Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.24.07

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Morning Buzz
Mark Lacter link
Starters
Ex-L.A. priest stays in prison
Michael Wempe was convicted last May of molesting a teenage boy after being assigned to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center by Cardinal Roger Mahony. During his trial, Wempe admitted he sexually abused thirteen other boys. Today's Daily Journal reports that although his prison term ended Jan. 6, he remains locked up at North Kern State Prison while undergoing 45 days of observation to determine if he should be classified a violent sexual predator.
What did they talk about?
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and ex-Disney boss Michael Eisner sat next to each other in first class on a recent flight to JFK from LAX. Page Six.
Politics
Gang tax?
The City Council took the first step toward asking voters to OK a new parcel tax that would raise $50 million or more annually for gang intervention and prevention programs. Wait, isn't gang intervention how Leland Wong got started on the City Hall teat? Also, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo got in on the anti-gang action, proposing that all LAUSD students be required to wear uniforms.LAT, DN, DN on Delgadillo
Arnold for mayor?
CSUN poli sci professor Tom Hogen-Esch raves about Schwarzenegger and Villaraigosa on the LAT op-ed page and imagines a time when they switch jobs.
With Schwarzenegger termed out of office in 2010, and his presidential aspirations constitutionally nonexistent, rumors abound that he has set his sights on Barbara Boxer's U.S. Senate seat. One could also see the Brentwood resident as a future mayor of Los Angeles, preferring the role of chief executive to merely being one of 535 members of Congress. It is widely assumed that Villaraigosa covets the governor's office, making a scenario in which each endorses the other for his current job seem not so far-fetched.
Pondering the future
Coro hosts a discussion tonight in Hollywood on The Future of Civic Engagement in L.A. with Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, Raphael Sonenshein (executive director of the “912 Commission” and author of Los Angeles: Structure of a City Government and Christopher Weare, research associate professor at the USC School of Policy, Planning & Development. Info
Media
Broad-Burkle bid expires today
But the Times reports that the two billionaires will probably remain in contention for the Tribune company. LAT
Police beat
Project Mercury
The suspect who says he spilled mercury in the Pershing Square MTA station is a transient who told police he found the mercury while scavenging in a Westside dumpster for things to sell for drug money. Authorities call him "very cooperative." LAT, DN
Black activists of 1970s arrested
Two Altadena men were among eight former Black Power radicals charged in connection with the 1971 murder of a San Francisco police officer. LAT
Legal beat
What's wrong with this picture?
A Daily Journal story today on the case of Michael Jackson and his attorney Mark Geragos being secretly filmed aboard a charter jet includes an odd fact. The owner of Santa Monica-based XtraJet is serving six months house arrest for installing the camera, while a mechanic at the company is serving six months in jail.
Books and authors
Another Jane Austen homage
Book editor and author Laurie Viera Rigler has sold her debut novel, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict — "a literary homage, comedy, and exploration of identity, destiny, and the nature of time, that tells the story of a contemporary thirty-something LA woman and Jane Austen fan who wakes up inside the body of an Englishwoman in Austen's time" — to Dutton at auction (with a second book, says Publishers Marketplace.)
One of our own
LA Observed contributing writer Erika Schickel reads from and signs You're Not the Boss of Me: Adventures of a Modern Mom Thursday at 7 pm at Book Soup.
Noted
Angels Flight to return
The downtown funicular railway connecting Hill Street to the office towers of Bunker Hill will reopen this summer after a $2.6 million refurbishment, according to John Welborne, president of Angels Flight Railway Foundation. LAT
LAX survives passport rule
The first day of the requirement of a passport for air travel to Mexico or Canada went smoothly enough. LAT
If you got an unexpected DMV suspension...
Letters were sent out by mistake. LAT
Erstad heads east
Longtime Angel Darin Erstad signed a contract to join the Chicago White Sox.
Drink up, kids
USC's bookstore is selling a keyring with a miniature stainless-steel flask attached, causing some students and staff to wonder about the wisdom of such a product on campus. Daily Trojan

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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
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