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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

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:

(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

News, California, Columnist, Police Department, Government

Why Latinos Are Key As Democrats Plot 2016 Strategies

Posted Jan. 24, 2015, 9:34 am

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

Dr. Maija Sanna is a board-certified geriatrician with the highly regarded UCLA Geriatrics Program in Santa Monica and Westwood. For more information, call 310.319.4371 or visit www.uclahealth.org.

Health, Ucla, Santa Monica, Columnist

Putting A Medical Spin On Dizziness

Posted Jan. 19, 2015, 9:23 am

Whether it was too many turns on the dance floor, the boat ride to Catalina or that glass of champagne at a New Year’s party, dizziness is a feeling that affects everyone at one time or another. Dr. Maija Sanna

Hot Flash columnist Barbara Bishop says meditation has helped her to prevent stress, release accumulated stress, improve my immune system, and decrease any tension-related pain, such as headaches, muscle, and joint pain.

Health, Santa Monica, Columnist, Hot Flash

The Weekly Hot Flash: My Many Benefits Of Meditation

Posted Jan. 19, 2015, 9:18 am

So it’s 2015. Resolutions have been made. What’s interesting is that all of a sudden, everyone’s talking about meditation as the hot new thing to do to this year – heal yourself, lose weight, find a mate, and get rid of stress. Yet, it’s been around for thousands of years.

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.

Dr. Mao Shing Ni

Health, Dr. Mao, Santa Monica, Columnist

Q&A: Natural Weight Loss Remedies For The New Year

Posted Jan. 4, 2015, 6:00 am

Holiday eating can get the best of us sometimes causing us to carry around a few extra pounds. Below are the two most common questions I receive from patients regarding a healthy weight.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist

California PUC Chief Departs, But Bad Decisions Live On

Posted Jan. 3, 2015, 6:00 am

After 12 years of favoring big utility companies over individual consumers, Michael Peevey has at last left the California Public Utilities Commission. But many of his ill-considered, some say corrupt, decisions will linger on.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

News, Opinion, California, Columnist

California Voters Succeed, Create De Facto Third Party

Posted Dec. 27, 2014, 6:54 am

The two major parties will be arrayed as usual when Gov. Jerry Brown looks out from the podium of the state Assembly chamber as he delivers his combination inaugural and state of the state speech, Democrats on one side and Republicans on the other.

Susan Cloke, Columnist

Opinion, Holiday, Santa Monica, Columnist

The Practice Of Gratitude

Posted Dec. 24, 2014, 9:28 am

Gratitude infused the love I felt as I looked around the full Sunday morning brunch table. I’ve been thinking lately about the value of gratitude in the personal, daily experience of life and about its meaning in human history.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

'Disclose Act' Still A Must, Has A Change In 2015

Posted Dec. 21, 2014, 9:49 am

If there’s one main reason for the distrust many Californians feel for government and elected officials at all levels, it may be the way special interests regularly pour millions of dollars into election campaigns while managing to mask or obscure their identities.

Mirror columnist Barbara Bishop.

Santa Monica, Columnist, Hot Flash

The Gift Of Gratitude This Holiday Season

Posted Dec. 19, 2014, 9:15 am

It seems like every holiday season, my stress level triples. This season started out the same way. There are always too many things to carry in from my car. Zoey (my rescue pup) peed on the rug again. There’s a small leak in our roof from the rain.

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.

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, 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.

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.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government, Opinoi

Lame Duck Jerry Brown: More Than A Caretaker?

Posted Nov. 1, 2014, 9:12 am

During his first eight years as governor, Jerry Brown was so imaginative about what state government could do that he won the nickname “Gov. Moonbeam.” It took Brown, then in his 30s, to theorize that a state could launch its own communication satellite. And that a governor should deal person to person with presidents and prime ministers of foreign countries. Common sense ideas today, but visionary in the 1970s.

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