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Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Author Archive: Tom Elias

Ground water will be next big California fight

The next front in California’s long-running water wars has already opened, and the reasons for it will sometimes be hard to see — but not always. That next fight is over ground water, source of about 35 percent of the state’s fresh water in normal years and a much higher percentage in dry ones like […]

Plenty of reasons not to trust state government

Californians don’t trust their state government. That’s nothing really new, but right now there’s as much cause for distrust as ever before in modern times. There is, of course, the scandal that sees three indicted or convicted state senators under suspension after accusations of political corruption, gun-running and/or perjury, all refusing to resign. This leaves […]

Tom Elias: Six Californias? A bad idea

Here’s a piece of advice for registered voters: When petition carriers accost you outside supermarkets, big-box stores or shopping malls asking you to help advance a plan to carve California into six states, don’t sign. This is one of the dopiest, goofiest ideas ever to come up in California, which has a long history of […]

Convention shows Brown’s restraint

One well-worn thought that has not been heard since Jerry Brown won his third term as governor in 2010 is the notion that California’s state Capitol needs some adult supervision. That suggestion became commonplace among pundits and voters during the Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger years of massive budget deficits and, for just one example, […]

Death penalty changes are needed

Few topics divide California as consistently or as evenly as the death penalty. The last time voters had their say on it, they opted by a vote of just over 51-49 percent to keep it around. How avidly do supporters of capital punishment maintain their opinions? Two years ago, when the Proposition 34 ballot initiative […]

State Senate must do more to restore trust

Ever since San Francisco’s Leland Yee joined his colleagues Ron Calderon of Montebello and Roderick Wright of Los Angeles on the state Senate’s indicted/convicted list and then all three were suspended, other senators have recognized they must restore the public’s trust. That won’t happen if suspensions are all those other senators are willing to mete […]

Keeping hydrogen highway clean

Cleaner air, that’s the aim of about $30 million in “hydrogen highway” grants given each year by the California Energy Commission to companies that will build refueling stations for the hydrogen fuel cell cars due to hit the road between now and 2017. But the commission has had great difficulty keeping its own grant-giving process […]

Unprecedented conservative backing for minimum wage hike

From the moment Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed America’s first minimum wage law in 1938 (25 cents per hour, or $11 a week), conservatives have fought increases every time and everywhere they’ve been proposed. It would cost millions of jobs, industrialists and business interests argue every time anyone tries to boost the minimum. Meanwhile, executive salaries […]

Will Manson Family killer ever walk?

If it seemed like déjà vu all over again the other day when the state’s parole board issued a decision that could free a leading disciple of perhaps the most vicious killer California has ever seen, that’s because it was. The order marked the third time in the last five years that the Board of […]

PGE rate request sets a new standard for chutzpah

At the very moment that California’s largest utility company was being assessed a $14 million fine for failing to report discovery of flawed records on its gas pipelines in the San Francisco Peninsula town of San Carlos, the same company was asking for well over $1 billion in rate increases to pay for repairs to […]

Brown called lazy, vulnerable

Jerry Brown has been called a lot of things in his 45-year political career, from “Gov. Moonbeam” to “the old man,” but no one ever accused him of being a do-nothing dud of a politician. Until now. Changing the state’s school-funding formula, balancing the budget after years of deficit, proposing a massive water transportation plan […]

Tax rebates are a bad idea

If there’s a state budget surplus, let’s return it to the people we took it from. That’s the demand these days from conservative Republicans led by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who now represents a lot of barren desert and would like to be governor of California. It’s quite a siren song and one we’ve heard before, […]

Court comments encourage birthers

For years, those who claim President Barack Obama was born in Kenya or someplace other than the Hawaii hospital indicated on the birth certificate issued by that state’s officials have claimed their effort is neither political nor racist, but merely purist. But now the woman who has carried the birther torch in more devoted fashion […]

Form eases the way for false myths on childhood vaccinations

For almost two months, parents of California public school pupils have been able to claim with no proof that their religion precludes getting their children vaccinated against once dreaded and disabling diseases like polio, rubella, mumps, pertussis and smallpox. This enables parents who believe in false myths to exempt their children easily, even if they […]

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