Morning Buzz

Monday Buzz, 7.17.06

Malibu's last big spread for sale.
Mike Kinsley headed for brain surgery.
Wendy McCaw speaks.
Details and much more when you click on the Buzz.

And now our regular Monday look-back at highlights of the week that was:

Top News
635 prime Malibu acres for sale
The Corral Ranch land northwest of Pepperdine University has coves, a creek and amazing ocean views — and all the NIMBYism you can handle. Only $12.6 million, says the Los Angeles Business Journal.
"This is pretty much the best remaining unprotected coastal canyon left," said Paul Edelman, deputy director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy...."(It) has been a high priority acquisition for every park agency, and the conservancy, to buy from Day One."

Parolee who attacked woman was dumped downtown

A law firm assistant waiting for the light to change at 9th and Figueroa was attacked by a man who recently got out of prison and was allegedly driven downtown from a Torrance hospital by county police. The Downtown News spoke to her:

The woman's face hit the pavement, breaking her nose and knocking out a tooth. Her coworker called 911 and Meza continued walking down the street. Police arrived and immediately arrested Meza, charging him with felony assault.

When police arrested him, the woman said, Meza asked if he could go back to jail.

Easy come, easy go
The mysterious little San Gabriel Valley Transit Authority — which provided some transit but no authority — has "ceased to function." It played a central role in last spring's Ferrari Enzo media boomlet.
Foster care screw up
Father and daughter were kept apart for ten years because the county couldn't "find" him, even though it collected his child support checks.
Not the Committee of 25
Rick Orlov's Sunday story in the Daily News is the first I've seen looking at the two dozen civic and business leaders who meet at the City Club downtown to ponder solutions to Los Angeles' problems. The Civic Alliance has been around for about a year and last month two of its members joined in calling for relaxation of the term limits that encourage local electeds to run perpetually. With stories like this, you want the names of as many members as possible. The only named participants, however, are co-founder George Kieffer, the former chairman of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Ed Avila of the Alliance for a Better Community, and former Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Since he also used to belong to the Committee of 25 that ran things in the old days, it falls to Christopher to stress there is no comparison.
That was a group of business leaders trying to be constructive in specific areas. This group has some business leaders, but it is also reaching out to the nonprofit sector. The center of gravity in Los Angeles has changed, and this group reflects it....We are nonpartisan in the approach we are taking. We are not being ideological in what we're looking at.
Hail Maria
Ryan A. Jimenez, the press director for the Geffen Playhouse since last fall, is shifting to politics as communications director for Maria Shriver. Jimenez, 29, begins July 31.
Questions from the Downtown News
For city planning chief Gail Goldberg and neighborhood council leader Brady Westwater.
Kinsley's brain surgery *
Former LAT opinion editor Michael Kinsley calls his operation to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, scheduled for last week, a "license for self-indulgence." He writes in Time magazine:
There aren't many things you can say these days that retain their shock value, but that is one of them. "So, Mike—got any summer plans?" "Why, yes, next Tuesday I'm having brain surgery. How about you?" In the age of angioplasty and Lipitor, even the heart has lost much of its metaphorical power, at least in the medical context. People are willing to accept it as a collection of muscles and blood vessels rather than—or at least in addition to—the seat of various emotions. But the brain remains the seat of the self itself in physical reality as well as in metaphor. And the brain as metaphor looms so large that there isn't much room left for the simultaneous physical reality that the brain is material, performs mechanical functions, can break down and sometimes can be repaired. So brain surgery remains shocking and mystical.
* An editor's note with the piece says the July 12 surgery went fine.
'Full-blown rebellion' at News-Press
Perhaps as harbinger of dramas to come, the New York Times sent Hollywood beat writer Sharon Waxman to report on the Santa Barbara News-Press situation. She gets a brief interview with owner Wendy McCaw, who again sidesteps the ethical issues raised by the nine staffers, including all top editors, who have resigned rather than put out the paper she wants. Turns out that McCaw had not spoken to her editor, Jerry Roberts, since 2004.
"This is not a freedom of the press issue, or of intimidation of the newsroom,” she said. “There were personality differences in the newsroom, and the people who didn’t want to be there are not there any longer. I’m committed to the highest standards of journalism and quality. And I’m committed to putting out the paper."


In 2004, editors rankled at instances when Mrs. McCaw asked for special news consideration of pet subjects, such as litigation she won against an architect, or more prominent placement of reviews by her fiancé, Arthur Von Wiesenberger, then the newspaper’s restaurant critic.

Relations deteriorated between Mrs. McCaw and Mr. Roberts, and she stopped speaking to him after the fall of 2004, he said, communicating when necessary through her fiancé.

In early 2005 when Joe Cole, Mrs. McCaw’s lawyer, became the publisher, things settled down. Mr. Cole resigned in April of this year for undisclosed reasons, and Mrs. McCaw and Mr. Von Wiesenberger became co-publishers.

The conflict over the division between editorial opinion and news-gathering arose anew when Mr. Armstrong was arrested in May for drunken driving. The newspaper ran a news article on Page 3, which Mr. Armstrong considered a sign of a personal vendetta against him by Mr. Roberts. Mrs. McCaw said she agreed that the prominence of the article reflected a vendetta.

Mr. Roberts denied that, saying the paper could not favor its own employees, especially a high-profile figure like Mr. Armstrong. “It wasn’t a close call,” he said. “He’s a public figure in this town, and a lightning rod.”

When Mr. Armstrong was sentenced a couple of weeks later, Mr. Roberts planned a short follow-up, but received instructions from his higher-ups not to print the item after Mr. Armstrong complained.

Westside weeklies fight
After some ex-Beverly Hills Courier sales staffers began contacting advertisers on behalf of their new employer, the Westside Chronicle, the Courier sued. Sounds like the Courier lost, at least at the preliminary injunction level. Chronicle publisher Jim Lynch gloats a little.
TV Week blog
Christopher Lisotta is posting news and buzz from the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
Letter to the LAT Travel editors
Would smeone please buy the Travel section editors a blue pencil. Why? Because I (and I am sure many other readers) am sick of the irrelevant references in most, if not all, travel articles to the authors' mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, spouses, partners, children, roommates and pets. What is this penchant of a seeming obligatory mention of everyone and anyone the writer has communed with in the last 48 hours in every article?

MARY MARGARET MCGUIRE (and everyone she loves, knows, is related to, has been associated with, and may come in contact with in her lifetime)


NYT Travel pronounces the Valley cool
Marc Weingarten's piece in the Sunday Travel section quotes Mark Frauenfelder of BoingBoing: "A lot of people move from West Hollywood to the Valley when they have kids. They still want to go out at night, but they want to stay closer to home, instead of driving over the hill and wasting a half hour of precious babysitter time."
LAX pylons back on
Blogger TJ Sullivan in LA noticed that the color towers leading into the airport were back on over the weekend.
Front page linksLA Observed archive

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
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Thursday news and notes
A little bit of mid-week reading
A few links from a few different places
Let's talk about anything but the weather
A few links from here and there
A couple of links from a couple of places
A bit of news from a few places
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.16.14


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