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April 7, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- Former state Assemblyman Jeff Miller (R-Corona) has agreed to pay a $1,000 fine for improperly accepting a gift of two tickets, arranged by a lobbyist, to a San Francisco 49ers football game. The fine is continuing fallout from the state Fair Political Practices Commission investigation into the lobbyist firm Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates. The probe resulted in a $133,500 fine against the firm in February for improperly making campaign contributions to about 40 politicians and gifts to three others, including Miller.
April 7, 2014 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
If the producers of the HBO series "Getting On" go to Costa Mesa to see Samuel D. Hunter's "Rest," the American theater might lose another talented playwright to television. This prolific dramatist's latest play, which is having its world premiere at South Coast Repertory in a finely acted production directed by Martin Benson, put me in mind of the American version of the dark British television comedy in which the old and frail are tended to by caregivers who could use some urgent care themselves.
April 2, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Pacific Gas & Electric Co., indicted by the federal government for criminal behavior stemming from a Bay Area natural gas explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes, still faces more trouble. In the next few months, PG&E will face the likelihood of a fine from the California Public Utilities Commission as high as $2.25 billion for its role in the September 2010 disaster in the city of San Bruno. On Tuesday, the U.S. attorney in San Francisco announced that a grand jury indicted PG&E on 12 alleged violations of the federal Pipeline Safety Act involving poor record keeping and faulty management practices.
March 29, 2014 | Bill Dwyre
They were two teams too close for comfort. Each other's. The width of a slip of paper separated Arizona and Wisconsin in Saturday night's NCAA West Regional final. And in the end, when Wisconsin won an overtime thriller of thrillers, it was the kind of game they will remember in NCAA basketball tournament lore forever. The final score, before 17,814 in Anaheim's Honda Center, was 64-63, and few will remember that. Margin of victory is all that mattered. Those who were there, or were watching on TV, will remember it as the kind of game where every screen was contested, every shot, even every referee's call.
March 27, 2014 | By Inkoo Kang
Rarely has the zone between girlhood and womanhood been captured with such urgent honesty than in Eliza Hittman's superb teen drama "It Felt Like Love. " Hittman's debut isn't just a brilliantly tactile study of the mounting sexual curiosity and frustration of 14-year-old Lila (Gina Piersanti); it's also an important landmark in the oft-ignored subgenre of realistic movies about female adolescence. Lila doesn't want a boyfriend. She wants something better. When the working-class Brooklyn teen observes her slightly older but infinitely more sexually experienced friend Chiara (Giovanna Salimeni)
March 25, 2014 | Mike DiGiovanna
One nasty collision with an outfield wall or failure to stick the landing on a headfirst slide or dive could cost Mike Trout millions. The Angels star is in negotiations with the team on what could be a nine-figure contract extension, and a major injury probably would table those talks. That hasn't slowed the center fielder a bit this spring, even if his aggressive play causes a few irregular heartbeats among the Angels and their fans. Trout, the American League most valuable player runner-up in 2012 and 2013, gave the team a scare Sunday when he rolled his left wrist under his chest while attempting a diving catch in the outfield.
March 17, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Chris Pine of "Star Trek Into Darkness" pleaded guilty Monday to driving drunk in New Zealand.  The actor, who had been charged following an arrest at a sobriety checkpoint after leaving a Feb. 28 wrap party for his film "Z for Zachariah," appeared in Ashburton District Court for a hearing Monday. The "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" star was fined $79 ($93 in New Zealand) and had his New Zealand driver's license suspended for six months, according to the Associated Press. The 33-year-old Angeleno reportedly stood silently with his hands behind his back during the hearing and his attorney entered his plea.
March 14, 2014 | By Dean Kuipers
MONTALCINO, Italy - " Scusi ," I said to a well-dressed man in this medieval Tuscan village, where even the gas station was somehow part of the farming landscape. "Can you tell me how to get to Castiglion del Bosco?" "Hmm, yes," he said in English, taking my map, then, " Un momento . " He dialed his cellphone, and I realized he was asking someone for the best route. Not the first or last time we found the Italians to be incredibly helpful. "I can tell you how to get there, but my wine is much better," he said, laughing.
March 13, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
Like the put-upon pharmacist at its center, the neo-noirish suburban comedy "Better Living Through Chemistry," co-written and co-directed by Geoff Moore and David Posamentier, is a bit of a cheat - and goes soft in the clutch. Said druggist Doug Varney (Sam Rockwell) is the henpecked hubby of a scornful fitness nut (a misused Michelle Monaghan), with an angry 12-year-old son (Harrison Holzer) and a controlling father-in-law (Ken Howard). But Doug goes from doormat to Don Juan when new customer Elizabeth (Olivia Wilde)
March 12, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
BERKELEY - The Vienna Philharmonic is an orchestra that has always been gripped by as well as in the grip of history - the history of Western music, of which it has played a significant part, and the history of Vienna, of which it has also played a significant part. Now "Confronting the Past," has become an official project of the orchestra. In mannerly Viennese fashion, what the orchestra really means is confronting its past. That is what it did in a special residency as part of the UC Berkeley Cal Performances' series that included three concerts in Zellerbach Hall along with a two-day symposium examining the orchestra's history from the outbreak of World War I to the present.
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