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February 15, 2014
Last Saturday's featured letter by former Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education member Yolie Flores - in which she told of a crying parent's plea to save the job of his autistic child's teacher - has drawn a handful of spirited responses. Some readers said Flores' experience shows the absurdity of using seniority instead of effectiveness to determine which teachers get laid off; others say blaming teachers for the district's woes doesn't help. Flores' letter commented on a lawsuit weighing teacher tenure, a topic that tends to generate substantive yet polarized commentary from readers.
February 15, 2014 | By Marisa Gerber
In one of his earliest boyhood memories, Dion Neutra walked out the front door of his family's Silver Lake home and down to the water's edge. It was the early 1930s, and the wall around Silver Lake Reservoir was so low that he could fling a fishing line above it and into the water. But over the next eight decades, the architect - who trained under his father, Richard Neutra, a master of Modernism who lived and worked out of Silver Lake - watched as the water he loved began to change.
February 14, 2014 | By David Ng
Gustavo Dudamel has found himself in the midst of a political debate in his native Venezuela over a recent concert he conducted that was attended by the country's controversial leader, President Nicolas Maduro. The Times' World Now blog reported Friday that Dudamel led a performance of the Youth Orchestra of Lara in the city of Maracay on Wednesday. Maduro, who was in the audience, is facing a national crisis following eruptions of violence in a number of cities, leaving three dead and many more injured.
February 11, 2014 | By Carla Rivera
About 75 Cal State Los Angeles students and faculty showed up at a meeting Tuesday of the Academic Senate to demand that a course in ethnic studies be a requirement for graduation. Supporters argued that the courses are important in developing critical thinking and ensuring that the curriculum includes perspectives from all cultures.  The courses can also help students better relate to one another, especially in racially and ethnically diverse Los Angeles, said Jelani Hendrix, 23, a Pan-African studies major who addressed the senate.
February 9, 2014 | By Hailey Branson-Potts
The West Hollywood City Council has responded to growing criticism over the removal of a rainbow flag atop City Hall by agreeing to a compromise. The rainbow flag - raised above City Hall in June - will stay down. But the city will hang a new flag that incorporates rainbow colors into the city logo, a rough geographic outline of the municipality. Council members agreed to the change at a meeting last week. "This has been a very exciting debate," said Mayor Pro Tem John D'Amico.
February 9, 2014
Re "Death penalty in Boston?," Editorial, Feb. 2 Thank you for your clear rationale declaiming the death penalty even for such a horrid crime as targeting innocent runners and spectators at the Boston Marathon. Vengeance is clearly no good reason for taking anyone's life. The death penalty is, as you so aptly point out, not only barbaric but immoral. As a Catholic, it is against the principle that I respect life from birth to death. Other stringent methods to punish a person exist and are more effective, such as life without parole.
February 9, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
There are two possible policy outcomes to a severe drought like the one California is experiencing now. One is that the drought focuses the minds of political leaders and water users, prompting them to come together to craft a broad, comprehensive solution to a problem that won't be going away. The other is that the community of water users will fragment and turn on one another, with farmers lining up against environmentalists, suburbanites against farmers, and so on. Which way would you guess things are going?
February 7, 2014 | By Deborah Vankin
Just inside the entrance of Westwood's Hammer Museum stands a human-sized gingerbread hut by artist Nayland Blake. Left unadorned, its friendly, sugary scent wafts throughout the lobby. Across the room and up the museum's sweeping staircase, a harder-edged artwork of towering black-and-white text by Barbara Kruger reaches to the ceiling, dwarfing Blake's hut. "YOU," it screams. "You are here to get cultured. To get smarter, richer, younger, angrier, funnier, skinnier, hipper, hotter, wiser, weirder, cuter, and kinder.
February 4, 2014 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON - President Obama's healthcare law will reduce the ranks of the uninsured by roughly 13 million this year and 25 million once the law is fully phased in, but will also result in the equivalent of 2-million people reducing their work hours because of the availability of insurance subsidies, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. The latest projections from the nonpartisan budget analysts immediately produced talking points for both sides in the deeply polarized debate over the Affordable Care Act. Republicans seized on the projected reduction in work hours, roughly a 1% to 2% decline, to boost their claim that Obamacare will harm the economy.
February 3, 2014 | By David Lauter
The Republican hoping to preserve his party's hold on a closely contested, vacant congressional seat in Florida took less than a minute in a debate Monday to hit what he hopes will be the winning theme. His Democratic opponent, Alex Sink, wants to "further the agenda of President Obama," Republican David Jolly said in his opening statement. At his earliest opportunity, Jolly returned to the idea, saying he favored repealing the president's healthcare law. The two parties and affiliated groups already have spent millions of dollars on the race in the St. Petersburg-area district and are likely to spend several million more before the March 11 election.
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