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September 7, 2010 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
"This is the easy part," says Barry Rice, half-sliding, half-falling down a ravine through a latticework of dead branches. Decades ago, lush stands of Darlingtonia californica — emerald plants coiled like fanged cobras ready to pounce — grew at this spot in the northern reaches of the Sierra Nevada. Deep in the ravine, the air is hot and dead. Pieces of bark that have sloughed off trees make every step a danger — nature's equivalent of a thousand forgotten skateboards cluttering a driveway.
January 25, 2014
Re "Rookie teen turns pro," Column One, Jan. 21 How refreshing: an article about a talented, well-grounded and genuine young woman instead of one about some twaddle-brained twerker. Kind of restores one's faith in the future. Kate MacMahon Orange ALSO: Mailbag: Living on the street Letters: The poor's new ally -- the GOP Letters: Combating ignorance on climate change
May 26, 2011 | By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
Bargain land and wide-open spaces drew Alan Kimble Fahey to Acton. A modest ranch house on a desert lot offered the outpost he sought. But then Fahey wanted to expand. So he began to build. And build. And build. Fahey built a barn and moved in. He traded his motorcycle for a trailer and painted it to look like a rail car. He bartered other possessions for a dump-truck load of rocks and a 60-foot workers' lift. Then he sank 108 utility poles a dozen feet into the hard-packed Antelope Valley ground.
November 10, 2013
Re "France is having a midweek crisis," Column One, Nov. 6 The controversy over French children having to attend class on Wednesdays brought to mind a quote by a friend - a teacher - who once said, "The mind can only absorb what punishment that the fanny can take. " Too many hours during a single sitting do not necessarily translate to productivity. Rich Flynn Huntington Beach ALSO: Letters: Justice poorly served Letters: Legalizing street vendors Letters: Prayer and the Supreme Court
August 23, 2010 | By Carla Hall
Jamie Luskin grew up playing hardball in Baltimore — shortstop material, she recalls. An ardent Orioles fan, she was 10 when she told her parents she would own a baseball team someday. Frank McCourt, growing up in the Boston suburbs, loved the Red Sox and knew owning a team could be more than a fantasy. His grandfather had a stake in the long-gone Boston Braves. Years later, these two met at Georgetown University, fell in love, married and eventually went to Boston, where they made their fortune in real estate.
April 26, 2011 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
Watch "The King's Speech" closely and you'll realize that the real villain of the Oscar-winning film isn't King George VI's debilitating stammer. It's his older brother, David. Feckless and hedonistic, David ascends the British throne in 1936 as Edward VIII but abandons it to his unprepared brother before the year is out. His famous declaration that he was abdicating to be with "the woman I love," the American divorcee Wallis Simpson, has proved irresistible fodder for breathless biographies and melodramatic made-for-TV movies ever since.
July 14, 2011 | By Ching-Ching Ni, Los Angeles Times
The crisp green military uniform made George Liu feel patriotic and proud, and when he marched through the streets of the San Gabriel Valley with the United States Army Volunteer Reserve Association, the green card holder felt like a real citizen. Liu bought the uniform from a thrift store for $100 and then paid an additional $95 to become a sergeant in the association, a bargain compared with what the group's web site said it cost to become a colonel or — at the top of the price line — the $335 it cost to be a lieutenant general.
December 23, 2011 | By Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Desert Hot Springs, Calif. -- Briefcase in hand, Steve Allen knocks on the back door of Rose Mortuary and Crematory. He's been on the road for two hours, and it's a little before 9; the late-autumn sun paints the distant cliffs of Mt. San Jacinto yellow and gold. Manager Thomas Moen is surprised by the visit. He glances about to make sure that the consumer guide and price lists are displayed as required by law. "How ya doing?" Allen's voice projects a robust exuberance.
August 13, 2012 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
The summer sunset has painted a vivid watercolor of orange, coral and violet over the Pacific, just past the pier in Seal Beach. But Michael Beckage already has his telescope trained on the moon. Even in this light, the moon is bright and crystalline, like a salt mine with dimples and ridges. Yet Beckage hardly has a moment to take a peek. Instead, a little girl perches on a stepladder to squint into the eyepiece, a line forming behind her. "Do you see the holes in the moon?" Beckage says, pointing out the craters.
April 9, 2011 | By Faye Fiore, Los Angeles Times
The Bullfrog Brewery is crowded for lunch and tables are scarce, but former Army Sgt. Angel Harris finds one where she can sit with her back to a wall and still see out a window. She isn't sure what she's watching for. A sniper maybe, or an ambush. This is downtown Williamsport — the Appalachian hamlet where Little League was born — not the sort of place where people wait around for something awful to happen. But that's the way Harris has viewed the world since she returned from Afghanistan eight years ago carrying her unborn son and a case of PTSD.
September 26, 2013 | By Mike DiGiovanna
ARLINGTON, Texas - Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto addressed a wide range of topics before Thursday night's 6-5 walk-off loss to the Texas Rangers, but he wouldn't touch the one that is foremost on everyone's mind: his job status. "I'm not going to get into it," said Dipoto, the subject of heavy speculation since early August when the Angels, who opened the season with World Series aspirations, fell out of playoff contention. "I don't want to have this conversation.
September 23, 2013 | By Mike DiGiovanna
Their second consecutive division title secured Sunday, the Oakland Athletics have set their sights on the best record in the American League, which would assure home-field advantage throughout the post-season and a first-round series against the wild-card survivor instead of the Detroit Tigers. The A's took another step toward that goal Monday night with a 10-5 victory over the Angels that was powered in part by Jed Lowrie's three-run home run in the third inning, Brandon Moss' two-run shot in the fifth and Josh Donaldson's 56th multi-hit game.
August 19, 2013 | By Reed Johnson
Becky G vividly remembers what she calls "my little mini midlife crisis. " It happened seven years ago, when she was 9. At the time, her family had been forced to move into her grandparents' Inglewood garage after losing its Riverside County home. Money was tight. Her dad was stressing out. And her mom was "really scared. " That's when Becky had an epiphany. "I did have this moment of realization of, 'Oh, my God, what am I going to do with my life?'" she says. "Just feeling like I had to get my act together, even though there was really nothing to put together yet. " Today, the biggest challenge facing the preternaturally ambitious Mexican American teen isn't getting her act together.
August 1, 2013
Re "Pastime always is his present," Column One, July 29 What a great article on Dodgers scout George Genovese. I met him about 10 years ago when he spotted my then-17-year-old nephew at a park throwing and hitting. Genovese gave him some fielding tips and a lot of baseball knowledge in about half an hour. My nephew and I will always be grateful for his willingness to share what he knew. I'm glad he's still going strong at 91. Al Sheahen Sherman Oaks ALSO: Letters: San Diego's clueless mayor Letters: Environmental injustice in L.A. Letters: The evolution of racial prejudice
June 5, 2013 | By Marisa Gerber, Los Angeles Times
Randy McDonald darted his eyes between the lotus bed and a pack of police officers, wondering if he could get away with it. He figured it was worth a try and walked from Echo Park Lake back to his car. After opening the glove compartment, he pulled out a hacksaw blade and stuck it into his back pocket. He tugged his T-shirt to cover it and returned to the lake. He worked his way through the thick crowd of revelers gathered for the 28th annual Lotus Festival and then crouched down at the water's edge.
April 26, 2013 | By David Wharton
NEW YORK - The first hint of a bruise, blackish and glossy, appears under Reshat Mati's eye as he finishes a jujitsu workout. It seems that he took a knee to the face. Someone offers to get an ice pack, but there isn't time. Reshat hurries off to another gym, a storefront several miles away where the windows steam up from all the boxers generating heat inside. By 9:30 p.m., he has pulled on gloves and headgear to spar with a larger, more experienced opponent who likes to fight from close range with lots of banging elbows.
November 26, 2011 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
Not long ago, Olga Lucia Salazar was breaking chicken necks and plucking feathers under scalding water for a living. Now, at double her former wage, the single mother of three raises gorgeous blue butterflies. "All I had to look forward to was miserable arthritis and permanently swollen hands," Salazar said as she arranged about 60 pistachio-sized chrysalises in a cotton-lined white cardboard box. "I can do this at home taking care of my kids. And I work for myself. There is no one screaming orders at me. " Over the last decade, butterfly exporter Alas de Colombia has given disadvantaged women here steady incomes and converted the iconography of this once war-torn valley from AK-47s and combat fatigues to fluttery symbols of peace and hope.
April 20, 2012 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
The ladies are everywhere at the Atria Woodbridge senior living community in Irvine: It is the ladies who fill the dining hall, the ladies who while away the afternoon chatting and doing crossword puzzles in the sitting room, and the ladies whose photos are on display next to the needlepoint and paintings in the resident art gallery. Such is life in a place where women outnumber men at least three to one. But in a room on the second floor - where model airplanes dangle from the ceiling, work tables line the walls and a sign reading "Boys Will Be Boys" hangs outside the door - Al Ladine has created one spot where the guys run the show.
April 10, 2013 | Column One,
Some journalism goes beyond headlines and breaking news. Read the stories that can open your mind and touch your heart. For over 40 years, Column One has featured some of the best of our writing on the front page. Now you can find it online, as well.
April 9, 2013
Re "Packing and preaching," Column One, April 5 So pistol-packing preacher James McAbee - whose law enforcement mother shot herself (twice), eventually leading to her death - proudly carries weapons without safeties, with a round chambered, in public and around his minor children. And he teaches gun safety? And of course he's right when he says it's wrong to blame the tool for a shooting. Indeed, guns don't kill people; carelessness does. Terry Snyder Los Angeles ALSO: Letters: Nukes and Iran's leaders Letters: Rat poison and human health Letters: Parents who care, gay or straight
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