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Joshua Tree

October 2, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
Catching a glimpse of a bobcat, the exotic wild feline with a bobbed tail that prowls California, is one of the draws for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Joshua Tree National Park. In that park and certain others around the state, bobcats are protected from hunters and trappers throughout the year, a smart rule designed to protect the state's ecosystem and preserve its wildlife from exploitation. But this year there was an outcry after it became known that bobcat traps were being set just outside the boundaries of Joshua Tree and that trappers were using scented lures and battery-powered pet toys that mimic dying birds to lure the animals out. Trapping bobcats is an increasingly lucrative business as demand for the fur rises in foreign markets, including China, Russia and Greece, driving up the price of a premium belly fur pelt to $700, sometimes more.
October 2, 2013 | By Jason Wells
A woman who allegedly gave a friend a ride in Bakersfield knowing her 2-year-old niece slumped over in the backseat was dead has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and torture-related charges. Authorities say Wendy Guadalupe Gomez,  who is in the country illegally, refused to call 911 when she discovered her niece, Karla Isidro, slumped over dead in the backseat of her sedan on Sept. 20, the Bakersfield Californian reported. Instead, Gomez, 20, allegedly spent seven hours calling friends and relatives, who reportedly pleaded with her to drive to a hospital or call authorities.
October 1, 2013 | By Rick Rojas
JOSHUA TREE, Calif. - On an autumn morning like this one, they should be gearing up for a day of hiking amid the cacti, climbing up one of the more than 400 formations of high desert monzogranite or taking in the vista of Keyes View.  But instead of venturing into Joshua Tree National Park, visitors Tuesday were in a cafe just outside it, trying to figure what else to do or where they can go. Park rangers had turned them away. The visitor center next door was locked up, a "closed" sign hanging in the window.  "That's not fair to the people," Al Valerio, who had plans to spend the day exploring the park with his wife, said of the shutdown that had hindered his vacation plans.
September 22, 2013
SOUTH AMERICA Presentation Jared Vagy will share his experiences in South America climbing glaciated mountains, technical rock walls, remote icy peaks and an attempt at Aconcagua, Argentina, the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas. When, where: 7 p.m. Thursday at the REI store in Santa Monica, 402 Santa Monica Blvd. Admission, info: Free. (310) 458-4370. PHOTOGRAPHY Presentation Eric Poppleton will present digital and printed media from his globe-trotting expeditions as well as tips and tricks of the trade.
September 10, 2013 | By Adam Tschorn
NEW YORK -- The J. Crew man is headed to the great outdoors for spring and summer 2014 -- or at least his wardrobe is -- as evidenced by the collection presented Tuesday morning at the Lincoln Center tents during Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. The inspiration: "America's National Parks," says Frank Muytjens, head of men's design for J. Crew. "I have always been a fan of Ken Burns documentaries and the Eliot Porter Sierra Club books about our national parks from the '60s -- Canyon de Chelly, Baja California, Arcadia, Joshua Tree -- magical places with a sense of history.
August 9, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
The Perseid meteor shower is one of nature's most spectacular light shows, and it's happening this weekend. The annual meteor shower will peak Sunday night into the dawn of Monday morning, and at the height of the shower, you can expect to see 100 meteors an hour.  This year, the moon is your friend and will appear as a thin crescent that shouldn't spoil your view of the shooting stars. And just to make you extra excited, NASA recently declared the Perseids the fireball champion of the meteor showers -- meaning it has the brightest meteors of all the annual showers.
July 12, 2013 | By Paul Goff
We discovered the Ruin about 12 years ago when it was a small, abandoned stone house. We were hiking in Pioneertown's Pipes Canyon, and there it was, all by itself in a cove-like setting of boulders and desert plants and barely the remains of a road to get to it. We hiked back about a year after and the roof had been knocked in, or it had caved in after years of weather and neglect. A few months later, on another visit, we saw the western wall where the front door and window once stood were gone.
June 20, 2013 | By Debra Prinzing
In their new book, "The Beautiful Edible Garden," designers Stefani Bittner and Leslie Bennett urge readers to create a stylish outdoor space using vegetables, fruits and herbs as key landscaping plants. Gardens should be stunning, they say - but also useful and productive. You can have both, assure the authors, co-owners of Star Apple Edible & Fine Gardening in Oakland. You can balance aesthetics with bounty by using Bittner and Bennett's "swap" technique, which involves substituting a productive plant (one that you can harvest for food or flowers)
June 18, 2013 | By Jean Merl and Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
A woman who was stabbed to death trying to flee her estranged husband in a quiet suburban neighborhood gave chilling accounts of harassment, threats and her deepening fears, according to documents filed in her divorce case. Michelle Ann Kane, 43, in April was granted a partial temporary restraining order against her husband of nearly 12 years and was seeking a more comprehensive domestic violence restraining order, scheduled for a hearing June 28. "'Go ahead and get a restraining order,'" she said her estranged husband told her after "threatening to have me whacked.
June 17, 2013 | By Jean Merl and Andrew Blankstein
The estranged wife of a man accused of stabbing her to death on a West Hills street had sought a restraining order against him but was awaiting a court hearing, records show. Michelle Ann Kane, 43, was scheduled to appear in court June 28 for a hearing on her restraining order request, according to the Los Angeles County Superior Court's case tracking system. She had been granted a partial temporary restraining order but was seeking a more permanent order, court documents showed.
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