California’s new goal is to COVID-test hospital workers. But will the state’s health care behemoths follow the nonbinding recommendation?
Co-published by L.A. Taco
Nearly a year after Los Angeles began permitting street vendors, they are stuck between an expensive, complex permit system and the devastating penalties that come to those without a license.
A utility commissioner backs both Trump and solar energy, but his maverick reputation may not win him reelection. Georgia is changing.
In one of the wealthiest areas in the country, the Shinnecock Nation fights to survive as Thanksgiving approaches.
Mark Kreidler speaks to Jenny Wong-Swanson, a Kaiser Permanente nurse in Woodland Hills, about the pandemic’s explosion.
Fresno, the working class capital of California’s San Joaquin Valley, remains a hardscrabble town with a history of radical activism.
Protests over the killing of George Floyd have hastened teachers union calls to remove police from Los Angeles’ public school campuses.
Co-published by The Guardian
Even before the pandemic, ICE consistently failed to provide adequate medical care to detainees on its flights — with dire outcomes.
Trump and Biden exchanged words over climate change on Tuesday night. How many of them were accurate?
Who was watching the watchdogs as the cleanup of lead contamination on L.A.’s Eastside ran out of money?
As dismal as things may seem, we Californians actually have a few things to look forward to. The fruits of reform efforts are ripening, with three common-sense laws making their influential debuts.
This new year will see a much-needed shake-up of the State Assembly and Senate. For decades legislators drew their own districts, ones that favored incumbents and decreased voters’ power. Thanks to the California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission created in 2008 and further empowered in 2010, our state finally has fair and honest State Assembly, State Senate and U.S. Congressional districts. Many current representatives find themselves in districts they are unlikely to win next year, and are making decisions to move to “safer” districts. This will pit many voters against Sacramento’s staunch culture of incumbency when party leaders run candidates in areas they haven’t represented in the past.
Voters will see another change at the ballots in the coming year.
A recent report, “Assimilation Tomorrow: How Immigrants Will Integrate by 2030,” published by the Center for American Progress (CAP) is a very important read despite its rather dry title. It is an economic crystal ball that focuses on measuring the ability of immigrants to assimilate into American society. Not surprisingly to those of us who have grown up in immigrant families and/or lean to the progressive side, immigrants have been and are integrating, whether it be through home ownership, naturalization, learning English or other ways of contributing to society’s well-being and need for diversity.
For me, CAP’s study stirred fond thoughts about my own family’s history and our journey to becoming middle-class Americans from the rural depths of Southern China over three generations. A trip I took to China in 2008 showed me the discrepancies between my family’s humble beginnings (chickens running around and dirt roads) and the markers of our success in the U.S.,
In a recent blog post on the “value” of running government like a business, I had some fun pretending to agree with the mantra that government decisions are best made with a “business orientation.” As a non-profit leader for the past 30 years and a part-time public official for nearly 10, I have heard this “run government like a business” adage again and again, as though it were a biblical truth. Government is best run without emotion, I have been told, with a view toward gaining “efficiencies” and getting the job done as effectively as possible. Pay what’s necessary to get the “talent” at the top to get the job done and make decisions about “cutting” — and “saving” when it comes to everyone and everything else without regard to any sense of “morality” or emotion.
Of course it’s a really bad idea to run government like a gas station or bank —
Even before Santa Monica became infamous for the atheists taking over most of the holiday kiosks at Palisades Park, I thought the season was bigger than merely Christmas. After all, December 25 marked the turning of the sun for the Romans – what they called Saturnalia. The whole season of festivals hinges on Solstice, not a baby’s birth – although a pregnant girl giving birth in a stable makes for a great story.
So my wife Susan and I think the season begins with Halloween and ends with what Americans call Ground Hog Day, an entire quarter of the calendar in which the daylight shortens and the nights lengthen in the northern hemisphere. The experience was so traumatic for our forbearers that they clustered a bunch of holy days around it.
Halloween, or Samhain in the ancient calendar, marked the narrowing of the veil between the world of light and the world of darkness – so the spirits could slip across more easily.
I’ve been asked this question various times during my employment with the Hyatt Andaz hotel over the past few years. The last manager who asked me this had deep bags under her eyes. She’d been working eight days in a row and was then on her 12th hour that day. She told me she needed a cigarette, — which was odd, considering she didn’t smoke.
I laughed. I told her I’d be a terrible candidate for management because I enjoy my family time. I like seeing my wife. I enjoy eight-hour workdays. I enjoy the fact that I occasionally get to do menial household tasks like laundry and dishes. I love the fact that once I’m off the clock, I’m truly off the clock.
She blinked twice, yawned and told me I’d be a terrible manager.
I have always gotten along with my supervisors,
Craigslist founder Craig Newmark recently sent out a call for bloggers to express their hopes for 2012. On December 26 Newmark announced on his own blog that the Frying Pan News’ Jim Lair Beard was included in a group of 16 writers whose ideas were especially noteworthy. (16 People and Organizations Changing the World in 2012.)
Jim’s post, Change Will Not Be Downloaded, spoke of the need for progressives to physically get out into the streets and to knock on doors to advance change in the coming year. He’s in good company on Newmark’s list – his 15 colleagues include MoveOn co-founder Joan Blades, Surfrider Foundation CEO Jim Moriarity and David B. Crowley, President and Founder of SCI Social Capital Inc.
You can read Jim’s latest post, Homicide and Hospitality, in today’s Frying Pan. A restaurant server at the Andaz Hyatt hotel in West Hollywood,
I’m from the Midwest. More specifically, I’m from the mitten state (and I don’t mean Wisconsin!). I grew up in a pretty stereotypical hard-working, blue-collar community. Many of my family members and friends’ parents worked for the Big Three. We had a pretty good life. Everyone went on vacations, we all had multiple cars per family, we had someone to mow the lawns in the summer and shovel the driveways in the winter. Life was good for Michiganders who were working for General Motors or one of their many suppliers. What could go wrong, right?
Then it all unraveled. I’ve watched Michigan, and especially the town I grew up in, go from middle class to low income in less than 10 years. I’ve seen the ranks of the homeless population grow to include large numbers of women and children.
(Editor’s Note: This reposted feature originally appeared on the Huffington Post in slightly longer form.)
Through a story of personal tragedy and the virtues of small-town life, voluntarism, and compassion, the New York Times’ David Brooks has written a column that unwittingly exposes our nation’s outrageous cruelty and callousness.
In his December 30 column, “Going Home Again,” Brooks tells the story of Ruthie Leming, a school teacher and mother of three daughters in St. Francisville, Louisiana (population 1,765), who last year, at age 40, was diagnosed with a virulent form of cancer. Brooks understandably laments the tragedy and applauds Ruthie’s community, which rallied around her and her family as her health deteriorated.
“There were cookouts to raise money for her medical care,” Brooks reports. On April 10 last year — officially “Ruthie Leming Day” — “more than half the town went to a fund-raising concert”
Fresh produce is not a phrase you hear often in East L.A. Just visit any corner store and you can see why.
East L.A. is one of many “food desert” communities in the L.A. Basin. – communities where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain. Walk down any street and you will find a fast-food joint way sooner than you’ll locate a healthy food market. Our residents and kids are bombarded with chips, candy, ice cream and advertising for alcohol when they do go shopping. It’s no wonder that a child will sooner pick up a bag of “takis” (a popular chip brand) than go on looking in vain for healthy food.
In East L.A., the common venue for food purchasing is the corner store. These stores are typically small businesses that sell alcohol, tobacco, snack foods, sodas, candy and very little fresh, high-quality food products. Unfortunately, the fruits and vegetables they sell are frequently bruised,
(This reposted Harold Meyerson blog originally appeared in slightly different form on American Prospect. )
In 1938, Congress passed, and FDR signed into law, the Fair Labor Standards Act, which established the first federal minimum wage and overtime protections. And that, to the extent that most Americans think about the minimum wage, was that. To be sure, Congress occasionally raises the minimum wage (though they’ve got a long way to go to make it a living wage), but the national law, covering all workers, has long since been established, right?
In fact, the 1938 law only passed when Roosevelt and congressional liberals agreed to exclude some categories of workers—categories that included many millions of people—from its coverage in order to win the votes of the Southern Democrats they needed to pass it. So agricultural workers (by which Southern Democrats meant,