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

They Don’t Deserve Increase

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Thomas D. Elias
Thomas D. Elias

At the very moment when California’s largest utility company was being assessed a $14 million fine for failing to report discovery of flawed records on its gas pipelines, that same company in 2014 began asking for well over $1 billion in rate increases to pay for repairs to the very same pipeline system. This is Pacific Gas & Electric, the … Read More

Could There Be a Gov. Chiang?

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Mr. Chiang
Mr. Chiang

Flamboyance is one quality shared by several of the leading candidates to succeed Jerry Brown as governor. No one ever accused Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the former mayor of San Francisco, or ex-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of being boring. Same for financier Tom Steyer, who has spent many millions pushing green, environmental causes, often centering cause-oriented commercials around himself. No … Read More

Are We Going to Secede?

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Thomas D. Elias
Mr. Elias

As recently as last July, just 22 percent of Californians favored the idea of California risking a new civil war by declaring its independence from the rest of America. But barely six months later, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found support for California exiting the Union peacefully had moved above 40 percent. That’s not a majority, by a long shot. But it … Read More

Blocking Anti-Pot Billboards

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Thomas D. Elias
Mr. Elias

A struggle has raged for decades across California and America to protect young people from negative aspects of drinking beer and hard liquor. The fight is spreading to newly legalized recreational marijuana. Several state legislators are trying to ban pot advertising along state highways. This is happening when no one is quite certain whether new U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, … Read More

Letting Illegals Vote Is Destructive

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Thomas D. Elias
Mr. Elias

Almost no one seemed to notice during last fall’s election that yet another line between citizens and immigrant non-citizens was breached. Even before then, there were few privileges and rights that immigrants – both documented and undocumented – could not enjoy in some parts of California. Driver’s licences, check. Illegal immigrant children eligible for state-paid medical insurance under Medi-Cal, check. … Read More

What if Trumpcare Works?

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Thomas D. Elias
Mr. Elias

One problem in having a President who operates without much regard for facts, truth or consistency – one whose staff has devised the concept of “alternative facts” – is that when he says or promises something, no one can know whether he means it. So it was with President Trump’s mid-January promise of “health insurance for everybody,” including better coverage, … Read More

Our Electoral Roadblock

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Thomas D. Elias
Mr. Elias

California is in the forefront of almost everything. From new tax formulas to new movies, TV shows and electronic devices, from pioneering farm irrigation techniques to innovative hairstyles and much more, trends start here and work their way across the country. Almost no one believes California has been even minimally influential in national politics for many years, despite its place … Read More

The Cleanup That Left a Mess

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Thomas D. Elias
Mr. Elias

Once California voters passed the 2000 Prop. 34 campaign finance initiative pushed by former Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, it was only a matter of time before state and county party chieftains became vital behind-the-scenes kingmakers. Their unadvertised roles became clearer than ever in the last election, where it was primarily money funneled through the Democratic Party that gave the party … Read More

Trump and Truth: Strangers

Thomas D. EliasOP-EDLeave a Comment

Thomas D. Elias
Mr. Elias

California’s government soon will begin to learn what it means to deal with a president who very frequently is less than truthful. The reality of Donald John Trump’s relationship with facts and truth apparently didn’t matter much to voters in the many small-population states which together provided the Electoral College majority that’s about to put him into the White House … Read More