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North Korean Role in Hack Presents Quandary for U.S.

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - December 18, 2014 - 1:58am
U.S. officials’ conclusion that Pyongyang was behind the hacking attack on Sony Pictures has raised the difficult question of how Washington should respond to an aggressive act by a foreign government.

2 teens arrested in Oxnard

Ventura County Star - Local News - December 18, 2014 - 12:37am

Two teens were arrested Wednesday in Oxnard in connection with firearms-related offenses, authorities said.

Police said the arrested occurred when offers from the special enforcement unit were conducting enhanced enforcement due to a recent spate of violence.

Officers said they located a 17-year-old male about 5:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of East First Street and found a loaded firearm near the teen, who police said was a known gang member. Officers suspected the firearm belonged to the teen and he was arrested, authorities said.

Officers said they contacted another 17-year-old male they said was a gang member at 6 p.m. in the 500 block of North McKinley Avenue. Officers searched the teen, as allowed under his probation terms, and found him in possession of a loaded firearm, authorities said. He also was arrested.

The Oxnard Police Department said it would provide enhanced enforcement in the city for the next several weeks.

2 teens arrested in Oxnard

Ventura County Star Top Stories - December 17, 2014 - 10:51pm

Two teens were arrested Wednesday in Oxnard in connection with firearms-related offenses, authorities said.

Police said the arrested occurred when offers from the special enforcement unit were conducting enhanced enforcement due to a recent spate of violence.

Officers said they located a 17-year-old male about 5:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of East First Street and found a loaded firearm near the teen, who police said was a known gang member. Officers suspected the firearm belonged to the teen and he was arrested, authorities said.

Officers said they contacted another 17-year-old male they said was a gang member at 6 p.m. in the 500 block of North McKinley Avenue. Officers searched the teen, as allowed under his probation terms, and found him in possession of a loaded firearm, authorities said. He also was arrested.

The Oxnard Police Department said it would provide enhanced enforcement in the city for the next several weeks.

U.S. Executions, Death Sentences Reach Multiyear Lows

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - December 17, 2014 - 9:36pm
The use of the death penalty in the U.S. is dwindling, with the number of executions and death sentences reaching multiyear lows in 2014.

States in Parched Southwest Take Steps to Bolster Lake Mead

New York Times - California News - December 17, 2014 - 9:00pm
Arizona, California and Nevada signed an agreement calling for conservation and other efforts to forestall further drops in Lake Mead, the water source for much of the region.

If It Flutters or Buzzes, Surely It’s Art

New York Times - California News - December 17, 2014 - 9:00pm
Tiles in decorative bug patterns by Timorous Beasties.

How the Sony Corporation Hack Revived the Lost Art of the Phone Call

New York Times - California News - December 17, 2014 - 9:00pm
Sony’s devastating hack, as well as cyberattacks on big companies like Home Depot and JPMorgan Chase, earn 2014’s tech moniker.

U.S.-Cuba Deal Welcomed in Latin America

Wall Street Journal U.S. News - December 17, 2014 - 8:33pm
President Barack Obama’s move to end an unpopular Cold War policy toward Cuba received an embrace across Latin America.

Man found guilty in 2012 assault case

Ventura County Star - Local News - December 17, 2014 - 7:53pm

A Santa Paula man has been found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon in a 2012 case, officials said Wednesday.

A Ventura County jury last week found German Renteria, 24, guilty of an Aug. 23, 2012, incident involving a firearm, a conviction that included a special gang enhancement, Santa Paula police reported.

Renteria is a documented gang member and was found to have committed the assault for the benefit of the gang, authorities said. He failed to appear in court when ordered by the judge to appear midway through his trial and a bench warrant was issued, officials said. Renteria was still missing when the verdict was announced Friday, police said.

Renteria was found and arrested in Camarillo with the help of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, authorities said. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January and could face up to 19 years in state prison, authorities said.

Pioneering Thousand Oaks physician dies

Ventura County Star - Local News - December 17, 2014 - 7:27pm

Dr. Irving Schaffner, a physician who helped found Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks and later received numerous awards for his volunteer work in Africa, died Sunday after a long illness.

Schaffner was 84 years and had lived in Oakhurst, a small community south of Yosemite National Park, for the past five years. He’ll be buried in the community in a private ceremony Friday, his daughter said.

Born in Chicago in 1930, Schaffner came from humble beginnings, his daughter, Rivka Ann Schaffner, said this week from her Oakhurst home.

One of seven children, he worked as a boy alongside his father, Samuel, at the family’s laundry shop after his father lost a clothing manufacturing business during the Great Depression.

He went on to graduate at the top of his class in medical school in 1956, his daughter said.

He moved in 1958 to Thousand Oaks, where he worked as a general practitioner for nearly 40 years.

He not only was a doctor to numerous celebrities, including Burl Ives, Elvis Presley, Mickey Rooney and Buddy Hackett, but he also tended to the poor and destitute, his daughter said.

“He was a very generous man who was loved by many,” she said.

He also was a doctor to the employees at Jungleland in the 1960s. The wild animal and amusement park in Thousand Oaks was home to many exotic animals that were used in films.

“It seemed like every other day, my father was sewing up the lion tamer,” his daughter said.

Despite being a doctor to the stars, his daughter said, he never forgot his origins.

“He treated everyone, whether they had money or not,” she said.

She remembers some of his patients coming to the family’s home with medical emergencies.

There were times “where my dad would perform emergency surgery on our kitchen table and would have us kids assist him,” she said.

“Everywhere I went, people would tell me how much they loved my dad.”

In addition to caring deeply for people, he was a fiercely independent man, caring little for convention or what others thought, she said.

His interests in medicine were far-ranging. They included research into longevity and tropical medicine as well as natural medicine, she said.

He eventually traveled to Africa, where he worked as a traveling doctor in villages and war-torn countries. He delivered countless babies, helped build medical clinics, donated suitcases full of medical instruments and medicine, and received numerous awards.

He received the President’s Award for Outstanding Accomplishment from his alma mater, the Chicago Medical School, in October 1998. He also received other awards, including the Humanitarian of Conejo Valley Award from the city of Thousand Oaks.

He helped start Thousand Oaks’ first hospital, the Conejo Valley Community Hospital. He and seven other doctors later worked to open Los Robles Regional Hospital, where he worked until he retired, his daughter said.

“My dad had an immense amount of energy,” she said. “If the light in his office was on, you knew he would see you, even at 2 or 3 in the morning.

“It seemed as though he spent almost every working hour being a doctor.”

In addition to medicine, he loved to collect art, write poetry and listen to music. His love of music was so great that he bought what was then radio station KNJO Thousand Oaks “so he could play music he liked,” she said. The music would be broadcast into all 18 rooms of a medical building “while he worked into the wee hours of the night,” she said. He also used the radio station for public service announcements on cancer, heart disease, blindness, tuberculosis and other diseases.

Even after his retirement in 2009, he could be found giving free medical advice to patients who called him.

His younger brother, Fred Schaffner, who worked as a gynecologist and obstetrician in Thousand Oaks for many years, said his brother “was a very caring man.”

“He was very generous of his time and very giving to his patients,” Fred Schaffner said.

Pioneering Thousand Oaks physician dies

Ventura County Star Top Stories - December 17, 2014 - 7:27pm

Dr. Irving Schaffner, a physician who helped found Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks and later received numerous awards for his volunteer work in Africa, died Sunday after a long illness.

Schaffner was 84 years and had lived in Oakhurst, a small community south of Yosemite National Park, for the past five years. He’ll be buried in the community in a private ceremony Friday, his daughter said.

Born in Chicago in 1930, Schaffner came from humble beginnings, his daughter, Rivka Ann Schaffner, said this week from her Oakhurst home.

One of seven children, he worked as a boy alongside his father, Samuel, at the family’s laundry shop after his father lost a clothing manufacturing business during the Great Depression.

He went on to graduate at the top of his class in medical school in 1956, his daughter said.

He moved in 1958 to Thousand Oaks, where he worked as a general practitioner for nearly 40 years.

He not only was a doctor to numerous celebrities, including Burl Ives, Elvis Presley, Mickey Rooney and Buddy Hackett, but he also tended to the poor and destitute, his daughter said.

“He was a very generous man who was loved by many,” she said.

He also was a doctor to the employees at Jungleland in the 1960s. The wild animal and amusement park in Thousand Oaks was home to many exotic animals that were used in films.

“It seemed like every other day, my father was sewing up the lion tamer,” his daughter said.

Despite being a doctor to the stars, his daughter said, he never forgot his origins.

“He treated everyone, whether they had money or not,” she said.

She remembers some of his patients coming to the family’s home with medical emergencies.

There were times “where my dad would perform emergency surgery on our kitchen table and would have us kids assist him,” she said.

“Everywhere I went, people would tell me how much they loved my dad.”

In addition to caring deeply for people, he was a fiercely independent man, caring little for convention or what others thought, she said.

His interests in medicine were far-ranging. They included research into longevity and tropical medicine as well as natural medicine, she said.

He eventually traveled to Africa, where he worked as a traveling doctor in villages and war-torn countries. He delivered countless babies, helped build medical clinics, donated suitcases full of medical instruments and medicine, and received numerous awards.

He received the President’s Award for Outstanding Accomplishment from his alma mater, the Chicago Medical School, in October 1998. He also received other awards, including the Humanitarian of Conejo Valley Award from the city of Thousand Oaks.

He helped start Thousand Oaks’ first hospital, the Conejo Valley Community Hospital. He and seven other doctors later worked to open Los Robles Regional Hospital, where he worked until he retired, his daughter said.

“My dad had an immense amount of energy,” she said. “If the light in his office was on, you knew he would see you, even at 2 or 3 in the morning.

“It seemed as though he spent almost every working hour being a doctor.”

In addition to medicine, he loved to collect art, write poetry and listen to music. His love of music was so great that he bought what was then radio station KNJO Thousand Oaks “so he could play music he liked,” she said. The music would be broadcast into all 18 rooms of a medical building “while he worked into the wee hours of the night,” she said. He also used the radio station for public service announcements on cancer, heart disease, blindness, tuberculosis and other diseases.

Even after his retirement in 2009, he could be found giving free medical advice to patients who called him.

His younger brother, Fred Schaffner, who worked as a gynecologist and obstetrician in Thousand Oaks for many years, said his brother “was a very caring man.”

“He was very generous of his time and very giving to his patients,” Fred Schaffner said.

Your Home on a Coffee Table

NY Times Books - December 17, 2014 - 3:46pm
A recent venture publishes elegant books about private houses as gifts for family and friends.






Books of The Times: ‘The David Foster Wallace Reader,’ a Compilation

NY Times Books - December 17, 2014 - 1:31pm
In “The David Foster Wallace Reader,” a blend of fiction, magazine articles, essays and guides for his students, logorrhea emerges as a stealth virtue.






Children’s Books: Dave Eggers Illustrates Stories by Elementary Schoolers

NY Times Books - December 17, 2014 - 9:06am
Dave Eggers illustrates a collection of stories written by members of a Detroit charter school’s writing club.






Gil Marks, Historian of Jewish Food and Culture, Dies at 62

NY Times Books - December 16, 2014 - 9:00pm
Mr. Marks wrote five books that chronicled kosher menus through the centuries and examined the role of food in the establishment and growth of cultural traditions.






Norman Bridwell, Creator of ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ Books, Dies at 86

NY Times Books - December 16, 2014 - 5:27pm
Mr. Bridwell’s “Clifford” books, about a dog as big as a house, became an international favorite for parents to read aloud to their children.






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