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March 14, 2014 | By Tim Logan
Three community groups sued Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, demanding he restore more than $350 million in mortgage settlement funds that were used to plug state budget holes two years ago. The money - from California's slice of the $25 billion national mortgage settlement with banks in 2012 - was supposed to fund housing counseling and foreclosure relief programs. But with the state facing a $16-billion budget deficit that spring, Brown diverted it to the state's general fund and to pay down interest on housing bonds.
March 13, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" does not look or sound like a film that is 50 years old. Digitally restored with unusual delicacy, it continues to charm and delight for the same reasons it did back in 1964. Winner of the Palme d'Or in Cannes and nominated for five Oscars, "Umbrellas" is a one-of-kind venture. Playing for a single week at the Nuart in West Los Angeles, this French film is unashamedly artificial yet strongly tethered to the real world of the coastal town in Normandy that gives it its name.
March 12, 2014 | By Lisa Boone
The Los Angeles edition of the Architecture & Design Film Festival kicks off its five-day salute to art, architecture, design, fashion and urban planning Wednesday with showings of "If You Build It," "Design Is One: Massimo & Leila Vignelli" and "16 Acres. " The L.A. film festival, running through Sunday, will feature 30 recent feature-length and short films from around the world. "There is something for everyone who likes design at the festival," said the festival's founder and director, architect Kyle Bergman.
March 11, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday he was bent on writing "a new chapter" for the Department of Water and Power with the help of its new leader Marcie Edwards - a task that goes beyond cleaning up its woebegone billing system, he said. In electing him mayor, "Los Angeles voters really gave me a mandate to reform the DWP," Garcetti told a roomful of business leaders and reporters Tuesday. Even his own father - onetime Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti - had complained to him about being on hold with the agency for more than 40 minutes, the mayor said.
March 6, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Trying to counter ethics scandals in which lawmakers stand accused of voter fraud, bribery, money laundering and other misdeeds, Democratic leaders Thursday proposed sweeping changes to state political laws aimed at restoring public confidence in the Legislature. The proposals, which Gov. Jerry Brown has yet to embrace, would ban lawmakers and other state officials from accepting such gifts as spa treatments, golf games and tickets to Lakers games. Officials could take other gifts, but only if their worth totaled $200 or less annually from any source - down from the $440 now allowed.
March 4, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Over a period of several decades, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers encased the Los Angeles River in concrete to protect the region against the kind of flooding that had surprised and damaged the city in the 1930s - but also, crucially, to withstand the rare but even more torrential floods that were known to sweep across the basin every generation or so. The Army Corps did its job too well, and its top thinkers and planners now acknowledge that flood...
February 28, 2014 | By Alana Semuels
Does spending less money on state government stimulate the economy? That's a question raised in a Los Angeles Times story Friday about states that have not restored budget cuts made during the belt-tightening of the recession. The story focuses on Kansas, where general fund revenues have increased but spending is still down since 2008. Gov. Sam Brownback argues that income tax cuts, rather than spending, will stimulate the economy; local government leaders say that services have eroded so much that the state is becoming a less attractive place to live.
February 21, 2014 | By Scott Collins
The TV Academy has decided that TV movies like "Behind the Candelabra" shouldn't have to compete with the likes of "American Horror Story" anymore.  Late Thursday, officials announced that for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards in August, separate categories for miniseries and TV movies will be restored. The academy had combined the two categories back in 2011, reasoning that the decline in the network miniseries business had made it unnecessary to hand out two separate awards. But since then, miniseries have exploded on basic cable networks, with Emmy-nominated hits such as "The Bible" and "Hatfields & McCoys.
February 21, 2014 | Sandy Banks
Sixty years ago, the Wilfandel House in the West Adams district was a hub of high society for black Los Angeles. Back then, Negroes couldn't book rooms in posh hotels or upscale party venues. So the wives of dozens of successful black men formed a club and purchased a home in what then was one of the city's wealthiest neighborhoods. "Everybody who was anybody who lived in L.A. or came through town was entertained at the Wilfandel," recalled Heilindia Brown, a former club president.
February 20, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- Two Assembly Democrats want to restore funding for California's healthcare program for the poor, laying the groundwork for another debate over how to make the best use of the state's financial recovery. The proposal, AB 1805, would reverse a 10% cut to reimbursements to doctors and other healthcare providers who treat Medi-Cal patients. The reduction was made when the state faced gaping budget deficits, and Gov. Jerry Brown plans on keeping it in place even though a surplus is expected.
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