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September 2, 1990
Regarding the Culver City council's pending decision about granting Columbia Studios permission to build several tall office towers on their lot: I think they should allow it. Citizen worries about excess traffic and out-of-place development never bothered them when they approved the Marina Place Mall. Maybe it's because this time they have to answer to the people who would be impacted, but they should apply the same logic here--that the overriding benefits of the tax revenue and prestige will justify the gridlock.
November 11, 2001
Robert Bruss has advised many times that paying off a mortgage in advance of the payment schedule saves them the interest at the rate stated on the mortgage itself. It is incomplete advice. The big advantage in paying in advance is the subsequent benefits. Every time you pay an amount over the regular payment, you reduce the principal on which the next interest amount is computed. The next payment is reduced by that amount and more is applied to reduce the principal. This is repeated on the next and all subsequent payments.
April 20, 2008
Your article "Jobless benefit phones jammed" (April 9) described the frustrations that some laid-off workers have when they try to file for benefits by phone. Unfortunately, the article ignored the progress that the Employment Development Department has made in reducing delays at call centers -- despite a spike in claims, an unprecedented cut in federal funding and reliance on a 30-year-old computer system that we are replacing. In March, we answered nearly twice as many calls a day as we did in January, and reduced by 55% the number of calls that went unanswered the prior March because agents were busy with other claimants.
November 12, 2006
Make candy jewelry, paint murals, personalize a T-shirt, or let E! Entertainment's fashion experts do you up. It was all part of the P.S. Arts Express Yourself benefit last Sunday at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Chris Klein, Rebecca De Mornay, Joely Fisher, Larry David, Albert Brooks and Calista Flockhart all got crafty. 6. Don Cheadle makes puppets.
December 13, 1992
The Disneyland Resort draft environmental impact report will be open for public comment until Dec. 28 before going to the Anaheim Planning Commission for certification. The Anaheim Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the project. This is the most important consideration now before the people and businesses of Orange County. The legally required EIR addresses the effects expansion might have on the community. It concludes that aesthetics would be considerably better, that transportation impact would be insignificant with surface street and freeway improvements and that there would be no deterioration in air quality and no increase in noise level.
July 4, 1999
In the June 27 Your Mortgage column, Jack Guttentag says that the "principal repayment yields a return equal to the interest rate on your loan." That completely ignores the benefits of income tax deductions. In a state like California with high income taxes, and for those in higher federal tax brackets, the impact on the analysis is significant. JOHN STERN Mar Vista
September 29, 2006
Re "Employers Chip Away at Retiree Health Benefits," Sept. 26 If a company cheats its customers to improve profits, the customers can buy from another company. If a company cheats its employees to reduce expenses, the employees can work elsewhere. But when a company decides to reduce expenses by cheating its retirees, what can the retirees do? It's too late to retire from somewhere else. How about if the giant corporations contemplating cutting back retiree benefits reduce expenses by selling a few of their corporate jets?
September 7, 1985
Amidst all the furor about President Reagan's tax proposals for "fairness, growth and simplicity" I have seen no mention of the unfairness of the taxation of Social Security benefits, which started last year! Why should a small percentage (said to be 5%to 10%) of retired people, who saved their money, and now have finally achieved adequate incomes (such as $32,000 per couple), be penalized with taxes on certain tax-exempt income and on one-half their Social Security. They have paid Social Security taxes for many years and everyone still working past 65, continues to pay Social Security taxes.
April 7, 2005
Re "Benefits Plan Puts Gov. on Defense," April 1: It's not only the firefighters and sheriff's deputies that deserve death and disability benefits when killed or severely injured in the line of duty. I served for 36 months, from January 2000 to December 2003, on the board of the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Assn., which awards the death and disability benefits to fallen employees. We went through more than 1,000 cases, carefully screening them for potential fraud. Most employees aren't firefighters or deputies, and while their day-to-day activities don't typically involve such things as burning buildings or getting shot at, civilian civil servants repairing the roadways, and nurses and doctors working with HIV-positive patients, and civilian jail custody assistants jumped by five inmates get disabled too. Unions endorsed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in the recall, and union members voted for him. He has made us mad now. Bruce Perelman North Hollywood Schwarzenegger wants to reduce paid holidays for state employees from 14 to 12 to help trim the budget.
June 18, 2001
Re "Social Security: Get Tough," editorial, June 15: What has already been promised by the government in future Social Security benefits must and will be paid, and talk of reducing cost-of-living adjustments is simply hot air, politically impossible to enact. Faith in the future of Social Security among the young is weak because they recognize the inevitable failure of pay-as-you-go. Separate the past and present from the future. Accept the obligation of benefits already earned and pledge to meet them with a combination of the money in the trust fund and general revenues.
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