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  • Culver City Observer Letters Policy

    Letters|Jun 20, 2024

    Letters and Commentaries are the opinion of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the newspaper. The Culver City Observer takes positions on issues and will be marked as editorials. E-mail letters are required. E-mail letters to: letters@culvercityobserver.com Letters provide a community forum open to all. Due to space limitations we ask letter writers to limit their topics to local concerns, Letters should be limited to 400 words or less. Letters must be received...

  • Claims the California Legislature is transparent are bogus Claims the California Legislature is transparent are bogus

    Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.|Jun 20, 2024

    “Transparency in government is paramount,” said Assemblywoman Gail Pellerin, D-Santa Cruz, proving that hypocrisy in government is clearly the rule in California. As chair of the Committee on Elections and Redistricting, Pellerin praised “transparency” as she voted to kill a bill that would have banned non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) from the bill-making process. The bill, Assembly Bill 2654, was in response to a report by KCRA’s Ashley Zavala, who broke the news that special interest...

  • COMMENTARY Department of Veteran Affairs will Assist with Securing Benefits

    James T. Marszalek|Apr 11, 2024

    I've never believed that a veteran should start the claims process with paying for representation. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a duty to assist, yet in many cases, I've seen veterans needlessly pay for results that they could have achieved at no cost from DAV. But when it comes to unaccredited representatives who charge unnecessary fees to veterans, their families and their survivors, we can all agree that criminal penalties should exist. And that's why DAV strongly supports the...

  • COMMENTARY Department of Veteran Affairs will Assist with Securing Benefits

    James T. Marszalek|Mar 28, 2024

    I’ve never believed that a veteran should start the claims process with paying for representation. The Department of Veterans Affairs has a duty to assist, yet in many cases, I’ve seen veterans needlessly pay for results that they could have achieved at no cost from DAV. But when it comes to unaccredited representatives who charge unnecessary fees to veterans, their families and their survivors, we can all agree that criminal penalties should exist. And that’s why DAV strongly supports the GUARD VA Benefits Act. This important legis...

  • Asbestos exposure is a concern for veterans even today

    Mar 14, 2024

    Asbestos use was prevalent in the U.S. armed forces during the 20th century, as the WWII war effort demanded accessible materials for producing military equipment quickly and in large amounts. It made exposure to this toxic material an ongoing worry for all veterans, including those among Culver City's veteran population. The Navy exploited asbestos the most, putting naval personnel at an outstandingly high risk of asbestos exposure. Even so, this doesn't exclude other military bases from being...

  • Opposes Measure E Tax Hike

    Feb 29, 2024

    Letter to the Editor The Culver City School Board has been severely negligent in handling their budgets for decades. When I was asked to run for the School Board in the 1990's, while I decided not to, I helped someone run instead. As an ex-accountant and business efficiency expert at that time, I did a deep analysis of the School District's budget. What a hot mess. Even back in the 1990s, I found around a million dollars that they had squandered that they could have retained with just a few...

  • Rick Caruso, the Oceanwide Plaza towers could use your help

    Feb 29, 2024
    3

    Taggers have graffitied what appears to be more than 25 stories of a downtown Los Angeles skyscraper that's been sitting dormant for several years. Construction on Oceanwide Plaza, a $1 billion mixed-use retail and luxury apartments project with three towering unfinished structures, stalled in January 2019 after the Beijing-based developer lacked the funds to complete it. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times) Taggers have graffitied more than 25 stories of a downtown L.A. skyscraper in the abandoned Oceanwide Plaza development. (Robert Gauthier...

  • Letters

    Feb 22, 2024

    The Culver City Observer welcomes letters from l points of view in our city. Letters must be typed and emailed to: publisher@culvercityobserver.com We request letters be under 500 word and may be edited for length or libel. Hate letters are not accepted. Readers are welcome to blog us on items in the us Culver City Observer at wwww.culvercityobsever.com Letters from announce candidates for political office are not ed however we encourage supporters to submit letters....

  • Letter to the Editor re: CCUSD Budget Stabilization Plans

    Jan 25, 2024

    With the sunsetting of COVID relief funds, CCUSD is faced with the same budget concerns that all districts up and down the state are. While CCUSD is not currently in deficit-spending, a projected deficit is anticipated if we don't make adjustments that account for no longer having access to these one-time funds. As a district, we are committed to meeting the needs of our students and families by providing sustainable programs to secure the resources our students need to thrive in a nurturing...

  • Letter to the Editor re: CCUSD Budget Stabilization Plans

    Jan 11, 2024

    Letter to the Editor re: CCUSD Budget Stabilization Plans With the sunsetting of COVID relief funds, CCUSD is faced with the same budget concerns that all districts up and down the state are facing. While CCUSD currently has sufficient reserves for this fiscal year, and we are meeting our financial commitments, we anticipate that reserves will be below the state's 3% reserve requirement during the next two years. Therefore we must make adjustments and develop plans to reduce spending. As a...

  • Culver City Council Majority Paves the Way to Remove Dissenting Voices from City Committees

    Bubba Fish|Nov 9, 2023

    At Monday's City Council meeting, a seismic shift in city governance occurred, though if you blinked, you may have missed it. Buried inside a list of seemingly mundane proposed changes to the city's committees, boards and commissions (CBCs) was a clause to enable the removal of a CBC member "with or without cause... upon a majority vote of the City Council." The previous policy required a 4/5 vote, a much more difficult threshold to meet. The "Council majority," referring to Mayor Vera and Counc...

  • Protect Prop. 13! Call the Capitol to say "NO on ACA 13" and "NO on ACA 1"

    Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association|Aug 31, 2023

    Thank you for the calls you've made to tell the legislature that ACA 13 and ACA 1 are attacks on Proposition 13 that must be stopped. Your help is needed again as these two dangerous measures come up for a vote on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. We're asking all HJTA members and supporters to please call the members of the committee and urge them to vote NO on ACA 13 and NO on ACA 1. Please call as soon as possible! Here's all the information: NO on ACA 13 ACA 13...

  • THE CULVER CITY FIESTA COMMITTEE...WHAT HAPPENED?

    Bob Wayne|Aug 24, 2023

    Late last year, I termed out of my role as a member of the Culver City Fiesta Committee. One of the most surprising (and disappointing) things about the experience was that there was no formal or informal orientation process when appointed by the City Council, and no exit interview when I, and two of my fellow Fiesta Committee members completed our terms. Unlike many previous members of Culver City's commissions and committees, I wanted to be proactive and share my experiences and thoughts on...

  • Eliminating Single Family Zoning Slap in the Face to all

    Aug 17, 2023

    Dear Editor, I am a concerned Culver City resident who regularly appreciates your publication. I realize that politics is so important these days, just not to me…but here are my quick thoughts on recent Culver City issues that impact CC residents’ daily life: 1) Eliminating Single Family Zoning is an affront to all that invested in CC before us, and all that currently pays for CC infrastructure, schools and services. The idea that increasing the density of available housing will help anybody who can’t currently afford CC is silly at best....

  • Repeal the Death Tax initiative has been filed with the Attorney General

    Jul 6, 2023

    We have officially filed the Repeal the Death Tax initiative with the Attorney General's office and the public comment period is open! You can tell the Attorney General, "I support Initiative 23-0005." This important initiative will restore the ability of parents to transfer their home and a limited amount of other property to their children without any change to the property tax bill. It will also restore the same rights for grandparents if the children's parents are deceased. As you know,...

  • Letter From the Superintendent

    Jun 22, 2023

    Due to some recent incidents on some of our campuses, particularly incidents targeting our LGBTQIA students, I felt it was important to re-emphasize our commitment to foster respect and understanding of one another, of who we are individually and collectively as members of our community. We are committed to providing all staff and students with teaching and learning environments that are safe and welcoming for all. Student learning is optimized when they feel safe to engage and are comfortable...

  • California Commentary

    Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association|Jun 15, 2023

    In California politics, there are three major movements to the annual budget Kabuki Dance. In January of each year, the governor announces a proposed budget for the next fiscal year beginning July 1st. The dance move just executed last week was the “May Revise,” a revision of the previous proposed budget, leading up to the passage of the final budget by June 15th. As this column has previously revealed, all phases of the budget dance are fake insofar as they are subject to substantial ame...

  • CPUC Must Reject Proposed SoCalGas Rate Hike Out of Hand

    Mar 16, 2023

    Today the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will be holding a public forum to hear from ratepayers on the gas rate increase request from SoCalGas. If approved, this rate increase would take effect in January 2024 and impact monthly ratepayer bills by an estimated 13.2% per month. Activists and community members are urging the CPUC to deny SoCalGas’s request for a rate hike and to instead transition California away from fossil fuels. Regarding the public forum, Food & Water Watch’s California Director Chirag Bhakta issued the followi...

  • Epidemic of gun violence in California and throughout the nation

    Feb 23, 2023

    In recent months, there has been an epidemic of gun violence in California and throughout the nation. Why is this so? According to CNN, dated June 2, 2022, there are 393 million privately owned firearms in the United States. The population of the United States as of 2021 was 331.9 million. In other words, there are more firearms than people in the United States! In a study conducted by the American Journal of Public Health, dated November 2013, they stated, "We find a robust relationship between gun ownership and firearm homicide rates." What...

  • Why should we trust the 'experts'? They always fail us when it matters

    Letters|Jan 26, 2023

    By Jon Coupal President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association There’s an old joke about the origins of the word “expert.” The story is that it is a combination of the word “ex” – meaning a has-been – and “spurt” – defined as a drip under pressure. Therefore, “expert” means a has-been drip under pressure. Like it or not, we all rely on experts in our daily lives. But Americans are losing trust in experts, according to the Pew Research Center. Trust in scientists and medical scientists, ini...

  • Why should we trust the 'experts'? They always fail us when it matters

    Letters|Jan 19, 2023

    By Jon Coupal President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association There’s an old joke about the origins of the word “expert.” The story is that it is a combination of the word “ex” – meaning a has-been – and “spurt” – defined as a drip under pressure. Therefore, “expert” means a has-been drip under pressure. Like it or not, we all rely on experts in our daily lives. But Americans are losing trust in experts, according to the Pew Research Center. Trust in scientists and medical scientists, ini...

  • Assembly Bill to Restrict local Recall Moves

    Letters|Jan 19, 2023

    By Jon Coupal and Scott Kaufman As the Legislature gavels in for another session of taxpayer abuse, we can look back at the last session and cheerfully report, it could have been worse. The Legislature sent Gov. Gavin Newsom 1,166 bills last year. He signed 997 and vetoed 169. Fortunately, the midterm elections served to concentrate the minds of lawmakers, taming many of the Legislature’s more radical proposals. However, several bills that were signed by the governor are still a cause for c...

  • Re. "Government Transparency" letter from C. Alexander published Jan. 5, 2023.

    Letters|Jan 19, 2023

    Dear Editor, In her letter of Jan. 5, 2023, Ms. Alexander belittles the role of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, stating it is “involved in making recommendations on the use of the public right of way”. When I chaired the BPAC we actively tried to support staff who are implementing the Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan adopted by City Council in June 2020. The plan is extensive, and available on our city website. Ultimately of course, the BPAC can only listen, discuss, req...

  • What California taxpayers need to know about unemployment insurance

    Letters|Jan 5, 2023

    By Jon COUPAL President Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association I sincerely hope that readers aren’t turned off by the title of this column. While most taxpayers aren’t directly responsible for paying unemployment insurance taxes, the truth is we all pay and, in California, we pay a great deal more than we should. Last week I received an email from a dentist who operates a small dental office and is required to pay the unemployment insurance tax and, sadly, is paying much more than he should bec...

  • Government Transparency

    Letters|Jan 5, 2023

    Dear Editor, In a democracy, vigilance is required. Over the last decade, the City Council has created three Advisory Committees, in the areas of Bicycle & Pedestrian, Equity and Human Relations, and Finance. In a progressive worldview, these citizen groups would be used as a catalyst for public engagement and public transparency. (As an eight-year member and Chair of the Finance Advisory Committee, I can attest that public fiscal transparency was front and center in the work we did.) In the...

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