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BUSINESS
February 10, 2010 | By Marc Lifsher
Two California gubernatorial candidates are pushing insurers and the state's two major pension funds to sell more than $6 billion worth of holdings in companies doing business in Iran. Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is expected Wednesday to ask hundreds of state-licensed insurance companies to pull money out of 50 foreign-owned corporations he said are involved in Iran's nuclear, military and energy sectors. On Monday, Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown called on the nation's two largest public pension funds, the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System, to "honor the state law" requiring them to divest from companies involved with Iran.
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OPINION
February 10, 2010 | By Michael Nash
The Times' Feb. 5 article on child-family reunification efforts in Los Angeles County's foster care system began with a grossly misleading headline before it was later corrected: "County to end emphasis on family over foster." The headline did not at all reflect the state laws under which the county's welfare system operates, and it sent a very negative message to readers. It reinforced the widespread perception in many communities that our child welfare system does more to break up than preserve and build families, the cornerstone of our society.
OPINION
February 9, 2010 | By Gillian Bagwell
The lead paragraph of The Times' Feb. 7 article, "A shifting canvas in Pasadena," states that the "city has carried out a tradition of giving back in the form of art." As the founder and artistic director of the defunct Pasadena Shakespeare Company, which performed 37 critically acclaimed productions over nine seasons, my experience is not consistent with the oft-repeated claim that Pasadena is supportive of the arts (at least in any meaningful way). Indeed, it comes as no surprise to me that the artistic canvas to which The Times refers is shifting -- or in imminent danger of sinking beneath the waves.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 3, 2010 | By Chris Lee
In what's certain to be one of this year's most closely watched and vigorously debated Oscar battles, the lead actress category is shaping up as a fight between gossamer youth and hard-won Hollywood experience. Representing the establishment: Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren. "Julie & Julia's" Streep -- who portrays celeb chef Julia Child in the film -- is a 16-time Academy Award nominee (with two wins to her credit). And Mirren, the 64-year old costar of the Tolstoy biopic "The Last Station," is no less than a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire who claimed a lead actress Oscar for portraying her country's monarch in 2006's "The Queen."
OPINION
February 3, 2010 | By Gloria R. Lothrop and Ralph E. Shaffer
As The Times continues to lead the parade to charterization of the Los Angeles Unified School District, one of the most overused and misunderstood phrases on the paper's editorial page is "reform." Change is not necessarily reform. Genuine reform produces lasting, beneficial improvements and isn't concocted by editors or frustrated school boards willing to try just about anything. That was never more evident than during the debate over the current plan to allow outsiders to operate dozens of LAUSD campuses.
NATIONAL
February 1, 2010 | By Mark Silva and Richard Simon
President Obama today will propose a $3.8-trillion federal budget that includes a $100-billion jobs package, more education spending and higher taxes on families earning more than $250,000 a year. The budgetary blueprint for fiscal 2011, which starts Oct. 1, is 3% more than the government is spending this year, according to the Office of Management and Budget. The White House envisions a $1.267-trillion deficit in fiscal year 2011, smaller than this year's projected $1.56 trillion.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 2010
$4-million ceramics gift Thanks to a grateful alumna from the class of 1949, Scripps College and the affiliated Claremont Graduate University are getting $4 million in dough to benefit art students learning to work with clay. The gift for ceramic art programs at the two institutions in Claremont comes from Joan Lincoln and her husband, David, who live in Paradise Valley, Ariz. It includes a $3.5-million pledge to Scripps, funding a new, 3,000-square-foot ceramics building and an endowment for various ceramic art studies programs and exhibitions, and $500,000 to establish an endowment for graduate student scholarships at Claremont Graduate University.
BUSINESS
January 26, 2010 | By Andrea Chang
Shoppers spent more than they planned during the Christmas season, giving retailers a much-needed sales spurt that industry watchers are hoping will continue this year. Consumers spent an average of $811 on holiday gifts, significantly more than the $699 they initially planned to spend, according to a Consumer Reports survey expected to be released today. About 4 in 5 consumers bought gifts, and in a good sign for discretionary spending, many shoppers bought for themselves, the poll found.
NATIONAL
January 26, 2010 | By Kim Murphy
Oregon officials know all about anti-tax fervor. Over the years, voters here have capped property taxes (saddling the state with two-thirds the cost of running the schools) and passed a constitutional amendment requiring rebates whenever tax receipts come in 2% over budget. Nine times they have been asked to OK a sales tax -- and said no. Proposals to increase the state income tax? Down in flames twice. But now the Legislature is taking a tack that analysts think could finally pull the rug out from under the tax revolt: soaking the rich.
OPINION
January 26, 2010 | By Raul A. Reyes
Although I am a New Yorker now, I am proud of my Los Angeles roots. I was born in Monterey Park, and my first job was as an usher at the Music Center in downtown L.A. I have hiked in Griffith Park, camped out overnight for a seat at the Rose Parade and wolfed down many roast beef sandwiches at Philippe's. That said, I confess that I read Karen Stabiner's Jan. 25 Times Op-Ed article, "Just one Big Fruit," with a mixture of concern, amusement and pity. Stabiner describes her experiences as an L.A.-to- New York transplant, saying she prefers to see common bonds between the Big Apple and the Big Orange.
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