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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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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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 2009 | Larry Gordon
A delegation of Los Angeles County political, business and labor leaders were in San Francisco on Thursday to urge the University of California to become a partner in reopening the Martin Luther King Jr. hospital in Willowbrook, near Watts, by 2012. Speaking to UC's governing board, the county officials offered strengthened plans to protect UC financially and tried to allay fears among the regents that the university might get too enmeshed in county politics. The regents are expected to vote in November on a plan to jointly reestablish the hospital, which was closed to in-patient services two years ago after repeated failures to provide adequate care, and errors that resulted in deaths.
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.
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.
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.
NATIONAL
November 4, 2011 | By Richard Simon and Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Washington and Los Angeles -- A long-sought new federal courthouse for downtown Los Angeles, delayed for years by cost concerns and disputes over its size, could become an early casualty of the congressional drive to reduce the budget deficit. A bill by Rep. Jeff Denham, a Republican from California's Central Valley, would put the vacant courthouse site at 1st and Broadway up for sale for an estimated $25 million. His bill, which has cleared a House committee, has touched off a partisan fight within the state's congressional delegation and push-back from federal jurists.
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.
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
June 27, 2009 | David Zahniser and Maeve Reston
The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to move ahead with a plan to give early retirement to 2,400 employees while postponing raises for thousands of others, hoping to balance the budget without laying off workers or closing City Hall two days a month. The council unanimously forwarded the proposal to the Coalition of L.A. City Unions for a ratification vote by its 22,000 members, saying that it would free up much-needed money over the next two years.
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