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

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