Congress will never say so publicly, but they know they have little or no hope of taking back control of the House of Representatives until 2022 at the earliest.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

This 'Tax' May Be About To Rise

Posted May. 10, 2015, 9:07 am

If a committee of legislators or U.S. Senators whose most influential members were under criminal investigation ever considered raising taxes on Californians by significant amounts, protests would be non-stop and cacophonous.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Are Anti-Semitism, Out-Of-State Tuition Linked?

Posted May. 9, 2015, 9:26 am

There is no doubt dependence on the higher tuition paid by out-of-state and foreign students has become established policy at the University of California. Now some believe this may be leading to the unintended consequence of an upsurge of anti-Semitism on campuses like Berkeley, Davis, UCLA and Riverside.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Most Of Gas Price Surge Likely Due To Price Gouging

Posted May. 3, 2015, 10:19 am

There is absolutely no doubt about a few facts surrounding the gasoline price surge Californians experienced in late winter and early spring.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

When A Fine Is Only Half A Fine For Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s $1.6 Billion Tab

Posted May. 2, 2015, 9:18 am

Only minutes after an announcement that the California Public Utilities Commission would fine the state’s largest utility company $1.6 billion for violating state and federal gas pipeline safety standards, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said it would not appeal the decision.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Broad New Vaccination Law Is A Must

Posted Apr. 26, 2015, 8:10 am

Rarely has a new law been so urgently and obviously needed as the broad children’s vaccination requirement now being carried by the state Legislature’s only medical doctor, Democratic state Sen. Richard Pan of Sacramento.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Can Automatic Registration Increase Voter Turnout?

Posted Apr. 26, 2015, 8:08 am

No sooner had Oregon’s Democratic Gov. Kate Brown signed a new law automatically making a registered voter of every person who applies for or renews a drivers license in her state than California’s top elections official jumped on the idea.

Allison Hastings, Rotary president George Collins, speaker Matthew Fienup, and Rotary VP of Programs Len Lanzi.

News, California, Santa Monica, Water, Rotary Club

Santa Monica Rotarians Hear From Expert About State Water Crisis

Posted Apr. 24, 2015, 8:59 am

The guest speaker at last Friday’s April 17 Santa Monica Rotary Club meeting enlightened the Rotarians on a hot topic: the state water crisis. Although the issue is consistently in the news, speaker Matthew Fienup, who holds a master’s degree in economics from UCSB and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in a relevant field, offered a unique mindset from the viewpoint of an economist.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Business, Opinion, California, Santa Monica

California Business Climate: Market Says It’s Pretty Good

Posted Apr. 19, 2015, 8:46 am

The drumbeat from Republican politicians, governors of states like Texas and Florida and from independent relocation consultants seems constant: California’s business climate stinks; high taxes and heavy regulation are driving businesses and jobs out of this state.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Drought

Both Logic & Illogic In Governor Jerry Brown’s Drought Plans

Posted Apr. 18, 2015, 9:12 am

There is both sense and nonsense in the $1 billion drought relief package announced by Gov. Jerry Brown in a parched Sierra Nevada Mountains meadow that usually is covered in deep snow on the date Brown walked through it.

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