March 11, 2013 |
NEW YORK - A judge on Monday invalidated anti-obesity rules that would have made New York the nation's first city to restrict sales of super-sized sugary drinks, setting up a showdown with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who called the last-minute ruling "completely wrong" and vowed to appeal. State Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling's 36-page decision was issued the day before the limits were to take effect. It was a victory for a coalition of groups, including labor unions and the restaurant industry, who had sued to block enforcement after the city's Board of Health easily approved the regulations in September.
March 10, 2013
Re "FasTrak computer may not be so swift," Column, March 5 Modern digital systems and their associated sensors can be troublesome occasionally. The automated toll collector FasTrak is such a system. I have been a FasTrak user since it was initiated on the 91 Express Lane between Orange and Riverside counties. After I bought a new car, I started getting violation notices. I called the Orange County Transportation Authority to resolve the problem, which turned out to be the result of an old transponder, the sensors on my car and the placement of the transponder in my car. The violations were removed from my record, I paid no fines and I've sorted out the transponder placement.
February 22, 2013 |
"Inescapable" is like "Taken" without the tension. Another daughter has gone missing, this time in Damascus, Syria. Her father, Adib Abdel Kareem (Alexander Siddig), is a former spy. About the only difference between "Inescapable" and the popular Liam Neeson action thriller is that the kidnapping is driven by retribution rather than chance - well, that and a long string of dramatic, and fatal, flaws. It's a disappointing third film for Canadian writer-director Ruba Nadda, who showed such surety in the sultry romantic heat of "Cairo Time.
February 18, 2013 |
This post has been corrected and updated, as indicated below. New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan on Monday weighed in on what is probably one of the most widely read -- and hotly disputed -- electric car stories in recent memory. John M. Broder's dramatically headlined Feb. 8 article -- " Stalled Out on Tesla's Electric Highway" -- told the tale of how the high performance car ran out of juice and had to be hauled away on a flatbed truck. Tesla's chief executive, Elon Musk, charged that the story was faked and that the car could have gotten much better range, citing point-by-point findings from the car's black box data event recorder.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 15, 2013 |
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has asked Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to hand over a redacted version of a report on equipment issues at the now-shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant. The commission, which has already reviewed the full report, said it intends to make the redacted version public. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) obtained a leaked copy of the report and alleged in a letter to the head of the NRC last week that it indicated the utility and manufacturer were aware of "serious problems" with their design of the nuclear plant's replacement steam generator and failed to fix the flaw before the equipment was installed.
February 2, 2013 |
Ken Rakusin is frustrated. You would be too. Since 2009, the owner of Gordon Brush Manufacturing Co. has been trying to expand his 51,000-square-foot City of Commerce factory by 20,000 square feet. That would mean a larger factory floor, more office space for the engineers who work with customers to design new products, conference rooms, a spacious cafeteria. It would mean room to expand beyond Rakusin's current workforce of 85. More sales. Higher payroll. More property tax, sales tax, income tax. A $1.5-million investment in construction alone.
January 24, 2013 |
The team concept has 13 to 15 players coming together to make each other better. With a good team, individual flaws can be overcome. The Lakers are simply not a good team, not this year. Whether they'll find themselves before it's too late remains to be seen. Where has there been any true improvement? Steve Nash has always struggled defensively through his career. Kobe Bryant will do too much on offense and get lost on defense playing "center field. " Nash won back-to-back MVP awards as the same, limited defender. Bryant's headstrong style of play has helped lead the Lakers to five NBA championships.
January 24, 2013 |
MADRID - Walt Disney was hardly a perfect American. He may have been the most famous and beloved American during his lifetime. But his private magic kingdom was not always the happiest place on Earth. Disney had his own private torments and is reputed to have railed against unions, blacks and Jews. At least that is part of the 21st century Disney legend, and it is necessarily part of Philip Glass' new opera, "The Perfect American. " Far from sterilized yet also disarmingly affectionate, it looks at Disney the myth, the artist and the man. The work contrasts between the America that formed Walt Disney and the America he formed for the rest of us. And that is what makes Disney a perfect American opera character, even if it took Spain to bring Glass' "The Perfect American" to the lyric stage.
January 24, 2013 |
Black Against Empire The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr.University of California Press: 560 pp., $34.95 The defenders of the 2nd Amendment once had a powerful ally in America: the Black Panthers. The self-styled revolutionaries believed there's something powerful and liberating about holding a firearm in your hands. In "Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party," we learn that Huey Newton and Bobby Seale felt lots of gun love as they drove up and down the streets of Oakland in 1966.
January 22, 2013 |
A new national survey of nonprofit executives suggests it isn't just the uncertain economy that's making it hard for charities - including arts and culture groups - to meet their fundraising goals. The research says there's something fundamentally amiss with the way many of them go about courting donors. “This study reveals that many nonprofit organizations are stuck in a vicious cycle that threatens their ability to raise the resources they need to succeed,” begins the 36-page report commissioned by the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund and conducted by CompassPoint, a San Francisco-based organization that provides management advice to nonprofits.