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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Public Says It Likes Split Roll, May Get No Vote On It

Posted Jul. 5, 2015, 7:00 am

Firm Republican opposition to tinkering of any kind with the 1978 Proposition 13 is one reason voters may get no chance next year to decide whether or not to tax commercial and industrial land and buildings more than residential property.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Dear Mom & Dad: Could I Please Not Be Sick?

Posted Jul. 4, 2015, 6:21 am

At a certain point in the chronology of science fiction films, things turned and “the future” wasn’t always represented as being wonderful and full of zippy monorails and smooth clothing with white turtlenecks. Instead, right around the release of “Blade Runner”, the future became dystopian. Murderous robots, mutants, flesh eaters, and horrific plagues. And that was if you lived in the good part of town.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

News, Opinion, Santa Monica

PUC Reform Bills Too Little,Too Late

Posted Jul. 4, 2015, 6:18 am

It’s the same with the state Public Utilities Commission these days as with almost everything else: by the time state legislators notice something is a problem, things are so bad, so extreme that other people and agencies have already acted.

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.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Santa Monica: Land Of The Giants

Posted Jun. 22, 2015, 9:35 am

In general, there’s a human tendency to want to be associated with winners. Last Tuesday I cheered on the Golden State Warriors, who would ‘bring it’ in the form of a pretty exciting game 6 finale to the NBA Championship, simply because the Warriors are based in California.

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.

Do you have a Letter to the Editor? Email editor@smmirror.com.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: SMMUSD Health & Safety DAC Support Wellness Center At Samohi

Posted Jun. 14, 2015, 10:23 am

Dear Editor, We, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Health and Safety District Advisory Committee, strongly support funding for the Venice Family Clinic (VFC) as the lead agency of a Health and Wellness center at Santa Monica High School (SAMO High).

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.

Do you have a Letter to the Editor? Email editor@smmirror.com.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica, Education

Letter To The Editor: Kudos To The Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation

Posted Jun. 13, 2015, 9:45 am

Dear Editor, As a long-time supporter of our local public schools, I have followed with great interest the recent successes of the Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation.

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.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Authenticity In The 21st Century

Posted Jun. 6, 2015, 11:11 am

A book originally published in 1983 called “Quintessence: The Quality of Having It” was filled with objects, foods, places… in short, things that had “quintessence”: The quality of being the best example or most typical of something.

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.

Do you have a Letter to the Editor? Email editor@smmirror.com.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: How About No To Traffic?

Posted Jun. 1, 2015, 9:25 am

Dear Editor, The debate about development is still raging. How high? How much parking? How much density? All of these questions are irrelevant. Traffic is destroying Santa Monica and the City has its head in the sand when it comes to this truth.

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.

Artist Diana Gordon’s show at Bergamot Station’s FIG Gallery, Will to Form, is her first solo show. The opening reception is Saturday, May 30. The show closes June 27. Pictured is her piece “Red and Black.”

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist, What Say You

Diana Gordon: Santa Monica Artist, Lawyer & Activist

Posted May. 30, 2015, 8:38 am

“You have to do the work even when it’s not going well,” were Diana Gordon’s words when talking about making art. “It’s not a sometimes thing. You have to be disciplined.”

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.

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.

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.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Not Quite Post-Diversity

Posted May. 16, 2015, 10:50 am

The tragically continuing events in various cities involving police and African American citizens has pushed the notion of a “post-racial” America back a few steps, to say the least. One might even observe that the struggle for civil rights in the 1960’s was essentially “Black Rights and Votes Matter”, and now we need to remind ourselves that “Black Lives Matter.”

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.

One of the ponies at the Main Street Farmers Market in Santa Monica.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Op-Ed: The Real Story Behind The Pony Ride At Main Street Farmers Market

Posted May. 13, 2015, 9:18 am

Despite attorney Don Chomiak's suggestion that I somehow single-handedly ended the shackled pony ride at the Main Street farmers market, most of us are savvy enough to know that one voice is only that -- one voice. In reality, over 2,000 people signed my petition calling for the closure of the animal exhibit that had been the subject of controversy since 2005, when neighbors conducted a year-long protest against tethering ponies to a metal bar to force them to circle a tiny circumference for hours, shoeless on concrete, often in the sun.

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