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August 18, 2006 | Nick Schou, NICK SCHOU is an editor for OC Weekly. His book, "Kill the Messenger: How the CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb," will be published in October.
TEN YEARS AGO today, one of the most controversial news articles of the 1990s quietly appeared on the front page of the San Jose Mercury News. Titled "Dark Alliance," the headline ran beneath the provocative image of a man smoking crack -- superimposed on the official seal of the CIA. The three-part series by reporter Gary Webb linked the CIA and Nicaragua's Contras to the crack cocaine epidemic that ripped through South Los Angeles in the 1980s.
Banking away from the freeways toward the seashore, Laguna Canyon Road fairly sings of the beauty, escape and fun ahead. It skims past a shallow lagoon, then sweeps by towering eucalyptus trees and cattle grazing on hillsides. The road spills out onto Coast Highway and Main Beach, where on a warm fall day the carefree and the bronzed play volleyball and bask in the sunshine.
December 20, 2009 | By Pico Iyer >>>
It was already clear, in December of 1999, that books were a dying species. Already more people seemed interested in producing novels than consuming them, and when it came to serious works, there seemed more fascination with the writer than the writing. Books, I heard from two serious, bewildered editors in New York on the same trip, were now part of the "entertainment industry," and a first-time novelist was as likely to be judged on the power of his author photo as on the character of his content.
July 16, 2013 | By Nardine Saad
Talia Joy Castellano, a bubbly cancer patient who became an honorary CoverGirl with the help of Ellen DeGeneres, has died. She was 13. The Orlando, Fla., teenager became a YouTube sensation with her motivational makeup tutorial videos, which captured the attention of the TV host. Talia died Tuesday at Arnold Palmer Hospital, with the announcement coming from her official Facebook fan page. "It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia has earned her wings at 11:22am," the post read . "Please lift her beautiful soul, her beautiful light to heaven and please send your love and prayers to her family during this most difficult time.
May 24, 1987 | LYNN SIMROSS, Times Staff Writer
The statistics about acquired immune deficiency syndrome are easily available: 20,557 Americans have died, nearly 2,000 of those in Los Angeles County. By 1991, there will be 270,000 cases of AIDS. Nationally, health-care costs for AIDS patients have been estimated at $100 million so far; by 1991, they are expected to reach $8 billion. But the names of its victims often are not so accessible, such is the stigma of the disease.
May 25, 2003 | Elaine Woo, Times Staff Writer
Lucy Saroyan, a former actress who struggled for years over her estrangement from her famous father, author William Saroyan, has died. She was 57. The cause was cirrhosis of the liver complicated by hepatitis C, said her brother, Aram, of Los Angeles. She is also survived by her mother, Carol Matthau, of New York. Saroyan died April 11 at a Thousand Oaks lodge where she had been living.
July 18, 1993 | D. M. Thomas, Thomas, a British poet and novelist, is the author of 10 novels, including "The White Hotel," "Ararat" and "Flying in to Love."
In the manner of Pushkin beginning his "Golden Cockerel" ("Somewhere, some time long since gone/Lived the glorious Tsar Dadon. . . ."), Donald Harington lets us know from the first sentence that we are to be in a world where art is at least as important as reality: "Ekaterina you were, and you were not at all. You were from a land far away, once upon a time and upon no time at all . . .
March 14, 2013 | By David Ng
Sybil Christopher, who died last week in New York at 83, was a noted theater producer and the founder of Arthur, a Manhattan hot spot that attracted a ritzy celebrity clientele during the 1960s. Even if she hadn't become famous as the first wife, and later, ex-wife, of actor Richard Burton, Christopher would still have occupied an important seat in New York high society and culture. "She was very hands on -- as hands on a mother as she was a producer. " said Kate Burton, her eldest daughter.
March 8, 2014 | By John Penner
When Charles Bukowski died in San Pedro 20 years ago, the obituaries in the next day's papers typically began with some iteration of Time magazine's stock description of the writer as the "laureate of American lowlife. " In the decades since, the drinking, brawling, gambling, whoring cliche has become so entrenched and widely propagated it can be hard to see Bukowski's words for his shadow. The "Barfly" legend, sprouted from the self-mythology Bukowski cultivated in countless quasi-autobiographical works including his celebrated movie screenplay and fed by his real-life drunken bouts of abusiveness, has only grown posthumously.
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