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Minimum wage activists set sights on L.A.

July 22, 2014 By James Poulos. The concerted push for higher minimum wages in California has spread from the East Bay to Los Angeles. On the heels of a recently approved $15 minimum wage in Seattle, advocates for dramatically increased hourly wages sensed an opportunity to select a fresh target. That's where L.A. comes in. Organizations including the Los Angeles Workers Assembly and Peoples Power Assemblies have b...

A look at CA’s mixed-bag teacher firing reform

July 20, 2014 By James Poulos. In some respects, it's now easier to fire teachers in California. In others, it's more complicated. That's the verdict on AB 215, the version of several different firing reform bills that cleared the Legislature and received Gov. Jerry Brown's signature late last month. In the wake of the Miramonte Elementary School sex abuse scandal, where a Los Angeles teacher's conviction on 23...

CA, feds struggle with — and spar over — pot regulation

July 18, 2014 By James Poulos. As California muddles ahead with its disorganized decriminalization of marijuana, local and federal lawmakers are adopting distinctly different approaches to the prospect of pot-related crime. City councils are apt to worry about different kinds of drug crime than Congress. But the new attention from both ends of the political pecking order comes from a single source: the legal and r...

Richmond pols continue posturing on underwater mortgages

July 17, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi. A majority of the Richmond City Council still wants to use eminent domain powers to to seize “underwater mortgages" even though the bond market refused to sell $34 million in municipal bonds for the city last year due to Richmond officials' interest in the novel proposal. Prices are soaring in the blue-collar Bay Area suburb. The home price index is up 33.7 percent this p...
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