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Politics and government

House Republicans got a big break under California’s new primary system after Democrats failed to get a candidate into the general election for Rep. Gary Miller’s Inland Empire swing district. Wash Post, LAT

In what is expected to be a take-no-prisoners sequel, Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman prepared for the second round of their political fight for the newly drawn 30th Congressional District. DN

Carmen Trutanich reflects on campaign miscues, says he will run for reelection as City Attorney next year. LAT, DN

David Israel resigned from the Coliseum Commission, where he is president, saying his work on the USC deal was complete. LAT, CNS

The 56-year-old LAUSD leasing manager who alleges he was sexually harassed by retired Superintendent Ramon Cortines has rebutted the claim that a 2010 sexual encounter was consensual and says he can't return to work because officials bungled the original settlement deal. DN

Westfield Concession Management won the contract to develop and manage the restaurants, beverage stands, retail shops and some passenger services in Terminals 1, 3 and 6 at LAX. LAT, Daily Breeze

City Hall at night will be bathed in lavender light through June 22 to commemorate LGBT Heritage Month.

District Attorney's investigators served a search warrant Wednesday at the Pasadena home of San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments executive director Nick Conway, looking for evidence of conflict of interest violations. Conway said old allegations are not true. Star-News

Media and media people

A bankruptcy judge on Thursday will likely consider a restructuring plan by Tribune and its creditors that "apparently is palatable to all parties and the judge is expected to approve" in a few weeks. Chicago Tribune

Andrew McIntyre is now covering law firm business and "mid-market deals" for the Daily Journal.


The gang killing Monday night of 1-year-old Angel Mauro Cortez-Nava in his father's arms in Watts prompted $50,000 rewards each from the city of LA and AEG. LAT

A federal grand jury in Riverside charged William John Roy, 57, an active duty command sergeant major in the U.S. Army, with seven felony counts of defrauding the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense by falsely claiming to have seen combat in Vietnam and Afghanistan, as well as lying about military honors he claimed to have been awarded.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation declared the Terminal Island tuna canneries and shipyard one of the country's "most endangered" historic places.

The American Diabetes Association has relocated in Downtown from Koreatown. "More clear evidence that LA’s urban core was getting stronger," says DTLA booster Brigham Yen.

ray-bradbury-1966.jpgThe announcement on Wednesday morning of Ray Bradbury's death has been a big story in Los Angeles and beyond all day. (My updated original post, and Denise Hamilton's personal piece for Native Intelligence from 2006.) Here's a smattering of some of the reflections and tributes, with more certainly to come.

Bradbury the Angeleno, by Scott Timberg

Bradbury, who died Tuesday at the age of 91, was not, of course, a typical Angeleno. But he was, in his way, an exemplary one.

It was the fields and front-porches of the Midwest that gave Bradbury much of his inner landscape, and a carnival magician back in Illinois who gave his imagination its early, crucial spark. But his teenage years and young adulthood in Los Angeles—he didn’t leave his parents’ house until his late 20s—were crucial to the kind of writer he became.

And while many of his early works—the novel 'Dandelion Wine,' the stories in 'The October Country' and 'The Illustrated Man'—were set either on other planets or in a small-town or pastoral setting abstracted from the writer’s early years, his most poetic and important book, 'The Martian Chronicles,' was as essentially the work of a Los Angeles writer as 'The Long Goodbye' or 'Ask the Dust.'

In his disdain for noise, automation and much of contemporary life—he insisted on using a typewriter, for instance—Bradbury remained in some ways one of the village Midwestern Protestants (Louis Adamic called them the “Folks”) who gave Southern California much of its character in the first half of the 20th century.
But when he moved with his family to L.A. at 14—his father was seeking work in the depths of the Depression, and eventually found it as a lineman—the Southland hit Bradbury hard, and never let go. At times he wished it would.

David Ulin on how Bradbury belonged to Los Angeles:

Bradbury developed as a writer here, partly because of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, a phenomenal group that counted among its members Robert Heinlein and Forrest J. Ackerman and met at Clifton's Cafeteria downtown. His love of literature blended well with a healthy fascination with pop culture, and that led him to imagine a style of science fiction not particularly weighted down with science, in which ordinary men and women went about the struggles of their lives.

But you can argue that one of the most important influences on him started when he entered into a lifelong relationship with the Los Angeles Public Library — and libraries in general, which he regarded, in a very real sense, as society's soul.

"Libraries raised me," he said in a 2009 interview while trying to raise money for a library in Ventura County. "I don't believe in colleges and universities.… When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years."

An appraisal from Michiko Kakutani, Up From the Depths of Pulp and Into the Mainstream

Over a 70-year career, he used his fecund storytelling talents to fashion tales that have captivated legions of young people and inspired a host of imitators. His work informed the imagination of writers and filmmakers like Stephen King, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron, and helped transport science fiction out of the pulp magazine ghetto and into the mainstream.

Thanks to its lurid subject matter and its often easy-to-decipher morals, Mr. Bradbury’s work is often taught in middle school. He’s often one of the first writers who awaken students to the enthralling possibilities of storytelling and the use of fantastical metaphors to describe everyday human life. His finest tales have become classics not only because of their accessibility but also because of their exuberant “Twilight Zone” inventiveness, their social resonance, their prescient vision of a dystopian future, which he dreamed up with astonishing ingenuity and flair. Not surprisingly he had a magpie’s love of all sorts of literature — Poe, Shakespeare and Sherwood Anderson (whose “Winesburg, Ohio” reportedly inspired “The Martian Chronicles”) as well as H. G. Wells and L. Frank Baum — and borrowed devices and conventions from the classics and from various genres. “Something Wicked This Way Comes” would win acclaim as a groundbreaking work of horror and fantasy.

“Fahrenheit 451” (1953) — Mr. Bradbury’s famous novel-turned-movie about a futuristic world in which books are verboten — is at once a parable about McCarthyism and Stalinism, and a kind of fable about the perils of political correctness and the dangers of television and other technology. “The Martian Chronicles” (1950), a melancholy series of overlapping stories about the colonization of Mars, can be read as an allegory about the settling of the United States or seen as a mirror of postwar American life.

Patt Morrison on her idol and friend

Ray, darlin’.

That’s what I called him. It was, he had told me, what an Irish cabbie had called him, back when Ray Bradbury was still rather a lad of a writer, albeit an acclaimed one, and had gone off to Ireland to work on the screenplay for the 1956 movie "Moby Dick."...

If you are a lover of books and living in Los Angeles, you probably ran across Ray Bradbury. He admired newspapers -- he'd stood on street corners and hawked L.A.'s many newspapers as a boy -- but he was even more a devotee of books, of book lovers and of libraries.

If the only thing he'd ever written had been "Fahrenheit 451," about the soul's longing for literature, he would be justly renowned. Ray wrote "Fahrenheit 451" on typewriters he rented at UCLA, the kind you used to be able to drop coins in for an hour's use of them; the going rate may have been two bits for 60 minutes. But his writing spanned the globe, in myriad languages, and explored time and space and the interiors of the mind and the heart.

Statement from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Vilaraigosa

“Today, Los Angeles mourns the passing of Ray Bradbury, a beloved Angeleno and one of our most celebrated modern authors.

"Mr. Bradbury created fantasies, mysteries, and short stories that brought science fiction into the mainstream. With more than 27 novels and 600 short stories to his name, he left an impressive legacy.

"He was cherished by his fans, peers, and fellow Angelenos. His literary legend will surely live on in his work and our memories.

"My thoughts are with Mr. Bradbury’s friends and family at this difficult time."

Message from Clifton's Cafeteria

"The world has lost one of its most incisive creative minds with the passing of Ray Bradbury -- and Clifton’s has lost a dear friend and advocate, “ said Andrew Meieran owner of Clifton’s Cafeteria.

“We at Clifton’s wish to thank Ray for his support when the Cafeteria itself became the one in need of nurturing, and for allowing Clifton's to be part of his astonishing legacy. We thank him for helping create a future of fantasy, fiction and possibility. Our condolences go out to his family and friends, with whom we all share the loss and wonder of this great individual.”

As a struggling writer, Bradbury joined the Science Fiction Society founded in the 1930’s and met every Thursday at Clifton’s on Broadway, in part because Clifton’s nurtured those down on their luck with a Depression Era policy of “Pay What You Can, Dine Free Unless Delighted.” Members were also inspired by the whimsical architecture of fantasy and imagination that eventually helped inspire another cultural icon, Walt Disney, to create Disneyland. Bradbury, having not yet sold any of his work, needed such nurturing and thrived in the explosively creative atmosphere. He went on to become one of the most iconic writers in history and an integral part of Clifton’s cultural legacy.

good-staff-friedman.jpgThe eight editors and designer who lost their jobs last week at Good magazine (or opted out) posted a message in which they admit to being scared about the lack of income, and their regret that some of them may have to move out of Los Angeles. But they also wish Good well in its new direction, and say they intend to work together as a team one more time on a magazine concept they are calling Tomorrow.

It’s going to be about what’s next, what’s on the cusp. We want to get out of our comfort zone and push others to do the same. We want to meet and introduce you to great people. We’ll have more details soon, so check back here later this week.

For now, we want to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who’s emailed and called and tweeted at us with kind words. Extra thanks to people who have hooked us up with professional connections or freelance work, and those who have left bottles of scotch on our front porches or taken us out to dinner. Even though the past week has been tough, there have been countless moments that have made us stop and ask, “What is best in life?” And for that we’re extremely grateful.

Fired editor in chief Ann Friedman posts separately about her time at Good, the magazine and her colleagues. Excerpt:

Although GOOD is no longer interested in defining itself as a destination for high-quality editorial content, there are a lot of lessons that journalists and media companies could—and should—learn from GOOD.

I’m excited to take those lessons and apply them to my next professional challenge. Not sure what that is just yet. I’m going to take a few weeks to chill the fuck out and think about it. I’ve always had more ideas than time to follow through on them, so this is a really exciting moment for me.

If there’s one thing I’m disappointed about, it’s that this hardworking and accomplished group of writers and editors never got to realize its full potential. A magazine (which is how we and many others have always thought of GOOD, in both its print and web iterations) is the community of people who make it, read it, see themselves reflected in it. And it’s hard to really express what a privilege it’s been to make a magazine with a group of people who aren’t just phenomenal readers, writers, editors, contributors, and designers but truly top-notch humans.

Finally, Good founder Ben Goldhirsh spoke about the mass firing of his editorial staff in a company wide "hey guys" memo on Monday, via The Atlantic Wire. Sample:

Layoffs are a really tough call to make. And frankly, it's easier to make them when financial pressure is the catalyst. But that wasn't the case here. This was about the direction of the business and the path to manifesting the very exciting potential ahead. Furthermore, this was a decision that was discussed at length, and included the opinions of every team at the company. At the end of the day, the path forward requires some new roles and perspectives, and this meant that some roles got eliminated. While that's hard. It's also right. Right for our business, and frankly right for the folks who are great at those roles, and who deserve to be at a place where those roles are fundamental to strategy....

I'm really proud that we made the tough decision here, have put the turmoil behind us, and I'm so stoked about all that lies ahead.

Hat tip on this story to LA Weekly.

Photo: Ann Friedman's blog

LAX-terminal6-gates.jpgFree wireless service could be available to travelers at Los Angeles International Airport as soon as this summer. Here's the catch: the free sessions will only be good for 45 minutes or less. Which is a big improvement over the current $10 T-Mobile fee if you just want to briefly check your email or the news headlines, or play a few games. If you are stuck at the airport for longer, logging on will still carry a fee. But the announcement from LAX doesn't say how much the new premium service will cost. It's being provided by Advanced Wireless Group, which signed a contract with the Board of Airport Commissioners that guarantees the company revenues of at least $283,333 the first year. The income ratchets up to $380,000 in the second year, and $420,000 in the third option year, if exercised.

Inside LAX's new Terminal 6. Alaska Airlines photo

obamawave.jpgPresident Obama began the fundraising day on Wednesday by flying to San Francisco (with Giants legend Willie Mays on board Air Force One and at his side) then on down to Los Angeles. He appeared tonight at the LGBT Leadership Council gala at the Beverly Wilshire, where Ellen DeGeneres and "Glee" star Darren Criss provided the entertainment, then at a more private dinner a little ways away in Beverly Hills hosted by "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy and his fiance David Miller. Gay community donors and Hollywood were the strategic targets for this trip. (Criss was a fill-in for Pink, who called in sick.)

Obama is staying not at the Beverly Wilshire but at the Beverly Hilton, a short drive away. On Thursday morning, Obama heads down to View Park in Southwest LA for a fundraising breakfast at the home of Charles and JoAnn Quarles before departing from LAX before noon.

From the Hollywood Reporter tonight:

The Beverly Wilshire gala and subsequent dinner were the largest in a recent series organized on Obama’s behalf by gay rights activists, who have flocked to support him since his forthright endorsement of marriage equality, which many regard as the critical civil rights issue of this era in American politics.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Speaker John Perez attended. Here are some highlights from the pool report provided by Los Angeles Times reporter Kate Linthicum.

Outside the ballroom, volunteers were selling LGBT-themed Obama swag, including a baby onesie that said: "My Two Dads Support Obama." Inside it felt like a nightclub, with dance music and red lighting.

When Obama spoke at the DNC’s LGBT Leadership gala last summer in New York, he was interrupted by hecklers who called for him to take a stand on same-sex marriage. Tonight, nearly a month after he announced his support for gay marriage, he was greeted by a long standing ovation and shouts of “Four more years!”

“Sit down,” he told the crowd. “You’re going to make me blush.”

Obama started at about 7 p.m. with an off-color joke about Ellen DeGeneres and his wife, who recently beat the comedian in a pushup contest on her talk show. He said DeGeneres had complained “that Michelle didn’t go all the way down.”

Here are some highlights from Linthicum's pool report at the Murphy-Miller home.

The dinner was held in the courtyard of their white stucco mansion. Guests sat at small tables lit with candles and set with potted succulents. A fountain bubbled noisily.

A campaign official said Julia Roberts, Resse Witherspoon and Jane Lynch had tickets to the dinner, but I spotted only Witherspoon. According to another official, about 70 people attended the dinner, which cost $25,000 per person.

It was sunset when Obama took the microphone. In a 12-minute speach, he repeated a theme from his earlier remarks at the LGBT gala, saying that the nation's founding fathers have created a framework that has allowed more and more Americans to gain equality over time.

"They created this space where, through successive generations, we could continually broaden the scope of opportunity to more and more people and include more and more people as citizens and recognize each other as part of this American story," he said. "So through civil wars and civil rights, and women's rights and workers rights, there's been this constant battle so more and more people can take part."

The report notes that on the route through residential streets back to the Beverly Hilton, several dozen people on the sidewalks displayed supportive signs.

Photo: Hollywood Reporter

I went downtown to LA Live with a friend to observe what happens when Los Angeles has a chance to win the Stanley Cup. First, the bottom line: the Kings lost 3-1 and go back to New Jersey to try again on Saturday to grab the Cup. If that doesn't work, the teams will return to Staples Center on Monday with the Kings again in position to win the Cup. All remaining games, by the way, will be aired on the main NBC television network.

OK, downtown. Things were packed around LA live more than two hours for the game — bars, restaurants and parking lots. I saw one lot on Olympic, west of the 110 Freeway — so kind of a schlep to the arena — charging $50 for parking. My usual lots in the $5 to $10 range were asking $25 and up. The lot under LA Live, which starts at $25 for a game-length stay, was closed off by 3 p.m.

This we learned: with the Stanley Cup at stake, hundreds of fans in Kings jerseys, possibly thousands, came to the LA Live area with no tickets to the game. This is on a weekday. They queued up in long lines to get into ESPN Zone and the other drinkeries. Many did not get inside before the game began, if at all, and the game is not shown on big screens in the plaza itself. (Thanks Lakers rioters.) My friend and I watched the game in the bar at the J.W. Marriott with more than a hundred others, and it was a mini-Staples Center event. The crowd cheered and chanted just as if they were across the street in the arena.

The crowds extended for blocks around — the Figueroa Hotel wasn't showing the game but had a lot of activity, though a lot of that was the tech crowd attending E3. Riordan's Tavern, a few blocks from Staples Center, was packed before game time. Immediately after the game, a lot of fans in Kings jerseys were spotted blocks and blocks from the arena, so clearly they had been scattered across Downtown.

The LAPD was out in force around LA Live — dozens of officers, some carrying helmets, and at least one horse (because I almost stepped in the evidence.) At one point the LAPD put out the word that no more people should come to the LA Live area, due to the overfilling of the drinking establishments.


Philip Pritchard, the keeper of the Stanley Cup on behalf of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, takes his job very seriously. He tweets, "Game day....this could be the day?" He posted the Twitpic. Follow his tweets

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10:24 PM Sun | The LAT also loses sports reporter Lindsey Thiry to ESPN and previously lost White House correspondent Brian Bennett to Time.
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2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.

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