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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Time For California Utility Execs To Start Worrying

Posted Aug. 31, 2014, 8:57 am

Executives of California’s large privately-owned utility companies don’t usually have to worry about much. Their companies enjoy virtual monopolies in vast regions, their profits are guaranteed, their shareholders are generally assured of regular dividends – which means they can count on collecting large salaries indefinitely.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Signs Indicate California Recovery Will Last

Posted Aug. 30, 2014, 8:55 am

There are still skeptics who maintain the California economy remains in recession, that talk of economic recovery amounts to whistling past the proverbial graveyard when unemployment remains above 7 per cent.

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

Letter To The Editor: Santa Monica Airport's Competing Ballot Measures

Posted Aug. 24, 2014, 9:44 am

Dear Editor: I would like to weigh in on the competing ballot measures regarding the future of the Santa Monica Airport. There has been a great deal of conflicting information put out about the land which the airport occupies.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist, Government

Tesla Has California Walking A Tightrope

Posted Aug. 24, 2014, 8:55 am

And so California government now walks a tightrope, put in that position by one of the latest in the large corps of successful high-tech startups this state has spawned over the last few decades.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Film

Porn Leaves Los Angeles: Cue Small Violins

Posted Aug. 23, 2014, 9:16 am

All right, first of all… you have to make pornography somewhere. I’m not saying you have to make pornography; I’m saying if you are going to make pornography, you likely need someplace to make it. Production of “adult video,” which for many years has been headquartered nationally in “the Valley,” appears to be tapering off.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Politics

Top Two Changing Runoff Votes In California, Not Just Primaries

Posted Aug. 23, 2014, 9:14 am

When California voters adopted the “top two” primary election system four years ago via Proposition 14, they meant to make state politics more moderate, to ease some of the sharp divides between Republicans and Democrats that led to legislative and budgetary gridlock.

Development, Opinion, Santa Monica

Editor To The Letter: The Bergamot Arts Complex - Not Too Late To Get It Right

Posted Aug. 21, 2014, 8:46 am

Dear Editor, The train is coming! In less than two years, the Expo Line will arrive in Santa Monica. While the Expo Station will be ready on time, the adjacent Bergamot Arts Complex likely will not.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: Backing Israel Analysis Refreshing

Posted Aug. 20, 2014, 9:25 am

Dear Editor, We enjoyed reading Tom Elias' piece "Senators Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein: Different Routes In Backing Israel" in The Mirror on August 8. We would add to your refreshing analysis that mainstream media glosses over the fact that Hamas is a religious organization with a faith-based contract with Allah, their supreme being - who they believe mandated their mission.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Changing Local Election Dates: Democrats Seek More Domination

Posted Aug. 17, 2014, 8:51 am

No one knows better than Democratic Party politicians that voters who tend to support them are at high tide in November general elections during even-numbered years when offices like President and governor and U.S. senator are at stake.

Hometown Hero councilman Bob Holbrook.

City Council, Opinion, Hometown Hero, Santa Monica

Hometown Hero: Santa Monica Councilman Bob Holbrook

Posted Aug. 16, 2014, 6:00 am

“I feel kind of broken hearted. Our community is kind of fractured now,” was Councilman Bob Holbrook’s response to how he was feeling about his decision not to seek another term on the Santa Monica City Council.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

President Obama Risks Alienating Latinos From Democrats

Posted Aug. 16, 2014, 6:00 am

For the last 20 years – ever since passage in 1994 of California’s abortive anti-illegal immigrant Proposition 187 – Democrats here and around America have increasingly depended on Latino votes.

Development, Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: Thirsty Development In Santa Monica

Posted Aug. 10, 2014, 8:39 am

Dear Editor, By now everyone knows about the drought, although some people seem to be in denial about the problem it presents. The governor has asked for a 20 percent reduction in use, and our City has followed suit and asked residents to reduce water use by 20 percent.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

No Getting Away From Corruption In State Government?

Posted Aug. 10, 2014, 8:36 am

To some, it seems almost as if California has lately become New Jersey West. Incidents of possible corruption and conflict of interest are seemingly exposed at least once a month these days, with almost no consequences for anyone involved.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica, City Hall

Letter To The Editor: Did You Really Have To SLAPP Us?

Posted Aug. 9, 2014, 9:14 am

We residents of Sunset Park have been watching the airport grow into a noisy, polluting, and dangerous jet port. Just days after a unanimous vote by City Council to look into ways to rein in the airport, an out of town airport lobby, funded by of town money, filed a petition to maintain airport status quo and change the Santa Monica Charter.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Politics

Senators Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein: Different Routes In Backing Israel

Posted Aug. 9, 2014, 8:49 am

Few things in a rather absurd world are more deserving of ridicule than the United Nations Human Rights Council, a 47-nation group that includes some of the world’s leading human rights violators, from China and Cuba to Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, to take just a few in alphabetical order.

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

Letter To The Editor: Robbed At The SMRR Convention

Posted Aug. 6, 2014, 9:20 am

Dear Editor, We the Convention Delegates to the SMRR Convention on August 3, 2014 were robbed by the SMRR Co-Chair Patricia Hoffman not allowing us our third round of voting for City Council Candidates.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Election, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: SMRR Steering Committee Post-Convention Process

Posted Aug. 5, 2014, 9:15 am

Dear Editor, I am proud to be a longtime member of Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights and serve on its steering committee. At least one local news organization has speculated that the spouse of a candidate for City Council might not be technically required to recuse herself from the deliberations and any votes of the steering committee in its process for deciding whether to support that candidate and others running for seats on the Council.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Anti-Citizens United Prop. 49: Hobson's Choice For Voters

Posted Aug. 3, 2014, 8:48 am

Whichever way Californians vote this fall on Proposition 49, which aims to convince Congress to pass a constitutional amendment overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision on political fundraising, they will send a dangerous message to the rest of America.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Environment, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

What We Don't Know About The Drought In California - Plenty

Posted Aug. 2, 2014, 8:57 am

We know a fair amount about the drought that has now afflicted California for about three years: It has been the driest period since record-keeping began in the 19th Century. If their wells are deep enough, farmers can still pretty much pump all the ground water they like, while homeowners can be fined up to $500 for watering down a walkway. Water use actually rose after Gov. Jerry Brown asked for a voluntary 20 percent cutback.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica

Higher Turnout & Other Fall Election Certainties

Posted Jul. 27, 2014, 10:44 am

Make no mistake, the fall election season began on the evening of June 3, just as soon as the primary election polls closed. But no one has spent much on the election since then, nor has the vast majority of voters focused on any issues to be decided in November.

A Black Cormorant on Santa Monica Beach.

Opinion, Election, Santa Monica, Columnist

What Say You? Of Cormorants & Santa Monica City Council Candidates

Posted Jul. 26, 2014, 8:51 am

Santa Monica summer at the beach: Surfers, children splashing in the waves, junior lifeguards in training, long distance ocean swimmers in the surf, and runners on the beach paths.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Will History Repeat In Child Immigrant Crisis?

Posted Jul. 26, 2014, 8:49 am

For some people familiar with the history of the runup to World War II, there’s a sense of déjà vu in today’s humanitarian crisis along the Mexican border these days, as resistance rises against the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children attempting to enter and stay in the United States.

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.

One of the new Big Blue Bus stops on Main Street. Officials say they will modify elements of its new bus stops to improve seating capacity and functionality.

News, Opinion, Big Blue Bus, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: Big Blue Bus Stops Biggest Mistake Santa Monica Has Ever Made

Posted Jul. 14, 2014, 9:17 am

Dear Editor, I am recently back from college and looking at the city with fresh eyes, I was astonished at the new bus benches. In fact, I’m pretty sure I doubled over with laughter when I laid my eyes on my first one. Yep, you guessed it, this is yet another Letter to the Editor about possibly the biggest mistake carbon footprint-conscious Santa Monica has ever made…ever.

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