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Salinas hopes to turn farm workers' children into computer scientists

Dario Molina's alternative life scrolls by on both sides of Highway 101 north: acre upon acre of lettuce, spinach, heartbreak. Not me, he thinks. Not anymore. "Sometimes I reminisce," Molina says. "Damn, I remember working in that field. I remember that heat ... that song. Now I'm just thinking,...

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  • Revamping the electric grid could yield huge cost savings, SolarCity report says

    Revamping the electric grid could yield huge cost savings, SolarCity report says

    A modern electric grid that incorporates solar, battery storage, energy efficiency and smart technology could save Californians $1.4 billion a year, according to a report released Thursday by rooftop solar giant SolarCity. In its 28-page report, SolarCity argues that the current utility model works...

  • LinkedIn tool for freelancers rolls out in Los Angeles

    LinkedIn tool for freelancers rolls out in Los Angeles

    Freelancing continues to gain steam in the U.S. as the price of providing healthcare and other benefits to employees remains high and companies look to contain costs. With that in mind, professional social networking site LinkedIn launched a pilot program called LinkedIn ProFinder in October to...

  • Signing of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal opens up tough battle in U.S.

    Signing of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal opens up tough battle in U.S.

    Representatives of the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations on Thursday formally signed a sweeping free-trade agreement reached last fall, setting in motion what is expected to be a hard battle for approval in national legislatures, none more contentious than in the U.S. Michael Froman,...

  • Is Amazon planning to open hundreds of bricks-and-mortar bookstores?

    Is Amazon planning to open hundreds of bricks-and-mortar bookstores?

    Is Amazon, the online retailer credited with the downfall of the U.S. bricks-and-mortar bookstore, really going to open hundreds of bricks-and-mortar bookstores? That idea took off after General Growth Properties Chief Executive Sandeep Mathrani told analysts and investors Tuesday: "You've got...

  • Wells Fargo to pay $1.2 billion over bad government-backed mortgages

    Wells Fargo to pay $1.2 billion over bad government-backed mortgages

    Wells Fargo & Co. will pay $1.2 billion to settle claims that it duped the federal government into insuring thousands of risky mortgages in the years leading up to the housing crash, the San Francisco banking giant said Wednesday.If approved by a federal judge, the settlement would close the books...

  • Stocks close higher after a late-day turnaround, helped by weaker dollar

    Stocks close higher after a late-day turnaround, helped by weaker dollar

    Stocks staged a rapid comeback in late-afternoon trading to close solidly higher Wednesday, helped by a surge in the price of oil and a decline in the U.S. dollar. Chipotle Mexican Grill fell after the company said a federal investigation into its E. coli outbreak had widened, and Yahoo sank after...

  • Shanghai Disneyland tickets go on sale in March

    Shanghai Disneyland tickets go on sale in March

    Visitors to Walt Disney Co.'s newest theme park, Shanghai Disneyland, can get a break on ticket prices by waiting to visit the resort until after the summer crowds thin out. Disney announced Wednesday that it plans to put tickets on sale March 28 for the $5.5-billion resort opening in Shanghai...

  • ChemChina offers $43 billion for Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta

    ChemChina offers $43 billion for Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta

    A Chinese state-owned chemical maker offered to buy Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta for $43 billion in what would be the biggest-ever foreign acquisition by a Chinese company. Syngenta said Wednesday that its board is recommending shareholders accept the offer from China National Chemical Corp.,...

  • YouTube moves closer to becoming a Netflix for millennials

    YouTube moves closer to becoming a Netflix for millennials

    Could it soon be time to YouTube and chill? The world’s biggest online video platform will officially crack into the paid original content business next week when it premieres the first four titles produced for its new subscription service, YouTube Red, the company said Wednesday. Included in the...

  • Hiring by U.S. businesses slows in January, but job growth still solid despite market turmoil

    Hiring by U.S. businesses slows in January, but job growth still solid despite market turmoil

    Hiring by U.S. businesses slowed in January, but private-sector job growth remained solid in a sign the labor market has been able to withstand the recent financial market turmoil, according to a report released Wednesday by payroll firm Automatic Data Processing. Private employers added 205,000...

  • Yahoo will cut 1,700 jobs as it slims down its business

    Yahoo will cut 1,700 jobs as it slims down its business

    Troubled Yahoo Inc., once again, says it has a plan to turn things around after years of sluggish growth and turmoil.But its latest strategy is less about growth and more about cutbacks — at nearly every level of the company. Yahoo will lay off 15% of its workforce. It is shutting down digital...

  • Toyota will compensate black and Asian borrowers to settle bias investigation

    Toyota will compensate black and Asian borrowers to settle bias investigation

    Toyota's financing arm will pay as much as $21.9 million to black and Asian borrowers who paid more for auto loans than whites, settling allegations of discrimination by federal regulators. Toyota Motor Credit Corp. in Torrance had been under investigation by the Department of Justice and the federal...

  • Stocks take a dive, weighed down by another drop in oil prices

    Stocks take a dive, weighed down by another drop in oil prices

    Another steep drop in the price of oil weighed on global markets Tuesday. Investors remained deeply concerned about the global economy after this week's disappointing Chinese and U.S. manufacturing data. Energy stocks fell as oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron reported their worst quarterly results...

  • Yahoo to cut 1,700 workers as company slims down

    Yahoo to cut 1,700 workers as company slims down

    Cuts, layoffs and losses were the name of the game with Yahoo Inc.’s fourth-quarter earnings. The Internet company reported $1.27 billion in revenue, up only 1.58% from the same period a year earlier. When it came to profit, Yahoo swung to a steep loss of $4.43 billion, or $4.70 a share, in the...

  • Yahoo ex-employee sues, alleging manipulation of performance reviews and gender bias

    Yahoo ex-employee sues, alleging manipulation of performance reviews and gender bias

    A former Yahoo Inc. employee is suing the Internet company, alleging that a manipulated employee-rating system, as well as gender bias, led to his illegal termination. In the lawsuit, plaintiff Gregory Anderson said he had gotten a promotion, a raise and compliments for his work before he was told...

  • Universal Studios adopts 'demand pricing' before its Harry Potter world opens

    Universal Studios adopts 'demand pricing' before its Harry Potter world opens

    Universal Studios Hollywood is putting a price tag on the demand for fun. The theme park is anticipating huge crowds for the April 7 opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you want to be one of the first to experience it, be prepared to pay more than if you want to go, say, on a slow...

  • New venture funds, new game publishers among week's L.A. tech highlights

    New venture funds, new game publishers among week's L.A. tech highlights

    AMC Networks and Lionsgate were among existing investors that put a combined total of $10 million into Next Games, a Finnish game maker, the company announced last week. Next Games has produced two mobile games: “The Walking Dead: No Man's Land,” based on the AMC show, and “Compass Point: West.”...

  • Why e-commerce fads competing with Amazon eventually fade

    Why e-commerce fads competing with Amazon eventually fade

    It's hard to name a category of start-ups that has struggled to produce big, billion-dollar exits more than e-commerce. Competing with Amazon isn't easy, it turns out, and aspiring Davids have turned to ever more novel strategies to differentiate themselves from Goliath. The problem? Like anything...

  • Alphabet is poised to be world's most valuable company

    Alphabet is poised to be world's most valuable company

    Google got a new name and now is on the brink of a new title: The tech titan looks set to be crowned the most valuable company in the world, toppling fellow Silicon Valley heavyweight Apple Inc.The Mountain View, Calif., Internet giant on Monday reported earnings for the first time under the banner...

  • Daily News parent to bid for O.C. Register, Press Enterprise

    Daily News parent to bid for O.C. Register, Press Enterprise

    Digital First Media, the owner of the Los Angeles Daily News, has indicated interest in bidding for the Orange County Register and other assets of bankrupt publishing company Freedom Communications. That move could set up a three-way bidding war for the Register among Digital First, Freedom Communications...

  • Mattel reports gains in fourth quarter, helped by Barbie

    Mattel reports gains in fourth quarter, helped by Barbie

    Mattel Inc. might finally be seeing a turnaround as it reported higher profit and revenue in the fourth quarter, helped by increased sales for Barbie and several other key brands. "Overall, we're very encouraged," said Mattel Chief Executive Christopher Sinclair in a conference call with analysts...

  • CDC declares Chipotle E. coli outbreak over, rallying chain's stock

    CDC declares Chipotle E. coli outbreak over, rallying chain's stock

    The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said two E. coli outbreaks tied to the Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. appear to be over, rallying shares of the beleaguered company. In an update on its website, the CDC said it was closing its investigation, though it was unable to determine...

  • How to write a petition to remove homeowner association directors

    Question: Owners at our homeowner association are frustrated. For three years, we've been trying to recall our five-director board, fire the management company and obtain a forensic audit. The board's attorney and management either ignore our petitions or invalidate them. Directors laugh, "You...

  • Grocer is on a natural growth path

    Grocer is on a natural growth path

    By Ronald D. White The gig: Tony Antoci, 40, is president and chief executive of Erewhon, the Southern California natural foods grocery mini-chain that traces its roots to a tiny Boston market founded in 1967. A Los Angeles branch opened in 1968. Erewhon was a pioneer in the natural foods business...

  • A minimalist marvel in Venice

    A minimalist marvel in Venice

    This two-story contemporary with a minimalist design stands out from the crowd in Venice with block-pattern façade, walls of glass and a floating steel-and-walnut staircase. A steel bridge extends off the main house, crossing over an inner courtyard to a secondary master suite/guesthouse. A rooftop...

  • Three firms competing for control of Catalina's freight

    Three firms competing for control of Catalina's freight

    For more than a year, a crucial question has gone unanswered on Santa Catalina Island: Who will control the freight service that brings bottled water, groceries and other essentials from the mainland, 26 miles away? Three companies are vying for the business — a vital necessity for residents and...

  • Time's running out to sign up for Obamacare

    Time's running out to sign up for Obamacare

    With the deadline approaching to get health coverage through the Affordable Care Act this year, federal and state officials across the country, including President Obama, are making a final push to get people to sign up. The deadline to select a health plan is Sunday. Americans who don't have coverage...

  • Obama moves to close gender wage gap

    Obama moves to close gender wage gap

    The first bill President Obama signed after taking office in 2009 was designed to help close the pay gap between men and women.But saying progress has been slow, Obama announced a new plan Friday to try to ensure that women earn the same as men for doing the same job.The proposal, which doesn't...

  • Facebook moves to ban private gun sales

    Facebook moves to ban private gun sales

    Facebook will ban the private sale of guns on its social network as well as on Instagram, the company said Friday. The move comes as the White House has increased pressure on the company to address the popular use of its platforms to promote and advertise firearms for sale, often as a way to evade...

  • Stocks close higher after a tech surge, but they're down for the month

    Stocks close higher after a tech surge, but they're down for the month

    Stocks soared on January’s last trading day, with Microsoft, Visa and other tech stocks making the biggest gains in a broad market rally. Indexes rose throughout the day and finished with their biggest gains in about five months. Asian stocks jumped after the Bank of Japan moved to stimulate the...

  • IBM's CEO writes a new chapter on how to turn failure into wealth

    IBM's CEO writes a new chapter on how to turn failure into wealth

    "Ginni Rometty! You've led IBM to 15 straight quarters of declining revenue! Your profit was down 15% last year! Your stock price has plummeted by 36% from its peak! What are you going to do next?" "I'm going to the bank, to deposit my $4.5-million bonus!" For IBM shareholders, Ginni Rometty's...

  • Amazon's stock dives, but it's because of a 'good problem'

    Amazon's stock dives, but it's because of a 'good problem'

    For a stock that sank 14% in after-hours trading Thursday, analysts aren’t feeling too bad about Amazon.com Inc.The e-commerce giant’s stock took a hit after it wasn’t able to match investor expectations in the fourth quarter.Despite the Seattle company’s profit more than doubling to $482 million,...

  • U.S. economic growth slows to 0.7% at the end of last year

    U.S. economic growth slows to 0.7% at the end of last year

    The U.S. economy slowed sharply at the end of last year, expanding at an anemic 0.7% annual pace as business investment and exports fell, the Commerce Department said Friday. Growth in the October-through-December period was weaker than the 0.9% figure analysts had forecast and could raise new...

  • Today's the first day to form crowdfunding stock exchanges for the masses

    Today's the first day to form crowdfunding stock exchanges for the masses

    For companies that want to match start-ups with small-time investors, today is the first day to ask for permission from federal regulators -- and one local firm wants to be at the front of the line. Santa Monica's StartEngine plans to announce this morning that it has applied to the Securities...

  • SpaceX's hyperloop student contest brings out many big benefactors

    SpaceX's hyperloop student contest brings out many big benefactors

    Elon Musk is bringing together more than 1,000 college and high school students this weekend to showcase passenger-compartment designs for a hyperloop high-speed transit system. Two Los Angeles start-ups are already developing hyperloops, starting with test track construction in the Central Valley...

  • Apartment builders woo the wealthy with over-the-top services

    Apartment builders woo the wealthy with over-the-top services

    During the height of last decade's housing boom in Los Angeles, developers drew up plans to place luxury condos on top of hotels. The pitch was not only the posh digs, but the hotel services wealthy owners would enjoy without having to leave the comforts of their living room. Now, some developers...

  • Facebook Mobile, 0 to 100 real quick

    Facebook Mobile, 0 to 100 real quick

    Four years ago Facebook Inc.'s mobile advertising strategy amounted to this: nothing.Today, smartphones and tablets generate an astounding 80% of the company's advertising revenue. That equaled $4.5 billion in the fourth quarter.The speed in which the world's largest social network has come to...

  • California solar owners face new fees, utilities say costs should be higher

    California solar owners face new fees, utilities say costs should be higher

    California utility regulators narrowly passed new rules that will increase costs for owners of rooftop solar systems, part of a broad reshaping of the state's energy future.The California Public Utilities Commission, on a 3-2 vote Thursday, stopped short of the even higher charges that the state's...

  • Barbie breaks the mold with ethnically diverse dolls

    Barbie breaks the mold with ethnically diverse dolls

    When Barbie was introduced to her young fans 57 years ago, she was more than a blond bombshell.She was an astronaut, a doctor, a business executive — what every little girl in America could aspire to be.But somewhere along the way, moms began to think that her impossibly thin body, out-of-proportion...

  • Amazon shares fall 14% as profit falls short

    Amazon shares fall 14% as profit falls short

    Amazon.com Inc. shares tumbled in aftermarket trading after the e-commerce company said its profit more than doubled, but still fell well short of analyst expectations. Amazon's strategy has long been to invest most of the money it makes back into its businesses, particularly by expanding offerings...

  • Stocks close higher, lifted by energy and technology companies

    Stocks close higher, lifted by energy and technology companies

    U.S. stocks rose Thursday as the price of oil climbed for the third day in a row while key oil-producing nations discussed cuts in production. Tech and consumer stocks traded higher, led by Amazon and PayPal, while drugmakers fell. Facebook made its biggest leap in 2½ years after it said its profit...

  • FCC says pay TV providers and radio stations must put political ad spending information online

    FCC says pay TV providers and radio stations must put political ad spending information online

    Federal regulators on Thursday voted to give the public easier access to data about advertising spending by presidential candidates and other political campaigns, requiring pay-TV providers and radio stations to post the information on an Internet database. The 5-0 vote by the Federal Communications...

  • How Barbie has transformed over the years

    How Barbie has transformed over the years

    Barbie has changed a lot in the last 57 years. From her initial curly bangs hairdo to the variety of hair colors, eye colors and body types announced Thursday, the doll's style has adjusted to the times -- and the pressure to stay relevant as children turn more to technology for fun.  Here's a...

  • Blizzard's Heroes of the Dorm collegiate video game tournament returns with more ESPN2 coverage

    Blizzard's Heroes of the Dorm collegiate video game tournament returns with more ESPN2 coverage

    ESPN2 plans to broadcast the final stages of a collegiate video game tournament for the second straight year, a symbolic endorsement of increasing interest in e-sports events. The announcement came Thursday from Irvine-based video game developer Blizzard Entertainment, whose five-on-five online...

  • Snowboarder Shaun White buys a minority stake in Mammoth Resorts

    Snowboarder Shaun White buys a minority stake in Mammoth Resorts

    "The Flying Tomato" has gone from carving the slopes to owning them. Olympic gold medal snowboarder Shaun White has taken a minority stake in the company that runs Mammoth Mountain and recently spent $38 million to buy Snow Summit and Bear Mountain, the Southern California resorts where he perfected...

  • Snapchat-focused marketing company Naritiv raises $3 million

    Snapchat-focused marketing company Naritiv raises $3 million

    Marketing company Naritiv announced Thursday a $3-million investment from venture capitalists to grow a team that helps advertisers turn popular Snapchat users into temporary salespeople. Years ago, media companies including Fullscreen and Maker Studios began doing the same, linking advertisers...

  • Fed holds interest rate steady and keeps a wary eye on the economy and markets

    Fed holds interest rate steady and keeps a wary eye on the economy and markets

    Federal Reserve policymakers on Wednesday said that U.S. economic growth slowed late last year and that they were “closely monitoring global economic and financial developments” amid recent stock market turmoil.As expected, Fed officials held their benchmark short-term interest rate steady at between...

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  • Small business SOS: Majority of small business owners want help tracking metrics (Infographic)

    The majority of small business owners want help tracking metrics and admit they don't measure and track as often as they should, according to a Staples survey. Learn more about what business owners said about tracking metrics and how a new app can help grow your business in the below infographic....

  • Top 5 business strategies for 2016

    Continuity planning used be something only companies in highly regulated industries were required to do, but today it's considered a standard for all businesses, regardless of size or reach. It answers the question, "What if…?" and can easily spell the difference between the continued operation...

  • 6 tips to help your small company get back to business in the New Year

    6 tips to help your small company get back to business in the New Year

    The decorations are down and stored away, the holiday rush is over and it’s time for small businesses to get back to doing business as usual. Many small businesses find they have the time and the inspiration to get their shops in order at the beginning of the first quarter — a task that can set...

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