California Gets Critical Bucks to, in part, Pay Teacher Salaries

Taking a rare break from summer vacation, the House returned to Capitol Hill today and gave final approval to a huge $26 billion jobs bill that will send at least 2 1/2 billion dollars to California to help balance the state budget and pay the salaries of its schoolteachers.

The vote capped a months-long debate over a plan to aid the states by giving them more money for education and Medicaid. Critics said the package was merely a bailout to states, while backers called it a necessary response to emergency conditions.   

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who ordered members back to Washington for the emergency session, said the bill will save roughly 300,000 public sector jobs And said Congress needed to act to help stabilize state budgets as a way to avoid another deep recession.


Panel Selected to Oversee New MLK Hospital

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today approved the appointment of seven people to a board that will oversee a new Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital in Willowbrook. The panelists were jointly nominated last week by county Chief executive Officer William Fujioka and Dr. John Stobo, University of California senior vice president for health sciences and services.
The old, full service county-run hospital at 120th and Wilmington was opened in the wake of the 1965 Watts riots. But it was eventually closed in 2007 after a series of lapses in patient care, some deadly,
that caused the federal government to withdraw funding. 

The newly affirmed board members are:

  • Manuel Abascal, an attorney with Latham and Watkins specializing in government investigations, internal investigations and complex business litigation;
  • Dr. Elaine Batchlor, chief medical officer of L.A. Care Health Plan;
  • Linda Griego, president and CEO of Griego Enterprises, a business management company she founded in 1986;
  • Paul King, president and CEO of Children's Hospital of Los Angeles Medical Group;
  • Michael Madden, retired CEO of Providence Healthcare of Southern California;
  • Dr. Robert Margolis, managing partner and CEO of HealthCare Partners medical group; and
  • James Yoshioka, retired president and CEO of Citrus Valley Health Partners.


Levi Johnston Next Mayor of Wasilla?

Levi Johnston

Levi Johnston may be following in Sarah Palin's footsteps. Johnston's manager has confirmed a report on Variety's website that Johnston is planning to run for city office in his hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, as part of a reality TV show. Wasilla is where Palin got her start, moving up from City Council to mayor before winning election as Alaska's governor in 2006.

The 20-year old Johnston is the father of Palin's grandson, and the recently off-again flame to her daughter Bristol.


Sushi Pop Tarts????

What took em so long? Pop-Tart World comes to New York's Time Square featuring more than 3,000 square feet dedicated to those popular toaster pastries.

Customers will be able to eat Pop-Tart "sushi," order a customized pastry or create a custom box filled with a mix of their favorite flavors. At the store, opening tomorrow, they can suggest new types of Pop-Tarts, select a Pop-Tart T-shirt made by specialty artists or get "frosted" and "wrapped in foil" by a light show.

It's the first store for Kellogg has focused on one product to cash in on its dedicated following, and the company hopes to make it a fixture in Times Square, where two candy makers already have stand-alone stores: the Hershey store and Mars M&M's World.


Bell Officials' Records Subpoenaed

Attorney General Jerry Brown today subpoenaed personal financial records of past and present officials involved in the City of Bell salary scandal.  He also ordered them to appear for depositions within two weeks.

Brown announced his office has set up a toll free hotline to report allegations of possible illegal election conduct:  (866)  625-4400.

The investigation is aimed at determining whether criminal or civil action should be taken following reports of exhorbitant salaries paid to the City Manager, Assistant City Manager and Police Chief.  The three have since resigned.