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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Valley Gets Screwed Again

The City Council voted to renew the contract for the Sunshine Canyon landfill. Despite promises by Council Members and the Mayor to close the place for good. More later.

Martin Ludlow

Because you asked for it...

This is the official
Martin Ludlow Open Thread

Lets see how many posts you freeway players come up with and home many are actually, good.

Blog away dum dums.

Bob Hope Airport Parking Rates Increase

What would Bob Hope say?

The Transit Coalition reports that parking at Burbank Airport is getting more expensive. The airport has raised the price of most of their lots from a very affordable $7 to $9 and as much as $11 a day. In 2002, rates were dropped when air travel plummeted and a private lot opened up next to the airport. Last year, the airport purchased the private lot and now holding a monopoly, the first thing the airport does is jack up the price.

There are a few private spots for parking such as the Burbank Hilton which provides a shuttle, however the most convenient lots are now under airport control.

Competition was a good thing that forced the price of parking down, but its now a thing of the past, and you get to pay.

I honestly don't think the government needs to be in the parking business, but then this old, dead Republican mayor doesn't think government should own airports either. I bet that made some of you red diaper doper babies make a sissy in your pants, ehh?

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Tuesday

Yesterday we reported how folks in Sunland-Tujunga and other communities are aghast that no, not Wal-Mart, but Home Depot wants to come to town. On the other hand, East Los Angeles is pleased to welcome a national retailer to their community. Blockbuster Video is coming to East LA and tomorrow Supervisor Gloria Molina will join with local business leaders to celebrate. For more information, click here.

Los Angeles County is looking for senior citizens who wish to serve on the California Senior Legislature. The Senior Legislature meets to discuss issues of aging across California. For more information, click here.

City Controller Laura Chick will introduce the film "TAKING THE HEAT: The First Women Firefighters of New York City." at a special press screening Thursday, March 2nd at 7:30 p.m. at the INCE Theater at the Culver Studios.

The Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of Alameda County Monday announced their endorsement of Jerry Brown for Attorney General. Thomas Madigan, President of the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of Alameda County, said: “Our members recognize that Jerry Brown has been a strong supporter of public safety. Through his actions, he has demonstrated a real concern for the safety of the public and the members of our Association.”

Mayor Villaraigosa will speak at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Los Angeles Dream Dinner at the Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel, 9500 Wilshire Boulevard

Public Meetings for Tuesday

9:00 a.m.: The City Council's Education and Neighborhoods Committee will meet. Room 1060, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.

9:30 a.m.: The Police Commission will meet. Room 150, Parker Center, 150 N. Los Angeles St.

10:00 a.m.: The City Council will meet. Agenda items include a decision on whether the city will renew its contract with the operators of the Sunshine Canyon Landfill in Granada Hills. Council chamber, third floor, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.

2:00 p.m.: The City Council's Information Technology and General Services Committee will meet. Room 1010, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.

2:00 p.m.: The Planning and Land Use Management Committee will meet. Agenda items include a discussion of the evicted tenants at Lincoln Place apartment complex. Room 350, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.

Open Thread for Tuesday

For the next several open threads, we're going to highlight California's missions. First off, its our hometown mission, San Fernando Rey de Espana.

Founded September 8, 1797. The padres sought a location for another mission to relieve the long journey between San Gabriel and San Buenaventura. The most desirable spot was already claimed by Francisco Reyes, the mayor of the Los Angeles pueblo. He relinquished his claim, probably gracefully, was a patron at the formal dedication, and was godfather of the first child baptized.

Mission San Fernando was the fourth mission founded in three months as Father Lasuén hurried to close the gaps in El Camino Real. A church was completed only two months after the dedication. A ready market at Los Angeles soon had the mission producing hides, tallow, soap, cloth, and livestock; herds of the latter numbering in the thousands.

Nearness to Los Angeles produced another distinction for San Fernando. The wealthy mission became such a popular stopping place for travelers that the padres added again and again to the convento wing until the hospice became known as the famous "long building" of El Camino Real.

Unfortunately, the neophyte population tended to decrease in direct proportion to the arrival of new settlers. The time came when there were scarcely enough Indian workers to supply produce demanded by the military, nor make necessary repairs to the buildings after the earthquake of 1812. The resident padre, Father Ibarra, refused to renounce allegiance to Spain, but the Mexican government allowed him to remain, as there was none other to supervise the mission's decline. At last the good padre left of his own accord, unable to bear the hostility of the civil authorities. In 1845 Governor Pio Pico leased the mission lands to his brother Andres. The hospice became the brother's summer home. Further decline saw the church and hospice used as a warehouse and stable, while the quadrangle became a hog farm.

The fortunes of the old mission increased dramatically with public awareness of the great historical significance of the chain of California missions. San Fernando became a church again in 1923. Since then the church, the "long building", and quadrangle have been restored. The hospice and convento house an important museum, with a seminary, archives, and archdiocese headquarters on the grounds.

From California Mission History.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Fun and Fluff at the Times

Steve Hymon of your favorite fishwrap the LATimes seems to be making the transition from reporter to prankster fairly adeptly. This morning, the Times ran some impish Hymonia involving our favorite primary day race, the District 2 School Board seat formerly occupied by Jose Huizar. It was all fun and fluff.

Steve asked Huizar, then the candidates, to do an algebra problem. My own favored candidate, Chris Arellano, the frontrunner, declined to sit up and do tricks for Steve, which I think was the smartest response of all. The other candidates, anxious for a dose of media oxygen, said "gimme that variable" and had meddling degrees of success. Monica and Ana passed, in fact. Steve made them suffer the further indignity of timing them while they solved the problem.


If this were a frivolous point of a frivolous race, it would be a fun feature. Fact is, this is a race that everyone's watching, and not just because it's taking place in two of LA's hottest political laboratories, Silver Lake and the East Side. It's a race that will certainly shape the future of the District, and may even have some ramifications on who becomes the next Governor of California.

Say Antonio gets his candidate in, and the Board scampers over to report to the Mayor, pronto. Antonio can declare success without even results; he just might "answer his party's call" should they choose to oust Arnold in the fall (you think Steve Westly can beat Arnold Schwarzenegger?). Anything in Antonio's past that would indicate a willingness to break a promise and run before his term expires? He wouldn't even have to give up his Mayor's seat. There's no downside to him taking a chance, as far as I can see.

So with seven days left before the primary, and with all these other real issues going on---like assimilation into the City, and reversing the dropout rate---its seems a bit of a waste of space to start talking about the various candidates' math skills under the gun. It's a waste of space eve if you're trying to make some dishonest point, like suggesting that the candidate who's most willing to play the Times' stupid games should attract the most votes. But the Times is like that these days, much into wasting space. Watch them blow another twelve inches on Jonah Goldberg again tomorrow...

Dennis Weaver, 81

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Dennis Weaver, the gimpy, slow-witted deputy Chester Goode in the TV classic western "Gunsmoke" and the New Mexico deputy solving New York crime in "McCloud," has died, his publicist said Monday. The actor was 81.

Weaver died of complications from cancer on Feb. 24 at his home in Ridgway, in southwestern Colorado, publicist Julian Myers said.

A struggling actor in Hollywood in 1955, Weaver was earning $60 a week delivering flowers when he was offered $300 a week for a role in a new CBS television series, "Gunsmoke." He learned that another actor had turned down the same role at $400 a week. Weaver summoned his courage and asked for and got $400. By the end of his nine years with "Gunsmoke," he was earning $9,000 a week.

When Weaver first auditioned for the series, he found the character of Chester "inane." He wrote in his 2001 autobiography, "All the World's a Stage," that he said to himself: "With all my Actors Studio training, I'll correct this character by using my own experiences and drawing from myself."

The result was a well-rounded character that appealed to audiences, especially with his drawling, "Mis-ter Dil-lon."

At the end of seven hit seasons, Weaver sought other horizons. He announced his departure, but the failures of pilots for his own series caused him to return to "Gunsmoke" on a limited basis for two more years. The role brought him an Emmy in the 1958-59 season.

Otis Chandler, 78

Otis Chandler, the former publisher of the Los Angeles Times who transformed his family's provincial, conservative newspaper into a respected national media voice, died early Monday. He was 78.

Chandler had been suffering from a degenerative brain disorder known as Lewy body disease, said Tom Johnson, who succeeded Chandler as publisher.

Chandler's wife, Bettina, was with him when he died at his home in Ojai, Johnson said.

Chandler was the scion of a family that wielded financial and political power in the Los Angeles area for decades.

As publisher, he spent most of his career chafing against what he sensed was an East Coast bias against Los Angeles and fought to elevate the Times to a par with Eastern rivals.

"No publisher in America improved a paper so quickly on so grand a scale, took a paper that was marginal in qualities and brought it to excellence as Otis Chandler did," David Halberstam wrote in his 1979 book "The Powers that Be."

With his blond hair, weightlifter physique and love of surfing and hot cars, Chandler was a quintessential Californian of his generation.

He was an avid hunter as well as a collector of antique cars and motorcycles. He bagged an elephant in Mozambique, antelope in Chad, a leopard in Kenya and the four rarest species of bighorn sheep in North America. Many of his trophies were displayed at his home and at his Vintage Museum of Transportation and Wildlife in Oxnard.

Chandler resigned as the paper's publisher in 1980 following 20 years at the helm.

He remained mostly quiet about the paper's operation after he left as chairman and editor in chief in 1985. But he returned as a newsroom hero in 2000 to publicly chide the paper's management, which he blamed for an embarrassing scandal and severe cost-cutting that damaged its reputation.

Soon after, the Chandler Family Trust sold newspaper parent company Times Mirror Co. to the Tribune Co.

"I was building up a hell of a head of steam," he said in an interview in The New York Times in 2000. "The Times is not as dear to me as my own family, but it's close."

Otis Chandler was born in 1927, the son of Times publisher Norman Chandler and great-grandson of Times founder Harrison Gray Otis.

His mother was Dorothy Chandler, the philanthropist and arts patron who led a campaign in the 1950s to save the financially troubled Hollywood Bowl and a drive to build a permanent home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic - the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Chandler was groomed from an early age to take control of the family's newspaper. He worked as a printer's apprentice, reporter and in the advertising and circulation departments.

He succeeded his father as publisher in 1960 at age 33.

The paper then was considered parochial and partisan, a mouthpiece for conservative political causes.

Almost immediately, Chandler initiated changes designed to make the paper one of the country's best. He moved it toward the political center and angered conservative allies - and family members - by publishing a series of stories on the right-wing John Birch Society.

He hired more reporters, raised salaries, opened overseas bureaus and beefed up the paper's coverage of Washington.

Chandler also expanded the reach of Times Mirror, starting a news service with The Washington Post and acquiring newspapers, television stations and other media outlets.

Chandler's efforts resulted in the Times winning seven Pulitzer prizes during his tenure.

Louis D. Boccardi, retired chief executive of The Associated Press, said Chandler was "a beacon for quality journalism."

"In his determination to bring the Los Angeles Times to the front rank of the nation's newspapers, Otis Chandler came to stand for the best of what we journalists believe in," Boccardi said Monday.

While serving on the board of Times Mirror until 1998, Chandler approved the hiring of Mark Willes, a cereal company executive with no newspaper experience, to run Times Mirror in 1995 when the company was mired in sagging profits.

Chandler remained silent while Willes shuttered New York Newsday, a paper Chandler had opened, and began to collapse the walls traditionally separating the business operations of the company from the editorial side.

That policy culminated in the 1999 publication of a special Sunday magazine section on the newly opened Staples Center, the downtown sports arena.

It was later revealed that the paper split about $2 million in advertising revenue from the magazine with the arena. The deal led to widespread unrest in the newsroom and the paper later issued a front-page apology.

In 2000, disgusted with the direction the paper was headed, Chandler dictated a statement that was read aloud in the newsroom: "... I have reluctantly decided that I can no longer sit idly by and watch a very serious decline in the morale of people throughout the Times."

Chandler railed against "this unbelievably stupid and unprofessional handling of the Staples special section."

He also criticized the management for staff cuts and reductions in the size of the paper, which he said threatened its credibility.

"Respect and credibility for a newspaper is irreplaceable," Chandler wrote. "The trust and faith in a newspaper by its employees, its readers, and the community is dearer to me than life itself."

In addition to his wife, survivors include sons Harry and Michael and daughters Carolyn Chandler and Cathleen Chandler.

A memorial service is scheduled for March 6 at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Johnson said. Plans for a separate tribute were incomplete.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Young Democrats Endorse Montanez

The San Fernando Valley Young Democrats have met to endorse candidates in the coming June primaries. While most of their endorsements are predictable, most notable is the club's endorsement of 20th Senate district candidate Cindy Montanez over club founder Alex Padilla.

As well, unless there is a typo, it looks as if the club has not taken a stand in that ever controversial 38th Assembly race.

I want to thank everyone who took the time to attend our general membership meeting last night, where SFVYD made endorsements for the June '06 Primary race. Over 80 people attended the event, packed tight into Millikan Middle School's library. It was exciting to see so many young voters engaged in local politics. I want to extend a special thanks to the many candidates who took the time to come and address YD's, including Congressman Brad Sherman, Assemblymember Cindy Montañez, Mayor Abbe Land, Councilman Alex Padilla, Jonathan Levey, Jim Alger, and LACDP Chair Eric Bauman (representing Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi.)

Candidates recommended by the Executive Board needed a majority of voting members to win endorsement. After balloting, the list of candidates endorsed by SFVYD is...
Federal Office

* US Senate - Dianne Feinstein
* 24th Congressional District - Mary Pallant
* 27th Congressional District - Brad Sherman
* 28th Congressional District - Howard Berman
* 29th Congressional District - Adam Schiff

Statewide Office

* Lt. Gov: John Garamendi
* Controller: John Chiang
* State Superintendent: Jack O'Connell
* Secretary of State: Debra Bowen

Local Senate/Assembly/Senate Races:

* 20th SD: Cindy Montañez
* 37th AD: Ferial Masry
* 39th AD: Richard Alarcón
* 40th AD: Lloyd Levine
* 41st AD: Jonathan Levey
* 43rd AD: Paul Krekorian
* Sierra Madre City Council: Joe Mosca

Once again, thank you to all of the SFVYD members who came to cast their votes. Now let's translate these endorsements into feet on the ground! SFVYD will be holding two campaign events every month from now until June. Check back on the weblog and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed.

--Posted by Damian Carroll, SFVYD President

Home Depot Is Next

Pretty soon, 7-11 won't be able to open a store in Los Angeles.

Now that Wal-Mart has become completely politically incorrect, activists in Los Angeles have set their sights on Home Depot. Despite the fact that both these chains provide significant numbers of jobs, provide quality products at low prices and are significant parts of the American economy.

The Sunland-Tujunga community, managed to play the city government game, and have basically made it impossible for the Atlanta based retailer to locate in their area. Their sights are now set on blocking Home Depots in Glassell Park, Huntington Beach and Atwater Village.

In related news, though LA City officials encourage the hiring of illegal alien day laborers at Home Depots, Orange County is doing the right thing.

The Garbage Chronicles, Part VIII

Assembly candidate Jim Alger wasn't happy with how things went down in Friday's Council discussion regarding the Sunshine Canyon landfill. Judging by emails we received, Alger wasn't the only one.

The Alger campaign sent over this press release on the candidate's ownn proposal for closing Sunshine. We'll be waiting to see what they've come up with.
February 27, 2006 Granada Hills, CA - Tired of broken campaign promises by politicians on all levels, Jim Alger, Democratic Candidate for the 38th State Assembly District has announced that he will be releasing policy recommendations that will accomplish the goal of the City of Los Angeles pulling out of Sunshine Canyon Landfill in 5 years and working for ultimate closure in 10. "We stand on the eve of another broken promise" said Alger, "everyone completely expects that the City Council will renew the contract with BFI, and the Mayor will renig on his promise to veto such a City Council action." Alger has long held that Sunshine Canyon should be closed, and complained that the North Valley Coalition and other opposition groups have been cut out of discussions "Jim Alger believes that the root cause of this issue is that the right people are not at the table. When you have former BFI lobbyists working in the Department of Sanitation, staffing City Councilmembers and holding massive fundraisers for elected officials on all levels of government it is no surprise that their lucrative contract continues to be renewed regardless of what the public wants." Campaign spokesman Michael O'Connell said earlier today, "In the upcoming days Jim will release a plan that will propose some fee increases, some legislation and a complete overhaul of how we deal with our trash. It will not be designed to replace the RENEW LA plan, but it will stop RENEW LA from becoming RENEW LA's contract with Sunshine." "Last week I watched our elected leaders turn their back and ignore Wade Hunter, President of the North Valley Coalition. This man has been fighting Sunshine for decades and they ignored him. City Councilmembers find the time to meet with BFI but not with the residents, the NVC or Neighborhood Councils on this issue." Jim Alger said this morning "If they don't want to listen to the people, we are just going to have to yell louder. It starts by moving the game to our turf." "I don't need to travel around the world, or conduct studies at taxpayer expense to know that landfills in urban areas are a dumb idea. The people deserve better than this."

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Monday

The Martini Republic blog is endorsing Chris Arellano for the Los Angeles School Board seat vacated by Councilman Jose Huizar. MR credits Arellano for his persistence and concern that Arellano's opponent, Monica Garcia, represents a rubber stamp for Mayor Villaraigosa on the board.

Some streets and sidewalks around Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue will be closed beginning today as preparations for next Sunday's AcademyAwards begin. Also, over at Mayor Sam 2, we have the famous "Brokeback to the Future" trailer that is buzzing over the net.

The City Council's Budget and Finance Committee will meet to discuss a proposal to hold City
Council meetings every other week at Van Nuys City Hall.

Mayor Villaraigosa will give brief remarks and answer residents' questions at a Benedict Canyon Association meeting at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Selected articles from last week:

Hey, there's an election coming up...
Does Rocky Love Wal-Mart?
Labor Troubles Mount for the Mayor

Open Thread for Monday

On this day in 1934, Ralph Nader was born in Winsted, Connecticut. Nader would revolutionize consumer advocacy with his 1965 book, Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile, in which he lambasted the safety standards of the Big Three automotive manufacturers.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Don Knotts, 81

Friends Remember Don Knotts: Morgantown Native Leaves Behind Legacy
Story by Katherine Jones

When Don Knotts was born on July 21, 1924, no one knew he would later leave behind such a legacy. A boulevard in Morgantown carries his name for miles. Every year there's a week-long festival created to honor his success.

All of this, to acknowledge a man people came to know and love as Deputy Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show. "I'll miss him I will he's going to be missed, he's going to be missed by Morgantown," says Jack Feck, a long time friend of Knotts.

Monongalia County Commissioner, John Pyles, recalls the legend. "Don was always taking about Morgantown and the people that he knew."

Don Knotts graduated from Morgantown High School in 1942. Pyles was one of the people behind dedicating a boulevard to Knotts. As someone who knew Knotts outside of show business, Pyles calls the actor an inspiration.

"He went to Morgantown High School, he showed that someone could come up through the schools of Monongalia County and go to WVU and make it in show business," said Pyles.

Whether it's driving down Don Knotts Boulevard or catching a glimpse of Knotts in his early days of television, people will remember one of Don Knott's greatest accomplishments, becoming a man that Morgantown could come to know as our their own.

Pyles says, "He was Morgantown's favorite son."

There once was a Mayor named Tony...

I realize that most of the readers of MayorSam are insanely busy important people who just happen to get a chance to peek at the site once or twice a week in between top-level meetings in their CHE corner offices.

However...if there are any readers out there with spare minutes on their hands, they might want to enter the DowntownNews's limerick contest.
Fancy yourself a poet? Then put your rhyming to the test in the Los Angeles Downtown News Limerick Contest in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Just fill out the form on page 15 with a five-line verse and send it to us. There's just one catch: Your lucky limerick has to focus on Downtown and its people, places or things. We'll print our favorite entries in the Monday, March 13, issue, with the best earning a pot of gold. Actually, make that a $50 gift certificate to Ciudad. The deadline is 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7.

The contest in fact seems perfectly tailored to Samistas, who demonstrate their creative writing skills here hourly. Don't forget to share your best efforts with the Mayor.

I'm working on one myself. Rhyme away, dum-dums!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hey, there's an election coming up...

Election day is March 7, you know, and precinct-walking this beautiful weekend is wearing the soles of many pairs of Stacy Adams and Mary Janes mighty thin.

Here's an emerging sideshow to note: the DailyNews, not letting up, prints a congratulatory editorial this morning on BEST, the private/nonprofit funded after school program that over the past 16 years has reduced dropout rates at LAUSD schools by as much as 20%.

What's more, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's name is all over the editorial.

Earlier this week, I found the timing of the BEST report release curious. But the story has legs, and the DN is still running with it.


A few kids that maybe haven't had the program raised a ruckus at John Marshall High last night. Police helicopter, three squad cars and firetruck all at the scene to shut down the disturbance and send the 300 revellers home. The Vice Principal calls it the worst incident he's seen at the school in four years.


In the school board race, who's really got mo, tho? Christopher Arellano puts out a press release this morning, noting momentum coming his way with a little over a week left:

"Our Campaign continues to build momentum and support," the release says.

"Christopher Arellano has pledged to re-direct more resources to schools and classrooms, lower class sizes, support local decision-making at the school site, and work together with educators, parents, and other agencies to keep our kids in school."

"That’s why UTLA, Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg, LA City Council President Eric Garcetti, and a coalition of community leaders are supporting Christopher for School Board in District 2."

Win, lose, or push (push is possible March 7, even likely, as someone needs 50% in this race, otherwise there's a runoff), Arellano has run a street-smart campaign fueled by high profile endorsements, and credit goes to his own relentless energy but also to the unlikely-paired brain trust of Heather Repenning and Rafael Pizarro. Repenning, who was a delegate to the 2004 Democratic Natonal Convention, has the master consultant's special talents for listening to everything, saying precious little, and keeping the opposition guessing; Pizarro is her avuncular and jovial complement, ready for banter with everyone even as he's cleaning your clock. After this campaign, I would expect that the unassuming Ms. Repenning will be a highly-sought commodity, likely for future Cal legislature races.


Elsewhere, your moral leader Eric Garcetti delivered on something worthwhile again, his office taking a lead role in the rebuilding of the Palomar, the apartment building near Santa Monica and Western torched by its owner-arsonist in August 2001. Here's the excerpt from the press release:
Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti joined Assemblymembers
Jackie Goldberg and Dario Frommer and representatives of Hollywood
Community Housing Corporation, the state Tax Credit Allocation Committee
(TCAC) and the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA) to open the
brand-new Palomar Apartments just east of the corner of Santa Monica
Boulevard and Western Avenue on the scene of a tragic 2001 fire that
claimed two lives and injured two firefighters.

You may recall the tragic story of the Palomar, whose owner set the complex ablaze to defraud an insurance company, killing two people in the process, including his own brother. The phoenix that rises from the ashes now includes 27 apartments for low-income and physically challenged residents.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Does Rocky Love Wal-Mart?

Apparently hatred of Wal-Mart is a new litmus test for liberals, and Rocky Delagadillo may be failing in disdain towards the Bentonville, Arkansas retailer.

The folks at the Jerry Brown campaign for State Attorney General have put out the following press release showing that Rocky may be, gasp, a Wal-Mart lover!
Delgadillo is now running all over the state claiming to be the brave knight who will slay the Wal-Mart dragon. Problem is he keeps fibbing about his own Wal-Mart past. Rocky claims to be a Wal-Mart opponent, but the facts show that he was a Wal-Mart booster when he worked for Republican Mayor Richard Riordan.

In June 1998, when a Wal-Mart opened in the San Fernando Valley, Deputy Mayor Delgadillo had nothing but praise saying it was “turning Van Nuys Boulevard, we hope, into a commercial corridor we think it deserves to be.” (Los Angeles Daily News, June 10, 1998)

A 1999 evaluation of Deputy Mayor Delgadillo’s business team showed that Wal-Mart was one of the large firms assisted by Delgadillo’s office. (An Evaluation of the Los Angeles Business Team, UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education)

In October 1997, Republican Mayor Richard Riordan spoke at a Wal-Mart ground breaking. It would be hard to believe that Riordan’s Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Delgadillo was not in attendance. Rocky, did you attend? At the very least, as Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, did you stand up and tell Mayor Riordan that this was wrong direction for your city? Where are clips of you protesting the Wal-Mart ground breaking back in 1997? Maybe these photos will turn up in the next state audit.

Perhaps this is why the Delgadillo camp felt compelled to fib about Brown’s supposed attendance at a Wal-Mart opening. It’s very simple: Brown did not attend. Unless your new found opposition to Wal-Mart is nothing more than cynical grandstanding, you’ll turn over proof that you advised Mayor Riordan that the openings of new Wal-Marts were the wrong the direction for your city.


Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Friday

We reported yesterday about Stefan Erikkson who wrapped his $1 million Ferrari Enzo around a telephone pole this week. The LA Times reports its not the only thing that Erikkson has crashed, having run his video game business into the ground.

Speculation continues around the idea of Mayor Villaraigosa running for Governor, here and here. The question is, when?

At the City Council meeting this morning, a few honors will be handed out. First, Nix Check Cashing will be honored for its 40 anniversary of providing non-traditional financial services to
Southern California (watch out for those payday loans). Also, Council members Herb Wesson, Bernard Parks and Jan Perry will stage a "Salute to African American City Council Members Past and Present.''

On Saturday, the new gym at the Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Park will be dedicated. Mayor Villaraigosa and Wendy Greuel will be on hand. If you go, its at 9:30 a.m. at 14201 Huston St.

Public Meetings for Friday

8:30 a.m.: The Los Angeles City Council's Intergovernmental RelationsCommittee will meet. Room 1050, City Hall, 200

9:30 a.m.: The Board of Public Works meets. Room 350, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.

10:00 a.m.: The Harbor Commission meets. Second-floor hearing room, 425 S. Palos
Verdes St.

10:00 a.m.: The Los Angeles City Council will meet. Council chamber, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.

Open Thread for Friday

It was an historic day in radio broadcasting, as the Voice of America (VOA) signed on for the first time on this day in 1942. The worldwide, shortwave radio service, a department of the United States Government, continues to beam a variety of programming around the globe under the auspices of the United States Information Agency (USIA).

The VOA transmits from modern studios in Washington, DC and beams much of its programming via satellite to transmitters worldwide. In addition, the VOA maintains huge transmitters in the U.S. and around the world in order to provide distinctly American information, culture and entertainment, in dozens of languages, to every corner of the globe. For years, the tune, Yankee Doodle, has opened each sign-on broadcast.

More than 40 years after the VOA was launched, the USIA started Radio Marti, an immensely powerful radio transmitter tethered from a huge blimp in the Florida Keys. The controversial station broadcast to Cuba, irritating Cuban Premier Fidel Castro enough for him to jam the signals of U.S. broadcasters. The Radio Marti blimp crashed after deflating while airborne a number of years ago. The station returned to the air and has been joined by TV Marti as well.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Mayor bottlecaps some LAUSD success

With the Mayor backing Monica Garcia and the UTLA Chris Arellano, the battlelines are distinctly drawn in the LAUSD board race. Insert into the mix yesterday's speculation surrounding Ms. Goldberg (who supports Arellano).

Today, the Daily News tells you about something that's actually working in the LAUSD: an after-school program that's contributing towards decreasing the dropout rate. And the paper sends out no less than its City Hall ace, Rick Orlov, to button down the story.

This is a program that's been around sixteen years. The Mayor, who hasn't been around for sixteen months, gets to bottlecap it with a timely study to be released today:

Students in the 16-year-old program - called Los Angeles' Better Educated Students for Tomorrow, or LA's BEST - were one-fifth more likely to remain in school through 12th grade, as well as to show improved social skills and interaction with parents, according to an analysis for the National Center for Research on Evaluations, Standards and Student Testing.

"It was notable that the students who attended the after-school program for three years were far less likely to drop out of school than those who did not participate in the program," researcher Denise Huang said.


Huang's findings are scheduled to be publicly released today by Villaraigosa and billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad, who has donated $2 million this year to LA's BEST.

The attempt to conflate the success of this program with the the Mayor's office is an intriguing turn in the race.

The Garbage Chronicles, Part VII

Some of our commenters accused Assembly candidate Jim Alger of not supporting his political rival, Councilman Greig Smith's, plan for dealing with rubbish in LA.

This evening, Jim sent the following over. I guess that puts that accusation to rest.
This coming Friday, February 24th will be the LAST CHANCE for the community to make public comment on the re-signing of the current contract between BFI and Los Angeles for their residential trash.

Last Friday, City Council adopted Councilman Greig Smith's RENEW LA plan and Council President Eric Garcetti decided to name three council members to negotiate with BFI.

If for any reason, (which Bureau of Sanitation is recommending) City Council votes to adopt the Option entitled Option 1 as is - it will be impossible for Councilman Smith's plan to be implemented.

We need to support Councilman Smith's plan which will eventually phase out Sunshine, albeit slower than we would have liked and attend this meeting or write letters to Council members requesting anything but Option 1 as it is currently written.

Councilman Smith has proven that it won't necessarily cost as much as the Bureau of Sanitation is claiming. The Mayor promised he would spend as much as the City was going to pay before Waste Management pulled out. Now the difference in cost is even less. Don't let BFI bully us any longer. Granada Hills and Sylmar has suffered the environmental injustice long enough! Please speak up!

If you don't wish to go downtown, you may go to the Van Nuys City Hall building, Room 208 and read your statement requesting they don't vote for Option 1.

If you don't wish to speak, but would like to go downtown to watch (large numbers of people can never hurt in light of the Mayor's promise to us), you may call us at 818-360-4346 or write back and we'll make arrangements for car pools that are leaving at 9:15 from Van Gogh School.

Contact Information:

North Valley Coalition
11862 Balboa Blvd., Ste.#172
Granada Hills, CA 91344
e-mail: no2bfi@YAHOO.com

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Thursday

Here In Van Nuys has some great shots of overhead power lines, past and present. Blogger Andrew also has details on how other cities are working to bury power, cable TV and telephone lines underground. LA is a little behind.

An anonymous poster on Craig's List Rants and Raves defends former video game exec Stefan Erikkson for wrapping his $1 million Ferrari Enzo around a PCH telephone pole. Erikkson was reportedly going 100-120 miles an hour when he crashed and destroyed the vehicle, of which only 400 have been made. Britney Spears and Nicholas Cage are among those who own one each of the 399 remaining.

Yesterday we reported that the Engineers and Architects Association has picked up support from the powerful Teamsters' Union. Click here to see the Teamsters' letter to the EAA.

City Controller Laura Chick will address a special joint Council committee hearing, Thursday, February 23rd at 3:00 p.m. regarding her recent audits of the Recreation and Parks Department. The joint meeting of the Audits and Governmental Efficiency Committee and Arts, Health and Aging Committee will be held in City Hall in Room 1010.

We mentioned yesterday that Martha Stewart was teaming up with KB Homes to build mini McMartha mansions in LA. Today, following claims that Martha was going to "fire Donald Trump" and take over his Apprentice series, the Donald issued a very terse but funny letter to Martha. We have it here.

In other bitchiness news, one of our readers sent over a picture and wasn't very nice in what they had to say about School Board candidate Monica Garcia.

Fox is annoucing the creation of a new television network that will air two hours of programming each week. "My TV" will feature mostly reality shows and English versions of Latin telenovelas (soap operas). My TV will air on Fox owned stations that previously been UPN affiliates. UPN and the WB recently annouced they will merge as the CW network.

Thursday evening, Mayor Villaraigosa will attend the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's "Gifts in Honor of the Museum's 40th Anniversary'' event.

Public Meetings for Thursday

9:30 a.m.: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board will meet. MTA Building, 1 Gateway Plaza.

Open Thread for Thursday

Today in 1945, during the bloody Battle for Iwo Jima, U.S. Marines from the 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Division take the crest of Mount Suribachi, the island's highest peak and most strategic position, and raise the U.S. flag. Marine photographer Louis Lowery was with them and recorded the event. American soldiers fighting for control of Suribachi's slopes cheered the raising of the flag, and several hours later more Marines headed up to the crest with a larger flag. Joe Rosenthal, a photographer with the Associated Press, met them along the way and recorded the raising of the second flag along with a Marine still photographer and a motion-picture cameraman.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Labor Troubles Mount for the Mayor

A day after his brother in arms, Martin Ludlow, steps down as head of the County Fed, more potential bad news comes down the pike for Mayor Villaraigosa.

The Engineers and Architects Association, with whom the Mayor has been embroiled in an "equal pay for equal work" battle ever since DWP employees were given what was seen as an excessive raise.

The EAA has picked up some steam getting support from the powerful Teamsters' Union. This could get interesting. The EAA press release is below.

First of many unions to Join in MOU Fight

FEBRUARY 22 (Los Angeles) --- City employee union Engineers And Architects Association has received the backing of Teamsters Joint Council 42 in their fight for equal-pay-for-equal work with the City of Los Angeles Mayor and City Council.

In a letter, Teamsters president Jim Santangelo stated, “Teamsters Joint Council 42 stands firmly behind the Engineers And Architects Association and is prepared to assist you with additional letters to elected officials, attendance at press conferences or any strategic initiative you deem appropriate for this cause.” Santangelo added, “Please let your members know that the executive board and members of Teamsters Joint Council 42 are in your corner.”

EAA executive director Robert G. Aquino responded, “We are exceptionally pleased to have the Teamsters join in solidarity with the over 8000 members of EAA who have been without a contract for over 22 months,” he continued “Equal pay for the same work is a universal standard that many have fought for and that battle continues.”

EAA has announced its intention to demonstrate at the March 5, 2006 Academy Award ceremonies and the March 16, 2006 Los Angeles Marathon to further its goals for a new, equitable contract.

Jerry Brown Racks Up Another Endorsement

The San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council (SFBCTC) joined a recent wave of high profile endorsers by announcing their endorsement of Jerry Brown for Attorney General. The council made their selection after interviewing both Democratic primary candidates, Jerry Brown and Rocky Delgadillo.

Ace Smith, campaign consultant for Brown said: “It’s clear that labor organizations are recognizing Jerry Brown for the outstanding work he has done to support the rights of California workers. Rocky is now 30 points behind and getting smaller in our rear view mirror with every passing day.”

The San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council endorsement represents thousands of construction workers in twenty-eight unions such as steelworkers, bricklayers, electrical workers, teamsters, plumbers and pipe fitters. The Building Trades Council joins a recent flood of Brown endorsers including the California Police Chiefs Association, the San Francisco Young Democrats, the California Faculty Association and the Police Officers Research Association of California (PORAC).

Is it time for Rocky to pack it in?


Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Wednesday

Now that LA County Federation of Labor leader Martin Ludlow has resigned, and in fact even before he did, the jockeying (began) begins for the race to replace him. It is clear for Mayor Villaraigosa that he has significant influence, or that he needs to have significant influence in the pick. Who is Villaraigosa's pick? We hear Kent Wong from the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education. Wong is one of those super liberal professors that has my Republican brothers and sisters up in arms. To be fair, I tried to find a bio or information on Wong from the other perspective, but nothing decent. If you have something, let this old, dead Republican mayor know and I'll post it.

LA County has a new Mayor this year and a new picture. For more, click here.

Thumbnail porn may be a thing of the past for you Googlers out there. A US District Judge ruled in favor of a website that displays photos of nude women, Perfect 10, Inc., which had claimed that web searchers Google and A9 violated their copyright by showing thumbnail size images from their websites in image searches. Under the court order Google and A9 (owned by Amazon) will have to work with Perfect 10 to come up with the parameters of an injuction against the display of the photos.

Franklin Avenue is reporting that Martha Stewart is bringing her McMartha Mansions to LA. Last year, Martha teamed up with KB Homes to build and sell 650 scaled down versions of her own homes in North Carolina. Sales were so brisk that Martha and KB are going coast to coast.

Blogdowntown has a tale of the downtown ooze. When the ooze first was reported, blogger Eric Richardson had it tagged right away. We wonder if the downtown ooze is similar to the westside stench?

In light of the recent California Bar Exam, a couple of blogs (one we never heard of, another one that does a lot of observing) are going out of their way to point out the fact Mayor Villaraigosa failed the bar exam four times. Why? It probably helped his career prospects that he never became an attorney.

A new blog on the market is "Original Suburbia." This blog promises daily photos of life here in the San Fernando Valley. They've only been around a day, but we wish them well and welcome to the blogosphere.

Speaking of that observant blog, once again they prove that they just can't deal with other blogs that compete for the hearts and minds of Los Angeles. Why is it when we scoop both the LA Times and the Daily News that Martin Ludlow was on his way out, the observant blogger can't give us at least a hat tip? Of course, any chance to put my real name on his blog, he will. Like that matters. Whatever.

Somehow we missed Ed Meese's 75th birthday yesterday! No worries, GOP Vixen was on the case and declared it "Ed Meese Appreciation Day."

Public Meetings for Wednesday

The Los Angeles City Council is recessed for the day.

8:30 a.m: The City Council's Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee will meet. Room 1060, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.

9:30 a.m.: The Board of Public Works will meet. Room 350, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.

2:00 p.m.: The City Council's Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee will meet. Agenda items include funding for homeless services in the city. Room 1060, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.

3:00 p.m.: The City Council's Transportation Committee will meet. Room 1010, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.

Open Thread for Wednesday

On this day in 1732, George Washington is born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the second son from the second marriage of a colonial plantation owner. An initially loyal British subject, Washington eventually led the Continental Army in the American Revolution and became known as the “father” of the United States.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Martin Watch Continues

An annoucement of some sort or another regarding Martin Ludlow's future at the LA County Federation of Labor is expected sometime Tuesday. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Ludlow resigns, of course we were the first to tell you, six days ago.

Want to Date a City Council Member?

Some time ago, the blogosphere was abuzz with the word that Assemblyman Lloyd Levine was looking to appear on the ABC television show, The Bachelor.

While Levine never got to look for love in all the wrong places, there's another politician who is tired of being single.

Last Tuesday, which was Valentine's Day, Alex Padilla gavels open the meeting of the City Council's Education Committee with a reminder of the holiday being observed.

This led to fellow committee member, Council Member Janice Hahn (who apparently no longer has parking issues) to point that she is not in a relationship, single and tired of all the Valentine's Day hoo-haw.

The Palms-Village Sun has the blow by blow. Write George Garrigues was tempted to ask Janice for a date, but decided since she lives in the Harbor, she's a little geographically undesirable.

If you're interested in dating the Council Member, you can make your best pitch in our comments section.

Wasteful County Spending?

A little item in the Agenda for the County Board of Supervisors meeting for Tuesday has certainly caught the attention of this old, dead Republican mayor.

Item #56 states as follows:
Recommendation: Approve and authorize the Sheriff to sign agreement with the Amer-I-Can Foundation in an annual amount not to exceed $300,000, to provide Disturbance Mediation Training services in County jails for the Department's Inmate Services Unit, effective April 1, 2006, for a term of one
year, plus four one-year renewal options; and authorize the Sheriff to execute all change orders, extensions, and amendments to the agreement.
APPROVE (06-0426)
Recent stories have documented the inmate violence at County Jails that have even led to some prisoner deaths. Indeed, something has to be done. But $300,000 for "mediation services" is the answer?

Upon doing a little investigation, the Amer-I-Can Foundation is headed up by former football great and actor, Jim Brown. To be sure, Brown has an impressive record of community service helping many in the African-Amercian community to start their own businesses and making the difference in the lives of many of all colors who needed to turn themselves around. Serving on the board of Ameri-I-Can are longtime NAACP attorney (and cousin to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice) Connie Rice, daughter of musician turned radical liberal activist Harry Belafonte, Gina Belafonte, singer James Ingram, Brown and his wife, Monique.

The proposed program, according to Sheriff Department documents will put inamtes through classes that focus on things such as "tolerance," "motivation" and "goal setting." It all sounds nice, but it sounds more like a colossal waste of money at a time when the Department can least afford it. I'm surprised at my old Republican friend, Lee Baca.

Click here to read the entire supporting document for the program.

If the Sheriff wants to find a way to end the nonsense in his jails, he need only look to the efforts of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. You see, criminals don't understand things like "tolerance," "respect," "goal setting, " etc. What they do understand is hard discipline which in the end actually increases their morale. Arpaio puts his inmates on chain gangs, makes them wear pink outfits and pink underwear, took away their coffee, cigarettes, pornography and television. He gets results and is routinely re-elected with large margins.

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Tuesday

The California Faculty Association has endorsed Jerry Brown for the Democratic nomination for State Attorney General. The California Faculty Association is the largest higher education union in the nation and represents 22,000 faculty, librarians, counselors and coaches on the twenty-three campuses of the California State University system.

A secession effort of sorts is going on out on the Westside. The community of Westside Village which borders Mar Vista and Palms is seeking to have itself removed from the Mar Vista Neighborhood Council and be attached to the Palms Neighborhood Council. The Palms area has become a hotbed of activity lately as detailed in the Palms-Village Sun online newspaper.

Also in the Sun, George Garrigues remarks how Council Member Alex Padilla seemed to be lost as to where Mar Vista, Palms and Westside Village are located. Also, Council Member Janice Hahn had to be hunted down by the Sgt. at Arms when she wasn't on time for the Council meeting. With new sheriff-in-town Eric Garcetti making it crystal clear meetings will start on time, I wonder why Janice would run afoul of the clock? (See related story)

Actress Betty White was honored today by Mayor Villaraigosa and Coucilman Tom LaBonge for her years of work on behalf of animals and the Los Angeles Zoo. White was appointed as "Ambassador to the Animals." The 84 year old Emmy award winning actress is also a member of the Los Angeles Zoo Commission. White is best known for her starring roles on TV's "Golden Girls" and "Mary Tyler Moore" shows. She can also be seen in nightly reruns of the classic game show "Match Game" on cable station GSN. A plaque was placed at the zoo in honor of the occasion.

The Los Angeles Convention Center is host to the first-ever Multicultural Media Expo starting tomorrow and continuing through Thursday. The major players of ethnic media, marketing and advertising including representatives from CNN en Espanol, MTV World, TBS, SiTV, Urban Television Network, IW Group and Muse Communications, among others will be participating.

Public Meetings for Tuesday

10:00 a.m.: The Zoo Commission will meet. Grand Room, LosAngeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive.

10:00 a.m.: The City Council will meet. Agenda items include discussion of a proposed five-year contract with the operators of Sunshine Canyon Landfill and whether to establish guidelines for council presentations. Council chamber, third floor, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.

10:00 a.m.: LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education will hold a closed-session meeting to discuss existing litigation, personnel matters and labor negotiations. In open session, the board will discuss the district's policy for naming schools. Room 24-173 and board room, LAUSD headquarters, 333 S. Beaudry Ave.

1:00 p.m.: The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will meet. Agenda includes a request from the Sheriff's Department for funding to deal with disturbances at county jails (see related story) and approval of a $375,000 settlement for an inmate who was repeatedly kicked in the head by another inmate. Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple St.

1:30 p.m.: The Airport Commission will meet. Agenda items include consideration of purchasing 43 natural gas fuel trucks from Reynolds Buick GMC, in addition to six minivans and 12 sedans from South Bay Ford for use at Los Angeles, Palmdale and Ontario airports. Board Room, Administration Building, LAX, #1 World Way.

3:00 p.m.: The Los Angeles Fire Commission will meet. Room 1820, City Hall East, 200 N. Main St.

Open Thread for Tuesday

Today in 1948, six days after its first race was held, NASCAR was officially incorporated as the National Association for Stock Car Racing, with race promoter Bill France as president. From the beginning, stock car racing had a widespread appeal with its fan base. As the legend goes, the sport evolved from Southern liquor smugglers who souped up their pre-war Fords to outrun the police. NASCAR brought the sport organization and legitimacy. It was Bill France who realized that product identification would increase enthusiasm for the sport. He wanted the fans to see the cars they drove to the track win the races on the track. By 1949, all the postwar car models had been released, so NASCAR held a 150-mile race at the Charlotte Speedway to introduce its Grand National Division.

The race was restricted to late-model strictly stock automobiles. NASCAR held nine Grand National events that year. By the end of the year, it was apparent that the strictly stock cars could not withstand the pounding of the Grand Nationals, so NASCAR drafted rules to govern the changes drivers could make to their cars. Modified stock car racing was born. Starting in 1953, the major auto makers invested heavily in stock car racing teams, believing that good results on the track would translate into better sales in the showroom. In 1957, rising production costs and tightened NASCAR rules forced the factories out of the sport. Today NASCAR racing is the fastest growing spectator sport in America.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Martin Watch

The buzz continues that we should expect word at some point that LA County Federation of Labor Secretary-Treasurer Martin Ludlow will resign, in light of a recent Federal-County campaign probe. However, there is no confirmation from Ludlow or the County Fed that he will indeed, accept a reported plea agreement and step down. We'll keep an eye on it and as soon as we know, you'll know. With today being a government holiday, its likely not much will happen.

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Monday

The Daily News reports that the Department of Water and Power is holding millions of dollars of real estate that is either unnecessary or its not producing the revenues experts say the properties could fetch. Among the properties are thousands of acres of land outside Los Angeles, particularly in the Owens Valley, properties that house retail businesses such as stores, cafes, nurseries, etc. and even a boat rental facility. The Daily News contrasts how Southern California Edison, a private owned utility, earns much higher income from similar properties.

In the LA Times, Mayor Villaraigosa is detailing his vision for LA as a dense, urban metropolis that will build up and not out. Writer/professor Joel Kotkin disagrees.

William Cowsill, lead singer of the sixties pop singing group that was the inspiration for the Partridge Family, has died at the age of 58, of emphysema and other ailments. The Cowsills had a few hits in the 60s and early 70s such as "The Park," "The Rain and Other Things" as well as a cover of the theme song from the musical, "Hair." Various members of the band lived at different times in the San Fernando Valley and their brother Richard, who was not a member of the band, served as the Student Body President of Los Angeles Valley College at one point in the 70s. Another band member, Barry, was lost and eventually his body was recovered following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The band was slated to play The Partridge Family on the television show, but bowed out when network execs insisted Shirley Jones play their mother instead of their real-life mom.

Tomorrow, we'll alert you to what could be a controversial action to be taken at Tuesday's County Board of Supervisor's Meeting.

There are no public meetings Monday due to the Presidents' Day holiday.

Here are some of last week's highlights from The Sister City:

Open Thread for Monday

Today in 1962, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, John Hershel Glenn Jr. is successfully launched into space aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft on the first orbital flight by an American astronaut.

Glenn, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, was among the seven men chosen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1959 to become America's first astronauts. A decorated pilot, he flew nearly 150 combat missions during World War II and the Korean War. In 1957, he made the first nonstop supersonic flight across the United States, flying from Los Angeles to New York in three hours and 23 minutes.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Open Thread for Sunday

Canadian-born Aimee Semple McPherson was an itinerant preacher who had been widowed while she and her husband worked as missionaries in China. She later remarried, but was divorced by her second husband who objected to her "holy hobo" ways. Arriving in Los Angeles in 1918 at age 28 with her mother, a sick child and a secretary, she went on to build a huge following, In 1923, she opened the 5,300-seat Angelus Temple in Echo Park. Thus was the beginning of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, now counting 26,139 member churches and 3,331,561 adherents.

Much of McPherson's attraction was her use of show business in church services. There she might have been found seated on a red velvet throne or sprinkling rose petals into a baptismal pool or roaring onstage astride a motorcycle in a police uniform to call a stop to sin or appearing in a nurse's uniform to "rebuke" illness. Her services were advertised in newspaper theatre sections, leaflets were airdropped over the city, and she entered floats in the Tournament of Roses Parade. She established religious radio station KFSG in Los Angeles (still broadcasting today). These attractions, along with being a beautiful and charismatic woman, packed the house in 21 services each week.

Things took a turn in 1926, however. On May 18, while purportedly swimming at Ocean Park, McPherson was reported to have vanished in the surf. It became the biggest media story for its time and thousands of devoted followers fell into mourning. Yet, five weeks later, she reappeared in Arizona with a strange kidnapping tale. It was later discovered that she had really been in seclusion with a lover in the Hollywood Hills. Although McPherson was welcomed back to Los Angeles by an adoring throng of 100,000, the District Attorney moved to file fraud charges against her. These were later dropped.

McPherson's loyal followers accepted her explanations, but she had become a changed woman. Her style and relationships changed. She became estranged from her mother and daughter. She married again and divorced again. She involved her church in financially disastrous ventures. Her name was constantly in the newspapers with rumor and gossip. Yet she appeared resistant to scandal. Her popularity remained undiminished.

By 1930, McPherson suffered a nervous breakdown and by 1944, she lay dead in an Oakland hotel from an overdose of Seconal. She is buried at Forest Lawn in Glendale in a tomb befitting a queen.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Latest Buzz on Ludlow

Rick Orlov reports that Martin Ludlow is spending the weekend pondering whether or not to resign and accept a plea bargain in a campaign corruption probe.

The Times takes a look at the implications of a Ludlow departure on Mayor Villaraigosa, particularly in light of speculation that the Mayor's coming budget won't include many of the goodies the unions who put him there want.

One item of note in the Orlov story, the Mayor says he is personally devastated by the allegations against Ludlow, but says he doesn't know more than what's in the newspapers. I find that hard to believe. We know more than what's in the paper and we're just a rinky-dink blog. With the resources the Mayor's office has, I don't see it.

The Garbage Chronicles, Part VI

The City Council voted Friday to ask BFI, the operators of the controversial Sunshine Canyon landfill, to reduce costs and begin to ship some of LA's trash to other cities.

With ten days left to decide to renew BFI's Sunshine contract, there is no guarantee the operator will submit to these demands.

We'll have more from various angles over the next week.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Is the end near for Ludlow?

We told you Wednesday that there was a good shot that Martin Ludlow, head of the County Federation of Labor was probably going to resign due to an investigation into fundraising surrounding his LA City Council campaign.

Today, the LA Times is picking up the same story. This is despite frequent denials by the County Fed's spokesperson to the Sister City, even as late as Thursday evening.

Should Ludlow be forced out, we hear waiting in the wings to take his place is Sergio Rascon of Laborers Local 300. We've been told there is an "internal campaign" on Rascon's behalf. Rascon was part of a group of labor leaders serving on city commissions during the Hahn administration who had headed up independent expenditure campaigns on behalf of the then Mayor. Former Mayoral candidate Bob Hertzberg called on Hahn to remove them from their commission seats at the time.

When President Nixon had to resign, it was left to then Senator Bob Dole to go to the White House and tell the President the time had come. Who will fulfill that role for Martin?

Yes, The Valley is not LA

A lot of blogs have been making a lot of noise about the San Fernando Valley.

It all started when Carolyn Kellogg of LAist wondered aloud why LA Observed's Kevin Roderick rebranded his "America's Suburb" blog as a companion blog, Valley Observed. She thought that Roderick's effort was dividing the Valley from the rest of Los Angeles. But Roderick's blog is mainly an effort to take a number of years of mostly excellent content about Valley history and culture and marry it with current happenings.

Immediately other blogs jumped in, Mailander with an anti-Roderick pitch, LA Voice using the matter to rail against secession (don't remind us we lost, cause someday it will rise again), Franklin Avenue with a on target point that asks the questions about those cities, such as Glendale, that are in the Valley but not part of the City of Los Angeles. Finally, LAist came back with a contest asking how locals should best refer to their Valleyhood.

In the midst of all it, speaking as a member of a minority in Los Angeles - that is a born and raised Valley native, I just feel stronger and stronger that the San Fernando Valley is its own place. It always has been. Go back to the days when indigneous tribes established villages hundreds of years before ancient Greece even got off the ground. The fertile land surrounded by majestic mountains drew people in for eons. Its what led Charles Maclay, upon entering the Valley for the first time to delcare, "This is the garden of eden!"

Its been a long time since the Indian villages and the miles and miles of fertile land. But the Valley remains a place that is fertile in so many other ways. Its the place where dreams can be made or realized - whether its the young actor living in Studio City who gets his first series, the broker in Chatsworth who just made his first million dollars or the twentysomething Latino that quickly climbs the ladder of political power. Its where Lucy and Desi made their home when they were bigger than anything in Hollywood, where the newly famous Jackson 5 escaped the poverty of Gary, Indiana and, where the Brady Bunch lived.

Having grown up here in the 60s, 70s and 80s, I have had the chance to see the Valley go from being a mostly lilly white bedroom community to the days of the Galleria and the Valley Girl to a wonderfully diverse, vibrant and self-actualizing place, waking up to finally realize its true destiny.

Yes Virginia the Valley is not LA, not Orange County and not Santa Clarita. But, the Valley is all that and more. You can find a little of all parts Southern California , somewhere in the Valley. Whether its the Westside feel of Sherman Oaks, the growing Silverlake-Los Feliz buzz of boho NoHo, the 1950s conservative white bastion turned rapidly diverse Orange County in Burbank, the Latino politcal power of East LA taking it one better in the North Valley, or even the manicured chain store pre-planned neighborhoods of Santa Clarita replicating themselves in Porter Ranch, Northridge and Chatsworth.

Even if LA or Orange County or Santa Clarita don't understand us, its okay. This collection of about 30-40 little villages, doesn't always understand itself. What we do understand in the Valley is we like it here, we'll suffer the jokes, but we're going to make and make it big.

Save The Ball!

Anyone who grew up in Southern California probably remembers the orange and blue Union (later Unocal) 76 balls that sat atop their signposts at Union's gas stations. Many of us had moms, dads, and grandparents who drove around with a miniature, Styrofoam version of the ball attached to their car radio antennas.

Some time ago, Unocal sold the 76 brand to a company that later became part of Conoco-Phillips. Then, Unocal itself was consumed by ChevronTexaco.

The ball brings back memories for many of us of the Union 76 at Dodger Stadium, the TV commercials with gas station owner Murph and in October when many 76 operators would wrap the ball in plastic to make it look like a Halloween jack-o-lantern.

Since taking over the 76 stations, Conoco-Phillips has axed the orange ball, opting instead for a sign that places the 76 logo over a red disk on a flat sign. Besides the ball, a huge Union 76 logo that existed on the side of downtown building for 55 years was eventually let go this year to make way for a Disneyland ad.

At least a couple of efforts are underway, of course, to try to convince Conoco-Phillips to bring the ball back. Save the 76 Ball Petition is run through the Petition Online service by Kim Cooper and the folks at the 1947 Project blog have their own petition going as well.

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Friday

Stepping up their efforts for a new contract after 22 months without one, the city employee union Engineers and Architects Association Board of Governors yesterday voted for up to $1.5 million to be spent on the largest advocacy campaign in its long history. You may remember that they tried to tie up traffic at LAX during Thanksgiving as well as on local freeways. They now plan to make a stink at the Oscars and the LA Marathon. Read more about it here.

The Peace Officers Research Association of California has endorsed Jerry Brown for Attorney General. This adds to a growing list of public safety organizations that have endorsed the former Governor/current Oakland Mayor over Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. Among the others are the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, Pasadena Police Officers Association, San Bernardino County Safety Employees Association and State Coalition of Probation Organizations.

Two weeks after having heart bypass surgery, former Mayor Richard Riordan is doing much better and was on hand today for a press opporunity with current Mayor Villaraigosa. Riordan is part of a blue ribbon panel the Mayor has assembled to deal with homeland security and disaster preparedness.

Candidate for the Third LA County Supervisoral District, David Hernandez, is proposing a new LA County Department of Corrections as a solution to the recent troubles in LA County Jails. Hernandez plan would take control of the jails out of the hands of the Sheriff and in an appointed official accountable to the County Supervisors. Hernandez says his plan would help the Sheriff's office to be more competitive in attracting deputy recruits who would not have to spend their first five years working in the jails, only to get snatched up by other local departments before they ever get on the street as a Deputy. To read Hernandez' plan, click here.

Public Meetings for Friday

10:00 a.m.: The Los Angeles City Council will meet. Agenda items include consideration of a five-year contract with the operators of the Sunshine Canyon Landfill.Council chamber, third floor, City Hall, 200 N. Spring St.