Barry Munitz, president and chief executive of the Getty Trust, is making the rounds to promote the new Getty Villa in Malibu, although he still has plenty to say about recent articles in the Los Angeles Times that have portrayed him as a man of grand appetites and lavish spending.
During a speech to Financial Executives International at the Jonathan Club, Munitz joked that the Times had a "fixation" with his life.
"It's obviously awkward and unpleasant but it comes with the job," he said of articles portraying the Getty as plagued with internal politics. "You don't want to get in a pissing contest with the people who buy printer's ink in bulk."
Munitz then shifted attention to the $288 million, eight-year renovation of the Getty Villa, which opens on Jan. 28. The changes include an outdoor theater where classic Greek and Roman tragedies will be performed, two newly-planted gardens, skylights throughout its grand halls and gyroscope pedestals specifically designed to protect sculptures from falling in an earthquake.
Munitz also said he has been talking with executives at the New Orleans Museum of Art about providing funds to get the city-financed museum back on its feet after Hurricane Katrina.
- Barry Sanders, executive counsel at Latham & Watkins who is chairman of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, wants to bring the Olympics back to Los Angeles in 2016.
"This is teed up in the near future, so we're not too early on this," he said, noting that the U.S. Olympic Committee has to select one city by 2007, if L.A. plans to bid at all. The selection process will take place next year.
The International Olympic Committee is asking that bidding cities provide a guarantee that they will cover any deficit, which could be an advantage for Los Angeles, which managed the 1984 games without running a deficit.
The local committee plans to name four new directors to join a 60-member board that already includes Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Steven B. Sample, president of USC and Olympian Janet Evans.
- Les Evans, city manager of Rancho Palos Verdes, said he expects Donald Trump's development group to resubmit plans to build 225 bungalows on Trump National Golf Course, despite vocal opposition from city residents and City Council members.
Vinnie Stellio, Trump's local representative, pulled plans for a hotel to be built on the course after presenting the idea to the City Council. Angry residents spent more than an hour complaining that more development would add to the peninsula's traffic woes.
Though Trump National initially was set to open to the public in October, plans have been set back at least two weeks for reseeding the grass. Residents and golfers have complained that Trump National's fairways are so tight and have so many areas staked off for gnatcatcher protection that playing there can be a nightmare.
*Staff reporter Kate Berry's column Inside Track will be available in the Oct. 31 edition of the Business Journal.
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