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February 20, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACARAMENTO - Californians, who already pay some of the highest gasoline prices in the nation, could soon be asked to pay more. Pump prices are likely to climb more than 12 cents per gallon starting Jan. 1, both the oil industry and environmental experts agree. That's when the state's complex cap-and-trade system for pollution credits expands to cover vehicle fuels and their emissions. As a result, gasoline producers would need to buy pollution credits, and they are expected to pass the cost along at the pump.
February 16, 2014 | By Larry Gordon
SAN DIEGO - Above the water line, the Point Loma wharf at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is impressive: large, high-tech ships dock there before cruising off to research sea life and climate conditions around the world. The skyline of downtown San Diego skyscrapers looms across the bay. Underwater, however, is a much less glamorous view of the concrete pier and wharf, with rotten and broken pilings, exposed rebar and dangling wooden supports. It is a glimpse, scientists say, of the worrisome decay that could threaten their efforts to better understand tsunamis, seismic faults and the effect of pollution on fish.
February 15, 2014 | Steve Lopez
If somehow you missed the news that California is drier than a stale tortilla, the Amber Alert signs have come to the rescue with highway bulletins like this one: "Serious drought, help save water. " This is helpful to a point, I suppose, and I like the creative use of highway signs heretofore reserved largely for safety warnings or child abductions. If Caltrans would consider pushing the boundaries even further, I'd spring for a sign that says: "Hey, Brian D'Arcy, where's our $40 million?"
February 13, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Two years after the San Onofre nuclear plant was shuttered because of its problematic steam generators, state authorities are deciding how Southern California Edison ought to power the homes and businesses of its customers without the troubled plant, which generated 19% of the company's energy. Finding the right answer is especially important because, for all the dangers of nuclear power, it has the advantage of a low carbon footprint. Natural gas, the easiest replacement, is a fossil fuel that worsens global warming.
February 13, 2014 | By Jared S. Hopkins
SOCHI, Russia - After disappointing results that have seen its speedskaters on the verge of their worst Olympic performance in three decades, U.S. Speedskating is working to dump the most noticeable factor it controls - its racing suit. Under Armour heralded the Mach 39 - the much-hyped suit the apparel company said it developed with the help of defense contractor Lockheed Martin - as the fastest speedskating suit in production. In Sochi, through half of the races, U.S. speedskaters have yet to win a medal.
February 12, 2014 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Bob Costas still isn't out of the woods yet with his eye infection troubles. The NBC sportscaster called into "Today" on Wednesday to let anchor Matt Lauer know that he'd be filling in once again during the network's prime-time Olympics coverage. "You're coming out of the bullpen again tonight," Costas told Lauer. Costas arrived in Sochi, Russia, to cover the Winter Olympics with an infection in one eye, but by Monday, the infection had spread to the other eye, causing viewers to fear for Costas' health (and complain a bit about how uncomfortable it was to look at)
February 11, 2014 | By Paul Pringle and Jack Leonard
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office is looking into whether thousands of dollars in taxpayer money was misspent on improvements to Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas' home last year, an office spokeswoman said Tuesday. Newly released records show that a contractor charged the county $6,239 to perform work during a project to install a security system that included replacing interior walls in Ridley-Thomas' converted garage and trenching the property for an electrical upgrade.
February 9, 2014 | By Hailey Branson-Potts
The West Hollywood City Council has responded to growing criticism over the removal of a rainbow flag atop City Hall by agreeing to a compromise. The rainbow flag - raised above City Hall in June - will stay down. But the city will hang a new flag that incorporates rainbow colors into the city logo, a rough geographic outline of the municipality. Council members agreed to the change at a meeting last week. "This has been a very exciting debate," said Mayor Pro Tem John D'Amico.
February 9, 2014 | By Jean Merl
In an early test of candidate strength in the race for a Westside/South Bay congressional seat, state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) won decisive support from local Democratic activists Sunday. Lieu took 73% of the vote at a pre-endorsement conference, giving him strong odds of winning the California Democratic Party's backing at its convention next month. Lieu is vying in an already crowded field to replace Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), who recently announced his retirement. Former L.A. Controller Wendy Greuel, viewed by many as Lieu's main competition, received seven votes to Lieu's 59. Fourteen delegates voted for "no endorsement.
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