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Transparency

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca threw his support Monday behind a proposal to set up an oversight commission for the Sheriff's Department, which has been beset by allegations of widespread misconduct and abuse of inmates in the nation's largest jail system. Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Gloria Molina proposed setting up a permanent civilian oversight commission in September, after the U.S. Department of Justice announced that its civil rights division would investigate the treatment of mentally ill jail inmates in county custody.
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BUSINESS
December 16, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- As Ben S. Bernanke nears the end of his term as Federal Reserve chairman, he is talking more about what may be one of the enduring legacies of his eight-year tenure: the Fed's dramatically expanded communications with the public. These have included instituting quarterly news conferences by the chairman, among other regular public appearances, and providing an explicit target on inflation and thresholds for Fed policy actions. On Monday, in remarks at a gathering to mark the 100th anniversary of the law that established the Fed, Bernanke described these changes as an "ongoing revolution in communication and transparency" at the central bank, which over most of its history has operated in great secrecy.
OPINION
November 21, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
After funneling $40 million in ratepayer money to two vaguely defined and publicly unaccountable nonprofits over the past 10 years, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners on Tuesday finally said: No more. The newly appointed commission voted to cut funding for the Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute until City Controller Ron Galperin completes an audit detailing how the shadowy nonprofits spent all those public dollars and what they have to show for it. It's about time.
OPINION
November 14, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
In less than two months, new Police Commission President Steve Soboroff has persuaded private donors to put up $1.2 million to buy 600 video cameras that Los Angeles police officers will wear on the job. The money is the first step in a project that could dramatically change policing in the city by increasing the accountability of both officers and the people they come into contact with. Soboroff said officers will be testing different camera models this month and could be outfitted with the new technology within nine months.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
Talk with Times reporters Michael Finnegan and Ben Welsh at 9 a.m. about the Los Angeles controller's new website detailing city revenue and spending. The website,  Control Panel L.A. , gives users access to a huge volume of data on taxpayer expenditures for police, sanitation, street repairs and other services - information that previously would have taken weeks or months to get through formal requests for records. With user-friendly icons and drop-down menus, the site enables visitors to download, sort and analyze data on city employee salaries and more than 100,000 payments to contractors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 2013 | By Michael Finnegan and Ben Welsh
Los Angeles' new controller moved Wednesday to open city finances to quick and easy public scrutiny online, unveiling a website with extensive detail on how City Hall collects and spends billions of dollars. The website, Control Panel L.A. , gives users access to a huge volume of data on taxpayer expenditures for police, sanitation, street repairs and other services - information that previously would have taken weeks or months to get through formal requests for records. With user-friendly icons and drop-down menus, the site enables visitors to download, sort and analyze data on city employee salaries and more than 100,000 payments to contractors.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Jeffrey Tambor is best known for his delightfully offbeat characters, from the fawning sidekick to Garry Shandling's late-night talk show host on "The Larry Sanders Show" to the head of the dysfunctional Bluth family in the recently revived cult favorite "Arrested Development. " For his latest role, Tambor will get in touch with his feminine side. On a recent September afternoon in the Pasadena hills, Tambor sported long, shoulder-length blonde hair, palazzo pants and chunky jewelry over a white blouse -- the wardrobe favored by his character in "Transparent," in which the paterfamilias reveals to his grown children that he is exploring a new identity as "Maura.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Under new rules approved Thursday, the state hopes to help Californians determine whether political material they read online is a writer's own opinion or propaganda paid for by a campaign. Campaigns will now have to report when they pay people to post praise or criticism of candidates and ballot measures on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other websites. "The public is entitled to know who is paying for campaigns and campaign opinions," so voters can better evaluate what they see on blogs and elsewhere online, said Ann Ravel, who chairs the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
BUSINESS
September 13, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
There are two ways to think about how far we've come in protecting against a repeat of the financial meltdown five years ago that plunged the world into recession. You can conclude that we've pretty much eradicated the risk of another such crisis. That's the bankers' viewpoint. Here's how Morgan Stanley Chief Executive James Gorman put it in an interview with Charlie Rose earlier this month: " The probability of it happening again in our lifetime is as close to zero as I could imagine.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Yahoo has released its first ever transparency report , shedding some light on the number of government data requests it receives. The report comes amid damaging disclosures that the National Security Agency can crack the encryption of online traffic - - email, medical records, online shopping and other Web activities - - of the world's biggest Internet companies, including Yahoo. The disclosures in the Guardian, The New York Times and ProPublica were taken from documents from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and raise a fresh batch of concerns about the security of personal information stored online.
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