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Common Sense

November 4, 2011 | Bill Plaschke
From Boulder, Colo. -- Sitting on a bench outside Heritage Hall on a warm late-summer day, Matt Barkley told me he would leave the USC early for the NFL only if he finished his junior season strong. "I want to put myself in a position to go out with a bang," he told me. Nearly three months later, on a chilly fall Friday night in the mountains, Barkley's play continued to make a noise so distinct, there is only way to describe it. Bang! Barkley threw a school-record six touchdown pass in a 42-17 victory over Colorado.
July 25, 2011 | By Jessica Pauline Ogilvie, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Whether you're treating a chronic condition or trying to stock your medicine cabinet with the basics, medications can be pricey. To cut costs, you may be considering splitting pills or taking a medication after it has expired (though staring down a bottle of Tylenol purchased during the Clinton administration can make even staunch stomachs uneasy). You may well be wondering if cutting pills or ignoring use-by dates is really safe. As if often the case in medicine, that's a simple question with a long answer.
July 8, 2011 | Robin Abcarian
Herman Cain, a retired businessman who rescued the Godfather's Pizza chain from peril in the late '80s, was holding his final meet-and-greet of the day at the Royal Cafe, a modest restaurant with a retirement home on its second floor. Earlier that day, he'd visited a firehouse in Iowa Falls and a "tea party" gathering in Marshallville. About 40 people, many of them elderly, sipped pink lemonade and listened politely as Cain explained why he should be the next Republican presidential nominee.
June 21, 2011 | David Lazarus
Big props to the Los Angeles Unified School District for doing away with chocolate milk and other sweetened drinks. The district is now a full-fledged practitioner of Obamacare. No, not that Obamacare. The other one. President Obama deserves credit for taking a leadership role in promoting healthcare reform. But the complexity of our medical system is such that no one person can solve all our problems. "Obamacare" is thus a misnomer when it comes to making the necessary political, economic and regulatory fixes.
June 16, 2011
It isn't too often that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a pro-environment Democrat from California, and Sen. Tom Coburn, a "drill, baby, drill" Republican from Oklahoma, agree on energy issues. Yet when it comes to the ethanol tax credit, an egregious form of corporate welfare that unites liberals and conservatives in opposition nationwide, they are of one mind. That's why it was disheartening Tuesday when an attempt to end the subsidy and save taxpayers nearly $6 billion a year went down in flames in the Senate.
June 12, 2011 | By Betty Rollin
In 1982, when I helped my mother die, Jack Kevorkian wasn't yet on the scene. Within a few years he was, noisily assisting terminally ill people who wanted to die. My mother was dying of ovarian cancer, but in her view, not fast enough. She was 76, and one afternoon she put it to me: "I'm not afraid to die, but I am afraid of what this illness is doing to me. There's nothing but nausea and pain. There's no point in a slow death. I've got to end this. " I loved my mother and didn't want her to die, but because I loved her, I helped her. That is, my husband and I did research.
May 4, 2011
Harold Garfinkel UCLA sociologist studied common sense Harold Garfinkel, 93, a longtime UCLA sociology professor whose groundbreaking work examined the importance of common sense in everyday situations, died April 21 of congestive heart failure at his home in Pacific Palisades, said his wife Arlene. "He was one of the major sociologists of the 20th century," said UCLA sociology professor John Heritage, who wrote a book about Garfinkel. "His main contribution was to essentially undermine and reverse a number of assumptions sociologists made of the world.
April 14, 2011
With a new superintendent who voices a common-sense yet passionate approach to school reform, a mayor refocused on education and a school board aligned with both, things are looking more hopeful for the future of Los Angeles' schools than they have in a long time. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's attention has understandably been absorbed by the city's fiscal problems, but in his State of the City address Wednesday, he returned to a theme that dates to his first campaign for the post: improving the Los Angeles Unified School District.
March 22, 2011 | By Martha Groves and Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times
Nobody in wealthy Benedict Canyon can say for sure what his name is or where he's from, but the owner of a pricey 5.2-acre property on Tower Lane is fast becoming persona non grata among an exclusive club of Los Angeles homeowners. In a neighborhood whose residents include Bruce Springsteen, Jay Leno, Michael Ovitz and David Beckham, this mystery landowner is preparing to build an 85,000-square-foot family compound, fit for royalty. The proposed complex is an eclectic mix of European architecture in the coveted 90210 ZIP Code.
February 21, 2011
There's something honorable, even patriotic, about entry-level jobs in city government being open to all comers and filled fairly on the basis of merit. To ensure that that happens, the Los Angeles city personnel department gives examinations ? tailored to each job ? to all who fill out applications and meet the experience requirements. That's what "open to all" in the City Charter means. But in the past few years, with jobs scarce and job-seekers abundant, some entry-level jobs have attracted thousands of applicants.
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