November 14, 2012 |
Stacy Peralta was fighting off bronchitis inside Santa Barbara's fabled Skate One complex - a kind of Willy Wonka world for skateboard manufacturing that he and former business partner George Powell established in 1978 to distribute their groundbreaking Powell-Peralta line. While the factory hummed with the day-to-day business of cranking out hundreds of candy-colored urethane wheels and pressing plywood into signature decks for Kilian Martin, Tony Hawk and more top riders, Peralta ripped into a box containing DVDs of his latest documentary, "Bones Brigade: An Autobiography.
November 8, 2012 |
Skateboarding legend Stacy Peralta's latest documentary, "Bones Brigade: An Autobiography," is like a high school reunion, filled with affectionate memories of an earlier, more innocent, time. The director returns to his pro-skateboard roots, and it's clear from Peralta's comments, sprinkled through the film, that the sport and the players remain his first love. But while his breakthrough documentary, "Dogtown and Z-Boys," cracked open the window on a largely unknown world in vibrant and visceral ways, "Bones" feels like an epilogue.
September 11, 2012
Broken sidewalks may not be quite as dangerous as rutted streets, but they too can be treacherous. An estimated 42% of the 10,750 miles of sidewalks in the city of Los Angeles are crumbling or buckling, lifted by tree roots in some places to scarily high inclines. The city gets about 2,500 "trip and fall" claims each year, and wheelchair users have sued the city, contending that the sidewalks are an obstacle course that violates the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. That they need to be fixed is a no-brainer.
July 7, 2012 |
BEIRUT - They were close friends and shared a singular lineage: Both were blood royalty of the Syrian leadership caste, birthright beneficiaries of their fathers' stranglehold on the nation. But the conflict tearing Syrian apart also opened a deep rift between President Bashar Assad and Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlas, a brigade commander in the country's ultra-loyal Republican Guard. On Friday,France's foreign minister confirmed that Tlas had defected. Tlas' departure from the Assad administration is the highest-profile to date, and many read the move as a sign that even Assad's inner circle is losing faith after 16 months of fighting, a savaged economy and international opprobrium.
May 23, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Moms, a few dads and some children gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday to urge Congress to strengthen the federal government's powers to regulate harmful chemicals. The group of almost a hundred activists, which included registered nurses and cancer survivors, came from across the country to support the Safe Chemicals Act, which if passed by Congress would create a new process to monitor toxic chemicals used in consumer products. The chemicals, which are common in furniture and baby products, have been linked to neurological defects, cancer, developmental problems and impaired fertility.
February 24, 2012 |
Some years ago, Hollywood made a movie, "The Devil's Brigade," about a U.S.-Canadian commando force during World War II. Now an effort is underway in Congress to award the Congressional Gold Medal to that elite strike force. Legislation to award the nation's highest civilian honor to the First Special Service Force has been introduced in the House and Senate by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. The Canadian Embassy in Washington plans to call attention to the effort next week by screening the documentary "Daring to Die: The Story of the Black Devils" with at least five members of the dwindling force in attendance, along with government and military officials from both countries.