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April 9, 2013 | Steve Lopez
When I met them at their home on election day in March, Don and Prudy Schultz of Van Nuys had a Wendy Greuel sign planted in their frontyard. But today, it's gone. Don jerked it out of the ground as if it were a weed, and got rid of it. "Just wanted you to be the first to know," he wrote in an email. "We have switched camps in the mayor's race. " I've been checking in regularly with the Schultzes during the campaign, so I was eager to hear what ended their love affair with Greuel.
April 1, 2013 | By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore
HONG KONG -- What is beautiful? Four celebrated Asian filmmakers tackle the question in “Beautiful 2013,” a quartet of short films at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, which wraps up Tuesday.  The Chinese video site Youku and the festival jointly commissioned the film following their initial collaboration last year, “Beautiful 2012.” That movie ended up touring to more than 20 film festivals and garnered more than 16 million hits...
March 27, 2013 | By David Lauter
WASHINGTON -- Wednesday's arguments underway before the Supreme Court could give the justices an opportunity to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act -- the law that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married. But just like Tuesday's case challenging California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage, a ruling on the substance of the issue could be forestalled by procedural issues. If the justices find that procedural barriers block them from getting to the merits of the case they would, in effect, decide the case by default -- a lower-court ruling that held the law unconstitutional would stand.
March 22, 2013 | By Maeve Reston
As he explores his new roles within the Republican party and the business world after last year's presidential campaign, Mitt Romney plans this summer to bring together “experts and enthusiasts” in both spheres for a gathering in Park City that is expected to include potential 2016 contenders Chris Christie and Paul D. Ryan. In an email to guests obtained by the Times, Romney said he hoped to unite “political, business and other thought leaders” at the conference. The 2012 Republican nominee said in the email that Solamere, the investment firm cofounded by his son Tagg and his campaign finance chairman Spencer Zwick, would be among the sponsors of the gathering.
March 22, 2013 | Mary MacVean, Los Angeles Times
Nathanael Johnson was born without a doctor and later toddled around his Northern California yard without diapers, free to ingest whatever germy creatures he got his hands on, but no sugar allowed. With parents like his, it's little wonder he grew up wondering about the miracles of modern science. What's really welcome about his deeply reported book, "All Natural," is that his upbringing makes the investigation of nature versus technology fun as well as thought-provoking. He questions mainstream wisdom, "expert" advice and the all-natural solutions for childbirth, germs, raw milk, sugar, factory farming of animals and more.
March 12, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
So we know that Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson is unhappy that star receiver Percy Harvin was traded Monday from the Vikings to the Seattle Seahawks. We can assume that a lot of fans are unhappy to lose a Pro Bowl player who led the team in receiving yards the last three seasons. But we also can figure that Harvin himself is happy with the move, since he's been demanding a trade for some time now, and that some fans might be relieved to have such a malcontent out of the locker room.
February 12, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Why is Pope Benedict XVI quitting? And who might replace him? Those are two of the questions we put to John Thavis, who spent more than three decades covering the Vatican for the Catholic News Service. He peels back the veil of the Vatican in his book "The Vatican Diairies: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the power, personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Roman Catholic Church," which comes out Feb. 25. Perfect timing. Thavis, who has recently returned to live in Minnesota with his family, was in Rome this week.
February 8, 2013 | By Evan Halper
SACRAMENTO -- Assemblyman Dan Logue (R-Loma Rica) has long touted the virtues of low-tax, limited-regulation Texas as a model for what California should aspire toward to improve its business climate. He has led fact-finding missions to the Lone Star State, where colleagues join him in seminars with Texas officials and business leaders. His efforts to import the Texas style of government have largely fallen flat in Sacramento. Now, with Democrats having more power in the Capitol than they have in decades, it is looking even less likely Logue's pitch will gain traction.  So Logue is turning to stinging sarcasm.
January 26, 2013 | By Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - For many, this city's biggest selling point is its proximity to other, more exciting places, like the cosmopolitan hills of San Francisco or the ski slopes of Lake Tahoe. But for almost three decades, there has been one thing people didn't need to leave town for: professional basketball. For Sacramentans, the Kings are more than just an NBA franchise. They're a sign that the city is not second-rate. Fair-weather fans here are scarce; devotees have stuck with the Kings through miserable season after miserable season.
January 13, 2013 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
The third season premiere of "Downton Abbey" was heralded by the sort of media blitz more in line with the Summer Olympics or a new Robert Downey Jr. franchise than anything appearing on PBS' "Masterpiece. " The public television network hosted a red-carpet preview screening for PBS SoCal members aboard the Queen Mary, for mercy's sake. And merchandising for "Downton" threatens to out-deluge that for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," with books and jewelry, mugs and calendars, and T-shirts identifying themselves with one of the Crawley sisters or demanding that authorities "Free John Bates.
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