Today’s News: Jerry Buss dies; Mayoral endorsements; WGA picks ‘Argo,’ ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Written by


King of hoops. Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss has died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center following a battle with cancer. Buss, who was either 79 or 80 (there’s some dispute about his birth date), earned a Ph.D. in chemistry and made a fortune in real estate before buying the Lakers and Los Angeles Kings for $67 million in 1979 from Jack Kent Cooke. Dr. Buss, as he was known, was one of the most successful owners ever in American professional sports. The Lakers won 10 championships under Buss, more than any other team during that span. And Buss, with his penchant for glitzy socializing and dancing women, is credited with ushering in the modern era of the NBA. L.A. Times

Mayoral backing. Endorsements are coming fast and furious in the L.A. Mayor’s race. City Councilman Eric Garcetti snagged a big one this weekend when he got the nod from the L.A. Times. The newspaper calls Garcetti the candidate with the most “potential to rise to the occasion.” City Controller Wendy Greuel, meantime, has picked up the endorsement of the Los Angeles Daily News. And Kevin James, the sole Republican in the race, has the endorsement of Richard Riordan, L.A.’s last Republican mayor. L.A. Times, L.A. Daily News

Cortines case. An L.A. Superior Court judge has thrown out a sexual harassment lawsuit against former L.A. schools superintendent Ramon Cortines. Scott Graham, a real estate manager with the district, claimed Cortines repeatedly tried to initiate sexual contact during a weekend stay at the superintendent’s Kern County ranch in 2010. The judge did not rule on the merits of the case, but said that Graham missed the six-month deadline for filing his claim. Cortines, who retired in 2011, has said that he and Graham engaged in consensual “adult behavior.” L.A. Daily News

Toll lanes. Metro officials are proposing to build express toll lanes on the Golden Street Freeway in Santa Clarita. Plans already exist for carpool lanes along that stretch of the 5, but Metro officials say switching to toll lanes would speed up construction by decades. The toll lanes would extend in both directions between the Antelope Valley Freeway (14) and Parker Road in Castaic. Vehicles with three or more people would be able to use the lanes for free, and everyone else would pay. The Source

WGA Awards. The writers of “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo” took top honors at last night’s Writer’s Guild Awards, the former for best original screenplay and the latter for best adapted screenplay. Television winners included “Girls,” “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men” and “Modern Family.” The award show was held simultaneously in L.A. and New York. The Hollywood Reporter