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Gary Toebben

BUSINESS
July 28, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - In the closing days of the Legislature last year, Gov. Jerry Brown helped forge a compromise on a sweeping overhaul of the workers' compensation insurance system and persuaded Democratic and Republican lawmakers to pass it into law. Now he is taking on another big challenge: He wants to fix the state's financially ailing unemployment insurance program, which pays jobless Californians up to $450 a week. With one of the nation's highest unemployment rates for several years, the state has had to borrow money from the feds to keep the program going.
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BUSINESS
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.
BUSINESS
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.
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.
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
April 11, 2013 | By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles teachers overwhelmingly expressed "no confidence" in L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy in the first vote of its kind in the nation's second-largest school system. In the weeklong referendum that ended Wednesday, 91% of the participating teachers expressed disapproval of Deasy, with about 17,700 of the union's more than 32,000 members casting ballots, the teachers union announced Thursday. The superintendent called the vote "nonsense" even before knowing its outcome, and a group of civic leaders rallied to Deasy's defense.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 2, 2013 | Steve Lopez
On Tuesday, Oct. 22, Flora Castaneda marched in Inglewood. She marched with hundreds of fellow El Super grocery store employees, supporters and clergy, at a labor rally in the parking lot of the El Super at West Century and Crenshaw boulevards. And here's what the employees, whose contract expired in September, were lathered up about: Their work schedules and total weekly hours are in constant flux, so tending to family matters and managing second jobs are more than a little challenging.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2011 | By Shane Goldmacher, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sacramento -- Friends of Gov. Jerry Brown who have acknowledged raising money from private donors to pay the governor's Sacramento rent said Friday that they are also running a second nonprofit for Brown that his predecessor tapped to fund luxury travel around the world. The nonprofit, called the California State Protocol Foundation, was used by supporters of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to pay for private jet trips, luxury hotel stays and other expenses incurred by the governor and his entourage.
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