July 15, 2012 |
The decision by three California cities to seek bankruptcy protection in the space of two weeks is unlikely to presage a wave of copycat filings. But it does underscore the mounting financial pressure facing local governments around the country. Collapsing property values and entrenched unemployment have pushed cities and counties to the economic brink. Tax receipts in some locales have shrunk more than 20% over the last three years, and soaring pension costs exceed funding levels by as much as $3 trillion nationwide.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2013 |
Eight years ago, a Los Angeles County government oversight panel examined the string of small working-class cities along the 710 Freeway and gave them a relatively clean bill of health. Then a series of corruption scandals in southeast L.A. County roiled the region and made national headlines. Prosecutors filed public-corruption charges in Bell, Vernon, Commerce, Cudahy and Lynwood. Investigations are ongoing in Maywood and in at least one water district. Now the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission is taking another look.
July 19, 2012 |
Fresno County draws travelers to its amazing Blossom Trail each spring when fruit trees erupt with color, but the area claims a dubious distinction too: vehicle theft capital of the United States. California cities claimed seven of the top 10 spots where cars, trucks and vans were most often stolen nationwide in 2011, according to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau . Fresno, Modesto and the Bakersfield-Delano area claimed the three top spots for vehicle thefts last year for the second year in a row, according to the organization's Hot Spots 2011 report released last month.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 10, 2009 |
As hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries have opened this year in a startling rollout across California, unnerved local officials have started to push back aggressively. Many cities and a few counties have banned them. Others have imposed emergency moratoriums. And some have started to sue dispensaries to force them to close. So far, the state's courts have sided with local officials. For marijuana advocates, who have seen over-the-counter sales become commonplace and watched the steady drift of California's vibrant weed counterculture into the mainstream, these setbacks are a discordant development.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 31, 2012 |
A Sacramento County Superior Court judge Wednesday ruled against a group of California cities in their battle with the state over hundreds of millions of property tax dollars that used to flow to local redevelopment agencies. Judge Timothy M. Frawley said he would not grant the request from Glendale, Pasadena, Huntington Beach and other cities for an injunction that would have prevented the payout of property taxes on Friday to schools and counties. Cities believe some of the money belongs to them and should be used to pay for such projects as parks, affordable housing and freeway intersections that had been agreed upon before Gov. Jerry Brown won his battle to eliminate California's 400 municipal redevelopment agencies late last year.
December 15, 2013 |
This app provides a quick visual take on popular destinations - it's like having a concierge in the palm of your hand. Name: Jetpac City Guides Available for : iPhone, iPad What it does: Analyzes public Instagram photos and turns their research into fun, bite-sized, list-driven guides to 5,000 cities around the globe. Cost: Free What's hot: It's a wild, refreshing destination guide using Instagram photos - whether you're looking for Hipster Hangouts, Bars That Women Love, Top Outdoor Places, Top Urban Spaces, Top Places to Stay or more.
January 19, 2009 |
Only five metropolitan areas in the U.S. will escape job losses this year, according to a forecast by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. New York is expected to take the biggest hit as thousands of jobs are lost on Wall Street. Big financial firms are slashing workers as they cope with bad debt. Other companies have gone under, like Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which filed for bankruptcy in September.
June 7, 2013 |
Looking for a cheap fixer-upper? You might check the list of the 15 best cities for do-it-yourself housing bargains, published this week by RealtyTrac, the Irvine-based real estate data firm. Shocker: No California cities made the list. The five best cities to find a bargain home are in the Rust Belt: Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis and Cincinnati. The rankings come from the number of bank-owned homes that were built before 1960 and are valued under $100,000. There are 3,773 such homes in Detroit, which is more than double Chicago's inventory, which is ranked just below the Michigan city. Phoenix is the closest city to Southern California that made the list and ranks No. 8 on the list with 763 such homes.
August 20, 2013 |
Coastal flooding could cost big cities more than $60 billion a year by mid-century, with losses jumping even more dramatically if nothing is done to counter rising sea levels and subsiding land, a new study has found. A team of researchers analyzed data on flood exposure in 136 of the world's largest coastal cities to project steep increases in economic losses, from an estimated $6 billion a year in 2005 to $52 billion by 2050 based on changes in population, economic growth and urbanization.