A little news already *

GalaMayor Antonio Villaraigosa is expected to return longtime enviromental activist Mary Nicols to the DWP board (she was there under Tom Bradley) and appoint John Mack to the police commission, the Times says. Valley designated hitter Alan Skobin, an official of Galpin Motors, is expected to stay on the commission. At Thursday night's gala, LA's BEST raised about $1.5 million for after-school programs, Villaraigosa danced and got a hug from his daughter Natalia, and Natalie Cole—the rumored mystery performer for today's festivities—sang a bit. In a separate story, Patrick McGreevy compares the city's financial picture to Villaraigosa's promises and says something does not compute. The mayor explains, "I've never said that expanding the subway to the ocean would be something I would do in the first term. What I've said is the next mayor has got to have a vision, to put together a plan for Los Angeles that includes expansion of the subway all the way to the ocean."

Also: Package of stories in the Daily News and a roundup in the Daily Breeze.

* Another comeback: Word at last night's gala was that Cynthia Ruiz, certified Friend of Antonio, will be announced as soon as today as the new president of the Board of Public Works. She's the commissioner who Hahn removed last year in order to appoint Yolanda Fuentes, a staffer for Councilmember Tony Cardenas.

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