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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
April 14, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
It was an offhanded comment by singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester, but it stopped Elvis Costello cold when he was chatting with Winchester for his short-lived music-interview series “Spectacle” on the Sundance Channel a few years ago. In an aside, the inordinately gifted songwriter casually identified “The Brand New Tennessee Waltz” (one of the first songs for which he'd gained acclaim in the early 1970s) as the first song he'd ever written. Then he nonchalantly moved on to finish the main point he was making about the art of writing songs.
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
April 13, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
The Lakers gave out gas cards, fast-food coupons and casino getaways on fan appreciation night. They couldn't give their fans a victory, much like the rest of the season. The Memphis Grizzlies needed a win to help stay in playoff contention and got it, 102-90, Sunday at Staples Center. BOX SCORE: Grizzlies 102, Lakers 90 The Lakers (25-55) added to their most losses ever and finished 14-27 at home, their worst home record in 66 seasons of the franchise's existence.
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.
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.
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)
April 13, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
The contrast between nostalgia for the Los Angeles River and the reality of it today could not be sharper than at its confluence with the Arroyo Seco, a big, desolate flood-control channel strewn with trash and hemmed by freeways, power lines and railroad yards. Nagged by a sense that a real river lay entombed in all that concrete, L.A. poet Lewis MacAdams and two friends, fortified by coffee and brandy, in 1985 used wire cutters to snip a hole in the fence that separated the river from the city.
April 7, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
There are many reasons to take a moment to mourn Mickey Rooney's passing over the weekend at the grand old age of 93. For me, it truly feels like the end of an era, a door closing on a golden age, when movies were the great escape. A major star in a time when the famous didn't seem so much like “us,” he did. His smile turned his face into a landscape where laughter roamed free. You got the sense that he would actually want us to say 'Hi,' if he were spotted on the street. It was a kind of easy-going sensibility that would mark his screen career, though by most accounts not his far more complicated real life.
April 7, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Everyone knows Mickey Rooney, but who really remembers the extent of his success? How many now living can testify not only to how large this man loomed over the American film landscape but also to the particular qualities that made him such an enormous success in his prime? Everyone knows Rooney, who died Sunday in Los Angeles at the great age of 93, precisely because he lived so long, the tireless last surviving star of Hollywood's 1930s Golden Age, a performer always ready to make an appearance when there was a crowd waiting to applaud.
April 6, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Peter Matthiessen, who died Saturday at age 86 of complications from leukemia, was complex, even contradictory, in the most compelling sense. Born into privilege, he attended Hotchkiss boarding school and Yale and founded the Paris Review in 1953 with George Plimpton and Harold L. Humes. Yet he later became a Zen monk, and in his own fashion was something of an ascetic. He was perhaps best known as a writer of nonfiction, particularly “The Snow Leopard,” the 1978 account of his trip to the Himalayas with naturalist George Schaller that won not one but two National Book Awards.
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.
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.
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
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.
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