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NEWS
February 15, 2012
The federal government injected about $1.75 million in additional funding for the dredging of Newport Harbor, Councilman Mike Henn announced Tuesday. The city's roughly $7.8-million project would bring the pleasure harbor closer to its original depths, but funding obstacles and regulatory approvals have held up the process . "That's a tremendous advance here," said Henn, who had planned to raise some of the funds from private parties interested in the harbor. Henn asked City Manager Dave Kiff to consider making up the remaining $250,000, which would increase the city's contribution from $2.5 million to about $2.75 million.
NEWS
February 19, 2013
Citing concerns about resources wasted on the enforcement of an inconsistent patchwork of marijuana regulation, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) plans to introduce a bill that would require the federal government to mirror individual states' pot laws, a spokeswoman for the congressman said. "It's state-centric," said Communications Director Tara Setmayer. The crux of the legislation, she said, would still allow the Drug Enforcement Administration to enforce some states' total prohibitions of marijuana, but would stop raids on dispensaries operating according to local law — raids that Rohrabacher considers "overreaches of the federal government.
NEWS
August 6, 2013
Re. "Healthcare CEO compares 'Obamacare' to DMV" (Aug. 1): I was troubled by some of the comments attributed to Dr. Richard Afable, chief executive of Covenant Health Network, in the Daily Pilot last week. In a speech to the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, Afable is quoted as saying that Obamacare seeks to improve "access to care for those who don't have access today for financial reasons" and attempts "to get the federal government out from underneath the huge financial liability that it has in paying for the care of 100 million people in this country.
NEWS
By Steve Smith | February 21, 2013
In my life, I have watched a man walk on the moon, seen the fall of the Berlin Wall, and observed America twice elect a black man to the presidency. In Hawaii in 1999, I saw a chicken cross the road, and several years ago on Highway 152 in Northern California, I saw a dead skunk in the middle of the road while the Loudon Wainwright III song of the same name played on the car radio. The skunk was indeed "stinking to high heaven. " I have witnessed the birth of two human beings, been in an operating room to witness open-heart surgery, and even seen a product called Muscle Milk that clearly states on the carton, "Contains no milk.
NEWS
By James P. Gray | September 6, 2013
With the recent statement by Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. that the federal government will not prosecute people for marijuana offenses as long as they are acting within the laws of their states, it is simply a question of time before the entire "war on drugs" is over. In fact, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is now in sight. This is not really a victory for those who want to use marijuana as much as it is a victory for liberty. The government should hold people responsible for their actions, but not for what they, as adults, put into their bodies.
NEWS
April 9, 2012
Re. "City to study park plan," April 7: Your story on privatization of TeWinkle Park left out an important fact: The land is deed-restricted, and the proposed privatization would likely result in forfeiture of the entire park, including any improvements, to the federal government. I have repeatedly pointed this out to the City Council at public meetings, but the only response has been that they would get Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) to fix it with the Department of the Interior.
NEWS
By James P. Gray | February 22, 2013
The biggest security threat to our country is a failed economy, and today that is a genuine threat. How so? Because the simple fact is that for every dollar the federal government now spends, it is either borrowing or printing 43 cents. Obviously no company could do that and stay in business, and no household can, either, without facing almost immediate bankruptcy. And neither can any country. Anyone even partially familiar with history knows that the Roman Empire was never conquered from without until it had overextended and collapsed from within.
NEWS
By James P. Gray | March 19, 2011
Why are Arizona and an increasingly large number of other states taking their own action regarding illegal immigration? It results from the frustration of the federal government's inactivity. As was discussed in this column from July 22, 2007, Congress could resolve this problem fairly easily and quickly if it wanted to, but the reality is that it has no such desire. Why? Because many powerful Republicans want continued access to cheap labor, and many powerful Democrats want people to continue to come here illegally with the hope that eventually they will vote for Democrats.
NEWS
By Leslie Daigle | February 22, 2013
Re. "Newport completes lower-bay dredging," Feb. 15: An article by reporter Jill Cowan in the Daily Pilot highlights the completion of the Lower Bay (Newport Harbor) dredging. As I stated in the article, it was a "long, hard road to complete the big dredge. " The assistance of our federal and state partners helped achieve a breakthrough. There are few ways state and federal government dollars come directly back into our community. The Upper Newport Bay restoration project received $50 million in federal and state funds for completion prior to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers considering work on the Lower Bay. City Manager Dave Kiff and I went to Washington, D.C., to make the case for completion of the Upper Bay project.
NEWS
By Thomas Eastmond | October 14, 2013
During the Reagan years, the federal government shut down eight times. It would be inaccurate to say that the Democrats, who then controlled Congress, shut down the government, because it takes two to play shutdown chicken. Certainly, though, the legendary Democratic speaker of the House, Thomas "Tip" O'Neill, had no qualms about using the House's constitutional authority over appropriations to maximum effect. His penchant for brinkmanship, when his priorities conflicted with those of the executive branch, even saddled his fellow Democrat, Jimmy Carter, with several government shutdowns.
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NEWS
By James P. Gray | November 15, 2013
Our short series on classic American patriots continues with a focus on John Adams. Fortunately, with the fairly recent publication of David McCullough's book "John Adams" (Touchstone, 2001), this somewhat crusty but likable American is finally beginning to be recognized as the hero that he was. Tragically, unlike many naturalized citizens who lived under totalitarian regimes, most Americans who were born here take our freedoms for granted. But to the founding fathers like John Adams, freedom and liberty were what our country was all about.
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NEWS
By Thomas Eastmond | October 14, 2013
During the Reagan years, the federal government shut down eight times. It would be inaccurate to say that the Democrats, who then controlled Congress, shut down the government, because it takes two to play shutdown chicken. Certainly, though, the legendary Democratic speaker of the House, Thomas "Tip" O'Neill, had no qualms about using the House's constitutional authority over appropriations to maximum effect. His penchant for brinkmanship, when his priorities conflicted with those of the executive branch, even saddled his fellow Democrat, Jimmy Carter, with several government shutdowns.
NEWS
By James P. Gray | September 6, 2013
With the recent statement by Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. that the federal government will not prosecute people for marijuana offenses as long as they are acting within the laws of their states, it is simply a question of time before the entire "war on drugs" is over. In fact, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is now in sight. This is not really a victory for those who want to use marijuana as much as it is a victory for liberty. The government should hold people responsible for their actions, but not for what they, as adults, put into their bodies.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | August 9, 2013
U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) referred to President Eisenhower's farewell address Thursday evening in his explanation for why he believes global warming is a "total fraud. " In the 1961 speech - famously known for its admonition of an emerging military-industrial complex - the former five-star general also warned of a similarly captive grip on U.S. public policy wielded by scientists and the government that funds them. "There's so much money that has gone into science research projects," Rohrabacher said, "and they have used it to intimidate people who disagree with their attempt to frighten all of us into changing our lives and giving up our freedoms to make choices.
NEWS
August 6, 2013
Re. "Healthcare CEO compares 'Obamacare' to DMV" (Aug. 1): I was troubled by some of the comments attributed to Dr. Richard Afable, chief executive of Covenant Health Network, in the Daily Pilot last week. In a speech to the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, Afable is quoted as saying that Obamacare seeks to improve "access to care for those who don't have access today for financial reasons" and attempts "to get the federal government out from underneath the huge financial liability that it has in paying for the care of 100 million people in this country.
NEWS
By James P. Gray | August 2, 2013
The following question is meant to be practical, not philosophical, and your answer is important. Do you want unlimited government? That would mean that government would effectively take responsibility for deciding and controlling all aspects of our lives. Honestly, I don't think I have ever encountered anyone who wants that. One reason of course, is that unlimited government doesn't work. For example, the governments in China, Cuba and the former Soviet Union took away many personal freedoms, but they still had some limitations on government, and even then their systems were stagnant.
NEWS
By James P. Gray | July 19, 2013
Many things are not going well for us and our country. So where do we go from here? Well, as people sometimes say when playing bridge, let's review the bidding. For every dollar the federal government spends, it is borrowing or printing 20 cents. That has put our children and grandchildren into bankruptcy. Yes, at the moment the stock market is doing fairly well and the real estate market appears to be getting stronger, but the other shoe has yet to drop. That other shoe is this: Public employee pensions nationwide are not adequately funded.
NEWS
By Ron Kaye | June 28, 2013
Journalists, the good government crowd, even some ordinary people who believe in democracy, felt triumphant when the farce in Sacramento over what they called the "gutting … neutering … eviscerating" of California's freedom of information law ended the way they had hoped. A victory for open government, for freedom, they said, proof that the politicians will respond to the public if people get aroused enough. Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature controlled by Democratic super-majorities that allow them to do anything they want with barely a whimper from the Republicans had backed down on making the state's public access law, the Ralph M. Brown Act, optional at the discretion of each and every government agency.
NEWS
By James P. Gray | April 13, 2013
Since my last column about health care appeared in this space, the system has continued to gallop toward disaster. Today, under the federal government's "leadership," we often pay several times more in the United States for the same prescription drugs that are sold in other countries; an average MRI here costs $1,080, while it only costs $510 in Germany; and doctors here charge twice as much for hip replacement surgery as do doctors in Australia....
NEWS
By Leslie Daigle | February 22, 2013
Re. "Newport completes lower-bay dredging," Feb. 15: An article by reporter Jill Cowan in the Daily Pilot highlights the completion of the Lower Bay (Newport Harbor) dredging. As I stated in the article, it was a "long, hard road to complete the big dredge. " The assistance of our federal and state partners helped achieve a breakthrough. There are few ways state and federal government dollars come directly back into our community. The Upper Newport Bay restoration project received $50 million in federal and state funds for completion prior to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers considering work on the Lower Bay. City Manager Dave Kiff and I went to Washington, D.C., to make the case for completion of the Upper Bay project.
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