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December 23, 1988 | NEIL FEINEMAN
If the men in your life are into outdoor sports, Christmas gift-giving just got easier. Until recently, says Douglas Brooks, author of "Going Solo: The Art of Personal Training" (Power Books, 1988), exercise fashion was limited to uniforms. But "uniforms don't flatter or make anyone feel special." And most people don't feel good about working out until they look good. For that reason, he continues, men involved in outdoor sports are now eager to make a fashion statement.
March 26, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
The Dodgers returned home for the traditional start of the 2014 season with fresh Australian victories, renewed championship hopes, and a battered chunk of familiar baggage. All of this lugging around of the constant turmoil that is Yasiel Puig is getting tiresome. "I know Yasiel is a huge lightning rod," Manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday as he took a deep breath. "Any time I say anything about Yasiel it turns into a story. Any time Yasiel does something it turns into a story.
July 25, 2010 | By Ching-Ching Ni, Los Angeles Times
George Bao felt like a rich man the first time he flew back to China from America. He had so many gifts for his family and friends, he was lugging eight cardboard boxes in addition to his suitcase. That was in the 1980s, when flights weren't crowded. The airline didn't even charge him for the extra luggage. As for what the gifts were, the memory makes him laugh. He had brought secondhand clothes scavenged from yard sales. "My father was so happy," said Bao, who watched the elderly farmer put on his first Western suit, beaming even though it didn't fit well.
March 24, 2014 | By Carol Starr Schneider
Even in the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at 5 a.m., while waiting to be seen after a fall, my 92-year-old dad knew a straight line when he heard one. "Are you comfortable?" a nurse asked, propping him up with a pillow. "I make a living," he said without missing a beat. My father, Ben Starr, was the son of immigrants who fled Russia with their senses of humor intact, and he put that cultural inheritance to good use throughout his life. Growing up in Brooklyn, he was known as "Peanut" because of his size.
December 13, 2009
Are you buying a gift for a traveler who has everything or wants nothing? Step away from the neck pillow and look for something fun, unusual and/or handcrafted at What's hot: Once someone is labeled a traveler, that person inevitably gets gifts that are never used. Spare your traveling friends (or yourself) and head to's Travel section for gifts that are both humorous and handy. I found pop-up towelettes ($12), a solar-powered backpack ($230)
December 26, 2013 | By Ted Rall
After learning that elected officials in the state of California collected more than $200,000 in gifts during 2012 -- which doesn't include the $6.7 million in donations solicited by officials on behalf of their favorite charities and causes  -- the group Common Cause issued a report calling for tighter limits on this potentially corrupting influence. One suggestion: "Apply the $10-per-month limit on gifts from lobbyists to also include gifts from the lobbyists' clients. Currently, clients can give up to $440 per year to public officials.
November 21, 2012
Re "Romney remarks unsettle his party," Nov. 19 Who was it who received gifts from the government to coax them to vote for President Obama? It must be those in states that received more from the government than they paid in taxes. These states, however, usually vote Republican. How ungrateful. John Harding Palm Springs It's been more than a week since Mitt Romney said that Obama supporters voted for him because they wanted gifts. I'm still waiting for UPS to knock on my door.
December 4, 2012
Looking for affordable, made-in-L.A. gifts with a handcrafted touch? We picked up these earthenware bowls by Lori + Koop at an artisan show last weekend at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts. The larger flower bowl with glossy glazed interior and hand-etched matte rim was $35. The smaller bowls with matte white interiors and subtly striped rims were $25 apiece. All are microwave and dishwasher safe. Lori + Koop ceramics are the latest additions to our holiday gift galleries, which we're updating regularly: Gifts with a handcrafted touch Gifts for the home Gifts for the indoor-outdoor gardener Gifts for under $50 Gifts for $50 to $100 Gifts for $100-plus
December 11, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Facebook is opening its Gifts feature to all U.S. users, the social network said Tuesday. Gifts is one of Facebook's big attempts this year at creating additional streams of revenue to complement its advertising sales. The feature capitalizes on the birthday and congratulatory wishes people send one another via Facebook by giving them a quick and simple way to purchase someone a present and have it sent to them. Users can also use the Gifts feature to send an another gift cards or donate to charities and nonprofit groups.
November 16, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Hoping to draw more shoppers ahead of the holiday season, Facebook has expanded its Gifts service to include more products from more partners. The Menlo Park-based social network announced the news Thursday evening, saying it will partner with outlets such as babyGap, Dean & Deluca and NARS Cosmetics. Other new partners include Fab, Brookstone, L'Occitane, Lindt, ProFlowers and Random House. Some digital goods will also be available for purchase from the service: Facebook said users can choose to send each other subscriptions to Hulu Plus and Pandora, among others.  Facebook announced the service in late September.
March 23, 2014 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: In 2007, my parents signed over their house deed to my name. Does this trigger the gift tax? They never filled out a gift tax form. Is it too late? Dad has passed on but Mom is still with us. She has Alzheimer's disease, and I have her power of attorney. Are there no taxes due because of the lifetime exclusion? Answer: Yes, a gift tax return should have been filed, but no, the gift tax itself almost certainly wasn't triggered. In 2007, each of your parents would have had to give away more than $1 million in their lifetimes before gift tax would be owed.
March 10, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- The Orange County Transportation Authority on Monday became the fourth client to drop the firm Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates as its lobbyist in Sacramento since the company was hit by record fines for making improper campaign contributions to dozens of elected state officials. Others who have dropped the firm in the last month include the San Francisco 49ers Football Co., Verizon Communications and Accenture. Together, the four clients represented $734,0000 of the $4.7 million paid to the lobbying firm last year.
March 5, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- Countering a series of scandals, including criminal charges against two of its members, state Senate Democrats plan Thursday to propose sweeping changes to the state Political Reform Act, including stricter limits on accepting gifts and campaign contributions. The legislation will prohibit elected state officials from accepting many entertainment-related gifts, including spa treatments, golf games and tickets to plays, concerts and sporting events from special interests, Capitol sources said.
March 4, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- While under investigation for allegedly taking bribes last year, state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon (D-Montebello) openly accepted $6,827 in legal gifts, including concert and fight tickets, expensive meals and travel from special interests, and a golf game from a group that investigators say was part of a criminal conspiracy, records show. The nonprofit group Californians for Diversity, which is controlled by the senator's brother, former Assemblyman Thomas Calderon, spent $265 to provide Sen. Calderon with a game of golf in September 2013, the lawmaker reported in his annual statement of economic interests.
March 3, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- While a state Senate panel considers further restrictions on gifts, California lawmakers reported Monday receiving thousands of dollars in sports tickets, meals, amusement park entries and other gifts, many from special interests that lobby state government. The annual statements of economic interest for 2013 were filed Monday with the state Fair Political Practices Commission and show each state official's financial assets as well as gifts from sources that try to influence the Legislature.
March 3, 2014 | By Anthony York
Gov. Jerry Brown received more than $11,000 in gifts last year, according to a new financial disclosure statement he filed with the state this week. Most of the money came in the form of an $8,400 gift from the San Francisco-based Bay Area Council, which sponsored the governor's trade mission to China and paid the governor's way on the weeklong trip. Other gifts included private flights to attend a State Sheriffs Assn. meeting in Lake Tahoe and a flight from Palm Springs to Bakersfield paid for by the California Assn.
August 2, 2012 | By Lisa Boone
See how long it takes your friend to discover you left behind a sweet and surprising hostess gift with HingeHeads, tiny decorative accessories that attach magnetically atop standard door hinges. Founded by architect Michael Schubach, the Pasadena company has more than 150 designs in three finishes: antique pewter, antique brass and antique bronze materials. A new summer collection includes a dog, a peace sign, a skateboarder, a ballerina, a hula dancer and a palm tree. Custom designs are available too. The designs are hand-sculpted and cast in limited editions in Los Angeles.
April 26, 2009 | Alana Semuels
Is it wrong to ask friends to spend when you know they're scrimping? And what do you do with an influx of cash -- if you're still getting unemployment checks? :: Dear Alana: My husband and I are about to have a baby. We are both employed as lawyers in Chicago and have -- for the time being -- steady jobs. I am from Flint, Mich., and my mother is planning on throwing me a baby shower there.
March 3, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) received nearly $38,000 in gifts and travel payments last year, according to financial disclosures filed Monday. Nearly half of that -- about $16,000 -- came from three trips paid for by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, a nonprofit group that hosts policy conferences for top lawmakers.  Pérez sits on the foundation's board and served as host for the group's National Speakers Conference, a gathering of state speakers and their chiefs of staff, in Los Angeles last year.
March 3, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
The two California Department of Fish and Wildlife scientists charged with doing environmental work on the proposed Newhall Ranch development had a daunting task. They were to help review whether and how the largest residential development ever approved in Los Angeles County - 20,000 homes stretching across a bucolic valley - could be built without undue harm to the environment, protected species and Southern California's last major wild river, the Santa Clara. The project was controversial and dizzyingly complicated.
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