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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Natural Gas Exports Will Raise Prices, And Soon

Posted Apr. 19, 2014, 8:48 am

Because of hydraulic fracturing in states like North Dakota and Wyoming, Californians and other Americans have enjoyed lower natural gas prices over the last two winters than any time in the last 15 years. That continues right up to this moment.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

A Few Piecemeal Immigration Changes Likely

Posted Apr. 15, 2014, 9:13 am

The grand compromise on immigration passed by the U.S. Senate 10 months ago is now all but history, despite talk from President Obama and other Democrats about “comprehensive reform.”

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Environment, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Ground Water Becoming Another Big California Fight

Posted Apr. 14, 2014, 9:16 am

The next front in California’s long-running water wars has already opened, and the reasons for it will sometimes be hard to see – but not always.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Courts, Government

Time To Fix A Law The Courts Have Mucked Up

Posted Apr. 6, 2014, 9:03 am

Talk to corporate executives and they’ll often say California is a difficult place to do business, in part because consumers can file class action lawsuits willy-nilly, even when their companies haven’t screwed up.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Driving & Phones: A Digital DWI?

Posted Apr. 5, 2014, 8:36 am

Which is potentially more dangerous: Driving after three vodka tonics, driving with a small dog sitting in your lap… or looking down at your phone to see if Biffy and Skeeter are going to show up at the party tonight? Take your time, since I personally see trouble with all of these.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Courts

Will Manson Family Killer Eventually Go Free?

Posted Mar. 30, 2014, 6:00 am

If it seemed like déjà vu all over again the other day when the state’s parole board issued a decision that could free a leading disciple of perhaps the most vicious killer California has ever seen, that’s because it was.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Plan To Carve California Into Six States? It’s Just A Bad Idea

Posted Mar. 29, 2014, 7:29 am

Here’s a piece of advice for registered voters: When petition carriers accost you outside supermarkets, big box stores or shopping malls asking you to help advance a plan to carve California into six states, don’t sign.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Favor It Or Not, Death Penalty Changes Needed

Posted Mar. 23, 2014, 8:50 am

Few topics divide California as consistently or as evenly as the death penalty. The last time voters had their say on it, they opted by a vote of just over 51-49 percent to keep it around.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Demo Convention Shows Restraint Governor Jerry Brown Provides

Posted Mar. 22, 2014, 6:00 am

One well-worn thought that has not been heard since Jerry Brown in 2010 won his third term as governor is the notion that California’s state Capitol needs some adult supervision.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopened to guests at Disneyland park on March 17, 2014.

California, Travel, Santa Monica

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Reopens With Surprises At Disneyland

Posted Mar. 20, 2014, 2:52 pm

With some new surprises and all the favorite dips and turns, Disneyland park reopened the classic ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad on Monday.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Problems Keeping The Hydrogen Highway Clean

Posted Mar. 16, 2014, 6:55 am

Cleaner air, that’s the aim of about $30 million in “hydrogen highway” grants given each year by the California Energy Commission to companies that will build refueling stations for the hydrogen fuel cell cars due to hit the road between now and 2017.

Susan Cloke, Columnist

Environment, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

What Say You? Drought & Clean Water In Santa Monica

Posted Mar. 15, 2014, 8:50 am

“Drought, it’s got everyone’s attention and that’s a good thing. The storm we had at the beginning of March dropped two inches of rain. Normal rainfall in a year is about 14 inches and this two inches is the first rain we’ve seen,” said Gil Borboa, Water Resources Manager for the City of Santa Monica.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

Unprecedented Conservative Backing For Minimum Wage Increase

Posted Mar. 15, 2014, 8:49 am

From the moment Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed America’s first minimum wage law in 1938 (25 cents per hour, or $11 a week), conservatives have fought increases every time and everywhere they’ve been proposed.

News, Business, California, Santa Monica

California Delinquent Sales Tax Offenders Named, Three From Santa Monica

Posted Mar. 10, 2014, 9:25 am

The California State Board of Equalization (BOE) published its quarterly list of the 500 largest delinquencies of sales and use taxes on Tuesday, revealing more than half a billion dollars that remain unpaid from taxpayers.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

PG&E Gas Rate Request: New Standard For Chutzpah

Posted Mar. 9, 2014, 6:00 am

At the very moment that California’s largest utility company was being assessed a $14 million fine for failing to report discovery of flawed records on its gas pipelines in the San Francisco Peninsula town of San Carlos, the same company was asking for well over $1 billion in rate increases to pay for repairs to that very same pipeline system.

News, California, Election, Santa Monica

Candidate Pools Begin To Take Shape For Local June 3 Primary Races

Posted Mar. 9, 2014, 6:00 am

As a formality, the filing period deadline for the June 3 primary election was extended from Friday until Wednesday for the 33rd Congressional District with incumbent Henry Waxman not seeking reelection.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

California Governor Jerry Brown Called Lazy,Vulnerable

Posted Mar. 8, 2014, 8:01 am

Jerry Brown has been called a lot of things in his 45-year political career, from “Gov. Moonbeam” to “the old man,” but no one ever accused him of being a do-nothing dud of a politician. Until now.

Assemblymember Richard Bloom represents Santa Monica in the state's 50th District.

News, California, Santa Monica

Bloom Introduces AB 2140 To Phase Out Killer Whale Captivity In California

Posted Mar. 7, 2014, 12:38 pm

With the Santa Monica Pier as his backgdrop, Assemblyman Richard Bloom (Dem-50th District) on Friday morning announced he had introduced legislation that seeks to phase out killer whale, or orca, captivity in California.

'Big B's Den' is one of 25 privately owned properties that can be rented through Big Bear Resort Town Rentals.

California, Travel, Santa Monica

Enjoy A Home Away From Home At Big Bear Mountain

Posted Mar. 3, 2014, 9:24 am

Want a home away from home experience while visiting Bear Big for a weekend? Consider looking into Big Bear Resort Town Rentals.

Big Bear Mountain Resorts offers a variety of diverse terrain for skiers and snowboarders.

California, Travel, Santa Monica

Big Bear Mountain Adds Up To 11 Inches Of Snow

Posted Mar. 3, 2014, 9:21 am

It may have been a warm winter in Santa Monica, but Big Bear Mountain Resorts (BBMR) just two hours away added nearly 11 inches of snow over the weekend from the slow-moving winter storm.

The Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation, which is chaired by Assemblymember Richard Bloom.

News, California, Santa Monica

Richard Bloom's Committee Advances Emergency Drought Relief Plan

Posted Mar. 1, 2014, 9:37 am

A $687.4 million package to help address California’s devastatingly dry conditions and to increase local water supplies to communities throughout the state is on its way to Governor Jerry Brown's desk for approval.

Assemblymember Richard Bloom represents Santa Monica in the state's 50th District.

News, California, Santa Monica

Assemblymember Bloom Vows To Continue Effort To Modernize 911 Systems

Posted Mar. 1, 2014, 9:09 am

Amid recent reports that police could not immediately respond to the shooting last November at Los Angeles International Airport because the emer...

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Recent History Shows California Tax Rebates A Bad Idea

Posted Mar. 1, 2014, 8:54 am

If there’s a state budget surplus, let’s return it to the people we took it from, goes the demand these days from conservative Republicans led by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who now represents a lot of barren desert and would like to be governor of California.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

New Vaccination Form Eases Way For False Myths

Posted Feb. 23, 2014, 8:48 am

For almost two months, parents of California public school pupils have been able to claim with no proof that their religion precludes getting their children vaccinated against once dreaded and disabling diseases like polio, rubella, mumps, pertussis and smallpox.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

News, Opinion, California, Santa Monica

California Water Rationing: If It Comes, Do It Right

Posted Feb. 22, 2014, 6:38 am

Despite heavy mid-February rains that briefly drenched Northern California and the respectable ensuing snowfall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the California drought remains.

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