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Gravy Train

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2009 | Steve Lopez
If you're looking for work in this rotten economy, I've got a tip: Run, don't walk, to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and apply for anything they've got. A reader sent me a posting for an executive secretary position at the DWP, and the salary range is $68,089 to $97,864, with great benefits. "A good secretary is worth her weight in gold," said my e-mailer. "Only in the Los Angeles DWP do they take that quite literally." I like that line, but does a DWP executive secretary make more than his or her counterparts in other city departments?
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 6, 2013 | By Gerrick Kennedy, Los Angeles Times
Eating at Coachella is one of my favorite things to do, and not because the food is stellar. It could be from the exhaustion of running tirelessly over the fields from stage to stage, or the heat, but each year I drop all semblance of a sensible diet and find myself splurging on the deliciously gluttonous greasy-spoon options that dot the field. Sure, there are lighter choices like salads, tofu and tempeh sandwiches, falafel, freshly cut fruit, etc. But after two Heinekens and a dance-off in the Sahara tent with that group of glassy-eyed girls that seems a perennial at Coachella, I prefer to play the game of what's the best worst meal I can find.
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OPINION
August 5, 2007
Re "O.C. may try to trim deputies' pensions," August 1 It's beyond belief that our elected politicians have created an unsustainable financial system that makes virtually all public employees among the country's most overly compensated workers. The whole public pension system should be scrapped and replaced with a 401(k) or similar program, like most American workers have.
BUSINESS
March 13, 2012 | By David Lazarus
Consumers account for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, so it's always cool when we're out, you know, consuming. And the latest government figures show we're doing more of that. Retail sales jumped a healthy 1.1% last month, nearly double January's 0.6% advance, according to the Commerce Department. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that a big chunk of that spending was at the pump as gas prices continued marching northward. Take away gas purchases from the equation, and retail sales were up only 0.8%.
BUSINESS
November 28, 1999
"Thanksgiving Travel: Gravy Train for Agents" [Nov. 20] is completely inaccurately titled. The simple reality is that travel agents make very little money selling airplane tickets. As a travel agent, when I sell a ticket on United, America, Continental or any other major scheduled carrier, the maximum amount of money made on the transaction is $50--whether the passenger flies economy or first class, whether the ticket is $500 or $5,000. When I sell an international ticket on United, Air France, TWA or most any other major scheduled carrier, the maximum amount of money made on the transaction is $100--whether the ticket costs $500 or $15,000.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 4, 1991 | DAVE LESHER, TIMES POLITICAL WRITER
Republican Assemblyman John R. Lewis said during a debate for his state Senate campaign Friday that California's welfare system is a "gravy train" that is so lucrative for its recipients that it attracts a migration of indigents from around the country. Lewis, of Orange, the heavy favorite to win former Anaheim state Sen. John Seymour's seat in a special election May 14, added that the immigration of poor people to California is driving out state businesses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2008 | SANDY BANKS
As I drove past the Los Angeles Fire Department's Elysian Park training center Tuesday, a young man in firefighting duds was hanging a recruitment sign on the fence outside. "Now Hiring," it read. "LA's Hottest Job." Down the block, another sign flapping in the wind seemed to plead: "Be a firefighter. Positions Now Open. Inquire within." I envision a rush of applicants soon . . .
NEWS
July 4, 1985 | ROBERT E. DALLOS, Times Staff Writer
Once a month, sportswear executive Elliot M. Lavigne balances his checking account. Next, he reconciles his Pan American WorldPass statement. After all, a mistake on his Pan Am frequent flier account could cost him more than a bank error. Lavigne, like a lot of executives whose business requires frequent travel, has become a free mileage junkie, accruing "bonus" miles toward flights each time he flies, rents a car or stays in a hotel.
SPORTS
October 24, 1992 | ROSS NEWHAN
Are the oft-stated fears of baseball owners that the next national television contracts will provide significantly less revenue justified? Apparently so. During meetings in Toronto this week, ESPN executives officially notified members of the major league television committee that it will not pick up the 1994 and 1995 option years at the figures specified in the current contract.
NEWS
December 11, 1985 | Associated Press
The racketeering trial of Gov. Edwin W. Edwards and four other men went to the jury Tuesday after U.S. Atty. John Volz accused the governor of lying and called for an end to "the gravy train." After two days of closing arguments, U.S. District Judge Marcel Livaudais read his instructions to the jury, outlining the complex legal aspects of the 12-week trial. The jury is to begin deliberations this morning.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2009 | Steve Lopez
If you're looking for work in this rotten economy, I've got a tip: Run, don't walk, to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and apply for anything they've got. A reader sent me a posting for an executive secretary position at the DWP, and the salary range is $68,089 to $97,864, with great benefits. "A good secretary is worth her weight in gold," said my e-mailer. "Only in the Los Angeles DWP do they take that quite literally." I like that line, but does a DWP executive secretary make more than his or her counterparts in other city departments?
SPORTS
August 28, 2009 | Mike Penner
A minor league baseball promotion asking the question "What would Tim Tebow do?" never got an answer. Instead it got a cease and desist letter from the University of Florida, forcing the event's cancellation. The Fort Myers Miracle of the Florida State League planned to hold a "What would Tim Tebow do?" night on Wednesday, featuring promise rings for fans, a jump pass for the first pitch and a local man named Tim Tebo attempting to walk on water. It sounded like harmless fun, but then the University of Florida protested, demanding that the Miracle remove all references to Tebow from the promotion.
BUSINESS
September 14, 2008
Regarding "CEOs' golden parachutes," Aug. 9: When will the public wake up to the CEO gravy train? Shareholders and taxpayers should not reward the former chief executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for what amounts to corporate mismanagement and financial malfeasance. Presidential candidate Barack Obama got it right with his comments that "under no circumstances should the executives of these institutions earn a windfall." I hope he gets elected and his administration takes steps to curb rampant greed in corporate America.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2008 | SANDY BANKS
As I drove past the Los Angeles Fire Department's Elysian Park training center Tuesday, a young man in firefighting duds was hanging a recruitment sign on the fence outside. "Now Hiring," it read. "LA's Hottest Job." Down the block, another sign flapping in the wind seemed to plead: "Be a firefighter. Positions Now Open. Inquire within." I envision a rush of applicants soon . . .
OPINION
August 5, 2007
Re "O.C. may try to trim deputies' pensions," August 1 It's beyond belief that our elected politicians have created an unsustainable financial system that makes virtually all public employees among the country's most overly compensated workers. The whole public pension system should be scrapped and replaced with a 401(k) or similar program, like most American workers have.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2007 | Evan Halper, Times Staff Writer
It was a welcome quandary: California's bottle and can recycling program had a giant pile of unspent cash. Consumers failed to reclaim their deposits on billions of bottles and cans in recent years, leaving $180 million in a state account that could be used only for recycling. So the Department of Conservation decided last year to return much of the cash to consumers -- and create a new incentive to recycle -- by paying an extra penny or two on every can or bottle redeemed.
NEWS
February 13, 1995 | TYLER MARSHALL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
David Hallam's new life isn't easy. Since June, the 46-year-old father of three has been commuting among four offices in three countries. He works amid a cacophony of 11 languages and juggles a bewildering array of subjects, ranging from nitrate-vulnerable zones in rural areas to Europe's relations with Israel. He lives out of a suitcase and carries his work around in a foot locker. How he makes it home to the west of England at the end of the week occasionally depends on how fast he manages a sprint through the airport in Frankfurt, Germany.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 1992
Not only should the City Council cover the city's budget shortfall with funds from the money-stuffed CRA, the council should do all it can to abolish the agency altogether. The CRA is nothing more than a gravy train for developers. JEFF SOFTLEY Los Angeles
MAGAZINE
December 3, 2006 | Joel Rapp, Joel Rapp has written for film and television. His latest book is "Radio, TV, Mother Earth and Me: Memories of a Hollywood Life."
In the early 1970s, having written some 200 sitcom episodes and 16 motion pictures, I got a call from my agent with some exciting news: Stu Erwin Jr., an old high school buddy of mine and an executive at Universal Studios, had selected me to become the studio's director of comedy development, a job that would pay me $1,500 a week. In those days, that was a ton of money.
SPORTS
May 18, 2005 | Steve Henson, Times Staff Writer
So nobody got in for $2. Fans got to see a train derail and the Dodgers get on the right track. The Dodgers touched previously unbeaten left-hander Dontrelle Willis, a.k.a. the D-Train, for four runs in the first inning, then tacked on a bundle against his successors in a 14-5 victory over the Florida Marlins before an announced 37,481 at Dodger Stadium.
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