April 7, 2014 |
Question: A reader writes that she and her husband are retired, older than 70 and want to travel. They can leave at a moment's notice, so they want to know whether they can take advantage of last-minute deals and, if so, where. (For security reasons, we are not using their names, which are unusual and could make them a target of thieves.) Answer: Travel industry providers have trained us to expect to pay a premium for last-minute travel, except when it's to their benefit, such as moving unsold inventory that will otherwise go unused.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 |
The magnitude 5.1 La Habra earthquake that shook Southern California isn't going into the seismic history books for its modest size and small damage totals. But it was an event on social media, which transmitted stories and images of the quake and its many aftershocks with a speed and breadth that left seismologists and emergency personnel taking notice. The first signs of damage came not from authorities but from residents posting photos on Facebook of broken dishes and fallen cabinets.
March 30, 2014
Risks and warnings The State Department continues to warn U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Ukraine and all travel to the Crimean Peninsula and eastern areas of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lugansk due to tensions in the region. The U.S. believes that Russia is likely to continue to take further actions in the Crimean Peninsula consistent with its claim of annexation. The State Department also warns U.S. citizens to consider carefully the risks of travel to Mali, given terrorist activity there.
March 28, 2014 |
Profit at Tribune Co., the parent of the Los Angeles Times and other newspaper, radio and television properties, fell sharply last year amid a further decline in newspaper advertising and a significant drop in earnings at its broadcast division. The Chicago media company reported net income of $241.6 million for the year, down 43% from $422.5 million in 2012. Total operating revenue fell 8% to $2.9 billion, with a 6% decline in publishing and an 11% drop in broadcasting. For the fourth quarter, revenue dropped $97 million, or 11%, to $773 million, partly because the quarter included one fewer week than the previous year's final three months.
March 23, 2014 |
If there were fairness in this world, Rita Rizzo would be a media star. Rizzo, 60, owns a management consulting firm for nonprofit groups and government offices in Akron, Ohio, with her husband, Lou Vincent, 64. Vincent, who suffers from Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, has gone without health insurance for 10 years. "We got 30 denial letters," Rizzo told me last week. Three years ago, Rizzo got a hip replacement. Her own insurance premiums were going to rise by $500 a month, to about $800, so she chose instead to triple her deductible to $6,000 to keep the increase to a mere $150 a month.
March 22, 2014
Re "Lottery tickets and long shots," Opinion, March 16 With regard to why people ignore odds, I believe David J. Hand has missed one explanation. The media constantly report the unusual. If we were instead barraged with stories similar to what we experience firsthand, our grasp of the odds would be closer to reality. Steve Wood Laguna Beach Did anyone else feel queasy reading Hand's improbability principle - that unlikely events keep happening regularly - just pages after being reminded that we face a massive earthquake or a nationwide, yearlong blackout?