February 27, 2014 |
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - At Noble Prentis Elementary School, a classroom is crammed with 31 students and all their backpacks and books. Last year, the fifth-grade class had just 17 students, but a teaching position was cut when the school ran short of money. The school nurse, who comes in only twice a week, freezes kitchen sponges to use as ice packs because her budget is too small for her to buy any. Schools have always had to fight for more funding, but Noble Prentis' problems were exacerbated during the recession when state budget cuts left schools, like many other public services, foundering.
January 30, 2014 |
Shell's decision to give up on Arctic Ocean oil drilling for 2014 is good news for the environment. Now if only the oil companies - and the Obama administration - would give up altogether on the idea of drilling in such a remote and harsh place . Yes, there are arguments for ramping up domestic oil production to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, but the bigger issue is our dependence on oil, period. It's mind-boggling that we talk about trying to reduce global warming caused by burning fossil fuels while at the same time pursuing policies that will bring us more fossil fuels to burn, and at a cheaper price.
December 3, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - An immigration judge in Boston on Tuesday halted the deportation of President Obama's Kenyan-born uncle and granted him status as a legal permanent resident. Onyango Obama, half brother of the president's late father, came to the United States in 1963 from Kenya on a student visa that expired in 1970. He's been living in the country unlawfully ever since. "He's so happy to stay here because he loves this country," Margaret Wong, Onyango Obama's attorney, said in a telephone interview after the court hearing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2013 |
Roger Anderson has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. After spending more than three decades living on the streets - seeking refuge under bridges, in the woods and most recently on a small, grassy patch by the 110 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles - the 47-year-old moved into his first apartment in time for Thanksgiving. On Tuesday, Anderson was given the keys to a studio inside a sleek apartment complex that opened earlier this month and caters to the city's chronically homeless.
November 22, 2013 |
When we think of Russell Banks, what comes to mind are the novels: "Continental Drift," "The Sweet Hereafter," "Cloudsplitter," "Rule of the Bone. " These are ambitious books, dealing with politics and history, the aftermath of tragedy, the specter of drugs and sexual abuse. For me, though, Banks is equally noteworthy as a writer of short fiction, and not just because in the early years of his career, he matched collections to full-length efforts, nearly one-to-one. No, it's that in his stories, Banks focuses on smaller moments between parents and children, wives and husbands, the domestic dramas out of which we build our inner lives.
November 21, 2013 |
Jerry Stahl believes it's impossible to shock an audience anymore, but in his new novel, "Happy Mutant Baby Pills" (Harper Perennial, $14.99 pp.), he comes close. His main character, Lloyd, falls in love with a murderous woman named Nora who wants to take down Monsanto and Dow Chemical. After an absurd, paranoid and somehow comic murder spree, they decide to create a mutant baby in protest of capitalism by ingesting as many prescriptions, GMOs and pesticide-laden products as possible - while shooting endless amounts of heroin.