Mayor Villaraigosa's State of the Valley speech included his hopes for a denser, more urban Los Angeles than most in the Valley probably want: "This old concept that all of us are going to live in a three-bedroom home, you know with 2,500 square feet, with a big frontyard and a big backyard—well that's an old concept. You've been to Chicago, you've been to New York, you've been to San Francisco….Not everybody in the world lives like that. And they live a good life." Richard Fausset analyzes the mayor's recent rhetoric in the LAT. Speech coverage: Daily News.
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♦ The LAPD's federal monitor wants video cameras mounted on police cars to keep tabs on how officers treat minorities.
♦ Former councilman Marvin Braude's death at 85 followed a Thanksgiving weekend fall in Palm Springs that broke his leg. He contracted pneumonia while recovering in the hospital. Daily News, Times
♦ As of today, the Entertainment Industry Development Corp.—the people who issue permits to clog up your neighborhood with studio location trucks—is simply Film L.A. Inc. "Now, you actually know what they do," says Villaraigosa.
♦ LAT blogger Michael Hiltzik falls for the oldest gimmick in the talk radio manual and buckles to pressure to debate Hugh Hewitt on Hewitt's air, for Hewitt's loyalists, with Hewitt in charge of the button, where the goal will be to boost KRLA's ratings. Nothing wrong with any of it—and Hewitt is a gentleman on the air compared to other partisans—but a true discussion (or a fair fight) would take place anywhere else.
♦ Nan Oshin confirmed she is leaving as art director of the Los Angeles Times Magazine at the end of the year. The magazine's Feb. 5 relaunch as West will be guided by LAT Creative Director Joe Hutchinson. The mag, by the way, has landed back in its old home on the first floor.
♦ Former LAT reporter Massie Ritsch is leaving Sugerman Communications Group for Washington D.C., where he'll be Communications Director for the Center for Responsive Politics. That's the group that produces the spiffy website Open Secrets.org, where you can find a lot about federal campaign contributions and donors and even see who others in your zip code support.
♦ A launch party for Erin Mahoney's new book, Walking LA: 36 Walking Tours Exploring Stairways, Streets and Buildings You Never Knew Existed happens Saturday 6 pm to 9 pm at Skylight Books on Vermont.
♦ The world may not need another website that mostly restates the celebrity gossip and media buzz that everybody else reports, but it's got one. AOL's TMZ debuted yesterday. Quick review at LAVoice.org.
♦ Editorial cartoonists across the country plan to protest with their art on Monday over the loss of cartoonist jobs at the Times and other newspapers. They're calling it Black Ink Monday.
♦ Sunday on KPCC's weekend show Pacific Drift, the LA Weekly's Jonathan Gold will describe the worst thing he's ever tasted in Los Angeles while Suzanne Goin of Lucques (and others) will talk about their best food experiences here. 89.3 FM at 9 pm.