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January 9, 2014 | By Ruben Vives
His death was set in motion last fall. The terminal illness was finally taking its toll on 8-year-old Erick Casillas that winter. He was unable to walk and speak full sentences, and he needed around-the-clock care. On Monday morning, with his family by his bedside and more than a year after he was diagnosed with brain cancer, Erick died. Many who knew or had come to know the boy recently were mourning his death this week, including members of the Gardena Police Department.
January 9, 2014 | By Lisa Boone
In 2008, architect Kevin Tsai was working for Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects when he stumbled on a rare empty lot in Playa del Rey. He bought the property with an eye to the future and proceeded to design a modest, modern home for himself, his wife and their two children. “It was a dream house for my family,” Tsai said. “I designed it so I could add a second story later.” PHOTO GALLERY: A bittersweet home remodel in Playa del Rey Six months after he completed the 1,450-square-foot home, Tsai lost his job in the wake of the economic downturn and was forced to sell the house.
January 3, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
DreamWorks Animation SKG is premiering its first computer tablet, one that will teach kids how to be their own animators. The Glendale-based creator of the "Shrek," "Kung Fu Panda" and "Madagascar" movies has partnered with El Segundo-based Fuhu Inc. to create DreamTab, billed as a state-of-the-the art tablet designed for kids. The 8-inch by 12-inch device, which features a new 4.4 Kit Kat Android based operating system, will allow kids to stream movies, TV shows and play games with various innovative parental controls and educational tools.
January 3, 2014 | By Sam Lubell
If you worked on a house for five years, you'd call it a labor of love, right? What if that process took 25 years? Is there a name for that? This is the story behind architect Paul Zajfen's epic quest in Laguna Beach. Zajfen, a design principal at the Los Angeles firm CO Architects , bought an ocean-view site on the steep, winding bluffs of Laguna in 1989. His dream was to create a modern oasis, hugging the landscape and opening to the elements. Then things got messy.
December 17, 2013 | By Brittany Levine
President Obama's visit to DreamWorks Animation last month cost Glendale about $61,000, and at least one City Council member thinks the city shouldn't be the only one footing the bill for the increased security. During the Nov. 26 visit, Obama met DreamWorks executives and employees, gave an afternoon speech about the importance of the film industry to the American economy and international diplomacy, and visited with stars of an upcoming DreamWorks movie, including Steve Martin.
December 17, 2013 | By Ruben Vives
Imagine what a buck could do! Millions considered the Lottery's motto Tuesday as they waited for the Mega Millions drawing with a jackpot of about $636 million. Many lined up outside stores to buy what they hoped would be the winning ticket. California Lottery officials say the prize could grow even more because of last-minute ticket buyers who hope to beat 7:45 p.m. deadline.  And all day, millions have been pondering what they would do if they won. Among them is Michael Phan.  “I'm going to pay off my debt and all my parents' debt,” he said.  The 33-year-old resident of La Mirada said he also plans to start a college fund for his  10-month-old daughter, Mikayla.
December 13, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Before Patti Smith, before Allen Ginsberg, before Thomas Wolfe, before O. Henry, the Chelsea Hotel was populated by 80 convivial families of various levels of wealth, brought together by an idealistic board partly inspired by a French philosopher so radical some thought him mad. That was back at the turn of the century - the 20th century - which is where Sherill Tippins begins her engaging, readable history, "Inside the Dream Palace. " It tells the story of the remarkable building, opened in 1884 on 23rd Street in New York City, and its legendary inhabitants, but it does something more, presenting an oft-overlooked current of American utopianism, one that was urban, creative and surprisingly long-lived.
December 12, 2013 | By Eric Sondheimer
There's a field of dreams taking shape at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, where a new $3-million baseball stadium is nearing completion, and when the painting is finally finished, the nets are up and the all-weather turf is firmly in place, it will be hard to find a better high school baseball facility. “It's all kind of coming to fruition,” Notre Dame baseball Coach Tom Dill said Thursday after giving me a tour of the new facility. The stadium is set to be unveiled for the Notre Dame alumni game on Feb. 22, but Dill and his players are already getting excited.
December 10, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
Mars One is a plucky not-for-profit organization that wants to turn the colonization of Mars into a worldwide reality TV show -- and it appears to be making headway. On Tuesday, Mars One announced it had contracted Lockheed Martin to develop a mission concept study for a Mars lander to be launched in 2018. (Click through the photo gallery above to see an image of the proposed lander). Lockheed Martin is the company that tested and operated the 2007 Phoenix Mars lander for NASA.
December 2, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
Like many writers, I've imagined myself working in (or owning) a bookstore. On Saturday, for two highly enjoyable hours, I finally got the chance. It was the first-ever Indies First Day, with hundreds of authors across the United States working at independent bookstores in honor of Small Business Saturday. I put in a two-hour shift at Vroman's in Pasadena, donning the green apron real Vroman's employees wear, and answering tough questions like: “Where is the children's section?
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