Good morning 08.27.07

It's only Monday morning and already we've got sleight-of-hand in City Hall, a winning debut for the Dodgers' newest pitcher, a really big bus, a censored penguin, and a sentence without beginning, middle or end. Sneak a peek...

Alarcon faces questions

A story by David Zahniser in Saturday's Times connects a traffic measure drafted by City Councilman Richard Alarcon to a financial benefit to his new wife.

Los Angeles Councilman Richard Alarcon quietly drafted a measure two months ago to deal with a tiny piece of that traffic, calling on the city bureaucracy to downgrade a street in his district from a busy highway designation to a quiet "collector" street. The proposal affects just one block of one street in Panorama City. And that block of Wakefield Avenue happens to be the place Alarcon lists as his home -- a 1950 tract house belonging to Flora Montes de Oca, the woman Alarcon plans to marry today.

The councilman's proposal seeks to "preserve the residential character" of Wakefield. But the plan could provide another benefit to Montes de Oca, who plans to tear down her rental house and replace it with as many as nine homes.

Montes de Oca faces the prospect of giving part of her property to the city for a required street widening once she builds. But if Alarcon's request is approved by the council, she would be spared from forfeiting up to 2,850 square feet of her lot at Nordhoff Street and Wakefield.

Illegal? No. Alarcon wasn't married to Montes de Oca when he wrote the proposal. But since the two tied the knot on Saturday, Alarcon can no longer vote on matters affecting the property.

March of the penguin

At least 25 of the 200 subscribers to Berkeley Breathed's comic, Opus, refused to run Sunday's installment this weekend. Seems the free-spirited penguin put Islam, extremism, American Idol and a sex joke all into a single strip.

"[The comics] show the Lola Granola character wanting to become an Islamic radicalist (and wear traditional Muslim clothing) because it's a "hot new fad on the planet." Content also includes what Shearer described as "a sex joke a little stronger than we normally see."

Wyson said some client papers hesitated to run a sex joke and others won't publish any Muslim-related humor, whether pro or con. "They just don't want to touch that," she said.

Violent protests took place after a Danish paper in 2005 published cartoons picturing Muhammad."

Check yesterday's paper and you'll see our very own LAT was not among the faint of heart. Part deux of the strip is sked for Sept. 2. Oh to be a fly on the wall of that editorial meeting.

Well, well Wells

Dodgers win behind five strong innings by David Wells. Helene Elliott has the story in the LAT.

"It felt weird out there, but I've been doing this for a long time," he said after a five-inning, two-run effort that resulted in his first victory since July 16.

"It was a big game. Gimme the ball. It was a big night, national TV.

"I wasn't expecting to do this well. I was just trying to keep the team in the ballgame and just mixing it up."

Outta here

Self-described pedophile Jack McClellan says he's leaving the state.

I cant live here under this Orwellian protocol, the man, Jack McClellan, told the station, KABC. Its nightmarish.

McClellan did not say where he planned to go. He did not immediately return a message left on his cellphone by The Associated Press. He has been unemployed and living in his car since arriving in Southern California this summer from Washington State.

Nuclear waste in SoCal?

LA CityBeat and EnviroReporter look into allegations of illegal dumping in Simi Valley and the VA in Brentwood.

Super-size it

A bus so big it needs an exemption makes its debut on the Orange Line Busway sometime this week, writes Rong-Gong Lin II in Saturday's LAT.

Los Angeles commuters next week will be greeted with a bus so long, it's technically illegal.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is set to unveil a 65-foot-long bus -- longer than four Toyota Priuses parked end to end -- to debut on its Orange Line busway.

It is five feet longer than the longest bus allowed by California law, so the MTA had to seek an exemption from Caltrans to operate the prototype.

Miss Teen USA

What's this got to do with LA? Absolutely nothing. What's it got to do with the English language? Even less.
(BTW - youtube is really slow today...)

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