Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.16.07

Take the surveyThis is the day to sit down with the Column One story in the Times. Surprise and touching L.A. slice of life that begins with reporter Hector Becerra grappling with the death of his sister, then goes somewhere else. Look inside for the rest of the Morning Buzz — and don't forget to take the LA Observed reader survey.

Morning Buzz
LA Biz Observed: Mark Lacter's morning heads
If you read just one story
LAT: Cemetery club
Every day that Times reporter Hector Becerra went to the Montebello cemetery to begin grieving over his sister's grave, two older men were sitting nearby chatting. Every time. They would talk about the most mundane things, feed the birds, sometimes add others to their group. What were they doing there?
They are brothers. They first came to the cemetery nearly three years ago to bury their 98-year-old mother, a woman they had cared for into their twilight years. They came back the day after the burial. Then the next day, and the next.

They pull up each day in their white Cadillac DeVille, carrying a bucket for water, shovels, flowers and two folding chairs....

Tony began cleaning the graves around his mother's plot and trimmed the grass growing around the headstones of lonely plots. He would go up to anybody and just about everybody, making friends. Soon, people began to join the brothers, people like Ernie Serrano, 74, grieving for his wife of 53 years, and Joe DeAnda. The 85-year-old would stand or sit above his late wife's plot. Soon after they showed up, he was talking with Tony, and soon after that, he began to pull a seat, and together they would form a semicircle around Angela Vasquez's grave.

"We call it the Cemetery Club," DeAnda said with a smile.

Politics
Skirmishes over LAPD secrecy
Mayor Villaraigosa and Sen. Gloria Romero are pushing for reopening of Board of Rights hearings, while the Police Protective League argues they should remain closed. LAT, DN
For the Record
Josh Kamensky passes along the word that, despite what Rick Orlov reported Monday, his "Jeopardy" appearance isn't due to air until later in the year. Kamensky is communications honcho for Council President Eric Garcetti. Orlov has a story today, by the way, on Garcetti surviving his first year and beginning his second.
Media
Exchange over Arnold
Karen Pomer, the rape survivors activist who helped the L.A. Times with its 2003 investigative series on the groping allegations against then-candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger, had an email exchange with LAT opinion editor Andrs Martinez over this weekend's editorial arguing that the law constitution should be changed to allow foreign-born Americans to serve as president. Nikki Finke has the blow-by-blow.
Just for the record
Today's NYT piece on the unlikely duo of Eli Broad and Ron Burkle, which says they will decided tomorrow whether to bid on the Tribune Company, was actually hashed over yesterday by Mark Lacter at LA Biz Observed. Richard Riordan says in the piece that "They are both interesting men, but they are from different worlds."
Police beat
Bratton wants curb on pot clinics
Ninety four new medicinal marijuana establishments opened in the city last year.
Personal takes
Xeni on CES
Xeni Jardin of BoingBoing and "Day to Day" has a New York Times op-ed piece today on how the latest gadgets at last week's Consumer Electronics Show really make it hard for someone to copy a movie or some music.
Noted
$1.1 billion in oranges alone
Perhaps 70% of California's oranges and a huge number of lemons may have been lost in last week's freeze. Losses in the orange crop alone are being estimated at $1.1 billion. LAT
Tia Chucha has media on its side
Forced eviction of the Sylmar bookstore-cafe-cultural center, noted here last week, makes today's Times.
Jack Oakie estate to be developed
USC was given the last mostly intact horse ranch in Northridge by the widow of comic actor Jack Oakie, but the university sold it to a developer. Now the eleven acres, once a thoroughbred ranch owned by Barbara Stanwyck and Zeppo Marx, are slated for 29 homes. The Valley Observed

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz: Friday 4.27.12
Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.26.12
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.25.12
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.24.12
Morning Buzz: Monday 4.23.12

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