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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 10, 2012 | By Jean Merl, Los Angeles Times
Steve Wicke is "just big into space. " The Westminster man took four months off his warehouse job last year to visit every NASA site in the United States. On Saturday, he joined an estimated 20,000 people who swarmed the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's leafy campus for its annual open house weekend. Buses and SUVs clogged Oak Grove Drive near the La Cañada Flintridge boundary with Pasadena and filled JPL parking lots to disgorge passengers of all ages, who descended on the exhibits and activities as if they were new amusement park rides.
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TRAVEL
May 27, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times staff writer
SANDUSKY, Ohio - As an amusement parks blogger, I have visited most of the big theme parks in Southern California and central Florida, but my roller-coaster résumé was a little thin when it came to the parks in between. So last summer my wife, Nancy, our 11-year-old daughter, Hannah, and I climbed aboard more than 70 coasters in 10 days at theme parks in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We each had established a few rules for our journey across America's Coaster Belt. Hannah was willing to ride coasters reaching 65 mph, topping out at 200 feet and going upside down three times.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2012 | By Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times
The concrete Indian on the forklift struck a precarious pose as he moved through a crowd of rummagers scouting the remains of Bud Hurlbut's workshop in Buena Park . From behind the wheel, Lonnie Lloyd waved everyone aside as he guided the 6-foot, 6-inch statue into a U-Haul van. Its new owners shimmied it against a wall. Toys, props, tools and memorabilia at Hurlbut Amusement Co. moved fast during the recent three-day sale, and Lloyd tried not to be sentimental.
SPORTS
April 30, 2012 | By Mark Medina
If at first you don't succeed, try again. The Nuggets threw a dizzying array of double teams at the Lakers' Andrew Bynum, but he just punished them in their 103-88 Game 1 victory Sunday over Denver with his own block party. Denver Coach George Karl felt the literal and figurative rejection, causing him to try plan B. Work the officials. "He was playing nice illegal defense," Karl told reporters, including the Denver Post's Benjamin Hochman . "He was zoned up good.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Disney this summer will truly become the happiest place on Earth for Starbucks devotees, who will no longer have to suffer caffeine withdrawal when they visit some of the mouse-eared amusement parks. In June, the first of six Starbucks cafes will open at Anaheim's Disney California Adventure in the park's Fiddle, Fifer & Practical Café on Buena Vista Street. In keeping with the café's 1920's Los Angeles vibe, Starbucks baristas will be clad in appropriate vintage attire.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 13, 2012 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
There is an appealing nyuk, nyuk nostalgic spirit to"The Three Stooges. "To fully appreciate this paean to slapstick and silly nonsense simply requires that cynicism be temporarily shelved and the thinking side of the brain shut down. Starring Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos as Larry, Curly and Moe, this affectionate update is a love letter to the Stooges from the filmmaking Farrelly brothers, Peter and Bobby. Though they may be best known for the R-rated "There's Something About Mary," there is a Stooge streak a mile long running through their work - the bumbling misfits with a heart of gold in their first film, "Dumb & Dumber," for starters.
NEWS
April 12, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The once-famed Steel Pier on the long-faded Atlantic City Boardwalk will invest more than $100 million on new amusement rides and entertainment venues after scrapping plans to revive its centerpiece diving horse act amid an outcry by animal rights activists. PHOTOS: New rides at Steel Pier in Atlantic City Located across from Donald Trump's Taj Mahal casino on the New Jersey shore, the 1,000-foot-long amusement pier will add 11 rides, an arcade, nightclub, museum and ballroom during a four-year expansion project.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2012 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
David W. Kenney, SeaWorld's first veterinarian, who played a key role in bringing the original Shamu to the San Diego amusement park as well as a gray whale believed to be the first raised by humans, died Feb. 14 in Montrose, Colo. He was 77. The cause was cancer, said his sister, Meredith Maler. Kenney was hired by the park a few weeks before its 1964 opening and over the next several years displayed an ingenuity and dedication that helped the fledgling tourist attraction build and maintain an impressive collection of marine animals.
BUSINESS
March 13, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
For most people, a 400-foot free fall from a steel tower is a hair-raising adventure. Not for thrill-ride enthusiast John Gerard, who can't wait to try what Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia is billing as the world's tallest vertical drop ride, set to open Memorial Day. "I'm really excited about this," the San Diego doctor said. "I think there are many others like me too. " The ride is the latest example of what theme park fans call the thrill ride "arms race," global competition among theme park operators to set world records for speed, height, distance or greatest number of corkscrew turns in a ride.
NEWS
February 8, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Winter always gets me thinking about going to theme parks in Southern California, even if I don't have visitors underfoot. The prospect of cooler temperatures and lighter crowds in February and March sends me looking for discounts on the high cost of tickets. I found that the Southern California CityPass -- with a flat rate for admission to Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood and SeaWorld San Diego -- offers good savings, even when compared with incentives for SoCal residents.
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