Friday morning's traffic jam caused by President Bush's stay-over at Bradford Freeman's $10 million mansion in Brentwood was even worse than the night before. Today's Daily News banners a story on school kids missing a field trip and motorists fuming along the route from Sunset Boulevard and Rockingham (O.J. Simpson's old neighborhood) east to the 405, then north through Sepulveda Pass and on to Simi Valley.
One hundred Brentwood kindergartners, many dressed in costumes, were all set to go see "The Wizard of Oz" on Friday when their first-ever field trip was blocked by the nation's 43rd president. They never got to see the wizard.
President George W. Bush, his Marine One helicopter grounded by fog, brought morning rush hour to a standstill while his motorcade proceeded from West Los Angeles through the San Fernando Valley to Simi Valley for the dedication of the Air Force One Pavilion.
"We had buses all loaded up - but by the time they got to school it was too late," said Julie Fahn, a volunteer mom at Kenter Canyon Elementary in Brentwood, where girls had dressed as Dorothy to see the play performed in Malibu.
With only a few minutes' notice from the U.S. Secret Service, LAPD and city Department of Transportation cops shut down Sunset Boulevard west of the San Diego Freeway from 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Thousands of commuters, unable to cross the legendary L.A. strip except for intermittent breaks in traffic, were trapped with engines idling in miles-long jams.
Freeman, reportedly on Bush's speed dial, is a partner in the Westside venture capital firm Freeman, Spogli & Co. with Ron Spogli, who was the president's classmate at Harvard Business School. Another partner is top Democratic adviser Bill Wardlaw; Republican Richard Riordan used to be another. An LAT profile last year by Anne-Marie O'Connor described Freeman as a top Bush fundraiser and confidante, and as "a 25-year bachelor with a reputation for squiring models. He took Liz Taylor as his date to a State Department dinner in December 2002."