July 7, 2012 |
Behind the weak job growth numbers and the uncertainty about the economic recovery, small-business owners see shrinking consumer confidence sapping demand for their products and services. Many small firms say they are barely staying afloat and won't hire until they see signs of more stability in the marketplace. That sentiment doesn't bode well for efforts to push the economy forward. Small business, the conventional engine of job growth, has been particularly active in the last two years in driving the recovery from the Great Recession.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 24, 2012 |
With the chilling pulse of the"Drive"movie soundtrack flooding their van, Calder Greenwood and his cohort sped into the shadows of the bridges overlooking the L.A. River east of downtown Los Angeles. They were on a mission to humanize the harsh industrial landscape of concrete, rusting metal, graffiti and whitewash. Their installation: A life-size papier-mache surfer. Deftly using wires and a concrete block, Greenwood placed the surfer smack in the middle of the waterway.
June 22, 2012 |
Bobby Green feels most at home sitting at a bar. Not at a table in a bar, but at the bar itself - a cold beer or cocktail in his hand. Bars put him in a sentimental mood, which is why his night life company 1933 Group owns so many of them. With partners Dimitri Komarov and Dmitry Liberman, Green runs six popular watering holes, including the Bigfoot Lodge and Thirsty Crow, and is poised to open a seventh - his biggest project yet - next month in Hollywood. Called Sassafras, the 3,500-square-foot bar was designed by Green (who is the face of the 1933 Group)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 14, 2012 |
Responding to appeals from an array of construction unions, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a $67.3-million subsidy for a new downtown hotel across from L.A. Live. The council voted 10 to 1 to provide developers of a 23-story Marriott complex on Olympic Boulevard a tax rebate equal to half of the revenue - from sales taxes, property taxes, parking taxes, business taxes, utility taxes and room taxes - generated by the project over 25 years. That money will flow to the developers, Williams/Dame & Associates and American Life Inc., in the form of a hotel tax rebate, said Chief Legislative Analyst Gerry Miller.
June 12, 2012 |
Starbucks Corp. has a new line of merchandise that, in line with the conscientious capitalism efforts at several major companies, it said will be used to help support American jobs. The coffee giant will sell a limited-edition mug, tumbler and bag of coffee - all made domestically - to raise money for its Create Jobs for USA fund. The fund was launched in November after Chief Executive Howard Schultz excoriated politicians and fellow business leaders for failing to do their part to stimulate the U.S. economy.
May 29, 2012 |
On April 30, the L.A. Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted to award an $890-million contract for 235 light rail cars to Kinkisharyo International, a Japanese firm that will build a significant portion of the cars in Osaka, Japan, rather than in California. Just a week later, on May 9, the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency voted to award a $2.5-billion contract for the manufacture of 775 rail cars to a Canadian firm that will build many of the car components in Mexico. With the awarding of these two contracts, California lost the opportunity to create more than 2,000 good American jobs building rail cars for our transit systems.
May 20, 2012 |
Bring Up the Bodies A Novel Hilary Mantel Henry Holt: 432 pp., $28 Hilary Mantel's novel about the Tudor political puppet-master supremo Thomas Cromwell, "Wolf Hall," winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize for fiction, was so richly packed with character and action that it was bound to burst its banks. Originally intended to take Cromwell through the four years that it took him to fall from the pinnacle of power (where we left him at the end of "Wolf Hall") to his own appointment with the executioner's ax, "Bring Up the Bodies" forms the middle volume of what is to be a trilogy.
April 23, 2012 |
A simmering trade dispute is highlighting a debate about the kinds of jobs America can sustain in a greening economy. The Obama administration's recent decision to slap import tariffs on Chinese solar cells was hailed by some domestic solar manufacturers as a victory for job creation, leveling the field while also sending a powerful message to Beijing about monopolistic behavior in crucial industries. But a close look at the U.S. solar industry suggests that the tariffs may actually be a job killer because the vast majority of positions in the sector aren't on the assembly line.
April 11, 2012 |
Discussion of creationism in public school classrooms in Tennessee will now be permitted under a bill that passed the Republican-controlled state Legislature despite opposition from the state's Republican governor. The measure will allow classroom debates over evolution, permitting discussions of creationism alongside evolutionary teachings about the origins of life. Critics say the law, disparagingly called "The Monkey Bill," will plunge Tennessee back to the divisive days of the notorious Scopes "Monkey Trial" in Dayton, Tenn., in 1925.
April 10, 2012 |
After six months of improving confidence, the mood of small businesses in America turned sour in March - with plans for job creation and expectations for sales growth, profits and business conditions all falling from the prior month. The new report Tuesday from the National Federation of Independent Business, a leading small-employer lobbying group, adds to the worries after the disappointing job growth in March, when the economy generated just 120,000 net new jobs. Consistent with the national jobs reports, the federation's survey found that actual hiring over the last few months were the best since early last year.