CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 6, 2010 |
The failure of the state's embattled pension system to take action after learning four years ago of Bell city officials' runaway salaries has put the fund under another unwelcome spotlight. The state attorney general says he is shocked that nobody at the fund alerted law enforcement. Professional auditors are perplexed by the lack of follow-up that even board members at the California Public Employees' Retirement System are at a loss to explain. During a routine audit in 2006, CalPERS learned that Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo had received a 47% salary increase the year before, driving his pay up to $442,000.
February 16, 2011 |
Instead of All-Stars, NBA fans were almost treated to All-Silence. The NBA was about to go live on television in 1964 for one of the first times, a major opportunity for a struggling league, when the game's top talent threatened to back out of the All-Star game a few hours before tip-off. Long before the labor lockout in 1998-99 and before whatever awaits the NBA this summer in a new labor negotiation, in 1964 a group of players became pioneers of a sort, banding together to fight for a pension, among other things.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 20, 2012 |
A ferocious battle between former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and the city's police and civilian unions broke out at City Hall on Tuesday, overshadowing a City Council action to help stabilize municipal finances by putting a sales tax increase on the ballot. The 82-year-old Riordan strode to the podium Tuesday morning, urging the council to refrain from putting a sales tax hike on the ballot until it exhausts other ways of repairing its chronically underfunded budget. "What Los Angeles needs is more jobs, not more taxes," Riordan said shortly before the council voted 11 to 4 to place a half-cent sales tax increase before voters during the March 5 primary.
February 24, 1985
Lester C. Thurow's article, "Military Pension System Should Be Replaced by Severance Pay, Bonuses" (Feb. 17) reflects uninformed problem-solving typical of eggheads in ivory towers. Service personnel do not receive "pensions" for past services, do not realize half-pay at 20 years, do not have any vested interest in retirement pay and are usually subject to being passed over for promotion or pressured to get out by military managers after 20 years, without much option to stay in. As to Thurow's major premise regarding severance pay and bonuses instead of "pensions," the U.S. Supreme Court held in a community property dispute involving the disposition of the husband's military pension (McCarty vs. McCarty, 1981)
July 3, 2011 |
Carmen Fanzone always led a double life. Sufficiently skilled with bat and glove to reach the major leagues, the former utility infielder also was talented enough with a trumpet to spend time with a popular recording group. His extraordinary multitasking ability was never more evident than during his stint with the Chicago Cubs in the early 1970s, when a schedule full of day games at Wrigley Field afforded him a preponderance of free time to prowl the city's nightclubs after dark — not to chase women, but to pursue gigs.
August 16, 2010 |
The struggling city of Bell has ousted its overpriced executives. But its money troubles are far from over, thanks to a huge debt load. By the end of the credit and real estate bubbles, Bell had amassed more than $77 million in direct debt. The city's debt burden today clocks in at nearly three times its annual revenues. Debt in far wealthier New York City, by contrast, is less than 1.5 times its revenues. Bell's residents approved much of this debt — although it now turns out that a tax hike that pays for some of it may have been illegal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO -- While lawmakers begin discussing ways to fix California's cash-strapped teacher pension system, another long-term financial problem continues to fester. The cost of providing healthcare to retired state workers is $64.6 billion more than state leaders have set aside to pay, an increase of $730 million from the previous year. The new numbers, calculated as of last June, were released by state Controller John Chiang on Thursday. “While most are focused on unfunded pension obligations, this is a sleeper problem that can become the next big fiscal threat if we continue to do nothing," he said in a statement.
January 16, 2009 |
The direct income President Bush receives from taxpayers will be cut in half when he leaves the White House next week. Still, he'll receive a pension of almost $200,000 to tide him over in his first year of retirement in his new home in Dallas. Vice President Dick Cheney also will be able to survive a prolonged recession with a pension starting at about $132,000, according to the National Taxpayers Union, a taxpayer advocacy group that follows pension issues.
May 3, 1992
While reading about the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' pension grab (April 22), I was thinking about the latest proposal to expand the board. Some of the supervisors and other "interest groups" tell us it will mean better representation. When I hear of the expansion proposal and think of the pension grab, I think of more pigs at the trough, not representation. STANLEY LAMPERT Los Angeles