Update: Leader of California’s largest union resigns amid tax fraud, embezzlement charges

The executive director of California’s largest labor union resigned after the state Attorney General’s Office this month charged her and her husband with multiple counts of tax fraud, embezzlement, perjury and failure to pay unemployment insurance taxes.

The office filed its charges against SEIU California Executive Director Alma Hernández and her husband, Jose Moscoso, on Oct. 4 in Sacramento Superior Court.

California is trying a $15 minimum wage. Is it time for $20 – or $0?

Conservatives call it a job killer. Liberals call it an anti-poverty measure.

However you describe it, a $15-an-hour minimum wage is coming to California. It will become a reality for the state’s bigger employers by next year.

California set out in 2016 to become the first state on a path to a $15-an-hour minimum wage, capping a major victory for unions and low-wage workers who began pushing for the law in 2012. The state’s minimum wage now stands at $13 or $14 an hour, depending on the size of the business.

Rural California could lose thousands of jobs as prisons close. What can the state do?

Just days after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration announced a plan to close a prison in Susanville last month, dozens of “for sale” signs for homes began popping up in a rural Lassen County town.

“We went from a market where there were no homes,” said Patricia Hagata, executive director at the Lassen County Chamber of Commerce. “To where we have an overload of homes.”

California’s COVID vaccine schedule keeps changing. Here’s why

It took a lot of discussion, but in December, California came up with a multi-tiered, multi-phase plan on how the state would vaccinate its residents against the coronavirus.

First would be healthcare workers, followed by teachers, farmworkers, emergency responders and people 75 years and older. In the subsequent phases, people’s jobs, medical conditions, disabilities and living situations would all be factors in deciding whether someone got a vaccine ahead of others.

California’s food banks will get a shake-up on Jan. 1. Will it interrupt supply?

Come Jan. 1, many of California’s food banks will get food distributed from a new organization, which promises cost savings that could result in more supplies for the facilities, more frequent delivery and a “produce mobile” with fresh fruits and vegetables.

But Sacramento-based California Emergency Foodlink, the current entity in charge of distributing the food, is asking the federal government to stop the change. The state used a flawed and biased method to pick the new organization, a Foodlink representative said in his October letter to the federal government.

Huntington Beach police fire pepper balls at protesters who do not disperse

Huntington Beach police fired pepper balls at demonstrators who would not disperse on Sunday, though a crowd of hundreds of protesters had shrunk significantly after unlawful assembly was declared.

The demonstration – one of many around Southern California and the nation protesting the death of George Floyd – began about 11:30 a.m. and proceeded largely peacefully for several hours, with some protesters and counterprotesters urging their groups to calm down and avoid confrontation.

TCA makes it official: 241 extension will not happen, Los Patrones Parkway will be extended

A controversial extension of the 241 Toll Road was officially dropped Thursday, March 12, likely ending a bitter debate that’s lasted more than two decades about how to best address transportation needs in south Orange County.

Board members of the Transportation Corridor Agencies – which oversees the county’s toll roads – unanimously voted on Thursday to support instead extending Los Patrones Parkway to Avenida La Pata, concluding the study of how the 241 could be connected to the 5 Freeway.


How Kobe Bryant helped connect Asian Americans with both Asia and America

With limited English, 10-year-old James Kim broke the ice at lunch with his new classmates talking about Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, and how they took the Los Angeles Lakers to the championships in 2001.

Now living in Long Beach, cheering for Bryant was how Anne Milo Shanahan’s family still connected with cousins back home in the Philippines.

And, watching the basketball legend run the court on television with her 90-year-old grandmother are special memories for Yvette Tung.

Here’s how boy band BTS inspired a school in South L.A. to teach Korean culture

Two years ago, Ruben Hernandez didn’t know what the Korean boy band BTS was.

But his students at the Los Angeles Academy Middle School in South Los Angeles surely did. They asked him to play the band’s songs over speakers at lunchtime.

“When I put on the songs, I could hear the screaming,” said Hernandez, the school’s principal.

The student body of 1,246 is more than 90% Hispanic; only one person identified as Asian, according to 2018 state data.

Your guide to Garden Grove’s newly named ‘Orange County Koreatown’

Welcome to Garden Grove Boulevard: The birthplace of Orange County’s Korean American community, established in the 1970s.

Here, the cool kids were grilling pork belly and briskets in the ’80s at what is believed to be Southern California’s first Korean barbecue restaurant. For decades, a bakery at Gilbert Street has been selling traditional Korean rice cakes, so chewy some stretch like mozzarella cheese.

Korean celebrities held huge parking lot concerts here in the ’90s

Ahmad Zahra, likely the country’s first openly LGBTQ Muslim city councilman, set to take office in Fullerton

Ahmad Zahra is not here to make history.

But he — a gay Muslim immigrant film producer from Syria — knows what his election to the Fullerton City Council means.

“It’s a pleasant surprise,” he said. “We’re maturing as a county.”

Election results still need to be finalized and certified, but if Zahra, 50, holds on to his substantial lead, it is believed he will be the country’s first ever openly LGBTQ Muslim city councilman, according to the political action committee LGBTQ Victory Fund. The gr