December 22, 2011 |
Here's something you didn't request of Santa — the highest gasoline prices in history for the final two weeks of the year. If this sounds familiar, there's a reason. In 2010, California broke its 2007 record for an average price for a gallon of regular gasoline on Christmas Day by 3.2 cents, at $3.297. This year, it's a record by a mile. In California, prices were averaging $3.535 a gallon, up 26.6 cents from last year, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. Nationally, prices were averaging $3.206 a gallon, up 22.3 cents from last year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 28, 2011 |
In the film "This Is It," Michael Jackson is shown as agile and energetic as ever, on the cusp of possibly the greatest comeback in music history. "We're all here because of him," director Kenny Ortega said in the documentary, between images of Jackson lithely floating across the stage and giving commands about how the show is to be run. "May that continue, with him leading the way. " But a starkly different portrait of Jackson emerged in...
June 26, 2011 |
Six people are confirmed dead and about 28 remained unaccounted for following the fiery collision of the California Zephyr passenger train and a truck in the Nevada desert. The missing passengers are not necessarily all dead. In a news conference late Saturday night, National Transportation Safety Board Member Earl Weener said more than two dozen people from the train's 210-person manifest had not been found. It's not known how many of those 210 actually boarded the Chicago-to-California train and how many may have gotten off at stops before the crash, Weener said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 2011 |
Even for Los Angeles, the accident scene drew an unusually large number of gawkers — and the accident hadn't even happened yet. The 6,000 or so ticket-buyers who gathered that September day in 1906 had come to see a staged head-on collision between two locomotives on a mile-long stretch of track laid down in Agricultural Park near downtown. The Times gave the meeting of Engine Nos. 13 and 23, late of the Salt Lake Railroad, the tongue-in-cheek buildup of a great boxing match or horse race.
May 16, 2011
California's much-vaunted high-speed rail project is, to put it bluntly, a train wreck. Intended to demonstrate the state's commitment to sustainable, cutting-edge transportation systems, and to show that the U.S. can build rail networks as sophisticated as those in Europe and Asia, it is instead a monument to the ways poor planning, mismanagement and political interference can screw up major public works. For anti-government conservatives, it is also a powerful argument for scrapping President Obama's national rail plans, rescinding federal funding and canceling the project before any more money is wasted on it. We couldn't disagree more.
April 17, 2011 |
Dear Liz: My retired parents are in a financial crisis. They got behind on their credit cards while they were trying to pay the mortgage on their home of 41 years. That home is now in a short sale. An attorney has advised them to file for bankruptcy to discharge the credit card debt and any debt that might remain after the short sale. After the sale of the home, I need to relocate them to my state so that I can further assist them, but I'm not sure if any landlord will rent to them given their terrible credit history, which will look even worse after the bankruptcy.
March 9, 2011 |
Say what you will about Charlie Sheen ? that he is a raving lunatic, an egomaniac, a train wreck, an anti-Semite, a drug-addled cautionary tale ? he has also actually made some sense this past week by offering up a reasonably astute analysis of the relationship between the public and its celebrities. In fact, Sheen seems to have decided to liberate himself by liberating us from the illusions we harbor about the stars. Most of us want to think of celebrities as ordinary folks who, by dint of talent, hard work and a bit of luck, ascended to the heights.
January 4, 2011
Reality TV shows need a reality check. Particularly those shows that project a healthy ideal (good self-esteem) in less-than-healthy ways (quickie plastic surgery). The new TV show "Bridalplasty" on E! ups the ante by showing what amounts to bridal smackdowns for a new nose or breast implants. Columnist Nicole Brochu at the South Florida Sun Sentinel describes the show this way: "These are 12 women starting out their new lives already hating themselves — so much that they will make utter fools of themselves on national television for the chance to slice up their bodies and faces, hoping it will earn them physical perfection.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 20, 2010 |
The man in the uniform had a question for me. "How do you feel?" CHP Sgt. David Nelms asked. His interest in my health was probably prompted by the fact that I was at that moment toking a joint stuffed with a bud called Train Wreck. Pretty good, I said, already buzzed enough to wonder if this was really happening. In my youth, I spent more than a few evenings hoping the police weren't keeping close tabs on my activities. So it felt a bit strange last week to have a group of cops paw my marijuana stash and then ask me to get high.
September 30, 2010 |
This weekend marks the end of an era for American women. Cathy, the weight-obsessed, chocolate-loving, shopaholic comic strip heroine who has appeared in newspapers (including this one) for more than three decades, will make her final appearance on Sunday. Cathy's creator, Cathy Guisewite, has been chided for plenty of things over the years, not least sabotaging female progress by trafficking in hoary and reductive female stereotypes. The title character had a nagging mother, a fear of dressing rooms and a straight-from-the-container Haagen-Dazs response to all of life's frustrations.