Elections, whether they involve candidates running for student body office or president of the United States, should be based on three things - competence, social skills and an impressive track record. A candidate should possess the ability to intelligently make decisions, as well as measure conflicting demands of the constituents in a respectful, ethical and socially acceptable manner. This takes finesse, perseverance, fine-tuned listening skills and a deep regard for others.
I encourage everyone to vote in our City Council election on April 8. This election is a critical one because two of the five City Council seats are in contention and the challenges of the past will appear relatively easy compared to the difficulty and seriousness of the issues ahead of us.
While looking through an old copy of "Look" magazine circa 1958, I couldn't help but notice the number of cigarette advertisements so boldly touted in its pages. It was a different time and a different way of life 50 years ago.
It's a right, it's a hard-won privilege, and yet it's often taken for granted. Did you know that the government that actually impacts your life on a day-to-day basis more than any other is your local government? It's true!
Did you see the massive coverage of the five Santa Clarita City Council candidates splashed across The Signal's Sunday Opinion page last weekend? How could you miss it?
Yes, spring HAS sprung in the Santa Clarita Valley. The hills are a beautiful, beckoning green, wildflowers adorn the hillsides with a blaze of color. It is the most wonderful time of the year! Thursday marked the official start of spring, but we've been celebrating spring in the SCV now for a few lovely weeks.
Symphony's Family Concert
Because of the wide variety of friends that I have made over the years, I often find myself in the company of people who do not necessarily agree with my politics. Whether it is hanging out at a Super Bowl party or at fundraising events for elected officials, I always seem to attract people to conversation about politics. And many times these people are my political opposites.
During a recent trip to San Francisco, I accidentally discovered that a vast array of eager, pleasure-oriented female (and male) "dates" is easily available through that city's Yellow Pages.
Probably the most eye-opening aspect of the governor's 10 percent across-the-board state budget cuts is the immediate release of 22,000 dangerous felons onto the streets of California. If Gov.Schwarzenegger's intention was to scare our state legislators into action, let's hope the action taken doesn't initiate abject pandemonium.
Santa Clarita has an oak on its city seal and has long been a "Tree City, USA," holding annual arbor day events to promote local tree planting. This year's Arbor Day celebration will be held on April 12, and we hope to see you there again at our Friends of the Santa Clara River booth. It is wonderful that the city promotes this event and acknowledges the importance of urban forests. Now the city needs to be more proactive about protecting our native trees during the land-use process.
This past Friday, Carrie and I made a quick trip to Brooklyn to visit our two sons living in New York. Jon had kindly arranged for us all to see Patrick Stewart playing Macbeth at the incredible Brooklyn Academy of Music. So it was to be a wonderful weekend, full of fun with our boys and with seeing fabulous Stewart in that riveting Shakespeare play.
Another week of governmental inactivity in Washington D.C. has passed. Granted, 2008 is a presidential election year, and substantive legislation traditionally takes a backseat to politics, but the United States House of Representatives has literally fallen asleep at the switch.
As we heard in the debates, there are many "hot button" issues this campaign season. Having been elected twice by the voters to work on tough issues like water supply and the cleanup of the Whittaker-Bermite property, I respectfully offer that public office isn't about one issue, it's about handling everything so residents can enjoy their daily lives.
Quality of life is the key issue in this election for city council. My campaign is about not only maintaining but continually improving our quality of life here in Santa Clarita which is why I have earned the endorsements of Congressman Buck McKeon, Council member Marsha McLean and Mayor Pro-Tem Frank Ferry.
I had the honor of spending 25 years protecting the public as an LAPD officer. While serving in the San Fernando Valley I witnessed the deterioration of a place that had a strong sense of community to one that is now gang-infested, fear-ridden and in many areas lacking hope.
Elections have consequences. It's a phrase we often hear. Getting the right people in office to represent us is a critical function of our citizen-led government.
Working to recruit new businesses to the Santa Clarita Valley, I come across a lot of misconceptions about our valley.
Most folks understand that the tax policies of the past 30 years have created a great wealth disparity in the United States.
Republicans think they get unfairly labeled as the party of the wealthy, a party that tricks working-class voters into voting against their own economic self-interest by exploiting cultural wedge issues.
Punxsutawney Phil must be stopped. The lovable little groundhog must be stopped.
I believe the Republican Party's psychic break happened the moment their "compassionate conservative" economic philosophy melted the world's economy. President George W. Bush, the champion of deregulation, bailed out the banks and then offered: "I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system."
Today millions around the world will gather with jersey-clad friends and family to eat and cheer their way through the Super Bowl. This championship of professional football in America has been the darling of the sports media for several weeks now, and finally the hoopla will give way to actual athletic competition.
As a principal, father, and member of the City Council, I can tell you firsthand that environment and behavior go hand in hand. If we want the best students, we must provide an environment that supports learning, connectivity with quality educators and opportunities to study.
Last week Governor Jerry Brown tied Earl Warren for the number of State of the State addresses any governor has given. While that is a personal milestone that he can be proud of, the content of his vision for California is infinitely more important.
The Sochi Winter Olympic Games, commencing February 7, are but a few days away. In 1896 the First Modern Olympics resurrected the ancient Greek tradition of bringing together the most talented athletes. Since then the Modern Olympics have managed to survive world conflicts and have endured WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and hopefully the War on Terror.
Why do people like Rev. Jeremiah Wright travel across America to exhort audiences to denigrate tea party Americans as racist?
The First Amendment of our nation's Constitution establishes five rights that the founding fathers considered so important, they listed them first in the Bill of Rights.
While the proverbial advice to "take each day as it comes" has some validity, it also masks the dangerous assumption that the choices we make today won't have consequential carry-over tomorrow. In fact, while it is both harmful and a waste of time to worry about the unknowns of the future, it is always wise to consider what effect my decisions today will have on the options available to me later.
As a former parks commissioner for the city of Santa Clarita, I am deeply passionate about ensuring our residents enjoy quality recreation facilities, beautiful outdoor space and a healthy way of life.
Ask yourself the honest question: Did you truly believe The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, or ACA, was going to work as promised? If the answer is "yes," then did you earnestly think through the practical workings of the program?