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September 19, 2011 | Steve Chawkins
If life imitated art, it would be a simple matter to follow the dotted line and snip a 200-foot dam near Ojai off the face of the earth. For years, an alliance of environmentalists, fishermen, surfers and officials from every level of government has called for demolishing the obsolete structure. Now, an anonymous band of artists has weighed in, apparently rappelling down the dam's face to paint a huge pair of scissors and a long dotted line. The carefully planned work popped up last week and is, no doubt, Ventura County's most environmentally correct graffiti by a dam site.
September 7, 2011
Eight Republican candidates for president gather today at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley for a 105-minute debate that is likely to focus on the race's new front-runner, Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Perry, who vaulted into the lead among GOP candidates within a month of his official entrance into the race, is making his debate debut. Among the others onstage will be former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the previous front-runner, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, the "tea party" favorite before Perry joined the race last month.
August 19, 2011 | By Mark Olsen
A look at aspiring young boxers in Los Angeles tentatively set against the backdrop of the embattled immigration rights debate, the documentary "Born and Bred" reaches for some big-picture connect-the-dots it can never quite pull together. Filmmaker Justin Frimmer tries early on to draw connections between the few fighters he is following and the larger struggles of arriving immigrants. As he tells the story of a pair of teenage brothers looking to qualify for the Olympic boxing team and an even younger fighter trying to overcome a troubled childhood, Frimmer in essence loses the forest for the trees.
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.
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.
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