LA Observed Notes: Baca goes down, LAX shuffle, media moves

baca-sentenced-shuman.jpgLee Baca after sentencing. Photo by Phil Shuman.

Our occasional roundup of news and notes. Between posts, keep up with LA Observed on Twitter along with our 24,357 followers.

Top of the news

The long sad story of Lee Baca: It came to a new turning point Friday when the former Los Angeles County sheriff was sentenced to three years in federal prison for directing one of the most amateurish official corruption schemes you'll see. To keep the feds from uncovering abuse of prisoners in his jails, Baca and his underlings hid an informant from the FBI, threatened a federal agent and acted about as unprofessionally as cops can get. The judge said Baca would have gotten more time if he didn't have Alzheimer's. Baca's team can appeal, and the disgraced ex-sheriff defended his actions. A bunch of his former subordinates were previously convicted.

On sentencing day, prosecutor Brandon Fox left the U.S. Attorney's office for private practice. He talked with the LAT's Joel Rubin. Fox 11 reporter Phil Shuman described the courthouse scene on Facebook with photos.


C_txmM7XoAE9iVr.jpgLAX shuffle: This was the weekend when dozens of airlines at LAX picked up and moved to different terminals. It continued Sunday night and airport officials "strongly encouraged" Monday passengers to print out boarding passes before coming to LAX, and when you arrive pay attention to the new signs. Click the map here for the terminal lineup. It's a bit chaotic as this late-night official summary reveals:

Delta Air Lines will continue its transition from Terminals 5-6 to Terminals 2-3, with three gates from Terminal 6 moving to Terminal 2 and three gates from Terminal 5 moving to Terminal 3. As of Monday morning, May 15, there will be Delta flights arriving and departing from Terminals 2, 3, 5 and 6.

Also: At LAX's new private terminal, the rich are pampered while normal people suffer - The Guardian

Media notes

President Trump is considering a major shake-up of his press team—including replacing Sean Spicer - Mike Allen/Axios, Eli Stokols and Rebecca Ballhaus/Wall Street Journal

James Fallows offers five reasons why the Comey affair is worse than Watergate - The Atlantic

The Events That Led Up to Comey’s Firing, and How the White House’s Story Changed - New York Times

The Twenty-fifth Amendment allows for the replacement of a President who is judged to be mentally unfit - The New Yorker

"The time has come for Congress to launch an impeachment investigation of President Trump for obstruction of justice." - Harvard constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe/Washington Post Op-ed

Sinclair, probable buyer of KTLA, requires TV stations to air segments that tilt to the right - New York Times

Lawrence O’Donnell’s Future At MSNBC Is Unclear: As his contract nears its end, a renewal doesn’t appear to be on the horizon for “The Last Word” host. Yashar Ali/HuffPost

Women who appear on Fox News can wear pantsuits again; Roger Ailes had mandated short skirts - New York Magazine

Lisa See's new book wasn't originally conceived to commemorate Carolyn See, but what a beautiful, fitting memorial - LA Review of Books

The poet editor of West Marin: Profile of Tess Elliott, EIC of Marin County's Point Reyes Light CJR

How "O.J.: Made in America" Forever Changed the Oscar-Campaigning Game - Vanity Fair

Treasury Secretary Steve Munchin Still Has Strong Film Industry Ties Despite Divestitures -

"This is one I never wanted to write:" To an umpire and a hero and dear friend, rest in peace Steve Palermo. Joe Posnanski

terry-gross-young-hair.jpgNOTES: Terry Gross (pictured) marked 30 years as the host of NPR's "Fresh Air"... Playboy interview with Ezra Klein, founder of Read Steve Harvey's memo to his staff: "Do not approach me"... A story from the Sony hack (about Michael Lynton's emails) has been quietly deleted from Gawker... Steve Lopez visits the San Andreas Fault with earth scientist Lucy Jones. And wades into the Venice homeless camps... Hector Tobar, the New York Times op-ed columnist, is leaving the University of Oregon for UC Irvine where he will be an associate professor with a joint appointment in the departments of Chicano/Latino Studies and English (Literary Journalism). He also spoke this weekend at UC Merced commencement exercises... Karen Denne is leaving as Chief Communications Officer at the Broad Foundation, succeeded by Swati Pandey. Denne is going to Harbor Freight Tools to lead corporate communications... Apartment List tracks what it says are falling journalist salaries in Los Angeles... Jim Carlisle on being laid off after 33 years at the Ventura Star.

Hollywood obituary: Powers Boothe, the character actor known by many for his roles in "Deadwood" and "Sin City," and who won an Emmy for his portrayal of murderous California cult leader Jim Jones in "Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones," died Sunday at home at age 68.

Shelley Smith

The Los Angeles-based ESPN reporter was hospitalized Sunday night in the Bay Area for evaluation of stroke symptoms that came on in the locker room of the Golden State Warriors following the team's playoff win. A team physician moved Smith into a nearby training room. She went to the hospital for tests and tweeted later that things were OK.

Also this weekend, Tom Hoffarth of the Daily News profiled Smith and her sports journalist daughter Dylann Tharp.


Good reads

Spend some time under downtown Los Angeles with the tunnel boring machine crew digging the new crosstown subway. Tom Curwen in the LA Times:

Sometimes called moles, sometimes sandhogs, the men — there are no women on this shift — belong to a tight confederacy. They can see themselves doing little else for a living. They like being left alone to do their job. They like the variety of challenges, the on-the-spot repairs. They like the community.

“There are no bad people down here,” said one miner. “We would throw them out if there were.”

Veterans of other tunnels, they have built passages for water to flow through the San Bernardino Mountains and under Lake Mead, and they look ahead to the possibility of digging beneath the streets of South Pasadena or in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. For those willing to travel, the world is in play.

Also: Trump fires Comey: A screenplay in 5 acts - Colleen Shalby/LA Times

On losing touch with the Dodgers

LA Observed contributor Bob Timmermann's piece for Native Intelligence on the consequences of the Dodgers vanishing from local TV — a fading connection to local fans, even the baseball heads — struck a lot of chords. The retirement of Vin Scully doesn't help either.

"The biggest difference between being a Dodgers fan now and one from just five years ago is intensity," Bob wrote. "When I could easily see the Dodgers on TV, I would be thinking about the team a lot. I would be very much invested in the daily ups and downs of the team. I would block out time at home to make sure to watch a game. Now, the Dodgers are something I can just check in on to see how they're doing without investing as much mental energy."

NBC Sports' Craig Calcaterra seconded the theme, writing "The Dodgers have made a lot of money due to their massive TV deal with Spectrum/Time Warner. But that will end one day. And when it does, they will have sacrificed an entire generation of fans, like Bob,"


Hillary Clinton attended a private dinner with supporters Thursday night in Beverly Hills at the home of Haim Saban, "as she works to build a new political group resisting Donald Trump," Politico reported. Guests included Bill Clinton, Kevin de León, Eric Garcetti, Warren Beatty, Eva Longoria, Casey Wasserman and Reps. Ted Lieu and Maxine Waters, among others.

The city's 2017 election cycle finally concludes Tuesday with the City Council and Board of Education runoffs. For sure there will be at least one new council member and one new board members. Some final stories:
• There's an $11 Million Price Tag for Two Seats on the LAUSD School Board - Jason McGahan/LA Weekly
• Netflix founder Reed Hastings lands star donor role in L.A. school board elections - Howard Blume/LA Times
How would Charter Amendment C affect the LAPD's disciplinary system? - LAT Kate Mather/David Zahniser

More hiring in the Garcetti media office: "The Communications Office for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is hiring a communications associate. Minimum two years of communications experience in policy, politics or issues management. Spanish language proficiency a plus. Must be an outstanding writer."


Sunday's scheduled Barry Manilow concert at the Forum was postponed to Aug. 4, on doctor's orders. Per the Forum.

The Berggruen Institute has acquired the Spanish Revival architecture building at 2500 West 7th Street — the home of Aardvark Letterpress — near MacArthur Park for its offices and program space.

9-NEW-Street-Sign_THE405_Altered.jpgHonest Los Angeles Street Signs - The New Yorker

Los Angeles restaurant scene Is on the move and mixing it up - Adam Nagourney/NYT

L.A.’s Vintage Bookstores - T Magazine

Millions of shoppers are abandoning Whole Foods — and it's not just because of high prices - Business Insider

Debra Tate, the sister of Sharon Tate who campaigns to keep Charles Manson followers in prison, has breast cancer - GoFundMe

"Lowriders" movie review: The Cars Are the Real Stars of This East L.A. Drama -
The Wrap

The Lake at MacArthur Park Has No Remorse - Los Angeles Magazine

Mystery solved: Remains of girl in forgotten casket was daughter of prominent San Francisco family - LA Times

Where to Find SoCal’s Magnificent Bridges - KCET

Watch five years of April’s Sierra snowpack from space - Fresno Bee

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