By Elvia Limón
Hello, it’s Monday, Feb. 14. Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you like it or not, today couples everywhere will celebrate love. If you’re in the mood for a heartwarming read, we’ve curated 14 of our favorite stories from L.A. Affairs, the reader-generated column dedicated to the ups and downs of the search for love. The love stories range from finding a sixth-grade crush on Tinder to getting back together 35 years after a breakup.
If you would much rather forget Valentine’s Day, just remember that all of that candy will go on sale after today. I’ll see you all at the grocery store on Tuesday!
Now on to the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
The Rams beat the Bengals to win the Super Bowl
On Sunday in Super Bowl LVI, the Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 and hip-hop dominated the halftime show at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
The Rams will savor this championship run, which now establishes the Rams as a force in a Los Angeles sports landscape that includes the Lakers and Dodgers, franchises that have won multiple titles and are embedded in local sports fans’ psyche. In a thrilling comeback victory, the star-studded Rams won their first Super Bowl title in L.A. — six years after returning from St. Louis.
During an equally star-filled halftime show, Dr. Dre took over the field alongside Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar for a nearly 14-minute spectacle that included some of the biggest rap hits of the last 30 years. 50 Cent, who hadn’t been announced in advance, also showed up to do his indelible “In Da Club,” which Dre co-produced.
More from the Super Bowl
- Since 2015, a Virginia-based nonprofit organization has been handling the losing team’s Super Bowl swag. They send the merchandise overseas in collaboration with nonprofits that distribute it to people who could use free clothes.
- Sunday’s Super Bowl might have set the record for the hottest ever played. Was that due to climate change?
- Country superstar Mickey Guyton performed the national anthem, and there was more than one reason viewers tuned into her powerful take.
- Why Larry David’s and LeBron James’ Super Bowl ads are the tip of Hollywood’s crypto iceberg.
- Los Angeles landscape designer Mia Lehrer is working to peel back the city’s concrete. Her latest project brings parkland to SoFi Stadium, writes columnist Carolina A. Miranda.
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With Biden’s agenda hanging by a thread, Democrats question their leaders’ strategy
For all the ire directed by liberal activists at two moderate senators who in recent weeks scuttled President Biden’s most ambitious plans, Democratic members of Congress increasingly cast blame on another duo for the failures, raising questions about whether the party can resurrect the centerpiece of its agenda.
Some frustrated Democrats say strategic blunders by Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain were largely to blame for Biden failing to win passage of a massive social spending and climate plan. The men too frequently sought to appease progressives and their allied groups while antagonizing the moderates needed to pass the legislation, known as Build Back Better, they say.
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Kern County sheriff’s recruitment video appeals to L.A. deputies opposed to vaccine mandate
Kern County officials last week posted a recruitment video on social media urging Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies who are opposed to vaccine mandates to apply for positions with their neighbor to the north.
The video was posted a day after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors moved to remove from Sheriff Alex Villanueva enforcement responsibilities for COVID-19 vaccination. Villanueva has repeatedly said he will not fire deputies who refuse to get vaccinated. The video, which was posted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, begins with a screen shot of an article about the board’s motion.
“We’ve seen the headlines,” the text says. “Drive north, we have a place for you. Kern County is built on our strong values and tradition. Kern County is a community that backs the blue.”
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Will Suge Knight’s attorney follow the rap mogul to prison?
In his own words, Matthew Fletcher is a “f— gang motherf— lawyer.” The defense attorney’s crass self-assessment was captured on tape a few years ago while L.A. County sheriff’s investigators eavesdropped on one of his conversations.
It was typical bravado for a man who often speaks with rapid-fire profanity and can easily rattle off the turf boundaries of Compton’s street gangs. The persona has endeared him to clients, while aggravating prosecutors and detectives.
That line has blurred completely in a Los Angeles courtroom where for the last two months Fletcher has defended himself against charges he conspired to bribe witnesses to lie on behalf of gangsta rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight, whom Fletcher represented in a murder case.
Flirting, romance, love — and ghosting. L.A. daters share their stories
Ghosting is the practice of ending a personal relationship with somebody by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication. It has become so common that Merriam-Webster added a definition in 2017. Since Valentine’s Day isn’t just for happy couples, The Times’ Madalyn Amato asked Angelenos and Jo Portia Mayari, a conscious-sex and relationship coach, to tell us about this common but painful phenomenon.
Among the Angelenos who submitted their stories is a Silver Lake resident who was ghosted by someone only to see them at work and someone from North Hollywood who ghosted someone after mixing up two profiles on a dating app.
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OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND
How we got to peak avocado: Super Bowls to Mexico’s drug cartels. Humans have been eating avocados on this continent for some 10,000 years or possibly longer. The history of the annual NFL championship game as a cultural event is firmly entwined with the rise of guacamole in mainstream U.S. culture. It’s remarkable how far the fruit has truly come.
‘Here to grow the game’: Why North American hockey players are competing for China. The Chinese men’s hockey team made its Winter Olympic debut in Beijing last week. The roster featured minor-league talent gleaned from throughout North America — players with some Chinese ancestry or who were willing to live in the country for several years.
They want you to remember Black Boyle Heights: ‘We were there.’ The Black population in the neighborhood began to take off in the early 20th century, as California became a landing point for those fleeing the Jim Crow South. Today there aren’t many Black Boyle Heights residents left, just 1% of the population.
Landlords are finding ways to evict tenants after getting federal rental aid. Some tenants who received help are finding themselves threatened with eviction again — sometimes days after getting federal help. Many are finding it nearly impossible to find another affordable place.
A climate crisis and systemic inequities drive a push to reform California water laws. A group of prominent legal experts has presented a blueprint for updating California’s system of water laws to fix long-standing weaknesses and adapt to the worsening effects of climate change.
San Diego water prices are driven up by falling demand and costly projects, a report says. As a result of selling less water, the water authority has had to hike rates to cover its annual expenses — nearly 90% of which are fixed costs, including payments on $21 billion in debt, according to the report.
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The U.S. suspends Mexican avocado imports on the eve of the Super Bowl. The U.S. government suspended all imports of Mexican avocados “until further notice” after a U.S. plant safety inspector in Mexico received a threatening message, Mexico’s Agriculture Department said in a statement.
From campus to Congress, colleges are urged to end their legacy boost. A bill in Congress by Democrats would outlaw preferences for children of alumni or donors at colleges that receive federal money. It’s being pushed by the party’s progressive wing but has gained support from some conservative activists.
France’s Macron is not a candidate yet but he is campaigning for reelection. He said last month that he has “the desire” to run for a second term, but he wanted to wait for the COVID-19 situation to improve before making a decision. The deadline to formally declare candidacy is March 4.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
‘Love Is Blind’ casting came under fire. Its creator says it doesn’t ‘stack the deck.’ The Times spoke with creator and executive producer Chris Coelen — head of L.A.-based Kinetic Content, which is also behind Lifetime’s “Married at First Sight” — about the sensation caused by the first season, criticism of the series’ casting choices and more.
‘Death on the Nile’ vs. ‘Marry Me’: Murder tops romance at Valentine’s Day box office. The murder mystery “Death on the Nile” from 20th Century Studios slayed its competition at the Valentine’s Day box office, grossing an estimated $12.8 million in its opening weekend
How ‘Bel-Air’ changes nine beloved ‘Fresh Prince’ characters from the original. A fit Uncle Phil? A villainous Carlton? We outline the new take on each beloved character, with insight from the cast about playing their roles.
IBM emails show that millennial workers were favored over ‘Dinobabies.’ The communications show “highly incriminating animus” against older employees by officials who at the time were in the company’s “highest ranks,” according to a court filing in an age discrimination case against the company.
Gen Z is ready to break up with Tinder, and these new dating apps are here for the rebound. Snack, an app that bills itself as “TikTok meets Tinder,” is one of a handful of innovative dating apps that are trying to capture the attention of Gen Z. Schmooze, another dating app wooing Gen Z, is also organized around memes.
How an NBC reality show helped launch bobsledder Josh Williamson’s Olympic career. Five years after winning the first season of “Next Olympic Hopeful,” Josh Williamson made good on the NBC show’s catchy name by making the U.S. bobsled team.
A foot injury sidelines Clippers’ Norman Powell indefinitely. The Clippers released a statement saying that Powell fractured the medial sesamoid bone and there is no timetable for his return. The dynamic two-way veteran joined the Clippers along with forward Robert Covington after a Feb. 4 trade with the Portland Trail Blazers.
LeBron James breaks the NBA’s combined points record in Lakers loss to Warriors. James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most combined points between the regular season and the playoffs.
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Impeach the L.A. County sheriff? Too little, too late. With L.A. County’s sheriff election less than four months away, several groups are calling for a measure to allow the sheriff to be impeached — a move far too late to deal with the current sheriff and probably insufficient to fix the underlying problem.
Fix the biggest flaw with California’s recall or next time a loser could win. Fixing this flaw should be the singular focus of any proposal lawmakers put on the ballot to change the recall system.
ONLY IN L.A.
Can’t think of a Valentine’s Day message to write to your sweetheart? Looking for the perfect note for your BFF? Allow us to play Cupid for you. Spread the love with these L.A.-inspired cards designed and written by the Los Angeles Times staff and readers, or submit your own.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Forty-six years ago this month, actor Sal Mineo was stabbed to death after parking his Chevette in the carport of a West Hollywood apartment building. Mineo appeared in 1955’s “Rebel Without a Cause” with James Dean, Natalie Wood and Nick Adams.
His killer, 19-year-old pizza deliveryman Lionel Ray Williams, was convicted of second-degree murder, as well as 10 robberies in the neighborhood, and sentenced to 51 years in prison.
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