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Sara Catania

An Unexpected Stay of Execution

In an unexpected and widely overlooked decision, the Supreme Court has made it easier for death-row inmates to appeal their cases if their lawyers were incompetent. Last week’s 7-to-2 ruling, which overturned an inmate’s death penalty, holds particular significance in California, which has more than 600 men and women on......

The Bright Ages: Stargazing With Big-Buck Chuck

At the top of Mount Palomar, up a winding road of Indian casinos and groves of citrus and pine, about an hour inland from Oceanside, sits the Hale Telescope, for decades the crown jewel in the world of astronomy. Since the early 1990s the telescope has been eclipsed by a......

Flying While Brown

Muslim cleric Aslam Abdullah was the last passenger to board an afternoon Southwest flight from Las Vegas to suburban L.A. on Friday, May 30. He was also the first passenger off —before the plane ever left the ground. Abdullah, 47, edits two national Islamic newspapers, The Minaret, based in L.A.,......
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Nisei Narratives

Photo by Leslie Barton Living in L.A., it’s all too easy to burrow into one’s own little corner of urban reality, to forget the existence of the rest of the city, with its unfathomable differences. But sometimes those other L.A. realities are impossible to avoid. The other day, a Toyota......

Skeletons and Tea Cakes

“Where are the dinosaurs?” asked my three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Evie, as we walked into the Japanese American National Museum on a recent afternoon. In her mind, “museum” was all but synonymous with prehistoric skeletons; what we found instead was a ceiling-high pile of old-fashioned trunks and hard-sided suitcases, a silk Japanese......

Injustice for All

What’s wrong with this picture? A black man and a white woman pose formally — incongruously — on a muddy riverbank surrounded by scraggly brush, brown water and sand. The man, tall and broad and dressed in a sweater and tasseled loafers, wraps his left arm around the woman’s back......

Singled Out: Everybody has a Mother

Maxine Knight, mother of rap mogul Suge Knight, leaned in close, as if to share a treasured secret. “Suge is my baby,” she said, beaming. “I’m very proud of him . . . though he is a little spoiled.” We were sitting close to the stage at Suge Knight’s (Somewhat)......

Dr. G’s Hard Medicine

Photos by Slobodan Dimitrov It was 10 a.m. on a weekday in early March, and the emergency room at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center was already full. Dr. Tom Garthwaite weaved through without pausing. He seemed unaware of the new arrivals milling around in clusters and sitting on the floor. He glanced......

Gasping for Air

Photo by Debra DiPaolo In most parts of the developed world, health care is considered a basic human right. Not so in the United States, where all attempts at universal coverage have failed spectacularly. A California ballot initiative 10 years ago mustered just a quarter of the vote after insurance......

The Health Plans

Single Payer State Senator Sheila Kuehl’s plan, SB 921, is the only one that guarantees coverage for every Californian. It would be funded with new payroll, alcohol and cigarette and unearned-income taxes and would enable all residents to freely choose any doctor. Under single payer, a new government-run agency would......
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