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March 8, 2014 | David Undercoffler
General Motors Co.'s lumbering full-size SUVs are dinosaurs from a bygone era, but don't expect them to go extinct just yet. Despite flagging sales, each delivery brings in piles of cash for GM. "These vehicles are minting money for them," said Dave Sullivan, an analyst at AutoPacific Inc. "It's one of the biggest profit margins in the industry. " GM makes at least $10,000 per full-sized sport utility vehicle sold, he estimates. (Not to mention the windfall for the nearest gas station.)
March 5, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - Amid a series of financial and management problems, a nonprofit organization formed to organize a yearlong celebration of Balboa Park, the city's "crown jewel," is calling it quits. Balboa Park Celebration Inc. is disbanding and turning over its financial records and responsibilities to City Hall, officials said. The group found that there was "simply not much appetite in the corporate community" for sponsoring such a celebration, Gerry Braun, the group's media outreach coordinator and now its transition director, said Wednesday on KPBS radio.
March 4, 2014 | By Amina Khan
NASA's budget for the 2015 fiscal year wouldn't budge much from last year under the White House's proposal for nearly $17.5 billion, as officials reaffirmed the commitment to extending the life of the International Space Station, funding potential missions to Mars and Jupiter's moon Europa and sending a manned mission to nab an asteroid and bring it back to Earth orbit. The proposed $17.46-billion budget for 2015 is roughly $200 million less than the 2014 fiscal year request, and the planetary science division would receive about $1.28 billion -- not quite up to last year's $1.35 billion.
February 26, 2014 | By Chuck Schilken
A bill has landed on the desk of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer that local business leaders and others fear might cost the state next year's Super Bowl. Conceived by a conservative advocacy group and a Christian legal organization, Senate Bill 1062 would allow businesses to cite religious beliefs in refusing service to gay people and others. Brewer has until Saturday to either veto, sign or ignore it. The Arizona Super Bowl host committee joined the many groups against the bill. "On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state's economic growth potential," the committee said . "We do not support this legislation.
February 21, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
IPod. IPad. IStamp? Steve Jobs, the late cofounder and chief executive of Apple, is among several pop culture figures who will be featured on U.S. postage stamps over the next few years. The stamp for Jobs, who led Apple during its creation and then again during its resurgence in the late 1990s and early 2000s, will be available in 2015, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post. Jobs' stamp is currently being designed. VIDEO: Pebble's latest Steel smartwatch is functional and stylish Besides Jobs, others to be honored on stamps in the next few years include Beatle John Lennon, NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain, gay rights activist Harvey Milk and musician Jimi Hendrix.
February 21, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
They are the bad boys of Subaru's lineup. Offsetting the brand's otherwise crunchy mind-set, the WRX and WRX STI pocket rockets have worked hard to bring some tire-smoking street cred to a brand that otherwise markets its vehicles with love and puppies. Based on the humble Impreza compact sedan, both the everyman WRX and the rally-ready STI are new for 2015. The basics stay the same: turbocharging and all-wheel-drive. But both models get an overhauled chassis, a refined cabin and fresh styling.
February 19, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
So much for the grand experiment of having synthetic surfaces for horse racing in Southern California. The last holdout, Del Mar, plans to switch to a dirt surface in 2015, track president Joe Harper said Wednesday. After that, the only remaining synthetic track in the state will be Northern California's Golden Gate Fields. Santa Anita switched back to dirt in 2010. Hollywood Park has closed, and Los Alamitos and Fairplex already have dirt surfaces. In 2006, the California Horse Racing Board mandated that all the main thoroughbred tracks install a synthetic surface by the end of 2007 in an attempt to improve safety.
February 19, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Gap Inc., the global fashion retailer, said it plans to raise the minimum wage for its U.S. employees to $9 an hour this year and $10 an hour by 2015. The move will directly benefit 65,000 U.S. employees at Gap's six retail chains, which include Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores. Gap's announcement comes amid a nationwide debate about the minimum wage. President Obama praised Gap's decision and urged Congress to pass a bill that would raise the nation's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from the current $7.25 an hour.
February 13, 2014 | By Ted Rall
"By early next year," reports The Times' Ben Welsh and Robert J. Lopez, " the [Los Angeles Fire Department] expects its dispatchers to be using new, streamlined scripted questions that will help get LAFD ambulances en route seconds - even minutes - faster during cases of cardiac arrest and other time-critical emergencies. " I won't be so churlish as to greet this decidedly positive news with a question: Isn't it a bit odd to announce that "time-critical emergencies" occurring between now and "early next year" will be treated like they're not, well, time-critical?
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