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LAT writer Sandy Banks laments the two South LA Starbucks closing, stating that it means something different to these communities. "I can't fault Starbucks for shutting down 'underperforming' stores in the face of falling profits and a faltering economy. And it's hard to lament the demise of the $4 latte in communities where most residents struggle to pay rent, buy groceries and gas up aging automobiles. But Starbucks is about more than a cup of coffee in many neighborhoods. That block-letter logo on a strip mall marquee can be considered a public stamp of approval, a symbol of hope, a suggestion of brewing economic vitality. That's why a new Starbucks in the inner city tends to produce the kind of excitement that suburban neighborhoods reserve for the debut of a Bloomingdale's." [LAT]