Notes

LA Observed Notes: Police officer killed and more news

whittier-vigil-kids-koller.jpgTwo participants in the Monday night vigil for Whittier police officer Keith Boyer. Photo: Ken Koller on Twitter.


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At the top

keith-boyer-wpd.jpgSad news: Keith Boyer, a 27-year veteran of the Whittier Police Department who was thinking about retiring, was shot and killed Monday morning at what began as a routine traffic stop. He was 53 and a father. "He was the best of the best,” chief Jeff Piper said. "This is an unbelievably senseless tragedy.” Officer Patrick Hazel was wounded and is expected to survive. The suspect is a recent parolee who may have killed another man earlier in East LA.

Feeling the Bern again: Sen. Bernie Sanders packed the Ace Hotel theatre on Sunday for a book talk at the Los Angeles Times Ideas Exchange that resembled a political rally. "We can defeat Trump and Trumpism and the Republican right-wing ideology,” he said. “We have to understand, despair and throwing up your hands — that ain’t an option.” LA Times, Good magazine

Our lasting shame: In a Sunday editorial, the Los Angeles Times editorial board backs away from the paper's 1942 language backing internment of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent. "To our lasting shame... not only was some of our reasoning explicitly racist, but in our desperate attempts to sound rational — by supposedly balancing the twin imperatives of security and liberty in the midst of World War II — we exaggerated the severity of the threat while failing to acknowledge the significance of revoking the most fundamental rights of American citizens based solely on their ancestry." The words apology or recant do not appear. Sunday was the 75th anniversary of FDR's Executive Order 9066. In December, the LAT Travel section ran two letters defending the internment and the paper's editor said later they did not meet the standards for publishing.

Tom Hayden appreciation: Jane Fonda, Troy Garrity, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Father Gregory Boyle were among the speakers at a Sunday memorial for Tom Hayden at UCLA's Royce Hall. Singers during the event included Bonnie Raitt, Holly Near and Barbara Williams, Hayden's widow.

riordan-wedding.jpgWedding note: Former Los Angeles Richard Riordan, 86, was married on Sunday to Elizabeth Gregory, the director of admissions at Harvard-Westlake School — Eric Garcetti's alma mater in Studio City. The ceremony, Riordan's fourth marriage, was conducted at St. James’ Episcopal Church. "It was a beautiful day," the mayor tweeted.

 

 

Media and books

BretStephens-ucla.jpgWall Street Journal foreign affairs columnist Bret Stephens is a conservative and no fan of Donald Trump, as he made clear last week giving the Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture at UCLA. "Ideologically, the president is trying to depose so-called mainstream media in favor of the media he likes — Breitbart News and the rest...His objection to, say, the New York Times, isn’t that there’s a liberal bias in the paper that gets in the way of its objectivity, which I think would be a fair criticism. His objection is to objectivity itself. He’s perfectly happy for the media to be disgusting and corrupt — so long as it’s on his side." Trump's strategy is "truth is what you can get away with" and Stephens fears for his Republican Party after getting in the car "with a drunk driver." Here's a verbatim transcript of his address and UCLA video of the whole event.


Notes: David Farenthold, the Washington Post reporter who kicked ass on the Trump beat all year, won the Polk Award for political reporting for his stories on the non-existent Trump charitable donations. Leonard Bernstein of the Post, a former LA Times reporter and editor, shared the award for medical reporting. Anna Deavere Smith won the career award. NYT story lists all the winners... LAT columnist Steve Lopez gives a thumbs up to the new staff director of the coastal commission... The Times will put out a new print magazine dedicated to architecture, art and design, DesignLA, on May 21 and again in the fall... The NYT has a new column on the best of late-night TV... KCRW reporter Saul Gonzalez and producer Anna Scott are on a six-month reporting gig, in collaboration with New York's WNYC, on gentrification and affordable housing in Los Angeles... Two of 5 Slate staffers laid off last week were leaders of a union drive at the web magazine, says CJR. The laid-off include Helaine Olen, the former LAT money makeover columnist... Craigslist's Craig Newmark interviewed by Ken Doctor about the future of nonprofit news and other topics, at Newsonomics

lala-land-dance.jpgOscars Week: Streets are already closed around Hollywood and Highland and the Independent Spirit Awards tents are up at the beach in Santa Monica... KUSC's Jim Sveda began his annual interviews with the Oscar nominated composers on Monday night with Jason Hurwitz, nominated for the score to "La La Land." Next are Nicholas Britell for "Moonlight" (Tuesday), Thomas Newman for "Passengers" (Wednesday) and Dustin O'Halloran for "Lion" (Friday.) Thursday's guest is violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, in lieu of "Jackie" composer Mica Levi. All interviews air at 9 p.m. on KUSC 90.1 FM or at kusc.org... "La La Land" won big at the Guild of Music Supervisors awards, held at the Ace Hotel theatre... "Moonlight" (original screenplay) and "Arrival" (adapted) won at the Writers Guild Awards, last big stop before the Oscars. The academy counts Moonlight as adapted, by the way. Winners, Read the Moonlight screenplay. Trump was a topic of several comments... Also doing the awards thing: Makeup artists and hair stylists, sound editors... THR's complete party and protest guide to the week.

Also in Hollywood: Brad Grey's ouster as head of Paramount and what it means. Rebecca Keegan at Vanity Fair

 

 

Trump's America

I really don't think Donald Trump and his ilk should be throwing around "enemy of the American people." I mean, at best the jury is out on him and his loyalties. David Remnick of The New Yorker says in a strong takedown that the "enemy of the people" line is straight out of the Soviet Union. People who heard it usually disappeared. "For months, cool, responsible heads have been counselling hot, impulsive heads to avoid overreacting to Trump. We must give him a chance... Then came his...first solo press conference in office, and it was epochal.... With all his nastiness, his self-admiring interruptions and commands (“Sit down! Sit down!”) Trump resembled an oversauced guy at a bar who was facing three likely options in the near term: a) take a swing at someone, b) get clocked by someone else, or c) pass out and wake up on a hard, alien cot."


Susan B. Glasser, Politico’s chief international affairs columnist and co-author of “Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the End of Revolution,” writes in the NYT opinion pages: "We no longer have to speculate about conspiracies or engage in armchair psychoanalysis. Since the inauguration, we have accumulated some hard facts, too: Both Mr. Trump’s rhetoric and actions as president bear more than a passing resemblance to those of Mr. Putin during his first years consolidating power. Having spent those years in Moscow as a foreign correspondent — and the rest of my career as a journalist in Washington in four previous presidencies — I can tell you the similarities are striking enough that they should not be easily dismissed.... America is not burdened with the history of tyranny and totalitarianism that haunts Russia.... Still, as I report from Washington now, it’s hard not to worry.

Chris Wallace of Fox News called out Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus: "You don't get to tell us what to do any more than Barack Obama did. Barack Obama whined about Fox News all the time, but I got to say, he never said that we were an enemy of the people."

Jonathan Karl, ABC's chief White House correspondent: "We are not about to stop doing our jobs because yet another president is unhappy with what he reads or hears or sees on TV news....A free press isn't the enemy of America, it's a big part of what makes America great."

Shepard Smith of Fox News on Trump: "It's crazy what we're watching every day. He keeps repeating ridiculous throwaway lines..."

CIA official Edward Price: "I didn’t think I’d ever leave the CIA. But because of Trump, I quit." Washington Post Opinion

Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has been piercingly critical of Trump so far on intelligence and security but he calls H.R. McMaster a solid choice for national security adviser.

Trump may be sick but he's not mentally ill, according to the psychiatrist who helped define narcissism. LAT

And in wingnut news: Breitbart provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos lost his book deal with Simon & Schuster and was dis-invited to appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference after videos surfaced in which he appears to endorse sex between "younger boys and older men." The book, due in June, was already #1 on Amazon based on pre-orders. There's gossip that Breitbart News may drop Yiannopoulos, who got a Friday night forum from Bill Maher. Milo says he'll talk to the media about all this on Tuesday.

For the calendar: Covering immigration under Trump: The Greater LA Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on Thursday at The Association, 110 E 6th St. Panelists are Sarah Parvini of the LA Times, Gustavo Arellano of OC Weekly, TV freelancer Bianca Graulau, José Luis Benavides of Cal State Northridge and moderator Saul Gonzalez of KCRW.

 

 

Some politics is local

The untold story of how Kevin Leon became Kevin de León, now told by the Sacto Bee... Of the 23 candidates running to replace Xavier Becerra in Congress, the first election since Trump took office, two are immigrants and 11 are the children of immigrants... Independent spending on the three school board races in the March 7 election tops $3.3 million. So far... Mayor Garcetti's reelection challengers are no threat, says the LAT's Michael Finnegan, but he's campaigning hard anyway to boost his political clout, position himself to run statewide and avoid the taint of a narrow win that bothered Antonio Villaragiosa. Garcetti is skipping some candidate forums... The Daily News endorsed Garcetti, saying "Garcetti is a clear choice for this newspaper’s endorsement for mayor, but that’s partly because his nine challengers’ resumes show little sign any of them is ready to lead the nation’s second-biggest city."... Former mayor Riordan contributed $14,100 to Villaraigosa's campaign for governor... Sen. Dianne Feinstein is holding a Hancock Park reelection fundraiser on March 17. Hosts include Mickey Kantor, Mel Levine, Howard Berman, Zev Yaroslavsky and Roz Wyman. Some anti-Trump protesters want to see her doing some more resisting.


New Senator Kamala Harris is coming to the Valley on Tuesday morning to hear from families affected by the Trump Administration travel ban. She'll be at Kobee Factory and Syrian Kitchen in Van Nuys.... City Hall lobbyist John Ek faces a proposed fine of more than $11,000 for hosting city electeds at his 50th birthday at Perch two years ago. The party reportedly cost him $50,000... A roundup of the 7th City Council District open seat race by the new guy at the LAT, mentioning three of the 20 candidates to succeed Felipe Fuentes... Northeast Valley assemblyman Raul Bocanegra introduced a measure to name a stretch of I-5 near Pacoima for Ritchie Valens, the teenage singer who died in 1959. Ugh. I like Ritchie but not this kind of cheap gimmick.

Three ex-mayors: Antonio Villaraigosa, James Hahn and Richard Riordan took the stage together at UCLA last week to discuss governing the city. Each had different takes. Villaraigosa suggested putting the mayor in charge of the county and the schools, Hahn called it a bad idea, and Riordan decried the policy against the LAPD holding illegal arrestees for ICE. Michael Finnegan has more in the LAT, and here's video of the whole sit-down from UCLA. Jim Newton moderated and Zev Yaroslavsky took part..


More Trump: Day laborers in LA are on edge about immigration raids. DN... After the detention of Dream Act student Daniel Medina in Seattle, Valley Rep. Tony Cardenas posted this:

Right after I graduated college something happened to me that has happened to many other Latino men but few other Members of Congress. My brother and I were pulled over by the police in broad daylight. Suddenly there were five police cars surrounding us. My car was turned inside out without reason. I was questioned belligerently by the police. And we were asked, ‘what gang are you a member of?’ I remember it like it was yesterday. This is a reality for many Latino men.
 
 

Media people doing stuff

Laws & Nature is a new blog about the environment in the age of Trump from former KPCC enviro reporter Molly Peterson, water blogger and former LA Times columnist Emily Green and Capital & Main contributor Judith Lewis Murnit. "We have created this website to keep track of events—legislative, executive, judiciary— that pertain to our nation’s environmental laws...No one, regardless of party affiliation, wants to breathe toxic air or draw from a polluted well."... Journalist Ray Richmond has channeled his Trump anxiety into a two-man, one-act play set in the Oval Office. "Transition" imagines that post-election meeting between Obama and Trump and is set to run five weekends between March 9 – April 9 at The Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. There's a crowdfunding effort on... KCAL-9 reporter Erica Nochlin is now using her married name Erica Mandy... Brian M. Rosenthal of the Houston Chronicle won the 2017 Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting from USC for his seven-part series revealing that Texas state educators systematically denied special education services to hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren with developmental, intellectual and physical disabilities.



Author interview: Nice Q&A in the LA Review of Books with Tom Rosenstiel, the director of the American Press Institute and former media critic and reporter for the LA Times, on his debut Washington political thriller, "Shining City." Sample:

You’re an accomplished journalist and nonfiction writer. What inspired the move to fiction? And did the medium free you up to explore Washington in ways that nonfiction wouldn’t allow?


tom-rosenstiel-author-pic.jpgThat is such an interesting question. I started the book because I was dissatisfied at work, and a little bored. Before long, I realized that something else was driving me. As a journalist, you can — or you should — only tell the stories you can prove. That means — if you are a good journalist — that it is hard to get at some of the internalities of stories, the motivations behind actions, and particularly the larger truth about people, institutions, about politics in general. Reality is messy. And often contradictory. Why is Washington broken? Why do sincere and talented people keep making the same mistakes? But you can get at these kinds of questions, these kinds of internalities, by creating characters, being inside their hearts, placing them in situations and seeing why they do what they do. And if those characters are true, if they have enough of the qualities of the people you met in real life, I think those insights can be true.

Also at LARB: Leonard Cohen's art of losing.

 

 

LA Observed on KCRW

In Monday's weekly segment, I discussed with anchor Steve Chiotakis how important Oroville Dam and the Sacramento River delta levees are to Los Angeles and Southern California. Listen


Bonus video: Shasta Dam last week.

 
 

Place

2nd-hope-regconnector-sourc.jpgNew photos of the tunnel work under Bunker Hill for the Regional Connector station at 2nd and Hope streets. Metro The Source


• One lane each way of Laurel Canyon Boulevard reopened Monday after a large sinkhole opened on Woodbridge Street in Studio City. Daily News

• With Snap’s I.P.O., Los Angeles (meaning mostly Venice) prepares to embrace new tech millionaires. NYT

• Why Bob Hope Airport is changing its name back to Hollywood Burbank. Daily News

• The 1890s-era Southern Pacific Railroad depot on Chandler Blvd. in North Hollywood has reopened as a Groundwork Coffee cafe. DN

• Photographer and skater Tino Razo documents and shreds abandoned backyard pools across Southern California in Party in the Back. Huck

• Sheryl Crow is playing the Troubadour on March 2. Yes, it's sold out.

• Chef Josiah Citrin explains and gives the recipe for the mac 'n' cheese hot dog sold at Staples Center. ESPN the Magazine

• The Dodgers are in Glendale, Arizona already for spring training and have re-signed Chase Utley to play another season.

 

 

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