February 19, 2013 |
It's amazing, and depressing, when political compromise functions only to throw obstacles in the way of ideas that bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people. Today's example: the long, tortuous road to bringing more retirement security to working-class Californians. In September, the state launched a plan to enable these workers to put aside about 3% of their wages a year for retirement. As enacted by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the program's goals would be modest indeed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 2013 |
Testimony in the corruption trial of six former Bell leaders came to a bickering end Friday with a former councilman defending the city's huge salaries as a way to attract Latinos and a prosecutor sarcastically asking him whether he also felt a need for a chauffeur to get around the small, working-class town. Since the trial opened - nearly three years after the city began imploding under the weight of a corruption scandal - the defendants justified their nearly six-figure salaries as fair pay for long hours or as a payday forced upon them by a fearsome administrator.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2013 |
Yesenia Rojas, vibrant in her purple shawl, sang with a voice so powerful it rose above the rest of the procession as they shuffled down the damp Anaheim sidewalk. " Era mexicana. Era mexicana, " they sang with a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe hoisted high, candlelight and street lamps illuminating their way. " Madrecita de los mexicanos. " The singsong serenade lauds the patroness, the mother of all Mexicans. On this drizzly evening, Rojas led the group down Anna Drive, where she and her family have made their home.
December 1, 2012 |
The sign at the northeast corner of 1st and San Pedro streets in downtown Los Angeles is deceiving. The pink and blue neon advertises a real estate agency, but swing open the glass door and you'll encounter a tribute to a bygone era. "Heirloom" is a fitting title for the year-old shop at the edge of L.A.'s Little Tokyo. The boutique deals in vintage Americana (so rare it's displayed on the walls like museum pieces), as well as retro re-creations. There are 80-year-old Stetson hats, complete with original boxes, and a university sweater from Princeton; vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle boots and modern reproductions of military-issue flak jackets.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 2012 |
If Los Angeles City Council members vote Tuesday to place a sales tax hike on next year's ballot, they will have delivered a major victory to the real estate industry. The city's top budget official spent six months laying the groundwork for a March ballot measure that would have increased the tax on real estate sales, saying it would provide much needed revenue to a city in crisis. But two weeks ago, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana abruptly changed course, working with council President Herb Wesson to abandon the real estate measure and push instead for a tax on retail sales, one that would generate twice as much money but also hit working-class Angelenos harder.
October 14, 2012 |
The sleepy Boston suburb that Mitt Romney has called home for much of his adult life has much to offer a family. It features excellent schools, big homes, and so little excitement that a local newspaper once called it the most boring town in the region. But there's a division in Belmont too, that may, or may not, have been present as far back as when the painter Winslow Homer built a summer home here in the 1850s. It's a divide between the rich and everyone else. Before he sold his house and moved into a condo, Romney and his family lived on Belmont Hill, where the residences are large and the yards spacious.