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Gary Toebben

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.
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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.
SPORTS
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.
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.
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
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.
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
October 20, 2011 | By Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times
A stretch of the 10 Freeway, spanning the Los Angeles River and a maze of surface streets near downtown, routinely carries more than 300,000 vehicles a day. Built in 1959, the bridge has cracks in its concrete deck and is in need of repair. It earned particular notoriety this week when a transportation advocacy nonprofit declared it one of the most heavily trafficked structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. Using a 2010 federal database, the group's analysis also found that of the nation's 69,223 bridges classified as structurally deficient and in need of a combined $70.9 billion in repairs, Los Angeles County is home to 91 of the 99 busiest.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
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.
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