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January 18, 2014 | By Howard Blume
A June special election to replace former Los Angeles school board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte has the potential to alter the political power dynamic and the overall direction of the nation's second-largest school district. LaMotte, who died in December, was close to the teachers union and was a critic of L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy. Although she rarely played an influential role on the seven-member board, her replacement has the opportunity to do so. A vigorous and strategic successor - aligned ideologically with LaMotte's views - would pose a hurdle to Deasy.
January 10, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
How are those new 2014 workouts going? Need a little inspiration boost? We talked to four prominent trainers and fitness personalities in hopes of finding keys to helping you work out - successfully - for years to come. Harley Pasternak, 39, has trained superstars including Lady Gaga and is a bestselling author whose latest title is "The Body Reset Diet. " He has a master's in exercise physiology and nutrition sciences from the University of Toronto. Americans are over-exercising and underactive, Pasternak says.
January 9, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Five quick reactions to the Coachella 2014 lineup announcement.  1. The Daft Punk factor : The presence of vocalist/Neptune/producer Pharrell Williams as a headliner is notable for a few rumor-fueling reasons. First, he's not necessarily performing in support of a new solo album, but he's been ubiquitous on the charts over the last year. Among his most prominent hits? His vocals on two tracks on Daft Punk's “Random Access Memories,” most memorably “Get Lucky.” That fact will no doubt spark rumors that the two Frenchmen might make a cameo.
January 8, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Got questions about the travel outlook for 2014? Arthur Frommer's got answers. You can see the guidebook author and budget travel legend at noon Jan. 18 at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show , which continues Jan. 19, both days at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Frommer is among dozens of experts who can help guide your journeys for 2014. They'll be speaking on topics as diverse as what's new in Europe to staying safe on the road. Frommer's talk will give you keys to taking the sting out of the new year's high airfares and getting the best value for your buck.
January 5, 2014 | Los Angeles Times
New York theaters The theater piece was a reminder of my good old days in New York ["Spirits of Theater Stir," by Kelly Merritt, Dec. 22]. The Beacon was my neighborhood movie theater, changing double bills twice a week (before round-the-clock TV), and the Hudson, home of the NBC late show with Steve Allen (with Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme making out in the balcony, and the "man on the street" interviews out the back entrance).Those were the days when theaters, refurbished or not, were always busy, and you could sit in the balcony for $4.80, where I saw Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, Shirley Booth, Bert Lahr, Kim Stanley, Ethel Merman, Ezio Pinza and Mary Martin, Robert Preston and Yul Brynner, Zero Mostel, Gwen Verdon, Judy Holliday.
December 27, 2013 | By Mary MacVean
Those fitness resolutions will do you no good if they lead you to visit the likes of Hooman Melamed. As an orthopedic spine surgeon, Melamed sees the downside of efforts to get strong and fit. Exercising the wrong way can put a person out of commission for a long time, he says. One recent morning, Melamed met us at the Spectrum gym in Santa Monica and demonstrated the right way to do some common exercises and use some popular equipment, and he talked about the risks of getting it wrong.
December 23, 2013 | By Christopher Reynolds
Anthony Melchiorri, sporting an immaculate blue suit and moving at Manhattan velocity, took a seat in a dismal bedroom near the back of a dreary little Hollywood hotel. Just behind him, the plastic heater/air-conditioning unit, ancient and partly melted,  drooped like a Salvador Dali clock. “Don't ask,” said Melchiorri, who has spent about 25 years in the hospitality industry. He was there as host of the Travel Channel's “Hotel Impossible,” an unscripted show in which he goes from one troubled lodging to another, finding flaws, prescribing fixes, telling tales from his years at the Algonquin in New York or the Nickelodeon Hotel in Orlando, Fla. He might quote psychologist Abraham Maslow on the hierarchy of human needs or he might just sniff a room and say “What the heck is that smell?
December 20, 2013 | By Lynn O'Rourke Hayes
Will you be traveling with family during the holidays? It's not your regular trip. Besides the need to get where you're going - seeing loved ones amps up the pressure - you have the complication of weather that can cause delays and, of course, crowds that almost certainly will cause delays. Here are some tips that can save you grief; a couple of them call for you to spend money to save heartache. Usually, More for Your Money is all about saving money but in this case, your outlay of cash will be offset.
December 14, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
The only real secret to roasting a great prime rib is starting with the best meat possible, and the rib roast I ordered from McCall's Meat & Fish Co. in Los Feliz was so beautiful I badgered my husband to photograph it before it went into the oven. I admired its plump, sturdy shape, the way butcher Nathan McCall had neatly frenched the bones and tied up the roast with precisely spaced knots. It was all natural - no hormones, no antibiotics - Prime Angus beef. At $17.99 a pound, it cost just over $140.
December 1, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
The debate on what to tip a hotel housekeeper was part of a classic "Seinfeld" episode from the 1990s. Now the American Hotel & Lodging Assn. is putting an end to the debate. The group recommends a tip of $1 to $5 per night, left in a marked envelope. For a concierge, tip $5 to $10 depending on the service offered, the group said. If you ask a hotel staff to bring something extra to your room, such as a blanket, tip at least $4. But no tip is required, the association says, if you ask staff to come to your room to fix a leaky sink or broken television or to replace a missing item.
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