Black leaders today demanded that the entertainment industry--even rappers--stop using the "N" word, as the flap continues over Michael Richards' stand-up racism. Plus, they're as much a symbol of Los Angeles as is Hollywood, but has the era of palm trees come to an end?
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Michael Richards was a supporting actor on Seinfeld, but he's the main figure in the latest celebrity scandal. The web sites YouTube and TMZ are still running the cell-phone video of his race-baiting rant at West Hollywood's Laugh Factory--even after Richards apologized on David Letterman's TV show and the Rev. Jesse Jackson's radio program. Today in Los Angeles, Jackson and black comedian Paul Mooney joined Congresswoman Maxine Waters in demanding that nobody--not even rappers--use the "N" word again. We hear two views.
Only one kind of Palm tree is indigenous to Southern California. Others, imported since the Spanish missions, were established in the 18th Century. Canary Island Date Palms are still so popular in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and the Arizona suburbs they can go for $20,000 when mature. Most of the local palms were planted early in the 20th Century, and in preparation for the 1932 Olympics. But now they are threatened by a deadly fungus--and by city planners who don't plan to replace them.