Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hueso’s arrest continues long history of Legislature and booze

The arrest of Ben Hueso, a Democratic state senator from San Diego, on suspicion of drunken driving very early one morning was not a particularly unusual event. Every year or two, one of the Legislature’s 120 members is nailed for tipsy driving, usually in the vicinity of the Capitol. That’s roughly in line with California’s […]

What should the US do about the Islamic State?

At the beginning of the year, President Barack Obama compared the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria to a “JV team” putting on Lakers uniforms. But in the intervening months, the Islamic State has taken control of large swaths of central Iraq and parts of civil war-torn Syria. And last […]

Seizing the day with old friends

The 30th reunion for the Armijo High School Class of 1984 took place Saturday at Winterhawk Winery. A previous three-day reunion schedule was scrapped in favor of a more casual gathering after many alumni were too busy getting kids off to school to attend. Evidently there was some partying at the Cast Iron Grill & […]

Poor constituent service no longer acceptable

SAN DIEGO — Many Latino lawmakers have nicknames. In California, we continue the tradition. Often times, we call them “defendant.” In a state where Latinos make up more than 38 percent of the population, it’s shameful to see Latino legislators act as if the rules don’t apply to them. With reckless ways and questionable behavior, […]

Signs of possible healing in Ferguson

We’ve had plenty of rhetorical villains since the fatal police shooting of a black teen in Ferguson, Missouri, grandstanders stirring up fear in vengeful tones, and we’ve had violence and looting, mostly by nonresidents taking advantage of a tragedy to enrich themselves. But we’ve had heroes, too, and, at the young man’s funeral, we had […]

Obama risks alienating Latinos from Dems

For the past 20 years – since passage in 1994 of California’s abortive anti-illegal immigrant Proposition 187 – Democrats here and around America have increasingly depended on Latino votes. The 2.5 million California Hispanics who became citizens and registered to vote in the three years after 187 passed, with its bans on undocumented children in […]

August 27, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Drought leads California to rethink water management

On average, rain and snow storms drop about 200 million acre-feet of water on California each year – 65 trillion gallons of the life-giving liquid. Nearly two-thirds of it either evaporates, sinks into the ground or is absorbed by trees and other plants while the remainder, 70-plus million acre-feet, finds its way into rivers flowing […]

More ways to help stop bullies

To help protect our children against bullies, we should take into consideration how we can add a safety net to protect our children who walk to and from school each day by forming a community block parents safety program through our schools. A sign could be posted in neighborhood windows: Block Parent. This would consist of parents […]

Abandoned carts are everyone’s responsibility

This letter is in response to the letter to the Aug. 24 editor by Sandy Wallace. When an abandoned cart is seen, there are three ways to handle it. It was printed in the Daily Republic paper on Jan. 29. First: visit Click on the red button and fill in the online cart reporting […]

How to reduce taxes without busting the budget

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin a few days ago waded into a debate among his fellow Republicans about how they should think about tax policy. His words carry weight among Republicans: They almost universally respect his judgment on economic policy, and partly as a result have decided to make him chairman of the tax-writing committee […]

Question of the week: Is US policy on hostages correct?

The beheading of journalist James Foley has brought the stated United States policy of not paying ransom for hostages into the spotlight. Is that the right policy or should it be more flexible? Participate in this week’s poll: Last week’s results: Does the school year start too soon? Yes: 86 percent No: 14 percent 132 Daily Republic voters

Question of the week: Is US policy on hostages correct?

The beheading of journalist James Foley has brought the stated United States policy of not paying ransom for hostages into the spotlight. Is that the right policy or should it be more flexible? Participate in this week’s poll: Last week’s results: Does the school year start too soon? Yes: 86 percent No: 14 percent 132 Daily Republic voters

Israeli airstrike collapses Gaza apartment tower

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel bombed an apartment tower in downtown Gaza City on Saturday, collapsing the 12-story building in an unprecedented strike, while Hamas kept up heavy rocket fire that sent more Israelis fleeing border areas close to Gaza. The violence signaled that a speedy resumption of truce talks is unlikely, despite another […]

Sierra Leone makes hiding Ebola patients illegal

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — Sierra Leone has passed a new law imposing possible jail time for anyone caught hiding an Ebola patient — a common practice that the World Health Organization believes has contributed to a major underestimation of the current outbreak. The new law, passed Friday, imposes prison terms of up to two years […]

Airlines on alert as eruption begins in Iceland

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano began erupting Saturday under the ice of Europe’s largest glacier, prompting the country to close the airspace over the volcano. Thousands of small earthquakes have rattled the volcano, located deep beneath the Vatnajokull glacier, in the last week. Seismic data indicated that magma from the volcano was melting ice […]

Let’s improve entertainment control units

All Fairfield citizens have a lot of futuristic work ahead of us. We need to “picture” the future city we like to live in. Today, Fairfield is a wonderful city, but it is beginning to get a little old and inadequate for our children. It lacks many futuristic amenities. Fairfield’s young thinkers could start by creating […]

Get it straight in Ferguson

Years ago, many letters to the editor in various Bay Area newspapers began with the same phrase: “Let me get this straight,” after which the letter writer would tell us what had gotten him – usually – so upset. The focus was often on the newspaper itself, rather than a perceived injustice in the “real” world. But, maybe […]

Young men helped me, and I thank them

I want to commend and offer my gratitude to two young men who came to my aid on Aug. 1. I had tripped and fallen on a neighbor’s porch, breaking both of my arms. They immediately came to my side, asked if I was OK. When I replied that I was not, one of them […]

Prison population drops, but local jails become overcrowded

Under heavy pressure from federal courts to relieve prison overcrowding, but unwilling – for political reasons – to directly release inmates, Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature devised realignment. Newly convicted felons whose crimes were presumed to be nonviolent, nonsexual and nonserious would be diverted into local jails, and local probation and rehabilitation services, thereby reducing the […]

August 22, 2014 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Are America’s police over-militarized and under-accountable?

Americans have been transfixed for a week now by the protests in Ferguson, Mo., sparked when an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a police officer. Police, outfitted with camouflage, tear gas, crowd-dispersing noise-makers, and armored vehicles, have cracked down on rioters and looters, but also on journalists and crowds of […]

No getting away from corruption in state government

To some, it seems almost as if California has lately become New Jersey West. Incidents of possible corruption and conflict of interest are seemingly exposed at least once a month these days, with almost no consequences for anyone involved. Some examples: • Last month, the Los Angeles Times revealed that the president of the state’s […]

Sneakiness abounds in final days of legislative session

When schoolchildren visit the Capitol, they often receive sheets of paper purporting to describe how a legislative bill becomes law. The final days of any biennial session are a case study in what really happens, or doesn’t happen, and bear little relationship to that sheet of paper. Take, for example, what happened simultaneously last Thursday […]

Serve and protect? Certainly not

Feeling helpless is a truly awful feeling. There is not much like it in this world. This goes for all creatures, great and small. On a recent weekend, not only did I feel helpless, but I felt deep sorrow for helpless animals that the Fairfield Police Department did not feel as if they needed to waste […]

Thanks to Solano County Animal Control, Suisun City PD

I would like to thank both the Solano County Animal Control officers as well as the Suisun City Police Department officers for their actions on Wednesday, July 16. On that day, they cited one of my neighbors for animal cruelty and confiscated the poisoned trap he used in his backyard. Thankfully, the latest intended victim, […]

Question of the week: Does school start too soon?

Fairfield-Suisun, Vacaville and Rio Vista schools all started last week and Travis schools open this week – far before the back-in-the-day starting date of Labor Day. Is it too soon? Participate in this week’s poll. Last week’s results: Do you agree with the decision to launch airstrikes on Iraq? Yes: 64 percent No: 36 percent […]

Gov declares emergency, imposes curfew in Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Saturday and imposed a curfew in the St. Louis suburb where a black teenager was shot to death by a white police officer a week ago. Nixon said that though many protesters were making themselves heard peacefully, the state would not allow a handful […]