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TRAVEL
March 7, 2014 | By Rosemary McClure
GRANADA, Nicaragua - I came to Nicaragua to climb a volcano, to listen to howler monkeys scream in the trees of a rain forest and to walk along a deserted beach, watching the sun flame out at the end of day, turning the sea and sky ablaze. I did all those things and more in this star-crossed Central American nation, a place where culture, history and nature combine to offer visitors some of the hemisphere's most diverse experiences. Nicaragua, which calls itself "the next Costa Rica," has much to commend it: large tracts of nature reserves; sleepy surf towns; dozens of volcanic peaks; rain forests rich with biodiversity; seemingly endless, undeveloped beaches; and charming colonial cities alive with culture.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
Setting the stage for a shake-up in city politics, a councilman and a real estate investor held off heavily favored Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal in Long Beach's mayoral election and will meet in a June runoff. Unofficial tallies in Tuesday's vote showed Councilman Robert Garcia leading the pack with 25.4% of the vote, and former NFL player and real estate investor Damon Dunn close behind with 22.3%. Lowenthal, a political heavyweight in the port city, garnered 19.6%. It marked the first time in her lengthy career that she lost an election day contest.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2009
When she was not quite 80, Agnès Varda, one of the seminal filmmakers of the French New Wave, decided to take a look at her life, with the resulting film a lovely bit of memory and mischief. Now in contention for an Oscar, it's back for a brief run this weekend at the Laemmle Sunset 5, the Pasadena Playhouse 7 and the Town Center, Encino. "Beaches" is an extraordinary documentary and best on the big screen, so consider this an unexpected holiday gift. You can feel Varda's amusement in the way she's stitched together remnants of her life, sand and the past kicking up around her as she walks backward -- literally, at times -- then forward again, contemplating, teasing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
After years of contentious debate, a long-running and sharply criticized plan to extend Orange County's toll road network to the San Diego County line has been shelved. The extension would have added miles to the county's maze of tollways but also would have cut - in the view of some - perilously close to San Onofre State Beach and one of the state's most treasured surf breaks. On Tuesday, officials with the Transportation Corridor Agencies announced they had canceled environmental studies for the massive 241 extension and said they would pursue less-ambitious alternatives.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 5, 2013 | By Scott Gold
I tend to like children, and generally harbor positive thoughts about the future. But I had my doubts this summer, maybe like you, after the U.S. Open of Surfing crowd degenerated into marauding and brawling - young men clashing with police in riot gear, flipping over rows of porta-potties, ripping out street signs and using them to bash into local businesses. They called it a "riot. " A riot, however, happens when there is at least the perception of some sort of injustice. This was no riot.
WORLD
July 7, 2013 | By Julie Makinen
QINGDAO, China - As far as Li Lejun is concerned, there's one easy way to make a July beach vacation even better than expected: Add seaweed. Hundreds upon hundreds of tons of it. Buried up to his thighs in sand, his back covered in what looked like strands of chartreuse cotton candy, the 7-year-old Beijing boy was having the time of his life Sunday at No. 1 Bathing Beach in this city 350 miles north of Shanghai. Ten paces to his right, men in swim briefs were using pitchforks to fling mounds of algae into a yellow front-end loader.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
Big waves pounded Southern California beaches on Tuesday, and inland areas recorded record high temperatures, according to forecasters. In Ventura County, waves up to 10 feet hit area beaches, according to the National Weather Service. In Orange County, Huntington Beach saw sets of 4 to 6 feet, according to the Surfline wave report The waves are expected to get smaller beginning Wednesday morning before a new swell arrives on Friday. On Tuesday, the hottest spot in the nation was Camarillo in Ventura County, which topped out at 84 degrees.
BUSINESS
June 19, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
California's outdoor resources -- its beaches, mountains and deserts -- are key assets in fueling the state's $106-billion tourism industry. A new study finds that keeping those assets pristine helps keep visitors coming. Beaches that have stormwater mitigation programs have  significantly higher attendance than those with no such pollution control measures, according to a new study by scholars at UCLA. The report by visiting scholar Ryan Vaughn and others at the Ziman Center for Real Estate found that beaches with stormwater mitigation programs had an average of 600,000 more visitors per year than those that did not. The study was based on attendance numbers taken at 26 beaches in Southern California over a 10-year period.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2010 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Health officials Friday afternoon reopened beaches near Ballona Creek to swimmers and surfers, two days after they were closed because of a major sewage spill. Testing showed bacteria levels in the water within normal ranges for two days in a row, so lifeguards on Friday began removing closure signs from two miles of coastline south of the creek outlet, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The closures were ordered after a clog in a sewer main caused a manhole near Centinela Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard to overflow Wednesday, discharging an estimated 500,000 gallons of raw sewage into a storm drain that leads to Ballona Creek and, eventually, the Pacific Ocean.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 3, 2007 | By Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
The sun is sinking over Bolsa Chica State Beach when the cars begin their nightly swap. Out go the boys hauling bodyboards, the sun-blistered tourists, the girls in huge shades and bikinis the size of washcloths. In drive the locals, carrying memories of summer nights spent beside the Pacific, huddled around a bonfire, toasting s'mores. Near lifeguard stand 21, Ben Garcia leaned as close as the flames allow. He spent nearly an hour cramming his girlfriend's Ford Explorer with scrap lumber to torch and squirmed through work, his mind already at Huntington Beach.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
A field of candidates - many political heavyweights and city insiders - are locked in an expensive battle to become Long Beach's newest mayor, a job that comes with expectations of reviving both the port city's economy and reputation. The April 8 election has candidates vying for city attorney and a majority of Long Beach's nine council seats, setting the stage for one of the most significant shake-ups in city politics in more than a decade. But all eyes are on the mayor's race, and with the crowded field a June runoff is likely.
SPORTS
April 2, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Huntington Beach High has been waiting patiently for the arrival of Hagen Danner, one of the stars from the 2011 Little League World Series championship team. Now that he's a freshman, Danner is living up to the hype. So what if Edison players were yelling from the dugout in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and two outs on Wednesday trying to pressure the 15-year-old pitcher who's already committed to UCLA. "The kid has pitched in front of the world," Huntington Beach Coach Benji Medure said.
SPORTS
March 29, 2014 | By Steve Galluzzo
There's no time like the present for Long Beach Poly, but the future could be even brighter. Freshman forward Ayanna Clark scored 14 of her 19 points in the second half as the Jackrabbits dominated down the stretch to win their sixth state championship and first in the Open Division with a 70-52 triumph over Richmond Salesian on Saturday night at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. It looked as if Poly might run away with the victory when it jumped ahead, 17-4, in the first four minutes and took a 36-23 lead into halftime.
SPORTS
March 29, 2014 | By Steve Galluzzo
Long Beach Poly is two quarters away from winning its sixth state championship. The Jackrabbits have jumped to a 36-23 halftime lead over Salesian in the state Open Division final at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. Tania Lamb is the high scorer with nine points and Lajahna Drummer has eight points and six rebounds for Poly, which took an early 17-4 advantage and out-rebounded Salesian 24-10 in the first half. Poly is 8 of 10 from the free throw line and has made four three-point baskets.
TRAVEL
March 28, 2014 | By Vincent Bevins
Natal, a breezy beach city with vast blue skies and bright sun 1,220 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro, has much of the small-town feel common in the surrounding rural regions. Where you'll see soccer: The U.S. takes on Ghana on June 16 at the newly constructed Arena das Dunas in Natal, a towering homage to sea, sun and sand. FIFA is putting up a giant screen at Praia do Forte north of the tourist areas and stadium. In a calm city light on night life and heavy on fresh air, this is probably the best place to take in the action for those without tickets.
SPORTS
March 28, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Long Beach State Coach Dan Monson is in Sacramento this weekend to see if his four senior recruits can all win state championships, and the first title went to 6-foot-7 Temidayo Yussuf of Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame. He scored 21 points and had 16 rebounds to lead the Pilots (33-2) to a 57-32 victory over Altadena Renaissance (24-8) in the Division V final at Sleep Train Arena. "Hopefully, we can all come to Long Beach with a ring," Yussuf said. Renaissance was outscored, 13-0, in the second quarter and fell behind, 29-8, at halftime.
NEWS
July 9, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
For surfers, Moroccan beaches about 100 miles southwest of Marrakech provide long, smooth breaks -- and few crowds. Access Trips , based in Oakland, mines these lesser known locations along the Atlantic Ocean with a surf vacation to locals-only spots near Agadir. Participants spend three days in morning and afternoon surf lessons during this eight-day trip. There's a cultural side to this tour as well. Sightseeing and exploring the history of Marrakech and hiking in the Atlas Mountains also are on the itinerary to create a fuller picture of life in the North African nation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 3, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
Newport Beach has withdrawn its request to remove fire rings from the city's beaches. In a letter to the California Coastal Commission, which would have had to approve the city's application to remove the rings, City Manager Dave Kiff wrote that "[w]hile the most sensible thing to do is simply delay the commission's consideration of our application, we understand this is not possible. " The commission was scheduled to vote on Newport Beach's application a day before the South Coast Air Quality Management District considers a proposal to give any city or county the authority to get rid of wood-burning fire rings.
TRAVEL
March 28, 2014 | By Vincent Bevins
RIO DE JANEIRO - As you roll into this urbane beach city you can easily understand why most soccer fans will choose to be based here, if possible, during the FIFA World Cup, the sport's premiere international competition that begins June 12. Brazil's former capital and a resurgent cosmopolitan city, Rio has most of the urban offerings you would expect in a major destination, such as museums, restaurants and night life. But it's really the city's natural beauty and bright blue skies that make the trip worthwhile and make visitors more likely to forgive the high prices, lackluster service and spontaneous logistical breakdowns.
SPORTS
March 26, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 To say that Long Beach Wilson has pitching depth might be an understatement. On Saturday, the Bruins defeated Agoura, 1-0, in 12 innings. On Tuesday night in a Moore League opener against Long Beach Jordan, Wilson won, 4-3, in 15 innings. The Bruins were so exhausted after getting the winning run in the 15th inning that players walked out of the dugout to celebrate. Tyler Radcliffe, who was supposed to start Friday against Lakewood, threw nine shutout innings of relief with 10 strikeouts.
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