Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SoCal Iranian Brothers Seek Justice Over U.S. Detentions

Four Iranian brothers who live in the San Fernando Valley are asking two international tribunals to rule they were unlawfully held by the United States on alleged immigration violations for more than 40 months shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. KPFK Reporter John Matthews has more.

USC Students Call on University to Cut Ties with Apparel Company

A group of student activists from a labor rights group occupied offices across the USC campus today in a protest against sweat shop products. The group is calling on the university to cut ties with Jansport, a sportswear apparel company. Activists say VF Corporation, its parent company, violates Bangledeshi worker’s rights.
KPFK’s Agnes Radomski has the story.

Wage Theft Bill Passes Legislative Hurdle

A State Senate committee has approved a measure aimed at helping low-wage workers fight wage theft. The Assembly Labor Committee approved Assembly Bill 2416 - the “Wage Theft Recovery Act” - on a 4 to 2 vote. The measure would let low-wage workers put a wage lien on employer’s property when they file a wage theft complaint. Christopher Martinez reports from Sacramento.

Healthcare Workers Strike Alleging Understaffing in the Mental Health Department at Kaiser Oakland

More than sixty healthcare workers in the psychiatric department at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center went on strike today to pressure the company to increase staffing levels. Clinicians accuse Kaiser of understaffing the mental health department in order to cut costs. The strike comes as the workers negotiate a new contract with hospital management. Nick St. Charles filed this report.

State Senators Get Ethics Training

The State Senate took a day off from legislation and committee hearings to hold workshops on legislative ethics. The action comes in the wake of a series of senate ethics scandals that have led to the suspension with pay of three Democratic senators, including Senator Leland Yee’s indictment on charges that include gun-running to finance campaign debts. Christopher Martinez reports from Sacramento.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Seniors and the Disabled Call on San Francisco Realtors to Not Oppose Ellis Act Reform

Housing activists held a rally today at the San Francisco Association of Realtors to call for a moratorium on evictions of seniors and the disabled. The activists also called on the realtor's association not to oppose an Ellis Act reform bill introduced in Sacramento last month. The Ellis Act was designed to allow landlords to sell their property in order to go out of business. Housing activists say real estate speculators have been using the law to evict seniors and the disabled in order to turn a profit. Pacific’s nick St. Charles filed this report.

Health Advocates Push Legislation to Increase Access for Poor

Doctors and state lawmakers are pushing a package of bills they say will increase access to health care for people on Medi-Cal. The state’s health program has seen a boom in enrollment under the federal Affordable Care Act, but advocates fear many low-income people will get health insurance but be unable to find a doctor who takes Medi-Cal unless California boosts doctor reimbursement rates and increases training for primary care doctors. Christopher Martinez reports from Sacramento.

Monday, April 21, 2014

PG&E Pleads Not Guilty in Indictment Over 2010 San Bruno Explosion

The utility company PG&E pleaded not guilty today to 12 criminal charges related to the deadly 2010 San Bruno natural gas pipeline explosion that killed eight and wounded dozens more. Scott Baba reports.

Is Prison Realignment Working?

California’s historic “prison realignment” - shifting some inmates from state prisons to counties - has been controversial from the beginning. Now, after two and a half years, opinions still differ on whether the move has been a success. A former state Corrections Secretary and two state lawmakers debated the issue at a forum presented by the Public Policy Institute of California. Christopher Martinez reports from Sacramento.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Smaller Vessels Screened For Radiation At SoCal Ports

Incoming boats and ships were screened today as part of an ongoing operation to block illegal radiation sources from entering through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. KPFK Reporter John Matthews has the story.