Dan Walters dings Villaraigosa over cops tax
The Sacramento columnist writes under the headline "Villaraigosa's promises on police crumble in L.A." that the Chick audit showing that most of Mayor Villaraigosa's trash fee hike to hire cops did not go there helps explain "why California politicians from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – who once promised, and failed, to end "crazy deficit spending" – are held in such disrepute these days." Sacto Bee
Most of the trash money was diverted into underwriting the city's cash-strapped general fund, which includes those generous raises for cops already on the street. And that's just the beginning of the tale. Los Angeles faces a whopping budget deficit, despite the trash fee, and Villaraigosa and the City Council want to raise trash fees even higher to cover the shortfall, along with boosting a batch of other fees.
Villaraigosa also is promoting a countywide sales tax hike devoted to improving mass transit. The council has approved a "parcel tax" on homes and businesses for the November ballot that would finance anti-gang programs.
The amounts of money are not huge, but one wonders whether Villaraigosa and other city leaders are overreaching by proposing a wide array of new fees and taxes while recession is hitting the state and Southern California is being hammered especially hard.
Working out the deal between bikes, cars and walkers
With the city of Los Angeles in the early stages of formulating a bike plan, and with motorist-vs.-cyclist road rage on the rise, politicians, engineers, residents and cycling enthusiasts have begun what all agree is a long-overdue conversation about how best to coexist on the city's highways and byways, says the LAT.
Bragging about access to power
Bond Companies, a real estate firm with offices in Los Angeles and Chicago, drew the ire of some Community Redevelopment Agency officials for being too explicit in its claims that it can secure city subsidies from L.A. officials. LAT
Will water limit growth?
For much of the state, June was the driest month on record. With imports topped out, real estate development already is feeling the pinch, says land-use lawyer Cary Lowe. LAT Op-Ed
Also: Peter H. King goes to the Delta and it looks like his "Essays from the Golden State" are going to be front pagers. LAT
Nahai booed in Yucca Valley
David Nahai, the head of the DWP, was heckled by some in the crowd at a meeting to talk about building power lines across the high deset to carry geothermal power to Los Angeles from the Salton Sea. DN wires
Rough & Tumble returns
Jack Kavanagh is back posting state news items after a bout in the hospital. R&T
'Tis the 'Best Of' season
The Downtown News is out with its 20th annual Best of Downtown issue, and the new Los Angeles magazine hitting newsstands is its Best of LA issue.
TellZell makes the New York Times
Reading the Sunday L.A. Times
"If this Sunday’s paper is any kind of accurate bellwether, while opinions and books will take a powder, we can count on having 48 freaking pages devoted to style and entertainment," writes Celeste Fremon. "Look, I go to movies, concerts and I…uh…wear clothes, so I’m as fond of style and entertainment as the next person...But I really, really don’t need or want 48 pages of it, particularly if 20 of those pages come at the expense of opinion and books (and the environment and transportation and whatever else it is they keep cutting, or just fail to cover now.) And I definitely don’t need eight pages (count ‘em) about goddamn surfing attire." Witness LA
What Tribune will try in Chicago
An upcoming Saturday issue of the Chicago Tribune may try devoting "the paper's front section to consumer-oriented and entertainment features. Local, national, international and business news is consolidated in the second section. Weather leads the third section, which also includes comics and classifieds, while the sports section is converted to a tabloid format." Talk about messing with readers. Crain's via Romenesko
TV and radio will regret losing newspapers
Brian Lowry columnizes, "Let's face it: TV and radio stations rely on the local newspaper for most of their news. So what happens to those "rip and read" broadcasters as print staffs shrivel amid the draconian layoffs strafing the newspaper industry?...The thinness in assembling TV and radio news -- and the manner in which they use newspapers as de facto tip sheets and newsgathering surrogates -- has long been one of broadcasting's dirty little secrets." Variety
'Wardrobe malfunction' fine thrown out
The FCC "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" in fining CBS $550,000 for indecency over the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that ended with Janet Jackson showing a nipple ring. AP
Opening at Sitrick
Ross Johnson, formerly one of the Hollywood crisis specialists at Sitrick & Co., is launching his own firm Los Angeles Strategic to work with lawyers. Among the first clients are Robert Bernhoft and Robert Barnes, lawyers for "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis who are expected to make a statement after Francis’ felony arraignment for tax evasion this afternoon.
Christian Bale rides with Australia's Doctor Death
Sighting at LAX turns photoblogger into an accidental paparazzi. Jonathan Alcorn
LA Observed contributor Denise Hamilton's latest novel, "The Last Embrace," got a nice and thoughtful review in Sunday's LAT Book Review. Contributor Erika Schickel reviews a new memoir by Julia Blackburn.