News Columnist for The Arizona Republic. E-mail me at

Actually, there is room at the inn .. real sanctuary — As most of us know, accommodations were difficult to come by for weary out-of-town travelers 2,000 years ago. Even a husband and wife traveling with an infant had a difficult time finding a place to stay. It's different now. There days there actually is room at the inn.

Sorry, Sony, but killing a head of state is not funny — We're all outraged at the hacking of Sony Pictures; and we'll all concerned with the national security implications; and we're all expecting the government to launch some form of cyber retaliation or to increase sanctions on North Korea, which they say is behind the hacking, but ... ...

Next Phoenix police chief should be homegrown — Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher already is talking about how the search for a replacement for fired Police Chief Daniel V. Garcia will be nationwide. "I would expect to follow that pattern," he said after Garcia was let go. Word of advice: NO. The next chief should be home grown.

Will Ducey drive with dreamers or off Brewer's cliff? — It looks like the fight to keep dreamers from getting (or keeping) driver's licenses will wind up on soon-to-be Gov. Doug Ducey's desk. The courts have now said that dreamers - the young immigrants to came to the U.S. as children and have been raised and educated here - will be able to apply for driver's licenses beginning Monday.

The long, long wait for a list of sinful priests — There's a very good pope in the Vatican these days and that has helped us to forget about the very bad priests that have operated in some Roman Catholic churches. Including here. This week the Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., released what it called an updated list of priests who it claims were "credibly accused" of sexually abusing minors.

A very un-Arias Christmas! — What may be the best news of the month was transmitted via Twitter on Thursday by public information officers at Maricopa County Superior Court. It reads simply: "Today is the last day of trial in State v. #JodiArias until 1/5/2015." Thank you. Two weeks without Arias. A Christmas miracle.

Should Newtown victim families collect from Bushmaster? — The families of nine of the 26 people killed and a teacher who was injured at the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre two years ago believe that the manufacturer of the AR-15 rifle used in the rampage should be held accountable.

Worst reminder we're still at war. Mesa soldier killed — We forgot -- again -- that we are at war. And we have been reminded -- again. In the worst possible way. Over the weekend we learned that Spc. Wyatt J. Martin of Mesa died in Afghanistan after his vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device. A soldier from New York, Sgt.

Hate preacher thrives when we (me included) fall for it — I don't appreciate being called a holier-than-thou hypocrite, especially when it's true. It happened to me last week after I wrote something for about Pastor Steven Anderson of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe. About 100 people demonstrated peacefully outside the Faithful Word church this past Sunday in order to protest the vile, hateful, and wildly successful "hate preach" of Pastor Anderson.

How gullible are NFL fans? (Don't answer that.) — There's a reason why journalism is not a spectator sport. It's boring. The jobs themselves aren't boring. Going out and talking to people and writing articles is great fun. What isn't fun -- unless it's sponsored by the National Football League -- is watching people ask other people questions.
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Dec 21, 2014

Sanctuary, as it was offered to a man and his pregnant wife, weary foreigners, over 2,000 years ago. via @azcentral

Dec 20, 2014

PHX PD OFFICER: I'd like the next chief to have spent time on the streets where I work. ME: I agree. via @azcentral

Dec 19, 2014

@gmstoner Good to hear from you brother. I remember, too. Love every day. Hope all is well.

Dec 19, 2014

RT @GretchenYuma: "@azcentral: Columnist @ejmontini: Next #Phoenix COP should be". Ivote Commander Chris Crockett, retired.

Dec 19, 2014

RT @azcentral: Columnist @ejmontini: Next #Phoenix police chief should be homegrown, in touch with local politics, community.

Dec 19, 2014

RT @senyorreporter: Yes it's constitutional, @ejmontini says, but is it a good idea to make a movie about killing a nation's leader?…

Dec 19, 2014

RT @amybwang: .@ejmontini makes the argument for why Phoenix's next police chief should be homegrown:

Dec 19, 2014

Sorry, Sony, but killing a head of state is not funny via @azcentral

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