Morning Buzz: 3.13.06

DoucettLinking Brad Grey to Pellicano through Linda Doucett...two heads for Universal?...those stinking badges for friends of Lee Baca...seeing purple along Wilshire Boulevard...Robert Altman's new heart...your NCAA brackets...and borrowing a familiar old video to kick off a new year for the 1947 Project. Those plus the front pages of every big newspaper in L.A. and even more when you turn the page.

And in case you missed it this weekend:
Chris Douridas waits and waits
Our bicoastal police chief
Weekend shorts run long
Selected items from last week's LA Observed

Photo: Sandy Huffaker/New York Times

Morning Buzz♦ Front pages: L.A. Times, New York Times, Daily News and eight other papers are now found here all day. Bookmark it.
♦ Making the Pellicano connection: Linda Doucett, Garry Shandling's spurned ex-girlfriend (Darlene in "The Larry Sanders Show"), talked to the New York Times and tied Paramount chair Brad Grey to Anthony Pellicano in 1996, three years earlier than previously reported.
Her account is backed by another person's grand jury testimony, according to someone close to the investigation who insisted on anonymity for fear of angering prosecutors. The grand jury witness, this person said, gave an independent account that substantially agreed with Ms. Doucett's.
♦ Talks at Universal: Universal Studios president Ron Meyer is leaning toward a partnership between vice chairman Marc Shmuger and David Linde, who is at Focus Features, to replace Stacey Snider as head of the studio, the Los Angeles Times says.
♦ Badge envy: Bogus law enforcement badges for friends of politicos is back as an issue, this time involving Sheriff Lee Baca and a guy named Gary Nalbandian, a director of Baca's Homeland Security Support Unit. From the LAT:
Nalbandian is not a professional cop. The only paid law enforcement position he has held is as a volunteer reserve deputy with the Los Angeles County sheriff — salary, $1 a year. His real job is running a tire store in Glendora. He is, however, a major political fundraiser for Southern California law enforcement officials. Over the last nine years, Nalbandian has tapped a network of businessmen and acquaintances, most of them from the Armenian community, to raise tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions for Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, Riverside Sheriff Bob Doyle and San Bernardino County Dist. Atty. Mike Ramos.
♦ Color purple: Should it ever become more than a fantasy, the Wilshire subway to Santa Monica looks like it will be known as the Purple Line. But that's getting ahead of ourselves, the Daily News reports.
"First things first," the mayor said. "We got to get some funding for that line - and funding for a busway in the San Fernando Valley - and then we can talk about the color of the line. I haven't thought about the color." Also: "The what? Oh no, you've got to be kidding," said Dana Gabbard, executive secretary of the Southern California Transit Advocates. "We want good service. We don't want public relations things."
♦ Merging newspaper chains: McClatchy, owner of the Sacramento Bee, won the derby to buy the much-larger Knight Ridder, which owns the San Jose Mercury. McClatchy says it will sell the Mercury, Contra Costa Times and Monterey Herald.
♦ Here are your brackets: UCLA wins the Pac-10 title and gets a second seeding in the NCAA basketball tournament.
♦ Los Angeles in 1907: The 1947 Project blog has a new web home and design, a new blogger on the team (Los Angeles Times copy editor Larry Harnisch) and a new year to focus on. They went with 1907, so the footage that accompanies their announcement is a bit historically incorrect. It's cribbed from a Thomas Edison film shot on Spring Street on Dec. 31, 1897, hence all the horses and no automobiles. Founder Kim Cooper posts:
Our initial research has shown us a Los Angeles that is deeply unfamiliar, despite the streets whose names we know. The locals were strange, the newspapers florid, and money flowed like wine. We look forward to exploring this year with you, and to learning more about a Los Angeles that seems very different from any of the versions of the city we feel we know.
♦ Schools debate: The L.A. Business Journal runs commentaries from ex-mayor Richard Riordan, UTLA chief A. J. Duffy and L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce official David Rattray on the mayor's school takevoer idea.
♦ He's got heart: The LAT Health section looks into director Robert Altman's decade-old heart transplant.
♦ Not Redwood Country: Photographer Julius Shulman thinks that giant coast redwoods should be planted all across Los Angeles.
♦ Winner: Hans Gutknecht of the Daily News won the Photographer of the Year award from the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz: Friday 4.27.12
Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.26.12
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.25.12
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.24.12
Morning Buzz: Monday 4.23.12
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