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April 2, 2006 | Debra J. Miller, Debra J. Miller teaches English at a private high school in Los Angeles.
On Thursday, Oct. 8, 1964, the day the police decided my mother killed my father, I woke up late, the kind of late that snaps you out of your favorite dream, the one where you're wrapped in the arms of your favorite TV hunk--mine was Dr. Kildare--and he's just about to . . . when bang your unconscious tells you the sun is out, the lights are on all over the house and you're going to be late for school because nobody got you out of bed. We were a family of five. I was 14 and the oldest.
April 4, 2014 | By Brian Thevenot
Diesel-powered cars save on fuel, but many of them won't save you any money. That's because they cost thousands more to buy in the first place, compared with similar gas-powered models. And many automakers usually offer diesel engines only in combination with a pricey set of standard features. So it can take years - if ever - to make up for those upfront costs through savings at the pump. That's what makes the latest addition to Volkswagen's growing diesel fleet, the Jetta TDI Value Edition, so intriguing.
November 16, 2010 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
He built the largest stock brokerage in Los Angeles, and his name adorns one of the city's most distinctive high-rises. He's worth tens of millions of dollars. So why can't Edward Wedbush manage to fix his roof? The peeling shingles atop his one-story stucco house in Ladera Heights are covered in blue and black tarpaulin. The bandaged roof has been an eyesore for years in a neighborhood of carefully tended mid-century homes. Neighbors say they've written letters, passed along bids from contractors and even lined up buyers for the home, all to no avail.
February 15, 2014 | Steve Lopez
If somehow you missed the news that California is drier than a stale tortilla, the Amber Alert signs have come to the rescue with highway bulletins like this one: "Serious drought, help save water. " This is helpful to a point, I suppose, and I like the creative use of highway signs heretofore reserved largely for safety warnings or child abductions. If Caltrans would consider pushing the boundaries even further, I'd spring for a sign that says: "Hey, Brian D'Arcy, where's our $40 million?"
November 22, 2009
The recession appears to be over, but this holiday season it's still tough to find a household not feeling its effects. In that spirit, here are some bargain gift suggestions for the techies on your list. Gift cards -- The perennial cop-out choice, but still much appreciated. A couple of suggested online vendors: ( for all manner of gadgets, and iTunes ( for music, movies and iPhone apps. TV calibration -- Even if your digital television is brand-new, it could probably be helped by a calibration to optimize the image quality.
August 24, 2012 | By David Lazarus
Here is today's Consumer Confidential segment from KTLA. Topped things off with latest word from the feds on food prices (they're going up). Also looked at how people are taking pay cuts to land new jobs, and the average $15(!) weekly allowance kids now receive.  
December 19, 1993
My wife somehow left her wallet behind while riding a bus on Sherman Way near the post office. The next day the post office phoned to say the wallet had been turned in, with a ten-dollar bill in it. We thanked the clerk for phoning, and want to thank the finder, who had left the wallet's contents all there--even the 10 one-dollar notes that had been swapped for the ten-spot! Credit cards and everything else were there. Angels still reside in the City of Angels.
May 13, 2001
Regarding "Some Valuable Lessons in Keeping Your Money Safe and Thieves at Bay" (Her World, March 25): Here is another tip on keeping money safe when traveling. For many years I have carried a spare old wallet on vacation. It has a couple of dollars, some worthless foreign currency and long-canceled credit cards. I put this on the dresser at night along with some change and put my real wallet either in my suitcase or in my shoes under the bed. I especially do this if I am in a room with a sliding door to a patio.
January 8, 1987 | DON G. CAMPBELL, Times Staff Writer
Question: I saw your recent column about automatic teller cards being knocked out of action by an electrical field. I thought you would be interested in the case of a friend of mine who found all of his credit cards nullified after visiting a J. J. Newberry store and putting his wallet down on the counter while paying for his purchases. I didn't think too much of it until a few days before Christmas when I was in the same store and bought a two-inch roll of wire.
May 5, 2013 | By Joe Piasecki
When construction workers discovered a wallet lost 66 years ago inside the wall of a San Marino home, little did three City Hall clerks know they were about to be in for a days-long sleuthing expedition that would, at its end, reunite a father's romantic quest with his surviving children. The brown leather bi-fold held plenty of clues: a World War II-era Navy ID, honorable discharge papers, regular and commercial driver's licenses, a California Department of Employment card, two pay stubs for $1.50-per-hour insulation contracting work and a Social Security card.
February 3, 2014 | Hugo Martín
Flights canceled in January's "polar vortex" inflicted $2.5 billion in costs on stranded travelers, according to a new analysis. The 49,000 flights canceled last month more than doubled the number halted by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Snow, sleet and frigid temperatures also led to more than 300,000 delays, according to MasFlight, an aviation operations technology company based in Bethesda, Md. And two more storms are barreling toward the East Coast. The region is home to the nation's busiest airspace, where travel snafus ripple throughout the country.
January 7, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Contrary to what many consumers assume, a "natural" label on foods doesn't necessarily mean much. The Food and Drug Administration has never defined the term, though it says it doesn't object to its use to describe foods without added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances. Now the FDA is being asked to broaden the term "natural" into meaninglessness by allowing genetically engineered food to be labeled natural. A letter sent to the FDA by the Grocery Manufacturers Assn.
September 12, 2013 | By Bill Shaikin
This must be bittersweet news for Fox Sports: In their final year as the Dodgers' cable home, the Dodgers are drawing their best cable ratings in history. With the Dodgers on the verge of clinching the National League West, they are succeeding on and off the field. Among the indices shared Thursday by Major League Baseball: The Dodgers lead the major leagues in attendance, on pace to sell 3.7 million tickets. That would be the most for any major league team since the New York Yankees sold 3.77 million in 2010.
August 23, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: Two years ago, my husband was denied a revolving $12,000 line of credit. The credit reporting agency indicated that denial was based on "little revolving usage, insufficient or no bank lines, and insufficient open accounts with zero balances. " Nine months ago, however, he was approved for a car loan and received a FICO Auto V2 Score of 808 from the same credit reporting agency. Another credit reporting agency gave him a FICO Auto 04 Score 836. We had wanted to pay cash for this car but thought it would be wise for my husband to improve his credit, so he got an interest-free loan.
August 20, 2013 | By Patrick McGreevy
Some California motorists would see the government reach deeper into their pockets under two bills approved by state lawmakers this week. The Senate on Monday approved AB 767, which allows counties to follow the lead of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties and receive authority to double a fee for auto-theft prevention that appears on vehicle registrations. The fee could go from $1 to $2 for non-commercial vehicles and from $2 to $4 for commercial vehicles. The money is used by counties to fund their programs to “deter, investigate, and prosecute vehicle theft.” The measure would increase law enforcement funding by $19 million annually.
July 23, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers should be several million dollars poorer today. And some guy named Todd Sutton should be that much richer. All because Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun was suspended for 65 games Monday for multiple violations of baseball's drug policy. And because of a now-deleted bet between Rodgers and Sutton last year. Back in February 2012, Braun had a 50-game suspension for basically the same charges overturned, with an arbitration panel finding concerns with the way the player's urine samples were handled.
November 13, 2010 | By P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times
Don't loosen that belt in preparation for Thanksgiving just yet. A report from the American Farm Bureau Federation says ingredients for the classic holiday meal ? including turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie mix, sweet potatoes and the bread used for stuffing ? will cost U.S. consumers about 1.3% more this year than last. Depending on where you live, however, that price increase might be higher. A report released this week by Louisiana State University's AgCenter found that the dinner costs for Southern cooks might be up as much as 9%. Both groups surveyed a typical dozen dishes that make the dining room table groan ?
Prompted by the astonishing discovery of a wallet on a rocky ridge almost 9,000 feet above Palm Springs, rescue workers have restarted a search for a hiker missing since Sept. 9--though they say the chances of finding him alive are slim. Joshua Best, a 36-year-old plumbing contractor and hotel maintenance worker, has been missing since he rode the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway alone 20 days ago for a hike on 10,000-foot Mt. San Jacinto.
May 22, 2013 | By Paresh Dave
Android smartphones on Boost Mobile's network can now serve as a mobile wallet. Boost Mobile subscribers can head to any of the carrier's stores to load cash into their virtual wallet. The approach differs from a long-rumored app - designed to virtually store credit cards - that's said to be coming from the country's major carriers.  Boost's focus is on customers who rely on cash payments and don't have credit cards. Payments can be sent across the world, including to 3,500 companies in the U.S.  In a twist from existing mobile-wallet apps such as Square, users also will get a prepaid Visa card that's linked to their mobile wallet.
May 18, 2013 | By Emily Alpert, Los Angeles Times
Ringed by the posh shops of Beverly Center, Tim Ratliff said no - he didn't have a credit card. He didn't need one. "I just hear so many horror stories about people being in debt," said Ratliff, 21, who studies psychology at Ohio State University. "When you have a credit card, you feel like you have a lot of money when you don't. " Ratliff is like many young adults, emerging data show. His generation, dubbed millennials by academics and marketers, grew up during the boom and bust cycles of the U.S. economy over the last decade and a half - crises that appear to have reshaped their attitudes toward spending and debt.
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