January 22, 2013 |
As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama emphatically stated that medical marijuana use was an issue best left to the states. One of the first promises he made as the newly elected president was that he was "not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws. " This was even reiterated formally in the so-called Ogden memo of 2009, in which the Department of Justice instructed U.S. attorneys that federal enforcement should apply only to medical marijuana operations that were not in clear compliance with state law. Obama has since "clarified" those promises, but it still makes no sense that Matthew R. Davies, a business school graduate who set out in 2009 to create a medical marijuana dispensary that would be in full compliance with California law, is facing up to 15 years in prison - with a mandatory five-year sentence.
October 18, 2012 |
Director Stephen Fung's stylistic hodgepodge "Tai Chi Zero" follows a battle-hardened, impulsive kung fu prodigy who seeks training in a secretive, energy-conserving martial arts style practiced in peaceful Chen Village. He becomes an unwitting warrior in a battle between the town and a Western-influenced prodigal son whose giant mechanical claw-monster threatens to wipe out the residents so a railroad can be built. "Tai Chi Zero" is often more distracting than diverting with its everything-goes aesthetic - there are strains of steampunk, manga and silent film comedy, with video-game touches.
August 12, 2012
Unable to stop ticket scalpers from repeatedly violating city laws, City Atty. Carmen Trutanich has filed suit to bar 17 of them - and potentially many more - from setting foot anywhere near five of Los Angeles' most popular sports and concert venues. The injunction sought by Trutanich is the same forceful tool he has used repeatedly against a growing list of targets, including violent criminal gangs, graffiti "taggers" and drug dealers on skid row. And while critics complain about injunctions' effect on civil liberties, there are times when they're appropriate.
June 15, 2012 |
With more than a century between us of working the land, farming and ranching are in our blood. We work 1,500 miles apart - one near the Mexico border, one near the Canada line - but we share a lifestyle rooted in being stewards of America's borderlands. As border-area landowners, we strongly oppose two bills pending in Congress: HR 1505, sponsored by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and S 803, cosponsored by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Both bills would give unrestricted power to the Department of Homeland Security on all public lands within 100 miles of the border (land currently under the jurisdiction of the Interior or Agriculture departments, a great deal of which is leased to ranchers and farmers)
May 24, 2012 |
Los Angeles has made slow but significant progress toward ending homelessness, but the City Council is about to vote on a proposed law that could stop that momentum in its tracks. The Community Care Facilities Ordinance would threaten the well-being of thousands of people with disabilities, create a nightmare for property owners, cost taxpayers more, violate principles of fair housing and jeopardize access to federal funds. The proposed ordinance grew out of an effort to eliminate sober-living homes in residential neighborhoods.
May 20, 2012
Re "Requests for rides, refills sap 911 system resources," May 15 The article about non-emergency calls was illuminating. But it also prompted another question: Why must several people respond to every 911 call that involves a so-called medical emergency? Most of us have witnessed this in our neighborhoods. Even the most innocuous health-related 911calls result in a flotilla of vehicles, including a fire truck and assorted personnel arriving on scene. At the risk of using a bad pun, isn't that overkill?