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December 3, 2013 | By Ryan Faughnder
Billy Joel is definitely still rock 'n' roll to the Madison Square Garden Co. -- so much so that the New York live entertainment venue is having him perform a show a month as long as he keeps selling tickets. That makes the singer-songwriter Madison Square Garden's first music "franchise," a designation previously  shared only by sports teams. By making the Garden his home base, Joel joins the Knicks (NBA), Rangers (NHL) and Liberty (WNBA).  The deal is off to a good start: The first four shows, starting in January, which were previously announced, are sold out. Becoming a franchise doesn't mean Joel will be required to return every month -- he can still go on tour.
December 3, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
In December, Southern California public gardens aren't so much about what's growing as what's glowing. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, the Living Desert in Palm Desert and the San Diego Botanic Garden open for nighttime lights or luminaria displays. And Scrooge drops in for weekends at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge. Here's a list of holiday happenings at these gardens: Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont: Follow the more than 1,000 candle-lighted luminarias along a loop trail in the garden at night on weekends leading up to Christmas.
November 29, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
In all the commotion about a Miami-area police force's allegedly mindless harassment of workers and patrons of a convenience store, one aspect that may have been overlooked is how the cops' behavior was fostered by a "zero tolerance" program.  You may have heard about this case: as documented by the Miami Herald , the police in this suburb of Miami stopped and questioned one denizen of the convenience store 258 times in four years....
November 12, 2013 | Esmeralda Bermudez
They call themselves guerreras -- warriors. The women of Pico Gardens have fought gang violence, unemployment, litter and potholes. So when rumors spread recently that their public housing project in Boyle Heights was going to be privatized, they organized. "We had to find out, 'What does this mean for us?' " said Daria Nunez, a resident for 26 years. "Are we going to lose our homes? Is rent going up? Will new managers treat us unfairly?" The city's Housing Authority, which manages the site, assured them at a recent community meeting that residents and rent would stay put. Rumors that a private, for-profit owner was taking over were untrue, officials said.
October 30, 2013 | By Rene Lynch
They found the home listing in the PennySaver, of all places. Todd Porter and Diane Cu barely glanced at the interior of the run-down three-bedroom, two-bathroom house when they arrived for a walk-through, and instead they headed straight to the sprawling backyard overgrown with brush and suffocated by a giant pine. "We looked at each other and said, 'This is it,'" Porter recalled. PHOTO GALLERY: Inside the "Bountiful" garden The Costa Mesa backyard wasn't neat or squared off like Southern California yards are supposed to be. Instead, the 11,000-square-foot lot was a jagged, oddly shaped U. It was perfect for the couple's plans: To carve out a quiet oasis where they could live a garden-to-plate lifestyle.
October 29, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Poking around in the petunias, fixing the car or puttering around on other hobbies can cut the risk of a heart attack or stroke by more than a quarter among people 60 and older, researchers said Tuesday. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine tracked the behavior and health of nearly 4,000 people 60 and older in Stockholm for about 12 1/2 years, starting in 1997. Specifically, the researchers looked at something called NEPA, or non-exercise physical activity.
October 27, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown is famous for being unpredictable. Lawmakers and lobbyists at the Capitol say they're never quite sure whether he'll sign or veto a bill. Brown also has a penchant for showing up at their offices along with his dog Sutter, and for keeping his own counsel about appearing at one of the dozens of events he gets invited to each week. Journalists were surprised when the governor visited Bell Gardens on Tuesday to celebrate construction of a luxury hotel at the Bicycle Casino card room, off the 710 Freeway at Florence Avenue . Brown hailed the $45-million-plus investment, saying it would create "hundreds of construction and permanent hospitality jobs.
October 24, 2013 | By Anh Do
The long-running Tet Festival, a celebrated tradition in America's largest Vietnamese American community, has been abruptly canceled in a dispute between organizers of the Lunar New Year event and city officials in Garden Grove. The three-day festival, which organizers claim is the largest event of its kind outside Vietnam, is an annual favorite in the Little Saigon community, a bustling ethnic enclave that sprawls over four cities in the center of Orange County. The event has traditionally been held at Garden Grove Park, which can accommodate the tens of thousands who attend the colorful celebration.
October 23, 2013 | By Roger Vincent
Decron Properties Corp. has bought a garden-style apartment complex in Moorpark for $84.4 million that it plans to improve and reposition as higher-end residences. The Ventura County apartment market is tightening, Decron President David J. Nagel said, as the region's biomedical and high-tech industries grow. Moorpark is along the 118 Freeway near Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks. Decron bought the Fountains at Moorpark, a 370-unit apartment community built in 1987. The company plans to spend $9.2 million on renovations that it hopes will make the Fountains more desirable and capable of commanding higher rents.
October 21, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Two weeks into the new season and Rick's dreams of being a post-apocalyptic gentleman farmer come to a bloody end. At least it happened at his own hand and not because of someone else. Just add "had to sacrifice my own pigs" to the laundry list of issues Rick will have to work through at some future date. The visuals of Rick's prison-yard garden -- bright and leafy on the surface but with the rot of worms just inches away -- was a perfect metaphor for how tenuous Rick's newfound pastoral life really was. And just when it appeared that he had successfully set up a life distanced from hard decisions and danger, he was pulled right back into it, thanks to a collapsing prison fence.
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