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_ _ _ _ _ _ _ LABroadsheet 05-15-2011 A 1 A1 WEST 1 KYMC TSet: 05-14-2011 21:38
SUNDAY, MAY 15, 2011
FFILGOHOTINGGUnused leave WITHDINis a drain on FLOODINGstate’s books IN SOUTH a $294,440 check upon his re-Despite an 80-daytirement last year. Former parole agent Thomas Berns iAn sLpoiluliwsiaayn ias  toop seanveedcwaopr, kseorsm gee tdepafritginurgeaccrued nearly three years’ six-worth of time off, allowing  o ties from the vacation payouts.him a $268,990 cash-out, state records show. mMiasjsirs sciippi River.Jack DolanSuch payouts are almost reporting fromunheard of in the private sacramentosector. Most companies al-rTeipnoarStiunsgmfarnomlow employees to accrue a new orleansfew weeks of vacation, but af-Managers in California’s ter that it’s “use it or lose it,” government routinely ig- said Steven Frates, research In a last-ditch move to re- nore official limits on the director of Pepperdine Uni-lieve stress on levees bur- number of vacation days versity’s Davenport Insti-dened by floodwaters, the their employees can save, tute on public policy. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engi- compelling the state to cut theory behind vacations, of neers opened a major Mis- huge checks — many worth course, is rest and recupera-sissippi River floodgate Sat- six figures — for unused time tion and recharge.” urday afternoon for only the off when workers retire. But in state government, second time in nearly 40 Prison doctor Fong Lai lax oversight, understaffing years, funneling water received $594,976 when he and a spate of furloughs in toward farmland and small retired in 2010. Like most recent years have resulted in communities to protect New state employees, Lai was widespread stockpiling. Orleans and Baton Rouge. supposed to bank no more “This is a problem A crane lifted the metal than 80 days of vacation, but throughout state service be-teeth on one of the Morganza his payment represented cause the vacation caps Spillway’s 125 gates, and a more than 212years of un- not been enforced,” have wall of foamy water began used time off. said Gil Duran, spokesman rushing through, forming a Jay Wickizer, an adminis- for Gov. Jerry Brown. The massive and fast-growing trator for the Department of governor plans to chip away puddle on land that minutesSean GardnerReuters atForestry and Fire Protec- the vacation stockpiles earlier had been dry. TheLET LOOSE:Army Corps of Engineers opens the Morganza Spillway toThe U.S.  a “budget that is honest withtion, saved about the same water branched out over theMississippi floodwaters from threatening New Orleans and Baton Rouge.divert number of days, resulting in[SeeVacation,A23] grassy flood plain and began rippling southward toward isolated hamlets, fishing and hunting camps, andA ma towns tucked among thester bayous. One news helicopter- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -spotted a rabbit darting out hgofea trnhe.I,et  sws aaiygd oa isKn tegh n e tWfloao ionbdwie nriggb bhaetd,-dea:s shiwoirck who helped his nephew packmag on up the belongings in his tthwioohn ureyi rsseeLe   toithnuoi e s2Biw9au afnttetaee er tb  iLiasna y e toxRhup eo etsncoete,w exnadtgsmuseum several days. rightW thoa tf logoidv euss ?t Ih emme ant,h Iee shape inMichael Govan has aurned esros tamnadn yi t,c obumt mu ntihtieersee partnership and so many farmers and sotransformed LACMA many businesses,” Cindyand become a cultural Prejent, of Gibson, said as she placed sandbags aroundforce. He’s not done. her home.Jori Fink It was the first time sinceel 1973 that the corps had re-sorted to opening the Mor- Michael Govan, director ganza Spillway, about 40 of the Los Angeles County miles north of Baton Rouge, Museum of Art, crouched in the Louisiana capital, and the pit of a stone quarry in 185 miles upstream from Riverside. Wearing black New Orleans. The move jeans and a brown sports underscored the potential coat, he dragged a finger for catastrophe if the rain- through the sandy floor to swollen Mississippi had run draw the northern edge of unfettered through the the LACMA campus. state’s two largest cities. On a key spot in his ad “The system is under tre- hoc map, he placed a granite mendous pressure, and it’s stone the size of an orange, going to be under tremen- meant to represent a rugged dous pressure for quite a 340-ton boulder standing in long time,” said the corps’ the quarry behind him. If all Mississippi division com- goes according to plan, that mander, Maj. Gen. Michael boulder will make a seven-Walsh, at a news conference day journey in August from shortly before the gate was the quarry to the museum’s lifted. “This system was re-Carolyn ColeLos Angeles TimesMiracle Mile location on a ally designed back in thestation operator at thespecially designed 200-1930s to protect lives, andarch and developmentwheel truck. There, it will [SeeSpillway,A22]ard-looking on two concrete rails lin-ing a 15-foot-deep trough, as the museum’s newest sculp-ture: “Levitated Mass” by Michael Heizer, a famously reclusive artist who has de-Where coal mining is often child’s workvoted decades to building a “city” of earthworks in the Nevada desert that few out-siders are allowed to visit. blackened by coal. None LACMA’s director de-Northeast India’s scribeshave helmets. Two hours of the boulder — which grinding work fills a cart half visitors will be able to walk dmaankgeesrhoifuts  sbhuatf tws ealrle the size of a coffin that they as though it were levi- under drag back, crouching, to the tating — as simultaneously mouth where a clerk credits contemporary and timeless. suited to small bodies. ultramodern because “It’stheir work. Most earn a dol-lar or two an hour.[SeeGovan,A18] Mark Magnier“A big stone fell on a reportinagi  fromfriend at a nearby mine last ladrymb , indiayear, and he died,” said Sha-ran Rai, 16, taking a breakWeather Page......A44 The young miners de- near the entrance with his scend on rickety ladders friend Late Boro, 14. BothComplete Index......A2 made of branches into the started mining when theyTODAY’S SECTIONS makeshift coal mines dot- were 12. “The owners didn’tCalifornia, Business, ting the Jaintia Hills in pay the family anything. I try northeast India, scrambling and check if the walls lookSports, Calendar, sideways into “rat hole” strong before I go in.”Arts & Books, shafts so small that even Sharan may be leavingTravel, Image kneeling becomes impos- this hazardous work behind.Printed with soy sible. Lying horizontally, He quit fourth grade yearsinks on partially they hack away with picks back, and an area civicrecycled paper. and their bare hands: Hu- group has persuaded him to man labor here is far cheap- return. Late, from Assam Daniel BerehulakGetty Images who has never at- state,er than machines. CHEAP LABOR:coal depot in India’s Meghalaya state. Under-A boy works at a Many wear flip-flops and school and is illiter- tended age miners in the region, as young as 8, are believed to number in the thousands.shorts, their faces and lungs[SeeMiners,A8]