What happened on December 15, 2002
Velvet Goes Underground Sam Quinones, Sam Quinones is the author of "True Tales From Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx" (University of New Mexico Press). His last story for the magazine was on the band Los Tigres del Norte.
The Loner Scott Kraft, Scott Kraft is the national editor of The Times. He last wrote for the magazine about William F. Buckley.
The Watcher in the Park Steve Salerno, Steve Salerno last wrote for the magazine about the need to soothe and be soothed.
A season in purgatory GEOFFREY MOHAN, Geoffrey Mohan is a Times staff writer.
Rare Chance for a Model Election Fred Smoller, Fred Smoller is chairman of the department of political science at Chapman University and director of the Ludie and David. C. Henley Social Sciences Research Laboratory.
One Nation, Under Pills Greg Critser, Greg Critser frequently writes about the politics of medicine. He is the author of "Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World."
The Mythic Enemy Gregory J. Boyle, Gregory J. Boyle is a Jesuit priest and executive director of Homeboy Industries.
Serbs Fall Into Electoral Abyss Susan Lynne Tillou, Susan Lynne Tillou recently participated in the U.S. electoral observation mission to Serbia. She has previously worked for the United Nations mission in East Timor and twice with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Iran Holds Postwar Dilemma for U.S. Sandra Mackey, Sandra Mackey is the author of "The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein."
Mother Nature Remains One Up on the Bioterrorists Madeline Drexler, Madeline Drexler is a Boston-based science journalist. Her new book is "Secret Agents: The Menace of Emerging Infections."
GOP Revisits a Sordid Past Harold Meyerson, Harold Meyerson is editor at large of the American Prospect and political editor of LA Weekly.
Catholics Have Been Sharing Deep Levels of Hope, Despair Dwight Smith, Dwight Smith works for the Catholic Worker, a community service group that runs the largest homeless shelter in Orange County.
Walls of Glory and Shame Susan E. Seager, Susan E. Seager is a 1st Amendment lawyer in Los Angeles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
Wrenching Changes Likely With Budget Cuts This story was reported by Times staff writers Miguel Bustillo, Evan Halper, Duke Helfand, Gregg Jones, Claire Luna, Hugo Martin, Charles Ornstein, Jenifer Ragland, Carla Rivera, Stuart Silverstein, Doug Smith and Daniel Yi, and written by Jones.
A threadbare tapestry of the Texas plains John Banville, John Banville, literary editor of The Irish Times, is the author of many novels, including "Shroud," to be published in the spring by Alfred A. Knopf.
All too human justice Eugen Weber, Eugen Weber is a contributing writer to Book Review.
A chip off the old double helix Michael Harris, Michael Harris is a regular contributor to Book Review.
Looking without seeing David L. Ulin, David L. Ulin is the editor of "Another City: Writing From Los Angeles" (City Lights) and of "Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology," recently published by the Library of America.
Seeking peace in a world falling to pieces William I. Hitchcock, William I. Hitchcock teaches history at Wellesley College and is the author of the forthcoming "The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent, 1945-2002."
Love, loss and the urban poet Thea Klapwald, Thea Klapwald has written for the (London) Times Literary Supplement and other publications, and is working on a novel about expatriates living in Hong Kong.
Man of the day, lord of the ring Gordon Marino, Gordon Marino, a former professional boxer, is professor of philosophy and director of the Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn.
The book that started a war Vivian Gornick, Vivian Gornick is a contributing writer to Book Review.
Where Shelley rubs shoulders with Seinfeld Frederic Raphael, Frederic Raphael is the author, most recently, of "Personal Terms," edited notebooks, 1950-69, and "All His Sons: A Novella and Nine Stories."