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February 19, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
When the weekend rolls around, many locals in Belmont Shore don't even bother to leave home. At least not in their cars. Parking in "the Shore" is so notoriously difficult that residents are accustomed to circling the neighborhood, block by block, in search of a parking spot, and consider themselves lucky to find one close to home. It became so bad that businesses agreed 25 years ago to tax themselves to increase parking spots and the city formed a neighborhood parking commission to tackle the problem, handing over local parking meter revenue to help pay for a solution.
February 17, 2014 | By James Rainey
Los Angeles lawmakers plan to introduce an ordinance Tuesday that would require the operators of big hotels to pay workers $15.37 an hour, one of the highest minimum wage rates targeting private employers anywhere in the U.S. The initiative by City Council members Nury Martinez, Curren Price and Mike Bonin is expected to set off a fierce contest between labor and business. Union activists say workers deserve a bigger share of revenue in the booming hotel industry, while owners say that nearly doubling the state minimum wage of $8 an hour will hurt profitability.
February 17, 2014 | By Ronald D. White
USC is out to create a new breed of entrepreneur - one that can turn social causes into money makers. The university is launching a master's degree program, starting with the upcoming fall semester, to teach traditional business skills to students interested in issues of social significance. The goal is to build hybrid nonprofits or socially active businesses that are better able to sustain themselves and their missions. “The idea is to merge the consciousness and the thought process of entrepreneurs to solve societal issues,” said James G. Ellis, dean of the USC Marshall School of Business.
February 17, 2014 | By David Horsey
Especially when it comes to economic policy, too many politicians are motivated by myths more than by facts. A prime example: the myth of the job creators. Republicans, such as Speaker of the House John Boehner, talk of job creators in reverent, worshipful terms. In their vision of how the world works, it is these brave titans of capitalism who, with no help from anyone else, build the companies that create jobs for American workers. To Boehner and his party, anything that inhibits job creators in their endeavors - taxes, environmental laws, financial regulations - is a job killer.
February 16, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
The most sinister video you're likely to find online just now comes from people who oppose online gambling. "Disreputable gaming interests are lobbying hard to spread Internet gambling throughout the country," a voice over intones. Cue the grainy black-and-white footage of something sketchy going on in an alleyway, the ominous music and allusions to criminal "syndicates" and terrorism. The narrator warns that "an established Al Qaeda poker network could extract enough untraceable money from the United States in just a few days to fund several 9/11-sized attacks.
February 15, 2014 | By Barbara Demick
YANJI, China - She was a North Korean success story. For more than two decades, the woman, now 50, dabbled in various businesses at the border between China and North Korea. She sold rice. She traded foreign currency. She opened a massage parlor in China. She traveled between the two countries with relative ease and was making sufficient money to live comfortably, so much so that she rebuffed invitations to join her sister, who had defected to South Korea. But the woman, who didn't want her name used out of fear for her safety, has changed her thinking about the future since the December execution of Jang Song Taek, the uncle by marriage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Jang, 67, was long viewed as a champion of free enterprise within the nominally communist state, and his purge has rattled many North Koreans.
February 14, 2014 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
The parrot wasn't talking. "I'm teaching her to say, 'I miss Mace,"' said Mace Neufeld, who at 85 reckons the bird, whose name is Margie, will outlast him. With no words of affection forthcoming, Neufeld, a New Yorker who landed in Beverly Hills back when you could grab a sandwich at the Ontra Cafeteria and rent a house with a pool for $300 a month, headed toward the sitting room. He once wrote music for Dorothy Loudon, managed Dusty Springfield, produced "The Omen. " But Neufeld moves with the fervor of a man less concerned with his legacy than the spread sheet of his latest film.
February 14, 2014 | By Susan King
In the three years since earning an Oscar nomination at age 14 for her film debut in Joel and Ethan Coen's "True Grit," Hailee Steinfeld has had barely a moment to catch her breath. Last year, she tackled sci-fi ("Ender's Game) and Shakespearean tragedy ("Romeo and Juliet"). And the 17-year-old high school junior has a cluster of films completed, including "3 Days to Kill," which opens Feb. 21. Penned by Luc Besson and Adi Hasak and directed by McG, the spy thriller-drama finds Steinfeld playing Zoey, the estranged teenage daughter of a dying CIA assassin (Kevin Costner)
February 14, 2014 | By George Hobica
Air travel these days is sometimes likened to the flying version of a Greyhound bus. Here are some strategies to help you keep your costs in hand and perhaps get a little more (comfort, perks) for your money. - Don't fall for the "only premium economy seats are available" ploy. You booked a fare on an airline that has economy and premium economy seating, and when it's time for seat selection, the website says only the more expensive premium economy seats are available. Don't pay more for a premium seat.
February 14, 2014 | By Kera Bolonik
B.J. Novak wrote for and costarred in NBC's hit series "The Office" for eight seasons, a quiet member of a hilariously brash ensemble, playing the smug Ryan Howard. So when he unleashed his literary debut, "One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories" (Alfred A. Knopf: 276 pp., $24.95), as part of a two-book, seven-figure deal with the literary stalwart publisher, there was no reason to think that Novak wasn't just another actor with writerly delusions. In fact, he was succumbing to his fate.
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