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January 31, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
Influenza-related illness has killed 147 Californians under age 65 this season, including 17 people in Los Angeles County and one in Long Beach, state health officials have confirmed. The toll is unusually high: At the same point last year, only 14 people in that age group had died of the flu, Dr. James Watt of the California Department of Public Health told reporters Friday. Throughout the entire 2012-2013 flu season, the state logged just 106 confirmed deaths. The new fatalities are a sign that this year's flu season continues to be especially severe, even as some indicators of influenza activity, such as hospitalizations for flu-related illness, seem to be plateauing in L.A. County, California and elsewhere across the U.S. "Unfortunately, one of the things we always say about influenza is that it's unpredictable," said Watt, chief of the public health department's Division of Communicable Disease Control.
January 26, 2014 | By Emily Foxhall
For any social group, with age often comes prestige. At the Newport Harbor Yacht Club - the oldest yacht club in Newport Beach - it also brings a crumbling building. For at least a decade, a club committee has tried to find a way to address the issues that arise with a facility that is about as old as the 98-year-old club itself. The proposed solution is to replace the existing two-story building with a new structure - one that looks nearly the same but larger. The Planning Commission approved the new project last week.
January 25, 2014 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
The lines crease and arc, deeper they have grown, spooling out from lips, chin and eyes, which glimmer like blue flames in a vigil. The face is a map, a diary; a rough terrain once smooth, showing its courage in its frailties. It is still handsome - age can thieve only so much - but it makes you think of him many years ago in the roles of Gatsby, the Sundance Kid and the all too-content Hubbell Gardiner. Robert Redford started so young, so perfect, an impossible mirror. But age has crept upon him. In his new film "All Is Lost," Redford's buffeted face needs no syllables to articulate the fate of Our Man, a lone sailor adrift on a broken boat.
January 21, 2014 | By Chris Barton
Can a jazz guitarist grow up idolizing Stevie Ray Vaughan? That may be a question for the purists in considering “Golden Age,” the debut album from Nir Felder, who took up guitar at age 13 and still plays the $250 Stratocaster he bought with the blues-rock legend in mind. Potential future covers of Kenny Burrell's “Chitlins Con Carne” aside, Felder is after more subtle, yet no less electric pleasures than his idol with a swift, lyrical flow sharpened in stints backing Greg Osby, Jack DeJohnette and Esperanza Spalding.
January 21, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
The Grammy Awards will end this year's ceremony with a bang. A rock supergroup featuring Dave Grohl, Lindsey Buckingham, Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stage is to close Sunday night's telecast from Staples Center, organizers announced Tuesday. "We're incredibly excited about this number," said Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich in a statement to Spin . "There's nothing better than when the Grammys rock out, and to have these artists all together on one stage, doing a number that, when they presented it to us, knocked us out, is going to turn out to be one of those Grammy moments that people talk about for a long time.
January 17, 2014 | Helene Elliott
DETROIT - Defenseman Jake Muzzin's emotions swung quickly Thursday from exhilaration to exasperation. The 24-year-old scored the Kings' first goal against St. Louis - his first point in 15 games - but was responsible for the Blues' equalizer after his shot on goal was blocked and turned into a breakaway for T.J. Oshie. Muzzin impeded Oshie, who was awarded a penalty shot and scored. "Stuff's going to happen. There's no sense dwelling on it or letting it affect the rest of your game," he said Friday after the Kings practiced at Joe Louis Arena.
January 17, 2014 | By Scott Martelle
Amasa Delano, a New England sea captain sailing off the Chilean coast in February 1805, thought he was helping a ship in distress when he boarded the Tryal with an offer of food, water and assistance. Adrift in dangerous waters, its worn hull covered with barnacles and trailing seaweed, the Tryal was, indeed, in distress. But not in the manner Delano suspected. The Tryal was a Spanish slaver on which the slaves had revolted two months earlier, killing most of their captors while sparing Capt.
January 17, 2014 | By Barbara Odanaka
Scott Hostert has heard it all: You're too old. You're nuts. You don't want to live the rest of your life being fed through a tube, do you? Hostert scoffs, then smiles. Too old to ride a skateboard? Just watch me. With that, the 51-year-old Brea tax consultant steps on his board and plunges down a wall of concrete, piloting his personal time machine through a series of moves some skaters half his age won't try. Two hours later, Hostert is sweat-soaked and oh-so stoked. "Nothing compares to how young skating makes me feel," says Hostert, who rediscovered skateboarding after a 35-year break.
January 16, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
It's tempting to read Richard Powers' 11th novel "Orfeo" through the filter of the present: surveillance, genomes, government control. The story of a 70-year-old composer named Peter Els, who becomes known as the "biohacker Bach" after police find a do-it-yourself genetics lab in his suburban Pennsylvania tract house, the book appears as timely as an Internet meme. It doesn't hurt that the American security state and its excesses are a driving presence in the narrative; "The moment he used his credit card," Powers writes of Els, "or withdrew more cash from an ATM, they had his coordinates.
January 16, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
Baseball's installation of instant replay Thursday is about more than an ancient sport finally embracing the wonders of technology, It is also about one of the crudest sports finally embracing the wonders of humanity. "Kill the ump!" will become "Challenge the ump!" Storming from the dugout to confront an umpire over a perceived slight will be considered a waste of valuable video viewing time. Bumping chests with that umpire will only delay his debate-ending phone call from the major league office.
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