April 27, 2012 |
Friday in Ojai was a day best suited for canvas and watercolors. Also, because it was Ojai, for tennis. We live in an era where tradition means you did the same thing last year. In Ojai, their tennis tradition runs a bit deeper. This weekend's tournament, simply called "The Ojai" because that's all that is needed, is the 112th. Some of the trees surrounding the courts in Libbey Park look as if they were there when this all started. To be clear, this is no collection of hackers in green shorts and cheap rackets.
April 22, 2012 |
Chancy Smith, who is in charge of his county's emergency response unit, had never seen anything like it. A "funeral procession" of cars trekked through county roads as a tornado bore down on Solomon, Kan., Smith said. Gawkers clogged the streets. Photographers stood in the middle of highways with tripods. Some vehicles drove over downed power lines. Like some kind of paparazzi, obsessed with storms instead of stars, the chasers converged in tornado alley last weekend to capture images and perhaps profits from a deadly twister outbreak that scoured the Central Plains.
April 3, 2012 |
The scimitar-horned oryx was listed as endangered seven years ago, but a special exemption from the federal Endangered Species Act allowed breeders of the rare African antelope to nonetheless sell and hunt the animals -- at $5,500 a head. As a result, herds grew exponentially on exotic hunting ranches nationwide, especially in Texas. That exemption for the oryx and two other African antelopes popular with Texas hunters, the addax and the dama gazelle, could disappear Wednesday unless a federal judge approves a last-minute appeal by ranchers for an injunction.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2012 |
Behind the bolted steel doors of an old brick warehouse, Big Wes meets a nutrient company scientist to see if he can increase his crop yield. Rows of hydroponic marijuana plants soak up solution flowing through plastic troughs and light blazing from high-pressure sodium lamps. Big Wes has spent more than half his life calibrating his system of growing high-grade marijuana to its utmost efficiency. At 50 years old, he harvests a crop of dozens of plants every week from five rented warehouses scattered along the rutted streets and alleys around the docks of Oakland.
January 28, 2012 |
Texas' hunting season for white-tailed deer draws to a close this month. Normally Billy Powell would be counting his profits from catering to "hornographers," hunters who will pay as much as $100,000 to bag a monster buck with impressive headgear. Instead, the 78-year-old deer breeder is under house arrest and wearing an ankle monitor. Meanwhile, hundreds of his deer, part of a herd that had included two big bucks named Hit Man and Barry, have been put down in a scandal that has rocked Texas' $2.8-billion deer hunting and breeding industry, the largest in the nation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2011 |
Hark, the red-flanked bluetail sings! Yes, that red-flanked bluetail — the bird species that until this week had been spotted just once in North America outside of Alaska. Avid birders have been vocalizing like crazy about the discovery, which was made Tuesday by biologists on San Clemente Island, a 21-mile-long sliver off the Southern California coast. PHOTOS: Readers share bird images "Birders get very excited about this kind of thing," said Kimball Garrett, ornithology collections manager at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
December 1, 2011 |
Living in the farther reaches of basic cable are a growing number of television series about what might be called "ordinary people" at work in what most of us would consider extraordinary jobs. It is lazily tempting, though not quite right, to describe these shows as redneck or blue-collar or rural, but they are mostly set away from big cities in places that -- apart from these shows -- you don't often see on TV: Southern places and prairie places and backwoods places. You can link their titles into a kind of poetical associative chain: "Ice Road Truckers," "American Joggers," "Lady Joggers," "Ax Men," "American Loggers," "Swamp Loggers," "Swamp Brothers," "Swamp People," "Swamp Wars" -- do you see a pattern emerging?
November 23, 2011 |
By long-standing tradition, the centerpiece of Thanksgiving dinner has been purchased rock-hard, frozen and cheap. That's starting to change. Turkeys are going Godiva. The same passion for eating that brought us gourmet food trucks and swelled ratings for TV cooking shows has boosted demand for top-drawer turkeys with fancy names and even fancier price tags — up to $150 for a prized Bourbon Red heritage variety. "People want a bird that has a name, a provenance, a pedigree — a bird you can brag about," said Kathy Gori, a 60-year-old screenwriter who splits her time between Sonoma and Santa Monica.
September 19, 2011 |
John McKissick is in his 60th season coaching the Summerville (S.C.) High School football team. No head football coach has held the same post longer. None on any level has ever won more games (589). But McKissick, who turns 85 this month, never thinks about retirement, because of what that might bring. "Most all of my buddies my age that retired, they all passed away," McKissick says in a smooth, genteel Southern drawl. "I'm not ready yet. I've got four great-grandchildren and I want to see what's going to happen to them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 2011 |
One of the nation's most ambitious wildlife reintroduction efforts has suffered a setback with the deaths of 104 mountain yellow-legged frogs that had been rescued from the fire-stripped San Gabriel Mountains in 2009, authorities said Tuesday. The federally endangered frogs, which recently metamorphosed from the tadpole stage, died in captive breeding tanks over the last several weeks at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. "We have two frogs left. We're trying to determine exactly what happened," said Scott Barton, director of the zoo, which is highly regarded for amphibian husbandry.