Colleagues Mourn the Death of Labor Leader Miguel Contreras

Colleagues mourned the death of local labor leader Miguel Contreras, a champion of workers who was also known as a "king maker" for his ability to get out the union vote for political candidates, the KABC Web site reported. Contreras, who was secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, an umbrella organization that represents 345 local unions, died Saturday night at Daniel Freeman Hospital in Inglewood after suffering an apparent heart attack. He was 52. From his work with Cesar Chavez and the fledgling United Farm Workers to his rise to heading the local labor federation, Contreras strived to improve the lives of working men and women.

Valley Area Statistics to Be Available Soon
This year, for the first time, state agencies will issue statistics that treat the San Fernando Valley as a city, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. Based on a bill that became law Jan. 1, state agencies that issue statistics with a city-by-city breakdown will have to count the Valley as the equivalent of its own city, with the first stats expected to be issued in the next month or two. Valley business leaders are eagerly awaiting the information, which they say will help them sell the region to potential developers and corporations looking to locate there.

Home Depot Center Growth Is Not All Smooth Sailing
A proposed $55 million expansion of the Home Depot Center sports facility in Carson is facing stinging criticism as it nears its expected approval by the California State University Board of Trustees, the Daily Breeze reported. The development that includes a 200-room conference center-hotel and restaurant would be built just north of the soccer stadium on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills, which as landlord will reap more than $1 million a year for the first four years. Academics at the school worry the expansion "detracts from the university's educational mission."

U.S. Average Gas Price Falls 3 Cents in 2 Weeks
The average price nationwide for all grades of gasoline fell 3 cents in two weeks, continuing a drop in pump prices that began last month, an industry analyst said Sunday. The average retail price for all three grades dropped 3.05 cents to $2.24 a gallon from April 22 to Friday, said Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the semimonthly Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations around the country. The most popular grade, self-serve regular, was priced at $2.21 a gallon, and customers paid $2.31 for mid-grade. Premium averaged $2.41 a gallon for the period, the Associated Press reported.

Hollywood Loses Anti-Piracy Battle
U.S. court has unanimously rejected an attempt by the Federal Communications Commission and major Hollywood studios to have compulsory anti-piracy technology built into all digital electronic devices. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled 3-0 that the FCC had overstepped its authority by insisting that the so-called "Broadcast Flag" technology should be mandatory. The system, backed by the FCC, would only allow programs to be recorded on hardware containing copy protection devices, and all devices built after July 1 would have to include the technology.

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