August 3, 2013 |
CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. - Paul St. George worked 19 years as a firefighter, sometimes running into burning buildings for rescues. Once, he was injured when a wall fell on him. For his service, he counted on a promised $36,000-a-year pension. But in August 2011, this small city - with an $80-million unfunded pension, and retiree health benefit liability five times annual revenues - filed for bankruptcy. St. George's pension was slashed to $24,000. Pensions for other retired city workers also were drastically cut, even after retired firefighters and police officers pleaded, saying they had risked their lives for the city.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 9, 2010 |
Orange County pension records show that convicted former Sheriff Michael S. Carona collected about $215,000 last year in retirement payments — and he was just one of more than 400 county pensioners who received more than $100,000 in retirement in 2009. Carona, who was convicted last year of witness tampering, remains free on bail pending appeal. But his indictment in 2007 rocked the county and forced major changes to the county's top law enforcement agency. Also on the list is former county Treasurer-Tax Collector Robert L. Citron, whose investments led Orange County into bankruptcy in 1994.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 25, 2010 |
The sad reality, dear Californian, is that depending on where you live, you may be personally contributing to the insultingly fat pension of ousted Bell city administrator Robert "Ratso" Rizzo. And if the estimates of pension reform advocate Marcia Fritz of Sacramento are accurate, the 55-year-old Rizzo's bloated $787,637 salary could translate into even more than an earlier guess of $600,000 a year. "I estimate the pension will be $710,000," said Fritz, an accountant. That alone would add up to more than $14 million if Rizzo lives to 75. But Fritz says that on top of his pension and other benefits — are you ready for this, folks?
June 28, 2012 |
So many Californians have left the Republican Party that GOP politicians are changing their official affiliation to "independent. " ALSO: Photo gallery: Ted Rall cartoons Put pension reform in California to the vote Let fat Americans pack it on -- but make them pay for it, too Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @TedRall . Follow Opinion L.A. on Twitter and Facebook . ...
December 1, 2012
Re "A road map for L.A. Unified," Editorial, Nov. 28 The Times refers to a recent study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that determined that teachers without advanced degrees are as effective as those who have them. Really? In my 16 years of teaching at a public high school, I have noticed that teachers who have advanced degrees in their field are better advocates for their programs and more apt to assume leadership positions. This probably has something to do with conducting one's own research and defending a thesis before a professional committee.
December 1, 2012
Re "Obama takes fight to social media," Nov. 29 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) once said that his most important job was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. He failed. Now, with the fiscal cliff ahead, perhaps he can accomplish something for the second most important thing to him: the American people. R. J. Cimiluca Los Angeles ALSO: Letters: A cop's reality Letters on letters: No room for the Nativity Letters: Pension reform without an election
December 1, 2012
Re "AMC to wine and dine moviegoers," Business, Nov. 29 This is a dreadful idea. Servers dressed in black crossing between me and the screen? No thanks. Servers "quietly" punching in orders on electronic tablets, which most likely light up? Nuh-uh. Spending half a movie looking down in the dark trying to stab a fork into the expensive food? Please. Whatever happened to just watching the film? Dale Phillips Los Angeles ALSO: Letters on letters: No room for the Nativity Letters: Pension reform without an election Letters: More education makes better teachers
July 9, 2013 |
Joel Wachs hasn't been an Angeleno for a dozen years, but he still has his key to the city. And he feels its political tremors. L.A., where he made his political bones on the City Council, has just sworn in a new mayor - a brass ring he tried three times to grab. Only three other men served longer on the City Council than Wachs, but after 30 years as that rare political creature - a social liberal and fiscal conservative - he moved east in 2001, to head the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
August 13, 2009
This page was not exactly enthusiastic when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger staged his end-of-June budget "squeeze," in which he presented the Legislature with a last-minute shopping list of cuts and reforms. The tactic sent Democratic lawmakers into a tizzy, as expected, and blew the deadline for avoiding state IOUs, also as expected. Nor was it possible to get excited over most of the items on the list: pointlessly fingerprinting in-home care recipients, extinguishing cost-of-living adjustments for children on welfare and similar gutting of human services.
January 29, 2010 |
Another pension alarm bell is ringing in Sacramento, this time at the teachers retirement system, where the nation's second-largest public pension fund is reporting a $43-billion shortfall. The California State Teachers' Retirement System said that as of June 30, 2009, it could meet only an estimated 77% of its future pension obligations -- far less than the 100% recommended by actuaries. Known as CalSTRS, the fund took a big hit during the 2008-09 fiscal year, losing a quarter of its value.