CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 10, 2014 |
Los Angeles City Council members responded Friday to a lacerating report on the city's economic health, calling it a much needed assessment while arguing that it failed to fully acknowledge the progress made so far in carving away a staggering budget deficit. Two days after the 13-member Los Angeles 2020 Commission released a report saying the city is experiencing "continued economic decline" and a crisis of leadership, council members voiced their own frustration about their efforts to combat poverty, attract jobs and deliver basic services.
January 10, 2014 |
Think of a map of North America, and then turn it upside down so that Mexico and Texas are at the top and near the middle, and New England drips down like an appendage, nearly falling off the edge at the bottom. Felipe Fernández-Armesto has done something like that with North American history in his fascinating but problem-plagued new book "Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States. " He tells the history of the territory that is now known as the U.S.A. from the point of view of Spanish speakers, going back more than five centuries to the days of the conquistadors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 10, 2014 |
The shock of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca's resignation is fading and the jockeying among his would-be successors is ramping up. Two of Baca's assistant sheriffs, a trio of high-ranking retirees and several current and former LAPD officers are considering throwing their hats in the ring; some have already launched their campaigns. But it's naive to think that electing a new sheriff will remedy problems that have been building for decades. The institutionalized thuggery in the department began before Baca's tenure and will persist beyond his departure unless something fundamentally changes.
January 9, 2014 |
Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, announced this week that she was giving up her campaign to unseat an incumbent U.S. senator in her father's home state of Wyoming. Her campaign had angered many as she had sauntered from her longtime home state of Virginia to Wyoming. She certainly is not unique. Today in America and around the world, families cling to power, passing the baton from one generation to another or from spouse to spouse. We have had two Bushes in the White House and one in the Florida governor's mansion.
January 8, 2014 |
In one of the many news reports about Liz Cheney's decision to end her bid for the U.S. Senate, Gov. Matt Mead was quoted as saying, "Name recognition and dynasties - that just doesn't fly in Wyoming. " He was trying to explain why the 47-year-old former State Department official, who also happens to be the daughter of Dick Cheney (a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wyoming for six terms before becoming vice president), didn't catch fire with local voters. Mead's implication was that Wyoming voters think for themselves and aren't swayed by such trivial concerns as family lineage.
January 7, 2014 |
After months of deepening federal investigations, damning news exposes and a scathing county commission report that decried his "failure of leadership," Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca finally took the hint Tuesday and announced that he would step down at the end of the month rather than seek a fifth four-year term. It's the right decision, and one we hope will enable the department to reverse some of Baca's many mistakes and begin to fix the many problems that have plagued it during his nearly 16-year tenure.
January 2, 2014
Re "California is no Detroit," Opinion, Dec. 29 John D.R. Clark's explanation of the state's pension problem was easy for even a regular guy like me to understand. He tells us that because of the post-1999 enhanced retirement formula, public employees with 30 years of service can retire with 90% of their salary. He mentions that bankrupt Detroit had no way to meet its pension promises, but that the vast majority of cities and counties in California are not on a path to bankruptcy.
January 2, 2014 |
For Showtime, landing Michael Sheen as the lead in "Masters of Sex," the drama about William Masters and Virginia Johnson and their groundbreaking midcentury research into human sexuality, meant agreeing to film the series in Los Angeles, where Sheen could be close to his teenage daughter - and thereby giving up the sizable tax break dangled by the state of New York. So it must have come as some relief that, along with its critical accolades, the first-season show has been recognized with two Golden Globe nominations: one for best drama and one for Sheen's performance.
January 1, 2014 |
SAO PAULO, Brazil - When two workers were crushed by a crane in late November on the construction site of the Sao Paulo stadium due to host the opening match of the 2014 World Cup, the tragedy led to investigations of working conditions and the threat that completion will be delayed until just before the opening whistle. Two more men died Dec. 14, from a fall and a heart attack, on the site of another soccer stadium under construction, in the Amazonian city of Manaus. Authorities quickly halted parts of the project as attention intensified on Brazil's rush to finish its flashy temples to futebol . "So much is being done in a hurry and at the last minute that it puts tremendous pressure on the workers," said Antonio de Sousa Ramalho, president of the Sao Paulo civil construction workers union and a state legislator.
December 29, 2013
Re "Africa violence points to peacekeeper limitations," Dec. 26 The "African solutions for African problems" policy highlighted in this article has found many Western champions, including isolationists and guilt-ridden anti-colonialists who argue that true self-determination for Africans means a complete absence of outside interference. This mind-set has allowed for the mass murder of millions. The reality is that there is no separating outside powers from African conflicts; our economic interests are catalysts for much of the continent's bloodshed.