Culver City Observer -

By Neil Rubenstein
Observer columnist 

State Senator Hertzberg Proposes New Taxes on Services - Haircuts, Beauty Shops and Veterinary Visits


A memo from our Congresswoman the Honorable Karen Bass. Somewhere in Russia, Vladimir Putin is laughing at us as Paul Ryan and Devin Nunes receive a slap on the back and “job well done” from Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

I am, of course, talking about that sham of a memo the Republicans released last week about the federal surveillance of Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. When Democrats objected that the memo omits important facts, Trump lashed out. Today he used Twitter to attack my colleague Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee.

This morning I appeared on CNN to push back. The President’s behavior is an embarrassment to our entire country, and I’m stunned that Republican leaders don’t speak out about it. Instead, they stand with Trump so that they can push their agenda of privatizing social security. Cutting Medicaid and providing tax breaks to major corporations.

I shared similar concerns over the weekend on CNN’s State of the Union. No matter our political party, it should bother us the GOP leadership has allowed partisanship to take precedence over being honest and straightforward with the American people.

Self-service liquor machines may soon be coming to Connecticut. Law makers are considering a bill to allow businesses with state liquor permits to offer machines that dispense beer and wine to customers.

Retired veterans living in Minnesota are getting a big break on this year’s taxes. The state legislature exempted military pensions payments from state income tax.

Oh, my! Three Las Vegas vending machines will dispense clean needles to drug users.

2014 was a bad year for many reasons. It was truly horrible for the 7403 former service members who took their own lives. Twenty veteran suicides a day. What a loss. These days the Veterans Administration (VA) has taken several aggressive steps to deal with the high suicide rates and the numbers are coming down, but even one would be a tragic loss.

I was going through some of my old files when I came across in the center drawer of the cabinet nearest to the window overlooking the rose bush where I have my secret money buried. You know those IRS people use metal detectors.

The article printed in the Los Angeles Sentinel a while back spoke about dozens of patrols (black and white) LAPD cars that were tampered with, so no one could monitor the officer’s radio calls.

It was a year ago in the Tampa Bay Times that we read about a recent study proving a vaccine designed to combat cervical cancer works and has reduced the cancer-causing virus in girls by nearly two-thirds.

Over the past 40 years California has borrowed nearly $45 Billion via bonds to finance construction projects for the state’s K-12 school districts.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1898 in United States vs Wong Kim Ark that a child born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrants was a United States citizen, March 28, 1898.

Have you ever wondered how much it costs to run an election; I posed that question to Sean Kearney, the Director of Fiscal Services for the Culver City Unified School District in November 2014. The Director researched the previous, three school board elections and determined fiscal years:

Year Amount

2013-2014 $115,488.05

2011-2012 $135,775.65

2009-2010 $151,336.29

Another old story from that forgotten file cabinet drawer. Its printed in the L.A. Times about 3 years ago. Centinela Valley School District Superintendent was fired for cause. Jose Fernande made over $750,000 per year, his district had 6600 high school kids in three schools, but he must repay at least $200,000.

Investigators said a former chemist who tested drugs for Massachusetts police departments was high almost every day; she went to work for eight years, potentially putting thousands of criminal convictions in jeopardy. Sonja Farak was high on Methamphetamines, cocaine, LSD even when she testified in court. Farak worked at the lab between 2005 and 2013.

There is a relatively new procedure for those of us with an enlarged prostate called prostate artery embolization or PAE. Its minimally invasive and its performed in less than two hours while the patient is under light sedation. Microscopic particles are injected through a catheter into the arteries that supply blood to the prostate. This results in reduced blood flow which causes the prostate to shrink.

By this time, one can only hope Senate Bill (SB640) has been left to die on the floor of some committee. This legislation was proposed by State Senator Robert Hertzberg and would raise taxes on services, such as haircuts, beauty shops and veterinary visits.

Is it true President Trump has lifted the restrictions put into place by President Obama regarding police departments obtaining military equipment from the Defense Department. As mentioned in the Los Angeles Times, why does a school district need a grenade launcher or why does the Orange County’s Saddleback College police force need a mine resistant armored vehicle? Why do police in the Central Valley city of Wheatland, population less than 3,000, need five M16 a rifle – what gives. When they tell me, I’ll tell you!

The police department recently answered the public document request and told me that they have no military equipment.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at by placing Rubenstein in the website’s search box.


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