From the Publisher: It’s a New Day

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Arnold G. York

The wind has died down, the air is crystal clear, the hills are beginning to turn green, the sun is shining, the ocean is quiet and gentle, and it’s easy to forget what chaos we’ve gone through in the last three months. The recovery is slow, people are still stumbling around about what to do and perhaps we’re just in the beginning of the recovery process. For the first time, I see people regaining their footing and getting ready for the battles to come, which will take a lot of energy and time, and require they endure an infinite amount of frustration. The next step is clearing out the burned sites and that is already underway. Operation Recovery is holding a number of seminars to help you on your way. Check the schedules in this paper.

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Later this month, between Friday, Feb. 22, and Monday, Feb. 25, the U.S. Navy is going to be in town and you’ll all see a large warship ship anchored close to Malibu Pier. They’re setting up the schedule for visitors and we should know shortly of the plans, which we will announce in the paper. Expect to see several hundred sailors—male and female, officers and those enlisted in the streets of Malibu. Let’s give them a big welcome when they get here. Caveat: this assumes that nothing untoward happens between now and then and the visit of a large ship, similar to the ship that visited us a few years ago, can come as scheduled.

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We’re in the process of looking over the Dolphin nominees for this year’s Dolphin Awards. If you have a person or group you want to nominate, get those nominations in right away. Several people can nominate the same person or group, but what’s most important is you give us detailed information about what they’ve done and why you are nominating them. Feel free to nominate someone you may have nominated before: Who knows? This may be their year. See page A10 for details and the list of past winners. (You can only win once.)

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Karen and I have a new dog, who we named Studley—Stud for short. He was a rescue from the Agoura Animal Shelter and we think a refugee from one of the fires. When we got him, the shelter’s staff told us they believed he was a Yorkie [Yorkshire Terrier], and specifically an unfixed male about 10 to 12 years old. The center hadn’t neutered him because staff don’t like to neuter older dogs. When we got him, he had been on the streets for a while and looked pretty scrawny and scruffy, but he cleaned up nicely. After a week or so, it was apparent that he probably was a purebred someone had kept as a show dog or perhaps for breeding, hence the name Studley. For the first week, he didn’t make a peep, nary a bark. Once he realized he was here to stay, he started barking out his commands. Yorkies are terriers and feisty; they don’t think you’re their owner, they think you’re their staff. But he’s a lovable little guy and gets along great with Ginger, a lovable yellow Labrador, so now we have two dogs at The Malibu Times.

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The opening gun has been fired in what promises to be the long legal saga of the Woolsey Fire. A group of attorneys—including Attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a well-known environmental attorney—representing over 100 individuals and property owners filed a complaint in Superior Court against Southern California Edison. The group alleges SCE wires started the fire. They also filed against the Boeing Company, which owned the site where the fire allegedly began. 

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Finally, President Trump was in the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 5, to deliver his delayed State of the Union address. His address had some Republican applause lines. It had some Democratic applause lines. A great deal of what he said could have been said by a Democrat or an Independent—in fact, some of the lines sounded vaguely familiar. The problem I have with Trump is what he says and what he does are very different. He takes credit for just about everything he can. He kind of took credit for the advances women have made in the work force and for all the additional women elected to Congress. In that, he is probably correct. Many of those new women in the House owe their election to Trump, but not the way he tells it. His presidency has brought many new voters to the Democratic Party and enthused enough Independent voters to actually get them out to the polls to essentially vote against him. The strangest thing is he got thumped in the 2018 election, the House flipped and there he is, taking a victory lap. Sadly, the conclusion I’ve come to is the address is an exercise in pretested applause lines and essentially meaningless.

The reality is if the bipartisan committee can come up with something on immigration and Trump actually signs, then we are making some progress. If they can do something about the DACA kids and he signs on to it, then we are making progress. If Congress can pass an infrastructure bill and he signs it, then we are making some progress. But words are not enough. We have to pass some serious legislation, stop attacking our allies, stop tearing up every security agreement and treaty, and deal seriously with Russian, Chinese, North Korean and Iranian threats. Then I’ll believe he is actually making some progress.

I will concede that he is a talented performer; I only wish he was as talented a president.