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BUSINESS
June 22, 2013 | By Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times
Dean Schefrin bought a home at just the right time. He and his then-fiancee purchased their four-bedroom Thousand Oaks home last August, catching the rising wave of Southern California home prices. Less than a year later, he estimates his home is worth about 25% more than he paid. "It is just a really nice feeling," the 45-year-old said. "It's sort of peace of mind. " The last time housing prices rose this quickly, homeowners rushed to tap their home equity to spend on renovations, cars, vacations, even second homes.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 2, 2013 | By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times
Sara Gran doesn't believe in studying writing. If you consider yourself a writer, just write. That's what Gran did for years on a notepad, often on the subway going to and from her job at the famous Strand bookstore in New York City before her first novel, "Saturn's Return to New York," was published in 2001. Working at the Strand was like going to graduate school for books, says Gran, who sorted through thousands of paperbacks during her shifts. "It always cracks me up when people romanticize books and talk about them in this flowery way - 'Oh, I love the smell of books,'" she says sipping on an iced tea at Fix coffee shop in Echo Park.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 25, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Melancholy and middle America aren't usually seen in the rom-com world. In "Arthur Newman," a romantic comedy that unfolds during a road trip to Terra Haute, Ind., they are refreshingly unexpected elements that soften us up for the rough patches the film hits along the way. Also working in the film's favor are Colin Firth and Emily Blunt, both well-versed in comedy and about as appealing on screen as actors come. They star as a couple of depressed souls whose paths cross one night at the edge of a seedy motel swimming pool.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 24, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
- When Emily Blunt was in grade school and Colin Firth was still a struggling actor, Becky Johnston was penning their characters in the first draft of a screenplay that would become "Arthur Newman. " Twenty years later, it is finally a movie, opening Friday, a meditation on identity guised in a road trip featuring two lost souls grappling with their unenviable realities. FOR THE RECORD: "Arthur Newman": An article about the film "Arthur Newman" in the April 24 Calendar section said that the movie was the first that Colin Firth signed onto after winning an Oscar for "The King's Speech.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 20, 2013 | Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
DALLAS - What do neo-classicism and neo-conservatism have in common? That's the question at the heart of the design by New York's Robert A.M. Stern Architects for the George W. Bush presidential library, set to open to the public May 1 on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The $250-million complex holds the president's archive as well as a museum, restaurant, auditorium, policy institute and foundation. Officially known as the George W. Bush Presidential Center, it is carefully and cannily contextual, like much of Stern's work.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2013 | By Robert Abele
Beware the horror-thriller about personality disorder that suffers from its own fractious splits in title, mood and logic. "6 Souls," originally completed (and released overseas) years ago under the title "Shelter," begins as a run-of-the-mill gothic/psychological suspense film. Julianne Moore stars as a forensic psychiatrist who is skeptical of dissociative identity disorder but is confronted with a creepy patient (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) practically bursting with various entities and barely concealed menace.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2013 | By Nicole Santa Cruz
A man was under arrest in San Jose after a bizarre car crash and attack Sunday at a Walmart. Police are investigating what motivated the man to drive into the busy store. “We don't know if there was an intended target or not,” said Officer Albert Morales, of the San Jose Police Department. At least four people were injured when the suspect crashed into the Walmart , exited the vehicle, picked up a blunt object from inside the store and began to assault customers, police said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2013 | Hailey Branson-Potts
John Sohus suffered at least three potentially fatal blows to the head from a blunt object before his skull was wrapped and buried in two plastic bags bearing insignias of universities linked to murder defendant Christopher Gerhartsreiter, prosecution witnesses testified Wednesday. The 27-year-old victim's remains were discovered in 1994 in the backyard of a San Marino home where Gerhartsreiter -- then known as Christopher Chichester -- had previously lived in the guesthouse. After the discovery, crime scene investigators found four bloodstains on the floor of the guesthouse, said Lynne Herold, a criminalist for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
NEWS
March 18, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee
WASHINGTON -- Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt said on Monday that he is placing a hold on Gina McCarthy, President Obama's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency, which could delay a full Senate vote on the nominee. Blunt said the hold would remain in place until the Obama administration issued a timeline for release of a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway Project. The project calls for installing pumping stations and closing a 1,500-foot gap in the Mississippi River levee system in southeast Missouri.
NEWS
March 2, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
SACRAMENTO - GOP operative Karl  Rove had blunt words Saturday for California Republicans, who are trying to claw their way back to political relevancy in the state. “My message is this: get off your ass,"  Rove told nearly 500 Republicans gathered for a convention luncheon at a downtown hotel. “Get back in the game and fight. Don't give in to what the other side wants.” The gathering is taking place as the state GOP is at a crossroads. A Republican politician has not been elected to statewide office in seven years, GOP voter registration has plummeted, and the party is mired in debt.
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