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November 14, 2013 | Bill Plaschke
The first real test of the Doc Rivers era has appeared, and it can appropriately be described in less than 140 characters. Can the new Clippers coach practice the same toughness that he preaches? Less than a month into his first season as the Clippers' $7-million savior, Rivers must start by repairing his own locker room after one of his players threatened to blow it apart. The player's name is Matt Barnes, his motive was anger, his weapon was Twitter, and 20 seconds worth of his insensitive typing could rattle this team for weeks.
November 6, 2013 | By Bruce Ackerman
President Obama is slowly extricating the U.S. from its Bush-era fixation on the Middle East. But he is turning his attention in the wrong direction. Europe, not Asia, should be his main focus. The future of liberal democracy will depend on its ongoing success in its Enlightenment heartland. If it can overcome current troubles and thrive in Europe and the Americas, this will inspire the worldwide democracy movement over the long run. If it fails in the West, no amount of Asian realpolitik will compensate for the collapse.
November 5, 2013 | By Alicia Banks
A $16.5-million project to repair a tunnel linking the northbound 5 and 2 freeways, which was charred by a fuel-tanker fire in July, will start Tuesday and adhere to an "ambitious and aggressive" construction schedule, officials announced. The tunnel sustained severe damage after the  tanker truck, which was carrying 8,500 gallons of fuel, overturned July 13 and caught fire. Beyond creating a massive traffic headache,  "intense heat from the fire caused  extensive damage to the pavement , walls, support columns, drainage and lighting," according to the California Department of Transportation.
November 5, 2013 | By Diane Pucin
On Friday, April 12, Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles slept without trouble, which wouldn't be news except for one thing. The next day, ElAttrache had a pair of surgeries scheduled on athletes whose combined price tag this year alone is right around $48 million. On Friday, ElAttrache knew he would be performing an operation on the shoulder of star Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke, who had broken his collarbone in a scuffle with San Diego's Carlos Quentin.
October 30, 2013 | By Bob Pool and Hailey Branson-Potts
For years Sonia Hong has dished out hamburgers and fries on paper plates decorated with customers' smiling portraits and the inscription "just for you. " But fans of Irv's Burgers in West Hollywood will understand Thursday if there are frowning faces sketched on their plates as the 63-year-old walk-up eatery closes for the last time. The burger stand, once a haunt for musicians such as Jim Morrison and Janice Joplin and featured as album artwork for a Linda Ronstadt recording, is being squeezed out by rising rents and the property owner's demand that the owners replace its leaky corrugated tin roof - something Hong says she cannot afford.
October 24, 2013 | By Michael Finnegan and Ben Welsh
Los Angeles' new controller moved Wednesday to open city finances to quick and easy public scrutiny online, unveiling a website with extensive detail on how City Hall collects and spends billions of dollars. The website, Control Panel L.A. , gives users access to a huge volume of data on taxpayer expenditures for police, sanitation, street repairs and other services - information that previously would have taken weeks or months to get through formal requests for records. With user-friendly icons and drop-down menus, the site enables visitors to download, sort and analyze data on city employee salaries and more than 100,000 payments to contractors.
October 8, 2013 | Adolfo Flores
A 266-foot experimental airship that is being constructed inside an enormous World War II-era blimp hangar in Tustin was damaged Monday when a portion of the structure's roof collapsed. Falling wood from the roof struck the $35-million airship, a prototype being built under a government contract, and caused a blast of helium to be released, forcing the evacuation of the area. Officials with Worldwide Aeros Corp. said the damage to the airship is "repairable" but declined to be specific.
September 23, 2013 | Wire reports
The San Jose Sharks will be without forward Raffi Torres for the start of the season because of an injured right knee. Torres was injured in a collision with Ducks forward Emerson Etem on Friday night. Torres and the Sharks will decide in the next few days whether he needs surgery. If he rehabilitates the injury, he might miss only the first month. If he needs surgery, he would probably be sidelined three to four months. The Sharks signed Torres to a three-year, $6-million contract in June.
September 17, 2013 | By Larry Gordon
SAN FRANCISCO - The UC regents took a step toward possibly restoring a university-owned mansion to once again become the official residence for the system's president. Some regents, however, said it might make more sense to sell off the Contra Costa County property. A regents committee approved initial repairs of Blake House, the estate where most UC presidents had lived since the 1960s but which has been empty for the last five years. The 13,200-square-foot-house, located about 11 miles north of the UC system's Oakland headquarters, needs a major overhaul, officials say. Tuesday's vote, expected to be approved by the full board Wednesday, authorized spending $620,000 from a privately funded UC endowment for short-term seismic strengthening and roof repairs and for architectural and engineering studies about the long-range future of the house.
September 14, 2013 | By Larry Gordon
Blake House, the Northern California mansion that is intended to be the official residence of the University of California system president, may be coming back to life. Because of its rundown condition, UC executives in 2008 stopped living in the Mediterranean-style mansion in the unincorporated Contra Costa County neighborhood of Kensington. With a financial crisis for the university at the time, nothing much was done to fix up the 13,200-square-foot house, which is surrounded by 10 acres of gardens.
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