Earvin "Magic" Johnson has gone from basketball to business. And now he's getting deeper into politics. He's thrown his support to Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks in the June 3 county supervisor race between Parks and state Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Johnson likes Parks' relationship with local businesses in the Second District. "He knows retailers, knows local developers and can work well with all of them," Johnson said in an e-mail interview.
The endorsement isn't exactly a surprise because Johnson and Ridley-Thomas, a former L.A. city councilman, have not always seen eye to eye. They backed rival NFL stadium plans for L.A. in the late 1990s, and in 1998 the two disagreed over redevelopment plans for South L.A.'s Santa Barbara Plaza.
The Santa Monica Pier debuted its new $1.5 million, 90-foot Ferris wheel last week and not without the work of John Zeising, who owns Pirtek Commerce, a hydraulic hose repair and servicing company.
Zeising worked to attach the wheel's motors and power unit over a couple of days in mid-May, and now he'd like to be a customer. "I want to give it a try. I'll take my kids I have an 8- and 10-year-old," he said.
Zeising's company has carved out a niche servicing rides at fairs and mobile carnivals. The payment can be a bit unusual.
"Sometimes the carnival guys pay you in 100 $1 bills for fixing something," he said.
When the trial between toy makers Mattel Inc. and MGA Entertainment Inc. over who owns the rights to Bratz dolls kicked off last week in a Riverside courtroom, the Los Angeles lawyers from each side brought their own cheerleading sections.
Before delivering his opening statement, Mattel lawyer John Quinn introduced his wife and daughter to the jury. MGA lawyer Thomas Nolan followed Quinn, introducing his wife and not one, but two daughters. And MGA's chief executive, Isaac Larian, must have received the memo. His wife and daughter also were in the audience.
West Hollywood's Pride celebration, which takes place June 8-10, is a good time each year for bar owner David Cooley to reflect on the strides the local gay community has made.
That's because the weekend celebration occurs annually around the time he founded the Abbey 18 years ago. The bar has become one of the most popular gay bars in the country.
"When I first moved here the bars were all behind blacked-out windows and closed doors. To see how far we've come, to see the bars are all open and people can really express who they are is fantastic," Cooley said.
Staff reporter Alexa Hyland contributed to this column. Daniel Miller can be reached at email@example.com .
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