CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2011 |
More than once, Norma recalls, she yearned to dial 911 when her partner hit her. But the undocumented mother of a U.S.-born toddler was too fearful of police and too broken of spirit to do so. In October, she finally worked up the courage to call police — and paid a steep price. Officers who responded found her sobbing, with a swollen lower lip. But a red mark on her alleged abuser's cheek prompted police to book them both into the San Francisco County Jail while investigators sorted out the details.
February 27, 2011 |
Despite efforts to the contrary, there still is a major gap between homeowners in danger of losing their homes and the resources available to help them avoid foreclosure, according to a report released last month in Nevada. The study found that more than half the Nevadans facing foreclosure didn't know about federal and state programs aimed at helping them. Furthermore, almost as many said their lenders were "not willing at all" to work with them. These troubling findings were revealed in an analysis of the Silver State's foreclosure crisis undertaken by the Nevada Assn.
February 13, 2011 |
Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon is in a tough spot. The former Santa Clarita mayor's hometown is eager to receive its share of federal aid to fund neighborhood improvements, such as patching roofs on seniors' homes, building a youth center in a low-income area and paying for a "community preservation officer" to fight blight. But McKeon also is a member of the House Republican majority, which is determined to reduce the federal budget deficit. The $4.4-billion Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG, program ?
February 11, 2011
House Republicans called for cuts in hundreds of government programs Friday night in a $61-billion savings package they toughened at the demand of "tea party"-backed conservatives. From education to job training, the environment and nutrition, few domestic programs werewould be left untouched ? and some werewould be eliminated ? in the measure, which is expected to reach the floor for a vote next week. Among the programs targeted for elimination are Americorps and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
December 29, 2010 |
Congress' failure to pass a massive spending bill ? opting instead to fund the government with a temporary measure ? has left dozens of federal programs in budgetary limbo. Without a secure budget for fiscal year 2011, some agencies have suspended projects long on the books, including a 27-year-old program that helps support food pantries and homeless shelters across the country. A pilot program aimed at helping the elderly stay in their homes also is on hold, and an AIDS drug assistance program will leave thousands on waiting lists.
November 10, 2010 |
A much-touted federal effort to keep U.S. firearms out of the Mexican drug wars is unwieldy, mismanaged and fraught with "significant weaknesses" that could doom gun smuggling enforcement on the border to failure, an internal Justice Department review concluded Tuesday. Agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives focus only on small gun sales and do not share information with law enforcement officials on both sides of the border, the review said.
July 13, 2010 |
Government-backed loans to the nation's small businesses dropped sharply last month after a key federal program ran out of money. The reduction in lending comes as officials are scrambling to find a way to stimulate the small-business sector. On Monday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said loosening credit to small businesses should be a priority for banks and policymakers. "Making credit accessible to sound small businesses is crucial to our economic recovery, and so should be front and center among our current policy challenges," Bernanke said at a meeting on small-business financing in Washington.
February 4, 2010
In California's effort to qualify for up to $700 million in federal Race to the Top school funding, there's been a lot of talk about open enrollment and linking teacher evaluations to student performance. As they are framed in the state's new school reform law, however, neither of those provisions is likely to bring dramatic improvement to the schools that need it most. Instead, the most promising idea is contained in the state's application for funding: a request to change the way school improvement is measured.
December 11, 2009 |
Federal data released Thursday showed just how poorly banks are doing at turning the growing number of temporary loan modifications into permanent ones under the Obama administration's effort to curtail foreclosures. Only 31,382 of more than 700,000 mortgage modifications under the federal program had been made permanent by the end of November. The numbers reinforced the bleak picture that Treasury Department officials painted last week when they said the number of permanent reductions was low. They unveiled new measures, including the threat of fines, to push mortgage servicers to improve their performance.
December 10, 2009 |
The new proposal for breaking the healthcare impasse in the Senate -- based on a large expansion of the Medicare program -- raised hopes Wednesday among Democrats that the way may be clearing to pass their massive bill by Christmas. The deal, which emerged late Tuesday night after days of negotiations among a group of 10 Democratic senators, dropped the idea of a government-run insurance program. Moderates feared that such a program would be the first step toward a government takeover of the insurance system.