Industry stadium executive makes L.A. stadium battle personal

I will get to week in review later, but for now I wanted to bring to your attention a story in the Orange County Register where Industry Stadium spokesman John Semcken took the battle between their plan and AEG’s downtown plan to another level.

In particular, Semcken criticized AEG chief operating executive Tim Leiweke’s credibility.

“Tim’s a bad guy,” Semcken said of the man he once worked side-by-side with to create Staples Center. “He can’t build the building.”

In the early stages of this battle, it appeared the two sides would jockey for an NFL team and may the best man win. Now, it would appear that Ed Roski’s team is fightin’ mad about AEG’s downtown plan. It also points to the clear concern of Roski’s team that a downtown stadium is, on the surface, more appealing to most people – and probably the NFL.

Semcken, and others, have legitimate concerns about AEG’s plan that includes a skeptical look at AEG’s alleged price tag of building a stadium and whether or not downtown can accommodate such a large scale production. But will his personal criticisms of Leiweke overshadow those concerns, and, possibly, serve to make them look petty?

In related news, did you see the collapse of the Metrodome over the weekend? If you haven’t, watch the video. Amazing stuff.

The Vikings, along with the San Diego Chargers, are considered to be the top two teams most likely to move to Los Angeles. Both want new stadiums, and if they don’t get them, could be prime candidates to move to swanky new digs in L.A.

But this may change things. With the roof collapse, this could ensure the Vikings their new stadium, and thus take them out of the running for the L.A. plan.

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Gloria Allred in the news again, vows hungry strike in the name of equal rights


Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred is going hungry.

Allred, who has represented alleged Tiger Woods’ mistress Rachel Uchitel
and Moe the Chimp’s owners St. James and LaDonna Davis, as well as being heavily critical of Octomom Nadya Suleman, is going on a hunger strike to put a focus on the Equal Rights Amendment.

So, while Allred may not have her meals, she sure is getting her filling of media attention – again.

As a side note, I hope I don’t melt down the Internets with this post that includes tags/keywords for Moe the Chimp, a Tiger Woods mistress, Octomom and Gloria Allred. Hat trick!

Oh, and not to forget equal rights for women.

Here is Allred’s statement:

Attorney Gloria Allred announced today that she has begun a 90 meal solid food fast to draw attention to the need to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution which would provide a constitutional guarantee of equal rights for women.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was first proposed by Alice Paul in 1923. Although it was previously introduced into Congress, passed by the U.S. Senate and House of Representative and sent to the states in 1972 for ratification, a time limit was placed on the Amendment and ultimately it was not ratified by enough states before the time limit expired in 1979 or within the time later extended by Congress to 1982. (35 states ratified and 3 more were needed.)

The ERA has since been reintroduced into Congress (HJ.Res.61) but is still in the process of gathering co-sponsors.

Ms. Allred’s 90 meal hunger strike fast, in which she will give up solid food for 30 days, will end on August 26, 2010, Women’s Equality Day. That day marks the 90th anniversary of women’s winning the right to vote in the U.S. by the addition of the 19th Amendment suffrage to the U.S. Constitution.

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Breaking: Judge blocks major elements of Arizona’s immigration law

This just in, a U.S. District Judge has blocked all the important parts of Arizona’s immigration law.

This, most assuredly, isn’t the end of this fight that may end up in the Supreme Court.

Will this end Los Angeles County’s boycott of Arizona?

The story from the Associated Press is below:

PHOENIX – A judge has blocked the most controversial sections of Arizona’s new immigration law from taking effect Thursday, handing a major legal victory to opponents of the crackdown.

The law will still take effect Thursday, but without many of the provisions that angered opponents – including sections that required officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws. The judge also put on hold a part of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton put those controversial sections on hold until the courts resolve the issues.

Opponents say the law will lead to racial profiling and is trumped by federal immigration law.

Read more:

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Are Supervisor Antonovich and Jack LaLanne friends?


Politicians receive gifts from a number of sources. Some are more interesting (such as overseas trips) than others (say, a basket of fruit). One local supervisor received a small, but nonetheless, intriguing one.

Of the three gifts (pictured) Supervisor Michael Antonovich, 70, reported receiving gifts last year, one of them was a $100 juicer from the “godfather of fitness,” 95-year old Jack LaLanne, according to the supervisor’s disclosure forms.

Has anyone tried one of them?

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Father of county sheriff’s spokesman dies at 87


Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actor James Whitmore — who was also the father of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore — died Friday at his Malibu home.

Whitmore appeared in many films, including “The Asphalt Jungle,” “Planet of the Apes” and “The Shawshank Redemption” (one of my most favorite movies).

He was 87.

Steve Whitmore was quoted in an Associated Press article that moved late Friday night:

“My father was a great man and it gives me great joy to speak about a father that always had my back,” said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“He always said the most important thing in life was family. He loved his work, but he always saw it as a way to provide for the most important thing, and that’s family.”

The $1 lease agreement

Industry officials closed escrow this morning on a $4 million, 40,000-square-foot warehouse they intend to lease long-term to the county for a $1 a year so the Industry sheriff’s station can expand.

The vacant warehouse — which is located across the street from the station — has about 6,000 square feet of office space.

Industry Mayor Dave Perez said city officials will likely go down to the county next week to draw up an agreement. The plan is to have the county do some minor renovations inside, and then the Industry sheriff’s can incrementally move over units from their older facility to the warehouse.

Apparently, conditions are so cramped at the Industry station that deputies are changing into their uniforms in the parking lot, Perez said.

I hope they’re hiding behind their patrol cars…….

Block by block reporting

Like many of my compatriots in the journalism biz, I am a bit of a news junkie. And with the formation of the Internet (thanks Al Gore) I am often cruising the net for interesting tidbits and news.

Today, while reading about the downfall of this industry in a story from, I came across an interesting site called Everyblock.

This site is a news delivery internet site that breaks down news delivery to a block by block system. It doesn’t cover San Gabriel cities (yet) but this type of news delivery could be part of all online newspapers in the future (according to me). While it won’t replace the news reporting you are used to, it could be a welcomed accessory to newspapers new online world.

What do you think of the site? Check it out, look around and let me know.

How business-friendly is your city?


Hopefully as business-friendly as La Mirada and Santa Fe Springs, which are finalists in the Most Business Friendly City competition in Los Angeles County, Whittier Daily News reporter Sandra Molina reports.

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. annually designates a city most business friendly in two categories based on population.

Both Santa Fe Springs and La Mirada are competing in the 50,000 and under population category.

This is the first year in the three-year history of the award that there is a distinction between cities with populations of 50,000 and above or under, LAEDC officials said.

The winner will be announced Nov. 17.


Your money

Where is your money going? Well, today, the County Board of Supervisors approved more than $3 million in four settlements.

$850,000 settlement, plus assumption of $56,294 Medi-Cal lien, proposed for medical negligence lawsuit arising from injuries sustained by patient at Dollarhide Health Center in Compton. (Item 58) APPROVED

$850,000 settlement proposed for wrongful death lawsuit concerning allegation of excessive force by sheriff’s deputies during a vehicle pursuit and attempted apprehension. (Item 59) APPROVED

$762,500 settlement, plus assumption of $226,237 Medi-Cal lien, recommended for medical negligence lawsuit arising from treatment received by LAC+USC Medical Center patient. (Item 60) APPROVED

$595,000 settlement proposed for wrongful death lawsuit arising from medical treatment provided at the Los Angeles County Jail and LAC+USC Medical Center. (Item 61) APPROVED

Not as bad as it looks

Turns out that new litigation is not as bad as it sounded. In fact, it could prove to be quite profitable for Rosemead. The closed session meeting tonight will likely be about whether Rosemead will be the newest city to join a lawsuit against Los Angeles County.

Michael Colantuono’s office is so far representing nearly 21 cities in a collective lawsuit against the county. The more cities that join the suit, the cheaper it is for each city. Apparently, this could mean millions back to each city if they win the suit. Alfred Lee reported on this last week.

“At issue is a technicality in property tax administration fees they say has been collectively costing all cities in the county up to $13.4 million a year.”