March 19, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Three years after a major influence-peddling scandal rocked California and the nation's largest public pension fund, a federal grand jury indicted two former top officials on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges. The indictment, unsealed Monday in San Francisco, names as defendants Federico Buenrostro Jr. of Sacramento, a former chief executive of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, and Alfred J.R. Villalobos of Reno, Nev., a former CalPERS board member and one-time deputy Los Angeles mayor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 12, 2013 |
Faced by widespread public opposition, the Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday sent a proposed parcel fee to combat storm water pollution back to the drawing board. The proposed fee would be levied on all property owners within the county's flood control district, raising an estimated $290 million a year to help cities and the county deal with widespread water quality issues stemming from polluted storm water and urban runoff and the need to comply with new state regulations.
March 4, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- The tax bill isn't in the mail, at least for the next 90 days. The California Franchise Tax Board, which collects the state income tax, has temporarily opted not to send out bills to about 2,000 taxpayers telling them they owe $120 million in back taxes. State tax collectors originally mailed notices in December retroactively dunning taxpayers after a court threw out as unconstitutional an investment incentive program. As a result shareholders in small businesses could be on the hook for taxes on income from the sale of stock for the years 2008-12, plus interest.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2013 |
Jerome Oxman, who started a mail-order business in the early 1960s that grew into a sprawling Santa Fe Springs outlet that became both a military surplus store and a military museum, has died. He was 97. Oxman died of prostate cancer Feb. 22 at his Buena Park home, said his son, Brian. Oxman was an expert at buying items at government auctions, and his love for surplus military gear was honed by three years of World War II duty on a U.S. Army supply line in Iran. He worked at a Vernon surplus store before starting Oxman's Surplus Inc. at Rosecrans and Valley View avenues in 1961.
February 28, 2013 |
There's little agreement about anything regarding the “sequester” except that the $85 billion in cuts to federal spending this year will be implemented starting Friday. As The Times' editorialized Thursday: “The irony is that the sequester was designed to prod a hopelessly divided Congress to work out a smarter approach to its budget programs.” Instead, “because the sequester hits almost every federal account equally, rather than targeting the least essential ones, some valuable programs and the people who rely on them will be needlessly affected.
February 19, 2013 |
Anthem Blue Cross is backing off a decision to require some policyholders to buy their prescription drugs from a single mail-order pharmacy - a requirement that the California attorney general's office said may be illegal. Anthem, California's largest for-profit health insurer, said in November that it was imposing the new rule for so-called specialty medications used to treat major illnesses, such as cancer and HIV/AIDS. The company said the limitation would help keep costs down for patients and businesses.
February 19, 2013 |
Anthem Blue Cross is backing off a decision to require some policyholders to buy their prescription drugs from a single mail-order pharmacy -- a requirement that the California attorney general's office said may be illegal. Anthem, California's largest for-profit health insurer, said in November that it was imposing the new requirement for so-called specialty medications used to treat major illnesses. The company said the limitation would help keep costs down for patients and businesses.
February 12, 2013 |
FT. MEADE, Md. -- Top officials at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, denied Tuesday that hidden microphones or other devices were installed in the courtroom, meeting huts and prison compound to enable government intelligence officials to eavesdrop on confidential sessions between defense lawyers and five detainees in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The witnesses also testified that legal mail for the detainees is not routinely opened and reviewed, except during prison-wide inspections to check for contraband.
February 8, 2013 |
Here's my response to the U.S. Postal Service canceling Saturday mail service: What a relief. Hey, I love the idea of getting wonderful things in the mail: big fat checks or torrid declarations of love (from someone I want to hear from). But the letter carrier doesn't deliver those things anymore, for the most part. Money you've earned gets deposited directly into your bank account. Lovers text and call. The last exciting piece of mail I got was my W-2 form. That means I can start the process of getting my income tax refund -- which won't come by mail but will be, yes, electronically deposited.
February 6, 2013 |
So the Postal Service is pulling the plug on Saturday mail delivery . And all across America, millions of folks are saying: “Who cares? I've got email and Twitter and Facebook; I pay my bills online.” Sorry, guys, count me out. My reaction is -- well, let a great 20th century American philosopher say it for me. Here's Janis Joplin's “ Piece Of My Heart ”: “Take another little piece of my heart now, baby! Oh, oh, break it! Break another little bit of my heart now, darling, yeah, yeah, yeah.” I can't help it. I love mail.