Weekend observettes *

Summer weekends when there is no fog at the beach are no time to be blogging. But here are some items that fought their way out of the pile.

• Shots fired on two Southland freeways. An 18-year-old woman is in critical condition.

• Ben Stiller flogs his $80 photo book on Los Angeles in the LAT magazine. For baseball heads who might have missed it, J.R. Moehringer has a nice piece inside the magazine on the doctor who stitched up Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling for last year's World Series then got fired by the team. And Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle had a long staff piece on Lester Rodney, the former Santa Monica Evening Outlook and Long Beach Press Telegram editor who is being honored July 24 by the Baseball Reliquary for pushing against baseball's color barrier while he was a sports writer for the Daily Worker in New York.

• City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo's former number two, Terree Bowers, is joining the law firm of Howery and Simon, Monday's Daily Journal reports. Meanwhile, the LA Weekly's Jeffrey Anderson reports on a messy internal personnel case involving Bowers.

• Schools chief Roy Romer has privately raised $150,000 to tout the school district. The Daily News calls it a secret fund. And former councilman Nick Pacheco is one of the Villaraigosa rivals trying to get into the good graces of the new mayor, Rick Orlov says.

• It's Back to the Future so far around the new Villaraigosa-led City Hall, with so many ex-Riordan aides back in power and talk of expensive rail projects, David Zahniser says in the Daily Breeze.

• In the Times' Sunday Book Review, mystery author Dick Lochte calls John Shannon's latest Jack Liffey book Dangerous Games "a beautifully plotted, character-rich crime novel, both hard-edged and humorous, that is as spot-on in portraying today's Southern California as Raymond Chandler's books were in his day, while paying considerably more attention to the area's ethnic neighborhoods." Nice.

• Looks like the end for Movietown Plaza, the aging shopping center at Santa Monica Boulevard and Poinsettia with a Trader Joe's and the Yukon Mining Company. Developer Alan Casden has bought it and plans another retail and housing project, says the L.A. Business Journal. That hole in the ground in Westwood Village belongs to him.

• The Times won a slew of awards at the California Newspaper Publishers Association meeting this weekend in San Francisco—but not the big one. Judges from out of state gave the general excellence prize to the SF Chronicle San Jose Mercury and second place to the Sacramento Bee Chronicle. [* Boy, did I read the wrong category.] An email from up there says it's the first time in fifteen years the LAT hasn't won best paper in the state.

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