CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 2012 |
When Genivive Jones lost her job last year and started bouncing between friends' homes and motels with her toddler daughter, she inadvertently joined one of the fastest-growing groups of state welfare recipients: homeless families who receive aid known as CalWorks. Over the last five years, the number of CalWorks families without a permanent place to live has grown by 98%. That's nearly four times the growth of non-homeless families who are also getting assistance. The increase shows how difficult it is for people on the lower rungs of the financial ladder to improve their situation in the current tough economy, experts say, especially because the average amount that Los Angeles County families get from the state has shrunk from $560 a month three years ago to $490 last October.
November 14, 2011 |
As the congressional "super committee" works to overcome divisions on a deficit reduction deal, a leading conservative lawmaker is blasting billions wasted on "welfare for the well-off. " Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who served on the president's bipartisan fiscal commission and has been a member of the so-called Gang of Six, released a report Monday detailing the kinds of subsidies and loopholes that he says benefit those least in need of a government safety net. Coburn calls his 37-page report, which features a number of charts along with clip art of the Monopoly man, "Subsidies of the Rich and Famous.
October 31, 2011
Mention "social welfare organization" and the last thing that comes to mind is a group that expends millions of dollars to influence a federal election. But Crossroads GPS, which spent more than $17 million in 2010 to elect Republicans to Congress, claims to be a social welfare organization — which gives it tax- exempt status and allows it to conceal the identities of its donors. Now two campaign-reform groups have written to the Internal Revenue Service challenging the right of Crossroads GPS and three other organizations to 501(c)
October 19, 2011 |
After the shooting stopped and panic subsided, only a monkey was still at large. The death toll was 49. The carnage included one baboon, six black bears, eight lionesses and 18 rare Bengal tigers. The owner of the private menagerie was also dead. He apparently shot himself after loosing the wild animals on a small community in rural Ohio. "It's like Noah's ark wrecking right here in Zanesville, Ohio," said Jack Hanna, a former director of the Columbus Zoo. PHOTOS: Dangerous exotic animals But residents and animal activists nationwide didn't speak of this sad story in Old Testament terms.
October 11, 2011
Large government agencies with vital missions, such as the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, can run properly only on the strength of selfless work, courageous leadership, responsible oversight — and data. Managers and policymakers need accurate, consistent and complete statistics, and they need to demonstrate that they have chosen the right outcomes to measure. Otherwise, there is no way for them, or the public, to know whether they are succeeding. In October 2010, county supervisors found themselves unable to measure the performance of DCFS because they believed they lacked consistent data from year to year on the number of children who had died as a result of abuse or neglect.
September 27, 2011 |
A government committee created this summer in response to the massive social protests that swept through Israel delivered its much-anticipated report Monday, calling for tax hikes on the rich to pay for an increase in funding for low-income housing, education and welfare. The panel, headed by Tel Aviv University economics professor Manuel Trajtenberg, submitted its recommendations to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who praised the committee for achieving "the impossible. " Netanyahu said the recommendations would "fix the distortions in the economy.
September 2, 2011 |
Dr. Charles Sophy, medical director for Los Angeles County's beleaguered child welfare agency, carries two cellphones in his pocket. One BlackBerry tethers him to his county job, where he is responsible for the mental health needs of nearly 20,000 foster children. The second — kept in a plastic case adorned with images of dollar bills — is reserved for his Beverly Hills-based private psychiatric practice, where his patients have included Paris Hilton, and for scheduling appearances on television interview and reality shows.
August 24, 2011 |
Call it astute politicking or a career-damaging blunder, a case of bad acting and brinkmanship rarely seen even in a nation known for its emotional roundhouse-punch politics. Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon wants to limit free school lunches to poor children and take students from wealthy families out of the gratis cafeteria line. And he warns that if voters don't back his agenda in a Wednesday referendum, he's going to quit his post. Or, as critics put it, collect his marbles in a huff and stalk off the playground.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 2011 |
Acclaimed Broadway actor James Barbour has departed from a starring role in the upcoming production of Richard O'Brien's "The Rocky Horror Show" at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego days after it was revealed locally that he admitted seducing a 15-year-old girl. Old Globe Executive Producer Lou Spisto said in a press release Thursday that Barbour is leaving the show, set to open Sept. 23, "due to issues with his wife's pregnancy. " Barbour, on his Facebook page, said the same: "As my amazing wife is progressing through the second pregnancy we've encountered some unexpected issues and I felt it vital to be with my family during this time.
August 8, 2011
It starts with the death of a child. There is no event more tragic than the death of an innocent due to an adult's abuse or neglect. Now add government — too blind to the needs of its most vulnerable charges, perhaps, or too prone to snatch children from their homes and too unwilling or too clueless to help troubled families. The final ingredient: Public outrage and demands for change. For decades, those were the factors that determined child welfare policy. High-profile cases of abuse at the hands of violent or addicted parents resulted in panic and waves of removals, supposedly in the interests of child safety.