Wednesday, 3.29.06

Morning BuzzEverybody is vowing to get tough if students walk out again today, but we'll see how that goes...Villaraigosa's political squeeze...Bratton calls the freeway swarms "insanity" (and he's right)...That just might have been a shoulder-fired missile that flew past a jet over LAX last year...Maybe, just maybe, Deputy Rosa shot herself by accident yesterday...and a whole bunch more, including a tip of the hat to a center fielder who could play a little. Turn the page...

♦ Great minds? Yesterday I commented on the political pluses and minuses for Mayor Villaraigosa in the immigration protests, and today Jim Newton in the Times runs with the ball. He says being booed by students for telling them to go back to school was good for the mayor's image—"makes him the voice of reason," said Villaraigosa's campaign manager, Ace Smith.
"Somebody's got to be a grown-up," [Villaraigosa] said Tuesday, reflecting on the turn of events that had placed him on the receiving end of an angry student group even though Villaraigosa himself participated in a historic student walkout in 1968. "As a father, I would want my kids to go back to school."


"This is the first real test for him in some ways," said Allan Hoffenblum, [Republican] publisher of a nonpartisan election guide known as the California Target Book. "This is where we discover whether he's a leader or just another pretty face."

♦ Cracking down: Bratton and Baca say that now they mean business and will use truancy laws to keep protesting students in school. Of those who swarm onto freeways, Chief Bratton says: "That's not free speech. That's insanity."
♦ Pushing hot buttons: The Times picks up on the upset caused by protesters' display of the Mexican flag.
♦ Talk radio: As different as brown and white.
♦ Bleeding heart Republican? BoifromTroy Scott Schmidt argues that his fellow Republicans talking about immigration reform in Washington need to understand the real deal out here in Southern California—that the kids we see in the streets are mostly Americans and this isn't about ditching class.
While many of them may have been born here and are United States citizens, many Los Angeles teens have parents who are not. Whatever happens in Washington will determine the fate of these Americans' families....For those kids who marched onto a Southern California freeway—this is about their moms and their dads and whether there will be dinner on the table....If we're putting the interests of Americans first, maybe we want to think about those Americans whose parents and families may be torn apart...
♦ National immigration debate: The influence of CNN's Lou Dobbs.
♦ New theory: Sheriff's deputy Maria Cecelia Rosa may have accidentally shot herself while leaving for work yesterday in Long Beach, Sheriff Lee Baca says. She was found slumped over the open trunk of her car, her gun before her. And from the Press-Telegram:
More than 50 deputies, many of them Rosa's co-workers, lined the hall of one wing at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center's emergency room and saluted as Rosa's body was rolled from the hospital to a waiting coroner's van Tuesday morning. The somber tribute left everyone in tears, one deputy said.
♦ Bon voyage: Authorities "cannot rule out the fact that it was a shoulder-fired missile" fired at American Airlines flight 612 as it departed LAX last November, Sen. Barbara Boxer says in a report aired on ABC's World News Tonight. Local investigative producer Eric Longabardi worked on the piece with Brian Ross, the network's chief investigative correspondent.
♦ Payback: Last October, Mayor Villaraigosa played a walk-on role on "The George Lopez Show." This morning at 10 am, the mayor will help unveil Lopez's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
♦ Is it history?: What to do with artifacts from the Ambassador Hotel pantry where Robert F. Kennedy was gunned down in 1968: keep them or forget them?
♦ Mea culpa: Martin Ludlow told the judge he knew he was breaking the law during his campaign for the City Council. Sentencing in federal court was set for June 5.
♦ Outside the box: Time's new web strategy:
This time, there is evidence that the publisher's management is willing to fundamentally alter the way the magazines are run to make the Web push work. In recent months, Time management has taken steps to dissolve the divisions between its Web and print operations. It has made selling ads online a priority and demanded that writers produce more copy for its Web sites. It is also expanding the sites to include more video, blogs and photographs. Former "Wonkette" blogger Ana Marie Cox has been hired to write for Time magazine and its revamped Web site, alongside Andrew Sullivan, another well-known blogger and columnist. Time Inc. has even launched an irreverent Web site aimed at young male workers called Office Pirates.
♦ Round of applause: Former Dodger Marquis Grissom calls it quits after a pretty decent 17-year run: 2,165 games, .272 average, 386 doubles, 227 homers, 429 steals and four Gold Gloves.

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: Pellicano sidebar

Next story: Dowie fights back


LA Observed on Twitter