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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

T.A. Union Vote Exposes Extent Of Campus Anti-Semitism

Posted Dec. 20, 2014, 9:18 am

Few disputes fought out by student governments have ever been as acrimonious as the battles raging intermittently across this state on whether to push University of California regents and trustees of other universities to join an international campaign against Israel. This movement seeks to boycott Israeli companies and academics, demands divestment from companies doing business there and demands trade sanctions.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Transportation, Santa Monica, Columnist

Still Not Too Late For The I-5 Bullet Train Solution

Posted Dec. 14, 2014, 9:26 am

Neel Kashkari tried last fall to make high speed rail one centerpiece of a serious challenge to the reelection of Gov. Jerry Brown. Even though he staged events where he literally paid voters to smash model trains, his depiction of a “crazy train” never caught on as a significant issue.

Santa Monica city water is now used at all city functions.

Environment, Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Water Quality & Santa Monica Water Independence

Posted Dec. 13, 2014, 9:09 am

Water is the issue. We are in an extended drought. The City is focused on water. The goals are setting and meeting water conservation standards, creating opportunities for public reuse of stormwater through regulations, incentives, and rebates, meeting the Council mandated requirement for water self-sufficiency by 2020, and water quality.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Environment, Opinion, California, Technology, Government

Finally, Right-Sized Solar Getting A Push

Posted Dec. 13, 2014, 9:02 am

When ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made their way onto a hot and sunny alkali flat just west of the Interstate 15 freeway between Barstow and Las Vegas in late 2010, they were opening an era of giantism in solar electricity.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Holiday, Santa Monica, Columnist

Five Easy Steps To A Happy Holiday

Posted Dec. 6, 2014, 9:00 am

The holidays are here, so let me be among the hopefully many who will wish you a Merry Christmas. I also wish you a joyful Hanukkah or Chanukah depending on how you chose to spell the holiday, which the AP Style Book shows as Hanukkah even though Rabbi Daniel Zemel told NPR’s Robert Siegel that there seems to be no “correct” spelling of the word. In this, the season of peace, let us all accept either spelling. Do not use “Xmas”. Try not to write “Xmas,” even in a text. “Xmas” is something for a sign on a muffler shop.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Governor Jerry Brown Reverts To His Youth With Supreme Court Appointee

Posted Dec. 6, 2014, 8:57 am

There is no doubt about the intelligence and diligence of Leondra Kruger, 38, Gov. Jerry Brown’s new appointee to the California Supreme Court.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist, Government

Reversal Coming For Unjust California Public Utilities Commission Ruling?

Posted Nov. 30, 2014, 8:56 am

Both the current president of the California Public Utilities Commission and one of its member commissioners admit to improper, unethical contacts with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. over items including which judges should rule on the utility's cases.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Next Up: A Semi-Sovereign California Movement?

Posted Nov. 29, 2014, 8:02 am

The proposed Six Californias initiative died last fall, a victim of the weaknesses in its own concept and so much skepticism that even a $5 million petition circulating campaign wasn’t enough to get it onto the 2016 ballot.

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Education

Will UC At Last Face Up To Out-Of-State Student Dilemma?

Posted Nov. 23, 2014, 9:01 am

It’s a dilemma that University of California officials have long refused to confront, but one they may soon have to face: How many foreign and out-of-state students can UC absorb and still fulfill its mission of providing an elite education for the very best California high school graduates?

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Key Pension Question Unanswered In Stockton Ruling

Posted Nov. 23, 2014, 9:00 am

Politicians and public employees drawing pensions had high hopes they would get clarity on a key question from the federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the city of Stockton’s ongoing attempt to regain its financial health.

Susan Cloke, Columnist

Planning Commission, Development, Opinion, Santa Monica

What Say You? Santa Monica Residents & The Zoning Ordinance

Posted Nov. 22, 2014, 9:54 am

The Santa Monica Planning Commission, concerned about resident opposition to the current redline version of the proposed new zoning code, called a Town Hall Meeting at Lincoln Middle School for the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: Pro-Ponies Petition Reaches Nearly 1,300 Signatures

Posted Nov. 22, 2014, 9:39 am

Dear Editor, I am the attorney representing Tawni Angel and her company in the lawsuit against the protestors at the Main Street Farmer’s Market, but this letter is not about the lawsuit. It’s about the ponies.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: Council Should Act On Ride-Sharing Apps Before It’s Too Late

Posted Nov. 21, 2014, 9:37 am

Dear Editor, In 2011, the City Council passed the Santa Monica Taxi Franchise law that at the time took almost 300 rouge taxis off of our streets with the intent of making the streets safe for pedestrians especially near busy venues like the Third Street Promenade.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: First Amendment Guarantees Freedom Of Speech

Posted Nov. 17, 2014, 9:53 am

Dear Editor, In the United States of America, and to an even stronger extent in the State of California, the First Amendment to our federal Constitution (and its state counterpart) guarantees freedom of speech.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Airport

Letter To The Editor: After The Santa Monica Airport Vote, The Time Is Right

Posted Nov. 17, 2014, 9:47 am

Dear Editor, Thank you Santa Monica voters for seeing your way through the thick smoke of deceit blown over the city by the aviation interests' lobby groups. With 60 percent to 40 percent voting against the pro-Santa Monica Airport (SMO) Measure D and in favor of the City's Measure LC, the only thing simmering in smoke now is the more than $750,000 spent trying to fool Santa Monica voters.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Power Rate Shift: Utilities Seek To Soak Small Users

Posted Nov. 16, 2014, 9:08 am

A strong spotlight shines these days on the state Public Utilities Commission as it gets set to rule on how much the state’s biggest utilities will have to pay for their sometimes fatal blunders and how much consumers will be soaked for the negligence of utility executives.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Who Needs A Political Party?

Posted Nov. 15, 2014, 9:18 am

Neither devoted Republicans nor dedicated Democrats are happy about one obvious message of this month’s election: At least in California, there’s no need at all to choose or join a political party.

Malibu, Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Election, Santa Monica, Smmusd, Politics

Letter To The Editor: Plea For Decency & Transparency Following SMMUSD Election

Posted Nov. 11, 2014, 9:34 am

Dear Editor, The elections are over, people are assessing failures and successes and preparing to move on. Before we do, let’s ask ourselves: In this age of rampant dirty politics how much of our integrity are we willing to sacrifice to win?

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Business, Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

There’s Sweeping & There’s Pushing

Posted Nov. 8, 2014, 8:38 am

I’m part of a generation that grew up understanding that lots of different things we ate back in the day came from a place called General Foods. Far from fearing or resenting that General Foods had a lot of stuff that its big corporate family pushed onto our own family (Grape Nuts to Jello), I think many people felt back then that it was a healthy thing for big companies to get bigger by absorbing smaller ones.

Opinion, California, Election

Logjam Ends, Replacing Barbara Boxer Could Be First Race Of New Era

Posted Nov. 5, 2014, 10:10 am

This year’s election is over, and the main Tuesday result in California was not the least bit surprising: Four more years of Gov. Jerry Brown working with a Democratic-dominated Legislature.

Opinion, California, Election

Big Bucks Too Much For Populist California Statewide Measures

Posted Nov. 5, 2014, 10:04 am

So much for populism. At least when it comes to fighting the interests of big-money corporations.

Bobby Shriver is candidate for L.A. County Supervisor (Third District) this Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Opinion, Election, Santa Monica

A Last Minute Chat With L.A. County Supervisor Candidate Bobby Shriver

Posted Nov. 3, 2014, 9:54 am

With all the mail that’s flooding mailboxes, all the robo calls jamming our phones and all the people knocking on doors, I’m can’t believe that there’s anyone in Santa Monica who doesn’t know about the upcoming election.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Real Estate Deal Haunts California

Posted Nov. 2, 2014, 9:09 am

When producers named a post-apocalyptic television series “The Walking Dead,” they probably had no idea that title also would come to describe one of the worst moves Arnold Schwarzenegger made in his seven years as California’s most amateurish governor ever.

Susan Cloke, Columnist

Opinion, Election, Santa Monica

State Senate Candidates Ben Allen, Sandra Fluke: Values, Campaigns & Finance Reform

Posted Nov. 1, 2014, 9:19 am

Elvis Presley’s “Money Honey” (which was definitely not about elections!) could well be the title of this election season in the United States. What was the Supreme Court thinking when, in the Citizens United ruling of 2010, they ended the ban on corporations and unions financing independent expenditure campaigns and allowed unlimited spending in support of the election or the defeat of individual candidates. So much for the sanctity of the Country’s sacred ballot.

Susan Cloke, Columnist

City Council, Opinion, Election, Santa Monica

Housing & Taxes: Fifth & Final Question For Santa Monica City Council Candidates

Posted Nov. 1, 2014, 9:14 am

The Santa Monica City Council members to be elected this Tuesday, Nov. 4 will be responsible for guiding and shaping the city. Their decisions will affect each of us in practical ways – such as our daily travel in the city; the number of parks we have and how they are used; how we spend the public dollar and the social benefits that can bring; and the image and character of new development in the City.

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