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December 28, 2008 | Jason Song, Hector Becerra and Cara Mia DiMassa
The Ortega home, a tidy, one-story structure at the end of a Covina cul-de-sac, had been at the center of so many family events: pizza nights, poker parties and an annual Christmas Eve party where the large, close-knit family gathered to celebrate the holidays. On Saturday, it was a place for grief. Leaning toward the yellow police tape that encircled the ruins of the home, family members wrapped their arms around each other.
December 25, 2008 | Gale Holland
The Christmas Sweater Festival at the Echoplex music club was holiday programming for the tongue-in-cheek generation. The Echo Park venue was awash in appliqued snowmen, flashing pompoms and teal-colored squirrels. One of the bands on the bill, Pity Party, showed up the other revelers. Chunky red-and-green striped with chubby "Ps" -- the band's initials -- on the front, their sweaters were hand-knit by lead singer Julie Edwards and guitarist Marc Smollin. It really wasn't fair.
December 25, 2008 | Alexandra Zavis
Jody Miller is doing her best. The only tree she could squeeze into the temporary apartment she is sharing with her husband this Christmas was too tiny to decorate. So she strung up lights above the fireplace, pinned stockings to the front door and lined up three glowing reindeer on the patio wall. It feels festive. But Christmas won't be the same without all the couple's friends and neighbors from the Oakridge Mobile Home Park.
November 9, 2008 | Peter Nicholas, Nicholas is a Times staff writer.
At a tense point in Barack Obama's campaign, his closest friends got together and decided that, whatever it took, they would make him laugh. It was early May, and Obama was trying to stave off a comeback by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Chatting privately with the candidate before a late-night stop in Indiana, Marty Nesbitt, Valerie Jarrett and Eric Whitaker started riffing about how utterly draining the campaign had been.
September 20, 2008 | David Cho and Neil Irwin, Washington Post
The response to the gravest financial crisis in generations has been engineered to a remarkable degree by a committee of three. From the rescue of Bear Stearns Cos. to the takeovers of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and American International Group Inc., all the key decisions have been made by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Timothy F. Geithner, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
September 14, 2008 | Catherine Saillant and Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writers
In Simi Valley, life went on -- but more somberly than usual. At the annual Simi Valley Days festival, Cub Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts observed a moment of silence to honor those killed and injured in Friday afternoon's Metrolink commuter train catastrophe. Local dignitaries draped black sashes across their parade cars to mark the sadness that had taken hold. Before the parade even started at 9 a.m., Simi Valley police chaplain Kurt Fredrickson had made his first death notification to a local family.
January 6, 2008 | Melissa Magsaysay, Times Staff Writer
We were in the studio, getting ready to shoot the beret layout you're looking at on the opposite page. We had a stack of sophisticated designer caps, all lint-rolled, brushed and fluffed to perfection. Then in walked the makeup artist -- in a hat that stole the shoot. Garen Tolkin was wearing a charmingly floppy beret she had just finished knitting the night before. She spotted it at A Mano Yarn Center in Mar Vista -- "I saw it and I just had to make it," she said. And we felt the same way.
December 24, 2007 | Jessica Guynn, Times Staff Writer
Ever the proud father, Chris MacAskill screens 20-year-old home movies of his sons -- Ben singing about a stegosaurus, Mark getting a mohawk -- on his laptop. "This is the negative of working with family members," a red-faced Mark, now 26, says before retreating to his cubicle. Meet the MacAskills, Silicon Valley's version of the Waltons: seven members of a close-knit clan, ranging in age from 23 to 63, who run SmugMug Inc., which helps families share their own Kodak moments online.
December 23, 2007 | Helen O'Neill, Associated Press
The Rev. Hamilton Coe Throckmorton shivered with anticipation as he gazed at the loot -- wads of $50 bills piled high beside boxes of crayons in a Sunday school classroom. Cautiously, he locked the door. Then he started counting. It was a balmy Friday evening in September. From several floors below, faint melodies drifted up -- the choir practicing for Sunday service. Throckmorton was oblivious.
October 21, 2007 | Melissa Magsaysay, Times Staff Writer
MINGY twin sets, skimpy pashminas, stupidly skinny scarves, tissue-thin turtlenecks -- can we be rid of them soon enough? As soon as Giles Deacon sent that scarf -- that insanely thick beast of an orange scarf -- down the runway, we were dying for something substantial. A thick-ribbed sweater dress. An Aran knit cardigan coat. Anything made of the kind of fat, soft yarn you could really sink into. The kind of piece that has the power to update whatever it is you're wearing with it.
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