Regulating the digestive tract with friendly bacteria

After a bout of antibiotic therapy for a sinus infection, I have been researching the benefits of probiotics, also known as “friendly bacteria.” Although we think of probiotics as the stuff we get in yogurt or from probiotic supplements, we actually have tons of friendly bacteria living in our digestive system all the time. Just... Read more →

Book Review

‘The Wicked Wit of the West’

To historians of American comedy, the name Irving Brecher, ought to be included among the legends. At 24 Brecher was the only writer to get sole credit on Marx Brothers’ films, “At the Circus” (1939) and “Go West” (1940.) He also worked on “The Wizard of Oz,” created,“The Life of... Read more →


‘Miracle’ of a production

Surely a child abandoned in the forest and raised by wolves would not grow up to be as wild and uncontrollable as the young Helen Keller. Trapped inside a body that could neither see nor hear the world around her, and over-indulged by her helpless and bewildered parents, Helen vented her anger and frustration in tantrums and random physical... Read more →

Community Profiles

Carrying out the dream of a man he never knew

SM AIRPORT — Linda Sullivan still remembers the day when good friend Griff Hoerner came into her office and announced a plan to create a butterfly garden in Santa Monica. “The city needs a butterfly park and you’re the one who can help me do this,” Hoerner said at the time. So it was only appropriate to Sullivan to... Read more →


Asian fusion for the hip-hop generation

I was invited to try an Asian fusion restaurant the other night on Fifth Street and Santa Monica Boulevard in the old Rix/Union space named Wokcano. There are six Wokcano locations throughout L.A., serving well-priced Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Thai dishes and great cocktails. The Santa Monica location has a fantastic outdoor courtyard,... Read more →

Book Review

‘A Promise for Spring’

When I received this book I was glad to see the name Kim Vogel Sawyer. In her previous books, “Where the Heart Leads,” (reviewed April 25) and “My Heart Remembers” (reviewed Aug. 22) she wrote satisfying stories. I was looking forward to more of the same in this book. I don’t feel disappointed. It was not always... Read more →


Spring cleaning

Cleaning out the closets, organizing the desk, saying good-bye to dust bunnies and vacuuming Mollydog’s fur from the back of my wagon; phew, makes me exhausted just thinking about it. Can anyone smell spring in the air? It is the time of year where nature is renewing herself and seedlings are sprouting their very first leaves of new... Read more →


Just the food, ma’am

7:03 p.m. — We arrive at the scene, Tavern on San Vicente. It’s Friday. 7:08 p.m. — After looking at a counter of good looking take out foods and incredibly beautiful desserts, including the walnut cake, which I focused on. We walk past a very inviting bar (filled with what must have been young starlets in short skirts) into... Read more →

Community Profiles

Honoring a family tradition

WOODLAWN CEMETERY — There’s an old childhood picture of Virgil County sitting happily in his grandfather’s hearse, donning an event-appropriate attire of a bowtie and knickerbockers. It’s a photo that captures an atypical scene that was anything but for County, the grandson of a local New Orleans funeral director who... Read more →


Home is where the (healthy) heart is

I have been on the East Coast for the past week visiting friends and family who I have not seen in several years. I’ve known most of my friends over 25 years. This is difficult to believe since I feel like I’m only 25 years old. But it’s been fun to see familiar faces and talk about where all the time has gone. I met some... Read more →