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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2014 | By Joel Rubin
Los Angeles police officers tampered with voice recording equipment in dozens of patrol cars in an effort to avoid being monitored while on duty, according to records and interviews. An inspection by Los Angeles Police Department investigators found about half of the estimated 80 cars in one South L.A. patrol division were missing antennas, which help capture what officers say in the field. The antennas in at least 10 more cars in nearby divisions had also been removed. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and other top officials learned of the problem last summer but chose not to investigate which officers were responsible.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
April 13, 2014
Re "How Medicare pays MDs," Editorial, April 10 It's wrong to blame physicians for Medicare's fiscal woes. Doing away with fee-for-service as a way to "reward quality and efficiency" is unworkable. The federal government could never figure that out. The small, shriveled carrot it would offer as the "reward" would be an insult to the medical profession. Medicare's problems, as evidenced by the testimony of physicians fingered in the recent revelations, have to do with outrageous drug, laboratory and facility charges.
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BUSINESS
September 30, 2012 | By Scott J. Wilson, Los Angeles Times
California's lemon law is designed to protect consumers who discover a serious, unfixable flaw in a vehicle they've purchased or leased. Here are key things to know about the law, according to the state Department of Consumer Affairs: • The law applies to any problem that "substantially impairs the use, value or safety" of a car covered by a manufacturer's new vehicle warranty, provided the problem is discovered within 18 months or 18,000 miles...
WORLD
April 11, 2014 | By Vincent Bevins
RIO DE JANEIRO - As the 2014 World Cup tournament nears, efforts to reform Rio de Janeiro's police forces remain, like many of the Brazilian soccer stadiums themselves, a work in progress. Seeking to improve public safety, police have established a permanent presence in many of the city's slums, and attempted to replace sporadic, war-like operations against criminals with numbers-based community policing. Now, some of the city's slums, known as favelas , are considered safe for tourists.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 16, 2001
Re your March 10 Voices, "Do You Have a Problem With This?": I have to laughingly ask William Gregory if he seriously considers the response "No problem" a problem and, if he does, I'll bet most of your readers wish that they should have such non-problems. No problem (no, really, no problem at all). GAIL WARWICK-LONNE Mammoth Lakes
ENTERTAINMENT
February 16, 2010
Dear Amy: I share office space with a colleague. Our space is detached from the rest of the office. My co-worker and I have very little in common, and by all indications she has no social life and shows signs of emotional instability (she has revealed to me that she is on antidepressants). The problem is that she is constantly in my space, telling me her problems, making catty comments about co-workers and, worst of all, trying to arrange for us to spend time together socially outside of work.
OPINION
December 6, 2013
Re "Enabling Karzai," Opinion, Dec. 3 Let's not stay in Afghanistan another 10 years. The bilateral security arrangement with that country needs to be stopped. Our elected representatives in Washington should listen to their constituencies, who are most assuredly "near unanimity in favor of an immediate, total withdrawal. " It's time to leave Afghanistan to the Afghans. Norman Gottlieb North Hills ALSO: Letters: Powering California Letters: America needs plumbers too Letters: Mixing politics and tax breaks
BUSINESS
July 27, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Mazda Motor Corp will recall 217,500 Tribute sport-utility vehicles sold in the U.S. to fix the same sticking gas pedal problem that Ford Motor Co. is dealing with in older Escape SUVs. The vehicles were jointly developed and share the same design.  The Mazda recall affects Tributes from the 2001 to 2006 model years and the 2008 model.  Like the Ford recall, only vehicles equipped with the 3-liter, V6 engine and cruise control are affected. Ford on Thursday recalled 421,000 Escapes sold in the U.S. Ford said the problem occurs because of inadequate clearance between the engine cover and the cruise control cable.
OPINION
July 15, 2012
Re "Retooling Teach For America," Opinion, July 10 As a former principal, teachers and I were often dismayed when the time and effort we put in to help these young people be successful went for naught because they often left after their two-year commitment was completed. A second problem is that these inexperienced teachers are often placed in inner-city schools where teaching is most difficult. Having rookies as their teachers often compounds the severe challenges faced by our inner-city students.
OPINION
March 19, 2013
Re "GOP rift on display at conference," March 17 Many of the Republicans who spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week seemed to think that the problem with their party was the wrapping, not the package. They seem to miss the point that what's inside the package is the problem. When CPAC speaker Mitt Romney said privately to a group of wealthy donors during his presidential campaign that he could write off about 47% of voters, he put into words what many Republicans think.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 | Sandy Banks
At this point, it may not matter much to the public what actually went on in that Santa Monica High classroom where a teacher was recorded wrestling a student to the floor. The 58-second cellphone clip recorded by a student went viral this week, turning the teacher and the student into symbols of what's wrong with public schools: Defiant students. Overwhelmed teachers. Feckless administrators. Knee-jerk policies with no room for common sense. "We're in the middle of a cultural change, and this case reflects that shift," said Shawn McMullen Chen, a high school teacher for 25 years.
OPINION
April 10, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The news that a small percentage of the country's physicians collected billions of dollars from Medicare in a single year may or may not be a testament to individual greed; some of the top recipients are under investigation for allegedly bilking the system, while others work long hours delivering costly care. But it is a powerful reminder that the program needs to stop rewarding doctors for the quantity of care they deliver rather than the quality. Happily, there's a bipartisan plan to do just that; unhappily, lawmakers haven't been able to agree on how to cover its cost.
BUSINESS
April 7, 2014 | David Lazarus
If you've eaten from a food truck or cart in Los Angeles County, chew on this: About 40% of the roughly 3,200 food trucks and carts cooking up meals in the area have never been inspected in the field by health officials since letter grades were introduced three years ago. And most of the remaining 60% have been checked out only once a year, even though official guidelines call for at least two annual field inspections. How do I know that? Because Angelo Bellomo, director of environmental health for the county Department of Public Health, told me so. He oversees inspections of all eateries, including mobile ones.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Lisa Zamosky
Now that open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is over for this year, healthcare consumers can begin to put their insurance policies to work. For many, it may be a challenge. A year ago, Norm Wilkinson, 61, retired after 35 years as a Teamster and signed on to a retiree health plan. He figured he'd enjoy the same comprehensive coverage he'd had for years, but soon learned that prescription drugs weren't covered. "I did not get a prescription drug plan with it, and that was the big killer," said Wilkinson, a resident of Whittier.
SPORTS
April 5, 2014 | By Gary Klein
Four months ago, Clay Helton was drawing up a postseason game plan and overseeing USC's staff as interim coach of the Trojans. He guided USC to a Las Vegas Bowl victory over Fresno State in December, and was subsequently rewarded when new Trojans Coach Steve Sarkisian retained him as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Helton has spent the last four weeks installing the fast-paced, no-huddle offense that Sarkisian brought from Washington. The 41-year-old Helton had run a no-huddle system as Memphis' offensive coordinator before Lane Kiffin hired him at USC before the 2010 season.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2014 | Steve Lopez
The dreaded Giants were in town and Dodger fans were out in force on opening day, tailgating, wearing the blue and turning Elysian Park into a giant latrine. Chad Kline of Echo Park was walking his dog, Lola, early Friday morning when he saw fans hiking up into the bushes between Scott and Academy Roads to water the plants. "I went up to these three motorcycle officers … and informed them about 15 gentlemen were urinating in the park and I said, 'I think it's illegal, what are you going to do about it?
HEALTH
July 20, 2009 | Shari Roan
It's hard to believe, but being underweight used to be a considerable health problem in the United States. In the years from 1966 to 1970, 5.8% of children ages 6 to 11 and 4.6% of children ages 12 to 19 were underweight. From 1960 to 1962, 5.7% of people ages 20 to 39 were underweight. How times have changed. Today, people who are underweight are most likely those who have underlying medical conditions, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics.
OPINION
September 4, 2010 | Tim Rutten
Nearly 40 years ago, I spent time with the late Conor Cruise O'Brien, one of the 20th century's most formidable intellectual journalists. Like many naturally contentious men possessed of restlessly great minds, he could be spectacularly wrong, but his firsthand experience of the world was vast, and he had a politician's gift for aphoristic profundity. He patiently explained to me, for example, that all the worst international controversies could be divided into "problems" and "situations.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2014 | David Lazarus
Among the frequently asked questions on Yelp's website, there's this: "Will Yelp remove or reorder bad reviews if a business pays for sponsorship?" And the answer: "No. You can't pay us to remove or reorder your bad reviews - it's just that simple. " It's not that simple, at least if you listen to the many small-business owners who say Yelp routinely uses bad reviews and competitors' ads as leverage to get merchants to cough up some cash. "They continually harass you and strong-arm you to get you to pay for their service," said Randy Boelsems, 64, who runs a boating supply company in Fountain Valley.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
In documents filed with federal accident investigators, Asiana Airlines stated Monday that flawed automatic throttles and the pilots themselves failed to maintain enough speed and altitude to safely land at San Francisco International Airport in July. Asiana's assertion about the throttles was immediately countered by Boeing Co., which lodged its own report with investigators, saying that the pilots were solely to blame and Boeing 777's automated throttle system was working properly.
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