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Gary Toebben

February 23, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - California farmers markets want to get tough with interlopers who don't sell what they grow. They're backing a bill to crack down on vendors who falsely claim to offer pesticide-free or locally grown fruits, nuts and vegetables. "Californians are fortunate to have the highest concentration of farmers markets in the nation," said the bill's author, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento). The bill, AB 1871, he said, would "increase consumer protections and accountability at our certified farmers markets, protect local farmers and help this growing sector of the economy continue to thrive.
January 20, 2012 | By Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington -- The long-stalled new federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles will finally move forward, Washington officials announced Thursday, despite scrutiny from congressional Republicans looking for ways to cut the federal budget deficit. The roughly $400-million project at 1st Street and Broadway, planned for more than a decade, would replace the Depression-era federal courthouse on Spring Street, which officials say has security and asbestos problems. It would also fill an immense hole: The Junipero Serra State Office Building, considered seismically weak after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, was demolished in 2007, leaving a gaping cavity and a rainy-season pond occasionally inhabited by ducks.
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efforts to bring larger development to parts of Hollywood, saying a new zoning plan is "fatally flawed" and should be rescinded by the City Council.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.
April 15, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
Most Californians can't afford their rent. The state's affordability crisis has worsened since the recession, as soaring home prices and rents outpace job and income growth. Meanwhile, government funds to combat the problem have evaporated. Local redevelopment agencies once generated roughly $1 billion annually for below-market housing across California, but the roughly 400 agencies closed in 2012 to ease a state budget crisis. In addition, almost $5 billion from state below-market housing bonds, approved by voters last decade, is nearly gone.
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.
July 1, 2013 | By David Zahniser and Catherine Saillant
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti began his first day in office Monday sitting down with business leaders and holding afternoon office hours for Angelenos to speak their minds, part of his promise to embrace a "listen, then lead" style of governance at City Hall. One day after he gave an inaugural speech promising to focus heavily on job growth and basic city services, Garcetti got an earful from residents troubled by potholes, broken sidewalks, business taxes, illegal home additions and homelessness, among other issues.
March 14, 2013 | By David Zahniser and Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
In a city reeling from earthquakes, riots and a deep recession, Tim Leiweke emerged as a powerful force in Los Angeles. He made his mark in 1999, opening Staples Center in a moribund section of downtown. Then the L.A. Live complex, which changed the downtown skyline for the first time in a decade. Leiweke's departure Thursday as head of entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group sent ripples through not only L.A.'s business community but also its civic and political circles.
June 11, 2009 | Ronald D. White
Deep inside the nation's busiest seaport lurks the old Southwest Marine shipyard, a collection of rusting corrugated-metal buildings, broken windows and dark interiors that has appeared in more than a dozen films and television shows, including "Die Hard," "24" and "CSI: Miami." But these days, the 38-acre site at the Port of Los Angeles is the setting for another kind of high-stakes drama, this time involving competing visions of the port's future.
March 23, 2011 | Steve Lopez
Anybody out there know what it would cost each and every Californian to keep teachers teaching, firefighters fighting fires and crooks in jumpsuits? We keep hearing about Gov. Brown's proposal to extend several temporary tax increases for another five years ? the sales, vehicle and income tax hikes approved by former Gov. Schwarzenegger ? but we don't hear much about the price. So I asked State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) over the weekend and one of his staffers sent me the breakdown.
April 21, 2011 | By David Wharton and Bill Shaikin
Major League Baseball has moved to seize control of the Dodgers, a famed franchise that fans and much of the baseball world had come to see as crippled by an owner who does not appear to have enough money to operate the team. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced Wednesday that he plans to appoint a trustee in the next few days to oversee "all business and day-to-day operations" of the ballclub. The move was prompted by a number of issues surrounding the Dodgers, including owner Frank McCourt's recent receipt of $30-million personal loan to meet payroll and the parking-lot attack at Dodger Stadium on March 31 that left a San Francisco Giants fan in a coma, according to a league source.
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