........................................................................Home | Books | Bio | c.v. ............................. ... ...

Another Terrace Morning

The Mayor was obliged to go to New York yesterday to try to undo some of the credit rating panic that Chicken Little Dick Riordan achieved last year when he was trying to shake down the unions.

The LA Weekly's cover story on Stephen Box turns out to be an enormous snooze, a term paper survey on LA's angry bike activism with trite nuggets from the Weekly's ongoing City Vilification Project stitched in. It's hard to get through, so I'm not sure it mentions that Box is such a purist/extremist that he doesn't drive. And then there's this, now seemingly mandatory in every LA Weekly news piece: "One of the most damning criticisms of the 15 council members, the highest paid in the U.S. at $178,789 a year — 400 percent of the average L.A. household income..." Yas, yas, zzzzzzzzz.

Carrying Jill Stewart's water this time is Hillel Aron, recently of Neon Tommy. You know the ranks are getting thin at the Weekly when someone who has written three previous pieces for the pub gets a cover. Even beyond the tiresome vilifications, you also detect there was a heavy guiding hand along the way, as Stewart crone Ron Kaye--whose organization is backing Box--is quoted through the piece.

Somebody mentioned to me yesterday that the two, Stewart and Kaye, have become LA's Statler and Waldorf. Is it really journalism when your key analyst is someone your editor has on speeddial? No, of course not--it's order taking.

Oh, wait, I made it a little further, and found this: "The only March 8 candidate spending serious money to take on an incumbent is Rudy Martinez, a cast member of A&E's Flip This House. Martinez is challenging Jose Huizar in the Eastside's Council District 14, where he's scaring the bejesus out of Huizar, having poured $150,000 of his own money into his race." On a story about Stephen Box and bicycles. Who wrote that, I wonder? One thing for sure, newbie Aron sure does a great Jill Stewart impersonation. Perhaps Aron is the fifth straight such young Weekly scribe to use the septuagenarian word bejesus.

Big whines also at the LA Weekly as the new State Superintendent of Schools starts to "reform" the parent trigger law itself. The Weekly has hoped the law might be used to bash more teachers in years to come. It will be taken out of the corporate cuddling arms of Parent Revolution and made into something more supportive for all. I know that Lydia Grant (right) was in Sacto this week, and she says the battle is just beginning. It would appear to be a defensive one.

KCET has picked up Al Jazeera English at 11, 4 and 11. Don't laugh, it's probably better than News Hour.

Hey, the Times agrees with me on enterprise zones: eliminate them, the eds say. You can read their ed or my piece of January 15.

A marginal but turban-sporting candidate in CD 12 thought this might fetch a few votes in Porter Ranch: "I came here some 35 years ago, back when Nixon was President. I wish he was still President today; we wouldn't be in all the trouble we are." But there were no Kwik-E-Marts back in 1973. And Nixon was not president 35 years ago. Also. [Photo by Debbie Lopez]

A source close to the Jose Huizar campaign insists that Rudy Martinez did not move the needle among voters with the weekend theater that fetched news coverage. Television is a two-edged sword, and many of those in the district (read: not many) who saw the candidate on television didn't feel the threat of "a political bullet" was credible and worth going to the police for. One woman polled said, "That's just our Council District--I was surprised he didn't know that."

Flip this Doc: Martinez also announced early this morning that he has agreed to conduct a clean political campaign, and expects Huizar to sign the agreement too. He wants people to call the Councilman up asking him to sign the agreement.

The travesty that is the Center for the Performing Arts High School continues as the school is obliged to turn away hundreds of talented students for the sake of enrolling from within the neighborhood. This battle is to maintain a banal parity between entitled-Anglo v. unentitled minority canard; it's affirmative action for kids. Monica Garcia is the prime leveler here.

Big California retail banks are holding out for a better deal with the State before bringing a $2 billion Keep Your Home program to underwater homeowners.

There is such a thing as the State of Hollywood Address, and Eric Garcetti is delivering it today. He says it was a tough year but the state of Hollywood is good. I think it's awful, and Barnsdall Art Park is Exhibit A. Good thing I'm not giving it.