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Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Why Democrats Will Have A Lock On California For A While

Posted Sep. 21, 2014, 6:29 am

It was lawbreaking, both proven and alleged, that ended the Democrats’ supermajority in the state Senate. Republicans and their efforts had nothing to do with it. Until state Sens. Roderick Wright of Los Angeles, Ron Calderon of Montebello and Leland Yee of San Francisco encountered serious legal problems, Democrats had more than two-thirds of the seats in both houses of the Legislature for almost the first time ever.

Sports, Opinion, California, Santa Monica

The NFL: The New Vatican?

Posted Sep. 20, 2014, 8:10 am

This just in: The ranks of professional football players include many large and muscular men who are prone to acts of violence. We’ll have more on this sudden and totally unexpected revelation, but first our top story: Gosh, it’s hot outside! Is there something going on with the climate of the planet?

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Tesla 'Loss': California Evades A Massive Giveaway

Posted Sep. 20, 2014, 8:08 am

There are very few Americans who need welfare and government support less than Elon Musk, the hyper-creative head of the Tesla Motors electric car company, the Space X rocketry and satellite hoisting firm and Solar City, a leader in renewable energy.

One of the ponies at the Santa Monica farmers market on Sundays at Main Street.

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

Letter To The Editor: Santa Monica Council Acts With Compassion For Ponies

Posted Sep. 15, 2014, 9:47 am

Dear Editor, I want to thank the Santa Monica City Council for moving forward with a compassionate heart recently, when it voted to instruct city staff to explore more spacious park-line venues for our animal friends now displayed like pieces of equipment at the Main Street Farmers Market.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Education

Teacher Tenure Becomes Key California Campaign Issue

Posted Sep. 13, 2014, 7:30 am

For three months, the time bomb that is the Vergara vs. California court decision lurked in the background as two of this fall’s major political contests gradually took shape.

A rendering of Worthe Real Estate Group’s proposal for the future development of Bergamot Station Arts Center. Joe Coriaty of Frederick Fisher and Partners, the architects with the Worthe team said, “Keep Bergamot Bergamot. Focus on the arts.”

City Council, Opinion, Santa Monica

Bergamot Station: Art, Artists & The Expo Line

Posted Sep. 13, 2014, 7:27 am

Pausing to catch her breath, the speaker at the podium explained she had raced up the steps to Council Chambers. She was part of the overflow audience in the lobby below waiting her turn to speak at the Council hearing on the future of the Santa Monica arts venue, Bergamot Station.

Opinion, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Airport

Letter To The Editor: The Aviation Industry's Dirty Little Secret

Posted Sep. 6, 2014, 9:15 am

Dear Editor, If you knew your trip on a plane was going to inflict a lifetime of suffering onto a child, would you still take that trip? If you knew about the much higher rate of cancer, disease and illness that afflicts thousands of people in the flight paths would you still get on that plane? Does it seem right to say it’s their fault for moving there once you know these residents living near the airport are victims without knowledge of their own risk or options to protect themselves?

The high volume Big Blue Bus shelters at Santa Monica College.

Opinion, Big Blue Bus, Santa Monica

Big Blue Bus Stop Design Helps Beat The Crunch

Posted Sep. 6, 2014, 9:02 am

I want to offer my personal apologies to all the parties involved in the redesign of the Big Blue Bus stops, even though I’m likely to only add to the chorus of voices now bleating about the work.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

If Not Six Californias, How About One, Sovereign CA?

Posted Sep. 6, 2014, 8:59 am

Two years from now, Californians will not only be thinking about electing a U.S. senator, 53 members of Congress and a President, but most likely also about the possibility of carving up their state into six new ones.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Airport

Letters To The Editor: Why I'm Advocating Santa Monica Airport Should Be Parkland

Posted Sep. 5, 2014, 10:15 am

Dear Editor, People ask me why I care so much about the future of the Santa Monica Airport, and why I am advocating so fiercely that the land purchased with parkland bond money be restored to being used as parkland.

Development, Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: The Magic Of Adaptive Reuse

Posted Sep. 2, 2014, 9:22 am

Dear Editor, Just like your body, the urban fabric is continually renewing itself: buildings are continually torn down and new ones erected in their place in response to economic, demographic and political factors.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica

Time For California Utility Execs To Start Worrying

Posted Aug. 31, 2014, 8:57 am

Executives of California’s large privately-owned utility companies don’t usually have to worry about much. Their companies enjoy virtual monopolies in vast regions, their profits are guaranteed, their shareholders are generally assured of regular dividends – which means they can count on collecting large salaries indefinitely.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Signs Indicate California Recovery Will Last

Posted Aug. 30, 2014, 8:55 am

There are still skeptics who maintain the California economy remains in recession, that talk of economic recovery amounts to whistling past the proverbial graveyard when unemployment remains above 7 per cent.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica, Santa Monica Airport

Letter To The Editor: Santa Monica Airport's Competing Ballot Measures

Posted Aug. 24, 2014, 9:44 am

Dear Editor: I would like to weigh in on the competing ballot measures regarding the future of the Santa Monica Airport. There has been a great deal of conflicting information put out about the land which the airport occupies.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Columnist, Government

Tesla Has California Walking A Tightrope

Posted Aug. 24, 2014, 8:55 am

And so California government now walks a tightrope, put in that position by one of the latest in the large corps of successful high-tech startups this state has spawned over the last few decades.

Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Film

Porn Leaves Los Angeles: Cue Small Violins

Posted Aug. 23, 2014, 9:16 am

All right, first of all… you have to make pornography somewhere. I’m not saying you have to make pornography; I’m saying if you are going to make pornography, you likely need someplace to make it. Production of “adult video,” which for many years has been headquartered nationally in “the Valley,” appears to be tapering off.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Politics

Top Two Changing Runoff Votes In California, Not Just Primaries

Posted Aug. 23, 2014, 9:14 am

When California voters adopted the “top two” primary election system four years ago via Proposition 14, they meant to make state politics more moderate, to ease some of the sharp divides between Republicans and Democrats that led to legislative and budgetary gridlock.

Development, Opinion, Santa Monica

Editor To The Letter: The Bergamot Arts Complex - Not Too Late To Get It Right

Posted Aug. 21, 2014, 8:46 am

Dear Editor, The train is coming! In less than two years, the Expo Line will arrive in Santa Monica. While the Expo Station will be ready on time, the adjacent Bergamot Arts Complex likely will not.

Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: Backing Israel Analysis Refreshing

Posted Aug. 20, 2014, 9:25 am

Dear Editor, We enjoyed reading Tom Elias' piece "Senators Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein: Different Routes In Backing Israel" in The Mirror on August 8. We would add to your refreshing analysis that mainstream media glosses over the fact that Hamas is a religious organization with a faith-based contract with Allah, their supreme being - who they believe mandated their mission.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

Changing Local Election Dates: Democrats Seek More Domination

Posted Aug. 17, 2014, 8:51 am

No one knows better than Democratic Party politicians that voters who tend to support them are at high tide in November general elections during even-numbered years when offices like President and governor and U.S. senator are at stake.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Government

President Obama Risks Alienating Latinos From Democrats

Posted Aug. 16, 2014, 6:00 am

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

Hometown Hero councilman Bob Holbrook.

City Council, Opinion, Hometown Hero, Santa Monica

Hometown Hero: Santa Monica Councilman Bob Holbrook

Posted Aug. 16, 2014, 6:00 am

“I feel kind of broken hearted. Our community is kind of fractured now,” was Councilman Bob Holbrook’s response to how he was feeling about his decision not to seek another term on the Santa Monica City Council.

Development, Opinion, Letters To The Editor, Santa Monica

Letter To The Editor: Thirsty Development In Santa Monica

Posted Aug. 10, 2014, 8:39 am

Dear Editor, By now everyone knows about the drought, although some people seem to be in denial about the problem it presents. The governor has asked for a 20 percent reduction in use, and our City has followed suit and asked residents to reduce water use by 20 percent.

Thomas B. Elias, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Columnist, Government

No Getting Away From Corruption In State Government?

Posted Aug. 10, 2014, 8:36 am

To some, it seems almost as if California has lately become New Jersey West. Incidents of possible corruption and conflict of interest are seemingly exposed at least once a month these days, with almost no consequences for anyone involved.

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

Letter To The Editor: Did You Really Have To SLAPP Us?

Posted Aug. 9, 2014, 9:14 am

We residents of Sunset Park have been watching the airport grow into a noisy, polluting, and dangerous jet port. Just days after a unanimous vote by City Council to look into ways to rein in the airport, an out of town airport lobby, funded by of town money, filed a petition to maintain airport status quo and change the Santa Monica Charter.

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