Saturday, December 7, 2013 12:00 am
The big-box stores and fast-food franchise workers’ nationwide demonstrations demanding higher hourly pay reached California during the Thanksgiving Black Friday weekend.
Saturday, November 30, 2013 12:00 am
This summer, Food Network star chef Alton Brown came to my local Pittsburgh mega-market. Tickets were sold out way in advance — maybe because they were free, but more likely because Brown is a big draw and puts on a good show.
Saturday, November 23, 2013 12:00 am
Whenever I tell my Pittsburgh friends and neighbors that I moved from Lodi, their first reactions are always the same: How can you stand the winters and how could you drive in California? As for the weather, that one is easy. I tell them that I went to school in Pittsburgh and knew what winters in the Mid-Atlantic states are all about. Summer is the tougher time of the year when its often cloudy, humid and wet versus Lodi’s day-after-day brilliant sunshine.
Saturday, November 16, 2013 12:00 am
What a sorry state America is in when voters can’t trust elected officials to keep their campaign promises. A Gallup poll released earlier this week showed that Congress has reached a new low, gaining the approval of just 9 percent of Americans. This breaks last year’s dismal 10 percent, the previous record.
Saturday, November 9, 2013 12:00 am
Obamacare isn’t the only subject the president has been lying about for months. The Affordable Care Act and its disastrous consequences have gotten most of the publicity and has pushed comprehensive immigration reform off the front page.
Saturday, November 2, 2013 12:00 am
Lodi Mayor Alan Nakanishi described Oct. 22, the day when six were killed and several others injured in a tragic six-car crash, “a black day.” Even more than 2,500 miles away in Pittsburgh, I share the pain and horror of my former friends and neighbors.
Saturday, October 26, 2013 12:00 am
Exactly three years ago during October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, I wrote a News-Sentinel column titled “Have We Become Excessively Pink?” In my article, I listed my credentials, if you will, as an anti-pink advocate.
Thursday, October 24, 2013 12:44 pm
Bruno Feldeisen of the Four Seasons Hotel on East 57th St. is convinced that hot chocolate delivers the highest chocolate experience possible.
Saturday, October 19, 2013 12:00 am
The World Series begins on Oct. 23. Sometime during the endlessly long telecasts, announcers will laud New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen and the perfect game he tossed in 1956. Larsen’s game is without question the most impressive single feat in baseball’s long history.
Friday, October 11, 2013 3:10 pm
Last week marked an important 10th anniversary for Californians and, in particular, for me. In Oct. 2003, I was one of 135 gubernatorial candidates in the special Recall Gray Davis election.
Saturday, October 5, 2013 12:00 am
During the baseball season’s last week, three players got standing ovations from their fans: the New York Yankees’ Mariano Rivera, the Texas Rangers’ Nelson Cruz and the San Francisco Giants’ Barry Zito.
Saturday, September 28, 2013 12:00 am
Earlier this week, Hillary Clinton announced that although she served four years as President Obama’s Secretary of State, she’s an independent woman who had policy disagreements with the president.
Saturday, September 21, 2013 12:00 am
Last week, the New York Times published an op-ed titled “Overpopulation is Not the Problem,” written by University of Maryland associate geography and environmental systems Erle C. Ellis.
Saturday, September 14, 2013 12:00 am
Last week, comprehensive immigration reform was all but dead. A debate about Syria, an unanticipated distraction, promised to eat up more time from an already short legislative calendar that will face major hurdles on the budget, the debt ceiling and Obamacare.
Saturday, September 7, 2013 12:00 am
For those of us who grew up during the Vietnam years — and especially for those who fought in the 20-year-long war — the prospect of possible United States involvement in the Syrian civil war is chilling. In my lifetime, the U.S. has been part of at least 10 armed conflicts, some of which, like Vietnam and Somalia, were poorly thought out and even more poorly executed.
Saturday, August 31, 2013 12:00 am
Earlier this month, 11 “Pathway to Citizenship” pilgrims arrived in Lodi on their march from Sacramento to Bakersfield. On Labor Day, they’ll protest outside House Whip Kevin McCarthy’s office, demanding immigration reform. McCarthy’s district includes Bakersfield.
Saturday, August 24, 2013 12:00 am
Lodi is in the midst of a doggie dust up. Based on what I’ve read in the News-Sentinel in recent weeks, the question is just how dog-friendly — if at all — is Lodi?
Saturday, August 10, 2013 12:00 am
The last great summer movie was “Jaws,” in 1975. At the time of its release, I lived in New York and was vacationing on Long Island. My son and his friends were about 10. After watching “Jaws,” that summer none of them swam again.
Friday, August 2, 2013 2:50 pm
More than 25 years after the Immigration Reform and Control Act passed in 1986, Congress is deadlocked on what — if anything — to do next. In the last quarter of a century, open borders, no internal enforcement, a huge increase in non-immigrant visa issuance and record numbers of refugees have helped push America’s population to unsustainable levels.
Friday, July 26, 2013 5:32 pm
When I heard the news that Major League Baseball suspended Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder, 2011 Most Valuable Player and steroid cheat, I barely flinched. Drug usage, real and rumored, has been so rampant in MLB for the last 20 years that I’m surprised Braun’s case even registered in the media. But I should have anticipated the wild ride the story got on sports channels and in the 24-hour news cycle
Saturday, July 20, 2013 12:00 am
Last week, I had a heart-to-heart with my son about the looming expense he’s about to incur when his children, my grandchildren, begin college in 2016. Between 2016 and 2022, at least one child will be enrolled in college. Unless some unforeseen scholarship or winning lottery ticket gets cashed in, his estimated annual expense for one child would range into the high five figures; when both are enrolled at the same time, twice that sum.
Friday, July 12, 2013 11:50 am
Next week, baseball’s 84th All Star Game will be played at Citifield, home of the New York Mets. As has become the tradition over the last several years, the game will be preceded by a home run hitting contest and various special events featuring non-baseball celebrities. But during the World War II era, the Mid-Summer Classic was at risk of being cancelled. Baseball’s future was also in doubt.
Friday, July 5, 2013 12:17 pm
When the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, 68-32, the successful vote set off loud rounds of self-congratulatory backslapping among the Gang of 8, the various big business lobbies, the Chamber of Commerce and immigration lawyers. The White House, which had veto power over the bill’s language, chimed in too.
Look more deeply into the vote, however, and some interesting facts emerge that should take the wind out of the victors’ sails, especially as S. 744 heads to the staunchly opposed House.
Since 2006, the Senate has cast more or less 60 votes for amnesty in all the bills put before it. Last month’s vote gave no indication that Senate enthusiasm for a wide reaching amnesty is greater than it traditionally is. Two of the Gang’s original goals failed: 1) to reach 70 total votes and 2) to get at least half of the Republicans to sign on. The first objective came up two short. As for the second, only 14 of 45 Republicans voted “yea,” a much lower share than in either 1986 during the disastrous Immigration Reform and Control Act or in 2006 for the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act.
During the two months that the Gang wrote S.744 with plenty of help from immigration activists and the two additional months since the bill dropped in mid-April, a relative calm has settle over previously panicked Republicans. After the November presidential election, President Obama’s large Hispanic vote share paralyzed Republicans with fear and led them to irrationally conclude that they need greater Latino outreach. But reams of post-election analysis found that even if Mitt Romney had won 70 percent of the Hispanic vote, he still would have lost the election. Low white voter turnout coupled a record high number of black voters made Obama an easy winner.
Electoral college reality has set in. And since no one knows who the 2016 candidates will be, sanity has been restored among congressional Republicans about how far they should push their opposed-to-amnesty base to play for Democratic votes they’ll never get.
As for the Republicans who turned coat, their Senate careers may be end when their terms do. Gang Republicans Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake skipped the celebratory photo ops, realizing that front page images of them hugging Gang liberals Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin might kill their reelection chances.
Through the Internet’s power, previous staunch anti-amnesty campaign pledges “yea” voting Republican senators made will live on. Here’s a sampling. Flake: amnesty is “a dead end,”; Orrin Hatch: “We can no longer grant amnesty,”; Rubio: “I would vote against anything that has amnesty in it,” McCain: “I’ll build the dang fence,” Kelly Ayotte: “I don’t support amnesty; it’s wrong.” Little wonder Americans feel that Washington has abandoned them.
The next time they hit the stump, Hatch will be 86 and have served in the Senate for 40 years; McCain, 80 with a 30-year congressional career. Rubio’s polling has droppedprecipitously since he assumed spokesman status for the Gang’s Republicans. Breaking promises is bad business for duplicitous politicians, young or old.
Saturday, June 29, 2013 12:00 am
Exactly five years ago this month, my wife and I — along with our three dogs, two cats and one African Grey parrot — left Lodi and, with sadness, headed toward our new home outside of Pittsburgh. Not a day goes by that I don’t think fondly of the 25 years I lived in Lodi. Modern technology has helped. I read the News-Sentinel online and can email or text message my friends to stay current.