April 26, 2014 |
Between a cluster of bars in this small coastal town, middle-aged European men hover around dozens of fresh-faced Brazilian women in tight dresses. Around the corner, two girls who look to be in their teens flag down cars, signaling their availability to potential clients. Most such activity, however, seems confined to a small, seedy tourist strip, the last gasp of a bygone era. Natal, long known as a hot spot for sex tourism, has seen fewer problems in the wake of a national economic boom and concerted government efforts to cut back on the Carnaval nation's carnal image.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2014 |
A grass-roots group that has been railing against Los Angeles' parking ticket policies has agreed to team up with Mayor Eric Garcetti to look at changes to the enforcement system. Steven Vincent, founder of the Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative, said Garcetti invited members of his organization to participate in an official city working group. The panel, Vincent said, will look at an array of possible changes, such as reducing certain fines, expanding parking hours in key locations, making no-parking signs less confusing and halting the practice of using ticket revenue as a tool to balance the city's budget.
April 25, 2014 |
Workouts don't always have to be sweaty, and my mind and spirit needed some attention after a recent long week. We can all meditate or downward our dogs at home, but sometimes it helps to have a little guidance. Reset: 8254 Melrose Ave., www.ToResetClickHere.com Aura: Seems like miles from the hullabaloo just outside; dimmed lights, electric candles and cushiony mats. Effort: Laid-back, for sure. But there's no payoff if you just drop off and don't try to follow the teacher.
April 24, 2014 |
Something stinks in Irwindale. In recent months, officials in the largely industrial San Gabriel Valley city have appeared to be on a crusade to shut down Huy Fong Foods, the company that makes a wildly popular Sriracha sauce, for emitting chili and garlic odors that bother some neighbors. While a city should protect residents from harmful and/or unpleasant fumes, Irwindale's aggressive and unreasonable tactics have threatened to drive a home-grown enterprise out of state and bolstered California's unfortunate reputation as a bad place to do business.
April 24, 2014 |
Based on the 2011 Cameron Diaz film of the same name, "Bad Teacher" is something of a novelty on CBS, a single-camera comedy in a sea of old-fashioned multicamera, feel-the-hilarity sitcoms like "The Big Bang Theory," "Two Broke Girls" and "Mike & Molly. " ("The Crazy Ones," whose time slot "Bad Teacher" will occupy, cracked that mold this season but did not break it.) Nevertheless, and for all the studied outrageousness of its model, it tells a now-familiar, deceptively sweet tale of the unruly force that brings its own kind of order and relief.
April 23, 2014 |
Do Internal Revenue Service employees have a dress code? Maybe, maybe not. But when they look in the mirror, they must see themselves wearing a target. The IRS is probably the most disliked of federal agencies. Any joke beginning “the Internal Revenue Service” is likely to get a nasty laugh, and almost any one of the 535 people on Capitol Hill would be eager to make his bones on some IRS slip-up. And a lot of them have. So of course we're all giving the eye-roll to the story that the IRS handed out about $1.1 million in bonuses and other valuable perks, like time off, to 1,100 rank-and-file workers who got in hot water with the agency, their employer, for not paying their own taxes.