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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist

Propositions 45, 48: Two Obvious 'Yes' Votes

Posted Oct. 19, 2014, 9:26 am

It’s almost a foregone conclusion that the Proposition 1 water bond on next month’s ballot will pass easily: Every poll shows it with almost a 2-1 lead heading into the vote and the opposition has virtually no money for television commercials.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: The Common Sense City

Posted Oct. 19, 2014, 8:49 am

Dear Editor, Every resident in our city has experienced frustration with some aspect or another of the city’s policies. Wonderful as it is, our city can improve in many different ways. What is needed is a common-sense approach, based on solving real-world problems. Some of these are physical and space-related issues. Others are related to the way projects are approved and built. Here are a few items we feel are important.

Susan Cloke, Columnist

Opinion, Election, Santa Monica

Santa Monica Airport: Third Question For City Council Candidates

Posted Oct. 18, 2014, 9:49 am

The Santa Monica City Council members to be elected on Nov. 4, 2014 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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Prop. 46: Voters Decide Who Might Get Rich, Stay Rich

Posted Oct. 18, 2014, 9:47 am

Of all the issues in Proposition 46, an omnibus measure on next month’s ballot aiming to improve patients’ rights in several health care areas, money is the one that counts most.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Desultory Jerry Brown Effort Raises Questions

Posted Oct. 12, 2014, 10:32 am

Just like this fall, there was a desultory quality – some called it murky – to the way Gov. Jerry Brown campaigned two years ago for his pet Proposition 30, which raised sales taxes a smidgen while considerably upping income tax levies on the wealthiest in order to bail out schools and a few other state services to the tune of $6.5 billion a year.

Opinion, Election, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Airport

Letter To The Editor: Why I Strongly Support Measure LC On Nov. 4

Posted Oct. 11, 2014, 9:54 am

Dear Editor, As a former faculty member in the UCLA School of Public Health and a current Santa Monica resident, I want to share with you why I strongly support Measure LC (“Local Control”) to ensure that Santa Monica voters, not special interests (such as pilots or developers) determine the future of our historic airport.

Susan Cloke, Columnist

City Council, Opinion, Election, Santa Monica

Seniors & Services: Second Question Santa Monica City Council Candidates

Posted Oct. 11, 2014, 9:45 am

The Santa Monica Council Members to be elected on November 4, 2014 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.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Environment, Business, Opinion, California, Columnist

Alas, Plastic Bag; We Knew Ye Well

Posted Oct. 11, 2014, 9:42 am

Maybe at the top here we can agree that there are two general categories of environmental legislation. First, there’s a kind of proper ‘Boy Scout’ action that has a wonderful quality of engaging the public and offering high visibility while it is enforced.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

New Initiative Law In California Makes Far Too Few Fixes

Posted Oct. 11, 2014, 9:32 am

From the rhetoric Gov. Jerry Brown employed on it, you’d think a law he signed early this fall would clean up the initiative process for all time.

Susan Cloke, Columnist

City Council, Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Traffic: The First Question For Santa Monica City Council Candidates

Posted Oct. 8, 2014, 1:53 pm

The Santa Monica City Council members to be elected on Nov. 4, 2014 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.

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

Letter To The Editor: Santa Monicans - Disenfranchisement Anyone?

Posted Oct. 8, 2014, 9:35 am

Dear Editor, Why would anyone vote to disenfranchise themselves? That's what Santa Monica City Council and backers of Measure LC on the local ballot are asking voters to do.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

PUC Chief: Likely First Test Of Governor Jerry Brown's New Term

Posted Oct. 5, 2014, 8:53 am

How concerned will Gov. Jerry Brown be with the well-being of ordinary Californians in the new term he’s widely expected to win next month (the latest major poll has him leading his opponent by a 54-33 percent margin)? How much will he pander to the interests of large corporations?

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor - Santa Monica: Pedestrian Strike Back Measures

Posted Oct. 4, 2014, 7:23 am

Dear Editor, Oh, the joys of the pedestrian in Santa Monica – at least apart from 3rd Street Promenade, where – so far – no cars have yet mowed down our fellow featherless bipeds.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist, Politics

Republican Nominee Neel Kashkari's Fire May Give Him A Future

Posted Oct. 4, 2014, 6:45 am

No candidate likes to admit in October that he has virtually no chance to win the office he’s running for. So it is today with Neel Kashkari, the Republican nominee – read: sacrificial lamb – who is Gov. Jerry Brown’s reelection opponent.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Why Six Californias Failed: It's A Lousy Idea

Posted Sep. 28, 2014, 8:55 am

There is little doubt about why the putative “Six Californias” ballot initiative that Silicon Valley billionaire Tim Draper hoped to put on the 2016 ballot failed: It was and is a terrible idea.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica

The Big Reason California Water Bond Will Pass: It Should

Posted Sep. 27, 2014, 8:54 am

The outcome is rarely certain when state government asks voter permission to spend $7.5 billion of the taxpayers’ money, but it’s also unusual for a ballot proposition to win as wide a range of support as Prop. 1 already had more than a month before the Nov. 4 Election Day.

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

Letter To The Editor: Santa Monica Airport Is More Than A Historical Landmark

Posted Sep. 23, 2014, 7:38 am

Dear Editor, Santa Monica Airport is more than a historical landmark. It is the first responder for emergencies and life-saving transplants, a place of refuge for all West Los Angeles residents, and currently cuts down on airport noise and pollution, based on current guidelines within Measure D.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Why Democrats Will Have A Lock On California For A While

Posted Sep. 21, 2014, 6:29 am

It was lawbreaking, both proven and alleged, that ended the Democrats’ supermajority in the state Senate. Republicans and their efforts had nothing to do with it. Until state Sens. Roderick Wright of Los Angeles, Ron Calderon of Montebello and Leland Yee of San Francisco encountered serious legal problems, Democrats had more than two-thirds of the seats in both houses of the Legislature for almost the first time ever.

Sports, Opinion, California, Santa Monica

The NFL: The New Vatican?

Posted Sep. 20, 2014, 8:10 am

This just in: The ranks of professional football players include many large and muscular men who are prone to acts of violence. We’ll have more on this sudden and totally unexpected revelation, but first our top story: Gosh, it’s hot outside! Is there something going on with the climate of the planet?

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Tesla 'Loss': California Evades A Massive Giveaway

Posted Sep. 20, 2014, 8:08 am

There are very few Americans who need welfare and government support less than Elon Musk, the hyper-creative head of the Tesla Motors electric car company, the Space X rocketry and satellite hoisting firm and Solar City, a leader in renewable energy.

One of the ponies at the Santa Monica farmers market on Sundays at Main Street.

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

Letter To The Editor: Santa Monica Council Acts With Compassion For Ponies

Posted Sep. 15, 2014, 9:47 am

Dear Editor, I want to thank the Santa Monica City Council for moving forward with a compassionate heart recently, when it voted to instruct city staff to explore more spacious park-line venues for our animal friends now displayed like pieces of equipment at the Main Street Farmers Market.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Education

Teacher Tenure Becomes Key California Campaign Issue

Posted Sep. 13, 2014, 7:30 am

For three months, the time bomb that is the Vergara vs. California court decision lurked in the background as two of this fall’s major political contests gradually took shape.

A rendering of Worthe Real Estate Group’s proposal for the future development of Bergamot Station Arts Center. Joe Coriaty of Frederick Fisher and Partners, the architects with the Worthe team said, “Keep Bergamot Bergamot. Focus on the arts.”

City Council, Opinion, Santa Monica

Bergamot Station: Art, Artists & The Expo Line

Posted Sep. 13, 2014, 7:27 am

Pausing to catch her breath, the speaker at the podium explained she had raced up the steps to Council Chambers. She was part of the overflow audience in the lobby below waiting her turn to speak at the Council hearing on the future of the Santa Monica arts venue, Bergamot Station.

Opinion, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Airport

Letter To The Editor: The Aviation Industry's Dirty Little Secret

Posted Sep. 6, 2014, 9:15 am

Dear Editor, If you knew your trip on a plane was going to inflict a lifetime of suffering onto a child, would you still take that trip? If you knew about the much higher rate of cancer, disease and illness that afflicts thousands of people in the flight paths would you still get on that plane? Does it seem right to say it’s their fault for moving there once you know these residents living near the airport are victims without knowledge of their own risk or options to protect themselves?

The high volume Big Blue Bus shelters at Santa Monica College.

Opinion, Big Blue Bus, Santa Monica

Big Blue Bus Stop Design Helps Beat The Crunch

Posted Sep. 6, 2014, 9:02 am

I want to offer my personal apologies to all the parties involved in the redesign of the Big Blue Bus stops, even though I’m likely to only add to the chorus of voices now bleating about the work.

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