Wednesday, 3.22.06

Morning BuzzTurn the page for items on Dean Singleton's California strategy, Sheriff Baca's Compton strategy, a Saudi prince gets booed at Town Hall Los Angeles, celebrities at the fashion shows and some book buzz. Plus your blogger has an afternoon date with Wonkette.

♦ Reading Singleton: Daily News owner Dean Singleton's companies sell more newspapers a day in California than anyone. His interest in the Norcal Knight-Ridder papers is examined in the L.A. Times, along with his local legacy:
When Denver press baron William Dean Singleton bought the Long Beach Press-Telegram just before Christmas in 1997, he gave everyone in the newsroom 15 minutes to re-interview for their jobs. Feature writer Debbie Arrington, who had followed her father and grandmother onto the newspaper's payroll, ... survived the culling only to see the paper's pay, benefits and morale fall sharply. She left after a year. But even as the newsroom ranks thinned and circulation stalled at about 100,000, the Press-Telegram's profitability soared, according to Executive Editor Rich Archbold, producing a handsome return for Singleton's MediaNews Group Inc., now the nation's seventh-largest newspaper chain, with daily circulation of 1.8 million.
♦ Hey, more cops works: After Sheriff Lee Baca doubled the number of deputies assigned to Compton, homicides fell from 22 this time last year to just three.
♦ Cops who quit: Los Angeles is suing 53 former LAPD academy graduates who left the force before their five-year contracts were up, some to take jobs in other police departments. Seems there was a scam in which new officers leveraged their academy training (at L.A. taxpayers' expense) to get better jobs.
♦ See the video: KCAL-9's Dave Bryan aired an interview with Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Prince Turki Al-Faisal taped immediately after he was booed for telling a Town Hall Los Angeles audience that Israel illegally occupies Israel. KCAL also got home video of the plane crash that killed former game show host Peter Tamarken, and the audio tapes of the pilot's last exchanges with the Santa Monica tower. Video of both on the CBS-2/KCAL-9 website. ABC7 has the crash video online too.
♦ Pressing his point: Cardinal Roger Mahony goes to the New York Times op-ed page to defend his stance against the proposed Border Protection, Antiterrorism and Illegal Immigration Control bill.
[It] would among other things subject to five years in prison anyone who "assists" an undocumented immigrant "to remain in the United States"...Providing humanitarian assistance to those in need should not be made a crime, as the House bill decrees. As written, the proposed law is so broad that it would criminalize even minor acts of mercy like offering a meal or administering first aid.
♦ Throwing the book at him: Prosecutors in Riverside County are using Colton Simpson's tell-all book Inside the Crips: Life Inside L.A.’s Most Notorious Gang as evidence against him in a three-strikes case that could send him to prison for life.
Simpson’s case appears to be the first in which prosecutors have relied on a defendants’ book as evidence of intent to commit a crime, said Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School. Prosecutors have used journals and letters to attempt to show criminal intent, Levenson said. In the Michael Jackson molestation trial last year, she said, Santa Barbara County prosecutors unsuccessfully tried to use holiday cards Jackson wrote the alleged victim to prove the singer’s guilt. But the Simpson case, Levenson said, “is the first I’m aware of in which some of the key evidence against a defendant — the most damaging — is in his own book.”
♦ Making the rounds: After Mayor Villaraigosa returns from New York this afternoon, his media schedule includes a live appearance on Univision for his weekly "A Su Lado" segment in Spanish, back to English for "Ask the Mayor" on KCAL-9 and then into Spanish again for a live interview on Telemundo's "En Contexto" with Ruben Luengas.
♦ Seems appropriate: The city of San Gabriel got its first Chinese American mayor last night when Chi Mui moved up from vice mayor.
♦ Imagine that: Celebrities are getting noticed at the L.A. Fashion Week shows.
♦ Eagle Rock: Restaurant mini-boom brings overtones of Silver Lake to Eagle Rock, the Times says.
♦ Hi mom: Times editorial writer Matt Welch blogtroduces his mother's new blog on the coming pandemic flu.
♦ They must know ratings: Jon Stewart will host the ceremony for broadcasting's prestigious Peabody Awards.
♦ Eastside baseball history: East L.A. teams from the 1940s through the 1960s such as the Carmelita Chorizeros, Los Angeles Forty-Sixty Club, Eastside Merchants and East Los Angeles Virgin Guadalupes are featured in an exhibit that opens Sunday at Cal State L.A. "Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues" is from the Baseball Reliquary.
♦ Bigfooting: Ryan Seacrest has joined Giuliana DePandi as co-anchor of E! News.
♦ Book buzz: If LAT staff writer Mary Rourke isn't the only fashion editor-turned-Yale Divinty School grad-turned-historical fiction author I'll eat my hat. Her first novel, Two Women of Galilee, draws on her theology training to spin a tale that calls "engaging and poignant...a wholly fictional but knowledge-based account of the all-but-accidental relationship between the widowed Mary, mother of Jesus, and her distant cousin Joanna."
♦ Coming this week: Times op-ed columnist Meghan Daum has an essay in The May Queen, an anthology of 27 pieces about being a woman in your thirties (edited by Andrea N. Richesin) that will be released Thursday. Local contributors include Heather Juergensen, Veronica Chambers and Deb Norton On Friday, Daum sits in as guest blogger at The Elegant Variation.
♦ Panel discussion: Martin Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center at USC, moderates a 4 pm panel on the role of newspapers and blogs presented by the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. I'm on the panel along with Ana Marie Cox and Kevin Drum.
Have Blogs Replaced Newspapers and Should We Care? Are newspapers yesterday's news? As newspapers scurry for readers and advertisers, more and more bloggers deliver gossip, news and commentary faster, cheaper and more efficiently. Yet while bloggers respond more nimbly than traditional news-gathering institutions, are they doing so by sacrificing objectivity, accuracy or reliability?
♦ Nothing from LANG: The Daily News and other Los Angeles Newspaper Group websites were down.

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent stories on LA Observed:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
David Ryu and candidate Mike Fong
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Volleying with Rosie Casals
Lloyd Hamrol
Previous story: Kings make the change

Next story: 'Chicano All Stars'


LA Observed on Twitter