Examining the Board of Supervisors
The five Supes who run Los Angeles County "may offer the best argument for" term limits, LAT opinion chief Jim Newton argues. And Harold Meyerson says the race to succeed Yvonne Brathwaite Burke offers voters a real choice and "will not only shift the balance of power in county government, but it could also reveal whether business or labor has the allegiance of L.A.'s black community."
National Film Critics go with There Will be Blood
Best picture of 2007, says the National Society of Film Critics. Best director is P.T. Anderson, best actor is Daniel Day-Lewis and best cinematography is by Robert Elswit. LAT
How desperate are Leno and Kimmel without writers?
They will appear on each other's shows Thursday. DN
Vote early and often
Vote-by-mail ballots for the Feb. 5 California primary election are going out this week. AP
Seagal and Nasso put it behind them
Actor Steven Seagal and his former business partner, Julius R. Nasso, ended six years of bitter legal fighting with a confidential, out-of-court settlement. According to Chuck Philips in the L.A. Times, Nasso is expected to drop his $60-million lawsuit against Seagal and the actor agreed to pay Nasso $500,000. LAT
Son's memoir of Susan Sontag
The author "died as she had lived: unreconciled to mortality," writes David Rieff in "Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son's Memoir," reviewed by Thomas Lynch in the Sunday LAT.
For my mother, whose pleasure in her own body -- never secure -- had been irretrievably wrecked by her breast cancer surgery, consciousness was finally all that mattered. I believe that if she had been offered the possibility of an immortality that consisted of nothing but consciousness, that is, of continuing indefinitely to know what was going on, even if it was the science-fiction immortality of the disembodied head, she would have accepted it with relief and gratitude -- perhaps even with appetite.
Tribute to Deaton
The City Council, on Tuesday's agenda, will take up the scheduling of a Jan. 23 special farewell "meeting" for Ron Deaton, the retired general manager of the Department of Water and Power who was the council's chief legislative analyst for many years. Fearless prediction: the item will pass. Noted: Congratulations to Jose Cornejo, chief of staff to Councilman Tony Cardenas, on his marriage to ex-Riordan aide Lupita Sanchez, now at AT&T.
Airport Commission under Brown Act suspicion
The city's Board of Airport Commissioners is under investigation by the District Attorney's office over a complaint that the state's open meetings law was violated by a Dec. 17 discussion on close calls at LAX that wasn't on the agenda. Daily Breeze
Denny Zane's transit conference
L.A. Sniper Alan Mittelstaedt is hot to trot about the ex-Santa Monica mayor's effort to get the deciders of SoCal's transportation future in a room together. The Times is interested too in Thursday's gathering, and Rick Orlov at the Daily News.
New boss at SCAG
The search for a new executive director at the Southern California Association of Governments ended with Hasan Ikhrata, the organization's director of policy and planning. Departed Mark Pisano, executive director since 1978, is becoming a distinguished fellow at USC's Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Keston Institute on Infrastructure and Public Finance, as well as co-director of America 2050. Add SCAG: Brian Williams, deputy mayor for transportation in the Hahn years, now heads government and public affairs.
Pessimism about Sam Zell deal
Dow Jonesí Daily Bankruptcy Review of Jan. 4 calls the Zell deal to take over Tribune "today's biggest potential time bomb" in the world of leveraged buyouts. But the writers add: "Of course, betting against Sam Zell has usually proved a bad idea."
Riders Will Campbell, who blogs at Blogging.la, and Randal O'Toole, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, will debate the degree to which bikes own the road all week in a Dust-Up at the LAT Opinion website.
27-story towers in NoHo
A trio of mostly residential high-rise buildings has been proposed near the subway terminus in North Hollywood. DN
Terrorism (novel) on Terminal Island
Andrew Rafkin's first novel, "Creating Madness," sets anti-terrorism efforts at the closed Southwest Marine shipyard and uses other real-life locations around San Pedro. Daily Breeze
Updating 'The Graduate'
Twenty-some years ago I interviewed Charles Webb, writer of the novel that became The Graduate, about he and wife Eve's plans to home school their children. His sequel to the "The Graduate," out this week, is called "Home School." LAT