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Gary Toebben

BUSINESS
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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
April 1, 2010 | By Teresa Watanabe and Hector Becerra
California has long been the ultimate melting pot, with the majority of its population coming from outside the state. Dust Bowl emigres, Asian railroad workers, high-tech entrepreneurs, Mexican laborers and war refugees from around the globe flocked to California. The majority migrant population filled the state's myriad labor needs, challenged the schools with a cacophony of new languages and roiled its politics with immigration debates. But, in a dramatic demographic shift, California's narrative as the nation's quintessential immigrant state is giving way to a new reality.
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 18, 2012 | By David Zahniser, Ari Bloomekatz and Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's bid to indefinitely extend a transportation sales tax marks perhaps a last chance to jump-start what he hopes will be the cornerstone of his legacy: dramatically expanding rail service in L.A. A year before he leaves office, the mayor is desperate to break a logjam that has stalled his vision of quickly building a sprawling, interconnected rail system, including a subway extension across the traffic-clogged Westside....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2014 | By David Zahniser
One year after Los Angeles voters rejected a sales tax increase, the City Council is looking at trying again - this time by tying the money to the repair of the city's deteriorating network of streets. Two high-level City Hall policy advisors recommended Tuesday that lawmakers place a half-cent tax hike on the November ballot that would generate $4.5 billion over 15 years. The proceeds, they said, would pay to fix the most severely damaged roads and sidewalks. Passage of a tax could add momentum to Mayor Eric Garcetti's "back to basics" campaign, which focuses on upgrading basic services.
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