Susan Shelley


Columnist

Susan Shelley

Susan Shelley is a columnist for the Southern California News Group. Reach her at Susan@SusanShelley.com and follow her on Twitter: @Susan_Shelley.

Recent articles

  • Lawsuits

    Drive-by lawsuits target parking lots for quick cash: Susan Shelley

    Suddenly, they appeared everywhere.Outside the sliding glass doors of supermarkets. On the sidewalks next to crosswalks. At the entrances to office buildings and hotels.What are those yellow plates on the ground with the ferocious bumpy surface that invites high heels to slip, trip, and win a date with an orthopedic surgeon?They’re called truncated domes, and they’re intended to make it easier for vision-impaired individuals to detect a curb next to...

  • Columns

    Sewer-fee bill could leave us up to our necks in tax hikes: Susan Shelley

    Sometimes, California’s laws are like a guillotine on a timer.By the time the blade drops, everybody who set it up has made a safe getaway.To illustrate, consider four different laws that did their damage long after the perpetrators moved on, and a brand new one that’s likely to raise rents and perhaps tax Californians right out of their own homes.In 1999, the Legislature passed and Gov. Gray Davis signed Senate Bill 400, which increased the pensions of...

  • Executive branch

    A pen and an eraser—Trump reverses Obama limits on military gear for cops: Susan Shelley

    Douglas Adams, the late, great author of the comedy science fiction series, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” once wrote a scene where two characters are met by a guard who expressed his displeasure by viciously waving a long silver “Kill-O-Zap” gun:“The designer of the gun had clearly not been instructed to beat about the bush. ‘Make it evil,’ he’d been told. ‘Make it totally clear to anyone standing at the...

  • Politics

    Another scheme for stormwater taxes gathers steam in Sacramento: Susan Shelley

    Money is no object when you’re spending somebody else’s.If those words haven’t yet replaced “Eureka” as the official state motto of California, they soon will. The Legislature is back in session.The chairs were barely warm when lawmakers advanced yet another sneak attack on property owners. This time it’s a gut-and-amend bill to allow the Los Angeles County Flood Control District to levy special taxes for stormwater management...

  • Columns

    Constitutional convention is one way to amend a broken system: Susan Shelley

    What exactly is a “convention of the states,” and should anyone be losing sleep over it?In September, state lawmakers from around the country will gather at the Arizona capitol to draw up rules for a future convention that will attempt to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution.There hasn’t been a constitutional convention in the United States since 1787, although the Constitution has been amended 27 times. If you don’t count the first 10, which...

  • Government taxation and revenue

    Hotels could see Olympic-sized subsidies from LA taxpayers: Susan Shelley

    Congratulations, Los Angeles taxpayers. You’re in the hotel business.As part of the City Council’s ferocious competition to beat out nobody for the privilege of hosting the 2028 Summer Olympic Games, the council has directed the planning department to list a “room block agreement” for the Olympics as a “community benefit” in hotel development incentive agreements.Did you know that your city tax dollars are sometimes directed to hotel...

  • Columns

    College quotas might be facing final exam in court: Susan Shelley

    Is it over for affirmative action?The Trump administration’s Justice Department is hiring lawyers to look into a civil rights complaint filed by 64 Asian-American groups back in 2015. The department will investigate and perhaps sue colleges and universities that engage in intentional race-based discrimination in admissions.You don’t need a telescope to see where this is going. The project is a hothouse to grow test cases, at least one of which will eventually...

  • Historic sites

    Classic Hollywood picture palace needs a better ending: Susan Shelley

    At midnight on Dec. 31, 1999, all the great cities of the world marked the turn of the millennium by lighting up their most iconic landmark. In Paris, it was the Eiffel Tower. In Cairo, the pyramids. In New York, the Statue of Liberty.Los Angeles lit up the Hollywood sign.It was just for television. There were no bleachers or chairs set up. No one was invited.Isn’t that perfectly Hollywood? It’s only real on the screen, and nothing to see if you’re...

  • Columns

    To offer real public assistance, cut taxes: Susan Shelley

    When the Los Angeles County Metro Board voted last month to award a $45 million contract for electric buses to a company that promised to hire minorities and ex-convicts, community activists cheered.“A job gives people meaning, it gives them a sense of who they are and what they can do,” said one.There’s general agreement across the political spectrum that jobs are a good thing. The disagreement is over what it takes to create them.Should taxes be...

  • Columns

    Causes of government fraud are right there on paper: Susan Shelley

    Last year, Medicare sent out $60 billion in the wrong amount, to the wrong person, or for the wrong reason, and that’s just one chunk of an iceberg of federal funds that are going where they’re not supposed to go.The Government Accountability Office announced in July that Medicare is one of the programs at “high risk” for what officials call “improper payments,” because of the program’s size, complexity and “susceptibility to...