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October 23, 2012
Re "A treasure of maps," Oct. 19 Kudos to real estate agent Matthew Greenberg for going out of his way to preserve the treasure of maps he discovered in a Mount Washington home slated for demolition. He could have taken the easy way of simply tossing them into a trash bin, but fans of maps, both now and in the future, will be thanking him. James McGee Sun City, Calif. ALSO: Letters: Bears will be bears Letters: Death row vs. solitary Letters: George McGovern's vision
March 27, 2014 | By S. Irene Virbila
Terroir . Wild yeasts. Elevation. Who knew these terms could apply to mezcal as easily as to wine. In fact, "the vocabulary of mezcal is more like the vocabulary of wine than spirits," explains Ron Cooper, the California artist who founded Del Maguey single-village mezcals 20 years ago when the beverage wasn't on anybody's radar. "We're talking about terroir , about mouth feel," he says. "We're talking about aroma, nose. " He can go on for hours, recounting the long history of mezcal made in remote villages hours off dirt roads.
April 1, 2011
'Looking for Richard Brooks: An Appreciation' Where: UCLA Film & Television Archive's Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd. When: Friday through May 25 Price: $9 for general admission; $8 for students and seniors Contact: (310) 206-8012 or visit
March 19, 2014 | By Maria L. La Ganga
LOS OSOS, Calif. - He led an active electronic life, so the cyber silence was ominous. No emails. No posts to any of the thousand-plus friends on Facebook. When word finally surfaced, it wasn't from him. "If you have noticed Jim's absence from Facebook, there is a reason. He has been doing poorly for a week or so ... and yesterday they detected a mass in his brain. Having elected to have no extraordinary medical measures, he is at home in Los Osos and we are waiting for hospice to come.
November 8, 2010 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
There is a classic Jill Clayburgh scene in Paul Mazursky's "An Unmarried Woman," the 1978 film the actress will be remembered for most in a career that kept her busy with work nearly until her death on Friday. She's walking down a crowded New York City sidewalk having just learned her husband is leaving her for someone half her age, the fresh wound visible only in those eyes, a soft cornflower blue gone stone cold. She stops to steady herself, throws up, shakes it off, then moves on. Clayburgh had a way of making moments like these so real she would break my heart.
August 2, 1987
I live a block from the McKinley Mansion. I have seen several distinctive homes in the neighborhood razed to make way for the witless warrens and concrete cartons that developers relentlessly commission. Whenever I caught a glimpse of the McKinley Mansion while strolling past its gates, I wondered how much time was left before the architectural cancer toppled it, too. Now, thanks to Honda, the McKinley may enjoy a remission, if not a cure. At least he has made a valiant, self-sacrificing effort.
December 11, 2012
Re "Poet laureate is chosen for L.A.," Dec. 7 In the early 1980s, I was a restless transfer student at Cal State Northridge, an undeclared major and uncertain in most things. On a whim, I attended a poetry reading in a packed CSUN office. Eloise Klein Healy read from her book, "A Packet Beating Like a Heart," and I was set free. The ache of my young life did not disappear, but I credit Healy with my decision to pursue a bachelor's degree in English. The craft of poetry is to this day my balm in a still uncertain world.
August 21, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd
Elmore Leonard, the highly popular and well-regarded crime novelist who died Tuesday at age 87, also left his mark on television. Compared with his books and the movies that continue to be wrought from them, it's the smallest of the marks he made: Two of the three TV series based on his writing, “Maximum Bob” (ABC, 1998) and “Karen Sisco” (ABC, 2003), didn't survive even a single season, though they deserved more. (Both came from Barry Sonnenfeld, who produced the big-screen Leonard adaptation “Out of Sight,” another Karen Sisco story; and directed “Get Shorty,” the film that by Leonard's own reckoning made him a household name.)
January 18, 1998
Re "Going Unappreciated in O.C.," Jan. 4: While it is certainly true that there are specific areas and pockets of homes that have not realized much [price] appreciation, there are other factors that must be considered. There are important rules to be followed in purchasing a home--starting with location, location, location. It is most prudent to buy the smallest, cheapest house in a particular neighborhood, so that appreciation will accrue because of other homes that sell for more.
September 11, 1993
Once again, the Dodgers are promoting "Fan Appreciation Day." One is given to believe that the Dodger organization alone is giving away hundreds of prizes, when in fact, most, if not all of the merchandise, is donated by advertisers and vendors. Why isn't it called "Advertisers and Vendors Appreciation Day"? We are bombarded with "Dodger baseball, the best buy in town." The key word is buy . After buying your admission, you get free: a view of Chavez Ravine (sans the proposed park we were told would be built by the Dodgers)
March 12, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri and Tim Logan
The Southern California housing market is stuck in neutral, raising questions over whether the recovery will pick up this spring. Home prices stayed essentially flat in February while sales tumbled, research firm DataQuick reported Wednesday. Buyers continued to hold back even as more homes trickled onto the market. No one's predicting a new slump, but some experts believe the market has hit a plateau. "I think this year will be flat as a pancake," said Leo Nordine, a real estate agent in Redondo Beach.
March 10, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Gerard Mortier, who died of cancer on Saturday at age 70, is being widely eulogized for the incalculable role he played in the opera world in the years he headed opera companies in Brussels, Paris and Madrid. Most notably he revolutionized the Salzburg Festival. I can think of no one more important than the crafty, brilliant Belgian impresario in making opera a uniquely telling, relevant, contemporary and meaningfully controversial art form in Europe. But it wasn't only Europe and it wasn't only opera in which Mortier's influence has proven pervasive.
March 6, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
On announcing the death last week of composer Robert Ashley in New York at 83, the composer and critic Kyle Gann wrote on his blog that Ashley was "the greatest genius of 20th-century opera. I don't know how long it's going to take the world to recognize that. " I think I do. A little while, but not too much longer. Let's not argue about the greatest genius of opera in the 20th century. It's enough that Ashley was one of the greats and a true pioneer. Some might even want to argue about Ashley's lack of recognition.
March 2, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels might be all about Mike Trout this and Mike Trout that, but Albert Pujols scoffed at the suggestion that he might be motivated by all that Trout has accomplished. "I don't need to compare with anybody, buddy," Pujols said Sunday. "Just look at my numbers. My job is to stay healthy and go out there and play. I don't need anybody to motivate me to play this game. " The Angels plan to bat Trout second and Pujols third, the keys to an offense that could be formidable if Pujols resembles his St. Louis self.
February 26, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
Other than die-hard fans and music journalists, few people would have recognized the name of Franny Beecher before stories surfaced Monday about his death at age 92. Beecher was the longtime lead guitarist of seminal rocker Bill Haley's band, the Comets. That's one reason that in 2012, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally got around to formally acknowledging several of the bands without whom Haley and many other rock, pop and R&B stars previously inducted individually would have been solo acts stranded singing a cappella.
February 19, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Perhaps diehard Devo fans can untangle their best songs to identify the jerky stabs that Bob Casale (known to fans as Bob2) made with his strings and keyboard pokes, but I rarely saw the point. Whether it was Bob2, who died Tuesday at age 61, his brother Gerald Casale, Mark Mothersbaugh or his brother Bob Mothersbaugh (Bob1), who made which noise didn't matter within the tight confines of "Gut Feeling," "Uncontrollable Urge," "Gates of Steel," "Penetration in the Centerfold" or the dozens of others.
December 5, 1987
Another cheap shot from Larry Stewart--this time at Jerry Doggett. Doggett was never Vin Scully, never claimed to be. Nobody else ever could be, either. But, Doggett performed faithfully and competently for the Dodgers for 31 years, and he never took a cheap shot at anyone. He deserves appreciation from his listeners and a big apology from Stewart. DAVID PETERSEN Los Angeles
February 18, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
PHOENIX -- The highlight of Juan Uribe's off-season didn't come when the third baseman agreed to a two-year, $15-million contract with the Dodgers. It came in the days and weeks that followed. Uribe heard from several teammates, either directly or through the media. They all expressed similar sentiments: How delighted they were he was returning. That he was a leader in the clubhouse and a key figure on their team. "I was really proud of that," Uribe said. "That reinforced my belief that I made the right decision to come back.
February 13, 2014 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Comedian Sid Caesar, who died Wednesday at the age of 91, was a giant and genius of television. He came into the medium, in 1949, when it was still molten. He helped shape TV comedy, even as TV, with its new technical demands and advantages, shaped his work. Milton Berle, the man called Mr. Television, had started in TV the year before; but Berle, 14 years Caesar's senior and in vaudeville since age 12, was already an old pro. Caesar, whose television debut was in fact on Berle's "Texaco Star Theater," was a fast-rising newcomer, much of whose previous work had been under the auspices of the Coast Guard.
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