It is a little more than six months since I asked the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to convene a convention of stakeholders to discuss fundamental county government reform. During that time many have asked me what I propose.
After an absence of 36 years, the big Western oil companies are back in Iraq. You might have missed the news story last week. A very big thing, but announced without fanfare for reasons of "sensitivity and security." Thirty-six years after losing their half-century-old Iraq oil concession, Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Chevron, and British Petroleum are again returning to Iraq to service that nation's war-crippled oil industry. Back in the day, these "majors," as they are called, ...
We the electorate cast our votes for those running for office for various reasons: Often, our votes are issued in support of ideals; to promote specific issues; in response to a positive public relations campaign; or even simply by what our gut tells us about a candidate. Often, especially in American politics, some of the electorate cast ballots as a vote against an opposing candidate as well. This "negative vote" may help defeat a candidate ...
Defenders of the same-sex marriages that began this month in California have repeatedly claimed the new definition of marriage will in no way hurt male-female marriages. Even the state Supreme Court decision paving the way for these June weddings declared its move would not deprive any male-female couple "of any of the rights and benefits conferred by the marriage statutes."
It's been a scorcher in the Santa Clarita Valley the past few days. I just returned from a vacation on Whidbey Island, Wash. where the high temperature averaged 57. It was a brutal return to reality and a nearly 50 degree temperature difference when I landed at the airport in Burbank. SCV Boys and Girls Club Auction
Tim Russert's sudden cardiac demise is tragic on many levels. He'll never experience another Christmas, tailgate party, Buffalo Bills game, or Springsteen concert alongside his adored son Luke.
Neighborhoods. They are the fabric of our society. Who can't remember his or her neighborhood growing up, and most likely the names of the families who lived in the houses on that block. Ask any kid how far of a walk it is to his or her best friend's house, or where's a great place to ride bikes, and chances are you'll get a precise answer.
Local teens looking for something to do this summer may only need to look as far as City Hall to find not only a fun public transportation option but also a list of local businesses that are providing discounts. The city of Santa Clarita's Transit division has teamed up this summer with local businesses to offer students a Summer Bus Passport for the month of July. The Passport is a new student bus pass with ...
The noise made by Scott McClellan's recently released book only slightly surprises me - the slight part being attributed to the fact that I never saw him as a snake, merely as an incompetent. And I so advised the president in a letter I wrote him in March 2006, a copy of which is the focal point of this column:
It was 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning in July. I was already eating lunch - a roast beef sandwich at Skip's Deli down on 11th Street. They made the best coleslaw at Skip's, and I was sure not to spill any of it on myself. I was wearing a lime leisure suit with a gold chain around my neck, with white athletic socks and white tennis shoes on my feet. I was everything a ...
Just look around you. Our schools are overcrowded - or in the case of Castaic High School, not yet built - and students from new housing developments must be bused all over the valley to find classrooms. The huge office expansion proposed for the Newhall hospital complex may not have an adequate sewer trunk line to support it, nor do the nearby streets have the capacity to handle so much increased traffic. The 13-story high-rise ...
BERMUDA - Last night, Carrie and I went out to dinner at the Four Ways in Bermuda to celebrate our 29th anniversary.
Each season awakens within me subtle changes, both psychologically and physically. Summer is no different.
I have now lived through several California real estate boom and bust cycles, but I don't remember one as bad as the current housing crisis. Graded housing pads left to stand empty, new tracts with only a few occupants and a lot of vacant houses are a new phenomena in this valley that I don't recall from past downturns.
Yesterday, June 15, 2008, was the deadline for the California Legislature to constitutionally pass the state budget. Legislators have now missed their obligation for the 21st straight year. It's the "government work" syndrome. Once Article IV, Section 12 of the California Constitution was breached with no repercussions or public outcry, than the breach became an acceptable norm.
Salon.com recently ran excerpts of Emily Anthes's book "Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling Up To Biotech's Brave New Beasts," and I may never look at national security the same way again.
As warmer weather approaches, there are some tips that I might offer to help you save your hard-earned money, precious resources, and make your home and family safer.
I cannot tell a lie. It was I who chopped down the tree.
In a cold and snowy day in January a few years ago, I took a guided tour through the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany.
With more than 2,000 pages of legislative text and more than 20,000 pages of regulations so far, most Americans can't possibly know all the details of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
About 10 years ago I officiated a wedding for two young people entering into marriage for the first time. It was a big deal, with a proper venue, pictures, and lots of family and friends in attendance. But for me it was very different from any I had done before.
Republican Mike Gmoser, the country prosecutor in Butler County, Ohio, wasted taxpayers' time and money by charging Pennsylvania's winter-predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, with "misrepresentation of early spring."
he calendar says Monday is April 1, but lately it seems that foolishness occurs year-round.
On Nov. 3, 1987, a now-remarkable 25 percent to 30 percent of eligible voters in the area midwifed the city of Santa Clarita into existence, voting nearly 67 percent to 33 percent in favor of the formation of the city.
A strong retail environment is one of the foundations of a healthy economy and a strong community.
As a father of two, I believe no one - particularly a child - should live in fear in his or her school or neighborhood. So one of my top priorities as your assemblyman is public safety.
The phone rings in a big warehouse in Oriskiny Falls, N.Y.
Those of us who worked for the late Ann Richards used to run our plans by her. The former Texas governor did not suffer fools, gladly or otherwise, and if your plan had flaws, she'd let you know in great detail.
According to the Bible, the ancient Israelites strayed from worship of God into idolatry. Today, America has done the same - except rather than placing a golden calf upon an altar, we have erected a mirror.
Normally you don't expect to see the words "Republicans" and "introspection" right next to each other. Like "supermodel" and "barbecue." "Physicist" and "polka." "Gazelle" and "ophthalmology." You catch my drift.