First thing Thursday, 9/29

 ♦ Tempers flared during the ten hours the city council locked itself in to finally select Gerry Miller as the CLA to replace Ron Deaton, Rick Orlov reports in the Daily News. Hiring a chief adviser to a gaggle of ambitious, contentious politicos is always fraught with, well, politics. But this search dragged on unusually long. Steve Hymon's story in the Times frames the rancorous process and points out that Miller had been rejected as even a finalist several weeks ago. He re-emerged in recent days to fight for the job.
 ♦ The LA Weekly's Robert Greene writes that he's often asked about Mayor Villaraigosa: So, how's he doing? When will we know if he's really going to be different?� He replies, "I've found myself saying things like 'after the special election in November,' or 'after the first of the year.' But as soon as those words are out, they sound just plain wrong. I guess what I really mean to say is this: What were you expecting? This is Antonio Villaraigosa. The man loves being mayor. No, that's not quite right. The man loves being mayor of Los Angeles. He loves being everywhere, all the time. He loves the trappings of office, he loves the people, he loves the attention. He loves the city. He loves tweaking the press (he calls us 'trolls,' by the way). He loves crisis and he loves resolution."
 ♦ Meanwhile, a Villaraigosa fan who has worked around lots of politicians and celebrities emailed after the mayor did a Habitat for Humanity bit on "The Today Show" Wednesday: "I'll put our mayor, in work boots and hat, jeans, white teeshirt, and tool belt up against any other mayor in the country. Hunk!"
 ♦ Speaking of fashion...arts critic David Mermelstein argues on the Times op-ed page that it's time for the L.A. Philharmonic to ditch the white tie and tails and drab black pantsuits. The orchestra season at Disney Hall opens tonight.
 ♦ Fleishman-Hillard denies the Daily News story that it reimbursed campaign contributions made by L.A. executives and tries to blame ex-boss Doug Dowie, but his attorney says (in the DN and the LAT) that St. Louis headquarters knew of it long ago.
 ♦ An advance look at UCLA's report on the peaking of the housing boom, and a possible 2007 recession, was the most emailed LAT story yesterday.
 ♦ Brian Hay, the "Mayor Frank" poster at Mayor Sam's Sister City, writes over there that he "ceased being associated with Robert Hertzberg" and the ex-candidate's website as of last Friday. That was the day he posted the adolescent swipe at me, and a couple of days before I remarked on it here at LAO. Hay says his leaving Hertzberg is unrelated to any of that business. He chirps at me some more, but nothing worthy of a response.
 ♦ Mediabistro.com editor Elizabeth Spiers has gone back in to her note last week introducing new FishbowlLA contributor Claude Brodesser and added this factoid: "In his spare time, he is the lucky fiance of mediabistro.com West Coast Director of Education Taffy Akner."
 ♦ The West Hollywood Book Fair returns Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm at West Hollywood Park.

And from The New Yorker's Cartoonbank, out of the Sept 12 issue:


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