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Soft Spot

February 4, 1988 | MARY BARBER, Times Staff Writer
If nature has its way, the tiny desert tortoise that was creeping across Glenn Stewart's palm will grow to roughly the size of a soccer ball, live 100 years and make a meaningful contribution to the planet Earth. But things aren't looking too good for the tortoises that roam the Southern California desert. Chances are that, if placed in its natural habitat, the small creature living in Stewart's laboratory would be eaten by ravens.
September 12, 1985 | MARY BARBER, Times Staff Writer
Early in his climb toward a medical degree, Donald F. McIntyre got detoured by an odd bit of information: He could be a geologist instead. The surprising, welcome news was imparted by a stranger, a fellow student in one of McIntyre's pre-med classes at the University of Edinburgh. To this day the 62-year-old Scot expresses wonderment and delight at the unexpected outcroppings of people and opportunities that led to his being exactly what he wants to be.
October 16, 1986 | DICK WAGNER, Times Staff Writer
He did not look the same without his cap, uniform and coat of infield dust. But lifelong ballplayers, when glimpsed in civilian attire and with cheeks empty of chewing tobacco, never do. But this big man in a golf shirt and slacks, with the gnarled fingers, bad knee and hair that only used to be red, was Irvin (Red) Meairs, beloved owner of the Long Beach Nitehawks, the fast-pitch softball team he once played for and until three years ago managed.
Unwashed, unwanted, flea-bitten and with bloody paws, Merlin was one day away from death in a dog pound when a pair of collie-lovers rescued him. The dog, a classic sable and white collie, had had a terrible year. His owners had divorced and after being passed from one new owner to another, he wound up roaming the streets of Monmouth, Ore., homeless before being caught. Merlin's luck changed almost overnight.
December 11, 2002 | Glenn Somerville, Reuters
The Federal Reserve kept interest rates steady at four-decade lows as expected Tuesday, saving its ammunition in hope that the economy can forge its way past a "soft spot" to more vigorous growth in 2003. The unanimous decision by the central bank's Federal Open Market Committee leaves the trend-setting federal funds rate at 1.25%, the level it hit after the Fed slashed borrowing costs by a bold half percentage point in November.
Peter G. Angelos, who met last week with Ram officials about possibly moving the team to Baltimore, said owner Georgia Frontiere "expressed a soft spot" for the city and that he is optimistic about the chances of procuring an NFL franchise. Angelos, managing partner of the Baltimore Orioles, flew to Los Angeles last Thursday. He met with John Shaw, Ram executive vice president, and had dinner at Frontiere's Bel-Air home.
February 11, 2007 | Martin F. Nolan, MARTIN F. NOLAN, a former reporter and editor for the Boston Globe, lives in San Francisco.
TOLERANCE has long been a defining characteristic of San Francisco, and Gavin Newsom can only hope that it will allow him to subdue the political scandal dragging him down. The San Francisco mayor recently admitted an affair with the wife of his campaign manager, then apologized to city residents. Last week, Newsom said he would confront his demons, including Demon Rum. If he runs for reelection in November, he may benefit from a relentlessly nonjudgmental tradition.
September 27, 2003 | Mike DiGiovanna, Times Staff Writer
Nebraska began the week as the NCAA's Division I-A leader in team defense, giving up an average of 208 total yards a game, and Oklahoma was third on the defensive charts, yielding an average of 248.25.
If Matt Damon and Ben Affleck walk off with the best original screenplay Oscar on March 23, it will mark the third year in a row that an actor has won an Academy Award for screenwriting. Last year Billy Bob Thornton won for "Sling Blade," and the year before Emma Thompson took home the statuette for her adaptation of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility." "It would be unprecedented," says Bruce Davis, executive director of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences.
January 31, 1986 | Patricia Ward Biederman
A wise and gentle friend warned me ages ago that most of the milestones of parenting occur unnoticed, without bells or fanfare. Your child doesn't vault from your lap the last time he sits there, shouting, "Really appreciate all those bedtime stories and years of kissing my hair, Mom, but that's it--forever." He just sits in your lap one day, and then never does it again, leaving you with a permanent tendency to tear up at the scent of no-tears shampoo.
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