Morning Buzz

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.20.08

Board of Supes keeps clinics open

Plan to close nearly all county health clinics to save money was spiked for now. LAT

Nicolas Cage has big tax troubles

The IRS says the actor wrongly wrote off $3.3 million in personal expenses, including limos, meals, gifts, travel and his Gulfstream 1159A turbojet. In the Tax Court lawsuit, Cage disputes a personal bill for $814,000 in taxes and penalties and his Saturn Productions is fighting a demand for $988,000. Forbes

Rutten calls out mayor for pandering at Simmons funeral

Op-Ed columnist Tim Rutten takes umbrage at Mayor Villaraigosa's blatant attempt to curry favor with LAPD officers with his remarks zinging newspapers and the consent decree at the Randal Simmons funeral. Rutten gets in some zingers of his own:

Maybe he just has lousy speechwriters? Unlikely. Pandering is the more likely explanation....Maybe he thought that denigrating the agreement in front of all those blue shirts would win over some of his critics. Lots of luck on that one.

Perhaps the mayor simply hoped to demonstrate that he really is a "friend to the department." After all, the ongoing reduction in crime in L.A. is one of the few unambiguous achievements of a mayoral administration that seems to generate more unfinished initiatives than an ADD clinic....

Whatever his motives, the mayor's remarks at Randal Simmons' funeral mark a rhetorical low point in an administration that seems increasingly adrift.

Villaraigosa comes out today with a new jobs plan for students.

Latino LAPD officers outnumber whites for first time

There are 3,787 Latino officers, 3,770 whites, 1,183 blacks and 625 Asians (plus 176 Filipinos counted separately.) An internal report says the department doesn't promote enough women or minorities. DN

Christenesen to be tried separately from Pellicano

L.A. entertainment attorney Terry N. Christensen will not be part of the Anthony Pellicano trial set to begin Feb. 27, a federal judge ruled. He is is charged with paying Pellicano $100,000 to wiretap the former wife of Christensen's longtime client, Kirk Kerkorian. LAT

DWP lactation perk will stay

General manager David Nahi says he'll keep the contract that makes $50,000 available for classes in lactation. Mothers at the agency protested yesyterday with signs that called commissioner Nick Patsaouras anti-woman for questioning the use of public funds. LAT, DN

FBI agent shoots herself by accident

An unidentified 43-year-old FBI agent out of the L.A. office was in stable condition after shooting herself in the hip in the parking lot of the World Trade Center in Long Beach. The agent was taken to St. Mary Medical Center "in a great amount of pain." P-T

LA Weekly gets exclusive interview with Marine charged with Iraq crimes

Jose Nazario, arrested while on duty as a police officer in Riverside, is the only military personnel to be charged in civilian court for actions on an Iraqi battlefield. He is accused of shooting unarmed prisoners at point-blank range, possibly following radioed orders of another Marine. LA Weekly

Zell tries out his strategic discomfort line in Chicago

Sam Zell spoke to Chicago Tribune employees and was confronted by the paper's public editor, who said his vulgar language has made people, especially women, uncomfortable. Zell replied he has a record of promoting women, and says his critics miss the point:

I'm not disrespecting anybody. I'm trying to make everybody uncomfortable," Zell said. "This business has been eroding before your eyes and you're worried about my language? ... Everything I said was with an intent to get everybody to get off their [behinds] and understand this is a crisis. We've got to save this business. We've got to make this work. And we've got to prioritize what we get all pushed out of shape about. ... If we keep operating the way we've been operating, there is no future.

Register's strategy

Orange County paper's plan for the future is free community newspapers, expanded Web offerings and a smaller Register, says the publisher in calling the old business model no longer viable. OCR

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Thursday news and notes
A little bit of mid-week reading
A few links from a few different places
Let's talk about anything but the weather
A few links from here and there
A couple of links from a couple of places
A bit of news from a few places
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.16.14


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