A two month investigation by SoCal Connected has uncovered more than a hundred million dollars sitting in a Los Angeles city bank account assigned to various park projects which are taking years to complete – and some residents say may never get done.
How can Los Angeles have so much money and yet be one of the most park poor big cities in America? SoCal Connected answers the question on KCET, this Friday, May 10 at 9:30 p.m. and on Sunday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m.
CHECK OUT A CLIP FROM THE UPCOMING EPISODE:
In a lawsuit that echoes the worst abuses of the foreclosure crisis, the state's top law enforcement official is suing the nation's largest bank, accusing it of using aggressive and illegal tactics to collect credit card debt from thousands of California consumers.
Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris on Thursday accused JPMorgan Chase & Co. of operating a "debt collection mill" that flooded courts with more than 100,000 lawsuits to obtain speedy judgments before consumers could fight back. Much as banks did during the housing crisis, JPMorgan used so-called robo-signing to churn out documents without reviewing them, Harris said.
The state alleges that JPMorgan relied on incomplete records and erroneous information to make its cases; in some instances, key documents allegedly were signed by low-level employees posing as assistant treasurers and bank officers. Harris also alleges that the bank revealed customers' credit card numbers, potentially exposing them to identity theft.
JPMorgan also failed to notify some customers that lawsuits had been filed against them, a practice known as "sewer service" litigation, according to Harris.
WE ALSO SPOKE TO DENISE THOMAS OF "OPERATION REACH" ABOUT ILLEGAL FORECLOSURES THAT ARE STILL HAPPENING.
TO GET HER FORECLOSURE SOFTWARE, CLICK HERE
Bumble Bee Foods has been fined nearly $74,000 and cited for six safety violations after an employee was cooked to death after being trapped in an industrial pressure cooker. The citations come seven months after state regulators began investigating the accidental death of Jose Melena, 62, of Wilmington. The father of six had been employed with the company for five years.
According to a 25-page report by the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Melena was responsible for loading the 54-inch by 36-foot ovens with 12 rolling metal baskets full of tuna cans. The ovens are used to sterilize aluminum cans and to process the tuna in the cans.
At the start of his 4 a.m. shift on Oct. 11, 2012, Melena was ordered by his supervisor to load one particular oven. Sometime before 5 a.m., according to the report, Melena entered the oven to make a repair or to adjust a chain inside the machine, leaving the pallet jack he was using outside the oven. At that time, a second employee noticed the unused pallet jacket. Assuming Melena was in the bathroom, the second employee took the machine and loaded the oven with the baskets.
“Around the same time, the supervisor questioned why the employee was using the pallet jack and began asking employees if they had seen" Melena, the report said. The report states an announcement was made on the intercom. Workers also began looking for Melena. They discovered that his vehicle was still in the parking lot. After searching for nearly an hour and a half, the boiler operator suggested that they open the last oven that was loaded.
The workers waited about 30 minutes for the oven to cool down before they could open it. Melena's body was eventually found at the exit side of the oven. Firefighters pronounced him dead at the scene.
We also spoke to reps from Cal OSHA about the way that the fine was decided, and what companies can do to pro-actively prevent workplace accidents.
Authorities on Friday identified the 63-year-old woman who died after being mauled by a pack of pit bulls in the Antelope Valley as Pamela Maria Devitt, of Littlerock. L.A. County sheriff's homicide detectives were continuing to investigate whether several pit bulls seized from the residence of a man, whose home contained a marijuana growing operation, are responsible for the fatal attack.
Alex Jackson, 29, is a "person of interest" in Devitt's death, said Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore. Jackson was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana at a house near 115th Street East and Avenue S in the community of Littlerock after police conducted a search of the property related to the Thursday morning mauling.
Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker said detectives with a warrant, and working with animal control took eight dogs, including six pit bulls. Neighbors told KTLA News they shot a video of the dogs hopping over the fence at the house where they lived.
“If there’s people on horses or elderly people walking, they attack them,” one man, who did not want to be identified, told the station.
(Robert Rector, of the Heritage Foundation)
The Heritage Foundation made something of a splash with its study suggesting that immigration reform will cost the public trillions. Past work by one of its co-authors helps put that piece in context.
Jason Richwine is relatively new to the think tank world. He received his PhD in public policy from Harvard in 2009, and joined Heritage after a brief stay at the American Enterprise Institute. Richwine’s doctoral dissertation is titled “IQ and Immigration Policy”; the contents are well summarized in the dissertation abstract:
The statistical construct known as IQ can reliably estimate general mental ability, or intelligence. The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market. Selecting high-IQ immigrants would ameliorate these problems in the U.S., while at the same time benefiting smart potential immigrants who lack educational access in their home countries.
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center improved slightly from an F to a D in a national hospital safety report released Wednesday, while Cedars-Sinai Medical Center stayed at a C grade.
The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit healthcare quality organization, based the scores on an analysis of infections, injuries, medication errors and other problems that cause patient harm or death. The organization publicizes the scores in an effort to inform patients and reduce safety problems, said Leah Binder, president and chief executive of the organization.
“It is not enough for hospitals to promise they will do everything they can to address patient safety,” she said. “It takes more than that. It takes patients and others in the community to publicly demand improvements.”
Each year, 180,000 people die nationwide from hospital errors and injuries, according to the organization.
I had a great time this morning as the first official guest on the new set of "Good Day LA"!
Immigration was the big topic of discussion in Washington this morning. Senators have filed 300 potential changes to a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Today is the first of what is expected to be several days of hearings on amendments over the next three weeks. Check out what I had to say about it!
In the first legislative test for the U.S. Senate's bipartisan immigration bill, the Judiciary Committee rejected a Republican attempt to significantly delay the legalization process for 11 million undocumented immigrants, a central focus of the bill. Only the two Republican co-authors of the bill, Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, voted with the panel's Democrats to defeat the Republican plan on a 12-6 vote.
The vote, which was not a surprise, came in the first hours of the first day of what is expected to be a weeks-long effort to agree on a comprehensive immigration bill that would be sent to the full Senate. The committee's 10 Democrats and eight Republicans were prepared to argue over as many as 300 amendments to the overhaul of U.S. immigration laws crafted by the bipartisan "Gang of 8" senators.
Some of the proposed amendments are designed to appeal to the Democratic majority as ways to improve the measure, while others are seen as ways to possibly kill it. Four of the senators who crafted the complex measure are on the committee, and these two Democrats and two Republicans have agreed to jointly oppose any amendment seen as a "poison pill."