Categoria: Top Stories OCR

Why ‘unretirement’ Is Bringing Older Workers Back Into The Workplace

Q. I happily retired two years ago as a senior manager of a manufacturing company. Given my work ethic and commitment, several friends asked if I was planning to go back to work. My answer was, “Definitely no. There is a lot more to life than news, weather and sports.” My friends were surprised by my answer. Was their question unusual? And am I atypical? B.J.

You are not atypical. Millions of retirees in the U.S. are happy with their decision to retire and leave the work arena.

However, your friends’ question is not unusual given the increased popularity of the relatively new term called “unretirement.” It simply refers to people who are retired and decide to go back to work in a field that is familiar or unfamiliar to them. 

Unretirement recently has been popularized by football player Tom Brady. On February 1, 2022, at age 44 Brady retired and then unretired on March 13 of the same year. One year later, Brady retired once again, and as of March 7, he was sticking with it. Granted, Brady is not your usual retiree. However, he is a good example of the growing unretirement trend. 

 According to an NBC broadcast on May 5, 2023, “Unretirement is becoming a hot new trend in the sizzling U.S. labor market.” Several factors are contributing to this trend: a thriving market where retirees have lots of choices, inflation that can create uncertainty about financial security and a volatile stock market. Then, there are always the uncertainties of COVID-19 and its impact. 

For many, working is not only about money. It can provide a structure to one’s day, opportunities for social contact and a sense of purpose. Note, having a sense of purpose is one of the characteristics of the longest-lived people in Okinawa. They call it “ikigai,” a reason to get up in the morning. 

For many, retirement is a time for choices and options. It’s personal. Yet retirement has been referred to as a roleless role, a position where no one expects anything from you. Work can fill that vacuum. It can provide opportunities to create, convene, produce, help, support, grow and just have a place to show up.

Award-winning journalist and author Chris Farrell devotes his entire book on the subject with this title: “Unretirement: How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life” (Bloomsbury Press, 2014). Farrell writes, “Welcome to unretirement, a revolution in the making. He writes, “We are reimagining the last third of life building on a better educated, healthier workforce that can continue to earn an income well into the traditional retirement years.” As a qualifier, he acknowledges that not all retirees are sufficiently healthy to be part of this unretirement movement. 

Currently, 3.2 percent of retirees have unretired, which is close to where it was before the pandemic. One out of six retirees is considering a return to work. About half have unretired because of financial need, nearly half because of boredom; slightly less than half report loneliness as their motivation. 

The U.S. is not the only industrialized nation that recognizes this unretirement phenomenon. It has emerged in New Zealand and Japan as well as Poland, Italy and Ireland. 

In general, America is a work-oriented society with workers putting in more hours than their counterparts in many other industrialized countries. The Protestant work ethic remains strong. 

The French seem to value their time in retirement by not working. As the French Senate voted to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64, more than one million workers went on strike nationwide. A New York Times article of March 8, 2023, captured a sentiment about their outlook on retirement. A money manager in Paris is quoted as saying, “Life is not just about working; there is a time for work and then a time for personal development.” Others add, “There is a vision in France that working time is time waiting to be able to enjoy life” while another added, “People shouldn’t wait for retirement to have liberty.” 

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators are discussing raising the age for Social Security to age 70. If that becomes policy, will we react similarly to the French? 

Thank you, B.J., for your good question. Enjoy your retirement knowing that unretirement can be an option. And as a reminder, know that kindness is everything. 

Helen Dennis is a nationally recognized leader on issues of aging and the new retirement with academic, corporate and nonprofit experience. Contact Helen with your questions and comments at Visit Helen at and follow her on

Season Review: USC Basketball Overachieves, Setting Up A Bright Future

For the second year in a row, USC’s season ended in the first round of the NCAA tournament, this time with a 72-62 loss to Michigan State.

It was a disappointing loss for the Trojans, given that their own offensive shortcomings played a major role in the defeat. But entering the season there was no guarantee this was even a tournament team. Only Drew Peterson and Boogie Ellis were key rotation pieces a year ago, and the Trojans had to rely on many untested freshmen and sophomores.

Only the team dynamic worked, and the young Trojans developed into some valuable role players.

Reese Dixon-Waters was Pac-12 Sixth Man of the Year with his ability to score and defend off the bench. Kobe Johnson led the conference in steals and shot 36% from 3-point range. Tre White showed flashes as someone who can create his own shot. Joshua Morgan was an intimidating rim protector. Vincent Iwuchukwu had moments on offense when he was healthy enough to play. Kijani Wright developed into a reliable defender.

Which means, moving forward, all the pieces are in place to play around the dynamic force that is joining the team next year. We’ll touch more on him in a moment, but this season could end being looked at as a springboard to greater success in a year.

Highlights Two top-25 home wins over Auburn and UCLA certainly rank near the top of the list. So does a sweep of the Mountain road trip, something the Trojans never take for granted. And overcoming a season-opening loss to Florida Gulf Coast to finish tied for second in the Pac-12 was certainly an achievement. But the aforementioned player development will likely be the lasting legacy of this USC season.

Lowlights It has to be the way the season ended. Losing to Arizona with outright second place on the line, almost blowing senior day to Arizona State only to come out completely flat in the Pac-12 tournament opener to the Sun Devils was bad enough. But that trend of slow starts and offensive droughts followed USC to Columbus as the Trojans shot 34.4% from the floor in the second half against Michigan State.

Who’s gone Peterson is graduating, while Ellis has made clear he intends to forgo his fifth season of eligibility and declare for the NBA draft. The pair did an admirable job leading these young Trojans as captains this season.

Though he had a tendency to be streaky, Peterson was always capable of stuffing a stat sheet in multiple ways. And he fought through back spasms over the course of the last three weeks of the season, refusing to miss a game despite his obvious discomfort.

Ellis’ blossoming into a true playmaker was one of the highlights of USC’s season. He arrived in Los Angeles in 2021 as a renowned scorer but an unbalanced game. But as his senior season progressed, he turned into a true point guard, impressing coaches and teammates with his decision making as he looked to make the right basketball play rather than just score.

Who’s on the fence There’s no Mobley brother weighing an NBA decision this spring. Most of USC’s contributors are expected to stay for next season, though it’s possible there are a couple players who opt to transfer and create scholarship spots for head coach Andy Enfield and his staff.

Who’s on the way The nation’s top overall recruit, point guard Isaiah Collier, should light the Galen Center up next season. He likes to push the tempo, running in transition and finishing with ferocious dunks. He has a smooth jumper and likes to drive to the rim with slippery moves. And most importantly, he is a true point guard who makes clever passes when his gravity inevitably pulls the defense in.

He’ll be joined by high school teammate and four-star center Arrinten Page. At 6-foot-9, Page is an athletic, high-flying big with impeccable chemistry with Collier. And four-star combo guard Silas Demary Jr. rounds out the recruiting class as a pure scorer.

As of now, all 13 scholarship slots are accounted for next year. But if anyone transfers out, USC would like to add another perimeter scorer who can create his own shot or a low post big who can take entry passes and find ways to score.

Trump Says He Expects To Be Arrested March 21, Calls For Protest

By Michelle L. Price

Donald Trump said he expects to be arrested Tuesday and called on supporters to protest as a New York grand jury investigates hush money payments to women who alleged sexual encounters with the former president. There is no evidence, however, that prosecutors have made any formal outreach to him.

In a Saturday morning post on his social media platform, Trump said he expected to be taken into custody as the Manhattan district attorney eyes charges in the investigation. Trump would be the first former president ever to be charged with a crime.

Trump’s post said “illegal leaks” from the office of prosecutor Alvin Bragg indicate that “THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK.”

Should Trump be indicted, he would be arrested only if he refused to surrender. Trump’s lawyers have previously said he would follow normal procedure, meaning he would likely agree to surrender at a New York Police Department precinct or directly to Bragg’s office.

There is no evidence that prosecutors have made any formal contact to warn Trump that he would be taken into custody. A Trump spokesperson said Saturday that “there has been no notification” of a pending arrest.

Danielle Filson of the district attorney’s office said prosecutors “will decline to confirm or comment” on questions related to Trump’s post, as well as potential charges. Trump’s lawyers, Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina, did not immediately return messages seeking comment about Trump’s post or the timing of a possible arrest.

Trump’s call for his supporters to protest that was especially jarring, evoking language that the then-president used shortly before the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

After a rally near the White House that morning, Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, breaking through doors and windows and leaving officers beaten and bloodied as they tried to stop the congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s White House election.

A statement from the Trump spokesperson said Trump’s Truth Social post was not based on any notification from prosecutors “other than illegal leaks” to the news media.

“President Trump is rightfully highlighting his innocence and the weaponization of our injustice system,” the statement said.

The indictment of Trump, 76, would be an extraordinary development after years of investigations into his business, political and personal dealings. It is likely to galvanize critics who say Trump, already a 2024 presidential candidate, lied and cheated his way to the top and to embolden supporters who feel the Republican is being unfairly targeted by a Democratic prosecutor.

In his social media post, Trump repeated his lies that the 2020 presidential election he lost to Biden was stolen and he urged his followers to “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”

Law enforcement officials in New York have been making security preparations for the possibility that Trump could be indicted. There has been no public announcement of any time frame for the grand jury’s secret work in the case, including any potential vote on whether to indict the ex-president.

Trump’s posting echoes one made last summer when he broke the news on Truth Social that the FBI was searching his Florida home as part of an investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents.

News of that search sparked a flood of contributions to Trump’s political operation, and on Saturday, Trump sent out a a fundraising email to his supporters that said the “MANHATTAN D.A. COULD BE CLOSE TO CHARGING TRUMP.”

The grand jury has been hearing from witnesses, including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who says he orchestrated payments in 2016 to two women to silence them about sexual encounters they said they had with Trump a decade earlier.

Trump denies the encounters occurred, says he did nothing wrong and has cast the investigation as a “witch hunt” by a Democratic prosecutor bent on sabotaging the Republican’s 2024 campaign.

Bragg’s office has apparently been examining whether any state laws were broken in connection with the payments or the way Trump’s company compensated Cohen for his work to keep the women’s allegations quiet.

Porn actor Stormy Daniels and at least two former Trump aides — onetime political adviser Kellyanne Conway and former spokesperson Hope Hicks — are among witnesses who have met with prosecutors in recent weeks.

Cohen has said that at Trump’s direction, he arranged payments totaling $280,000 to Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. According to Cohen, the payouts were to buy their silence about Trump, who was then in the thick of his first presidential campaign.

Cohen and federal prosecutors said Trump’s company paid him $420,000 as reimbursement for the $130,000 payment to Daniels and to cover bonuses and other supposed expenses. The company classified those payments internally as legal expenses. The $150,000 payment to McDougal was made by the then-publisher of the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer, which kept her story from coming to light.

Federal prosecutors agreed not to prosecute the Enquirer’s corporate parent in exchange for its cooperation in a campaign finance investigation that led to charges against Cohen in 2018. Prosecutors said the payments to Daniels and McDougal amounted to impermissible, unrecorded gifts to Trump’s election effort.

Cohen pleaded guilty, served prison time and was disbarred. Federal prosecutors never charged Trump with any crime.

In addition to the hush money probe in New York, Trump faces separate criminal investigations in Atlanta and Washington over his efforts to undo the results of the 2020 election.

A Justice Department special counsel has also been presenting evidence before a grand jury investigating Trump’s possession of hundreds of classified documents at his Florida estate. It is not clear when those investigations will end or whether they might result in criminal charges, but they will continue regardless of what happens in New York, underscoring the ongoing gravity – and broad geographic scope – of the legal challenges confronting the former president.

Associated Press writers Colleen Long and Eric Tucker in Washington and Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this report.

Gardening: These Orchids Can Be Grown Outdoors In Southern California

Orchids are commonly thought of as delicate plants for indoor use, yet there are at least three species that can readily be grown outdoors in Southern California. There are an additional four species I have observed thriving outdoors on separate occasions, although I cannot vouch for their general suitability for outdoor growing in our area.

Cymbidium: Locally, this is the best orchid for growing outdoors in containers. I recently received a photo of a glorious cymbidium orchid growing in a container in Huntington Beach. The photo was taken six years after its caretaker, Janet Guillen, divided an orchid she inherited when her mother passed away. She had split the original plant in two, planted the divisions in Miracle-Gro Potting Mix in medium-sized containers, and situated them on a patio sheltered from direct sun.  

Cymbidium orchid in Huntington Beach. (Photo courtesy of Janet Guillen) When I asked Guillen what she does in terms of maintenance, she replied, “I just water them,” but also wanted to know what to do going forward since roots were growing through the bottom of her pots. Many orchid species, and cymbidiums in particular, flower at their maximum potential when crowded. In the case of cymbidiums, roots can be growing over the side of the pot or through drainage holes and continue to bloom heavily for many, many years. 

There is a great temptation to repot when roots are not confined to the interior of the pot, but you need to be aware that should you divide your plant, you may have to wait several years until you see flowers again. In nature, cymbidiums may be either epiphytes (tree dwellers), lithophytes (meaning they grow on rocks), or terrestrial (meaning they grow directly in the earth). There are also miniature cymbidiums that grow as small as eight inches tall with tiny flowers to match. 

Interestingly enough, if you keep Cymbidiums exclusively indoors, they will never bloom. According to Tony Glinskas of Huntington Beach, who is a member of the Cool Growing Orchid Society of Orange County, “Cymbidiums must have about a 20-degree Fahrenheit change in temperature between day and night in the fall or flower spiking will not occur. I have seen cymbidiums bloom in Hawaii only because they truck them up to the high mountains for a few days to get that temperature spread.” 

Glinskas adds that “most orchids require more light, humidity, and temperature variation than we normally have in our homes.” The one exception is the ubiquitous moth orchid (Phalaenopsis), seen wherever indoor plants are sold. Its temperature range for growth resembles that of human beings (a constant 60-85 degrees) although it will need 10-12 hours of daily light exposure to bloom the way it should. 

When I first visited the unforgettable garden of Richard Lynch in San Pedro, large clumps of cymbidiums planted in the ground had burst into bloom. Speaking with him the other day, he tells me that due to the many different cymbidium cultivars that he grows, he sees a steady show of cymbidium flowers starting in November and continuing at least through the month of March.

Epidendrum: I first encountered this plant, known as reed orchid due to its slender stems, growing in a large flower bed in Granada Hills that faced south but backed up to the facade of a house. It has been my experience that walls have a moderating influence on extreme temperatures where plant growth is concerned. This was definitely the case here although these orchids are known for growing in both full sun, which may turn their stems red, and partial shade. 

Epidendrums make excellent container plants as well and, like cymbidiums, bloom in a wide range of colors including yellow, orange, red, burgundy, bronze, pink, lavender, purple, and white. Inflorescences consist of clusters of small, star-shaped blooms. I have encountered Epidendrums – whether growing in the ground or in containers – throughout the San Fernando Valley, and all points south of there. They spread vegetatively through underground rhizomes.

Bletilla: Known as Chinese ground orchid or simply hardy orchid due to its cold tolerance down to 25 degrees, this is a carefree terrestrial orchid that is highly suitable for use as a ground cover, proliferating through its aggressive rhizomes, and I once saw a front yard in Sherman Oaks that had been completely overtaken by it. Flowers are fuchsia, purple, or white, and resemble diminutive versions of Cattleya or corsage orchids.

Oncidium: Its common name of dancing ladies refers to the form of its small yellow flowers that are studded in great profusion along its stems. I once saw this orchid growing in a container under an arbor in Thousand Oaks.

Zygopetalum: Planted in the ground, I witnessed the purple flowers of this most fragrant of all orchids and enjoyed their scent as it wafted through the San Pedro garden previously mentioned. This orchid’s caretaker informed me that it blooms on and off throughout the year.

Dendrobium: I was privileged to encounter pink rock orchid (Dendrobium kingianum) in a small backyard planter in Westwood. Its delicate blooms were quite enchanting. 

Laelia: Closely resembling cattleyas, with which they freely hybridize, there are cold-tolerant cultivars that grow outdoors as far north as San Francisco. My first encounter with a Laelia was when I saw a dazzling specimen vining up the trunk of a large cycad in Glendale. 

You are invited to tell me about your orchid-growing experience so I can share it with readers of this column.

A musical version of “The Secret Garden” is now playing at the Ahmanson Theatre, located in The Music Center in downtown Los Angeles. This is a classic story of personal transformation, as well as achieving family peace, through the restoration of a garden. Performances will continue through March 28th and tickets are available online at

Manzanita Arctostaphylos densiflora var. Howard McMinn.(Photo by Joshua Siskin) California native plant of the week: I am astonished each year at the spectacular bloom of my manzanita, a plant that never gets any attention from me except when I gaze or gawk, glare or stare at it. Each year, it blooms with more flowers than the year before and it has been doing this for the past two decades. 

I am privileged to have planted Arctotsaphylos densiflora ‘Howard McMinn,’ a variety second to none when its abundant bloom and symmetrical form are considered. It is slowly approaching its ultimate size when height and girth will reach eight feet. 

Alas, I have never seen the fruit (manzanita means “little apple” in Spanish) for which this plant is named. There can only be one explanation for this: the native bees responsible for causing vibrations that move pollen to stigma – which is needed for fruit and seed development – are not present in this part of California when this manzanita is in bloom. 

With all manzanitas, these native bees grasp hold of the flowers and through “buzz pollination” or sonication dislodge pollen, allowing it to move down the flower, an inverted urn, until it rests on a stigma. This same phenomenon happens with the flowers of blueberry bushes, which are relatives of manzanita and prove this relationship with urn-shaped flowers of their own. Manzanitas run the gamut when it comes to form with mat-like ground-hugging species, compact bushes, large shrubs and trees all included in the wide-ranging repertoire of the Arctostaphylos genus.

Send questions, comments, and photos to

California Homeownership Hits 11-Year High But Still Nation’s 3rd Lowest

”Survey says” looks at various rankings and scorecards judging geographic locations while noting these grades are best seen as a mix of artful interpretation and data.

Buzz: The share of Californians living in their own home hit an 11-year high last year but the state’s homeownership rate is third-worst in the nation.

Source: My trusty spreadsheet analyzed state homeownership stats from the Census Bureau, looking at 2022’s average rate vs. the pre-pandemic 2010-19 average.

Topline California’s 55.3% average homeownership rate in 2022 was the state’s best since 2011 – but only Washington, D.C., at 42% and New York at 54% were lower.

The highest ownership rates in 2022 were found in West Virginia at 79%, then Wyoming at 75%, Minnesota at 75%, Maine at 75% and Delaware at 75%.

And what of California’s economic rivals? Texas was No. 45 at 64%, while Florida was No. 31 at 67%.

Details The pandemic era’s low mortgage rates and increased urges for larger living spaces elevated ownership rates in many places

Look at California’s rate. It rose 0.6 percentage points vs. the pre-coronavirus 2010-19 average of 54.7%. That was the 16th-smallest rise nationally.

The biggest jump was seen in Rhode Island which rose 5.1 points to 65.9% vs. 60.8%. Then came Wyoming (up 4.3 points – 75.2% vs. 70.9%), Maryland (up 4.2 points – 71.9% vs. 67.6%), Iowa (up 3.9 points – 73.8% vs. 69.9%) and Nevada (up 3.9 points – 60.3% vs. 56.4%).

Let’s also note that 10 states saw falling homeownership.

The largest drops were in Connecticut (down 2.4 points – 64.8% vs. 67.2%), Massachusetts (down 1.6 points – 61.2% vs. 62.8%), Ohio (down 1.6 points – 66% vs. 67.6%), New Jersey (down 0.8 points – 64.2% vs. 65%) and North Carolina (down 0.7 points – 65.9% vs. 66.6%).

Texas ownership grew 0.6 points – 63.6% vs. 63%, 34th best, while Florida increased 1.2 points – 67.3% vs. 66.1%, No. 25.

Bottom line Boosting homeownership is a complex issue, but in some ways, it’s simple and mostly tied to prices.

Look what we see when my spreadsheet sliced the states into thirds based on their homeownership ranking.

The 17 states with the highest ownership averaged 73.7% in 2022. That rate was up 1.9 percentage points vs. 2010-19. And the average home values in these states, using Zillow data, ran $287,400.

The 17 states with the lowest ownership averaged 61.7% last year, up 0.8 points vs. 2010-19. Homes there cost $437,500.

So, in the places where homes cost one-third less, homeownership runs one-fifth higher.

Jonathan Lansner is the business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at

Jonathan Lansner | Business columnist Jonathan Lansner has been the Orange County Register’s business columnist since 1997 and has been part of the newspaper’s coverage of the local business scene since 1986. He is a past national president of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing and a 1979 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

USC’s Offense Disappears In NCAA Tournament Loss To Michigan State

COLUMBUS — Perhaps this was the way it was always meant to end. A USC men’s basketball team whose offense had a penchant for disappearing for vast stretches of games, vanishing at the worst possible moment.

It’s something USC could get away with at times over the course of the season, but not Friday, as the 10th-seeded Trojans fell to seventh-seeded Michigan State 72-62 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

USC shot 11 for 32 from the floor in the second half. Eleven turnovers – eight in the second half – generated 16 Michigan State points. Leading scorers Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson combined to shoot 7 for 22 from the floor.

“This game did not go as planned in the second half,” Trojans head coach Andy Enfield said. “A lot of timely shot-making by Michigan State and some timely misses on our part.”

And somehow worse, with USC down nine with two minutes left, after Michigan State missed three consecutive front ends of one-and-one free throws, the Trojans (22-11) missed two jumpers and turned the ball over, netting zero points, as the opportunity for a comeback slipped away.

“When you’re trailing and you’re trying to figure it out and gauge trying to get 3s versus easier twos, it’s just something that’s part of the game,” Peterson said. “We tried to find the best shot possible.”

Not to say USC’s offensive woes began in the second half.

The Trojans quickly fell behind by 11, in part due to allowing Michigan State (20-12) to make 10 of 18 attempts with open looks. But the bigger problem for USC was its own shot selection.

USC missed nine of its first 12 attempts and 12 of its first 15 shots were jumpers. The Trojans were settling for long looks, including one 30-foot Ellis 3-pointer that left Enfield flabbergasted.

After averaging 25.8 points across the last six games of the regular season, Ellis never got comfortable against Michigan State. He was held to six points, his lowest point total since Dec. 7. And his five assists were offset by three turnovers.

“I let my teammates down today,” Ellis said. “I didn’t change my pace all year. I play with a great pace. But today I played a little bit too fast. So that’s on me.”

But USC found an unlikely first-half hero, as is so often the case in March.

Michigan State opted not to defend center Joshua Morgan when USC drove to the rim, instead deploying his man to double-team the ball handler. So USC started feeding Morgan. The center made a jumper and three layups, and USC was within three.

When Morgan returned to the bench during the ensuing MSU timeout, he could hardly stand up straight he was so out of breath. But that didn’t stop assistant coach Eric Mobley and freshman Vincent Iwuchukwu from mobbing him.

After the break, Ellis hit a floater – his first basket of the game, 17 minutes in – and Kijani Wright sank a free throw to tie it, and that’s how the Trojans and Spartans would enter halftime.

But USC again could not find enough energy to start the second half. The Trojans opened 2 for 8 from the field, while Michigan State made 7 of 11. USC went scoreless for three minutes while Tyson Walker, moments after injuring his elbow on an Ellis charge, found Joey Hauser for a 3, then drove in for a second-chance layup.

When Carson Cooper put back a miss for a two-handed dunk, Enfield called timeout with USC trailing 49-40.

A driving, one-handed dunk from Johnson stopped the bleeding, then a dump down from Dixon-Waters to an open Morgan for a dunk got USC within five again.

But USC suffered another scoring drought, this one four minutes long. USC missed five consecutive shots and turned the ball over three times, including a pass from Morgan out to the perimeter that A.J. Hoggard intercepted and took the distance for a layup.

So when USC fell behind by 15 as Michigan State hit back-to-back corner 3s, Jaden Akins bouncing up the court in celebration after the second. The large Spartan contingent at Nationwide Arena jumped about, too, sensing the win in hand.

Even when Johnson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to get within nine, Michigan State was able to survive not by hitting free throws but by grabbing the rebounds of USC’s repeated misses.

Unfortunately for USC, cold spells on offense were not an uncommon occurrence in losses this year. Asked if he needed to do a philosophical reevaluation of the USC offense this offseason, Enfield put the onus on his players.

“The scoring droughts are usually either you miss open shots or guys try to do too much on their own, one-on-one, instead of just moving the ball and spacing and cutting,” he said. “It is frustrating at times throughout the season. But for the most part our guys played the right way.”

But not enough to move on this March.

USC Seeks Sharp Start Vs. Michigan State In NCAA Tournament

COLUMBUS — USC’s last two playoff games have followed a similar pattern.

Last week in the Trojans’ Pac-12 tournament opener, USC fell behind Arizona State 8-0 and was never able to dig out of that hole.

Last year in the NCAA tournament, Miami jumped out to an 11-point lead as USC didn’t score its 20th point until there was 1:03 left in the first half. Despite Drew Peterson’s last-minute heroics, the Trojans could not weather the Hurricanes.

So as 10th-seeded USC prepares for this year’s NCAA tournament opener against seventh-seeded Michigan State on Friday at Nationwide Arena, the Trojans want to avoid a similar slow start that dooms their March dreams.

“As I told our players, this is what you play for. This is what you dream about as a young player growing up,” USC head coach Andy Enfield said. “You’re on the biggest stage and competing for a national championship. So they better be ready. I’m sure they will.”

This season has been one of exceeding expectations for these Trojans (22-10). Opening the season with a Quadrant IV loss to Florida Gulf Coast seemed to portend a rebuilding year, with Drew Peterson and Boogie Ellis the only returning starters and many freshmen and sophomores around them.

But USC won 11 of its next 12 games and built a résumé of wins over tournament teams Vermont, Auburn, UCLA and Arizona State. The Trojans played their typical brand of defense, Ellis blossomed as a playmaker and young wings Kobe Johnson, Reese Dixon-Waters and Tre White grew into their roles.

It was enough for the Trojans to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, their third consecutive appearance. Standing in the way – the Spartans (19-12).

This isn’t your typical Tom Izzo-coached team. Only a plus-three average rebounding margin, allowing opponents to shoot 45.0% from the floor. Only one real big man, Joey Hauser, who is a threat to score in the paint.

Instead, Michigan State has relied on guard play and 3-point shooting this season, reminding Ellis of Arizona State.

“Tyson Walker is an elite scorer. He can shoot it with range. Very quick,” Enfield said. “He’s one of their leaders. But they have a lot of other good players that complement what he does.”

The Spartans’ reliance on guards will play into undersized USC’s favor. The Trojans have typically played with one big on the court this season, with defensive stalwart Joshua Morgan starting and being relieved by Kijani Wright or Vincent Iwuchukwu.

Iwuchukwu has missed USC’s past two games with a back injury. Enfield described the freshman 7-footer’s condition as day to day Thursday. But during the Trojans’ public shootaround at Nationwide Arena, Iwuchukwu did not participate and instead watched from the sidelines in plaid USC pajama pants.

USC won’t have much to time to change out of its PJs on Friday. The Trojans’ tournament opener tips off just after noon in Ohio, or 9:15 a.m. in Los Angeles.

It’s a change of pace for USC after so many 8 p.m. starts this year, and another factor the Trojans will need to combat as they try to avoid another slow March start. But USC flew to Columbus on Tuesday to adjust to the new time zone and ensure it is ready for Friday.

“We knew it’s all about preparation going into a game like this. We’re prepared, getting good sleep, all that stuff,” Peterson said. “I think we’re the first game on Friday, so excited to be able to get that showcase slot.”

No. 10 USC vs. No. 7 Michigan State What: NCAA tournament first round

When: 9:15 a.m. Friday

Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus Arena


After Delay-Riddled 20 Months, Garcetti Confirmed By Divided Senate As US Ambassador To India

Former Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was finally confirmed by a split vote in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, March 15, to serve as the United States ambassador to India, 20 months after being nominated by President Joe Biden.

Garcetti, who was confirmed in a 52-42 vote, was nominated in July 2021, but his nomination languished for months in the Senate as some speculated that he knew, or should have known, about allegations of assault and sexual harassment committed by a former top aide to Garcetti.

Garcetti’s victory was far from a sure thing. With several Democratic defections arising on Wednesday morning, Garcetti’s fate rested with allying with Republicans in the deeply divided Senate.  He secured seven GOP votes to advance the nomination to a final vote.

The president “believes that we have a crucial and consequential partnership with India and that Mayor Garcetti will make a strong and effective ambassador,” White House spokesperson Olivia Dalton said after the vote.

A move by Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer to back Garcetti to become the ambassador to India came amid a rekindled campaign against Garcetti, who has repeatedly denied any knowledge of sexual harassment accusations against his former longtime confidante, Rick Jacobs.

The vacancy in the ambassadorship had created a significant diplomatic gap for the Biden administration at a time of rising global tensions, including China’s increasingly assertive presence in the Pacific region and Russia’s war with Ukraine.

Some who work in D.C. raised concerns that leaving the post vacant would send a message that the U.S. did not view relations with India to be important.

To be confirmed on Wednesday, Democrat Garcetti needed the support of some Republicans in the Senate.

Ahead of Wednesday’s vote, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine indicated that she would support Garcetti’s nomination.

“I met with him personally. He clearly has an enormous amount of expertise about India,” Collins said. “India’s been two years without an ambassador, and that is far too long. And I am going to support him.”

At issue over the past 20 months was whether Garcetti was aware of the alleged behavior of his longtime advisor, Jacobs.

A 2020 lawsuit filed by Los Angeles Police Department Officer Matthew Garza claims that Jacobs repeatedly harassed one of Garcetti’s police bodyguards. The suit alleges Garcetti witnessed the misconduct but turned a blind eye to it.

Garcetti’s former communications director, Naomi Seligman, also claimed she was forcibly kissed by Jacobs and that Garcetti knew about Jacobs’ alleged pattern of harassment.

Garcetti has denied allegations that he was aware of and dismissed Jacobs’ actions.

An investigation requested by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, last year concluded that it was “more probable than not” that Jacobs “sexually harassed multiple individuals and made racist comments towards others.” It also found it “extremely unlikely” that Garcetti was unaware of the behavior, saying that “by all accounts, Mayor Garcetti is very involved in the day-to-day operation of his office.”

Last spring, as his nomination languished, Garcetti’s parents actually hired a lobbyist to push for his confirmation. Months went by, and in January Biden re-nominated Garcetti, setting the path for his approval as the ambassador to India.

Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry Commerce Association, said immediately after Wednesday’s vote that he believes Garcetti is “the right person for the job.”

“He put a lot of effort into international affairs. That was one of the bright spots of his administration,” Waldman said, noting that during Garcetti’s tenure as mayor, his administration sought to bring foreign investors to L.A.

After Garcetti was nominated to the India post, Waldman said he spoke with Garcetti, who urged VICA members to take another trip to India once he was there.“I think it’s a good spot for him,” Waldman said about Garcetti’s newest assignment.

“He’s knowledgeable. He has the ability to connect foreign businesses with domestic businesses. A lot of people do business with India from L.A. Having an ambassador make that a priority is positive for everybody.”

 With reporting from The Associated Press and City News Service.

Biden Lands At LAX, On His Way To Monterey Park To Unveil Gun Control Order

President Joe Biden is now in Los Angeles and on his way to Monterey Park, where he will meet with those most impacted by the Jan. 21 mass shooting, and where he will unveil an executive order that officials say will go as far as possible without Congressional legislation to encourage universal background checks on gun purchases.

Air Force One touched down at LAX at 12:36 p.m., where Biden was greeted by a delegation of local elected representatives, including L.A. Mayor Karen Bass and Brandon Tsay, the 26-year-old San Marino man hailed as a hero, who disarmed the Monterey Park gunman before another shooting could happen at a second dance studio.

President Biden greeting Tsay.

— Christina Merino (@christinam_love) March 14, 2023

President Joe Biden will be arriving to a gloomy and rainy L.A. today. Later he will be will visiting Monterey Park to discuss his efforts to reduce gun violence and is expected to sign a new executive order aimed at reducing gun violence. @ladailynews

— Christina Merino (@christinam_love) March 14, 2023

It’s a rainy morning here in Monterey Park where President Biden is scheduled to speak later this afternoon.

— Kaitlyn Schallhorn (@K_Schallhorn) March 14, 2023

He is being flown by helicopter to Monterey Park, where he will meet with families and the owner of Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where amid the city’s Lunar New Year celebration, a gunman killed 11 people.

The massacre has shaken the city, known for its diversity, its culinary destinations and peace. While life has gotten back to some semblance of normal, the memory is still fresh and businesses continue to feel the impact of the tragedy as customers haven’t fully come back to the rattled city.

But as it emerges from the shooting, leaders are hopeful that the federal government will help bolster mental health resources and establish anti-violence reforms that reduce the chance of such a tragedy ever happening again.

San Francisco Slavery-Reparations Idea: $5 Million Per Black Person


SAN FRANCISCO — Payments of $5 million to every eligible Black adult, the elimination of personal debt and tax burdens, guaranteed annual incomes of at least $97,000 for 250 years and homes in San Francisco for just $1 a family.

These are just some of the recommendations made by a city-appointed reparations committee tasked with a thorny question: What would it take to atone for the centuries of U.S. slavery and generations of systemic racism that continue to keep Black Americans on the bottom rungs of health, education and economic prosperity, and overrepresented in prisons and homeless populations?

A first hearing before the city’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday could offer a glimpse of the board’s appetite for advancing a reparations plan that would be unmatched nationwide in specificity and breadth. Critics have slammed it as financially and politically impossible. One conservative analyst estimated that each non-Black family in the city would have to pay at least $600,000.

RELATED: California weighs $360,000 in reparations to eligible Black residents

Some supervisors have said San Francisco can’t afford any major reparations payments right now, given the city’s deep deficit amid a tech industry downturn, but they still want to discuss the proposals and consider future solutions. The board can vote to change, adopt or reject any or all the recommendations.

But reparations committee members consider their results to be an accurate estimate of what it would take to begin to repair the enduring damage of slavery and discrimination, and they bristle at the idea that they should figure out how to pay for it.

“We are the harmed,” said Eric McDonnell, chair of San Francisco’s African American Reparations Advisory Committee. “If the judge ruled in our favor, the judge would not turn to us and say, ‘Help them figure out how to make this work.’”

RELATED: City National Bank to pay $31M redlining settlement, largest in US history

The idea of paying compensation for slavery has gained traction across cities and universities. In 2020, California became the first state to form a reparations task force and is still struggling to put a price tag on what is owed.

The idea has not been taken up at the federal level.

Fewer than 50,000 Black people still live in San Francisco, and it’s not clear how many would be eligible. Possible criteria include having lived in the city during certain time periods and descending from someone “incarcerated for the failed War on Drugs.”

RELATED: Netherlands issues apology for its role in slave trade

Critics say the payouts make no sense in a state and city that never enslaved Black people. Opponents generally say taxpayers who were never slave owners should not have to pay money to people who were not enslaved.

Advocates say that view ignores a wealth of data and historical evidence showing how long after U.S. slavery officially ended in 1865, government policies and practices worked to imprison Black people at higher rates, deny access to home and business loans and restrict where they could work and live.

“There’s still a veiled perspective that, candidly, Black folks don’t deserve this,” said McDonnell. “The number itself, $5 million, is actually low when you consider the harm.”

RELATED: Reparations task force: State could owe Black Californians hundreds of thousands of dollars

Justin Hansford, professor at Howard University School of Law, says no municipal reparations plan will have enough money to right the wrongs of slavery, but he appreciates any attempts to “genuinely, legitimately, authentically” make things right. And that includes cash, he said.

“If you’re going to try to say you’re sorry, you have to speak in the language that people understand, and money is that language,” he said.

RELATED: California panel OKs reparations limit for slave descendants

Black residents once made up more than 13% of San Francisco’s population, but more than 50 years later, they account for less than 6% of the city’s residents — and 38% of its homeless population. The Fillmore District once thrived with Black-owned night clubs and shops until government redevelopment in the 1960s forced out residents.

RELATED: Bruce family’s sale of returned land sparks debate about social responsibility

John Dennis, chair of the San Francisco Republican Party, does not support reparations although he says he’d support a serious conversation on the topic. He doesn’t consider the board’s discussion of $5 million payments to be one.

“This conversation we’re having in San Francisco is completely unserious. They just threw a number up, there’s no analysis,” Dennis said. “It seems ridiculous, and it also seems that this is the one city where it could possibly pass.”

Led by Supervisor Shamann Walton, the board created the 15-member reparations committee in late 2020, months after California Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a statewide task force amid national turmoil after a white Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, a Black man.

RELATED: Black, Mexican families seek restitution for Palm Springs evictions, call them ‘shameful secret’

At Tuesday’s hearing, the board could direct staff to conduct further research, write legislation or schedule more meetings. The committee’s final report is due in June.

California’s task force continues to deliberate recommendations, including monetary compensation. Its report is due to the Legislature on July 1. At that point, it will be up to lawmakers to draft and pass legislation, often a time-consuming process.

The state panel made the controversial decision in March to limit reparations to descendants of Black people who were in the country in the 19th century. Some reparations advocates said that approach misses the ongoing harms that Black immigrants suffer.

RELATED: How should reparations work? LA commission wants to hear from you

Under San Francisco’s draft recommendation, a person must be at least 18 years old and have identified as “Black/African American” in public documents for at least 10 years. Eligible people must also meet two of eight other criteria, though the list may change.

Those criteria include being born in or migrating to San Francisco between 1940 and 1996 and living in the city for least 13 years; being displaced from San Francisco by urban renewal between 1954 and 1973, or the descendant of someone who was; attending the city’s public schools before they were fully desegregated; or being a descendant of an enslaved U.S. person before 1865.

RELATED: California should take these steps to repay Black residents, reparations report says

The Chicago suburb of Evanston became the first U.S. city to fund reparations. The city gave money to qualifying people for home repairs, downpayments and interest or late penalties due on property in the city. In December, the Boston City Council approved of a reparations study task force.