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September 26, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
With a charming, flawed heroine straight out of Jane Austen, a Dickensian rags-to-riches story and thwarted romances that hark back to the Bront√ęs, Elizabeth Gilbert has taken cues from the greatest 19th century writers for her big 19th century-style novel, "The Signature of All Things. " Gilbert, who dominated bestseller lists with her memoir "Eat, Pray, Love," is new to historical fiction - but she has plunged into it with a creative passion. She pairs elaborate scenes of life in the 1800s with surprisingly modern twists - like the cache of dirty books her heroine, Alma Whittaker, finds most interesting.
September 25, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- A petition drive to qualify an initiative creating an oil extraction tax to raise $1 billion for schools missed a deadline this week, but organizers say they will try again. The initiative, titled the California Modernization and Economic Development Act, began gathering signatures in April and did not have enough by the deadline on Tuesday. Organizers declined to say how many signatures they collected, but said they spent much of the time recruiting students to circulate the petitions and are confident they can get the 505,000 signatures needed to put an initiative on the 2014 ballot.
September 24, 2013 | Carla Rivera
As Long Beach City College officials see it, a state plan allowing two-year schools to charge more for high-demand classes would help move students more quickly toward transfer and graduation. Students at the campus, however, argue that such a move would be unfair, and they have launched a statewide petition drive and video campaign to block the legislation. "Long Beach City College has one of the largest populations of poor students in the state," said Andrea Donado, the student trustee in the Long Beach Community College District.
September 20, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
Yasuhisa Toyota, acoustician for Walt Disney Concert Hall, knows the sound of success. At times, like this afternoon, it is very, very quiet. The L.A. outpost of Nagata Acoustics, where Toyota works, is a modest space - three small offices and a smattering of cubicles above a Yogurtland in a West L.A. mini-mall - and surprisingly, it is nearly devoid of sound. On this midweek visit, Toyota sits at his desk, quietly shuffling papers. An assistant's steady keyboard pecks can be heard over the quiet hum of a printer.
September 18, 2013 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Man goes to work. Woman visits a mall. Child sits in class. Couple attends a movie. All have one thing in common. They are vulnerable to being shot and killed by some "innocent law-abiding citizen. " Anyone who owns a firearm is law-abiding and entitled to be armed, if you listen to the gun lobby. Then suddenly the person's not law-abiding. He goes berserk and mass kills. The National Rifle Assn. and its sidekicks simply are shills for the firearms industry, scaring people into buying expensive weapons before President Obama, they ominously warn, bans their sales.
September 15, 2013 | By Scott Glover and Lisa Girion
Since her son Joey fatally overdosed in late 2009, April Rovero has warned schoolchildren, coeds, cops and congressmen that it was too easy for the 21-year-old college student to get the prescription drugs that killed him. In speeches from Sacramento to Washington, she complained bitterly that authorities had suspected a Rowland Heights doctor of reckless prescribing for years but did little to stop her. Rovero's son was one of at least eight...
September 12, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
A top women's surfer wants Orange County surf clothing company Roxy to stop using sexy images of its sponsored female surfers and instead focus on their athleticism. Three-time world champion surfer Cori Schumacher hoped to send a message by delivering to the Huntington Beach company more than 20,000 signatures from people upset about what they said is the ads' focus on women's bodies instead of their graceful skills in the water. Schumacher said she was upset by what she described as a recent "all sex, no surf" Roxy ad that showed Australian surfer Stephanie Gilmore partially clothed in bed, then showering, as a promotion for a Roxy-sponsored surf contest.
August 30, 2013 | By Melanie Mason and Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - State lawmakers on Friday sent Gov. Jerry Brown a proposal that would allow nurse practitioners and some other non-physicians to perform first-trimester abortions. The measure was one of dozens to receive final legislative approval. Among them was a bill to require Facebook, Tumblr and other social networking sites to abide by new rules intended to protect minors who use the Internet. The abortion bill, by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), is aimed at expanding access to abortion in rural areas where a shortage of doctors makes it difficult to find someone to perform the procedure.
August 18, 2013 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO -- The campaign to recall Mayor Bob Filner amid accusations of sexual harassment begins gathering signatures Sunday. Under city law, the recall group has 39 days to gather more than 101,000 signatures of registered voters to force a recall election. If the group falls short, it will be allowed an additional 30 days. Recall movement activists plan to be gathering signatures in several locations Sunday. Also, a "Freedom From Filner" march is set for 2 p.m. downtown to call on Filner, 70, to resign or face recall.
August 10, 2013 | Noelle Carter
Hal Russell of Corona del Mar wrote to Culinary SOS looking for a recipe for the crispy flattened chicken chef Mark Peel used to cook at Campanile. Dear Hal: Campanile, which opened in 1989, helped to shape the culinary landscape of Los Angeles, influencing so many of today's chefs (many of whom passed through its kitchen). The landmark restaurant closed last fall, but Mark Peel was happy to share his recipe for this signature Campanile dish, originally published in "The Food of Campanile" in 1997.
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