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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Time To Examine Conspiracy In Peevey-PUC Scandal

Posted Mar. 1, 2015, 7:54 am

California attorney general's agents wasted no time after this column in late January called for a criminal investigation of the former state Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey. Less than five days later, investigators executed a search warrant at Peevey’s primary home in La Canada Flintridge.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government, Politics

Condoleezza Rice's Poll Standing: Star Power Still A Political Factor

Posted Feb. 28, 2015, 8:27 am

Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration and now a Stanford University professor, has stated very clearly she would rather attend college basketball games and help choose the college football playoff teams than be a U.S. senator.

More than 1000 Norwegian Muslims form a 'Ring of Peace' around an Oslo synagogue after the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen and Paris.

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist, Religion

What Say You? Yousef Bittar: An American Muslim

Posted Feb. 28, 2015, 8:16 am

“Chanting ‘No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia,’ Norway’s Muslims formed what they called a ring of peace a week after Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, a Danish-born son of Palestinian immigrants, killed two people at a synagogue and an event promoting free speech in Copenhagen last weekend,” the New York Times published on Feb. 21.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Go Slow On Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact

Posted Feb. 22, 2015, 8:53 am

References to trade agreements were some of the very few passages during President Obama’s State of the Union speech late last month that moved Republicans to stand and applaud along with Obama’s Democratic Party allies.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government, Politics

A Single Vote Really Does Count

Posted Feb. 21, 2015, 8:43 am

Barely 21 percent of eligible California voters cast ballots in last fall’s election, which means about 80 percent of the eligible populace should have no complaints even if they don’t like the performances of those who were elected for the next two or four years.

Health, Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica, Smmusd

Letter To The Editor: SMMUSD Health & Safety DAC Supports Vaccinations

Posted Feb. 17, 2015, 8:43 am

Dear Editor, We, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Health and Safety District Advisory Committee, strongly support the school district’s efforts in educating the public regarding the importance of vaccination given the recent cases of Measles we’ve seen in the district.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election

Initiative Carnival Coming Next Year

Posted Feb. 15, 2015, 9:39 am

If voters get annoyed and sick of seeing paid petition circulators outside their favorite big box stores during the next 15 months, they will have only themselves to blame.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: Democratic Club Commends Immunization In Schools

Posted Feb. 14, 2015, 9:17 am

The Santa Monica Democratic Club executive board commends our new State Senator, Santa Monica’s favorite son and former SMMUSD Board President Ben Allen, for co-authoring legislation with Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who is a pediatrician, to repeal the personal-belief exemption that currently allows parents to decline on behalf of their children the immunizations schools require as a condition of attendance.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

News, Opinion, Celebrity, Santa Monica

Bruce Jenner’s Biggest Hurdle: Us

Posted Feb. 14, 2015, 9:12 am

At the risk of sounding as though I am way behind the curve and didn’t see it coming, we are now in a new age of information. Although our reliance on new devices and the Internet has facilitated the change I want to discuss, it is not necessarily at the heart of it. Ultimately, the change is in us: We are now officially without a means of prioritizing the category of information that we used to refer to as “the news.”

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

California Tax Overhaul Plan Has Potential

Posted Feb. 14, 2015, 9:10 am

Rarely does a freshman state senator propose anything substantial during his or her first few days in office. But Robert Herzberg, elected last fall from a safe Democratic district in the San Fernando Valley portion of Los Angeles, is hardly a typical newbie.

“The Joy of Being Read To” by Richard Willis

Opinion, Hometown Hero, Main Street, Santa Monica

Hometown Heroes: Medicine & Arts - Richard Willis, Daniela Schweitzer, Lou D’Elia

Posted Feb. 8, 2015, 8:29 am

The “Joy of Being Read To,” “Turning the Page,” and “Shhhh” are the titles of three of the sculptures on display at the Essentia showroom and art gallery at 2430 Main Street in Santa Monica.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Technology, Government, Obama

Doubling H1-B Visas Via An End Run

Posted Feb. 8, 2015, 8:22 am

Green cards for spouses – that’s the latest quiet Obama Administration move to please and appease the high-tech companies in Silicon Valley and elsewhere who constantly clamor for more H1-B visas to bring in cheap, skilled foreign labor.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Health, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Prospects Improve For Condoms-In-Porn Initiative

Posted Feb. 1, 2015, 8:58 am

For years, the loudest arguments against expanding a landmark Los Angeles law requiring condom use by adult film actors in sex scenes to the rest of California were financial and geographic:

One of the ponies at the Santa Monica farmers market every Sunday.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: PETA - Marcy Winograd A Hero For Exposing Animal Exploitation

Posted Jan. 31, 2015, 9:21 am

Dear Editor: To those of us who believe that forcing animals into servitude is ethically indefensible, Marcy Winograd is a hero. As are those city councilors who recognized that there are many family-friendly activities that don’t involve animal exploitation. Being tethered to turnstiles or spending days in pens is no quality of life for animals.

(Left) Name: Theo. Lives: Santa Monica. Wearing: Adidas sneakers. (Center) Just moved to Santa Monica from Sweden.Wearing: Baseball socks from American Apparel/flower hair band. (Right) Names: Ryan and Rich. Lives: Marina Del Rey and Santa Monica. Wearing: Sunglasses from Eyes On Main / Paul Smith sneakers.

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist, Fashion

Clothing Honor Wears Thin In Santa Monica

Posted Jan. 31, 2015, 8:47 am

We can all relax now, because the results are in: Santa Monica is the best-dressed “suburb” in America. Whew! Yes, it was close there for a while when it was announced that Mukwonago, Wisconsin was “The Culottes Capital of the Midwest” and then there was that kerfuffle concerning bib overalls and whether they had to necessarily be “paint and dirt-free” to qualify as sportswear, but we came out victorious.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica, Government, Politics

Governor Jerry Brown Could – But Won’t – Dominate Race To Replace Boxer In Senate

Posted Jan. 31, 2015, 8:40 am

If the current large corps of potential candidates for retiring U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s job look to some like a gaggle of political pygmies, it might have something to do with the proverbial 800-pound gorilla lurking in their living room. That would be Gov. Jerry Brown, who could most likely have the job for the asking.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Criminal Investigation For California Utility Regulators?

Posted Jan. 25, 2015, 9:28 am

Memo to United States Attorneys in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego: It’s high time you investigate the former president and some current members and officials of the California Public Utilities Commission for things like conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

Latest Santa Monica Airport news.

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

AOPA Objects To Santa Monica's Claim Over Airport In Federal Appeals Case

Posted Jan. 24, 2015, 9:41 am

The City of Santa Monica’s efforts to absolve itself from an agreement with the federal government are obviously intended to restrict or end operations at Santa Monica Airport in violation of longstanding federal law and a specific contract it signed, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) argued in a federal appeals court filing Thursday.

Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, published the issue dubbed as 'The Survivors’ Issue' on January 14.

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

What Say You? Charlie Hebdo Tribute Posters Pop Up On Westside

Posted Jan. 18, 2015, 9:30 am

Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, published the issue dubbed as “The Survivors’ Issue” on January 14. The cover is a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, a tear in his eye, carrying a “Je suis Charlie” sign. The caption above reads, “All is forgiven.”

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

California Red Light Camera Plague Abating A Bit

Posted Jan. 18, 2015, 9:18 am

For many California drivers, there have been few worse plagues than the red light cameras that once operated in more than 70 cities across the state.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Dining, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Foie Gras,With A Side Order Of Guilt

Posted Jan. 17, 2015, 9:06 am

Full Disclosure: At some point I may have eaten some foie gras; fattened goose liver thought by folks who like that sort of thing to be a delicacy. I know I’ve been in rooms where such items were presented, but I can’t testify as to whether I liked foie gras or not. I know as a kid I used to love a liverwurst sandwich with lettuce on rye bread, although we specifically ate the version known as Braunschweiger. I know, I know: This stuff right here is fascinating, but hang on.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Columnist, Government

Tail Wags Dog Again In Presidential Race

Posted Jan. 17, 2015, 9:04 am

Almost exactly one year from today – Jan. 26, 2016 – voters in New Hampshire will don parkas and trek through snowdrifts to tell the rest of America who should be running for president and who should not.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Government

Big Utilities' Nightmare Begins To Play Out In California

Posted Jan. 11, 2015, 8:47 am

The biggest nightmare of California’s largest utility companies may be about to begin playing out, thanks to a small irrigation district in San Joaquin County and a bunch of disgruntled customers of Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Ocean Park beach bathroom workers are fighting for their jobs.

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

Letter To The Editor: Keep Our Santa Monica Beach Bathrooms Clean, Safe

Posted Jan. 9, 2015, 9:26 am

Dear Editor, I’d gamble my teacher paycheck that every woman alive has experienced a feeling of dread walking into a public bathroom. Will it be clean? Will it be safe? Will the door lock? Will there be enough paper? The anxiety is enough to give a woman a stomachache.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Los Angeles, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government, Politics

Analysis: Democrats Line Up To Seek U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer's Job

Posted Jan. 8, 2015, 10:01 am

With U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer’s announcement Thursday that she will retire when her current fourth term ends in early 2017, fellow Democrats are lining up to seek her job.

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