CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 9, 2011 |
Reporting from Sacramento -- With temperatures dropping in Sacramento, some state lawmakers are migrating to the sunny beaches of Hawaii this week for a conference at a luxury resort, subsidized and attended by special interests that lobby the Legislature. About 15 lawmakers are scheduled to attend the annual gathering in Maui, where they will stay at the Fairmont Kea Lani hotel on the tab of the Independent Voter Project, a nonprofit policy group largely funded by business and labor interests.
September 29, 2011 |
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York wants you to friend it — or at least understand why you won't friend it. In a move that illustrates its sensitivity to public perception, the Fed bank is seeking bids from companies to help monitor what's being said about it on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The bank said in its bid request that it wants to "continuously monitor conversations" and "identify and reach out to key bloggers and influencers. " "The New York Fed is committed to improving its communications and engagement with the public in order to enhance and improve the public's understanding of its activities and the role it plays in supporting the U.S. economy," a Fed spokesman said in a statement.
August 11, 2011 |
A federally-appointed panel recommended greater disclosure and monitoring of the environmental effects of extracting natural gas from shale formations, marking the Obama administration's first broad assessment of the controversial practice known as fracking. A coast-to-coast shale gas boom has raised concerns about the risks to underground water supplies from hydraulic fracturing, which involves mixing sand, water and chemicals and injecting them into shale formations at high pressure to unlock the gas. Environmental groups, local residents and politicians in areas rich with shale gas have said that hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," could lead to contamination of the water table.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 2011 |
Among the many anxieties of modern life is the arrival of the monthly cellphone bill — and the surprises it often contains. Anyone who has been made queasy by an unexpected roaming charge or a sky-high long-distance fee can appreciate how City Controller Wendy Greuel felt Wednesday when she revealed that the city of Los Angeles — in a variety of ways — wasted as much as $1 million last year on employee-issued cellphones. According to her audit, the city squandered thousands of dollars each month for directory assistance, call forwarding and overage text-messaging charges.
March 8, 2011 |
Skype, the popular Internet-based calling service, said Monday it would begin running ads. "Today we announce something new ? the launch of advertising in Skype, which will appear in the Home tab in Skype starting this week," Doug Bewsher, Skype's chief marketing officer, said in a company blog post. "The Skype experience is our first priority, which is why we we've taken a lot of time working through and testing what kind of advertising would work best in the Skype environment. " Skype, which has about 145 million monthly users, has run test ads from Rdio over the last "month or two," and the first official advertisements inside of Skype will start running sometime this week, Bewsher said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2011 |
The city of Vernon has spent more than $54 million on lawyers in the last five years, according to records reviewed by The Times, amassing billings that surpass those of much larger cities. The high level of spending has allowed Vernon to gather an army of legal talent that city officials deploy to protect their unusual municipality ? a largely industrial city south of downtown Los Angeles with fewer than 100 residents. Officials are counting on that legal acumen to help defeat a bill in the state Legislature that would disincorporate Vernon, putting its territory under the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County.
November 29, 2010 |
For any organization that keeps secrets on computer networks, the lesson of WikiLeaks is painfully clear: In the cyber age, there are few things so damaging as a determined insider with the right passwords. The Pentagon already knew that, it turns out. In February, the Defense Department hired a former hacker to lead a research program to detect digital spying by employees. That was before a disgruntled Army intelligence analyst allegedly used his computer access to fuel the biggest disclosure of secret national security information in American history.
October 29, 2010 |
It's only fitting for a World Series being played amid a high-stakes political campaign. Major League Baseball announced Friday that not one but two former presidents -- George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush -- will throw out the ceremonial first pitches Sunday before Game 4 of the 2010 Fall Classic at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Many had suspected that the younger Bush could be called on for the honors, but it seems baseball opted for a Texas two-step by inviting both former commanders-in-chief.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 28, 2010 |
Four current and former Irwindale officials, including a councilman, have been charged with spending thousands of dollars in city money on lavish business trips to New York that included outings to five-star restaurants and Broadway shows, baseball games and rounds of golf. The four are accused of traveling to New York for up to six days at a time, allegedly to get a higher bond rating for the city, then improperly treating themselves to entertainment such as Yankee and Mets games and shows including "Phantom of the Opera" and "Mamma Mia!
August 14, 2010 |
The Dodgers have talked about creative ways their Chavez Ravine property could generate revenue for ownership. One such deal, a head-scratcher, is already in place: The team has been charging itself rent — $14 million this year — on Dodger Stadium property it owns. The arrangement is documented in public court filings connected to the divorce between Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his estranged wife, Jamie, the team's former president and chief executive. The amount of rent is unusual in that it is far greater than what has been paid by teams with an independent landlord.