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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica

Higher Turnout & Other Fall Election Certainties

Posted Jul. 27, 2014, 10:44 am

Make no mistake, the fall election season began on the evening of June 3, just as soon as the primary election polls closed. But no one has spent much on the election since then, nor has the vast majority of voters focused on any issues to be decided in November.

A Black Cormorant on Santa Monica Beach.

Opinion, Election, Santa Monica, Columnist

What Say You? Of Cormorants & Santa Monica City Council Candidates

Posted Jul. 26, 2014, 8:51 am

Santa Monica summer at the beach: Surfers, children splashing in the waves, junior lifeguards in training, long distance ocean swimmers in the surf, and runners on the beach paths.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Will History Repeat In Child Immigrant Crisis?

Posted Jul. 26, 2014, 8:49 am

For some people familiar with the history of the runup to World War II, there’s a sense of déjà vu in today’s humanitarian crisis along the Mexican border these days, as resistance rises against the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children attempting to enter and stay in the United States.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Red Light Camera Fate Now Uncertain In California

Posted Jul. 20, 2014, 8:56 am

There are few worse feelings for a driver than receiving a letter purporting to show that person in the act of running a red light.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Election, Santa Monica

Election Focus: Changing Of The Political Guard

Posted Jul. 19, 2014, 8:53 am

For a state that has long been a symbol of youth, there’s been a lot of age among California’s preeminent politicians of the last decade. But that began to change in 2012, and the shift accelerated this summer as many of the old guard chose not to brave the “top two” primary system that threatened to expose them to serious intra-party challenges.

One of the new Big Blue Bus stops on Main Street. Officials say they will modify elements of its new bus stops to improve seating capacity and functionality.

News, Opinion, Big Blue Bus, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: Big Blue Bus Stops Biggest Mistake Santa Monica Has Ever Made

Posted Jul. 14, 2014, 9:17 am

Dear Editor, I am recently back from college and looking at the city with fresh eyes, I was astonished at the new bus benches. In fact, I’m pretty sure I doubled over with laughter when I laid my eyes on my first one. Yep, you guessed it, this is yet another Letter to the Editor about possibly the biggest mistake carbon footprint-conscious Santa Monica has ever made…ever.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Health, Opinion, California, Columnist

Is Vaccination Order Linked to Pertussis Epidemic?

Posted Jul. 13, 2014, 9:05 am

For almost seven months, California parents have been free to claim without offering any proof that their religion forbids getting their children vaccinated against once dreaded and disabling diseases like polio, mumps, pertussis and smallpox.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

“Walkin’ In LA, Nobody Walks In LA”

Posted Jul. 12, 2014, 8:27 am

In light of the recent report by SmartGrowth America and George Washington University stating that Los Angeles is on the cusp of becoming a “major” walkable urban area, and having been inspired by a stage piece in which a young man talks about his conquest over obesity, and also because I had two rum and Cokes on the airplane… last week I walked home from LAX. Walked. From United terminal 7 to Santa Monica. According to online estimates, that’s about eight and half miles. It wasn’t the pentathlon, but near the end I was hurting all the same.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Environment, Opinion, California, Columnist

Ranchers Coming Around On Global Warming

Posted Jul. 12, 2014, 8:20 am

The chorus of global warming deniers has not shrunk. Outcries claiming the entire issue is fraudulent are not going away.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Early California Prison Releases A Political Hazard, Too

Posted Jul. 6, 2014, 8:55 am

From early in his career, Gov. Jerry Brown has had a proclivity for dismissing problems with wisecracks or aphorisms. As early as 1975, in the first term of his first go-‘round as California’s top official, he mocked university professors’ pleas for pay raises by saying they didn’t need more money, but could make do with “psychic rewards.”

The Pico Branch Library ribbon cutting ceremony held Saturday with Mayor Pam O’Connor, Pico Neighborhood Association Co-Chair Oscar de la Torre, and Virginia Avenue Park Advisory Board member Nick Steers.

Opinion, Santa Monica, Library, Pico

Hurrah For The New Pico Branch Library In Santa Monica

Posted Jul. 5, 2014, 9:10 am

Elected officials, poets, librarians, community activists, educators, architects, writers, community residents, and park and library users gathered together on Saturday, June 28 for a daylong celebration of the opening of the first new public library to be built in Santa Monica in 50 years, the Pico Branch Library.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Governor Jerry Brown Gets New Chance To Make Over California Supreme Court

Posted Jul. 5, 2014, 9:08 am

For more than a decade, while California has been among the most liberal of America’s “blue” states, its highest court has been dominated by leftovers from two of its more conservative governors.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist

Will California Lawmakers Kill Energy Independence Moves?

Posted Jun. 29, 2014, 8:55 am

Nothing is more important to California’s large privately-owned utilities than the virtual monopolies they enjoy in most of the state.

Opinion, Farmers Market, Santa Monica, Oped

If I Free The Ponies, Can I Still Eat Hamburgers?

Posted Jun. 28, 2014, 1:58 am

If parents want to seek out a pony ride for their child they should be free to do that. But our city is not required to knowingly support outdated practices,especially when there’s even a whiff of potential abuse involved.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Oped, Military, Base Closures

California Faces Dicey New Round Of Base Closings

Posted Jun. 28, 2014, 1:55 am

The base closures are one reason California ranks 43rd among all states in federal per capita spending, getting back just 78 cents for every dollar its taxpayers put into the U.S. treasury.

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

Letter To The Editor: Santa Monica City Council In Midst Of An Identity Crisis

Posted Jun. 24, 2014, 9:18 am

It appears that our Santa Monica City Council is in the midst of an identity crisis, our identity. They believe that both we and they live or should live in a different much denser urban place.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Will California Power Companies Start “Robbing The ‘Hood’”?

Posted Jun. 22, 2014, 8:57 am

For decades, Californians who use the most electricity have paid extra for that privilege, on the theory that high prices might provide an incentive for them to use less.

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

Opinion, Farmers Market, Main Street, Santa Monica

Santa Monica Animal Cruelty Disguised As Entertainment

Posted Jun. 21, 2014, 6:56 am

The much-revered Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” I shudder to think what this peaceful warrior would say if he passed by the Santa Monica farmers market on Main Street.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

California State Senators Clearly Prefer Money Over Trust

Posted Jun. 21, 2014, 6:54 am

There was a clear message when the state Senate in mid-June first rejected a ban on legislators taking campaign contributions during the last 100 days of each lawmaking session, and then partially reversed itself to finally pass a watered-down version covering a much shorter time period.

Planning Commission, Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: Activity Centers Benefit Santa Monica

Posted Jun. 17, 2014, 9:10 am

Dear Editor, When I moved to Santa Monica about 15 years ago, I chose to live near Wilshire because of transit. I have long seen increased use of mass transit as a very important part of a healthy society. Anyone who looks at the traffic along Wilshire can tell that it’s a transit corridor.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Democrats Should Blame Selves If They Blow A Statewide Office

Posted Jun. 15, 2014, 9:01 am

Democrats and other detractors of California’s “top two” primary system have been whining ever since the June 3 primary election that it would be wrong to have two Republicans vie in the November general election for the state controller’s job, considered by many the fourth most significant statewide office.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, Santa Monica, Columnist

Have Auto Deaths Inured Us To Gun Deaths?

Posted Jun. 14, 2014, 8:56 am

Who among us that drives on our freeways and streets has not experienced the following cycle of realization: There’s some kind of traffic jam. The fact that you’re at a standstill in the middle of the day brings you to the second thought: that there must have been an accident up ahead. And then that third thought: Somebody may have just been killed in their car… and I’m sitting here cursing out the traffic and the heat.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: Lincoln Neighborhood Corridor Plan Has Exciting Possibilities

Posted Jun. 14, 2014, 8:54 am

Dear Editor, The Santa Monica City Council approved funding at their June 10 meeting for consultants to begin work with the community, and the Planning Department, in an effort to improve Lincoln Blvd. south of the freeway.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

If Not Isla Vista, What Can Keep Guns From Mentally Ill?

Posted Jun. 14, 2014, 8:53 am

As the round of memorial services for the six students fatally stabbed and shot in late May by the psychotic killer Elliot Rodger recedes into memory, a serious public policy question remains even while families and friends are left with their private grief:

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica, Housing, Rent Control

Letter To The Editor: Is This The End Of Rent Control In Santa Monica?

Posted Jun. 11, 2014, 2:50 pm

Dear Editor, This just happened to my assistant in Santa Monica: My assistant has lived in her Santa Monica rent control apartment since the early 80’s. She was a renter during the era of TORCA conversions and because she could not afford to convert her one bedroom apartment into a condo, she has remained there as a tenant ever since.

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