Joshua Trees, Beware

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Joshua trees

Only four units of the entire 417-part system of national parks, monuments, seashores and historical sites carry the names of remarkable plants and trees. California hosts three of these – Redwood, Sequoia and Joshua Tree national parks. By the end of this century, there could be little reason for the Joshua Tree National Park just east of Palm Springs and … Read More

Can Democrats Capitalize?

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Mr. Elias

For the last seven years, most of the 14 Republicans representing parts of California in Congress railed against Obamacare, high corporate taxes and illegal immigration. But that was mere chatter. So long as a Democrat was president, nothing new was going to happen. Even though Obamacare policy holders, illegal immigrants and poor people abound in many of their districts, their … Read More

Feinstein Running at 85?

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Ms. Feinstein

Few California senators of the last 50 years have been more active than the Dianne Feinstein of early 2017. That’s important mostly because of Ms. Feinstein’s age – despite her dark hair, she will be 85 next November, when she may seek a fifth full term and sixth term overall. For sure, vultures are waiting in the wings for Ms. … Read More

What Is Brown Hiding?

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Thomas D. Elias
Mr. Elias

More than one month after the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that text messages and emails sent by public officials on their personal devices are matters of public record if they deal with public business, Gov. Brown has still not moved on his own email issues. During that time, Mr. Brown flouted his own boasts of transparency by using a … Read More

Why Gas Tax Won’t Hurt Brown

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Mr. Davis

There is no doubt that a 2003 car tax increase helped wreck Democrat Gray Davis’ career as governor of California. But a new batch of car taxes just passed by state legislators at the strong urging of Gov. Jerry Brown will not harm him or his legacy.   One reason for this is the timing: Mr. Davis was ousted in … Read More

Issa No Longer Stays Isolated

Thomas D. EliasNewsLeave a Comment

Mr. Issa in trouble?

Think of Congressman Darrel Issa, the former car alarm magnate who made a fortune off the Viper system, and you picture the ultimate Republican loyalist: The former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee bedeviled ex-President Obama over everything from his birth certificate to conduct of the Food and Drug Administration. These days, it is Mr. Issa who … Read More

It Was Time to Go Home

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Mike Hennessey
Mike Hennessey

Dateline Dayton – A final take on our Florida vacation: It was Friday and we were on our way home. Unlike past trips, we took two days instead of one to come home, and that doubled our enjoyment.   Leaving Lake City, FL, our second stop was for food.  With few choices, we picked a chain restaurant. Pauline and I … Read More

Traveling to Another Era

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Dateline Kotor, Montenegro — Among  the world’s millions of roads and highways, a very select few have themselves become destinations. There are western Canada’s magnificent Icefields Parkway, California’s own Highway 1 through Big Sur and Maui’s Hana Road, to name three. None has anything over the nameless road that winds its way through 13 miles and 27 hairpin turns up … Read More

Farmers Fear ICE Age

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Mr. Elias

The specter of peaches and oranges and apricots and artichokes rotting on the ground or on trees hangs over California agriculture this spring, in the wake of a series of immigration raids during the first months of President Trump’s administration. If you want to know why it’s not merely undocumented immigrants who fear the prospect of more and larger raids … Read More

Too Much Emphasis on Testing?

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Thomas D. Elias
Mr. Elias

Few questions about public education have been disputed more hotly than teacher evaluations – in a day when almost everyone agrees public schools need major improvement, how to tell which teachers are good, which are the best and which don’t deserve to be kept around. For some, the answer is in value-added ratings: How much do children improve or decline … Read More