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April 3, 2014 | By Lisa Boone
In Southern California, spring is a good time for gardeners to start thinking about planting vegetable beds and perusing the hundreds of tomato varieties that are available. Curious about rare plants with strange titles like Black Sea Man, Chile Verde and Sweet Tangerine? Or just want some tips on short-season tomatoes? You'll find it at Tomatomania , a mobile one-stop shop for planting tomatoes that includes everything you need to successfully grow tomatoes: plants, soils, containers, stakes, fertilizers, books and tie tape, as well as hands-on advice from tomato experts.
April 3, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
Victoria Tennant has listed her home in Bel-Air for sale at $6.995 million. The Traditional-style house, built in 1949, sits behind gates on close to three-quarters of an acre with a brick patio, a swimming pool, gardens and mature trees. Decorated by Kathryn Ireland, the home features a formal dining room, a library, a country kitchen, an office, a downstairs family room, five bedrooms and six bathrooms. The master suits includes dual bathrooms, a fireplace and office or nursery space.
April 2, 2014 | By Tim Logan
The market for a place at the lake is hopping. Sales of vacation homes jumped nearly 30% in 2013, the National Assn. of Realtors reported Wednesda y, and second-home purchases made up their biggest share of the housing market since 2006. “Growth in the equity markets has greatly benefited high net-worth households, thereby providing the wherewithal and confidence to purchase recreational property,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, though he noted that vacation home sales remain one-third below their peak in 2006.
April 1, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch and David Undercoffler
Despite General Motors' recent recall of millions of its cars - and several investigations into the issue - buyers are still streaming into GM dealerships. The beleaguered automaker announced Tuesday that sales in March rose 4% compared with the same month a year earlier. Nearly the entire industry saw a similar jump in the U.S., with sales up 5.7% to 1.54 million vehicles, according to Autodata. Pent-up consumer demand and healthy sales incentives helped companies rebound from a slow February, when bad weather throughout much of the country kept buyers away, according to Mark Wakefield, managing director at AlixPartners and head of its automotive practice in North America.
April 1, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Auto sales turned up in March as relief from the bitter winter cold in much of the nation brought shoppers back to showrooms. “Solid March sales pushed first-quarter industry results ahead of last year's pace despite one of the harshest winters on record,” said Bill Fay, general manager of Toyota's U.S. sales division. “Toyota dealers had their two best sales weekends of the year late in the month, and we're optimistic that momentum will spring us in into April.” Toyota Motor Corp.
March 31, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Thinking of buying the new Samsung Galaxy S5? Users can now play with the device at Best Buy stores across the country before it goes on sale on April 11. Best Buy said it is now displaying the GS5 in stores in most of its major markets. The upcoming phone is Samsung's latest flagship device. It features a 5.1-inch, full 1080p HD screen with a 16-megapixel camera and 16-gigabytes of storage. Normally, the device retails for $199.99 with a two-year contract. PHOTOS: Comparing the HTC One (M8)
March 31, 2014 | By David Zahniser and Laura J. Nelson
A plan for increasing the sales tax to fix Los Angeles' broken streets is on a collision course with a similar levy being pushed for regional transit projects. Two weeks ago, the top budget advisor to the Los Angeles City Council said a tax increase is the only way thousands of miles of severely damaged roads and sidewalks will get repaired. A half-cent increase in the sales tax, which would generate $4.5 billion over 15 years, should appear on the November ballot, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said.
March 28, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
When a documentary-turned mockumentary about the late comic great Jonathan Winters debuted in 2011, it didn't go far commercially. So what could "Certifiably Jonathan" producers Richard Marshall and Matt Fortnow do with hundreds of hours of unused footage, thousands of DVDs and multiple boxes of merchandise?  Try to sell everything, rights and all, on (what else?) EBay.  ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll The filmmakers originally set out to chronicle the painting career of Winters, who during his half-century-career hosted his own variety shows, made numerous appearances on "The Tonight Show" and costarred in "Mork & Mindy.
March 28, 2014 | By David Ng
The viola is often considered to be the neglected stepchild of the orchestra, stuck in between the more visible violins and cellos. Violists are sometimes referred to pejoratively as failed violinists. But in June, a 300-year-old viola will take the spotlight at a Sotheby's sale where the asking price will start at $45 million. The sale is being co-organized with the instrument dealer Ingles & Hayday. The so-called "Macdonald" viola was one of only a handful of violas created by Antonio Stradivari in his lifetime.
March 28, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch and David Undercoffler
Cars cost a lot of money. With an average sales price of about $32,000, we know a new car is out of reach for many. The automakers know this too, which is why they continue to roll out bottom-rung cars for buyers on way-below-average budgets. The three least expensive cars on the market are the Nissan Versa at $12,800, the Chevrolet Spark at $12,995 and the Mitsubishi Mirage at $13,790. Prices are for the most basic cars with no options but do include destination charges. PHOTOS: The three cheapest cars on the market In that lowly range, their chief competition is a reliable used car - say, a 3-year-old Honda Civic or Mazda3, with low miles.
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