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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Time For Sanity In Sanctuary City Policies

Posted Jul. 26, 2015, 9:04 am

There is no need – at least not yet – for total abandonment of the humane aspects of the immigration “sanctuary” laws now on the books in 276 American cities, counties and states. But in the wake of the seemingly random murder of a 32-year-old woman on San Francisco’s touristy Pier 14, not far from the landmark Ferry Building, there is surely a need for new sanity in sanctuary policies.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Politics

Donald Trump As The New Pete Wilson

Posted Jul. 25, 2015, 8:34 am

As Donald Trump, real estate mogul, TV star and Republican presidential candidate, made a whirlwind mid-July trip around the West in his private, blue-painted Boeing 767 jet, it almost seemed like he was trying to sabotage his own party. This was before he went off on the military record of the GOP icon, Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Will Prop. 47 Turn Out To Be A Fire Hazard?

Posted Jul. 19, 2015, 9:32 am

Bobby Burns couldn’t have known it, but as California approaches what many experts forecast to be the worst wildfire season on record, his description of how good intentions can go awry, not always turning out as planned, might come into play here soon.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Santa Monica Pier Group Pressure To Perform

Posted Jul. 19, 2015, 9:29 am

“What time is it?” In answer to the trademark question posited by funk band The Time’s leader Morris Day, it’s time for the Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Concert Series of the summer. That’s the good news: One of the more successful free public event series in our city got off to a rousing start when Day and The Time finally hit the stage last Thursday July 9.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

News, Opinion, Santa Monica

‘Robbing The Hood’ Ruling Shows PUC Unchanged By Scandal

Posted Jul. 18, 2015, 8:43 am

It’s time once more to roll out the lyrics of The Who’s classic 1971 song “Won’t Get Fooled Again” when examining the California Public Utilities Commission, which nominally exists to make sure monopoly utility companies don’t overcharge their captive-audience customers.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Health, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Vaccination Vacillation Shows Governor Jerry Brown's Pragmatism

Posted Jul. 12, 2015, 9:37 am

“A foolish consistency,” the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once noted, “is the hobgoblin of little minds,” and no one has ever accused Gov. Jerry Brown of being small minded. So why be surprised when he completely reverses himself as he did the other day on vaccinations?

Do you have a Letter to the Editor? Email editor@smmirror.com.

News, Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

SMCLC Proposes Changes To Inadequate Santa Monica Lobbying Ordinance

Posted Jul. 11, 2015, 10:41 am

Dear City Council, As a matter of good governance and transparency, SMCLC strongly supports Santa Monica enacting a much-needed ordinance requiring the registration and timely reporting of paid lobbyists.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

About Time To Meter Ground Water Wells In California

Posted Jul. 11, 2015, 10:12 am

Water flows downhill. It’s a basic reality now playing out 500 feet below the surface of California’s farmland everywhere from the fertile Central Valley to the citrus orchards of Riverside and San Diego counties.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Public Says It Likes Split Roll, May Get No Vote On It

Posted Jul. 5, 2015, 7:00 am

Firm Republican opposition to tinkering of any kind with the 1978 Proposition 13 is one reason voters may get no chance next year to decide whether or not to tax commercial and industrial land and buildings more than residential property.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Dear Mom & Dad: Could I Please Not Be Sick?

Posted Jul. 4, 2015, 6:21 am

At a certain point in the chronology of science fiction films, things turned and “the future” wasn’t always represented as being wonderful and full of zippy monorails and smooth clothing with white turtlenecks. Instead, right around the release of “Blade Runner”, the future became dystopian. Murderous robots, mutants, flesh eaters, and horrific plagues. And that was if you lived in the good part of town.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

News, Opinion, Santa Monica

PUC Reform Bills Too Little,Too Late

Posted Jul. 4, 2015, 6:18 am

It’s the same with the state Public Utilities Commission these days as with almost everything else: by the time state legislators notice something is a problem, things are so bad, so extreme that other people and agencies have already acted.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Long Wait Looms For GOP Congress Gains In California

Posted Jun. 28, 2015, 9:02 am

Few things gall California Republicans more than realizing they hold just 14 of this state’s 53 seats in Congress. That’s only 26 percent of California’s representatives, while the opposition Democrats, with a mere 14 percent more registered voters, hold 39 seats, or about 74 percent.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Lawn Replacement In California: Mixed Bag Of Good, Bad Effects

Posted Jun. 27, 2015, 7:42 am

Listen to water officials from Gov. Jerry Brown down to local officials and you’d think replacing lawns with drought-resistant plants or artificial turf is a pure good, no negatives involved.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Santa Monica: Land Of The Giants

Posted Jun. 22, 2015, 9:35 am

In general, there’s a human tendency to want to be associated with winners. Last Tuesday I cheered on the Golden State Warriors, who would ‘bring it’ in the form of a pretty exciting game 6 finale to the NBA Championship, simply because the Warriors are based in California.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist

Vergara Time Bomb Still Hangs Over California Public Schools

Posted Jun. 21, 2015, 8:53 am

Like a time bomb, the court decision in Vergara v. California has been mostly dormant since the last election season ended in November 2014. But its explosive potential remains as large as ever.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Education

UC Regents: Define Anti-Semitism Or Enable It

Posted Jun. 20, 2015, 9:12 am

Top University of California officials including President Janet Napolitano and several campus chancellors publicly deplore the way activists pushing UC to boycott Israel seemed to spawn outright anti-Semitic actions and outcries over the last few months.

Do you have a Letter to the Editor? Email editor@smmirror.com.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: SMMUSD Health & Safety DAC Support Wellness Center At Samohi

Posted Jun. 14, 2015, 10:23 am

Dear Editor, We, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Health and Safety District Advisory Committee, strongly support funding for the Venice Family Clinic (VFC) as the lead agency of a Health and Wellness center at Santa Monica High School (SAMO High).

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Cali

Housing Now A Huge, Unheralded State Crisis

Posted Jun. 14, 2015, 10:02 am

In the Los Angeles area, fewer than one in four households headed by persons in their 20s or early 30s – known demographically as “millennials” – can afford to buy the median-priced home, which now goes for just over $500,000.

Do you have a Letter to the Editor? Email editor@smmirror.com.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica, Education

Letter To The Editor: Kudos To The Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation

Posted Jun. 13, 2015, 9:45 am

Dear Editor, As a long-time supporter of our local public schools, I have followed with great interest the recent successes of the Santa Monica Malibu Education Foundation.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Bit By Bit, 'Disclose Act' Becomes More Real In California

Posted Jun. 13, 2015, 9:00 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 from corporations to labor unions to individual billionaires pour millions of dollars into elections campaigns while hiding their identities.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Health, Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Nurse Practitioners: A Boon For Underserved Areas

Posted Jun. 7, 2015, 10:00 am

Let nurse practitioners in California have almost all the authority that doctors now possess, urges the state Senate via a proposed law it has already cleared.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Authenticity In The 21st Century

Posted Jun. 6, 2015, 11:11 am

A book originally published in 1983 called “Quintessence: The Quality of Having It” was filled with objects, foods, places… in short, things that had “quintessence”: The quality of being the best example or most typical of something.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Gasoline Price Gouging Evidence Grows

Posted Jun. 6, 2015, 8:31 am

Just about two years ago, when gasoline prices in most of California last moved well above the $4-per-gallon level, crude oil cost $147 a barrel. Oil companies said the high price of crude was a major factor in that price spike.

Do you have a Letter to the Editor? Email editor@smmirror.com.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: How About No To Traffic?

Posted Jun. 1, 2015, 9:25 am

Dear Editor, The debate about development is still raging. How high? How much parking? How much density? All of these questions are irrelevant. Traffic is destroying Santa Monica and the City has its head in the sand when it comes to this truth.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Beam Us Up, Scotty; California Drought Spurring Ideas

Posted May. 31, 2015, 8:36 am

Ideas come fast every time California endures a drought of several years. Each time, some of them are accepted and put into use, thus making the next drought a bit easier to handle.

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