Frying Pan News

"I Never Thought I'd Be Working In My 70s": Three Distressing Retirement Stories

It’s official: America has entered a retirement crisis. Or, as Forbes understatedly put it, “the greatest retirement crisis in the history of the world.”

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Pension Cutters: Bipartisan Slogans, Right-Wing Money

Last week San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed delivered his usual speech about the benefits of slashing the retirement benefits of his city’s public employees – and why he is now pushing for a statewide ballot measure that could dramatically change the lives of hundreds of thousands of Californians. Reed’s initiative – which he characterizes as a bipartisan effort and which hasn’t yet qualified for the 2014 ballot — would allow the state and local governments to reduce retirement benefits for current employees for the years of work they perform after the measure’s changes go into effect. What was not usual about Reed’s speech was its setting: The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, 3,000 miles from California.

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Secret Ballot Initiative Would Slash Retirement Benefits for Public Employees

In a move to slash the retirement benefits of public employees in California, a group of mostly conservative policy advocates has been working behind the scenes on a possible 2014 ballot initiative. A copy of the still-secret draft initiative, which could dramatically impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of Californians and send a signal nationwide, has been obtained by Frying Pan News. (See the document’s text following this article or click here.)

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On 9/11 Anniversary, Union Workers Erecting One World Trade Center Take Pride in Their History-Making Endeavor

The construction elevator of One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan is attached to the outside of the 104-story tower. From the ground it looks like a giant zipper, moving slowly up and down as the car, filled with workers and their tools, makes the six-minute, 1,776-foot journey from ground level to the top. (The building’s height was purposefully designed to match our year of independence.)

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A Hedge-Fund Billionare From Texas is Waging War On California Pensions

Benjamin Gamboa doesn’t know John Arnold, but they are linked by a shared concern over the fate of public-employee pensions in California.

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What If You Couldn't Understand Your Doctor? A New "Interpreter Bill" Would Save Lives Lost In Translation

Maria Guevara had been trying to get pregnant for three years when she saw a doctor at Los Angeles County General hospital in 2008. She was understandably thrilled, then, to learn she was indeed three months pregnant at the time of her visit. As Guevara later recalled, when the doctor asked her in English if she wanted to keep the baby, “without hesitation I replied ‘yes’ to his question. Before leaving the hospital, the doctor prescribed me medication that I thought was prenatal care. That lack of communication between the doctor and me has changed my life forever.”

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California Court Case Could Cripple ALL Public Employee Unions

Last November unions won a resounding victory when voters defeated Proposition 32, a ballot measure that would have crippled labor’s political influence in California, partly by barring public-employee unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. The initiative, which enjoyed a huge lead in early opinion polls, was heavily funded by wealthy conservatives and far-right groups.

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How Charter Schools "Co-Locate" with Public Schools and Tear Them Apart

The following was originally published in Frying Pan News

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Tax Credits for Strip Clubs? How Enterprise Zones Are Undermining California's Economy

John Thomas and Hans Burkhardt have a lot in common. For more than 17 years each man had a good paying union job, with health and pension benefits, near San Francisco Bay. Thomas worked as a warehouseman for VWR International, a medical supply company with a warehouse in Brisbane, south of Candlestick Park. Burkhardt also worked as a warehouseman, for BlueLinx, a building products company with a facility across the bay in Newark.

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Public Schools, Billionaire Agendas: The Threat of the 'Parent Revolution' Campaign

The following is a "California Exposé," a new column by Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Gary Cohn that will appear regularly on Frying Pan News.

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