All Articles Tagged "california"

Proposed California Bill Plans To Punish Companies Who Overpay Their CEOs

April 26th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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The general public usually gets outraged when they hear about exorbitant executive salaries, particularly for companies that aren’t doing very well. California is now trying to take action against the ever-expanding salary gap between CEOs and employees with a process to ban  “out of whack” CEO salaries.

A new bill that will do just that is in the state Legislature with support from Democratic leaders, organized labor and former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich, reports The Huffington Post.

According to Reich,  the bill would reward “responsible” companies by giving them lower tax rates and ultimately help the middle class by boosting the U.S. economy.

Under bill SB1372 companies that pay CEOs more than 100 times the median wage of their workers would have to pay a higher corporate tax rate. But on the other hand, firms with a smaller wage gap would benefit from a lower rate.

Currently  the tax rate is 8.84 percent of net income for all corporations. For cooperating companies it would be dropped down to 7 percent and for offending firms it would be increased to 13 percent .

Of course there is opposition to the bill. According to the California Chamber of Commerce, the proposed bill would cause cost jobs.  “Chamber lobbyist Jennifer Barrera told the committee the bill would discourage corporate investment in California,” reports HuffPo.

And Gina Rodriquez, the California Taxpayers Association’s vice president for state tax policy, claimed it would make California appear hostile to business.

The naysayers might be jumping the gun. Even the authors of the bill aren’t sure of its passage since it will need a two-thirds super-majority, which seems unlikely since Republicans are expected to vote against it.

Still the Dems say such a bill, the first of its kind in the nation, is important and necessary. AFL-CIO data shows that chief executives received an average compensation of 43 times the median U.S. worker’s pay in 1983. And the gap is a whole lot bigger today — 278 times a typical wage.  There is even more proof of the gap.  The CEOs of companies listed in Standard & Poor’s 500 index received an average of 354 times more in salary than the median employee in 2012.

“The issue of widening inequality of income and wealth and opportunity and political power is one that the United States is now becoming aware of because things are getting so out of kilter,” Reich said to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

Faith Evans Says She’s Not Looking For Love & That Marriage Does Not Solidify A Couple’s Bond

January 26th, 2014 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Singer Faith Evans hit up the Bethenny show last week and chatted it up about her relationship with Diddy, the last time she saw Whitney Houston alive and of course, relationships.

Faith’s 14 year marriage to Todd Russaw ended two years ago in divorce and we’ve neither seen nor heard her talk about dating since that time. The few scenes she had on R&B Divas had her mostly dealing with the issues of the other cast members or her talking about her children.

Bethenny asked Faith if she was dating right now or if she was in a relationship and while she dodged answering that question, Faith did reveal that most of her friends call her “Granny” because she doesn’t like to go out and of course, that makes it harder to meet people for potential dating purposes.

Faith also added that she is extremely private about who she lets in her personal space, especially when it comes to relationships because she has children. When it comes to marriage, Faith is pretty much on the fence about it:

“I don’t know. There was a time when that was part of my big picture, growing old with someone. I wouldn’t say no but I’m certainly not looking for it. If it comes and God says ‘hey,’ I think I’ll feel that. But I don’t thin marriage means it’s a meaningful relationship.”

Check out a piece of Faith’s interview with Bethenny  about relationships below:

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No Money, Mo’ Problems: MC Hammer Sued By The IRS For Almost $800K!

December 8th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"MC Hammer pf"


So Mc Hammer looks to be having money troubles again and this time, the IRS is on his back over taxes from over 15 years ago.

According to TMZ, “Uncle Sam” has filed a lawsuit against Hammer (real name Stanley Burrell) for close to $800,000 in unpaid taxes.

If you can believe it, the lawsuit is based on his unpaid taxes from 1996 and 1997. If memory serves correctly, he’d already had huge financial problems years before the mid-90s, so to be that far in debt with the IRS shows that he still hadn’t really gotten it together.

According the documents leaked to TMZ, the IRS now wants every dollar Hammer makes in order to pay the $798, 033.48 bill.  We haven’t heard much from him over the last few years; for years, he’s been trying to make different web based projects work but none have seemingly been overly successful in recent times.

We’re not quite sure what he’ll do to pay the IRS back but make no mistake, they will get their money. Perhaps his team can talk to someone who produces celebrity reality shows and he can get on there to not only make a check, but also to become visible again. Hmmm, Dancing With the Stars, anyone?

So far, no comment from Hammer.

A Piece Of Lady O: Oprah’s Epic Yard Sale Rakes In More Than $600,000!

November 3rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Oprah Winfrey Interviews

Source: WENN

Well, were any of you able to buy anything from Oprah’s epic yard sale? If you tried and you didn’t get anything, don’t feel bad: the prices even shocked Oprah.

According to The Los Angeles Times, winning bids for Oprah’s former possessions sold for a total of more than $600,000. People were so excited to buy something that belonged top Oprah – the items came from her homes in Hawaii, California, and Indiana – that the prices for some of the simplest things were through the roof. TMZ noted that Oprah said during the auction, “You’re paying too much!”

While that may have been true, Oprah certainly didn’t ask them to start over with lower bids.  The Times reported the following winning bids on some items:

  • $60,000 for a set of six 18th century Louis XVI armchairs with hand-embroidered details
  • $4,100 and $6,000 for canvas banners promoting Oprah in The Color Purple
  • $3,000 for TV Guide cover
  • $1,400 for a dog portrait
  • $1,000 for a chair painted by a fan (estimated to be worth no more than $200)
  • $1,000 for a teapot (worth less than $100)
  • $4,000 and $4,750 for two sofas

If Oprah were doing this for herself, that would have been a nice bit of pocket change. But, the proceeds from Oprah’s epic yard sale will go to her all girls leadership academy in South Africa.

Congratulations to all the people who got a “piece of Oprah.” I mean, I guess (forgive me, no shade, I’m just surprised by some of these prices).

San Jose State University Crowns Its First Black Homecoming Queen And King

October 28th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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From BlackVoices 

California’s oldest university just named its first black homecoming king and queen.

Seniors Daniel Harris-Lucas and Diana Busaka were crowned Thursday night at San Jose State University, beating out 22 other applicants who all submitted a nomination, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a resumé and newsclips about them.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” Harris-Lucas told NBC Bay Area. “But it’s probably overdue. I’m glad to be part of history. But this probably should have happened years ago.”

SJSU first caught national attention at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, when two of its students, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, placed in the 200 meter race and raised their black-gloved fists in the iconic black pride salute. A statue of them stands on the SJSU campus today.

Read more at 

10-Year-Old Shot In The Buttocks And Parents Waited To Call For Help Because They Thought She Started Her Period

September 23rd, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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I’m sure I’m not the only person who grew up in a family where what you thought might be a serious pain or problem was met with a less than worried response such as, “Lay on your stomach.” However, the idea of a gunshot wound being mistaken for one having their menstrual cycle is on a whole other level. But that’s what happened to a 10-year-old in Hayward, Calif.

According to a local CBS affiliate, the young girl was sleeping in her bed when a stray bullet from a nearby shooting hit her in the buttocks. When she woke up early in the morning and complained of pelvic pain, she told her family, and her mother and sister initially thought that she might have started her period. According to her father, though the front of the house had some broken glass and there were stray bullet holes in their vehicle, they checked the children’s room and didn’t see any damage. Because of this, they assumed it was the beginning of her menstrual cycle. They took her to the bathroom, didn’t see the wound, and gave her a pad. She went back to sleep.

When she woke up for school and still complained of pain, the family wound up looking in her bed and found a bullet hole. According to the CBS affiliate, police say the wound was very small and it could have “easily” been overlooked if the parents thought she was having her period. The father (who didn’t want to be named) later spoke to reporters after the family called the ambulance and had the 10-year-old taken to the hospital. When asked why they waited to call, he said that they didn’t think she had been shot or that they needed to call police because in their gang-ridden neighborhood, sadly, hearing gunshots and damage from them is normal:

“We don’t call the cops when you hear shots on the streets. I didn’t know it was in front of my house and I didn’t know my daughter was shot.

I told them to check her and they said she was on her first period. She’s 10 years old.”

When neighbors were spoken to by the CBS affiliate, many of them, including a woman named Miriam said that she didn’t want to get involved and that people don’t usually call police after shootings or think much of them. But a local pastor, Chuck Horner of Calvary Baptist Church, said that’s exactly the problem when it comes to violence in the neighborhood.

“That’s why it happens. Nobody deals with it. And we need to stand up to this. Otherwise it’s only going to get worse.”

As for the 10-year-old girl, she is doing better and recovering after having surgery late last week. Thankfully, her injuries were “non-life threatening.”

Back To Court: Royce Reed Says Dwight Howard Has Taken Their Son…And She Doesn’t Know Where They Are

August 3rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Well, it was only a matter of time before these two were back in the media for more antics.

According to TMZ, former “Basketball Wife” Royce Reed has gone to what we assume is a Florida court to ask for an emergency hearing to find her son, Braylon.  Braylon is the son she shares with basketball star Dwight Howard. Royce claims Braylon went to California to visit Dwight but she hasn’t heard from them since he’s been there.

Royce also says Braylon has a medical condition and is out of medicine. According to her, Dwight hasn’t bothered to refill Braylon’s prescription.

In her alleged filing for this hearing, Royce says Dwight’s parents called her at some point to let her know Dwight and Braylon were in Colorado.  Royce is asking that the court order Dwight to refill the prescription so their son’s health won’t be in danger. Further, she wants to know exactly where their son and how she can get in touch with him.

See, this interesting because after a quick search, this popped up on Royce’s Twitter timeline:



Royce’s Twitter Page

So, how can it be that she’s saying she hasn’t heard from him since he got to California when she tweeted that he’d been there for a month and she, in fact, went to visit?  The only possible explanations are: (1) there’s no truth to this filing or (2) maybe the details are a little incorrect.

Many of us who’ve seen Royce on Basketball Wives know she can be a bit dramatic but I don’t think she’d be dumb enough to file a claim like this when there’s evidence on the internet to dispute it.  Not that Dwight couldn’t or shouldn’t refill the child’s medicine but if she was out there, she could have done it too.

A judge has yet to rule on whether or not a hearing is necessary.

Things that make you go hmmmm…

She Needs Help: Amanda Bynes Hospitalized After Setting Fire In Stranger’s Driveway

July 23rd, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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I really want somebody to come get Amanda Bynes. And I’m not even trying to be funny. I want someone to come and give her the treatment she needs before it’s too late. While fellow child star Lindsay Lohan’s issues seem to be drug related, Amanda Bynes’ recent run ins with the law have me believing that she’s suffering from a mental issue. And apparently the Thousand Oaks, California police department agrees.

According to TMZ, Bynes was arrested this morning under a 5150 hold for setting a fire in her neighbor’s driveway. A 5150 hold is an involuntary hospitalization that allows authorities to evaluate Amanda’s mental state. They can hold her for a maximum of three days if necessary.

Law enforcement were called to Bynes’ neighbor’s house this morning when someone noticed a small fire in the driveway. Amanda was seen standing near the fire. When deputies arrived they asked Bynes what she was doing there and why. Based on her answers, they determined that she needed to be hospitalized.

The woman whose driveway Amanda set on fire says that she had no idea what was happening outside until police knocked on her door. The police asked her if she knew Bynes and the elderly woman said no. Police informed  the woman that Amanda was carrying a little red gas tank and had burned a part of the woman’s clothing in the process.

Hopefully, something good will come of this hospitalization.


Female Prisoners Sterilized Without Consent In California Prisons

July 9th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock


During the years of 2006-2010, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized about 150 women without receiving approval from the state. The sterilization process is also known as tubal ligation; the doctors who performed this procedure were contracted by the CDCR. The doctors were funded through state funds to perform the procedure, with expenses totaling up to $147,460.

The state of California made the practice of forced sterilization on prison inmates (especially those who classify as ‘mentally ill’ and poor) illegal since 1979. Also, it is illegal for prisons to use federal funds to cover the costs of sterilization. Prisons are able to find a loop-hole in this law by allowing doctors to visit inmates. These visitations give doctors the opportunity to seek approval from inmates, even when they are in labor.

A former inmate, Christina Nguyen who worked at Valley State Prison overheard medical staff persuading inmates who had several prison terms to become sterilized: “I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s not right,’ ” said Nguyen, 28. “Do they think they’re animals, and they don’t want them to breed anymore?”

Inmates told The Sacramento Bee:

Michelle Anderson, who gave birth in December 2006 while at Valley State, said she’d had one prior C-section. Anderson, 44, repeatedly was asked to agree to be sterilized, she said, and was not told what risk factors led to the requests. She refused.

Nikki Montano also had had one C-section before she landed at Valley State in 2008, pregnant and battling drug addiction.

Montano, 42, was serving time after pleading guilty to burglary, forgery and receiving stolen property. The mother of seven children, she said neither Heinrich nor the medical staff told her why she needed a tubal ligation.

“I figured that’s just what happens in prison – that that’s the best kind of doctor you’re going get,” Montano said. “He never told me nothing about nothing.”

Although prison and medical staff members told female inmates the sterilization would benefit them health wise, the underlying tone and purpose of the procedure is being used against women who would be labeled as second-class citizens. According to OB-GYN Dr. James Heinrich:

 “I  provided an important service to poor women who faced health risks in future pregnancies because of past Caesarean sections. Over a 10-year period, that isn’t a huge amount of money compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children – as they procreated more.”

Sterilization goes beyond medical procedures; it becomes a race and economic issue between the upper/lower class. During the mid-twentieth century, sterilization was tested upon African –American and Latino women. The women who were a part of these tests were not told the precautions of sterilization.  At the time most civil-rights leaders claimed sterilization and even birth control was used to regulate or reduce the number  of  births by women of color.

With all the advancements in family planning and contraception, do you think the medical procedure of sterilization should be obsolete?


A Historic Day: Supreme Court Makes Crucial Rulings On Same-Sex Marriage

June 26th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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southward down 5th Ave thru Greenwich Village

Today, in two historic decisions the Supreme Court advanced LGBTQ rights. The first decision struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

The law barred recognition of same sex marriages by the Federal government when it came to issues of Social Security survivors’ benefits, insurance benefits, immigration and tax filing. In other words, legally married to someone of the same sex meant you weren’t entitled to any legal benefits.

The original law defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman as a husband and wife. The provision had been struck down by eight courts before the Supreme Court did the same today in the case United States vs. Windsor. 

Now, couples who are married in one of the 12 states that allow same-sex marriage will not be denied rights on the federal level. If couples are married in a state that doesn’t allow same sex marriage, they’ll be able to bring their grievances to the Supreme Court. This decision, many believe, will open up the door way to allow same sex rights or marriage in all 50 states.

The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy who was appointed Ronald Reagan in 1988.

Shortly after this decision came down the Supreme Court also ruled on California’s controversial Prop 8 law. The law essentially reversed the Supreme Court’s decision recognizing same-sex marriage. The court ruled that the activists who put Prop 8 on California ballots in 2008 did not have the constitutional authority to do so. The ruling essentially bans Prop 8 and allows gay couples to marry in the state of California but will not have an impact on other states across the nation.

A great, historic step toward equality for the country.