I used to like roller coasters. When I was a kid, we could ride for hours and not be fazed one little bit. On one visit to a thinly-attended Disneyland, we rode Space Mountain 17 times in a row. Seventeen times. On a full stomach.
'Tis the perfect summer for camping. The Great American Backyard Campout, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, is coming up Saturday night. Last year more than 42,000 people participated in this low-key introduction to camping. Recipes, packing lists, nighttime wildlife guides and more are available at www.backyardcampout.org.
Don't mess with mother nature." This common colloquialism, often said with a knowing chuckle, becomes all too real and serious after major storms such as the current flooding in the Midwest. These rains were unusual but not unprecedented, with similar flooding occurring as recently as 1993.
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.
In some countries, greeting friends with a kiss is the common custom. France, Italy, Greece and Hollywood come to mind.
Sometimes big government becomes so big that even good conservatives find themselves unwittingly advocating expansions of government in response to its failures.
The U.S. Supreme Court will be announcing in a few weeks, or perhaps in just a few days, its ruling regarding the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8.
In Washington, D.C., every sentence has a subtext, every question hides another question, and you have to know how to read between the lines. Thus, in Washington-speak, "Sen. Frank Lautenberg passed away at the age of 89" also means, "Who's replacing Lautenberg?"
It happened when my son and I went to L.A. City Hall to take care of a parking ticket. My oldest boy has a hard time remembering that cars parked illegally in the city of Los Angeles get a small piece of paper that represents a fine.
Maybe it's different for you, especially if you're reading this in an actual newspaper. But if you're online with me right now (trust me, I am at the computer as you're reading - that's what I do), you're probably in need of some silence.
New members of the United States Congress are willing to risk their careers to state the truth to the American people. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is one, but unfortunately she has announced she is calling it quits after four terms in the House.
With another graduation season upon us, educational institutions across our great land are once again forcing students to endure a final, boring "rite of passage" known as the commencement address. Tradition has it that the very best address ever delivered was by Winston Churchill, who is remembered as declaring "Never, never, never give up", and then sitting down to thunderous applause. Whether the cheers were for his sentiment or brevity I leave you to decide.
Here's a little game I invented the other day after phoning the water company to complain about my bill and hearing an overly chipper woman say, "Hi, Peter. How may I help you?"
If you are looking to create a few new memories with your family and friends this summer, plan a trip using public transportation. Santa Clarita Transit is everywhere you want to be, from Santa Monica Beach and Hollywood to Main Street in Old Town Newhall.
By the time this column runs, the knowledgeable of the Santa Clarita Valley will know who the four elected members of the William S. Hart Union High School District board selected to fill out the (short) remainder of Paul Strickland's term, made vacant when he moved to Florida.
When Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker visited Iowa recently to speak at a well-attended Republican dinner, only one national political reporter (NBC's Alex Moe) showed up.
Scandal seems to be dogging the Obama administration as of late. Though a few of these purported scandals either appear to be much ado about nothing, at least two are fairly serious.
On May 16, the Obama administration approved a model bill for disclosing the chemical fluids used in fracking on public lands.
When my father was alive, he left New Orleans only two times in his life.