August 7, 2013
From The “Would You Believe It Department”
By Neil Rubenstein
Would you believe oil production in the United States is on the rise? This is due in part to fracking.
Presently in Libya the dock workers are on strike, with exports to Europe on hold and our petroleum companies racing to fill the void. The Saudi government is talking about diversifying, an amazing turn of events.
Congress once again is using a bayonet to cut the federal budget. As I recall, the IRS budget was just slashed by 24% and now the Community Development Block Grants will be axed by 50%. Over the years many worthwhile projects were done with CDBG money.
Speaking of the senior center, longtime member Myra Segal passed away on July 12 at Brotman Hospital. Myra was a life member of Jewish War Veterans Post 617. She represented her uncle, a member of the Marine Corps, who served his country honorably and faithfully during World War II, the Korean War and Viet Nam War, a 30-year history of bravery.
Myra served on the senior center's board of directors, and helped with the children's disabilities carnival and many other groups and organizations. Her beautiful smile and warm personality will be missed.
Federal auditors have determined the Department of Agriculture paid millions to 1,799 farmers long dead. Thus far $36.6 million was sent to people who couldn't cash their checks. The money is expected to be returned.
From the Good News file, the median price of a home in Los Angeles County rose 28% in June, compared to the same month a year ago.
And from Asia . . . Bangladesh's government agreed to allow the country's garment workers to form trade unions without prior permission from factory owners, the latest response to a building collapse that killed more than 1,100 people and focused global attention on the industry's hazardous conditions.
I hope you are sitting down because Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies are getting a 6% raise. It will be in three 2% increments between this month and January 2015. How many of us remember Culver City police get the same increase as the deputies and only bargain for non-monetary items?
A lot has happened in the last 10 years since we had the last big supermarket strike. Here in the Culver City area Sprouts and Target are selling groceries. Albertsons was sold to SuperValu and went belly up. The markets are selling prescription drugs.
I miss the office chats with the late Albert Vera, held in his market on Sepulveda. He wanted to refurbish the Natatorium and thought he could get money from the Clinton administration. Many of us remember how he returned from Washington, D.C. with the bucks to repair the plunge after a particularly bad earthquake. Today Robert Zirgulis has a plan to lease the Natatorium to a private operator and get free use by schools and seniors. Hopefully, Mayor Cooper and Superintendent LaRose can meet and get a joint use agreement.