U.S. Census Bureau. "California." The United States Census Bureau Web Site. 1998. http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/datamap/state?06 (24 Oct 1999).
Percent living inside metropolitan areas
State Rank U.S.
1990 96.8 2 79.7
1996 96.6 2 79.8
Note that nearly all of California’s people live in metropolitan areas—which isn’t surprising. California has many large cities and comparatively little farmland.
1992 ECONOMIC CENSUS -- AREA PROFILE
Number Sales or Output Jobs/1000 Estabs/100K
of Receipts Number per population population
Sector Estabs ($mil) of Jobs capita # %ofUS # %ofUS
Mining 1,232 7,545 34,500 244 1 45 4 33
Construction 64,103 64,256 511,115 2,080 17 90 207 92
Manufacturing 50,490 306,277 1,947,400 9,913 63 95 163 112
Transportation 21,070 29,450 314,481 953 10 82 68 94
Communications 3,186 29,231 151,444 946 5 97 10 67
Utilities 1,585 27,379 79,075 886 3 71 5 65
Wholesale 58,437 432,946 731,618 14,013 24 101 189 97
Retail 162,111 224,593 2,050,594 7,269 66 92 525 88
Services 244,473 198,432 2,645,792 6,423 86 113 791 111
Finance 21,582 91,733 342,777 2,969 11 63 70 83
Insurance 16,578 99,580 228,021 3,223 7 87 54 85
Real Estate 32,813 22,580 180,073 731 6 121 106 118
Note that California is in many ways a service economy—the service sector counted more establishments and jobs than any other sector.
Penny Hill Press. Congressional Research Service Documents from Penny Hill Press. 1999. http://pennyhill.com/index.html (24 Oct 1999).
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION LEGISLATION IN THE 104TH CONGRESS: ISSUE BRIEF
By Martin R. Lee, Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division. 17 pages. Updated January 17, 1997. The 104th Congress continued to oversee the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, P.L. 104-59, the highway bill, included provisions on vehicle inspection and maintenance. P.L. 104-70 allowed states to remove employee commute option program requirements. P.L. 104-6 (H.R. 889) rescinded the federal air quality implementation plan for parts of California. Another rescission bill, P.L. 104-19, contained trip reduction, vehicular inspection and maintenance, and Superfund provisions. Order No. IB95004.
Note: this site does not have the CRS documents online, but has abstracts and allows orders through the mail.
National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the
National Library of Medicine (NLM) located at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). "PubMed Medline Query." PubMed. 1999. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/ (24 Oct 1999).
J Calif Dent Assoc 1998 May;26(5):404-9
Improving oral health for people with special needs through
community-based dental care delivery systems.
Glassman P, Miller CE
San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.
[Medline record in process]
A community-based dental care delivery system is described. This system has been used in a number of communities in California to improve oral health for people with special needs. It includes oral health assessment, coalition building, development and networking of local resources, training of dental professionals, and utilization of preventive dentistry training materials. Also discussed are challenges of the future that will need to be met to continue to make oral health a priority and reality for people with special needs in California.
PMID: 10528576, UI: 99457883
Note: Though a 1997 review by ZDNet (http://www.zdnet.com/yil/content/roundups/desk_reference.html) indicates Bartlett’s is online, the current site (http://www.bartleby.com/) doesn’t have many quotes past the 1800s, nor is it searchable. Instead, I used:
Robbins, Gabriel. "Good Quotations by Famous People." Gabriel Robins. 19 Sept 1999. http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/quotes.html (24 Oct 1999).
"Nothing is wrong with California that a rise in the ocean level wouldn't cure. "
- Ross MacDonald (1915-1983)
Niles, Robert. Statistics Every Writer Should Know. http://nilesonline.com/stats/ (24 Oct 1999).
U.S. Department of Agriculture. "U.S. State Fact Sheets." USDA Economic Research Service. 3 Sept 1999. http://www.econ.ag.gov/epubs/other/usfact/ (24 Oct 1999).
CALIFORNIA FACT SHEET
For FAX, call
202-694-5700 for #45505 As of September 3, 1999
POPULATION, EMPLOYMENT, AND INCOME
State Metro Nonmetro
1980 23,667,765 22,907,489 760,276
1990 29,758,213 28,796,910 961,303
Latest(1998) 32,666,550 31,580,998 1,085,552
Per-capita income (1997 dollars)
1996 25,614 25,871 18,220
1997 26,314 26,586 18,440
Change 2.7% 2.8% 1.2%
Earnings per job (1997 dollars)
1996 32,900 33,199 22,494
1997 33,744 34,063 22,554
Change 2.6% 2.6% 0.3%
1980 11.4 11.3 12.7
1990 12.5 12.4 14.9
1995 16.5 16.4 17.7
Latest(1996-97) 16.8 N/A N/A
Total Number of Jobs
1996 17,584,877 17,094,422 490,455
1997 18,017,277 17,517,718 499,559
Lexis-Nexis. LEXIS-NEXIS Academic Universe Home Page. 24 Oct 1999. http://web.lexis-nexis.com/universe (24 Oct 1999).
Copyright 1999 McClatchy Newspapers, Inc.
The Fresno Bee
October 23, 1999 Saturday, HOME EDITION
SECTION: TELEGRAPH, Pg. A1
LENGTH: 648 words
HEADLINE: Banking bill sparks controversy over privacy
BYLINE: Hotakainen And Hamburger, Bee Washington Bureau
A house-Senate conference committee apprived a sweeping law Friday that would allow banks, insurance companies and stock brokerages to merge their operations and sell each other's products.
The law, which includes new requirements for banks to invest in low-income neighborhoods, drew praise from President Clinton Friday but sharp opposition from consumer groups that said the legislation does too little to protect consumers from invasions of privacy.
Until the deal was announced in the wee hours of Friday morning, the legislation's fate had been uncertain, jeopardized by disputes over privacy, the power of conglomerates and investment in local communities.
Igniting a row with consumer groups, the committee Thursday refused to pass the privacy plan
recommended by a group of state attorneys general: It would have forced banks and other companies to get permission from customers before they share an individual's financial information with other companies.
Instead, the committee passed a compromise plan that would require banks and financial institutions to disclose their privacy policies and would allow consumers to block sale of their personal information with some exceptions.
"The language will represent the most far-reaching privacy law that's ever existed for any financial institution," said Rep. Bruce Vento, D-Minn., a conferee and member of the House Banking and Financial Services Committee.
The stronger privacy plan was pushed by an unusual coalition that included consumer advocate Ralph Nader and conservative activist Phyllis Schafley. It was opposed by financial institutions, which have enormous influence in Washington.
One measure of the clout of banks and savings and loan interests is the $ 5.6 million in individual and political action committee donations they gave members of Congress and presidential candidates in the first six months of this year. They also gave more than $ 1 million in so-called "soft money" donations to national party committees.
Nader called the compromise legislation "a reckless assault on basic protections for consumers and communities."
He wasn't alone in his complaint. Frank Torres, legislative counsel to Consumers Union in Washington, said the bill could be dangerous to consumers because it would permit banks to use personal financial information for marketing as well as deciding how much to charge for loans and other financial products.
On the other hand, Clinton hailed the legislation, predicting it "will bring lower costs, more choices and better protections for consumers." He was particularly pleased at requirements in the bill for investment in urban neighborhoods. Wall Street celebrated passage of the bill, which is expected to spawn the formation of "financial supermarkets" that will sell investments, insurance and banking services.
Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat and a member of the conference committee, said financial institutions are "making out like bandits" on the privacy rules.
"They have made out OK. . . . It is unconscionable that we give the banks everything that they want and not have anything in this bill" for consumers, she said.
Consumer advocates said the bill will create bigger banks that can market more products, resulting in higher bank fees and fewer choices for customers.
"They're going to create massive database profiling mechanisms when they pool all of the information from all of the different affiliates," said Edmund Mierzwinski of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
The bill now goes to the full House and Senate for final passage.
Once it's approved, Mierzwinski said that consumer groups will lose any leverage to force Congress to strengthen the privacy laws.
* Greg Gordon of the Bee Washington bureau contributed to this report.
BY: ROB HOTAKAINEN AND TOM HAMBURGER BEE WASHINGTON BUREAU
LOAD-DATE: October 24, 1999
Copyright 1999 Times Mirror Company
Los Angeles Times
October 23, 1999, Saturday, Home Edition
SECTION: Metro; Part B; Page 6; Metro Desk
LENGTH: 625 words
HEADLINE: CITY COUNCIL OKS COMPROMISE ON EL MERCADO;
BOYLE HEIGHTS: ZONING CHANGE FOR PARKING AREA IS FIRST STEP OF PLAN PROPOSED
BY COUNCILMAN PACHECO TO RESOLVE LONG-STANDING CONTROVERSY.
BYLINE: BETH SHUSTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Hoping to end a long-running battle over a landmark Boyle Heights market-cum-swap meet, the Los Angeles City Council on Friday approved the first step in a compromise plan for El Mercado.
The plan is a test of the political skills of Councilman Nick Pacheco, who inherited the solution-defying El Mercado issue when he succeeded retiring Councilman Richard Alatorre last spring.
The initial step is a zoning change that the council approved Friday, and which clears the way for a legal parking area. Pacheco has outlined other elements of his plan in the controversy that has long pitted neighbor against neighbor and deepened political divides among the Eastside's civic leadership.
The councilman proposes having outside vendors, who have been operating illegally in the parking lot for years, pack up their tortilla and toy stands by Nov. 1.
He also wants the owner of El Mercado, Pedro Rosado, to complete all the improvements necessary to finally obtain a certificate of occupancy, a city requirement that he has neglected for a couple of decades at least.
Once all the conditions are met, Pacheco says he will will take steps to allow the vendors to return and operate legally.
Pacheco promised to include in the process Rosado, the vendors and neighborhood residents, who have complained about traffic, noise and garbage.
Pacheco said he will encourage the owner to build outdoor booths, with guidance from the community, for 20 vendors. There are about two dozen vendors there now.
"Today is not a day of celebration," Pacheco told the crowd at the council meeting. "Today is the day we begin a new dialogue."
Notable by her absence from the council chamber was Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who had vehemently objected to Alatorre's final attempt at a solution.
He had wanted to redesignate the parking lot as a commercial area.
Speaking through an aide, Molina said that she did not attend Friday's council meeting "out of respect" for Pacheco, and that she fully supports his compromise plan.
Rosado said that he too supports the compromise and that he believes Pacheco will work honestly with him.
"I respect his ideas," Rosado said. "I think he cares for people. I hope he's doing things that will make things better in the long run."
Pacheco, who was roundly applauded after the vote and congratulated by some of his council colleagues, said: "This one was thorny. Obviously, now the challenge is to hold everyone to their commitments."
Over the years, he said, one side always felt that it was favored over the other and that the "constant changing of position" among the Latino leadership created confusion and resentment.
El Mercado, a bustling marketplace where men and women peddle everything from churros to cowboy boots, has been the focus of numerous complaints from residents. Rosado, however, says that only a few residents complain, but that they are "professionals" who know how to get their views heard.
Los Angeles police and county health officers have conducted raids at the marketplace, confiscating between $ 500,000 and $ 1 million worth of medications being sold illegally. And Rosado has been sued in Superior Court for illegally renting space to the vendors.
Some Rosado supporters say he has become a target for harassment.
Pacheco acknowledged that Rosado has been far from reliable. Whether he can live up to his promises is still to be determined, Pacheco said.
Rosado, however, said he already has met many of the conditions imposed on him, including adding more parking and upgrading the restrooms and air conditioning inside the 1st Street building.
If all goes well, Pacheco said the vendors could be back in six months--this time legally.
LOAD-DATE: October 23, 1999
Copyright 1999 The Chronicle Publishing Co.
The San Francisco Chronicle
OCTOBER 23, 1999, SATURDAY, FINAL; PENINSULA EDITION
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. A15
LENGTH: 542 words
HEADLINE: Landscaping Dispute Tilts in Favor of Planning Commissioner;
Los Altos Hills board seat contingent on fix-ups
BYLINE: Michael McCabe, Chronicle Staff Writer
DATELINE: Los Altos Hills
A Los Altos Hills planning commissioner, whose neighbor directed a mysterious sign at him in a dispute over landscaping violations, can keep his position -- for now.
The controversy has stirred up the town of approximately 8,000 people, where the median home price is more than $1 million.
The City Council voted 3 to 2 late Thursday night to allow Charles Wong to remain on the commission if he fixes several violations of the building code by January 1. Most of the violations relate to landscaping practices.
"I was really gratified at the confidence the majority of the council members had in me and that I will be retained on the commission," Wong said yesterday. "I sure hope this whole issue is over."
The council also ordered his neighbor, Millie Gallo, who erected a controversial sign using Chinese characters, to take down the sign immediately.
Although Chinese speakers and linguists could not determine what the sign actually says, in part because the characters do not appear to be drawn correctly, Wong believes it is meant to convey something about death and graveyards. To Gallo, an artist and calligraphist, the message she drew on two plywood sheets is clear: "Great Man Honors Truth," a suggestion to Wong to tell the truth about his need to follow the town's ordinances. "I plan to leave the sign up until November 1, because that is date the city cited in its letter to me which I received yesterday," Gallo said. "Some people in this community have said I put up a hate sign,
and that is just totally untrue."
Gallo, who attended the City Council meeting Thursday night and called it "pretty ghastly," said she does not believe that Wong can clear up all the violations by January without spending tens of thousands of dollars, which she thinks he will refuse to do.
Wong said he will work with the town to rectify any violations needed to bring him into compliance. But he said he is still unsure what he needs to do, because the city already has sent him a form indicating he had passed a final inspection.
The town's planning director, Curtis Williams, who wrote a letter to the council August 11 demanding that it remove Wong from the commission, cited several violations, including substantial grading over a septic leach field and the building of a pool house.
Wong said that he believed he had corrected all the violations that he could and that in any case communication between him and the planning department was confusing at best.
Councilman William Siegel, who made the motion ordering the sign removed and keeping Wong on the commission if he brings his property into compliance, said everyone on the council agreed that the sign had to go.
"About 20 percent of all new homes in our town are being built or bought by Asian Americans, and they are very sensitive to this sign," Siegel said. "No one seems to know exactly what it said, but almost everyone feels it was an act of anger toward a neighbor. My motion condemned the sign."
Siegel said that although the problems with Wong's property are "in some ways quite minor," nevertheless if he does not correct them by the first council meeting in January, the matter of his retention on the commission will be brought up again.
LOAD-DATE: October 23, 1999
Note: not sure exactly what is meant by "Discuss" in outline.
What I find most interesting is that the last two articles, though both very local, are related to the influx of different cultures into California. In the second article, it seems that the letter of that law is against what seems a fairly traditional style market. In the third, What would normally be a standard local politics story (one person mad at another for landscaping violations, etc.), is made extremely interesting by the supposedly negative sign in Chinese characters.
The first article, however, is just one more small aspect to the very large privacy debate going on right now. Whether talking about the Internet, commercial databases, or government databases, it seems there are a lot of ways in which the average person’s privacy can be violated.
Chronicle Publishing Company. SF Gate: San Francisco Chronicle Homepage. 24 Oct 1999. http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ (24 Oct 1999).
Oct 14--Ammiano Steps Into Mayor Race
S.F. supervisor's write-in candidacy aimed at liberal and gay voters
Oct 15--Clinton Assails GOP Over Vote On Test Treaty
`New isolationism' called threat to nation's security and prosperity
Oct 16--Bracing Roadways for Quake
Commuters pay price for world's largest seismic retrofit project
Oct 17--A Sweet Kiss From Danger
The earth moved for just a few seconds, but the thrill of survival lingered
Oct 18--Consultant To Mayor Paid As Lobbyist
$330,000 from Home Depot in bid for S.F. store
Oct 19--Clinton Vetoes Foreign Aid Bill
Budget showdown expected in meeting with GOP leaders
Oct 20--Campaign Finance Bill Dies in Senate
Republicans prevent vote on `soft-money' donations
Oct 21--A New Leader, a New Direction for Indonesia
Oct 22--Cities Drawing Line on Sprawl
Planners say Bay Area needs more than urban limit boundaries
Oct 23--7 Church Members Killed in Van Accident
7 others injured in mission from L.A. to Bay Area
Oct 24--A Deadly Bioterrorist Attack in U.S. Is Still Highly Unlikely
The New York Times Company. "Technology." The New York Times on the Web. 30 Oct 1999. http://www.nytimes.com/yr/mo/day/tech/. (30 Oct 1999).
October 30, 1999
Web Companies and Parents Take In New Rules on Children's Sites
By PAMELA MENDELS
SmartGirl is a Web site where girls are encouraged to share their views on everything from music to school to how to navigate adolescence.
It also is a commercial venture.
And that means that Luis Castro, director of online development for the New York City-based company, is spending his time these days poring through a 90-page federal document that outlines and explains new rules designed to protect the privacy of children online.
Could be localized two ways, first, showing how local web companies are dealing with it, and second, what area parents and kids think about it.
October 29, 1999
Election Regulators Clear the Way for Online Debates
By REBECCA FAIRLEY RANEY
In the first clear signal that regulators are relaxing their approach to Internet campaigning, the Federal Election Commission cleared the way Thursday for non-partisan organizations to host debates for political candidates on the Internet.
Civic groups compared the decision with an act of Congress in 1960 that bypassed equal-time provisions to allow televised debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon.
"The important part of this is, there are a lot of organizations that would like to use the Internet to improve the electoral process," said Tracy Westen, president of the Democracy Network, the Los Angeles-based group that asked the FEC to rule on the issue. "It's an important acknowledgment that the online world has something to offer.
Notice—Los Angeles-based group has been pushing for this. Talk to them and find out implications for local election debates.
October 28, 1999
Hewlett Packard's Shares Fall 12 Percent
Analysts, Concerned About Slowing Sales, Lower Profit Forecasts
By LAWRENCE M. FISHER
SAN FRANCISCO -- Shares in the Hewlett-Packard Company fell more than 12 percent Wednesday after analysts suggested there would be an earnings shortfall in the fourth quarter, which ends this month.
Note: skipped a couple days.
HP is one of the largest companies in California—will this mean layoffs?
Oct 24, 1999
A Cyberspat Makes History
By KATIE HAFNER
This month marks the 30th anniversary of the Arpanet, the Internet's predecessor. Then again, maybe it doesn't. The University of California at Los Angeles was ground zero for the Arpanet. Then again, maybe it wasn't. This anniversary of the Internet has been a particularly contentious one.
I’ve read a little about this before. More interesting to tech-heads than anyone else, but UC has a very valid claim in the founding of the Internet.
October 23, 1999
Huge IPO for Sycamore
By SETH SCHIESEL
It is not often that a stock can drop $85 in an afternoon and still be a spectacular success, but it happened Friday to Sycamore Networks Inc.
Sycamore's highly anticipated initial public offering was priced at $38, but began trading at $270.875. The shares closed at $184.75, an increase of 386 percent.
Sycamore ended the day with a market value of $14.4 billion, far more than the $9.5 billion value of the 3Com Corporation, a larger and older maker of communications equipment.
This specific story may not be too easy to localize, but it points out a bigger issue—unproven tech companies blast ahead of established industry leaders with huge IPOs. Many, many California companies are in both the former and the latter category.
October 22, 1999
Silicon Valley Work Ethic Crosses the Atlantic
By JANE BLACK
ONDON -- Matt Jones, a Web designer and member of London's new media elite, winces as he glances at a table of four American businessmen heatedly discussing an upcoming deal at a fashionable Notting Hill restaurant.
"Don't they ever take a break?" he asked.
The United States may be the center of the technology world -- salaries are higher, code is chic and geeks have become heroes -- but young tech professionals here are more than a little worried that the Silicon Valley way of life is slowly taking over.
Two words: Silicon Valley. Could do a pretty interesting story about compulsive workaholics and what they’re high-pressure, high tech jobs mean for their families, well-being and pocketbook.
October 21, 1999
U.S. Sets Rules for Children's Privacy Online
By JERI CLAUSING
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday unveiled tough new privacy rules for children's Web sites, detailing both how privacy policies should be posted and what companies need to do to comply with a new law that will prohibit them from collecting personal information without a parent's permission.
The rules, which were written to carry out the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) passed by Congress last year, were lauded by privacy advocates, who said the commission rejected intense lobbying by some companies to keep the rules loose.
Talk to locals whose kids are on the net about privacy—is it a concern? Talk to kids about it too. Maybe even make a sidebar of tips "what to tell your kids not to do online."
October 20, 1999
Filtered Internet Services Reach More Religious Groups
By PAMELA MENDELS
Evangelical Christian groups were quick to embrace filtered Internet service providers, which block access to pornography and other troublesome online material for their subscribers. Now two companies are launching filtered ISPs aimed at Roman Catholics.
This week, Catholic Online, an eight-year-old company based in Bakersfield, Calif., that provides Web hosting and other services to Catholic organizations and schools, plans to add filtered Internet access to its product line. And next month, Catholic Families Network is expected to make its debut. It is the first major project of a New York City start-up called iConnect.com, which builds Web sites and provides Internet service for special-interest groups.
Could do a profile on the Bakersfield-based Catholic Online.
October 19, 1999
Alliance Entertainment Acquires Digital On-Demand
LOS ANGELES - Alliance Entertainment Corp., one of the biggest distributors of compact disks and video cassettes, said Monday it had acquired Digital on-Demand Inc., giving it a foothold in delivering digital music into retail stores.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Alliance's parent, closely held Yucaipa Cos., pledged to pump $70 million into the combined company to help fuel growth.
Many California companies have been merging as well—does this mean a loss of jobs or just more competitive companies, or both? Maybe talk to local CEOs as well as laid-off workers whose positions became redundant via buyout or merger.
October 18, 1999
Tax Returns of Charities to Be Posted on the Web
By DAVID CAY JOHNSTON
The detailed tax returns that charities file annually with the federal government are to be posted on the Internet beginning Monday, giving quick and easy access for the first time to comprehensive details on how charities use their money.
"This is, by far, the most important development ever in making charities accountable and making their finances transparent," said Virginia Hodgkinson, a founder of the National Center for Charitable Statistics in Washington, who spent two decades in an often lonely quest to make financial data on charities widely available.
Assuming our search for charity information on our states was worthwhile in any way, this is an important development for California citizens and charities alike.
It may seem like cheating, just looking in the tech section of NYT, but California is a leader in tech companies, and just about any internet/etc.-related article can be localized to California. Also, I read the tech section of NYT once and a while anyway.
Rincon Publishing. "California Grower Magazine." California Grower / California Vegetable Journal. Oct 1999. http://www.rinconpublishing.com/growersub.html (24 Oct 1999).
California Grower Magazine
From their site:
California Grower Magazine is the only magazine written exclusively for California permanent crop growers. Each issue contains timely features, opinion pieces, cultural tips from University of California farm advisors and departments devoted to improving productivity and profits for growers of grapes, citrus, stonefruit, apples & pears, avocados, almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans.
Though the text of the October issue is not online, there is a list of headlines and blurbs introducing each article. The introduction above seems to be fairly accurate—the publication has several top stories which are of more general interest, and is then broken down into sections specific to the type of crop (Nuts, Citrus, etc.). Many of the articles are written by CG staff and editors, but there are a number of pieces written by presidents of farm organizations and private companies. If I were a farmer in California, I would probably want this magazine.
InfoSpace.com, Inc. InfoSpace.com. 1999. http://www.infospace.com/info/index.htm (24 Oct 1999).
Midway Dr, Irvine, CA 93930
Since California is so huge, just about any government institution could be considered powerful. But because it is such a tech and media industry driven state, I thought it would be more interesting to dig up some dirt on one of the five largest corporations in California, Disney.
Walt Disney, Inc. "Disney Shopping." Disney.com. 23 Oct, 1999. http://disney.go.com/shopping/index.html?clk=Hp.nav.shop.fl (24 Oct 1999).
Disney sells clothing, collectibles, toys, games, videos, home and office products and vacations from its homepage. It also has a link to Disney Flowers at ftd.com and Disney Books at barnesandnoble.com, most based on its popular line of movies, cartoons and characters. A quick search on Amazon.com for books with the keyword "disney" turned up 1878 entries. According to the Annual Financials in my Figure IIB5iv, Disney reported $4,122,000,000 in finished goods in the fiscal year ending 9/30/1998.
In the spirit of the recent National Colloquium Speaker, however, I decided to look for Disney connections to sweatshops. What I found was interesting:
Copyright 1999 The Economist Newspaper Ltd.
All rights reserved
February 27, 1999, U.S. Edition
SECTION: Business, Finance and Science; BUSINESS; Pg. 62
LENGTH: 1364 words
HEADLINE: Business ethics. Sweatshop wars
Multinationals have greatly improved the working conditions in their Asian
factories. But they are still vulnerable to public-relations disasters
ONE of the gravest threats to the thousands of western firms that buy or make goods in China is located at an address in Hong Kong's Kowloon. A scrap of paper behind the door grille identifies the tiny flat as the Asia Monitor Resource Center, perhaps the most influential watcher of working conditions in mainland China.
Two of the centre's recent reports have been on Disney and on China's toy industry. The Disney report, released by the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee on February 24th, alleges that some workers making Disney products are forced to work up to 16 hours a day, seven days a week and are paid almost no overtime. In the report on toys, four of the 12 plants singled out for criticism are subcontractors to Mattel, the world's largest toy maker. What have come to be known as "sweatshop Barbie" assembly lines are accused of a range of abuses,
from long hours and low pay to hea infringements.
Without independent activists the world would know much less about working conditions in the developing world. Multinationals have often been linked to factories that are grim by first-world standards.Yet the best-known multinationals, which have brands that are particularly vulnerable to criticism, have improved of late. Disney and
Mattel have done more than most other firms to improve working conditions in their Asian plants (most of them contractors or licensees), that make products under their name. Both have codes of conduct. Disney has carried out 10,000 inspections to date; the independent panel Mattel has set up to monitor its factories is considered a model in the industry, even by activists.
Thanks to its inspections, Disney last year cut off the Guo Nian Garment Factory, one of the four that were accused of abuses this week. Tri-S, which Asia Monitor singles out as one of the worst of Matt-el's suppliers, had for months been on the firm's "watch list" of factories that risk losing their contracts unless they improve. Indeed, Tri-S had already corrected most of its faults. Mattel says it is the only firm in China that has won "Social Accountability 8000", a certificate of workplace standards that Asia Monitor itself calls for.
The research for both the critical reports was based largely on the accounts of a few workers, or ex-workers, from each factory, who are interviewed on street corners. Fearful of spooking the workers, researchers do not take notes during interviews, but try instead to memorise their remarks. Because researchers do not check allegations
with firms or see inside the factory, even simple errors can be reported as fact. Workers often say, for instance, that they are not paid overtime, because they do not know that it is lumped into their monthly pay. And since workers with a gripe, or those who have recently been fired or who have quit, are more likely to talk, the interviews
distort the perceived extent of abuse.
A similar approach is used throughout Asia. Labour and human-rights groups in Europe and America, such as Global Exchange, based in San Francisco, rely on Asian activists, whom they often refuse to identify (to protect them from persecution). Some observers are critical. Locals "usually don't have the resources or skills to do a
thorough analysis," says one USAID official in Indonesia who works with them. According to Don Douglas, who runs a health programme in Jakarta, "my impressions differ quite a bit from what I read from the critics. My sense is that a lot of this is driven by US groups with an axe to grind. They risk sacrificing jobs for perfection."
In codes we trust
Multinationals' scrutiny of their own plants has improved a lot. Codes of conduct, which set out the standards a multinational expects of its factories and contractors, have evolved from vague promises into detailed rules troubles of Nike, a firm making sports goods that fell foul of the activists in 1997, speeded up this transformation,
as other multinationals scrambled to avoid similar boycotts. The best codes now tend to be monitor auditors. Companies realise that merely making promises risks adding hypocrisy to the list of charges against them.
But credible enforcement is not easily achieved, because western consumers understandably put more faith in the campaigners than in the multinationals. So firms have backed business-minded groups to design and oversee codes of conduct. Social Accountability 8000 is an independent certificate awarded by the Council on Economic Priorities, an interest group based in New York. The Apparel Industry Partnership, a group put together by the White House that includes activists and apparel firms, agreed in November to create an industry-wide code, although some campaigners have pulled out.
Thanks to such initiatives, auditors are doing a brisk business. Price-wat-er-house-Coop-ers (PWC) and Ernst & Young are the two largest. Body Shop teamed up with KPMG in January to get into the "social auditing" business. Deloitte is busy too. Even Kroll, an American investigative firm, performs SA-8000 audits. Only 18 months ago
ethical audits were rare, says James Warren, a partner in PWC's office in Guangzhou, China. But last year PWC conducted 1,500 inspections in Guangdong province alone, and the call for them is growing.
Local activists sometimes play a role in audits. Nike, for example, has said it will allow them to inspect all its plants. At the same time, the firm has raised salaries of workers hurt by currency devaluation and is increasing the minimum working age to 18, as well as switching to less toxic glues and other chemicals. The third annual "Protest
Nike" day was supposedly staged last October; but, unlike in previous years, no demonstrators turned up at the Nike Town megastores. Da research associate for the Transnational Resource & Action Center who has been a critic of Nike's Vietnam factories, says that relations with the firm are much improved.
Mattel has also worked hard. Last year it set up a monitoring council, headed by Prakash Sethi, an academic, Murray Weid-en-baum, a former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and Paul McCleary, former head of UNICEF and Save the Children. Starting this month, it will pay independent auditors to
visit its own factories and, eventually, those of its suppliers. Local activists will interview workers at the plants. Mattel will publish the findings, along with their responses and plans for improvement. Each factory will receive at least three visits a year.
The process is neither cheap nor easy (Mattel already has 60 of its people working on the programme, and the independent auditors will employ several times that number), but the company reckons that, as the largest toy maker, it is vulnerable to a Nike-like scandal. As Mr Sethi points out, even a modest boycott around Christmas would probably cost the company far more than its compliance programme.
Yet even the best corporate-ethics programme will not end complaints about cheap labour. Multinationals make things in Asia because wages are meagre by western standards--from $ 3 a day to as little as 30 cents. Although most factories have no shortage of applicants, that is not good enough for such activists as Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange. She wants a "fair living wage", which she defines as one that will support half the worker's family.This is hard to define. In expensive Guangdong, for instance, a worker's earnings would not support half a family, but many workers come from the Chinese interior and back home they would.
Yesterday it was child labour and prisoners. Today it is long hours and low pay. In future battles, activists may have stronger arguments. But whatever scandals they uncover, real improvements will come only if there is clearer thinking and better research--on both sides.
Copyright 1997 U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report
July 14, 1997
SECTION: BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY; Pg. 45
LENGTH: 1427 words
HEADLINE: It's a divisive world after all
BYLINE: By Betsy Streisand; William Holstein
Under attack, Disney struggles to preserve its wholesome image
Attention job hunters: The Walt Disney Co. is looking for a corporate communications director. This "savvy individual," said an ad that ran recently in the Wall Street Journal, must, among other things, be able to "read between the lines" and "keep the company's core values in the eyes of shareholders and the general public." The right person for the position, according to Disney sources, could easily earn six figures.
Not long ago, keeping Disney's "core values" in front of the public might have been considered an undemanding job. But that was before the entertainment giant extended health benefits to the live-in partners of gay employees, prompting thousands of Southern Baptists to stage a boycott. It was before labor activists accused the company of using Haitian and Vietnamese sweatshops to manufacture its cute and cuddly merchandise (a charge it denies); before its Miramax Films unit released Priest, about a gay Roman Catholic cleric, and Trainspotting, about heroin addiction; before it tried to build a "historical" theme park next to a Civil War battleground; before it infuriated shareholders by rewarding its short-lived president, Michael Ovitz, with $ 100 million plus for one of the biggest
belly-flops in business history; and before it became the parent of ABC, home of Ellen, the sitcom that turned into a yearlong lesbian-coming-out party.
Disney may be the world's No. 2 entertainment company behind Time Warner. But because Americans seem to expect this company, above all others, to reflect their values, Disney is the No. 1 target for culture critics, the religious right, and activists defending everything from wild animals to Arab traditions. The latest attack is from the National Federation of the Blind, which urged Disney to halt production of a new Mr. Magoo movie on grounds that the myopic cartoon character is repugnant to blind people.
By now, Disney has learned to live with boycotts and protesters--which mostly means ignoring them publicly, then quietly making concessions after the flap dies down. Soon after the Priest controversy, for instance, a prominent Jesuit priest was appointed to the Disney board. And so far, protesters have generated lots of publicity but have had little impact on Disney's fortunes.
But that could change. "Right now, these are perception issues, but they could become bottom-line issues," says Tom Wolzien, entertainment analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein. Time Warner learned that lesson in 1995, when the controversy surrounding its gangsta rap label forced the firm to sell off its highly profitable stake in Interscope Records.
At the very least, the growing number of activists and conservative groups disgruntled with Disney underscores a difficult challenge facing the company, whose revenues are expected to reach $ 22 billion this year. For Disney to increase its earnings by 15 percent a year, which CEO Michael Eisner wants and Wall Street expects, it must
continue expanding into more lines of business. At the same time, the company must safeguard the wholesome image that is both the core of its identity and the source of its market strength. Parents looking for shortcuts in an increasingly crowded and complex entertainment world regard Disney as a trustworthy marker; it is a reputation
the company must not squander.
Yet even Eisner concedes that avoiding mishaps on all fronts is nearly impossible. "A company this big just can't monitor everything all the time," he said in an interview. "Some things are going to slip through the cracks." The latest row involved The Great Milenko, an obscenity-laced rap album by Insane Clown Posse, produced by
Disney's struggling Hollywood Records. In late June, just hours after the disk was released, Eisner broke music-industry precedent and recalled 100,000 CDs from stores. (Company spokesmen deny the move was connected to the Baptist boycott.)
Like other big firms with well-known brands, Disney is consumed with expanding its core businesses through "synergystic" brand extension, or putting the company logo where it seems to fit. So, the Disney Stores begat the Disney Gallery, retail outlets aimed at older consumers and Disney collectors; and the theme-park franchise will get a boost with Disney's Animal Kingdom, the largest park yet, due next year in Florida.
Disney is no longer just a brand or even a brand family. It has become a fully integrated brand dynasty, with nearly limitless possibilities for cross-promotion and growth. "If you don't have synergy, you have nothing but new products," says Eisner, noting that 90 percent of the company's $ 1.8 billion annual profit comes from the Disney brand. "If you have synergy, it goes on and on."
Everyone knows the mouse. An internal company study commissioned by Ovitz in 1995 during his brief tenure shows that any given Disney project, whether a new movie or a new cruise line, has the ability to catch the attention of Americans up to 425 million times in a three-month period through the company's theme parks, stores, films, TV programs, videos, games, and music or on the Internet. And that's without promotion on ABC, and before Disney pays a cent for advertising.
Strong brands benefit from what's known as the "multiplier effect," a kind of mutual reinforcement mechanism by which the Disney name, for example, strengthens everything that carries it and all that is carried by it strengthens the Disney name. Disney boosts The Lion King and The Lion King boosts Disney. Even better, the multiplier seems limited mostly to positive reinforcement, meaning successes are enhanced by their connections to strong brands and missteps are often less damaging than they might otherwise be.
That goes for products as well as PR problems. When Wolzien's brokerage conducted focus groups with conservative Christians around the time of the Priest flap to determine the threat to Disney's bottom line, many were very outspoken in their discontent with the company. "Yet, when forced to choose between their moral
convictions and depriving their kids of the Disney experience, Disney won out," says Wolzien, largely because of the strength of the Disney family franchise and the fact that parents could separate Miramax, the studio behind Priest, from Disney's mainstream offerings.
Maintaining a distinct identity is why Disney years ago created a separate unit for Touchstone Pictures, whose films are aimed at adults. (The Walt Disney Studios produce only G-rated movies.) Miramax, the "independent" studio behind Trainspotting and Pulp Fiction, makes its connections to the Magic Kingdom known only during Oscar season.
Separating the businesses that do not fit the image of family entertainment won't prevent disgruntled consumers or interest groups from making the connection. But by steadily increasing the size of Disney's brand-name ventures in relation to its other businesses, the company hopes to prevent its inevitably well-publicized missteps from doing much lasting damage. This strategy isn't likely to reduce another potential threat to the company's image: The growing impression that Disney is swallowing the culture whole.
Disney must manage its growth carefully. "If it's possible to have magic as a core value, Disney does, and they're losing it," says Marianne Jennings, director of the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics at Arizona State University. "You simply can't continue at their growth rate without compromising your values." Eisner is aware that on bigness grounds alone, the company has put itself at a certain risk. "Being this big is absolutely the downside of the upside," he says. "But the Disney name is only good because we keep making products that are excellent."
Give that man a job in corporate communications.
The bold is mine, articles from:
Reed Elseveir Inc. Lexis Nexis Academic Universe Home Page. 11 Oct 1999. http://web.lexis-nexis.com/universe (11 Oct 1999).
Two things jumped out at me: the alleged connection to sweatshops and the perceived strength of the Disney brand on products. The Economist article seems to confirm the sweatshop connections, and there’s a fair amount of background as well. The U.S. News and World Report piece gives a good impression of just how huge Disney is, and what prompts much of their decision making—growth and image maintenance.
The Economist article gives an optimistic view of Disney’s sweatshop operations—10,000 inspections already, etc. I also found this, from:
Co-op America. "Sweatshop Victories." Sweatshops: Resources. 2 July 1999. http://www.coopamerica.org/sweatshops/ssvictories.htm (24 Oct 1999).
Walt Disney Shareholder Meeting, February 23, 1999 Disney
shareholders pressed the company on the use of sweatshops and
labor rights. A resolution asking for a report from Disney on
implementation of their Code of Conduct, urging the use of
independent monitors and paying a living wage received 100
million shares. As a response to shareholder activism Disney has
agreed to conduct a human rights/labor audits at their 15,000
contractor factories and to strengthen and make public their Code
More recent and perhaps even more promising. As for continual growth, the Income Statement table of Figure IIB5iv shows an increase in net sales or revenue over the past three years.
Morrison, Jason. "California." My Brain. 3 Nov 1999. (3 Nov 1999).
Over the course of my research it has been pretty easy to pick out some issues California and its people are very concerned about. Some include: technology and industry, the environment, healthcare, multiculturalism/immigration, disaster management, and poverty/welfare.
Study Contests Micro-Lenders' Effectiveness
By MARLA DICKERSON, LEE ROMNEY, Times Staff Writers
Micro-lending programs reach a "tiny" number of the low-income entrepreneurs they
target and are burdened by operational inefficiencies, a three-year USC research
project has found.
A report on the findings, titled "Microcredit Programs in the U.S.: The Challenges of
Outreach and Sustainability," will be presented at a public policy conference in
Washington on Friday and published in this month's issue of the Harvard Business
Micro-lending programs have quadrupled in number over the last eight years and
gained popularity among policymakers as community development tools. Programs lend between $500 and $25,000 to spur small-business development. They generally target low-income individuals with the notion that entrepreneurship is a path out of poverty.
The USC study stresses that some micro-credit programs are indeed effective, but it
aims a harsh critique at them overall. Programs examined by researchers made an
average of just 25 loans per year--implying that only 10,000 borrowers are served
yearly nationwide--and most programs had difficulty finding credit-worthy applicants.
Many borrowers were not living below the poverty line and so did not demonstrate the
greatest need, the study found.
Furthermore, more than 30% of programs that were lending in 1996 had gone out
of business two years later, and the "vast majority" were dependent on external
subsidies. Recruiting by many programs was weak, they were slow to disburse funds,
and criteria to determine credit-worthiness were too conventional, the study found.
"We need to be cautious about advocating more loan programs--something that the
development community and policymakers have fallen in love with," said Nitin Bhatt,
executive director of USC's Business Expansion Network and the study's lead author.
"The money is [already] there. We have to figure out why the money is not being used."
Bhatt, public policy assistant professor Gary Painter and public policy associate
professor Shui-Yan Tang examined 16 California micro-credit programs, interviewed
300 Los Angeles-area micro-entrepreneurs and reviewed national studies highlighting
the industry's successes.
The U.S. industry was modeled 15 years ago on the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh.
That Third World program, along with Accion International in Latin America and BRI
Unit Desas in Indonesia, has seen near-perfect repayment rates by poor residents, who are traditionally considered terrible credit risks.
But many early micro-credit programs here failed to take into account competitive
pressures, higher costs, the need for business training and other complexities of the U.S. economy…
Dickerson, Marla. "Study Contests Micro-Lenders' Effectiveness." Los Angeles Times. 3 Nov 1999. http://www.latimes.com/business/19991103/t000099721.html. (3 Nov 1999).
California has long been a pioneer in welfare/anti-poverty programming, and it’s not hard to understand why. With large, sprawling cities like Los Angeles and San Diego comes a great deal of urban poverty and the constant influx of people—from farmers fleeing the dust bowl in the 1930s to often poor Mexicans today—California has had motivation to try new ways of dealing with the problem. Micro-loan programs are one of the newer ideas, and this study suggests that it has not worked out as well as the state had hoped. It’s interesting to note that the U.S. programs were modeled after more successful foreign ones.
Now He's a Fearsome Force for Education
Former Ram great Deacon Jones is offering kids 'a way out' with scholarships and other programs offered by his charitable foundation.
By DIANE PUCIN
Deacon Jones loves football. As a player, he loved the hitting and the sweat, the
feeling of his helmet settling hard into the stomach of some poor quarterback.
Deacon Jones loves having been part of the Fearsome Foursome and the Los
For it was football that got Jones out of the sweaty fields of central Florida, away
from the dead-end, segregated town of his childhood, away from poverty and
hopelessness, away from despair and uselessness. Football is why Jones lives with
Elizabeth, his wife, on top of a hill overlooking Anaheim, where he can look down on
birds drifting lazily in the sky.
And it is football, and the money it paid Deacon Jones and the fame it gave Deacon
Jones, that has allowed him to start the Deacon Jones Foundation.
And it is because of the Deacon Jones Foundation that a couple of 10th graders
from Inglewood go to school every day, study hard every afternoon and sleep well
every night knowing there will be a college scholarship for them and that there is
nothing, absolutely nothing they can't do or be.
The idea to help young men and women built momentum in Jones' head, relentlessly,
powerfully, until it exploded into this work Jones says he wants to do for the rest of his
life. Kind of the way it was when Jones aimed his body at a quarterback.
Jones knew what it was like to grow up poor and without goals. "If it wasn't for
football, I had no way out," Jones says. He is sitting on the deck of his home, shoes off, eyes scanning the surrounding hills. "I know what it's like to be a kid and to have no dreams. I didn't know anything but football because that's all there was for me to
So Jones wants it to be different for kids now. "I want to do more than throw
money at a problem," he says. "I want to give more. My idea is to take kids and
introduce them to the world of dreams. I want to take these 10th graders and in seven
years show them what they can be in the world."
Nancy Sanchez, shy and smart, the oldest of six children whose family shares an old
three-bedroom, one-bathroom house with another family of four children, and Gregg
Taylor, engaging and smart, the oldest son of a single mother, are the foundation's first scholarship recipients.
The foundation works like this: It finds companies willing to "adopt" a particular
geographic region and fund two $100,000 scholarships. The scholarship winners get a computer, a $2,500 stake in the stock market and a trip to a Morgan Stanley Dean
Witter office in Beverly Hills, where volunteer investment counselors teach them how to invest their money. They also will get job training and introductions to CEOs through internships.
And then, as they graduate from high school, assuming that they have stayed out of
trouble, assuming they have kept up their grades and their commitment to doing
volunteer work in their community, Sanchez and Taylor will be given scholarships to the colleges of their choice…
Pucin, Diane. "Now He's a Fearsome Force for Education." Los Angeles Times. 29 Oct 1999. http://www.latimes.com/editions/orange/sports/19991029/t000098215.html. (3 Nov 1999).
Welfare programs have been criticized in the past for two reasons this article brings up: first, that it’s a misuse of public money, and second, that the government is merely "throwing money at the problem." The program this article profiles is immune to either of those criticisms. Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Anaheim have been criticized for building multi-million dollar sports venues while schools crumble. It’s interesting to see an athlete for the local football team attempt to give back to the community.
Cal Living: School official returns to the 'hood' to do good
SHERRY PARMET, The (Riverside County)
(11-03) 10:28 PST SAN BERNARDINO,
Calif. (AP) -- Ray Culberson calls it working the crowd.
As assistant principal at Pacific High School, he easily slips into his routine -- rapping a few lyrics with students, shaking hands, eyes darting back and forth taking inventory over the din of the campus quad during lunch.
``Hey dude, I'm glad you showed up to detention,'' he calls out to one teen. They knock fists, then shake hands.
He pauses by a bleached-blonde with a pierced chin.
``I didn't give you permission to do that,'' he tells her. She smirks.
One student sidles up to Culberson in a hushed voice to report that a rival gang member might be ``packing'' a weapon.
Culberson says that on a San Bernardino campus where black, Hispanic, white and Asian gangs rove, he would be a fool to box himself up in an office during lunch.
Culberson, 39, speaks from personal experience.
He climbed out of a life on the streets of San Bernardino as a drug dealer and a thief. A brother and some cousins went to prison.
He took another path -- college.
``I still can't believe I'm an assistant principal,'' he said. ``It makes me laugh. It's the biggest joke of all jokes. Even today I feel like I'm living in two different worlds.''
Culberson said his past connects him to the world his students come from. By sharing his own experiences, he hopes to rouse them out of their cycle of poverty and delinquency.
Freshman Brandy Cromwell said she's never met a school administrator quite like this one…
Parmet, Sherry. "Cal Living: School official returns to the 'hood' to do good." SF Gate: San Francisco Chronicle Homepage. 3 Nov 1999. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/1999/11/03/state1328EST0027.DTL. (3 Nov 1999).
With so many laws, academic studies, and political rhetoric about poverty and the inner city, it may be easy to forget that these are people. Culberson seems to be one of the people working to solve problems from the inside, not through legislation, but education—and not just by throwing money, but by relating to his students on a more personal level.
According to the homepage, the web site was created and is maintained by Kevin Starr, the Stephen P. Teale Data Center and the California State Home Team. Starr is the State Librarian and his email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Because I wasn’t sure exactly how involved he was with the day-to-day operation of the site, I instead sent this mail to the General Comments link on the state homepage, email@example.com
From: Jason Morrisonpjmorris@cc.owu.edu
Subject: California State Project
I'm a student at Ohio Wesleyan and for a class I've put together a 50-page report on
California--and all of the information was found on the Internet. All sources are cited.
Would you like to take a look at it? I think you ay find it interesting-I've found a number of
resources not on your site.
Let me know.
As of today (3 Nov 1999) I have not received a reply.