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March 1, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
TEMPE, Ariz.  - Albert Pujols plays for the Angels, and so does Josh Hamilton. Total rebuilding is not an option. It could have been. The Angels' minor league system generally ranks as the worst in the business. The major league team has not reached the playoffs in four consecutive years. The Angels are coming off their worst season in a decade, even with the emergence of baseball's best player, Mike Trout. As the Angels stumbled through the waning days of their lost summer, Jerry Dipoto had absolutely no idea whether he would keep his job. The second-year general manager started preparations for the 2014 season entirely unsure whether he would have the chance to implement them.
March 1, 2014 | By Ellen Olivier
The event: The Hollywood Domino pre-Oscar Gala & Tournament, staged in partnership with Swiss watchmaker Bovet 1822. It benefited Artists for Peace and Justice. Founded by Paul Haggis, a two-time Oscar-winner for writing and producing “Crash,” the charity supports peace, social justice and the alleviation of poverty in Haiti. The game: Hollywood Domino is a version of the children's game, enhanced by a generous helping of star power. Players at the Thursday event included Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” and recording star Kevin Jonas.
February 28, 2014 | By Mikael Wood
The Dixie Chicks made a rare U.S. concert appearance Thursday night as the headlining act at a benefit for the David Lynch Foundation. Held in a ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the evening doubled as a salute to the record producer Rick Rubin, who oversaw the Dixie Chicks' Grammy-winning 2006 album “Taking the Long Way” and Thursday received the Lifetime of Harmony Award from the foundation that promotes Transcendental Meditation....
February 28, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
Erica Eihl speaks in a voice that her kindergartners can hear only if they are as quiet as the church mice in children's storybooks. And with a couple of squirrelly exceptions, they stay that quiet for 15 or 20 minutes - a near eternity - as Eihl guides them to use all their senses to consider a piece of apple, with directions such as, "Looking at the apple, look on the outside. Look on the inside.… Remember, keep it in your palm and just look at it. " When she asks for their input, she gets raised hands and comments such as: "It smells juicy and apple-y" and "I see little tiny white spots.
February 27, 2014 | By Randy Lewis
The ante is upped measurably for the latest all-star benefit show staged by the Wild Honey Foundation: a varied assemblage of singers and musicians, mostly Los Angeles-based, who will perform two of the Beatles' most highly regarded albums, “Revolver” and “Abbey Road,” on Saturday at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, a venue nearly quadruple the size of the site of last year's show. “This is the biggest show we've ever done,” said organizer Paul Rock. “The Wilshire Ebell holds about 1,200, which is giant for us. Last year's show was at the El Portal [in North Hollywood]
February 26, 2014 | Marc Lifsher
Hundreds of thousands of jobless Californians last year appealed decisions of the troubled Employment Development Department, adding to months of delays in getting unemployment benefits. After holding hearings, administrative law judges at the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board rejected many of the EDD's cursory, highly technical decisions. They threw out or revised more than half of the earlier denials, belatedly awarding long-sought assistance of up to $450 per week.
February 16, 2014 | By Lisa Zamosky
Sarah Giron wants health insurance, but she says it's just not in her budget. "It's so expensive," says the 34-year-old stay-at-home mom in Riverside County. Her husband, an aerospace worker, gets health insurance at work at a very reasonable rate - just $25 is deducted from his paycheck every other week to cover the cost, she says. But family coverage that includes the Hemet mom and her 2-year-old daughter would cost around $700 a month, she says, and that's just too pricey. As companies increasingly raise the rates charged for family coverage, Giron's search for a separate insurance policy for her and her child highlights the many complications that consumers face today.
February 12, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown has dodged an artillery barrage fired by a battalion of liberals: federal judges and prisoners' lawyers. It's a big victory for the centrist. But it's a win-win for a lot of people: the unrelenting judges and lawyers, the packed-like-sardines inmates, the taxpaying public and state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). Because the judges Monday gave him a two-year extension on his deadline to end prison overcrowding, Brown won't be forced to release hordes of convicts - among them some potential Willie Hortons - as he runs for reelection this year.
February 12, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - As Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer prepares to take power at City Hall, voters here are well aware what the game plan of a Republican mayor looks like. It's the strategy used by former Mayor Jerry Sanders, a Faulconer supporter, as he struggled to pull the city out of a financial mess: Keep city spending low, maintain a tight rein on labor unions, support business interests to help create jobs. But less clear is what Faulconer's surprisingly easy victory Tuesday over Democratic Councilman David Alvarez - 55% to 45% - means for the statewide GOP, which now holds no statewide offices.
February 10, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- The House could vote as early as Wednesday on a bill that would raise the nation's debt ceiling and reverse a cut made to some veterans' benefits as part of the recent budget deal. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) unveiled the proposal at a private meeting late Monday as his party races against the clock to avoid a political showdown over the need to authorize more borrowing. Treasury has said it will run out of money by Feb. 27 if Congress fails to act. Republicans leaders have struggled to devise a way to raise the debt ceiling in the face of steep opposition from rank-and-file GOP lawmakers who want to extract a policy concession in exchange for their vote.
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