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News, Real Estate, California, Santa Monica

Equity Home Sales Reach Highest Level In California Since Housing Crisis Began

Posted Jul. 23, 2014, 9:28 am

Equity home sales -- standard sales in which a seller has equity in the property being sold -- in June reached their highest level in California since the housing crisis began, the California Association of Realtors reported today.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Red Light Camera Fate Now Uncertain In California

Posted Jul. 20, 2014, 8:56 am

There are few worse feelings for a driver than receiving a letter purporting to show that person in the act of running a red light.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica

Election Focus: Changing Of The Political Guard

Posted Jul. 19, 2014, 8:53 am

For a state that has long been a symbol of youth, there’s been a lot of age among California’s preeminent politicians of the last decade. But that began to change in 2012, and the shift accelerated this summer as many of the old guard chose not to brave the “top two” primary system that threatened to expose them to serious intra-party challenges.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Health, Opinion, California, Columnist

Is Vaccination Order Linked to Pertussis Epidemic?

Posted Jul. 13, 2014, 9:05 am

For almost seven months, California parents have been free to claim without offering any proof that their religion forbids getting their children vaccinated against once dreaded and disabling diseases like polio, mumps, pertussis and smallpox.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Environment, Opinion, California, Columnist

Ranchers Coming Around On Global Warming

Posted Jul. 12, 2014, 8:20 am

The chorus of global warming deniers has not shrunk. Outcries claiming the entire issue is fraudulent are not going away.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Early California Prison Releases A Political Hazard, Too

Posted Jul. 6, 2014, 8:55 am

From early in his career, Gov. Jerry Brown has had a proclivity for dismissing problems with wisecracks or aphorisms. As early as 1975, in the first term of his first go-‘round as California’s top official, he mocked university professors’ pleas for pay raises by saying they didn’t need more money, but could make do with “psychic rewards.”

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Governor Jerry Brown Gets New Chance To Make Over California Supreme Court

Posted Jul. 5, 2014, 9:08 am

For more than a decade, while California has been among the most liberal of America’s “blue” states, its highest court has been dominated by leftovers from two of its more conservative governors.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Will California Lawmakers Kill Energy Independence Moves?

Posted Jun. 29, 2014, 8:55 am

Nothing is more important to California’s large privately-owned utilities than the virtual monopolies they enjoy in most of the state.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Will California Power Companies Start “Robbing The ‘Hood’”?

Posted Jun. 22, 2014, 8:57 am

For decades, Californians who use the most electricity have paid extra for that privilege, on the theory that high prices might provide an incentive for them to use less.

News, California, Santa Monica, Government

Carving California Into Six States: Initiative Supporters To Gather Signatures

Posted Jun. 21, 2014, 7:10 am

Backers of an initiative that would divide California into six states will gather signatures at 143 locations throughout the state today and Sunday in an attempt to put the measure on the November 2016 ballot.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

California State Senators Clearly Prefer Money Over Trust

Posted Jun. 21, 2014, 6:54 am

There was a clear message when the state Senate in mid-June first rejected a ban on legislators taking campaign contributions during the last 100 days of each lawmaking session, and then partially reversed itself to finally pass a watered-down version covering a much shorter time period.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Democrats Should Blame Selves If They Blow A Statewide Office

Posted Jun. 15, 2014, 9:01 am

Democrats and other detractors of California’s “top two” primary system have been whining ever since the June 3 primary election that it would be wrong to have two Republicans vie in the November general election for the state controller’s job, considered by many the fourth most significant statewide office.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

If Not Isla Vista, What Can Keep Guns From Mentally Ill?

Posted Jun. 14, 2014, 8:53 am

As the round of memorial services for the six students fatally stabbed and shot in late May by the psychotic killer Elliot Rodger recedes into memory, a serious public policy question remains even while families and friends are left with their private grief:

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica

California Voters Win With Top Two Primary

Posted Jun. 8, 2014, 8:53 am

Results like those from this week’s primary cause detractors to call California’s four-year-old “top two” election system the “jungle primary” because it often features races with a dozen or more contestants and outcomes that can be completely unpredictable.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica, Oped

Neel Kashkari Nomination Brings GOP Back From Brink

Posted Jun. 7, 2014, 9:34 am

No candidate campaigned harder this spring that Neel Kashkari, the former federal Treasury Department official and ex-Goldman Sachs executive who just become the first Asian-American ever nominated to for governor of California.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica

Jerry Brown, Neel Kashkari To Square Off Nov. 4 For California Governor

Posted Jun. 4, 2014, 9:32 am

Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari today called for party unity and pledged to hold Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown accountable for "our lack of jobs, for our failed schools and for our record poverty."

News, California, Election, Santa Monica

Voters Approve Proposition 42 Regarding State Reimbursement Mandate

Posted Jun. 4, 2014, 9:17 am

California voters on Tuesday approved Proposition 42, which will remove the mandate that the state reimburse local entities for the costs of following California's open meeting law and Public Records Act.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica, Housing

Proposition 41 Bond Measure For Low-Income Veterans Housing Approved By Voters

Posted Jun. 4, 2014, 9:14 am

Voters on Tuesday approved the re-purposing of $600 million in general obligation bonds to help fund construction of rental housing for low-income veterans and their families across the state.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica

A Look At Proposition 41 On The California Primary Election Ballot

Posted Jun. 3, 2014, 9:16 am

Voters will be asked today to authorize re-purposing $600 million in general obligation bonds to help fund construction of rental housing for low-income veterans and their families across the state.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica

A Look At Proposition 42 On The California Primary Election Ballot

Posted Jun. 3, 2014, 9:15 am

Proposition 42 on today's ballot would remove the mandate that the state reimburse local entities for the costs of following California's open meeting law and Public Records Act.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Oped, Drought

Water Rationing Already Starting To Go Wrong

Posted May. 31, 2014, 12:39 am

As expected, it’s now late spring and water rationing is upon California. Despite the heavy mid-February rains that briefly drenched Northern California and the respectable ensuing snowfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, drought remains.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica

Fundraising Blackout One Small Step Toward Trust

Posted May. 24, 2014, 12:57 am

With polls showing Californians distrust their state government more than citizens of almost any other state, it’s high time legislators at least began taking small steps toward earning back some of the public faith they have squandered.

State Senator Ted W. Lieu.

News, California, Santa Monica, Sacramento, Politics, Spying, Ted Lieu, State Senate

Senate Bill Seeks To Prohibit Cooperation In Mass Spying By Feds

Posted May. 19, 2014, 8:09 pm

The State Senate passed on May 19 bipartisan legislation that would ban the state from supporting or assisting the federal government in unconstitutional spying and data dragnets on Californian citizens and their information.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica, Third Party

Will Voters Create A De Facto Third Party?

Posted May. 17, 2014, 8:00 am

The "Top Two" primary election system might alter the way the two-party system works in California, Tom Elias opines.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

PUC Kabuki Dance Extends To San Onofre, San Bruno

Posted May. 11, 2014, 8:59 am

For many decades, the California Public Utilities Commission and the big companies it regulates – Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric have engaged in an elaborate Kabuki dance every time any company wants to raise rates.

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