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OPINION
February 23, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Is there a better symbol of Los Angeles' mismanagement than its miles and miles of sidewalks broken, buckled and twisted by tree roots? These concrete chasms and mini-mountains have made many of L.A.'s walkways nearly impassable for people in wheelchairs or those pushing strollers or those who are less sure-footed. Yet the mayor and City Council have consistently punted on long-term, politically difficult decisions required to address the problem, and their inaction costs taxpayers about $4 million a year to settle trip-and-fall lawsuits.
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BUSINESS
February 23, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - If you're planning to shop for a home in the next few weeks, here's an early spring buying season come-on that just might save you some money if you qualify. Fannie Mae, the largest mortgage investor in the country, has a bulging portfolio of houses acquired through foreclosures nationwide. About 31,000 of these properties are listed on its HomePath (www.homepath.com) resale marketing site. To move them quickly out of inventory, Fannie temporarily is offering qualified owner-occupant purchasers - but not investors - cash incentives toward closing costs of 3.5% of the purchase price.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia
A Los Angeles City Council member wants to allow owners who seismically retrofit apartment buildings to pass on the costs to tenants. Councilman Bernard C. Parks said he wants the city to explore exempting these apartment owners from the city's rent-control law as part of a larger effort by city officials to strengthen thousands of buildings vulnerable to collapse during a major earthquake. Under existing laws, only 50% of the cost of major apartment rehabilitation projects can be passed through to tenants, Parks said.
BUSINESS
February 23, 2014 | By Donie Vanitzian
Question: All owners in my association received a letter from the board's vice president along with photos showing everything that's wrong in our building. Some things that were listed as "wrong" have been dormant for dozens of years, and still this high-rise has not fallen down and his issues do not pose a liability. Some things have been deliberately tampered with by the vice president so he could say that they are "wrong. " Now that he has sent this list to all owners, what are the ramifications if we want to sell our units?
SPORTS
February 21, 2014 | By Matt Murschel
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A possible showdown between Danica Patrick and Richard Petty has moved one step closer to becoming a reality. Petty, a seven-time NASCAR champion, was on "Fox and Friends" on Friday and told the news channel that he would be all in for a possible race between himself and Patrick. "I'm 76 years old, OK?" Petty said, according to USA Today. "It's been 25 years since I've been in a race car. But I'll take that challenge. " The challenge was issued by Patrick's teammate and team owner Tony Stewart , who was upset with the legendary driver for comments he made about Patrick's chances of ever winning on the NASCAR circuit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
Sometime after Kulwinder Singh lands in India today, he will call his son Parmeet to let him know he arrived safely. When he does, Parmeet will pick up the phone and say one of two things: “Dad, what would you do with $1 million?” Or simply… “Hey, you're a millionaire.” By Thursday afternoon, most of the country is already aware the sole $425.3-million jackpot winning Powerball ticket was sold at the Dixon Landing Chevron in Milpitas, making the store owner the lucky winner of a $1-million prize.
AUTOS
February 20, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
Porsche has issued a voluntary recall of its new 911 GT3 sports car and has recommended that owners of the 475-horsepower machine stop driving them immediately due to a possible fire risk. The automaker announced Thursday that it would be inspecting all 785 of the vehicles from the 2014 model year that have been delivered to customers worldwide. This decision was made “after engine damage occurred in two vehicles in Europe and the vehicles then caught fire,” Porsche said in a statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2014 | Steve Lopez
I had breakfast at Republique on La Brea Avenue on Tuesday, and here's how the tab broke down: Cafe Americano - $3.25 Quiche - $5 Tax - 0.77 Surcharge Healthy LA - 0.25 The last item is the one creating a little controversy at the new high-end restaurant in the old Campanile space. The owners are adding a 3% fee to every bill, which they say will pay for healthcare insurance for all their employees, from hostesses and bartenders to dishwashers and potato peelers. "This is offensive," snapped one Yelper, who called the fee "a 3% surcharge for Obamacare.
BUSINESS
February 17, 2014 | By Roger Vincent
New Chinese owners are set to break ground on a sprawling hotel and residential complex that's expected to alter L.A.'s skyline and cement a growing Asian footprint in downtown Los Angeles. Moving at a pace rare in Southern California development, owner Greenland Group of Shanghai vowed Friday to start work shortly on the first phase of a $1-billion project that will be constructed on a vast parking lot along the Harbor Freeway just north of Staples Center and LA Live. Known as Metropolis Los Angeles, the development will feature a 38-story residential skyscraper and a four-star luxury hotel.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 2014 | By David Ng
The German art dealer whose hidden stash of more than 1,000 works of art is believed to include items seized by the Nazis during World War II has created a website that is intended to tell his side of the story. Cornelius Gurlitt said on the recently launched site that he wants "to live with my pictures, in peace and tranquility. " He said that he and his lawyers intend the site to correct any misinformation about the investigation concerning the artworks. "There are no legal grounds that would compel Cornelius Gurlitt to return the so-called looted art," the website states.  ART: Can you guess the high price?
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