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Gary Toebben

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2012 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
Several Los Angeles leaders backed a revised business plan released Monday by the agency overseeing California's ambitious high-speed rail effort, saying it lowers costs and speeds construction while bringing jobs and world-class transit to the region. By embracing a "blended" approach, the plan shaves $30 billion off the cost by using some tracks that now carry regional passenger lines rather than building new ones exclusively for the bullet train. "High-speed rail is the natural extension of the transportation network we are building in Southern California," said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2013 | By Dan Weikel, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles International Airport landed in court again Thursday when a labor union, four local governments and a neighborhood coalition filed lawsuits challenging the latest round of construction being performed at the aging facility, including a controversial plan to relocate the northernmost runway closer to homes. The cases allege that Los Angeles World Airports, the operator of LAX, violated state laws that require thorough evaluations of the environmental effects of projects as well as measures to reduce adverse impacts.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2014 | By James Barragan, Marc Lifsher and E. Scott Reckard
President Obama named Los Angeles businesswoman Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder of a community bank and a former California Cabinet member, as his nominee to head the Small Business Administration. Obama said Contreras-Sweet, who has worked with small businesses in the private sector, understands what small businesses need. "Maria knows how hard it is to get started on a business," Obama said Wednesday. "The grueling hours, the stress, the occasional self-doubt. " "So not only did she start small businesses, but those have also been her customers, and she understands all too often that the lack of access to capital means a lack of opportunity," he said.
BUSINESS
August 22, 2006 | Marc Lifsher, Times Staff Writer
More than 1 million Californians who earn the minimum wage will get a nearly 20% pay increase over the next year and a half, thanks to an agreement announced Monday between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic leaders in the Legislature. The hike, the first since early 2004, will lift the state minimum wage to $8 an hour from $6.75. Workers will get a 75-cent increase Jan. 1 and an additional 50 cents on Jan. 1, 2008.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2013 | By David Zahniser
A judge has dealt a serious setback to Los Angeles' efforts to bring larger development to parts of Hollywood, saying a new zoning plan is "fatally flawed" and should be rescinded by the City Council. In a 41-page tentative ruling issued this week, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman said city leaders failed to comply with the state's environmental law when they approved an update to the Hollywood Community Plan, which maps out rules for growth and development.
OPINION
April 11, 2008
Although a recent spate of violent crime has focused much of the city's attention on gangs, there is another source of fearful social upheaval rippling through Los Angeles: immigration raids. Although they certainly do not threaten residents' welfare and security with deadly gunfire, the continual rounding up of illegal immigrants at their places of employment is having serious consequences within and without the Latino community.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 2010 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
Low-wage workers in the Los Angeles area are even more likely than their counterparts in New York and Chicago to suffer violations of minimum wage, overtime and other labor laws, according to a new UCLA study being released today. The study found that almost nine out of 10 low-wage workers surveyed in Los Angeles County had recently experienced some form of pay-related workplace violation, or "wage theft." Almost one in three reported being paid less than the minimum wage and nearly 80% said they had not received legally mandated overtime.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2008 | David Zahniser and Phil Willon, Zahniser and Willon are Times staff writers.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled an ambitious long-range plan Monday for securing enough solar power to meet one-tenth of the city's energy needs by 2020, a move aimed at making L.A. a hub of the solar-energy industry. Appearing at a South Los Angeles manufacturing plant where solar panels are made, Villaraigosa said the initiative will help the Department of Water and Power wean itself off of fossil fuels -- natural gas and coal -- as part of the effort to address global warming.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2008 | Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writer
A Los Angeles City Council effort to overturn a Police Commission policy requiring officers to disclose personal financial information seemed destined for failure Tuesday, as civic and reform leaders warned that the council's intervention was undermining the commission's authority over the Police Department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2006 | Steve Hymon, Times Staff Writer
Supporters of a ballot measure to ease term limits for the Los Angeles City Council are sending campaign mail to voters that makes it appear that elected officials could get less time in office rather than more. "Prop R will LIMIT councilmembers to three terms in office (12 years total), so that no one can serve for life," states the campaign flier from the Committee to Reform L.A. In fact, council members are already limited to two four-year terms.
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