After 30 horses died during the winter/spring meet at the Santa Anita racetrack — causing a national uproar — it felt as if the future of American horse racing was at risk when the Del Mar racetrack began its summer session in mid-July. Further carnage would have only amplified California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s already-harsh criticism and fueled more reforms by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature. But the track’s extra safety practices paid off “brilliantly,” in the words of California Horse Racing Board Commissioner Fred Maas, as it was the safest track in the nation among nearly two dozen self-reporting tracks for the second straight year. Four horses died during training, two of those in a fluke head-on collision, and none died during races. While any horse deaths are tragic — and those who see horse racing as cruel and inhumane aren’t going to change their minds — this is a credit to Del Mar officials. They had already … [Read more...] about Editorial: Did Del Mar just save horse racing? Maybe.
This Labor Day, even with the number of Americans working at or near an all-time high, employment concerns endure. Our K-12 education system still reflects 20th-century priorities. Computer courses aren’t a universal high school graduation requirement. And mid-career workers in need of new job skills don’t get enough government help. Too many leaders fail to appreciate the big picture.Of course, that’s exactly what Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, and several Democratic presidential candidates say about leaders’ lackadaisical approach to the gig economy. Every day, the internet makes it easier to connect people with work and to find everything from drivers to dog-walkers. But Gonzalez believes many companies treat de facto employees like independent contractors to deny workers access to health insurance, minimum wage, overtime, worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance, paid sick days and family leave, and the right to organize into a union. … [Read more...] about Editorial: Gig economy bill goes way too far too fast
When the invite from Fiat Chrysler came in, I hemmed and hawed. The event in question was an off-road drive of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, along with other off-road-oriented Jeep and Dodge rigs, taking place at an off-road park in west-central Indiana. This was a regional event — media invitees all came from Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis. If I hadn’t already driven the Gladiator in March, I’d have gone without a second thought. That’s why I hesitated – I’d driven the truck on the launch, and I’ll learn more from a second-look that takes place over a week-long loan (I have one scheduled) than I would from a few more hours of rock-crawling. Was it worth the time out of office? I considered sending a freelancer/contributor – I’d be curious what someone else thought of the truck. Eventually, I decided to go because I hadn’t yet driven the Ram Power Wagon. I also later learned that the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk with the new … [Read more...] about Off-Roading Brings A Different Kind of Automotive Joy
I’m a casual racing fan, at best. That may sound weird coming from a car guy, but I’ve come to learn over the years that being into cars doesn’t obligate you to be into racing. I’ve had stints of deeper fandom in the past. Teenage me talked my dad into taking me to Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race way back in the ‘90s, and I used to risk ridicule (particularly the R-word, indicating a crimson-hued neck) from my suburban peers by wearing NASCAR t-shirts to high school. But times and interests change. The NASCAR and IndyCar drivers I grew up watching got old and retired. NASCAR kept messing with the rules while Tony George damn near killed Indy car racing with the CART/IRL split. Furthermore, I’ve always gravitated towards baseball, football, basketball, and hockey even more so than racing, and there’s only so much time on any given Sunday. Sometimes other sports took precedence. I realize the above “confession” may … [Read more...] about The 2019 Indy 500 Was a Reminder That Racing Can Be Fun
The Senate Appropriations Committee’s decision to delay discussing Senate Bill 50 until next year — stalling a move to limit local governments’ power to block new housing projects amid a growing crisis in the nation’s most poverty-ridden state — has led to considerable and justified criticism of lawmakers from Gov. Gavin Newsom on down.If, as Newsom and so many California politicians say, the housing crisis is the biggest cause of poverty in the state with the nation’s highest percentage of impoverished residents, why won’t they take bold steps to increase the state’s housing supply? Why is the Legislature so focused on funding expensive “affordable housing” projects that help only a fraction of residents who spend so much of their income on rent? Where is the broader sense of urgency and resolve? What can Californians do about this mess?This much is clear: Senate Bill 50’s author, Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and … [Read more...] about Editorial: Housing reforms in California need public’s support