In last week's LA Weekly, Sam Slovick wrote about drugs on Skid Row and the LAPD cops who work The Box, the area around Fifth and San Pedro. The story ran the day that actor Brad Renfro was arrested, so that got much more media attention. Slovick, however, goes behind the scenes (the police do surveillance from the building he lives in) and describes the two officers at the center of his story, Rick Kellogg (pictured) and Chris Luna, as "two buttoned-down, pumped-up, clean-cut drug cops who could moonlight as Chippendale's dancers. They spend a good part of most days staked out in this precision ballet of elevated perspective as radio waves carry their lofty intelligence to stealthy uniform cars lying in wait on the mean streets below. It's a coordinated, meticulous dance that is second nature to them." The piece has been out a week now, so I think it's OK to give away the unfortunate kicker: before the story ran, Officer Rick Kellogg killed himself. (Photo of Kellogg by Orly Olivier.)
And: A man sitting at Habibi Cafe on Broxton Avenue in Westwood Village was shot and is in grave condition. It happened one block north of where student Karen Toshima was killed by gang crossfire in 1988, beginning the end of Westwood as L.A.'s hot spot for movie openings and weekend crowds.