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October 17, 2012
Re "Entry-level homes scarce in state," Business, Oct. 12 Just when I think Wall Street couldn't be more shameless, it ups the ante. Now individuals are being priced out of the housing market by investor groups that scoop up entry-level homes and package the rental income into another arcane investment vehicle. This a brazen subversion of the American dream of homeownership. As a former resident of San Bernardino, I saw what happens when owners move out and renters move in. Yet these investors, whose whims seem to be steering our economy (bought any gasoline lately?
April 24, 2014 | By Harold Meyerson
The most fundamental problem Los Angeles faces is that a huge number of Angelenos can't even afford to live here. Their pay is too low; their rent is too high. Last week, the real estate website Zillow released a survey commissioned by the New York Times that identified the 90 American cities where the median rent exceeded 30% of the median household income. (The 30% figure is the threshold at which rent is generally deemed unaffordable.) The survey ranked those 90 cities by the percentage of their residents' median income devoted to their median rent.
March 2, 2009 | Charlotte Stoudt
That striped scarf is back, along with those peroxide blond boys. "Rent," Jonathan Larson's ground-shaking rock musical, is now very, very live at Pantages Theatre, and this Broadway tour features two original cast members, bespectacled Anthony Rapp as filmmaker Mark and Adam Pascal as HIV-positive songwriter Roger. It's been only a dozen years since this amplified update of Puccini's "La Boheme" knocked Gotham on its ear, showcasing the diverse talents of Taye Diggs, Jesse L.
April 20, 2014 | By Roger Vincent
Southern California's office market has improved ever so slightly - once again for landlords. In the just-finished first quarter of 2014, the overall vacancy rate fell less than a percentage point and monthly rents ticked up a nickel per square foot. The slight upward shift in occupancy was typical of the last several quarters. The region's office rental market stabilized after the recession, but has not picked up steam the way it did during previous economic recoveries. Nevertheless, vacancy is reaching its lowest level since 2008, when the Great Recession hit and prompted a downward trend in office use that finally is turning around, albeit at a glacial pace.
January 8, 2011 | Tim Rutten
It's been a tough week for the arts in academia. Nationally, more than a few jaws dropped over Auburn University professor Alan Gribben's plans to publish new editions of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" with the words "nigger" and "Injun" excised from the texts so as not to offend readers. The offensive idiocy of vandalism masquerading as sensitivity need not be belabored here. Suffice to say that this is one of those ideas so utterly and breathtakingly off the mark that it isn't even wrong.
November 26, 2005
RE "A Troupe of Failures for Sale -- or, 'Rent,' " by Carina Chocano, Nov. 23: Hey, there's nothing wrong with hating everything about "Rent," despite its thoroughly honest origins with an actual starving East Village artist. Think the stage show is facile and unbelievable? Fine. Hate the fact that non-bohemian people have the audacity to enjoy a cleaned-up version of youthful artistic struggle set amid the AIDS crisis? No problem. But assign a writer to review a movie who loathes the source material?
October 22, 2012 | By Jenn Harris
Ever scrolled through your friends' Facebook albums and thought "what a great dress, wish I could wear that"? Dress and accessory rental e-commerce site Rent the Runway launched a new social shopping platform Monday that could help you snag your favorite looks. The site's new "Our Runway" feature allows users to browse user generated images of real women in dresses rented from the site -- or if you've worn a rented dress, you can upload a picture of yourself. The page features hundreds of photos of women at all sorts of events in their rented dresses.
October 4, 1997
In response to Laurie Winer's challenge, I vote nay on "Rent" ("Another High-'Rent' District," Sept. 30). After purchasing tickets months ago, I eagerly awaited the performance. Several Tony awards. How bad could it be? Thin story line, undeveloped, unsympathetic characters, unmusical, unmemorable score for starters. On the positive side, the production has energy. The actors do, indeed, try. This is a show that might have worked with a more polished script and real music. "When they start singing, they rip your heart out" writes Winer.
April 19, 1987
I was angered when I read one reader's attack (March 22) on Sam Hall Kaplan for his March 1 article, "Viewing Downtown in Wheelchair." No, Mr. Kaplan was not being "mushy and condescending." He was referring to a very real problem for thousands of people in Los Angeles alone. The barriers Mr. Kaplan referred to prevent many of us from fully participating in our responsibilities, rights and freedoms as citizens. The reader who attacked Mr. Kaplan was upset by the Title 24 "Disabled Access Regulations," saying they "lack a strong sense of common sense."
March 5, 2011
I recently traveled to Japan and took a cellphone that I rented from . I was given this tip by the tour operator. You are sent a cellphone in a mailer for the country you are visiting; you return it when you get home. It determines what you owe. You don't need to worry about connections, SIM cards, etc. The phone comes with clear directions. Karen Lehrer Santa Barbara If you have a great tip you'd like to share with Times readers, send it to travel@latimes.
April 15, 2014 | Patt Morrison
George Steffes was a boy standing on Wilshire Boulevard when Dwight D. Eisenhower rolled by in a motorcade, and he was mightily impressed. But that's not what got him into politics. He went to 5 o'clock Mass one day in 1966 and ran into an acquaintance who was working on Ronald Reagan's gubernatorial campaign. Steffes volunteered. He went to Sacramento as Reagan's legislative aide and has been there ever since. He helped to found the first multi-person lobbying firm in Sacramento, Capitol Partners, where he's now “senior advisor,” no longer running the firm day to day. Almost 50 years in Sacramento have given him a long view of its roller-coaster politicking, including low points like the recent indictment of state Sen. Leland Yee. The ride has left him a bit queasy.
April 13, 2014 | Andrew Khouri
Arie Shashou remembers simple pleasures from the decades spent in his Westside home: helping neighbors with small tasks; the daily chats with the former manager of the complex; the paintings that line the walls of his one-bedroom. "It was a happy time," Shashou, 77, recalled on a recent Sunday afternoon. "I was hoping to die here. " That was before Shashou received an eviction notice in March. Shashou's $825-a-month rent-controlled apartment, and 17 other units, will be demolished to make way for a pricey new apartment complex.
April 5, 2014 | Tim Logan
The real estate market has long worked on a simple system: If you want to buy a new house, sell the old one and use the equity for a down payment. But the last few years of low ownership costs and rising rents have some move-up buyers trying a new approach: Buy the new house. Keep the old one. And rent it out. Real estate firm Redfin recently asked 1,900 prospective home buyers nationwide what they planned to do with their old house when they bought a new one. As you'd expect, the majority said they would sell.
March 30, 2014 | By Anky van Deursen
Question: I have lived in Silicon Valley my whole life. I am 70 years old and retired. I recently applied for housing at an apartment complex and asked the leasing agent what my chances were of getting an apartment. He told me they had received a lot of applications. When I asked if it was worth it to apply at all, he shrugged and said I was "up against some Google people. " I was outraged. Am I being discriminated against, since he implied that I did not stand a chance of being chosen over a person who works for Google?
March 26, 2014 | By Roger Vincent
American Tire Distributors Inc., one of the nation's largest tire distributors, has agreed to rent a massive new $65-million warehouse near Bakersfield in the Kern County city of Shafter. Landlord Roll Real Estate Development will build the 1-million-square-foot distribution center for the North Carolina tire and wheel seller at Roll Real Estate's Paramount Logistics Park. The new industrial building for American Tire will sit on more than 45 acres and include 234 trailer stalls and 201 loading docks.
March 10, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
More than 100 pot shops have shut down since Los Angeles started enforcing its new rules restricting medical marijuana dispensaries, City Atty. Mike Feuer announced Monday. Feuer said he was now stepping up that work, hiring two new attorneys who would exclusively tackle prosecutions under Proposition D, the measure passed by voters last spring. Staffers are also focusing more attention on real estate professionals and landlords renting space to marijuana dispensaries, providing them with a new brochure that warns of steep fines and jail time for breaking the rules.
September 11, 2009 | Alan Zarembo
Tarzana Treatment Center, the largest publicly funded provider of drug rehabilitation in Los Angeles County, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars beyond what the law allows to lease buildings from its own executives and board members over the last year, according to a report by county auditors. The review was ordered by county supervisors in June after a Times story revealed that executives at the nonprofit receive compensation that is unusually high for the industry and benefit from other lucrative financial arrangements.
November 4, 2012 | By Martin Eichner
Question: I missed a rent payment, and my community supervisor served me with a three-day notice to pay rent or quit. The notice included the rent due and an additional $250. I asked the supervisor why the additional amount was included. He told me that when I missed the payment, his company accountant reviewed my payment records. As a result, he realized I had failed to pay the full amount of rent due in the first month after my rent was raised two years ago. Can the property management coerce me into paying this extra $250, after so much time?
March 7, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes and Ryan Menezes
Sixteen-year-old Monica buried her face in a pillow, trying to rest for school the next day, as the clock ticked past 11 p.m. Sleep was a battle in the tiny apartment. Hunched at the other end of the family's only mattress, two of her brothers played a video game while a third lounged next to her, watching virtual soccer players skitter on screen. Her 2-year-old niece toddled barefoot near the door, toying with a pile of pennies. In all, seven people live in this wedge of space in Historic South-Central, including Monica's mother and the mother of the little girl - the longtime girlfriend of one of her brothers.
March 3, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
"Is this a church?" Sidonie Smith said as she stood outside Grant Elementary in Santa Monica. "I'm so excited about the impact it will have on our community. I've been praying for a church to come here for 40 years. " Not all residents share Smith's enthusiasm. Since late January, some neighbors have expressed dissatisfaction with the arrangement between City of God church and its landlord, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Six district campuses allow larger churches to rent space when schools aren't in session.
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