Morning Buzz

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 9.20.06

George Lucas gifts $175 million to USC
The money will provide a new home for the film school.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gives $1.8 million
Green Dot gets the donation for South L.A. charter schools.
AFTER THE JUMP: Going deep on Richard Meruelo, the mayor and Romer together again, H & M frenzy almost here, and a lot more.
Meruelo piece
The Times' long-in-the-works story on downtown developer Richard Meruelo lands in today's paper and calls him "the biggest owner of downtown acreage, with more than 100 properties in or just beyond the urban core...[and] a new force in Los Angeles politics." That includes being the biggest single contributor to Mayor Villaraigosa's campaign last year. Jeff Rabin examines Meruelo's ambitions, controversies and working style, which includes telling the reporter "If I get attacked, I will fight back." His planning director is former Fox 11 reporter and LAT urban design writer Sam Hall Kaplan, one of his lobbyists Fernando Guerra of Loyola Marymount.
Visuals should be interesting, at least
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg will join Chief William Bratton in launching a new school safety initiative at Fremont High this afternoon, but it's who else is on the dais that's interesting. Superintendent Roy Romer and Board of Education president Marlene Canter will also be there. It's not the first time they have shared a stage with the mayor since losing on AB 1381 — they were at the dedication of the Miguel Contreras high school last week — but this time they get co-billing and may even get to say something.
Yeah sure they are
Building and Safety officials are polishing up new rules for issuing building permits that will ensure that politically connected developers who can get the mayor or a councilman on the phone will not get any better treatment than you or me.
$26,000 to defend Prop R
Council approves outside lawyers.
Against the homeless deal
Brady Westwater argues on the LAT op-ed page that pulling out the police at night will let drug pushers run rampant on Skid Row.
Scriptland, week two
The LAT's screenwriter gossip column is back.
Other side of the new downtown
Reporter Robert LaFranco moves in to the new Cecil Hotel on Skid Row for the Downtown News.
H & M frenzy
Mimi Avins in the Times advances the Thursday opening of the Pasadena store.
Westwood rally
UCLA Medical Center nurses plan to protest at the corner of Westwood Boulevard and LeConte Avenue from 6 to 9 am over stalled contract talks.
Times talk
Steve Soboroff of Playa Vista and the Civic Alliance guests on KPCC's "Patt Morrison" to talk about the letter he signed to Tribune complaining about cuts at the Los Angeles Times.

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 Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
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
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