Friday desk-clearing

  • The city of Los Angeles could face nearly a $1 billion — that's with a B — shortfall in the 2010 budget year because of a "mammoth bailout needed for the city’s pension funds" — on top of the current budget woes. Phil Willon/LAT
  • The race to succeed Rep. Hilda Solis in Congress could spark a "very sharp duel" between the backers of Judy Chu and Gil Cedillo. Dan Walters/Sacramento Bee
  • Greuel vs. Patsaouras is already turning nasty heading into the final weekend of the Controller's race. David Zahniser/LAT
  • Walter Moore's kid-glove treatment on local talk radio. Willon/LAT
  • Tribune shut down the TV side of its combined Washington bureau (which now serves the L.A. Times) and named a Chicago Tribune editor, Kerry Luft, to take over as bureau chief from Cissy Baker. Chicago Tribune
  • Controller Laura Chick sent out an email challenging the facts in a mayor's office depiction of her anti-gang audit.
  • Laid-off Daily News writer Greg Hernandez has debuted his new blog, Greg in Hollywood.
  • The LA Weekly dropped Matt Groening's "Life in Hell" cartoon, which has chronicled the antics of Akbar and Jeff in the Weekly for 22 years. Fishbowl LA
  • Nikki Finke says that at least this year's Oscar show "wasn't Sunday night at the Friars Club. Instead, it was Sunday night at the Pomona Dinner Theatre." I Want Media
  • Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was cagy about his post-election plans in an interview with Channel 4's News Raw.
  • Ace Smith has opened spiffy new offices in the San Francisco financial district, a move Carla Marinucci portrays as a "back at ya" to Gavin Newsom from the Villaraigosa camp. SF Chronicle
  • Depending on who you read, the Manny Ramirez talks with the Dodgers are either snagged over deferred compensation, some minor details or Manny's demand that the pot be sweetened by $10 million. LAT,, DN
  • The American Society for Newspaper Editors has cancelled its 2009 convention "because of the challenging times we face," says an email from president Charlotte Hall of the Orlando Sentinel.
  • BBC News covers the crisis in American newspapers with emphasis on the Rocky Mountain News, which shut down today, and the San Francisco Chronicle. BBC
  • Bloom's General Store, an unofficial Arts District landmark, will close for good this weekend. Downtown News via L.A. Now

More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
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