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September 8, 2009 | Martha Groves
Screen legend Robert Redford has next to nothing in common with bait shop owner John "Yosh" Volaski. But it's possible they brushed past each other decades ago as they whiled away youthful hours at a place that beguiled them both: the Santa Monica Pier. On Sept. 9, 1909, crowds swarmed for the first time onto the 1,600-foot-long structure to enjoy band concerts and swimming and boating races, as a flotilla of naval vessels floated offshore. On Wednesday, the pier turns 100, a milestone that will be marked with ceremonies, performances and the first major fireworks show in Santa Monica Bay in more than 18 years.
September 8, 2009 | HECTOR TOBAR
Los Angeles is home to an industry that makes dramas and exports them around the world. But there's something wrong about the way our diverse city looks and sounds in big Hollywood films. With a few, notable exceptions, Latinos are usually in the background, doing yardwork or working as nannies, putting on the thick Spanish accents demanded by their scripts. Black characters are often wacky police officers, gangsters or single moms. Asians are technicians or immigrants who look confused.
September 4, 2009 | Mary MacVean
When Lorraine Tenerelli tried to get her husband to bring their peaches to sell at Los Angeles County's first farmers market 30 years ago, he didn't want to be bothered. But he tagged along with her to a church parking lot in Gardena. "When he saw the mob of customers, he said, 'We've got to plant more,' " Tenerelli said Thursday at the weekly farmers market outside City Hall. There, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other officials joined with farmers, market organizers and some of the city's best-known chefs to celebrate the anniversary and the growth of farmers markets to a total of 121 today -- more than any other county in the country, the mayor said.
September 2, 2009 | Associated Press
Former enemies and allies somberly marked the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II on Tuesday, underlining the need to remember the bloodiest conflict of the 20th century so as not to repeat it. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, whose country sided with Nazi Germany during the initial invasion of Poland in 1939 before later opposing Germany, said the war and its causes needed to be studied from all perspectives. "We should examine everything which ended up bringing about the tragedy of Sept.
September 1, 2009 | Robert Hilburn
Mixing the psychedelic sensibilities of the Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" period with a tuneful Byrds-like jangle, the first, self-titled album from the English quartet the Stone Roses was a spectacular work whose best moments laid a blueprint for scores of other British bands, namely Oasis. It remains one of the great rock and roll debuts and was a massive success in England, but "The Stone Roses" failed to receive much attention in this country when it was released in 1989.
August 29, 2009 | P.J. Huffstutter
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said today it has fired the two agents, as well as their supervisor, who took part in this summer's raid of a Fort Worth gay bar that resulted in law enforcement clashing with hundreds of patrons and leaving one man hospitalized with a serious head injury. Christopher Aller, who had been with the agency for five years, and Jason Chapman, who joined the Texas ABC less than five months ago, were terminated as of today over the raid at the Rainbow Lounge.
August 21, 2009 | Susan King
As a youngster in the 1970s, Mike Henry, the executive producer and co-creator of "The Cleveland Show," Fox's upcoming animated spinoff of its hit "Family Guy," would have a "Yabba-dabba-doo" time sitting on shag carpet in the living room of his childhood home watching Hanna-Barbera cartoons such as "The Flintstones," "Scooby-Doo" and "The Jetsons." "It's all I watched as far as animated stuff goes," says Henry, who also supplies the voice of Cleveland, among other characters on the show.
August 20, 2009 | Susan King
"The Blair Witch Project," the low-budget, box-office sensation of 1999, celebrates its 10th anniversary tonight at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre. Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams star in the pseudo-documentary-style chiller about three college students who venture into the woods outside Burkittsville, Md., to chronicle the forest's Blair Witch legend. After the screening, there will be a discussion with directors Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick, producers Gregg Hale, Mike Monello and Robin Cowie, star Donahue and other cast members.
August 19, 2009 | SUSAN KING
The glossy, über-melodramatic films of director Douglas Sirk and producer Ross Hunter, which were so popular in the 1950s, are deceptively simple. The glitz, glamour, Dior necklaces and Russell Metty's florid cinematography are a kind of ruse that allowed Sirk to explore such serious issues as sexual mores, class structure and racism. Todd Haynes was significantly influenced by Sirk, especially his 1955 "All That Heaven Allows," in his acclaimed 2002 drama, "Far From Heaven." Directors including the late Rainer Werner Fassbinder and "Inglourious Basterds' " Quentin Tarantino have also tipped their hat to Sirk.
August 17, 2009 | Martha Groves
Yankel Rosenbaum. James Byrd. Matthew Shepard. Joseph Ileto. David Ritcheson. The names seem random and disconnected, but one sad trait binds them: Each was the victim of a hate crime. All but one died as a result. The exception, 17-year-old Ritcheson, committed suicide a year after being beaten and sodomized with a patio umbrella pole. The names of the victims were used as a somber introduction by Ariella Loewenstein, an associate director of the Anti-Defamation League, to a recent panel discussion at the National Council of Jewish Women about hate.
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