WitnessLA and I will be on hiatus until next Monday, Jan. 4, in order that I may spend some much-needed time focusing on a personal writing project.
From time to time during the week, I will likely put up mini posts. And I’ll tweet whenvever the spirit moves. And if something truly unignorable happens, I’ll reappear. But mostly I’ll be hiding out.
(Feel free to keep up the conversation in the interim, though. )
2. ANDRE BIROTTE SELECTED AS U.S. ATTORNEY: WOOO-HOOO!
It was announced late last week that Andre Birotte Jr., who for the last six years has served as the Los Angeles Police Department’s inspector general, has been tapped by President Obama to become the top-of-the-heap federal prosecutor in Los Angeles—AKA the new U.S. Attorney. This fact has had me cheering loudly all weekend.
(Okay, part of the cheering might have been a result of those Stoli and ginger beer drinks my niece-in-law was mixing on Christmas eve. But most of it was because of the news that Andre Birotte was, indeed, as many of us had hoped, the official U.S attorney nominee.)
3. A GOOD CONGRESSIONAL GANG BILL—FOR A CHANGE
Congressman Bobby Scott’s Youth Promise Act, is one of those rare species of legislation: A well written bill. More than that, it’s a well written bill having to do with gang violence reduction, which makes it about as usual as a verified Yeti sighting.
And it’s picking up steam. Over half the members of the U.S. House – 234 Congress members- have signed on as co-sponsors of Scott’s bill.
But, as the Virginia-Pilot reports, there are still naysayers who favor more of the kind of get-tough policies that have not proven to be effective in the past. (Read the article. The V-Pilot does a nice job.)
4. HOMEBOY INDUSTRIES IN THE SLUMS OF ALABAMA
For the third year in a row, Homeboy Industries has sent some of its former homeboy staff to Pritchard, Alabama, to work with young gang members and wannabees in this poorest of communities.
The LA Times’ Katy Newton has produced a stunningly good multimedia package on the trip and some of the personalities.
It is really, really worth your time to watch.
Then, after you finish with the video, click on the essay written by Trayvon Earl Jeffers, a tall, gangly former homeboy with a smile as big as the world who was among the Homeboy group who originally went to Alabama.
Then click on the Homicide Report’s account of Trayvon’s murder.
4. IDIOTIC FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT DRIVES AWAY GOOD COPS.
Okay, one more important read I had to add. Joel Rubin and Scott Gold have the story.