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Opinion
Opinion

Pointing which finger?

Y■ Bob Franken / Columnist ou are probably asking yourself, “What was that all about?” Just because the government shutdown ended shortly after it began, it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen again in just a few weeks — and it definitely doesn’t mean that our great leaders in Washington covered themselves in glory. Quite the opposite. They can’t even guarantee that they can handle their most rudimentary job, which is to keep the federal government functioning. When all is said and done, the bulk of the debate was about who would be held responsible for this debacle. It wasn’t about the merits of the issues, but almost exclusively about how (more…)
Opinion

This may be the year Prop. 13 intent is restored

A■ Thomas D. Elias / Columnist ny time traveler revisiting the California of 1978 would have an easy time understanding why Proposition 13 passed so handily that year, lowering property taxes throughout the state to 1 percent of the latest sale price or 1 percent of the 1975 assessed value. Such a traveler would enter a land with skyrocketing property taxes based on the latest market value of each property. Not the latest sale price, but an arbitrary market value assigned to every piece of property by county assessors basing their numbers largely on “comparables,” the prices of similar homes in the same or nearby neighborhoods. Many senior citizens and others (more…)
Opinion

Gov. Brown pushes online-only community college

G■ Mikhail Zinshteyn / Contributed ov. Jerry Brown voiced strong support during his State of the State message Jan. 25 for a new online-only community college saying it wouldn’t detract from existing colleges, but it apparently failed to win over a key faculty critic. “There are many concerns,” about the online community college, said Jonathan Lightman, executive director of the 11,000-member Faculty Association of California Community Colleges. “There is interest in the faculty to try to reach out to students in the age demographic and beyond,” Lightman told EdSource. “Whether this is the right way to do it is a question.” Lightman said the faculty group prefers using some or all (more…)
Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – January 25, 2018

Enough already Dear Editor, President Trump does make it difficult for those of us who voted for him to defend him at times, but enough already with this ongoing discussion about the vulgarity used recently. He is not the first President to do so nor will he be the last. How many of you/us have not uttered a vulgarity or profanity in a moment of anger or frustration? Trump was not a Politician–one of the reasons we voted for him. He speaks off the cuff frequently, much to our dismay sometimes, and he is not used to having every word scrutinized. We have not heard or read one word decrying the (more…)
Opinion

Initiative backers betting 2018 will be the year to take on California’s Proposition 13

Robert Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, a nonpartisan organization whose members are senior executives at the state’s major companies, promises a ‘fight to the death’ over this or any initiative that raises property taxes on the business community. ■ John Fensterwald / EDSOURCE / Contributed Forty years after Californians revolted against rising property taxes to pass Proposition 13, advocates of tax reform believe the timing is finally right to do surgery on it. They’ve filed a draft initiative with the state ­— the step before starting to collect signatures for the November ballot — proposing a “split roll” system that would increase taxes on commercial and industrial properties to (more…)
Opinion

Obscene distortions

A passer-by shot video of an incoherent woman being taken out by security guards, wearing only a flimsy convalescent gown, and abandoned at a bus stop. Had the guy not interceded, there’s every reason to believe that she would have frozen to death. ■ Bob Franken / Columnist Is it me, or has anyone else noticed that when someone is exposed for wrongdoing, the responses all seem similar? No matter whether someone is overheard saying something racist, credibly accused of sexual harassment or caught in some incredibly egregious act, if the person decides that it’s futile to dispute the charge, his (or her) apology looks like it came from the same (more…)
Opinion

The view from a hospice room

How to finally get the best treatment you could ever imagine ■ Bracha Sarah Meyerowitcz / Contributed I’ve been blessed with 73 years of life, so I can’t say that I’ve been cheated out of any time. Even as I lie dying in the palliative care section at the Loma Linda VA hospital, I feel fortunate. No one joins the Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marines thinking that they will get wonderful end-of-life care; they just go out to serve. I thought I was going to be able to die in my own home, but with my being less and less able even to get out of a mobile wheelchair, I (more…)
Opinion

Ramblin Man – The flu

Being out that long means I would have to implement Plan B for getting the papers out. Problem with that is, there is no Plan B. ■ David Porter / Contributed Now that my wife and I are putting out three newspapers a week, some of my friends have asked, “What happens if you get hit by a bus?” That doesn’t seem probable. I’m much more likely to get hit by a car or a truck or a train, but I suppose a bus is possible. This week, I felt like I did get hit by a bus — a bus called influenza. I don’t know where I picked up the (more…)
Opinion

Villages of Lakeview project threatens the county’s quality of life, environmental groups claim

Villages of Lakeview threaten wildlife refuge, water supplies and air quality ■ Chronicle News Service The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, and the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society sued Riverside County Jan. 9 for approving the Villages of Lakeview, a massive 8,725-unit development that they say will threaten the nearby San Jacinto Wildlife Area and worsen air quality and traffic for county residents. The lawsuit claims the development will use an astonishing 1.5 billion gallons of water per year, but the county refused to consider the impacts of additional water use on California rivers and streams. “As climate change pressures California’s water supplies, county supervisors are ignoring the risks of (more…)
Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – January 18, 2018

Just another hypocrite Dear Editor, Our President recently suggested that immigrants from Haiti and Africa are mostly from “s—t-hole countries.” Hereby I quote from the inscription on our Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” Or how about this? “Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien…” Jeremiah 22:3-5 (English Standard Version – The Holy Bible) (more…)