Closing the Circle
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One thing LA Observed likes to do, on the web and on KCRW, is to circle back on news stories that deserve an update. The news media often lets that slip. I try to close the loops when I can, feeling that listeners and readers as sophisticated news consumers appreciate that.
So Sunday was the Super Bowl -- and the television ratings were huge. It's a good time to review what's happening around the NFL returning to LA. And it seems from the weekend body language as if nothing is new. Neither Tim Leiweke of AEG nor Ed Roski of Majestic Realty, the two men most crucial to getting an NFL stadium built somewhere in Southern California, attended the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, according to reports. That suggests there was no pressing need for meetings with NFL officials. The league's commissioner said recently that expansion to 34 teams might be the path to putting a team (or two) in Los Angeles County, and then seems to recant that. In the meantime, buzz continues around teams that may wish to move to a new stadium in the LA area, including, ironically, the Rams and the Raiders. Both teams fled town in the 1990s, and probably regret that now.
But there was movement on one front. AEG released designs for the new convention center wing it would build along with Farmers Field adjacent to the Staples Center and the existing Los Angeles Convention. Instant reviews have been mixed: Convention Center designs released to mixed reviews.
On today's LA Observed commentary on KCRW, Lisa Napoli and I also talk about the feds' decision to announce that no charges would be filed against bicycle racing champion Lance Armstrong out of a Los Angeles grand jury and investigation. It's an unusual step for prosecutors to announce that they are NOT filing charges, but in this case was the right thing to do. Armstrong has been under a cloud since the existence of the investigation became public, although he has consistently said he broke no laws regarding the use of performance enhancing drugs.
Now the questions should turn to CBS and 60 Minutes, which went on the air last year with an-ex teammate saying he used PEDs with Armstrong. CBS billed the report as changing the history of sport. Well, for now Armstrong comes out looking like the victim of a witch hunt by a zealous bureaucrat and an ex-friend looking to soften his own charges..
On the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Rancho Park that was slated to close: it has. But there is some good news about bookstores. The Last Bookstore on Spring Street downtown has made a global list of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, posted by Flavorwire. It's one of only two bookstores in the U.S. to make the list. Nice company to be in.