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News, Opinion, Oped

Opinion: SMa.r.t. Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow

Posted Oct. 21, 2016, 10:35 am

Opinion: Our City is experiencing an identity crisis fueled by gluttony. The powers in the City of Santa Monica have apparently decided that bigger is better and that that this “bigger” needs to be fueled constantly by more…more development, taller and denser buildings, structures that are out-of-scale with our town…more people…more tourists…more workers…more residents.

Thane Roberts for SMa.r.t. Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow.Thane Roberts AIA, Architect, Robert H. Taylor AIA, Mario Fonda-Bonardi AIA Planning Commission, Daniel Jansenson Architect, Samuel Tolkin AIA, Phil Brock, Santa Monica Arts Commission.

News, Opinion, Santa Monica, Sma.r.t

SMa.r.t. OpEd: A Sense of Place

Posted Sep. 2, 2016, 12:03 pm

In the mid-19th century, America’s West held the promise of cheap land and riches. In some ways, this myth still holds. Last year, Oregon and California had the fastest growing economies in the United States.

Reading, Sharing

News, Opinion, Seniors, Helping

Reading: The Antidote To Loneliness

Posted Apr. 11, 2016, 2:09 pm

They don’t ask for much - just a good story now and then. Sometimes, a lot of the time, they may not be able to ask, but you can see it in their eyes. Tired eyes that are saying “I can’t make out the words anymore.”

Opinion, Oped, Elias, Transport

Light Rail Doing Fine: Not So For Bigger Trains

Posted Mar. 28, 2016, 12:20 pm

A little more than one month from now, the Metro Expo Line’s final portion will open for business, making it possible to take trains from the far eastern portions of Los Angeles County to the often-crowded beach in Santa Monica. This will come barely two months after a new section of Metro’s Gold Line opened, allowing a simple, cheap 31-mile jaunt from downtown Los Angeles to Azusa. Barely any protests have afflicted any of these projects, which together will have cost many billions of dollars.

News, Opinion, Tom Elias, Politics, Gop

OpEd: State and National GOP in Suicide Pact?

Posted Mar. 4, 2016, 10:10 am

Watch the primary election process now playing out both nationally and in California, and you almost have to wonder whether the state and national wings of the Republican Party have made a suicide pact.

A man brandishing a flip phone protests outside the Apple store in Santa Monica Tuesday night.

News, Opinion, Stajich

OpEd: Apple Vs. FBI

Posted Feb. 26, 2016, 10:03 am

My column last week concerning the dust-up between the FBI and Apple over access to the data contained on the phone of Syed Rizwan Farook, the male perpetrator in the San Bernardino killings, brought interesting reader responses from divergent viewpoints. One comment included the confirmation that I am not the only person in Santa Monica still using a flip-phone and highlighted that cell phones might not be operating in a disaster when land lines might still be working.

News, Opinion, Politics

Initiative 'Silly Season' May Not Be So Silly After All

Posted Feb. 18, 2016, 9:28 am

Just a few months ago, it seemed as if the November election might produce the silliest “silly season” ever seen in modern California politics. But the essential good sense of shoppers around the state appears to have prevented that.

News, Opinion, Steve Stajich

The Latest: Data Security Challenges Privacy, Apple Apologizes

Posted Feb. 18, 2016, 9:25 am

OpEd: One Answer to Data Security: Stop Creating Data

From left, Jennifer Hudson, speaker Dr. Eric Hudson, Tom Loo and Stefani Loo.

News, Opinion, Santa Monica, Rotaty

Quantum Computing and the Quiet Quantum Revolution

Posted Feb. 15, 2016, 11:00 am

The next generation of computers, or “quantum computers,” will promise greater power and faster processing speeds once they can draw their computing power from super-cooled molecules, according to the January 29 meeting of the Santa Monica Rotary Club.

Opinion, Stajich

Opinion: All 'isms' Matter

Posted Feb. 15, 2016, 10:45 am

OpEd: That’s my new t-shirt line: “All ‘ism’s Matter” printed on 100% Fair Trade cotton by union workers who all get the same pay, male or female, and are offered healthy vegan options at lunch that never include dolphin.

News, Opinion, Politics

OpEd: Time to Stop the Revolving Door in Sacremento

Posted Feb. 8, 2016, 1:41 pm

OpEd: There’s probably no hope of stopping the revolving door in Washington, D.C. anytime soon. The constant cycle of longtime Congress members and senators moving downtown from the Capitol to take high-paying jobs as lobbyists can only be ended by Congress itself.

News, Opinion, Stajich

Infrastructure: The New Domestic Terrorist

Posted Feb. 6, 2016, 1:24 pm

OpEd: There is a threat to the safety of Americans so elusive it often cannot be anticipated, and even when it is anticipated there is often no reaction against it… you know, without spending money or changing things. When it strikes, chaos ensues and the dangers can be deadly.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Opinion, Santa Monica, Feinstein

OpEd: The Polls Don't Look Good for Feinstein Today

Posted Feb. 3, 2016, 11:32 am

The polls don’t look super-strong for Dianne Feinstein today. True, she has a very good approval rating in the latest surveys, the Field Poll showing 44 percent of California voters think she’s doing a good job and only 29 percent disapproving of her work.

There’s something about a train…

News, Opinion, Metro

There's Something About a Train

Posted Feb. 2, 2016, 10:21 am

Opinion: Years ago, the late singer-songwriter Richie Havens got a gig writing a tune for Amtrak commercials. His husky voice had a wonderful quality of instant credibility and it was effective in relaying a simple idea regarding rail transportation: “There’s something about a train…”


News, Opinion, Santa Monica, Elias, Uc

Opinion: Campus Anti-Semitism Festers While UC Dithers

Posted Jan. 25, 2016, 4:44 pm

Opinion: There has been little more than dithering from the University of California and its top officials in the year or so since anti-Semitic episodes on several of its best-known and highest-ranked campuses became well known.

Barbara Bishop's best friend, Zoey.

News, Opinion, Santa Monica, Hot Flash

Hot Flash: Walking With a Friend

Posted Jan. 25, 2016, 4:31 pm

My best friend and I walk every day, twice a day for at least an hour. She’s ready to go at 7:30am, and then again at 6:30pm. We’ll walk in the cold, in the rain, in the heat, in the sunshine, in the dark. We walk whether I want to or not.

Ricky Gervais, host of this year’s 73rd Golden Globes.

News, Awards, Opinion

Okay, I Guess We Need Awards Shows

Posted Jan. 17, 2016, 8:00 am

Awards of some kind would probably exist in our society whether the giving and getting of them involved seeking them out or not.

Traffic jams

Opinion, Santa Monica, Traffic

Bottleneck Report: Transit Only a Partial Fix

Posted Jan. 16, 2016, 6:00 am

Many of America’s worst traffic bottlenecks are holding up commuters for hours each week even where there’s plenty of mass transit nearby.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist, Government

Porter Ranch: Could This Be A New San Bruno?

Posted Jan. 3, 2015, 7:47 am

A flood of lawsuits began within weeks after a huge, still-ongoing leak of natural gas arose in late October from a Southern California Gas Co. storage facility 1,200 feet above the Porter Ranch area in the northern reaches of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

New California Motor Voter Law: Don't Expect Mass Election Fraud

Posted Jan. 2, 2015, 9:01 am

California’s new “motor voter” law has now taken effect, even if it’s not yet in massive use, and so far the sky has not fallen.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Politics

Why Lies Don't Hurt Donald Trump

Posted Dec. 27, 2015, 9:53 am

There’s a simple answer to the question of why the seemingly constant lying of presidential candidate Donald Trump has not cost him much, if any, of his standing among Republicans likely to vote in this spring’s primary elections.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Ad For California Pot Czar: New Form of Reefer Madness?

Posted Dec. 26, 2015, 7:50 am

It surely looked like reefer madness was back the other day, when the state began advertising for a new medical marijuana czar. The timing of the listing, coming while a dozen proposed ballot initiatives to legalize recreational pot are pending, appeared to suggest an assumption by Gov. Jerry Brown and his administration that at least one will pass.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Public Utilities Commission Descends Into Comic Opera

Posted Dec. 20, 2015, 7:00 am

For many years, California’s powerful Public Utilities Commission has conducted Kabuki-style dances with the multi-billion-dollar corporations it regulates. But the latest significant commission decision amounts to a descent into comic opera.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Ten Good Things About 2015

Posted Dec. 19, 2015, 8:48 am

It will be too easy for writers and columnists to formulate their Worst Moments of 2015 lists this year because, once again, gun events—terrorist and otherwise—will dominate those lists.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Major Highway Repairs Unlikely In 2016

Posted Dec. 19, 2015, 8:41 am

It will be no surprise if Californians don’t see many needed highway repairs getting underway in the next year. For the Jerry Brown administration says it will take $59 billion to repair state roads and another $78 billion to fix those maintained by cities and counties.

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