Monday, 5.01.06

Morning BuzzThere's an extra-long Morning Buzz chock full of good stuff after you turn the page, catching up to the weekend. Of course the news of the day in Los Angeles (and Pasadena, Pomona, Santa Ana, Fullerton, Riverside, San Diego, Oxnard, Huntington Park, Long Beach and San Bernardino) figures to be protest marches and immigrants rights protests.

Mayor Villaraigosa called an audible and will skip the NFL meetings to stay in town, according to the Daily News. Rick Orlov writes:

The Dallas trip became a logistical nightmare as aides worried about trouble breaking out in Los Angeles during the immigration protests and the mayor being out of the city. Ever a student of politics, Villaraigosa recalls that then-Mayor James Hahn was politically damaged because he was out of town on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorist attacks rocked the nation.

The Times' version is that he will monitor the protests at City Hall and is "also scheduled to fly to Texas to urge National Football League officials to bring a team to Los Angeles." Protest organizers say Villaraigosa will address the crowd at MacArthur Park at 3 pm then depart the city. The Times story also misnames a Wilshire nightlife landmark, giving the Conga Room a new ethnic identity as the Congo Room.

Reminder that the street closures for today's two marches are posted here; many businesses along Wilshire Boulevard are closing for the day. (Los Angeles Magazine is one of them.) Previously: May 1 boycott.

Click the Buzz or turn the page to continue:

♦ Living large: The Times' Steve Hymon totes up the city officials who motor around in SUV's, led by deputy mayor Jaime de la Vega and his Hummer H3. He would be the deputy mayor in charge of transportation and mass transit policy.
♦ In Hollywood: Rise and fall of Revolution Studios and Joe Roth, by Laura Holson in the New York Times.
♦ Today in Pellicano: Halbfinger & Weiner at the New York Times report that Universal chief Ron Meyer appeared before the grand jury to explain why he paid a visit to Anthony Pellicano in prison in 2004. Meyer told the paper he was just being a friend.
While Mr. Pellicano's client list included some of the movie business's most influential players — as well as some of their angry ex-spouses — the only heavy hitter known to have visited Mr. Pellicano behind bars was Mr. Meyer. Nowhere in the long-running investigation of Mr. Pellicano, who pleaded not guilty to wiretapping and conspiracy charges, has Mr. Meyer's name been associated with even a whiff of impropriety. But the relationship between the detective and the studio chief holds a lesson about doing business in Hollywood, where loyalty holds an exalted value, and where an executive who expects to survive at the top must be able to understand the industry's seamy underworld for what it is, without tumbling into it.
Deadline Hollywood Daily's take on the story; plus Ross Johnson on a search warrant affidavit that Pellicano's lawyer hopes will prove bad faith on the government's part.
♦ Orlov: City Controller Laura Chick is off to Cuba this week "to meet with various Cuban groups including church leaders and social service agencies to assess conditions on the island."
♦ Arrested: Felipe Fuentes, on leave as chief of staff to Councilman Alex Padilla to help on his state Senate campaign, was arrested on suspicion of battery after a dispute at one of Padilla's offices, the L.A. Times reported Saturday.
♦ New in the LAT: Former Current (and Opinion) editor Bob Sipchen begins a new California section column called School Me, which he writes "will chart my quest to articulate and answer some key questions about how we educate our children." The accompanying blog is sub-titled Adventures in education. Also: The opinion pages have split their blog in two; Opinion L.A., with round-ups of mostly local opinion journalism plus moderated comments, is shepherded by Matt Welch. Borderline dwells on immigration issues.
♦ Blog launch: Former VLife editor Tom Tapp unveils Hollywood Wiretap as a new aggregator of media coverage about Hollywood and entertainment gossip, with design inspiration from Matt Drudge.
♦ Tough luck: When the neighbor rents out his home for a porn shoot, you just have to live with it.
♦ Nice read: Thomas Curwen's visit to more than twenty venues that have iconic meaning in the real estate lore of the Los Angeles area, from Bungalow Heaven to Tarzana to the Hollywoodland gates. In the Times' commemorative edition of Home that ran Sunday. Interactive map with audio on the Times' website.
♦ Sorry to see it go: California Map and Travel Center, a fixture on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, will close May 31 after 55 years in business.
♦ Oops: The Daily News corrected itself and said the hotel room-tax waiver for the Grand Avenue project downtown would total $40 million, not $440 million.
♦ Valley rules again: Taft High School in Woodland Hills won the national academic decathlon for the third time.
♦ Micro-blogging: Rose Watcher covers an exposed storm drain and an unsightly bus parked on the blogger's street in West L.A.
♦ Lakers win: A last-second shot in OT by Kobe Bryant gave the Lakers a 3-1 lead in their playoff series with Phoenix.

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