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Roller Coaster

April 16, 2013 | By Mike Bresnahan
All the playoff combinations and permutations can be reduced to one statement: If the Lakers beat Houston on Wednesday, they finish seventh in the Western Conference. "I know my math," Pau Gasol said Tuesday. It makes total sense, given the way the Lakers' season has tumbled and unfolded, lurched and lolled, only to flip upward in the final week. The Lakers, winners of four consecutive games, want to beat Houston for numerous reasons. Momentum, obviously, could be carried into the postseason, but the Lakers would also match up better against San Antonio than top-seeded Oklahoma City in the first round.
March 22, 2013 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Tim Burkhart, 54, is corporate vice president of maintenance and construction for Six Flags Entertainment Corp. , the parent company of Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia and 17 other parks in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Burkhart's resume is pretty short. He has spent his entire career at Six Flags, starting in 1977 when he was in high school and worked as a ride operator on Revolution, the first looping roller coaster. It was meant to be a temporary job to raise money for some senior-year fun. Instead, Burkhart said, he fell in love with the park and its employees.
March 18, 2013 | David Lazarus
Wanda Ferrin fills her husband's prescription for the generic antibiotic doxycycline at a Target in Simi Valley. For years, the medication has cost her $6 a month. In February, however, the price tripled to $18 for 30 pills. And this month, it skyrocketed to $133. This is noteworthy enough. But what happened next makes the entire business of drug pricing a study in lunacy. "A pharmacy clerk at Target suggested running the prescription through the company's discount program," Ferrin, 61, recalled.
February 5, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Shares of Los Angeles nutritional products company Herbalife Ltd. went on a wild ride Monday, falling 12% on news of a law enforcement investigation, only to close with a gain for the day after a regulatory agency cast doubt on such a probe. At least one thing is clear about Herbalife: Its investors are extremely jittery. The New York Post reported Monday that an unidentified law enforcement agency is investigating Herbalife, which has faced intense scrutiny since billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman accused it in December of operating a pyramid scheme and bet $1 billion that its shares would fall.
January 12, 2013 | By John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
At dusk, driving north on Interstate 15 near the California-Nevada border, Loren Gill descends a graceful mountain straightaway and sees before him the twinkling lights of the Promised Land. But this isn't Las Vegas - that's still 40 miles away. Instead, Gill spies the stopover at Primm, Nev. With three casinos and sundry services, it's a roadside curiosity turned welcome mat to Nevada's casino culture. As the district manager of Affinity Gaming, which runs the three gambling establishments, it's Gill's job to make sure that a good number of the 40,000 cars, pickups, RVs and semis that pass here each day ignore the siren call of the Strip, if just for a moment.
December 8, 2012 | By Helene Elliott
Kings enforcer Kevin Westgarth went through the same emotional extremes felt by everyone else who had an interest in the labor talks held last week in New York between the NHL and the players' association. But Westgarth was a member of the players' delegation that met with owners and had a first-hand experience of all that went on, including the euphoria that blossomed on Tuesday when it seemed the sides were moving closer and the deflationĀ on Thursday after the league broke off talks.
November 17, 2012 | By Brady MacDonald
About this time each year ride manufacturers and theme park operators gather in Orlando, Fla., for the International Assn. of Amusement Parks and Attractions trade show. > Photos: Ride makers unveil new attractions at IAAPA show Ride makers use the annual IAAPA show to announce attractions for the coming year and unveil ride concepts they hope will become the next big industry sensation. You can catch in-depth video and photo updates from the IAAPA show floor at Theme Park Review and Screamscape . Here's a roundup of the biggest attraction announcements to come out from IAAPA this past week: Gravity Group will add a barrel roll to the Hades wooden roller coaster at Wisconsin's Mt. Olympus in 2013.
November 8, 2012 | By Gary Goldstein
The intimate romantic drama "28 Hotel Rooms" should prove a fine calling card for its first-time writer-director, Matt Ross. This tender, skillfully performed chamber piece tracks the more than two dozen times - over an indeterminate number of years - a complementary pair of otherwise engaged lovers meet up and bed down across a series of cities and hotel rooms. It's deeper, warmer and far less tawdry than it might sound as the pair, a jaunty novelist (an appealing Chris Messina)
November 2, 2012 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park sat out the theme park arms race last summer, when Disney's California Adventure and Universal Studios unveiled new multimillion-dollar attractions to entice visitors. But Knott's showed Thursday that it is still in the chase for new visitors, announcing the addition next summer of two rides and the reintroduction of an attraction that has been in storage for four years. The focus of the new attractions is family entertainment, not extreme thrills, Knott's spokeswoman Jennifer Blazey said.
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