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Red Tape

August 28, 2009 | Jim Tankersley and Christi Parsons
Reporting from Martha'S Vineyard, Mass., and Washington -- For at least one more summer, vacationers on Martha's Vineyard won't be able to gaze across the water and see, far off on the horizon, the churning blades of offshore wind turbines -- no matter how badly the island's most famous current vacationer would like. President Obama, now summering on the Massachusetts island with his family, is still at least a year away from seeing turbines take root anywhere off the U.S. coast, even though his administration promised to make offshore wind a priority and developers are lining up to string wind farms up and down the Atlantic seaboard.
August 25, 2009 | Jim Puzzanghera and Martin Zimmerman
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 | Kristina Sherry
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 | Cyndia Zwahlen
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.
April 29, 2009 | Kimi Yoshino
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 | Jessica Gelt
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 | Ken Ellingwood
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 | Ken Ellingwood
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."
December 26, 2008 | Mary MacVean
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.
September 3, 2008 | David Kelly, Times Staff Writer
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.
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