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November 22, 2011 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
A 600-foot section of a bluff-top roadway in San Pedro collapsed into the Pacific Ocean following heavy weekend rains, instantly carving a sheer, gaping canyon into the shoreline. The earth and asphalt moved as a giant block, slipping away gently and swiftly about 3 p.m. Sunday, L.A. City Engineer Gary Moore said. "This entire coast along here is a cliff," Moore told reporters Monday, standing about 25 feet from the edge of the newly formed drop-off. "So nature has created a new cliff.
November 4, 2011 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
A coastal bluff in San Pedro is slowly buckling and sliding toward the ocean, splitting open a coastal highway with sinkholes, cracks and deep crevices that are widening day by day. Crews are hurrying to move sewer and water lines and utility poles and to reroute two major storm drains that join under Paseo Del Mar. Los Angeles city engineers have been monitoring the slide's movement on the 100-foot-high bluff next to White Point Nature Preserve since...
October 25, 2011 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
Carlos Wellman is hoping to bring a Mexican revolution to the sluggish U.S. cinema industry. Wellman is the U.S. point man for Mexico City-based Cinepolis, the world's fourth-largest theater chain and Latin America's top circuit that has ambitious plans to extend its brand of luxury cinemas to Southern California. Cinepolis recently opened its first U.S. venue in Del Mar, Calif., investing $8 million to create San Diego County's first luxury theater, where patrons can kick back in a leather recliner and press a button to order teriyaki beef skewers, sushi rolls or a glass of Thomas Hyland Chardonnay.
October 16, 2011 | By Chris Erskine, Los Angeles Times
California is home to more racetracks than any other state, with four dominant tracks and a dozen lesser venues, such as state fairs, where thoroughbreds line up shoulder to shoulder. The majors tend to be tributes to Old California. Each of the Big Four has its own bloodlines and vibe. As Santa Anita holds its fall season, and Hollywood Park and Golden Gate Fields follow soon, here's a look at what makes them distinct and how to get the most for your money - at least till it comes to betting the trifecta.
September 7, 2011 | By Eric Sondheimer
Lucrative purses, large fields, good crowds, new standouts — it made for a memorable 37-day race meeting that ended Wednesday at Del Mar. From the emergence of Acclamation as a horse-of-the-year candidate to the unveiling of promising 2-year-olds, Del Mar produced quality races and quality entertainment. It started with a record crowd of 46,588 on opening day, and the fans kept coming, averaging 17,844 in daily on-track attendance. The highest overnight purses of any meeting this summer, plus incentives for owners to ship in horses from out of state, created rare full fields in Southern California racing, something that Hollywood Park and Santa Anita have struggled to accomplish.
August 31, 2011 | By Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times
Al Azus never forgot the one bright spot in his darkest hour. It was 1953 and his young wife had died from tuberculosis, leaving him with two toddlers. He lost his family's house, then he lost his livelihood and finally he lost his children too. Azus said he had no choice but to place his 2-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son in foster care administered by a Los Angeles family services agency. The youngsters' two-year placement allowed Azus to begin rebuilding his life.
August 28, 2011 | Bill Dwyre
From Del Mar — When the smoke cleared from Sunday's $1-million TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar, a thoroughbred that hadn't been in the conversation suddenly emerged as a candidate for horse of the year. No, his selection won't be by acclamation, even though that is this smooth-striding, 5-year-old's name. The grand Eclipse Award at the end of the year is always a grand juggle for voters who must consider Triple Crown-race winners and Breeders' Cup stars, among others. But Acclamation's victory Sunday, on another perfect Del Mar day, before 29,267, in the third of Southern California's three main races for older horses, had to turn some heads.
August 27, 2011 | Bill Dwyre
The richest day of the prestigious annual Del Mar thoroughbred meeting will take place Sunday, and it will feature three races totaling $1.45 million in purses, led by the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic. The Classic will go off as the ninth race on an 11-race card. It will be preceded by the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap, the third race of the day, and the $250,000 Pat O'Brien Stakes, the fifth race of the day. The Classic is run over 11/4 miles on the main synthetic track; the Handicap 13/8 miles on the turf and the Pat O'Brien seven furlongs on the main track.
August 23, 2011 | BILL DWYRE
If your prevailing image of thoroughbred racing in Southern California is a Thursday afternoon at Hollywood Park, when the empty seats outnumber the live bodies by about 30,000, then be open to another look. It is August at Del Mar. It is also five days to the Pacific Classic. There used to be several million-dollar thoroughbred races in Southern California. Now, there are only the Santa Anita Derby and the Pacific Classic. Although the Santa Anita Handicap and the Hollywood Gold Cup are competitive counterparts, there is something fitting about the Pacific Classic being one of two remaining big guys, at least dollar-wise.
August 20, 2011 | By Lauren Williams, Los Angeles Times
Along with the regular catalogs, donation requests and bills, Heidi Patricola received a special delivery this week: A tax form sent from her Corona del Mar restaurant was returned — 21 years after it was mailed. Pieces of the coffee-brown W-2 peeked out from the moth-nibbled edges. The crumbling envelope in a plastic slip also included an apology from the U.S. Postal Service for the late "return to sender. " "We were just amused, really," Patricola said. The Italian restaurant, Rothschild's, has been in the Reiss family for 35 years.
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