A key part of the plan to quell racially charged violence in the Los Angeles County jail system , canceling a contract that allows the state to keep roughly 1,300 prisoners in county facilities , is in jeopardy. The Board of Supervisors voted last month to return the prisoners to the state, saying the move would free space in the overcrowded jails and remove some of the most violent offenders, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Sheriff's Department and the county's chief administrative officer have expressed concerns about the plan. They say that the jails need the $27 million the contract brings in and that removing the state prisoners won't make the jail system safer. Supervisors will revisit the issue on April 4.
Mayor Does Housecleaning, Dumps Donation
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa reported that he returned a $1,000 contribution to lobbyist Arnie Berghoff money that had been donated to his officeholder account, used to defray the incidental costs of being an elected official. Berghoff is the chief lobbyist for Browning-Ferris Industries, which owns Sunshine Canyon Landfill in Granada Hills, a source of years of controversy over using the San Fernando Valley as the city's dumping ground. Villaraigosa has opposed using the landfill during last year's mayoral campaign and now backs a deal to divert some trash from the landfill and advance the city's recycling effort. Villaraigosa's refund comes after the mayor was honored at the annual political roast for diabetes, which Berghoff founded, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported.
NFL's Only Choice May Come Down to Coliseum
A year ago, the NFL was considering four sites to build a stadium in L.A. Soon, it could be down to one, if Anaheim follows the lead of Pasadena and Carson, and looks for something else to do with its time and money, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. That could leave the National Football League with one option, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which in the laborious process of returning pro football to Los Angeles might just constitute progress. But the issue that will likely garner the most attention at the NFL annual meeting, which runs today through Wednesday, will be the search for a new commissioner after Paul Tagliabue's announcement he would retire this summer. Nevertheless, the NFL is ready to move quickly toward a resolution on a stadium site in L.A.
Cable Negotiates to Offer Instant Reruns
Time Warner Cable has initiated talks with the four biggest broadcast networks , CBS, ABC, Fox and NBC , about testing a service that would give viewers access to top programs soon after their broadcast, the New York Times reported. One of the approaches being discussed would offer viewers on-demand access to programs ranked in the top 20 for a fee of $10 a month, on top of the regular bill. Another idea being contemplated would offer prices for individual programs. The new service would also provide a way to replay live events, like the Academy Awards or shows like "American Idol," that figure prominently in Nielsen ratings.
Girl Scouts' Ties to Lawndale Chamber Questioned
Lawndale-area Girl Scouts are caught in a dispute between the city and the Lawndale Chamber of Commerce over how the latter spent profits from selling fireworks in summers past. The Lawndale City Council has twice delayed approval for the chamber to have a fireworks booth this summer unless it can prove that donating money to local Girl Scouts two years in a row satisfied a requirement to sink a quarter of fireworks profits into city youth activities. But because Troop 686 is a Hawthorne-based group, some council members are unsure if pumping money into the organization benefits Lawndale youth activities, as required by city law, the Daily Breeze reported.
Warner Plans China Rollout
Warner Bros. plans to open about 200 stores in China over the coming years as demand for branded merchandise increases in China, Reuters reported. The unit of Time Warner Inc. opened its first China store in Shanghai on Sunday. It is operated by Hutchison Harbor Ring, a subsidiary of conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. The companies plan to open the stores in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao, starting in Shanghai's commercial centers and moving on to other cities, including Beijing. Warner, Disney and their competitors are chasing a market where consumers are expected to spend about 100 billion yuan ($12.5 billion) on toys by 2010.
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