NPR : News

Filed Under:

City Of Stockton's Looming Bankruptcy: Pictures Tell The Story

Stockton, Calif., is on the verge of becoming the largest city in the nation to declare bankruptcy after its city council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to approve a spending plan that's essentially "a day-to-day survival budget," as the Los Angeles Times puts it.

A bankruptcy filing could happen as soon as today, according to our colleagues at KQED and other local news outlets.

The city of 300,000's painful step follows last year's bankruptcy filing by Alabama's Jefferson County — the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. That county piled up more than $4 billion in debt involving a failed sewer construction deal.

Stockton, as The Associated Press notes, has a $26 million budget shortfall. James Spiotto, a Chicago bankruptcy attorney who tracks municipal bankruptcies, tells the AP that until now the largest city to have declared bankruptcy was Bridgeport, Conn., (population about 144,000) in 1991.

The Times writes that "how Stockton found itself so mired in debt can be seen everywhere in the city's core. There is a sparkling marina, high-rise hotel and promenade financed by credit in the mid-2000s, mere blocks from where mothers won't let their children play in the yard because of violence."

KQED's Ian Hill went out with his camera to photograph some of those projects "that Stockton indulged in during better times," and shared his photo gallery with us.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Examining The War On Mexican Drug Cartels, Through Film And Fiction

Two new works of art — the documentary film Cartel Land and the novel The Cartel — shine a light on the seemingly endless drug war in Mexico. John Powers says both works are bleak, but gripping.
NPR

Why Sit-Down Meals May Be Just As Unhealthful As Fast Food

Fast-food restaurants are often demonized as the epitome of unhealthfulness. But a study suggests sit-down joints may be no better when it comes to sodium, saturated fat and the risk of overeating.
WAMU 88.5

D.C. Ranks High On 'Health' Of Democracy, Though Campaign Finance Laws Lag

According to a new report, D.C. fares well in providing access to the ballot — but falls behind due to the weakness of its campaign finance laws.
WAMU 88.5

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski

The president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, chats about the future of higher education — and what he's doing to steer African-American students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.