Woman found dead in towed away car — a day later
The body of an elderly woman was discovered hidden under the deployed passenger air bag in a crumpled car that was towed to the Howard Sommers impound lot in the Valley, after she was reported missing. The day before, her injured son had been removed from the crashed car by rescuers. LAT
Bad day for paramedics all around
And in Orange County, an elderly man being treated for a fall was hit by a car that had just been in an accident. Actually, the car landed on top of him and he had to be extricated, and suffered burns from the exhaust. I guess this doesn't only work in movies: the paramedic saw the car coming and jumped in the air, landing on the hood and saving himself. LAT
Breaking away from Hollywood
While the producers and WGA continue to play out every time-tested strike tactic in the manual, some Hollywood writers are talking to venture capital firms and trying to form Internet-based businesses "that, if successful, could create an alternative economic model." LAT
Visiting with Joe Francis in jail
Mireya Navarro goes up to Reno to see the Girls Gone Wild entrepreneur "in a jail visiting room here, wearing a uniform of orange shirt and gray pants and looking pale but rested from eight months of incarceration. He talks to a visitor through glass, often yelling, sometimes tapping on the glass with his index finger for emphasis, railing into a handset against 'evil' and 'vengeful' government officials and vowing to sue them all. 'Enough is enough,' he spits out. 'I am not a criminal.'" NYT
Trump vs. Lazarus
After a column exposing what a waste of money Donald Trump's real estate seminars are, Times consumer columnist David Lazarus got an angry phone call and letter from the mogul, who referred to the writer as a wise-guy who is responsible for the paper being "in a tailspin -- both from an advertising and circulatory standpoint."
"I am worth many billions of dollars, am building large-scale developments all over the world, am considered by many to be, by far, the hottest name in real estate," Trump wrote, "and I have to read an article by a third-rate reporter in your newspaper that my 'primary claim to fame' is hosting 'The Apprentice.' "
Lazarus retorts: "I'm sorry that bad apples such as myself are dragging down the otherwise wonderful profession of journalism, although I'm not sure how much credit I can take for The Times' advertising and 'circulatory' woes, having been here only about five months." LAT
Irony: AEG pushing L.A. city tax
The Anschutz group stands to get $246 million in tax breaks at its under-development L.A. Live hotel, says David Zahniser, but the company is leading the call for businesses to contribute money to the campaign to pass Mayor Villaraigosa's revised telephone tax at the ballot. LAT
Blaming the baseball media on steroids
Tim Rutten wrote in Saturday's LAT: "all but a handful of lonely sportswriters seem to have missed the biggest story of their era -- the transformation of baseball clubhouses into the plush equivalent of crack houses. That fact alone raises disturbing questions about whether most of our sporting press has become too much a part of the sports/entertainment/industrial complex to give its readers and viewers an honest account of what transpires on our courts and playing fields."
Daily News does another big story on David Fleming
This time there's a real angle: the paper's favorite Valley leader and Republican helped make a film called Smoke Screen that promotes medical marijuana and assails the War on Drugs. Fleming's wife Jean, who co-wrote and produced the film, suffers from post-polio syndrome. DN
Group wants Chick to run for mayor
A citizen's group in the Valley wants to draft the Controller. So far she is "appreciative." Rick Orlov
LAX officials pushing for faster action on north runways
In Long Beach, water saving works
Consumption is down to a ten-year low since a public education campaign began. LAT
Here's how nine Los Angeles area writers would cast the presidential candidates as fictional characters. WitnessLA
Remembering '80s nightlife downtown
Anthea Raymond recalls Al's Bar, Gorky's and the clubs. "The few full-time residents would have parties and invite one another. Friends' bands would play. Soon, word of the parties spread, and they grew bigger, attracting folks from other parts of town. 'That's when we stopped going,' says Carol Colin." Downtown News
Festival of lights vs bicyclists
Riders are still banned from the tackiest holiday display in the city, and still unhappy about it. LAT
On the town with Sean Avery
The New York Times fashion section does New York with the former L.A. Kings fighter Sean Avery, now on the Rangers. "Equally at home in the penalty box or the front row of a Calvin Klein show, he has become the rarest of sports subspecies: the boldface hockey bruiser. 'In a way, I want to make our sport cooler,' Mr. Avery said of his high-profile exploits." NYT
Ray Bradbury to be honored tonight
The author will be named Commander in the Order of the Arts and Letters (France's highest award) by the Ambassador of France, Pierre Vimont, at the French Residence in Beverly Hills.