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March 16, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
New coach, new freedoms, new fun ... all of it dancing toward the same old crushing chomp. The good news for UCLA fans is that their freshly minted Pac-12 tournament champions will open the NCAA tournament next weekend down the street in San Diego with a winnable bracket against upstart Tulsa, overhyped Virginia Commonwealth, and hot-but-untested Stephen F. Austin. The bad news is that, if they survive to advance to the Sweet 16, waiting for them will be the familiar bite of Florida.
March 4, 2014
Re "A mixed bag of food labels," Editorial, Feb. 28 Contrary to The Times' editorial on the Food and Drug Administration's proposed new label requirements for packaged foods, the inclusion of added sugars represents a positive shift toward providing consumers with the information they need to make healthier purchases. Foods heavy in added sugars often have a low nutritional profile. The Times notes that the body responds to added and natural sugars in the same way, but too many added sugars mean more empty calories and less nutrition.
February 22, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
It was a partylike atmosphere on Saturday morning at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, where the Knights unveiled their new $3-million baseball stadium and had a special guest, Neil Diamond, on hand to sing "Sweet Caroline. " There were celebrities everywhere. Pete Rose and Reggie Smith were there. Larry King, whose son is a freshman on the baseball team, was shaking hands and allowing lots of people to shoot selfies. Hollywood director Dennis Dugan, who helped design the stadium and asked Diamond, his good friend, to sing, was beaming with pride.
February 13, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
SOCHI, Russia - On a warm slope above the Black Sea, America's colors blazed with new definition. Red, white and blue became Joss, Gus and Nick. In the perfect sweep for an evolving Winter Olympics and the ever-changing American athletes who twist through them, Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper finished first, second and third, respectively, in the inaugural men's slopestyle skiing competition Thursday. Christensen skied with a photo of his late father tucked into his suit.
February 7, 2014 | By Christine Mai-Duc
It was a sweet -- if unexpected -- victory Thursday night for fans of the iconic Long Beach doughnut. The story began earlier this week when many became aware that a beloved city landmark -- a giant doughnut sign that sits atop a coffee shop -- might be getting tossed. The sign's weathered facade has nowhere near the same following as that holey grail of rooftop dunkers at Randy's Donuts in Inglewood, and doughnuts haven't even been on the menu at the Long Beach cafe or more than a decade.
January 31, 2014 | By Trishna Patel
Happiness is ... taking your first bite of cotton candy at a Los Angeles Kings game. This photo was taken at Staples Center by David Sanden with a Canon 40D. Follow Trishna Patel on Twitter . Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California submitted by readers. Share your photos on our  Flickr page  or  reader submission gallery .  Follow us on Twitter  or visit  for more on this photo series.  
January 25, 2014 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
One nice thing about the contemporary world of comedy is its abundance of small gifts. You can thank the Internet for this; it may have destroyed bookstores and record stores and much else I hold/held dear, but it created the video version of the occasional, even random comic essay (what S.J. Perelman, borrowing from the French, called his feuilletons , "little leaves"). Television, sometimes distinct from the Web, but sometimes in concert with it, has picked up on some of these rhythms; but in the new media egg-basket, and in the minds of your children, America, it is all pretty much the same thing anyway.
January 24, 2014 | By Christopher Reynolds
It's good to be reminded that Sacramento isn't just a consumer of our tax dollars and a dispenser of red tape. It's also a real place with real seasons - daunting heat in summer, golden leaves in fall, chill winds in winter, rampant green renewal in spring. My family and I spent a weekend in November, when fall foliage was still draping Capitol Park (between L and N and 10th and 15th streets) with gravitas. I found J Street livelier than I remembered from a few years before. My wife and daughter liked the wooden sidewalks and Old West flourishes of Old Sacramento.
January 15, 2014 | By James Barragan
President Obama intends to nominate Maria Contreras-Sweet, the founder of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles and a former state Cabinet secretary, to head the Small Business Administration. Contreras-Sweet, who is highly regarded in the L.A. business community, is expected to be nominated Wednesday afternoon. She would fill the last vacancy in Obama's Cabinet. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Contreras-Sweet immigrated to Los Angeles when she was 5. She was the first Latina to serve as a Cabinet secretary in California when she was secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency from 1999 to 2003.
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