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February 9, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
There are two possible policy outcomes to a severe drought like the one California is experiencing now. One is that the drought focuses the minds of political leaders and water users, prompting them to come together to craft a broad, comprehensive solution to a problem that won't be going away. The other is that the community of water users will fragment and turn on one another, with farmers lining up against environmentalists, suburbanites against farmers, and so on. Which way would you guess things are going?
February 6, 2014 | By Lisa Dillman
SOCHI, Russia — Ideally, the time and place to test an Olympics format change would have been a couple of years ago at a smaller competition. Not at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in the 2014 Winter Games. But, much to the bemusement of the freestyle moguls skiers, Olympic officials tend to do things their own way. So, with the women's event starting Thursday, it is a brave new moguls world. The format tweak increases the importance of endurance: There are now two days of competition — a qualification run and a second day with as many as three more rounds.
February 6, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Citing skyrocketing thefts of smartphones and tablets, officials proposed Thursday that California become the first state to require the devices to be sold with "kill switches" that render them inoperable when stolen. State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and other lawmakers said they plan to introduce such legislation with the support of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck. L.A. had a 12% increase in mobile-device thefts in 2012, the most recent figures available.
February 6, 2014 | By Veronica Rocha
Owners of massage establishments will now have to undergo criminal background checks and pay for a city-issued certificate to operate in Glendale. The City Council this week approved a new ordinance requiring massage establishment operators  - who own at least 5% of the business and are not already certified by the California  Massage Therapy  Council - to obtain and pay for a $521 massage establishment owner certificate, the Glendale News-Press reported. The Police Department will perform criminal background checks on massage business owners or operators before they are granted a certificate.
February 3, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
In the latest move in its animal welfare standards program, fast food company Wendy's International Inc. said it would require its pork suppliers to submit quarterly progress reports detailing their efforts to phase out controversial gestation crates. Confining breeding sows to the crates has been criticized as cruel, and dozens of food companies, including Wendy's, have said they would eliminate them from their supply chains.    In an update on its website, Wendy's said it hopes to end the use of gestation crates in its supply chain by the end of 2022.
January 30, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
We've all been there at some point, sitting in a restaurant ordering dinner when the waiter sneezes and mumbles an apologetic, "Sorry, I'm fighting a cold. " Why is he at work? Especially at a job that brings him close to other people? Maybe it is because he can't afford to miss the shift, something that a recently introduced Assembly bill could help remedy. AB 1522, introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), would require companies to provide a minimum of three days annual paid sick leave for any employee not covered by a collective bargaining agreement (which usually includes sick leave guarantees)
January 27, 2014 | By Richard Simon and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - California's egg law survived a congressional effort to scramble it as key lawmakers from both parties announced an agreement Monday on a multiyear farm bill. That means beginning next year, all eggs sold in California will have been laid by hens that had plenty of room to flap their wings. The compromise farm bill, which could come up for a House vote Wednesday, would avert deep cuts sought by Republicans in the federal food stamp program and end direct payments to farmers - a controversial provision under the previous farm bill in which farmers received federal subsidies regardless of their output.
January 26, 2014 | By Ravi Mattu
A couple of centuries ago, Northern California was a magnet for legions of men, young and old, in search of riches. They had heard that millions could be made by anyone who showed up and worked hard. Some did achieve great wealth, but most left with nothing more than they had when they arrived. That was the California gold rush of the mid-1800s. But now another boom is drawing in the dreamers. The technology industry, whose spiritual home is Silicon Valley and San Francisco but whose reach is global, is a bright spot.
January 26, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Southern Californians are facing not one drought but three, interconnected yet distinct, each bringing its own hazards and each requiring its own emergency and long-term responses. The first drought is regional, caused by the lack of rain in our own mountains and our own backyards. In normal winters - or rather those we have come to accept as normal - storms blow south from the Gulf of Alaska, churning in a counterclockwise direction and keeping much of their stored water in the air until they move inland from the west and run smack into the San Gabriel Mountains.
January 26, 2014 | By Anky van Deursen
Question: I own a rental home that has been occupied by a very nice tenant for more than 10 years. About two years ago, her adult son moved into the house. When I realized he was living there, I reminded my tenant that her rental agreement required every adult living in the property to be a party to my rental agreement. The son complied, which means both mother and son are now on the month-to-month agreement. But over the last several months, neighbors have told me that the son is growing marijuana in the backyard and selling it to his friends.
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