CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 1, 2010 |
The annual run-up to this morning's Tournament of Roses parade unfolded overnight like a finely tuned ritual on Pasadena streets and inside cavernous float-decorating venues. Orange Grove Boulevard was filled with parade floats, flood lights throwing them into sharp relief. Smoke from barbecues masked the scent of flowers, and families strolled down the street while others camped on air mattresses and played cards on small tables. Ed Blecksmith walked slower than most as old friends stopped him frequently to shake his hand.
March 22, 2010 |
Two weeks after winning Oscars, "Up" and "The Cove" received additional honors Saturday at the 24th annual Genesis Awards, which honor media depictions of animal protection issues. "The Cove," which chronicles the slaughter of dolphins by fisherman from a Japanese village, was named outstanding documentary film. "Up," the animated adventure from Pixar that involves the fight to protect a rare bird, shared the feature film award with "Hotel for Dogs," a comedy with Lisa Kudrow and Don Cheadle that was applauded for "celebrating the special bond between children and dogs."
January 13, 2010 |
The furor over Sen. Harry Reid's remarks about President Obama's race, reported by The Times in several articles, has gone way overboard. His remarks, however -- that Obama is "light-skinned" and speaks with "no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one" -- may yet prove useful in sparking a badly needed, frank conversation about race in America. Indeed, we can never understand what Reid meant -- and our reaction -- unless we have this conversation. Though I accept Reid's apology and take the president at his word that this is a nonissue, we must be honest with ourselves about the context of what Reid said.
December 9, 2009 |
California's jobless rate is close to peaking, but the recovery will be sluggish, with employers not expected to resume hiring until at least next spring, according to new forecasts by UCLA and other analysts. The state's unemployment rate, which hit 12.5% in October, will probably peak at 12.7% this month. Still, it won't fall below 10% until 2012, according to a UCLA Anderson forecast released today. That means California's economy almost certainly will continue to struggle for the foreseeable future.
October 13, 2009 |
China's leaders meant for the celebrations on Oct. 1 to remind the world of their country's growing power and importance. But the 60th anniversary of the communist revolution, which Nina Hachigian wrote about in her Sept. 30 Times Op-Ed article, should also remind us of something else: The Chinese Communist Party is still very much an authoritarian regime whose nature remains quite the same as when Mao Tse-tung brutalized the nation. I should know. About four months ago, my mother, Yao-Hua Li, and sister, Yi-Bo Zhang, were abducted by Chinese police officers simply because of their spiritual beliefs.
December 12, 2009 |
To go by the lyrics of the dozens of extravagantly unhappy songs he's written since he founded the Smiths a quarter of a century ago, the English singer known simply as Morrissey doesn't really experience anything but rough years. Yet 2009 has been difficult by even his miserable standards. In October he collapsed onstage during a show in Swindon, England, after apparently suffering from breathing troubles. Three weeks later, he was bonked in the head by a bottle at Liverpool's Echo Arena and left the stage after singing two songs.
October 9, 2009
Today's topic: At what point in the economic recovery can Washington turn its attention to addressing the impending insolvency of Medicare and Social Security? Dean Baker and Maya MacGuineas finish their debate on the relationship between unemployment rates and economic recovery, and how much Washington can do about both. Point: Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research We should separate the issues of getting the economy on track and fixing our long-term deficit problems.
March 1, 2010 |
California's hands-free cellphone law has been a lifesaver. According to California Highway Patrol statistics, the law has helped reduce the number of annual fatalities on our roads by 700 and collisions by between 75,000 and 100,000. CHP data also show that traffic fatalities and crashes in California were each down by roughly 20% in the first six months since the law took effect on July 1, 2008, compared with the same six-month periods of previous years. These statistics are all the more compelling when you consider the steady increase in the number of licensed drivers in California over the last several years, and the fact that there are more than double the number of cellphones out there today than there were just a decade ago. Although compliance with the new law has been good, it certainly could be better.
March 21, 2010 |
As the House prepares to convene Sunday afternoon for action on President Obama's long-pursued overhaul of healthcare, the House's Democratic leadership is voicing confidence in passage of the bill. "We've got the votes," Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) said in an appearance Sunday morning on CNN's "State of the Union." The House plans to convene at 1 p.m. Eastern time to take up a "reconciliation" measure that merges the House and Senate on healthcare and vote on a Senate-passed healthcare bill.
March 11, 2010 |
The number of homes caught up in some stage of the foreclosure process in February fell 2% from the previous month to 308,524, a real estate firm will report Thursday. That number is up 6% compared with the same month a year earlier but marked the smallest year-over-year increase since January 2006, according to RealtyTrac Inc. Executives at the Irvine firm attributed the steady decline in foreclosure activity to efforts by banks to keep people in their homes through the Obama administration's $75-billion plan to help troubled borrowers.