Diberdayakan oleh Blogger.

Popular Posts Today

Atlanta Hawks win after holding off rally by Cleveland Cavaliers

Written By kolimtiga on Rabu, 31 Desember 2014 | 12.56

No LeBron James. No Al Horford.

Late decisions by Cleveland and Atlanta to hold out the two stars could have led to a letdown, but Paul Millsap made sure the Hawks were tough down the stretch.

Millsap scored 26 points and took over for Atlanta in the fourth quarter to help hold off a Cleveland comeback and the Hawks beat the short-handed Cavaliers, 109-101, on Tuesday night at Atlanta.

James, celebrating his 30th birthday, was held out with a sore left knee. Cavaliers forward Shawn Marion was held out with a left ankle sprain.

Horford left the court with an upset stomach only minutes before tipoff.

The Hawks led by 17 points early in the second half but had to hold off a comeback by Cleveland, which had 35 points from Kyrie Irving.

James' status is day to day.

"Obviously, we want to get him right," Coach David Blatt said after James was pulled from the starting lineup about 90 minutes before the game.

James wore a gray suit as he watched the game from the bench.

Detroit 109, at Orlando 86: Jodie Meeks scored 34 points off the bench, shooting nine for 11 on three-pointers, and Andre Drummond added 17 points and 22 rebounds to lead the Pistons. Drummond sat out the final 14 minutes after coming within three rebounds of the league's season high.

Brooklyn 96, at Chicago 82: Brook Lopez had a season-high 29 points and Joe Johnson had a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Nets snapped the Bulls' seven-game winning streak.

at Memphis 95, San Antonio 87: Mike Conley had 30 points, connecting on 10 of 13 from the field, and six assists, and Marc Gasol added 17 points for the Grizzlies. The Spurs shot five of 22 from outside the arc.

at New Orleans 110, Phoenix 106: Tyreke Evans scored 24 points, including eight straight in the final two minutes, and the Pelicans halted the Suns' winning streak at six games. The Pelicans made their last eight free throws after hitting only 10 of their previous 21 attempts.

at Dallas 114, Washington 87: Monta Ellis scored 20 points in 27 minutes, including nine points in the final 2:35 of the second quarter, when the Mavericks outscored the Wizards 36-21. for a 63-45 halftime lead. He shot eight of 15 and finished with four steals without playing in the fourth quarter.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Unwanted Florida State and baggage arrive on Pasadena's doorstep

They are swooping down upon Pasadena this week like Santa Ana winds in October.

They irritate. They agitate. They make blood boil. They make skin crawl. Face it, they just arrived and we can't wait for them to leave.

But, like it or not, the Florida State Seminoles are a force of nature and, for at least the next couple of days while they compete in the Rose Bowl national semifinal against Oregon, Grandaddy is just going to have to cover his sad eyes and deal with it.

"Everybody is trying to put a label on us, trying to find every way to make us seem like the bad guys," defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. said this week.

One doesn't really have to try too hard.

Their quarterback, Jameis Winston, has been the subject of a rape allegation, the recipient of a theft citation, and was finally suspended for one game for standing in the middle of campus and shouting misogynist slang for a sexual act.

One of their running backs, Karlos Williams, was in the starting lineup at the same time he was named in two different criminal investigations.

Over the last three years, according to the New York Times, at least nine Seminoles players have been arrested on suspicion of a variety of crimes, more than a dozen Seminoles players have been implicated in incidents involving high-powered BB guns, and the Tallahassee Police Department has often looked the other way.

Their coach, Jimbo Fisher, has been fiercely protective of his players to the point of enabling them, and he has become a national symbol for everything wrong with college sports leadership.

The Florida State administration has seemed reluctant to hold its cash cow accountable, particularly in the botched rape investigation involving Winston, leading to the perception of the university as an academic joke.

But the Seminoles win. Man, do they win. Fearlessly, frustratingly, raising the hair on the back of your arm and making you want to poke out your eyeballs, they win.

They have won 29 consecutive games dating back two years. These wins included last season's national championship comeback victory over Auburn in the Rose Bowl, and numerous comebacks this season.

They trailed with six minutes remaining against Clemson and won. They trailed by 10 points in the second half against North Carolina State and won. They trailed Louisville, 21-0, and won. Notre Dame had them beat, but the would-have-been winning touchdown was called back on a bogus penalty. Miami was beating them with three minutes left in the game, and lost. Boston College was tied with three seconds remaining, and lost.

Every week — outside of Tallahassee — it became sort of a national obsession to gather around television sets in the final minutes of a Florida State game to watch them lose. Yet the more they were reviled, the greater they were inspired. The more they were urged to stumble, the higher they soared.

And thus, every week most of America was greatly, gravely disappointed. And now the Seminoles and their immense baggage have arrived in Pasadena for a national semifinal against the lovable-by-comparison Oregon Ducks.

"We know everybody wants us to lose. We know we're the team that everybody hates,'' cornerback P.J. Williams said this year, and it's more true now than ever.

Can you imagine a defending national champion and only unbeaten major college team being seeded only third in the new four-team playoffs and forced to travel across the country for their playoff game, while once-beaten Alabama stays near home at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans?

Can you imagine a team with a former Heisman Trophy winner, numerous pro prospects, and a title win in this same Rose Bowl stadium being an 81/2-point underdog?

"We've got all kind of chips on our shoulders," Winston said.

Darn it. Just as everyone suspected. This is a team that thrives not on love, but enmity, doubt and maybe even a little fear.

Winston was asked whether he realized most of America wanted his team to lose, and he smiled and sort of winked.

"It doesn't matter what people want, we can't give people what they want all the time," he said.

Fisher was asked whether he thought his players felt as if it was Florida State against the world, and he also smiled.

"I think they think it's us against us," he said.

It turns out, the forces that have conspired to shred these Seminoles have only made them stronger. We hate, they huddle. We stomp, they survive.

"Our will to win is very strong," said Winston. "We can persevere and come back. [Teammates] have got my back, and they know I've got their back."

OK, how about this? What if everyone suddenly rallied around the Seminoles, applauded their professionalism, admired their campus unity, defended their mistakes as poor-immature-kids-in-the-spotlight stuff, even engaged in that incredibly annoying and socially inappropriate tomahawk chant thingy?

Nah. Winston shakes his head. He isn't buying it.

"Perception is reality," he said. And the reality is that while common sense says it will be a close game, the heart says Oregon by 50.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

School administrator pleads not guilty to animal cruelty, dog fighting

A Palmdale School District administrator charged with multiple counts of dog fighting and cruelty to animals pleaded not guilty Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Pauline Winbush, a longtime educator in the Palmdale School District and the district's current assistant superintendent of human resources, faces more than two dozen charges, including 17 felony counts of animal cruelty, four counts of dog fighting and one count of child abuse, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Her boyfriend, Kevin Ray Williams, 50, also faces the same charges. They surrendered Monday to Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies on a warrant issued Dec. 24. Williams is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

On Oct. 29, a horse owned by Winbush and Williams was found wandering the streets. Deputies later found scores of animals in poor condition at the couple's Antelope Valley home.

Dogs were kept in crates loaded with animal feces, which were stored inside the couple's home. The 19 pit bulls found at the home were all euthanized.

Some of the dogs bore signs of fighting with other dogs, Deputy Dist. Atty. Lyle Riggs said.

In response to the raid on Winbush's home, the school district placed her on paid administrative leave Dec. 1 and launched an internal investigation into her conduct, according to a statement released Tuesday.

District officials are "deeply troubled" by Winbush's arrest and arraignment, according to the statement, which added: "We know that our staff members must always serve as role models for our students."

Winbush, 52, launched her career as an educator in 1989 with the Los Angeles Unified School District before starting with the Palmdale School District in 1992, according to her biography on the district's website.

She rose through the administrative ranks, serving an assistant principal and principal before becoming an assistant superintendent of human resources. Last year, Winbush served as the interim superintendent before Raul Maldonado was named superintendent in the spring.

The district -- the fourth-largest elementary school district in California -- serves 22,000 students from kindergarten through eighth grade.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno. He can be reached at matt.hamilton@latimes.com.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

8 slain in Edmonton, Canada; gun used was reported stolen, police say

Canadian authorities are investigating what they described as "an extreme case of domestic violence" that left six adults and two young children dead at two locations in Edmonton, Alberta, and a related suicide in nearby Fort Saskatchewan, police confirmed Tuesday.

The "senseless murders" seemed to be "planned, deliberate and targeted," Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht told reporters Tuesday night, adding that they were not gang related and that there was no risk to the general public.

The weapon used in the killings was a 9-millimeter handgun that was legally registered in the province of British Columbia in 1997 and reported stolen there in 2006, he said.

Knecht said that on Monday, police were called to investigate a weapons complaint in southwest Edmonton about 6:50 p.m. and discovered the body of Cindy Duong, 37. An autopsy found that she died from a gunshot wound, he said.

"It is alleged a male entered a private residence, discharged a firearm and fled the scene," he said Tuesday afternoon.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m. Monday, he said, Edmonton police responded to a call to check on the welfare of a man in the north end of the city.

Family members reported that the man seemed depressed and very emotional and that they feared he could be suicidal, Knecht said. But when police arrived at the scene, there was no sign of the man and no response from inside the residence. Nothing suspicious was noted, he added.

Police returned to the residence shortly after midnight after receiving additional information. This time, they entered and discovered seven bodies: three women and two men, all ages 25 to 50, and a boy and a girl who were both younger than 10, Knecht said. He did not provide their identities. He believed they were related to one another, but that has not been confirmed, he said.  

Knecht did not specify what information prompted police to return to the home, but he said it enabled them to enter without permission from an occupant.

Police had paid visits to that home before, he said: In late 2012, a man there -- who police believe to be the suspect in this week's deaths -- was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, sexual assault and uttering threats. The man was "well-known to police" and had a criminal record dating back to 1987 that includes drug- and violence-related issues, Knecht said.

About two hours after finding the seven bodies, police located a black SUV in Fort Saskatchewan, about 25 miles northeast of Edmonton, that matched the description of a vehicle seen at the site of the first killing. Investigators established that the suicidal man who was being sought in connection with the killings in north Edmonton had a business interest in a Fort Saskatchewan restaurant, the police chief said.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police found the man's body at the restaurant about 8:45 a.m., Knecht said. He is believed to have committed suicide.

"Our homicide investigators have established associations and linkages between these homicides," Knecht said. "We are not looking at any additional suspects at this time."

Autopsies of the seven found at the home and the man found at the restaurant are scheduled for Jan. 1, he said. 

"In my 39 years of policing, I've never seen anything like it," Knecht said of the killings.

Neighbors told reporters that a family of five lived in the two-story home in north Edmonton where police found the seven bodies, including a couple, an elderly woman, a young boy and an infant. They said they thought the family was Vietnamese and the adults did not speak English well, but would wave and say hello.

Moe Assiff said that he had noticed police outside the house around midnight, according to the Edmonton Journal.  A man and a woman -- "white as a ghost" -- were sitting inside a white Toyota Scion, which was parked outside the home, he said. Assiff asked whether everything was all right. The man looked at the house, then told him, "No, it's personal."

About 1:30 a.m., Assiff saw the woman talking to a police officer. "She started screaming her head off," he said. "She let out the biggest scream I've ever heard in my life."

She and the man then got into a police cruiser.

Another neighbor told the Los Angeles Times that she would hear arguing coming from the house.

"We'd be sitting in our kitchen and I'd say to my husband, 'What is that noise?'" said the woman, who would only give her first name, Holly.

She said a woman would run outside, drive around the block and go back inside.

"We used to watch from the distance and make sure no one was getting physically harmed," she said. "There was one day all of us neighbors came out because it was getting heated. We were discussing, should we do something? You just don't know what to do."

As dusk fell, body bags were carried out of the home on stretchers and loaded into a van.

Police blocked off downtown Fort Saskatchewan while they investigated Tuesday morning. The area has since reopened, but police tape remained around a Vietnamese restaurant, VN Express, news reports said. The front windows and doors appeared to have been smashed.

An employee at Auntie Sue's Restaurant, across from VN Express, told reporters that she had heard a commotion outside about 6:30 a.m.

A police officer yelled through a megaphone to someone inside the restaurant to "come out with your hands up," said the employee, who was identified only as Laurie in news reports.  Police then rammed a vehicle through the front of the restaurant, she said.

Dillman reported from Edmonton and Zavis and Raab from Los Angeles.

For more international news, follow @alexzavis on Twitter

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

9:35 p.m.: This post has been updated with information about the victims and the gun and additional details throughout.

5:06 p.m.: This post has been updated with account of bodies being carried out of the home in north Edmonton and more details from neighbors.

4:08 p.m.: This post has been updated with accounts from neighbors.

3:32 p.m.: This post has been updated with details from a police news conference.

This post was originally published at 2:29 p.m.

12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

N.Y. Rep. Michael Grimm says he will resign over tax evasion

Written By kolimtiga on Selasa, 30 Desember 2014 | 12.56

Embattled Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R-N.Y.), who pleaded guilty last week to tax evasion, said he will resign before Congress returns next week.

Grimm, 44, had said he would stay in Congress as long as he could, but he reportedly talked with House Speaker John A. Boehner on Monday and said late Monday night that he will instead step down.

"After much thought and prayer, I have made the very difficult decision to step down from Congress effective Jan. 5," Grimm said in a statment. "This decision is made with a heavy heart, as I have enjoyed a very special relationship and closeness with my constituents, whom I care about deeply."

Grimm had been reelected to his Staten Island seat in November even though he was under indictment. He admitted last week to aiding in the filing of a false tax return, according to court filings.

"The events which led to this day did not break my spirit, nor the will of the voters," Grimm said in the statment. "However, I do not believe that I can continue to be 100% effective in the next Congress, and therefore, out of respect for the office and the people I so proudly represent, it is time for me to start the next chapter of my life."

Grimm was indicted in April on federal charges including mail fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion, employing undocumented workers and perjury in relation to a Manhattan fast-food restaurant he once co-owned and operated.

Grimm admitted that he had made "off the books" payments to employees and under-reported nearly $1 million in gross receipts to the Internal Revenue Service and New York state tax collectors. He also admitted that he lied during a deposition about whether employees had been paid in cash, and whether he had used email accounts to operate the restaurant.

"I should not have done it and I am truly sorry for it," he told reporters outside the courtroom.

Grimm sold his interest in the restaurant before taking office in 2011, according to prosecutors.

If convicted, Grimm could have faced a prison sentence of anywhere from six months for hiring undocumented workers to 20 years for each of the mail and wire fraud charges, prosecutors said.

Grimm is scheduled to appear for sentencing June 8, and could still be facing prison time. He faces up to three years in prison, according to prosecutors, and has agreed to pay restitution to the IRS and New York state.

Grimm, a former FBI special agent and Marine, has called himself the victim of a political witch hunt.

Controversy has dogged the congressman for years.

Federal prosecutors first began investigating Grimm in a probe of an alleged "donor swapping" scheme designed to skirt individual campaign contribution limits to candidates.

In January, Grimm threatened to throw a New York TV reporter off a balcony and break him in half "like a boy" for asking him about the allegations on camera. Video of the incident quickly went viral, and he was pilloried by pundits and on late-night shows.

Earlier this year, the House Ethics Committee announced it had opened an investigation related to the fraud charges, but deferred action as the federal investigation continued.

He gave up his post on the House Financial Services Committee after his indictment, but vowed to seek another term, winning reelection in November.

"I know who I am and I know what I've done for this country," Grimm told reporters after pleading not guilty in April. "I know I'm a moral man, a man of integrity. I also know that I have a lot more service and leadership to provide this country, and that's exactly what I intend to do."

Democratic leaders called for his ouster. In a statement released ahead of Grimm's plea, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) released a statement calling on Boehner to "insist that Congressman Grimm resign immediately."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also called for Grimm's resignation.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

9:20 p.m.: This story has been updated with quotes from Grimm confirming his resignation. 

This story was originally published at 8:22 p.m. 

12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Clippers will get back to regular practice after a grueling month

Doc Rivers is giving the rest talk a break.

Now that the Clippers are on the verge of completing a 26-day stretch without more than one day off between games, their coach said he did not expect to rest players as he had previously planned.

The Clippers will get a two-day break Thursday and Friday after playing the New York Knicks on Wednesday, their first breather of that length since they had Dec. 4 and 5 off.

"We're still going through all these games," Rivers said Monday before the Clippers played the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. "We have this one and the next one, and then we can really get back to fixing some of the slippage that I think we have."

The Clippers have opted not to practice instead of resting players, holding their last official practice Dec. 11 in Washington. Rivers has said his team would stage its next session later this week.

The coach did admit one regret: not resting his starters more liberally Saturday during the Clippers' 110-98 loss to Toronto.

"You don't get do-overs, obviously, in anything," Rivers said, "[but] I would have loved to have that game back the other night. ... I would have absolutely rested them in the game more."

Rivers said he also considered resting players during back-to-back games last week against San Antonio and Atlanta, "but for a lot of reasons, we didn't want to do it." The Clippers lost both games.

Rivers said all the rest talk could lead to psychological fallout among players.

"The more we talk about all this stuff," he said, "the more I think some guys believe they need it, you know what I mean?"

Count Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick among those who feel adequately refreshed.

"I don't feel like I need rest," Redick said. "We're paid to play games, so we have a lot of games this month, we have a lot of games in a short amount of time, it's what we're supposed to do."

Slip-sliding away?

Rivers has already identified his top priority once the Clippers resume practice.

"Our transition D is the first thing that we've really slipped on," he said. "So we have to fix that."

The Clippers also entered Monday ranked 14th in the NBA in three-point defense, allowing opponents to shoot 35.1% from that distance. They led the league in that category last season, surrendering only 33.2%.

Redick said the Clippers' defensive problems were interconnected.

"There's a small micro-second breakdown of trust," Redick said. "And all of a sudden somebody's got a layup or somebody's got an open three."


Twitter: @latbbolch

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Boys' basketball: Lorne Currie leads Fairfax past Corona Centennial

 The Lorne Currie that everyone thought was possible showed up on Monday in the semifinals of the Torrey Pines tournament and came through with a 25-point performance to help unbeaten Farifax knock off Corona Centennial, 69-62,

Currie, who started his career at Fairfax, then transferred to St. John Bosco before returning last season, has been forced to focus in the classroom and on the court and seems to be doing both. Donald Gipson had 14 points, Antoine Monroe 11 and Isaiah Ajiboye 10 points for the Lions, who are 9-0. Sedrick Barefield scored 33 points for Centennial.

Sonora defeated Oak Park, 64-54. Riley Battin had 18 points for the Eagles. Ben Rico scored 29 points for Sonora. Crespi defeated Lynwood, 49-42. De'Anthony Melton had 15 poitns and 19 rebounds.

In Las Vegas, Cathedral suffered its first defeat, losing to Las Vegas Valley, 80-68. Earlier, the Phantoms defeated Basic, 76-49.

In the MaxPreps tournament, Sierra Canyon showed that it's a powerhouse in the making, routing Etiwanda, 72-53, in the semifinals of the Open Division. Cody Riley had 18 points, Remy Martin 16 and Devearl Ramsey 15.

Brentwood defeated Chaparral, 61-38. Maxwell Kupchak scored 24 points and Ountae Campbell added 19. Damien defeated American Fork, 60-57. Bryce Peters scored 22 points and Malik Fitts 22. Harvard-Westlake defeated Diamond Bar, 74-47. Alex Copeland had 30 points.

In the La Salle tournament semifinals, Bishop Montgomery defeated Campbell Hall, 74-56. Stephen Thompson scored 19 points, Ethan Thompson 15 and Jordan Schakel 15. Aaron Holiday had 17 points for Campbell Hall and Gabriel Salazar 15. The Knights will play De La Salle in Tuesday's final. De La Salle defeated Village Christian, 52-40. Jordan Ratinho had 25 points for De La Salle. Price defeated Calabasas, 66-61. Justin Bessard had 24 points and Conner Longmire 21 for Calabasas. Daniel Murray scored 22 points for Price.

In the semifinals of the Orange tournament, Orange Lutheran signaled how much of a factor it will be in the Trinity League with an impressive 59-45 win over Foothill. Rogers Printup scored 17 points.

In the Ventura tournament, Westlake advanced to the final with a 73-58 win over Ventura. Michael Hayon scored 22 points and Luis Herrer made five threes and had 19 points.

In the Santa Barbara tournament, Thousand Oaks defeated Glendora, 54-53, in the semifinals. Josh Hauser had a key three-pointer to deliver the victory and had 15 points. Thousand Oaks played without Matt Hauser, who was sick. Santa Barbara defeated Newbury Park, 82-48, in the other semifinal.

In San Diego, Loyola received 25 points from Henry Welsh in an 86-67 win over Santa Monica. Stone Gettings added 18 points. Max Hazzard had 12 assists.

In the Chaminade tournament, Chaminade defeated Curtis, 75-56, and will play Valencia in Tuesday's final. Michael Oguine scored 27 points and Jordan Ogundiran had 14 points and eight assists. Valencia defeated Menlo, 60-39.

 Burbank Burroughs made it to the consolation final of the Tustin tournament with a 60-58 win over Long Beach Cabrillo. David Schwer had 24 points Steven Hubbell 14 points.

In Tennesee, Dorsey advanced to the semifinals of the Arby's tournament with a 63-62 win over Christ School.

In the Monrovia tournament, Sun Valley Poly defeated Upland, 75-69. Cesar Reyes had 34 points and Francisco Mariscal added 13 points and 10 rebounds. Reyes had 42, 31 and 34 points in three games of the tournament.

In the Hart tournament, Myles Franklin had 25 points and Chad Donohue 23 in Hart's 89-65 win over Camarillo.


Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Organizers promise bigger New Year's Eve celebration at Grand Park

A free New Year's Eve celebration at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles will encompass three times the space of last year's inaugural event, with a brighter digital countdown display on City Hall as well as more food booths, live music and security, organizers say.

The event will feature other changes as the Music Center — which operates the park that stretches over 12 acres of the city's Civic Center — tries to work out kinks from last year's party. In 2013, 25,000 people showed up, about triple what was expected. Fences were trampled as crowds rushed to get in, and some revelers complained about long lines for food and beer.

When the gates open at 7 p.m. Wednesday, about 30 food trucks and booths will be on hand, double that of last year. And there will be four entrance gates instead of two, said Lucas Rivera, Grand Park's director of operations.

However, unlike last year no alcoholic beverages will be sold or allowed into the event. Rivera called that restriction an attempt to make the celebration more "family friendly." The larger crowds also mean there will be more security, including Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, Los Angeles police officers and the Music Center's own security force, he said.

"We think we'll get around 30,000 people,'' Rivera said. "But we can handle more than that. Capacity is 50,000."

Everyone entering the celebration must have their bags checked for prohibited items, including weapons and alcohol.

The festivities are a response to a long-held complaint by Angelenos that they have no central gathering spot to ring in the new year. Since it opened in 2012 the park has increasingly become a public destination, hosting cultural events, fireworks displays, and this past summer, a commercial music festival.

But Rivera said it would be a mistake to suggest that L.A. is trying to steal some of the limelight from the annual New Year's Eve gathering at Times Square in New York City. "L.A. is ready for its own celebration, and we are planting the seeds," Rivera said.

To squeeze in more crowds, the Music Center is expanding the celebration to streets next to Grand Park, a total of 84 acres stretching from Grand Avenue to Main Street and Temple to 2nd Street. Music ranging from electronica to folk rock, all played by L.A.-based musicians and DJ's, will be presented on three stages. A schedule of musical acts can be found on the park's website, grandparkla.org.

Instagram images of Los Angeles contributed by local residents will be projected onto the county Hall of Records building. Four free photo booths will be on the grounds for partygoers to share snaps with family and friends, and for a lucky few, to be projected for the crowd on the county building.

Throughout the evening, vibrant, flowing digital imagery will be projected on two sides of City Hall, reaching 22 stories. Music and crowd noise will trigger movement, making City Hall's iconic tower appear to morph and transform, organizers said.

At 11:50, a 10-minute digital presentation called "The Heartbeat of Los Angeles" will be projected onto City Hall. Created by Los Angeles firm yU&co, it will weave images of city landmarks with those of everyday life — including congested freeways, shrinking water supplies and people living on the fringe.

Garson Yu, who headed up the creative team, said he wanted to combine a visual narrative with interactive sound in a large public setting, hopefully in a way that will inspire people.

His team this week was busy installing 16 projectors to light up the west and south-facing sides of City Hall. Each of the projectors emits 40,000 lumens, making this year's display four times brighter than the one last year, Yu said. Two years ago he staged a similar installation on Pier 57 in New York City and received a great response, he said.

But L.A.'s installation will be even bigger and brighter.

"This is going to be really spectacular,'' he said. "My hope is that Angelenos will come out to Grand Park and live in the moment."


Follow @csaillant2 for more news from City Hall

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Clippers' Jordan Farmar is struggling this season

Written By kolimtiga on Senin, 29 Desember 2014 | 12.56

Jordan Farmar is a two-time NBA champion and has been a starting point guard in the league.

Still, the question had to be asked: Would the Clippers be better served trying Jared Cunningham as the backup for Chris Paul?

Farmar is averaging career lows in points (4.2), field-goal percentage (.363) and minutes (14.4) while flirting with that distinction in assists (1.8). The eight-year veteran averaged a career-worst 1.5 assists during the 2009-10 season with the Lakers.

He apparently retains a believer in Clippers Coach and Director of Basketball Operations Doc Rivers, who last summer gave Farmar a two-year, $4.2-million contract that includes a player option for next season.

"I think about all 15 guys," Rivers said Saturday after Farmar went scoreless with one assist and two turnovers during the Clippers' 110-98 loss to the Toronto Raptors. "But I think Jordan is the right guy."

Farmar left before reporters entered the locker room.

Darren Collison also struggled early last season in limited minutes behind Paul before becoming an invaluable backup, but it can no longer be considered early 31 games into the Clippers' season.

Rivers said getting more production out of Farmar would require effort on the part of the coach as well as the player.

"It's always 50-50 on that," Rivers said. "If a guy's not playing great for you, there's always something a coach can do, and I'm still looking for those things. And Jordan has to do it himself too. When he comes in, the ball pressure has to pick up from him. His shot-making, he can do that."

Rivers said he also needed to simplify the offense for the second unit to help it become more effective under Farmar's direction.

"That's an area I didn't anticipate them struggling in," Rivers acknowledged. "Sometimes that's not on Jordan; it could be somebody else in the unit with him."

Farmar's difficulties could make the Clippers contemplate keeping Cunningham for the rest of the season. His league-minimum contract becomes fully guaranteed Jan. 10.

One idea to bolster Farmar's production would be to play him more alongside Paul.

"I'm sure Doc is going to exercise every option," Paul said. "We talked to Jordan. He's going to be fine. This league is all about confidence too. Jordan knows what he's capable of, but at the same time, you've got to be out there and you've got to have people encouraging you to give you that confidence, so we're right there behind him and he'll be fine."

It suited him

Spencer Hawes hasn't played since Dec. 12 because of a bone bruise in his left knee.

But his presence continued to be the talk of the team days after he wore a Christmas suit that would have upstaged even TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager, the king of outlandish outfits.

Rivers joked that Hawes' suit featuring trees in a garish red-and-green checked pattern was "what distracted [Stephen] Curry and [Klay] Thompson," the Golden State sharpshooters who both had off nights during the Clippers' victory on Christmas night.

Hawes said he ordered the suit online, but the pants couldn't be made to fit his 7-foot-1 frame, the hem falling a few inches short of his shoes. Rivers was asked if he thought Hawes wore the suit on a dare.

"I hope it was a dare," Rivers said. "If he just did that on his own, that's scary."


When: 7:30 p.m. PST Monday.

Where: Staples Center.

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 980.

Records: Clippers 20-11, Jazz 10-20.

Record vs. Jazz: 2-0.

Update: The Jazz has won four of its last five games, including an impressive 97-91 victory over Memphis on the road. Gordon Hayward is averaging a team-leading 18.9 points, and young guards Alec Burks (13.9 points per game) and Trey Burke (11.4) are rapidly improving.


Twitter: @latbbolch

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Migrants can soon get driver's licenses, but it's been a long road

For decades, California has debated whether immigrants in the country illegally should be issued driver's licenses. It began during the anti-illegal immigration movement of the mid-1990s and continued as Latinos have gained significant political clout in Sacramento.

Beginning in January, many immigrants in the country illegally will finally be able to obtain licenses.

Here's how California got here.

Q: What's the history of this issue?

A: As illegal immigration soared in the 1970s, some police complained about migrants driving. In a 1979 Times article titled "Alien Drivers Seen as Perils on the Streets," some police officers contended migrants tended to be inexperienced drivers and drove cars that were "absolute falling down wrecks" that contributed to accidents.

A big change occurred in 1994, when California voters approved Proposition 187, which denied a host of public benefits to immigrants in the country illegally. Less noticed was a law that required first-time applicants for driver's licenses to show proof of legal residency.

Beginning in the late 1990s, the state Legislature tried several times to provide some form of drivers' license to immigrants here illegally. But the effort was stalled by the recall election in 2003 that brought Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to power. The Legislature approved various bills after that, including one that would provide licenses to migrants who passed criminal background checks. To address critics, the bill included safeguards aimed at preventing license holders from receiving other benefits such as serving on juries, voting or buying guns. None of the effort succeeded.

There were other ideas during this period. The concept of "a special mark on the licenses [for migrants] was rebuffed by Latino lawmakers, who said it … was akin to the yellow stars the Nazis made Jews wear," The Times reported in 2005.

Q: Was there a turning point in the debate?

A: One critical moment involved the backing of law enforcement officials. While serving as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, William J. Bratton expressed support for the idea. Others have joined him. In 2012, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck spoke at length about the benefits of providing licenses to immigrants in the country illegally. He argued that having migrants go through the same testing process as everyone else would make streets safer. Decriminalizing driving, backers said, also would likely reduce the number of hit-and-run accidents because fewer unlicensed drivers would feel compelled to flee.

"The reality is that all the things that we've done — 'we' being the state of California — over the last 14, 16 years have not reduced the problem one iota, haven't reduced undocumented aliens driving without licenses," Beck told The Times editorial board. "So we have to look at what we're doing. When something doesn't work over and over and over again, my view is that you should reexamine it to see if there is another way that makes more sense."

Others in law enforcement, however, remained opposed to giving licenses to residents here illegally.

"I just think that if someone is in the country illegally, for us to give them a legal ability to drive makes absolutely no sense," Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told The Times in September. "That … really bothers me."

Q: Are there any data on this issue?

A study released in 2013 by the Department of Motor Vehicles found that unlicensed drivers in California — the vast majority of whom are immigrants in the country illegally — are nearly three times as likely to cause a fatal crash as licensed drivers. The report suggested that road safety could be improved if more drivers completed basics licensing requirements such as passing a written exam and driving test.

Q: Has there been any polling?

A: A 2013 USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll showed some divisions. The poll found narrow overall support for driver's licenses. Nearly 69% of Latino voters supported the idea, while only 44% of whites did.

Q: So what happened this year?

A: With much fanfare, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a driver's license bill into law. "This is only the first step. When a million people without their documents drive legally with respect to the state of California, the rest of this country will have to stand up and take notice," Brown said. "No longer are undocumented people in the shadows."

The license for immigrants in the country illegally will look different from normal licenses and come with a variety of security checks. Officials estimated the new program will cost $140 million to $220 million in the first three years. Applicants are expected to pay $50 million under current fee structures, but the law allows additional fees if necessary.

Q: What do critics say?

A: There remains strong opposition from anti-illegal immigration groups that question whether there are enough security safeguards. They also say it sends the wrong message to give licenses to residents here illegally.

Q: So what can be expected in January?

A: The DMV has been planning for what is expected to be a crush of new applicants. Officials estimate that 1.4 million immigrants who are not lawfully in the country will apply for specially marked licenses during the first three years beginning Jan. 1, The Times reported in November.

The DMV has opened four new offices and hired more than 900 additional workers.

"California officials say they have safeguards in place here to prevent fraud, including the requirement that immigrants document their residency," The Times reported. "In addition, the special licenses will have the same high-tech features, such as special laser perforations, that have protected regular licenses from counterfeiting and altering since 2010."

Q: Will drivers have to obtain car insurance?

A: Yes. Proof of insurance will be required to apply for a special license.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Ex-President George H.W. Bush to stay in hospital for sixth night

Former President George H.W. Bush will remain hospitalized in Texas for a sixth night, his spokesman said Sunday, adding that they hope for "news about a possible discharge soon."

Bush, who at 90 is the nation's oldest former living president, was taken to Houston Methodist Hospital on Tuesday "as a precaution" after experiencing shortness of breath, according to his office.

His wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, visited Sunday, and the couple watched a Houston Texans football game together, a statement from his office said.

On Christmas, his office said, the 41st president received visits from his wife and from son and daughter-in-law Neil and Maria Bush.

It wasn't the first time Bush had been hospitalized over Christmas. In November 2012, he went to Houston Methodist with a persistent cough. He developed a fever and stayed nearly two months.

Last year, Barbara Bush was admitted to the same hospital on New Year's Eve with signs of pneumonia. She was released after six days of treatment.

Bush -- the father of former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- made headlines in June when he celebrated his 90th birthday by skydiving.

For more news, follow @raablauren on Twitter.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Should a shoplifting conviction be an indelible scarlet letter? Not in California

What exactly is the appropriate punishment for someone who commits a low-level, nonviolent crime? Should a conviction for minor drug possession, shoplifting or writing a bad check result in a lifetime of stigma and denied opportunities, or do people with criminal records deserve a second chance?

In November, California voters took a clear stand on these issues when they passed Proposition 47 and reclassified eight nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors for people without prior serious convictions. Proposition 47 allows for the resentencing of many who have been convicted of such crimes, reducing the amount of time they serve, lowering state and county incarceration costs and chipping away at decades of overly punitive criminal-justice policies. But this common sense reform alone won't necessarily change the lifelong punishment experienced by many people with a criminal record.

Today, a criminal record — even for a low-level misdemeanor or infraction — acts like an indelible scarlet letter. Until relatively recently, employers, landlords and others rarely requested criminal records, which could be accessed only by sifting through physical files in a local courthouse. With the post-9/11 push for more background checks, the advent of online databases and the steep increase in the number of people with convictions, criminal records have become a serious barrier to employment, housing, education and other forms of civic participation for millions of Californians.

New fair-chance hiring laws help reduce discrimination against people with criminal records by removing conviction history questions from initial job applications and postponing background checks until later in the process. But California has an additional remedy. Laws long on the books allow judges to dismiss old convictions, a recognition that people who have successfully completed their sentences should be free to rejoin society without disabling consequences. The dismissal remedy doesn't erase the record completely, and it is not available in all cases, but it can restore rights and reduce barriers for many people.

These dismissal laws, however, are obscure and complex. The process can require a lot of paperwork and a court appearance, or even multiple appearances in more than one county. As a result, far too many Californians remain saddled with convictions that are otherwise eligible for dismissal.

The East Bay Community Law Center, a teaching law office affiliated with UC Berkeley School of Law, tries to address these problems. Since establishing its Clean Slate Clinic a decade ago, the center has helped several thousand people obtain record-clearing remedies with the aim of reducing the collateral consequences of convictions and lowering the risk of recidivism.

Under the supervision of attorneys, law students interview the clinic's clients, draft their declarations, prepare them for court hearings and, if necessary, later represent them in civil and administrative proceedings to redress unlawful discrimination in employment, housing and professional licensing. The process can be long and emotional. People with criminal records are grappling with painful episodes from the past and hopeful aspirations for the future. But the results can be equally rewarding.

While Berkeley law students have been serving clean-slate clients, University of California researchers have been studying the results. We already know that clean-slate interventions increase a person's ability to get a job and provide him or her with a profound sense of relief: No more skeletons in the closet.

But the benefits go far beyond that: In surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviews, people who've had their records cleared express a sense of accomplishment (increased confidence and self-esteem), a sense of hope (a focus on the future) and a sense of agency (control over their lives). Significantly, the clean-slate process itself — not just the outcome — appears to create a kind of status enhancement ritual, or rite of passage, helping people move from their old life into a new one.

Proposition 47 takes an important step toward addressing the consequences of mass incarceration in California. Tens of thousands of people will benefit from it. The Legislative Analyst's Office estimates that the state and counties will each save hundreds of millions of dollars annually as a result of lower incarceration rates.

But rebuilding lives and communities will not flow automatically from the new law. As we take additional measures to reverse the most damaging effects of our tough-on-crime policies, we will need to invest time and resources in clean-slate programs that help people with criminal records go through the challenging process of re-integrating into our families, communities and society.

Keramet Reiter is an assistant professor in the UC Irvine School of Social Ecology and the School of Law. Jeffrey Selbin is a clinical professor of law at the UC Berkeley School of Law, and faculty director of the East Bay Community Law Center. Eliza Hersh is director of the East Bay Community Law Center's Clean Slate Clinic.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

The Times' NBA rankings

Written By kolimtiga on Minggu, 28 Desember 2014 | 12.56

Last week's ranking in parentheses; statistics are through Friday's games:

1. PORTLAND: Trail Blazers have won seven of eight  behind stars Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. (3)
2. HOUSTON: Will the bad Josh Smith who shoots too many threes show up, or the good one who defends, plays inside? (6)
3. GOLDEN STATE: The Warriors lost two of three after their 16-game winning streak was snapped. (2)
4. TORONTO: Raptors won six of seven before beating Clippers on Saturday; averaging 108.2 points, second-best in NBA. (4)
5. WASHINGTON: John Wall is a premier point guard, averaging a double-double with 18 points, 10.5 assists. (5)
6. CHICAGO: Bulls stretch their lead in the Central Division by winning five straight and eight of nine. (8)
7. DALLAS: Dirk Nowitzki moved up to 10th on the NBA's all-time scoring list (27,322 points). (9)
8. ATLANTA: After  a season-high 125 points in win over Clippers, Hawks score season-low 77 in loss to Bucks. (7)
9. CLIPPERS: After losing three of four, whipped the Warriors on Christmas to start nine-game homestand.  (10)
10. CLEVELAND: Losing center Anderson Varejao to a season-ending left Achilles' injury will hurt. (12)
11. MEMPHIS: Grizzlies lost four straight,  the last three without Zach Randolph, sidelined by a sore right knee. (1)
12. PHOENIX: The Suns quietly won five straight games to get back into the playoff picture. (15)
13. OKLAHOMA CITY: Russell Westbrook, scoring 28.6 a game, ignores rap he shoots too much with Kevin Durant out. (13)
14. SAN ANTONIO: Injuries are taking a toll on the Spurs, who lost six of seven. (11)
15. MILWAUKEE: Still hanging tough with .500 record (15-15) despite injuries, illnesses. (16)
16. NEW ORLEANS:  In games in which they block at least six shots, Pelicans are 10-0; Anthony Davis averages 2.93 a game. (14)
17. MIAMI: Chris Bosh has missed seven consecutive games because of a left calf injury. (17)
18. BROOKLYN: The Nets could be coming around after their first three-game win streak of the season. (21)
19. DENVER: Kenneth Faried  responded to talk with Coach Brian Shaw with a career-high 25 rebounds, plus 26 points. (19)
20. SACRAMENTO: Started season with a 9-5 record, then went 3-12; DeMarcus Cousins' absences haven't helped. (20)
21. BOSTON: Treadmill to nowhere: Won three in a row, lost three in a row, won three in a row,  lost three in a row again. (18)
22. ORLANDO: The Magic is next to last in NBA in scoring (93.7) and assists (19.8). (22)
23. UTAH: Won three of four games, including an impressive victory at Memphis. (23)
24. INDIANA: Pacers still haven't won more than two consecutive games this season. (24)
25. CHARLOTTE: Hornets averaging the fewest turnovers per game in the NBA (11.0). (26)

26. LAKERS: Is Father Time finally catching up to Kobe Bryant? Body soreness forced him to miss three games. (25)
27. MINNESOTA: Timberwolves have given up a staggering 115 points per game on the road. (27)
28. PHILADELPHIA: The 76ers showed something by rallying from a 23-point deficit to beat Miami. (30)
29. DETROIT: Were things so bad with Josh Smith that they had to waive him with two years, $26 million left on deal? (29)
30. NEW YORK: Phil Jackson says it'll get better in 2015 for a team that has lost six straight, 16 of 17. Sure, Phil. (28)

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Boys' basketball: Fairfax stays unbeaten with overtime win

Fairfax stayed unbeaten with a 71-64 overtime victory over New York Jefferson in the Torrey Pines tournament on Saturday night. The Lions are 8-0.

Babacar Thiombane scored on a layup just before the buzzer sounded to send the game into overtime for Fairfax. Lorne Currie finished with 18 points. Lindsey Drew had 14 and Foster Dixson added 12 points. Fairfax will face Corona Centennial in Monday's semifinal.

In other San Diego games, Westchester defeated Cantwell-Sacred Heart, 44-43, on a game-winning basket by Evan Council. Windward defeated Loyola, 66-64, in overtime. Wonder Smith of Windward made a three-pointer with under three seconds left in regulation to send it into overtime. Breland Brandt and Jalen Harris had 18 points apiece.

Josh Rodriguez scored 30 points in Sonora's 64-54 win over St. Augustine. Sonora will play Oak Park, a 55-46 winner over Montgomery. Michael Alvarez had 21 points and Riley Battin 16. Crespi was beaten by Georgia Faith Baptist South, 61-41. De'Anthony Melton had 13 points and 14 rebounds.

In the La Salle tournament, Campbell Hall advanced to the semifinals by knocking off El Camino Real, 68-47, and Calabasas, 63-55. UCLA-bound Aaron Holiday had 25 and 32 points. The Vikings are 6-1 with Holiday in the lineup after he missed several games with a knee injury. They will face Bishop Montgomery, a 72-63 winner over Price. Village Christian advanced to the semifinal with a 74-63 win over West Ranch. Village Christian will face De La Salle, a 47-44 winner over San Marcos.

Earlier in the La Salle tournament, Calabasas defeated Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 72-59, in a game that featured two former Notre Dame players facing their old school. Ryan Ducar scored 18 points and Cameron Glassen had 14 for Calabasas. West Ranch received 38 points from Ryan Beddeo in an 82-73 win over Trinity.

Price defeated Palisades, 72-55, with James Washington making six three-pointers and scoring 26 points. Village Christian defeated Highland, 72-62. Bennie Boatwright had 26 points and Clifton Powell 20.

In Las Vegas, Cathedral defeated Hawaii Campbell, 80-28. Lucas Siewert had 16 points and Kobe Paras 14. The Phantoms (8-0) also defeated Nevada Liberty, 79-40. Milan Acquaah had 16 points and Paras 15.

In the Ventura tournament, Westlake defeated Santa Paula, 79-46. Luis Herrera made six three-pointers and finished with 18 points. Michael Hayon added 16 points. Jake Todey scored 19 points in St. Bonaventure's 59-41 win over Dos Pueblos.

In the MaxPreps tournament, Sierra Canyon defeated Alemany, 69-56. Cody Riley scored 15 points. Shacquille Dawkins led Alemany with 31 points. Sierra Canyon will play Etiwanda in Monday's National Division semifinals. Etiwanda defeated Oakley, 53-37. Kameron Edwards scored 20 points. Mater Dei defeated Moreau, 70-51. MJ Cage had 19 points and Rex Pflueger 15.

Miye Oni had 27 points in Viewpoint's 67-38 win over Colton. Jason Richardson had 16 points in Gardena Serra's 57-51 win over Arizona Foohills. Alex Copeland had 23 points in Harvard-Westlake's 56-41 win over Palm Desert. Damien defeated Folsom, 68-62. Jeremy Hemsley had 21 points. Brentwood (8-1) defeated Oak Hills, 74-46. Maxwell Kupchak had 21 points and Andrew Gardiner added 20 points.

In the Tustin tournament, Chris Hovasapian had 20 points in Burroughs' 71-48 win over Calvary Chapel.

In the Katella tournament, Trevor Treinen had 28 points in Servite's 48-35 win over Burbank.

In the Orange tournament, La Mirada advanced to the semifinals with a 54-52 win over Esperanza. La Mirada will face Anaheim Canyon in the semifinals.

In the Santa Barbara tournament, Thousand Oaks defeated Carpinteria, 107-53, and will play Glendora in Monday's semifinals. Matt Hauser scored 31 points and Josh Hauser had 20. In a consolation game, Andrew Tsangeos had 26 points in Flintridge Prep's 72-52 win over Channel Islands

In Tennessee, Dorsey defeated Tabernacle Baptist, 63-60. Cameron Evans and Albert Allison each scored 14 points.


Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

USC hangs on to beat Nebraska, 45-42, in the Holiday Bowl

It's a final, USC defeats Nebraska, 45-42, to win the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Saturday night.

Cody Kessler passed for 321 yards and three touchdowns while Javorius Allen rushed for 152 yards and two scores for the Trojans.

Adoree' Jackson returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and scored on a 71-yard pass play to help USC finish 9-4 this season. Nebraska also finished 9-4.

The Cornhuskers failed to convert a fourth-down play with 2 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter when defensive back Leon McQuay came across the line of scrimmage to bring down receiver De'Mornay Pierson-El, who had taken a shovel pass after going in motion. The Trojans, though, could not run out the clock.

After a 43-yard punt by Kris Albarado, a seven-yard return by Pierson-El and a 15-yard penalty for a late hit, Nebraska started at its own 32-yard line with 19 seconds left.

Following a false-start penalty, Cornhusker quarterback Tommy Armstrong threw incomplete and then connected with Ameer Abdullah for seven yards to the 34-yard line with one second left.

Armstrong unloaded a Hail Mary pass while sprinting out to his right but Nelson Agholor knocked the ball away near the 10-yard line to preserve the victory.

Nebraska trailed, 45-27, with 2:03 left in the third quarter after Kessler connected on a 20-yard scoring pass to Bryce Dixon.

Armstrong, who passed for 381 yards and ran for 41 more, answered with a 65-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Westerkamp in the third quarter and a 15-yard scoring run in the fourth. Armstrong's two-point conversion pass to Kenny Bell with 6:52 left in the fourth quarter drew the Cornhuskers to within the final margin.

Here's a recap of the game:

USC 45, Nebraska 42 (2:48 left in the fourth quarter)

USC will start at its own 42-yard line. Nebraska fans are loud.

This is a game. Quarterback Cody Kessler throws deep, but is off the mark and it falls incomplete before he hands off to Javorius Allen. 

Kessler is sacked on third down and USC has to punt on fourth down. 

USC appears on the verge of collapse. 

Nebraska will start at its own 26-yard line.

The Huskers offense looks insprired as it dodges USC defenders. Tommy Armstrong completes a 11-yar pass to Jordan Westerkamp before running back Ameer Abdullah rushes for 10 yards.

USC's defense finally starts to slow the Huskers, holding  Armstrong and Abdullah to five and two yards, respectively.

Nebraska faces a third and three with 2:39 left and Armstrong misfires to bring up fourth down. The Cornhusker put De'Mornay Pierson-El in motion and Armstrong shovels a pass to him behind the line of scrimmage, with USC cornerback Leon McQuay coming across the line to make the tackle and force a turnover on downs.


USC 45, Nebraska 42 (6:52 left in the fourth quarter)

The announced Holiday Bowl attendance is 55,789.

USC will start at its own 18-yard line.

That's the end of the fourth quarter. USC has an 11 point lead with 15 minutes remaining. Any USC fans feel comfortable with that?

The Trojans start the fourth with a lackluster offensive possession and has to punt.

Nebraska starts at its own 44-yard line.

Tommy Armstrong completes a 15-yard pass and Nebraska creeps to USC's 38-yard line. 

USC coaches are going wild on the sideline as they signal in the defensive play calls. Perhaps they are trying to avoid that Hail Mary confusion that USC fans are worry about with the Trojans' fourth quarter tendencies.

Fourth and one, the defense comes up huge, jamming Kenny Bell short of a first down.

USC takes over on downs at its own 29-yard line and is quickly in a fourth and one situation.

The punt team runs onto the field to a chorus of boos from USC fans. 

Nebraska will start at its own 23-yard line.

Su'a Cravens bats down a Tommy Armstrong pass at the line of scrimmage. Cravens continues to shine at the position. 

Armstrong completes a 33-yard pass to Ameer Abdullah, catching the USC defense taking a play off.

It's getting interesting. Armstrong completes a five-yard pass and Nebraska is at USC's 15-yard line.

Fourth and two, Armstrong keeps it and rushes for 15 yards and a touchdown.

Nebraska fans have come alive in Qualcomm, chanting "Go Big Red!" 

And the two-point conversion is good. USC fans are groaning, Nebraska fans are singing. 

This is such a familiar scene.


USC 45, Nebraska 34 (19 seconds left in the third quarter)

USC quarterback Cody Kessler's last touchdown pass was his 39th of the season, which ties the Trojans' single-season touchdown record set by Matt Barkley in 2011.

Just when it looks like USC's defense is figuring it out, it gives up a 65-yard catch-and-run touchdown to Jordan Westerkamp.

That drive was four plays and went 79 yards for the Huskers.


USC 45, Nebraska 27 (2:03 left in the third quarter)

USC will start at its own 35-yard line.

Cody Kessler completes a 45-yard pass to JuJu Smith on the first play of the drive.

The second play is a 20-yard pass to Bryce Dixon for a touchdown.

USC is wasting no time putting points on the board. 

Two plays, 65 yards in 25 seconds.


USC 38, Nebraska 27 (2:28 left in the third quarter)

Nebraska will start at its own 32-yard line.

USC's defense shows up on this drive, forcing a three and out and Nebraska punts.

USC will start at its own 27-yard line.

Cody Kessler throws deep for Adoree' Jackson, but he's tripped up by the defener. It looks like Jackson is going to empty his tank in tonight's finale.

That was a quick three and out.

Kris Albarado out to punt and this time it is blocked. Nebraska will takeover at USC's 16-yard line. That's a huge special teams play for the Huskers.

Leon McQuay jumped offsides, moving Nebraska five yards closer to the end zone.

Tommy Armstrong pitches to Ameer Abdullah, who gains a first down.

Leonard Williams and Anthony Sarao get to Abdullah behind the line of scrimmage and drop him for an eight-yard loss.

Fourth and two, USC's defense makes the stop but Nebraska false started and was able to replay fourth down. The Huskers kick a 28-yard field goal.


USC 38, Nebraska 24 (8:00 left in the third quarter)

USC will start at its own 32-yard line.

The Trojans' offense is starting to find a rhythm. Javorius Allen rushes for a first down before Cody Kessler throws to Darreus Rogers for another first down.

Allen break a couple of tackles and rushes for 44 yards and a touchdown.

Bye-bye, Buck. He has to announce for the NFL soon after tonight's game.

Allen has rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns in 19 carries.


USC 31, Nebraska 24 (9:41 left in the third quarter)

Keep in mind after Adoree' Jackson's touchdown that George Farmer beat him by five yards in a 50-yard dash at the end of practice on Christmas Day. Jackson's speed is impressive, but USC has another receiver who is even faster.

Nebraska is responding to USC's quick score as the Huskers march down field after Tommy Armstrong completes passes of 11 and 17 yards before handing off for gains of 14 and three yards.

USC's defense is inconsistent. At times it stuffs Nebraska's run game at the line, other times it looks confused and lost.

Ameer Abdullah rushes for 20 yards and a Nebraska touchdown. USC's defense was nowhere near him.

The extra point is good.


USC 31, Nebraska 17 (12:01 left in the third quarter)

The halftime show lit up the stadium like it was Fourth of July.

Nebraska will kickoff to start the second half. 

USC will start at its own 25-yard line after a 11-yard return by JuJu Smith.

Javorius Allen comes out of the locker room hot and rushes for five then 12 yards, but the drive stalls and USC punts.

Kris Albarado punts 53 yards and Nebraska will start at its own four-yard line.

Tommy Armstrong throws deep to Kenny Bell, both John Plattenburg and Adoree' Jackson in the area, but neither able to intercept the pass. 

Nebraska will punt from deep in its end zone. 

USC will start from its own 29-yard line.

Adoree' Jackson scores on a 72-yard catch-and-run play. The freshman two-way player just made the Nebraska defense look silly as it watched him run untouched through multiple defenders on his way to the end zone. He's a special talent for the Trojans.

USC 24, Nebraska 17 (Halftime)

Nebraska will start at its own 42-yard line.

USC defense doing a nice job again stopping running back Ameer Abdullah. Linebacker Su'a Cravens tackled him on his first carry, then safety John Plattenburg stopped him at the line of scrimmage.

Kevon Seymour breaks up Tommy Armstrong's third-down pass.

Nebraska punts.

USC will start at its own 18-yard line.

Who said quarterback Cody Kessler wasn't athletic? He just rushed straight ahead for 12 yards.

Kessler completes a 12-yard pass to Bryce Dixon and the sticks move down the field. 

Kessler throws deep intending for Nelson Agholor, but is intercepted by cornerback Josh Mitchell.

Nebraska takes over at its own 22. 

USC's defense is smothering Nebraska's attempts to run the ball and its perimeter passes. 

Of course as soon as I write that, Tommy Armstrong completes a 12-yard and then a 17-yard pass.

Running back Ameer Abdullah catches a nine-yard pass out of the backfield and shakes about three defenders before he's tackled.

Armstrong throws over the middle and completes a 21-yard pass to De'Mornay Pierson-El -- who makes a nice leaping grab.

USC has had multiple opportunities to intercept Tommy Armstrong and Su'a Cravens finally capitalizes. Officials are reviewing the play. 

The call stands and USC will takeover on its own 12-yard line.

Javorius Allen breaks a tackle and rushes for 18 yards. 

And USC will head into halftime.


USC 24, Nebraska 17 (6:39 left in the second quarter)

Nebraska will start at USC's 48-yard line after another long kickoff return by Ameer Abdullah.

Tommy Armstrong is targeting Josh Shaw again, but Shaw makes a nice pass breakup in the end zone and then another on second down.

Nebraska false starts to setup a third and 15 -- John Plattenburg nearly intercepts Armstrong, but the pass skips off his arm.

Nebraska punts.

USC will start from its own 14-yard line. 

Quarterback Cody Kessler is under pressure, but completes a 14-yard pass to JuJu Smith. USC's offense is hustling to snap the ball. During bowl practices, Coach Steve Sarkisian was yelling for the offense to hurry up and move faster. 

Kessler takes a hit on second down and is sacked on third down. The hurry-up offense just hurried off the field.

Nebraska will start at its own 43-yard line.

USC's front three is doing a nice job stopping running back Ameer Abdullah on this drive. 

USC's secondary has another chance to intercept Tommy Armstrong, but Armstrong's pass bounces off the chest of John Plattenburg -- that's Plattenburg's second missed opportunity.

Nebraska punts.

USC will start at its own 20-yard line.

Kessler pitches to Adoree' Jackson, who rushes for six yards. Kessler completes a pass to Nelson Agholor and then another to Darreus Rogers, who is tackled for a loss. 

Kessler completes a 13-yard pass to Agholor. An interesting note, in a recent interview with CBS Sports radio, former USC receiver Marqise Lee said the biggest adjustment he has had to make in the NFL is his move after catching the ball -- he spent too much time deciding which way to run intead of catching and turning downfield. Agholor makes a similar move when he catches the ball and it will be interesting to see how that translates in his NFL draft stock if he announces for the NFL.

USC's offense is picking up its pace again as Kessler hands off five consecutive plays to tailbacks Javorius Allen and Justin Davis.

Allen rushes for two yards and a touchdown.

The extra point is good.


USC 17, Nebraska 17 (13:11 left in the second quarter)

USC will start at its own 25-yard line.

Third and seven, Cody Kessler completes a 18-yard pass to Nelson Agholor.

Adoree' Jackson checks in on offense.

That's the end of the first quarter.

No discipline for USC so far. The Trojans have eight penalties for 67 yards, Nebraska has two for 10.

Checking in on social media, #USCvsNeb, Adoree' Jackson, Tommy Armstrong and Kenny Bell are all trending in the United States on Twitter.

Javorius Allen carries the ball three consecutive times to start the second quarter. Fourth and one, Kessler hands off to Allen again who picks up the first down.

Kessler mixes it up and completes a 19-yard pass to Randall Telfer. USC is on Nebraska's 17-yard line.

Kessler runs through a couple of checks before spotting Nelson Agholor streaking for the end zone. Agholor reaches to make a great catch for a touchdown.

The extra point is good.


Nebraska 17, USC 10 (1:25 left in the first quarter)

Nebraska will start at its own 34-yard line.

Adoree' Jackson was not going to get beat a second time on a big play, Tommy Armstrong throws deep to Kenny Bell, but Jackson breaks it up.

Armstrong completes a 14-yard pass in front of Josh Shaw. 

Armstrong is nearly picked by Gerald Bowman, who had the ball in his arms before dropping it. 

Nebraska is going after Shaw, who was suspended for ten games. Armstrong completes a seven-yard pass to Kenny Bell in front of him. 

Armstrong's third down pass falls incomplete and the Cornhuskers punt. 

USC will start at its own five-yard line.

And the Trojans go nowhere. Albarado will punt from USC's own end zone.

Nebraska has great field position to start the drive at USC's 36-yard line.

Ameer Abdullah rushes for seven yards, Jackson makes the tackle.

Armstrong goes straight for Shaw again and completes a six-yard pass for a first down.

Armstrong is attempting the high-risk high-reward passes and is almost picked again - but Leonard Williams is called for a personal foul. He comes back and sacks Armstrong -- then taunts and dances in front of the Nebraska sideline and is called for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Williams going out in style tonight.

Those 30 yards of penalties hurt USC as Nebraska scores a nine-yard touchdown.


USC 10, Nebraska 10 (6:05 left in the first quarter)

USC will start at its own 34-yard line after JuJu Smith returned the kickoff 32 yards.

Quarterback Cody Kessler completes a seven-yard pass to Bryce Dixon before handing off to Javorius Allen, who rushed for 16 yards.

Kessler rolled out to his right and completed a 16-yard pass to Nelson Agholor. USC's offense is starting to pick up its pace.

But... it comes to a halt when George Farmer drops a pass and Kessler makes a throw at Randall Telfer's feet.

Fourth down and here comes kicker Andre Heidari. We haven't seen him kick a field goal in awhile, but it's good from 42 yards.


Nebraska 10, USC 7 (8:23 left in the first quarter)

Nebraska will start from its own 47-yard line.

Quarterback Tommy Armstrong completes a 13-yard pass to Kenny Bell and then quickly completes a 17-yard pass to Cethan Carter.

Nebraska is on USC's 14-yard line. 

Armstrong completes a eight-yard pass to offensive tackle Alex Lewis for a touchdown but he is ruled an ineligible receiver and it is called back.

The play was reviewed and the call stands - ineligible receiver.

Third and nine on USC's 14, Hayes Pullard is bouncing around and an offensive lineman false starts. Nebraska backs up five yards.

Armonstrong throws to the corner of the end zone and Bell makes an incredible catch over the top of cornerback Adoree' Jackson for a touchdown.

The extra point is good. 


USC 7, Nebraska 3 (10:54 left in the first quarter)

See ya Adoree' Jackson! 

The freshman fields the kickoff and runs 98 yards before flipping into the end zone. 

That is the longest kickoff return in Holiday Bowl history.


Nebraska 3, USC 0 (11:05 left in the first quarter)

Nebraska with a huge 48-yard kickoff return.

The Cornhuskers will start on their own 50-yard line.

J.R. Tavai makes an agressive tackle for a loss on running back Ameer Abdullah on second down and Gerald Bowman makes a nice pass breakup on third down to force Nebraska to punt. 

USC will start on its own 10-yard line.

Freshman receiver JuJu Smith is called for a false start the first play of the series. 

Receiver Steven Mitchell takes a brutal hit on third down and USC will punt.

Punter Kris Albarado's punt appeared to be partially blocked and Albarado is down on the play. After laying on the turf for a couple of minutes, he walks off with trainers.

Nebraska will start at USC's 46-yard line.

Running back Ameer Abdullah is carrying Nebraska's offense so far, he rushes for seven yards and Nebraska is given a first down after Su'a Cravens is called for a personal foul. John Plattenburg was walked off the field by trainers on the same play.

USC keeps Nebraska out of the end zone, but the Cornhuskers kick a 34-yard field goal.


Nebraska has won the toss and will receive.


Offensive lineman Aundrey Walker is sidelined because of a concussion and defensive lineman Greg Townsend, Jr. because of a foot injury. 

USC nose tackle Antwaun Woods is also sidelined since having surgery.  


In case you missed it, here's a great read from Gary Klein on Hayes Pullard and Randall Telfer - both fifth-year seniors who saw it all in their time at USC. This is their final game.

Could it also be the final game for draft-eligible juniors Leonard Williams, Javorius Allen and Nelson Agholor?

I think Williams and Allen will certainly declare for the draft. Agholor is a wild card. 


Former Oregon State Coach Mike Riley, who has been hired to coach Nebraska, helped the Cornhuskers prepare for USC -- though he will not coach the game tonight.

"I told them, 'Don't let 'em throw a Hail Mary right before halftime,'" Riley told reporters in the press box. 


The game start time has been pushed back to 5:10 p.m. PT. 


USC announced its starting lineups.

The offense: Quarterback Cody Kessler, tight end Randall Telfer, fullback Jahleel Pinner, tailback Javorius Allen, receivers Nelson Agholor and JuJu Smith, and offensive linemen Toa Lobendahn, Damien Mama, Max Tuerk, Viane Talamaivao and Zach Banner.

The defense: Defensive linemen Leonard Williams, Delvon Simmons and Claude Pelon, outside linebackers Su'a Cravens and J.R. Tavai, inside linebackers Anthony Sarao and Hayes Pullard, cornerbacks Adoree' Jackson and Kevon Seymour and safeties John Plattenburg and Gerald Bowman.


Senior offensive lineman Aundrey Walker did not dress for Thursday's practice and is not suited for the game, but was throwing the ball around with teammates during pregame. 


USC players have arrived at Qualcomm Stadium with kickoff at the Holiday Bowl just less than two hours away.

It is sunny and clear in San Diego, with the current temperature 61 degrees. The forecast says it will be about 50 by the end of the game.

By the look of the parking lots, it appears most USC fans will outnumber Nebraska fans at the game, many Trojans telling me they made the two-hour drive from Los Angeles today.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

For the record

YALLWest book festival: In the Arts & Books section in the Dec. 28 edition, an article about the young adult book festival YALLWest says that writer Gayle Forman will be there. She will not attend.

Jeb Bush's business ties: In the Dec. 26 section A, a photo caption with an article about Jeb Bush's moves to shed some financial ties in preparation for a possible run for president described Rick Scott as the former governor of Florida. Scott is the current governor.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Newport Beach doctor in child porn case barred from treating minors

Written By kolimtiga on Rabu, 24 Desember 2014 | 12.57

A Newport Beach doctor will be barred from treating minors while he faces child pornography charges, a federal court has ruled.

Mark Rettenmaier, a gynecologic oncologist on staff at Hoag Hospital, allegedly had pornography on three portable hard drives, a laptop and his iPhone, according to a federal grand jury indictment filed in November.

The 62-year-old pleaded not guilty Dec. 1 to two felony charges of child pornography possession.

While he awaits trial, Rettenmaier is banned from interacting with children and will have his Internet access scrutinized, according to court documents detailing conditions for his release from detention.

In addition to requiring a $100,000 bond, the stipulations bar Rettenmaier from using the Internet anywhere other than certain computers at his home, office and Hoag Hospital.

Authorities will monitor Rettenmaier's home computer, and blocking software must be installed on computers he uses at work to prevent him from accessing illegal material, according to court documents.

Rettenmaier's lawyer has repeatedly asked for more time to provide proof that the software had been installed.

Information technology employees at the hospital have been "slow to respond" or refer the matter to corporate lawyers, according to a Dec. 11 court filing.

On Tuesday, Hoag's chief of staff, Dr. Martin J. Fee, said there is security software on Hoag's computers that meets the court's requirements.

When asked whether Rettenmaier is allowed to practice at the hospital's facilities while he faces the charges, Fee wrote in an email, "He is currently a member of Hoag's medical staff, and that has not changed."

The Internet must be blocked on Rettenmaier's iPhone or he will be required to turn it over to authorities, according to court documents.

He also is barred from contacting minors and must stay away from schools, parks, playgrounds and other places where children gather.

Rettenmaier's lawyer did not respond to a voicemail message left Monday.

A jury trial is scheduled for Jan. 27.


Jeremiah Dobruck writes for Times Community News.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.57 | 0 komentar | Read More

Irvine grapples with how to launch language immersion program

Most days find Heather King describing the latest hot property in English and Spanish.

The Irvine real estate agent said a second language is essential in today's global economy.

King is among a growing share of Irvine parents now pushing the Irvine Unified School District to launch an immersion program to instruct schoolchildren in English and Spanish.

She recently professed surprise upon hearing that Irvine Unified, a district where 72 languages are spoken, lags behind neighboring districts in Orange County where immersion programs are already in place.

About 132 people have signed a petition that King posted online in February. One signer said she pulled a child from an Irvine elementary school in favor of a Spanish immersion program in Lake Forest. And Anita Casavantes Bradford, who recently joined the faculty at UC Irvine, said she was reluctant to relocate from San Diego to Irvine because the public schools lack an immersion program.

"Why would you not teach children in more than one language?" Bradford said. She wonders whether the district simply doesn't value dual-language education.

But district officials contend that teaching students in two languages is no small task. The rapidly growing district is grappling with multiple new initiatives and where to put an estimated 16,000 new students who are expected to enroll over the next nine years.

Cassie Parham, the district's assistant superintendent for education services, said she embraces the idea of an immersion program that lives up to the district's high standards. But, 20 years of experience in education tell her that many pieces of the puzzle would need to fall into place for such a program to succeed.

Where would the immersion program be housed? Could the district find enough high-quality bilingual teachers? Are a sufficient number of families interested to keep such a program going?

An immersion program, by its very nature, demands commitment.

Students would begin in kindergarten or first grade, when their minds are most receptive, according to a report by district staff. Ideally, classes would be equally split between children fluent in English and those learning the language. Research shows that at least 30 students would need to enroll for the program to be a success.

Initially, teachers would deliver lessons in English about 10% of the time and 90% of the time in another language. By the time students reached fifth or sixth grade, that gap would close and children would be learning in both languages about equally.

"They become good problem-solvers because they have to decode a second language as they're learning," King explained.

But if participants drop out early, they could be behind their peers because immersion course work is paced slightly slower due to the inherent difficulty of teaching a language along with the particular subject matter. If they persist, research shows, immersion program students outperform their peers on standardized tests in both languages and exhibit more cultural consciousness.

Parham also described a historic lack of interest among parents. Surveys to Spanish-speaking parents in 2005, 2006 and 2007 drummed up little interest. In 2008 and again in 2009, the district failed to secure funding for Korean- or Mandarin-language programs after applying for federal grants.

The district must also figure out how to pay for the program.

One year could cost $387,500, according to a rough estimate provided by the district. The money would pay for teachers, curriculum development, professional learning, equipment and instructional materials.

But Bradford, the UCI professor, isn't convinced the hurdles are insurmountable.

"If they thought it was valuable, they would find a way," Bradford said. "This is a district with resources."

Nicole Knight Shine writes for Times Community News.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.57 | 0 komentar | Read More

Sony's decision to release 'Interview' is no tidy solution

After mounting pressure from theater owners, celebrities and even the White House, Sony has decided to release "The Interview" on about 200 screens beginning Christmas Day, reversing an earlier plan to scrap the opening of the controversial comedy.

The about-face may help Sony address critics who accused it of capitulating to the anonymous hackers, believed to be from North Korea, who launched a crippling attack on the studio's computer systems. But even as filmmakers and free-speech advocates hailed Tuesday's announcement, the move put the studio in an awkward situation.

The film's limited release drives a further wedge between Sony and the nation's largest theater owners, who blame the studio for yanking away a potential hit. It was supposed to open on 3,000 screens before Sony and theater chains shelved the movie.

Theater owners are also upset that Sony is negotiating to release the movie simultaneously on a video-on-demand platform. Distribution of a new movie outside theaters has been fought aggressively by the country's theater chains and avoided by all but the most niche film distributors.

"They could have a full theatrical release. Instead they have a token," said one theater executive who asked not to be identified because it could harm his relationship with the studio.

The events unfolded quickly Tuesday, four days after the film was shelved.

One by one, independent chains around the country announced they'd run "The Interview." Theaters in the maverick 19-venue Alamo Drafthouse will be among the leading locations to play the film. In the Los Angeles metro area, the comedy will play at the Los Feliz 3 and at several Regency theaters in Southern California.

Releasing the Seth Rogen comedy that features the fictionalized assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gives moviegoers a chance to see the controversial piece on schedule. It also offers Sony a retort to high-profile critics, such as George Clooney and President Obama, who had slammed the studio for backing away from the release.

"We have never given up on releasing 'The Interview' and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day," Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said. "At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience."

Those efforts include the possible release via streaming and on-demand services such as iTunes or Amazon, or a smaller entity that would similarly allow viewers to pay to stream or rent the film. Sony was also in talks with pay-TV provider Dish Network over the weekend, people familiar with the matter said.

Large digital companies, however, are thought to be nervous about partnering with Sony given the hacking that over the last few weeks has exposed executives' most sensitive correspondence.

Some reports have suggested that Sony might put "The Interview" on its own free streaming service, Crackle, which is best known for the Jerry Seinfeld Web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee." But Sony has batted down those reports.

Doug Endicott, an executive with the theater consulting firm ESP Film Buyers, said he was told by Sony that the digital plan involved streaming and not cable or satellite on-demand services, describing a "method that you could pay $10 and see it online."

But while a digital release would enable the movie to reach markets far removed from the art house venues, it would also rankle the nation's biggest theater owners. Large chains such as Regal and AMC are fiercely opposed to so-called day-and-date releases, fearing that making new movies available to home viewers would discourage consumers from watching it in movie theaters.

The disagreement over a digital release played into larger tensions between Sony and theater owners after hackers last week threatened physical harm on moviegoers who saw "The Interview." Before that, the hackers had stolen and leaked email and other sensitive data in a breach that went public Nov. 24.

Worried about a potential threat, Sony said it canceled the movie after large chains backed away from the film.

But theater owners have been pointing the finger at the studio for originally giving them the OK to not run the film amid the threats. Then Sony blamed the nation's four big theater chains for forcing the studio to cancel the original release.

It was unclear whether the big chains would try to strike a deal with Sony to screen "The Interview" if the film is released to smaller rivals and on demand. Representatives of Regal, AMC, Cinemark and Carmike declined to comment on the matter.

Sony would not comment on negotiations for a further release of the film.

Security also remained a concern for theaters. In their message last week, the hackers warned of a "bitter fate" to those involved with the film. The message cited Sept. 11 and said "the world will be full of fear.... We recommend you to keep yourself distant from [the theaters]."

Authorities have said there was no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against theaters from the Sony hackers, and there have been no known new threats.

Sony and smaller theaters had been talking for the last few days after Art House Convergence, a coalition of independent theater owners, launched an online petition from hundreds of theater owners urging Sony to reconsider screening the film.

"We wanted to make what we thought was a small but powerful statement from the exhibition industry," said Russ Collins, executive director of Art House Convergence, based in Ann Arbor, Mich. "This was a small victory for free speech."

Theater owners learned of the about-face early Tuesday morning when Sony began calling them to set up distribution of the movie.

"It's good to get this thing out," said Regency President Lyndon Golin. "It seems like there was a groundswell of support for the movie, at least from patrons. Theaters have stepped up."

Whether the release will also lead to profitability for Sony remains an open question.

"The Interview" cost $44 million to produce, and the company was in the midst of an expensive marketing campaign when it put the brakes on last week.

Even a strong opening in the 200 art house theaters probably would result in just about a few million dollars in receipts on its opening weekend, half of which would typically be split with theater owners. Before it was pulled, the film was estimated to make $25 million over the four-day holiday weekend.

It also remains unclear how a broad comedy with Rogen at its center will mesh with other offerings at the art house venues, such as the Los Feliz 3, where the movie will play alongside the British period drama "The Imitation Game."

The added publicity heat, though, could boost sales.

In Atlanta, one of the first cities where theaters began selling tickets, Jens Dietrich was among the first to nab a seat. He had been disappointed when the film was pulled from theaters.

"I'm way more excited about the movie now than I was before," Dietrich said.

Times staff writers Saba Hamedy, Amy Kaufman and Ryan Faughner contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

12.57 | 0 komentar | Read More

Lakers dominate Golden State Warriors, 95-73, through three quarters

Lakers 95 - Warriors 73 (end of third quarter)

Stephen Curry started to do what Stephen Curry does, scoring seven points in a 50-second stretch and nine straight for his team.

The Lakers' 21-point lead was quickly shrunk to 10, but just when it looked like the Warriors were primed to overtake the Lakers, Ronnie Price converted a trio of three-pointers in a minute and a half.

When the dust settled, the Lakers were up by 22 points.

Price led the Lakers with 15 points, followed by Wesley Johnson and Ed Davis with 14 each. Wayne Ellington scored 12, as the Lakers shot 56.5% from the field and 52.4% from three point range.

Curry scored 22 points, as the Warriors shot 42.2% and 44.4%, respectively.

Lakers 63 - Warriors 48 (halftime)

The Lakers extended their lead in the second quarter to 15, giving the Warriors a surprisingly difficult time.

Wesley Johnson and Ed Davis led the Laker with 12 apiece. Nick Young added 11 off the bench. All 10 of the available Lakers scored, including rookie Jordan Clarkson with two points.

As a team, the Lakers shot 56.3% from the field with 19 assists. Golden State shot 40.0% with just seven assists.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both scored 13 for the Warriors. Center Festus Ezeli added 10.

Defensively, the Lakers had nine steal's to the Warriors' four, and a 5-2 advantage on blocks.

Lakers 34 - Warriors 24 (end of first quarter)

Despite playing without Kobe Bryant (rest), the Lakers opened up against one of the top teams in the NBA, with one of their best first quarters of the season.

Wayne Ellington, starting in Bryant's place, didn't score -- but the Lakers as a team shot 60.9% from the field, led by Wesley Johnson with seven points.

Nick Young added six off the bench, as eight different Lakers scored.

The Warriors were led by Stephen Curry with seven points. Golden State shot 43.5% from the field.


The Lakers (8-19) have lost three-straight games.

They'll try to break that streak against the NBA's best team in the Golden State Warriors (22-3) on Tuesday night at Staples Center without Kobe Bryant, who will sit out his first game of the season.

The Warriors are down Andrew Bogut (knee).

The Lakers are still without Xavier Henry (Achilles), Ryan Kelly (hamstring), Steve Nash (back) and Julius Randle (leg).

For an in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.57 | 0 komentar | Read More

Clippers discuss acquiring Josh Smith off waivers

Written By kolimtiga on Selasa, 23 Desember 2014 | 12.56

The Clippers have had internal discussions about acquiring forward Josh Smith, who was waived Monday by the Detroit Pistons despite having two years and $26 million left on his contract.

The Clippers have been doing their background research on Smith by turning to Clippers assistant Mike Woodson.

When Woodson was the coach with the Atlanta Hawks from 2004 to 2010, he coached Smith during his first six seasons in the NBA.

Woodson and Smith, 29, still have a relationship.

Clippers Coach Doc Rivers, who also is the team's president of basketball operations, was coy when asked if his team would explore bringing Smith to the Clippers.

"I don't know," Rivers said, smiling. "It's up to you. You're the reporter."

The fact that Smith was released with so much money remaining on his contract has left some inside the Clippers organization concerned about picking him up.

If Smith clears waivers, he would be able to sign with any team of his choosing by Wednesday.

The Clippers would have only the veteran minimum of $1.4 million to offer Smith to play for them.

Also, because the Clippers have a 15-man roster, they would have to waive a player before they could sign Smith.

Kevin Eastman, vice president of basketball operations for the Clippers, is with the team in San Antonio, and he was seen talking on his cell phone Monday after the media talked to Rivers during the team's shoot-around about Smith.

The Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat and Sacramento Kings also reportedly are interested in the 6-foot-9 Smith, who averaged 13.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists for the Pistons this season.

Clippers bench produces

Finally, Rivers got the kind of bench play he had been seeking from his reserves.

And it was more than Jamal Crawford, who had 18 points. It was the play of Jordan Farmar (seven points), Hedo Turkoglu, Glen Davis and Reggie Bullock that impressed Rivers.

They helped the Clippers climb back from a 17-point deficit in the third quarter and into a 102-102 tie early in the fourth.

"They were great," Rivers said. "Baby [Davis] played with amazing energy. Jordan Farmar had a good game for us. Reggie I thought played great defense. They stayed within themselves."

Twitter: @BA_Turner

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More

Boys' basketball: A 30-point performance by Kobe Paras lifts Cathedral

Los Angeles fans got used to the "M-V-P" chants for Kobe Bryant, so it was no surprise when some Cathedral fans started chanting, "M-V-P" for their own Kobe, as in Kobe Paras, the 6-foot-6 junior from the Philippines who possesses lots of showmanship and basketball ability.

He had 30 points on Monday night, including a pair of crowd-pleasing dunks, in Cathedral's 77-67 semifinal victory over Alemany in the San Fernando Valley Invitational. Cathedral (5-0) will face Chaminade (8-0) in Tuesday's 7 p.m. championship game at Alemany.

It was only a couple days ago that Paras scored four points on two-of-10 shooting in his American debut. He went back to practice and has turned in much better performances. After Monday's game, he received a big hug from his brother, Andre, visiting from the Philippines, outside the locker room.

"I'm feeling more comfortable," said Paras, a UCLA commit. "The first game I did pretty bad. I just practiced a lot and listened to what coach wanted me to do."

For three quarters, Cathedral looked every bit like one of the top teams in Southern California. The Phantoms led by as many as 24 points in the second half. But they seemed to lose interest in the fourth quarter and got plenty of loud advice from Coach William Middlebrooks after the game about losing focus.

Lucas Siewert had 12 points for Cathedral.

Cathedral will have to deal with Chaminade's matchup zone defense on Tuesday. Chaminade defeated Crespi, 64-53, behind Michael Oguine, who scored 23 points.


Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
12.56 | 0 komentar | Read More
techieblogger.com Techie Blogger Techie Blogger