Weekend shorties

An evolving post, with the newest items at the bottom:

Ludlow story• If true, this will open up some movement in local politics. According to email from a senior staffer at City Hall, this lead story in today's Korea Times says that Councilman Martin Ludlow will step down next week to replace the late Miguel Contreras as head of the County Federation of Labor. The source's email also takes a jab at the L.A. Times: "...scooped again—but by the KOREA Times?" I can't vouch for it since I don't read Korean, but Google's game attempt at translation does suggest the story is about the labor post and choosing Ludlow's possible successor in the 10th council district. (Sketchy update: Another email report from a City Hall source has the county fed's Charles Lester conceding the post to Ludlow, and former Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson telling people he's in the race to succeed Ludlow. Sunday evening: The story says it's rumored that Ludlow will get the county fed job, according to a Korean reader. It also says that Ludlow didn't comment for the story. Again, no reporting on my part to confirm or refute any of it. Busy on other things...)

• Antonio Villaraigosa will return to the practice of hiring an inside private counsel for the mayor's office. Transition chair Bob Hertzberg told the Daily Journal that instead of relying on the City Attorney's office, a lawyer will be brought in because "Antonio really wants to ensure that every decision from his office is above reproach." Transition director Robin Kramer said she is vetting candidates now, and the $100,00-$140,000 salary will be paid for out of the mayor's office and not subject to City Council approval.

• Villaraigosa's transition offices have moved to the 23rd floor of the City Hall tower, in digs once belonging to the president of the Board of Public Works. The mayor-elect will headline the opening night of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention June 15 in Fort Worth, Texas. And, in a story spotted at LAVoice, Washington Post Online columnist Marcela Sanchez opines that Villaraigosa is "appealing to Angelenos' better nature."

• Starting this weekend, the L.A. Times Sunday Opinion section will launch a blog for debating things in the paper. The editors want this Sunday's topics to be parents' role in education—and whether readers like or dislike Joel Stein and his Hollywood wannabe columns. (Stein himself is there to "explain and defend himself.") Entries will be "edited for accuracy, fairness and taste" before posting. Curiously, the blog is labeled as a product of the Opinion Manufacturing Division, which is supposed to be irreverent and make us think the section is young and hip. Cathy Seipp is among the writers asked to contribute to the print edition of Sunday Opinion this weekend, on education.

• Radar magazine contributor John Cook tells on some of the internal politics at the Times that preceeded Chuck Philips' story this week about "Psycho Mike," the informant behind the notion that Suge Knight and an LAPD cop conspired to kill Notorious B.I.G. Cook blogs, "The story should be particularly gratifying for Philips because it finally and definitively puts to rest an intramural struggle at the Times that began five years ago."

Ugandan child• In a strong narrated report on the Times website, staff photographer Francine Orr documents the horrifying reality visited on Uganda by the Lord's Resistance Army. Photos also appear on the Times front page and inside Part A.

• Next week's L.A. Business Journal reports on businesses that embrace blogging, focusing on the local law firm of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, which has launched a series of blogs on legal topics. They are raising the firm's Google profile: "'Itís all just marketing to me,' said Tom Baldwin, the firmís chief knowledge officer."

• KPCC's news and talk programs next week will all be devoted to "a series of remote broadcasts, in-depth discussions, feature reports and commentaries on the controversial subject of illegal immigration." It begins with a remote broadcast of AirTalk from Sacramento on Monday at 10 a.m. Also: KPCC has a baseball blog called Extra Innings.

• Praise for Larry Mantle and his collection of KPCC interviews, This is Airtalk, from Gustavo Arellano in the OC Weekly. Also down south, the OC Business Journal proclaims the Register (daily circulation 300,972) the winner of the Orange County newspaper war that the Times (estimated as 177,136) pulled out of after the Tribune company took over. But, says the OCBJ, both papers have lost OC circulation in the past ten years.

• Nikki Finke has a story in the latest issue of Fade In about the Hollywood code of silence. "So closely do they mirror one another that it's next to impossible to discern which came first: the Mafia code of conduct regarding loyalty, friendship and betrayal, otherwise known as omerta, or Hollywood's rules of engagement."

• Retired L.A. Times reporter and Rand Corp. official Paul Weeks has joined the blogging ranks. He worked at the original L.A. Daily News and the L.A. Mirror, and calls his blog Typosgalore. Also newly noted: Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, which talks about movies (especially about Los Angeles) and baseball.

• Long Time Money and Lots of Cocaine is a new book about the notorious 1981 Wonderland Avenue murders and ex-porn star John Holmes, by Rodger Jacobs.

• Friday's Daily Journal revisited Superior Court judge Lance A. Ito, the O.J. Simpson trial overseer who says opening your door at Halloween and finding kids dressed up as yourself, or finding your name as the answer in a New York Times crossword puzzle, is "a pretty amazing experience."

• BoifromTroy's vacation-relief blogger endorses the choice of Paris Hilton and her mother as grand marshals of next weekend's L.A. Gay Pride Parade.

• Hugh Hewitt on why Republicans will be lining up to run in the Orange County congressional district vacated by Christopher Cox: "This seat is akin to being named president-for-life in a small South American country, but without the threat of a coup and with much better restaurants."

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
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David Ryu and candidate Mike Fong
Tronc buys (NY) Daily News, La Tuna fire aftermath and more
Helping in Houston, new lion cubs, Garcetti's back
Garcetti has weekend date in the Hamptons
Garcetti hitting the road to New Hampshire
LA Confederate monument coming down
LA Observed Notes: Back from vacation and into the fray
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