December 29, 2013 |
We enjoyed the article on Myanmar ("End of an Era?" by Amanda Jones, Dec. 15), and we were glad to see that the traveling was slightly off the beaten path. We recently spent two weeks there and recommend seeing this newly opened culture. I beg to differ on not visiting the very important sights in Yangon and Mandalay. It would be like visiting Louisiana but skipping New Orleans because it is too crowded. The thousands of acres of floating crop fields at Inle Lake deserve particular note.
December 27, 2013 |
Sports memories can be fleeting and easily dissolvable, sort of like cotton candy. The events of 2013 likely won't be remembered in 100 years, but what if we created a sports time capsule, and put in items representing the year in sports? We could bury it at the 50-yard line of the Coliseum, which will probably be the only existing sports venue still standing in 2113, and have it opened by Vin Scully, whose consciousness will be placed in an android doppelganger in 2022, and who will be starting his 165th year as Dodgers announcer in 2113.
December 27, 2013 |
The Times asked its reporters and critics to highlight figures in entertainment and the arts who will be making news in 2014. Here's who they picked: Josie Walsh and Melissa Barak | Artistic director-choreographer; artistic director-choreography-dancer There's an undeniable synchronicity to the career arcs of Los Angeles natives Josie Walsh and Melissa Barak. They are alumnae of Westside Ballet; both became ballerinas with prominent national companies - Walsh with Joffrey Ballet and Barak with New York City Ballet.
December 26, 2013 |
It's official: The Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate agreed on so few issues this year, Congress is on pace to pass the fewest bills in a two-year term since World War II. Pundits have compared the current occupants of Capitol Hill unfavorably to the infamous "Do-Nothing Congress" of 1947-48, which was a dynamo in comparison. Lawmakers passed 1,729 bills in that two-year term, compared to 58 in the first year of this one. Unless something changes dramatically in the second half of the 113th Congress, it will be the least productive in modern memory.
December 23, 2013 |
PHOENIX - If he ever wants to forget the chaos of last season or the frantic few years he spent coaching the New York Knicks, Mike D'Antoni can always remember his time in the desert. He was a Robert Horry hip check from coaching a deep playoff run with the Phoenix Suns, the franchise where he made his mark with a run-and-gun system that turned Steve Nash into a two-time league most valuable player. He's come back here enough since leaving in 2008 that it's another ordinary step in an 82-game schedule.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 2013 |
Liza Bercovici suspected something was up when a student at Gabriella Charter School approached her last week and said, "Happy birthday tomorrow, Miss Liza. " So it was not a surprise the next day when the school's 400-plus students sang "Happy Birthday" to her at morning assembly. Bercovici sighed in appreciation, and when urged to make a speech, she stood humbly before the small sea of students gathered on the playground of the Echo Park school she'd founded. "I think everybody here knows that this school was started out of my love for my daughter, whose name was Gabriella," Bercovici said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2013 |
The children aren't little anymore; they're 28, 24 and 23. But I still know where my daughters will be on Christmas Eve - snuggled under a blanket with me, while I read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," the classic story of Santa's visit. I don't know when quaint becomes eccentric, but that's how we've spent every Christmas Eve for as long as they can remember. Christmas rituals in our household are more than mere tradition. They're a link to the family we used to be; a connection to a father who died one week before Christmas 20 years ago, when his children barely knew him. We didn't realize then that his death would leave us stranded in time, clinging survival-style to rituals we'd shared when he was alive.
December 19, 2013 |
24 hours of "A Christmas Story" (TBS, Tuesday and Wednesday). Jean Shepherd's hardy holiday classic turns 30 this year. (I will pause for those who need to sit for a second in order to take that number in.) Adding tradition to tradition, TBS will again air the film for 24 hours straight, 12 times in a row, beginning at 8 p.m. Christmas Eve; some brave souls may take this as a challenge -- a triple-dog-dare challenge. (Anyone up wrapping presents at 4 a.m. should at least appreciate the company.)
December 18, 2013 |
As records pressed in 1969 go, it's an obscure one - far from "Abbey Road" or "Let It Bleed. " But however many copies remain of it, two found their way recently into a quiet room in UC Irvine's music department. With one of the discs on the turntable, the needle touched down and crackled before a soaring baritone rang from the speakers. Seconds later, a full chorus joined, its harmonies vivid beneath the surface gravel. With the record sleeves spread out in front of them, James Dunning and Rita Major listened closely and sometimes smiled and nodded in recognition.
December 17, 2013 |
The memory of Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, a long-standing member of the Los Angeles Unified school board, deserves to be honored. She was a devoted educator who fought for students and teachers. There are many appropriate ways to show respect to such an accomplished and caring woman: Name a school for her. Fund a scholarship for needy students in her district. Hold a memorial service. But don't misuse her memory to seek partisan political victories or to avoid doing work that needs to be done.