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Friday Wrap-Up – Some of the Week’s GOTTA READ ‘EM Stories – UPDATED

June 29th, 2007 by Celeste Fremon

scotus-7-07-2.jpg


1. WWJKD?

It’s been a big week for the Supremes. On Tuesday, the court handed down four controversial rulings. The most legally irritating and potentially precedent-setting of these was the Frederick v. Morse decision—otherwise known as the Bong Hits for Jesus case where the court struck a blow against free speech for students. [WLA reported on the underlying case here.]

Then Thursday, there was the true doozey in which, 53 years after Brown v. the Board of Education, the Supreme Court gave the finger to legal precedent and ruled in the Seattle/Louisville school integration cases, that the relatively modest attempts by those cities to promote racial diversity in some of their schools was no longer legal or acceptable. “This is a decision that the Court and the nation will come to regret,” wrote Justice Stephen Breyer. (Here’s what the NY Times had to say.)

It is unclear if this decision is going to be fundamentally ruinous to LA’s magnet schools or not-
–the magnets being the voluntary integration system that has been the one genuine jewel in the infuriatingly incompetent LA unified school district. (I’ll likely write more on this later.)

Yet, aside from the individual cases, there is a larger issue that is worth noting: when looked at as a whole, the decisions—each of which featured a five/four split among the justices—are representative of the ideologically-polarized trend that has come to characterize the Roberts court. Yet, what’s most interesting is that a quick analysis of how each justice voted suggests that most SCOTUS rulings for the foreseeable future will hinge on a single question: WWJKD? —What Will Justice Kennedy Do?

It turns out that Anthony Kennedy has sided with the majority
—conservative or liberal—in every single one of this term’s five-four splits.

When Sandra Day O’Conner was still on the court,
both she and Kennedy were regarded at as potential swing voters, which made SCOTUS a more fluid and less ideologically-driven body.

Not anymore.

1. GENARLOW WILSON – THE STUPIDITY CONTINUES

On Wednesday, Genarlow Wilson was denied bail while he awaits the next legal go-round in his case. As you’ll remember, Wilson was the 17-year-old who was given a 10-year sentence for having consensual oral sex with a girl two years younger. Although the law has been changed since his tragically whacked-out sentence was handed down, it does not apply retroactively. Earlier this month a Superior Court Judge threw out Wilson’s sentence, but the prosecutor appealed. So, although Scooter Libby can stay out of prison while his appeal progresses, this now-21-year-old kid who has already served 28 months in prison, must continue to stay locked up. Legally speaking, there’s a case to be made for both granting bond, and not. But common sense and decency falls on only one side of this legal equation.

Yesterday, in a pathetic attempt to look less like a scumbag while still keeping this case in his “win” column, the prosecutor offered Wilson a deal: he could serve five instead of ten years in the pen, which means, with time served, he’d stay locked up for another two and a half years. And, as an added bonus, the prosecutor generously offered to NOT require Wilson to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Friday, Wilson and his attorney rightly turned the offer down.

WLA posts on the case may be found here and here.


3. THE CHENEY REPORTS


The WaPo series titled “Angler,” about the most powerful VP in American history
, began on Sunday and finished on Wednesday. I don’t care where you sit on the blue/red political color wheel, if you consider yourself an informed resident of these United States, you need to read this puppy. [Click here]


If you only read one chapter, I recommend Part 2
, on war and interrogations found here.

Look for this series to be a serious contender come Pulitzer time.


Then, if after reading, you feel desperately in need of a good laugh
, take a look at this week’s Daily Show’s segment that ran all week titled “You Don’t Know Dick.

*****************

Happy Friday night!
I’m going to see Michael Moore’s SICKO. Will let you know how it goes!
*****************
SATURDAY UPDATE:

Okay, saw the movie, and I definitely recommend it. It makes some
terrifying points about the reality of the American health insurance system that most viewers will recognize (with horror) as obviously true, and that naysayers are going to be hard put to factually deny. I suspect it’s going to turn out to be a very forceful tool in, at least, starting the process of slapping Americans awake in terms of the need for universal health care. In fact, the main power of the film is that it doesn’t tell us anything that most average Americans don’t already know. But Moore weaves all the information together into a anecdote-studded whole that has the cumulative effect of making you want to run from the theater shrieking, “WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!!!!!!! NOW!!!!!!”

(The material that will be new to Americans is the footage
that gives a compelling window into the healthcare systems found in Canada, England and France.)

The Cuba section is weakest.
It’s only here that Moore starts bending his facts a bit. However, Moore gets us there by first showing news clips of US government officials boasting about the great healthcare given prisoners at Guantanamo.

Then, in a boat outside Git’mo with a bunch of the now chronically and heartbreakingly ill 9/11 rescue workers, he shouts plaintively through a megaphone, “We don’t want any more care than you’re giving the evildoers! Just the same!”

Bottom line: As is usual with Mike Moore, the movie ain’t perfect. But it’s pretty damned good.

But don’t take my word for it. See it and let me know what you think.

Posted in Civil Rights, Courts, crime and punishment, Education, Free Speech, Government, National politics, prison, Supreme Court | 23 Comments »

Okay, everyone on your feet…and let’s hear some applause for Alan M!

June 28th, 2007 by Celeste Fremon

Marc Cooper and Alan Mittelstaedt
Blogfather, Marc Cooper and guest blogger, Alan Mittelstaedt at a PEN USA Awards dinner

After ten days at the grassy and bucolic writers’ paradise that is Bennington,
I lost all of my contemplative calm by straying for a couple of frenetic but interesting days to Washington D.C. (More on that later.)

Now, it’s great to be glad to be back in our flawed but vital town.

In the meantime, the excellent Alan Mittelstaedt has:

1. Challenged the mayor to wear an Antonio-Cam
so we can see how he’s REALLY spending all those 20-hour work days

2. Caused a citywide stir by theorizing convincingly about who’s orchestrating the leaks
that have effectively set fire to the career of LA’s City Attorney.

3. Given deserved slaps upside the head to both the mayor and the LAPD chief—among others—for knuckling under to the police union and refusing to go to bat for Gloria Romero’s EXTREMELY WORTHY anti-police secrecy bill, even though they originally backed the thing.

4. Broken stories on: the closing of Monty’s Steak House in Pasadena and….

5. .. Been well ahead of the rest of the LA pack in announcing the very cheering hire of David Zahniser by the Los Angeles Times…

AND A LOT MORE

As a consequence, I’m trying to lure Alan into contributing to WLA on a far more regular basis
. Will have news on that soon. ‘Till then, look for him to stick around through the weekend….and, with any luck, for a lot longer.


AND NOW, A ROUSING ROUND OF RAUCOUS APPLAUSE FOR ALAN!!!!!!!!!!

Posted in City Government, Life in general, literature | 8 Comments »

The Secret Police

June 27th, 2007 by

I

Snubbing Devin’s memory: Legislators fail to learn the lessons of a 13-year-old’s fatal shooting by police.

Today we award Badges of Cowardice to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief Bill Bratton, and six key state lawmakers, for failing to stand up to California’s powerful police unions and take the first baby steps toward reopening police disciplinary records and proceedings that had been public since at least the 1970s.

Our L.A. leaders, along with the six-member Assembly Public Safety Committee, cowered in the face of cop bully-tactics and the secrecy lobby that brought down a modest bill to reopen public access to what had been an historically open process.

We give extra large, doublesided badges to the mayor and police chief because they are trying to have it both ways. They professed to be in favor of State Sen. Gloria Romero’s SB 1019, dubbed here the Anti-Secret Police bill, but they failed to show up at Tuesday’s committee meeting and fight for its survival.

Come on, guys, don’t you remember how adamant you seemed on the issue when an enraged community demanded answers after a secret police Board of Rights hearing exonerated the police officer who fatally shot 13-year-old Devin Brown? Look what Antonio and Bill told the L.A. Times’ Patrick McGreevy in January, when the issue was hot and the public demanded action.

“I am in support of change. I am very frustrated by [the current process],” Bratton said… “The public has no access to it. The media has no access to it. That’s crazy, absolutely crazy. We have nothing to hide in the Los Angeles Police Department.”
Hours later, Villaraigosa issued a concurring statement .
“The mayor would enthusiastically support legislation or other measures to open the board of rights process to the public,” the statement said. “Transparency … would benefit both the public and the officers facing disciplinary action.”

But that was six months ago. Will there be a similar outcry when the results of secret investigations into the MacArthur Park melee are released? Let’s hope the chief doesn’t black out the names of officers disciplined and withhold key details. And, if voters grow restless and the chief and mayor renew their calls for reform, will we take them seriously?

By the time the Anti-Secret Police bill made it to the committee, the unions watered down the bill to mollify cops and win the so-called support of Bill and Antonio. The bill even gave the police chief the power to withhold records if he deemed an officer’s safety would be put at risk.

The bill would merely allow local governments to vote on whether to restore public access to the same narrow category of police disciplinary records and proceedings that had been open in Los Angeles, San Diego, and the Bay Area for decades until the California Supreme Court closed the records in its intellectually dishonest and unintelligible decision last year, Copley Press v. Superior Court of San Diego. In that decision, the Supreme Court held that California’s statutes aimed at controlling the discovery of police personnel records in civil lawsuits prohibits the disclosure of records that arise from the officer’s administrative appeal to an oversight body such as a civil service commission. Police agencies, taking the decision one more step, said if the records were off-limits to the public, so must be the proceedings.

The bill failed to win a solitary vote in the Assembly Public Safety Committee after passing out of the Senate a few weeks ago. The Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPD’s cop labor union), a representative of Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona, and Assemblyman Jose Solorio, a Santa Ana Democrat and chairman of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, all made the same bogus claim that the bill would have opened up personal information about police officers and their families to criminals and “endangered” the lives of officers and their families.

Antonio and Bill were nowhere to be seen in Sacramento Tuesday to counter this false alarm. If they had truly “supported” the bill, they would have flown to Sacramento and explained that this process has been open to the public for decades in Los Angeles without any reported endangerment of officer safety. If our leaders actually backed the bill, they would have explained that no information about an officer’s family is released in disciplinary records.

Rather, the Anti-Secret Police measure would have allowed local agencies to vote on whether to create a policy of public access to police officer disciplinary files – but only if the local agency had previously had open records and only in instances where an officer had filed an administrative appeal of their discipline with a local civil service commission or police board of rights. If the local agency adopted the access policy, then the only records available to the public would be the records filed with the civil service commission or police board of rights relating to the specific incident and discipline. Like why should that be such a big deal?

The unions built their propaganda campaign on lies and threats. Under the Anti-Secret Police bill, a police agency would not have been allowed to release a police officer’s entire personnel file, home address, or medical records. Nor would the bill allow a police agency to release all citizen complaints or internal affairs investigations. Rather, public access would have been allowed only after a police officer filed an administrative appeal of a particular disciplinary sanction with an oversight body.

One union leader, John Stites, sent an e-mail to intimidate Senate members before their vote on the measure, saying that police unions “adamantly oppose this legislation to the point that if it is passed we will move quickly to oppose any term-limit reform legislation publicly. There is no compromise on this. Ensure that it be understood that this will only be the beginning.” Romero denounced this “bully tactic” and the Senate approved the bill, 22-10 earlier this month.

Also receiving Badges of Cowardice are the members of the Public Safety Committee. These scared legislators wouldn’t even let the measure come up for a vote. They are:

Two Republicans: Joel Anderson of El Cajon and Greg Aghazarian, Stockton

Four Democrats: Chairman Jose Solorio of Santa Ana, Anthony J. Portantino of La Canada, Hector De La Torre of South Gate, Fiona Ma of San Francisco

Posted in Antonio Villaraigosa, Bill Bratton, City Government, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, crime and punishment, Freedom of Information, LAPD, LASD, State government | 4 Comments »

The Antonio and Rocky Show: Winners, losers, but who’s the producer? UPDATE**

June 25th, 2007 by

 

 

Betting on a knock-out: When Rocky falls, watch Antonio loyalists, Wendy and Jack, rise.

Was it just an odd coincidence that personal and political problems emerged at nearly the exact same moment this month for both Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, L.A.’s top two estranged leaders?
Unless you believe in the tooth fairy and expect your 401k to earn 45 percent this quarter, you probably shouldn’t believe that the past two weeks of political theater was an impromptu show. More likely, some of the best acts were scripted. The back-to-back crises even raise questions about whether the mayor’s office masterminded some of the Rocky scenes, adhering to the classic plot of punishing an adversary, rewarding allies and, by doing so, making City Hall a nicer place for the mayor, particularly if he sticks around for a full second term.

Like how could this be a mere coincidence? On Friday, June 8, the mayor sends out a press release announcing that his marriage is ending and that he’ll hold a press conference the following Monday. The next day, on Saturday, we read in the L.A. Times about the first transgression by Rocky’s wife: she got a traffic ticket in 2005 while driving her own car on a suspended license. Minor, but things got more serious in Tuesday’s paper. Along with coverage of the mayor’s say-nothing press conference, we learned that Rocky stuck taxpayers with the $1,222 repair bill for his city-owned SUV, damaged when his wife drove on a suspended license while he partied it up at the Democratic Convention in Boston three summers ago.

Sure, these two nuggets broke within days of Paris Hilton’s early release from jail on June 7, raising suspicions at the time that Rocky’s disgruntled staffers leaked word of wife Michelle’s misfortunes to embarrass the sanctimonious, hypocritical city attorney, who was getting his fix of media-face time by criticizing Sheriff to the Stars Lee Baca’s handling of the heiress. And that may be true. Rocky’s detractors could fill several courtrooms, and it’s quite possible that the mayor’s office, if it did act, did not act alone.

But look what happened when Rocky couldn’t figure out how to respond to the SUV accident story. For at least eight days, he refused to answer reporters’ questions about his wife’s use of the city-issued SUV. No new revelations about Rocky or his wife emerged during this silent period. What sheer brilliance. Flinging any new dirt would have been a waste and run the risk of taking pressure off Rocky to come clean about his mishandling of his wife’s minor accident. Finally, Rocky held a news conference on June 18, which he bungled by failing to give correct answers to simple questions. And guess what? Over the next four days, the negative stories about Rocky and his wife once again flowed, in timed doses that took on a sense of a preordained order, with the Daily News and Times breaking the same story on Michelle’s unpaid business fees in Saturday’s papers. By then, the hits seemed calculating and methodical, more than random shots fired by fed-up civil servants or fresh developments uncovered by diligent investigative reporters relying on shoe leather alone.

The take-down campaign ingeniously served up an array of misdeeds, as though designed to offer at least one sin to rankle even the most permissive Angeleno’s soul, from Michelle’s unauthorized use of the SUV, her bench warrant, the couple’s insurance problems, leaning on staffers for babysitting and household chores and the wife’s missing business license.

Is it too far-fetched to see in the anti-Rocky avalanche the inspiration of Ace Smith, the king of opposition research? This guy has a national reputation for carving up political enemies and now heads Hillary’s campaign in California. Ace was Jerry Brown’s campaign manager in the Attorney General’s race last year and was Antonio’s campaign manager in 2005 and remains a trusted adviser. Wouldn’t he likely have a file or two overflowing with documentation of the missteps and screwed-up judgment of Rocky and Michelle? He probably knows as much as anyone about the depths of Rocky’s political problems and had little reason to use much of the material during the lopsided campaign last year. (A message left for Ace at the mayor’s office Sunday went unreturned. In an email Monday night, Ace said he never got the message.)

But why go after Rocky now? Maybe it was simply an effort to distract reporters snooping around the mayor’s marital problems. Or, maybe it’s part of a bigger plot to bruise Rocky or push him from office to ensure the mayor’s top lieutenants inherit the City Attorney’s and City Controller’s offices in 2009. Or, maybe all of the above, and more.

It could be that an Antonio sympathizer leaked some of the stories, knowing that Rocky’s office harbors a roster of attorneys and other staffers with animosity toward the boss who would keep alive the attacks with their own contributions to the narrative of a doomed politician. I lost count, but weren’t there seven unnamed present and past employees who took on Rocky in Babysittergate?
Rocky’s political career is over, but how ugly will it get before he steps aside? One of the beneficiaries of Rocky’s early-release from City Hall could be Antonio’s top pal on the City Council — Jack Weiss, who plans to run for city attorney in 2009 when Rocky is termed out. Jack is facing a recall organized by residents of his Westside district upset with the sway that fat-cat developers have on their councilman. If Rocky resigned, the council could appoint Jack to fill his unexpired term as city attorney, sparing him the wrath of voters in his district as well as saving him the trouble of running for the job he covets. And Jack gets a bonus: in two years, he could run as an incumbent.
Councilwoman Wendy Greuel also stands to gain. She formally announced in May that she wants to run for city controller in 2009, when Laura Chick is termed out. Rocky, who is also termed out in 2009, is said to be considering a run for that office, too. Rocky’s political career likely ended this month, but if he’s forced to resign, Wendy becomes a shoo-in. Of course, the mayor wants one of his top loyalists to take over the city watchdog post. Can you imagine the heat and endless audits Rocky would bring against the mayor if Antonio hangs around for a second term? For Rocky, it would be get-even time with a mayor who has repeatedly upstaged him and humiliated him.

It’s also about as likely to happen as a Delgadillo presidency.

Posted in Antonio Villaraigosa, City Government, Los Angeles Times, media | 21 Comments »

A Toast to Dave

June 21st, 2007 by

Nice suit, David: The mayor ducks out of Saturday’s press club dinner at the Biltmore with aide Janelle Erickson.

David Zahniser, one of Los Angeles’ best journalists, gave notice Thursday and is headed to the L.A. Times to cover Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and local politics. For the past 18 months, he’s covered City Hall for the L.A. Weekly and written “The Z Files,” his column taking Antonio and others to task for occasional bouts of duplicity or otherwise putting their own interests ahead of the public.

He’s had a wonderful run of stories in the Weekly and played a major role in efforts over the past several years to turn up the heat on political leaders of all stripes. Last October, David stunned L.A.’s power elite with a cover story that raised questions about the final hours of Miguel Contreras, whose death in 2005 was blamed on a heart attack. In fact, the labor boss collapsed and lost consciousness while visiting a South L.A. botanica, which would be closed down six months later during a prostitution raid. In one of the story’s more intense moments, David recreated the scene in the emergency room, where Contreras’ allies bullied doctors and coroner’s officials into not ordering an autopsy that would have made the circumstances surrounding his death a matter of public record. Without David’s own investigation, which relied on the scant public record and interviews with dozens of named – and high-placed unnamed sources—this dark tale of civic manipulation and deception would have remained known only to a circle of the dead leader’s cronies. The story made a strong case that the coroner’s office shirked its duty to all of us by mishandling the death investigation of one of the most powerful men in Los Angeles history. (Disclosure: I edited the story.) The L.A. Times and Daily News wrote follow-ups the next day.

What makes David so valuable is his depth, commitment and intense desire to be first with a story–all attributes that describe a good reporter, but to the millionth degree in his case. He chases down leads on weekends, to every part of the city. If someone won’t return a phone call, expect to see David paying a special home visit. He’s jabbering on the phone – constantly, unless he’s in a city meeting, attending a press conference, grabbing coffee with a source, or writing. This guy is no 9-to-fiver with weekends off. In a typical week, David will make at least 100 telephone calls. His best sources can expect several calls daily. No one works harder for a story tip, nor does anyone enjoy the pursuit of a story more than David, whose engaging, informed tone tames even the most reluctant sources. His insights and productivity earned him recognition as the best city hall reporter in a Los Angeles Magazine profile by RJ Smith last November.
David not only breaks news, but his on-the-spot study of Los Angeles gives him a profound understanding of the various forces at play, political and otherwise, and he is often first to analyze a trend. Last month, in a 12,000-word cover package, “What’s So Smart about Smart Growth?” he examined the planning disasters, the unflagging congestion and the phony claims by developers and politicians that call into question the promise of the so-called smart growth movement in Los Angeles. Another cover story, “Welcome to Gentrification City,” showed David the urbanist and sociologist at work. He produced a rich treatise documenting the good that can come from communities in upheaval. (Disclosure: I edited this story.)
For all of his accomplishments and reporting triumphs, David is not a pretentious, arrogant member of the Fourth Estate. He’s a guy who will come to the office the day one of his blockbuster investigative pieces goes to press and confess he was up all night with the dry heaves worrying about every damn word. He’s compassionate, generous and sometimes overly modest.

Consider his remarks last year when he accepted a Journalist of the Year award from the Society of Professional Journalists. As David spoke, it sounded like he would have been just as happy if the prize had gone to one of the hard-working, vastly under-paid, unsung writers at one of L.A.’s lesser known papers. He urged reporters in the audience to be brave and ask the toughest question at press conferences, the one he dubbed “The Bastard Question” because of the way you’re made to feel after asking it. Then, ignoring his colleagues from the larger papers, TV and radio stations, David went on to praise reporters from L.A.’s ethnic and smaller presses, for doing the grunt work and often being first with stories picked up by the larger media. It was a moving moment. The recognition he gave those unheralded voices revealed the good fellow and impeccable character behind all of his kick-ass clips.

But enough of the past. Get back to work on your next big story, David.

Posted in Antonio Villaraigosa, City Government, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles writers, media | 20 Comments »

A Prescription for County Supervisors UPDATE***

June 20th, 2007 by

You gotta wonder how much L.A. County supervisors really want to save Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital, formerly known as King-Drew. Next month federal inspectors could very likely shut down the horror house, where substandard care has killed and maimed dozens of people over the years. Here are three steps supervisors could take today if they really care about the hospital and serving the thousands of consitutents who, for better and often worse, depend on it.

–Convene their regular meetings in one of the hospital’s now vacant wings. This not only will boost the supervisors’ goodwill in the community, but will offer up-close views of their efforts to improve care.

–Order all hospital employees who are holdovers from the old, killer regime to wear black armbands. Not only will this make them visible to supervisors, who claimed to be surprised this week by the lack of progress on-site adminstrators have made replacing them, but it will show the public who they need to stay away from.

–Cancel the supervisors’ health insurance plans and require them to see doctors at King-Harbor for all of their medical needs.

*** The Father’s Day celebration that almost didn’t happen. Read Celeste Fremon’s latest story in the L.A. Weekly on the emergency-room saga of Juan Ponce.

Posted in Government, health care, Los Angeles history | 11 Comments »

Rocky in the Driver’s Seat

June 19th, 2007 by

Rocky, steal this page from a California Department of Insurance report for a winning campaign strategy

Dear Rocky:

I hate to say it, but it’s time for you to call in Michael Sitrick. He’s expensive, but without peer when it comes to taming the media monsters who would devour your last trace of integrity and knock over your mountains of ambition. Just ask pedophile protector Roger Mahony and newspaper-owner wannabe Ron Burkle, if you want to check references.

Or maybe I can save you his $450-an-hour fee. For starters, come out swinging. Take on those smug licensed and insured drivers in the media. Tell them you’re Rocky Delgadillo, the champion of the little guy. Tell them you’re courting a new constituency: L.A.’s thousands of uninsured motorists.

Sure, at first blush, your admission that you drove without car insurance for more than a year sounds devastating. But how could you truly show empathy for the impoverished without personally experiencing the shame and risk of getting caught breaking a law or two? Besides, you know there are good reasons for not having insurance. Lay a few more of them on us. Do a series of TV commercials and introduce some of your newly claimed down-and-out supporters in segments titled, “I’ve got my excuse, what’s yours?”

And, whatever you do, keep your wife Michelle out of this. You’re right to protect her; of course, by protecting her, you’re protecting yourself. But we don’t want the rabid media hounds going after you for whooping it up at the Democratic Convention in 2004 instead of staying home to take her to the doctor. Let’s not expose any more character flaws.

Rocky, this advice is free. You won’t be receiving any confusing bills at your house. But think about it. Realize that you’re desperate and that your political career is on life support. Even a week ago, you could have dreamed about unseating District Attorney Steve Cooley next year. Now, it’s cause to celebrate if he doesn’t charge you with a crime.

Good luck turning things around. And let me know where I can send a complimentary MTA monthly pass. You can legally share it with your wife.

Yours truly,

Alan

Posted in City Government, media | 9 Comments »

Farewell, Monty’s

June 18th, 2007 by


Soon-to-be the empty Monty’s

Here’s some breaking news off the social-justice and Southern California restaurant beat: Monty’s Steak House, an old money Pasadena hangout for 66 years, is closing Saturday, giving some 25 employees a week to find new jobs.
Come again? The Pasadena institution, where aging and bulging waitresses wore mustard-colored mini skirts until a decade or so ago, gives its loyal workers a measly one-week notice?
It wasn’t supposed to go down like this. The original closing date was July 31, but the deal is closing early, said Monty’s grand-daughter, Debbie Levine, general manager of the restaurant. She said she found out last Friday along with the rest of the crew.
It’s really sad for all of us. We all knew there was something in the works, but none of us realized that it would happen as quickly as it did.”
Levine said she isn’t sure what’s in store for the property on Fair Oaks Avenue, which also houses a a Chinese restaurant and a massage parlor; Monty’s employees said they heard it would become medical offices. Across the street is the monolithic Huntington Hospital, which recently added a huge wing.
Monty’s has been in the Levine family since 1941, when Monty bought an existing bar called Perry’s. The patriarch died about eight years ago and the restaurant is now owned by Debbie’s father, Dennis, and her uncle, Larry. They also own one in Woodland Hills.

Posted in families, Life in general | 19 Comments »

Uneven Justice

June 16th, 2007 by


Durham County D.A. Mike Nifong and Cardinal Roger Mahony

Oh God, why is it so much easier to defrock a sinful lawyer than a man of the cloth, dirtied by decades of deceit and immoral conduct? We beseech you to grant Steve Cooley the strength and wisdom to do something about it. Amen.

Posted in Courts, crime and punishment, Government, Religion | 4 Comments »

Coming Monday: Hey George, Pardon Scooter–Now!!!

June 15th, 2007 by

Supporters in strange places like WitnessLA.com

Ladies and gentleman, cast aside all of your preconceived notions about social justice and wipe away your crocodile tears for the downtrodden and tune in Monday for an appeal to President Bush on behalf of his faithful servant, Scooter. I’m serious.

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

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