October 15, 2009 |
Mattel Inc. says it has reached an agreement to settle "virtually all" U.S. claims related to its 2007 toy recalls. The world's largest toy maker recalled millions of toys that year because they contained excessive levels of lead or had design problems, such as hazardous magnets. Mattel said the class-action settlement was subject to court approval. "Safety of our products remains Mattel's top priority," the El Segundo-based company said in a statement Tuesday. According to a statement by plaintiff law firm Whatley Drake & Kallas, the settlement "provides tens of millions of dollars in monetary relief as well as significant injunctive relief."
October 1, 2009 |
Beginning today, women and children who receive food vouchers through the federal government's WIC program will be able to use them to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. "It's a really welcome change," said Gail Harrison, a public health professor at UCLA who was on the national Institute of Medicine panel that recommended the revisions to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children - the first major change in the program since it began in the 1970s.
August 13, 2009 |
Japanese automakers objected to a request from lawmakers to change the $3-billion "cash for clunkers" program to allow consumers to get vouchers even if a car isn't in stock at dealerships. Toyota Motor Corp. said it opposed the proposal from Michigan Republican Reps. Candice Miller and Fred Upton, saying it would "create considerable confusion." Honda Motor Co. said it questioned whether changes to the popular incentives were needed, and the president of a trade group representing Toyota, Honda and 11 other foreign manufacturers said changing the car rebate midstream would create more complications.
July 10, 2009 |
People holding California state IOUs -- including taxpayers, vendors and local governments -- will soon have a tougher time redeeming them, as most major banks are standing firm on a vow not to cash the vouchers after today. Many credit unions say they will continue to redeem the IOUs for customers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 3, 2009 |
Deep in debt and short on cash, California on Thursday churned out its first batch of IOUs in nearly two decades amid grumbles from bankers, growing public outrage and scant progress in negotiations to resolve the state's widening budget deficit. The state controller's office fired up a pair of printing presses and began rolling out nearly 29,000 IOUs totaling more than $53 million, most of them destined for residents around the state still awaiting income tax refunds.
May 17, 2009 |
The automakers are filling up again at the Capitol Hill bailout pump. The latest idea is "cash for clunkers." Interested in junking your old gas-guzzling Hummer -- or maybe Lincoln Town Car or Chevy Blazer -- for a new vehicle? If the gas mileage of any 2009 model passenger car you buy is just 4 miles per gallon better than the one you are now driving, you could pick up $3,500 from taxpayers as part of the deal.
April 12, 2009
Re: "Cash-for-clunkers bills aim to rev up auto sales," April 2: Legislation that would provide motorists cash vouchers to buy new, more fuel-efficient autos to "help save the automakers and the environment" would do a much better job of fulfilling the second -- and more important -- objective if the $3,000-to-$5,000 vouchers were offered for multi-decade or lifetime passes on any public transit system in the United States. Gregory Wright Sherman Oaks
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2009 |
Four members of the Los Angeles City Council introduced a motion Friday ordering the city Department of Animal Services to reinstate a voucher program that allows low-income pet owners to spay and neuter their animals free. "Canceling the voucher program was . . . a step backward in trying to reach a no-kill policy in this city," said Councilman Tony Cardenas. He and fellow councilmen Richard Alarcon, Eric Garcetti and Dennis Zine presented the motion. Cardenas and Alarcon also co-wrote the 2008 ordinance mandating that most pets in the city be sterilized.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2009 |
Nearly six months after Los Angeles officials decreed that most pets must be spayed or neutered, city shelters have eliminated a voucher system that provided free spaying and neutering services to low-income owners. The Department of Animal Services also has stopped distributing $30 coupons for sterilization procedures. Budget pressures prompted the move, said department General Manager Ed Boks. The city required the agency to cover a budget shortfall of $414,000, Boks said.