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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By Scott Gold
Community activists pledged Monday to continue fighting the construction of an immigrant processing center on the Central Coast, despite a bitterly contested vote in which a local city council advanced the project in the face of fervent public opposition. "The fight is not over," said Hazel Davalos, head of the Santa Maria chapter of Coastal Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, an organization that helps working families in the region. The federal government wants to replace an aging, dilapidated facility in Lompoc - a smattering of trailers that were installed on the grounds of a prison to process immigration cases.
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BUSINESS
March 31, 2014 | By Chad Terhune, Noam Levey and Soumya Karlamangla
Overrun by last-minute demand for Obamacare coverage, California gave many consumers until April 15 to enroll as thousands of people across the nation endured long lines and website troubles. Despite the problems, the late surge in sign-ups was a substantial boost to President Obama's signature law, particularly after such a disastrous launch in October. The final tally from the first year of the law's insurance expansion won't be known until later this spring. But as the Affordable Care Act's inaugural open-enrollment period wound down, an outpouring of interest pushed sign-ups on the new online marketplaces close to the Obama administration's goal of 7 million.
OPINION
March 30, 2014 | By Peter Dreier and Harold Meyerson
Many cities are pricey places to live. Acknowledging that reality, a growing number of cities have adopted higher minimum-wage standards than those set by the federal and state governments. San Francisco is on that list, as are San Jose, Seattle (where efforts are underway to raise the hourly minimum to $15), Washington (and two adjacent Maryland counties), Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M. Even in San Diego, no bastion of liberalism, the City Council is moving to put a wage hike before local voters.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO -  If there has ever been a more nauseating corruption scandal in Sacramento, I'm not aware of it. Certainly not in the past 50 years. The notion of a legislator masquerading as a gun control crusader while offering to help a mobster traffic in automatic rifles and rocket launchers is beyond hypocrisy. It's sick. The obligatory insert here: Everyone is presumed innocent until proved guilty in court. But no one I've talked to presumes any innocence in this sordid case.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 30, 2014 | By Mike Anton
When he was a young man, Hobie Alter had a clear vision of his future: He didn't want a job that would require hard-soled shoes, and he didn't want to work east of Pacific Coast Highway. He succeeded. The son of a second-generation orange grower, Alter is credited with innovations that allowed people who couldn't lift log slabs to surf and those who couldn't pay for yacht club memberships to sail. Share your memories: Hobie's contributions to SoCal culture Known practically everywhere with a coastline or a lake simply as "Hobie," Alter developed the mass-produced foam surfboard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun, Paloma Esquivel and Catherine Saillant
When the first jolt hit, Fullerton Mayor Pro Tem Greg Sebourn was on the couch getting his 4- and 8-year-old daughters ready for bed. As Sebourn rushed his screaming girls toward the door, another violent lurch knocked the mayor and one of his daughters to the floor. Sebourn skinned his knee and his daughter bumped her head on a door jamb. On Saturday, the mayor was thankful their injuries weren't worse. "It's the strongest jolt I've ever felt, and I've been in the same town for 41 years," he said.
OPINION
March 29, 2014
Re "The Exide wake-up call," Editorial, March 23 The editorial on the inability of the state of California to regulate the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon would be tragic if it wasn't so laced with irony. The state of California seems able to make the lives of home-builders and homeowners miserable with some really questionable mandates, laws and requirements. Yet the Exide plant (and others) apparently can get away with contaminating the environment or whatever it wants.
SPORTS
March 29, 2014 | Eric Sondheimer
SACRAMENTO - It was only fitting that in Stanley Johnson's final game as a Mater Dei Monarch, he got to show off his skills in an NBA arena, because that's where he figures to be hanging out in a few years. On Saturday night, he became the first player in California history to win four upper-division state championships, scoring 25 points and contributing eight assists in Santa Ana Mater Dei's 71-61 victory over Oakland Bishop O'Dowd in the Open Division final at Sleep Train Arena.
BUSINESS
March 29, 2014 | By Tim Logan
This time last year, investment firms raced to buy dozens of single-family homes in neighborhoods from Fontana to South Los Angeles to lease them out, transforming the mom-and-pop rental business into a Wall Street juggernaut. The flood of cash helped spark a steep rise in prices, drawing criticism for pushing families out of the market. But now the firms themselves have all but stopped buying in Southern California, the latest evidence that home prices have hit a ceiling. The professional investors no longer see bargains here.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2014 | By David Colker
Former Los Angeles Times reporter Ruth Ryon, who created the highly popular and enduring Hot Property column on celebrity real estate, died Friday at a hospice facility in Redondo Beach. She was 69. The cause was complications of Parkinson's disease, said her husband, George Ryon. For Angelenos, some of whom visit homes for sale even if they're not looking to buy, Ryon's column quickly became a guilty-pleasure must-read. The first column, which appeared Nov. 25, 1984, led with Johnny Carson buying a house in Malibu for $9.5 million, at the time the most ever paid in that area for a single-family home.
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