Thursday Buzz, 6.15.06

Lots of news, a Mel Gibson reference, some Media Notes and Gustavo Arellano on the irrational fear of MEChA. Click the Buzz for entry to the inner sanctum.

Top News
Twins separated
A team of about eighty surgeons and other physicians at Childrens Hopsital separated ten-month-old conjoined twins. The operation lasted more than twelve hours. The parents of Regina and Renata Salinas Fierros are Mexicans living in San Fernando on extended tourist visas. Times, AP
Sheriff's killing investigated
Deputies fired 70 rounds at a driver who led them on a high-speed chase in Walnut Park then rammed their patrol cars.
No deal
Ralph Horowitz, who evicted the South Central farmers from his land, tells the LA Weekly there was never an offer on the table to acquire the property from him.
The City Attorney went after Landmark Equity Management for allegedly causing poor conditions as a tactic to force tenants out of rent controlled apartments in gentrifying Los Angeles neighborhoods. Times, Daily News
Certain logic to it
What weapon does a Japanese sushi chef use when he comes to the U.S. to allegedly try to kill his ex-wife? Why, a kitchen knife of course. Minoru Watanabe will stand trial for attempted murder.
Multi-culti L.A. County
Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights is adding Korean to its language courses in the fall—and there's already a rush to sign up.
Think global, sleep local
Taiwanese-born Roger Wang became one of the richest men in China with the company that he runs out of Beverly Hills, says James Flanigan in a New York Times column.
LA Weekly on Andrew Adelman
From Jeffrey Anderson, who notes that two of the properties where Dept. of Building and Safety laxity has come under fire are owned by Richard Meruelo, "the mayor’s largest campaign contributor."
Rumblings out of City Hall suggest that Adelman should think carefully about his next move. The picture emerging from his department is not pretty. Lawsuits by his employees allege he is a volatile and, at times, abusive man. City officials acknowledge that he can be demeaning and a source of problems, some caused by his tendency to encourage developers to ask for forgiveness, not permission. Homeowners in the hillside communities, where a debate over McMansions is heating up, are beside themselves.
Ugliness by mail
David Zahinser in the LA Weekly looks at the sleaze factor in mail sent to voters just before last week's election. Plus: How to run a nasty campaign.
Chandler family fallout
Stories in the Los Angeles Times (front page, plus sidebar) and New York Times dissect Wednesday's stunning revolt against Tribune Company management by the Chandler family trusts. An analyst calls the 2000 merger between Tribune and Times Mirror a "failure," and family member Harry Chandler, who isn't part of the rebelling faction, talked up sale of the Times to local interests:
"It was a big loss for the paper to have ownership transferred to another city, where the publisher and other honchos don't have a vested interest" in Los Angeles, Chandler said. "The city has suffered because of it."
Apology accepted
President Bush publicly needled Times reporter Peter Wallsten for wearing sunglasses at a press conference, not knowing that Wallsten suffers from macular degeneration caused by Stargardt's disease. Bush later called to apologize.
Wallsten said he interrupted and told the president that no apology was necessary and that he didn't feel offended since he hadn't told anyone at the White House about his condition. "He said, 'I needle you guys out of affection,"' Wallsten said. "I said, 'I understand that, but I don't want you to treat me any differently because of this."'

"He said...'Next time I'll just use a different needle,"' Wallsten said.

He said, he said
The director of the West Los Angeles VA facility responds to CityBeat's expose about nuclear waste on the paper's letters page, drawing a response from reporter Michael Collins. Collins also has his stuff posted online at
L.A.'s most powerful
West magazine in the Los Angeles Times is asking for online nominations for the "most powerful people in Southern California." Results will go into the August 13 issue.
Media Notes
Audrey Davidow is acting Editor-in-Chief of Angeleno while Alexandria Abramian-Mott is on maternity leave...Ryan Smith, researcher on the Los Angeles Times editorial pages, has left for a communications at Green Dot public schools...CityBeat's Dean Kuipers' new book Burning Rainbow Farm: How a Stoner Utopia Went up in Smoke is featured on Salon.
Talker of the day
Odd bedfellows
Charles Bukowski's widow has donated the profane poet's archive of books, manuscripts and fan letters to the dignified Huntington Library.
"It's going to be scandalous. This would tickle my husband. It would crack him up," Linda Lee Bukowski said from her San Pedro home, where curators have been sorting through more than a thousand items. Those include a typed draft of his 1982 novel "Ham on Rye," with handwritten corrections; his screenplay for the 1987 autobiographical movie "Barfly;" rare poetry journals from the 1940s; and scratch forms for horse races at Santa Anita.

Huntington officials are thrilled to have all that material and more, some of it peppered with sex, violence and alcohol abuse, from the poet and novelist who emerged late in life from L.A.'s underground to become an internationally renowned author and an iconic cultural figure. Bukowski died of leukemia at age 73 in 1994.

Gustavo Arellano on MEChA
The OC journalist, writing on the Times op-ed page, calls Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán "the high school and college club for Mexican American students that scares the bejesus out of everyone else....But, as in Islam, a few indige-nazis are stains sullying a noble organization. I should know. I am a Mechista. As both a member of the invading army and a proud son of Mexican-hating Orange County, I can testify that, without a doubt, MEChA is harmless."
Heralded rookie
Dodgers super-prospect Chad Billingsley starts his first game in the majors at 12:35 pm against the Padres in San Diego.
Academia Semillas del Pueblo
KCET's Life and Times goes inside the controversial Eastside charter school and also talks to KABC talk host Doug McIntyre. 6:30 pm.
Lorraine Bracco
"The Sopranos'" Dr. Melfi talks with guest host Ted Chen on KPCC's "Airtalk with Larry Mantle," at 11:30 am.
Hot property
Mel Gibson has put his Malibu palace on the market nine months after buying it for $24 million. Could it be because Britney Spears lives next door?
They have a new gooooaaaalllll!
Turf Toe, the LA Weekly's sport blog, has gone all World Cup for the time being.
Mr. Mora? Please stop digging
Enrique Mora was ordered to stop excavating a "gold mine" in the front yard of his home in Montclair. His hired diggers had reached sixty feet without discovering any treasure. Said Mora:
"Had I come up with the gold, no one would have thought I'm crazy."
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