Opinions

Latinos’ role crucial in fixing correctional system

A section of the San Quentin Prison area for condemned inmates. Photo via SanQuentinBlog.org

OPINION: Here in Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, anyone will tell you that casting is key. A film’s meaning and potential are lost if it’s miscast or missing the right characters. The same could be said about a blockbuster story that has been playing out for decades in California: our bloated and costly prisons. Much attention has been paid to lawsuits about the conditions in these packed facilities, as well as the response by the Governor, Legislature and others.

Opinions

Is cap-and-trade working? So far

A powerplant at sunset. (Photo: David Crockett)

OPINION: So, while the program is certainly generating revenue for the state, is it working? Eighteen months in, it appears the answer is yes. Firms affected by the requirements say that they are paying attention to it, that they believe it’s here to stay, and that it’s prompted them to look at ways to reduce emissions. In recent interviews with cement industry stakeholders we learned that companies are factoring the carbon price into their analysis of investment opportunities.

Opinions

Insurance protection key to rideshare debate

OPINION: Recently the Assembly unanimously passed my bill AB 2293. This common sense legislation will clarify insurance coverage plans for transportation network companies (TNC), such as Uber, Lyft and others. My bill also requires important disclosures from TNCs that ensure drivers and all parties are aware of the insurance policy coverage in place. The legislation, AB 2293, passed 71-0 in a unanimous and bipartisan vote and now moves on to the Senate policy committee.

Opinions

Net-based ridesharing: High quality, efficiency

OPINION: Advances in technology are changing the way we live, work and play. By simply going online, a bed and breakfast in San Luis Obispo can book rooms, a salon owner in Pasa Robles can market her team of stylists, and farmers in Watsonville can let buyers around the world know when to expect their shipments of strawberries.

Opinions

Vergara: An attack on teachers, schools, students

A California school sign alerting motorists to the presence of youngsters. (Photo: Eddie J. Rodriquez)

OPINION: From the beginning, the Vergara v. State of California lawsuit has highlighted the wrong problems, proposed the wrong solutions, and followed the wrong process. This deeply flawed lawsuit was not about helping students, but yet another attempt by millionaires and corporate special interests to undermine the teaching profession and push their agenda on California public schools and students

Opinions

Local authority crucial to managing groundwater

OPINION: Rather than focusing our attention on creating uber districts with special powers or buttressing the powers of cities and counties so they can manage groundwater, it would be better to focus our attention on some of the causes for our present failures and direct our efforts to giving local stakeholders the tools to complete the task.

Opinions

Lawmakers: Back all renewables, not just solar

The Genesis Solar Energy Project near Blythe in the Mojave Desert. (Photo: The CYR Group)

OPINION: Solar energy developers are working behind the scenes to sneak continuation of an industry-specific property tax exemption into the state budget deal, further tipping the playing field in their direction.

Opinions

For clean soil, follow the feds

A California farm in the Central Valley. (Photo: Richard Croft)

OPINION: While everyone understands how critical water is to the state’s future, we must not overlook another key ingredient that is right under our feet: clean soil. Without clean soil, farmers like me cannot grow healthy and abundant crops; without these crops, Californians lose easy access to locally-produced, low-cost fruits and vegetables.

Opinions

Mental health and an Assembly resolution

OPINION: The victims of war and civil unrest have more to worry about than the California Assembly, or so one would think. Recently, the Assembly voted to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan as an independent entity. I’m waiting for those who voted yes on this measure to explain why they are involved in foreign policy, a function exclusive to federal government according to the Constitution.

Opinions

A coastal tale: Why developers love farmers

The California coast along Redwood National Park, north Humboldt County, (Photo: Don Forthuber, redwoods.info)

OPINION: It’s been a year since I resigned from the California Coastal Commission, and it’s time to tell a few stories of what I learned as a Coastal Commissioner. Each and every month I learned that not everything was how it seemed. My first lesson was learning that developers love farmers.

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