Friday Buzz, 6.16.06

Click on the Buzz and take a peek around at the top news of the day in Los Angeles, plus some politics, a couple of new blogs and good reasons to avoid Westwood Village today.

Top News
Antonio's LAUSD takeover on the ropes?
Speaker Fabian Nez phoned the mayor to warn him that Democrats in the Legislature need a lot more persuading if they are to buck the teachers union and embrace the Villaraigosa plan. "It's not dead but it's in trouble," Nez says. Villaraigosa plans to storm Sacramento next week to do more selling. Times, Daily News, Michael R. Blood at AP.
Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles), chairwoman of the Assembly Education Committee and a former teacher, said she doubted that Villaraigosa's proposal would receive more than three votes in her committee. It needs at least six to pass.

"I do not like the vote coming from Sacramento instead of from the people who live in the district," Goldberg said, referring to the fact that the mayor's plan would not require a local referendum. "I like Antonio and trust him, but I don't know who the next mayor's going to be.

Another death at Killer King
A patient supposedly hooked up to a heart monitor went out for a smoke, fell and suffered cardiac arrest on June 9.
Compton officerNews you can snooze
Compton Unified School District police officers were photographed snoozing in their patrol cars, according to a lawsuit.
Unearthing history
School construction under the old LAUSD headquarters on Fort Moore Hill downtown keeps turning up more bodies and 19th century artifacts. By law, the district must try to identify each of the remains using historical records.
As bulldozers worked in the background Thursday, about 10 archaeologists used trowels and brushes to unearth the latest - and so far largest cluster of grave sites. One swept the dirt from a hexagonal-shape casket, revealing its wood as well as the bones of the feet of its occupant at the narrow end and a single vertebra toward the top.
Santa Monica wants to ban Styrofoam
The City Council instructed the staff to draft a law that will prohibit restaurants and other businesses from packaging food in expanded polystyrene containers.
Yorkie terrorizes Burbank Airport
An apparently stray Yorkshire Terrier eluded pursuers for more than half an hour, racing across the runway and taxiways at Bob Hope Airport. His reward was getting a wash and a blowdry at the shelter—plus plenty of face time on the news. CBS-2 has chopper video.
Billingsley era begins
The kid didn't win, but he pitched well enough that the Dodgers did. Chad Billingsley even knocked in two runs with his first hit in the bigs.
Role reversal
Mickey Kaus defending Ann Coulter (OK, that's not unusual) and Patterico making fun of her.
Listen up—again
Pollster Andre Pineda keeps trying to convince Democratic consultants that Latino voters watch TV mostly in English, not Spanish. And by a wide margin.
Take back the Times
The raison d'etre of retired Timesman Ken Reich's blog is to agitate for a return to local ownership of his former newspaper. So as you might expect, he's energized by the events of this week.
Best magazines
The Chicago Tribune's annual rating of the top 50 magazines is led by The Economist, Dwell, Wired, The New Yorker and ESPN the magazine. Reason makes the list at #37; if there's another local mag there I didn't spot it.
Publisher tribute
This week's Argonaut has an insert of letters praising David Asper Johnson, who died May 17. Tip from Councilman Bill Rosendahl's blog, which reprints his letter.
Debit card journalism
The Hollywood Reporter's Ray Richmond outbid everybody to score a grainy photo of Rachel Weisz and Darren Aronofsky with their newborn son in Battery Park last Sunday.
Around the web
Free advice for car thieves
Passion of the Weiss suggests the five models that car thieves should steal instead of the ever-popular Cadillac Escalade.
Are car thieves unaware who drives Escalades? From all the television I watch, it would appear that the only people who drive Escalades are rappers, athletes, gang/mob members and possibly shot callers.
Prime numbers
L.A. City Nerd is compiling a blog-list of 225 ways to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the city's founding. His suggestion for #100:
Drive a guest from LAX down Century Boulevard, then south on the 405 to the Century Freeway to the 110 North to the Millennium Biltmore [10 Centuries] and then across the 10 to Century City & Visit the former 20th Century Fox Studios.
Prize-winning sports blogger
Mike Sando covers the Seattle Seahawks for the print version of the News Tribune in Tacoma and his Seahawks Insider blog won an EPpy Award for "Best Media-Affiliated Sports Blog." He tells Robert Niles at the Online Journalism Review about straddling print and web.
The transition might be very difficult for reporters who are not Web-oriented. I'm online a lot of the time even when I'm not working, which allows me to monitor the blog as desired. Beyond that, the first thing reporters need to do is lighten up and realize that the blog is not the newspaper.

If a columnist somewhere makes an off-the-wall proposal that has people talking, or if you want to throw out some analysis on the topic of the day, the blog is the place to do it. In that sense I have definitely modified my voice for the blog. That was a little tough to do initially, but after running the blog for a while, I'm figuring out what works and where I want to go with things.

New (to me) blog with catchy title
My So-Cal'd Life tells "how an unchallenged suburban kid from western new york who grew up loving Star Trek, joined the University of Arizona marching band and enjoys blackjack, documentaries and non-fiction sections in bookstores, Broadway musicals, Harry Potter, Entertainment Weekly, the Hollywood Bowl and misses Fairfax farmer's market karaoke, has found that he belongs in Los Angeles--where Rilo Kiley and Deborah Gibson meet."
How to de-stucco your home
Graduation week at UCLA
Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke delivers the commencement address for the School of Public Affairs at 9 am in Royce Hall. Mayor Villaraigosa gives the address for the College of Letters and Science in Pauley Pavillion at 5 pm. Meanwhile, this quarter's Undie Run went off without controversy.
Campanile makeover
The La Brea restaurant will close for a week on Aug. 28 for redecorating by Madeline Stuart, who has her design studio in the building.
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