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June 7, 2013 | By Alexander Nazaryan, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Back in 2007, Elliott Holt was the recipient of a curse: New York Magazine deemed the young writer one of its "Stars of Tomorrow. " In Manhattan's claustrophobic literary world, expectations were immediately raised and daggers surely sharpened. Holt's debut novel, "You Are One of Them," has finally arrived, and it turns out to be an odd hybrid of bildungsroman and thriller, borrowing as much from the coming-of-age stories of Judy Blume as it does from the spy novels of John le Carré.
June 5, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it has issued a voluntary recall of about 242,000 of its popular Prius hybrid sedan because of brake pressure parts that could crack and slow down stopping times. The recall includes a small number of the Lexus HS 250h hybrid vehicle. About 91,000 of the cars involved in the recall were sold in North America. The recall involves model year 2010 cars. The automaker said the recall involves 233,000 Prius cars that were built between March and October in  2009.
May 31, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
Ford Motor Co. said that it has sold 37,000 hybrid vehicles nationwide this year, already topping its full year record for hybrid sales of 35,496, set in 2010. Ford said that the 37,000 sales figure also represents a 375% increase over the numbers of hybrids it had  sold in the first five months of 2012. The Ford hybrid sales figures include the automaker's Ford C-MAX Hybrid, Ford C-MAX Energi, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford Fusion Energi, as well as Lincoln MKZ. PHOTOS: Kelley Blue Book's top 10 'green' cars for 2013 The automaker also said that it had begun to make a dent in the ultra-competitive California market.
May 29, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
Gasoline prices are only slightly below levels set in 2011 and 2012, according to Energy Department statistics. But even a relatively small decline is enough to dent the used car auction prices of hybrid vehicles and the retained value of electric vehicles. That's the conclusion of the latest Kelley Blue Book Used-Car Market Report for May. As usual, the KBB analysis looks at the prices used car dealerships are paying at auctions to stock their inventories. Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said in an interview there is usually a close correlation between dealer auction prices and the sticker prices buyers will see at used car sales lots.
May 24, 2013 | By Mike DiGiovanna
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's a forkball. No, it's a knuckleball. Like the old Certs breath mint commercial, Angels reliever Robert Coello's signature delivery is two, two, two pitches in one, and the right-hander has used it to carve a bullpen role that seems to grow more prominent with each outing. Last Saturday, Coello replaced starter Joe Blanton with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning. He struck out Alexei Ramirez and Alex Rios and retired the side in order in the sixth to earn the win in a 12-9 victory over the White Sox. Thursday night, Coello replaced struggling closer Ernesto Frieri with two on and two out in the ninth.
May 19, 2013 | By Susan Josephs, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Two years ago Stephen Sachs began working on a play about the philosophy and practice of flamenco. He figured he had all the material he needed, having spent years in close proximity to flamenco dancers as the co-artistic director of the Fountain Theatre, home of the long-running performance series "Forever Flamenco!" But after further research, he realized that the Spanish art form intertwined deeply with certain existential preoccupations that also inhabited his writer's mind. "The older I get, the more aware I have become of the loss of loved ones, the time in front of me and how I'm spending it. You start to wrestle more with these things," observes the 53-year-old playwright and director.
May 6, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
General Motors announced Monday it's recalling more than 38,000 Chevrolet and Buick eAssist light hybrid cars for a potential fire issue. The automaker said circuit boards in the trunk can potentially overheat, causing the cars' 12-volt battery to drain and one of several indicator lights to turn on. If owners ignore the warning lights, the engine could stall and a fire could occur in the trunk, GM said. The issue is not related to the cars' rechargable lithium-ion battery that is part of the eAssist hybrid system.
May 2, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
August Strindberg's "Miss Julie," a key landmark of modern drama, has been getting quite the workout from contemporary theater artists drawn to this tale of an unstable aristocrat's disastrous one-night affair with her ambitious servant. British playwright Patrick Marber relocated the story to an English country house at the end of the Second World War in his play "After Miss Julie. " Playwright and director Yael Farber updated the saga to post-apartheid South Africa in her theatrically intense "Mies Julie.
April 25, 2013 | By Julie Cart
The U.S. Department of the Interior will become the first federal agency to take advantage of a new program to update its fleet of vehicles with gas-sipping hybrids. The initiative is part of a General Services Administration effort to replace aging government cars with as many as 10,000 hybrids. The Interior Department will receive 300 gasoline and alternative-fuel vehicles--about a third of the vehicles the department is expecting to replace. Under the Fleet Consolidation program, the GSA will fund the cost difference to purchase hybrid sedans.
April 17, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Since introducing the first Prius in Japan back in 1997, Toyota Motor Corp. has sold 5 million hybrids worldwide, including 2 million in the U.S., the automaker said Wednesday. Toyota said the owners of its hybrids have saved more than 3 billion gallons of gasoline compared with vehicles powered by gasoline only. According to Department of Energy estimates, the hybrid vehicles on the road today save nearly 500 million gallons of petroleum annually in the U.S. "Toyota not only created the hybrid segment, they have consistently dominated it since launching the Prius in the U.S. back in 2000," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book.
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