The Great Refinery Shutdown Marks the Beginning of Spring in Southern California

Charlie Neuman/U-T San Diego/ZUMA

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The wildflowers are blooming and the swallows are returning to Capistrano, but spring isn’t truly here in Southern California until our refineries all mysteriously shut down at the same time:

The price of gas in Southern California has climbed rapidly over the last few weeks as oil refineries across the state experience maintenance problems. The average pump price for regular gas in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area stood at $3.946 on Wednesday, up about 22 cents from a week ago and 70 cents, or 17%, from a month ago, according to the American Automobile Assn.

It’s good to see that some traditions are still observed.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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