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May 13, 2012 | Catharine Hamm, Los Angeles Times
If you know anything at all about Del Mar, it's that the seaside town north of San Diego is the place to play the ponies. The horses aren't the only thoroughbreds in the track's history; you'll hear it connected to such names as Bing Crosby, W.C. Fields, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, jockey Willie Shoemaker and, my favorite, Seabiscuit. But I'd encourage a Del Mar visit any time except the July 18-Sept. 5 racing season, just for the peace and quiet. The bed. I was here for a family wedding at L'Auberge del Mar Resort & Spa (1540 Camino del Mar; [800]
April 26, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
WAKEFIELD, Mass. — For more than a year, the guilt and shame overwhelmed Kayla Harrison, even though she had done nothing wrong. "I can't describe how I felt," she says quietly. "I think I cried pretty much every night. " She also thought about suicide — even tried to run away from home once. Then she decided to stand and fight. Sexually abused by her judo coach for three years as a teenager, Harrison did what few in her position ever find the courage to do: confront her attacker in court.
February 19, 2012 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles city dwellers once enjoyed a sanctuary of gnarled oaks, serene pools and exotic ferns on Griffith Park's southwestern edge. But four decades of neglect have left the 20-acre Fern Dell retreat a shabby relic of its former self, which is why a band of park lovers is now trying to restore it to its early Hollywood heyday. "Fern Dell is in pretty bad shape, but it is not too late to save it," said Bernadette Soter, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit Friends of Griffith Park . The volunteer group has launched a campaign to rejuvenate the 95-year-old stream-fed garden spot, restoring its 17 footbridges, ripping out thickets of invasive ivy and bamboo, and beefing up security.
January 17, 2012 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
State wildlife officials cited a Riverside County man Sunday for allegedly poaching dozens of lobsters inside one of Southern California's new marine sanctuaries, in what authorities called the first major violation of fishing restrictions that took effect Jan. 1. The state Department of Fish and Game said Marbel A. Para, 30, of Romoland and a companion were diving off Laguna Beach shortly after midnight when wardens stopped them and found 47...
January 6, 2012 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
A well-known marine biologist and whale-watching tour operator has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly feeding killer whales in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, in violation of federal wildlife provisions. Nancy Black, owner and operator of Monterey Bay Whale Watch, was indicted in San Jose federal court Wednesday and charged with violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which bars harming, harassing, feeding and otherwise interfering with marine mammals, including dolphins, sea lions and whales.
December 31, 2011 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
Wardens won't be the only people on patrol when new fishing restrictions take effect Jan. 1, setting up a network of state marine reserves on about 15% of the Southern California coast. Environmentalists are deploying dozens of volunteers to keep an eye on the region's new Marine Protected Areas through a coalition of programs called MPA Watch. By boat, plane and from the shore, they will monitor fishing vessels, kayakers, divers and any other human activity in the new sanctuaries.
December 27, 2011 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
Chained to posts on a half-acre lot, the 29 wolf dogs languished for years behind stockade fencing at a roadside attraction near Anchorage. The wolf hybrids were unable to touch one another except when they were bred through chain-link fences. Several had sore backs and legs because they had never been able to move more than a few yards at a time. The animals were seized by Alaskan authorities as evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation and scheduled for destruction before the Lockwood Valley Animal Rescue Center intervened.
December 26, 2011 | By Ruth Sherlock, Los Angeles Times
Even as it recovers from its recent civil war, Libya is fast becoming a place of sanctuary for thousands of refugees fleeing the bloodshed in Syria. Buses from Damascus, crammed with Syrian families, are arriving daily in the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of the effort to oust the late Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi. "Up to 4,000 Syrian families have sought refuge in Libya in the last weeks, and the numbers are increasing every day," said Mohammed Jammal, a Syrian community leader in the city.
December 20, 2011 | By Dima Alzayat, Los Angeles Times
An hour from the heart of Hollywood in Thousand Oaks, Greenfield Ranch has drawn dozens of film, television and commercial productions over the years. Now the bucolic ranch is playing a starring role in the upcoming 20th Century Fox movie "We Bought a Zoo. " The 450-acre property, where Roy Rogers and Gary Cooper once shot westerns, was transformed over several months into a makeshift zoo that is the centerpiece of the Cameron Crowe-directed film opening Friday. The $50-million production, adapted from a memoir of the same name by former British journalist Benjamin Mee, stars Matt Damon as a widowed father who moves his family from Los Angeles to the countryside to renovate and reopen a dilapidated zoo. The book was set at Dartmoor Zoological Park in England, but the movie takes place in the fictional Rosemoor Wildlife Park, a run-down animal sanctuary in an unnamed rural Southern California town.
December 5, 2011 | By Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times
The bulldozers will be here this week to tear down Ray Polk's homeless ministry. But then again, they already were here once — and, as Polk sees it, the Lord intervened. Earlier this month, a local minister protesting the city's dismantling of four homeless encampments on a rough edge of downtown stumbled upon Polk's place, with its chapel fashioned of poster board, secondhand display case stocked with free food, and personal memorial to Baby Doll, Mr. Miles and the dozens of other homeless who have died on these streets.
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