Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.17.07

creditL.A.'s Latino vs. black gang violence lands on the front page of the NYT, with a web slide show of photos. The county's choice for CAO bolts, Steve Lopez embraces the possibilities of traffic, and much more inside a long and newsy Morning Buzz — neatly hidden away after the jump so you can quickly scan down the main page here for other posts.

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Morning Buzz
LA Biz Observed: Mark Lacter's morning headlines
Top of the news
Black v. Latino violence raging here
On the front page of today's New York Times, Randal Archibold of the L.A. bureau reports that "ethnic and racial tension comes to Los Angeles as regularly as the Santa Ana winds. Race-related fights afflict school campuses and jails, and two major riots, in 1965 and 1992, are hardly forgotten. But civil rights advocates say that the violence grew at an alarming rate last year, continuing a trend of more Latino versus black confrontations and prompting street demonstrations and long discussions on talk-radio programs and in community meetings. Much of the violence springs from rivalries between black and Latino gangs, especially in neighborhoods where the black population has been declining and the Latino population surging. A 14 percent increase in gang crime last year, at a time when overall violent crime was down, has been attributed in good measure to the interracial conflict." The pic is by the NYT's Monica Almeida, who has a slide show on the NYT site.
Politics
CAO favorite rejects L.A.
The Board of Supervisors offered the job of chief administrative officer to Sandra L. Vargas, the administrator of Hennepin County, Minn., but she turned it down, the LAT reports.
Villaraigosa and education
At 5 pm Mayor Villaraigosa will host an education town hall and release his written "framework" for improving every LAUSD school. The event is at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Little Tokyo.
Media
Lopez adopts traffic
Steve Lopez returns to his recent traffic rant again today, and it's easy to see why. An invitation to readers to post their suggestions and gripes about L.A. congestion has attracted more than 335 comments at the Times website.
Thrillist launches in L.A.
Another New York import arrives in Los Angeles. The daily email newsletter about things to know — "It might be about a restaurant that serves poisonous (yet edible) fish, a rock bar that lists a "Double Shot of Jack" on its cocktail menu, or even a pocketknife that doubles as a money-clip — kicked off officially on Tuesday.
Daily Journal webs up — some
The redesigned website of the Daily Journal now has summaries on a few stories, though you still need to be a subscriber to read the whole story. There's also a link to the staff list which confirms a fairly substantial recent exodus.
Temple Israel and MLK
Queena Kim did a story for NPR's "Day to Day" on the lost Hollywood speech given in 1965 by Martin Luther King that we posted on a week ago or so.
Book sale
Tad Friend, who did the Letter from California (from Brooklyn) for The New Yorker for several years, has sold Leaving Hartford — which Publishers Lunch says is a book "about heritage and social misadventure, and linking his family's loss of money and prominence to the broader Wasp decline" — to Little, Brown.
Got a little more time
PEN USA's deadline for literary contest entries in journalism, drama, teleplay and screenplay is January 31.
Police beat
Long Beach hate case wraps up
Closing arguments are expected today in the assault trial of nine black girls and a boy accused of ganging up on white girls on Halloween. Tracy Manzer, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reporter who has been following the attack case since the start, guests with Loyola Law professor Laurie Levinson on "Patt Morrison." KPCC, 2 pm.
Noted
Celia and Jim
Celia Esguerra and Jim Winstead were married last weekend at Union Station. They are the downtown bloggers whose love connection has played out in the L.A. blogosphere since the death from cancer of Celia's sister Laura in 2005. Celia and Jim partook of both LA Observed Neon Cruises last summer. Congratulations!
Anti-Semitism en route to LAX
The Jewish Journal received a huge outpouring of letters on this op-ed piece about an encounter between the writer and the Jew-hating, Rastafarian driver of his airport car service. "On the way to Los Angeles International Airport this afternoon, I thought I was about to be murdered," Gary Wexler writes.
"I hope as Jew," he now raised his voice and sneered, "you can take what I am about to say. My politics are about the Jews."

And then the rant began. Continuing to raise his voice, he told me that Mel Gibson knew what he was saying. He told me he used to favor the Jews until they, themselves, became the Hitler under whom they suffered. He told me that the Jews are indeed the root of all the world's problems today....He continued to rant for another 10 minutes. Between his shrieking voice and the Jamaican accent, I could barely understand the things he was saying -- about Oprah becoming rich and just like the white man because of the Jews, and that Saddam Hussein's hanging was posted on the Internet because of the Jews. He then turned to look at me in the backseat, while driving on the freeway.

"You Jews are the cause of the black man's suffering today," he screamed at me as he took his hands off the wheel. "I suffer, because of you."

Happy 65th to The Champ
No longer an Angeleno (he once owned the oldest mansion behind the gates of Fremont Place), Muhammad Ali turned 65 at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Investing in Crenshaw
Toyota Motor Sales pledged $2.5 Million to the Los Angeles Urban Leagues Neighborhood Revitalization Effort around Crenshaw High School.

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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