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August 17, 2011 | By Jessica Guynn and Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times
When Twitter inventor Jack Dorsey decided to start a new company last year, he bypassed Silicon Valley and set up shop in San Francisco. The 34-year-old, who said he was drawn to the "variety and vibrancy" of city life, is one of a growing number of entrepreneurs resisting the gravitational pull of high-tech's epicenter 30 miles to the south. The result is a dramatic surge in economic activity not seen in San Francisco since the height of the dot-com boom more than a decade ago. It's a rare bright spot in the nation's troubled economy.
August 5, 2011 | By Walter Hamilton and Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Steve Dorsey took the stock market's teeth-clenching sell-off in stride Thursday — but only because he sold all the stocks in his retirement account six weeks ago. The 63-year-old attorney from San Marino feared the debt crisis would cause the market to tumble, and he was willing to forgo potential gains to sidestep what he feared could be a huge loss. "I thought I might miss 4% or 5% upside, but I might miss a big downturn," Dorsey said. "I went through 2008 and the dot-com one too. " The American public's once-fervent love affair with stocks has taken a beating in recent years, and the latest collapse is likely to only intensify investors' suspicion and fear.
July 17, 2011 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
As she unloaded groceries in the driveway of her Palo Alto home, Lisen Stromberg was approached by a real estate broker who asked whether she'd be willing to sell her five-bedroom house to a senior Facebook executive. "There is a house down the street selling for $6.3 million. I'll sell you mine for an even $6 million," she replied. Her tongue-in-cheek asking price was about twice what her house is worth, but the broker didn't miss a beat and said he would speak with his client.
July 12, 2011 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
Individual investors have grown disenchanted with stocks. Want proof? Google it. To gauge small-investor sentiment toward the market, a Wall Street researcher tracked how often people perform searches for various investment-related words. Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx Group in New York, used Google Trends, a portion of the popular website that measures search patterns over time. Terms such as "investing" and "stock investing," hot topics among small investors during the dot-com craze a decade ago, have fallen sharply in the last seven years, Colas said.
June 26, 2011
Three years ago, the last graduating class of the "old" Locke High School listened to a commencement speaker whose main thrust was that only a small number of students had made it to that point. Odd words at most graduation ceremonies, but appropriate at Locke. Under the management of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the number of graduates at this public school in Watts was regularly a fraction of the number of students who had started out as ninth-graders. The class of 2008 started with 1,451 freshmen, according to the state's education database . Only 595 made it to their sophomore year.
June 7, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Remember those hideous incidents of airline passengers being stranded on the tarmac for nine or 10 hours without enough food or water, or a chance to get off the plane? Likely you haven't heard that story lately. In a news release Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation said that long tarmac delays have largely disappeared since a rule went into effect in April 2010  that, with rare exceptions, prohibits U.S. airlines from leaving domestic flights on the tarmac for more than three hours without letting passengers deplane.
April 14, 2011 | Valerie J. Nelson
Dot Records founder Randy Wood was looking for a song for a young Pat Boone to record in 1955 and found it in the Fats Domino hit "Ain't That a Shame?" Except Boone, then an English major, wanted to sing "Isn't That a Shame?" After a few run-throughs, Wood insisted, "It's got to be 'ain't'," and Boone soon had his first No. 1 single. Wood's practice of having white singers such as Boone cover rhythm and blues hits by black artists is credited by some with helping black musicians -- and early rock music -- break into the commercial mainstream.
March 27, 2011 | By Jay Jones, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Nobody seems to notice as the sun descends toward the shimmering sea. Children frolic along the beach as their parents sit nearby, chatting and playing cards. An old man snores contently in a hammock. Young couples embrace in the shelter of a shallow lagoon as the waves crash against a rocky reef. The aromas of garlic, onion and pepper waft across the strand, signaling that dinner preparations are underway at a beachfront restaurant. The day is ending, but no one wants to let go of the daylight pleasures that draw people to Villas del Mar Hau, a smattering of pastel-colored beachside cottages just outside the town of Isabela, a few miles east of Aguadilla on Puerto Rico's northern coast.
February 11, 2011 | Michael Hiltzik
I am now officially terrified. Groupon, a coupon-hawking website out of Chicago with less than two years of history to offer, is heading toward an initial public offering that may value it as high as $15 billion. Facebook, the popular social networking and privacy-wrecking website, is valued at somewhere between $50 billion and $80 billion by private-market reckonings. So it looks like Arianna Huffington sold herself cheap ? she got only $315 million from AOL for her Huffington Post.
October 17, 2010 | By Kelly Merritt, Special to the Los Angeles Times
When the Blue Ridge Parkway beckons me, I answer, especially in autumn, when I long for its twists and turns, its waterfalls, natural gardens, forests and upland meadows that dot its nearly 500 miles in Virginia and North Carolina. Little has changed here in the 75 years since the parkway construction began, permanently linking Virginia's Shenandoah National Park in the north and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the south. It took 52 years and hundreds of workers to complete this public works project, which helped Appalachia climb out of the Great Depression.
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