By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Perhaps that is because Holden has long been aware of the dangers of spending time outside the district during tight elections. In a January interview, Holden’s 1995 opponent Stan Sanders remembered Holden’s response after he repeatedly raised the residency issue. "Nate got upset with me about that, and moved back [to the district] until after the election," Sanders said.—Eric Pape
turbulence over lax
Los Angeles has signaled that airport leases just won’t fly without protections for workers. The City Council last week sent back a 23-year proposed lease with United Airlines, ordering additional language requiring contractors and subcontractors to refrain (as required by the city’s living-wage ordinance) from retaliating against workers for union organizing.
Rejection of the lease, which would bring the city $1.6 million in annual rents, followed committee hearings at which unionists and supporting clergy testified about anti-union measures, including arbitrary discipline and layoff threats, by Argenbright Security Inc., which provides pre-boarding screeners, as well as baggage-claim and wheelchair attendants, to United and other airlines. Atlanta-based Argenbright, a national company with gross revenues of close to $400 million, has been the prime focus of a union drive by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Argenbright’s almost 800 employees are paid just over minimum wage, and lack health benefits and sick days. Since the union’s campaign began last June, a number of workers have filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board alleging intimidation and harassment.
United’s management offered to sign a "side letter" agreeing to worker-protection issues, but the council said it wasn’t enough. The lease will be taken up at the June 15 meeting of the Airport Commission with instructions to develop worker-protection language that could be used as a model in other city contracts.—John Seeley
In the avalanche of chest-thumping that followed the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado, one proposal has been overlooked: California Rifle and Pistol Association Inc. president Herb Williams says the only way to stop schoolyard massacres is "for trained and armed teachers to pull out their concealed Saturday Night Specials and shoot the murder(s) [sic]."
Williams’ quasi-literate suggestion came in a President’s Message to members of the CRPA, an "organization of sportsmen . . . dedicated to preservation of our American heritage." He admits his idea is not an original. Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura (the former professional-wrestling performer) made a similar suggestion, but wilted under the heat from namby-pambies. Williams says Ventura’s fallback position — more policing by armed and uniformed security guards — won’t work, because few school districts have the backbone to divert education resources to protecting Miss Grundy. "The fact is that teachers are always present and if armed and trained could always cut short a school massacre," Williams concludes.
Remembering the damage that one of our nuns inflicted, wielding only a three-sided metal ruler, OffBeat shudders to think about a massive rearmament of the teaching profession. But, hey, if that’s the price of security, we’re willing to kick in! What do you say, America?EDITED BY GALE HOLLAND