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November 23, 1986
What a roomful of phonies. Intellect, indeed. These people are almost a tragedy, if they weren't so silly. Jeanne Blandi Huntington Beach
April 25, 2014 | By Sandy Banks
My column Tuesday on the courtroom tears of a gang member sentenced to 40 years in prison for a campus shooting resonated with readers - but not in the way I imagined it would. I considered the courtroom scene a cautionary message to other young men who glorify gangs and are enamored of guns: You could spend the rest of your life in prison over a stupid vendetta and a single violent act. But readers focused not just on the threat posed by hotheads with guns, but on the perceived injustice of such a long sentence for a young man who didn't kill anyone.
June 12, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
Each season on "Hell's Kitchen," there comes a magical moment. A turning point. Something happens that makes you sit up and take notice of it all. You know what I'm talking about, right? The moment when Gordon Ramsay unveils an insult like none other. There's all the times he calls a competitor a "donkey," "cow" or a "doughnut," of course. He's been known to throw the B-word around quite a bit. And let's not forget the time he told a competitor she looked like a "jumped-up little cave woman.
April 24, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
Justin Long, the actor who took a few to the head in the 2004 film “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” has sold his Hollywood Hills house for $2.055 million. Long works on both coasts and no longer needed the house. The contemporary Mediterranean was built in 1990 and sits on nearly a third of an acre.  Hand-hewn wooden doors open to an enclosed courtyard. The fenced and terraced yard features fruit trees and a lawn. The two-story living room has beamed ceilings and a fireplace.
April 15, 2013 | By David Ng
Composer Caroline Shaw has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for music for her a cappella composition "Partita for 8 Voices. " The two finalists in the category this year were Aaron Jay Kernis for "Pieces of Winter Sky" and Wadada Leo Smith for "Ten Freedom Summers. " "Partita for 8 Voices" was released in October by New Amsterdam Records, featuring the vocal group Roomful of Teeth. On her website, Shaw states that the 26-minute piece was inspired by Sol LeWitt's "Wall Drawing 305" and that it was written for Roomful of Teeth.
October 15, 2006
Hollywood does steal, at times unknowingly ("If You Think Your Idea Was Stolen, Think Again," by Ian Gurvitz, The Rules of Hollywood, Oct. 1). All it takes is one unethical producer and a roomful of unwitting participants. Major studios may not know the origins of an idea or, in my case, an entire script. Bring it to their attention, prove it, and they do what's right. Call it chutzpah, insanity or a mixture of both, but I took 'em on and won. The experience was nasty. It battered my soul.
December 25, 1987
For a round of holiday outings along Melrose Avenue, people dressed like character actors. They put on slouchy hats, Jungle Jane minis, swashbuckler coats that nearly swept the floor, Victorian bustle dresses, vintage ties that glistened. The men's hair was longer than the women's. Maybe they were inspired by the performers' pictures displayed on the walls of one party place, the G. Ray Hawkins gallery.
April 30, 1989
Re "Show Biz Softball--Accent the Biz" by Jeff Meyers, April 18: So, according to the league administrators and unnamed "unofficial historians" women just haven't "shown an interest" in the entertainment softball league. There are 42 teams with 700 players who socialize, rub elbows with the power elite and unabashedly promote their careers; but women have never shown an interest in it? I'll tell you how my interest and that of a roomful of industry women was greeted a few years ago. When questioned, a league member at first told us that women were not admitted to the league.
November 16, 1998 | DON HECKMAN
Fans of jazz singing will find no better place to satisfy their musical cravings than Ca Del Sole Ristorante in North Hollywood. The restaurant's intimate performance room programs singers seven nights a week (with an occasional instrumental evening thrown in for variety) featuring such talented local artists as Julie Kelly, Stephanie Haynes, Sandra Booker and others.
June 10, 2011 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
On TV screens around the room, Chinese table tennis players are whirling and vaulting, but Betty Stein isn't watching them. She's utterly absorbed in the ball coming right at her, and she nails it — 10, 20, 30 times, shooting it back at her enthusiastic Ukraine-born coach, Bella Livshin. "Gorgeous!" Livshin cries. "A beauty! Backhand, forehand, forehand, backhand — faster! Look how smooth, how flowing — she's a natural!" Stein doesn't say much these days. Nobody knows whether it's the Alzheimer's, the medication, maybe a touch of depression.
April 23, 2014 | By Jaak Treiman, Juris Bunkis and Daiva Navarrette
After Russia's recent actions in Ukraine, it's no surprise that other countries bordering Russia are wondering where they stand on Vladimir Putin's shopping list. That they are on the list is a given. Article 61 of Russia's Constitution promises that "the Russian Federation shall guarantee its citizens defense and patronage beyond its boundaries. " In other words, Russia shall protect any Russian citizen who is mistreated while outside Russia. On its face, Article 61 may seem reasonable.
April 23, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
In the battle for tourists, Los Angeles is losing ground to rivals Orlando, Fla., New York, and Chicago. L.A. County has broken its own record for annual visitors three years in a row - thanks to a rebounding economy, sunny California weather and popular tourist attractions. But L.A.'s tourist numbers are not growing fast enough to keep up with the nation's top three destinations, primarily because the city lacks enough hotel rooms to host more tourists. "We have an awful lot of things that are in our favor," said Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
April 13, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air has rolled out a roomier seat dubbed the "Giant Seat. " It represents the latest way the airline industry has created new seating options for travelers willing to pay more for extra elbow room. In the first row and the mid-cabin emergency exit row, the six Giant Seats on the carrier's Boeing 757 offer more than 36 inches of legroom and a width of 25 inches, compared with a typical 17.5-inch width on Allegiant's economy seats. The seats are locked in a semi-reclined position.
April 12, 2014 | By Eric Pincus
The 2013-14 regular season will come to a close Wednesday. With a record of 25-54, the Lakers stand in 25th place overall, which translates to sixth in the NBA's draft lottery standings. On May 20, the league will randomly select the top-three picks by lottery.  Teams that do not win are slotted four through 14, in order of worst records. Should teams finish the season with identical records, the NBA turns to coin flips to break any ties. The Lakers have three games remaining: Sunday against the playoff contending Memphis Grizzlies (47-32)
April 12, 2014 | Anne Colby
Rustic Canyon's sylvan beauty and funky charm cast its spell on Jill Soffer a dozen years ago. She liked the neighborhood's relaxed environment and abundance of sycamore trees and purchased a home there in 2002. "There's all this green around. It's not too manicured," Soffer said appreciatively. "People are easygoing, everything is a little overgrown, and the creek in the middle of everything is a little shaggy. You can hear the frogs at night. " She planned to renovate her 1920s three-bedroom house, but hadn't yet when she met and then in 2008 married Greg Adler, who had two young sons.
April 11, 2014 | Diana Wagman
Reading is such an improbable idea -- a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading -- and of this weekend's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books -- we asked four readers (who also happen to be writers) to celebrate books that mattered in their lives. In 1975, when I was young, I went to hear James Baldwin speak. Afterward, I waited in a long line and finally got to stand before him. I told him that his book "Giovanni's Room" had made me want to be a writer.
May 5, 1989 | Michael Wilmington
In "Getting It Right" (citywide), a sprightly new comedy based on the Elizabeth Jane Howard novel, Jesse Birdsall plays a punctilious young London hairdresser named Gavin Lamb who lives at home, still a virgin at 31. Gavin, a lamb with shears, keeps talking himself out of a sex life, though customers swoon over him and dazzling young women give him the eye. And he's locked in one of those quasi-incestuous home tangles with a domineering mother...
October 23, 2009 | David Pagel
Jennifer Steinkamp's five new pieces at ACME are so individually absorbing that a lot of time can go by before you notice the magnitude of her achievement. She almost single-handedly transforms the medium in which she works -- projected digital imagery -- from a one-at-a-time, one-after-another setup into an all-at-once immersion in a stimulating environment that leaves you with more freedom than you came in with. I love it when that happens. Here's how Steinkamp, who has been exhibiting projected imagery for more than 20 years, makes it work: She treats each of her meticulously engineered animations as if it were a painting.
April 9, 2014 | Susan Straight
What does it take to be a writer: A room of one's own? A weakness for words? To celebrate the Festival of Books, we asked five celebrated authors to recall a turning point in their evolution as writers. First up is Susan Straight, recipient of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes' 2013 Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement. I wrote the stories in my first book by hand, in these places: at the counter of the Mobil station where I worked in 1979, between customers, eating beef jerky and stale cashews out of the nut mix no one ever bought from the cloudy glass compartments beneath my notebook; sitting on a huge rock at the beach in Rosarito, Mexico, in 1983 after my husband fell asleep in the tiny hotel where we spent our two-night honeymoon, writing in my notebook; sitting at a card table in married student housing in 1984 in Amherst with the small blue Smith-Corona my mother had given me for high school graduation; in a pale green 1980-something Fiat with brakes that went out all the time, upon which occasion my husband would have me sit in the driver's seat and pump the brakes while he was underneath the car in the gravel driveway of our house back in Riverside in 1988, and I held a notebook and pen, writing.
April 3, 2014 | By Susan King
Robert Altman's films were audacious. He expanded the boundaries of genres. He gave his actors freedom to improvise and over the years created a stock company of stars. Along the way, he often polarized critics and audiences - and drove studio heads crazy. Not every film he did was a masterpiece, and he had lulls in his career. But Altman was nothing if not resilient, and just when Hollywood had written him off, he would make a dazzling comeback. His experimental style, known for overlapping dialogue and loosely structured stories, has influenced contemporary directors such as Paul Thomas Anderson, who was the standby director on the then-ailing Altman's final film, 2006's "A Prairie Home Companion.
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