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Swift opens center at country hall of fame

Taylor Swift presents a guitar for display to Kyle Young, of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, on Saturday. (Associated Press)
Taylor Swift presents a guitar for display to Kyle Young, of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, on Saturday. (Associated Press)

It might as well be Taylor Swift weekend in Music City.

The pop star opened her $4 million Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, and will accept her record sixth songwriter-artist of the year award from Nashville Songwriters Association International today.

Swift cut the ribbon on the new education center she donated to the museum as part of its expansion campaign and showed reporters and area high school students the new classroom and exhibit space before the museum opened.

“I’m really excited about this music education center and the fact that right now they have three different classes going on today,” Swift said in an interview after the ceremony. “It’s really exciting that we can be here on a day when they’re not only unveiling it, but they’re starting to actively use it.”

Romneys get OK for new mansion

The California Coastal Commission has voted to allow Mitt and Ann Romney to move forward with plans to raze their La Jolla beachfront home and replace it with an 11,000-square-foot mansion.

The Romneys, who were at home in La Jolla but did not appear at the San Diego hearing on Friday, purchased the 3,000-square-foot home in 2008 for $12 million. The lot sits above a quarter-mile-long cove that is one of the choicest beaches in La Jolla.

The city of San Diego had approved the Romneys’ plans for a two-story home, with a massive, 4,500-square-foot basement, but a former neighbor challenged the permit, claiming it did not conform with the city’s local coastal plan, which is enforced by the Coastal Commission.

Anthony Ciani, an architect who built and until last year lived in a large, three-story home across the street from the Romneys, said the couple inflated the allowable size of their home by wrongly claiming to own the sandy beachfront west of their seawall.

In a report prepared for Friday’s meeting, San Diego city staff and Coastal Commission staff rejected his claims. According to city maps, they said, the Romneys owned the beach in front of their home.

The birthday bunch

Actress Melinda Dillon is 74. Singer-musician Paul Simon is 72. Musician Robert Lamm (Chicago) is 69. Country singer Lacy J. Dalton is 67. Actor Demond Wilson is 67. Singer-musician Sammy Hagar is 66. Singer Marie Osmond is 54. Actress Kelly Preston is 51. Actor Sacha Baron Cohen is 42. Singer Ashanti is 33.


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