We had a pretty good week for exclusive posts around the LA Observed blogs — news scoops and observations by our great contributors. And, wow, next Monday Sara Catania actually runs the Los Angeles Marathon.
The L.A. Marathon is almost here, and Sara Catania feels totally unprepared — "the fear that worked so well for so long in motivating me to get out of bed every weekday morning at 5:30...has been overcome by a debilitating, fatalistic malaise."
Los Angeles Mag: Antonio a 'failure' as mayor
Our post with exclusive excerpts from the magazine's cover story became the talk of California politics. And it gave us a reason to compare Villaraigosa covers from 2006 and 2009.
WSJ staffers told to be nice online
The full text of the new ethics rules for Wall Street Journal reporters was here for a day before Romenesko and the New York media world caught on to the topic.
Kit Rachlis steps down at Los Angeles Magazine
The editor of nine years leaves June 26 to work on a couple of books, succeeded by executive editor Mary Melton. Left unclear is what changes await the magazine.
One Ziman's name deleted from Chu event
Real estate mogul Dick Ziman's name was quietly taken off a fundraising invitation for Judy Chu, plus follows with consultant Parke Skelton explaining and on Chris Essel's run for the city council.
Student's eye on the city
Introducing up and coming Los Angeles photographer Jessie Gentry, who's fascinated by murder scenes. Another in Judy Graeme's series on photographers who shoot L.A.
The confessions of Daniel Baum
Nancy Rommelmann considers, and exchanges email with, the New Yorker writer who Twittered his breakup with the magazine.
Six cartoons by Steve Greenberg on L.A.'s arts high school, the Kindle, the zoo's elephant enclosure and more.
New titles at Yahoo news & sports
Dave Morgan has never looked back since he didn't become sports editor at the Los Angeles Times.
Living the dream
Veronique de Turenne observes Malibu young things in states of forgot-to dress. Keeping an eye on the neighbors also gets her an honorary tweet o' the day: "The cutest carpenters on earth are still at work on Pam Anderson's deck."
Also last week: Media tweets o' the day from Sharon Waxman, Ruth Reichl, Mark Lisanti and Todd Havens, a post on NYT bureau chief Jennifer Steinhauer's first novel, and Financial Times bureau chief Matthew Garrahan quotes from LAO contributor David Rensin's book "The Mailroom" in a piece on David Geffen.
Plus: My KCRW segment on Friday discussed the turn Mayor Villaraigosa's image has been taking. Here's the link; script is after the jump.
Here we are, many of us -- voting again. Ballots are trickling in by mail and on Tuesday night they will count ‘em up and let us know how we did.
There's a lot riding on the electorate this time, if you accept what's been dominating the media all week.
California is facing financial disaster six times over, with Governor Schwarzenegger spending what little remains of his political capital trying to get people to vote for measures 1A through 1F.
Republicans, at least those conservative enough to make it to the statehouse in Sacramento, are urging just the opposite. They're openly relishing the spectacle of Schwarzenegger, a Republican in name only these days, and the Democrats being blamed if California fails.
For many who follow state politics, the results on Tuesday night will be scanned most closely for what they say about the public standing of Antonio Villaraigosa.
The mayor has not had a good week. Or month, or year – considering that he only won reelection with a soft 55% of the vote against no serious competition.
He's now facing deep painful cuts in public services and insurrection from the city unions. He suffered a rebuke when a City Council panel voted to put a freeze on the mayor's campaign promise to add a thousand new police officers.
And on Thursday, the mayor woke up to a real breakfast spoiler. Over at LA Observed.com, our lead item was a cover story in Los Angeles Magazine that summed up the Villaraigosa years so far in one word.
Failure. There was nothing subtle about it.
The conclusion was splashed across a cover photo of the mayor smiling in better times -- before his affair with Mirthala Salinas became public, and before many supporters looked at the mayor's record and began to ask, “Is that all there is?”
The magazine's piece, which hits mailboxes and newsstands this weekend, comes in the form of an open letter to Villaraigosa. It doesn't hold back in expressing disappointment with his tenure.
Writer Ed Leibowitz says that in this mayor's office, politics almost always trumps policy. It charges Villaraigosa with betraying the voters who believed he could love the city more then he loves himself.
Harsh words to level at a Los Angeles native who prides himself on his adoration of L.A. The explicit message is that Villaraigosa should realize the city is in crisis and do the right thing by giving up his interest in running for governor.
He'd have to start running any day now, and with the city on the brink of financial collapse it already looked bad for him to show up in a tux at the White House Correspondents' Dinner last weekend later – schmoozing with celebrities on the wrong coast.
The magazine urges Villaraigosa to call a press conference and announce that he's canceling his higher ambitions for the moment.
Remind us, wrote Leibowitz, that he stands for more than the political advancement of Antonio Villaraigosa, and still has some residual greatness about him.
The mayor laughed off a question about the failure headline at a press conference in City Hall. But it was his pinched, irritated smile that says I'm not enjoying this at all.
On Tuesday night, we'll find out a little more about the mayor's political status when voters either accept or reject Jack Weiss, his ally running for City Attorney against Carmen Trutanich.
The results in the Judy Chu-Gil Cedillo race for Congress could also be telling for Villaraigosa.
Then we'll have one more special election thankfully out of the way, and be able to rest up a little before the next one.
In the meantime, watch for Antonio's big decision. A lot's riding on it.
For KCRW, this has been Kevin Roderick with LA Observed.
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