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User Fees

ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 2007 | Mike Boehm
The view outside has always been priceless. Now the view of the artwork within is free as well at the Municipal Art Gallery, high on a hillock in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Barnsdall Park in Hollywood. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced this week that the city-run gallery's $7 admission fee had been erased in hopes that freebies would reverse a steep decline in attendance and reestablish the gallery as a popular "first point of entry into the world of art" for L.A. residents.
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NATIONAL
September 15, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The head of the Food and Drug Administration alerted the agency's employees that 2,000 of them could get layoff notices as early as next week if Congress does not renew user fees for drugs and medical devices. FDA Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach sent an agencywide memo to staff at the end of the workday. The layoffs would take effect 60 days after issuance of such a notice.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 7, 2007 | Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writer
If L.A. moves forward with plans to allow toll-paying drivers into carpool lanes, the biggest loser may be the vast majority of drivers who don't -- or cannot afford to -- use them. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is drawing up plans that, by 2010, would implement "congestion pricing" in Los Angeles County -- allowing, for example, solo motorists to pay to use less-congested lanes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 2007 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
Just months after raising rush-hour prices to nearly $10, operators of the 91 Express Lanes are raising some off-hour prices on the toll lanes that run down the center of the congested Riverside Freeway. The new fares begin Sunday. The Orange County Transportation Authority refers to the sliding toll fees as congestion-based pricing -- as traffic grows thicker, prices climb. The idea is that the higher price will discourage some motorists from using the lanes, thus thinning traffic.
BUSINESS
June 28, 2007 | From Reuters
The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday warned against regulations that would require providers of high-speed Internet service to treat all content the same way, saying such rules could stifle innovation. So-called network neutrality proposals, backed by Internet companies such as Google Inc. and EBay Inc., would bar Internet service providers from charging extra fees to guarantee access to the Internet or give priority to some content.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 27, 2007 | Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writer
Given the task of closing a gaping budget shortfall for the coming school year, Los Angeles schools Supt. David Brewer has angered leaders of after-school youth groups with his proposal that the groups pay to use school district athletic fields and other facilities. Brewer included the so-called pay to play proposal among many cost-saving measures aimed at closing a $95-million shortfall in the $6.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2007 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
Along with death and taxes, commuters on the 91 Freeway may never be able to escape rush-hour congestion and rising tolls. Starting today, it will cost drivers as much as $9.50 to use the Express Lanes to get from Orange County to Riverside County -- or nearly a buck a mile. The new top fare, up a quarter from the last rate increase in January, places the 10-mile toll road among the most expensive in the country. It has doubled since 2002. Denver-area motorists pay $9.
BUSINESS
April 5, 2007 | James S. Granelli, Times Staff Writer
A legal fight involving two Southern California companies and AT&T Inc. is exposing an ominous reality: Phone companies say they can decide whom their customers can't call. The Kidney Cancer Assn., a small charity watching its nickels and dimes, found that out the hard way. The nonprofit had been using a free, Web-based conference-calling service from a Long Beach company to connect patients with medical experts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Bus and commuter train fares would go up significantly under hikes proposed Thursday by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. To deal with a projected $1-billion budget deficit, transit officials are proposing a fare increase effective July 1, and a second increase Jan. 1, 2009. The regular cash fare for bus and rail lines would remain $1.25 until 2009, when it would increase to $2. Day passes would increase from $3 to $5 in July, and to $8 by 2009.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 2, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The state Department of Health Services has scaled back a fee increase for medical marijuana identification cards after an outcry. The annual ID card fee, which was to rise from the current $13 to $142 on Thursday, will instead jump to $66 starting April 1. Medi-Cal patients will pay $33. Though the state has issued about 10,000 ID cards, more than half the counties -- including Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange -- have not joined in.
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