Editorials

Prop. 66 could turn out to slow death penalty cases |Sep 5, 2017

The California Supreme Court has upheld most of Proposition 66, the initiative to speed up the death penalty, but in doing so may have made an even more tangled mess of it. Associate Justice Carol Corrigan, writing for the majority, said voters were presented with ballot materials promising a five-year time limit on death penalty appeals in state courts, but there is “no workable means of enforcing the five-year review limit.

Was President Trump right to pardon Joe Arpaio? Question of the Week |Aug 29, 2017

President Trump granted a pardon on Friday to Joe Arpaio, the former and longtime sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz. It wasn’t much of a surprise. The president had signaled his intent to pardon the controversial 85-year-old lawman in a campaign rally three days earlier in Phoenix, the seat of Maricopa County.

State senators must ask tough question of PUC nominees |Aug 21, 2017

There are some indications that Clifford Rechtschaffen, one of Gov. Jerry Brown’s two latest appointments to the state Public Utilities Commission, would be more of an advocate for utilities than for consumers, ratepayers and those adversely affected by environmental issues.

Bodycams, with sound policies, a step forward for Fontana PD |Aug 18, 2017

The Fontana Police Department is set to become the latest Inland Empire law enforcement agency to utilize body-worn cameras. For the sake of expanding public confidence in law enforcement through greater transparency and accountability, we applaud the department’s willingness to adopt their use.

Trump fails test of leadership, chance to unite nation |Aug 18, 2017

It would be an understatement to describe President Trump’s comments this past week in the aftermath of racist rallies and ensuing violence in Charlottesville as tone deaf. His initial response gave enough reason to shudder but on Thursday, in an all-too-familiar barrage of tweets, he sadly accented his already troubling response to a volatile situation by lamenting the loss of “beautiful statues and monuments.

Dodgers are hot; fans should be too, four years into TV blackout |Aug 17, 2017

The Dodgers are having one of the greatest seasons baseball fans have ever seen. Unfortunately, for many in Los Angeles, it’s the greatest season they’ve never seen. This is the fourth year since the Dodgers sold their local television rights for $8.

Sites Reservoir a water-storage plan worth funding |Aug 16, 2017

An innovative, off-stream water storage proposal northeast of Sacramento should be one of the top priorities for the state’s spending of Proposition 1 water-bond money. The Sites Reservoir project would, in wet years, divert “excess” water from the Sacramento River into what would be the seventh-largest reservoir in California.

Public-private space ventures need oversight |Aug 15, 2017

Public-private partnerships in space travel hold much promise, and greater cost-efficiency, but government should be transparent about the risks and inevitable failures. On Monday, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, better known as SpaceX, conducted a successful launch of a resupply mission to the International Space Station, or ISS, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the company’s reusable Falcon 9 rocket returning safely to SpaceX’s landing zone at Cape Canaveral.

Should Assembly GOP leader Mayes resign?: Question of the Week |Aug 14, 2017

The California Assembly’s Republican leader has been under fire from conservatives since he and seven other party members voted with Democrats last month to extend a major environmental program.

Time to choose path forward in Afghanistan |Aug 14, 2017

One thing all Americans should be able to agree on is that it’s time for a change of course in Afghanistan. Our current path is untenable. The Obama administration didn’t deliver the seeming victory that propelled him to a second term in office.

Adding supervisors, executive is wrong for L.A. County |Aug 11, 2017

The proposal to expand the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is back — and no better than ever. Senate Constitutional Amendment 12, moving through the California Legislature, is a little different from previous plans that were rejected by state lawmakers and L.

Occupational licensing reform a bipartisan goal |Aug 10, 2017

Something the Trump and Obama administrations agree on: occupational licensing laws need to be reformed. In a speech delivered July 21, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta called on state legislators to reform occupational licensing laws which, he argues, are too often used “to limit competition, bar entry, or create a privileged class.

City of Industry must become transparent about solar project |Aug 10, 2017

City of Industry’s proposed massive solar project has all the hallmarks of a few people enriching themselves at public expense. That may not be what’s happening, but it’s impossible to know.

Don’t weaken constitutional press freedom |Aug 9, 2017

All who support journalism’s constitutional check on the government should push back against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ threat to make it easier to subpoena reporters. After being excoriated by President Trump for being “very weak” on executive branch leaks, Sessions pledged Friday to rein in unauthorized disclosures of information by government officials.

Raise debt ceiling without conditions |Aug 8, 2017

With the U.S. Treasury exhausting its current borrowing capacity in October, House Republicans should follow the Trump administration’s lead and lift the debt ceiling — without tacking on any conditions, no matter how well-intentioned.

Longer-lasting city manager stint for Andrea Miller will be good for San Bernardino |Aug 8, 2017

This editorial board is happy to see Andrea Miller become San Bernardino’s city manager, nearly five years after she held the same title but on an interim basis. We’re certainly sorry to see Mark Scott leave the city manager’s post.

We’re asking readers to share their favorite political jokes: Question of the Week |Aug 7, 2017

Wednesday, Aug. 16, is the annual National Tell a Joke Day. Americans sure could use more levity right now. So we’re taking a break from our weekly tradition of asking readers for their opinions on serious issues.

Feds should stay out of D.C.’s, states’ aid-in-dying laws |Aug 7, 2017

The federal government should not intrude on Washington, D.C.’s Death with Dignity Act, as some members of Congress would like to do. Depriving terminally ill adults in D.C. the option of medical aid-in-dying would not only condemn many to unnecessary suffering, but provide an unwarranted precedent for further intrusions on states with similar laws.

Attorney General Sessions off base with demand of San Bernardino |Aug 4, 2017

Oh, yeah. That’s all San Bernardino needs — the U.S. attorney general picking on it because he can’t get his facts straight. It’s not enough that the city just emerged from nearly four years of bankruptcy.

Trim the thicket of hindrances to housing construction |Aug 4, 2017

Legislative leaders have promised to tackle housing affordability when they return to session later this month. They need to make a concerted, successful effort to relieve some of the regulations that enable not-in-my-backyard-ism and stymie housing construction — and not just pile on more taxes.

End prosecutors’ immunity from lawsuits |Aug 3, 2017

Misconduct by prosecutors in Southern California has led to dozens of criminal convictions being overturned on appeal — that’s the finding from a new study by Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project, which looked at court rulings on prosecutorial misconduct across the country.

Privacy trumps the expedience of police technology tools |Aug 3, 2017

The struggle between technology and privacy is not new, but it takes on enhanced importance when it comes to government policing activities. Law enforcement agencies are already pushing the constitutional envelope through their use of technology in a number of areas.

Connectivity is key for transportation |Aug 2, 2017

There’s a bit of friction between Metrolink and L.A. Metro as the latter’s rails reach toward the Inland Empire. But we’re confident they can work it out and manage to serve complementary, sometimes overlapping constituencies of passengers.

More evidence shows vaping helps people quit smoking |Aug 2, 2017

The evidence is mounting that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking, so why do state and local governments keep banning them or regulating them like tobacco products? The latest research on the effects of e-cigarette use comes from a study, published in the British Medical Journal, of more than 160,000 Americans over a 14-year period.

Demonizing school choice does no one any good |Aug 1, 2017

In a speech delivered July 20, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten characterized the school choice movement as merely an outgrowth of segregationist policies. Across the country, students, parents and teachers have seen the benefits of school choice.

L.A.’s 2028 Olympic bid isn’t a winner just yet |Aug 1, 2017

Los Angeles officials are declaring Olympic victory — with several laps to go in the race to make the 2028 Olympic Games a popular and financial success. While it certainly appears the L.A.

What does the Republican Party stand for? Question of the Week |Jul 31, 2017

The major political parties have been going through some soul-searching since the surprise election of Donald Trump — even Trump’s own Republican Party. Last week, as Democratic leaders rolled out a repackaged economic agenda, we invited readers to send us their opinions about

Searching for a way out of Afghanistan |Jul 31, 2017

At a time of tremendous frustration, one of the most daunting and unwelcome challenges facing the Trump administration is the war in Afghanistan. President Obama won an election he could have lost as a direct result of campaigning on what appeared to be victory in that conflict, with Osama bin Laden dead and troop levels on track to draw down.

Founders would have frowned upon filibuster |Jul 30, 2017

Is the Senate filibuster a useful emergency brake on the actions of legislative majorities, or is it a heckler’s veto that distorts the legislative process and prevents the effective functioning of government? The 60-vote requirement to cut off debate isn’t in the Constitution.

Meléndez de Santa Ana good choice for ailing school district |Jul 27, 2017

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson made a fine choice when he picked Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana to try to turn around the Inglewood Unified School District. Meléndez de Santa Ana has quite a resume, including two years as U.

Unions flex muscles to kill teacher tenure reform bill |Jul 27, 2017

A bill to provide badly needed reform to California’s overly generous teacher tenure rules sailed through the Assembly, but was scuttled by union influence. Assembly Bill 1220, introduced by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, a former school board president and college professor, would have extended teacher tenure decisions to three years from the current two (although, in practice, teachers receive tenure after just 18 months since decisions must be made months before the end of their second year of teaching).

California quake-safety support is properly bipartisan |Jul 26, 2017

Who says bipartisanship in Congress is dead? Well, it’s on life support, sure, as this week’s almost entirely party-line Senate vote on reviving the health-care debate showed. Like the entirely party-line vote in the House and Senate that set up Obamacare in the first place.

California performs poorly on food stamp program |Jul 26, 2017

Government isn’t exactly known for its efficiency, and California is no exception to high costs and bloated bureaucracies. Why should it be any different for food stamps? The number of beneficiaries in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, administered by the states and known as CalFresh in California, shot up during the Great Recession, and continued to increase dramatically for several years afterward during the anemic economic recovery.

Bill that helps to house charter schools deserves a fair hearing |Jul 25, 2017

Amidst ongoing efforts by California’s teachers unions to undermine charter schools, consideration of a bill to give public charters greater access to public school property has been postponed until next year.

California redistricting panel an example for U.S. |Jul 25, 2017

Is it possible that California will set the example for the nation of how to do redistricting right? That’s the hope of members of California’s Citizens Redistricting Commission who went to Washington, D.

Another example of airport security’s ineffectiveness |Jul 24, 2017

By just about any measure, the Transportation Security Administration has been a failure. A recent undercover test provides even further evidence of this, as if any were needed. The TSA was a mess before it was merged, along with 21 other federal agencies, into the superbureaucracy known as the Department of Homeland Security in 2002.

What does the Democratic Party stand for? Question of the Week |Jul 24, 2017

Believing a unified national message can improve their party’s electoral fortunes, Democratic leaders are rolling out a new economic agenda. Under the slogan “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future,” the party agenda announced Monday aims to give Democratic candidates something positive to run on in the 2018 congressional elections.

Cut red tape so 747 supertanker can fight U.S. wildfires |Jul 24, 2017

With some 50 wildfires burning in the U.S., the U.S. Forest Service should be making every effort to deploy the most effective firefighting resources available. But it looks like red tape is fireproof.

Pomona College gift expands wilderness park |Jul 21, 2017

Pomona College’s generous gift of Evey Canyon and three Padua Hills parcels to the city of Claremont will expand the city’s Claremont Hills Wilderness Park to nearly 2,500 acres. The college will transfer the 463 acres of wilderness land to Claremont at no charge, with the city responsible for only the administrative costs of the transfer.

State should take politics out of ballot initiatives’ titles |Jul 20, 2017

There is an initiative heading for the ballot that “Eliminates recently enacted road repair and transportation funding by repealing revenues dedicated for those purposes.” Who could be for that? Well, what if we told you that was the title of an initiative put forward by Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach, to repeal the recently enacted gas tax increases? That title and a similarly slanted summary were crafted by the state Attorney General’s Office, and have drawn the ire of the assemblyman and supporters hoping to repeal the higher gas and diesel taxes that the Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated will total $2.

Saving the bees that save California’s farmers: Editorial |Jul 20, 2017

Except when stung, most of us hadn’t given much thought to bees. But in recent years, many Californians have been educated about how much our state’s vast agricultural economy relies on the pollination only bees can provide.

New airline is best news yet for Ontario International |Jul 19, 2017

A new airline is about to begin operations at Ontario International Airport — for the first time in a decade. That Frontier Airlines will begin flying in and out of ONT is big news for an airport trying to rebound from a slump that persisted pretty much through that entire decade.

CalPERS gains great, but far from sufficient |Jul 19, 2017

California’s largest pension fund just posted an impressive 11.2 percent investment return, but don’t pop the champagne corks just yet. The excellent return rate, announced by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System on Friday for the 2016-17 fiscal year just completed at the end of June, is good for taxpayers and government employees and retirees alike, as it reduces the amount of risk exposure for taxpayers, who have to make up for any shortfalls, and helps to shore up a system that has struggled mightily in recent years.

Bill offers needed reform for sex offender registry |Jul 18, 2017

California’s cluttered sex offender registry is too large to be effective and must be reformed if it is to be of any use to law enforcement. One of only four states to require universal lifetime registration for all sex offenders regardless of their offense or risk of re-offending, California now has more than 100,000 people on its sex offender registry.

Asset forfeiture rule changes leave problems |Jul 18, 2017

In an unfortunate turn, the U.S. Department of Justice has decided to lighten up on rules restricting law enforcement’s use of asset forfeiture. Although Attorney General Jeff Sessions will include some helpful modifications to the stricter new policy, the net result is still a setback for Americans — not only the criminals federal prosecutors and cops want to keep off the streets.

Newhall Ranch development should be approved |Jul 17, 2017

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has a rare opportunity to both alleviate the county’s housing crisis and encourage sustainable development. Scheduled to certify two of five villages within the Newhall Ranch development’s broader plan, the board should recognize the developer’s tremendous work to balance development with environmental conscientiousness and approve the projects.

Are California environmental regulations worth the costs? Question of the Week |Jul 17, 2017

The pros and cons of California’s aggressive environmental-protection policies have been a topic for debate again this month as state officials consider an extension of the “cap-and-trade” climate program.

What Upland can and can’t learn from San Bernardino’s fire annexation |Jul 17, 2017

Just days before Upland’s scheduled dissolution of its fire department and the city’s annexation to San Bernardino County fire services, the city of San Bernardino marked the first anniversary of its own move to county fire protection.

Brown’s emissions package too big, too rushed |Jul 16, 2017

Gov. Jerry Brown is asking the Legislature to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program by voting Monday on two bills that he said he will sign only if both are passed. But lawmakers should say no to that deal.

State wants to run the auto industry |Jul 14, 2017

Few industries have been untouched by the state’s aggressive and far-reaching environmental regulations. Now it is looking to enhance its control over the auto industry. Specifically, multiple legislative proposals would use the power of government to encourage the purchase of low-emission and zero-emission vehicles.