Christmas Eve news and notes

  • Camille Johnston, who left as the Dodgers' director of communications in 2007, lands with the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the First Lady. Time
  • Mozza's Nancy Silverton put all $5 million profit from the 2001 sale of La Brea Bakery into bad Bernard Madoff funds and is now in a world of financial hurt. Good piece by Claudia Eller. LAT
  • Madoff losses, while big, are certainly less than the $50 billion the swindler copped to losing. Jewish Journal | LA Biz Observed
  • The volume of calls to L.A. suicide hotlines is soaring. David Lazarus/LAT
  • No smoking along the Rose Parade route this year, and Pasadena police will be watching. Star-News
  • Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, labor boss Maria Elena Durazo and Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines are among the politicos who sent letters of recommendation urging bail for Esteban Nuñez. Hector Tobar/LAT
  • Looking back at a good year of change through the lens of L.A.'s left. Liberty Hill
  • Art Talk's Edward Goldman and Arts Journal's Lee Rosenbaum parse the details of the MOCA bailout deal. KCRW | CultureGrrl
  • Observing "one of the loneliest neighborhoods on the planet" in Lake Elsinore, in "Southern California’s Foreclosure Alley." GQ
  • Retraction demand from Anthony Pellicano's lawyer noted and posted. Patterico
  • Tim Cavanaugh, laid off as the web editor for the Times' Opinion desk, surfaces with a piece on Gov. Schwarzenegger's lost year in LA Weekly.
  • Sherry Virbila's best museum restaurant in SoCal is... LAT
  • Professor Charles W. Kingsfield's bar-raising holiday movie quiz. Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule
  • What it takes to pull off today's free holiday concert at the Dorothy Chandler. KPCC
  • David Bianculli's top 10 TV shows of 2008. Fresh Air
  • Al Meyerhoff, the Los Angeles environmental and labor lawyer who is married to local news veteran Marcia Brandwynne, died Sunday of complications from leukemia. He was 61. LAT

Also: The luckiest horse in Reno: a Christmas story from Deanne Stillman at Native Intelligence, a weird week in transportation for Jenny Burman at Chicken Corner, and Bill Boyarsky columnizes that "City Controller Laura Chick is absolutely correct when she insists on the power to examine the performance of other elected officials."

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