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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Smell Of Fear As Utilities Commission Lawyers Up

Posted Apr. 12, 2015, 11:45 am

The strong odor surrounding California’s most powerful regulatory commission this spring stems not only from corrupt-seeming decisions but also from fear. Fear that past and present members or top staffers of the state Public Utilities Commission might do jail time. Fear they could see personal fortunes decimated by legal fees while fending off state and federal criminal investigations.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Music, Santa Monica, Columnist

Pop Music From Jay To Z

Posted Apr. 12, 2015, 11:43 am

We didn’t know how simple and uncomplicated we had it back in the day. You would hear a song – say from the new Crosby/Stills/Nash album – on the radio. (Radios were boxes that... just Google it). You liked the song. Maybe it even made you think of someone at school you’d been romantic with or wanted to be romantic with. So you went to Sears or Kmart or some other very American, very acceptable mall store and you bought the LP and paid full retail.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist, Courts

Court Frustrates Voters' Will on 'Jessica's Law'

Posted Apr. 11, 2015, 11:25 am

It was no surprise when Proposition 83, the so-called Jessica’s Law, passed in 2006 with better than a 2-1 majority. The issue, as stated in the ballot summary, was where convicted sex offenders should be allowed to live, no matter how long ago their offenses. The plain wish of the vast majority of voters is that these people become pariahs for life, unable to live anywhere near any potential victims.

Mirror columnist Barbara Bishop.

Santa Monica, Columnist, Hot Flash

Frown Lines: Go Away!

Posted Apr. 10, 2015, 8:46 am

So the other day, I was looking in the rearview mirror, and I caught a glimpse of myself. The sun was shining on my face, the cool breeze blowing softly. Sounds lovely, yes? Not.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

'Disclose Act' As Antidote To Dismal Vote Turnouts?

Posted Apr. 4, 2015, 9:12 am

Politicians have come up with myriad alleged reasons for the dismal vote turnouts seen across California in this spring’s municipal elections – not even reaching 10 percent of eligible voters in the state’s biggest city, Los Angeles.

Dr. Alia Tuqan 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.

News, Health, Ucla, Santa Monica, Columnist

Filtering The Facts On Kidney Health

Posted Mar. 28, 2015, 9:15 am

March is “National Kidney Month,” highlighting the role of our kidneys in maintaining overall health and the importance of keeping them healthy. This month’s column covers kidney health and disease and what can be done to protect these vital organs.

Mirror columnist Barbara Bishop.

Santa Monica, Columnist, Hot Flash

How I’m Getting My Groove Back - Dance Lessons

Posted Mar. 28, 2015, 9:10 am

A couple of months ago, I won a series of ballroom dance lessons – the grand prize from a raffle drawing at a luncheon I attended.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist, Santa Monica Airport, Smo

Harrison Ford Crashes Into Santa Monica Airport Issue

Posted Mar. 21, 2015, 8:46 am

People are often inclined to notice that something that has long needed fixing finally gets attention when either a celebrity or a person with other kinds of power is impacted by the issue. Even Dick Cheney softened in 2013 when his daughters went public with a disagreement over gay marriage.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Will Lawyer Hiring Lead To Lower Utility Rates In California?

Posted Mar. 21, 2015, 8:39 am

It’s now possible that mid-February will be remembered for years to come as a fateful time in the century-long history of the California Public Utilities Commission. That’s when, without offering any legal justification, the five commissioners spent public money to hire a criminal lawyer.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Water

Confusion Sets In Over California Ground Water Law

Posted Mar. 15, 2015, 8:46 am

It’s beginning to look like the hosannas that greeted California’s first-ever groundwater regulation law were a tad premature when it passed late last summer.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

A California Comeback For Gerrymandering?

Posted Mar. 14, 2015, 9:11 am

Way back in 1811, almost 40 years before California became a state, then Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry engineered a congressional redistricting plan guaranteed to let his Democratic-Republican Party control his state’s congressional delegation.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Bleeding Stops On One Arnold Schwarzenegger Blunder

Posted Mar. 8, 2015, 6:00 am

California has bled many millions of dollars because of the myriad blunders by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who probably should have remained a muscleman actor and never ventured into politics.

City Council voted to ban exotic animal handlers from exhibiting their reptile and exotic bird pets at Palisades Park near the Pier entrance. The ordinance goes into effect next month.

City Council, Opinion, Parks, Santa Monica, Columnist

Santa Monica City Council: Snakes On A Plan

Posted Mar. 7, 2015, 9:04 am

We often anguish over decisions involving animals here in Santa Monica, such as the recent business involving pony rides at the Main Street farmer’s market.

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

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.

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