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Tom Elias

Marijuana harm ignored in push for legalization

Four potential ballot initiatives completely legalizing marijuana are in the works for California’s next general election, with pot advocates yet to choose the variation that will get their concerted push. But one thing for sure: Whichever one they send out for signature-gathering will say nothing about the detrimental effects of the mind-altering weed, well known […]

Lines blur further between citizens, non-citizens

Almost no one seemed to notice earlier this summer, when California’s new budget took effect, that yet another distinction between citizens and non-citizens was breached. Voting now is about the only area left with a clear line between legal immigrants and citizens. Even for the undocumented, there are few privileges or rights they can’t now […]

Latino fears on loss of clout may be correct

  Fear and anxiety have been in the air around California’s Latino political leaders in the weeks since the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear arguments this fall in a Texas case challenging the 51-year-old legal and political doctrine of one person, one vote. These fears may turn out to be far more correct […]

Go along with corruption and get another gig

California consumers can be excused if they’re beginning to wonder whether Gov. Jerry Brown cares a whit about blatantly corrupt conduct by some of his appointees to very high state offices. That feeling grew more intense recently with the appointment of Mark Ferron to the governing board of the state’s Independent System Operator, which manages the […]

Gas ‘shortage’ doesn’t stop exports from California

On June 25, just one week before many California motorists began paying upwards of $4.30 per gallon for gasoline, the Bahamian-flagged tanker Teesta Spirit left Los Angeles headed for ports on the west coast of Mexico carrying more than 300,000 barrels of gasoline refined in California. The Teesta Spirit was just one of nine large […]

Time for sanity in sanctuary city policies

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 […]

Vergara time bomb still hangs over public schools

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. Vergara, to refresh memories, is the ruling by a previously obscure Los Angeles County Superior Court judge that essentially would throw out […]

Will Prop. 47 turn out to be a fire hazard?

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” — Robert Burns in his 1785 poem, “To a Mouse” Robbie 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 […]

Brown is pragmatic on vaccines

“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 recently on vaccinations? Less than three years ago, Brown signed into law a plan allowing parents […]

July 28, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

About time to meter groundwater wells

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. But it’s a physical fact to which government so far pays no apparent heed. That’s one big reason that many crops […]

July 21, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Bit by bit, Disclose Act becomes more real

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 — dump millions of dollars into elections campaigns while hiding their identities. Almost five years ago, Julia Brownley, then an obscure […]

July 15, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Define anti-Semitism or enable it

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 past few months. But they’ve done nothing to stop it. Students who set up mock checkpoints on campuses to harass Jewish students […]

July 09, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Lawn replacement is a mixed bag

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. They know lawn replacement, often called “xeriscaping” because it can use cactuses and other desert plants, generally leads to at least a 30 […]

July 01, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Costly housing is a huge crisis

In the Los Angeles area, fewer than one in four households headed by people 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. Overall, just 34 percent of households in the L.A. metropolitan area can afford that same home. Which means […]

June 25, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,
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