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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 2008 | Marla Cone, Times Staff Writer
Eight hours a day, five days a week, for 15 years, Juan Chacon leaned over a vat of hot, frothing chemicals inside a factory along the weedy banks of the Los Angeles River. His back was always sore, and even though he wore a respirator, his head pounded. Chacon dipped racks of metal sheets into the toxic solvents to strip off grease and dirt. Elsewhere in the factory, workers used volatile inks, while others scrubbed printers with powerful cleaners, the noxious fumes wafting through the air. Since the 1940s, Nelson Nameplate Co. had used these potent solvents in crafting its products, from the glossy, ruby-red nameplates on Callaway golf clubs to the electronic switches on Baxter insulin pumps.
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OPINION
December 4, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
A judge's ruling Tuesday that the city of Detroit's bankruptcy case may go forward - and that its pension obligations are not entitled to special protection but can be reduced, along with other debts - sends a chilly message to workers in California, where Stockton and San Bernardino are moving through the Chapter 9 bankruptcy process and other cities are struggling with their costs and revenues. The decision makes it clear, if it wasn't previously, that the promise of full retirement pay for municipal employees is directly dependent on the continuing solvency and sound financial planning and management of cities.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 1989
Your article Feb. 18 about pool paint fumes being inhaled in Yorba Linda made Poly Plus Pool coatings to be the bad guys. Our product is clearly marked. Your reporter should be aware that the problems that arose were caused by the following: All solvents are heavier than air and when the air is cool and damp the solvents cannot escape from the pool. Our label clearly states: "Danger, Vapor Harmful" along with other warnings. We supply a safety data sheet with every order in which it states: "Wear a Mask, Goggles, Gloves etc. See Safety Sheet enclosed."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 29, 2013 | By Hector Becerra
In most towns, state officials showing up to announce that the drinking water was neither the best nor the worst in California would not be a big deal. But in Maywood, where water has been a political blood sport, a peaceful meeting Saturday at the local YMCA, dominated by science and not verbal fisticuffs, was unusual. And welcomed. The few dozen residents who showed up were told that the water they drank did not pose a public health risk, although officials expressed concern about the presence of one chemical in a few wells.
NEWS
May 10, 1987
High concentrations of two hazardous solvents have been found in ground water under three Burbank plants of the Lockheed-California Co., according to a study filed by the aerospace firm with state water quality officials. The study provides the strongest evidence yet that Lockheed contributed to contamination that has forced Burbank and Los Angeles to shut down more than 30 municipal water wells in North Hollywood and Burbank.
BUSINESS
October 29, 2000
"Cause of Tire Failures Still a Matter of Dispute" [Oct. 22] says Firestone "workers" have been known to "overproduce the coated steel belts and then stock the excess; if they sit in inventory too long, the rubber gets too dry and stiff." And "workers have been known to use chemical solvents to make them stickier, but solvent not allowed to dry properly becomes a contaminant that prevents adhesion." A more accurate scenario might detail how management knows at all times what's in inventory and how long it's been there; that it orders overproduction to use up material on hand and create a surplus in inventory to buffer against demand shocks; and that it tells the workers to apply the solvents as a quick-and-dirty fix to the problem of an aged and brittle tire carcass.
REAL ESTATE
September 14, 1986 | BARBARA LAMPRECHT, Lamprecht is a Pasadena free-lance writer. and
Oil-base enamel paint containing a high level of solvents may be outlawed by an upcoming decision of the Environmental Protection Agency. Oil-base enamels are widely used where a tough, glossy surface is desired, such as interior and exterior wood trim, kitchens and bathrooms.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 1989
In their column "Will There Be Jobs in the Clean Air?" Daniel Garcia and Richard Weinstein (Op-Ed Page, March 14) ask us to consider if agencies like the South Coast Air Quality Management District are truly responsive to the public needs in pursuing a "single-minded goal of cleaning the air." They advise the reader that a serious effort to clean the air in the Los Angeles area will displace minority workers and the poor from thousands of jobs they now hold. One example cited is that 30,000 jobs held by mostly Latinos could be immediately impacted by proposals to eliminate the use of solvents central to the operation of the furniture industry.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 13, 1986 | ERIC BAILEY, Times Staff Writer
Testing at the Chatham Brothers toxic waste site has revealed that industrial solvents and fuel oil seeped into ground water but has so far ruled out the presence of any cancer-causing PCBs in the water table, authorities said Friday. "We didn't get any surprises out there," said Chris Irwin, a press aide for Supervisor Paul Eckert. "If anything, it confirms our suspicions as to what we'd find out there and at what levels."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 7, 1987
The article on the dilemma of the paint industry in meeting air pollution regulations (Part I, Aug. 25) implicitly highlights an extreme example of a self-perpetuating bureaucracy. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has jurisdiction only over stationary sources of pollution. In its many years of writing regulations, the agency has already restricted emissions to--or even below--realistically achievable levels from these sources. Yet, there is a group of people within the AQMD whose paychecks depend upon their writing regulations, regardless of the benefit, feasibility or cost to the public.
NEWS
May 29, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON - Immigrants in the United States both legally and illegally are helping sustain Medicare, contributing about $14 billion more a year to the federal health program for the elderly than they use in medical services, a new study indicates. The surplus generated by immigrants contrasts sharply with deficits caused by native-born Americans, as medical care for elderly beneficiaries depletes Medicare's reserves more quickly than working-age U.S. natives can refill them. The report - published Wednesday in the journal Health Affairs as Congress debates immigration overhaul legislation - does not calculate the full impact of immigrants in the country illegally on all government healthcare programs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 2011 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
One of the most widespread groundwater contaminants in the nation is more dangerous to humans than earlier thought, a federal agency has determined, in a decision that could raise the cost of cleanups nationwide, including large areas of the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. The final risk assessment for trichloroethylene by the Environmental Protection Agency found that the widely used industrial solvent causes kidney and liver cancer, lymphoma and other health problems.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 26, 2011 | By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
An independent auditing firm has concluded that Compton's budget crisis is so dire that it's an open question whether the city can remain solvent. The auditor's report was made public as the Compton City Council struggles to deal with a fiscal crisis, voting this week to lay off employees. Though city officials did not say how many layoffs would occur, union representatives said they had heard estimates of between 97 and 120. The city budgeted for 575 employees in the current year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2011 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been a constant salesman on the topic of public schools, pushing for reforms, helping elect new school board members and raising millions of dollars for local campuses. But those efforts didn't stop school board members, including some who were elected with the mayor's help, from taking City Hall to court over a contaminated campus in Glassell Park. The Los Angeles Unified School District filed the federal lawsuit earlier this year, alleging that solvents and other hazardous substances at an empty city-owned lot seeped into the soil at a 2,295-seat high school being built next to the Los Angeles River.
BUSINESS
March 11, 2011 | By Michael Oneal
Lawyers and expert witnesses at the confirmation hearings in Tribune Co.'s bankruptcy case began this week to address the complex question of when the Chicago-based media company became insolvent and who should have known about it. But amid often-numbing testimony about discount rates and cash-flow tax values, strategies among the two groups of warring creditors in the case are becoming clearer as they each try to persuade U.S. Bankruptcy Judge...
BUSINESS
November 1, 2010 | Reuters
Ambac Financial Group Inc., which was the second-largest U.S. bond insurer before suffering huge losses on risky mortgages, said it may file for bankruptcy protection as soon as this year after skipping a bond interest payment. The announcement is the latest setback for Ambac, which has struggled to stay solvent after the housing market collapse. Ambac had pursued higher profit by expanding beyond municipal bond insurance and starting to insure riskier debt. That move backfired as credit tightened and more borrowers defaulted.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 17, 2010 | By Maeve Reston
In a joint effort with the Southland's air quality management district and prosecutors in four surrounding counties, Los Angeles city lawyers helped negotiate a $15-million settlement with a company accused of illegally selling smog-causing cleaning solvents to auto shops and other businesses across Southern California. The settlement with Safety-Kleen Systems Inc., finalized this week, provided some welcome news to Los Angeles city officials who are trying to close a $222-million shortfall this fiscal year.
NEWS
December 24, 1987 | SUE AVERY, Times Staff Writer
Ground-water contamination at five San Gabriel Valley sites is being assessed to ensure that leaks from underground chemical storage tanks do not reach drinking water supplies. Most of the contaminated sites became public knowledge when businesses applied to the county Department of Public Works for permits to discontinue use of the tanks, where gasoline, oil or cleaning solvents had been stored.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 20, 2010 | By Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday directed county auditors to conduct a comprehensive review of Bell's finances to determine whether the scandal-plagued city is solvent. "Bell residents know their civic house is in disarray," said Supervisor Gloria Molina. "There is no way order can be restored in Bell until residents there have an accurate picture of the city's finances. " Since the enormous salaries of top administrators and elected officials were revealed in July, the city and its finances have been under growing scrutiny.
OPINION
August 14, 2010 | By Peter Dreier and Donald Cohen 
Alf Landon, the Kansas governor running as the Republican Party's 1936 presidential candidate, called it a "fraud on the working man. " Silas Strawn, a former president of both the American Bar Assn. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said it was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's attempt to "Sovietize the country. " The American Medical Assn. denounced it as a "compulsory socialistic tax. " What was this threat to American prosperity, freedom and democracy they were all decrying?
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