Schools, government offices, post offices and most banks and libraries will be closed for the President's Day holiday. If you live in Los Angeles, regular Monday trash pickup should occur. LA Observed is also taking the holiday, unless irresistible urges to post overwhelm us.
- Jeffrey Sandwell, 37, an eight-year veteran of the LAPD, was arrested in Chino and booked on suspicion of raping a 17-year-old family acquaintance. Bail was set at $1 million.
- Monday's Times endorses Monica Rodriguez [I had Garcia on the mind!] over Richard Alarcon in the Valley's 7th City council district, calling her an excellent candidate and him "crass and cynical." Incumbents Tony Cardenas and Jose Huizar also get nods, while the Times strokes the incumbents but declines to endorse in the non-races involving Greuel, LaBonge, Parks, Wesson and Smith.
- KCRW's Liza Richardson was featured in Sunday's NYT having a dirty martini at Dominick's and chatting about her gig DJing at the Oscars this coming weekend. She is pronounced "slender as a tulip stem and feline in her demeanor."
- Ray Liotta is the latest celebrity to get popped for DUI after hitting two parked cars near his home in Pacific Palisades.
- Not many Westsiders will regret an impulse trip out to the Valley the way Britney Spears will live to regret hers.
- LAPL librarian Susan Patron's use of the word "scrotum" on the first page of her Newbery-award winning children's book The Higher Power of Lucky is causing a backlash across the heartland.
- Friend of Antonio Lisa Sarno will soon be dumped as head of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and given a soft landing as head of the mayor's million trees program, CityWatch predicts.
- Sunland and Tujunga are supposedly in the throes of an identity crisis over plans for a Home Depot, say the Times and councilwoman Wendy Greuel.
- Columnist Dave Barry is in the presidential hunt again, declaring on his blog "I have taken the liberty of asking a group of distinguished Americans, including Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, Bono, the Pope and Scarlett Johansson, if they would serve on a committee to explore the question of whether I should run for president. I have not heard back from any of them, which I am taking as a yes....Make no mistake: I am in this thing to win, unless it involves effort." L.A. angle? Barry's political affairs and band The Rock Bottom Remainders are managed here by Ted Habte-Gabr.
- Con man extraordinaire Fred Brito is back in the news, busted again for pretending to have university credentials, this time in New Mexico. (He once got hired as a top UCLA fundraiser and at the Red Cross despite no credentials.) David Markland at Blogging.la pulls together the news bits.
- Historical note from Sunday's NYT blurb on the wedding of two young New Yorkers: "The bridegroomís great-grandfather Frederick Eaton was the mayor of Los Angeles from 1898 to 1900 and was responsible, with William Mulholland, for providing the city with an adequate supply of water." I guess a honeymoon in the Owens Valley is out.
- Notable weekend obits: Peggy Gilbert, who formed her first female jazz band in 1924, belted out "It Had to Be You" for a big crowd at her 100th birthday party. She died at age 102 and is survived by her longtime partner....Merilene Murphy, poet and central figure at Leimert Park's World Stage, died of cancer at age 51.
Liza Richardson photo: Axel Koester for the New York Times