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Friday, March 31, 2006

Student Suspended for Leading Counter Demonstrating

Student Suspended for Leading Counter Demonstrating

A Southland high school senior was suspended for organizing a patriotic rally to counter the pro-immigration protest demonstration outside his school in Mira Loma.

Josh Denhalter, 17, said he was fed up with MEChA students waving Mexican flags on campus, and asked his principal for permission to stage a quiet counter message, and to pass out 300 fliers to announce the Friday noon hour event. The principal consulted district superintendent Elliott Duchon, who refused permission, fearing violence. The Jurupa Valley HS is two-thirds Hispanic and one third Caucasian.

Denhalter then demanded the same rights to free speech that had been afforded the MEChA students, and went ahead with passing out the fliers for his Friday rally, and was immediately suspended for three days. He was told that if he showed up within 2000 feet of school, he would be arrested.

Undaunted, Denhalter arrived outside the school for the 11 am event and joined about 100 others who held up American flags and signs supporting HR 4437. This legislation, passed by the House of Representatives, would place restrictions on people living in the United States illegally.

The approximately 30 MEChA and Brown Beret students stood on one side of Bellgrave Avenue shouting “Racists” and “El pueblo unido, jamas sera vencido” (People united will never be defeated). The pro-U.S. group shouted “Racist MEChA go away.” A dozen Riverside County sheriff deputies stood in the middle of the street separating the demonstrators.

“My original purpose was just to have a rally to support America, and tell them (the Congressmen) that there are people out there that believe in what they’re doing,” Josh told reporters. He wasn’t arrested, as he had been threatened.

Josh plays on the school’s varsity football and basketball teams. His father, Brett, is a sixth grade teacher in another district.

The Cat Is Out of the Bag - This Blog is History

I had intended to announce this Saturday, but as I thought might happen, a local blog has scooped us on our own story.

A major change is coming to Mayor Sam, and that is, it's hasta la vista baby.

We have had a great run for a year and a half on this blog. Its been an awesome experience.

I'll still have the full story tomorrow morning, or perhaps later tonight, when I have more time to give you details. And then, well that will be it.

In the meantime, blog away dum dums.

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Friday

With more anti-immigration reform protests by students predicted for tomorrow, Cardinal Roger Mahony is urging students to honor the memory of Caesar Chavez by staying in school and learning. Mahony feels that "student protests such activities tend to polarize groups in our community and to create a negative backlash against decent immigration legislation." The student protests - regardless of my personal views on the topic at hand - have lead this old, dead Republican Mayor to travel back nearly 25 years to his high school days. We too had student walkouts and protests, primarily over less heady issues such as not getting lockers on time or something called "student rights." We had to get the word out one by one from student to student. How the world has changed is certainly exemplified by the students use of cell phones, text messaging and internet sites like My Space to organize massive protests. Check out the article on the protests by Jennifer Solis here on the Sister City by clicking here.

We reported yesterday about the EAA protest that caused the Mayor to miss his weekly live stand-up on Spanish language news. Over at MS2, we have some photos.

Speaking of the Mayor, he's set to win yet another award this Friday. It's the Distinguished Leadership Award at the Philippine American Car Association.

Remember to tune in Saturday for a special announcement about the blog.

The DWP wants to jack up rates again. I'm calling on all bloggers in LA to get a meme going to protest this increase. The DWP is one of the most profitable but also most corrupt parts of LA government. Its flush with cash, wastes ton of it (like spending money on advertising when its a monopoly and paying for bottled water for its executives when its telling everyone else to drink their water). Assembly candidate Jim Alger (calm down CD12 cut and paste crew, the Daily News quoted him first) says there is no justification for the increase when the department is transfering $200 million out of the agency this year.

City Meetings for Friday

10:00AM - Los Angeles City Council

The Angelides Girls

Some of you requested we post photos of Phil Angelides' daughters, who are currently appearing in commercials for the State Treasurer who wants to be Governor. I couldn't find photos, but here is the actual commercial. Click the play button in the middle of the picture.

Open Thread for Friday

Continuing our theme of California's Missions, today, Mission San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo.

The Carmel Mission...
When it was agreed that the second mission should be established on Vizcaino's Monterey Bay, Governor Portola went by land, but Father Serra went by sea. After both parties met at the evergreen-scented harbor, Portola realized he had failed to recognize the place on his land expedition of the year before, while searching for that same harbor.

Two days after his arrival, on June 3, 1770, Father Serra founded his Mission San Carlos Borromeo at the site of the present presidio Chapel in Monterey. Only a year later the padre again separated his Indian charges from the Spanish soldiers, moving the mission five miles away to the Carmel Valley, on the other side of the Monterey Peninsula. At that lovely place Father Serra established his personal headquarters. Monterey became an important port and the capital city of the Californias.

Father Serra did not live to see the period of greatest prosperity of the California missions, nor the building of the impressive monuments we see along El Camino Real today. Most of the churches, even so, were built only of adobe with thick, plastered walls. Just at Carmel, and three other locations, were there enough skilled artisans present to design and build with stone.
The stone church at Carmel is different from all others in the chain, in that the walls taper inward forming a catenary arch, rather than the usual flat ceiling. On the exterior, the unique bell tower, with its outside stairway, shows definite Moorish influence. The great church was four years in the building, being dedicated in 1797. Father Serra now lies buried under the altar.
The Indian population had dwindled by the 1820s. By 1836, two years after secularization, the destruction of mission life was complete. The church and quadrangle were essentially in ruins when the first efforts at restoration began in 1884. Then in 1931, a layman, Harry Downie, came to Carmel, as curator in charge of restoring the mission. From that time until his death in 1980, Harry dedicated his life to the California missions, working on numerous other restorations as well as at his beloved Carmel.

The Carmel Mission was Fr. Serra's favorite, and he lies buried under the altar in his beautiful church, the second founded in the California chain. On its splendid site at the mouth of the Carmel Valley and overlooking the sea, the old mission has survived years of neglect and is now one of the outstanding historic landmarks in California. Much of the stateliness of its early days has been recaptured in the careful restoration of the buildings, while the beauty of its gardens is unsurpassed. The Moorish influence in the architecture of the church is unique.

California Mission History

Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana
Mission Santa Cruz
Mission San Francisco de Solano
Mission San Luis Rey
Mission San Buenaventura
Mission San Rafael
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
Mission San Francisco de Asís
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Jose
Mission La Purisima Concepción

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Student Walkout Update

The National Lawyers Guild has offered to provide a free defense (the organization says is worth a thousand dollars) to defend any student cited for participating in the protest rallies this week.

Thousands of kids walked out of their middle and high schools on Monday and Tuesday to reprise their Saturday march in downtown Los Angeles on a smaller scale. The school districts in SoCal estimated that at least 40,000 were absent from class, but no action was taken against them.

LAUSD school administrators referred to a directive sent out last October 26th by Dan Isaacs from the Office of the Chief Operating Officer, which admonished them “Do not attempt to prevent students from leaving the campus.” Many students were warned, however, that they could be subject to fines and suspension.

The California Education Code, section 48260 (a) states “Any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without valid excuse three full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the schoolday without a valid excuse on three occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, is a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district.”

Also, 48264. “The attendance supervisor or his or her designee, a peace officer, a school administrator or his or her designee, or a probation officer may arrest or assume temporary custody, during school hours, of any minor subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education found away from his or her home and who is absent from school without valid excuse within the county, city, or city and county, or school district.”

Hundreds of LAUSD students that walked out again Wednesday were stopped by LAPD officers and given citations, which will require them, and in many cases, their parents, to appear in municipal court. The fines could be from $200 up, plus court costs.

Late Wednesday, the NLG established a Student Walkout Hotline (310-712-6373), which gives a pre-recorded instruction (in English or Spanish) to collect information on the citation, names of witnesses and other defendants, etc, and leave their phone number for a return call from a NLG volunteer.

MAPA also planning boycott

The Mexican American Political Association has announced plans to stage “A Day Without Latinos” for Monday, April 10th, in 20 major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles. Another similar protest is scheduled for Monday, May 1st, traditionally celebrated as May Day by Socialists throughout the world.

MAPA President Nativo Lopez, who helped organize the 500,000-person Los Angeles march last Saturday, says “We are asking people not to go to school, or work, or shopping, and instead go out and protest against racist and inhumane measures,” referring to immigration legislation being considered.

Vote Late and Often

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez wants Kevin DeLeon to capture the Democratic nomination for the 45th Assembly District, the seat currently held by Jackie "Hurricane" Goldberg. Or does he?

In a piece that is going out to voters, which we have excerpted here, the Speaker reminds voters to get out there on June 8th and cast their votes for DeLeon. (Click on the image to see a larger verison)

The problem is the election is June 6th. Oh well.

Three Southern California Mayors Endorse Brown

Sacramento—A trio of Southern California Mayors, representing cities with a combined population of more than 160,000 Los Angeles County residents, recently announced their personal endorsements of Jerry Brown for Attorney General. The list of Mayoral endorsers includes: Mayor Ronald Beilke, Pico Rivera, Mayor Pro-Tem Pablo Catano, City of Hawthorne and Mayor Dennis Washburn, Calabasas.

Dennis Washburn, Mayor of Calabasas said: “I am looking forward to having Jerry Brown’s voice representing the needs of small cities, just as he has helped the people of Oakland and the Bay Area in recent years.”

The Mayors join a formidable alliance of political endorsements including: Former Vice President Al Gore, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Assemblymember Rudy Bermudez, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, as well as the Sierra Club, California Police Chiefs Association and the California League of Conservation Voters.

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Thursday

We've received reports that Mayor Villaraigosa was not able to do his regular appearance on Spanish language television news this evening. Members of the Engineers and Architects Association claim that 50 of their protestors were awaiting the Mayor at the usual broadcast location under the City Hall bridge, upon seeing the protestors, the Mayor's SUV sped off around the corner. Apparently another crew was waiting for the Mayor at DWP headquarters, but it was too late for the segment with reporter Oswaldo Borraez.

Actor turned liberal activist Rob "Meathead" Reiner has resigned from the commission overseeing his "First Five" initiative that voters passed in 1998. Following questions over spending by the commission on questionable television ads, Reiner took a leave of absence, obstensibly to spend more time on his latest tax scheme, Proposition 82.

I mentioned yesterday that on Saturday you can expect a major announcement about the future of the blog. Several of you wrote in asking what that is. Patience, my friends. I see some speculation in the comments section and all I can say is, interesting.

We don't know if this falls under the category of white, westside paranoia, but like the famous stench and ooze, we now have the KTLA slip. It goes like this: on Tuesday morning, the KTLA morning news was replaced on Adelphia customers' sets in Sherman Oaks (sort of like the westside) with infomercials. This old, dead Republican mayor - who we all know is a disgruntled customer of Adelphia in Sherman Oaks - reports to the contrary. The Morning News was on and I was subjected to nauseating entertainment reporter Sam Rubin on the throes of laryngitis and the ever annoying Gayle Anderson visiting with a magician in Van Nuys. No informercials.

Mayor Villaraigosa will receive the Cesar Chavez Legacy Award at the Chavez Foundation's annual dinner Thursday evening.

Here in Van Nuys has some great photos of student anti-immigration protests at the Civic Center in Van Nuys. Blogger Andrew wonders if this will lead to our gaza strip? I doubt it. The Palestinian rebels in Israel aren't walking around with McDonald's sodas and about to head home to catch reruns of "My Wife and Kids" on Channel 5.

Open Thread for Thursday

Continuing our theme of California's Missions, today, Mission La Purisima Concepción.

Mission La Purisima was founded December 8, 1787, at the site of the present town of Lompoc. In 25 years the mission was extremely prosperous, with herds of livestock numbering in the thousands. Then came the great earthquake of 1812, which did so much widespread damage, and struck Purisima perhaps worst of all. After a week of violent aftershocks not a building was still standing. The mission was re-established at its present location four miles to the north and east. Prosperity returned.

After the Indian uprising of 1824 the mission declined, and ten years later was in the hands of the secular administrator. The neophytes disappeared, the Franciscans retired to Santa Barbara, and soon the buildings were nothing but piles of rubble. The desolation as so complete that after the site was returned to the Church it was offered for sale to the highest bidder.

La Purisima was reborn at the time of a California Conservation Corps project beginning in 1935. Building methods exactly like those of the missionaries were used. Hundreds of thousands of adobe bricks, floor and roof tiles were made by hand. After the buildings were completed young craftsmen turned to the making of furniture of the period. Then the complicated water system was recreated, beginning at springs more than a mile away, and brought to a series of storage pools. The gardens and orchards were replanted. Today La Purisima is a State Historic Park of 967 acres, and unique in that rangers and docents recreate mission life as at no other site making it the most completely restored mission in California.

Not only have buildings been rebuilt on old foundations, but crops and animals of the mission period are there, as are docents in costumes of those times, who spin and weave wool, tan hides, make candles, operate the blacksmith shop, and guide visitors. The modern city of Lompoc, plus Vandenberg Air Force Base and the famous flower fields are nearby.

California Mission History

Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana
Mission Santa Cruz
Mission San Francisco de Solano
Mission San Luis Rey
Mission San Buenaventura
Mission San Rafael
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
Mission San Francisco de Asís
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Jose

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Wednesday

We reported yesterday that the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco issued a proclamation condeming Christians protesting in their city. It got so bad that Assemblyman Mark Leno was quoted as saying that the Christians were "loud, they're obnoxious, they're disgusting and they should get out of San Francisco." Leno later backpedaled on the comment, but the San Francisco Looney Left has once again proven that "America's Most Tolerant City" is anything but. Now, the usually left leaning San Francisco Chronicle has jumped in, probably a bit embarrassed by their fellow liberals and how ridiculous they make their city look, and issued an editorial slamming the Supervisors and their ridiculous, anti-Christian comments.

Tune into the Sister City on Saturday for a major announcement about the future of this blog.

Following informal talks at an owner's meeting in Orlando, Councilmember Bernard Parks has been invited to make a formal pitch for pro football at the LA Coliseum to the NFL owners at their meetings in Denver in May. Parks will join Coliseum general manager Patrick Lynch as they work to convince the League to return pro football to Los Angeles.

Assembly Candidate Jim Alger is kicking off his Santa Clarita campaign, Saturday morning, April 1st, 10:30 a.m. at Old Orchard Park, corner of Lyons Avenue and Avenita Rottella in Santa Clarita. All are welcome.

The granddaughter of farm worker activist Caesar Chavez, Christine Chavez, announced her underdog campaign for the Democratic nomination for the 45th State Assembly District seat to be vacated by the termed out Jackie "Hurricane" Goldberg. Goldberg has endorsed attorney Elena Popp. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, is backing California Teachers Association official Kevin De Leon. The 34 year old Chavez has worked for the United Farm Workers for the last eight years.

Wednesday evening you have the chance to view Mayor Villaraigosa in his weekly television gigs, in Spanish on Channel 34 at 6:00 p.m. and in English, on KCAL 9 at 9:25 p.m. Earlier in the day, the Mayor will speak at the presentation ceremony for comedian George Lopez's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

City Meetings for Wednesday

10:00AM - Los Angeles City Council Agenda
2:00PM - Trade, Commerce, and Tourism Committee, SPECIAL MEETING

Open Thread for Wednesday

Continuing our theme of California's Missions, today, Mission San Jose.

The Franciscan missionaries had long hoped to establish a "chain" of missions in which each link of the chain would be a day's ride apart on horseback. By 1796 there were thirteen missions along the California coast from San Diego to San Francisco. El Camino Real had become a well-traveled road joining north and south, yet there were numerous lonely stretches where hostile, or at least unpredictable, Indians made travel dangerous except for the brave and well-armed. Father Lasuen and a new governor thought the time had come to complete the chain, and quickly agreed that five more missions were needed. A joint request went to the Viceroy. Founded June 1, 1797, Mission San José became first of the five.

Located at the western approach to the Central Valley, with its many war-like Indians, San José proved at first more strategic militarily than a fertile field for mission endeavor. At the end of the first year there were only 33 neophytes, yet success came eventually. By 1830 there were nearly 2,000 Indians at the mission, making it one of the largest in the north.

Unfortunately, the Spanish soldiers were inclined to be as ruthless sin pursuit of a runaway neophyte as of marauding pagans. The padres fought their own battles to offer forgiveness rather than cruel punishment.

Father Narcisco Duran came to Mission San Jose in 1806. He was an accomplished musician. He organized and trained an orchestra of 30 Indian musicians, playing flute, violin, trumpet, and drums, which was the wonder of the area. The orchestra played for fiestas and weddings. On feast days Indians came all the way from Santa Clara and Dolores to hear the Indian orchestra.
During gold rush days "Mission San Joe" was an important trading place for the miners, but by then it wasn't a real mission any longer.

With secularization, San Jose apparently had been plundered by the administrator, Jess Vallejo, and his brother, Mariano. Pio Pico arrived too late, finding little more than a few adobe buildings and an olive orchard to sell to his brother and a friend. Then an earthquake destroyed the church, leaving just a segment of the monastery intact.

In 1868 a white frame church and rectory were erected on the foundation of the mission. Great plans to rebuild the mission church on its original site finally bore fruit in 1982. The frame buildings were sold and moved. By 1985 the church had been rededicated, appearing much as it had when first completed in 1809. The beautiful interior of the church is again decorated as it was in the prosperous times of the early 1830s, just before secularization.

California Mission History

Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana
Mission Santa Cruz
Mission San Francisco de Solano
Mission San Luis Rey
Mission San Buenaventura
Mission San Rafael
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
Mission San Francisco de Asís
Mission San Juan Capistrano

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Outstanding Young Californians

Its not often I use the blog to promote unrelated projects of mine, but if Mailander and Roderick can sell their books on their blogs, I can surely pitch a charity project near and dear to me.

I serve on the Board of Trustees of the California Jaycees Foundation. The Foundation is the non-profit fundraising arm of the California Junior Chamber, a leadership and networking organization for young adults. The Foundation has supported projects such as providing back to school clothing for young children all over California, helping to support the construction of a butterfly garden at a school in Laverne and here in LA providing a portion of the funding for the restoration of the statue of Amelia Earhart in North Hollywood Park. For over 40 years, the Foundation has funded many great community development projects in California.

The Foundation produces the annual Outstanding Young Californian Awards. This honors young adults who are not only outstanding in their chosen field but have had an impact on the community at large. Past winners of the award include actress Emma Samms, boxer Sugar Shane Mosley, former School Board President Caprice Young, Mayor of Santa Clarita Cameron Smythe and "The Apprentice" winner Kelly Perdew, among many others. The program is a preliminary to the United States Junior Chamber's Ten Outstanding Young Amercians whose past winners include Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, Al Gore, Elvis, Andew Shue, George Stephanopolous and many, many others.

Among this year's winners include our own Jim Alger, Oakland As starting picther Barry Zito, Fox News' Nischelle Turner and ten others.

The event is a major fundraiser for the Foundation and its programs. If you're interested in supporting us, I'd appreciate it. You can buy a ticket for the awards dinner, buy an ad supporting a candidate in the event program and/or donate an item for the silent auction. Feel free to contact me directly if you wish to help. Thank you.

LAUSD: Take the money and run

Another anonymous tip today, LAUSD schools are asking those who wish to protest to check in to class, get marked present on the roll and then be bused to protests. That way, the District is able to claim "average daily attendance" funds from the state.

We have an inquiry into the District, but so far they have not responded. If you have details, feel free to blog away.

ITA At It Again?

We've received word that ITA may be blocking access to blogs via City owned computers. Apparently you have to get on a list or get some kind of special permission to view blogs. This came up when some city workers couldn't get on the blogs run by City departments (Fire Department, Animal Services, etc.).

If you have information about this, please feel free to post here. Lets hope censorship has not reared it's ugly head.

Caspar Weinberger, 88 / Lyn Nofziger, 81

Caspar Weinberger, Secretary of Defense under President Reagan, has died at the age of 88, at a hospital near his home in Maine. Weinberger gained the nickname "Cap the Knife" for his penny pinching ways at the Pentagon. Weinberger served in the Nixon administration as well as a time as a member of the California State Legislature from Oakland.

Lyn Nofziger, press secretary to President Reagan, has also died. He was 81. He died at his home according to a friend. Nofziger worked for Reagan going back to the days when he first entered politics in California.

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Tuesday

As anti-illegal immigration reforms wind their way through Congress, protests of the measures continue locally. Today, nearly 36,000 students walked out of class, including, the dumb stunt of walking onto local freeways. Realizing that students need to be in class and not protesting, Los Angeles leaders have ordered a lockdown of local schools and will begin to expel and suspend students involved in the protest. Of course, its also important to note that when students leave class to protest - even for a favorite liberal cause - schools lose their "Average Daily Attendance" money.

Here are some goodies for you on our blogs: video from the roast of Mayor Villaraigosa, an Ode to Jan Perry, and the latest edition of the Transit Coalition's newsletter.

While students and others are protesting in large numbers in LA, conservative Christians are not really allowed to protest what they think in San Francisco. The Local Liberty Blog reports that the Board of Supervisors has passed resolutions condemning the religious views of these folks. You might twist it as these folks' views are abhorent - and they may or may not be - but is any other religion facing official government condemnation?

Are you a fan of the local blog Martini Republic? There's not another site on the internet that so easily blends national & local politics, sports, music, the arts and cocktails so well. Unlike the rest of us mercenary bloggers, MR doesn't carry any advertising - no Google, no BlogAds, nothing. Despite this, the blog has ongoing costs that need to be paid, so if you enjoy the writings of folks like Sister City contributor Joseph Mailander, Alex, Donna Lee, Dr. Cocktail and the rest, there is a way you can support them - buy one of Joe's books online. You can visit Joe's publishing company, St. Genevieve Press by clicking here.

Mayor Villaraigosa will spend time Tuesday delivering meals to homebound seniors as part of the "March for Meals" event.

West LA Online is reporting that Westfield Group is considering a plan to remake the Century City Mall to include both retail and high end condos. Its a good idea if done right. Given the housing crunch in LA, going up and mixed-use is one way we can provide more units of housing, since sprawl is pretty much out of the question (unless you want to live on one of the local freeways).

Michael Williams of the Master of None blog highlights a Washington Post article by Joy Jones who was told by a young African American student in her class, "Marriage is for white people." Interesting reading.

City Meetings for Tuesday

8:30AM - Housing, Community, and Economic Development
9:00AM - Education & Neighborhoods Committee Meeting
10:00AM - Los Angeles City Council
2:00PM - Planning & Land Use Management Committee Meeting
2:00PM - Information Technology and General Services Committee Meeting, Canceled

Open Thread for Tuesday

Continuing our theme of California's Missions, today, Mission San Juan Capistrano.

The swallows of Capistrano, famous both in song and story, really do build their mud nests in the ruins of the old mission church, returning each year on or about March 19th, St. Joseph's Day. A church of magnificent proportions, and most ornate of any of the missions, once stood here. With a ceiling divided into six domes, it was nine years in the building, but had been used only six years when it collapsed during an earthquake in 1812. The little chapel remaining is called Fr. Serra's Church, because it is the only building still standing anywhere in the mission chain in which it is known that the founding Father actually conducted divine services.

The Indian attack which had killed one of the padres at San Diego had caused the founding of Mission San Juan Capistrano to be delayed a full year, until November 1, 1776. The next year a long narrow adobe church was finished. In 1791 a bell tower was completed, and the heavy bells, which had been hanging from a tree all those years, were installed. The success of the mission was such that a very large and elaborate new church was begun in 1797. Nine years in the building, native stone was used with a roof of seven concrete domes. Alas, the great church stood only six years before it tumbled to the ground in the earthquake of 1812, killing 40 Indian neophytes. The discouraged padres did not attempt to rebuild, instead moving divine services back into their old adobe church. Mission activity soon ground to a halt after secularization, with Pio Pico's brother-in-law receiving a good share of Capistrano's land. For years the adobe church was used as a storeroom.

In 1922 the little old adobe church was rediscovered by a secular priest, Father John O'Sullivan. Restoration at San Juan Capistrano had already been in progress since his 1910 arrival. Under his direction work began on the church which restored it completely into the beautiful structure seen today. The impressive golden altar is not the original, but is a very old one brought from Spain early in this century. Here is the only building still standing anywhere in the California chain in which Father Serra is known to have actually officiated.

A few walls and a single dome of the great stone church survive. Known world-wide as the "home of the swallows", these little birds return every spring to Capistrano, where favorite spots for their mud nests are among the stones of the ruined church.

Visitors of today to Mission San Juan Capistrano see a beautiful patina of age on all sides. A campanario, or bell wall, built for the mission bells the year after the earthquake, is still in use. Weathered arches and ancient fountains perpetuate the charm of yesteryears.

California Mission History

Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana
Mission Santa Cruz
Mission San Francisco de Solano
Mission San Luis Rey
Mission San Buenaventura
Mission San Rafael
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
Mission San Francisco de Asís

Monday, March 27, 2006

Villaraigosa Roast Video

You've heard about the Diabetes Roast of Mayor Villaraigosa. Its an annual event that supports a very worthwhile charity, but its sort of the "senior prom" for local pols and lobbyists.

They put together a parody video for the event, and yes indeed, someone has posted it to You Tube. Click the play button in the middle of the picture below, and enjoy.

Immigration Protests Continue

Thousands of students are pouring out of class to resist pending federal legistlation designed to curb various aspects of illegal immigration. High schools all over Southern California report children leaving class. One young activist told students to educate themselves on the matter before walking out, if you're just doing it to ditch, save yourself the embarrassment. Still, having once been a teenager who walked out of class myself a few times, I know a good chunk of kids are just along for the ride.

In other news, a select group of student leaders were granted audiences with Mayor Villaraigosa and Lt. Governor Bustamante.

Summer is not too far off. It will be interesting to see if the protests peter out before then, or if we have a repeat of 1968.

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Monday

That was a heck of a protest in LA on Saturday. What do you say to the anti-illegal immigration crowd like Hal Netkin, Walter Moore, etc. when their protests maybe turn out hundreds and here we had a half a million opposed to the very argument these old white guys are making? These protests are going to have significant impact on the illegal immigration debate with liberals feeling newly empowered and Republicans like George Bush skittish of pulling a Pete Wilson with Hispanic voters. Still, the problem has to be addressed one way or another. Rudy Carrasco at the Urban On-Ramps blog makes the case that the only answer to the illegal immigration issue is employer sanctions, as well, his readers make some interesting comments as well.

With Monday being Caesar Chavez Day, more protests are expected. State and Los Angeles city offices are closed, but LA County offices are open and the LA Unified School District will be in session. School police will be deployed should more protests boil over.

The California Democratic Council, a statewide association of Democratic Clubs and County Committees overwhelmingly endorsed Jerry Brown for Attorney General following a head-to-head debate at the Santa Clara Convention Center with Rocky Delgadillo, the other democratic primary candidate. On Friday, Brown also picked up the endorsement of the Sierra Club and The Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club.

The rough and tumble free speech of internet bulletin board Craig's List may have put the site in violation of federal anti-housing discrimination laws. The LA Times reports that a lawsuit claims a number of ads posted for housing opportunities are worded in ways that create real or perceived instances of housing discrimination. However, Craig's List could have an out. The Communications Decency Act protects speech posted by users on internet sites. Websites use this law many times in suits against them, and at least one housing discrimination case was succesfully fought under the terms of the CDA.

The Daily News covers the battle for the 20th State Senate Democratic nod in the San Fernando Valley. The best quote comes from Assembly Member Cindy Montanez who says of her opponent Councilman Alex Padilla, "The only thing we have in common is our age." Montanez says that Padilla should finish his Council term before running for another office.

Councilman Bernard Parks is headed to Florida to lobby NFL owners to place a professional football team in a rennovated Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

We posted a couple of interesting videos over the weekend, one of Councilman Greig Smith making campaign promises three years ago, the other, Mayor Villaraigosa being shouted down by members of the Engineers and Architects Association. The Sister City is now equipped to show video, so feel free to send us your videos of interesting news items. We can accept just about any format, but prefer Windows Media. Send your clips to mayorsamyorty@aol.com


Buck Owens, 76

His family migrated from another land, looking for opportunity and headed for California. Their trip from their homeland was tough, in a vehicle packed with relatives. The car broke down, they got stuck in Arizona where they had to do farm work to get money to keep moving forward. They made it to the San Joaquin Valley where they picked vegetables, cotton, fruit - whatever it took to put food on the table. The father drove trucks and dug ditches too. The young son however, did not want to live his life with hand me down clothes and home hair cuts. So he learned to play guitar, found he had a talent with music, and eventually became an international superstar.

Buck Owens died Saturday at the age of 76 of heart failure. Growing up, my father was involved in the country music business. Buck's TV show "Hee Haw" was a staple around our house. Buck did it all - had numerous number 1 hits (some even covered by The Beatles), had a top television show for over 20 years and was a significant owner of broadcast properties in California. Buck was said to be worth over $100 million.

My last memories of Buck were from my years as a state officer for the California Junior Chamber, culiminating as the State President in 2004. We would often make treks to visit chapters in Northern California, driving many a Friday night up the 5 or Highway 99. I'd tune in Buck doing his live show from his nightclub, The Crystal Palace on his radio station KUZZ. Buck and his band would perform various country numbers with audience members from all over. Indeed, Buck performed Friday night, hours before he passed away.

I got the biggest kick when Buck's co-host would call out the names of customers who were at the Palace celebrating a wedding anniversary. "Joe and Emma are here celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary. The thrice married and divorced Owens would always exlcaim "Married 26 years?!?? That's just dumb!!"

Buck is survived by three sons.

Open Thread for Monday

Continuing our theme of California's Missions, today, Mission San Francisco de Asís.

The mission called Dolores was founded October 9, 1776. The padres chose a site for Mission San Francisco de Asís beside a little inlet called Laguna Dolores. The nearby pueblo was named Yerba Buena. As time went by the town took the name of Saint Francis, while the mission more popularly became known as Dolores. Even though located beside one of the finest harbors in all the world, Mission Dolores was handicapped from the outset by lack of suitable space for agriculture, competition for that space from the citizens of the Spanish pueblo, and the damp and foggy climate. Initially the Indians were greatly attracted to the mission, but ample food and protection from enemies had to be measured against fatal epidemics of measles, the worldly attractions of the pueblo, and the free life of "unenlightened" brothers across the bay. Desertions threatened the mission's existence.

Nothing was ever the same after the discovery of gold in California. The population of the sleepy pueblo rose from a mere 900 to over 20,000 in only a year. Mexican land reforms had taken all the mission possessions, so that just a few of the buildings were left to return to the Church. soon there were more Irish than Spanish grave markers in the old cemetery.

One of the greatest recorded earthquakes of all time shook San Francisco in 1906, but the thick walls of the old mission church stood firm. Today it remains the oldest building in fabulous San Francisco, that romantic city beside the famous Golden Gate. Inside, the church is little different than when it ministered to dusky Indian neophytes, an island of peace and calm in the midst of the busy city. The Mission is now called Dolores.

Time seems to stand still at old Mission Dolores. The oldest building in fabulous San Francisco, the mission church came through the great earthquake and fire of 1906 unscathed. Its interior differs little from its original appearance. Decorated redwood ceiling beams remain as created by Indian workmen. Wooden columns remain painted to resemble Italian marble which they are not. Outside the church, only the old cemetery is as in yesteryear. Modern Mission Dolores Basilica and the teeming city by the Golden Gate crowd around the venerable church, which is the only remaining mission building.

California Mission History

Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana
Mission Santa Cruz
Mission San Francisco de Solano
Mission San Luis Rey
Mission San Buenaventura
Mission San Rafael
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Simpsons' Voices

Here's a little fun for a Sunday. Voice artists from "The Simpsons," Dan Castellaneta and Harry Shearer perform various characters from the show on Conan O'Brien.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Smith's Promises

Here is some video from back in 2003 when Greig Smith was first running for City Council. Among other things, he promises to close the Sunshine Canyon Landfill. Did he keep any of these promises? Blog away dum dums! (Click the play button in the middle of the image to watch).

Villaraigosa vs. The Engineers

Here is some video from an EAA protest at Mayor Villaraigosa's photo op when the Union Station to LAX Flyaway was opened. Click the play button in the center of the video to watch.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Friday

In the fundraising sweepstakes for Thursday, Assembly Member Cindy Montanez bested Council Member Alex Padilla in donations for their 20th State Senate District race. Montanez brought in $8000, to Padilla's $3300. In the race for the Democratic nomination for the State Attorney General spot, it was a little tighter, but Jerry Brown pulled more dough than Rocky Delgadillo, $6600 to $4500.

The LA Fire Department's blog has an interesting story about some of the first female firefighters in Los Angeles. You might be surprised to learn that all female volunteer fire fighting crews were formed as far back as 1912!

Mayor Villaraigosa met Thursday with Mayors of the other cities in Los Angeles County that are served by the Los Angeles Unified School District. No doubt, the Mayor wants to get them on board for his plan totake over the District.

Blogger Clark Baker is running for the Republican nomination for the 42nd Assembly District. Baker writes the Ex-Liberal In Hollywood Blog, is a former Marine and police officer. Assuming Baker gets the nomination, he'll go up against either Mike Feuer or Abby Land on the Democratic side. Given the enormously left leaning nature of the 42nd, a Republican has no hope, but what the hell, give it a shot right? Baker seems like a worthy candidate. Too bad the LA County Republican party has flushed itself down the toilet.

Public Meetings for Friday

8:45AM - Intergovernmental Relations Committee, Special Meeting
9:00AM - Intergovernmental Relations Committee, Meeting Canceled
10:00AM - Los Angeles City Council
2:00PM - Education & Neighborhoods Committee, Special Meeting


Open Thread for Friday

Continuing our theme of California's Missions, today, Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad.

Due to the location of the rugged Santa Lucia Mountains, which tumble down to the sea in central California, the overland route between San Diego and the second mission at Carmel turned inland the latter half of the journey. Thus Father Serra chose an oak-studded valley east of the mountains for the site of his third mission. A bronze bell carried by a mule to that beautiful place was hung from a tree branch and Serra tolled it with vigor while shouting for the "gentiles" to come and receive the faith. When reminded that not a single gentile was in sight, Serra replied he hoped the bell could be heard around the world. So it was that the San Antonio Mission was founded on July 14, 1771.

The mission grew slowly but steadily. In addition to the church and a huge quadrangle there was a grist mill and an extensive irrigation system, along with many other evidences of prosperity. Yet the Indian population dwindled because of disease even before secularization. Eventually the mission was abandoned. An antique dealer stripped off the roof tiles which after were used on a railroad station. An earthquake left standing only the walls and brick facade of the church, plus a few lonely arches.

San Antonio is unique in that its locale remains as it was originally. The Franciscans returned and began to rebuild in the 1940s, working by hand as did the first builders. Now San Antonio lives again.

California Mission History

Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana
Mission Santa Cruz
Mission San Francisco de Solano
Mission San Luis Rey
Mission San Buenaventura
Mission San Rafael
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Thursday

Its quite an experience to be disconnected from the world when your cable TV and internet go out for a week. Its a pleasure to be back and you can expect everything you've expected from us before and then some not that we're back.

LAist (through YouTube) has the complete, uncut, unaired "South Park" episode - "Come Out of the Closet Tom" that has the Church of Scientology up in arms. Check it out before it gets booted off the web.

The anti-Home Depot folks think I am all wrong, but what does it matter. They don't want a Home Depot and I'm all for it. But they were nice enough to send over news that Mayor Villaraigosa has joined their cause and is opposed to Home Depot too. Hope he doesn't need a screwdriver or hammer to fix anything at the Getty House.

Brady Westwater blogs at the Palm Village Sun that a commission to decide the future of Neighborhood Councils in Los Angeles may not include anyone serving on a Neighborhood Council.

Remember the tripling of the car tax by Gray Davis three years ago? That's probably one of the reasons we have a Governor Schwarzenegger. The folks at the US Chamber of Commerce think it would not be best to slide backwards and are pulling out all stops for Arnold. Here's their latest message.

Good things continue to happen for Jerry Brown in his race for the Democratic nod for Attorney General over LA City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. Jerry's reporting he's got a $1.6 million fundraising lead over Rocky, as well, he received the endorsement of the California School Employees Association.

LA County Board of Supervisors candidate David Hernandez is proposing some interesting ideas for mass transportation. Among them, suggesting as an alternative to Mayor Villaraigosa's "Subway to the Sea" an "Expressway to the Future," that is a monorail down Wilshire Boulevard. Some of the transit geeks might poo poo the idea, but its worth looking at.


Thanks Joe!

While we were down, Joe Mailander kept things afloat by contributing a number of great articles for the blog. I don't know a blogger more prolific than Joe, and though we are on far opposite sides of the political spectrum, I respect his committment to the art. Here are some of the articles Joe penned during the great Adelphia Blackout of 2006:

Eagle Rock the Vote! NC elections Saturday
Leaky Faucets
What's In Your Wallet?
Rocky and His Friends
The City's Shame
The school the Mayor doesn't want you to know about

Open Thread for Thursday

Continuing our theme of California's Missions, today, Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad.

When Soledad Mission was founded on October 9, 1791, the "Golden Age" was beginning for the California missions, and there was anticipation for another successful venture. The lonely spot had been named by Portola, and thus logically was called Our Lady of Solitude. The loneliness, the stubborn soil, and the damp winter winds all contributed to disappointment rather than content for resident padres.

The royal gifts which supposedly would equip the mission never arrived. The adobe buildings tended to disintegrate in summers which were too dry and winters too wet. The neophyte population was never large and an epidemic in 1802 caused the death of many Indians and the loss of many others who fled. The last Franciscan at Soledad was Father Vicente Francisco de Sarria. He struggled alone to keep the buildings habitable, and minister to the few remaining Indians. One morning in 1835 his body was found at the foot of the altar. The little band of loyal followers carried his remains over the hills to Mission San Antonio. Soledad died that day, too. Pio Pico received just $800 for what was left. Although the site of the mission buildings eventually was returned to the Church by the United States, nothing remained but stubs of adobe walls. The lonely place was not reoccupied.

In recent years, when restoration was begun at Soledad, the floor of the mission church was found intact under layers of silt from flood waters. It is still there, being preserved under the same silt. A storeroom had been used as a chapel for the tiny congregation after the loss of the church.

In its beautiful but lonely location many miles from any town this mission more than any other looks just as it did in early Spanish times. Entirely of adobe construction, Soledad Mission fell completely into ruin after its forced abandonment.

Recent rebuilding projects have recreated one side of the quadrangle, as well as the old chapel. Location of the church which washed away in a flood has been found, the tile floor intact. An interesting museum is housed in the rebuilt rooms. The stubs of adobe walls still mark the exact locations of the remainder of the old quadrangle. Irrigation water and loving care have turned the area into a beautiful garden.

California Mission History

Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana
Mission Santa Cruz
Mission San Francisco de Solano
Mission San Luis Rey
Mission San Buenaventura
Mission San Rafael
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

We're Back

Late Tuesday evening, a couple of burly Adelphia techs got our cable internet connection back up and running. After seven days and numerous phone calls, mission accomplished. We'll be back to full speed Thursday.

In the meantime, we hear that the Northridge Neighborhood Council has been de-certified by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. This is not to be confused with the Northridge West Neighborhood Council that Jim Alger hails from.

Given the sudden passing of Marco Firebaugh and the mystery around the cause of his death, did anyone know how really sick he may have been? In the middle of a campaign for the State Senate, he was scheduled to speak at San Diego State University and one day before his passing, he received a nearly $7000 campaign contribution from a SEIU PAC. Was his death truly sudden or was it possible his illness was being concealed? It doesn't add up.

Lastly, when is Time Warner taking over from Adelphia?


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Eagle Rock the Vote! NC elections Saturday

Looks like Brian Heckmann will be the next Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council president. He's running unopposed, and elections are this Saturday.

Heckmann pledges a "zero tolerance" approach to graffiti and to retain the small-town community feel of the place.

In a novel twist, the Eagle Rock NC will also maintain a "Faith-Based Director" official. Ruby de Vera is slated to win that post. As you'll recall, De Vera finished a strong third to high profile candidates Jose Huizar and Nick Pacheco in the last CD 14 election (Heckmann placed fourth). Well-known at St. Dominic's Catholic Church in Eagle Rock, De Vera is also the mom of Theresa de Vera, a City of LA Commissioner (Commission on Disabilities) who's also a graduate of Loyola Marymount where she's currently a grad student in theology.

Reports of His Death Are Greatly Exaggerated? Nope**

We're hearing chatter that former Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh passed away, but we've also received reports to the contrary. Lets put it to bed one way or another here, if you have details post them - but please - only the truth okay dum dums?

Confirmed. Our prayers to his family. I wonder why people would send us emails that he DID NOT die. That's LA.

The Saga Continues

Despite repeated assurances to the contrary, the Adelphia tech did not show up yesterday to Mayor Sam's base of operations, so alas, we are still not wired. We're also missing our nightly reruns of "Good Times" on TVLand.

We'll try again. I'm beginning to wonder if its a conspiracy.

With no internet nor television, I amused myself by watching a DVD of "Star Trek: First Contact" and did something I have never done in DVD viewing - watched the movie with the director's commentary. Director Jonathan Frakes provided wry and elluminating insights into the making of what is probably one of the better Star Trek movies, featuring a fun performance by extreme liberal wacko actor, James Cromwell.

Here's an open thread for today - assuming Mayor Villaraigosa can't cobble the funding together for his Wilshire Blvd. "Subway to the Sea," what alternatives do you suggest?

Blog away, dum dums.

Leaky faucets

The Daily News follows up its DWP overtime expose with an editorial. It paints a bleak picture, even going so far as to suggest that infrastructure is breaking down because of the OT gravy train. It doesn't name names.

Whatever the problems with the DWP might be, it appears we have a lot of W on hand---AP reports that the Sierra Nevada snowpack is higher than last year, and the water supply is in excellent shape.
"If it stopped right now, we would have enough water in storage for two years of drought," said Mike Pechner, staff meteorologist for KCBS Radio. "They have already had an entire season's worth of accumulated rain and snow."

Monday, March 20, 2006

What's in your wallet?

Probably a pretty good chunk of change, if you're reading along from the lovely Ferarro Building or any of its klunky satellites this morning. According to the DN's Beth Barrett:
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power workers racked up more than $51 million in overtime in the last six months of 2005, accounting for more than 30 percent of some divisions' payroll, the Daily News has learned.

Records show more than half of the public utility's 8,100 workers took home a chunk of the lucrative pay, with nine out of 10 working overtime in some divisions.

For some electrical and mechanical engineers, overtime added 50 percent or more to their base salaries of $74,000 to $100,000, according to records.

That's just the kind of Monday morning story that should get your friendly EAA member's blood boiling for the week.

Van Nuys, We Have A Problem

Well folks its your favorite old, dead, Republican mayor checking in. The fine folks at Adelphia have yet to figure out how to hook my cable internet back up, but they're going to try again tonight. How fun. Thanks Joe for holding down the fort, feel free to open blog here today dum dums. Here's one topic - the Metro Gold Line - either the latest fiasco with them ripping up an old cemetary or we can rehash the whole Gloria Molina - school/shopping center stop issue.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Rocky and his friends

If you're going anywhere surface streetish today, be sure to consider Marathon traffic, which could be even heavier than usual.


Good reading in the Times this morning on how Rocky Delgadillo, who was in part propelled to his current office by his ties to the billboard industry, has turned his back on those who purportedly have the goods on certain improprieties allegedly conducted by Regency Billboard.

In-kind billboard ads from Regency worth $125,000 serviced Rocky's run against Mike Feuer for City Attorney in 2001.


The school district the mayor wants to take over for want of accountability continues to shine in the Valley, where Taft, El Camino, and Moorpark are cited as being among the nation's strongest Academic Decathlon teams.

But elsewhere in the Valley, a school battling for autonomy from the LAUSD partners with the UTLA to loosen the District's grip. The UTLA is letting teachers at Parkman Middle School stay in the union while giving the school more autonomy in budget and curriculum decisions.

Parkman is seen by the union as a test case for the union's handling of breakaway efforts.


Bruins are in the sweet sixteen, which sits pretty well with this alum. Howland's done a great job, hasn't he? And you know he has a good shot against those Jesuits from Gonzaga in the next round.

But also, how about Washington beating Illinois? Maybe the Pac 10 isn't as weak as all the commentators have suggested. Still, I'm not expecting much from Arizona when they go against those tough Augustinians from Villanova today.


Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday late

Tune in tomorrow to learn how it's done---and then, don't do it: the second hour of Weekend America tomorrow features a segment on Fred Brito (scroll down for synopsis). Locally, Weekend America plays at 1:00 on KPCC.


Word comes that City vet Dr. Shargani has been given walking papers by LAAS head Ed Boks. LAAS is becoming an increasingly politicized department, as animal rights groups, sometimes using extremist rhetoric, zero in on its operations. Some in these groups have already applauded the move, charging that Shargani was "negligent and apathetic" in certain situations.

One fairly moderate group that works with NCs a lot is the Directors of Animal Welfare. More than you ever need to know about them can be found here at LAVoice.

Council certifies School Board results

City Council votes 10-0 to certify the School Board primary results, placing Arellano on the June ballot.

$#@%! Adelphia

Mayor Sam's home fort is still down so you guessed it, no St. Paddy Day's froth from this old dead, Republican Mayor. However, thanks again to Joe O'Mailander for his clovers. Feel free to use this as an open thread. In the meantime, here's an Irish blessing for ya:

May the light always find you on a dreary day.
When you need to be home, may you find your way.
May you always have courage to take a chance
And never find frogs in your underpants.

The City's Shame

The Times follows up on the Arellano story:
Arellano faxed a letter Thursday to Martinez, formally notifying the city that he no longer wanted to be on the ballot. But by then, lawyers had come to a conclusion.

"They have opined that he cannot withdraw from the ballot at this point," Martinez said. "That is the position we will take when we go" to the City Council.

The council is expected to vote today on a resolution that would certify Garcia and Arellano as the runoff candidates and authorize Martinez to submit their names to county election officials.

The only question City Council should ask itself this morning is, how is democracy served by an election in which one candidate has withdrawn from the race?

If they're confused by that, a good followup question might be, how is democracy served by the advice of a handful of attorneys who also happen to answer to the Mayor?

Council members who endorsed either candidate should recuse themselves from this resolution, forcing the City Clerk to come up with a better one.

If someone were resigning from school board, they would have an election to fill the seat. With someone resigning from the race, it seems appropriate to have a sincere election, not a rubber stamping of a candidate who represents a rubber stamp to the Mayor.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Martinez: Arellano cannot withdraw

KPCC reports that City Clerk Frank Martinez says that Christopher Arellano's name will appear on the June School Board ballot. He bases his decision on advice from the City Attorney.

UPDATE: Frank Martinez clarifies. He tells me that based on the City Attorney's findings, he will go to City Council tomorrow with a resolution proposing that the election be certified with Monica Garcia and Chris Arellano declared as winners, and that their names to be placed on the June ballot. By Charter, LAUSD election results are certified by LA City Council.

Coming Back To Life

This old dead, Republican mayor has begun to rouse and at least for today is back to his day job. I was hit Sunday night with the worst intestinal bug of my life that kept me down for three days, as well, our cable provider has been down since Tuesday afternoon so I couldn't even drop in to update y'all.

I'm feeling better, hopefully by this evening that cable company that starts with an "A" will get its act together and I can begin posting again.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Joe Mailander for keeping things going around here. We would be lost without the support and friendship of such an excellent writer and blogger as Joe.

The school the Mayor doesn't want you to know about

Give it up for Balboa Gifted Magnet Elementary. The Daily News did this morning.
NORTHRIDGE - Superintendent Roy Romer and other Los Angeles Unified School District officials went on the offensive Wednesday against critics of the district, lauding Balboa Gifted Magnet Elementary for having the highest API score in the district for six consecutive years.

Officials noted that the diverse student body - whose students hail from 47 ZIP codes around the city - scored 978 out of 1,000 points on the state's achievement test - the best of any Los Angeles public school and higher than any campus in the Palos Verdes, Arcadia or Santa Monica unified school districts.

"You're a diverse school and you're a public school and you're No. 1," District 1 Superintendent Jean Brown said at a news conference. "Let nobody challenge the work that's going on at LAUSD ... and public schools.

"We're a testament to what public schools accomplish every day. You have reached near-perfection ... and it wouldn't surprise me if you hit the mark."

Story not in the Times. See our earlier item for the type of school district news they're favoring currently.


The Valley can't get no respect in the Times at all, in fact: check the last few posted stories at the LATimes site slugged "Valley." They got the Gallegly story we had yesterday---but then its potted plants, berries, hedges, fuzzy melons, curly beans.


Interesting story in La Opinion: for the first time, two Salvadoran California residents were elected to El Salvador's legislature. One third of all Salvadorans live outside of the country.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

EAA loyals ground Antonio Flyaway

By popular demand, a description and video of the latest EAA Union / Villaraigosa kerfluffle is available over at the EAAUnion site. Running Windows Media Player for the video file at this link should work for you. The union says:
This morning at 10:30 a.m. Mayor Villaraigosa was met by more than 250 EAA members at Patsaouras Plaza when he attempted to deliver his speech opening LA’s Fly-away service to LAX. These very vocal EAA members shouted “Equal pay for equal work” the entire time the Mayor attempted to speak.

The Mayor could not conduct his press conference in public and had to move into one of the fly-away buses to be able to do any interview at all. The bus left with the Mayor, his staff, and press aboard, but the fun wasn’t over yet. When the bus arrived at LAX departure terminal he was met by approximately 60 more EAA members who start shouting the exact same phrase when he stepped out of the bus. At this point he appeared so upset that he directed his LAPD security detail to disburse the group of EAA members not caring that they were violating our members 1st Amendment rights.

Still no word on that KNBC4 video from last week. The Mayor says that he respects the right of unions to demonstrate.

Outraged Eire

Lots of English pubs (and even a Scottie) on that "Irish" pubs list in the Times today.

Gallegly reverses self, and other afternoon mysteries

Sit down, false alarm. Republican Rep. Elton Gallegly out there in the 24th Congressional District (Simi Valley, etc.) says he's running after all.

Gallegly had announced his retirement a week ago, citing health concerns---which surprised his staff. State Republicans wet their pants at the prospect, and Darrell Issa mounted support.

The District is as safe for Republicans as any around. One Michael Tenenbaum will oppose the multiterm Gallegly in the June primary anyway. He doesn't seem to have a website.


News in Sacto: Rob Reiner has become the new pin-up boy of capitol Republicans. Incoming: here comes the vast right wing conspiracy again. And this time it isn't even so right wingy---Weintraub ripped Reiner yesterday pretty bad. Meathead! Duck!


Locally, Colin Cox at Will & Company---erstwhile LATC---says W&Co has been locked out of the LATC, even though the company still has possessions in the building. Security has been advised not to permit old W&C members entry. Cox also reports that the civil servants at the City have all fled the issue. Bottom line: W&C is in a nomadic stage again, looking for a 400 seat theater on the cheap. See our previous item.


If you're reading this by 2 p.m., you can Ask the Chief, Chief Bratton that is, who does a once-a-month thing on KPCC. 1-866-893-5722. About those trips of late: "Most people who understand that this is an international city understand the importance of having a police chief who's internationally connected."

Around the Horn Wednesday

Los Angeles City Council is in RECESS. Not much shakin' in the committees, either.


Down the road a bit, the Government's trial against the Aryan Brotherhood began yesterday. MayorSam stands to lose a couple of key commenters, I think. It's not known whether or not Archie Bunker is implicated.


The City of Gardena, not a budgeting model, sidesteps bankruptcy, the Daily Breeze reports, by refinancing its considerable debt:

Eliminating the embarrassing prospect of declaring bankruptcy, the city of Gardena has renegotiated the terms of its crushing $25.5 million debt with two banks, city officials announced Tuesday.

The banks in question are Union Bank, which does a lot of municipality banking business in California, and Sumitomo. The problems arose from dumb municipally-owned insurance program coupled with a home-buyer program. The City still offers low income housing assistance.


Chris Arellano speaks to the Times:
"The race has now changed into questions about me, my past and the things I have done. If I stayed in, that would have continued and that's not why I wanted to run."

Undiscussed in the race since Adolfo Guzman Lopez's report on Chris have been kids, bonds, $172 million dollar pricetags for schools, etc.

Monica Garcia also talks to the Times:
"No doubt I would have liked it to be over. I think the voters made a strong statement," she said. "I would welcome the chance to go to work for the families of this district immediately. We don't have a day to waste, let alone three months."

Monica got 4% of the District's electorate.

The UTLA's AJ Duffy continues to waive the white flag:
"I can't speak for my members," he said. "But my gut feeling is that we will not get back into this race."

That's twice now in the past eighteen hours that the Union head has said he couldn't speak for his members, just before speaking for them.

La Opinion's piece relies mostly on yesterday's LAWeekly site posting. The article notes trying to contact the Arellano campaign by telephone and failing. Not a surprise.


Blogdowntown is surprised to find that the AON garage is---a garage.

Also: As usual, a soothsayer bids you beware the Ides of March. But if you simply beware men in sandals, you should be OK today.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Buttering up Antonio

Well, you probably caught it yesterday when Defamer Mark Lisanti recapped the Mayor's Saturday night at the movies:
He [the attendant] politely walks over and asks them to move. They do so, and as we get closer to our seats we realize it is Mayor Villaraigosa and his (I’m assuming) wife. We take our seats next to him and a woman in the row in front of us realizes who the Mayor is and drops her popcorn. The mayor then asks the attendant to please refill her popcorn. As he does this they begin a discussion of the movies they have seen and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN come up which the Mayor says he LOVED. The lights go down and the movie begins. Thirty minutes in to it I hear a snort. I look over and the Mayor is dead asleep!

All pretty straightforward and not very interesting. Until...enter Claudia Vaughn:
First off, Mayor Villaraigosa was in the company of his wife, Corina. Any one who follows the local scene, even just a little, would have recognized her. Let's not mention the fact that she actually introduced herself to me.

Second, the mayor did not tell me he "LOVED" "Brokeback Mountain" as was reported. I responded to his query about which film I felt was worthy of best picture. I said I really liked "Brokeback Mountain." I then asked him what he thought of the film "Crash." He told me he really liked it and then explained why. Lastly, I cannot say for certain if the mayor feel asleep during the film. I don't recall hearing any thing that sounded like snorting or snoring. I was with a friend who is quite sensitive to these things....

Just a little different. Not too much really. A staunch apology on behalf of the Mayor, I must say, over not much. Differing a little with Mark's account, not so very much at all.

But does it make a difference if this Claudia Vaughn who's trying to set the record straight here is the same Claudia Vaughn who may be the data manager of the LATimes polling operation?

Imagine a Times polling manager, dropping her popcorn at the sight of the Mayor:

"Yer Honor! I-I'm so embarrased."

"Hey, no problemo. May I ask your name?


"Claudia, Antonio. This is Corina. What do you do, Claudia?"

"I'm a pollster for the LATimes..."

"OH, a Times pollster! Let me get you some more popcorn...[snap snap]...permiso..."

I haven't confirmed that this is the same Claudia Vaughn. But if so, as Mickey Kaus would say---too interesting!!

Well, we always find it a bit ironic when Kaus says that. But at minimum, it certainly explains why someone might bother to try to set the record straight, covering her own patootie in this otherwise dull anecdote, lest the Mayor think someone from the Times is telling tales out of school about him.

Claudia, you should have emailed MayorSam. We clear these kind of things up with lots of consideration for all parties.