Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Monday, March 31, 2008

You too can "spoll" like Red Spot

Much have been said about my abilities to cut, erase, and mutilate the English language.

This afternoon, "HIS BOORNESS", that being the "OBSERVING WEST L.A. LIFE AND HIS DYING TIMES", Kevin "WWG" Roderick has this "ode" to me on his site.
Also, Villaraigosa's police advice team of Ace Smith, Michael
Trujillo and
Miguel Espinoza is headed to North Carolina to help Hilary
I knew "WWG" always had a soft SPOT for me.
Some City Council members are frustrated by the impasse over control of gang programs are considering action to free the issue up from Councilman Tony Cardenas's committee. Also, Villaraigosa's political advice team of Ace Smith, Michael Trujillo and Miguel Espinoza is headed to North Carolina to help Hilary Clinton.
Roderick has a fetish about "double Ls".

Labels: , ,

Jack Hoff's Talk O' The Town

Labels: , ,

LAPD Report Calls Harley Davidsons Lemons

A report by the LA Police Department details significant maintenance issues with motorcycles purchased from Harley Davidson.

For nearly 30 years, LAPD purchased bikes from Kawasaki and found the relationship with the manufacturer to be "very rewarding in terms of technical support, low maintenance cost, vehicle reliability and officer safety."

In 2003 the Department became aware of a BMW model with anti-lock brakes. They tested several of the bikes but ultimately rejected the Bavarian cycles due to the company's unwillingness to allow the department to do in-house warranty work, saving the City time and money.

Shortly thereafter Kawasaki got out of the police bike business, leaving the LAPD with only two choices of manufacturers, Harley and Honda. Honda did not produce a bike with anti-lock brakes and BMW's bid was about $1500 per bike more than Harley, so the legendary American bike producer got the job.

However, according to the 25 page report filed and delivered to the Police Commission and our favorite ex-motorcycle cop turned City Clowncilman Denny Zine's Public Safety Committee, the Harleys may be lemons.

The report cites that the Department has experienced "an abnormal number of repairs due to design deficiencies and poor workmanship in the initial assembly" of the Harley moto-cop bikes. The report further notes the situation was so bad that in 2007 that all of the Harleys had to be taken out of service for a time for inspection and repairs "to ensure officer safety." One of the chief problems are the brake lines on the bike. According to the LAPD, the brake lines were not secured properly to the motorcycle causing them to move, vibrate and rub up against one another or other parts of the bike. Harley's supplier network was not able to provide replacement parts quickly enough, eventually leading to several meetings between the LAPD and Harley Davidson. The LAPD claims that Harley has yet to develop a "permanent solution" to the problem.

A laundry list of other maintenance issues with the bikes include premature starter failure, breaking shift linkages, exhaust pipes falling off and assorted electrical problems.

The Department reports that even when Harley had addressed specific problems, the fix or the parts were slow in coming, leading to excessive downtime for much of the fleet. The Department says in the report that Harley blamed some engine failures on LAPD using the wrong type of motor oil; yet Harley did not recommend what type of oil should be used.

The report summarizes the various causes for downtime for LAPD motorcycle units as well as the increases in repair costs due to the alleged Harley deficiencies.

The next step will be up to the Police Commission and the City Council. Let's hope they give it the full attention it needs.

Labels: , ,

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Monday

Los Angeles Port President David Freeman joined Port of Long Beach Prexy Mario Cordero for a joint appearance last week in San Pedro about the controversial "Clean Trucks" programs to be adopted by both ports. The goal - to lower diesel emissions and pollution at the ports and in surrounding communities - may only be window dressing. Freeman denied that one of the more talked about provisions of the LA plan that could require truck drivers at the port to be employees rather than owner-operators was more about pleasing unions (unions can't organize truck drivers who are independent operators) than making the Port more green.

Mr. Tamar Galatzan and VICA head Brendan Huffman has a letter in Monday's Daily News praising the selection of Marcus Allen as the new CAO for LA. Brendan, how come they iced the plan to dump Robin Kramer until none of us are looking?

Joel Budd writing in the Economist is the latest journalist to delve into the development issue in Los Angeles. Though he captures well the usual NIMBY/BANANA/CAVE anti-growth mentality, the story also makes it clear why the city has to look at all types of growth strategy including smart development and transit oriented development. We just can't get keep growing out.

The MTA and the City are trying to encourage more people to use public transit yet at the same time they're cutting service on the lines that the most transit-dependent need most. Makes sense of course. Even Tony Villar finds fault with it.

Except for some of the NIMBYs who read this blog, most of you probably have no idea who Sandor Winger is, but he's the man that anyone wanting to annex Las Lomas and other prize properties in LA County has to get through. The Newhall Signal profiles the Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission who spends his days pouring over proposed county maps and often tells guests he "feels crappy." Maybe on his desk: new plans to annex Las Lomas?

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Monday Sneak Peek

What major American manufacturer (and the last such in it's field) delivered a product to the City, upon which certain City employees and the public at large rely on for their safety, that turned out to be a major, major lemon? Details Monday.


Sunday Morning Mimosa

JM, Mattress truck, Los Feliz Boulevard, 3.28.08

Joseph Mailander
a guy in laelsewhereemail

The City's density Stasi are bringing the same kind of dystopic bedlam to Ventura Boulevard that they brought to the Westside. The Times is starting to catch up and discovers that the neighborhood councils, though largely powerless, are the organizations that best speak for the opposition. There wasn't a good enough homeowners/renters ratio to combat density on the Westside, but there might be in the Valley.

What went wrong with Drew Street, Glassell Park? The Times also revisits the case of Chata Leon, who's an avatar of everything gone wrong with the City-as-an-immigrant-haven. Haven't we seen this story before, elsewhere? But the article does point to a constant problem in LA:

The number of apartment buildings doubled. City records show that from 1984 to 1992, builders razed 30 single-family houses and erected apartment complexes in their place, adding 480 units to the 12-square-block neighborhood -- between the Glendale Freeway and Forest Lawn Memorial-Park -- that includes Drew Street.

Living conditions began to resemble those of many public housing projects, particularly on Drew Street, where the concentration of apartments was the greatest....

The LAUSD wants to prepare students better---in Chinese, the Daily News informs. How optimistic. We might become the training ground for the Wal-Mart buyers of 2025 yet. Has the district shown a lot of measured growth in English? Just asking.

Yours truly has an article on music and the LA Opera speaker's series at Brand Library Recital Hall in this month's just-issued Verdugo Monthly. Brand has been my home away from home of late. It's a great venue. On a different tack, last week, I had an article on ovarian cancer in the Downtown News---I hope it got emailed around to women and men alike, as everyone benefits from more awareness of this malady that isn't talked about too much.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Photoshop Express REALLY WORKS!

Featured above is Mayor Sam Contributor Valley Doll with just a little airbrushing.

I'm sure we can all agree the effect is fantastic!

And, yeah, I know I'm in major trouble now....

Labels: , ,

More Stuff You Don't Need

Mayor Sam, Valley Doll, and Joseph M. at El Presidente.
Photo by Joe B., Sketch by Photoshop Express.
(click image for full version)

Adobe has unleashed Photoshop Express, a free online version of Adobe Photoshop.
It's nothing like the real deal , in fact it doesn't even come close, but it is free, it's kinda fun, and reportedly, it will evolve. You can sign up at: https://www.photoshop.com/express/landing.html

Sports Before it Happens?

Back in the day on the blog, for a while, Walter O'Malley covered sports. He had some great pieces here at the Sister City, then he got the "Golden Ticket" for a big professional sports gig and had to leave us behind.

Joe Mailander's great piece on today's Dodger expo game at the Coliseum reminded me that for some time I've been thinking about bringing some sports coverage back.

So if you're inclined to write about sports, want to join the Blogging Burros and are good at it, contact me for a Golden Ticket at mayorsamyorty@aol.com.

Play ball!


Right, Wrong and/or "Mean-Spirited" on Immigration?

immigration policy

The Sacramento Bee sent out a PM Alert email last night entitled "'Mean-spirited bills will accomplish nothing." I immediately thought "Okay, that's code language. What are we blaming Republicans for this time?" since we rarely see "mean-spirited" as an adjective before Democrats or Democratic bills. My guess was something related to immigration and sure enough, I was right; it's the last line in their editorial today. I'll let you decide for yourself whether the Assembly bills are "mean-spirited," the right approach or don't go far enough. I was just having a Lakoff/Luntz moment.

Dr. Frank Luntz

Governor, president get immigration right

The Sacramento Bee
Saturday, March 29, 2008

Say this for President Bush: He understands the roots of illegal immigration in the United States. As he has said, citizenship lines are "too long, and our current limits on legal immigration are too low." He tried to work with Congress to increase the number of green cards that can lead to citizenship.

Congress, alas, failed to enact reforms, so illegal immigration continues to be driven by perpetual backlogs and unrealistically low quotas. Not surprisingly, many families and employers take matters into their own hands, evading the law due to a lack of legal options.

But instead of pressing the president and Congress to create a workable national immigration system, Republicans in the state Legislature are promoting bills that would have California take it upon itself to punish employers seeking workers and foreigners seeking U.S. residence.

Here's a sample of the proposed craziness: Revoke business licenses for employers who hire undocumented workers (Assembly Bill 2421); make illegal immigration a trigger for the governor to declare a state of emergency (Assembly Bill 2812); forbid Los Angeles and San Francisco from declaring themselves "sanctuary cities" (Assembly Bill 2420); forbid local governments from providing services to undocumented residents (Assembly Bill 3X20). And don't forget to punish children: Support repeal of birthright citizenship in the Constitution (Assembly Bill 44); forbid California high school graduates from paying in-state college tuition if their parents entered the state illegally (Assembly Bill 1758).

Fortunately, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't playing that game. He said Wednesday, "There is, you know, always a time like this where you start pointing the finger at various different elements. … I can guarantee you, I have been now four years in office in Sacramento. I don't think that illegal immigration has created the mess that we are in."

If legislators want to reduce illegal immigration, they should press Congress to reform the nation's legal immigration system. Their mean- spirited bills will accomplish nothing.

(emphasis added)

Labels: , , , , ,

The City's Big Dance

a peek at a bracket...

The Downtown News has a two-page March madness styled "tournament" pitting 64 civic entities against each other, including results. The piece, a collaboration between exec ed/conceptualizer Jon Regardie and artist Doug Davis (whose style reminds me very much of the great Herald Ex cartoonist of long ago, Karl Hubbenthal), is intended as humor, and delivers that, especially when you look at it matchup by matchup.

But I think the piece could also serve as a superb educational tool for civics discussions in local high schools, junior colleges, and colleges, and local adult learning discussion groups. Who is Planning Director Gail Goldberg? Why do you think she "loses" in the first round? Who is Jose Huizar and why is he facing playing tenants? Why is the Mayor with City Lobbyists in the final?

You can find the large (over 1 meg) pdf here if you click that link. But I recommend picking up a copy at a newsstand, and pouring over it for a while. The issue has hit the stands; ye who follow city politics so closely won't be disappointed, and those who don't will get a quick education, seeing the City in a way they haven't before.

Labels: ,

Whom age doth not destroy

LA Coliseum in the O'Malley era

If you've read any old-timer Dodger biographies, such as Sandy Koufax's incredibly literate autobio from 1965, you know the mystique the Coliseum captured as a ballpark and holding tank for the local nine while the hills of Chavez Ravine were being bulldozed.

In the old days, the Coliseum's short porch in left, just barely over the MLB required 250 feet down the left field line, made a huge screen a necessity. Wally Moon's famous "moon shot" involved inside-outing an inside pitch, hitting a pop fly to left that barely kissed the screen or just hopped over it, really not much more than a medium-distance fungo.

Today the dimension to the left field foul pole is a scant 201 feet, which is forty-nine feet less than baseball allows, but this is an exhibition game and nobody cares.

Part of the fun of that pre-Sports Center era was information that traveled at a different speed than today. When pitchers heard about Moon's luck with the screen, they presumed that as a left-handed hitter he was hitting outside pitches. So they came inside on him, and continued to pay the price.

The screen ran off into center and in a hurry: in center, the park was an airport, and tough in right too. Koufax reports that when Willie Mays first saw the dimensions, he said, "Poor Duke," referring to Duke Snider, the Dodgers' left handed power hitter of the late fifties. Both center and right were well over 400 feet.

For today's exhibition game, the shorter dimension will again be to left.

While the Red Sox have their local adherents, I think the idea of a game at the Coliseum itself is what's appealing to the staggering amount of people interested to attend.


Friday, March 28, 2008

You're so captured!

After making you suffer the indignity of a rave review of a bogus gangbangin' book and following it up with a bogus FBI report of the most notorious hip-hop murder ever, the former fishwrap of record known as the LA Times now wants you to hand over your spammable data for the mere privilege of reading one of their possibly true stories on the local news page.

Quietly today, the Times flipped the switch on a capture system that demands you list an email and password with the site to access a local story. I know---it's so 1994. But that's russ.fishwrap.2.0 for you.

I can't imagine bothering to link to many such firewall insulated stories for a long time. If they need to build a list, they need to build it---but as for me, I think I can sit this one out. It shouldn't take long for them to revert.

UPDATE: Readers report that this is business as usual for them. It's not for me; I've been skating into local news on the same set-up for years. Last night, suddenly, I was hit with the registration screen, for the first time.


Outtakes from CD 14, The "CUT AND PASTE" Capital of Los Angeles

Hola and a "GRANDE SI SE PUEDE" in honor of Cesar Chavez.
Many thanks to the man who kept the farm fields "LEGAL" and granted me a three day weekend starting tonight.
YES I CAN!!!, that is what the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN AS JOSE HUIZAR" is saying to those who thought that facial hair and "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN AS JOSE HUIZAR" was oxymoronic.

Last Friday the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN AS JOSE HUIZAR" was sprouting facial hair that formed a "SOUL PATCH" and a dim outline of a "GOATEE".

Now I for one remember Chato, Juan, Memo and others who had facial hair in their second year of sixth grade, so not to bash on the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN AS JOSE HUIZAR", but hey man, welcome to the world of shaving.

On the subject of a different Chavez, that being Chavez Ravine. We in the very near future may need to create the weekly "CHAVEZ RAVINE AWARD".

This will go to the Special Interest who donates money to the "COUNCILMAN LAST SEEN AS JOSE HUIZAR" for the purpose of developement and the resulting displacement of the current populations to far off Section 8 ghettos. Candidates so far would include the "Fifteen Group", "El Mercado", and "USC".

This is looking like a sure thing with Ricardo Lara now accepting Laura Chick signed paychecks, and that other candidate who was married to Cynthia Ruiz???, but the Perez team will not take anything for granted. Former School Board candidate Enrique Gasca will run the campaign. This is the same guy who had a "REPUBLICAN" from Salinas, connected to the Chacon/Urteaga /Robles?? Machine in Southeast L.A., as a campaign manager for his school board race. Almost ran out of dots to connect.

Also as a Public Service, we provide the link to Cal Access so that you can follow the dinero. Here are some of the donors,
Thomas Calderon $3,600.00
Keith Brackpool $7,200.00????
Teamsters $7,200.00
Cecilia Estolano $500.00
Ari Swiller $1,000.00????
Assemblyman Portatino $3,600.00 among others.
Link here to see how to cut and edit "SPIN", in this case provided by Eliot Sekuler.
The popular column by a "TIO TACO FROM ORANGE COUNTY" is no more. We hereby nominate "QUIXOTE/HIROSHI/CULO/PROFESSOR" to answer your questions on barrio popular culture from his/her multiple perspectives.
Did "LA GORDA/ROSIE O' GARCIA" sister just get appointed to a commission by the Mayor??
What Public Housing Project just fail their HUD inspection Jordan Downs or Ramona Gardens??
Big hint, future name could be "GARDEN OF TROY".

Labels: , , ,

Welcome to H-E-I-D-I-W-O-O-D

According to US Weekly via MSNBC, this season’s celeb wannabe snore Heidi Montag recently requested changing the iconic Hollywood Sign to "Heidiwood" in honor of Montag's impending Los Angeles fashion show. (...snore indeed...)

What was more interesting by far was Tom LaBonge’s response. LaBonge has been the chair of the Council's Arts Parks Health and Aging committee for what seems like an eternity to a lot of Angelenos. When Montag’s people made the request, LaBonge reportedly responded “We rarely accept alterations of an historic monument."

For a man rumored to have a photographic memory, LaBonge's apparently failed him on this. It was just a little over eight years ago when the Mayor and the Clowncil decided to have Hollywood Sign lit up for New Year’s Eve, 2000 as part of the City's widely-panned $6 million Millenium celebration.

In 2001, Eric Garcetti requested that the Hollywood Sign be turned Red, White, and Blue in honor of Veteran’s Day.

In 1987, the Hollywood Improvement Association filed an appeal to stop the Rec and Parks Commission from allowing the Fox Network to alter & illuminate the Hollywood Sign for a period in April as a commercial promotion. City Council didn’t bother to hear the motion until well after FOX’s promotion occurred.

In 1992 the same group filed suit to stop Rec and Parks Commissioners once again from selling out the sign, this time to advertise the film “Cool World”. The lawsuit contended that LAMC 63.44 -- which is the LAMC that outlines most dos and donts in City parks -- prohibits this kind of use. The City Council had the LAMC changed to make it clear that the City can indeed do this, and then proceeded to do it. A giant cartoon character from the film was then unceremoniously stuck on the sign, cheesing up the icon for months.

There are many more documented changes to the sign, both official and unofficial. So...hmmm. Maybe Montag's people didn't offer enough in campaign contributions?

Labels: , ,

Friday Hotsheet at 3 a.m.

JM, Mmmm, tacos, 3.11.08

Joseph Mailander
a guy in laelsewhereemail

Really? Is it Friday already? Where did the week go?

While the Times was inventing new ways to melt down this week, the Times blogs appeared to get worse, even more content-free than ever. Tony told me he's in charge of the blogs and bristled when I suggested he may be taking some marching orders from elsewhere, but when you look at what he does privately compared to what they do publically, you do get the feeling there's a disconnect.

How do those gals and guys who actually do writing and researching respond to that fluffy stuff at the top of the page, burying their content? We won't know this week, because Russ got too busy with the new meltdowns to come to the LA Press Club.

Conversely, the fishwrap whose scribes work so well in partnering with bloggers, rather than seeing them as hopelessly diabolical competitors, the Daily News, continued its top secret strategy of featuring front page local news on the front page. Here's a new item, for instance: "Two men in their 20s were shot to death today on a sidewalk in front of an apartment building in Exposition Park, authorities said." Looks like a whole different City than the one Veronica de Turenne is so breezily snapping in Malibu, wouldn't you say? The Times top blogs are driving the message home, again and again: qu'ils mangent de la brioche.

Meanwhile, City Lobbyists ran the table on LA again this week. Ken Draper in CityWatch notes that one just became the new City Administrative Officer. Neighborhood Council people, bookmark this page: Lobbyists by Name, 2008. And don't ever back away from the opportunity to debate a $600-an-hour attorney; it's quite confidence-building, especially when you have to argue with two-bit bloggers later.

Just curious, Ed...when was the last time the SPJ featured a writer from The Tidings?


Raphael Sonenshein Talks Politics at SPJ-LA "Political Party"

Raphael Sonenshein

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ-LA) held a "Political Party" this past Wednesday night at the Redwood Bar & Grill with political guru and Cal State Fullerton professor, Raphael Sonenshein. Advance apologies for the quality of the lighting--it wasn't the best lit room--but the sound is good (Beastie Boys and Neil Diamond samplings notwithstanding).

Redwood Bar and Grill 1

There was a contingent from Cal State Fullerton as well as a number of SPJ-LA members like SPJ-LA Vice President Alice Walton of City News Service, SPJ-LA Membership Director Claudia Peschiutta of KNX 1070, SPJ-LA President David Dow (former CBS News correspondent), SPJ-LA Board Member Joel Bellman of Supervisor Yaroslavsky's Office, and several others.

Joel Bellman,Bellman and Felde protege

Some interesting tidbits:

  • Yes, several of us did try to elicit an answer from Joel regarding the mayoral race but he stayed on message (Yaroslavsky is not running).
  • Sonenshein blogs at the Jewish Journal; it's called Jews Choose 2008.
  • Sonenshein talked about issues facing African-American candidates, the National Campaign Press, the Age Factor with McCain, the dysfunctional Clinton campaign, how Obama needs to go on the offensive, rebellious voters and much more (including some interesting thoughts/advice on Ferraro, Spitzer and Patterson).


Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4
Video 5
Video 6

Enjoy ...

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, March 27, 2008

In Hnoor of Red Sopt

O lny srmat poelpe can raed tihs.

cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The
phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy,

it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if
you can raed tihs psas it on !!


Egg McMuffin Creator Dead At 89

No idea as to when the McServices will be held, but I couldn't take looking at Mr. McSkelton at the top of Mayor McSam's McBlog anymore, so I posted this McThread.

If you're looking for political insider McBullshit, you may as well McEff off now....

Labels: , , , ,


Parke Skelton, primary architect of Antonio Villaraigosa and Eric Garcetti's bond campaigns.

Labels: ,

Crime and Punishment in Los Angeles

Today I arrived to my vehicle - parked in a secure garage - to find this:

Unfortunately, the bandits made off with the Mayor Sam Mobile Unit - laptop, web cameras and other assorted remote blogging doo-dads (but not the dreaded BlackBerry).

Digital security cameras and a crack Senior Lead Officer might nab the bandits. And auto and rental insurance may cover some of the damage.

Still I will not vote for or support any of the shady taxes, fees, assessments etc. allegedly for hiring more cops. Let's cut the rest of the budget first and eliminate the nonsense.

Mayor Sam readers, bloggers, politicians and local denizens alike should not worry that the theft of this laptop means the loss of any sensitive Sister City data. The old, dead Republican Mayor makes use of online applications like Google Apps so nothing is saved locally.

I just miss all my doo-dads.

Labels: , , , , ,

Governor Doesn't Blame Immigrants for CA Budget Woes


America has a long history of blaming immigrants whenever the economy sours or is in what our president calls a "slowdown." According to the Sacramento Bee, Governor Schwarzenegger called it a "big mistake" yesterday to blame immigrants for the state budget gap (around $8 billion). Below are some quotes from Kevin Yamamura's piece.

"There is, you know, always a time like this where you start pointing the finger at various different elements of what creates the budget mess, and, you know, some may point the finger at illegal immigrants," Schwarzenegger said. "I can guarantee you, I have been now four years in office in Sacramento, I don't think that illegal immigration has created the mess that we are in."

"There's a cost associated with illegal immigration whether we're in a deficit mode or not," said Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Roseville. "I think it just becomes more (significant) when we're in a deficit mode and we're having to make tough cuts across the board in education and health and human services. Those should be provided to the citizens of this country and people who came to this country legally."

"Frankly, they're wrong," said Senator Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles. "The fact of the matter is, immigrants have a positive impact on the economy and the budget, and they're essential to California's prosperity. We can't have a prosperous future without immigrant workers."

"It's just a gray, murky area that people want to use as a political football," said USC demographer Dowell Myers.

Read the full story.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday Hotsheet at 3 a.m.

JM, Che on Mural, Sunset, 11.14.07

Joseph Mailander
a guy in laelsewhereemail

Books just don't matter much to your local fishwrap. If you ever needed more proof of this, take a look at how the LATimes convulsed when it discovered it had based a story about a death that occurred over a decade ago on fraudulent documents.

"In relying on documents that I now believe were fake, I failed to do my job," Philips said in a statement Wednesday. "I'm sorry."

In his statement, Duvoisin added: "We should not have let ourselves be fooled. That we were is as much my fault as Chuck's. I deeply regret that we let our readers down."

Compare that to how the reviewer of a completely fraudulent book about gangbanging blamed everyone else other than herself in the process of defending her review.

Who can blame readers who follow the story for wanting to understand how so many people were fooled? No one likes to be fooled. Least of all, I might argue, a critic. (I suspect we could conduct focus groups with real-life, bona-fide gang members and some of them would be fooled too.) That was my first reaction, somewhere in the gut like a fist. There were a few other feelings, including amusement--admit it, like falling into a story or being forced to stay home because of the weather, it’s a little bit thrilling that we still can be fooled....

Yes, she even wondered if it mattered.

Believe it when you read that the Grape Street Crips took a hit in the Daily News. The grand jury indictments come down on thirteen gang members of one of LA's most dangerous who are alleged to have been involved in the production of PCP.

As home purchases drop and bankruptcies climb, the buyer to foreclosure ratio is moving towards an eerie equilibrium, the paper also reports.

This really flew under the radar: State courts banned most home schooling last month. But they'll reconsider in appeal.


Yeah ... That's The Ticket!

Oh, how this makes me laugh! I never get tired of watching it!

Uh-oh --- looks like someone is lifting from the Tommy Flanagan Play Book:

Oh, how this makes me laugh! I never get tired of watching it!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jack Hoff's Give 'n Take: Deadbeat Dads & Steve Cooley

(source: Daily News Op-Ed 3/26/08)

DN Headline: Hounding low-income dads won't pay
JH Headline: Hound The Bastards, It'll Pay Dividends For Everyone!

By Jeffery M. Leving and Glenn Sacks Jeffery M. Leving is a family-law attorney and the author of "Divorce Wars." Contact him through his Web site, www.dadsrights.com. Glenn Sacks writes on men's and fathers' issues.

Jack Hoff grew up with(out) his deadbeat dad. Now he writes for no money on a crappy political blog.

LOS Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and Child Support Services Department Director Steven Golightly have announced a sweeping new campaign against "deadbeat dads." They say their new Most Wanted Delinquent Parent list is modeled on the FBI's fabled 10 Most Wanted list. On paper the 10 offenders owe over $2 million, but it's very questionable that Cooley and Golightly will be collecting much.

Do you think that's the entire point? It's a campaign. Campaigns are about communicating a message or position. Think hard, what could that message possibly be?
(More after the jump...)

Golightly's action is particularly remarkable considering that the California Department of Child Support Services, which supervises the CSSD, issued a report in January that contradicts any possible rationale for this campaign.

I see you've already missed my point.

According to the CDCSS, there are four primary factors creating child-support arrearages in California: "high child-support orders established for low-income obligors"; "a limited number of child-support orders adjusted downward"; "establishment of retroactive child-support orders"; and "accrual of 10 percent interest on child-support debt." Over a quarter of these arrears is interest.

Is this the "apples" part of your argument, or the oranges?

Unlike the Most Wanted Deadbeat Parent lists put out by most states and counties, the CSSD's list does not contain the occupations of the "deadbeats." One can understand why.

Lemme guess...it gets boring putting "unemployed" under each name?

Nationwide these lists are never comprised of well-heeled businessmen, lawyers and accountants, but instead of fathers who do low-wage and often seasonal work, and owe large sums of money, which they could never hope to pay off. It is rare to find a person with even a college degree on these lists.

Let's all take a moment to pity the uneducated deadbeat dad who travels the country earning his low wage, yet liberally "spreading his seed" throughout the land...

In recent years there have been several highly publicized actions similar to CSSD's, generally coupled with arrests.

Praise the Lord, somebody's gotta do something!

For example, Virginia's Most Wanted list was topped by a laborer, a carnival hired hand and a construction worker, who collectively somehow owed over a quarter-million dollars in child support.

Fifty states in the union, and you choose Virginia to establish your fundamental argument?

Similarly, Kentucky's list during its campaign sported only one obligor with an education, and the most common designation for occupation was "laborer."

See above, add "deadbeat dwarf shot out of cannon." And btw, sure glad this is about L.A. County, Cooley & Golightly...

How do men of such modest means end up with such fantastic arrearages?

How do turkeys drown when they look up in the sky during a cloudburst?

The child-support system is largely impervious to the economic realities working people face, such as layoffs, wage cuts, unemployment and work-related injuries. According to the Urban Institute, less than one in 20 noncustodial parents who suffers a substantial drop in income is able to get courts to reduce the support obligation.

Because, jackass, nobody lowers the cost of food and clothes for children who need something to eat and wear just because daddy lost his job again or the price of a six pack just went up...

To Cooley's and Golightly's credit, they did explain that some of the "deadbeats" they're pursuing may be able to use California's Compromise of Arrears Program. COAP allows some obligors to settle their artificially inflated paper debts to the state for realistic amounts.

Ah, there is a rainbow after the storm. Now low-wage deadbeat dads can hire a lawyer like you...for $350/hr.

The problem is there has been little outreach done on COAP, so few obligors are aware of it.

See, that's the problem, you can't do "outreach" to deadbeat dads who refuse to leave a forwarding address...

Fewer than 5,000 have used it since its inception in 2003.

Not surprising. How'd you find them, at another one of their weddings or baptisms?

Moreover, it's unlikely that those on the list will view the Most Wanted approach as much of an invitation to turn themselves in.

Ahahaha....So smug. Where is my vomit bag?

Golightly says he's doing this so the "deadbeats" will "take care of their children." This is misleading, because 70 percent of California's child-support debt is owed to the state, not to custodial mothers and fathers.

Okay, you're not gonna win any friends on this blog by trying to make that point....

It is understandable that taxpayers want money spent on welfare benefits to be repaid.


Yet it makes little sense to hound low-income fathers, particularly since research shows that in some cases, were it not for child support, the men would still be playing a role in their children's lives.

Oddest point of all...conclusion being that "if these men didn't have to support their children, they would still be in their lives, uhm, supporting their children, yeah, that's it!"

The Cooley/Golightly approach may be good politics, but it's counterproductive policy.

What's counterproductive, sir, is that your potential client base (absentee fathers, deadbeat dads) is largely responsible for the gang problem in our city, the high dropout rate in our schools, drug and alcohol abuse amongst teens, and myriad other ailments in our society. Try taking a look at that research some day....

And get back to us!!

Labels: , , ,

LAFD Firefighter killed in the Line of Duty

One firefighter was killed and another hurt in a "manhole explosion" near LAX.

Details are still sketchy at this time, but footage on local T.V. show extensive damage to a DWP Credit Union office.

Sadly this comes just days after the 10 year anniversity of the lost of City Fire Helicopter # 3 at Griffith Park.

This from the son of one of the three firefighters who died in the crash as posted on the LAFD Blog

The Eternal Scar by Nicholas Reiner
March 23rd,an ordinary day, just one to forget.Maybe for
you, but not for me, not yet.
I was changed that morning, changed in my soul and my heart,
A morning for me that will stand apart
My Dad died that day doing what he did best Saving lives without much rest.
The helicopter--the cradle of life had rudder failure and started to descend.
The girl in the chopper dying, my dad and others gave a hand to lend.
The aircraft was lost, my Dad lost with it.
I was thunderstruck, shocked, and utterly sad
That my life had taken this turn because of the loss of my Dad
I didn't know what to think, or say
I experienced nothing but sadness that horrible day
.I was left without a father to guide me on my way.
Left without a leader, I began to sway Back and forth with a question I had Why did God choose to take my Dad?
Why me, why him, why o why?
What would my life be like if he were here, alive?
How would I have been, what would I have done?
Would I have been a good or bad son?
I'll never know, because I can't change the past
This is why my memories and prayers must last
One of his favorite quotes was "Always take the high road".
"Well, when I think of him I ponder this quote.
And I think that if he died to save then I can stand up and be brave
Face my fears, and take up my crosses
Accept hardship, and deal with my losses
I am scarred forever because he died Unable to forget what is contained inside
This wound, once open and throbbing without control Now silent, numbed, a deep meaningful hole
Eternally present, once only pain,
Now death gives way to hopeful gain
A tear, a smothered cry, anguished undenied
Find here a knowing, a caring and warmth supplied
The day is gone, the scar will stay
His courage, now mine, will lead the way.

Our prayers go out to the families of the two fire fighters and to the whole LAFD Family.

Post your respects at the LAFD Blog

Measuring the distance

After reading Mayor Sam's Swiftboating Obama post; I kept thinking about the last election. There seemed to be something present then that wasn't now and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what it was. But still, it nagged at me --- until I read this in the Baltimore Sun:

COLUMBUS, Ohio-- Legendary rocker Bruce Springsteen put on a blistering two-hour and 30-minute show here Monday night that had most of the crowd on its feet for the entire performance.

The tight set from Springsteen and his E Street Band meant there was little time for Springsteen to do other thing he does best: talk about the state of the nation.

That was fine with one concert-goer here in the moderate Midwest: "He's liberal, he's big into unions and all that," he told his companion before the show began. "I hope he keeps politics out of it tonight."

That was it! Bruuuuuce!

One of the few artists who has never been afraid to wear his political heart on his sleeve; Bruce Springsteen has been invoked by such disparate political contenders such as John Kerry and Ronald Reagan (At a campaign stop in Hammonton, New Jersey, Reagan said, "America's future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts. It rests in the message of hope in songs of a man so many young Americans admire, New Jersey's Bruce Springsteen." The Reagan campaign briefly used "Born in the U.S.A.", an anti-Vietnam War song, as a campaign song, without permission, until Springsteen, a lifelong Democrat, insisted that they stop.)

He was a huge supporter of John Kerry's in the last election, but had been mum so far as to which candidate he was supporting this time around. Until now.

The article went on to quote Bruce:

In the current race, "there are two really good Democratic candidates for president. I admire and respect them both enough to wait and see what happens."

He did, however, express admiration for Obama, saying: "I always look at my work as trying to measure the distance between American promise and American reality. And I think (Obama's) inspired a lot of people with that idea: How do you make that distance shorter? How do we create a more humane society? We've lived through such ugly times that people want to have a romance with the idea of America again, and I think they need to.

"The hard realities and how things get done are important, too, but if you can effectively convince people that it's possible to make things better, they get excited," the 58-year old singer-songwriter said.

Obama, for his part, has mentioned Springsteen as the person he would most like to meet. So, is it possible that Bruce could pull a Bill Richardson and throw a high-profile endorsement Obama's way as Obama's supporters seek to put pressure on Clinton to drop from the race for the good of the party?

The only hint Springsteen gave was after "Livin' in the Future." Taking a page from a famous 60s folk song, he shouted, "There's a new wind blowing!"

Then, he launched into the redemptive anthem "The Promised Land," which includes lyrics such as:

There's a dark cloud rising from the desert floor
I packed my bags and I'm
heading straight into the storm
Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain't got the faith to stand its ground
Blow away the dreams that
tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the
lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted
The dogs on main street howl,
'cause they understand,
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister, I ain't a boy, no, I'm a man,
And I believe in a promised land
I believe in a promised land...

Well all right then -- that was your Valley Doll Rock Report for the Day!

Labels: , , ,

Brian Whitman Out?

A tipster tells us KLSX radio host Brian Whitman will no longer host his evening radio talker with co-host Tim Conway, Jr. No word on future plans.

Give the slot to Zuma Dogg.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Governor Newsom?

Gov. Schwarzenegger with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Grace Slick.

There has been some buzz in recent days about Mayor Gavin Newsom's political ambitions--most suggesting that run for Governor in 2010 is in the cards. Newsom joins a handful of others also thinking of that 1st floor office in the Capitol: Attorney General (and former governor) Jerry Brown, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Treasurer Bill Lockyer, state schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi and former Controller Steve Westly.

Here is some analysis by Dan Walters. How do you see the race going?

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Villar and Feinstein to push for Foreclosure Bailout

Hi boys and girls, do any of your parents need a bailout??

At 10:30 AM on the steps of City Hall, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Senator Diane Feinstein will call for government intervention in the "MARKET CORRECTION" that is the false crisis involving the Sub-prime mortgage industry.
Lets be candid Mayor Villaraigosa and Senator Feinstein are not being influence by the sob stories of people who fail to read the small print on signed documents.
What the likes of Villaraigosa and Feinstein are most concern about here is the constant flow of property tax revenue that goes to feed the "beast" known as big government.
If any one government entity is responsible for the Sub-prime correction, then lets blame governmental philosophy that reinforces the concept of victim hood and not accountability for one's own actions.
LA Times: "California Freefall" Housing prices fall 25%. Market correction creates affordable housing.
Wonder if any reporters on hand today at City Hall will ask Villaraigosa and Feinstein to comment on "MRS BILL CLINTON'S" war stories from Bosnia. With Ace and Mike working on the campaign one would have to wonder if they had a hand in creating "80 FAKE SNIPERS IN BOSNIA".

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday Hotsheet at 3 a.m.

JM, Little Joy, 3.24.08

Joseph Mailander
a guy in laelsewhereemail

Take a look at this, and use the magnifying glass: an LA transit map for the year 2030. Among the stops: Wilshire/La Cienega, Palms, La Cienega/Jefferson, Maravilla, Crenshaw/Slauson. Story on the map here.

But we might need it by 2010: more growth, more congestion, more schlocky commercial spaces thrown up by out of town businesses, and less departmental oversight of new building are all coming to Los Angeles, giving our City's talentless doormat of a planning chief more ability to surrender to developers, under a new Mayor's office plan to be implemented in the next six months. Garcetti loves the idea, which would give LA's Mayor-beholden planning chief in its history more authority, at the expense of other City deparment checkpoints of reason.

The Mayor mumbles something, neither pro-management nor especially pro-union, about the urgency of avoiding a prospective actor's strike, thereby creating the illusion of involvement. We criticized the Mayor persistently for staying mum through the writer's strike. Without bolder public statements, his office's involvement is useless.

As Sam says last night, eyes are now on Robin Kramer, as one ex-Riordan cohort, Karen Sisson, splits the Mayor's office. We think Kramer is also going. The moves fit the split between the Mayor's office and the Gang of Four we first alluded to eleven days ago. The Daily News quotes the departing Sisson as leaving for "a challenging job," one she had been recruited for.

The former fishwrap of record doesn't even have its own scribe rework the AP item about the LAPD's suicide rate. The item trivializes the numbers of officers fallen in the line of duty---scarcely a way to honor them in perpetuity.

Times ed Russ Stanton canceled his Thursday night appearance at the LA Press Club. Which is a shame, because Stanton's decisions since taking the helm have been uniquely awful, scrubbing the paper in a way that trivializes news itself, and some less-than-fawning types have some questions for him.

Congrats to our friend Abby Diamond, a force of nature in a part of the town where nature matters, Sunland-Tujunga, on becoming Woman of the Year in the community.

A block down from The Shortstop, a cop dive turned westsider-looking-for-Silver-Lake scenester bar, is the Little Joy, above, which has been Yelped as well as any bar gets Yelped.

Labels: , , , ,

Is Laurette Healey Challenged When It Comes To Counting?

We've covered before 40th AD Democratic Assembly Candidate Laurette Healey's reported inability to properly account for campaign expenditures but what happens when you catch a candidate in an outright falsehood?

In an email to supporters, Healey claimed to have received the highest amount of contributions in the race. Yet, as noted below, Secretary of State figures show that distinction belongs to her opponent Bob Blumenfield who raised nearly half as much more than Healey. When it comes to cash on hand though Healey only has about a third the bank account of Blumenfield and a fourth that of other opponent Stuart Waldman.

However, according to state records Healey has spent nearly twice as much as Blumenfield and another $20K more than Waldman.

Maybe that's what she really meant - she spent the most, not earned it. Not the kind of person I want in charge of the state budget.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Swift Boating of Obama or Clinton's Willie Horton Effort

How dirty do the Clintons get?

Sen. Hillary Clinton today broke her silence on the issue of Barack Obama's church and told a newspaper in Pennsylvania that Rev. Jeremiah Wright "would not have been my pastor."

In the meantime yet another Clinton lie when Mrs. Clinton had to backpedal on earlier claims she mad about being shot at on a visit to Bosnia in 1996. No less a political expert than hack 80s comic Sinbad had to be consulted to get the straight story.

Obama's pastor certainly made troubling statements; being of the same denomination and faith as the Illinois Senator I can tell we are told to take what we want and leave the rest. And its offensive that the Clintons and their supporters would paint our church as some type of anti-American faith.

Labels: , , ,

Bradley Defrocked?

I don't know how we missed this one but, thanks to David Markland for the heads up; looks like everyone's favorite control freak Neighborhood Council President the uni-named Bradley is no longer President of the Glassell Park Neighborhood Council.

The Council's website lists Business Representative Tony Butka as the President and Bradley has been demoted to a lowly area representative. As best as we can see, the Council website has no current minutes or news to confirm or give details.

Could this indeed be the end of an era?

In other David Markland news (via Will Campbell), no a former WKRP in Cincinatti Star is NOT running for Culver City Council and an interview with Eric Garcetti.

Labels: , ,

Jack Hoff's "This Just In!": Easter Bunny Endorses Waldman For AD40

Breaking News: In a late-Sunday night speech to The San Fernando Valley Progressive Christian Democrats Between The Ages Of Five And Six, a tired Easter Bunny endorsed Stuart Waldman for Assembly District 40...

...at least, that's what the Waldman camp claimed after reviewing the enclosed videotape.

Labels: , , ,

BREAKING NEWS: City Hall Shakeup?

The LA Times is reporting that City Administrative Officer Karen Sisson is leaving her post to take a position at Pomona College. Replacing her is Marcus Allen, yes, that Marcus Allen.

We've also picked up on some chatter - unconfirmed - that Chief of Staff Robin Kramer is leaving as well. No other details.

Developing - stay tuned as we dig more.

Labels: , ,

BREAKING NEWS!!! City Council to continue discussion on DWP Rate Hikes

DWP General Manager H. David Nahai will have to wait until next Wednesday in getting the Rate Hikes that he seeks, if he gets them at all

The City Council just voted 11-2 (LaBonge and Garcetti voting no) to continue discussion about the proposed rate hikes.

Despite passionate testimony by Nahai on the needs to quickly pass the rate hikes. The council and their allies from the numerous Neighborhood Councils felt that more time was needed to study the impact on selected popoulation groups, outcomes on legal remedies (City of Los Angeles vs. Everyone Lawsuit) and answer questions about oversite concerns.

This continuance can be seen as Nahai's first rebuke as the new DWP General Manager.

Judging by the comments of the various Council members he faces a up hill fight.

BREAKING NEWS!!, from the L.A. Times

Karen Sisson, a widely respected City Hall figure who keeps watch over L.A.'s troubling municipal budget deficit, plans to leave her post, Duke Helfand reports. Sisson will take the post of vice president and treasurer of her alma mater, Pomona College.

Sisson, who plans to finish out the fiscal year, will be replaced by Marcus Allen, Antonio Villaraigosa's former deputy chief of staff. Full story to come.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Story by Daily News reporter Rick Orlov
Story by LA Times reporter Duke Helfand

Labels: , , ,


A report presented Tuesday to the Los Angeles Police Commission says 19 officers killed themselves between 1998 and 2007, while only seven died in the line of duty during that time.
I wonder what the LAPD rank and file think about that only?
photo: JM, A Harley at The Shortstop, 3.24.08



File this under the "GOOD PEOPLE DO WIN" category.

"Friends of the Southwest Museum" co-chair Ann Walnum was the top vote getter in the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council re vote for the Mt. Washington area.

This re vote was called for when Eliot Sekuler challenge the previous election results siting faulty instructions printed on the ballots.

Results are below,

Averell Eshaghian / 35
Ann Walnum / 127
Hank Shaeffer / 119
Scott M. Folsom / 115

In other enclave news, "HUSBAND OF CAROL" Bill "Clinton" Rumble faces a crowded field in his re-election campaign for the 45th Assembly District Central Committee race, candidates are listed below.

William "Bill Clinton" Rumble
Scott Rufsvold
Hector Rivas
Paul Nueman
Robert Negrete
Robert Nakahiro
Renee Nahum
Ruby Yolanda Medrano
Carlos Jude Leon
Bill Kysella
Margaret Hoyos
Erika Gallos
Benita Duran
Colleen Colson
Cecilia Cabello
Christopher Arellano

This adds up to a bunch with illusions of power.

And lastly, is Jackie Autry the "Frank McCourt" of the Museum business?

For die heart Dodgers fans, we all know that McCourt bought the Dodgers with other peoples money. Now a report from the "Friends of the Southwest Museum" paints a picture of a cash poor Autry giving false information to the Board of the Southwest Museum about their financial standing during merger discussions. Thus do the Autry Museum have the financial standing to follow through on their commitment to the Autry Center Expansion Plans??

Makes more sense why the Autry set their sites on the collection at the Southwest Museum.

.....and the latest from Eliot

To: L.A. Weekly
From: Eliot Sekuler

Dear Editor,

When, in the story, "Villaraigosa's Autry National Center Hubbub," writer Max Taves glibly reported that Northeast L.A residents fear the historic Southwest Museum, the first museum chartered in the city of L.A., would become "a development of high-priced condos" he glossed over the current multi-million dollar restoration that is well underway at the Southwest Museum campus, a painstaking project that is being supervised by restoration architect Brenda Levin, whose work on City Hall, the Griffith Park Observatory, the Bradbury Building, Hollyhock House and the Wiltern Theater has won awards and the universal admiration of the historical conservancy community. (QUE?? Still waiting for Southwest Society fund raiser)

The story makes no mention of the plans contained in the compromise agreement brokered with the Autry by Villaraigosa and Councilmember Jose Huizar, a highly attractive and practical plan for reopening the 100-year-old Southwest Museum as a dynamic, rotating exhibition center for its original Lummis collection of Native Americana as well as a center for relevant contemporary art and performance.(Rotate out but never come back)

The Autry's plans and investment would result in Northeast L.A.'s most significant and compelling cultural attraction.Your writer missed the point completely in reporting that, as a co-founder of the dwindling Southwest Museum Coalition, I had "gone over to the over side."Instead, I joined with about half the original leadership of the Southwest Museum Coalition--activists from Eagle Rock,Glassell Park, Highland Park and Mount Washington--in creating a new group that would work in partnership with the Autry to help shape the Southwest Museum's future. (Dwindling = LAUSD math by Eliot, did Sierra Club just announce their support for the Museum??)

The Southwest Society, as the group is called, was joined by virtually the entire leadership of L.A.'s Native American community and the family of Museum founder Charles Lummis.

Neither I, nor the Native American community, nor Jose Huizar or Antonio Villaraigosa "went over to the other side." (lesser men would stand on their own and not hide behind Native Americans)

Instead, consistent with a successful negotiation outcome, the two sides met someplace in the middle.Rich in history and boasting some of L.A.¹s best-preserved architectural treasures, Northeast L.A¹s old streets, laced with their vivid patchwork of cultures and ethnicities, could become one of the city¹s most vibrant cultural and historic zones.(In the middle of Jon Grey's office)

In an era of dwindling public resources, the success of the Northeast's revitalization efforts will require partnerships with organizations that have the means and the motivation to put projects in motion.(Paragraph closet to the truth)

Partnering with the Autry to revitalize the Southwest Museum was a smart compromise, not a capitulation.(More like political calculation and contributions)

Eliot Sekuler
The Southwest Society
Los Angeles

March 25, 2008 1:12 PM

Labels: , , , , , ,

400 -- It's a Magic Number

Good morning boys and girls. Courtesy of the City of Los Angeles, it’s magic math time again! Ready, kids? Okay, question #1: How can 10,000 suddenly become 12,500 with the wave of a hand?

Answer: Why… just by saying so, of course!

400 new LAPD officers is the number Antonio has held to hiring regardless of the City budget crunch. Okay – we got that. You need 400? As the people under siege by the budget situation, we do understand the need. 400 is the magic number. Yet in response to Laura Chick’s just-released audit finding that 565 peace officers are holding LAPD administrative positions that can be done by civilians, the Fishwrap of Record quotes Chief Bratton thusly: “Let's make it perfectly clear, I have no intention, the mayor has no intention, of retreating back from the hiring…we actually need 12,500 police officers. . . . Even with the 1,000, we're still short almost 2,500 police officers from what we need in this city."

Wow, kids. We were so close to being relieved of at least some the painful budget-related cuts, freezes, rate increases, layoffs and other sundry abuse being threatened by the people elected to look out for our interests, and then "poof!" I honestly do not have a problem with LAPD raising the number of officers in this town. Comparatively, Los Angeles has far fewer officers per capita than other major metropolitan areas in the US and the need does painfully exist. But Antonio drew the line in big, bold ink at 400. Chick finds 565. So Antonio waves his hands and moves the line?

Sigh… I'm getting the feeling that this budget crisis is far more about pressuring the public and exerting control than it is about fiscal reality.

Labels: , , , ,

Mayor Sam's Hotsheet for Tuesday

I say he's running, he says he's not. The Times thinks that if Zev tells a bunch of reporters he's not running for Mayor in 2009, he's not running. Didn't Tony Villar say the same thing? Oh, and Bob Hertzberg's running too.

The No2HomeDepot website is reporting that massive stakeholder meetings will be held featuring "1000 or more residents and 100 facilitators" as part of the shady deal, uh, settlement worked out between the City and Home Depot in the hardware giant's effort to open a controversial branch in the rural community of Sunland-Tujunga. Other shady dealings reported on the No2HomeDepot site as well, check it out.

Team Clinton gets more desperate. Following the endorsement of Democrat Barack Obama by former candidate and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, perennial Clinton slimeball James Carville referred to Richardson - a longtime Clinton confidant - as "Judas." Latinopoliticsblog.com views Carville's and other Clintonista comments as anti-Latino and calls on Hispanic leaders who support Hillary Clinton such as Mayor Villaraigosa and Dolores Huerta to speak up. We saw how the Clintons have slimed Barack, its not surprising they'd attack another person of color to go against them.

If you want some entertaining reading check out the "talk" page for Mayor Villaraigosa's entry in Wikipedia. The discussion includes interesting debate among Wikipedia's volunteer editors and contributors about what should and shouldn't be said about Tony Villar (including "Should it be noted his birth name is Tony Villar?" Answer: yes).

City Controller Laura Chick has a plan to get more police officers on the street - get them away from working desk jobs that civilians could do. Makes sense to me.

And finally, for one there's a ballot measure that isn't a Tony Villar sham. The folks at Guiness sponsored a petition drive for Proposition 3-17, to get one million signatures by March 16th in order to call on Congress to declare St. Patrick's Day a national holiday. Looks like they fell fall short. I guess not enough people drink Irish beer.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Throw Tony Under the Bus Tour

As of late, it seems as if former Richard Riordan is throwing Tony Villar under the bus. See here and here.

You might wonder why.

Call it a hunch, but I think that Riordan, Eli Broad and all their developer buddies might sense that Antonio's damaged goods.

They may also sense the coming Summer of Hate (as opposed to last year's Summer of Love) where NIMBYs, Neighborhood Council leaders and others are going to band together with the pitchforks against what they see as overarching real estate development and a near lack of candor and listening from their government officials.

And they're sniffing Zev Yaroslavsky revving his engines as the number one potential challenger to the Mayor. With the burning anger and the trouble Tony's in, Zev has a significant shot.

Nothing would scare the bejesus out of Riordan and his developer buddies more.

Their plan? Throw Tony under the bus now and find a friendly candidate who can cut into both Zev's Westside-Valley-Jewish base and Tony's Latino base. One who has money and citywide name ID.


I know that one guy who always posts about him is probably going in his pants right now, but that candidate would be none other than former Assembly Speaker and past Mayoral candidate Bob Hertzberg.

Stay tuned.

PS: In as much as 1967 was the Summer of Love where hippies gathered for music, drugs, sex and fun, so it was forty years later when political watchers in Los Angeles spent the whole summer watching the Antonio-Villaraigosa-Mirthala Salinas affair. Too like the original, 2007's Summer of Love came to an end. 1968 was a hateful, awful time, among other things marred by a divisive Democratic convention. The prospect of Mayor Villaraigosa's Presidential candidate going down in flames and the growing anger of the local populace could make 2008 not as nice as 2007.

Labels: , , , , ,

Official Negligence

The LAPD Chief’s New Clothes

Had our elected representatives an ounce of warm blood in their collective veins today, the story of Jamiel Shaw would have sent them scrambling for a microphone to be the first to beg for our forgiveness.

The cold-blooded murder of a true rising star—a kid who beat the odds of his own neighborhood, only to be gunned down by a foreign national with a domestic rap sheet—would not be tolerated in any other country, let alone world-class city. Sadly, leadership in Los Angeles is guided by a game of numbers, and in this instance, an ethno-political calculation that bleeds red ink.

If the mayor of Los Angeles is in town today, would someone please relay the news that there’s a crisis in his streets, on his watch?

Labels: , , , , , ,