May 18, 2013 |
Call it retirement anxiety, or maybe recession obsession. For all of their married life, Patrick Webster, 63, and Susie Martin, 54, have been extremely frugal. Webster and Martin, who both work at Marymount College in Rancho Palos Verdes, have been stashing away their combined income at an enviable rate - more than 25% - for retirement. Together they have more than $1 million in investments and no debt. But rather than feeling reasonably secure about their financial future, they dread a return of hard times.
April 27, 2013 |
Michele and Russell Poland's credit was shot, but they managed to buy their suburban dream home anyway. After a business bankruptcy and a home foreclosure, they turned to a rare option in this era of tightfisted banking - a subprime loan. The Polands paid nearly $10,000 in upfront fees for the privilege of securing a mortgage at 10.9% interest. And they had to raid their retirement account for a 35% down payment. Most borrowers would balk at such stiff terms. But with prices rising, the Polands wanted to snag a four-bedroom home in Temecula near top-rated schools for their 5-year-old son. By later this year, they figure, they'll be able to refinance into a standard loan.
May 17, 2013 |
If the horrific garment factory collapse last month in Bangladesh has any silver lining, it is the response from more than 30 of the world's leading apparel companies - including Benetton, PVH, Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, Inditex (Zara), Marks & Spencer and Tesco - to sign an agreement to protect the safety and lives of that nation's workers, who make the companies' products. The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh is a historic advance over the voluntary private factory monitoring that has tragically failed to prevent the recent disasters in Bangladesh and in places around the world where clothes are stitched for the global market.
March 23, 2013 |
It's all crossovers these days. From the polo grounds of Malibu to the campgrounds of Maine, nearly a fifth of all vehicles sold in the U.S. last year resided somewhere in this netherworld between a car and an SUV. So the stakes were high for Toyota's overdue redesign of the RAV4, a pioneer of the segment in the mid-1990s that had grown stale in comparison with competitors. Often resembling small sport utility vehicles, crossovers are truck-like vehicles built on front-drive car platforms.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 2013 |
Vietnam veteran John Otte did his best to forget the war. He got married, raised two sons and made a career working at credit unions. But as Otte neared retirement, memories of combat flooded back. Starting in 2005, he filed a series of claims with Veterans Affairs for disability compensation, contending that many of his health problems stemmed from the war. The VA agreed, and now the 65-year-old with two Purple Hearts receives $1,900 a month for post-traumatic stress disorder and diabetes - and for having shrapnel scars on his arms.
April 20, 2012
Trial judges are, on the books, elected officials, and even the vast majority of those whose names never appear on a ballot are subject to election challenge every six years. Should voters not call them to account for their performance, as they do with any other politician, on election day? Should they not encourage opponents to challenge incumbent judges? Or are judges different from members of Congress or city councils? Judges are most definitely different. The last thing we want or need in California is trial judges who sit on the bench with one eye on justice and the other on how any particular ruling is going to play with the public.