Lots of big names on list of potential Clippers buyers

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There is joy in Clipperville: Fans are celebrating NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s lifetime ban of Clipper owner Donald Sterling for making offensive comments about blacks in a secretly recorded conversation. Spirits were further lifted when the Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors last night to take a 3 games to 2 in their first-round playoff series. Some big names are already expressing interest in buying the team. But divesting Sterling of the Clippers may not be so easy. Legal experts say the notoriously combative businessman could drag the process out for years if he fights his ban in court. If Sterling does sell, it appears he will have no shortage of suitors: The L.A. Times says entertainment mogul David Geffen wants to buy the Clippers. Real Estate developer Rick Caruso is also interested. Magic Johnson – who teamed with Guggenheim Partners to buy the L.A. Dodgers – is interested in well. Even boxing superstar Floyd Maywether Jr. wants to put together a group to buy the team.

LASMOGAn annual report card from the American Lung Assn. says Los Angeles once again has the most polluted air of any city in the country. Central Valley towns like Fresno and Bakersfield also ranked at the top of the list. The Lung Assn. says levels of ozone – the main ingredient in smog – exceed federal health standards an average of 122 days a year in Los Angeles. The L.A. basin tied for third in dangers posed by fine particle pollution, or soot. There is some good news: The Lung Assn. says Los Angeles has cut its ozone levels by one third in the past 15 years. And soot levels have dropped by half during that period.

The family of a Washington State man mistakenly shot and killed by LA County sheriff’s deputies earlier this month has filed a $25 million claim against the department. John Winkler, a Washington native, moved to L.A. six months ago to pursue a career in film and TV production. He and two other men were allegedly taken hostage by a man named Alexander McDonald at an apartment in West Hollywood. When deputies arrived, McDonald began stabbing the men. Winkler was shot by deputies when he and another hostage ran out of the apartment in an attempt to get away. Sheriff’s officials have admitted to mistaking Winkler for the attacker.

elephantsThe L.A. City Council will consider an ordinance today that would ban goads and prods used to train elephants and other show animals. The council voted 13-0 last fall to ask the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would phase in a ban over three years.Councilman Mitch O’Farrell calls bullhooks “cruel and inhumane.” Ringling Brothers – the only circus that brings elephants to the area – says the proposal would effectively bans circuses from performing with elephants here. The company says its methods are humane and that the proposed ban is driven by a small group of activists.

railwayA Ventura County railway that’s a popular filming locale could be forced to shut down because of a dispute between the operator and transportation officials. The Fillmore & Western Railway Co. line runs 30 miles between Ventura and the L.A. County line, with a collection of trains that date back to the 19th Century. But Ventura County transportation officials want to evict the company and shut down the line. The county owns the tracks and says they are too expensive to maintain. The owner of Fillmore & Western isn’t going quietly, though. He’s filed a lawsuit alleging the county breached his contract. The railway has been featured in such films as “Seabiscuit,” “Water for Elephants,” and “The Lone Ranger.”