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Opinion
Opinion

Are firefighters using all the right stuff?

■ Thomas D. Elias / Contributed It’s pretty clear to anyone who’s watched firefighters try to control the massive blazes bedeviling California over the last two years that they have the right stuff. But questions have arisen over whether they are using all the right stuff. The maker of a rival firefighting substance has cried foul over an exclusive contract between suppliers of Phos-Chek fire retardant fluids and the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as CalFire. That pact sees the state use no long-term fire retardant other than Phos-Chek, a highly visible pinkish-red fluid dropped from air tankers onto fast-moving flames. Phos-Chek, produced by the St. Louis-based ICL (more…)
Opinion

Senator Kamala Harris on California Death Penalty Moratorium

■ Chronicle News Staff On March 13, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) released the following statement on California Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement of a moratorium on the state’s death penalty. Harris has opposed the death penalty throughout her career in law enforcement: “This is an important day for justice and for the state of California. I applaud Governor Newsom for his decision to place a moratorium on the death penalty. As a career law enforcement official, I have opposed the death penalty because it is immoral, discriminatory, ineffective, and a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars. “The symbol of our justice system is a woman with a blindfold. It is supposed (more…)
Opinion

What the pension ruling means for California’s taxpayers

■ By Jon Coupal / Contributed Last week, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling in Cal Fire Local 2881 v. CalPERS, a case involving public employee pensions. For taxpayers, the decision was a mixed bag. On the plus side, the court refused to find a contractual right to retain an option to purchase “air time,” a perk that allowed employees with at least five years of service to purchase up to five years of additional credits before they retire. Under this plan, a 20-year employee could receive a pension based on 25 years of contributions. On the negative side, the high court left intact, for now, the so-called California Rule, (more…)
Opinion

Can Newsome housing campaign succeed?

■ Thomas D. Elias / Contributed It turns out Gov. Gavin Newsom was deadly serious when he insisted as a candidate last year that California needs to build 3.5 million new housing units each year for the next ten in order to solve its affordable housing crisis. That’s a total of 3.5 million, more than double what builders around the state have put up in any of the last few decades. Newsome resent that message a few weeks into his new job, when he successfully urged Attorney General Xavier Becerra to sue the Orange County city of Huntington Beach for allegedly failing to allow enough new housing to handle its population (more…)
Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – March 7, 2019

DMV treats the elderly differently Dear Editor, To fill out your story on the DMV, here is my tale: Last November, I was 94 and renewal was on the calendar. I have had a clear record for years. When I went in, I was double-tested for the written or, at least, they tried. My first name is Salvatore, but the clerk gave me the wrong paperwork (for Salvador) and tried to make me take my written over. He missed 6, and I missed 1 question. When I refused to take the second test, and showed her the error, she got mad and said I had to take a driver’s test on (more…)
Opinion

The $1.5 trillion problem

<strong>The $1.5 trillion problem</strong>
File PhotoToday’s students are turning to cost effective means by which to obtain their college educations. ■ Chronicle News Staff In an online article written by Senior Contributor, Personal Finance, Zack Friedman on the Forbes website writes: Student loan debt in 2019 has reached a record high. The latest student loan debt statistics for 2019 show how serious the student loan debt crisis has become for borrowers across all demographics and age groups. There are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. alone. Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category behind only mortgage debt. And, higher than (more…)
Opinion

Common sense could save taxpayers thousands

Saving people from harm’s way is laudable but costly ■ By Calvin Porter / Contributed Local news sources reported on the numerous rescue operations of people that took place recently in Riverside County resulting from copious rainfall on Valentine’s Day, more than 4 inches in Hemet/Valle Vista and more than 9 inches in San Jacinto on February 14. Most of us are aware of our topography – the arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area – and most probably aware also of our area’s performance when it rains. Certain parts of our roads are prone to flooding even with a small amount of rain. When it rains (more…)
Opinion

Is the federal government going too far restricting opioid drugs?

One patient’s story of how her life is now miserable without adequate medication Editor’s Note: The following article was acquired from the online facebook page, painpainandmorepainCathyKean, and all rights are reserved by the author. Minor edits have been made for the purposes of style. I am 57 years old and live in Hemet, California. I have suffered from chronic, intractable pain for over 25 years. The primary causes of my pain are diagnosed as early severe degenerative cervical spine disease, Chiari malformation, spondylosis and subsequent nerve damage, and spinal cord impingement by bone spurs. I have worked with two pain management doctors through all available step therapies without success. Managed pain (more…)
Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – February 28, 2019

Dear Editor, I have noticed that when I drive around the valley, I notice a “swap meet mentality” going on at quite a few of our city streets. You probably have seen the flower, fruit, tamales, flags, etc. being sold at many locations around the valley. My first thought is, why does our city allow this? When I drive through Temecula, I do not see this. Does Temecula have more pride about how they want people to view their city? My other thought is, what about the businesses that struggle to make a go of it? They pay various fees to operate like local and state fees, employee costs, utility fees, (more…)
Opinion

Should U.S. Government abide by the international law it created and claims to uphold?

■ Lawrence Wittner / Contributed The Trump administration’s campaign to topple the government of Venezuela raises the issue of whether the U.S. government is willing to adhere to the same rules of behavior it expects other nations to follow. During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, U.S. foreign policy was characterized by repeated acts of U.S. military intervention in Latin American nations. But it began to shift in the late 1920s, as what became known as the Good Neighbor Policy was formulated. Starting in 1933, the U.S. government, responding to Latin American nations’ complaints about U.S. meddling in their internal affairs, used the occasion of Pan-American conferences to proclaim a nonintervention (more…)