August 25, 2009 |
Reporting from Los Angeles and Washington Martin Zimmerman -- The $3-billion cash-for-clunkers program limped to a close for consumers Monday evening after packing an economic punch for the nation -- and a nightmare of red tape and computer glitches for dealers who are owed millions of dollars by the government. So pervasive were the problems that the Department of Transportation gave dealers until 9 a.m. today to file their applications for reimbursement of discounts, which amounted to $3,500 or $4,500 for every new car sold.
July 17, 2009 |
Farming and ranching representatives appeared before a congressional panel Thursday to express concern that a major bill pending in the House could unnecessarily complicate the marketplace without improving food safety. Amid recent health scares involving cookie dough and pistachios, the Obama administration has pledged to modernize the food safety system. Lawmakers are considering the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, aimed at broadening the Food and Drug Administration's powers.
May 12, 2009 |
Restaurateur Jesse Gomez's plans to serve margaritas and agua fresca cocktails on the patio at his new Yxta Cocina Mexicana eatery in downtown Los Angeles are getting tangled in red tape. The upscale restaurant has a liquor license and permission for indoor alcohol service, but slinging booze on its outdoor terrace apparently will require more than an application to amend a city permit and the $2,015 that Gomez sent to cover fees.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 2009 |
Dozens of weary passengers made their way down the long hallway to baggage claim at LAX. I peered anxiously through the clear glass doors, searching every face. Then I saw him. He wore a name tag around his neck -- like a kid who might get lost. He clutched a white plastic bag with big blue letters: IOM. International Organization for Migration. He looked happy, but tentative. I must have looked the same.
February 18, 2009 |
On 1,100 square feet of land, there aren't many places large enough to bury a 9,000-pound concrete box the size of a minivan. Jason Michaud knew as much when the city of Los Angeles asked him to do just that. Michaud was in the process of opening his first restaurant, a small neighborhood joint in Silver Lake called Local.
January 9, 2009 |
Here was a contest no Mexican bureaucrat wanted to win. A months-long quest to identify the most nightmarish examples of Mexico's famously nightmarish red tape ended Thursday with a verdict: The nation's social security agency reigns supreme among government bureaucracies that drive Mexicans nuts. President Felipe Calderon bestowed the dubious honor on the agency as part of a contest to find the country's most useless tramite, or bureaucratic process.
January 2, 2009 |
Arturo Sandria visited government agencies not once, not twice, not three times. (Hint: Try an even dozen.) He stood in mind-numbing lines, filled out forms, took another number, filled out more forms and, he says, paid $250 in bribes. But after six months, he was still in pursuit of his prize: a permit to paint his house. "Tedious," Sandria declared of his paper chase. "They ask for a lot of things that aren't really necessary."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 26, 2008 |
Composting fruit and vegetable scraps has become a darling of the sustainability movement, and government officials sing its praises, but drop the wrong carrot tops or lettuce leaves on a backyard compost pile and you could be breaking state law. "Overall, composting is great. We love it," said Andrew Hughan, spokesman for the California Integrated Waste Management Board.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 2008 |
It was 16 years ago and Mary Michael was going through hard times. She had three children, and her first marriage was collapsing. That's when she met a winsome ball of fur at a Mission Viejo pet store, a little dog that seemed to smile and proved impossible to resist. She took her home and named her Rebel after Rod Stewart's "Rebel Heart." The wolf-malamute mix proved a boon companion, comforting Michael in times of trouble and protecting her from harm even as the dog slowly became a cripple.
May 19, 2008 |
The nonmobile, hard lump had been on my sternum (the bone in the center of the chest) for many months. As a physician, I had figured it was costochondritis -- an inflammation -- from years ago that had hardened with age. A CT scan, however, stated otherwise: "Consistent with metastatic carcinoma or lymphoma. . . . " That meant the lump was likely due either to a cancer that had spread throughout my body or to a cancer of the lymphatic system, which manifests in different locations.