First thing Thursday, 9/1

Welcome to September...

    Seems like every gas station between Hollywood and Santa Monica went to $3-plus a gallon overnight. The 76 station at Olympic and Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills posted $3.49 for self-serve premium.
    Chick gives El Pueblo a better grade, Delgadillo makes it official, the County Fed dutifully endorses Jose Huizar in the 14th council district, and the Times' Steve Hymon irreverently welcomes the City Council back from vacation.
    The cover of Pasadena Weekly is a piece by L.A. author Lionel Rolfe called "Confessions of an ex-Commie." He wrote the local history book Bread & Hyacinths: The Rise and Fall of Utopian Los Angeles.
    If you think you see Barry Bonds running the track and thwocking baseballs at UCLA, you ain't crazy.
    Today's New York Times has a review by Janet Maslin of LAT staffer J.R. Moehringer's book The Tender Bar: "[He's] the best memoirist of his kind since Mary Karr wrote 'The Liars' Club.'"
    The LAT and NYT are both disputing pieces of Nikki Finke's column last week on movie studios shifting ads away from the newspapers. Editor & Publisher has a story, and Finke responds in a letter at Romenesko.

and also...

I helped judge this year's PEN USA Literary Awards, which were announced Wednesday. The awards are for work in 2004 by writers and journalists who live west of the Mississippi River. Winners include Evan Wright for Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America and the New Face of American War, Ursula K. LeGuin for Gifts and Meredith May of the San Francisco Chronicle for "Operation Lion Heart," the saga of an Iraqi boy whose wounds from an American cluster bomb brought him to the Bay Area. Local finalists include Ed Cray, Mark Arax, Ann Louise Bardach and Gustavo Arellano (plus, I'm sure, others whose localness I don't recognize.) In the Screenplay category, Charlie Kaufman won for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind over finalists Bill Condon (Kinsey), Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor (Sideways), Jose Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries) and James L. White (Ray). Fellow judges included David Kipen, Joe Morgenstern, Robert Scheer, Joy Horowitz, Heather Havrilesky, Nick Riccardi, Mona Gable and Robin Rauzi.

More by Kevin Roderick:
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