Weekend shorts

Some stuff that caught my eye over the weekend...

  • Chief Bratton is in treacherous waters trying to satisfy both the police union and the people of the city in the wake of the LAPD's heavy-handed response at MacArthur Park on May Day, says an LAT news analysis: "Testing all of his political skills and proving to be his most significant challenge since becoming chief in 2002." On KNBC, Mayor Villaraigosa predicted the police over-response will cost the city's taxpayers millions of dollars in claims and legal settlements.
  • Former mayor Richard Riordan announced a separation from Nancy Daly Riordan, his third wife. She is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.
  • Griffith Park reopened on Saturday, the fires behind us for now.
  • First Candy Spelling, then Patty Heart, send missives to TMZ regarding the city's most notoriously jail-bound celebuskank.
  • Tim Rutten also weighs in on Paris Hilton: "If millions of people choose to be fascinated by a young woman who apparently feels that the best thing to do with wealth and privilege is to turn herself into an unpaid photographer's model, what can you say? Like the inexplicable English affinity for spaniels, monarchy and the music of Frederick Delius, it's simply one of life's essentially harmless mysteries. What isn't harmless is the way in which so much of the serious news media checked its critical intelligence and judgment at the door of this particular feeding frenzy."
  • Francois and Brandy Navarre, the co-founders of the Britney Spears' stalkerazzi agency X-17, were featured in Sunday's West magazine. Speaking of gossip, talk is that the magazine might cut back to once a month and go with a celebrity on every cover. Yes, every old idea comes around again — especially down at 1st and Spring.
  • Former L.A. prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's monster book debunking every JFK assassination theory except the official one is covered in the NYT and reviewed very favorably in the LAT.
  • The eight reporters axed by Wendy McCaw's Santa Barbara News-Press after organizing a union drive are seeking donations for their news website: "Even though we know the courts will eventually rule in our favor, the truth is that the labor laws of this country give employers a long leash to exercise their abuse of power." Also, author and journalist Lou Cannon writes that two book reviewers are the latest to leave the News-Mess in protest, and the mayor complains there is almost no local news in the paper anymore.
  • Morton's, the showbiz hangout in the former Trumps location at Melrose and Robertson, will close at the end of the year and a West Coast branch of NYC's private Soho House will open in its place.
  • Acclaimed dance teacher Stanley Holden died at age 79. Also: retired Times urban affairs writer Ray Hebert, former state geologist and Valley College professor James Slosson and the co-founder (in Santa Barbara) of Motel 6.

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