April 22, 2013 |
A federal foreclosure-prevention effort that earmarked nearly $2 billion in taxpayer money to help troubled California homeowners has delivered only about one-sixth of that money in three years. But officials from the Keep Your Home California program say the pace of payouts is finally set to increase. That's because more banks, including the largest mortgage servicers, have agreed to use the funds to slash the loan principal amounts for certain borrowers. Until now, many borrowers seeking aid from the program have been frustrated.
April 19, 2013 |
Two days after a fatal explosion shrouded a small Texas town in an eerie plume of smoke, officials still weren't sure exactly how many people had died. But one thing had become increasingly clear: Texas is a team. Using a Facebook group called “Prayers for Victims of Waco/West TX Fertilizer Plant Disaster” -- which had more than 75,000 "likes" by Thursday evening -- people offered myriad services. A local nurse said she could help with search and rescue efforts. Scores of people offered to volunteer at a crawfish boil fundraiser at a motorcycle shop in nearby Waco on Saturday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2013 |
Organized labor's lopsided support for Wendy Greuel in the Los Angeles mayor's race has started shifting as unions begin pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into an independent campaign backing her rival, Eric Garcetti. The $300,000 in new labor donations for Garcetti - the first installment of what union leaders say will be more than $1 million - still leaves the city councilman far behind Greuel in the contest for union money. But it highlights a dramatic split within labor, often the driving force in Los Angeles elections.
March 24, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki on Sunday to stop Iran from flying arms across Iraqi territory to the beleaguered Syrian regime, but found him unwilling to give ground. In a visit to Baghdad that was not announced in advance, Kerry told Maliki that the almost daily flights have become a lifeline for Syrian President Bashar Assad that is undermining the efforts of the United States and allies to negotiate the departure of Assad and an end to the 2-year-old war. And Kerry warned that many in the United States are wondering how, after Americans “have tried so hard to be helpful” in rebuilding post-Saddam Iraq, the country could stand in its way. “The overflights from Iran are, in fact, helping to sustain Assad,” Kerry told reporters after the meeting, which he described as “spirited.” PHOTOS: War in Iraq - a look back 10 years later But Maliki repeated Iraq's view that there is no definitive proof that the cargoes are arms, rather than humanitarian aid, as the Iranians contend.
March 22, 2013 |
The Enabler has fretted about the fate of the legendary Skid Row dive bar the King Eddy Saloon since it was bought by new owners and closed for renovations in December. King Eddy, which first opened in 1933, has a history of attracting literary types, including John Fante and Charles Bukowski, along with a rough and tumble cast of blue collar workers, homeless folks and artists. It was easy to imagine the new owners, Acme Bar Group, making it a place for the fancy pants set. The thought made the Enabler want to smash a bottle of vermouth over her head.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2013 |
A new stream of endorsements emerged in Los Angeles' mayoral race Wednesday as Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti sought an edge in the May 21 runoff. The backing has two overarching goals - blunting criticism the two Democrats are facing about their ability to confront the most pressing financial problems in the city, and courting voters who supported candidates who did not survive the primary. Greuel won the backing of former Republican Mayor Richard Riordan , who pledged he would serve as a senior advisor to her administration for a salary of $1 a year.
March 21, 2013 |
Nowadays the very nature of “Mrs. Warren's Profession” might have gotten her a reality show, but in 1893 censors banned George Bernard Shaw's play about a brothel proprietress - not for salacious content (it has none), but because of the even more dangerous social hypocrisies it exposed. Among its many strengths the Antaeus Company's superb revival illuminates what continues to shock most about the piece, namely, how little has really changed. In the title role, Anne Gee Byrd anchors the otherwise double-cast production with a steely portrayal that is every inch Shaw's envisioned “genial and fairly presentable old blackguard of a woman.” Her present wealth and success notwithstanding, Kitty Warren's inflections and bearing betray the dead-end lower class origins she's risen above.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2013 |
The border barriers rise out of the Pacific Ocean, climb craggy California peaks, streak across Arizona desert valleys and meander through cattle ranches and fields of sorghum and citrus in South Texas. Tall steel fencing separates border communities. Camera towers and bright rows of stadium lights aim at smugglers' enclaves in Mexico. Migrants seeking out traditional crossing routes find them blocked, and many give up. But migrants still get across, by seeking out the one road or one mountain range or one desert trail beyond the reach of the U.S. Border Patrol.
February 28, 2013 |
It's easy to understand why special interests are pouring dollars into the mayor's race in Los Angeles -- the mayor is the most powerful official in the second-largest city in America. What's less intuitive is why they're spending so much in the race for the City Council's 9th District, the city's poorest. According to financial disclosures compiled by the city Ethics Commission, candidates in the 9th have attracted $330,000 in independent expenditures so far -- more than any other council seat.
February 12, 2013 |
The young men have gone west, for the money. The New York Yankees are no longer baseball's financial powerhouse. The Dodgers are. But Dodger dollars are not the only dollars flowing west. The richest free-agent contracts this winter came from L.A.: Zack Greinke got $147 million from the Dodgers; Josh Hamilton got $125 million from the Angels. Add the extensions for two stars - the pending $175-million deal between Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners, and the completed $138-million deal between David Wright and the New York Mets - and three of the winter's four $100-million contracts came from the west.