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September 26, 1993
I commend you for publishing Lynell George's portrayal of bookstore owner Rita Dyson ("A Common Cause," Sept. 13). While supermarket-sized discount book chains begin to dominate the landscape, it is refreshing to hear about a small businesswoman fighting for her unique voice to be heard. That her competitors as well as customers and friends would come to her support is almost unheard of. Dyson's store is more than an independent outlet. It is a resource for those seeking knowledge of the black and Latino experience, a bastion of cultural understanding and a model for community cohesion.
October 21, 2013 | By Mark Gonzales
BOSTON  - Jake Peavy hasn't forgotten the first words Jonny Gomes said to him on his first day in the Fenway Park home clubhouse after his trade from the Chicago White Sox. "I asked how Jonny was doing, and his quote to me was, 'Just a day closer to the parade, Jake. Doing well. Just check this one off the list.' "It took me a minute to realize what that meant," Peavy said Monday. "I said, 'Oh my God. He's talking about the World Series parade.' This is the last day of July.
June 10, 2006
Upon reading the latest round from Shaq apologists in the June 3 letters, I couldn't help but reflect that they both conveniently ignore something quite glaring: If Shaquille O'Neal had agreed to the same contract with the Lakers as he did with Miami -- five years, $100 million -- he'd still be in purple and gold. Instead, he tried to hold up Jerry Buss for much, much more, and the good doctor wisely chose not to overspend on a great player on the downside of his career. Plus, does anyone really think Shaq would have gotten into the shape he's in today if he'd stayed with the Lakers, or would he have again postponed off-season surgeries in order to enjoy his "vacation," at the expense of team cohesion at the start of the season?
October 1, 2013 | By Mike DiGiovanna
OAKLAND - It's that time of year again, when fans around the country tune into the baseball playoffs, see a bunch of unfamiliar green-and-gold-clad Oakland Athletics playing in a creaky, leaky stadium built for football and think, "What are you guys doing here?" It's OK. The A's, whose talent, grit and World Series aspirations far exceed their small-market limitations, are used to it. Respect them or not, know them or not, they've won two consecutive American League West titles on a shoe-string budget and open a division series against the Detroit Tigers on Friday in Oakland.
July 6, 1986
As one who saw both " 'night, Mother" and "Green Card" recently at the Mark Taper, I take offense that there seems to be any critical acclaim for something, like "Green Card," that pretends to be a professional play. There is just no comparison in any sense, especially artistic. I can understand that some people found "Green Card" so meaningful. There are those who can find meaning in anything. In previous times, they used to consult chicken entrails. I can also imagine how the "play" (read "collection of skits")
With its season-opening concert Saturday night at the Wilshire-Ebell Theatre, the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, under the direction of Lucinda Carver, reached a new level of excellence. Perhaps it is the added time these talented freelancers have spent together getting ready for their first tour (in Richard Einhorn's "Voices of Light") and making two recordings.
April 27, 1998 | JOHN HENKEN
Founded in 1956 by violist Rudolf Barshai, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra became one of the minor legends of the Soviet arts industry. Friday, the ensemble--led since 1991 by the American pianist Constantine Orbelian--touched on some of its history in a compact, virtually unheralded concert at the Cal State Northridge Performing Arts Center.
Fledgling filmmaker Leslie Smith brings much care, commitment and considerable technical skill to his debut feature, "David Searching," but the result is a picture of parts rather than a cohesive whole. For every moment that rings true there are more that seem false.
Milton Babbitt is one of those perennially misunderstood artistic figures, often deemed synonymous with all that is cerebral and unforgiving in 20th century concert music. In fact, his music can be at once serious, colorful and engaging, like an intellectual argument that keeps weaving in and out of a casual conversation.
Although the universe probably began with a bang, a whimper is all that's managed by "The Universe: Creation, Constellations and the Cosmos," a show that would be pretentious if it weren't so silly. To its credit, the Norton Simon Museum's contribution to Pasadena's science-and-art celebration includes an impressive array of masterpieces: works of such beauty, meaning and achievement that any of them could anchor a deeply satisfying, sharply focused exhibition.
June 2, 2013 | By Glen Johnson, Los Angeles Times
ISTANBUL, Turkey - A weekend of protest in Turkey has left the country reeling, with thousands of dissidents taking to the streets after a brutal police crackdown, presenting the government with the most cohesive challenge in its more than a decade in power. "The government is passing laws that go against our freedom, that take away our rights," said 31-year-old Derya Bozkurt as she stood in the heart of Taksim Square in central Istanbul on Sunday evening. She was drinking a beer and smoking a cigar - powerful statements in present-day Turkey, where Islamists frown on alcohol consumption and cigar smoking is hardly the social norm for a woman.
February 12, 2013 | By Lisa Dillman, Los Angeles Times
All you need to know about the battered and decimated Kings' defense corps is that one member still has a pretty nasty-looking right eye. And Rob Scuderi is one of the healthier ones. Kings defensemen are dropping at an alarming rate, with Monday in St. Louis another example of the season-long trend. Alec Martinez suffered an upper-body injury early in the 4-1 win against the Blues and did not return, having played a mere 1 minute 35 seconds. Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said after the game that Martinez would be placed on injured reserve and now that move is expected to occur before the team's next game, which is Friday against visiting Columbus.
September 1, 2012 | By Chris Foster, Los Angeles Times
Getting a read on how good UCLA might be from its 49-24 victory over woeful Rice on Thursday was difficult. Getting a read on the Bruins after they play Nebraska on Sept. 8 should be fairly easy. And nowhere should the truth be clearer than on the offensive line. UCLA rolled up 646 yards - 343 on the ground - against Rice. UCLA Coach Jim Mora said Nebraska would be "a stiffer test. " The Bruins moved easily against Rice even with three offensive linemen - tackles Simon Goines and Torian White, plus center Jake Brendel - playing in their first college game.
August 30, 2012 | Helene Elliott
One game away from September and it's still impossible to tell if the Dodgers are a bunch of high-priced talented players thrown together during a frenzied shopping spree, or if they have the makings of a cohesive team. One game away from September and 30 games from the end of the season and the Dodgers are at a low point. They stood 41/2 games behind the division-leading San Francisco Giants after their 2-0 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, and although they're still in the cluster of four teams jockeying for the wild-card spot, is that all that $260 million can buy these days?
June 13, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
Of the social developments of recent decades, certainly one of the most perplexing is the revolt of the working class against workers. Last week's election results only scratch the surface of a trend that destroys social cohesion and makes it harder for businesses - small and large - to prosper. Voters in San Jose and San Diego opted to cut public employee pension programs; on the national stage, Wisconsin's openly anti-labor governor, Scott Walker, handily turned away a recall campaign inspired by his effort to kill collective bargaining rights for public workers.
May 4, 2012
At first, "Citizen Gangster," inspired by the true story of Toronto public enemy and folk hero Edwin Boyd, is intriguing stuff; an absorbing study of how, circa 1950, a seemingly decent World War II veteran, family man and wannabe actor-turned-bank robber to make ends meet. Unfortunately, after Boyd (Scott Speedman) is inevitably caught and jailed, what's left is an hour or so of overly familiar characters and situations. Once in prison, Boyd meets - and later escapes - with a gang of three whose archetypes include the brawn (Kevin Durand)
September 5, 2008 | David Ng, David C. Nichols
An anthology of 11 short avant-garde plays, "Spider Bites" is a strange and sometimes impenetrable theatrical experience that features an approximately even hit-to-miss ratio. Though often self-indulgent, Jacqueline Wright's mini-dramas at Theatre of NOTE have the good manners to be brief and to rarely overstay their welcome. The strongest segments tackle genre tropes with a revisionist gusto. "Pops" flips the biker revenge fantasy on its head by casting a middle-aged woman (a galvanizing Lynn Odell)
April 30, 1989 | DON PATTERSON
Sockers Coach Ron Newman wasn't necessarily thinking about a seventh league championship, a first-place finish or even more victories than losses at the beginning of this rather strange season. His focus was more on simple identification. "We tried to find out who in the hell we had on the team," he said. Easier said than done. The Sockers, who open the Major Indoor Soccer League playoffs Wednesday night at the San Diego Sports Arena against Dallas, are a brand new bunch this year.
January 23, 2012 | Jim Newton
The Los Angeles City Council has a new president, Herb Wesson. But does a new president change anything? The council president is just one vote of 15 on that notoriously difficult to manage body. In that sense, he's not much different from his colleagues. He manages his district and votes along with his colleagues. But the president also has some additional power: He assigns members to committees and acts as the figurehead for the larger body. For years, John Ferraro used the position to establish himself as second only to the mayors with whom he served; more recently, Eric Garcetti has brought a lighter, more cerebral touch to the job and used it to launch his bid for mayor.
December 17, 2011 | By Baxter Holmes
Addition by subtraction. That was the argument being tossed around when UCLA dismissed volatile forward Reeves Nelson on Dec. 9 — that it lost a good player but was better off for it. It might be too early to know if that equation is accurate, but these numbers don't lie: The Bruins have added three consecutive wins to their record and evened it at 5-5 since Nelson left, the latest an 82-39 demolition of UC Davis before 5,132 at...
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