Union deal at City Hall, the WGA asks for a strike OK, saving an old Van Nuys building and how to take your picture with Chicken Boy — plus why didn't the Times ask its own in-house talk radio hosts about their jobs?
City unions reach deal with L.A.
Six unions representing 22,000 city workers reached a tentative five-year deal, with raises that could total 13%. DN
Antonio's telephone tax gambit
Fearing that courts might invalidate Los Angeles' utility tax on telephone bills and strip away $270 million in annual funding, Mayor Villaraigosa wants to declare an emergency and ask voters to approve the tax in a way that would take a bare majority instead of a two-thirds vote. LAT
Writers Guild asks for strike authorization
Email message to members raises the specter of a shutdown. Variety
Lobdell's latest column
Now this is weird: the Times already has two real radio talk hosts on staff in Patt Morrison and T.J. Simers (now an ex-host), and a former gabber in Robin Abcarian, but columnist Bill Lobdell still thought it would be revealing if he pretended to host the Hugh Hewitt show for a few hours. You know, to fill in readers on what it's really like. Here's Lobdell's column, and the unimpressed reaction at Hewitt's blog.
E! tries to shake sweatshop image
Under pressure, the network will offer health benefits to freelance producers who work 200 consecutive days and will make associate producers eligible for overtime. LAT
Traffic alert for Wilshire and Veteran
State Sen. Mark Ridley Thomas and other opponents of the Iraq war will gather at noon at the Westwood Federal Building for Sen. Barack Obama's rally for change.
Upset in Little Tokyo
Some groups are concerned about development plans for the Downtown community.
Fan pays $1.5 million for landmark Van Nuys library
Tony Nasr will restore the former library built in 1926 at 14553 Sylvan St. and use it for offices. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Tribune Co. gets $344 million refund
Settling that tax case left over the Times Mirror days. LAT
Publisher behind 'Hometown' books
Colleen Dunn Bates formed the company that published "Hometown Pasadena" and that will put out "Hometown Santa Monica" next week. The latter actually branches out into Malibu, the Palisades and Brentwood. LAT
Take your photo with Chicken Boy
Designer Amy Inouye, keeper of the statue that used to roost over a Downtown restaurant, opens her Highland Park studio for free this Sunday from noon to 2 pm. Use your camera, or photographer Gary Leonard will take pictures for a $99 contribution to the fund being raised to mount Chicken Boy on the roof above Figueroa Street.
Crime fiction blog
Dick Adler, former book reviewer for the Chicago Tribune, covers new releases and some old ones at the Knowledgeable Blogger.