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John Seeley

The Well-Worn Pad

Photo by Ted Soqui Eighty-eight-year-old Albert Dunne is facing eviction from the Venice apartment he has lived in for 47 years. His landlord wants to fix up the place and three other units and charge more rent. The WWII vet and Purple Heart holder suffers from emphysema, degenerating spinal disks......

A Rich Defection

Jane Harman used to be an endangered Democrat in a marginally Republican district. Used to be. Her Venice--to--San Pedro district’s boundaries changed for the better this year with the addition of dependable Democrats in Lennox and Wilmington. If only she were as dependable as they. Over the weekend, Harman was......

Harsh Holidays

Southern California tourism workers -- many facing a bleak holiday season on meager unemployment checks or public assistance -- got some small presents in the past two weeks, and rallied to protest a congressional measure that magnified their post-911 pain. While tens of thousands of displaced hotel, restaurant and airport......

On the Edge

Jose Avelar, a steward at Santa Monica’s luxury Loews hotel, has worked a total of 13 hours these past three weeks, earning a little more than $125. He usually brings home about $400 a week for his wife and four children. Last week brought a car-repossession warning and another notice......

I Was a Hired Gun for the Hotel Barons . . .

”Ted“ explains the deal: $2.50 per signature on the wage petition, $2 for new Republican registrations, etc. For starters, I’ll watch him in action, and he‘ll also share some trade secrets. First tip: Don’t begin by asking voters to sign the living-wage petition. Lead instead with the less controversial petition,......

Working for Themselves

Carlos Reyes was part of a construction crew that worked 10 to 14 hours a day in San Diego last January. They were gutting a restaurant interior for conversion to a clothing store. At the end of the week, says Reyes, the crew were paid only for eight-hour days, told......

Leisure Copworld

City Attorney Jim Hahn may have locked up the mayoralty the day he embraced the L.A. Police Protective League’s (PPL) demand for a three-day week of 12-hour shifts. The police union‘s endorsement and its attack ads against ex-Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, who would not commit to the so-called 3-12 workweek, made......

Cheap in Paradise

The sunny blocks along Santa Monica’s beachfront are about to become the eye of a major political storm over the power of local government to regulate wages and benefits in private business. Workers at Santa Monica’s luxurious shorefront hotels, where nightly lodging runs $160 and up and dining rooms offer......

Steve Stumped

Moderate Republican Steve Soboroff had an insurmountable challenge: He was a self-styled “problem solver” in a season without one overwhelming public concern. Where his mentor and anointer Richard Riordan had sailed into office as the guy “tough enough” to cope with a riot-scarred city in 1993, Soboroff -- after toying......

The Uprising

Staffers at the Chinese Daily News in Monterey Park, one of America’s largest Asian daily newspapers, are struggling to have their bosses accept their union vote. The newspaper workers broke with cultural tradition and voted to unionize in late March, but management hasn‘t given up its six-month fight against the......
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