March 8, 2013 |
What is it with Oregon and Washington state, those places that supposedly have it so much more environmentally together than car-obsessed California? Both states are entertaining proposals to levy a fee on bicycles. Small, admittedly, but isn't one of the ideas behind taxes supposed to be to encourage actions that help society as a whole? You know, like more non-motorized bicycle use? In Washington, Times reporter Matt Pearce writes, the state might levy a $10-per-bike registration fee similar to the annual car registration fee. And in Oregon, they're talking about a $25 “sales fee” on bicycles costing $500 or more, making it part of a larger transportation bill.
December 8, 2012 |
Angus T. Jones, the fraction in the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men," made news recently when he called the series "filth," bemoaned his own participation in it, and advised people not to watch it. The call came in the course of what he at least would call a religious testimony, delivered on video and posted on YouTube. On ABC's "Nightline," Dr. Damon Raskin, a former child actor himself, described Jones' behavior as "very self-destructive"; on his blog, TV comedy writer Ken Levine called him "an incredibly ungrateful confused young man who has just committed career suicide and left himself open for major lawsuits.
April 6, 2012 |
The busiest subway stop in downtown Washington was until recently festooned with green banners and billboards warning of a terrible danger. One of America's great national symbols is under attack: the one-dollar bill. A few unpatriotic senators want to phase out the dollar bill and replace it with a dollar coin. Several previous attempts to do this have foundered on people's fondness for paper money. In the subway ad campaign, riders are importuned to sign an online petition and go to a website for more information, which of course I did, since I always follow orders from billboards.
April 5, 2012
COMEDY Corporate alt-rock titans KROQ make their annual leap into comedy with Kevin & Bean's April Foolishness. Hosted by the station's morning show merry pranksters, the show features a U.K.-leaning bent with comics Tim Minchin and Eddie Izzard as well as appearances by Bob Saget, Jay Mohr and, somewhat inexplicably, Larry King. Ticket proceeds benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Gibson Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City. 8:15 p.m. Sat. $29.75-$103.75. http://www.livenation.com .
April 2, 2012 |
Did you hear it? Cheers of elation that turned to "aw, man!" when people realized that there was no "Meh" button coming to Facebook, new"Star Trek" movie starring George Takei or GPS-enabled sippy cup for your kid. April Fool's gags, sure. But not bad ideas, really. Takei's post got 80,544 likes, hundreds of reposts and blog entries with old-school Trekkies practically drooling with excitement. He wrote: "The studio has acknowledged the fan enthusiasm for this concept ever since I appeared in command of the vessel in 'The Undiscovered Country.' J.J. Abrams will d irect, with Robert Orci again writing the screenplay.
March 17, 2012
Just because the state says the public can't enter a park doesn't make it so, and that's the chief reason officials should reexamine their plan to close up to 70 parks starting in July. It's not that open space is sacrosanct; as much as we love them, parks are fair game for budget cuts along with almost everything else. But the question that Gov. Jerry Brown must answer is whether California will really save any money, even in the short run, by closing so many parks. The closures were originally supposed to save about $11 million a year, a small item in the budget.