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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 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 of earthquake strengthening to tenants. Councilman Bernard C. Parks said he wants the city to explore giving these apartment owners an exemption from the city's rent control law to "incentivize retrofitting. " Right now, only 50% of the cost of major apartment rehabilitation projects can be passed through to tenants. Parks wants city staff to evaluate passing through all of the costs to tenants but do it “over a reasonable period of time.” Los Angeles officials have known about the dangers of older concrete and wooden "soft-story" buildings for years, but  concerns about costs killed earlier efforts  in L.A. to require retrofits of privately-owned buildings.
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BUSINESS
February 22, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
Perhaps closing out some old business, actor Ryan Reynolds has sold a home in Hollywood Hills West for $1.405 million. The leading man bought the property in his bachelor days for $1.749 million and in recent years had leased it out at $5,200 a month. Entered through a walled and gated courtyard, the Traditional-style home has been updated with solar heating, tankless hot water and impact-resistant French doors. The 1,789 square feet of space includes open-concept living areas, two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2014 | By Robert Abele
The risible slab of screwball-inspired nonsense called "Barefoot" has the distinction of featuring what has to be the only female character no actress of any pedigree could ever make believable. We're introduced to blond, beautiful Daisy (Evan Rachel Wood, valiant in thankless defeat) as a blank-faced psych ward newbie whose mother kept her in forced isolation her whole life. But when freed by a bad boy scion (Scott Speedman) who needs a wholesome fake girlfriend for his brother's wedding to help loosen the purse strings of his disapproving dad (Treat Williams)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2014 | By Robert Abele
What would "The Pretty One" be without Zoe Kazan's pixieish melancholy and offbeat comic timing? Not much. In writer-director Jenée LaMarque's twee indie, Kazan does double duty, playing mousy rural Laurel, who lives with her parents, as well as sister Audrey, the popular one with the big city job and boyfriend (Ron Livingston). After a car accident kills Audrey and briefly gives Laurel amnesia, the wallflower takes advantage of the identity confusion and claims to be Audrey, adopting her sister's life as a kind of instant - albeit psychologically fraught - personality injection.
WORLD
February 16, 2014 | By Amro Hassan and Kate Linthicum
CAIRO - A bomb blast ripped through a bus packed with tourists Sunday, killing at least four people near Egypt's border with Israel, security officials said, in an attack that threatened to damage the tourist economies of both countries. Three South Korean tourists and the Egyptian bus driver were killed, according to a statement from Egypt's Interior Ministry. No one has claimed responsibility, but several Israeli security experts said the location of the attack suggests it was directed at least in part at Israel.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 2014 | By Kurt Streeter
Officers Keith Linton and Otis Swift stopped their patrol car, rolled down a window and motioned to a hoodie-wearing teenager. In this part of South L.A., such encounters can be tense - or worse. "Hey, Linton. Hey, Swift," the teen said. "How y'all doing?" "Doing good, my man," Linton replied, launching into a conversation about basketball. Similar scenes played out all afternoon as the cops worked their beat in Jordan Downs, a housing project in Watts with a violent reputation and a history of ill will between residents and police.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
The question to be asked of "About Last Night," the so-called reimagining of the 1986 screen adaptation of David Mamet's caustic one-act dating comedy "Sexual Perversity in Chicago," is not: "Is it better than the first film?" because it's a draw, at best. Rather, the question is: "Is there any pressing need for it?" There isn't. Nonetheless, the apparently marketable title is back - minus its original closing ellipsis - and the action has been moved from Chi-Town to Los Angeles with four appealing, talented African American actors in the lead roles originally played by Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Jim Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins.
NATIONAL
February 13, 2014 | By Alana Semuels and Richard Simon
NEW YORK - The sixth storm of a long, exhausting winter paralyzed residents up and down the Eastern Seaboard on Thursday as millions struggled with nasty commutes, widespread power outages, government closures, canceled flights and icy messes. More than a foot of snow fell in areas of Connecticut, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey one day after the storm battered much of the South. In a winter that has crushed many snowfall records, the latest storm heaved more grief onto shoulders weary of the relentless cycle of digging out and preparing anew.
OPINION
February 13, 2014 | Meghan Daum
Want to make a really bad time for yourself on social media? Register an opinion about Dylan Farrow's letter published by the New York Times on Feb. 2 stating that her father, Woody Allen, sexually abused her some two decades ago when she was 7. Better yet, register an opinion that stops short of totally vilifying either Allen, who despite the general ick factor of his attraction to younger women was never charged with a crime, or Farrow, who makes...
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2014 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
Laugh all you want at those old public-access television clips of the late Dr. Gene Scott, the eccentric televangelist who sometimes wore two pairs of glasses at once and shouted at viewers to "Get on the telephone!" whenever his fundraising totals ebbed. He and his Los Angeles Universal Cathedral, operating from the 1927 United Artists Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, turned out to be surprisingly good friends to historic preservation. And say what you will about the quixotic plan hatched in 2000 by Bishop Kenneth Ulmer of the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood to turn the Forum, once home to Magic Johnson's "Showtime" Lakers and Wayne Gretzky's Kings, into a thriving combination of mega-church and high-end arena.
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