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Los Angeles Times – February 07, 2018

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$2.75 DESIGNATED AREAS HIGHER
© 2018 WSCE
latimes.com
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2018
Toyota failed
to correct
Prius defect,
lawsuit says
Local dealer reports
scores of post-recall
breakdowns in 2010-14
models. Automaker
rejects his allegations.
By Ralph Vartabedian
Photographs by
Brian van der Brug Los Angeles Times
MARIA BARRANCAS cries during a phone call in Mexico’s Jalisco state. Barrancas and her partner, both
living in the U.S. illegally, returned to Mexico and settled in Tlaquepaque with their kids Luz and Alejandro.
Returning to Mexico
with sadness, resolve
Mother fights to feel at home after self-deporting
By Brittny Mejia
TLAQUEPAQUE, Mexico — Maria
Barrancas stood in the backyard of her
mother-in-law’s home, alone but for a
pig and some hens. It had been about a
week since she packed up her life in
Gardena and left for Mexico with her
partner and their two children.
There, in the small, dusty Sinaloa
town of El Aguaje, the isolation hit her.
Her three older children were still in
California. She was in a country she
hardly remembered, having left for the
U.S. 32 years ago at age 15.
She broke down in tears but wiped
them away before walking inside to her
family. She didn’t want them to see that
she was afraid.
Back in their two-bedroom apartment in Gardena, Barrancas and Ricardo Madrigal had dreamed of one
day owning a home nearby. They made
money buying and selling used cars.
Every other day, Barrancas would see
her then-21-year-old daughter, Cynthia, and granddaughter Hailee, who
lived five minutes away.
[See Self-deporting, A5]
BARRANCAS, looking over Luz’s homework, left three adult children in California to flee anti-immigrant fervor and job scarcity.
After Toyota issued a 2016
recall to fix a key electronic
component on its Priuses,
one of California’s largest
dealers said the cars were
still coming in after overheating and leaving drivers
stranded in traffic.
Toyota said the problem
on model years 2010-14 had
been taken care of with a
software change.
But having seen more
than 100 post-recall failures,
Roger Hogan — whose family owns Claremont Toyota
and Capistrano Toyota —
warned customers about
the issue and refused to resell used Priuses he’d gotten
as trade-ins. Today, he has
70 of the cars, worth $1 million, parked at his dealerships.
Last year, Hogan filed a
lawsuit in Orange County
Superior Court alleging that
the Prius hybrid system has
an unresolved safety defect
that could leave cars without power. And he filed a
complaint with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s office of defect investigations, telling
the agency in a Dec. 14 letter
that “there are lives needlessly at risk.”
“Our responsibility begins and ends with our customers’ safety,” said Hogan,
former president of the
Southern California Toyota
Dealers Assn., who has
owned Toyota sales lots for
nearly a quarter of a century.
In a statement Tuesday,
Toyota officials rejected
Hogan’s allegations.
“We believe Mr. Hogan’s
complaint is entirely without merit, and we intend to
Fundraising at USC
plunges amid scandals
Contributions decline
22% in the second half
of last year as the
university faced crises
at its medical school.
By Harriet Ryan,
Matt Hamilton
and Paul Pringle
USC, known nationally
for its aggressive fundraising operation, saw contributions tumble in the second
half of 2017, a period in which
scandals roiled its medical
school.
An internal accounting
reviewed by The Times
shows donations to the university were down nearly
$100 million between July
and December of last year
compared with the same period in 2016. The falloff represents a 22% decline and was
particularly severe at the
Keck School of Medicine,
where donations dropped
55%, or roughly $45 million.
Two weeks after the accounting period’s July 1
start, The Times reported
that former Keck Dean Carmen Puliafito had used
methamphetamine
and
other drugs while running
the medical school and
treating patients in a campus eye clinic. USC subsequently
acknowledged
that President C. L. Max
Nikias had kept Puliafito, a
prolific fundraiser, in the
post despite years of complaints from faculty and staff
about his behavior.
In the fall, Puliafito’s replacement as dean was
forced out after The Times
learned that USC had settled a sexual harassment
claim against him, and the
top university fundraiser for
its health sciences program
[See USC, A12]
Sale of L.A. Times in works
Billionaire Soon-Shiong is in talks to buy the paper
By Meg James and
James Rufus Koren
Who is Patrick
Soon-Shiong?
Los Angeles biotech billionaire
Patrick
SoonShiong is nearing a deal to
buy the Los Angeles Times
and the San Diego UnionTribune from their owner,
Tronc, according to two people familiar with the talks.
The nearly $500-million
cash deal, if consummated,
would return The Times to
local ownership after 18
years and end a tumultuous
relationship with its corpo-
Doctor who is in talks to
buy The Times has made
billions through medical
research and other ventures. PAGE A8
rate parent in Chicago. A
sale also would represent a
major strategy shift for
Tronc, which has said that
better promoting the Los
Angeles Times brand and
journalism was a key to its
corporate growth.
A deal had not been
reached Tuesday afternoon,
though both sides were
working furiously to complete the transaction and an
announcement could come
as early as Wednesday, said
those sources, who were not
authorized to speak about
the negotiations publicly
and requested anonymity.
The sources cautioned that
the deal could fall apart at
the last minute. Tronc and
Soon-Shiong declined to
comment.
[See L.A. Times, A8]
Joe Burbank Orlando Sentinel
A giant leap for SpaceX
The crowd cheers during the first launch of the
Falcon Heavy rocket from the Kennedy Space
Center in Florida. SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private
space company in Hawthorne, hopes Tuesday’s
successful test will bring more commercial and
national security missions. BUSINESS, C1
Child molester’s
release halted
An appeals court will
review the case of George
Vasquez, who has spent
17 years in custody. Prosecutors say he’s still a
danger. CALIFORNIA, B1
Weather
Sunny, warm
and windy.
L.A. Basin: 81/56. B6
defend vigorously against
his inaccurate and misleading allegations,” the company said. “Our focus remains on the safety and security of our customers.”
Hogan filed his suit,
which alleges breach of contract and fraud, in Orange
County Superior Court last
July and amended the allegations in November. Toyota sought to have the case
thrown out on legal grounds,
but Judge Peter Wilson
ruled in December that it
could go forward and set a
trial for January 2019. The existence of the suit has not
been previously reported.
Toyota officially recog[See Prius, A9]
Worries
swirl
despite
stocks’
rebound
Dow regains 567
points. But some
analysts believe the
Trump tax cuts might
overheat economy.
By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON — President Trump has boasted
that the Republican tax cuts
would add rocket fuel to the
economy.
But rockets can accidentally explode.
Some analysts believe
the extra stimulus of the tax
cuts, which will boost wage
growth and government
borrowing in an already
strong economy, helped ignite the recent stock market
volatility that continued
Tuesday with another wild
session on Wall Street.
One day after a record
point drop in the Dow Jones
industrial average, the index
of top stocks went on a
roller-coaster ride that ultimately erased nearly half of
Monday’s losses after bargain-hunters swooped in.
The gyrations had Treasury Secretary Steven T.
Mnuchin warily checking his
iPhone even as he tried to assure lawmakers there was
nothing to worry about.
“I’m not overly concerned
about the market volatility,”
Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee
on Tuesday. “The fundamentals are quite strong.”
But concerns that rising
wages, soaring federal deficits and projected increased
government spending will
trigger higher inflation and
interest rates helped send
the Dow plunging — down
more than 500 points —
when the market opened
Tuesday morning.
The index then erased
the losses and gained more
than 300 points, before toggling between gains and
losses and ending with a
rally.
The Dow closed up 567.02
points, or 2.3%, at 24,912.77.
The broader Standard &
Poor’s 500 index gained 1.7%
and the technology-heavy
[See Stocks, A7]
U.S. trade deficit
hits 10-year high
The gap grew 12% last
year to $566 billion, the
most since 2008, providing fresh grist for Trump
critics. BUSINESS, C1
A2
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M
BACK STORY
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images
THE ISLAND of Male, capital of the Maldives, where President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom this week
refused to comply with a Supreme Court order to release political prisoners and declared a state of emergency.
Picturesque trouble spot
How politics spoiled the Maldives and its $20,000-a-night villas
By Shashank Bengali
MUMBAI, India — Its
shimmering coral islands
scattered like gold dust in
the Indian Ocean, boasting $20,000-a-night villas
perched on crystal-clear waters, the archipelago nation
of the Maldives is seen more
often in travel magazines for
global one-percenters than
in the news pages.
But the white-sand paradise finds itself in turmoil
after President Abdulla
Yameen Abdul Gayoom this
week refused to comply with
a Supreme Court order to release political prisoners and
declared a state of emergency that has drawn international condemnation.
On Monday night, security forces raided the Supreme
Court building and arrested
the chief justice and another
judge. Then, on Tuesday, the
court’s remaining three
judges annulled the earlier
ruling on the prisoner release.
The constitutional crisis
marked the most dramatic
turn in Yameen’s messy five
years in power, which have
included claims that his government stole millions in
tourism revenue, an explosion aboard the presidential
speedboat, his predecessor
being forced into exile and
the imprisonment of nearly
every politician who could
challenge him in elections
due this year.
Here’s more on South
Asia’s newest — and most
picturesque — trouble spot:
What is the
Maldives?
If you’re unfamiliar with
the Maldives, it might be
because you can’t afford to
go there.
It’s a chain of about 1,200
tiny coral islands south of
India that are formed by the
tips of a vast underwater
mountain range. Most of the
islands are uninhabited,
and together they make up
just 115 square miles of land
area, the rough equivalent
of Fresno.
Islam is the official religion, and the population of
less than half a million lives
in stark contrast to the
holiday makers who swim,
sunbathe and sip cocktails
in private pools.
Tourism revenue from
the luxurious resorts built
on dozens of once deserted
islands — many with overwater bungalows where
guests can dive from their
rooms right into the ocean
— has, nevertheless, given
Maldivians the highest
standard of living in the
region. The gross domestic
product per capita is more
than $10,000, nearly on par
with Turkey.
What is the political
crisis about?
Behind the unspoiled
beauty is a political system
struggling to emerge from
decades of strongman
rule.
Yameen is the half
brother of Maumoon Abdul
Gayoom, who ruled the
Maldives with an iron fist for
30 years until losing a 2008
election. Since coming to
power, Yameen has rolled
back nascent democratic
reforms, systematically
Mohamed Sharuhaan Associated Press
A POLICE OFFICER charges toward opposition protesters early Tuesday in
Male. The state of emergency declaration has drawn international condemnation.
sidelined political opponents, stifled protests and
closed independent news
outlets with the help of an
often pliant parliament and
judiciary.
His predecessor, former
President Mohamed
Nasheed, was convicted in
2015 of terrorism charges
after opponents said he
misused military power to
secure the arrest of a prominent judge. Nasheed’s trial
was criticized by international human rights
groups as politically motivated.
Nasheed, who was allowed to leave the Maldives
on medical grounds and
later granted asylum in
Britain, called Tuesday for
India to send in troops to
free political prisoners and
for the U.S. to impose economic sanctions on Yameen’s
government.
“President Yameen has
illegally declared martial
law and overrun the state,”
Nasheed said in a statement. “We must remove him
from power.”
Nasheed is one of nine
politicians whose convictions were overturned Oct. 1
by a unanimous ruling of the
country’s Supreme Court. It
was a surprising reversal
after the court had been
instrumental in some of
Yameen’s major power
plays.
Last year, when
Yameen’s slender majority
in the 85-seat parliament
was threatened after 12
lawmakers resigned from
his party, the court ruled
that the defectors must be
stripped of their seats.
The court’s ruling last
week reinstated the lawmakers, raising the possibility that the parliament
could start impeachment
proceedings against
Yameen. But two judges
were arrested over the weekend, and security forces
have sealed off the parliament building.
Why did allies turn
on Yameen?
The president has been
as ruthless with friends as
with enemies.
Former Vice President
Ahmed Adeeb was once his
right-hand man. At 33,
Adeeb was too young to hold
the position under the Mal-
divian Constitution, which
had an age requirement of
at least 35, so Yameen had
the law changed to accommodate him.
On Sept. 28, 2015, an
explosion occurred on
Yameen’s presidential
speedboat as he returned
from the airport, slightly
wounding his wife and two
aides. Although initial reports suggested the blast
could have been an engine
failure, the government
asserted it was an assassination attempt and asked
international law enforcement agencies, including
the FBI, to study the cause
of the blast.
The FBI found “no conclusive evidence” of a bomb.
But Yameen’s government
rejected that finding and
pointed the finger at Adeeb.
In 2016, Adeeb was convicted
of planting a bomb on the
speedboat and sentenced to
15 years in prison.
In 2016, an Al Jazeera
investigation reported that
Yameen and Adeeb had
conspired to loot $79 million
in tourism funds from the
national treasury, some of it
delivered in giant bags to
Yameen’s private residence.
Adeeb was convicted of
embezzlement and had his
prison term extended.
Yameen escaped punishment, although he
acknowledged last year that
the money he received was
“not halal,” or permissible.
Why is the Maldives
strategically
important?
Analysts see the island
nation as part of a broader
battle for influence in the
Indian Ocean between India
and China, which has systematically been increasing
its foothold in countries
such as Sri Lanka,
Bangladesh and Bhutan.
China has flooded the Maldives with infrastructure
loans and now owns the vast
majority of the country’s
debt.
Yameen pushed through
changes in a tourism law
that allowed the government to sell entire islands
without bids. Several islands were granted to China
for development of a freetrade zone, and Saudi Arabia reportedly sought to
create a multibillion-dollar
project on one atoll that
critics said would damage
the environment and increase the influence of conservative Islam on the
mainly moderate Sunni
archipelago.
In recent years, dozens of
Maldivians have left the
country to join radical
groups such as Islamic
State. Yameen’s opponents
say his government has
been too focused on consolidating power to deal with
the threat of radicalization.
What will happen
next?
Speaking Tuesday on
state TV, Yameen described
the initial court ruling as an
attempted coup.
“This state of emergency
is the only way I can determine how deep this plot,
this coup, goes,” he said,
according to the Associated
Press.
As Yameen’s party held
an upbeat rally Tuesday
evening, riot police broke up
a gathering of opposition
demonstrators, the Maldives Independent newspaper reported.
The U.S. State Department has denounced
Yameen and called on his
government to “restore
constitutionally guaranteed
rights of the people and
institutions of the Maldives.”
China, the No. 1 source of
tourists to the islands, told
its citizens to postpone their
trips but did not criticize
the government.
With the court ruling
nullified, Yameen appeared
to have won some breathing
room.
“He has the military
behind him ... and his party’s support also looks quite
solid,” said Abbas Faiz, an
independent analyst who
follows the Maldives. “He
also has a trump card in the
form of the gangs he has
maintained, a nasty feared
force armed with knives and
sticks.
“The chances of him
losing are quite slim at the
moment unless China
changes course, which is
unlikely.”
shashank.bengali
@latimes.com
Twitter: @SBengali
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M
A3
THE WORLD
6.4 quake rocks Taiwan, killing 2
Aftershocks continue
on the east coast.
Nearly 180 people are
missing or trapped.
By Ralph Jennings
TAIPEI, Taiwan — A
powerful earthquake struck
the east coast of Taiwan late
Tuesday, killing two people
and causing buildings to tilt
at dangerous angles as aftershocks continued into the
night.
As daybreak arrived
Wednesday, authorities said
177 people remained missing
or trapped, including 147
people who were believed to
be in a residential building
that was leaning so precipitously that rescue workers
were unable to go in. Firefighters were evaluating
whether to prop up the
building with steel.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the quake
measured magnitude 6.4,
but that the shaking was felt
as intensity level 7. That is
considered a strong quake
that can cause considerable
damage in poorly built or
badly designed structures.
The quake was centered
6.2 miles beneath the island’s Pacific coast off
Hualien County on the east
coast. It was felt most
strongly in Hualien and
neighboring Yilan County,
although buildings also
shook in the capital, Taipei,
about 35 miles away. The two
deaths occurred in Hualien
County; no details about the
victims were immediately
announced.
“We believe at this time
we need to make sure we’re
making preparations for
Hualien, providing enough
medication and help for citizens so they can be safe as
soon as possible,” Taiwanese Premier William Lai said
in a live YouTube video after
Tian Jun-hsiung Associated Press
THE TEMBLOR damaged buildings in Hualien County and left one of them leaning so precipitously that
rescue workers were unable to go in. Taiwan sent more than 400 military personnel to assist in rescue efforts.
the quake. “With such a large
earthquake a lot of things
will definitely happen.”
A 10-story hotel partly
collapsed, damaging the
first floor and a basement
level. At least 24 people were
trapped inside as of 2 a.m.
Wednesday, a local fire department representative in
Hualien County said. A
restaurant and a hospital
were among other structures damaged, as was the
residential building where
the 147 people were believed
to be stuck.
The National Fire Agency
also reported two damaged
bridges and cracks in a section of road.
As of 3 a.m. Wednesday,
150 people had been rescued,
the county fire department
representative said. Authorities said 214 people were
hurt, and all hospitals in
Hualien County had admit-
ted people with minor injuries.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense sent more
than 400 military personnel
to help firefighters rescue
people at the hotel. The government warned people in
Hualien to leave any unsafe
buildings, such as those with
existing cracks, in case of
aftershocks.
Taiwan is in a seismically
active zone, part of a “ring of
fire” that arcs across the Pacific Ocean and south along
the West Coast of North
America.
The island sits on the
border of the Eurasian and
Philippine plates. On Taiwan’s west side, the Eurasian plate is moving underneath the Philippine plate;
but off the northeastern
coast
where
Tuesday’s
earthquake hit, the situation is reversed and the Phil-
War in Gaza Strip feared
By Noga Tarnopolsky
and Rushdi abu Alouf
GAZA CITY — If one
thing unites Israel and its Islamist archenemy Hamas,
the militia that governs the
Gaza Strip, it is the prospect
of tens of thousands of angry
Palestinians demonstrating
at the fence that marks the
border between the two.
For Hamas, this would
symbolize loss of control
over a territory it has ruled
with an iron fist since 2007,
years that have included
three armed conflicts with
Israel and the torture and
summary killing of people
identified as opponents of
the militant organization.
For Israel’s army, the possibility of a protest in which
thousands of unarmed civilians attempt to storm the
border or even, in some projections, attempt to uproot
the fence offers two nightmare scenarios: the army
acting with force against civilians, or thousands of
Gazans streaming into
southern Israel.
Such a shift in the status
quo in Gaza could also trigger another war between Israel and Hamas — something that neither side appears to want but that analysts fear could be triggered
by a violent incident.
After nine weeks of Friday protests at the fence following President Trump’s
decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,
each side faces the very real
possibility that the next “day
of rage,” as the demonstrations are called, could
escalate from hundreds to
thousands of protesters.
The Trump administration’s subsequent decision
to suspend $65 million of
funds to the United Nations
Relief and Works Agency, an
organization responsible for
most of the health, education and welfare services in
Gaza, has further exacerbated tension.
“You have a desperate
feeling here,” Sami Obeid, an
analyst for Gaza’s Al Manar
radio station, said in a telephone interview. He called
his home “the biggest jail on
Earth.”
“People feel that if
Hamas doesn’t solve our
problems, we’ll come to the
fence and lift it. Instead of
one or two hundred people,
you’ll have entire families
with their kids, thousands of
people who have no other
option,” Obeid said.
And while neither side
may want a war, that doesn’t
guarantee that one won’t
erupt.
Gen. Yom-Tov Samia,
who retired from the Israeli
army as head of its southern
command, noted that before
each of Israel’s three recent
wars with Hamas, in 2009,
2012 and 2014, “all analysts
agreed they were completely
unwanted by all sides.”
“Sometimes you have a
confluence of circumstances
that leads to war without
anyone actively wanting
war,” he said in an interview.
“Hamas doesn’t want
war,” Obeid said. “Gazans
don’t want war. Israel
doesn’t want war. But people are starting to think that
maybe a war will change the
situation, maybe it’ll get better. Anything.”
On Sunday, the Londonbased
Arabic-language
newspaper Al Hayat reported that Hamas was preparing for “imminent war”
with Israel that could break
out as soon as this week.
According to the newspaper, Hamas’ political
leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, assessed the chance of
conflict “at 95%.”
That’s not the word on
the street in Gaza, for the
most part. People are desperate but have seen enough
war to be wary of another.
“I think the chances of a
war are limited because of
the bad humanitarian crisis
in Gaza. Any Israeli escalation will aggravate the crisis,
which the international
community will not accept,”
said Naji Louh, 36, who owns
a clothing shop in the central Gaza City market and
supports a family of five. He
called the business climate
in Gaza a “disaster” and
added, “War will make it
worse.”
Hussam Dajani, a professor of political science at
Ummah University in Gaza,
said that “the deterioration
of the humanitarian situation in Gaza may push
Gazans and the resistance
movement” — as Islamist
militias are referred to — “to
explode,” but that Israel has
strategic reasons to try to
avoid a conflict.
Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu said
Sunday that “Israel is not interested in war but will do
everything to defend itself.”
Almost 2 million Palestinians live in the Gaza
Strip, a tiny territory surrounded by Egypt, Israel
and the Mediterranean Sea.
Egypt’s border with Gaza
is closed and Israel allows
only trucks carrying food or
other humanitarian necessities in and out.
Last week, an emergency
meeting of the “ad hoc liaison committee of the international donor group for
Palestine” was convened in
Brussels. It included representatives of the United
States, Israel, the Palestinian Authority; the foreign
ministers of Jordan, Egypt
and Morocco; and senior officials from four Mideast nations that do not recognize
Israel: Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
Israel presented a $1-billion plan to rehabilitate the
strip, with one condition:
that the Palestinian Authority take over from Hamas.
That is unlikely. The most
recent reconciliation agreement between Hamas and
the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority
government was announced
with great fanfare in October but has since foundered.
The European Union announced a $52.7-million assistance package for Palestinians. In an apparent jab
at Trump’s Jerusalem decision, $18.6 million of that is
destined “to preserve the
Palestinian character of
East Jerusalem.”
The rest is allocated for
“a democratic and accountable
Palestinian
state
through targeted policy reform.”
It is unclear whether any
of the money will be directed
to Gaza.
Special correspondents
Tarnopolsky and Abu Alouf
reported from Jerusalem
and Gaza City, respectively.
ippine plate is moving
underneath the Eurasian,
according to U.S. Geological
Survey geologist Devin
McPhillips.
The city of Hualien is located just above a thrust
fault, and also above a big
pile of river sediment.
“These sorts of pretty
loose sand, silt and gravel
deposits” — not unlike the
L.A. Basin — “can really interact in interesting and
sometimes dangerous and
unpredictable ways with
seismic waves,” McPhillips
said. “Everywhere in Taiwan
is really tectonically active.
All of these plates are moving pretty fast.”
A magnitude 7.6 earthquake in 1999 killed 2,400
people in Taiwan. A magnitude 6.4 quake in February
2016 toppled a building in the
city of Tainan in southern
Taiwan and killed 116 people.
Army Col. Huang Chungchang, director of a military
relief brigade at the disaster
site, said he was stationed in
Tainan in 2016, and immediately thought of that experience Tuesday. Based on
that, he said, “when we knew
about the collapsed building
here, we mobilized people as
fast as possible.”
After looking at photos of
the damage in Taiwan on
Tuesday, California seismic
safety commissioner Kit
Miyamoto said it appears
that buildings failed because of brittle concrete construction as well as flimsy
ground stories. Similar failures were widely seen during
the Mexico earthquake that
struck in September, said
Miyamoto, a structural engineer.
“Taiwan is a very advanced country as far as
earthquakes
are
con-
cerned,” Miyamoto said.
“The technology is as good
as … California or Japan.”
However, he said, older
buildings are still at risk —
just as in California.
Brittle concrete buildings can collapse in an earthquake because they lack
enough reinforcing steel to
keep concrete from exploding out of the building’s columns when shaken. Flimsy
first floors are also a problem in what engineers call a
“soft story building,” in
which the ground floor is
weak.
The epicenter of the latest earthquake was around
the scenic Taroko National
Park, about 12 miles north of
Hualien city. The temblor
came during a period of seismic activity in the area:
The Central Weather Bureau had recorded 20
smaller earthquakes in the
same Pacific coast zone off
Taiwan since Sunday, when
a magnitude 6.1 earthquake
struck just less than two
miles southeast of Tuesday’s epicenter.
The bureau reported at
least 20 aftershocks after the
Tuesday temblor, which
were as strong as magnitude
5.4.
There is a risk that the
earthquake could trigger
more quakes to the south
along the same fault system,
which is about 90 miles
long, said geologist David
Jacobson, an analyst for
Temblor, a seismic risk
app based in Redwood City,
Calif.
“Given the length of the
fault, given the activity of it,
people should be prepared,”
Jacobson said, adding: “Not
to say something will happen, but that something
could happen.”
Jennings is a special
correspondent. Times staff
writer Rong-Gong Lin II in
San Francisco contributed
to this report.
A4
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
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L AT I M E S . C O M
Pence seems
open to talks
with N. Korea
The vice president
doesn’t rule out a
meeting on sidelines
of the Olympics.
By Brian Bennett
and Tracy Wilkinson
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images
PRESIDENT Trump’s threat to cut off aid to nations not doing enough to cooperate on drug interdiction is
cause for concern in Colombia, where coca production is up and whose fragile peace could be in jeopardy.
Tillerson tempers U.S.
warnings to Colombia
Secretary tells Latin
nation joint efforts to
fight drugs and foster
peace will continue.
By Tracy Wilkinson
BOGOTA, Colombia —
Colombia was a darling of
the Obama administration,
which fully embraced the
South American country’s
torturous path to peace after the hemisphere’s longest
civil war.
But alarmed by the
peacetime surge in coca production, the Trump administration has warned it may
return to a policy defined by
the war on drugs, and punish Colombia as it struggles
to recover.
Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson arrived Tuesday in
the Colombian capital, Bogota, in an effort to reassure
Colombians that Washington remains determined to
work with the country on
drug interdiction and the
pursuit of peace.
In contrast, President
Trump last week threatened
to cut off U.S. aid to countries that he said were
“laughing at us,” taking
money from Washington but
not doing enough to cooperate on drug interdiction.
Tillerson has tried to finesse the mixed messages
coming from Washington as
he has visited Mexico, Argentina and Peru in a weeklong trip to Latin America
and the Caribbean.
In Lima, Peru, on Monday, for example, he said he
was raising the topic of joint
U.S.-Latin America crimefighting efforts “in every
stop I am making throughout the hemisphere.”
“This is really a hemisphere-wide challenge, and
every country has its own
challenges,” Tillerson said.
“The more we can share, the
more we can connect our activities, the more progress
we can make to disrupt
these [criminal] organizations.”
Speaking to reporters
Tuesday, Tillerson rejected
suggestions he was having a
hard time in some of his
meetings. He said he had
gotten “all the access we
need” and had achieved
“pretty much everything we
set out to accomplish” on the
trip.
Coca production in Colombia has gone up 50% in
each of the last two years,
with about 247,000 acres now
under cultivation, according
to U.S. officials. More importantly, each acre cultivated
is more productive than before.
Reacting to that surge,
Trump threatened to decertify Colombia last year,
meaning aid would be
stopped or reduced until the
nation made progress in
eradicating the coca crops.
He has not carried out the
threat, but the administration has backed away from
President Obama’s pledge
to provide $4.5 billion in aid
over the next 10 years.
A first tranche of the
money was disbursed near
the end of the Obama administration but the Trump
administration has not
made clear whether it will
follow suit.
Colombians feel angry,
slighted and bewildered,
said Bruce Bagley, a Colombia expert at the University
of Miami. Washington spent
$10 billion to help end Colombia’s civil war and abandoning the country now — as
it attempts to resettle millions of former guerrillas and
displaced civilians — could
be dangerous, he said.
“This is a very crucial period for the peace process,”
Bagley said. “Colombians
feel the Trump administration doesn’t understand its
own interests, much less
[Colombia’s]
desperate
need at this critical juncture.”
William Brownfield, then
assistant secretary of State
for international narcotics
and law enforcement affairs,
testified to Congress last
year that Colombia was a
key U.S. partner for two decades and had made progress
in combating coca cultivation and production.
But since the civil war
ended, he added, Colombia
has become “the world’s
largest producer of cocaine
and is the origin of approximately 90% of the cocaine
seized in the United States.”
He blamed, in part, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ decision to suspend the unpopular, U.S.-financed program of aerial
spraying to destroy coca
crops.
Many conservatives in
Washington
blame
the
peace process. Like Santos’
conservative opposition in
Colombia, they argue that
the peace accords granted
concessions to the former
leftist guerrillas that allowed them to turn to drug
trafficking.
Some former members of
the Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia rebel organization apparently be-
gan planting more coca to
get more money from the
government crackdown on
production of the raw material used to make cocaine.
Camilo Reyes, the Colombian ambassador to the
United States, has lobbied
Washington policymakers
to continue their support.
“There have been enough
signals to show the administration and Congress do
support and will go on supporting the peace process,”
he said.
“There needs to be patience for this to work,” said
Lisa Haugaard, executive director of the Latin America
Working Group, a Washington-based advocacy organization that is monitoring the
Colombian peace process.
“This is the only peace accord in history with a drug
policy chapter. It takes
time.”
“I
can’t
emphasize
enough how important U.S.
support for the peace process has been,” said Jason
Marczak, director of the
Adrienne
Arsht
Latin
America Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington.
Then-Secretary of State
John F. Kerry traveled to
Cartagena, Colombia, to
witness the signing of the
peace accord in September
2016. Santos later was
awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize for his stewardship of
the accord.
In a war that spanned a
generation,
more
than
250,000 people were killed,
and networks of terrorists
and drug gangsters flourished in the vacuum.
tracy.wilkinson
@latimes.com
WASHINGTON — The
White House publicly signaled for the second day in a
row Tuesday that it would
consider a meeting with
North Korea on the sidelines
of the Winter Olympics in
Pyeongchang, South Korea,
a move that could help ease
months of rising tensions
and nuclear threats — at
least for now — on the Korean peninsula.
Vice President Mike
Pence said in Alaska that he
has not sought a meeting for
when he arrives in South Korea but “we’ll see what happens.” Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson had used the
same language Monday in
Lima, Peru.
Pence and Tillerson
spoke to each other at least
twice in recent days, and
their statements were coordinated to send a message,
according to a senior administration official.
“All it does is indicate
that anything is possible,”
said the official, who is accompanying Tillerson on a
visit in Latin America. “They
are in the exact same place
on this issue.”
Pence will attend the
opening ceremonies of the
Olympics, which begin Friday. A delegation of 22 North
Korean athletes, performers
and officials is expected to
march under one flag with
the South Koreans under a
deal worked out between the
rival governments. The two
longtime adversaries also
will field a joint women’s
hockey team.
North Korea has not publicly responded to the U.S.
offer, and the chance of a diplomatic breakthrough is exceedingly dim. But Pyongyang is sending Kim Yong
Nam, who heads the Presidium of the Supreme People’s
Assembly, the nation’s rubber-stamp parliament.
Kim, 90, is reportedly the
highest-level North Korean
official to visit the South in
years so even a ceremonial
meeting with Pence could
carry symbolic weight.
By offering to meet the
North Koreans, the White
House appeared to be trying
to leverage the nascent and
still fragile diplomatic rapprochement between the
two Koreas, which caught
the Trump administration
off guard. Washington did
not participate in the direct
talks between Seoul and
Pyongyang.
“Let me say, President
Trump has said he always
believes in talking, but I
haven’t requested any meetings. But we’ll see what happens,” Pence told reporters
during a refueling stop in
Anchorage, on his way to
Japan and South Korea.
As far as is known, no one
from the Trump administration has met with a representative of North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un’s government over the last year.
During that time, Pyongyang successfully tested an
intercontinental
ballistic
missile capable of reaching
the U.S. East Coast, and
tested a thermonuclear
bomb far more powerful
than its previous devices.
Michael Allen, a former
senior director on the National Security Council in
the George W. Bush White
House, warned Pence’s outreach could backfire.
“That’s fine for the
Olympic spirit, but it’s doing
nothing to get us toward the
denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” Allen said
in an interview.
The Trump administration may bring the overtures
up later with the South Korean government when they
want to stage additional military exercises or increase
antimissile batteries, Allen
said. “One interpretation is
that [the White House
wants] to be seen as going
the extra mile knowing that
the talks would be fruitless,”
he said.
Pence plans to denounce
the North Korean security
state
during
Olympics
broadcasts. He has invited
along a potent reminder of
the country’s abuses: the father of Otto Warmbier, a U.S.
student who died shortly after he was returned home in
a coma after months in
North Korean custody.
brian.bennett@latimes.com
tracy.wilkinson
@latimes.com
Bennett reported from
Washington and Wilkinson
from Bogota, Colombia.
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W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M
Photographs by
A5
Brian van der Brug Los Angeles Times
LUZ MADRIGAL , 7, gets ready for school with help from her father, Ricardo. She has made friends and is perfecting her Spanish, though rolling her Rs is a struggle.
‘It’s so hard … but I have faith’
[Self-deporting, from A1]
But all that felt stable
came unmoored when Donald Trump was elected president. Barrancas watched as
Trump said he did not want
people like her and Madrigal
in a country he boasted he’d
make great again, in part, by
getting rid of them.
The couple were in the
country illegally. Jobs already felt hard to come by,
and the anti-immigrant climate added to their stress.
They decided to leave in
August, heading for a border
they had long avoided — a
process some refer to as
“self-deporting.”
In Tijuana, their daughter, Luz, then 6, clung to
them, sobbing to go back.
Barrancas held her tight
and told her everything
would be OK.
“We’re starting a new life
today,” she said.
Facing obstacles
at every turn
The
family
stopped
briefly in El Aguaje before
driving six hours to Tlaquepaque, in the Mexican state
of Jalisco. They had chosen
to move there because it felt
safer than Sinaloa — where
they were both born — and
because Madrigal’s sister
lived there.
They had enough money
saved to breathe easy for a
little while. But with Luz’s
private school costing $100 a
month, plus about $130 for
rent, $50 for water and electricity and even more for gas
and food, they would need
an income within eight
months.
The prospect of making
$50 a week — or the average
minimum wage in Mexico of
about $5 a day — working for
someone else held little interest for them. So when Luz
would leave for school in the
mornings, Barrancas and
Madrigal would head out
with their 3-year-old son,
searching for a place where
they could open a business.
They wanted to work together again, as they had in
California. In their car, they
passed men on horses clopping along graffiti-marked
streets and overgrown lots.
The plan had been to run
a mechanic’s shop. Barrancas also considered opening
a restaurant because she
thought the food she cooked
was better than most she’d
eaten so far. Anytime they
saw a sign for rent, they
would get the number and
set up an appointment, visiting 20 different places. Each
time, they were shown
around a space that was too
small, with a rent that was
too high.
When they saw spaces
available at a plaza right
outside of Villa Fontana,
where they lived, they grew
excited. The owner was from
California, and they thought
the location was perfect.
In English, the owner
said they’d have to pay
25,000 pesos a month, over
$1,000, put down three
months’ deposit and agree
to a three-year lease. When
the couple got home, they
did the math, totaling up the
down payment, the deposit
LUZ SITS with her father in front of her school. Before the family left Gardena, Luz had told her father she
wanted a house. He promised but hasn’t found the right land. “It hurts me not to fulfill my promise,” he says.
MADRIGAL LOOKS out from his Tlaquepaque home. In Gardena, he and his partner bought and sold used
cars, a venture they recently resumed. If things work out, they hope to return to their home state of Sinaloa.
and additional fees. They
didn’t know if they’d make it
one year, let alone three.
It was too great a risk.
Before they left Gardena,
Luz had told her father she
wanted a house. He promised to build it for her in Mexico. He would even plant
trees in the backyard.
Months passed, but Madrigal, 40, couldn’t find the
right land.
“I brought Luz on lies,” he
said. “It hurts me not to fulfill my promise, to give her
what she wants in her life.”
The couple had enchanted Luz with ideas of better
things to come. They even
convinced themselves.
“We had it in our minds
that it was a beautiful place,”
Barrancas said. “Now we
know it was a tale that we
were telling Luz.”
Though unhappy,
‘I’m not going back’
Maybe if things didn’t get
better, Madrigal said more
than once, they should go
back to California.
When those conversations came up, Barrancas
shut him down. If he left, she
wouldn’t go with him.
It wasn’t that she loved
Mexico — in fact, she hated
what she’d seen so far. She
hated the overgrown weeds
in front of the townhomes,
with no homeowner’s association to regulate appearances; she hated how many
cars she saw broken down,
tires popped off by poor road
conditions; she hated that
sometimes she couldn’t
understand words in Spanish; and she especially hated
the burden she’d left on Cynthia’s shoulders to keep
track of her 31- and 28-yearold brothers back in California.
But in crossing the border, she felt she had made a
decision that was irreversible. The only way she
could return to the U.S.
would be to cross illegally.
“I’m not happy here, but I
don’t want to go that way
again,” she said. “I’m not going back, regardless of the
situation. If I don’t have papers, I’ll stay here.”
No regrets despite
all her struggles
Barrancas put aside her
frustration that she didn’t
see her sister-in-law as often
as she’d like, that it didn’t
feel safe to walk around
Tlaquepaque at night and
that she didn’t feel at home.
She focused instead on making sure her children didn’t
feel as lost as she did.
The few words little Ale-
jandro knew in English became Spanish. And Luz,
who worried before the move
that she wouldn’t have playmates, befriended a neighbor and students in her firstgrade class.
Barrancas practiced the
Mexican national anthem
with Luz, who admitted that
she was forgetting the
Pledge of Allegiance she’d
say every morning before
class in Gardena.
Luz still struggled with
rolling her Rs and figuring
out when to use “mi” and
“me,” but she worked hard to
get perfect 10s in her classes.
When her parents met with
the school psychologist in
October, she told them Luz
was gifted.
One November morning,
Barrancas sat parked outside the metal gates of her
daughter’s
school.
She
watched with a smile as Luz,
looking lost, found a couple
of friends to sit with.
To comfort themselves
with familiarity, the family
would make frequent trips
to the Costco in nearby Zapopan. Luz’s favorite pepperoni pizza, the hot dogs,
the red-and-white Kirkland
umbrellas outside and the
American products lining
the aisles reminded them of
home. When she turned 7 in
November, Luz picked out
her gift at Costco.
For all her struggles, Barrancas did not admit regret
over leaving.
“I might be suffering, I
don’t feel like I’m in the right
place, but I think it was the
right decision,” she said. “It’s
so hard right now, but I have
faith that we’re going to do it
over here.”
By
December,
four
months had passed since
the family left for Mexico.
They had let Thanksgiving
pass without mentioning it.
A trip to Agua Verde,
Sinaloa, to visit Madrigal’s
sister was the bright spot in
what felt like months of
darkness. The family had
visited the beach and Madrigal had gone fishing, catching robalo and shrimp. It
was the first time in months
that Barrancas had seen a
real smile on his face.
In the way they had romanticized Jalisco from
afar, they had feared
Sinaloa. But they came to
understand that everywhere in Mexico was dangerous. At least in Sinaloa, both
of their families were close
by. They needed those
bonds to succeed.
At Christmas, the family
headed to Culiacán, Sinaloa,
to celebrate with Barrancas’
brother.
Luz spent the trip running around with her cousins. Barrancas’ brother
asked why the couple
weren’t selling cars as they
had in Gardena.
In January, Barrancas
and Madrigal headed to Tijuana to pick up cars and
start working once more. If
things went well, Barrancas
said, they would adapt their
plans to the new reality they
found and move to Sinaloa.
At long last, they would
come home.
brittny.mejia@latimes.com
A6
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L AT I M E S . C O M
THE NATION
Trump says he’d ‘love’ a shutdown
Remark draws rebuke
from lawmakers who
seek a budget deal.
By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON — Congress is risking another federal government shutdown
as House Republicans on
Tuesday approved a temporary bill loaded with extra
military spending that will
almost certainly face a filibuster from Democrats —
and some Republicans — in
the Senate.
Neither party appears to
want a repeat of last month’s
three-day shutdown, but
President Trump seemed
game for closing the government again if he thought he
could blame it on Democrats. Funds for federal operations expire Thursday.
“I’d love to see a shutdown if we can’t get this stuff
taken care of,” Trump said
during a White House event
on gang violence that
quickly turned to immigration and border security issues. “If we have to shut it
down because the Democrats don’t want safety …
let’s shut it down.”
Trump’s comments drew
instant rebuke from lawmakers, including one of the
Republicans attending the
roundtable event.
“We don’t need a government shutdown on this,”
said Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), whose district
in the Washington suburbs
is home to many federal
workers. Both parties want
to resolve the issues, she
added.
Trump interrupted her:
“You can say what you
want.”
“I would shut it down
over this issue,” he said later
in response to a question
from a reporter.
Evan Vucci Associated Press
PRESIDENT TRUMP interrupted a GOP congresswoman who was among those
rejecting his threat of another government shutdown if his demands aren’t met.
The president’s comments were out of sync with
the action on Capitol Hill.
Unlike last month, when
Democrats briefly blocked a
federal spending bill to try to
push Republicans on immigration, neither party has
linked the two issues this
time as lawmakers have
been negotiating over possible immigration compromises.
Now lawmakers in both
chambers are hoping a
broader, multiyear budget
deal can be struck in time to
prevent another stopgap
measure after this one,
which would expire March
23, in what would be the fifth
short-term funding bill of
this fiscal year.
The sticking point has
been that Republicans want
higher military spending
and Democrats oppose that
unless there is additional
money for domestic accounts.
Republicans tried to win
Democratic votes on the
stopgap measure Tuesday
by attaching a two-year extension of funding for community health clinics and
other provisions, along with
the full year of military funding. But most Democrats
voted against it.
Even as House GOP
leaders were able to muscle
their bill to passage by a vote
of 245 to 182, thanks to backing from the conservative
House Freedom Caucus, the
outcome in the Senate is uncertain. The narrow 51-seat
Senate Republican majority
must rely on Democratic
support to reach the 60-vote
threshold for passage.
“Unfortunately, we are
back at that point that we
were just a few weeks ago,”
said House Majority Leader
Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield). “Last time, we had to
have a shutdown. Hopefully
we will not be in that situation again.”
But some Democrats
said
Republicans
were
spending time on another
temporary bill that had no
chance of becoming law.
“How did we get here?”
said Rep. Nita M. Lowey of
New York, the top Democrat
on the House Appropriations Committee. “This is
not a serious bill.”
Negotiators have been
trying to craft a more lasting
budget accord to fund the
government through the remainder of the fiscal year,
which ends Sept. 30. They
want to boost all spending
beyond the strict caps imposed under a 2011 budget
deal.
If a broader budget
agreement is struck, the
Senate could swap it for the
House’s stopgap measure,
with a fresh round of voting
before Thursday’s midnight
deadline to fund the government.
But mounting deficits
are beginning to worry lawmakers after passage of the
massive $1.5-trillion tax cut
package, especially if they
pile on more than $80 billion
in disaster aid for states hit
during the devastating hurricane and wildfire seasons.
The volatile stock market
has only amplified lawmakers’ concerns.
“At some point the market’s going to wake up to the
fact that you’re going to
start running $1-trillion deficits all over again,” said Rep.
Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), his
state’s former governor, who
worries that the stopgap
measures are viewed as “a
real sign that Washington
doesn’t work, that it is dysfunctional at some level.”
While budget talks continue, the immigration debate involves efforts to craft
a bill to protect young immigrant “Dreamers” from deportation after Trump formally ends the Obama-era
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also
known as DACA.
The government shut
down for three days last
month as Democrats pushed immigration to the forefront of the agenda. They relented after winning a promise from Senate leaders that
it would be the next topic of
debate. Groups of lawmakers are meeting behind
closed doors to develop legislation that would also include border security enhancements and other immigration law changes.
As senators struggle to
craft a bipartisan immigration bill, some are considering a one-year extension to
DACA, which allows immigrants who were brought to
the country illegally as minors to apply to live and
work here as adults. Under
Trump’s order, the program was set to expire
March 5, but a court case
has allowed it to keep running for now.
The White House has
shown no interest in extending the program, which it
says was created unlawfully
by President Obama. That
leaves the matter with Congress, which could pass a law
protecting Dreamers.
Some senators from both
parties oppose a one-year
extension.
“Why does anyone think
that these issues are going to
be easier a year from now?”
asked Sen. Susan Collins (RMaine), who has been convening the bipartisan Common Sense Coalition in her
office.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) was among
those huddled Monday evening in the Senate considering the one-year delay. “It
would only be a last, final,
unpalatable — but unavoidable — result to stop mass
draconian deportation,” he
said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham
(R-S.C.) said extending
DACA for another year or so
may be the only compromise
Congress can strike.
“It’s the fallback position,” Graham said. “But
that’s most likely where
we’re going to go.”
Lawmakers were planning on working a short
week as House Democrats
leave Wednesday for their
annual planning retreat, but
the stalemate over the
spending bill may force
them to remain in session.
House Minority Leader
Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) was not pleased.
“The reason Congress is
facing a fifth stopgap budget
bill is because the Republican majority is incompetent,” Pelosi said. “Republicans control the House, the
Senate and the White
House, but they have to rely
on five stopgap spending
bills in a row to keep government running? Republicans
must stop governing from
manufactured crisis to crisis, and work with Democrats to pass the many urgent, long overdue priorities
of the American people.”
lisa.mascaro@latimes.com
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M
A7
Stocks rebound; stimulus worries rise
[Stocks, from A1]
Nasdaq composite index
jumped 2.1%.
“We’ve probably got a little more stimulus than we
needed in the tax cuts and to
have federal spending also
sharply higher in a period
when the economy is solid is
like adding more gasoline to
the economy,” said Gregory
Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments,
an investment management
firm.
Factor in a growing global economy and, Valliere
said, “there’s almost too
much stimulus.”
That led investors to
dump stocks in favor of
bonds. The yield on the
benchmark 10-year Treasury bond is up sharply over
the last month and ended
Tuesday at 2.80%.
Higher interest rates
would make stocks less attractive. Investors could opt
for safer, higher-yielding
bonds in their search for returns.
Trump administration
officials have predicted the
tax cuts would lead to higher
economic growth that eventually will more than offset
the lost revenues. But an
analysis by Congress’ nonpartisan Joint Committee
on Taxation said that won’t
happen and the federal
budget deficit will increase
by about $1 trillion over the
next decade. That is partly
because higher interest
rates will drive up the cost of
government borrowing.
Top Trump administration officials and congressional Republicans downplayed Monday’s stock market plunge, saying the economy’s fundamentals were
strong even as they acknowledged the volatility on Wall
Street had gained their attention.
“I normally wouldn’t be
looking at my iPhone, but
given the market moves, I’m
checking it,” Mnuchin said,
glancing down at his phone
during the Financial Services Committee meeting.
“It’s now up 187 points,”
he said of the Dow just before 8 a.m. Pacific time, “so
we’re back up today.”
But a few minutes later,
the index went negative
Jose Luis Magana Associated Press
“I’M NOT OVERLY concerned about the market volatility,” Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said
Tuesday. Stocks gyrated amid concerns about rising wages, federal deficits, inflation and interest rates.
again.
“We are very focused on
the long-term economic
growth and we believe the
policies we’ve enacted, including tax reform, are very
positive for long-term economic growth,” Mnuchin
said.
The Treasury Department was monitoring financial markets and they were
“functioning very well,” he
said.
Mnuchin added that despite recent declines, “the
stock market is up significantly, over 30%, since
Trump was elected.”
On Monday, the Dow
closed 33% higher than it did
the day Trump was elected.
The S&P 500 index, which
investors tend to favor as a
gauge of the U.S. stock market, was up 24% in that span.
But Monday’s steep
plunge by the Dow of 1,175
points, or 4.6%, added to a
decline in recent days, wiping out the Dow’s and S&P
500’s gains for the year.
Tuesday’s gains pushed
the Dow and S&P 500 back
into positive territory for
2018.
Trump has boasted continually in recent months
about the booming stock
market. He was silent on
Monday’s declines.
The White House issued
a statement late Monday
about the market drop, saying: “The president’s focus is
on our long-term economic
fundamentals, which remain exceptionally strong,
with strengthening U.S.
economic growth, historically low unemployment,
and increasing wages for
American workers.”
And Rep. Jeb Hensarling
(R-Texas), chairman of the
House Financial Services
Committee, said at Tuesday’s hearing that the recent
market downturn was a predictable result of a strengthening economy and that
Americans should see it as a
positive sign.
“After eight years of failed
economic policies that led to
the slowest, weakest recovery in the modern era,” he
said, taking a jab at the
Obama administration, “the
economy is starting to take
off and wages are finally
growing again. Consumer
optimism abounds.”
“So how ironic but totally
predictable that equity markets would now swoon over
the prospects of higher interest rates and possible inflation associated with a
breakout
of
economic
growth,” Hensarling told
Mnuchin. “Artificially low interest rates may have benefited some on Wall Street,
but they haven’t been particularly helpful to Main
Street.”
Valliere said rising interest rates cut both ways depending on a person’s financial situation.
“If you’re a senior citizen
and you were counting on
higher yields in your retirement, this is great,” he said.
But “this is not good news”
for people looking to take
out a loan for a car or a
house.”
The government reported Jan. 26 that the economy grew 2.3% in 2017, a significant improvement over
the previous year’s 1.5%
growth. It was the best performance since the economy
expanded 2.9% in 2015.
Then on Friday, the La-
bor Department said job
growth was strong again in
January, with wages rising
2.9% over the previous 12
months. That was the best
year-over-year wage growth
since 2009.
Those developments fueled investors’ fears that the
Federal Reserve might need
to push its key interest rate
up to head off higher inflation that could be fueled by
the extra stimulus of the tax
cuts.
Interest rates also are being pushed up by increased
borrowing by the federal
government, which is facing
higher budget deficits because of the loss of revenue
this year from the tax cuts.
The Treasury Department said last week that it
expected to borrow $955 billion in the 2018 fiscal year,
which began Oct. 1. That’s up
sharply from $519 billion the
previous year, and it would
be the most federal borrowing since 2012, when the
economy was still in the
early stages of recovery from
the Great Recession.
The Treasury Department estimated it would
need to borrow $1.08 trillion
in fiscal 2019 and $1.12 trillion
the following year. Increased
borrowing pushes up interest rates.
On top of that, Congress
is working on legislation
that would boost defense
and other spending above
existing caps, providing additional stimulus to the
economy.
Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State
Street Global Advisors, an
investment management
firm, said financial markets
are undergoing a “good oldfashioned market correction” as investors adjust to
the prospect of higher interest rates and inflation.
Average
investors
shouldn’t overreact, he said.
“My recommendation to
investors is: [If] they have a
long-term, disciplined investment plan, stick to it because the fundamentals of
this market are still pretty
strong,” Arone said.
jim.puzzanghera
@latimes.com
Twitter: @JimPuzzanghera
A8
WE D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
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S
L AT I M E S . C O M
NEWSPAPER OWNERSHIP
L.A. Times close to being sold
[L.A. Times, from A1]
Tronc is expected to use
the $500 million in proceeds
to pay down company debt,
make other acquisitions and
further its digital strategy
across the remaining papers, which include the Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida SunSentinel and Baltimore Sun.
Soon-Shiong would assume
pension liabilities for the
California News Group, the
entity that owns The Times
and the Union-Tribune.
The talks accelerated
over the weekend after a
flurry of news articles questioning Tronc’s oversight of
the storied brand and a critical New York Times article
that suggested that Los Angeles’ wealthy class had
abandoned its hometown
newspaper at a time when
other billionaires, including
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos,
had stepped up. Bezos
bought the Washington Post
in 2013 for $250 million and
invested heavily in its newsroom.
Forbes has estimated the
net worth of Soon-Shiong,
65, who is the second-largest
shareholder of Tronc, at $7.8
billion.
Owning the Los Angeles
Times would be a significant
coup for Soon-Shiong, one of
the city’s wealthiest men,
raising his profile in the business, civic and cultural milieu of the nation’s second-
Allen J. Schaben Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong is nearing a deal to buy the L.A.
Times and San Diego Union-Tribune. Above, The Times’ downtown L.A. offices.
largest city. Tronc had rebuffed Soon-Shiong’s repeated efforts to buy The
Times as recently as last
year, in a public war of words
between the doctor and
Tronc Chairman Michael
Ferro, the company’s largest
shareholder.
An excited buzz ran
through The Times’ downtown Los Angeles newsroom
when the paper confirmed
that it was on the verge of being sold. Los Angeles Mayor
Eric Garcetti tweeted: “A
great city needs a great
newspaper, and Los Angeles
depends on the @latimes to
tell our story every day. I will
always be rooting for my
hometown paper to succeed.”
“This is surprising,”
newspaper analyst Douglas
Arthur of Huber Research
Partners said. “But it solves
several issues by taking care
of a disgruntled shareholder, Dr. Soon-Shiong, and
also eliminating the Los Angeles Times, which has arguably been a problem child for
this management group for
years.”
The Times has experienced months of turmoil,
starting in August when several top editors were ousted.
Ross Levinsohn, a former
Yahoo and Fox executive,
was appointed its new publisher and brought his own
team to develop a new digital strategy.
But last month, Levinsohn was placed on unpaid leave pending an investigation into sexual harassment claims that occurred
at previous jobs. There have
been three top editors in the
last six months, including
Jim Kirk, who was named
editor in chief last week. He
replaced former Forbes editor Lewis D’Vorkin, whose
tumultuous
three-month
tenure was marked by contentious dealings with staff
members.
Also last month, The
Times’ newsroom, unhappy
with corporate management and years of cost-cutting, voted overwhelmingly
to join the News Guild-Communication Workers of
America.
The Times’ newsroom
has shrunk from more than
1,000 people in the late 1990s
to fewer than 400 employees.
There have been nine publishers since 1999.
“Unfortunately all of that
has taken a toll on one of the
greatest journalistic platforms in the U.S. and it has
just withered over the last
decade,” Arthur said. “Maybe now with invested ownership, and local ownership,
things will get better.”
The $500-million purchase price “seems to make
sense,” Arthur said, even
though it is nearly twice
what Bezos paid for the
Post. “The Washington Post
Who is Patrick Soon-Shiong?
Doctor who is in talks
to buy The Times
made billions on
medical research and
other ventures.
By James Rufus Koren,
Thomas Curwen
and Melody Petersen
After more than a decade
of out-of-town ownership,
the Los Angeles Times could
once more be locally owned,
this time by a billionaire immigrant with a track record
of immense success and dizzying — if sometimes unfulfilled — ambition.
Patrick Soon-Shiong, a
doctor - turned - entrepreneur who was born in South
Africa to Chinese parents, is
in high-level talks to buy The
Times and the San Diego
Union-Tribune, a move that
would shake up Southern
California’s already tumultuous media landscape and
expand Soon-Shiong’s vast
and varied business holdings.
With a fortune estimated
by Forbes magazine at
$7.8 billion, Soon-Shiong’s
deep pockets could portend
reinvestment at The Times,
which has seen its newsroom
cut in half amid steady declines in newspaper advertising and more than a decade of management turmoil
at its owner, Tronc Inc.
Soon-Shiong could not
be reached for comment
Tuesday. He has been an investor in Tronc since 2016. At
the time of that initial in-
vestment, he told The Times
he wanted to “save the integrity” of the publication.
“We need newspapers,”
he said. “We need this intellectual integrity. We need
writers and editors who are
passionate about this work.”
Soon-Shiong is one of
several local billionaires —
including Eli Broad, David
Geffen and Ron Burkle —
who had for years been rumored to be interested in acquiring The Times.
Unlike Broad and Geffen,
Soon-Shiong is less well
known as a philanthropist or
civic leader. Much of his activity in those areas, as in his
business pursuits, has been
focused on healthcare and
engineering.
In 2009, he began to put
into motion a plan to
streamline the nation’s
healthcare system by uniting doctors, hospitals and
insurers through high-speed
fiber optic networks, supercomputers and what he
called a “wisdom database.”
That same year, he
pledged $100 million to St.
John’s Hospital in Santa
Monica. He later made a financial guarantee to help
underwrite the reopening of
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Community Hospital. He
and his wife, Michele Chan,
operate the Chan SoonShiong Family Foundation.
Last July, he announced
that his Culver City company NantWorks would take
control of the operations of
six California hospitals, including St. Vincent Medical
Center near downtown Los
Angeles and St. Francis
Medical Center in Lynwood.
Allen Berezovsky Getty Images
“WE NEED newspapers,” Patrick Soon-Shiong said
in 2016. Above, the L.A. Lakers part owner at a game.
Soon-Shiong bought into
The Times’ parent company
in 2016 amid a hostile takeover bid by rival publisher
Gannett. His investment of
$70.5 million helped fight off
Gannett and seemed to
make allies of Soon-Shiong
and
Tronc
Chairman
Michael Ferro, but their relationship quickly soured.
Owning the city’s largest
media company would add
to a business portfolio that
includes a network of medical research firms that he established to, in his words,
“solve cancer” — the latest
ambitious goal for the physician turned entrepreneur.
Soon-Shiong was born in
1952 in Port Elizabeth, South
Africa. His parents had left
China during World War II.
His father was an herbal
doctor.
Soon-Shiong received his
medical degree at the University of Witwatersrand,
where in the late 1970s he
treated South Africans who
had been injured during the
Soweto riots.
He interned at Johannesburg’s General Hospital,
which had never admitted a
Chinese student before,
Soon-Shiong has said. The
chairman of the department
stipulated that his application would not be accepted
unless he finished better
than fourth in his class,
which he did. He worked in
the cancer wing, where he remembers an Afrikaner patient who refused to be
treated by a “Chinaman.”
At a time when other colleagues were leaving South
Africa, he accepted a surgical residency with the University of British Columbia.
In Canada, he met Chan,
who worked at the Canadian
Broadcasting Corp. The
couple immigrated to the
United States and Chan, an
aspiring actress, was cast on
“Danger Bay” and “MacGyver.”
He joined UCLA Medical
School in 1983 as an assistant professor in the gastrointestinal surgery division.
He later became director of
UCLA’s pancreas transplant
program. After developing a
method for treating diabetes by transplanting insulinproducing cells into a patient’s pancreas, SoonShiong left UCLA and
founded his own medical research firm in 1991.
By the late 1990s, he was
broadening his research into
other cancer treatments, developing drugs to fight not
just diabetes but also breast
cancer. One of those drugs
would become the foundation of his fortune. Called
Abraxane, it was a redesigned version of a topselling cancer drug called
Taxol. He sold the company
that developed Abraxane to
Celgene for $2.9 billion in
2010. Soon-Shiong also built
and sold another pharmaceutical company, generic
drugmaker APP Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by German company
Fresenius for an estimated
$4.6 billion.
But his work has not been
without controversy.
Abraxane is not so much
a new drug as a reworked,
repackaged version of one of
the best-known cancer
fighters — paclitaxel, a com-
pound derived from the Pacific yew. When the drug was
approved in 2005, a group of
top oncologists had questioned whether the expensive drug was “just old wine
in a new bottle.”
In the 1990s, he got into a
legal feud with his brother
and others. In 2014, a whistleblower lawsuit was filed in
Panama City, Fla., alleging
one of his companies,
NantHealth, was “engaged
in a multitude of fraudulent
activities.”
That year a profile in
Forbes described his “deep
streak of P.T. Barnum showmanship” and a talent for
angering “investors and colleagues alike.”
Over the last year, SoonShiong’s companies have
been dogged by weak stock
performances and shareholder lawsuits. Last spring,
biotech news site Stat found
that the University of Utah
spent much of a $12-million
donation from Soon-Shiong
on genetic testing services
provided by NantHealth.
Soon-Shiong called the
story “maliciously false,” but
investors nevertheless fled
NantHealth’s stock, sending
shares tumbling. The company went public in June
2016, pricing shares at $14;
shares now trade at about
$3. Shares of another SoonShiong company, NantKwest, have fallen to about $4
from their initial public offering price of $25 in July
2015.
Both of those companies
were hit with fraud suits by
investors after their stocks
tanked. Soon-Shiong has
denied the investors’ claims.
He has also been sued by
singer Cher, who claims he
and others duped her into
selling shares in a promising
drug company back to the
firm at a fraction of the
stock’s value.
In 2016, Soon-Shiong
launched Cancer MoonShot
2020 — a collaboration of
companies, doctors and researchers that said it would
conquer cancer in just four
years. The group had to later
change its name to Cancer
Breakthroughs 2020 after a
lawsuit was filed by a Houston cancer center that had
already staked claim to the
“moonshot” name.
An avid basketball player, Soon-Shiong shoots
hoops weekly with colleagues and is a part owner
of the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 2012 when Michael
Crow, president of Arizona
State University, described
Soon-Shiong, he made an
off-the-cuff assessment of
his friend. Before the two
men took to the stage for a
public conversation about
healthcare, Crow called him
“an unshielded nuclear reactor.”
james.koren@latimes.com
thomas.curwen
@latimes.com
melody.petersen
@latimes.com
was severely challenged by
the time Bezos bought it,”
Arthur said. “And this is not
one but two newspapers.”
Despite ongoing declines
in print advertising — print
revenue plummeted 17% in
the first nine months of 2017
— the company continues to
eke out a profit. For the
quarter that ended Sept. 30,
Tronc reported revenue of
$353.1 million, a drop of 6.6%
from a year earlier. Net income for the quarter was
$2.1 million, compared with a
net loss of $10.5 million in the
year-earlier period.
Tronc’s market value was
$608 million as of market
close Tuesday, and the company has about $368 million
of debt. A nearly $500-million sale price for the two
Southern California papers
would represent a little more
than half of Tronc’s $972-million enterprise value.
“Patrick Soon-Shiong is a
doctor and I hope that he
can stand the sight of blood
because it is going to take a
lot of investment to turn the
paper around,” said Gabriel
Kahn, a journalism professor at the USC Annenberg
School for Communication
and Journalism. “The Times
has been traded back and
forth between owners and
been in bankruptcy and
there has been no strategic
plan or strategic investment
in the paper and there is a lot
of catching up to do.”
Lloyd Greif, a downtown
L.A. investment banker, said
he believes Soon-Shiong is
interested in acquiring The
Times largely for civic reasons, though Greif said he
suspects the billionaire will
want to get a return on his investment.
“Patrick wants a strong,
locally focused, engaged
newspaper,” said Greif, who
has been closely following
the developments but is not
involved with the sale. “He
wants it to be a vibrant voice.
This is 100% good news. But
yes, he’s going to make money. He’s not doing this as a
charitable gift.”
Greif speculated that
Ferro might keep his hometown Chicago Tribune but
eventually sell off the rest of
the company’s publications.
“This is a sign Ferro is at
the end of the road and is
prepared to take whatever
profit he can get,” Greif said.
“So he’ll try to maximize the
value of The Times and get
what he can for the rest.”
However, a source close
to Tronc disputed that
speculation, saying there are
no plans to sell papers other
than the two in Southern
California.
Soon-Shiong, a medical
entrepreneur and native of
South Africa, had been rumored several years ago to
be among a group of wealthy
Angelenos who were interested in buying The Times.
His interest in the paper
was formalized in May 2016
when the biotech magnate
invested $70.5 million in The
Times’ parent company,
then called Tribune Publishing and since renamed
Tronc Inc., which stands for
Tribune Online Content. His
current stake is 26%. He also
owns a minority stake in the
Los Angeles Lakers.
At the time, the deal was
seen as a big win for Ferro, a
way for him to fight off a hostile takeover bid by rival
newspaper company Gannett. Though Ferro and
Soon-Shiong presented a
united front opposed to
Gannett, their relationship
soon soured.
Early last year, Tronc and
Soon-Shiong traded barbs
in publicly filed letters, with
Soon-Shiong saying he
wanted to acquire a larger
stake in the company and
Tronc saying it had blocked
the doctor’s efforts to acquire The Times.
An April letter from a
Tronc attorney said SoonShiong offered to buy The
Times in December 2016 but
was told he would have to
buy all of Tronc.
Ferro initially bought a
16.6% stake in Tribune Publishing in 2016, when the
stock was trading around
$8.50 a share. Ferro now
owns a 28% stake. On Tuesday, Tronc shares closed at
$18.10.
For more than a century,
The Times was owned by the
same family. Harrison Gray
Otis gained ownership in
1884 and served as publisher
until 1917. His descendants,
the Chandler family, controlled Times Mirror Co. until its 2000 sale to Chicagobased Tribune Co.
meg.james@latimes.com
james.koren@latimes.com
WSCE
L AT I M E S . C O M
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
A9
Dealer sues
Toyota over
Prius troubles
[Prius, from A1]
nized a problem in the hybrid system on Feb. 12, 2014,
when it filed a voluntary recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It acknowledged a defect
that could cause overheating in a device called an inverter, which controls high
power transfers between the
battery and the vehicle’s two
electric motors.
The inverter boosts the
battery’s 200 volts to about
500 volts to drive two electric
motors, and converts the
electricity from direct current to alternating current
(similar to what comes out
of a household outlet). When
the car brakes are applied,
the power flow reverses to
charge the battery.
Toyota’s recall fix involved unspecified changes
to the vehicle’s software. Toyota has not said exactly
how the software reduces
overheating, and its statement did not answer questions submitted by The
Times about whether it
could affect the vehicle’s performance, fuel economy or
emissions. Some automotive experts contacted by
The Times say the software
could affect the vehicle’s performance.
Toyota was aware of the
inverter defect even before
issuing the Prius recall, according to the suit. It began
two smaller recalls of its
Highlander sport utility vehicles, covering 2006 to 2010
models, about a year before
the Prius recall to remedy
overheating problems in a
nearly identical inverter. In
the Highlander recall, the inverter was replaced, the lawsuit said.
Hogan’s suit and complaint alleges that the Prius
software fix was a cheap way
out that failed to remedy the
problem.
Hogan asserts in his letter to NHTSA that the manufacturer has sold more
800,000 Prius models in the
U.S. with defective inverters
and 80,000 hybrid Highlanders with the problem. The
software fix costs $80, while
an inverter replacement
costs more than $2,000 per
vehicle. Hogan said the software fix is saving the company $1.3 billion compared
with the cost of replacing the
inverters.
Toyota’s
statement
Tuesday defended the validity of the software fix, which
it said allows a vehicle to
move at a slow speed even if
the inverter overheats and
fails.
“Toyota stands behind
the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Prius inverter recall remedy, which
was designed to ensure operation of the vehicle in failsafe driving mode in the unlikely event of an inverter
failure,” the company said.
“Once in failsafe mode, the
vehicle can be safely driven
for some distance at a reduced speed. This feature,
which is common across the
automotive industry, was
designed to enhance vehicle
safety.”
When the inverter fails,
the car’s diagnostic system
notifies the driver with a
“check hybrid system” light
on the dashboard and stores
diagnostic codes that allow
technicians to find the problem. Technicians who work
for Hogan told him that all of
the inverters returned with
such codes have shown signs
of soot and charring inside
the inverter housing.
Martha Anderson, a retired schoolteacher who
lives in South Orange
County, said she was driving
home from shopping last
October when her 2012 Prius
— which had the software fix
— lost power in busy traffic
on Alicia Parkway in Laguna
Nigel. She was able to pull
over into a parking space on
a side street.
“I’ve never lost power before,” Anderson said, adding
that the experience left her
shaken. “I just thought,
‘Please, God, let me out of
here.’ I was lucky I wasn’t on
the freeway.”
When the car was towed
to Hogan’s nearby dealership, mechanics found that
the inverter had overheated
so badly that two holes were
blown through the aluminum case and even steel
bolts had signs of melting.
Anderson got rid of the Prius
and bought a new Corolla
from Hogan. The failed Prius
is one the dealer refuses to
resell.
Hogan posted a warning
about the problem on his
dealership website in 2017
under the title of “public
safety notification.” When
Toyota became aware, it
sent him a letter saying the
posting contained misleading information and would
confuse customers.
“When
implemented,”
the letter said, “the software
change lessens the likelihood of a failure by improving the power management
and internal operating temperatures for specific electronics in the inverter.”
Skip Miller, the attorney
who represents Hogan, said
the assertion that the software fix only “lessens the
likelihood” of a failure is a
violation of federal law. “The
whole point of recall law is to
fix the car before it fails,” he
said.
The fail-safe mode, which
Toyota documents also call
limp-home mode, allows the
cars to go 5 or 10 mph, Miller
said. “It is an extreme safety
hazard,” he said. “It is intended to limit damage to
the inverter.”
According to Miller,
Hogan’s problems with Toyota date to about 2015,
when the dealer paid to develop a software program
that would improve recall
notifications to Toyota customers. It was aimed at increasing the often low completion rates after a recall is
issued and notifying mechanics when a specific vehicle brought in for other service was under a recall.
Miller said Toyota rejected the idea and began
quarreling with the Hogan
family. The suit alleges that
Toyota refused to supply all
the vehicles that Hogan
could sell, essentially diverting his business to other
dealers. And it says Toyota
decided to “punish Hogan”
by blocking his plan to turn
over management responsibility to his three sons.
In its statement, Toyota
said, “Ultimately, we believe
Mr. Hogan’s lawsuit is motivated primarily by a separate dispute he has with Toyota over management and
succession issues involving
his dealership, not the efficacy of this recall.”
Toyota’s handling of the
Prius recall comes nearly
nine years after the company faced problems with
sudden acceleration in its
Camry and Lexus models. A
California Highway Patrol
officer and three family
members died in a runaway
Lexus.
Federal regulators found
that Toyota had failed to
promptly notify customers
about unintended acceleration problems caused by
faulty floor mats and sticky
accelerator pedals. The
company was fined $1.2 billion, which at the time was a
Gina Ferazzi Los Angeles Times
ROGER HOGAN, center, with Roger Hogan Jr., left, and Stephen Hogan, has refused to sell 70 used Toyota
Priuses on his family’s lots and has warned customers about what he says is a safety hazard in those models.
record for an auto defect.
Criminal allegations in the
matter were dropped last
October under a deferred
prosecution agreement.
So far, inverter failures
have not been linked to any
injuries or crashes, though
when a car loses power the
owner might not be aware
that it was caused by an inverter failure, Miller said.
In recent years, hundreds
of consumer complaints
about Prius inverter overheating have been filed on
the NHTSA website and
posted on various online forums. In one of many examples, an owner reported that
the car stalled out on a freeway when the dashboard
warning lights indicated a
hybrid power failure.
The inverter is roughly
the size of a box for hiking
boots with a thick aluminum
case that is packed with
high-power transistors, capacitors, microprocessors
and a liquid cooling system.
The inverter is able to han-
dle more power than often
runs through a household
wiring system. Its power
conversion occurs in a series
of transistors that turn on
and off thousands of times
per second.
According to University
of Michigan electrical engineering professor Heath
Hofmann, a hybrid systems
consultant, the auto indus-
try is trying to find a substitute for the transistors,
which are prone to high temperatures.
The changes made in the
software update could be reducing the amount of power
that flows through the inverter, which could affect the
Prius’ fuel economy and
emissions, said University of
Maryland professor Michael
Pecht, who founded the
school’s Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering, which focuses on electronics reliability.
“They could be reducing
the battery use,” Pecht said.
“It would increase use of the
gas engine. Absolutely, gas
mileage goes down and
emissions go up.”
Hofmann also said the
vehicle’s fuel efficiency and
emissions might be affected.
But it is also possible that
Toyota found a defect in the
inverter
software
that
caused the overheating. As
an example, he said, the
transistors could short-circuit if the software that controls the power switching
was faulty.
A Toyota spokeswoman,
asked whether the software
would affect the vehicles’
fuel efficiency or emissions,
said, “We don’t have any
comment on that.”
ralph.vartabedian
@latimes.com
Twitter: @rvartabedian
A10
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M / O P I N I O N
OPINION
EDITORIALS
LETTERS
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Don’t reopen the desert deal
President Trump has offered no
valid reason for revising the plan
for conserving California's desert.
he Interior Department gave
final approval 17 months ago to a
massive planning document
that, among other things, designated nearly 400,000 acres of
desert in Southern California for wind, solar
and geothermal energy production. The
plan capped eight years of work, nearly a
dozen public meetings and consultations
with a wide range of stakeholders to determine which parts of 10.8 million acres of federal land should be preserved for conservation, which for recreation, and which for development.
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, as it was called, was far from
perfect, but it was embraced as a workable,
balanced compromise. Until last week,
when
the
Trump
administration
announced that it was considering a do-over
that could expand the area designated for
energy production, mining, grazing and recreation (including all-terrain vehicles).
What has changed in the desert since the
original plan was approved? Nothing.
The administration cynically framed its
motives for reopening the deal as pro-environment by suggesting that more land is
needed for wind and solar farms if California
is to meet its goal of 50% renewable energy
by 2030. But apparently that’s not true.
“This is not needed,” Karen Douglas, a
member of the state energy commission,
told The Times. “We have sufficient land
designated in this plan to support meeting
our renewable energy goals.” Ironically, reopening the process could slow down renewable energy development in the desert by injecting fresh uncertainty into the process.
Ultimately, this move has less to do with
renewable energy development than with
the Trump administration’s desire to significantly reduce the amount of land set
aside for conservation, and to undo every
vestige of the Obama legacy that it can get
its oil-stained hands on. The administration
has made no plausible argument that the
desert plan is faulty or no longer suitable,
other than the risible excuse about California’s energy plans and complaints by Riverside County and the city of Blythe that the
T
plan might shift the burden for wind and solar farms from public land to private.
President Trump has said often that
more energy of all types should be produced
on federal lands, though his energy source of
choice is usually fossil fuels. Although there
is little gas or oil to be pumped in the desert
— good news, otherwise he might turn the
Mojave into west Texas — there are deposits
of borax and other minerals that could be
opened to mining if the plan is revised.
Of the 10.8 million acres at issue, the conservation plan set aside 3.9 million acres of
land for some level of protection, including
the Silurian Valley and the Chuckwalla
Bench. Habitats were protected for a wide
range of native plants and animals, including desert bighorn sheep and tortoises, pupfish and burrowing owls. It’s clear that the
administration has a jaundiced view of environmental causes and protections, and that
it has fallen in with Western Republican
politicians who have been trying for years to
wrest control of public lands from the federal government and convert it for local
economic development. They argue that local political figures know best how to be
stewards of local lands.
But that’s not a credible argument when
their interest centers on drilling, mining and
cutting roads in pursuit of a relative handful
of jobs. In fact, developing public lands
could cost jobs. One study of the impact of
the Grand Staircase-Escalante National
Monument in Utah found that it gave rise to
a tourism industry that helped fuel a 25% increase in local jobs and a 17% increase in per
capita income. Notably, the Trump administration announced last year that it would
reduce the Grand Staircase-Escalante
monument by nearly half; at least five legal
challenges have been filed to stop him.
This administration has pursued some
of the worst environmental policies in modern memory. It has let enforcement slip,
worked to undercut landmark laws to clean
up air and water pollution, denied the science behind climate change in service of increased emissions of greenhouse gases, and
sought to slash budgets for the Environmental Protection Agency and other offices
charged with protecting the environment.
This effort to undo the Desert Renewable
Energy Conservation Plan is of a piece with
all that. Californians need to stand firm
against this ploy to remove hard-fought protections and to endanger some of the state’s
defining landscapes.
Taking the CFPB backward
hite House budget chief
Mick Mulvaney once likened government regulations to a “slow cancer,” an
attitude he shares with
many in the Trump administration. So it’s
hardly surprising that, in his new part-time
role as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mulvaney would
waste little time pulling back on the agency’s rules and its authority. It’s yet another
reminder, as if any more were necessary,
that elections have consequences.
But some of Mulvaney’s moves suggest
that he’s forgotten both why Congress created the bureau and the regulatory gap it
exists to fill. If he has, the consequences may
be both severe and unwelcome.
The subprime mortgage collapse that
triggered the Great Recession in 2007 exposed many weak beams in the financial industry, one of them being the dangerous
willingness of lenders seeking short-term
revenue to offer loans to people with limited
ability to repay. The perversity of the incentives involved became obvious once huge
swaths of subprime and exotic loans started
going bad, but by then it was too late.
The problems in the mortgage market
stemmed in part from irresponsible lenders
outside the jurisdiction of federal bank
regulators — think New Century Financial
Corp. of Irvine, which made more than $51
billion in subprime loans in 2006 only to go
bankrupt in 2007. But even for the lenders
within their purview, regulators were far
more focused on the companies’ financial
health than on their compliance with laws
designed to protect consumers.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created to address both of those
issues, enforcing existing consumer-protection laws with new vigor and applying them
to financial companies that bank regulators
overlooked. The two main missions assigned by Congress were to guard against
discriminatory practices and to ensure “fair,
transparent, and competitive” markets for
consumer financial products and services.
By cracking down on predatory lending —
that is, the making of loans that borrowers
can’t easily repay — the bureau also provides one more firewall against a new flareup of loan defaults.
W
The bureau was active and aggressive
under its initial director, former Ohio Atty.
Gen. Richard Cordray. In addition to ramping up enforcement actions for lending discrimination and unfair terms, the bureau issued the federal government’s first-ever
regulations for payday lenders, proposed
rules for prepaid credit cards and issued
guidelines to combat discrimination in automobile loan terms, among other steps.
Its new rules on payday loans are a good
illustration of the bureau’s value. It didn’t
try to ban payday lending, as some states in
effect have done through interest-rate caps;
instead, it set limits on repeated loans to
people with no verified ability to repay.
That’s an important safeguard against the
debt traps that have tainted the payday
lending business. Payday loan companies’
defenders insist that they provide credit to
people who can’t get it otherwise, but that’s
no argument for loans that can’t be repaid.
Mulvaney has moved swiftly to undo or
delay much of the bureau’s work under
Cordray, suspending lawsuits, canceling investigations and promising to alter a number of rules and guidelines, including the
new payday lending rules. He reportedly
dropped the bureau’s investigation of the
data breach at Equifax that enabled hackers to steal sensitive personal information
about 145.5 million Americans. He also
pared the bureau’s efforts to identify and
crack down on discriminatory lending practices, and suggested that the bureau will roll
back the data it collects from lenders about
mortgages. The latter move smacks of the
kind of see-no-evil regulation that helped
pave the way for the subprime fiasco.
Shortly after taking the job in November,
Mulvaney told reporters that he’d rather
not have a Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau. “If the law allowed this place not to
exist,” he was quoted by Politico, “I’d sit
down with the president to try to make the
case that other agencies can do this job well
if not more effectively.”
But Congress created the bureau because other agencies didn’t, and couldn’t, do
the job well. Rather than trying to undo the
bureau’s
accomplishments,
Mulvaney
should focus on identifying and stopping
the predatory and discriminatory practices
that could fuel the next financial meltdown.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
AND
PUBLISHER
Ross Levinsohn
News
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Jim Kirk
DEPUTY MANAGING EDITORS
Colin Crawford, Scott Kraft
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITORS
Christina Bellantoni, Shelby Grad, Mary McNamara,
Stephen Miller, Kim Murphy, Michael Whitley
Opinion
Nicholas Goldberg EDITOR OF THE EDITORIAL PAGES
Juliet Lapidos OP-ED AND SUNDAY OPINION EDITOR
FOUNDED DECEMBER 4, 1881
The Washington Post
RICHARD NIXON , seen at a news conference in
1971, resigned the presidency on Aug. 9, 1974.
Great presidents
Re “How Trump beats Nixon,” Opinion, Feb. 5
Richard Nixon’s legacy is larger than Watergate.
He revolutionized foreign relations and modern
environmental regulations, and he even advanced
women’s rights. Most significantly, he established the
petrodollar system, which set a foundation for the
continuing U.S. dominance of the global economy for the
last 45 years. He was a great man.
Despite Donald Trump’s many character flaws, he is
the only president in the last 30 years who is not afraid to
point out the fundamental problems our country is
facing, which makes him a common enemy of the
establishment. Our country needs honest, critical
self-examination, not partisan attacks.
Victor Chang
Playa del Rey
David Rothkopf ’s op-ed
article reflects my daily
sense of dread. It questions
whether our republic,
which survived Nixon, will
survive Trump.
I have spent my career
studying and teaching
about the Holocaust. I am
not implying that there will
be such a horrific event in
the United States, but I am
underscoring Rothkopf ’s
argument that we voters
must speak up so that
what happened in Germany in the 1930s cannot
ever happen here. We must
remind ourselves that
demagogues begin with
popular support and
slowly take power through
their intimidation while
discrediting the free press
and bipartisan institutions.
Rothkopf reminds us
that we still do not know
whether the harm caused
by Trump will be temporary or catastrophically
permanent. Along with
voters, decent politicians
from both sides of the aisle
must come together and
speak up against the slow
destruction of our democracy.
Barbara Jaffe
Los Angeles
::
What would be “catastrophic and enduring” is if
Hillary Clinton had won
the election. The Democrats would then have a
majority on the Supreme
Court.
Instead, Trump not
only got elected but actually made good on his
promise to nominate a
conservative justice in Neil
Gorsuch, who now anchors
the late Antonin Scalia’s
old seat. The president’s
embrace of the GOP position on tax incentives also
has been a welcome surprise.
For those who believe
big government provides
the most dangerous road
to tyranny, these two accomplishments do much to
offset Trump’s otherwise
appalling behavior.
Patrick M. Dempsey
Granada Hills
::
From the very outset of
Trump’s campaign, I believed him to be unfit,
unqualified and dangerous. I believe that even
more today.
To this very day, Trump
has not agreed with our
intelligence agencies’
assessment that Russia
interfered with our election
process and has not put
into place any mechanisms
to make sure future votes
are conducted without
interference. If this isn’t
dangerous, what is?
Trump also has undermined the agencies responsible for our environment, consumer protection laws and our public
schools — and the list goes
on.
Watergate was a blight
on our democracy, but
Trump is unraveling the
very fabric of what our
nation stands for.
Diane Welch
Cypress
Are L.A.’s buses
really so bad?
Re “How to drive up transit
use,” column, Feb. 4
Reading a column like
Steve Lopez’s, I get the
impression that public
transportation is an alien
environment for many
readers.
As a frequent user of
buses, I have great respect
for the drivers, who are
always courteous and
friendly. Fellow passengers, who cover all ages
and ethnicities, are well
behaved and helpful.
The only time I had a
negative experience was
when I was wearing a sling
and carrying a bag on a
crowded bus (mostly
young students) and no
one thought to offer me a
seat.
Rosemary Leibowitz
Sherman Oaks
::
Lopez is on target about
improving transit use, but
there’s a reason that even
lower-income people are
buying cars: They don’t
want to take the Metro.
Safety is key. Los Angeles City Councilwoman
Nury Martinez has said she
refuses to ride the Metro
Red Line because she fears
for her safety. My wife does
ride the Red Line and was
recently harassed — where
were the police officers?
Also, as Lopez says,
Metro makes “unforgivable” decisions. One is its
recent adoption of parking
fees at the North Hollywood and Universal City
Red Line stations.
I'm not the only person
who drives past those lots
rather than spend $3.50 for
the round-trip train ride
plus another $3 to park.
After all, I’m already driving.
Michael Goldstein
Encino
::
Lopez is undoubtedly
correct that it will take
billions of dollars to build
out an effective public
transport system that
lures people out of their
cars. But for far less money
and time, how about extending L.A.’s skeletal
system of bike paths?
With so many e-bike
choices, a 20-mile ride
along dedicated bikeways
is within the reach of many
commuters. This is hardly
a new idea, as more than
100 years ago, Pasadena
wanted to build an elevated bikeway to downtown
Los Angeles.
Many public rights-ofway already exist, and
others would have to be
acquired. But never has
there been a better time to
encourage people to get off
the freeways and onto
bicycles.
Paul Bergman
Pasadena
::
I am a woman who very
frequently takes Metro bus
and rail lines to attend
cultural events in down-
town L.A. I have not had a
negative experience yet.
I own a car but prefer to
use public transportation
even though it usually
takes longer than driving.
At least I am able to read
on the bus or train and do
not need to fight traffic.
What does bother me is
the unnecessary, constant,
loud announcements on
the trains and buses. Have
the Metro officials not
noticed this nuisance?
Ilca Moskos
Santa Monica
‘Fake’ media face
real danger
Re “Journalists are fleeing
for their lives in Mexico,”
Feb. 5
The journalists risking
their lives in Mexico are no
less heroic than soldiers on
the front lines of battle. It
shames our country that
we are not doing more to
offer asylum to these brave
men and women.
What is even more
shameful is our own slide
toward contempt for the
“dishonest media.” We
have allowed the president
to continue his hateful
rhetoric toward “fake
news” reporters.
President Trump has
made no secret of his desire
to change libel laws so he
can sue those who criticize
him. He has threatened to
use his power to take away
network licenses if he
dislikes what they say.
If Republicans and
Democrats do not do more
to rein in Trump’s attacks
on the free press, we are
slowly headed toward
being a country that does
not deserve one.
Cathy Goldberg
Seal Beach
::
I am a retired immigration attorney who handled
many asylum cases.
Mexican journalist
Emilio Gutierrez Soto’s
house has been ransacked.
It is also true many journalists are being killed or
disappeared by both the
cartels and police, and that
Mexico is one of the most
dangerous countries in the
world for journalists. He
was warned that the army
was out to kill him.
All this plus the fact
that he is credible should
be sufficient proof to grant
him and his family asylum
in the United States.
Gutierrez has overwhelming proof of his fear of Mexico, a country to which he
cannot return.
Rogelio Quesada
San Diego
Courts for
homelessness
Re “Caught in a vicious
cycle,” Feb. 4
We must end the vicious
cycle of homelessness, debt
and jail through creative
strategies, as demonstrated by the success of
ImagineLA, a program
that provides permanent
solutions to family homelessness.
The revolving door of
debt and jail must end. I
propose that we form
homelessness courts.
In these courtrooms, a
compassionate judge can
resolve tickets in a reasonable manner and offer a
panoply of services to these
“defendants.” Additionally,
if someone needs mental
health assistance, it would
immediately be available.
We have established
veterans treatment courts
to allow former servicemembers to receive
treatment instead of jail
time. Furthermore, nonprofit organizations such
as the Community Veterans Justice Project work
with veterans to ensure
that they are aware of all
the services they need.
Why not try a Los Angeles County homelessness
court and put an end to the
revolving door of debt and
jail?
Gayle Greco
Los Angeles
HOW TO WRITE TO US
Please send letters to
letters@latimes.com. For
submission guidelines, see
latimes.com/letters or call
1-800-LA TIMES, ext. 74511.
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M / O P I N I O N
A11
OP-ED
Institutions have empowered Trump
President is looking to
make them work for,
instead of against, him.
By Jesse Walker
D
onald Trump is a
Rorschach blot on the
office of the presidency.
Some people look at
him and see a dangerous authoritarian. Some see a
leader too weak to be authoritarian. Some see a weak leader who
nonetheless has an authoritarian
heart. And that’s just the people
who don’t like the guy.
Still, pretty much everyone who
isn’t paid to pretend otherwise
agrees that he’s been hemmed in
by Washington’s permanent institutions. Trump has signed just one
major piece of legislation, and his
executive orders have frequently
landed with a splat. From his stab
at banning transgender soldiers to
his efforts to defund sanctuary
cities, Trump has hit one wall after
another.
That has led some anti-Trump
pundits to a quietly optimistic take
on the state of the country. “America’s core institutions may not be in
perfect health,” Zack Beauchamp
summed it up in Vox, “but they
seem to be functioning well enough
to constrain a president who’s gone
after essential parts of its democratic system.”
Yet if institutions have largely
kept Trump from pushing presidential power in new directions,
they have also let him intensify authoritarian policies that already
exist.
While some institutions have
kept Trump in check, others have
empowered him.
In some ways, immigration is
the great success story for the institutions-will-save-us
crowd.
Thanks to the courts, Trump’s
travel ban has been both narrowed
and delayed. State and local government have refused to cooperate
with some elements of Trump’s deportation drive, and so far the Justice Department has been impotent in its efforts to bring them in
line. Trump hasn’t even had much
luck yet in getting Congress to
cough up funds for his border wall.
But courts, federalism and an opposition party aren’t the only institutions at work here.
Trump inherited a powerful
raids-and-deportation apparatus,
and he hasn’t been shy about using
it. And so while deportations
themselves have receded somewhat in the last year, deportation
arrests have surged — and they’re
much more likely to take place far
from the border.
The American Civil Liberties
Union reports a “notable increase”
in “arrests of people who don’t have
criminal records, those who show
up to routine check-in meetings
with agents, and even people previously offered humanitarian exceptions.”
That apparatus is an institution. It was built up by prior presidents of both parties, along with
Congress and the bureaucracy.
They assembled a weapon, and
then they left it on the Oval Office
desk.
Speaking of weapons: Trump
has escalated the U.S. presence in
Afghanistan, and his war with Islamic State killed more civilians in
just over half a year than Barack
Obama’s did in three years. He’s
been able to do such things because he inherited a strong institution: an increasingly unaccountable system for raining death from
the air. Obama got away with
claiming that the authorization to
use military force to fight the perpetrators of Sept. 11, 2001, covers all
manner of battles around the
world. Naturally, Trump’s team
has embraced the argument.
And if the president decides to
launch nuclear missiles at North
Korea this evening, it would take a
full-fledged mutiny to stop him.
Thank a decades-old policy of giving the president unilateral control
of the nuclear arsenal.
Institutions haven’t just empowered Trump; he’s empowered
institutions.
The president has allowed the
military to make its own decisions
on a host of war-making matters
without White House input — including, in some theaters, whether
to launch a raid or airstrike. He has
also reportedly given the CIA the
right to conduct its own covert
drone strikes in Syria, and there
has been talk of letting it exercise
that authority elsewhere. Power
isn’t flowing to the executive so
much as it’s flowing to whole
swaths of the executive branch.
(That has been true in some ways
of the immigration crackdown too.
When the slipshod first version of
the travel ban came down, Customs and Border Protection field
agents were left to make their own
choices about how to interpret and
enforce it.)
As I write, Donald Trump is at
war with elements of the national
security and intelligence bureaucracies — or as they’re better
known these days, the deep state.
Despite this, he hasn’t done anything to roll back the powers of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation or
the National Security Agency. Indeed, he just signed a bill that
amps up the very surveillance
state that he bitterly claims his enemies have wielded against him.
That shouldn’t surprise anyone. Trump’s fear isn’t that those
institutions are too powerful; it’s
that they’re disloyal. He doesn’t
want reform; he wants a purge.
Hemmed in by institutions, he asks
himself how he could make those
institutions work for him instead of
against him. And why wouldn’t he?
After all, several are already on the
job.
Jesse Walker is an editor at
Reason magazine. His most recent
book is “The United States of
Paranoia.”
Food deserts not
the culprit behind
unhealthful diets
Class affects not just access
to nutrition, but also the
very meaning of it.
By Priya Fielding-Singh
T
Rich Pedroncelli Associated Press
STATE SEN. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), is facing a recall election after having voted in favor
of a gas tax bill. It’s far from the first recall the California GOP has endorsed in recent years.
Unsolicited advice
for California’s GOP
GUSTAVO ARELLANO
B
elieve it or not, I want
the California Republican Party to do well. I
agree with nearly none
of its platform, and its
troglodytic elected officials are
good only for internet memes and
scary bedtime stories.
But we as a state need a competitive democracy to truly
thrive. The Democrats have a
near supermajority in both chambers (recently lost because of
resignations in the wake of #MeToo) and can pass nearly anything they want; that makes
Sacramento little better than
Mexico under the PRI’s one-party
rule.
For 2018, California Republicans are bracing for a Waterloo,
gracias to an invigorated Democratic base ready to donkey-kick
anything red. For Chrissakes,
even Orange County went for
Hillary Clinton in 2016. O.C.’s
GOP representatives have to
campaign for the first time in
their careers — and that’s supposed to be the place where “all
the good Republicans go to die,”
as Ronald Reagan once quipped.
Instead of focusing on what
ails them, however, California
Republicans are trying more of
the same silliness that got them
into this tight spot — like the
recall effort against Democratic
state Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton, who critics claim was the
deciding vote in that dumb gas
tax bill from last year.
I offer Republicans advice that
comes from a good place: Drop it.
Newman, as a freshman politician, should’ve known better
than to help make Californians
pay more money at the pumps
and thus make himself immediately vulnerable.
He may well lose his seat in the
June 5 recall election, which will
further erode the Democrats’
supermajority and let the GOP
wield insignificant power instead
of no power at all.
If, however, the recall is successful, it’ll probably become the
latest knot in a string of Pyrrhic
victories. Far too often over the
Recalls haven’t
gotten you
anywhere, now
have they?
past few decades, Republican
leaders have obsessed over removing “enemies” from office. At
this point, they sure do know how
to run a successful demonization
campaign — hey, Antonio Villaraigosa, Helen Gahagan Douglas
sends her regards. But their
short-term wins have had unintended consequences and, more
significantly, have done nothing
to shore up the prospects of the
party as a whole.
To wit:
— Rose Bird: In the 1980s,
conservatives led by Orange
County’s Tony Rackauckas, then
a prosecutor, tried to recall the
California chief justice because
they felt she was too soft on the
death penalty. They never succeeded, but they did slime her,
leading voters to boot her from
office in 1986. Rackauckas parlayed his activism into his current
position as district attorney. But
he was the only winner. Bird’s
removal did little to revive the
death penalty, and Rackauckas’
involvement in Orange County’s
recent jailhouse snitch scandal
has made the area’s justice system a local joke.
— Willie Brown: In 1990, in part
to force the longtime San Francisco politico from Sacramento,
Republicans endorsed term
limits. Brown’s gone, but term
limits exacerbated the revolving
door problem. Politicians bounce
from seat to seat with the help of
lobbyists — until they become
lobbyists themselves.
— Doris Allen: The Orange
County state senator struck a
deal with Democrats in 1995 that
named her speaker of the Assembly. Outraged, Allen’s fellow
Republicans pushed for her
recall, and Curt Pringle became
speaker. He was the last Republi-
can to hold the title, and the
maneuver set a terrible precedent. Few in the GOP would now
dare to reach across the aisle lest
they suffer Allen’s fate.
— Gray Davis: What is it with
the GOP’s itch to recall bland
white politicians? Such racists!
Davis was a neoliberal dream
who gave prison-guard and police
unions sweetheart deals. Yet the
GOP dethroned him and backed
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who
proved equally ineffectual. That
fiasco tarnished the whole party
and led, by hook and by crook, to
the election of eternal GOP bogeyman Jerry Brown. His two
terms of success mean the Democrats can run a redwood log
against any Republican candidate and still win — and his name
is Gavin Newsom.
The grand total for all these
years of GOP recall rage?
California is more progressive
than ever, and fewer voters register as Republican. The Democrats run the state, and are ready
to oust elephants from the congressional delegation to Washington.
Newman is not exactly a liberal lion, so to see the GOP cast
him as a pinko just shows how
bad their priorities are. Instead of
trying to pick off random Democrats through recalls, Republicans should focus on how to
revitalize their party so they can
make the Capitol competitive
again.
Here’s some more unsolicited
advice on how to make that happen, conservatives: Sell your
alleged anti-tax, pro-business
message to voters as something
that they deserve instead of
something that Democrats are
supposedly against. Remember
that liberals and moderates are
people, too, and that working
with Democrats to better the
state is OK.
And, please, now and forever:
Ignore the O.C. GOP, which got
you here and is becoming more
obsolete than a Caltrans Call
Box.
mexicanwithglasses@gmail.com
Twitter: @gustavoArellano
he verdict is in: Food
deserts don’t drive nutritional disparities in
the United States the
way we thought. Over
the last decade, study after study
has shown that differences in access to healthful food can’t fully
explain why wealthy Americans
consume a more healthful diet
than poor Americans.
If food deserts aren’t to blame,
then what is?
I’ve spent the better part of a
decade working to answer this
question. I interviewed 73 California families — more than 150 parents and kids — and spent more
than 100 hours observing their
daily dietary habits, tagging along
to grocery stores and drivethrough windows. My research
suggests that families’ socioeconomic status affected not just
their access to healthful food, but
something even more fundamental: the meaning of food.
Most of the parents I interviewed — poor and affluent —
wanted their kids to eat nutritious
food and believed in the importance of a healthful diet.
But parents were also constantly bombarded with requests
for junk food from their kids.
Across households, children asked
for foods high in sugar, salt and fat.
They wanted Cheetos and Dr. Pepper, not broccoli and sweet potatoes. One mom echoed countless
others when she told me that her
kids “always want junk.”
While both wealthy and poor
kids asked for junk food, the parents responded differently to these
pleas.
An overwhelming majority of
the wealthy parents told me that
they routinely said “no” to requests
for junk food. In 96% of high-income families, at least one parent
reported that they regularly decline such requests.
Parents from poor families,
however, almost always said “yes”
to junk food. Only 13% of low-income families had a parent that reported regularly declining their
kids’ requests.
One reason for this disparity is
that kids’ food requests meant
drastically different things to the
parents.
For parents raising their kids in
poverty, having to say “no” was a
part of daily life. Their financial circumstances forced them to deny
their children’s requests — for a
new pair of Nikes, say, or a trip to
Disneyland — all the time. This
wasn’t tough for the kids alone; it
also left the poor parents feeling
guilty and inadequate.
Next to all the things poor parents truly couldn’t afford, junk food
was something they could often
say “yes” to. Poor parents told me
they could almost always scrounge
up a dollar to buy their kids a can of
soda or a bag of chips. So when
poor parents could afford to oblige
such requests, they did.
Honoring requests for junk food
allowed poor parents to show their
children that they loved them,
heard them and could meet their
needs. As one low-income single
mother told me: “They want it,
they’ll get it. One day they’ll know.
They’ll know I love them, and that’s
all that matters.”
Junk food purchases not only
brought smiles to kids’ faces, but
also gave parents something
equally vital: a sense of worth and
competence as parents in an environment where those feelings were
constantly jeopardized.
To wealthy parents, kids’ food
requests meant something entirely different. Raising their kids
in affluent environment, wealthy
parents were regularly able to meet
most of their children’s material
needs and wants. Wealthy parents
could almost always say “yes,”
whether it was to the latest iPhone
or a college education.
With an abundance of opportunities to honor their kids’ desires,
high-income parents could more
readily stomach saying “no” to requests for junk food. Doing so
wasn’t always easy, but it also
wasn’t nearly as distressing for
wealthy parents as for poor ones.
Denying kids Skittles and Oreos wasn’t just emotionally easier
for wealthy parents. These parents
also saw withholding junk food as
an act of responsible parenting.
Wealthy parents told me that saying “no” to kids’ pleas for candy was
a way to teach kids how to say “no”
themselves. Wealthy parents denied junk food to instill healthful
dietary habits, such as portion
control, as well as more general values, such as willpower.
Both wealthy and poor parents
used food to care for their children.
But the different meanings they attached to food shaped how they
pursued this goal.
Poor parents honored their
kids’ junk food requests to nourish
them emotionally, not to harm
their health. Similarly, wealthy
parents who denied their kids
processed foods did so to teach
them healthful lifelong habits, not
to deprive them.
Nutritional inequality in the
U.S. has more to do with people’s
socioeconomic status than their
geographic location. Living in poverty or affluence affects more than
our access to healthful food: It
shapes the very meanings we attach to food.
Tackling nutritional inequality
will require more than putting
supermarkets
in
low-income
neighborhoods. These interventions won’t change what food
means to the poor families I met.
But lifting them out of poverty
could. If low-income parents had
the resources to consistently meet
their kids’ desires, maybe a bag of
Doritos would be just a bag of Doritos, rather than a uniquely potent
symbol of parental love and care.
Priya Fielding-Singh is a
doctoral candidate in sociology at
Stanford University.
latimes.com
/opinion
Patt Morrison Asks
Sandra
Figueroa-Villa
One of the LAPD’s five commissioners on choosing a new police
chief, and how a good department
can get better.
A12
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
WSCE
L AT I M E S . C O M
Donations to USC fall amid scandals
[USC, from A1]
departed amid accusations
that he had harassed female
subordinates.
USC dismissed the significance of the slump, attributing it to normal fluctuations in donations. Administrators said it was not related to the scandals and
said the relationship between university leaders and
major benefactors remained
strong.
“A slightly lower amount
of contributions in this period does not evidence a
longer-term falloff,” a university spokesman said.
Two USC employees who
regularly deal with contributors said some normally reliable donors did not return
their calls and others gave
less than usual. The employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said
donors told them that they
were put off by the back-toback scandals.
“What we are hearing is
that the organization’s moral compass doesn’t fit mine,”
said one employee.
Another
described
donors as “pretty upset” by
the way university leaders
responded to the crises.
“They say, ‘What’s going
on at the top?’ ” the employee said.
Several university trustees refused to comment. The
group of 57, which includes
some of the wealthiest and
most powerful people in California, is set to meet
Wednesday on campus.
USC’s top fundraiser, Albert Checcio, defended what
he called “one of the most
successful
advancement
programs in higher education.”
“To suggest that USC or
the Keck School of Medicine
is struggling to raise funds is
fundamentally mistaken,”
Checcio, the senior vice
president for university advancement, said in a statement. “The timing of gifts
fluctuates throughout the
year, and any single point in
time is not an accurate projection of where the university will net out, especially in a multiyear campaign.”
The drop in donations
comes as USC faces mount-
Robert Gauthier Los Angeles Times
USC DISMISSED the significance of the fundraising slump, attributing it to normal fluctuations in dona-
tions. Administrators said it was not related to scandals at its Keck School of Medicine.
ing costs from the medical
school scandals. The university retained a former
federal prosecutor from one
of the top law firms in the nation to lead an investigation
that has lasted more than
six months, and it hired a
former Sony executive to
serve as its crisis communications consultant.
Another potential cost is
a possible settlement with
the family of a young woman
who suffered a drug overdose while partying with Puliafito. Sarah Warren’s family hired high-profile attorney Mark Geragos last year
to negotiate a payout from
USC. Neither he nor family
members have returned reporters’ calls since November. Asked whether there
was a settlement, a USC
spokesman, Christian Gunning, said in an email: “We
are not going to talk about
the Warrens.”
In recent months, USC
has launched a belt-tightening campaign called Project
Renewal. Administrators at
every school and university
department are expected to
trim expenses by about 5%
within three years.
The USC spokesman
said that the university was
in a “strong financial position” and the cost-savings
program was a “normal, responsible” business practice
that took shape well before
the Keck scandals.
Fundraising has been key
to USC’s climb in academic
rankings and prestige over
the last two decades. The
university has about 450 employees dedicated full-time
to fundraising, and Nikias’
calendar is packed with
international and national
trips where he courts alumni, parents and other potential donors, sometimes in
the company of the school’s
marching band.
A cornerstone of USC’s
fundraising is a $6-billion
campaign launched in 2011,
then described as the largest
such drive in academic his-
FORMER Keck Dean Carmen Puliafito stepped
down as the medical school’s leader in March 2016.
tory. The university collected gifts and pledges for
future gifts to surpass the
goal about 18 months ahead
of schedule, according to
USC. Trustees awarded
Nikias a one-time $1.5-million bonus three years ago, in
part for the “exceptional
progress” in the $6-billion
campaign, according to federal tax filings.
When Puliafito was dean
of the medical school, he
regularly touted its success
at attracting multimilliondollar gifts from alumni and
other benefactors. In the
2015 fiscal year, Keck raised
“almost $200 million,” according to the dean’s newsletter that October. He
stepped down in March 2016.
Total medical school fund-
raising for the 2016 fiscal year
was not immediately available, but in the following fiscal year, the school took in
more than $148 million, according to the internal documents.
David Callahan, of Inside
Philanthropy and author of
“The Givers,” which examines the influence of megadonors, said a downturn in
fundraising at USC could be
“a short-term, bad taste in
people’s mouth” problem or
something more significant.
“You can imagine some
donors, if they believe it, feeling that they lost faith in the
institution,” Callahan said.
When such doubts fester, he
added, some universities
look for new leadership.
Still, Callahan said, giving patterns can swing, and
a handful of large donations
could wipe out the shortfall
altogether.
In its statement, USC
said there were several “significant gifts in the works”
that will eventually close the
fundraising gap at Keck.
Callahan said USC could
work to rebuild trust with
donors by being transparent
about how the university
dealt with Puliafito.
University administrators commissioned such a
report, but have yet to release any of its findings. The
university tapped former
U.S. Atty. Debra Wong Yang
of the blue-chip firm Gibson,
Dunn & Crutcher last summer to lead a probe into Puliafito’s conduct as dean and
the university’s response.
Some Keck faculty and
staff submitted to rounds of
interviews by Yang’s team
during the summer and fall,
but university leaders have
been quiet about what the
lawyers uncovered. Trustees
have been briefed regularly
on the investigation.
USC
administrators
have refused to say whether
any of its findings will become public.
harriet.ryan
@latimes.com
Twitter: @latimesharriet
matt.hamilton
@latimes.com
Twitter: @matthjourno
paul.pringle@latimes.com
Twitter: @PringleLATimes
B
CALIFORNIA
W E D N E S D A Y , F E B R U A R Y 7 , 2 0 1 8 :: L A T I M E S . C O M / C A L I F O R N I A
Rep. Nunes’
hometown
cares little
about memo
Businesses, residents
and farmers around
Tulare say they
believe he can deliver
jobs and water.
By Jazmine Ulloa
Katie Falkenberg Los Angeles Times
SUPPORTERS of RecycLA protest against a push to repeal the new program last month in front of City
Hall. One apartment industry official says she favors more recycling, but not the program’s huge fee hikes.
Is anyone in charge
at L.A. City Hall?
TULARE, Calif. — At Old
Salles Cafe, near the northern outskirts of this deeply
conservative farming city,
Archie Harrison said he did
not know much about his
congressman, Devin Nunes,
nor did he need to know
more.
“If he supports Trump, I
support him,” the 51-yearold truck driver said Monday over a breakfast of steak
and eggs, only hours after
President Trump had hailed
Nunes in a tweet as a future
“Great American Hero.”
As Nunes finds himself at
the center of a political fire-
storm in Washington over
the release of his controversial memo about the Russia
investigation, thousands of
dollars are pouring into
Democratic campaigns aiming to unseat him in the
midterm election. But in the
Republican’s hometown of
Tulare, where partisan rifts
reflect those across the
country, many constituents
aren’t following the battle,
even as it seems to heat up.
Here some business owners and workers said they
still believe Nunes can deliver on jobs. Farmers and
growers tend to know him
for water, not Russia.
“It’s fake — the whole
Russia deal,” said John
Cairns, a fifth-generation
farmer who attended Cal
Poly San Luis Obispo with
Nunes and was in his fraternity. “Washington is a totally
different ballgame from
what we are dealing with out
here. We are going to sup[See Nunes, B4]
A troubled recycling program, a questionable hire and other
problems don’t inspire confidence in the council and mayor
STEVE LOPEZ
“You were had,” said
one angry taxpayer.
“You guys got
crushed,” said another.
The topic?
L.A.’s Keystone
Kops rollout of a new
trash recycling program, which has featured a dramatic service reduction at a huge price increase
for thousands of customers.
It’s so bad, even the people who
supported the plan are ducking for
cover, pointing fingers or throwing
everyone else under the bus.
‘Hot mess’ at RecycLA
City lawmakers vent their frustration over rocky rollout of commercial trash program. B3
Not everyone who spoke at Tuesday’s Los Angeles City Council committee hearing lashed out at council
members Nury Martinez, Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian, Gil Cedillo and
Mitch O’Farrell.
Some praised RecycLA or offered
hope that the kinks will be worked
out to accomplish the city’s admirable goal of diverting trash from
landfills and reducing the number of
crisscrossing trucks spewing pollution.
But cleaning up the mess may not
be easy, given how badly the city
screwed up the deal. City officials
signed a 10-year contract with seven
companies, some of which dispute
allegations of overcharging and say
they’re just doing what the contract
allows them to do.
As The Times has reported, customers are getting dinged for added
fees if the hauler has to move a trash
bin a certain distance or use a remote
device to open a gate. I’m still getting
bombarded with calls and emails
[See Lopez, B6]
Indigent
man held
in grisly
homicide
firestorm in Washington over a classified memo.
Appeals court
halts release of
child molester
Man whose case was
in limbo 17 years was
to go free this week.
Prosecutors objected.
Suspect chopped up
wife, carried body in
suitcase on train and
burned it, police say.
By Marisa Gerber
By Kate Mather
and Javier Panzar
The killing, police said,
was “particularly disturbing.”
Authorities believe a man
killed his wife and dismembered her body in an abandoned Pasadena restaurant, placing her remains in
a suitcase that he then
carried aboard a Metro Gold
Line train.
Five stops later, he hopped off in Cypress Park and
rode his bicycle — the suitcase still in tow — to the
parking lot of a Home Depot.
There, police say, the man
lighted the grisly package on
fire.
On Tuesday, prosecutors
charged Valentino Gutierrez, a 56-year-old homeless
man, with murder and arson. The Los Angeles Police
Department
tentatively
named the victim as Tiana
Alfred, 31, but said her body
was so badly damaged that
coroner’s officials had not
yet confirmed her identity.
“To dismember an individual like that is pretty grotesque,” LAPD Capt. Billy
Hayes told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “It takes an
awful lot of effort and deter[See Homicide, B4]
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
REP. DEVIN NUNES, right, is at the center of a
Michael Robinson Chavez Los Angeles Times
THE BIGGEST county payout in 2016-17 was $10.1 million in the wrongful convic-
tion of Francisco “Franky” Carrillo Jr., pictured in 2011 after 20 years behind bars.
L.A. County’s litigation
bill exceeds $145 million
Costs went up 10% in
the last fiscal year
despite fewer lawsuits.
By Melissa Etehad
Los Angeles County paid
more than $145 million settling and fighting lawsuits in
2016-17, a 10% jump from the
previous fiscal year, according to a report made public
Tuesday.
The report from the
county counsel was presented to the Board of Supervisors. The supervisors
did not discuss the report or
hear a presentation about it
at their weekly meeting, as
they have in previous years.
Asked about the findings,
supervisors either declined
to comment or did not respond.
The largest payout noted
in the report was $10.1 million
in a wrongful-incarceration
case involving Francisco
Carrillo Jr., a man whose
murder conviction was overturned after he had spent 20
years in prison.
The second-most expensive settlement came in a
lawsuit that alleged violations of federal clean water
laws. The Flood Control District paid $4.5 million to the
Natural Resources Defense
Council, which had accused
the county of allowing excessive pollutants on beaches
and in watersheds.
There was also a $3.5-million settlement involving a
patient at a county hospital
who suffered a brain injury
while being treated for an infection. And a $3-million
payout went to settle a lawsuit over dangerous roadway conditions that led to a
car crash in which a woman
was paralyzed.
Despite the county’s
spending more on litigation,
the report said the total
number of lawsuits filed
[See Lawsuits, B4]
A child molester had
been expected to walk free
this week, after a Los Angeles County judge ruled last
month that repeated delays
in bringing the man’s case to
trial had violated his constitutional rights.
But at the last minute,
prosecutors made a plea to a
state appeals court to keep
George Vasquez from returning to the community.
He’s probably dangerous,
they said, and should remain confined in a maximum-security state mental
hospital.
During a hearing Tuesday, L.A. County Superior
Court Judge James Bianco,
who had previously ordered
Vasquez to be released
Wednesday, announced that
the 44-year-old would remain at Coalinga State Hospital — at least for now.
The appeals court is
planning to review the case
Panel faults
LAPD officer
for use of gun
Police Commission says
off-duty cop broke rules
by firing shot in dispute
with teens. It’s unclear
if he’ll be punished. B3
GEORGE VASQUEZ
may be dangerous and
should remain in a state
hospital, prosecutors say.
after the Los Angeles
County district attorney’s
office argued that Bianco’s
January ruling was “erroneous.”
In
the
mid-1990s,
Vasquez, then in his early
20s, was convicted of molesting several boys from his
South L.A. neighborhood —
he used candy, court records
show, to lure his victims,
ages 6 to 8, to an alleyway. A
judge sentenced him to 12
years in state prison.
But before his scheduled
release, prosecutors filed
paperwork asking to have
Vasquez confined for two
[See Molester, B4]
Oldest U.S. gold
medalist dies
Cliff Bourland, former
USC track star who
won a gold medal at
the 1948 London
Games, was 97. B5
Lottery ......................... B2
B2
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M
JUDICIAL WATCH
Appellate court
declines to scuttle
Trump U deal
A district judge acted
appropriately when he
OKd the $25-million
settlement, the U.S.
9th Circuit says.
MAURA DOLAN
A federal appeals court
on Tuesday refused to derail
a $25-million Trump University settlement to allow a
former student to take the
president to trial.
A three-judge panel of
the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of
Appeals decided unanimously that a district judge
acted appropriately when
he approved the settlement,
reached days after Donald
Trump was elected president.
The settlement stemmed
from lawsuits accusing the
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Race time: 1:40.87
Results on the internet:
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General information:
(800) 568-8379
(Results not available at this number)
now-defunct real estate
school of fraud. The 9th
Circuit called the settlement “highly favorable” to
former students.
The suits accused
Trump University of
falsely advertising that it
would teach students
Trump’s “secrets of success.”
Instead, the attendees
said, they received threeday seminars in which they
were aggressively urged to
invest tens of thousands of
dollars more for a mentorship program.
Sherri B. Simpson, a
Florida lawyer and former
Trump University attendee,
wanted to drop out of the
class action and target the
president in another lawsuit.
But the 9th Circuit said
she had missed a deadline
for exiting the class.
The court said former
students would have faced
“significant hurdles had
they proceeded to trial,”
including the difficulty of
prevailing before a jury in
a case against the
president.
“Weighed against this
was the fairness of the settlement as a whole, which
the [district] court estimated would provide class
members with almost a full
recovery,” wrote Judge
Jacqueline H. Nguyen, an
Obama appointee.
Amber Eck, one of the
lead lawyers in the lawsuits,
said it was time to distribute
the settlement money to the
thousands of former students who sued.
“This has been an incredibly long, hard fight — and
today’s ruling brings thousands of Americans one
step closer to finally putting
Trump University behind
them,” Eck said.
maura.dolan
@latimes.com
Twitter: @mauradolan
Christina House Los Angeles Times
DURING the festival, The Times will host and curate dining events, panel discussions, volunteer projects and
other events. Above, roast lamb and cauliflower tacos are served at an event Tuesday previewing the festival.
LOS ANGELES TIMES FOOD BOWL
Culinary festival to return
Celebration of city’s
diverse food scene
will occur in May.
HAILEY
BRANSON-POTTS
Get your taste buds
ready, folks, because the Los
Angeles Times Food Bowl —
a monthlong festival — is
returning.
Throughout May, The
Times will be hosting and
curating dining events,
panel discussions, volunteer
projects and other events
celebrating L.A.’s diverse
culinary scene. The festival
also will promote conversations about and raise money
to combat food waste,
hunger and food insecurity.
Food Bowl has partnered with several charitable organizations that focus
on reclaiming discarded
food and feeding the homeless and needy, including
L.A. Kitchen, Food Forward
and Midnight Mission, said
Angus Dillon, the festival’s
executive producer.
On Tuesday, dozens of
people gathered at the
downtown restaurant
Otium for the festival
launch.
Jim Kirk, the Times’ new
editor in chief, told the
crowd that many of the
festival’s programs are
focused on alleviating the
crisis of homelessness and
that the charity partners
are “on the front lines helping to address this especially relevant issue.”
“I know that chefs, cooks
and the food community as
a whole take this issue to
heart,” he said.
The inaugural festival
last May drew more than
100,000 attendees. This year,
more than 250 events are
planned, including neighborhood food tours, a discussion about food in space
at UCLA, a Sichuan Summit featuring food writer
Fuchsia Dunlop and Chinese Chef Yu Bo and a conversation with chef José
Andrés of the Bazaar by
José Andrés.
The festival, once again,
will revolve around Night
Market, an outdoor food
market in Grand Park that
will feature more than 50
restaurants and food
trucks.
“I think of it as a monthlong, progressive dinner
party, a way for all of us to
explore this town and the
enormous diversity that we
have in terms of food and
the people who cook it,” said
Amy Scattergood, the
Times’ food editor.
The festival also will
feature the Gold Film Festival, a mini-festival curated
by Times restaurant critic
Jonathan Gold, with screenings hosted in various neighborhoods around the city.
Gold on Tuesday said
Food Bowl is a “celebration
of Los Angeles.”
“It’s a celebration of the
chefs of Los Angeles,” he
said. “It’s a celebration of
the restaurateurs. It’s a
celebration of the astonishing produce that we have,
and it’s a celebration of the
magnificent diversity that
we have in the city of Los
Angeles that’s unlike that
which you see in any other
city in the world.”
L.A. restaurateur Stephane Bombet, who attended
Tuesday’s festival launch,
said he looked forward to
participating in the festival
because it is communityoriented and because of the
charitable aspect.
“Food speaks to everybody,” he said. “When you
tell people you’re going to
have beautiful and delicious
food — what can be better
than that?”
Chani Hitt, marketing
director for the restaurant
group Happy to Serve You,
said it’s an exciting time for
the Los Angeles food scene.
“It seems like now, more
than ever, we’re being not
only respected for food, but
we’re being supported in the
industry,” she said. “There
are more opportunities,
from chefs to street vendors.
hailey.branson
@latimes.com
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M
B3
CITY & STATE
Officer broke
policy by firing
gun in scuffle,
panel decides
Police Commission
sides with Chief Beck
in criticizing off-duty
cop’s actions in
dispute with teens.
By Kate Mather
Allen J. Schaben Los Angeles Times
COUNCILMAN MITCH O’Farrell, center, calls for improvement measures at RecycLA, as Councilman Mike
Bonin, right, listens. The program has drawn complaints from landlords, condo owners and business groups.
Council frustrated by
‘hot mess’ at RecycLA
Trash haulers are grilled for escalating bills and poor customer service
By David Zahniser
Frustration with Los Angeles’ new recycling program boiled over at City Hall
on Tuesday, with council
members grilling trash company executives and calling
for new oversight to address
soaring bills and poor customer service.
Lawmakers spent more
than six hours reviewing
some of the problems that
have accompanied RecycLA, the commercial trash
program that has sparked
months of complaints from
landlords,
condominium
owners and the city’s business groups.
The feedback they received was frequently angry.
One speaker accused the
city’s private trash haulers of
engaging in price gouging. A
second described uncollected garbage that had
backed up in an apartment
trash chute, attracting rats
and roaches. Several said
their monthly trash bills had
increased by double or more.
“You have really created a
monster,” said Madelynn
Kopple, whose family owns
several residential buildings.
Council
members
sounded equally frustrated
on Tuesday. Councilman
Paul Koretz, one of the original proponents of RecycLA,
said the program had become “an embarrassment.”
Councilman Mike Bonin described the RecycLA rollout
as “nothing short of a hot
mess.” Councilwoman Nury
Martinez, who heads the
committee that conducted
the hearing, told the audience she is “not interested in
any more excuses.”
“I’m furious [over] the
fact that every single day I’m
inundated with calls,” she
said.
Amid those exasperated
statements, sanitation officials said they are seeing
substantive progress, with
the city’s private trash
haulers reducing the number of missed collections in
recent weeks. A similar message came from the haulers
themselves.
“We’re taming the beast,”
said Doug Corcoran, director of public-sector services
for Waste Management,
which is assigned to much of
the San Fernando Valley.
The council voted to implement the program in 2016,
giving seven companies the
exclusive right to collect
trash in 11 designated sections of the city.
Councilman
Mitch
O’Farrell, who represents
neighborhoods from Echo
Park to Hollywood, said he
had received assurances
that RecycLA would improve the “customer experience” for landlords, business
owners and condominium
complexes.
“I feel I was sold a bill of
goods,” he said before Tuesday’s meeting.
Representatives of the
city’s trash haulers have attributed the pickup problems, in part, to the sheer
scale of the RecycLA transition, which involved the
movement of tens of thousands of customers to new
refuse companies. Some
said Tuesday that their companies wound up collecting a
much greater volume of
garbage than initially proj-
ected — which forced them
to hire additional staff and
purchase more trucks.
Those explanations provoked a blistering response
from
Councilman
Paul
Krekorian, who serves on
the committee overseeing
RecycLA. He said each company had years to prepare
and an obligation to have
enough vehicles and employees for the launch.
“You grabbed the brass
ring and became the winning bidders on exclusive
franchises in the second biggest city in America,” he told
the executives. “There are a
lot of small haulers that were
servicing your accounts who
aren’t in business anymore.
So I don’t want to hear ever
again from anybody how
hard this is, or how difficult it
is to meet your customers’
requirements.”
RecycLA was devised as
a way to meet the state’s recycling requirements, improve the wages and conditions of refuse workers and
put new cleaner-burning
trash trucks on the streets.
The program was championed by Mayor Eric Garcetti
and backed by an array of labor leaders, environmentalists and nonprofit groups.
Many of those organizations urged the council to
stay the course, preserving
the program while also holding trash companies accountable. “Any efforts to
shift away from an exclusive
[trash] franchise program
will have consequences —
environmental and ecological consequences,” said
Adrian Martinez, an attorney with the group EarthJustice.
Council members made
clear that for now, they want
to increase oversight of the
trash companies and find
new ways to provide relief to
customers.
Bonin, who represents
coastal neighborhoods, said
city officials should look at
tapping some of the franchise fees from the program
to deliver financial help to
customers. Koretz, in turn,
has raised the prospect of
firing trash companies that
continue to rack up a significant number of missed collections.
“We should look at giving
one or two companies that
have done the worst job another month or two,” he said
earlier this week. “And if they
don’t get to where we expect
them to be, we terminate
their contract.”
Koretz said he would be
willing to go to court, if necessary, to get trash haulers
to stop imposing some of the
extra fees that the city views
as improper. The increases
to customers’ bills, he said,
have been “substantially
larger than we ever dreamed
possible.”
Daniel Yukelson, executive director of the Apartment Assn. of Greater Los
Angeles, put the blame for
the program squarely on
council members. City lawmakers, he said, failed to
properly vet the program before they approved it.
“To say that they’re surprised by the increased costs
— that’s egregious. It’s just
wrong,” he said. “They
should have known.”
david.zahniser
@latimes.com
An off-duty Los Angeles
police officer violated his department’s rules when he
fired his gun during a clash
with a group of teenagers
last year in Anaheim, the Police Commission determined Tuesday.
Siding with Chief Charlie
Beck, the commission found
that Officer Kevin Ferguson’s tactics were out of policy, along with his decision to
draw his gun and fire it.
The civilian panel’s unanimous vote comes nearly a
year after Ferguson, 34, fired
a shot after confronting a
group of teenagers in front of
his home in Anaheim, a
caught-on-camera dispute
that quickly went viral and
triggered days of protests.
The criminal investigation into Ferguson’s actions
ended two weeks ago, when
Orange County prosecutors
announced they would not
charge him in the Feb. 21,
2017, encounter. Prosecutors
had harsh words for his actions — calling them “unwise, immature and flat-out
horrible” in a memo — but
said they could not prove he
broke the law.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department
conducted its own review to
determine whether Ferguson violated any of the agency’s policies — standard protocol whenever an officer
fires his or her gun. The fiveperson Police Commission
ultimately decides whether
officers were justified in doing so, and whether they followed department rules before pulling the trigger.
It is up to Beck to decide
what punishment, if any, to
hand down to Ferguson.
The chief was critical of
the officer’s actions in a report he submitted to the Police Commission, saying the
inquiry revealed a “number
of concerns” about Ferguson’s comments and conduct that prompted a personnel investigation.
Ferguson had “ample
time” to try and deescalate
the situation, go home and
call Anaheim police, Beck
wrote. Instead, the chief
said, Ferguson continued to
escalate the encounter by
chasing a 13-year-old boy.
There was no reason for
Ferguson to draw his gun
when he did, Beck added.
And although the officer
told investigators he fired a
“warning shot” to scatter
what Ferguson believed was
a dangerous crowd, Beck
wrote, LAPD officials determined the teenagers’ actions “did not warrant” such
a move.
The officer’s attorney declined to comment on the
Police Commission’s decision. In a statement, the directors of the union representing rank-and-file LAPD
officers defended Ferguson’s
actions, saying he was trying
to protect himself — and had
“the right and duty” to do so.
“While we disagree with
the findings, we hope this
decision now enables everyone involved to move past
this incident,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League
said.
What began as a complaint common in many
neighborhoods — a group of
teens walking through a
neighbor’s yard on the way
home from school — spun
out of control when authorities say Ferguson confronted the group, cursing at
a 13-year-old girl.
That escalated into a 16minute struggle between
Ferguson and a 13-year-old
boy that moved between the
sidewalk and street before
ending in a neighbor’s frontyard. Prosecutors released
nearly a dozen videos captured by surveillance cameras and cellphones that
show different portions of
the encounter — including
the boy and Ferguson trading accusations.
At one point, the boy accuses Ferguson of choking
him as they struggle.
“What are you doing this
for?” a bystander asks.
“Because he threatened
to shoot me,” Ferguson responds.
“I didn’t say that,” the 13year-old answers, insisting
that he said he was going to
“sue” Ferguson.
At one point, another
teenager rushes the officer,
sending him tumbling over a
hedge.
As the officer tries to drag
the 13-year-old over the
bushes, another teen swings
at him. The officer then reaches into his jeans for a gun
and fires a single shot.
No one was injured by the
gunfire, which authorities
said was aimed at the
ground.
Ferguson told investigators he thought the crowd
was going to “gang up on me”
and “beat the … out of me,”
according to Beck’s report.
“I didn’t know what was
going to happen,” he said.
R.J. Manuelian, an attorney representing one of the
teenagers, blasted Ferguson’s actions, saying they
went “against all protocols.”
The officer, he added, should
be fired.
“I don’t think he has the
temperament to be a police
officer,” he said.
kate.mather@latimes.com
New LAUSD chief hunt will be mostly free due to warranty
By Howard Blume
The unexpected departure of Los Angeles schools
Supt. Michelle King — after
less than two years on the
job — has triggered a rarely
used clause in the contract
of an executive search firm:
its warranty.
The contract the school
district signed with Hazard,
Young, Attea & Associates
stated that the firm would
not charge a consulting fee
for a new search if the superintendent were to leave the
job within two years.
The fee for the first
search was $160,000 plus approved expenses. This one is
supposed to be all but free.
Hazard, Young, Attea “
has agreed to honor the provision in their earlier agreement to perform a subsequent recruitment at no
charge — save certain costs,”
said L.A. Unified General
Counsel David Holmquist.
“We are finalizing a new contract to reflect this commit-
ment while the [school]
board considers the scope of
the recruitment effort.”
L.A. Unified officials
announced King’s selection
Jan. 11, 2016. Just days shy of
two years later, on Jan. 5 of
this year, King released a
statement saying that she
has cancer and would be
stepping down. She was last
at work in early September,
when she went on medical
leave. She appointed Vivian
Ekchian as an interim replacement in October.
That last superintendent
search looked at candidates
from around the country,
but at the end of the confidential process, the Board of
Education chose King, then
deputy
superintendent,
who’d spent her entire career in the district.
The district still will incur
some expenses related to
the search, which could include the costs of organizing
community forums, if officials decide to go down that
route again. In the last
search, these forums — over-
Al Seib Los Angeles Times
SUPT. MICHELLE KING’S departure after less
than two years triggered a search firm’s warranty.
seen by the consultants —
were held across the school
system, though most were
poorly attended. Still, the
feedback was dutifully collected and reviewed by the
Board of Education.
On Tuesday afternoon,
after the board met in closed
session, board President
Monica Garcia said in an interview that this time
around, the consultants
would not be leading or participating in public gatherings. Instead, board members would handle outreach
in their own districts. “Every
board member will be engaging stakeholders in a variety of ways,” Garcia said,
adding that they’ll also review the public comments
from the last search.
Board member Nick
Melvoin said he’s already
had informal sessions in his
district and plans to have
more.
Before the search that led
to King, the Board of Education selected three superintendents without a formal
process for public input or
participation, although civic
leaders and philanthropists
exerted influence behind the
scenes. L.A. has had six superintendents since 2008,
counting Ekchian. The
school board affirmed that
Ekchian would stay on in her
role days after King announced she would be stepping down.
The warranty provision
in the contract for the search
that led to King’s appointment stated: “If the Superintendent departs from the
position during the first year
under any circumstances or
within two years if the majority of the Board is still in
place, HYA will conduct a
new search for the Board at
no additional cost barring
expenses.”
The principals of Hazard,
Young, Attea, which is based
in Illinois, are former school
superintendents who rely on
their contacts — and their
good standing — in education.
The firm could have tried
to void its warranty on a
technicality — because King
said when she stepped down
that she would “retire by
June 30,” which is well after
the end of the warranty period. (After going on medical
leave, she began to use the
paid sick days she accumulated over her long career.)
The firm couldn’t have
extricated itself using the
clause about the school
board. Since King got the
job, only two of seven board
seats have changed hands.
That small turnover, however, led to a big shift in board
power, which could have
threatened King’s tenure
had she stayed healthy.
howard.blume
@latimes.com
B4
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M
Tulare cares about water, not Russia
[Nunes, from B1]
port a candidate that delivers water to local farmers.”
Nunes’ district sits in the
San Joaquin Valley, spanning Tulare, Visalia and
parts of Fresno. It is predominantly
Latino,
although less than 29% of that
population is registered to
vote, and agriculture is a major economic driver and No. 1
employer. In Tulare, a city of
nearly 63,000, farmers like to
point out that the region
feeds the world, with Tulare,
Fresno and Kern counties
typically running among the
top three global agricultural
producers for cotton, almonds, wine grapes and
walnuts.
The district is home to
nearly half a million cows,
and 50% of the world’s supply of raisins is produced
within a 60-mile radius of
Fresno.
Growers see Nunes,
whose family has been farming in the community for
generations, as a longtime
vocal advocate for their interests. They say his prior
legislation failed only because of previous presidents.
Roger Isom, president of
the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Assn.,
said Nunes in his 14 years in
Congress has helped bring
attention to the water crisis.
They cited in particular East
Porterville, an unincorporated area of Tulare County,
where hundreds of wells
went dry and people were
forced to flush toilets with
buckets of dirty water during the recent years-long
drought. The congressman’s
efforts led to the building of a
communal shower and to
the temporary opening of
dams to allow water to flow
Gary Coronado Los Angeles Times
DAIRY COWS at Tulare High School Farm last year. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tu-
lare) is from a farming family and has strong backing from farmers and growers.
to the area.
“Devin fought to bring
this to the light,” Isom said.
“He has pushed the conversation, and there is the impact in my community.”
Now Isom and other
growers are hoping Nunes
helps push for more deregulation of the farming industry, funds for research and
the creation of more dams,
which they say requires
state and federal dollars.
They also want to see federal restrictions repealed
protecting smelt, an endangered fish species not indigenous to the Central Valley.
And they are well aware that
they are at odds with the rest
of California, or as one
grower put it, “people on
the other side of the grapevine.”
“You go to San Francisco,
and people think we are try-
‘Am I going to
keep up with
everything [the
president] tweets?
I honestly don’t
have the time.’
— Roger Isom,
president, California Cotton
Ginners and Growers Assn.
ing to kill the environment,”
Cairns said at his corner produce store off All American
City Highway. “But we are
just trying to make a living
and put food on tables.”
That is why their faith in
Nunes endures, they say,
though some agree his latest
political battles in Washing-
ton are a distraction from
the issues germane to their
daily lives.
“Our eyes are on the more
important issue right now: a
federal project that gets us
water,” Isom said. “Am I going to keep up with everything
[the
president]
tweets? I honestly don’t
have the time.”
Nunes, chairman of the
House Intelligence Committee, became a focus for
Democrats after he crafted
and released a four-page
memo last week that alleges
senior FBI and Justice Department officials relied on
questionable and politically
motivated sources to justify
surveillance of Trump’s
presidential
campaign.
Democrats counter that
Nunes cherry-picked information, and on Monday they
won the committee’s ap-
proval to release their rebuttal memo.
In neighboring Fresno,
several dozen people took to
the streets Saturday to protest the release of Nunes’
document, and the opinion
pages of the local newspaper, the Fresno Bee, recently dubbed him “President Trump’s stooge.” The
Bee covered the memo spat
on its front page Tuesday.
Former county prosecutor Andrew Janz, a Democrat, is running an uphill
battle for Nunes’ House seat
in a district where registered
Republican voters outnumber Democrats by 10 percentage points and Trump
won with 51% of the vote in
2016. Late last year, Janz
bought a highway billboard
in Clovis depicting Nunes
and Trump clad in diapers,
with Russian President
Vladimir Putin pulling them
by leashes.
Over the weekend, Janz,
33, said on HBO’s “Vice
News Tonight” that the billboard shows he is “not afraid
to attack an eight-term incumbent.”
The Democrat said he
raised $100,000 for his campaign the day the memo was
unveiled, $150,000 the next
and was on track to do the
same Sunday. “By end of this
quarter, we should probably
have $1 million in our bank
account,” he said in a segment that played in a hotel
in Tulare.
It’s unclear how influential a liberal national news
show might be in the 22nd
Congressional
District.
Residents do listen to conservative talk radio, whose
hosts on this particular day
spent less time discussing
news in Washington than
they did on perceived liberal
media bias and how kneeling
NFL players might be the
reason that Super Bowl ratings declined.
In this quiet town, which
some in the area see as a
world apart even from the
more populated Fresno, how
residents felt about Trump
tended to dictate how they
felt about Nunes — and
many preferred to avoid the
toxic subject altogether.
One downtown restaurant owner said he has noticed a deep partisan divide
among his clients, though
residents with varying political views complain it is difficult to get to know Nunes,
who they said has not hosted
a town hall.
Others wondered why he
had not done more to help
the so-called Dreamers
brought to the country illegally as children.
“I thought he was going
to do what he advertised,”
said Gilda Salas, 53, a housekeeper who voted for him
last election. “I thought he
was going to worry about education and illegal immigration.”
At Flores Nidia on South
K Street, Maria Ortega had
arranged rows and rows of
stuffed white bears and red
balloons for Valentine’s Day.
Ortega, 67, said Nunes
should be worried about
aligning himself with someone like Trump, whose immigration rhetoric she said
is scaring off employees and
clients alike and hurting
small businesses.
“A good politician is well
known to everyone in their
hometown, but I know very
little else about him,” she
said.
jazmine.ulloa
@latimes.com
Child molester
won’t be freed
pending review
[Molester, from B1]
years under California’s Sexually Violent Predator law,
which allows the state to
hospitalize people if a judge
or jury determines they have
a mental disorder making
them likely to reoffend.
(When Vasquez’s case was
filed in 2000, the commitments were limited to twoyear periods, but voters later
approved a measure making
the terms indefinite.)
The request to have
Vasquez confined as a sexually violent predator, however, never went to trial. Instead, year after year, his legal proceedings were delayed. In November 2016,
when Vasquez was bounced
to his fourth deputy public
defender, he’d reached his
limit.
“Enough is enough,” he
told Bianco, who a month
later kicked the public defender’s office from the case.
In his written ruling last
month explaining his decision to release Vasquez, Bianco noted that one of the
state’s two psychologists
who had examined Vasquez
for years had concluded that
he no longer qualified as a
sexually violent predator.
Bianco also noted that
for years both prosecutors
and defense attorneys requested postponements in
the case. By 2014, however,
the judge said that the delays came almost entirely
from defense attorneys.
“There was a systemic
breakdown of the public defender system,” Bianco
wrote. “Seventeen years
awaiting trial for a two-year
commitment is far too long a
delay.”
In an interview with The
Times last month, then-Interim Public Defender Kenneth I. Clayman defended
the office, saying he was
proud of the unit that handles sexually violent predator cases. “We provide outstanding representation,”
he said.
After the hearing last
month, Vasquez’s attorney,
Mark Brandt, praised the
judge’s ruling as “courageous” and “well-reasoned,”
adding that his client was
eager to be reunited with his
family.
But Vasquez’s release
plan stalled Friday, when
the district attorney’s office
filed legal papers asking California’s 2nd District Court
of Appeal to keep him in the
state hospital as they re-
viewed the case.
Prosecutors asked the
appellate justices to throw
out Bianco’s decision and reset a trial date for Vasquez,
noting that over the years
the state’s psychologists
had evaluated him two dozen times. In only one instance, prosecutors wrote,
did a doctor conclude that
Vasquez didn’t qualify as a
sexually violent predator.
Prosecutors argued that Bianco had “ignored the strategic benefit” to Vasquez in
asking for delays — a “tactical” decision, prosecutors
said, to postpone the trial as
long as the doctors were still
deeming him a sexually violent predator.
“The lower court’s ruling,” prosecutors wrote,
“was simply erroneous.”
On Monday, Presiding
Justice Dennis M. Perluss
filed an order temporarily
blocking Vasquez’s release
and giving his attorney two
weeks to file an opposing
motion.
Throughout Tuesday’s
hearing, Vasquez — who attended by camera from the
hospital — clasped his
hands and occasionally jotted notes.
Vasquez nodded as his
attorney told Bianco that
he’d asked the appeals court
for an extension, noting that
he planned to bring in a lawyer who specializes in appellate cases.
Asked for comment after
the hearing, Brandt said,
“Seventeen-plus years pending trial is shocking to the
conscience.”
After the hearing, Deputy
Dist. Atty. Richard Ceballos
said he views Vasquez as a
threat, adding that his office
will “do everything in our
power to keep him at Coalinga.”
Ceballos added that he
believes the appellate decision could have sweeping
significance, calling it a “test
case” for other sexually violent predator cases across
the state.
During a recent interview, L.A. County Dist. Atty.
Jackie Lacey winced when
asked about the possibility
of Vasquez’s release.
“It’s very concerning to
me,” she said. “I’m concerned that some unsuspecting child will go outside
to play and become a victim.”
marisa.gerber
@latimes.com
Wally Skalij Los Angeles Times
LAPD DEPUTY Chief Justin Eisenberg announces the arrest of Valentino Gutierrez, a homeless man sus-
pected of killing and dismembering his wife, Tiana Alfred, and burning her body in a Home Depot parking lot.
Searching for weapon and motive
[Homicide, from B1]
mination ... which is pretty
cold.”
The investigation began
shortly after 1:30 a.m. Thursday,
after
firefighters
doused the fire, LAPD officials said. Once it was out,
Chief Charlie Beck said, they
opened the suitcase and
found “dismembered body
parts” inside.
Detectives from the
LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide
Division, which handles
high-profile or particularly
complex investigations, immediately took the case. Investigators soon found surveillance video showing a
man riding a train with the
same suitcase, Beck said.
Other people were on the
train at the time — shortly
after midnight on Thursday
— but it didn’t appear that
they interacted with Gutierrez, Hayes said.
Other than the fact that
the suitcase appeared to be
very heavy, “there was nothing that we can see that was
out of the ordinary,” Hayes
said.
After watching the video,
detectives determined that
Gutierrez got on the train at
the Fillmore Station in Pasadena, Hayes said. From
there, police used a bloodhound to retrace his trail.
Investigators
interviewed homeless people in
the area, who helped identify
Gutierrez, police said.
“Their statements also
tied him to the murder,”
Beck said.
Police arrested Gutierrez
shortly after 10 a.m. Friday
after he left a homeless shelter in Pasadena, authorities
said. They also identified the
scene where they believe he
dismembered his victim, the
defunct Dona Rosa Bakery
and Taqueria at California
Boulevard and Arroyo Parkway. Pasadena police said
officers from that city had
responded to the location
three times last year for
“homeless-related
concerns.”
Hayes said detectives
found forensic evidence
there but declined to elaborate. They are still searching
for the murder weapon, he
said, as well as a motive.
Police believe Gutierrez
killed Alfred sometime on
Jan. 30, Hayes said. The couple had been living at a Pasadena homeless shelter for
several months, he added.
Gutierrez had a lengthy
criminal history, LAPD Deputy Chief Justin Eisenberg
said, including convictions
for robbery, battery, domestic violence, drugs and possession of a deadly weapon.
If convicted of the arson
and murder charges, prosecutors said, he faces up to life
in prison.
kate.mather
@latimes.com
javier.panzar
@latimes.com
Suits involving deputies’ use of force decline
[Lawsuits, from B1]
against the county declined
for the second year in a row.
There were 707 suits filed,
compared with 749 in the
previous fiscal year. It was
the lowest number of new
cases in the last seven years,
according to the report.
The Sheriff ’s Department saw a 40% decline
in new excessive-force lawsuits and a 33% drop in
cases involving deputy-re-
lated shootings, the report
said. In all, the department
was sued 189 times.
Steve Robles, assistant
chief executive officer with
the county’s Risk Management Branch, said the decline in lawsuits against the
Sheriff ’s Department was
the result of policy and management changes.
“The Sheriff ’s Department has been doing a
good job of paying attention
to previous lawsuits and
putting in action to avoid future litigation,” said Robles,
who helped prepare the report.
In all, the county paid out
$68.6 million in judgments
and settlements involving
the Sheriff ’s Department,
the most of any county department.
The $145.5-million county
total includes $79.3 million
for 12 judgments and 242 set-
tlements of lawsuits, which
was an 11% increase compared with the $71.3 million
the county spent the prior
fiscal year.
It also includes $66.1 million in attorney fee costs, the
report said. This was a 9% increase from fiscal year 201516.
melissa.etehad
@latimes.com
Twitter: @melissaetehad
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M
B5
CLIFF BOURLAND, 1921 - 2018
USC star was U.S.’ oldest living gold medalist
Los Angeles Times staff
Olympic sprinter Cliff
Bourland, who won a gold
medal at the 1948 London
Games and was America’s
oldest living gold medalist,
has died at age 97.
The former Olympian
and USC track star died
Thursday of complications
from pneumonia in Santa
Monica, according to a statement released Friday by
USC.
Bourland won gold at the
1948 London Games while
running the second leg of the
U.S. 1,600-meter relay. He
also finished fifth in the 200
meters.
He won the NCAA 440yard championship in 1942
and ’43 while attending USC.
He was a three-time letterman, with the Trojans winning the National Collegiate
Athletic Assn. team title
each year under coach Dean
Cromwell. Bourland was
captain of the 1943 team,
which had just four athletes
at the NCAA championships but still won the
team title.
He placed third in the 100
and second in the 220 in 1941,
and finished third in the 220
the next two years. The 46 total points Bourland scored
at the NCAAs set a school
record and currently is
fourth-most ever.
At the Amateur Athletic
Union championships, he
won the 400 in 1942 and ’43
and was second in the 200
Associated Press
CELEBRATED OLYMPIAN
Cliff Bourland, second from left, placed fifth in the 200 meters at the 1948 London Games, above, but the USC champ took the gold in the 1,600-meter relay.
both years. He ran a leg on a
1,600 relay at the 1941 AAUs
that broke the world record
despite the team finishing
second.
Bourland was born Jan. 1,
1921. He was the Los Angeles
city 440 champion in 1938
while attending Venice High
School.
He was a captain in the
Navy during World War II.
After his sprinting career, he
worked in the shoe, insurance and mortgage banking
industries.
Bourland is survived by
his wife, Caroline Jane; sons
Cliff Jr. and Alexander;
daughter Rhonda Jane
Groves; a grandson; and two
great-grandchildren.
news.obits@latimes.com
B6
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M
Recycling and other follies at City Hall
[Lopez, from B1]
from landlords who say
their bills have multiplied
three, four, five and six
times.
“We’ve always agreed
with the objectives” of promoting more recycling,
Beverly Kenworthy of the
California Apartment Assn.
told me after testifying
before the committee. But
nobody anticipated crippling fee increases, she said.
“I have clients who are
panicking about how
they’re going to pay,” she
said.
Before Tuesday’s meeting, council members O’Farrell, Koretz and Mike Bonin
took their own shots at the
program, which, by the way,
they voted to approve in
2016.
“I feel I was sold a bill of
goods,” O’Farrell said.
Bonin said the RecycLA
rollout was “nothing short
of a hot mess.”
And Koretz said bills
have been “substantially
larger than we ever dreamed
possible.”
Well, guess what, guys?
This thing didn’t happen
overnight. It was in the
works for years.
Were you napping?
Were you happy to support anything sealed and
delivered by a combination
of labor leaders and environmental activists?
Did you owe a favor to
the biggest cheerleader for
RecycLA — Mayor Eric
Garcetti?
Speaking of the mayor, I
couldn’t help thinking
about him while attending
Tuesday’s hot mess mat-
Myung J. Chun Los Angeles Times
TONY DONATO, president of a condo association in Tarzana, says the company
that handles its trash has repeatedly missed recycling pickups.
inee.
Let me explain.
Just one week ago,
Garcetti cleared the air on
who will serve as the next
full-time city administrative
officer. That’s a crucial
position at City Hall — one
that requires sharp administrative skills, a strong
sense of independence and
a willingness to tell the boss
the truth whether he wants
to hear it or not.
In fact, the former city
administrative officer,
Miguel Santana, recommended against the current
RecycLA contract. Santana
argued that all the wage and
environmental objectives
could have been met, and
fees controlled, by creating
competition in each region
of the city rather than
awarding exclusive contracts.
Garcetti and a council
majority rejected Santana’s
argument, and now we
know how that turned out.
So whom did Garcetti
pick to succeed Santana,
who left last year?
To nobody’s surprise, he
went with the interim, Rich
Llewellyn, who happens to
be his former legal advisor
and a longtime aide.
My first reaction:
Was Garcetti’s wife unavailable?
Was his father, the former district attorney, unwilling to come out of retire-
ment?
I’m not saying Llewellyn
doesn’t know his stuff; he’s
been around a while and
gets high marks from some
people. But the mayor, a
cautious guy for somebody
who keeps hinting at a run
for president, went with the
safest choice, even though
in his telling, Llewellyn is
someone who is “unafraid to
tell you the unvarnished
truth.”
And then there’s the
selection process, as reported by my colleague
David Zahniser.
Despite the importance
of the job, Councilman
David Ryu said he saw “no
evidence that a comprehensive search was done.”
One of the applicants,
who serves as assistant city
administrative officer, said
he wasn’t even interviewed.
Garcetti, meanwhile, said
the search was “exhaustive”
and was narrowed down in
the end to Llewellyn and
another Garcetti ally, Deputy Chief of Staff Matt Szabo.
Look, the city administrative officer job isn’t exactly an adversarial position, but it’s got to be filled
by someone who’s willing to
say you can’t buy a new car
when the roof leaks and the
sidewalk is cracked.
The administrative
officer has to be brutally
honest about whether tax
dollars are being thrown to
the wind, as was the case
when a CAO study pointed
out that $100 million a year
was spent on homelessness
without much coordination
or impact.
The CAO has to play
hardball in contract negotiations with unions that
make campaign donations
to the mayor and council
members.
Los Angeles has a homeless problem that’s getting
worse.
The Times just ran a
blistering expose (by Jack
Dolan, Gus Garcia-Roberts
and Ryan Menezes) about
how cops and firefighters
are missing years of work
but getting twice the pay in
a loosely monitored and
widely abused pre-retirement program.
Another Times
investigation (by Emily
Alpert Reyes, Laura J. Nelson and Ben Poston)
pointed out that the city
paid $19 million last year to
settle lawsuits over injuries
and deaths suffered by
bicyclists, many of whom
went down after hitting
potholes or cracks in a city
that promotes bike riding
but can’t fix its streets.
We’ve got projected
budget deficits, employees
at the Department of Water
and Power don’t pay healthcare premiums, and City
Hall just hosted a RecycLA
circus a week after Garcetti
picked a buddy to serve as
the city’s top watchdog.
And how many people
were interviewed for the
job?
“More than one, less than
100,” Garcetti told Zahniser.
That happens to be the
same number of complaints
I get each day about RecycLA.
steve.lopez@latimes.com
Twitter: @LATstevelopez
C
BuSINESS
DD
W E D N E S D A Y , F E B R U A R Y 7 , 2 0 1 8 :: L A T I M E S . C O M / B U S I N E S S
U.S. trade
deficit soars
despite vow
by Trump
President has pledged
to close the gap, but it
widened by 12% last
year to its highest
level since 2008.
By Don Lee
Red Huber Associated Press
BY NAILING the first flight of the Falcon Heavy — the world’s most powerful operational rocket —
SpaceX set the stage for faster and cheaper launches of satellites. Above, the rocket’s liftoff in Florida.
WASHINGTON — Despite President Trump’s vow
to reduce the United States’
large trade deficit, the nation’s long-standing imbalance with the rest of the
world widened substantially
during his first year in office,
to the highest level in almost
a decade.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the
U.S. trade deficit in goods
and services, which had
changed little in 2015 and
2016, surged 12% last year to
$566 billion, the most since
2008.
The report was largely
expected, but it nonetheless
provided fresh grist for longtime critics of Washington’s
trade policy to hammer the
president and his administration to take a harder line
on trade, particularly with
China, which accounted for
almost half of the trade gap
in goods.
“Are we just going to talk
tough or when you come
back a year from now are we
going to see a different
chart?” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Porter Ranch) as he
confronted Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin during a hearing Tuesday by
showing a table of the deficit
with China rising every
month since Trump took office.
Mnuchin responded, “I
think you’re going to see a
different chart.”
The new data could embolden Trump to take action, although that remains
to be seen. Barring significant trade measures, a
weakening of the dollar and
stronger economic growth
abroad should help lift U.S.
exports this year, but imports also are likely to keep
expanding.
The new tax cuts and
other incentives for corporations could help boost investment and manufacturing in the United States, but
[See Trade, C5]
A big lift for SpaceX
as rocket takes flight
Firm’s Falcon Heavy launch succeeds on first try
By Samantha Masunaga
In a historic first, SpaceX launched
the world’s most powerful operational
rocket from Kennedy Space Center in
Florida on Tuesday. By nailing the giant rocket’s first flight, and landing its
two side boosters on the ground, the
Hawthorne company set the stage for
faster and cheaper launches of satellites — particularly lucrative national
security satellites and other cargo.
The test payload for the demonstration mission was SpaceX founder
and Chief Executive Elon Musk’s midnight cherry Tesla Roadster. The car
was shown by remote camera separating from the rocket and heading out
toward Mars, a dummy “Starman” behind the wheel, wearing a SpaceX-designed spacesuit that will eventually
be worn by astronauts in the company’s Dragon 2 capsule. A sign saying
“Don’t Panic!” in all capital letters was
seen on the dashboard console.
“I had this image of just a giant explosion on the pad with a wheel bouncing down the road,” Musk said during
a post-launch news conference Tues-
day afternoon. “Fortunately, that’s
not what happened.”
After liftoff, SpaceX attempted to
land all three of Falcon Heavy’s boosters back on Earth — two on land and
one on a floating platform at sea.
Musk had described the attempt as
“synchronized aerial ballet.” About
eight minutes after liftoff, the two side
boosters set down simultaneously on
land.
The rocket’s center core, which was
set to touch down on a floating sea
platform, did not fare as well. During
[See Rocket, C4]
Snap beats Wall St. expectations
Shares soar after it
posts 72% increase in
4th-quarter revenue.
By David Pierson
After a bruising first year
as a publicly traded company, Snap Inc. has finally
earned some much-needed
breathing room.
Shares of the Venice company behind the video messaging app Snapchat surged
more than 25% in afterhours trading after Snap reported stronger-than-expected results Tuesday in its
latest earnings report.
Snap reported revenue of
$285.7 million in the fourth
quarter, a 72% increase from
a year earlier, thanks to surprising growth in users and
advertising. That blew away
analysts’ estimate of $253
million.
It was the first time Snap
beat Wall Street’s expectations, helping the struggling
[See Snap, C4]
Carolyn Cole Los Angeles Times
SNAP posted fourth-quarter revenue of $285.7 million, smashing analysts’ esti-
mate of $253 million. Above, CEO Evan Spiegel, center, marks Snap’s March IPO.
Kalanick takes
stand in Waymo
trade secrets trial
The Uber co-founder
testifies on trying to
hire accused engineer.
By Russ Mitchell
SAN FRANCISCO —
Controversial Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick
spoke publicly Tuesday for
the first time since the ridehailing company fired him
as chief executive in June.
Taking the witness stand
in a hushed San Francisco
courtroom, where he was
testifying at the WaymoUber trade secrets trial,
Kalanick belied his reputation for aggression and pugnacity. His mood was subdued, his voice soft, his manner polite.
Over 30 minutes, he described his attempts to hire
Anthony Levandowski, the
engineer accused of stealing
Waymo trade secrets and
handing them to Uber.
The trial centers on Waymo’s claim that Uber gained
illegal access to eight trade
secrets found among gigabytes of data allegedly downloaded from Waymo servers
and stolen by Levandowski.
Lawyers asked Kalanick
about Uber’s 2016 purchase
of a company called Otto, described as a driverless truck
technology
company
formed by Levandowski
while still a Waymo employee (Waymo is the driverless
car arm of Google’s parent
company, Alphabet). Uber
agreed to pay $592 million
for Otto in 2016.
The idea was discussed
at a January 2016 meeting
that Kalanick described as a
jazz-like “jam session,” but
with business ideas instead
of musical instruments.
Uber was way behind
Waymo in the development
of driverless technology,
Kalanick acknowledged —
especially in a laser-based
sensor technology called lidar. He said he was a “big
fan” of Levandowski and
wanted him at Uber to push
driverless technology forward. Levandowski was
eventually named head of
Uber’s self-driving program.
Kalanick explained that
driverless cars are an “existential” threat to Uber, because the first ride-hailing
companies to replace human drivers with robot cars
will reduce costs dramatically. (Google has invested
in ride-hailing competitor
Lyft.)
“Look, I wanted to hire
Anthony and he wanted to
start a company,” Kalanick
said. With Otto, “he could
feel like he started a company and I could feel like I
had hired him.”
At first, Kalanick and another Uber executive testi[See Uber, C4]
C2
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M / B U S I N E S S
BUSINESS BEAT
Beverly Hills tax lawyer may lead IRS
Trump reportedly
plans to nominate
Charles ‘Chuck’ Rettig
as commissioner amid
tax code revamp.
By Saleha Mohsin
and Justin Sink
President Trump plans
to nominate California tax
attorney Charles “Chuck”
Rettig to head the Internal
Revenue Service as it implements the nation’s tax code
revamp, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.
In addition to carrying
out the Republican tax overhaul, Rettig would also have
an even more sensitive job —
overseeing an audit of the
president’s returns. Trump
departed from roughly 40
years of tradition for presidential candidates by refusing to release his tax returns
during the 2016 campaign.
The president has said he’s
under a federal audit and
won’t release his returns until the audit is over.
Rettig, who has been with
Beverly
Hills-based
Hochman, Salkin, Rettig,
Toscher & Perez for 35 years,
would succeed former IRS
Commissioner John Koskinen. David Kautter, the
assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy, was appointed the interim replacement after Koskinen’s term
ended in November. Ko-
Lawrence K. Ho Los Angeles Times
UNLIKE THE LAST several IRS heads, Charles “Chuck” Rettig has a tax background, rather than business
management expertise. Among his duties would be overseeing an audit of President Trump’s returns.
skinen had an acrimonious
relationship with House Republicans, who alleged that
he misled Congress.
Rettig didn’t respond to
emailed requests for comment.
Rettig has weighed in on
a variety of tax policy issues
as a contributor to Forbes,
including
supporting
Trump’s decision not to release his tax returns.
“Would any experienced
tax lawyer representing
Trump in an IRS audit ad-
vise him to publicly release
his tax returns during the
audit?” Rettig wrote in 2016.
“Absolutely not.”
If confirmed by the Senate, Rettig would join the
agency as it struggles with
limited resources and a pos-
sible restructuring by Congress. Adjusting for inflation, the Taxpayer Advocate
Service estimates the IRS
budget has been cut 20%
since 2010.
Unlike the last several
IRS heads, Rettig has a tax
background, rather than
business management expertise. In his law practice,
Rettig has represented clients before the IRS, the Justice Department’s Tax Division, state tax authorities
and in federal and state
courts, according to a biography on his law firm’s website.
Rettig has also represented scores of U.S. taxpayers seeking to disclose their
unreported offshore bank
accounts to the IRS.
In 2010, Rettig was appointed by the IRS to serve
as chairman of its Advisory
Council, after having been
an active and contributing
member since 2008. The advisory body to the IRS
commissioner reviews existing tax policy and makes recommendations and suggests operational improvements.
Rettig, who received his
law degree from Pepperdine
University and a Master of
Laws in taxation from New
York University, currently
serves as vice chairman of
administration
for
the
American Bar Assn.’s Taxation Section. Previously he
was chairman of the Tax
Section’s Civil and Criminal
Tax Penalties Committee,
which addresses criminal
and civil tax issues throughout the country.
Politico first reported
that Trump was going to
nominate Rettig.
Mohsin and Sink write for
Bloomberg.
Successor is appointed for
Boardriders CEO lost at sea
By Alejandra
Reyes-Velarde
Boardriders Inc. announced Tuesday that its
chief turnaround officer,
David Tanner, has been appointed chief executive of
the sportswear company
earlier than planned. He replaces Pierre Agnes, who
was lost at sea last week.
The Huntington Beach
company, which holds the
Quiksilver, Roxy and DC
Shoes brands, is in the process of acquiring fellow action
sports company Billabong
International Ltd.
The deal, which was announced last month and is
expected to close in the first
half of this year, is valued
at $315 million, according to
a person familiar with the
situation who was not
authorized to discuss it publicly and asked for anonymity.
After the deal closed, Agnes was to become president
of the company and lead integration efforts, and Tanner was to be the company’s
chief executive.
Tanner’s transition to
the role was one that Agnes
“had fostered and strongly
Iroz Gaizkai AFP/Getty Images
PIERRE AGNES’ boat
was found washed ashore
and empty last week.
supported,” the company
said.
“We are all grief-stricken
over the sudden and tragic
loss of our friend Pierre Agnes,” Tanner said in a statement. “At the same time, we
are resolute and passionately unified in our commitment to honor Pierre’s memory and extend his legacy by
driving the continued resurgence and growth of Boardriders.”
Agnes, 54, went fishing
Jan. 30 on a small boat off the
coast of southwest France,
where he lived. The area is
known for intense waves,
and Agnes had noted the fog
that morning. His boat was
found washed ashore, overturned and empty. French
authorities deployed boats
and helicopters to search for
him, but they called off the
search the next day.
Agnes, a French citizen,
was head of Boardriders’
European unit before being
named CEO of the entire
company in 2015.
Quiksilver filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
a few months after Agnes
took over. It emerged in 2016
and changed its name to
Boardriders last year.
Less than 40% of the company’s revenue comes from
North America, Tanner said
in January.
Thomas
Chambolle,
Boardriders’ global chief financial officer, will be interim president of Boardriders
in Europe, the Middle East
and Africa, the company announced Tuesday. Greg
Healy will remain global
president and president of
Boardriders in the Asia Pacific region.
alejandra.reyesvelarde
@latimes.com
Twitter: @r_valejandra
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images
JPMORGAN CHASE, Bank of America and Citigroup started to decline cryp-
tocurrency purchases as the industry saw a variety of ways it could get burned.
Banks’ bitcoin fears rise
Failure to repay is not
the only reason credit
card firms are balking.
By Jenny Surane
America’s largest banks
had myriad worries in mind
when they rushed this week
to ban customers from using
credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin’s gutwrenching slide was just one
of the threats.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.,
Bank of America Corp. and
Citigroup Inc. started to decline purchases as industry
executives zeroed in on a variety of ways they could get
burned, according to people
briefed on the decisions.
Publicly, JPMorgan cited the
risk that borrowers might
not repay. Behind the
scenes, card issuers were
also concerned about the
protections they offer shoppers and their vulnerability
to thieves, the people said.
Near the top of many lists
were initial coin offerings.
Start-ups have embraced
the fundraising method,
selling tradable tokens to
gather money for projects,
sometimes promising future
rewards. Initial coin offerings drew $3.7 billion last
year, but in many cases companies have struggled to
make good on obligations or
revealed themselves as
scams. Increasingly, regulators are intervening, deeming some tokens to be unregistered securities.
Card executives saw a few
dangers, said the people,
who asked not to be identified discussing confidential
deliberations. It can take
days for buyers to receive
their tokens, and if the instruments turn out to be
fraudulent or illegal, cardholders may dispute the
charges. Major crypto exchanges such as Coinbase
eschew most tokens, but
some initial coin offerings
and smaller venues enable
card purchases. In December, U.S. regulators sued a
Quebec man and his company, claiming they raised
$15 million in a fraudulent
initial coin offering that
found workarounds to accept cards.
Eastman Kodak Co.,
which has been working on
KodakCoins, warned potential investors Tuesday that
bogus websites and Facebook accounts are promoting and even claiming to already be selling the planned
digital token.
Another worry is that a
thief could open a credit
card account with a stolen or
fake identity, or just poach a
cardholder’s number. The
fraudster would then be able
to convert the credit line into
a hoard of digital cash that
would be almost impossible
to trace.
The sharp decline in bitcoin’s value also creates a
classic problem for any
banks providing financing.
Consumers who lean on
credit lines to speculate —
and bet wrong — may struggle to repay. The danger
wasn’t so acute last year
when cryptocurrencies kept
climbing. But since briefly
exceeding $19,000 in late
December,
bitcoin
has
plunged.
One Reddit user, going by
bitconnected1369, drew a
mix of pity, disbelief and
scorn over the weekend after
writing in a forum about
loading up on bitcoin at
$17,000.
“Am I worried? No,” the
user wrote. “I bought it on
my credit card through
Coinbase and had planned
the repayments would be
paid out of bitcoin profits.
First payment due in a couple of weeks and I believe we
will start to rise up before
then.”
Short of that, the user
might sell a portion of the investment to keep up with initial card payments. What
could possibly go wrong?
Bitcoin fell below $6,000
this week after authorities
continued to speak out
against speculation. And another big lender, Lloyds
Banking Group, said it, too,
was halting credit card purchases, further constraining
the inflow of investor money.
It got even tighter Tuesday. Coinbase said people
using credit cards to fund accounts are starting to get
stung by “cash advance”
fees. Customers began noticing the costs in their card
statements last week after
payment networks told
banks it’s OK to classify
crypto exchanges in a way
that treats transactions like
buying a currency.
“You’ve got people that
are eschewing their mortgage to buy bitcoin to get
rich quick,” said Kristina
Yee, an Aite Group analyst
who studies cryptocurrencies and blockchain. The
banks are “worried that people are over leveraging
themselves and they won’t
be able to pay back the
debt.”
Surane writes for
Bloomberg.
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M / B U S I N E S S
C3
COMPANY TOWN
CHINA BOX OFFICE
Bollywood’s
‘Superstar’
reigns again
Film has another
strong showing
despite a sharp drop
in ticket sales in the
industry overall.
By Gaochao Zhang
BEIJING
—
Aamir
Khan’s Bollywood film “Secret Superstar” continued a
strong showing at China’s
box office, even as the movie
business took a sharp downturn.
Box-office revenue in the
world’s second-largest film
market fell to $110 million last
week, the lowest level since
early December.
The country’s box office
soars during national holidays, including next week’s
Chinese New Year celebration, when there is a flood of
domestic films. But ticket
sales can slow beforehand as
citizens travel home or wrap
up work.
The lull didn’t hurt demand for “Secret Superstar,” which dominated for a
second consecutive week
with $24.8 million in ticket
sales, according to film consulting firm Artisan Gateway. The movie is now the
top-grossing imported film
in 2018 with a total of $91.4
million in 17 days. That’s
nearly half of Khan’s 2017
sport-themed hit “Dangal.”
“Secret Superstar” stars
Khan, a popular actor in
China, and tells the story of a
Muslim girl who must overcome struggles to become a
singer. Khan, who boasts
more than 1 million follows
on Weibo, China’s version of
Twiter, has earned the nickname “Uncle Mi.”
Khan, in a recent interview with Chinese state media, expressed interest in
collaborating with Chinese
actors to seize on the market’s potential.
20th Century Fox’s “Maze
Runner: The Death Cure”
came in a distant second,
pulling an additional $15.4
million for a total of $38.6 million in 10 days. The sci-fi action film is the latest and final installment in the “Maze
Runner” film series, which
stars Dylan O’Brien and
Kaya Scodelario.
Romantic adventure film
“Till the End of the World”
opened with $12.9 million after three days. Directed by
the writer, Wu Youyin, the
domestic film stars Mark
Chao and Yang Zishan, who
meet while stranded in a
snowstorm.
The Chinese historical
drama “Forever Young”
earned an additional $12.4
million, to accumulate $109
million after 24 days.
“The Greatest Showman,” another 20th Century
Fox release, debuted with
$7.7 million. The musical’s
anthem, “This Is Me,” won a
Golden Globe Award.
Zhang is a special
correspondent.
Luis Sinco Los Angeles Times
THE EXITS of Sony Pictures executives Man Jit Singh, Andy Kaplan and Sheraton Kalouria come amid ef-
forts to address plummeting home entertainment revenues as consumers switch to streaming services.
3 ousted in Sony shakeup
Studio is streamlining
to adapt as digital
technology disrupts
home entertainment
and TV markets.
By Ryan Faughnder
In another major shakeup for Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Culver Citybased studio is removing
three executives as the company orchestrates sweeping
changes to its home entertainment and television
businesses.
Home
entertainment
President Man Jit Singh,
worldwide networks head
Andy Kaplan and television
marketing President Sheraton Kalouria are all stepping
down, Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and
Chief Executive Tony Vinciquerra told staff Tuesday.
Their divisions will report to
existing executives at the
studio, part of an ongoing effort to consolidate operations as digital technology
disrupts the traditional entertainment business.
The restructuring is the
latest move by Vinciquerra,
who joined the company last
year, to adapt the studio to a
fast-changing industry in
which home entertainment
revenues continue to plummet as consumers switch to
streaming and video on demand. Last year, Tokyobased parent company Sony
Corp. took a nearly $1-billion
impairment charge, partly
because of the deteriorating
home entertainment market.
“As you will see, the
changes ... represent a significant restructuring of
some traditional business
models and processes that
have been in place at the studio for years,” Vinciquerra
said in a memo to staff obtained by The Times. “Our
decision to rethink the way
we operate these units was
driven by our goals to
streamline SPE’s business
operations, making them
nimbler and better aligned
with a rapidly-evolving industry.”
The ousters come several
months after Vinciquerra
named Mike Hopkins chairman of Sony Pictures Television, known for producing
hit shows such as “The
Blacklist” and “Better Call
Saul.” Hopkins, who was
previously chief executive of
streaming network Hulu,
made the decision with Vinciquerra to shake up the
Sony business units, according to a person familiar with
the situation who was not
authorized to comment
publicly.
The move comes shortly
after longtime film executive
Clint Culpepper stepped
down as head of the Sony
movie unit Screen Gems,
known for midbudget comedies, action flicks and horror
pictures, after a period of
box-office struggles.
The
management
changes follow another,
much larger transition at
Sony Corp., which last week
named Kenichiro Yoshida to
succeed Chief Executive
Kazuo Hirai, who has led the
electronics giant for six
years.
Yoshida, who takes the
top job in April after a stint
as chief financial officer, signaled major changes to
come at the overall company
as Sony seeks to remain
competitive with other electronics giants, saying he and
Hirai “share a great sense of
urgency regarding the need
for us to enhance our competitiveness as a global company.”
Home entertainment operations will now report to
Keith Le Goy, who is president of distribution for Sony
Pictures Television. Le Goy,
who has been with the company for 18 years, will now report to both Hopkins for TV
and motion picture group
Chairman Tom Rothman
for distributing movies.
Sony’s international networks business, which operates more than 100 channels in 178 countries, will report to Hopkins. Networks
under Kaplan’s purview included streaming service
Crackle, Game Show Network, the Japanese anime
outlet Animax and major
operations in India.
Oversight of Sony Pictures Television’s marketing
group will be divided among
three units. U.S. and international distribution marketing will report to Le Goy,
while consumer production
marketing, publicity and talent relations will fall under
Sony Pictures Television
Studios President Jeff Frost.
Event planning and market-
ing advertiser sales will report to Amy Carney, president of advertiser sales and
research.
Vinciquerra said in his
memo that management
would meet with the affected
business units in the coming
days to discuss the changes.
“I realize these changes
are significant and will be an
adjustment for many of you,
but they are important in
our efforts to strengthen
SPE overall and make it
more agile and competitive
in today’s fast-moving environment,” he said in his letter.
Sony is just the latest studio to respond to the streaming disruption by consolidating its home entertainment, marketing and distribution businesses. Time
Warner Inc.-owned Warner
Bros. Pictures recently gave
movie studio Chairman
Toby Emmerich full oversight of worldwide theatrical
production, marketing and
distribution at the studio,
leading to the exit of marketing and distribution head
Sue Kroll.
Sony’s film business is
riding high on the box-office
success of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which
has given the studio a muchneeded new franchise after
years of lagging behind rivals. Analysts have long
speculated that Sony would
eventually sell its entertainment businesses, but management has denied that it
plans to do so.
ryan.faughnder
@latimes.com
Disney profit surges, tops forecasts
By Daniel Miller
Walt Disney Co. delivered
stronger-than-expected
profit in the first quarter —
thanks partly to a federal tax
cut — but its revenue dipped
below Wall Street’s estimates as the Burbank company saw continued declines
at its ESPN cable channels
and ABC broadcast network.
Disney reported net income of $4.42 billion, up 78%
from a year earlier, boosted
by a $1.6-billion one-time tax
benefit from the new federal
income tax legislation.
Analysts had predicted
adjusted earnings per share
of $1.61 on revenue of $15.5 billion, according to FactSet,
and Disney delivered adjusted per-share earnings of
$1.89 on revenue of $15.4 billion, up 4%.
Disney’s earnings report
comes amid a period of turbulence for global markets
— on Monday the Dow Jones
industrial average plunged
1,175 points before gaining
567 points a day later — and
the company’s performance
is sure to be scrutinized by
anxious investors.
Shares of Disney rose
1.4% in regular trading Tuesday to $106.17. In the afterhours session, the stock was
up more than 2%.
Disney’s media networks
unit, which houses the company’s TV business, saw its
operating income decline
year over year for the seventh straight quarter. The
unit — whose crown jewel is
ESPN — posted operating
income of $1.2 billion, a 12%
drop from a year earlier.
“That’s really the key issue, media [networks] continues to struggle and has
not been a contributor here,
and that’s been going on for a
while,” said Robin Diedrich,
an analyst with Edward
Jones. “Some kind of change
or turn there is what investors will be looking for.”
The unit’s broadcast
group, which includes the
ABC television network,
posted segment operating
income of $285 million, a decrease of 25%. Disney has
continued to face ratings
struggles at ABC, fewer syndication hits from its television studio and lower revenues at TV stations.
Within the unit’s cable
networks group, segment
operating income fell 1% to
$858 million. Disney attributed the drop, in part, to declines at ESPN, which lost
subscribers.
The sports network has
for years faced subscriber
losses amid the cord-cutting
trend and other changes in
media consumption. Less
than a decade ago, ESPN
was available in about 99
million homes in the U.S.,
but that number has fallen
to about 87 million homes,
according to Nielsen data.
A new product could alleviate some investors’ con-
cerns: Disney will soon
launch ESPN+, a sports
streaming service aimed in
part at helping the company
capture younger viewers
who have turned away from
traditional pay-TV options.
The company said Tuesday that ESPN+ will cost
$4.99 a month when it debuts this year.
“It certainly is a price
point that is very appealing,”
Diedrich said. “A fan, I think,
would be willing to make an
incremental purchase for
that type of product.”
The subscription offering
— which will stream Major
League Baseball and National
Hockey
League
games, among other events,
and include original programming — will be housed
within a revamped ESPN
app available on iOS, Android and other platforms.
“We plan to invest further
in the direct-to-consumer
feature adding more live
games and produced sports
programming along with
even greater personalization in the years ahead,” Disney Chief Executive Robert
Iger said on a conference call
with analysts.
Disney’s film studio
posted operating income of
$829 million, off 2% from a
year earlier. The unit benefited from the strong performance of “Star Wars: The
Last Jedi,” which debuted in
December and has grossed
more than $1.3 billion worldwide, but was squeezed by a
decrease in home entertainment results.
Just before Disney released its earnings report,
the company announced
that it had tapped “Game of
Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to write
and produce a new series of
“Star Wars” films. Disney
said those movies, which do
not have release dates,
would be separate from another new “Star Wars” trilogy that is being developed
by filmmaker Rian Johnson,
the writer-director of “The
Last Jedi.”
The company’s consumer products and interactive unit delivered operating
income of $617 million, a 4%
drop. The parks and resorts
business was a bright spot,
with operating income increasing 21% to $1.35 billion
during the quarter.
During a teleconference,
analysts asked Iger for updates on Disney’s $52.4-billion acquisition of film and
TV assets from 21st Century
Fox Inc., a deal that is subject to regulatory approval.
The pact would give Disney
access to a host of intellectual property as it prepares to launch ESPN+ and
another streaming service.
But Iger said he could not
provide any update on when
the Fox deal might secure
approval.
daniel.miller@latimes.com
Staff writer Meg James
contributed to this report.
C4
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M / B U S I N E S S
Liftoff for giant SpaceX rocket
[Rocket, from C1]
the news conference, Musk
said the booster hit the water at a speed of about 300
mph and was about 328 feet
away from the floating platform, taking out two of the
drone ship’s thrusters and
showering the deck with
shrapnel.
Musk said two of three
engines on the core did not
ignite during the landing attempt. But he said the company was not planning to reuse the core or the two side
boosters from this particular mission.
The launch occurred at
12:45 p.m. PST from Launch
Complex 39A, the same
launch pad where the Saturn V rocket last lifted off to
take astronauts to the moon
45 years ago. The launch was
originally set for 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday, but it was delayed
several times to wait out
high
upper-atmosphere
winds.
About four minutes after
launch, the rocket’s fairing
— the clamshell-like covering that protects payloads
at the top of the rocket — deployed successfully.
On a conference call with
reporters Monday afternoon, Musk said the Tesla
would do a “grand tour”
through the Van Allen belts,
an area of high radiation
that surrounds the Earth, as
part of a six-hour coast in
deep space that is intended
to demonstrate to the U.S.
Air Force that Falcon Heavy
can meet specific orbit-insertion requirements.
If the car survives that
environment, then it will
continue on to an elliptical
orbit around the sun that at
times will come close to
Mars, with an “extremely
tiny” chance it will hit the
Red Planet, though Musk
said, “I wouldn’t hold your
breath.”
The journey of Starman
and the Tesla was being livestreamed by SpaceX on
YouTube. About 2:50 p.m.
Pacific time, the car and its
driver were seen drifting
through space with Earth
looming behind.
Musk said Tuesday that
he thought the payload was
“silly and fun.”
“I think the imagery of it
is something that’s going to
get people excited around
the world,” he said. “It’s still
tripping me out.”
Falcon Heavy is the most
powerful U.S. rocket since
the Saturn V. First announced to the public in 2011,
Falcon Heavy was expected
to generate 5.1 million
pounds of thrust at liftoff
and be capable of carrying
more than 140,000 pounds to
low-Earth orbit.
The launch of Falcon
Heavy sets up SpaceX as an
Malcolm Denemark Florida Today
CROWDS on the beach in Cape Canaveral, Fla., watch the landing of two of the three boosters from SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.
Bruce Weaver AFP/Getty Images
THE LAUNCH sets up SpaceX as an even more pow-
erful competitor in the private space industry.
even more powerful competitor in the private space
industry, particularly in
terms of heavy-lift capacity.
Although other companies,
such as Jeff Bezos’ Blue
Origin and Orbital ATK,
are also developing giant
rockets to hoist heavy payloads to space, Tuesday’s
successful launch gives
SpaceX several years of lead
time, said Marco Caceres,
senior space analyst at Teal
Group.
“It’s just changing the
whole game,” he said. “The
fact that you have a brandnew rocket that is the most
powerful rocket and it’s a
success on the first try, that’s
big news.”
With its large payload capacity, the Falcon Heavy is
expected to help SpaceX win
contracts that require more
capability than its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket.
“When you’re talking
about highly classified payloads or special missions,
you really want to be sure
you’ve got capacity,” Ellen
Tauscher, former U.S. undersecretary of state for
arms control and international security, who serves
on SpaceX’s board of advisors, said Tuesday.
Analysts have said that
the commercial launch market for large satellites is tight
and that SpaceX would need
to secure new opportunities,
such as NASA planetary
missions, to maximize its investment in Falcon Heavy —
which, on Tuesday, Musk
pegged at more than half a
billion dollars. But its huge
payload capacity and price
tag — launches start at $90
million — could change
things, said Bill Ostrove,
aerospace and defense analyst at Forecast International.
“With a price point at
that level, we don’t know
what’s going to develop going forward,” he said.
Falcon Heavy won’t even
be the largest rocket SpaceX
intends to build. On Tuesday, Musk said the rocket’s
successful test flight gave
him confidence in the company’s
upcoming
BFR
spaceship and rocket system, which he has said will
carry people to colonize
Mars.
Musk first promised that
a demonstration flight of the
massive rocket would occur
in 2012. But SpaceX, whose
full name is Space Exploration Technologies Corp.,
found that development of
the 27-engine behemoth was
more difficult than initially
expected.
After a successful static
fire almost two weeks ago,
anticipation had been building for Falcon Heavy’s first
flight. By noon Pacific time
Monday, Kennedy Space
Center’s
visitor
center
tweeted that no more tickets
were available to watch the
launch from designated
viewing spots.
Musk tried to temper expectations, going as far as to
say that there was a “good
chance” the rocket would
not make it to orbit on the
first flight and that he hoped
the spacecraft made it “far
enough away from the pad
that it does not cause pad
damage.”
“I would even consider
that a win, to be honest,” he
told an audience at a space
conference in Washington
this summer.
Tauscher, who as a representative for California’s
10th Congressional District
served on the House Armed
Services Committee, said
Tuesday that the launch
would be an opportunity to
learn.
“You have to be innovative,” she said. “You have to
be willing to do tests that
give you the answers you’re
looking for.”
On Monday, Musk told
reporters he didn’t feel that
stressed about the launch.
“I feel quite giddy and
happy, actually,” Musk said.
“We’ve done everything we
could to maximize the
chance of success for this
mission.”
samantha.masunaga
@latimes.com
Twitter: @smasunaga
Snap ends challenging
first year on a high note
[Snap, from C1]
company finish its fiscal year
strong.
“This was a monster
quarter relative to bearish
expectations,” said Daniel
Ives, an analyst for GBH Insights. “This was a major
step in the right direction for
Snap as the turnaround appears [to be] showing signs
of life into 2018.”
Snapchat added 8.9 million daily active users, its
largest jump since the third
quarter of 2016. The company now has 187 million
daily active users. Analysts
had expected 184 million.
More advertising pushed
the average revenue per user
up 46% from a year earlier to
$1.53, well above the estimate of $1.36. Advertisers
tend to spend more at the
end of the year because of
the holiday season.
Still, Snap’s success in
eking out more revenue from
its users can’t be explained
seasonally. Gross margins
jumped to 36% in the fourth
quarter compared with 8% a
year earlier.
Snap’s co-founder and
chief
executive,
Evan
Spiegel, credited a redesign
of Snapchat, an improved
experience for Android
users and a switch to programmatic ad buying — an
automated auction for advertisers — for turning
around the company’s trajectory. Programmatic buying lowers ad rates because
of its efficiency, but Snap
was able to offset that by
adding more advertisers.
“Our business really
‘This was a
monster quarter
relative to bearish
expectations. This
was a major step
in the right
direction for Snap
as the turnaround
appears [to be]
showing signs of
life into 2018.’
— Daniel Ives,
GBH Insights analyst
came together towards the
end of last year, and I am
very proud of our team for
working hard to deliver
these results,” Spiegel said
in prepared remarks for investors Tuesday. “We executed well on our 2017 plan
to improve quality, performance and automation, which
removed friction from our
advertising business and
improved our application.”
Snap shares traded as
high as $17.80 after hours after closing at $14.06. The
company hadn’t matched its
$17 March initial public offering price since July.
Snap posted a net loss of
$350 million, or 28 cents a
share, in the quarter that
ended Dec. 31. Analysts had
expected a loss of $410 million, or 33 cents a share.
The same time last year,
Snap posted a net loss of $170
million, or 20 cents a share. It
finished 2017 with a net loss
of $3.45 billion. The company
totaled $826 million in revenue for the full year.
Before Tuesday’s earnings report, Snap’s prospects looked increasingly challenging because of fierce
competition for users and
advertising from Facebook
and its photo- and videosharing app Instagram.
Snap was showing cracks
with periodic layoffs and the
departure of at least seven
executives since the company’s IPO.
Analysts say Tuesday’s
report increases optimism
that Snapchat will reach 200
million users by next year —
putting it about 100 million
users short of Instagram.
The key thing to watch is
how Snapchat reconciles its
appeal with its core audience of young users and its
efforts to make the app more
accessible to a wider — and
older — demographic. The
changes include a redesign
in November to make the
app more intuitive for the
Facebook set and a move to
allow users to share public
content on other platforms.
“It runs counter to why
Snapchat was appealing to
its younger demographic in
the first place, and I worry it
will alienate that existing
user base because they’re
now trying to cater to the
masses and Wall Street,”
said Jessica Liu, a Forrester
analyst.
david.pierson@latimes.com
Elijah Nouvelage Getty Images
UBER ex-CEO Travis Kalanick, above, testified about Anthony Levandowski, the
Waymo engineer accused of stealing trade secrets and handing them to Uber.
Uber co-founder testifies
[Uber, from C1]
fied, Uber planned to buy lidar units from Otto, but that
idea was dropped, Kalanick
said.
“We wanted somebody to
build a team to make lasers,”
he said.
Although he said he
couldn’t remember whether
laser technology was discussed at the jam session,
Uber attorneys showed him
a hand-scrawled note taken
at the event that read, “Laser is the sauce.”
Yes, that’s my handwriting, Kalanick said.
A few weeks after the
jam session, Waymo has
claimed, Levandowski allegedly downloaded gigabytes
of Waymo documents that
included lidar trade secrets
that Uber is now using in its
own driverless car systems,
according to Waymo’s law-
suit.
Waymo is seeking a guilty
verdict and $1.8 billion.
Kalanick had originally
asked that his testimony be
delivered in a private room,
but the judge denied the request. He will take the stand
again Wednesday morning.
When he does, the 1987
movie “Wall Street,” in which
Michael Douglas’ character
utters the famous line
“Greed is good” could become an issue.
Waymo wants to show
that video clip to the jury
while Kalanick is on the
stand. On Tuesday, Uber
lawyers objected to that idea
with the jury not present.
The “greed is good” issue
arises from an email that
Levandowski sent to Kalanick in March 2016 with an attachment including the Wall
Street clip. In the text body,
he writes: “This is the speech
you need to give. Wink wink.”
Uber lawyers noted that
the Wall Street movie is fiction. Presiding U.S. Circuit
Court Judge William Alsup,
who has seen the film, said,
“I’m going to take notice
that it’s all true,” to the jury’s
amusement.
If Waymo tries to show
the clip Wednesday, Uber is
likely to object. The judge
said he’ll decide then.
Before Kalanick’s testimony, the judge warned
Waymo’s lawyers not to imply that he was fired due,
even in part, to the trade secrets controversy.
Kalanick “was removed
or encouraged to leave for a
long list of problems,” the
judge said.
russ.mitchell@latimes.com
Twitter: @russ1mitchell
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M / B U S I N E S S
C5
U.S. trade
gap widest
since 2008
[Trade, from C1]
the change to a territorial
tax system also could spur
more production activity in
other countries with lower
tax rates.
Although some see the
big trade deficits as inherently bad for American industries and workers, many
economists would not be
alarmed by the trade imbalance, large as it was, given
the context of the expanding
U.S. economy. Growing investment and spending in
the U.S. means businesses
and consumers are buying
more foreign goods, including crude oil, computers and
cellphones.
U.S. exports also rose in
December and all of 2017,
with more shipments of
things such as oil, industrial
machinery and aircraft engines. But the 5.5% increase
in exports was about a percentage point slower than
the growth of imports.
U.S. exports of services,
such as licensing fees and
management services, did
not increase enough to make
up for the shortfall in the exchange of goods. The U.S.
enjoys a large trade surplus
in services with the world.
A larger-than-expected
net trade deficit would probably provide a drag on U.S.
economic growth in last
year’s fourth quarter, a small
accounting change.
Much more significantly
for Trump, the double-digit
percentage jump in the
trade deficit in his first year
in office presents a political
challenge.
Unlike his predecessors,
he has put extraordinary
emphasis on the trade balance numbers, regarding
them as a key scorecard of
U.S. economic health and
American commercial relations with individual countries.
As a candidate and as
president, Trump has promised to upend the way the
U.S. does business with the
world to halt and reverse
trade deficits. And with that
in mind, his administration
has undertaken to renegotiate the North American Free
Trade Agreement and the
U.S. trade pact with South
Korea.
But the new trade data
reported Tuesday not only
raised hackles of longtime
critics of Washington’s trade
policy but also provided
fresh ammunition to those
who want to pressure
Trump to follow through on
his promise to get tough on
trade, especially with China.
Although U.S. trade deficits rose with most every region and country in the
world, China accounted for
nearly half of the $810-billion
merchandise trade gap with
the world last year. The U.S.
bought $375 billion more of
goods from China than the
other way around.
“The numbers tell the
Allen J. Schaben Los Angeles Times
CHINA accounted for almost half of the U.S. trade deficit in goods, and President Trump is considering sig-
nificant trade enforcement actions against it. Above, the China Shipping terminal at the Port of Los Angeles.
story. He’s been in office a
year now and the trade deficit is up,” said Peter Morici, a
former chief economist at
the U.S. International Trade
Commission who has long
advocated for an aggressive
response to Chinese mercantilist economic behavior.
“It’s very easy to trash someone with a tweet,” Morici
said, referring to Trump’s
frequent use of Twitter. “It’s
much harder to stand up to
someone your own size.”
Trump
recently
approved hefty tariffs on Chinese solar panels and South
Korean washing machines,
but Morici said those “rifleshot” actions would not
make a dent in the overall
trade deficit.
The president is considering potentially more significant trade enforcement
actions against Chinese
steel and aluminum, and his
administration is investigating allegations of Chinese
theft of intellectual property
that could ultimately lead to
broad sanctions against
China — actions that analysts fear could trigger a
costly trade war.
“My concern would not
be economic, it would be political,” said Mary Lovely, an
economist and visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute
for International Economics. “I’m afraid this will be
more fuel for an aggressive
trade stance toward China,
afraid that will lead to retaliation by China, and I think it
will cause job destruction in
the United States as well as
in China.”
Lovely agrees that the
rise of China as an economic
force has cost the U.S. some
jobs but says growth in imports also has led to wellpaying positions in transportation, wholesale trade
and other services as well as
cheaper prices for American
consumers. And, like most
mainstream
economists,
she considers the large U.S.
trade deficit a long-term
problem reflecting the im-
balance between U.S. investment and savings.
Economists also note
that, in the global economy,
the U.S. would have little to
gain by competing with imported products that have
relatively low value, such as
toys and garments. But China’s share of higher-value
goods that are traded has
risen significantly over the
years. More than one-third
of the U.S. trade deficit with
China in 2017 was in so-called
advanced
technology
groups such as aerospace,
electronics and biotechnology.
The Trump administration’s trade focus in its first
year has been on NAFTA, a
24-year-old pact that the
president has frequently
threatened to withdraw
from if the ongoing negotiations don’t go his way — a
threat that he repeated
Monday in a discursive
speech in Cincinnati.
Tuesday’s report showed
the U.S. trade deficit in
goods with Mexico rose to $71
billion from $64 billion in
2016, the second largest after
China. The United States
also has similarly big deficits
with Japan and Germany, although they changed little
last year.
The goods deficit with
Canada, the other NAFTA
partner, increased to $17.6
billion in 2017 from $11 billion
in 2016.
“It’s not surprising that
the deficit is up because in
Year One, there has been a
wide gulf between Trump’s
fiery trade rhetoric and action,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s
Global Trade Watch. “So the
same failed trade policy
Trump attacked as a candidate is still in place, outsourcing continues and
promised actions remain
undone.”
don.lee@latimes.com
Times staff writer Jim
Puzzanghera in Washington
contributed to this report.
C6
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2018
LOS ANGELES TIMES
D
SPORTS
W E D N E S D A Y , F E B R U A R Y 7 , 2 0 1 8 :: L A T I M E S . C O M / S P O R T S
NHRA WINTERNATIONALS
AUTO CLUB RACEWAY AT POMONA | THURSDAY-SUNDAY
Another
fine day for
the Lakers
Magic’s comments
about Bucks’ star cost
team $50,000. Then
they beat Suns.
LAKERS 112
PHOENIX 93
By Dan Woike
Robert Gauthier Los Angeles Times
“I HAD ROUGH TIMES,” John Force says of his parenting skills, but daughters Brittany, left, and
Ashley have become drag racing champions, with wife Laurie as the matriarch of the driving Forces.
FAMILY
FUELED
The rookies on the court
are expected to make mistakes. It happened plenty in
the Lakers’ 112-93 victory
over the Phoenix Suns on
Tuesday night at Staples
Center.
But the people in the
suits? More has to be expected.
For the third time since
the Lakers’ front office was
detonated and rebuilt with
Magic Johnson as president
of basketball operations and
Rob Pelinka as the general
manager, the team was reprimanded by the league for
violating the NBA’s antitampering rules.
Tuesday, the Lakers were
fined $50,000 for comments
Magic Johnson made to
ESPN about Milwaukee for-
Wally Skalij Los Angeles Times
MAGIC JOHNSON
can’t stop being Magic.
ward Giannis Antetokounmpo. In an interview, Johnson said the comparisons
between his game and Antetokounmpo’s were more
than fair.
“Oh yeah,” he told ESPN.
“With his ballhandling skills
and his passing ability.… He
plays above the rim. I never
could do that. But in his
understanding of the game,
his basketball IQ, his creativity of shots for his teammates, that’s where we [have
the] same thing. Can bring it
down, make a pass, make a
play. I’m just happy he’s
[See Lakers, D4]
Drag racing legend John Force claims he was a bad father,
but the sport brought him and his daughters back together
BY KEVIN BAXTER
T
he winningest driver in motor sports history
and the most successful team owner in drag
racing has a confession to make.
“I failed as a father, miserably,” John Force
says.
Failure and John Force don’t normally appear in the
same sentence. The 16-time funny car series champion
has collected enough National Hot Rod Assn. trophies to
cover a 1,000-foot drag strip. And last year, the four-driver
team he heads collected national titles in two divisions,
with daughter Brittany winning in top fuel and son-in-law
Robert Hight winning in funny car.
But now that he’s reached the top of the mountain —
literally, since his palatial mansion, which sprawls across a
Yorba Linda hilltop, offers views of Catalina Island as well
as the Santa Ana, San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains — Force is pausing to reflect on what that climb cost
him.
He’ll enter his 47th season in a funny car when the
NHRA season begins this week at Auto Club Raceway in
Pomona. Along the way, he has made more money than
he’ll ever spend, set records that will never be broken and
pushed the sport into the mainstream by opening a museum, founding an entertainment division and starring in
his own reality show.
But at 68, it’s what Force lost that occupies his thinking.
“I had rough times,” said Force, a father of four daughters from two marriages who missed as many dance recitals and cheerleading competitions as he won races. “It
used to be that when Dad wins, he walks in the door and
says, ‘We’re going to Disneyland tomorrow. Nobody’s going to school.’
“And then when I’d come home and I was really depressed and things went bad. I drank too much. Had a fit
because somebody would say something.”
After his daughters grew up and moved away, the sport
[See Force, D5]
reunited them. Two of them drive
Talking it
out did
the trick
for USC
Suns’ Marquese Chriss, has another strong game. D4
2018 OLYMPICS | PYEONGCHANG
ROAD TO THE WINTER GAMES | FRIDAY-FEB. 25
History of
violence hangs
over Olympics
Team held meeting
after falling in Pac-12
opener, and it made
all the difference.
By Lindsey Thiry
Chimezie Metu felt frustrated. Jordan McLaughlin
said a spark was lacking.
The USC basketball
team had just lost its Pac-12
Conference opener against
Washington, its record falling to 9-5, and the Trojans
bore little resemblance to a
team picked among the nation’s top 10 at the start of
the season.
“We were losing too many
games with the kind of talent
that we had,” Metu said.
Said McLaughlin: “It just
started with our energy.”
The displeasure reached
the coaches’ offices and
boiled over after the loss to
the Huskies. A team meeting was called.
“Everybody just came
out with everything they had
to say,” Metu said. “We went
around the room and guys
said what they felt.”
Said McLaughlin: “We
talked about what we
[See Trojans, D3]
Luis Sinco Los Angeles Times
LAKERS FORWARD Julius Randle, battling the
Chadd Cady San Diego Union-Tribune
MARTELL IRBY , a running back at San Diego Morse High, has committed to
play for Chip Kelly at UCLA. “He’s a genius,” Irby says of the new Bruins coach.
Kelly sticks to blueprint
His recruiting methods at Oregon are on display at UCLA
By Ben Bolch
Tyree Thompson started
his college football career at
Sacramento State before
transferring to Los Angeles
Valley College with hopes of
moving on to something
grander. Two months ago,
after the early signing period, his only scholarship offer was from Rhode Island.
Baraka Beckett didn’t receive his first scholarship offer until the spring of his junior season at Los Angeles
Windward High. He was
originally listed as a two-star
recruit on the five-star scale
and committed to play for
Hawaii.
Both players said they
felt they were overlooked
prospects with upside, that
their ratings didn’t match
their potential. In other
words, they were exactly the
kinds of recruits that new
UCLA coach Chip Kelly
tends to covet.
Thompson and Beckett
are expected to formalize
[See UCLA, D2]
Solid signing
bonus for Trojans
USC coach Helton inks
extension in advance of
national signing day,
which is expected to net
more top recruits. D2
Pyeongchang Games
present more threats
than usual but athletes
have reason for hope.
By David Wharton
PYEONGCHANG,
South Korea — Fighter jets
streaked over the mountains that winter day. The
snowboarders recall them
roaring past every 15 minutes or so.
Many of the top names in
snowboard cross racing had
gathered in Pyeongchang in
early 2016 to test the course
that would be used for the
2018 Winter Olympics.
At some point, after the
jets zoomed past yet again,
American boarder Nate Holland turned to teammate
Seth Wescott.
“Dude, I just want you to
know I love you,” he recalls
saying. “Like, if this trips off
right now, we’re in a horrible
spot.”
Barely 50 miles separate
Pyeongchang’s mountain
venues from the demilitarized zone, a swath of land
that for decades has provided a tenuous buffer between North and South Korea. This proximity puts the
Games at the center of a potential nuclear face-off.
But the political climate
here — unlike the frigid
weather — has warmed in recent weeks.
North Korea agreed to
participate in the Olympics,
[See Olympics, D3]
Is that Saban in
the bushes there?
Southeastern Conference is poaching recruits
from Southland schools
more than ever. D2
Ducks almost blow it in Buffalo
They give up tying goal but Henrique scores in
overtime to end skid, beat last-place Sabres. D6
D2
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M / S P O RT S
PRO CALENDAR
WED.
7
THU.
8
FRI.
9
SAT.
10
SUN.
11
at Dallas
5:30
SpecSN
OKLA. CITY
7:30
TNT
LAKERS
at Detroit
4
Prime, ESPN
at Phila.
4
Prime
at Florida
4:30
FSW
at Tampa
Bay
4
FSW
Southland recruits are
being raided more and
more by Southeastern
Conference schools.
CLIPPERS
EDMONTON
7:30
FSW
KINGS
Watch out, Nick Saban
is lurking in the bushes
By Eric Sondheimer
EDMONTON
7
Prime
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5
Prime
DUCKS
Shade denotes home game
TODAY ON THE AIR
TIME
EVENT
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
3:30 p.m. Maryland at Penn State
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4 p.m.
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ON THE AIR
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USC and UCLA are facing
new recruiting challenges
from the football schools of
the Southeastern Conference, known for winning national championships and offering such tasty food choices
as grits, crabs, pork spare
ribs, pecan pie, gumbo and
crawfish to high school
recruits.
There’s a mini-invasion of
college recruiters coming to
Southern California trying to
make a splash and pull away
a prospect or two.
The No. 1 offensive lineman, 6-foot-6, 330-pound
Tommy Brown, from the No.
1 team in America, Santa
Ana Mater Dei, will sign with
Alabama on Wednesday.
Long Beach Poly quarterback Matt Corral committed
to Florida but ended up at
Mississippi as an early enrollee. Safety Olaijah Griffin of
Mission Viejo, a former
UCLA commit, is considering Alabama, Tennessee and
USC. Quarterback Tanner
McKee of Corona Centennial
has Alabama among his finalists. Etiwanda receiver
Geordon Porter visited
Texas A&M last weekend.
“If they can recruit 10
guys, get five to trip and one
to commit, it’s worth it,” Greg
Biggins, the national recruiting
analyst
for
247Sports.com, said of the investment by SEC schools.
“Kids out West will leave if it’s
a better opportunity.”
It has been tough to attract Southern California
players to SEC schools because the environment is so
different in terms of geography, climate and culture. But
the SEC has become so dom-
Alabama and Tennessee as well as USC.
‘If they can
recruit 10 guys, get
five to trip and
one to commit,
it’s worth it. Kids
out West will
leave if it’s a
better
opportunity,’
— Greg Biggins,
national recruiting analyst for
247Sports.com, on SEC schools
recruiting the Southland
inant in football and its fans
are so passionate that kids
feel the need to explore it
when an offer is made.
Aiding the trend is that
SEC schools have been picking up coaches with California ties, and they’re taking
advantage of those contacts.
Louisiana State coach Ed
Orgeron was a longtime USC
assistant. Alabama jumpstarted its recruiting by hiring former USC coaches
Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian. The Crimson Tide’s
California recruiter, Tosh
Lupoi, is a Concord De La
Salle graduate. Florida assistant Ron English has been
a longtime Southern California recruiter.
Recruiters from Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and LSU have been
making trips to Southern
California in recent weeks to
offer scholarships to top juniors and sophomores.
Georgia just offered junior quarterback Jayden Daniels from San Bernardino
Cajon. Sophomore quarterback Bryce Young of Mater
Dei has offers from Mississippi State, Alabama and
Georgia.
“Kids feel it’s quite an
honor, but getting them to go
eric.sondheimer@latimes.com
Twitter: @latsondheimer
This USC signing day
is quality over quantity
Kelly is
drawing
strong
recruits
[UCLA, from D1]
their plans to play for the Bruins during national signing
day Wednesday, and they
aren’t just warm bodies being
brought on board to round
out the roster.
Beckett said coaches told
him he could play along the offensive line next season as a
freshman.
Thompson said he was
told he would start his UCLA
career at outside linebacker
but that his ability to play
multiple positions had made
him an attractive recruit. Bruins coaches cannot comment
on recruits until they sign
binding letters of intent.
“They said I could do a lot
of stuff,” Thompson said, “and
it was a win-win for them and
for me as well.”
Kelly’s first UCLA recruiting class is already being
hailed as a triumph even
though he has had less than
three months to assemble it
as the successor to Jim Mora.
The Bruins brought in eight
players during the early signing period in December and
are expected to sign at least 17
more Wednesday. Only four of
the players who have signed
or committed did so while
Mora was the coach.
UCLA’s class is ranked as
the fourth best in the Pac-12
Conference and No. 16 nationally by 247Sports.com. Mora’s
final recruiting class was
ranked fourth in the Pac-12
and No. 20 nationally by
247Sports.com.
Though the current class
has a share of under-theradar players, it also features
some headliners.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson is considered one of the
top quarterback prospects in
the nation and Chase Cota,
Bryan Addison and Kyle
Phillips are part of what could
be a dynamic corps of receivers.
“They kind of sneakily
have done a really nice job of
mixing in some real elite talent with some guys that I
think they’ve evaluated to be
really, really good players,”
said Greg Biggins, national
recruiting
analyst
for
247Sports.com.
“It’s a typical Chip Kelly
class in terms of at Oregon
Gary Coronado Los Angeles Times
OLAIJAH GRIFFIN of Mission Viejo is considering
there is a lot different,” Bellflower St. John Bosco coach
Jason Negro said.
Lancaster
Paraclete
quarterback Brevin White
came close to signing with
the Tide but will stick with
his commitment to Princeton, even though he enjoyed
his visit to Alabama.
“I liked the South,” he
said. “It’s a unique place. You
don’t just want to be living in
Southern California your
whole life. You can always
come back. I was shocked. I
came in with high expectations and the visit exceeded
that from the staff to the
hostesses, to the facilities, to
people picking us up. The
food was spectacular.”
Brown had Alabama ties:
It’s the school his father,
Vince, graduated from.
“I’m not too worried
about culture shock,” he
said. “I’m excited about the
South. I seem like a Southern
boy. I’m excited for the food.
The whole South is known for
sweet tea. It will be different
for a lot of kids when they get
there, but as long as they embrace it and enjoy it, I feel
anyone can make the
change.”
California’s football talent is pretty well documented. In the 2017 NFL
draft, there were 25 players
with California ties taken,
trailing only Georgia (27)
and Florida (26).
SEC schools always have
recruited the area for
quarterbacks, but the big
change is that offers are coming in for all positions. With
so many SEC recruiters lurking, Negro already is thinking
about his college coaches’
barbecue set for May 16 at St.
John Bosco.
“My barbecue guy is going
to have to do some research
on bringing a Southern flair
to our Southern California
barbecue,” he said.
Josh Holmberg Associated Press
UCLA RECRUIT Dorian Thompson-Robinson is one
of the top quarterback prospects in the nation.
[Kelly’s most recent college
stop], he didn’t necessarily go
after the top, top guys but the
guys who he felt fit their system best and he’s proven to be
a really good evaluator.”
A scholarship offer from
Kelly has represented a seal of
approval for other major college football programs; Biggins noted that after UCLA
started
recruiting
Matt
Alaimo, a tight end from
Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph
Regional High, the three-star
recruit picked up scholarship
offers from Florida, Texas
A&M and Alabama.
But it was too late. Alaimo
soon told the Bruins he would
sign with them.
Martell Irby, a running
back from San Diego Morse
High who had committed to
Arizona, decided to attend
UCLA after Kelly became
coach. “He’s a genius,” Irby
told the San Diego UnionTribune of his future coach.
UCLA hopes to complete
its class with a late flourish. In
addition to the 17 players who
have committed to the Bruins,
they remain in the running for
such recruits as Jarrett Patterson, a highly regarded offensive lineman from Mission
Viejo High; Otito Ogbonnia, a
defensive lineman from Katy
(Texas) Taylor High; and
Geordon Porter, a receiver
from Etiwanda High.
Patterson’s signing would
be especially meaningful because it would help replenish
a depleted offensive line that
lost three starters. UCLA has
commitments from only four
offensive linemen: Beckett,
Santa Ana Mater Dei High’s
Chris Murray, Milwaukee
Marquette University High’s
Jon Gaines and Etiwanda’s
Alec Anderson.
“For me, they probably
need to bring in five [offensive
linemen] and that’s why Jarrett Patterson is huge if they
can get him,” Biggins said.
“It’s them and Notre Dame
right now” in the running.
Thompson has taken one
of the more circuitous routes
to UCLA. The former Mission
Hills Alemany standout, who
has two years of eligibility left
after his first two college
stops, committed to North
Texas last month before
switching his allegiance to
Vanderbilt.
When the Bruins offered a
scholarship late last month,
Thompson’s plans changed
once more. He said the lure of
staying close to home while
being able to attend spring
practice proved irresistible.
“It’s just a perfect situation,” he said.
Thompson said he was
mostly recruited by linebackers coach Don Pellum and
didn’t meet Kelly until taking
his official visit to campus last
weekend. That’s not to say
that Kelly didn’t make a lasting impression.
“He was just a straightforward guy,” Thompson said.
“They tell you what they expect for you and don’t beat
around the bush. I like that. I
don’t want people to tell me
what I want to hear. You want
to know the truth.”
Beckett, who was recently
elevated to a three-star
prospect after spending his
senior season at Palisades
High, said he was struck by
what he felt would be Kelly’s
ability to maximize his potential.
“I know I’m going to be
able to get bigger, stronger
and just prepared,” Beckett
said, “so I’m definitely glad I
made this decision.”
Beckett and Thompson
seem fine with the idea that
any star maps being sold
around campus won’t include
their addresses.
“I’m not too big on hype because hype doesn’t do anything for you after you enroll in
school,” Thompson said.
“Once you get there, you have
to make the plays for yourself.”
ben.bolch@latimes.com
Twitter: @latbbolch
Due to early period it
won’t be a recruiting
bonanza, but it’s still
expected to be strong.
By Lindsey Thiry
USC is not expected to
make its usual signing-day
splash, but the Trojans are expected to finish strong.
Coach Clay Helton signed
10 recruits to letters of intent
during college football’s inaugural early signing period in
December, and few scholarships remain for Wednesday’s national signing day.
A lack of attrition on USC’s
roster, which is limited to 85
scholarship players, has
caused a logjam in the 2018 recruiting class.
Despite the expectation
that USC will sign only half a
dozen players Wednesday,
Greg Biggins, the national recruiting
analyst
for
247Sports.com, said it likely
would be an impressive haul.
“They’re still going to finish super, super strong,” Biggins said. “There are five or six
elite guys and I think they’re
all leaning to USC, or at least
have them in their final two.”
Santa Ana Mater Dei
quarterback JT Daniels and
receiver Amon-ra St. Brown,
both considered elite prospects, have committed,
along with St. Louis (Mo.)
Chaminade defensive lineman Trevor Trout and Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic
linebacker Eli’Jah Winston.
“They are going to get
quality players,” said Ryan
Abraham, who has covered
USC recruiting for 22 years for
USCFootball.com. “They’re
just not going to get a number
of them this year.”
USC’s class is ranked No. 2
in the Pac-12 and No. 12 nationally by 247Sports.com.
Linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu, teammates with
Daniels and St. Brown at
Mater Dei, will announce his
decision between USC, UCLA
and Notre Dame on Wednesday. The Trojans also will wait
to hear from Olaijah Griffin of
Mission Viejo and Isaac Taylor-Stuart of La Mesa Helix.
Both are considered top cornerbacks and expected to
choose between USC, Alabama and Tennessee.
Receiver Devon Williams
of Lancaster Antelope Valley
and tight end Michael Ezeike
of Ontario Colony also are in
the mix for the Trojans.
“They have a small class
and have to be selective this
year,” Biggins said.
USC also has a smaller
margin for error, Abraham
said, because the early sign-
ing period eliminated several
recruits who signed elsewhere
and otherwise could typically
serve as a backup plan.
“Schools like USC kind of
like to poach at the end if
things don’t work out,” Abraham said. “The early signing
period certainly made that
harder.”
Six players who signed in
December enrolled in spring
courses and are expected at
spring practices: linebackers
Kana’i Mauga of Waianae in
Hawaii and Raymond Scott of
Harbor City Narbonne; defensive backs Chase Williams of
Eastvale Roosevelt and Talanoa Hufanga of Crescent
Valley in Corvallis, Ore.; defensive lineman Caleb Tremblay of American River Community College in Sacramento, and offensive lineman
Justin Dedich of Temecula
Chaparral.
Four early signees will
enroll in the fall: linebacker
Palaie Gaoteote IV of Bishop
Gorman in Las Vegas; defensive lineman Abdul-Malik McCain of San Juan Capistrano
JSerra;
running
back
Markese Stepp of Cathedral
in Indianapolis, and offensive
lineman Liam Douglass of
Studio City Harvard-Westlake.
lindsey.thiry@latimes.com
Twitter: @LindseyThiry
Helton gets extension through 2023
By Lindsey Thiry
USC has signed Clay Helton to a contract extension
through the 2023 season, the
school announced Tuesday.
Helton led the Trojans to
an 11-3 record in his second
season as football coach, including a victory in the Pac-12
Conference championship
game, earning USC its first
Pac-12 title since 2008.
The season ended with a
24-7 loss to Ohio State in the
Cotton Bowl.
“We have lofty goals at
USC and Clay can get us to
those goals,” athletic director
Lynn Swann said in a statement. “He has shown that he
can lead our team with integrity and stability and that he
has the ability to win conference and national championships.
“I am happy with the job
Clay has done so far.”
Helton, 45, overcame a
turbulent start in 2017, losing
three of his first four games,
to lead USC to a 10-3 finish, including a win over Penn State
in the Rose Bowl.
Helton is the only coach in
Trojans history to win 10
games in his first two seasons.
“Coaching at USC has
been the most special opportunity of my life,” Helton said
in a statement. “And I am so
pleased to continue the journey toward championships
here.”
Helton twice served as
USC’s interim coach before
he was promoted into the
permanent role.
He served as interim
coach in 2013 following the departure of Ed Orgeron and
led USC to a victory in the Las
Vegas Bowl.
Helton also was named interim coach in 2015 after the
firing of Steve Sarkisian.
He went 5-2 before former
athletic director Pat Haden
named him as permanent
coach. The Trojans finished
the season with losses to
Stanford in the Pac-12 title
game and Wisconsin in the
Holiday Bowl.
USC did not disclose financial terms of Helton’s extension.
lindsey.thiry@latimes.com
Twitter: @LindseyThiry
S
L AT I M E S . C O M / S P O RT S
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
D3
UCLA REPORT
Alford: No bad blood with Arizona’s Miller
By Ben Bolch
The pettiness was apparently left in Las Vegas.
UCLA coach Steve Alford said Tuesday that he
spoke with Arizona coach
Sean Miller to clear the air
after the Wildcats coach
called what appeared to be a
tit-for-tat timeout during the
Pac-12 Conference tournament last season with his
team leading the Bruins by 11
points and only nine-tenths
of a second to play.
Miller was thought to be
mad because Alford called
timeout with one second left
while holding a five-point advantage during the Bruins’
victory over the Wildcats two
weeks earlier in Tucson.
Alford didn’t realize his
timeout had angered anyone
until he walked toward midcourt for postgame handshakes during the Pac-12
tournament only to watch
the Wildcats delay the exchange with a timeout. The
coaches swapped perfunctory handshakes a few moments later.
“I think we learned from
UCLA in that [previous]
game [it’s] just making sure
your team is poised moving
forward,” Miller said dryly
afterward. “When they called
their timeout late, we wanted
to do the same thing. Make
sure our team was poised
moving forward.”
Alford said he didn’t mean
any harm with his timeout
and told Miller.
“I think he thought that I
was doing something disrespectful in Tucson and I
wasn’t,” Alford said. “As I told
him, it was respect for his program because we hadn’t won
down there and I didn’t want
anything goofy happening, so
that was all taken care of and
he understood that and I
don’t think he meant any disrespect my way either.
“We have a mutual respect
and I know from my end I
have a great respect in him as
a coach and them as a program.”
Should UCLA hold a safe
lead over No. 13 Arizona in the
final seconds Thursday night
at McKale Center, don’t expect another timeout.
“No, no, no, no, no, no,” Alford said when asked
whether there would be further retaliation.
Strategy session
To foul or not to foul with a
three-point lead in the final
seconds?
That has twice been the
question confronting Alford,
who has opted to force opponents to take a three-point
shot to tie the score rather
than foul and turn the rest of
the game into a battle of free
throws.
UCLA has had mixed success employing Alford’s strategy. The Bruins declined to
foul while holding a threepoint lead in the final seconds
of regulation against Stanford, only to watch guard Dorian Pickens make a threepoint basket that forced overtime and led to a UCLA loss in
double overtime.
The results were more
pleasing for the Bruins on
Saturday when their threepoint lead with 11 seconds left
withstood three-pointers by
USC’s Jordan McLaughlin
and Jordan Usher that were
off the mark.
“Eleven seconds [left], I’d
never foul,” Alford said Tuesday. “Too many things can
happen in 11 seconds; you foul
with 11 seconds on the clock,
then you gotta get the ball inbounds. You’re gonna get
fouled, you have to make
more free throws and now
you’re doing it again.
“If it’s inside five seconds
then you think about [fouling], but 11 seconds, I would
never think about it. We gotta
guard.”
That’s the point
The Bruins can breathe a
little easier about their point
guard situation for next season. Should junior Aaron
and
freshman
Holiday
Jaylen Hands declare for the
NBA draft, they will apparently still have someone
capable of distributing the
ball.
His name is Tyger Campbell and he announced on
Twitter on Tuesday that he
would attend UCLA.
The 6-foot, 165-pound
recruit reclassified this season to become a senior at La
Lumiere High in La Porte,
Ind., and is listed as the 13thbest point guard in the nation
according to 247Sports.com.
Campbell initially committed to DePaul, which had
hired his high school coach as
an assistant under Dave
Leitao.
He
also
considered
Purdue and Maryland.
ben.bolch@latimes.com
Twitter: @latbbolch
Improved defense keys
Trojans’ recent success
Michael Conroy Associated Press
BUTLER GUARD Kamar Baldwin comes over the top and is called for a foul on
Xavier guard J.P. Macura during the second half in Indianapolis.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOP 25
No. 5 Xavier gets win in overtime
for Saturday’s game against
No. 3 Purdue.
associated press
Top 25 scores
Trevon Bluiett scored 17
of his 26 points in the final
141⁄2 minutes of regulation
and overtime Tuesday night
to help No. 5 Xavier rally to
beat Butler 98-93 at Indianapolis.
Kerem Kanter added 22
points, including the goahead basket with 2:56 left in
overtime, which started the
decisive 5-0 run.
The Musketeers (22-3,
10-2 Big East) have won seven straight.
No. 15 Tennessee 61, at
No. 24 Kentucky 59: Lamonte Turner scored 16
points, including a clutch
three-pointer with 26 seconds remaining, Admiral
Schofield followed with a
dunk off a turnover and the
Volunteers (18-5, 8-3 Southeastern Conference) edged
the Wildcats for their sixth
consecutive victory.
No. 4 Michigan State
Iowa
96
93
No. 5 Xavier
Butler (OT)
98
93
No. 6 Cincinnati
Central Florida
77
40
No. 10 Kansas
Texas Christian
71
64
No. 15 Tennessee
No. 24 Kentucky
61
59
Northwestern
No. 20 Michigan
61
52
No. 22 Wichita State
Memphis
85
65
No. 4 Michigan State 96,
at Iowa 93: Miles Bridges
had 25 points and a crucial
steal with five seconds left
and the Spartans (23-3, 11-2
Big Ten) won their seventh
in a row in what was supposed to be an easy tuneup
at Northwestern 61, No.
20 Michigan 52: Bryant McIntosh tied a season high
with 24 points, 14 coming in
the second half, to help the
Wildcats (15-10, 6-6 Big Ten)
win for the fourth time in five
games.
at No. 10 Kansas 71,
Texas Christian 64: Devonte’ Graham scored 24
points and the Jayhawks
(19-5, 8-3 Big 12) were able to
avoid dropping two straight
in Allen Fieldhouse thanks
to a grind-it-out finish.
at No. 6 Cincinnati 77,
Central Florida 40: The
Bearcats (22-2, 11-0 American Athletic) won their 15th
in a row and extended the
nation’s
longest
active
home-court winning streak
to 39 games. The Knights
managed only 13 points in
the first half.
[Trojans, from D1]
needed to fix.”
Coach Andy Enfield, often
a man of few words, said an
open conversation was necessary to move forward.
“I think the players believe
that was a constructive meeting,” Enfield said.
Their performance since
indicates it was a success.
The Trojans earned victories over Washington State
and California, then fell to
Stanford on a 55-foot buzzer
beater before going on a sixgame run — their longest winning streak during conference
play since 1992.
The streak included a victory over Utah for the first
time since 2013 and a win over
Oregon for the first time in 15
tries.
The Trojans (17-7, 8-3 in
Pac-12 play) have won eight of
their last 10 games and are in
second place in the conference standings behind No. 13
Arizona.
The turnaround happened
despite constant distractions.
USC announced that
sophomore guard De’Anthony Melton, who started 25
games last season, would be
held out for the season because of a possible link to the
FBI’s college basketball bribery case. The school also fired
associate head coach Tony
Bland, who had been placed
on administrative leave before the season following his
arrest in the bribery and corruption probe.
“We just keep pushing forward,” said senior guard Elijah Stewart, who averages 11.4
points per game.
Defense, which turned into
the reoccurring theme of the
team meeting, has become
the key to USC’s success and
is among the best in the
Pac-12.
“We’re going out there,
playing with a lot of energy
and active hands,” said McLaughlin, who averages 12.3.
points, 7.7 assists and 2.0
steals. “Trying to get deflections and trying to get offense
out of the defense.”
After Washington shot
67.3%, the Trojans have held
opponents to 46% shooting.
Mark J. Terrill Associated Press
JORDAN McLAUGHLIN is averaging 12.3 points, 7.7
assists and 2.0 steals for the Trojans.
USC is averaging a conference-high eight steals and
also has the best assist-toturnover ratio, averaging 17.4
to 9.5.
“In order to really get out
and run and have all the
dunks and alley-oops and
stuff, we have to get stops,”
said Metu, who averages 15.8
points and 7.5 rebounds.
Before a loss at UCLA last
Saturday, McLaughlin said
the Trojans were playing their
best basketball in his four seasons with the team.
“The way we’re playing
right now is the way we should
have been playing at the beginning of the season,” McLaughlin said. “We made
some adjustments like everybody should in the middle of
the season and we’re starting
to jell now.”
But the Trojans still sit
outside the top 25, a ranking
they said they’re unconcerned
about as their schedule gets
tougher and March approaches.
“That number in front of
the school doesn’t give you
any protection from anybody,” Metu said. “Anybody
can beat anybody.”
This week, USC will travel
to the desert to face Arizona
State (17-6, 5-6) on Thursday
and Arizona (19-5, 9-2) on Saturday.
USC has lost five consecutive games at ASU’s Wells
Fargo Arena and has not won
at Arizona’s McKale Center
since 2008 — a victory vacated
because of NCAA sanctions.
Despite a disappointing
defensive performance at
UCLA — the Bruins’ 82 points
were the most allowed by the
Trojans since that loss to
Washington — McLaughlin
expressed confidence that the
team could regroup and reclaim its defensive groove.
“We’re a confident team,”
McLaughlin said. “When we
step out there we feel like we
can beat any team no matter
how much we’re down
throughout a game.
“We always play until there
are zero seconds on the clock,
no matter what the score is, so
we keep fighting until the
end.”
lindsey.thiry@latimes.com
Twitter: @LindseyThiry
SOUTHLAND
MEN TONIGHT
Cal State Northridge at UC Irvine ................................................ 7
UC Riverside at Hawaii ..................................................................... 9
Pyeongchang Games are a high-profile target for terror
[Olympics, from D1]
sending a contingent of 22
athletes across the border. At
the same time, angry rhetoric
eased between the nation’s
leader, Kim Jong Un, and
President Trump.
With thousands of South
Korean national police saturating the Pyeongchang area,
officers standing on street
corners in bright yellow coats,
the questions are: Do these
Games still pose a security
risk? And if so, what is the biggest potential threat?
“The Games are like the
Super Bowl in a way,” says
Steven Weber, a University of
California professor who
studies international politics.
“They will always be a target.”
The specter of violence has
shadowed this international
sporting event since the “Munich massacre” of 1972, when
Palestinian gunmen stormed
the Israeli team’s living quarters in an attack that ultimately left 11 hostages and a
German police officer dead.
More recently, London
went on alert during the 2012
Summer Olympics, and a
Chechen rebel leader called
for militants to “do their utmost to derail” the 2014 Winter
Games in Sochi, Russia.
Both competitions went
off safely, but when athletes
and fans arrived at the 2016
Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, they faced a different
sort of worry — the Zika virus
outbreak.
“Almost every Olympics
has some kind of scandal or
security threat or something
that everybody’s talking
about,” veteran luger Erin
Hamlin said. “So I’ve been
through it before.”
Tensions on the Korean
peninsula began to ease on
New Year’s Day when Kim
made a public overture that
was well-met by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Last-minute negotiations
led to a deal by which North
Korea will compete in several
sports and march with South
Korea at the opening ceremony on Friday. The nations also
will field a joint women’s
hockey team.
All of this was welcome
news for IOC President
Thomas Bach, who spoke at a
Sunday news conference
about the “positive messages”
he has received from both governments.
“We are very happy with
the development on this
front,” he said.
Not that everything has
gone smoothly. There has
been backlash in the South,
where much of the population
‘South Korea is in a part of the world where
you have ISIS and Al Qaeda spinoffs in the
Philippines and Indonesia. It’s not an
isolated, safe place.’
—Steven Weber,
University of California professor
remains distrustful of Kim
and
protesters
recently
burned his image in the
streets. North Korea canceled
a joint cultural event and
changed the date of a military
parade in its capital, Pyongyang, to the day before the
Games begin.
“There is no pretending
that’s a coincidence,” said
Tim Powdrill, an associate director with Risk Advisory, a
London-based security management group. “It hints at
the underlying fragility of the
process.”
The neighboring countries
have a history of violence
around
major
sporting
events. Before the 1988 Seoul
Olympics, the downing of Korean Air Flight 858 was attributed to North Korean agents.
During the 2002 World Cup, a
naval clash between the nations resulted in numerous
deaths.
Experts do not foresee
that degree of trouble during
the upcoming Games. Even a
missile test by North Korea
seems less likely than it did a
month ago.
“That would make headlines, occurring just 100 miles
from where the Games are
taking place,” Weber said.
“But there have been indications that North Korea has
backed off and it wouldn’t surprise me if some quiet bargains were made.”
The more likely threat
comes from a familiar source
— terrorism.
“South Korea is in a part of
the world where you have ISIS
and Al Qaeda spinoffs in the
Philippines and Indonesia,”
Weber said. “It’s not an isolated, safe place.”
With an estimated 1 million fans visiting the region,
the Games present a highprofile target. Nearly 3,000
athletes from more than 90
nations are expected to com-
pete at a dozen venues, and
they can be difficult to safeguard.
South Korea’s national police force said it will deploy as
many as 13,000 officers to augment local law enforcement
and is working with the FBI
and Interpol to monitor potential terrorist threats.
U.S. Forces Korea has
28,000 troops in the country
that could be called upon in a
crisis. The State Department
has sent an additional 100 diplomatic security officers to
protect Americans here.
Steve Goldstein, the undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs,
said the U.S. remains “very
confident that South Korea is
going to be putting on a
happy, successful and strong
Winter Games.”
U.S. Olympic Committee
officials expressed similar
faith in the host nation, seeming more at ease than they
were before the Games in Rio,
where crime was a concern.
Asked about larger-scale
threats, USOC Chief Executive Scott Blackmun said recently: “Should the unthinkable happen and there is conflict between the nations,
that’s not an issue for the U.S.
Olympic Committee to get involved in.”
Members of the U.S. team
echo that attitude. Athletes
tend to shrug off any mention
of risk at the Games, preferring to stay focused on their
performance and the dream
of winning gold.
“I just am pretty much relying on security to be at its
best,” said Jessica Kooreman,
a short track speedskater.
Kooreman recalls feeling
safe in Sochi, where two warships anchored just off the
coast. But this time feels a bit
different.
Bobsledder Steve Langton
spoke with his parents about
whether they should attend
the Games. Snowboarder
Ryan Stassel said his mother
has asked once or twice about
security in South Korea.
After that snowboard
cross test event, Holland had
doubts about his wife and
young daughter coming to
Pyeongchang.
“You’ve got Kim Jong Un
on one hand and Donald
Trump, two really level-head
guys … so what could go
wrong?” he said.
His wife insisted on attending and he relented.
“I guess if we’re going
down,” he said, “we’re going
down as a family.”
david.wharton@latimes.com
D4
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M / S P O RT S
NBA
LAKERS REPORT
STANDINGS
Standings have been arranged to reflect how the teams will be determined for the playoffs. Teams are ranked 1-15 by record. Division
standing no longer has any bearing on the rankings. The top eight
teams in each conference make the playoffs, and the top-seeded
team would play the eighth-seeded team, the seventh team would
play the second, etc. Head-to-head competition is the first of several
tiebreakers, followed by conference record. (Western Conference
divisions: S-Southwest; P-Pacific; N-Northwest; Eastern Conference
divisions: A-Atlantic; C-Central; S-Southeast).
WESTERN CONFERENCE
Team
1. Golden State
2. Houston
3. San Antonio
4. Minnesota
5. Oklahoma City
6. Denver
6. Portland
8. New Orleans
W
41
39
34
34
31
29
29
28
L
13
13
21
22
24
25
25
25
PCT
.759
.750
.618
.607
.564
.537
.537
.528
GB L10
6-4
1
9-1
71⁄2 5-5
8
5-5
101⁄2 6-4
12
6-4
12
6-4
121⁄2 5-5
Rk.
P1
S1
S2
N1
N2
N3
N4
S3
9. CLIPPERS
10. Utah
11. LAKERS
12. Memphis
13. Phoenix
14. Sacramento
15. Dallas
27
25
22
18
18
17
17
25
28
31
35
37
36
37
.519
.472
.415
.340
.327
.321
.315
1
⁄2
3
6
10
11
11
111⁄2
6-4
8-2
7-3
3-7
2-8
4-6
2-8
P2
N5
P3
S4
P4
P5
S5
PCT GB
.709
.698 1
.577 71⁄2
.574 71⁄2
.566 8
.545 9
.537 91⁄2
.510 11
L10
5-5
7-3
4-6
6-4
7-3
6-4
3-7
5-5
Rk.
A1
A2
C1
S1
C2
C3
S2
A3
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Team
1. Boston
2. Toronto
3. Cleveland
4. Washington
5. Milwaukee
6. Indiana
7. Miami
8. Philadelphia
W
39
37
30
31
30
30
29
26
9. Detroit
10. Charlotte
11. New York
12. Brooklyn
13. Chicago
14. Orlando
15. Atlanta
26
23
23
19
18
17
17
L
16
16
22
23
23
25
25
25
26
30
32
36
35
36
37
1
.500
⁄2
.434 4
.418 5
.345 9
.340 9
.321 10
.315 101⁄2
4-6
5-5
3-7
3-7
2-8
5-5
4-6
C4
S3
A4
A5
C5
S4
S5
TODAY’S GAMES
Favorite
at Detroit
Houston
at New Orleans
Minnesota
Utah
at Phoenix
Line
9
41⁄2
OFF
21⁄2
71⁄2
OFF
Underdog
Brooklyn
at Miami
Indiana
at Cleveland
at Memphis
San Antonio
Time
4 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
5 p.m.
5 p.m.
5 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
RESULTS
LAKERS 112, SUNS 93
Randle is continuing
to play at a high level
By Dan Woike
This, with little fear of hyperbole, is the best Julius
Randle has played as a professional.
And it’s coming at a crucial time, one in which his future with the organization
that drafted him is undecided, where the league is
evaluating his prospects as a
potential free agent.
Randle added to an incredibly strong resume over
his previous 10 games, scoring 21 points to go with eight
rebounds and five assists in
the Lakers’ 112-93 victory
over the Phoenix Suns on
Tuesday at Staples Center.
Coach Luke Walton singled out Brandon Ingram
(26 points) and Randle for
the early imprint they put on
Tuesday’s game.
“For Julius, the consistency he’s been doing it with
is impressive,” Walton said.
“You go against Carmelo
Anthony [on Sunday], and
it’s easy to get up for that.
He’s one of the all-time great
players. Nothing against
[Phoenix forward Dragan
Bender], I was interested to
see if Ju was going to bring
that same intensity level.
“You could see it in his
eyes when the game was
starting that he was ready to
go.”
Randle said there’s little
to celebrate. The team isn’t
where it wants to be despite
winning 11 of its last 15
games.
“It’s just coming out with
the same mind-set and same
energy like I have all year,
really,” he said. “We’re
playing better, but we have
to keep continuing to get
better, continuing to improve. We’re not there yet.”
But an important step to
getting “there” is a consistent Randle.
In his last 10 games, he’s
averaging 18.1 points and 8.2
rebounds, and shooting
nearly 60% from the field.
And, his play early in games,
where he can exert some
toughness with his style, has
certainly contributed to the
Lakers’ hot run.
“It’s monumental just because he’s athletic, strong,
physical. He’s able to do a lot
things out there for us,”
rookie Josh Hart said. “For
him to go out and set the
tone of toughness is huge.
It’s something that’s contagious.”
Ball is still not
ready to return
Rookie Lonzo Ball remains day-to-day, said Walton, who added there’s no
rush to bring the guard back
from a sprained knee that
has sidelined him for more
than three weeks.
And, with the All-Star
break a little more than a
week away, the Lakers could
decide to simply give Ball extra time to recover.
“I think like we’ve said the
whole time, we’re not going
to rush him back. … We’re going to keep taking it day by
day, see how he feels in the
mornings, do his workouts
accordingly and then when
we get closer [to the All-Star
break] make that final decision,” Walton said.
Walton said Ball went
through a ramped-up workout at the team’s practice facility, though Ball still hasn’t
gone through a full-speed,
noncontact workout.
Although Walton didn’t
rule out Ball for Thursday’s
game with the Oklahoma
City Thunder, it doesn’t
seem conceivable that Ball
could play.
Walton said the team has
tried to have Ball push himself to physical limits during
his rehabilitation work, but
at the moment there’s pain,
they hit the brakes.
“There’s a difference I
think between soreness and
pain,” Walton said. “[If he’s]
making any movement,
whether it’s lateral or explosion to the rim, and he has
pain when he does it, then
that’s kind of ‘stop it right
there.’ And we’ll go back to
where he has no pain, as far
as the workout is concerned,
and then try it again tomorrow.
“We’re not going to keep
trying to push through that
pain but there’s probably going to be some kind of discomfort when he’s healthy
enough to play.”
Ball is scheduled to participate in the Rising Stars
Challenge during All-Star
weekend.
In 36 games, Ball is averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 assists
and 7.1 rebounds.
dan.woike@latimes.com
Twitter: @DanWoikeSports
Porzingis tears ACL
during Knicks loss
MILWAUKEE 103
NEW YORK 89
Kristaps Porzingis’ dunk wasn’t
spectacular, certainly nothing like
Giannis Antetokounmpo jumping
over Tim Hardaway Jr. for a slam.
But the moment he landed,
punching the court in pain, the
Knicks’ playoff hopes had likely
crumpled right along with him.
Porzingis tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Tuesday night in the Knicks’ 103-89 loss
to the visiting Milwaukee Bucks.
Antetokounmpo scored 23
points, jumping over Hardaway for
one high-flying slam.
Porzingis crashed to the
ground after his dunk in the second
quarter and was taken for an MRI
exam that revealed his injury.
“More than a basketball player,
he’s my brother,” Knicks center
Enes Kanter said. “I don’t want to
see anyone going down like that
hurting his knee. ... I’m just going to
pray for him tonight. He is the most
important part of our family.”
at Toronto 111, Boston 91: Kyrie Irving returned from injury, but it
didn’t do much to help the Celtics.
Kyle Lowry scored 23 points and
C.J. Miles had 20 for the Raptors,
who stopped Boston’s four-game
winning streak. Irving, who missed
three games because of a bruised
right quad, scored 17 points.
Oklahoma City 125, at Golden
State 105: Russell Westbrook had
34 points, nine rebounds and nine
assists for the Thunder, who ended
a four-game skid. The Warriors
were only eight of 28 from threepoint range.
at Orlando 116, Cleveland 98:
Jonathon Simmons scored 22 of his
career-high 34 points in the third
quarter for the Magic, who overcame a 21-point deficit. The Cavaliers scored 43 points in the first,
but then went almost 61⁄2 minutes
without scoring in the fourth and
lost for the 14th time in 21 games.
Houston 123, at Brooklyn 113:
James Harden scored 36 points,
surpassing 15,000 for his career,
and Chris Paul added 25 for the
Rockets. The Nets led 84-80 before
the Rockets went on an 11-0 run to
take the lead for good.
at Philadelphia 115, Washington
102: Joel Embiid had 27 points and
12 rebounds for the 76ers, who
seemed to feed off the emotion of a
raucous crowd still celebrating the
Eagles’ Super Bowl victory. The
Wizards had won five straight.
at Atlanta 108, Memphis 82: Dennis Schroder scored 22 points for
the Hawks, who led by as many as
32 points. The Grizzlies made only
four of 22 three-pointers and had a
season-high 27 turnovers.
at Lakers 112, Phoenix 93
— associated press
HOUSTON
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Bender .......37 2-10 3-4 3-6 4 3 8
Warren .......36 9-22 6-10 3-6 3 2 24
Chandler.....30 4-5 0-2 5-13 4 0 8
Jackson......36 7-19 1-2 3-10 1 5 16
Ulis............29 4-11 0-0 0-1 7 0 8
Daniels.......23 2-9 3-3 0-1 0 2 9
Chriss ........19 4-9 0-2 0-6 3 2 10
Gray...........16 3-7 0-0 1-2 2 2 8
Len..............6 1-2 0-0 1-2 0 2 2
Reed............1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Peters ..........1 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Totals
36-94 13-23 16-48 24 18 93
Shooting: Field goals, 38.3%; free throws,
56.5%
Three-point goals: 8-29 (Gray 2-3, Chriss 2-4,
Daniels 2-7, Bender 1-4, Jackson 1-6, Warren 0-2,
Ulis 0-3). Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 11
(15 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Chriss 2, Jackson 2).
Turnovers: 11 (Jackson 3, Ulis 3, Bender 2, Gray 2,
Len). Steals: 4 (Warren 4). Technical Fouls: coach
Suns (Defensive three second), 8:43 first.
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Anderson......8 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 1 0
Mbah a Mte 37 3-5 0-2 0-7 2 1 8
Capela .......31 8-12 2-4 5-11 0 1 18
Harden.......34 11-23 10-10 0-4 5 4 36
Paul...........33 9-15 3-3 1-7 5 2 25
Tucker ........33 1-3 0-0 0-5 2 0 3
Gordon.......28 5-9 2-2 1-2 1 0 13
Green.........17 6-8 0-0 0-2 0 2 16
Nene..........14 2-5 0-0 0-1 1 3 4
Totals
45-81 17-21 8-40 16 14 123
Shooting: Field goals, 55.6%; free throws,
81.0%
Three-point goals: 16-33 (Green 4-6, Paul 4-8,
Harden 4-10, Mbah a Moute 2-4, Tucker 1-2, Gordon 1-3). Team Rebounds: 5. Team Turnovers: 11
(12 PTS). Blocked Shots: 7 (Capela 4, Harden,
Mbah a Moute, Tucker). Turnovers: 11 (Paul 3,
Tucker 3, Harden 2, Mbah a Moute 2, Gordon).
Steals: 7 (Paul 2, Tucker 2, Capela, Gordon, Mbah
a Moute). Technical Fouls: None.
LAKERS
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Carroll........29 7-12 2-2 0-2 1 2 21
Harris.........28 3-10 1-1 4-8 4 2 8
Allen ..........23 6-11 4-4 1-2 1 0 16
Crabbe.......30 2-7 0-0 0-4 0 2 6
Dinwiddie ...25 5-7 3-3 1-3 9 1 18
Okafor........24 7-9 1-3 1-6 0 1 15
Russell .......19 4-12 2-2 0-1 2 0 10
Stauskas ....18 0-3 0-0 0-2 3 2 0
Webb III......18 2-4 0-0 2-6 0 1 6
LeVert ........12 3-6 2-2 1-3 3 2 9
Whitehead ....5 2-4 0-0 0-0 0 3 4
Vaughn.........4 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 0
Totals
41-85 15-17 10-37 24 17 113
Shooting: Field goals, 48.2%; free throws,
88.2%
Three-point goals: 16-35 (Dinwiddie 5-7, Carroll 5-8, Webb III 2-3, Crabbe 2-5, LeVert 1-1, Harris 1-5, Allen 0-1, Stauskas 0-2, Russell 0-3). Team
Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 11 (11 PTS). Blocked
Shots: 2 (Okafor, Russell). Turnovers: 11 (Dinwiddie
3, Harris 2, Carroll, LeVert, Okafor, Russell,
Stauskas, Webb III). Steals: 8 (Dinwiddie 3, Carroll
2, Allen, LeVert, Russell). Technical Fouls: None.
Houston
38 27 31 27— 123
Brooklyn
31 32 23 27— 113
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Hart...........31 5-7 2-2 2-11 3 4 15
Randle .......27 9-13 3-5 1-8 5 1 21
Lopez.........23 4-6 0-0 1-4 0 3 12
Cldwll-Pope.27 1-8 3-3 0-6 0 3 5
Ingram .......33 9-12 6-6 0-4 5 1 26
Kuzma........27 6-15 2-2 0-4 0 3 16
Clarkson .....26 3-12 1-2 0-4 5 1 7
Nance Jr. ....16 2-5 2-2 6-10 0 1 6
Caruso .......14 0-1 4-4 0-1 1 3 4
Brewer .........9 0-3 0-0 2-4 0 1 0
Zubac ..........1 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Ennis ...........1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals
39-83 23-26 12-56 19 21 112
Shooting: Field goals, 47.0%; free throws,
88.5%
Three-point goals: 11-26 (Lopez 4-6, Hart 3-4,
Ingram 2-2, Kuzma 2-7, Caruso 0-1, Caldwell-Pope
0-2, Clarkson 0-4). Team Rebounds: 3. Team Turnovers: 14 (15 PTS). Blocked Shots: 7 (Ingram 2,
Brewer, Hart, Lopez, Randle, Zubac). Turnovers: 14
(Clarkson 3, Lopez 3, Randle 3, Ingram 2, Caldwell-Pope, Hart, Nance Jr.). Steals: 7 (CaldwellPope 3, Clarkson, Hart, Kuzma, Nance Jr.).
Phoenix
28 29 22 14— 93
LAKERS
33 24 31 24— 112
A—18,997. T—2:03. O—Ed Malloy, Ben Taylor,
Tre Maddox.
Bucks 103, Knicks 89
MILWAUKEE
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Antetknmpo 34 10-23 3-6 1-11 6 3 23
Middleton ...33 8-15 2-3 0-4 2 1 20
Maker ........22 3-5 0-0 2-3 0 2 7
Bledsoe......29 7-11 7-7 1-5 8 1 23
Snell..........18 0-2 0-0 0-3 2 0 0
Parker ........20 4-9 2-2 0-3 0 1 10
Plumlee......19 0-0 2-4 2-6 2 2 2
Terry ..........19 1-2 0-0 0-1 2 1 2
Brown ........17 0-3 0-0 1-3 0 2 0
Kilpatrick ....16 4-11 5-5 0-2 0 1 16
Zeller ...........6 0-1 0-0 1-2 0 2 0
Munford .......1 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 0
Totals
37-82 21-27 8-43 23 17 103
Shooting: Field goals, 45.1%; free throws, 77.8%
Three-point goals: 8-26 (Kilpatrick 3-8, Middleton 2-4,
Bledsoe 2-6, Maker 1-2, Brown 0-1, Snell 0-1, Terry 0-1,
Zeller 0-1, Parker 0-2). Team Rebounds: 6. Team Turnovers: 14 (18 PTS). Blocked Shots: 6 (Antetokounmpo 2,
Maker 2, Middleton, Snell). Turnovers: 14 (Antetokounmpo
3, Zeller 3, Bledsoe 2, Kilpatrick 2, Middleton, Parker,
Snell, Terry). Steals: 11 (Brown 2, Snell 2, Terry 2, Antetokounmpo, Bledsoe, Maker, Middleton, Parker).
A—19,812. T—2:11. O—Petraitis, Washington, Lane
A—18,846. T—2:08. O—Jason Goldenberg,
Dedric Taylor, Pat Fraher
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Anunoby .....15 2-3 0-0 1-4 1 0 4
Ibaka .........22 4-5 0-0 0-5 1 1 8
Valanciunas 20 1-8 0-0 1-7 1 3 2
DeRozan.....29 6-17 1-1 0-3 6 2 15
Lowry.........25 6-13 5-7 2-8 4 1 23
VanVleet .....30 3-5 2-2 0-3 8 2 10
Siakam ......25 3-4 0-0 0-1 2 1 6
Wright ........24 6-11 1-2 0-2 3 1 14
Poeltl .........23 2-4 0-0 1-5 1 4 4
Miles .........15 6-8 3-3 0-1 2 0 20
Powell ..........3 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 3
Nogueira ......3 0-1 2-2 0-0 0 2 2
Totals
40-80 14-17 5-39 29 18 111
Shooting: Field goals, 50.0%; free throws, 82.4%
Three-point goals: 17-36 (Lowry 6-11, Miles 5-7, VanVleet 2-3, DeRozan 2-6, Powell 1-1, Wright 1-4, Anunoby
0-1, Siakam 0-1, Valanciunas 0-2). Team Rebounds: 8.
Team Turnovers: 15 (18 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Poeltl 3,
Siakam, Valanciunas). Turnovers: 15 (Ibaka 4, Wright 3,
Poeltl 2, Siakam 2, Anunoby, Lowry, Valanciunas, VanVleet). Steals: 10 (Wright 3, Lowry 2, Anunoby, DeRozan,
Siakam, Valanciunas, VanVleet). Technical Fouls: None.
Boston
18 19 23 31— 91
Toronto
22 36 25 28— 111
A—20,017. T—2:00. O—James Capers, Tyler Ford, Aaron
Smith
Hawks 108, Grizzlies 82
[Lakers, from D1]
starting in the All-Star game
because he deserves that.
And he’s going to be like an
MVP, a champion, this dude
he’s going to put Milwaukee
on the map. And I think he’s
going to bring them a championship one day.”
The Bucks even shared
the quote on the team’s Instagram account.
The Lakers had no comment on the fine.
While this isn’t “tampering” in the same way it was
when Pelinka and Paul
George’s
agent,
Aaron
Mintz, had an improper conversation that cost the team
a $500,000 fine, Johnson’s
comments to ESPN break a
simple rule team executives
have to adhere to — don’t
speak publicly about players
under contract with other
teams.
It’s not the first time
Johnson has had problems
with things he’s said.
The NBA warned him
about tampering violations
after appearing on “Jimmy
Kimmel Live” last April.
Kimmel asked Johnson
about how he’d handle seeing George, an unrestricted
free agent in the summer of
2018 rumored to have interest in returning home to Los
Angeles.
Instead of dodging the
question, Johnson played
along.
“We gonna say ‘Hi’ because we know each other,”
Johnson said. “You just can’t
say, ‘Hey, I want you to come
to the Lakers,’ even though
I’ll be wink-winking, like,
‘You know what that means,
right?’ ”
The problem is — and
continues to be as exemplified by his comments to
ESPN — that Magic Johnson can’t stop being Magic
Johnson.
As a longtime icon in the
sport and as a commentator,
Johnson had forums to
share his opinions about
players throughout the
league. He sacrificed that
when he became the team’s
president of basketball operations nearly a year ago.
Future punishment for
tampering could cost the
team more money, future
draft picks or even the ability
to sign specific players.
The fine from the NBA
came just after a separate report on ESPN had the Lakers essentially exiting the
chase for the top free agents
in 2018 like LeBron James
and George by “recalibrating” their focus to the freeagent class in 2019.
While on some levels, that
decision seems like a “You
can’t fire me, I quit!” tactic, it
also could be related to some
recent optimism on how the
team has fared.
Since Jan. 7, only the
Houston Rockets have a better winning percentage than
the Lakers, who have played
their last 11 games without
Lonzo Ball, their prized
rookie, on the court.
If the Lakers scrap their
long-spoken plans to try to
sign a pair of players this
summer to max contracts
for a more prudent approach, it will mean smaller,
more nuanced decisions for
the team’s front office.
Mistakes when it comes
to the NBA’s rules so far
haven’t cost the team
more than a sizable amount
of money. Mistakes when it
comes to rebuilding a
championship
franchise,
though, would be even more
costly.
dan.woike@latimes.com
Twitter: @DanWoikeSports
CLEVELAND
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Crowder......25 1-6 0-2 1-2 0 2 2
James ........33 10-17 3-4 1-10 5 4 25
Thompson...26 6-9 0-0 5-9 0 3 12
Smith.........25 4-6 0-0 1-1 1 3 12
Thomas ......29 3-13 4-4 0-1 8 2 11
Green.........23 4-8 4-4 0-4 0 2 12
Korver ........22 3-8 0-0 0-1 1 3 8
Wade .........22 3-6 3-6 0-4 1 2 11
Rose..........14 0-7 0-0 1-1 2 1 0
Frye .............9 2-4 0-0 0-2 0 1 5
Osman .........2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0
Calderon ......2 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0
Totals
36-84 14-20 9-35 19 24 98
Shooting: Field goals, 42.9%; free throws,
70.0%
Three-point goals: 12-37 (Smith 4-6, James
2-4, Wade 2-5, Korver 2-7, Frye 1-3, Thomas 1-6,
Rose 0-1, Green 0-2, Crowder 0-3). Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 14 (21 PTS). Blocked
Shots: 3 (Crowder, Green, Wade). Turnovers: 14
(James 6, Korver 2, Wade 2, Crowder, Smith,
Thomas, Thompson). Steals: 5 (Korver 2, James,
Smith, Thomas). Technical Fouls: None.
ORLANDO
TORONTO
Magic called for tampering
Magic 116, Cavaliers 98
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Hezonja......25 4-9 0-0 0-6 2 1 10
Simmons ....35 12-17 8-9 2-7 2 3 34
Biyombo .....22 4-7 3-5 3-8 2 2 11
Fournier......37 7-13 4-9 1-6 3 1 19
Payton........23 5-8 0-0 0-2 8 1 10
Mack .........26 2-8 0-0 2-7 5 1 4
Augustin .....24 3-8 2-2 0-2 3 0 8
Birch..........18 4-5 0-0 1-5 1 3 8
Iwundu.......13 1-4 1-2 3-4 1 4 3
Speights.......7 3-5 0-0 0-3 0 0 7
Afflalo ..........5 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 2
Totals
46-87 18-27 12-50 27 16 116
Shooting: Field goals, 52.9%; free throws,
66.7%
Three-point goals: 6-22 (Simmons 2-4,
Hezonja 2-5, Speights 1-2, Fournier 1-6, Iwundu
0-1, Mack 0-1, Augustin 0-3). Team Rebounds: 11.
Team Turnovers: 13 (13 PTS). Blocked Shots: 8
(Biyombo 2, Payton 2, Birch, Mack, Simmons,
Speights). Turnovers: 13 (Biyombo 3, Simmons 3,
Fournier 2, Payton 2, Augustin, Birch, Speights).
Steals: 7 (Augustin, Birch, Fournier, Iwundu, Mack,
Payton, Simmons). Technical Fouls: None.
Cleveland
43 24 22
9— 98
Orlando
31 20 41 24— 116
BOSTON
Dragan Bender of the Phoenix Suns to score in the first quarter at Staples Center.
A—15,064. T—1:58. O—Zach Zarba, Haywoode
Workman, Brian Forte
NEW YORK
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Horford.......24 1-5 0-0 0-6 3 1 2
Tatum.........20 2-9 0-0 0-1 0 0 4
Baynes .......20 3-8 0-0 3-8 1 1 6
J.Brown ......27 4-5 2-4 0-6 2 4 11
Irving .........21 6-12 3-3 0-0 3 1 17
Morris ........29 4-13 2-2 0-2 1 0 12
Rozier ........24 5-12 4-4 1-5 4 2 18
Theis..........22 4-5 2-3 1-2 1 2 10
Ojeleye .......19 0-4 0-0 0-2 2 6 0
Nader ........14 2-7 0-0 2-3 3 2 5
Yabusele.....10 1-1 2-4 2-3 0 0 4
Allen............5 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 2
Totals
33-83 15-20 9-38 21 19 91
Shooting: Field goals, 39.8%; free throws, 75.0%
Three-point goals: 10-23 (Rozier 4-5, Morris 2-5, Irving
2-6, J.Brown 1-1, Nader 1-1, Tatum 0-1, Horford 0-2, Ojeleye 0-2). Team Rebounds: 12. Team Turnovers: 17 (17
PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Horford 2, J.Brown). Turnovers: 17
(Horford 4, J.Brown 4, Morris 2, Nader 2, Rozier 2, Baynes,
Tatum, Yabusele). Steals: 3 (Rozier 2, Nader). Technical
Fouls: None.
Luis Sinco Los Angeles Times
BROOKLYN
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Hardaway Jr.26 4-13 0-0 1-5 4 3 8
Porzingis.....11 4-5 1-4 0-2 0 0 10
Kanter........32 8-15 3-3 6-16 1 3 19
Jack...........17 1-6 0-0 0-0 3 1 2
Lee............35 6-16 0-0 0-4 2 3 14
Beasley ......24 3-11 3-4 1-6 2 3 9
Burke.........22 4-7 0-1 0-3 2 0 9
Thomas ......16 0-1 0-0 1-2 0 2 0
McDermott..15 1-4 2-2 1-2 1 0 4
Dotson .......14 3-6 1-1 0-3 1 1 8
O’Quinn......12 1-1 0-0 1-3 2 2 2
Ntilikina......10 1-3 0-0 0-0 2 1 2
Hernangomez 1 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 2
Totals
37-89 10-15 11-47 20 19 89
Shooting: Field goals, 41.6%; free throws, 66.7%
Three-point goals: 5-23 (Lee 2-6, Burke 1-2, Porzingis
1-2, Dotson 1-3, Jack 0-1, Beasley 0-2, McDermott 0-2,
Hardaway Jr. 0-5). Team Rebounds: 12. Team Turnovers:
17 (28 PTS). Blocked Shots: 6 (Porzingis 3, Beasley, Hernangomez, O’Quinn). Turnovers: 17 (Beasley 5, Kanter 4,
Lee 2, Burke, Hardaway Jr., Jack, Ntilikina, O’Quinn, Thomas). Steals: 5 (Burke, Dotson, Hardaway Jr., Kanter, McDermott). Technical Fouls: Hardaway Jr., 4:32 third.
Milwaukee
25 25 26 27— 103
New York
26 20 17 26— 89
Raptors 111, Celtics 91
JORDAN CLARKSON of the Lakers drives around Tyson Chandler, left, and
Rockets 123, Nets 113
PHOENIX
MEMPHIS
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Brooks .......32 5-14 2-5 0-1 4 2 12
Green.........22 3-8 0-0 1-10 2 0 6
Gasol.........19 3-7 2-2 1-6 2 3 8
Harrison .....23 3-7 2-2 0-1 4 4 9
Selden .......25 3-8 0-0 1-1 1 3 7
Ennis III......23 1-5 0-0 1-3 1 1 2
McLemore...22 2-7 2-2 0-0 2 2 7
Rabb .........20 5-8 0-0 3-11 2 1 10
Martin ........18 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 4 2
Chalmers ....15 5-8 2-2 1-1 2 1 13
Wright ........14 3-4 0-0 1-3 3 3 6
Totals
34-79 10-13 9-37 23 24 82
Shooting: Field goals, 43.0%; free throws, 76.9%
Three-point goals: 4-22 (Harrison 1-1, Chalmers 1-2,
McLemore 1-3, Selden 1-3, Martin 0-1, Gasol 0-2, Ennis III
0-3, Green 0-3, Brooks 0-4). Team Rebounds: 12. Team
Turnovers: 25 (38 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Brooks, Ennis
III, Martin, Rabb, Wright). Turnovers: 25 (Harrison 4,
Brooks 3, Chalmers 3, Gasol 3, Martin 3, Ennis III 2,
McLemore 2, Rabb 2, Selden 2, Wright). Steals: 7
(McLemore 2, Chalmers, Ennis III, Martin, Rabb, Selden).
Technical Fouls: None.
ATLANTA
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Ilyasova ......19 3-4 0-0 0-4 0 0 8
Prince ........26 1-8 3-3 1-2 3 0 5
Plumlee......19 3-6 1-2 2-6 2 4 7
Bazemore ...19 3-9 3-3 0-4 3 1 10
Schroder.....24 9-15 3-3 0-3 5 2 22
Dorsey .......28 4-10 2-4 0-1 7 1 10
Collins........25 6-9 3-5 3-10 1 2 15
Dedmon .....19 5-6 0-0 0-2 1 3 11
Taylor .........17 2-4 0-0 0-1 4 0 4
Delaney......14 2-5 1-1 0-1 1 2 6
Muscala .....12 2-3 0-0 2-2 2 0 4
Babbitt.......12 2-4 0-0 0-0 0 1 6
Totals
42-83 16-21 8-36 29 16 108
Shooting: Field goals, 50.6%; free throws, 76.2%
Three-point goals: 8-25 (Ilyasova 2-3, Babbitt 2-4,
Dedmon 1-1, Bazemore 1-3, Delaney 1-3, Schroder 1-3,
Collins 0-1, Muscala 0-1, Dorsey 0-2, Prince 0-4). Team
Rebounds: 9. Team Turnovers: 13 (9 PTS). Blocked Shots:
5 (Bazemore, Dedmon, Ilyasova, Prince, Schroder). Turnovers: 13 (Plumlee 6, Bazemore 2, Collins 2, Delaney 2,
Prince). Steals: 13 (Bazemore 2, Dorsey 2, Ilyasova 2,
Babbitt, Collins, Dedmon, Muscala, Plumlee, Schroder,
Taylor). Technical Fouls: coach Hawks (Defensive three
second), 4:21 second.
Memphis
15 20 19 28— 82
Atlanta
22 29 28 29— 108
A—11,866. T—2:06. O—James Williams, Sean Corbin,
C.J. Washington
76ers 115, Wizards 102
WASHINGTON
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Morris ........23 5-11 0-0 2-3 4 3 11
Porter Jr. .....34 8-16 1-1 5-8 2 3 17
Gortat ........17 2-4 0-0 1-2 4 1 4
Beal...........40 12-22 1-2 2-7 5 1 30
Satoransky..22 2-6 2-2 1-2 3 1 6
Oubre Jr......32 4-13 2-2 1-4 0 3 10
Scott..........24 3-9 1-2 1-4 1 2 8
Mahinmi.....23 4-7 5-5 2-4 0 4 13
Frazier........15 1-2 0-2 1-4 3 0 2
Meeks..........4 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 0
McCullough...1 0-0 1-2 0-1 0 0 1
Totals
41-93 13-18 16-39 23 18 102
Shooting: Field goals, 44.1%; free throws, 72.2%
Three-point goals: 7-27 (Beal 5-12, Morris 1-2, Scott
1-2, Mahinmi 0-1, Porter Jr. 0-1, Satoransky 0-1, Meeks
0-2, Oubre Jr. 0-6). Team Rebounds: 9. Team Turnovers: 11
(16 PTS). Blocked Shots: 1 (Gortat). Turnovers: 11 (Beal 4,
Satoransky 2, Mahinmi, McCullough, Meeks, Oubre Jr.,
Porter Jr.). Steals: 14 (Morris 4, Oubre Jr. 3, Satoransky 2,
Beal, Frazier, Gortat, Porter Jr., Scott). Technical Fouls:
Morris, 1:50 second.
PHILADELPHIA
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Covington ...32 5-12 0-0 1-5 1 1 12
Saric..........39 8-14 2-2 3-7 1 2 20
Embiid .......32 10-20 4-5 0-12 3 2 27
Redick........33 6-9 2-2 0-1 6 3 18
Simmons ....35 6-8 3-5 3-6 8 2 15
McConnell ..23 3-6 0-0 2-8 4 3 7
Johnson......15 4-6 0-0 2-3 1 0 9
Bayless ......11 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 0 2
Booker .........8 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 1 0
Anderson......7 2-3 0-0 0-1 0 0 5
Totals
45-81 11-14 11-44 27 14 115
Shooting: Field goals, 55.6%; free throws, 78.6%
Three-point goals: 14-28 (Redick 4-5, Embiid 3-7,
Saric 2-4, Covington 2-7, McConnell 1-1, Anderson 1-2,
Johnson 1-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 17 (22
PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Embiid 3, Simmons). Turnovers: 17
(Covington 5, Simmons 5, Redick 2, Saric 2, Bayless, Embiid, McConnell). Steals: 9 (Simmons 3, Anderson, Booker,
Covington, Johnson, McConnell, Saric). Technical Fouls:
None.
Washington
20 35 29 18— 102
Philadelphia
37 28 29 21— 115
A—20,530. T—2:13. O—J.T. Orr, Mark Ayotte, Derrick
Stafford
Thunder 125, Warriors 105
OKLAHOMA CITY
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Anthony........6 0-4 0-0 0-0 1 1 0
George .......36 11-23 10-12 1-5 3 4 38
Adams .......26 7-9 0-3 3-10 0 4 14
Huestis.......24 3-5 0-0 1-5 0 4 6
Westbrook...36 13-26 6-6 0-9 9 2 34
Grant .........35 5-8 5-8 2-4 2 3 16
Patterson ....29 1-6 2-2 2-4 1 5 4
Abrines.......24 3-7 0-0 0-1 0 5 9
Felton ........14 1-4 0-0 0-0 1 0 2
Singler .........2 0-1 2-2 1-2 0 0 2
Johnson .......2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Ferguson ......2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals
44-93 25-33 10-40 17 28 125
Shooting: Field goals, 47.3%; free throws,
75.8%
Three-point goals: 12-31 (George 6-11, Abrines
3-7, Westbrook 2-5, Grant 1-2, Anthony 0-1, Felton
0-2, Patterson 0-3). Team Rebounds: 10. Team
Turnovers: 12 (12 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Grant 2,
Abrines). Turnovers: 12 (Westbrook 4, George 3,
Adams 2, Grant 2, Singler). Steals: 14 (George 6,
Adams 3, Patterson 3, Abrines 2).
GOLDEN STATE
Min FG-A FT-A OR-T A P T
Durant........30 8-14 14-15 1-6 1 1 33
Green.........30 2-4 1-3 1-8 7 3 5
Pachulia .....13 1-2 0-2 0-2 0 5 2
Curry .........31 6-14 7-7 1-5 5 3 21
Thompson...31 5-13 0-0 0-4 2 3 12
Iguodala.....22 1-2 0-0 2-5 4 1 2
Livingston ...14 3-6 0-0 0-1 2 0 6
West ..........14 4-5 1-1 1-4 2 2 9
Looney .......14 3-5 0-3 2-5 0 3 6
Young.........13 1-5 0-0 1-1 1 0 3
McCaw.........9 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0
Casspi .........8 1-2 0-0 1-3 2 0 2
McGee .........6 2-4 0-0 0-0 1 2 4
Totals
37-76 23-31 10-45 27 24 105
Shooting: Field goals, 48.7%; free throws,
74.2%
Three-point goals: 8-28 (Durant 3-8, Thompson
2-6, Curry 2-9, Young 1-4, McGee 0-1). Team Rebounds: 9. Team Turnovers: 25 (41 PTS). Blocked
Shots: 8 (Green 4, Curry, Durant, McCaw, West).
Turnovers: 25 (Durant 5, Green 5, Curry 3, Thompson 3, West 3, Iguodala 2, Livingston, Looney, McGee, Pachulia). Steals: 7 (West 2, Curry, Durant,
Iguodala, McGee, Thompson). Technical Fouls:
coach Steve Kerr, 9:38 second
Oklahoma City
42 28 29 26— 125
Golden State
30 27 20 28— 105
A—19,596. T—NA. O—Marat Kogut, Lauren
Holtkamp, Ken Mauer
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M / S P O RT S
D5
Griffin’s
Pistons
next for
Clippers
By Broderick Turner
None of the Clippers
know when they will completely jell.
But they all know it will
be a process.
And each step of the way,
the Clippers, who have 30
regular-season games left,
just want to improve.
“You want to know something? I can’t really predict
that,” Avery Bradley said
late Monday night at Staples
Center. “The only thing I can
say is that I feel like we’re
making progress. We’re going to make mistakes. But
the key to that is just going
out there and playing
basketball, playing hard.
That’s what you’ve got to
do.”
The Clippers won their
first two games since acquiring Bradley, Tobias Harris
and Boban Marjanovic from
the Detroit Pistons.
They mounted a comeback and defeated the Dallas Mavericks on Monday
night, an early sign that the
new group can withstand
adversity.
Still, Clippers coach Doc
Rivers knows his team is a
long way from finding its
identity.
Rivers just hopes the
Clippers can keep getting
better, and that they can become whole again when
Austin Rivers returns from a
right-ankle injury.
Even Doc Rivers is unsure how long it’ll take the
team to jell.
“I don’t think anyone ever
knows,” Rivers said. “Sometimes you get off to great
starts with a team and then
you go through some struggles and it falls apart and
then you got to [get it back
together]. It’s just going to
take time. Austin is still out,
so we need one more guy
back. Hopefully he can come
back and get in the mix.”
The Clippers will practice
Wednesday and Thursday
before heading on a fourgame trip.
The first test is Friday
night against the Pistons
and Blake Griffin, whom the
Clippers traded last week.
The Clippers then will
play at Philadelphia on Saturday night before heading
to Brooklyn and finishing
the trip at Boston.
“I actually think it’s good
we’re going on the road,”
Rivers said. “We’ll find out a
lot about ourselves. It gives
us a chance to kind of grow
together, bond together.
And we have three days to
prepare for it. So I think
that’s all good for us.”
broderick.turner@latimes.com
Robert Gauthier Los Angeles Times
JOHN FORCE CHECKS OUT his collection of classic cars at his headquarters in Yorba Linda. Force is preparing for his 47th season.
He wanted sons, but he got champions
[Force, from D1]
for John Force Racing, two
others work for the company. They travel together
as a racing team, if not a family, sharing big dinners and
long nights they missed the
first time.
“Racing has kind of
brought us all back together,” said Courtney, the
youngest of the four sisters,
who finished third in the
funny car standings last season. “It is kind of weird. Not
being able to see him a lot as
a kid and now I get to see
more than enough of him as
an adult. We definitely have
a closer relationship now
than we did when I was little.
“[But] I think he’s still
trying to learn how to be a
dad.”
Force, who speaks in a
raspy voice, has a personality that can fill a room. He’s
loud, engaging and unrestrained — when he’s in a
good mood. But he can also
be as combustible and unpredictable as the nitromethane that fuels his race
car.
“We used to have friends
come over and he’d be on the
phone
punching
holes
through walls, screaming at
the top of his lungs,” Brittany said. “Our friends
would call their parents, crying, to come pick them up.
So it was just always the
rule: If Dad’s home, no
friends come over.”
Once he came home from
a long racing trip and told
daughter Ashley she had a 9
p.m. curfew. Ashley was in
college at the time.
Another daughter was
taking a welding class in
high school, something her
father had to learn from a
friend since he never bothered to read a report card
or take an interest in their
studies.
“He just really didn’t
know how our childhood was
going,” Courtney said.
::
Ashley Force, the first
daughter from Force’s second marriage, had a college
degree, a calm demeanor
and a level head — making
her, by every measure, the
opposite of her hot-tempered father — the first time
she put on a fire suit,
strapped into a funny car
and hit 317 mph down an asphalt drag strip.
That was when she finally
understood her father.
“The racing makes you
crazy,” she said. “We had a
little more empathy for Dad
once we started racing. It is
hard to leave it all behind
and come home and be
cheerful if you just lost. It’s
hard to let that go.”
Ashley, 35, who stopped
racing seven years ago when
she had her first child, was
bit by the racing bug at an
early age — though it was
years before she realized
she’d been infected.
She was attending Cal
State Fullerton during the
week and following her dad
to the track on weekends
when she began racing super comp cars for fun. She
quickly moved up the ranks,
to alcohol-fuel dragsters
before turning pro in a funny
car in 2007, beating her
dad the first time they faced
off.
“After that win, she made
a T-shirt,” remembered
Laurie Force, the mother of
Force’s
three
youngest
daughters and the matriarch of the driving Forces. “It
said ‘Dad’ — he had won like
147 [races] so she had all
those tally marks, 147. Then
she put ‘Ashley, 1.’ ”
Brittany, 31, was teaching
middle school when she was
coaxed into a top-fuel dragster. The rush of that ride
was something she never
found in the classroom.
But driving a dragster full
time also meant working for
her dad, who did not have
the patience to teach them
how to handle a stick shift
when they were learning to
drive at 16.
“That was huge in all of
them deciding whether they
wanted to go on and do racing,” Laurie said. “When she
was deciding, in watching
[Ashley], it was not, ‘How is
she doing in the car?’ but,
‘How is she doing with him?’
Because he’s out there running the show, being their
boss. So both Courtney and
Brittany observed her.
“If she survived and got
through it and was still game
for going on to the next level,
then they thought ‘maybe I
can do this,’ ” added Laurie,
who met her future husband
at the wedding of a mutual
friend; he was the best man,
she the maid of honor. “But if
Ashley had caved and he’d
been too much or whatever, I
doubt either would have
gone into racing.”
Both did, although they
hit speed bumps along the
way. Two years after Brittany became a top-fuel
driver, the team had to hire
champion driver and owner
Alan Johnson to help shield
Brittany from her father.
That arrangement paid off
last year when Brittany became only the second woman, and first since Shirley
Muldowney in 1982, to win
the top-fuel title.
“The last few years we’ve
been butting heads,” she
said. “He sometimes yells at
you. And I can’t handle that.
“In meetings, are you
talking to your dad or your
boss? That’s where it’s
tough. How do you find that
balance?”
If Force’s two eldest
daughters followed a circuitous route to racing, Courtney’s journey was as straight
and flat as a drag strip.
When she was in kindergarten, she made a Father’s Day
card that featured a picture
of her in her dad’s fire suit
and race boots under the
caption, “One of these days
I’m going to fill these shoes.”
At about that same time,
she drew a picture of herself
racing her dad, making sure
the bumper of her funny car
was slightly ahead of her father’s.
She made good on those
predictions, beating her dad
in the points standings twice
since 2012 while becoming
the winningest woman in
funny car history.
“I knew when I was probably 7 [that] I was going to
grow up and be a race car
driver,” she said. “Because I
loved it.”
Her dad wasn’t so sure.
“I don’t think he really
thought girls would be doing
this. His own daughters,”
Courtney said. “He always
thought it would be a phase
and we’d grow out of it.”
Truth is, John Force never wanted daughters.
“After we were done having kids, I said, ‘Why was it so
important? Why did you
want to have a boy?’ ” Laurie
remembers asking Force,
who replied by saying he
wanted a son to follow in his
footsteps.
“And I remember thinking, ‘Oh, thank God that
didn’t happen.’ ”
Instead, he got four girls
from two marriages — and
they all followed his footsteps into drag racing.
Adria Hight, the only
child from Force’s first marriage, is the chief financial of-
ficer for the race team and is
married to Robert Hight,
who won the funny car title
for John Force Racing last
year.
Ashley was NHRA’s rookie of the year in the funny car
division in 2007 but retired
from racing in 2011 to raise a
family. For the last six years,
she has been president of her
dad’s race-related entertainment division.
Brittany and Courtney
are still driving, as is John,
who says he has a lifetime
contract and no desire to
terminate it early. And why
should he? The kid who grew
up hobbled by polio, then
quarterbacked Bell Gardens High to 27 consecutive
losses, is having the time of
his life as he nears his eighth
decade.
Mostly, though, he’s making up for lost time. Oh sure,
he knows how to be a champion driver and run a successful racing team. But now
he’s also becoming a successful dad. So when Brittany clinched the top-fuel title on the final day of racing
at Pomona in November,
John Force dropped to the
track and began blubbering.
For the first time in his
life, he was speechless.
That’s progress.
“NHRA is a family sport.
That’s what I love about it,”
he said. “Drag racing took
me away from my family and
Laurie basically raised
them. And I was living on the
road.
“But drag racing, NHRA,
brought them all home to
me. Brought us back together because it brought
them racing. I don’t know
how that ever happened. I’m
totally
amazed.
Never
thought they’d do it.”
kevin.baxter@latimes.com
Twitter: @kbaxter11
D6
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M / S P O RT S
COLLEGE
BASKETBALL
NHL STANDINGS
EASTERN CONFERENCE
WESTERN CONFERENCE
Pacific
Vegas
San Jose
Calgary
DUCKS
KINGS
Edmonton
Vancouver
Arizona
Central
Winnipeg
Nashville
St. Louis
Dallas
Minnesota
Colorado
Chicago
W
35
28
27
26
28
23
21
12
W
32
32
32
31
29
29
24
L
14
17
18
19
19
24
26
32
L
13
12
20
19
19
19
21
OL
4
8
8
10
5
4
6
9
OL
9
7
3
4
5
4
8
Pts
74
64
62
62
61
50
48
33
Pts
73
71
67
66
63
62
56
GF
181
153
150
155
148
144
138
122
GF
176
161
155
167
159
167
155
GA
145
145
151
159
126
163
171
186
GA
143
131
140
140
152
150
148
Note: Overtime or shootout losses worth one point.
Metropolitan
Washington
Pittsburgh
New Jersey
Philadelphia
Columbus
N.Y. Islanders
Carolina
N.Y. Rangers
Atlantic
Tampa Bay
Boston
Toronto
Florida
Detroit
Montreal
Ottawa
Buffalo
W
31
30
27
25
27
26
24
25
W
36
32
31
23
21
22
18
14
L
17
22
17
19
22
22
21
23
L
14
11
19
22
23
25
25
29
OL
5
3
8
9
4
6
9
5
OL
3
8
5
6
8
6
9
10
Pts
67
63
62
59
58
58
57
55
Pts
75
72
67
52
50
50
45
38
GF
165
169
157
152
139
181
144
156
GF
189
167
179
146
136
139
137
120
GA
154
166
156
155
150
197
164
162
GA
140
123
154
164
154
164
179
175
RESULTS
DUCKS 4
AT BUFFALO 3 (OT)
Adam Henrique scored 1 minute 36 seconds into
overtime and the Ducks ended a skid at three games.
AT PITTSBURGH 5
VEGAS 4
Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel scored third-period goals
against Marc-Andre Fleury, a former teammate.
PHILADELPHIA 2
AT CAROLINA 1 (OT)
Jordan Weal scored with 3.1 seconds left in overtime to
help the Flyers end a losing streak at four games.
WASHINGTON 3
AT COLUMBUS 2
Nicklas Backstrom’s 200th career goal proved the winner
with 43 seconds to play.
AT OTTAWA 5
NEW JERSEY 3
Matt Duchene had a goal and two assists to help the
undermanned Senators prevail.
BOSTON 3
AT DETROIT 2
Sean Kuraly and David Krejci scored in the second period
for the Bruins, who are 17-1-4 in their last 22 games.
AT FLORIDA 3
VANCOUVER 1
Aleksander Barkov scored twice, including the go-ahead
goal late in the second period.
CALGARY 3
AT CHICAGO 2
Michael Stone scored with 3:30 left and the Flames beat
the Blackhawks for the second game in a row.
MINNESOTA 6
AT ST. LOUIS 2
Jason Zucker tied a career high with his 22nd goal and
Devan Dubnyk made 35 saves to help lift the Wild.
AT WINNIPEG 4
ARIZONA 3
Dustin Byfuglien had a goal and an assist, and the Jets
became the second team to reach 20 home victories.
AT COLORADO 3
SAN JOSE 1
Gabriel Bourque and Tyson Jost scored in the second
period, and Jonathan Bernier made 39 saves.
Jeffrey T. Barnes Associated Press
RICKARD RAKELL , who scored the Ducks’ first goal,
skates past Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner in the third period.
Henrique’s OT
goal lifts Ducks
DUCKS 4, BUFFALO 3 (OT)
For complete NHL summaries, go to latimes.com/sports/scores
TODAY’S GAMES
Edmonton at KINGS, 7:30 p.m.
Boston at New York Rangers, 5 p.m.
Nashville at Toronto, 4:30 p.m.
THURSDAY’S GAMES
New York Islanders at Buffalo, 4 p.m.
Montreal at Philadelphia, 4 p.m.
Vancouver at Tampa Bay, 4:30 p.m.
Colorado at St. Louis, 5 p.m.
Vegas at San Jose, 7:30 p.m.
Calgary at New Jersey, 4 p.m.
Nashville at Ottawa, 4:30 p.m.
Arizona at Minnesota, 5 p.m.
Dallas at Chicago, 5:30 p.m.
FRIDAY’S GAMES
Edmonton at DUCKS, 7 p.m.
Columbus at Washington, 4 p.m.
Calgary at New York Rangers, 4 p.m.
St. Louis at Winnipeg, 5 p.m.
KINGS at Florida, 4:30 p.m.
Detroit at New York Islanders, 4 p.m.
Vancouver at Carolina, 4:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Dallas, 5:30 p.m.
Associated Press
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Adam
Henrique scored 1:36 into overtime and the Ducks ended a
three-game skid with a 4-3 win
over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
The Ducks rebounded in the
extra period after allowing the
Sabres to tie the score on Ryan
O’Reilly’s goal with 15 seconds remaining in regulation.
Corey Perry, Rickard Rakell
and Ondrej Kase also scored for
the Ducks, who ended an 0-2-1
slide. Ryan Miller stopped 30
shots in facing his former team
for the fourth time since the
Sabres traded him to St. Louis
during the 2013-14 season.
Jack Eichel and Zemgus Girgensons scored for the Sabres,
who squandered two one-goal
leads. They are 0-3-1 in their last
four games and dropped to 4-9-2
since Jan. 1. Robin Lehner
stopped 29 shots and fell to 2-2-1
in his last five games despite
allowing just seven goals.
Lehner had no chance on
either of the final two goals he
gave up. Henrique’s shot deflected in off the stick of Sabres
defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen
and sailed in over Lehner’s right
shoulder.
The Ducks went ahead 3-2
with 8:30 left in regulation when
Perry was credited with a goal
that
O’Reilly
inadvertently
scored into this own net when his
clearing attempt hit Lehner’s
stick and caromed in.
Girgensons opened the scoring by banking in his own rebound off Miller’s pad 3:22 into
the game. Eichel put Buffalo
ahead 2-1 with 2:12 left in the second by converting Sam Reinhart’s feed through the crease.
Rakell put the Ducks on the
board with a power-play goal 21
seconds into the second period,
when his shot hit the right post
and then caromed in off Lehner.
Kase tied the score by poking the
puck through Lehner’s legs after
the goalie stopped Josh Manson’s
shot from the right point.
DUCKS 4, SABRES 3, OT
DUCKS .........................................0
Buffalo .........................................1
2
1
1
1
1 — 4
0 — 3
FIRST PERIOD: 1. Buf., Girgensons 6 (Nelson), 3:22 (sh).
Penalties—Ristolainen, BUF, (interference), 2:23. Kesler, DUCKS, (roughing), 10:56. Rodrigues, BUF, (high sticking), 16:03. Okposo, BUF, (slashing),
18:42.
SECOND PERIOD: 2. DUCKS, Rakell 22 (Getzlaf, Fowler), 0:21 (pp). 3.
Buf., Eichel 21 (Okposo, Reinhart), 17:18 (pp). 4. DUCKS, Kase 14 (Manson,
Ritchie), 19:21. Penalties—Holzer, DUCKS, (holding), 12:28. Falk, BUF,
(tripping), 12:28. Brown, DUCKS, (slashing), 17:10.
THIRD PERIOD: 5. DUCKS, Perry 10, 11:30. 6. Buf., O’Reilly 15 (Reinhart,
Eichel), 19:45. Penalties—None.
OVERTIME: 7. DUCKS, Henrique 16 (Kase, Montour), 1:36.
Penalties—None.
SHOTS ON GOAL: DUCKS 11-14-8-1—34. Buf. 13-5-15—33. Power-play
conversions—DUCKS 1 of 3. Buf. 1 of 2.
GOALIES: DUCKS, Miller 7-4-5 (33 shots-30 saves). Buf., Lehner 11-20-7
(33-29). Att—16,788 (19,070). T—2:36.
Kings’ Lewis can do more than grind
Versatile player is on
pace to score 20 goals
for the first time in his
NHL career.
By Curtis Zupke
The move was always in
Trevor Lewis’ toolbox. It’s just
that the box has been locked up
and stowed away for a while.
It was one of six goals by the
Kings in their last game, but it
was a highlight score of Lewis’
career. Lewis broke in shorthanded, showed his forehand
and deftly slipped a backhand
shot past the outstretched leg
of Arizona Coyotes goalie Scott
Wedgewood. It was a classic
goal-scorer’s goal, and there’s
more where that came from, according to Lewis.
“If you watched, in [the minors in] Manchester [N.H.], I
used to do it a little bit,” Lewis
said. “I’ve still got it.”
Lewis has the freedom to
show it more this season. Under
first-year coach John Stevens,
Lewis has reached a careerhigh 13 goals and thus fulfilled
Stevens’ vision for some depth
players to alleviate the scoring
load after the team was so challenged on offense last season.
Stevens has encouraged
Lewis to channel his skills on offense and has even put him on
the power play. Lewis has therefore earned the well-worn
hockey description of someone
who plays in all situations.
“He’s about as consistent a
player as you’re going to find,”
Stevens said. “I think the mistake we make sometimes
[with] Lewis is we look at him as
a third-fourth line guy, but all
he does is produce and do little
things well and he wins a lot of
puck battles.
“He makes a lot of support
plays. He gets to the tough
areas. He wins a lot of battles.
You can play him at center. You
can play him at left wing. You
can play him at right wing. It
doesn’t really matter. You can
play him on defense. He’s just
one of those guys that is very
low maintenance.”
Lewis was the definitive bottom-six grinder under former
coach Darryl Sutter and was rewarded as such with a four-year
contract extension in 2016. His
job was to forecheck and kill
penalties and that took priority
over scoring. But, like a lot of
players who have built an NHL
career on defense, he has offense in his DNA, having been a
prolific producer in junior
hockey.
“I tried to play a skill game in
Manchester,” Lewis said. “My
first year, I kind of realized that
maybe I’m not going to be the
so-called skill guy and I really
tried to focus on penalty killing
and just being a defensively reliable forward. I think that was
the big focus. It still is.
“I still take pride in that area
a lot but always in the back of
my mind, I thought I could
score more.”
Lewis is on track to be a 20goal scorer for the first time in
his NHL career. His average ice
time of 15 minutes 42 seconds is
a career high. And with his penchant
for
short-handed
chances, there might be another opportunity for a forehandbackhand highlight goal.
Said Lewis: “It seems like I’ll
pull out the move from juniors
every once in a while.”
SOUTHLAND
Fresno St. 79, San Diego St. 61
EAST
Baruch 74, Brooklyn 50
Penn 82, Princeton 65
Providence 73, Georgetown 69
Yeshiva 86, Old Westbury 61
SOUTH
Brescia 97, Asbury 82
Davidson 91, St. Joseph’s 62
Kentucky Christian 91, Boyce 69
Mississippi St. 67, Alabama 63
Missouri 75, Mississippi 69
Tennessee 61, Kentucky 59
Wichita St. 85, Memphis 65
MIDWEST
Ball St. 59, Bowling Green 56
Benedictine (Ill.) 83, Concordia (Wis.) 75
Buffalo 88, Cent. Michigan 82
Cincinnati 77, Central Florida 40
E. Michigan 71, Kent St. 67
Kansas 71, TCU 64
Marian (Wis.) 67, Wis. Lutheran 61
Michigan St. 96, Iowa 93
Missouri St. 81, Indiana St. 62
Nebraska 91, Minnesota 85
Northwestern 61, Michigan 52
Notre Dame 96, Boston College 85
Ohio U. 99, Akron 75
St. Cloud St. 76, Minn. Duluth 63
Toledo 82, N. Illinois 77
W. Michigan 68, Miami (Ohio) 64
Xavier 98, Butler 93, OT
SOUTHWEST
Arkansas 81, South Carolina 65
Baylor 67, Oklahoma St. 56
ROCKIES
Boise St. 73, New Mexico 71
Air Force 78, Colorado St. 73
BOX SCORES
AP TOP 25
No. 4 Michigan St. 96, Iowa 93
MICHIGAN ST.—Ward 7-9 3-4 17, Jackson 4-5
2-2 11, Winston 2-7 4-4 9, Langford 5-9 4-4 15,
Bridges 8-14 7-9 25, Schilling 0-1 2-4 2, Goins
3-4 0-0 7, Tillman 0-2 0-0 0, McQuaid 2-5 2-2
8, Nairn 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 32-57 24-29 96.
IOWA—Cook 11-22 4-8 26, Baer 1-4 0-0 2,
Garza 4-8 1-1 9, Bohannon 6-12 0-0 17, Moss
3-8 4-5 11, Wagner 1-1 0-1 2, Nunge 1-3 0-0 2,
Pemsl 4-4 3-4 11, Kriener 0-0 0-0 0, Ellingson
0-0 0-0 0, Dailey 5-7 0-0 13. Totals 36-69 12-19
93.
Halftime—Michigan St. 48-42. A—11,350
(15,400).
No. 5 Xavier 98, Butler 93
XAVIER—Marshall 4-5 6-7 15, Kanter 10-15
1-2 22, Macura 1-2 4-4 6, Goodin 2-5 1-1 5,
Bluiett 7-15 6-7 26, Gates 2-5 2-2 8, O’Mara
5-5 4-5 14, Scruggs 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 32-54 2428 98.
BUTLER—Martin 10-19 8-8 34, Wideman 3-4
2-2 8, Jorgensen 1-6 0-0 2, Baldwin 5-13 3-4 16,
Thompson 0-2 0-0 0, Brunk 0-0 0-0 0, Fowler
5-7 0-0 10, McDermott 6-7 0-0 17, Baddley 3-4
0-2 6. Totals 33-62 13-16 93.
Halftime—Xavier 40-30. A—A—9,100 (9,100).
No. 6 Cincinnati 77, Central Florida 40
CENTRAL FLORIDA—Brown 1-2 1-2 3, Allen
3-4 0-0 6, DeJesus 4-7 4-4 12, Taylor 0-5 0-0 0,
Davis 1-5 7-8 9, Ulvydas 1-2 0-3 2, Douglas 1-4
1-3 3, Griffin 0-7 1-2 1, Mumin 0-2 0-0 0, McSpadden 2-8 0-0 4, Laing 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 1346 14-22 40.
CINCINNATI—Washington 6-9 0-0 13, Clark
4-6 3-3 12, Jenifer 3-10 2-2 11, Cumberland 3-6
1-2 9, Evans 1-5 1-1 3, Bart 0-0 0-0 0, Scott 2-4
0-1 4, Nsoseme 1-2 1-2 3, Brooks 0-4 3-4 3,
Martin 0-1 0-0 0, Moore 4-7 4-5 14, Broome 1-7
0-0 3, Koz 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 1-5 0-0 2. Totals
26-66 15-20 77.
Halftime—Cincinnati 33-13. A—8,673
(9,400).
No. 10 Kansas 71, TCU 64
TCU—Brodziansky 6-17 2-2 15, Miller 0-2 0-0
0, Robinson 3-6 1-2 8, Bane 4-6 2-2 12,
Williams 2-9 1-2 6, Hamdy 1-1 1-5 3, Noi 6-13
1-2 17, Dry 0-0 0-0 0, Olden 1-3 0-0 3. Totals
23-57 8-15 64.
KANSAS—Lightfoot 3-5 0-0 6, Azubuike 6-10
4-7 16, Graham 7-16 5-8 24, Mykhailiuk 0-2 1-2
1, Newman 1-9 2-2 4, Vick 3-9 4-4 10, Garrett
4-4 0-0 10. Totals 24-55 16-23 71.
Halftime—TCU 36-34. A—16,300 (16,300).
No. 15 Tennessee 61, No. 24 Kentucky 59
TENNESSEE—Alexander 3-4 0-0 6, Williams
1-3 8-10 10,10, Schofield 6-16 0-0 12, Bone 2-9
0-0 4, Bowden 4-8 4-4 13, Pons 0-0 0-0 0, Fulkerson 0-0 0-0 0, Walker 0-0 0-0 0, Turner 6-10
0-0 16, Daniel 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-52 12-14 61.
KENTUCKY—Richards 2-4 1-2 5, Knox 3-11
4-5 10, Washington 0-3 4-4 4, Gilgeous-Alexander 5-10 5-8 15, Diallo 0-3 0-0 0, Killeya-Jones
0-0 2-2 2, Gabriel 1-1 1-2 4, Vanderbilt 2-3 0-0
4, Green 6-10 1-2 15. Totals 19-45 18-25 59.
Halftime—Tennessee 27-26. A—23,332
(23,500).
Northwestern 61, No. 20 Michigan 52
MICHIGAN—Wagner 7-10 5-8 20, Livers 1-2
0-0 2, Simpson 2-6 2-3 6, Matthews 2-7 0-0 5,
Abdur-Rahkman 3-7 4-6 11, Teske 0-0 0-0 0,
Poole 1-6 2-2 5, Brooks 0-0 0-0 0, Robinson 1-6
0-0 3, Watson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-44 13-19 52.
NORTHWESTERN—Skelly 1-6 0-0 2, Law 2-10
2-2 7, Pardon 2-5 1-2 5, McIntosh 8-11 5-7 24,
Lindsey 6-13 3-4 19, Falzon 0-1 0-0 0, Benson
0-0 2-2 2, Ash 1-2 0-0 2, Gaines 0-2 0-0 0.
Totals 20-50 13-17 61.
Halftime—Michigan 32-29. A—A—7,457
(17,500).
No. 22 Wichita St. 85, Memphis 65
WICHITA ST.—Z.Brown 2-6 6-6 11, Kelly 2-4
1-4 5, Morris 2-8 1-1 5, Shamet 7-11 2-2 20,
Reaves 6-10 5-5 22, McDuffie 1-4 2-2 5, Willis
5-11 3-6 13, Nurger 2-4 0-0 4, Barney 0-0 0-0 0,
Keyser 0-0 0-0 0, Haynes-Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Malone 0-1 0-0 0, Frankamp 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 2764 20-26 85.
MEMPHIS—Parks 1-3 0-0 2, Davenport 2-4
0-1 4, Martin 2-10 12-14 16, Ja.Johnson 0-2 0-0
0, Rivers 0-2 3-4 3, Sameh Azab 2-3 1-3 5, Enoh
1-1 2-2 4, Brewton 4-7 4-5 12, Nickelberry 3-7
1-1 8, Thornton 5-6 0-1 11. Totals 20-45 23-31
65.
Halftime—Wichita St. 40-29. A—7,257
(18,119).
WOMEN
SOUTHLAND
Westmont 80, St. Katherine 39
EAST
Brooklyn 79, Baruch 46
SOUTH
Charleston Southern 63, Campbell 59
Florida Gulf Coast 67, North Florida 52
High Point 75, Longwood 39
Liberty 59, Gardner-Webb 41
Presbyterian 64, Winthrop 58
Radford 64, UNC-Asheville 48
MIDWEST
St. Cloud St. 71, Minn. Duluth 65
TONIGHT
VS. EDMONTON
When: 7:30.
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio:
790.
Update: Alec Martinez (lowerbody injury) has practiced for
two days and Stevens said he
was getting closer but did not
know his status. Edmonton has
points in three straight games
and turned heads Monday with
a 6-2 win against the Tampa
Bay Lightning. The Oilers rank
30th and 31st on the power play
and penalty killing, respec- COLLEGE
tively.
VOLLEYBALL
curtis.zupke@latimes.com
Twitter: @curtiszupke
MEN
Nonconference
UCLA d. Cal St. Northridge, 25-21, 23-25, 2518, 25-19
TRANSACTIONS
BASEBALL
Arizona—Assigned outfielder Rey Fuentes
outright to Reno (PCL).
Baltimore—Agreed to terms with second
baseman Jonathan Schoop on a one-year contract.
Washington—Signed a two-year player
development extension with Harrisburg (EL).
PRO BASKETBALL
NBA—Fined the Lakers $50,000 for violating
the league's anti-tampering rule.
Sparks (WNBA)—Signed guard Alana Beard;
signed guard Jolene Anderson and center Saicha
Grant-Allen to training camp contracts.
PRO FOOTBALL
New England—Signed offensive linemen
James Ferentz and Jason King, wide receivers
Cody Hollister and Riley McCarron, defensive
backs David Jones and Damarius Travis, cornerbacks Ryan Lewis and Jomal Wiltz, linebacker
Trevor Reilly and tight end Will Tye.
Tennessee—Hired Terrell Williams as
defensive line coach, Tony Dews as running
backs coach and Keith Carter as offensive line
coach.
HOCKEY
Ducks—Called up left wing Nic Kerdiles from
San Diego (AHL).
Tampa Bay—Assigned forward Michael
Bournival to Syracuse (AHL).
SOCCER
D.C. United—Traded general allocation
money to Toronto for targeted allocation money.
Sacramento—Signed goalkeeper Rafael Díaz.
Sporting Kansas City—Signed midfielder
Felipe Gutierrez as designated player.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Kentucky—Suspended forward Tai Wynyard
indefinitely.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
USC—Extended the contract of coach Clay
Helton through the 2023 season.
BYU—Hired A.J. Steward as running backs
coach.
Washington—Announced
that
junior
quarterback Jacob Eason will transfer from Georgia.
TENNIS
$624,335 OPEN SUD de FRANCE
At Montpellier, France
Surface: Hard-Indoor
SINGLES (first round)—Carlos Taberner,
Spain, d. Norbert Gombos, Slovakia, 7-6 (5),
7-6 (1); Jeremy Chardy, France, d. Stefano Tsitsipas, Greece, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5; Ricardas Berankis,
Latvia, d. Julien Benneteau, France, 6-3, 7-6 (5);
Gilles Simon, France, Yannick Maden, Germany,
6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (3); Karen Khachanov, Russia, d.
David Ferrer (7), Spain, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4.
$624,335 SOFIA OPEN
At Sofia, Bulgaria
Surface: Hard-Indoor
SINGLES (first round)—Mirza Basic, BosniaHerzegovina, d. Sergey Stakhovsky, Ukraine, 6-4,
6-1; Jozef Kovalik, Slovakia, d. Radu Albot, Moldova, 6-3, 6-3; Martin Klizan, Slovakia, d. Alexander Donski, Bulgaria, 7-5, 6-1; Denis Istomin, Uzbekistan, d. Adrian Andreev, Bulgaria,
6-3, 6-4; Viktor Troicki (6), Serbia, d. Ernests
Gulbis, Latvia, 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3.
$501,345 ECUADOR OPEN
At Quito, Ecuador
Surface: Clay-Outdoor
SINGLES (first round)—Thiago Monteiro,
Brazil, d. Horacio Zeballos (5), Argentina, 6-4,
7-6 (8); Roberto Carballes Baena, Spain, d. Federico Gaio, Italy, 7-6 (5), 6-3.
THE ODDS
College Basketball
Favorite
Line
Underdog
Pennsylvania
at Princeton
51⁄2
at Butler
31⁄2
Xavier
at Davidson
101⁄2
St. Joseph’s
Central Fla.
at Cincinnati
141⁄2
at W. Michigan
8
Miami (Ohio)
at Ohio U.
5
Akron
Buffalo
6
at C. Michigan
Michigan
11⁄2
at Northwestern
at Ball St.
71⁄2
Bowling Green
at Kent St.
31⁄2
E. Michigan
N. Illinois
at Toledo
121⁄2
at Indiana St.
2
Missouri St.
at Kentucky
2
Tennessee
at Arkansas
7
South Carolina
at Miss. St.
3
Alabama
at Okla.St.
2
Baylor
at Notre Dame
61⁄2
Boston College
at Providence
71⁄2
Georgetown
at Minnesota
3
Nebraska
Missouri
at Mississippi
11⁄2
Wichita St.
71⁄2
at Memphis
Michigan St.
10
at Iowa
at Kansas
71⁄2
TCU
at Air Force
21⁄2
Colorado St.
Boise St.
1
at New Mexico
San Diego St.
at Fresno St.
21⁄2
Updates at Pregame.com
—Associated Press
SOCCER
INTERNATIONAL
ENGLAND
FA Cup
Fourth Round, Replay
Swansea 8, Notts County 1
Hundersfield 4, Birmingham 1, OT
Rochdale 1, Millwall 0
FRANCE
French Cup
Third Round
Paris Saint-Germain 4, Sochaux 1
Marseille 9, Bourg-en-Bresse 0
Les Herbiers 3, Auxerre 0
BOXING
FIGHT SCHEDULE
Saturday
At London, Zolani Tete vs. Omar Narvaez, 12,
for Tete's WBO bantamweight title.
At Park City, Kansas (CBSSN), Tramaine
Williams vs. Alexei Collado, 12, for the vacant
WBO International super-bantamweight title.
At Cancun, Mexico, Miguel Berchelt vs. Cristian Mijares, 12, for Berchelt's WBC junior-lightweight title.
RUGBY
INTERNATIONAL
Six Nations Tournament
First Round
England 46, Italy 15
Second Round
Saturday’s Schedule
Ireland vs. Italy
England vs. Wales
Sunday’s Schedule
Scotland vs. France
THE DAY IN SPORTS
McDaniels reneges on coaching Colts, returns to Patriots
staff and wire reports
Josh McDaniels has backed out
of a deal to become the Indianapolis’ Colts new coach, a decision that
shocked the franchise hours after
it announced his hiring.
The Colts confirmed McDaniels’ decision in a statement Tuesday night after reports emerged
that the Patriots offensive coordinator had opted to stay in New
England with coach Bill Belichick.
McDaniels had agreed to contract terms with the Colts to replace the fired Chuck Pagano. A
news conference had been scheduled for Wednesday at Lucas Oil
Stadium.
The Colts said McDaniels informed them Tuesday evening
that he would not sign the deal.
“Although we are surprised and
disappointed, we will resume our
head coaching search immediately
and find the right fit to lead our
team and organization on and off
the field,” the Colts said in the
statement.
The Patriots and McDaniels’
agent, Bob LaMonte, did not immediately respond to requests for
comment.
By spurning the Colts after they
waited 22 days to hire him, McDaniels leaves the reeling franchise as
the only one without a coach. New
England defensive coordinator
Matt Patricia left Belichick’s staff
a day after the Patriots’ Super
Bowl loss to become coach of the
Detroit Lions.
The move by McDaniels was
reminiscent of his mentor, Belichick, who resigned as coach of the
New York Jets with a handwritten
note less than a day after he was
hired in 2000.
Patriots cornerback Malcolm
Butler says he didn’t miss a curfew
or do anything off the field that
would have hurt New England’s
chances of winning the Super Bowl
before he was benched for the
game.
In a statement released Tuesday on Twitter and Instagram,
Butler says reports of misconduct
off the field are “ridiculous.”
Before the Super Bowl, Butler
was on the field for 98% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps and started 17
of their 18 games. But he made it on
the field for only one special-teams
play Sunday.
GYMNASTICS
Ex-coach is subject
of criminal probe
Former U.S. Olympic women’s
gymnastics team coach John Geddert is facing a criminal investigation following the final sentencing
of disgraced ex-sports doctor
Larry Nassar, who molested girls
at Geddert’s elite gymnastics club
in Michigan.
The Eaton County Sheriff ’s Office said that people recently came
forward with complaints against
Geddert, 60. The office declined to
elaborate on the number of complaints, when exactly they were
filed or their nature, citing the ongoing investigation.
Geddert has insisted he had
“zero knowledge” of Nassar’s
crimes.
ETC.
Union head decries
slow signing pace
Players’ union head Tony Clark
said the number of rebuilding
teams and unsigned free agents in
a historically slow market threatens the sport’s integrity, an assertion immediately rejected by
Major League Baseball.
In a statement and a telephone
interview with the Associated
Press, Clark voiced the frustration
of the 100-plus free agents who remain unsigned with the start of
spring training one week away.
“A record number of talented
free agents remain unemployed in
an industry where revenues and
franchise values are at record
highs,” he said in a statement,
eight days before the first formal
workouts. “Spring training has always been associated with hope for
a new season. This year a significant number of teams are engaged
in a race to the bottom. This conduct is a fundamental breach of the
trust between a team and its fans
and threatens the very integrity of
our game.”
Minnesota Twins right-hander
Ervin Santana will miss the start
of the regular season after undergoing unexpected surgery on his
right middle finger.
The Twins announced the 35year-old right-hander had the procedure done by Dr. Charles Melone on Tuesday in New York after
experiencing discomfort during a
bullpen session last week. Santana
is expected to need 10 to 12 weeks of
rehabilitation before he can pitch
in a major league game, which
would keep him out of the rotation
until at least mid-April.
The Angels announced 19 nonroster players have been invited to
spring training. They include Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, who is a
lock to make the team. The other
players: pitchers Vicente Campos,
Adam Hofacket, Ian Krol, John
Lamb, Osmer Morales and Branden Pinder; catchers Francisco
Arcia, Michael Barash, Jose
Briceno, Jack Kruger and Taylor
Ward; infielders Jose Fernandez,
David Fletcher, Matt Thaiss and
Colin Walsh, and outfielders Jahmai Jones, Rymer Liriano and
Eric Young Jr.
Home run king Barry Bonds
will have his No. 25 jersey retired in
August by the San Francisco Giants when his former Pittsburgh
Pirates are in town. ... The New
York Yankees will open the gates
three hours before spring-training
home games, allowing fans to
watch Aaron Judge and Giancarlo
Stanton during batting practice.
In the past, the Yankees opened
the gates two hours before the first
pitch.
Detroit Pistons center Willie
Reed, acquired last week from the
Clippers in the Blake Griffin trade,
has been suspended for six games
by the NBA after the league investigated the circumstances surrounding his arrest on a domestic
violence charge.
Reed was arrested in August on
a misdemeanor battery charge involving his wife. He entered a pretrial diversion program in October
to resolve the charge against him.
Dallas Mavericks guard Seth
Curry will have surgery for a stress
fracture in his lower left leg, an injury that has sidelined him all season, said a person with direct
knowledge of the decision who
wasn’t authorized to comment.
The New York Liberty, put up
for sale in November, are staying
under the control of New York
Knicks owner James Dolan and
Madison Square Garden for now.
E
CALENDAR
W E D N E S D A Y , F E B R U A R Y 7 , 2 0 1 8 :: L A T I M E S . C O M / C A L E N D A R
Allen J. Schaben Los Angeles Times
ONE OF Jasper Johns’ most important works, “Three Flags,” is installed at the Broad as part of “Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth,’ ” a survey of his work.
TELEVISION
REVIEW
A redo
of its
own
Laughter and tears
mark the solid Netflix
reboot of ‘Queer Eye’
for a new generation.
ROBERT LLOYD
TELEVISION CRITIC
The latest old show to be
resurrected for a new generation is Bravo’s Emmy-winning “Queer Eye for the
Straight Guy,” later, and
currently, just “Queer Eye.”
The series took off from the
premise that (some) gay
men might have something
to teach (certain) straight
people about self-presentation and self-understanding,
and that the world would be
better for watching this happen. Netflix is behind the
new season, whose eight
episodes begin streaming
Wednesday, all at once.
“Queer Eye” emerged in a
golden age, or glut, of makeover shows; it arrived in
2003, the same year as TLC’s
“What Not to Wear” — the
[See ‘Queer Eye,’ E10]
Unwavering
significance
Trove of Jasper Johns’ art comes to the Broad
BY DEBORAH VANKIN >>> One night in 1954, Jasper Johns had a dream: He was painting the
image of an American flag. He rose the next morning, stretched his bed sheets into a makeshift
canvas and began re-creating the picture lingering in his head.
More flags followed, now among his most iconic motifs.
The morning after President Trump’s State of the Union address, one of Johns’ most significant flag paintings — stacked canvases known as “Three Flags” — went up on a gallery wall at
the Broad museum. The work, on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C., almost never travels. It has been on loan only four times since the museum acquired it in 1980. It’s one of Johns’ earliest flag paintings and, as an encaustic work painted with
a mixture of melted beeswax and pigment, it’s also one of his most delicate.
At the Broad, “Three Flags” was hung in a protective Plexiglass “bonnet” for the exhibition
“Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth,’ ” the first U.S. survey of the artist’s work in
more than 20 years. The show, organized by the Royal Academy of Arts in London, in collaboration with the Broad, opens Saturday and is the only U.S. stop of this tour.
The exhibition presents six decades of Johns’ work, including more than 120 paintings,
prints, drawings and sculptures, with an eye toward illuminating through-lines and changes in
the artist’s oeuvre. Many of the works haven’t been displayed in Los Angeles before.
“To see all these masterworks together is just — it’s transcendent,” said
[See Johns, E7]
This is how to celebrate 100: Go big
Commissions, festivals
and famous names fill
L.A. Philharmonic’s
centennial season.
MARK SWED
MUSIC CRITIC
When the Los Angeles
Philharmonic
revealed
grand goals for its celebratory 100th season beginning
fall 2018, the orchestra promised an array of unspecified
spectacles at Walt Disney
Concert Hall, a parade to the
Hollywood Bowl, ticket
handouts, a new Frank
Gehry-designed YOLA Center in Inglewood to serve the
L.A. Phil’s expanding education efforts for inner city
youth, 50 commissions of
new music and a $500-million fundraising campaign
to pay for it all.
But at the end of the day,
the L.A. Phil must put its
music where its mouth is. On
Wednesday the orchestra
will do just that, unveiling
the programming details of
its Disney schedule — a lineup that makes news from the
first day of the season to the
last.
In an interview with The
Times, Gustavo Dudamel
stressed just how much the
rambunctious effort ups the
artistic and civic ante for
what a 21st century arts institution might mean to the
life of a quintessential 21st
century city. No orchestra
has ever come close to the
ambition of this centennial
season.
It all begins (an extravagant celebration of L.A.) and
ends (Mahler’s immense
“Symphony of the Thou[See Philharmonic, E6]
Sharing
her life
lessons
learned
Country singer and
songwriter Miranda
Lambert transforms
heartache in the
studio, on the road.
By Randy Lewis
It will come as no great
surprise to followers of Miranda Lambert’s career
which song the firebrand
Texas singer-songwriter requested to sing in a multiartist salute to Elton John,
which was shot last week at
New York’s Theater at Madison Square Garden and is set
to air later this year on CBSTV.
Lambert, forthright and
a lover of the American
South, opted not for one of
the “Rocket Man” singer’s
signature hits, but a deep cut
from the album John cites as
his personal favorite, a
choice he shares with Lambert.
The woman known for
blazing songs such as “Gunpowder and Lead” and who
moonlights with singersongwriters Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe in the
band Pistol Annies zeroed in
on John’s song “My Father’s
Gun,” from his 1971 album
“Tumbleweed Connection.”
The cut, as were most on that
album, is set during the Civil
War; it takes the viewpoint of
a son of the South who inherits his father’s legacy and
must figure out his own place
in a troubled world.
She said she tapped her
connection into John’s camp
by way of her longtime pro[See Lambert, E10]
Pianist is a man
of many talents
Performer, composer
and now novelist: a
chat with Stephen
Hough on Led Zep,
sex, his book, more. E3
Juan Carlos Hidalgo EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
DESCRIBING plans for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s centennial, Music Direc-
tor Gustavo Dudamel says: “The most important part is to celebrate Los Angeles.”
Comics ................... E8-9
TV grid .................... E10
E2
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2018
LOS ANGELES TIMES
S
L AT I M E S . C O M / CA L E N DA R
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
E3
CULTURE MONSTER
latimes.com/culturemonster
5 DAYS
OUT
A curated calendar of live
music not to be missed
ART
THEATER
THEATER
MUSIC
CULTURE
“Harald Szeemann:
Museum of Obsessions”
Getty Center, L.A.
Through May 6
Free; parking $15
“Kinky Boots”
Segerstrom Hall,
Costa Mesa
Through Sunday
$29-$99
“Cirque Éloize: Saloon”
UCSB Arts & Lectures
Granada Theatre,
Santa Barbara
7 p.m. Wednesday
“Israel in Egypt”
Los Angeles Master Chorale
Walt Disney Concert Hall
7 p.m. Sunday
$79-$139
“How Sweet the Sound:
Gospel Music in L.A.”
California African American
Museum, L.A.
Thursday-Aug. 26
THEATER REVIEW
This asylum
runs amok
By F. Kathleen Foley
Harold Pinter wrote “The
Hothouse” in the 1950s, then
buried it in a drawer before
resurrecting it in 1980. During the interim, what Pinter
intended as a fantasy became oddly timely. “Reality
has overtaken it,” he commented at the time.
“The Hothouse,” set in a
government-run
mental
asylum,
touches
upon
themes of bureaucratic incompetence, governmental
overreach and endemic institutional corruption.
Although certainly one of
Pinter’s funniest plays, “The
Hothouse,” presented by
Antaeus Theatre Company
at the Kiki & David Gindler
Performing Arts Center,
shows signs of youthful indiscipline, especially in the
messy second act, which collapses into a cursory ending
at odds with Pinter’s signature inaccessibility.
But the play is an actors’
showcase, and Antaeus is
rich in gifted performers. As
with all Antaeus productions, this one is double cast,
with director Nike Doukas
the sure hand at the helm,
unearthing plentiful humor.
The actors are superb as
the poisonous staff of this
ministry-run establishment,
whose Christmas festivities
have been disrupted by one
inmate’s mysterious death
and by news that another
has just given birth.
JD Cullum is particularly
fine as a friendless functionary whose longing to advance in the organization allows him to brook agonizing
indignities. Peter Van Norden, as the incompetent
head of the asylum, is a hoot
and a horror — an apt symbol in Pinter’s parable.
calendar@latimes.com
‘The
Hothouse’
Where: Gindler center,
110 E. Broadway, Glendale
When: 8 p.m. ThursdaysFridays, 2 and 8 p.m.
Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays;
ends March 11
Tickets: $30-$34
Info: (818) 506-1983,
www.antaeus.org
Running time: 1 hour, 50
minutes
GALLERY REVIEW
Sim Canetty-Clarke
STEPHEN HOUGH , the accomplished pianist who was the first classical performer to be awarded a
MacArthur fellowship, will play Saturday in Beverly Hills with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet.
Jeff McLane Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
“TWO” and other works change if up close or distant.
Radical pulsating
patterns of life
By David Pagel
Just after Impressionism
left some painters feeling
that art was getting too
loosey-goosey, Pointillists
such as Georges Seurat and
Paul Signac strove to make
painting more scientific.
They applied colors in tiny
dots and let them mix in
our eyes.
Today, Xylor Jane takes
their experiments further.
At Parrasch Heijnen Gallery, the artist applies colors
in even tinier dots, often arranged so that they represent numbers in aesthetically charged sequences.
The show is a tour de
force of delicacy and nuance,
its devotion and generosity
putting visitors in touch
with otherwise invisible patterns and rhythms that
structure the cosmos.
No two of Jane’s 10 intimately scaled paintings look
alike. Each changes radically as you move close and
step away. That’s because
the dots of paint Jane have
applied are smaller than the
head of a pin and pointed,
like the pin’s business end.
They cast mini-shadows.
Some of Jane’s paintings
resemble the impossible offspring of fractals and crazy
quilts and Navajo blankets
and diamond-studded jewelry, their subtly pulsating
patterns appearing to be
kinder and gentler versions of Op Art’s jarring
compositions, perhaps what
Agnes Martin would have
painted if she were into hallucinogens.
Others recall signs illuminated by LEDs, their
flashing numerals transformed into constellations
of various densities. Still
others do both: interweave
numbers and patterns in intoxicating geometries that
evoke infinity while remaining grounded in the present.
With great patience —
and a large magnifying glass
— Jane has made paintings
that invite you to do two
things at once: Look at them
and through them, relishing
the tactility of their surfaces
and peering into spaces that
seem to reach far beyond
what is possible.
calendar@latimes.com
‘Magic Square
for Earthlings’
Who: Xylor Jane
Where: Parrasch Heijnen
Gallery, 1326 S. Boyle Ave.,
L.A.
When: Through Feb. 17;
closed Sundays and
Mondays
Info: (323) 943-9373,
parraschheijnen.com
The keys are
his sanctuary
A lauded pianist explores faith in his first novel
By Rick Schultz
Call the British-born pianist, composer and writer Stephen Hough a
polymath and he quickly demurs.
“Actually I have no special abilities in
maths or science,” Hough said. “All
my achievements are in the arts.”
Still, those achievements continue
to be prodigious. Hough, who earned
a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2001,
has his first all-Debussy record out on
the Hyperion label, and he’s appearing Saturday at the Wallis Annenberg
Center for the Performing Arts, where
the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet will perform his trio, “Was Mit Den
Tränen Geschieht” (What Happens
With Tears), which is based on a Rilke
poem, along with works by Mozart,
Ibert, Barber and Poulenc.
And then there’s this: Hough’s debut novel, “The Final Retreat,” due
out next month from the University of
Chicago Press. Here’s an edited version of our conversation with the man
of many talents.
On BBC Radio 4’s “Desert Island
Discs” program, among your selections was “Stairway to Heaven.”
You’re a fan of Led Zeppelin?
If something catches my ear, I’m
really happy to go with it. At one
point, I was listening to more of that
than I was of any classical music. I
had a lazy teenage time where I
wasn’t doing much work at school or
practicing much.
At 19, you joined the Roman Catholic Church, considered the priesthood and for years lived celibate.
What changed?
One memorable priest said, “The
piano is your altar.” My faith now is in
a very different place from what it
was. I remain Catholic and still go to
Mass, but I would find it difficult to
affirm so many things now. Things
are more complicated than I thought
they were as a teenager.
What is “The Final Retreat” about?
It’s about an ordinary parish
priest reaching his 60th birthday who
has lost his faith — and he’s being
blackmailed by a male prostitute. In
a complete state of despair, he goes
on an eight-day silent retreat. The
diary he keeps is the novel, discovered after he dies. We don’t know
whether it’s a suicide or a murder,
which is the mystery bit of it. The first
chapter gives you the clue to what
happens in the last chapter.
You’ve written about being gay and
how that relates to your music and
religion. Was there an autobiographical impulse behind the novel?
In my teens, I remember a local
priest committed suicide in my small
town in the north of England. It
seemed a tremendous disgrace.
People were whispering that maybe
he was gay. Well, “queer” was the
word then. It has since been reclaimed as a positive word but not
back then. That idea of a depressed
priest stayed with me. I’ve met many
priests over the years, and some were
very joyful, but others I could see
some of this in them.
Were you worried about how to
handle the sex in the novel?
It’s quite shocking. The priest
does talk about his encounters with
different men in cheap flats. And he
describes them very graphically and
with four-letter words as if he’s kind
of throwing out his fist at the world.
There are also many tender moments when he’s trying to remember
what his faith had been in the past.
In the ’90s, you were known for
personal touches in your stage
attire.
Yes, at one point, I had green
shoes. A concert is theater. I like to
think there’s an occasion about it,
and clothing is part of that. Now I’m
in my 50s. I may go back to it, but at
the moment I’m wearing patent
leather black shoes. Very ordinary.
Have you grown more conservative
with age?
In that way, maybe not in other
ways. You’re not serving the music by
trying to hide away and not have your
own sensibility too. I want to bring
something of myself to this great
music that so many thousands of
people have played.
calendar@latimes.com
Stephen Hough with
the Berlin
Philharmonic Wind
Quintet
Where: Bram Goldsmith Theater,
Wallis Annenberg Center for the
Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa
Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $45-$95 (subject to
change)
Running time: 2 hours (including
one intermission)
E4
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M / CA L E N DA R
Director seeks ‘visual justice’
that is through images. I was
like, that’s kind of true. Images hold so much more
than language; [they’re] so
much more visceral.
Also, “Killer of Sheep” by
Charles Burnett. When that
film came out during that
time and the way it allowed
someone to look at a community ... it is monotonous,
no profoundness. That is
really effective. It changes
people’s understanding of
things.
RaMell Ross wants
viewers to connect
with ‘Hale County’s’
black subjects.
By Tre’vell Anderson
For many black filmmakers, musicians, painters and
writers, art is often burdened with the responsibility of humanizing their communities. There’s been a historical obligation to prove to
the world that black folks
hurt and love and laugh and
live just like their white
counterparts, like humans.
Director RaMell Ross rejects this notion.
“I don’t think that people
think that [other] people
aren’t human. I think they
think they’re inferior,” he
says. “And inferiority is just
as dangerous as a person
saying [another] person is
not human. For me, it’s more
about connecting people to
know that the similarities
[between us] are rooted in
something that is larger and
‘they’ are not inferior.”
This is one of the objectives of Ross’ Sundance documentary, “Hale County
This Morning, This Evening,” which takes a look at
the Alabama Black Belt
county home to just under
15,000 people, almost 60% of
whom are black, according
to the U.S. Census.
The film — unique in its
aesthetic and innovative in
its structure and narrative
arc — follows Daniel and
Quincy, two young black
men, and their families.
Ross, who discovered his
subjects while he was a local
youth program manager and
basketball coach, weaves
contemporary lived experiences of the South along
with historical context for an
intimate portrait of black
identity.
Void of the traditional
struggle on which documentaries on the black experience often center, “Hale
County” ruptures conventional and stereotypical depictions of black people to
create a simple, complex and
revelatory experience.
While at Sundance, The
Times sat down with Ross, a
photography professor at
Brown University who was
one of Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2015, to discuss his feature documentary debut, which is seeking
distribution.
What about this subject and
this space told you this
should be a film and not a
photography project?
It was just a feeling that
there was more agency, or
more purchase, on the human condition or the human
mind through moving images. The cinema is incredibly macaronic and incredibly deep. The moving potential is beyond what we really
understand because it’s
working on such a deep part
of the person. I felt that there
was a lot of space for imaging
Jay L. Clendenin Los Angeles Times
RAMELL ROSS’ documentary, which was shown at Sundance, is set in Alabama.
in the South. I haven’t seen a
current film about the contemporary state of the South
as it relates to the history. So
I was like, “I think I’m going
to give it a try.”
I found the film eclectic in
structure. How would you
describe your approach?
I think my approach to
filmmaking is burgeoning.
The ideas from this film, the
idea of the form of this film, is
born from a sort of failure, in
my opinion, for traditional
documentaries to speak to
the vastness of the black
experience as it relates to
[the idea] that we’re made of
stars. The gestures of interaction that get lost in the
narrative or imagery that is
intended to push forth some
story can’t just be the image
of the person in the moment.
The struggle narrative really
got to me — most of the
stories about blackness,
because of the past, obviously, have a very specific
poverty struggle, beginning
and end, and that forecloses
greater understanding of
just general humanity.
One of the core ideas of
the film is if you don’t show a
person’s decisions, then you
can’t judge their decisions.
So in all the films, a person
goes into the store, someone
says something to them and
the person snaps back to
them. Then the person’s like,
“He shouldn’t have said
anything. He should’ve just
kept going.” Therefore,
you’re projecting the way
you would be in the world or
your global view on the film.
You fail to see that the situa-
tion the person is put in is
not the decision they’re
making. It’s the bigger structure that is contributing to
the way they’re responding.
By fractioning Daniel and
Quincy’s narratives, concentrating only on the beautiful,
spontaneous moments, you
don’t have a chance to judge
them — aside from the way
in which you would judge a
black person because they’re
black. Therefore, the way
you respond to the film is
you, it’s not the film.
The way I’ve described it is
that the film just shows
black Southern folk existing
— no obvious plot or narrative arc, though it is complexly layered.
There [are] a lot of intentional things that bring forth
different ways that you can
speak about the film. One
core thing I wanted to do was
elevate Daniel and Quincy’s
life to a space of awe, to
elevate the Southern experience into a place of ephemeral beauty, to sort of remove
it from the constraints of its
past — but then let you know
that it was born in that, but
it’s not only that.
I’m easily moved, and I
believe, philosophically, that
everything in the world
exists at every point in time,
in every gesture, in every
look, in every tick or in every
car going by. Structured in
the right way, you can bring
out the beauty and the metaphor and create meaning. It
takes a lot of time to be able
to pull those things out. And
that’s another thing: People
don’t spend enough time
with black subjects because
of the economy system of
media — to make those
things visible and, therefore,
change the way that people
see those things.
Is there a message you want
people to take away?
No, [there is] 100% not a
message. My whole thing is
[about] experience. Knowledge is experience. … My goal
is to create an experience of
the historic South, the experience of the centrality of the
black experience, the experience of Quincy and Daniel’s
lives. Let that experience
meet [the audience] where
they are in their life and then
hopefully change the trajectory of the way that they
experience black people in
the future. That’s something
that happens internally. It’s
something that happens
cerebrally, and it’s not something that is Anglocentric.
Who or what inspires you?
Like I said, I’m really
moved by everything. I can
look at a person in the world
and get tons of experience.
But there are a couple of
people’s work whose form
has really been inspiring.
One was Allen Ginsberg’s
[poem] “Howl.” It’s robust
and descriptive and just
blossoming. I really love
Godfrey Reggio’s “Qatsi”
[film] trilogy. One thing he
said in an interview was —
and I’m paraphrasing —
that language can no longer
speak to the complication of
the human being in society
and capitalism. It’s just too
big. The only way we can do
When you found out that
you got accepted to Sundance, what was your reaction? Did you ever think it
was possible?
No, ’cause when I started
to film, I didn’t intend for it
to be this big. I knew that it
was very conceptual and
abstract. I had no intention,
[but] a turning point in the
film for me was when I met
Joslyn Barnes, who works
with Danny Glover at
Louverture Films. I really
connected with her. She
understood everything that I
was saying, and beyond.
Then I met Robb Moss, the
chair of the environmental
and visual arts department
at Harvard, and Maya Krinsky, who’s a critic.
I edited the film, but that
was the editing team, and
that was where the film
really became accessible. It
really became fractured, but
also where a person could
engage with it. Before they
came and we had conversations, I was dead set on it
being way more of a
Rorschach test of the black
experience.
I was hoping that it would
get in [to Sundance] because I felt that if I could get
this film into this platform,
then I can talk about a way
to visualize the African
American experience that
can actually provide a break
from the traditional way of
visualizing and therefore
provide some visual justice
to society.
So what’s next for you? Do
you want to continue making documentary films? Do
you want to go into narrative-based films?
I want to do both. I definitely consider myself, for
lack of a better term in [a]
category, an artist. So I have
some smaller projects I’m
going to start and some
text-based projects. I have
some film ideas that I’m
starting to pursue. But I’m
not so much interested in
doing the same thing with
the same voice. I don’t imagine the next film that I make
being as reflexive as this film
is. I imagine it sort of advancing the way of looking,
or even bringing this idea
into a form that is even more
fluid, and less fractured. I
don’t know. I’m definitely not
pressed to make a film. I’m
not pressed to take photos.
I’m kind [of] trying to figure
out the best way to articulate things and the best form
for each of them.
trevell.anderson
@latimes.com
QUICK
TAKES
Going from
‘Thrones’ to
‘Star Wars’
“Game of Thrones” creators and executive producers David Benioff and D.B.
Weiss are making a new series of “Star Wars” movies.
Disney announced Tuesday that Benioff and Weiss
will write and produce a new
series of films separate from
the Skywalker saga — the
main episodic series of “Star
Wars” films that kicked off
with 1977’s “A New Hope” —
and the previously announced trilogy being developed by “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson.
“In the summer of 1977 we
traveled to a galaxy far, far
away, and we’ve been dreaming of it ever since,” said Benioff and Weiss in a joint
statement. “We are honored
by the opportunity, a little
terrified by the responsibility, and so excited to get
started as soon as the final
season of ‘Game of Thrones’
is complete.”
— Tracy Brown
Mellancamp
among inductees
Alan Jackson, John Mellencamp, Jermaine Dupri
and members of Kool & the
Gang are among the latest
class of inductees into the
Songwriters Hall of Fame,
the organization announced
Tuesday.
They’ll be joined by Bill
Anderson, Steve Dorff and
Allee Willis. Robert “Kool”
Bell, Ronald Bell, George
Brown and James “JT” Taylor are being inducted collectively for their efforts with
Kool & the Gang.
Inductees will be feted on
June 14 at the hall’s 49th induction and awards ceremony in New York City.
— Randy Lewis
‘Muppet Babies’
add a new voice
The “Muppet Babies”
have a new nanny. Actress
Jenny Slate has been tapped
to voice the Muppets’ caretaker in the upcoming Disney Junior reboot.
Voiced by Barbara Billingsley of “Leave It to Beaver” fame in the original series, Miss Nanny was the
Muppet Babies’ caregiver
whose face was never seen
on the show.
The new Miss Nanny, has
gotten a bit of a makeover.
While her wardrobe’s color
palette remains familiar, her
green tights now will feature
patterns that change for
each episode to match the
story’s theme. But she will
still only be seen from the
torso down.
“Muppet
Babies”
is
slated for a March premiere.
— Tracy Brown
LOS ANGELES TIMES
CALENDAR
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2018
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The L.A. Phil details its big 100th
[Philharmonic, from E1]
sand”) with Dudamel, for
whom this will be his 10th
season as music director and
third full season as artistic
director. What comes in between is the obvious look at
the foundations of the orchestra. Major projects involve its surviving former
music directors — Zubin
Mehta, conductor laureate
Esa-Pekka Salonen and, yes,
even André Previn, who resigned in a feud with management three decades ago
and has refused to set foot in
Los Angeles since.
Other participants in the
vast L.A. Phil family will be
principal guest conductor
Susanna Mälkki, native Angeleno
Michael
Tilson
Thomas, creative chair John
Adams, creative chair for
jazz Herbie Hancock and
two opera directors: Yuval
Sharon, who will be completing his three-year residence
with the orchestra, along
with Peter Sellars, whose relationship with the orchestra
goes back to 1992 when he became the first dramaturge,
and to this day the only
dramaturge, of a symphony
orchestra. Two former associate conductors mentored
by Dudamel, still young but
already making it big, Lionel
Bringuier and Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, will be back as
well.
Forget a mere 50 commissions pointing the way to the
future. The latest list shows
54. There will be ever more of
the elaborate productions
and collaborations with
dancers, actors, filmmakers,
visual artists, media artists
and others that the L.A. Phil
has made a practice of pioneering. That’s a big family,
which further includes the
likes of composer Thomas
Adès and pianist Yuja Wang.
Allen J. Schaben Los Angeles Times
PHILHARMONIC Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, rehearsing Bernstein’s “Mass” last week, will be particularly busy in 2018-19.
“I can talk to you for hours
about what we have been
thinking,” Dudamel said last
week, taking a break from rehearsing yet another massive project, Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass.” “But the most
important part is to celebrate Los Angeles. With our
initiatives we have already
been changing the way people think about classical mu-
sic, about everything. That
doesn’t happen in other
places.”
But mainly Dudamel said
what doesn’t happen in
other places is a doughty optimism that art, that classical music, that the symphony orchestra, which is
anything but dead, can still
improve the world.
“I never stop to dream
here,” he said. “It’s crazy, because every day I’m more
and more in love with what I
do here.”
Dudamel will conduct 20
programs and work with a
vast range of collaborators.
He’s premiering works large
and small; taking on a
Haydn/Beethoven cycle of
concertos, symphonies and
masses; and celebrating his
love for the movies with a
John Williams salute and the
L.A. Phil’s first participation
at the Academy Awards.
“I wanted a season that’s
about the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s ability to embrace everything,” Dudamel
explained. “This is for Los
Angeles, for the institution
but especially for the community.
“This is what it is about. It
is about the evolution of this
orchestra and in the place
where it is right now in the
world.”
The season begins with
the exterior of Disney lighted
by projections, at long last,
as Gehry had always intended (before the cost-cutting). The projections won’t
yet be of the concerts inside
(Gehry’s idea), but rather
patterns created from the orchestra’s digital archives by
media artist Refik Anadol.
The opening gala will con-
centrate on California music,
from Adams to Frank
Zappa, the latter a mocking
mother of invention who, it is
safe to presume, has never
before been accorded a slot
on so high-society an orchestral event. There are still no
specifics about the Sept. 30
parade, envisioned as a
street fair along which the
audience can ramble or bicycle, sampling performers on
streets closed from Disney
Hall to the Hollywood Bowl.
At the Bowl, Dudamel and
the orchestra will give a free
concert.
The LA Fest series will
feature Dudamel conducting Esa-Pekka Salonen’s “LA
Variations” and a new orchestral work by Andrew
Norman; a Green Umbrella
program of five new pieces
commissioned from emerging L.A. composers; and programs with the orchestra
and pop singer-songwriterviolinist Andrew Bird, electronic whiz Moby and Hancock.
Dudamel’s other big
events will be mounting Prokofiev’s ballet “Romeo and
Juliet” in Disney, choreographed
by
Benjamin
Millepied and in collaboration with American Ballet
Theatre and L.A. Dance
Project; the premiere of an
evening-long
multimedia
work by Tan Dun, “Buddha
Passion,” in celebration of
Chinese New Year; and the
pairing of Beethoven’s five
piano concertos (with Lang
Lang as soloist) with
Haydn’s last four symphonies.
Mehta has chosen to concentrate on Brahms, his four
symphonies and four con-
certos (with pianist Yefim
Bronfman, violinist Pinchas
Zukerman
and
cellist
Amanda Forsyth as the soloists). Salonen has picked
Stravinsky, with three programs addressing the composer’s fascination with ritual (one being the Salonen
trademark reading of “The
Rite of Spring”), faith (late
religious works) and myths
(highlighted by a Sellars
staging of “Perséphone”).
Salonen’s month with the orchestra will additionally feature the world premiere of an
orchestra piece by Dutch
master Louis Andriessen
and a dip into music of the
Weimar Republic.
Nearly everyone who
comes to conduct gets a premiere or six. Along with presenting Shakespeare’s “The
Tempest” with Sibelius’ seldom heard incidental music
(in collaboration with the
Old Globe), principal guest
conductor Mälkki will give
the first performance of
Steve Reich’s “Music for Ensemble and Orchestra” and
lead a Green Umbrella program of five works commissioned
from
European
avant-garde composers little
known in the U.S. Mälkki
also takes on Messiaen’s epic
“Turangalila” Symphony.
Adams’ role is both as
conductor and composer.
His new piece for the centennial is a piano concerto for
Yuja Wang called “Must the
Devil Have All the Good
Tunes?” which Dudamel will
conduct. Adams will conduct the world premiere of
Philip Glass’ Symphony No.
12, based on the all the good
tunes in “Lodger,” the classic
David Bowie and Brian Eno
album.
Grazinyte-Tyla’s
premiere is by Korean composer
Unsuk Chin on a program
that also features the L.A.
Phil debut of violinist Patricia
Kopatchinskaja
in
Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. For his part, Tilson
Thomas will conduct his own
“Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind.”
The other headline-grabbing centennial events will
be an investigation of African American composer
William Grant Still along
with the Harlem Renaissance led by Thomas
Wilkins; a look at the Fluxus
art and performance movement of the 1950s and 1960s
headed by Christopher
Rountree; new Sharon stagings of John Cage’s “Europeras 1 and 2” and Meredith
Monk’s “Atlas”; a Robert
Mapplethorpe project by
Bryce Dessner of the band
the National; dance works by
Adès conducted by the composer, choreographed by
Wayne McGregor and copresented by the Music Center in the Dorothy Chandler
Pavilion; and — whew! — a
site-specific installation in
and around Disney Hall by
Janet Cardiff and George
Bures Miller.
And Previn? He’s still not
setting foot in L.A., but he
has accepted a commission.
That will be for a later season, and Dudamel says he’ll
conduct it. Plus Previn has
also been allowed to give his
side of the L.A. Phil story in a
tell-all oral history that the
orchestra is commissioning
for the centennial.
mark.swed@latimes.com
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Broad
unfurls
Jasper
Johns’
works
[Johns, from E1]
Broad
director
Joanne
Heyler, who was overseeing
the installation of “Three
Flags” along with Matthew
Skopek, a curator from the
Whitney.
Heyler and the Broad’s
Ed Schad co-curated the
L.A. incarnation of the exhibition, which includes eight
significant works that didn’t
show in London, “Three
Flags” being one of them.
The show is organized thematically, as it was presented
in London, rather than
chronologically, which is unusual for a survey exhibition.
By juxtaposing Johns’ early
and late-career works, as well
as the various media he
worked in, the exhibition illuminates recurring imagery
and concepts in Johns’ oeuvre, not to mention the innovation he was known for.
Unlike at the Royal Academy, the Broad’s first gallery
in the show is devoted entirely to the artist’s flags. It’s
an intimate space chock-full
of red, white and blue — and
orange and charcoal gray.
There’s his small 1955 graphite drawing, “Flag,” the earliest flag work in the show; and
there’s the so-called 1958
“Leo Castelli flag,” a 5-footwide flag with thick, prominent brushwork rendered
entirely in wax and paint,
that was in the late New York
gallerist’s family for decades.
The painting of two flags
against a gray background,
“Flags” (1965), is from Johns’
personal collection.
“Three Flags,” created in
1958 when Alaska and Hawaii
weren’t yet states, has just 48
stars on it. It hangs beside
the Broad’s “Flag” (1967),
which has 50 stars on it.
Like all of Johns’ works
featuring common signs and
symbols — flags, targets,
numbers, letters, maps — the
flag works not only challenged the premises of abstract expressionism but
also questioned the medium
of painting itself. His flags
weren’t meant to be emotional or political statements
as much as purely visual
ones, the familiar image suddenly unfamiliar in its new
context. The depiction on
canvas is, simply, a painterly
gesture, both the picture of a
flag and an object unto itself.
But it would be hard to
imagine a roomful of flags
not resonating today.
“Although
his
mind
wasn’t on politics when he
launched this series,” Heyler
said, “it’s interesting, as a historian, to look at context in
the ’50s and McCarthyism
and what was going on in the
country then. Given that
we’re
currently
living
through a rather turbulent
moment, politically, now, I’m
sure visitors will reflect on
that as they look at these images.
“But they also are so compelling as paintings. They’re
just crafted and painted so
masterfully, and that’s an
equally critical piece to
understanding what’s going
on in this gallery.”
The flag paintings — like
all of Johns’ works depicting
symbols — Schad added, disrupt viewers’ knee-jerk reactions and instead “slow that
way down, to the point of an
object and an image and
what a thing does in the
world.”
Eight thematic sections
lead the viewer through the
exhibition. “Things the Mind
Already Knows,” which the
flags are part of, presents
some of Johns’ best known
images, playing with the
viewers’ sense of perception
regarding everyday objects.
“Words and Voices” shows
how Johns saw language in
relationship to visual perception; it includes a series of
Samuel Beckett narrative
shorts, for which Johns created prints evoking the language. “Time and Transience” includes the first
Johns painting, “Untitled
(1975),”
which
museum
founders Eli and Edythe
Broad acquired in 1978, an
abstract-looking piece with
jagged colorful markings.
“In the Studio” focuses on
the life of an artist and includes Johns’ famous sculpture,
“Painted
Bronze”
(1960), of a coffee can filled
with paint brushes. “Frag-
Allen J. Schaben Los Angeles Times
“THREE FLAGS” at the Broad. Flags are among artist Jasper Johns’ motifs.
‘Jasper Johns:
“Something
Resembling
Truth” ’
Where: The Broad, 221 S.
Grand Ave., L.A.
When: Opens Saturday,
ends May 13
Tickets: $25; free for ages
17 and younger;
reservations
recommended
Info: www.thebroad.org
ments and Faces” includes
Johns’ “Perilous Night”
(1982), in which he silkscreened a page from a John
Cage score onto the canvas.
“Seasons and Cycles” pulls
together Johns’ Seasons
paintings — the first time all
four have been shown together in L.A.
Johns, who is 87 and lives
in Connecticut, isn’t traveling to L.A. for the exhibition or doing interviews, the
Broad said, but the show has
already generated much excitement given its sheer
breadth. In addition to private loans as well as pieces
from the Broad’s collection
and from the artist himself,
nearly every major museum
in the U.S., and several inter-
nationally — including the
Museum of Modern Art in
New York, the National
Gallery in Washington, D.C.,
and the Tate, London — contributed key artworks. For
the Broad Foundation,
which has made more than
8,500 loans since the early
’80s, Heyler said, this collective effort to create “ ‘Something Resembling Truth’ ”
feels like “the completion of a
collegial relationship.”
That collaborative spirit
crosses over into programming around the exhibition.
Johns is a reader and lover of
the arts, an interdisciplinary
thinker who collaborated
with close friends such as
choreographer Merce Cunningham and composer
Cage. The programming
lineup blends dance, poetry,
live discussions and music.
The “Cross-Hatched” series will feature pianist Adam
Tendler performing with experimental vocalist Joan La
Barbara; Tendler will also
provide piano accompaniment to snippets from dance
films from the Merce Cunningham Trust. For an evening called “Incidents and
Echoes,” Tendler will perform Cage compositions that
share titles or other connections with Johns’ paintings.
The Broad will also present the “Unfolding Language Literary Series” in col-
laboration with the Library
Foundation of Los Angeles’
Aloud program. Over two
evenings, L.A. authors such
as Chris Kraus and Rigoberto Gonzalez will read their
own work and the work of authors who inspired Johns,
like Beckett, Herman Melville and Hart Crane.
Johns’ influence has
shaped Pop and Conceptual
artists in the Broad’s collection, such as Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Andy
Warhol, Sherrie Levine and
Bruce Nauman.
“It’d be hard to find too
many artists working with
paint and making paintings
that don’t owe some kind of
debt to Jasper Johns,”
Heyler said.
But Heyler is especially
interested in how the exhibition, and its programming,
will affect artists previously
unfamiliar with Johns’ work.
“Los Angeles is such a
center for art practice. It has
some of the nation’s best art
schools. I’m really looking
forward to seeing how it influences how young artists
are thinking today in L.A.,”
she said.
“Because this is the kind
of show that will reward
close, intimate viewing. This
work pulls you in.”
deborah.vankin
@latimes.com
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COMICS
BRIDGE
By Frank Stewart
In the Senior Knockout
Teams, a major event at the
ACBL Fall NABC, two sponsored teams met in the final:
Nick Nickell (Katz, LevinRosenberg,
MeckstrothRodwell) vs. Mike Levine
(Wold, Clerkin-Clerkin, Jacobus-Passell).
Team Nickell led early,
fell behind and was fighting
back when today’s deal
arose. When West for Nickell
opened three spades, North
doubled, winning my award
for the most undisciplined
call of 2017. Had East passed,
South might have passed
also. But when East redoubled, South unwisely tried
four
hearts.
East-West
doubled that and beat it by
four tricks, plus 1,100.
In the replay, West for
Team Levine opened one
spade, and North doubled.
East bid 1NT, artificially
showing length in clubs, and
South competed with two
hearts. After two passes,
East cue-bid three hearts,
and East-West eventually
landed at four spades
doubled, down two, 500
points more to Nickell.
Nickell gained 17 IMPs
but had losses on other deals
and lost the match by 14.
Question: You hold: ♠ 4 ♥
A K 9 ♦ A 10 5 3 2 ♣ 9 5 4 3. Your
partner opens a spade, you
respond two diamonds, he
bids two hearts. Now what?
Answer: You have two
(poor) options. You can
raise to three hearts, but you
would suggest four-card
support, and a trump lead
against a heart contract
might hurt. Limit your
strength with a bid of 2NT.
You lack a club stopper, but
you do have length. Maybe
partner will bid again.
West dealer
Both sides vulnerable
NORTH
♠4
♥AK9
♦ A 10 5 3 2
♣9543
WEST
EAST
♠ K Q J 10 3 2
♠6
♥Q76
♥J52
♦J964
♦K8
♣ None
♣ A K Q 10 8 7
2
SOUTH
♠A9875
♥ 10 8 4 3
♦Q7
♣J6
WEST
NORTH EAST
SOUTH
3♠
Dbl(!!) Redbl
4♥
Dbl
All Pass
Opening lead — ♠ K
Tribune Media Services
ASK AMY
Friend’s griping grows old
HOROSCOPE
By Holiday Mathis
Aries (March 21-April 19):
You want to be near people
who are having a good time.
Go where there’s a match of
ideology.
Taurus (April 20-May
20): You’ll arrange and rearrange this collection of facts,
details and tangibles until
something makes sense, or
until it’s time to sleep, whichever comes first.
Gemini (May 21-June 21):
Feelings aren’t cast-off
refuse. They’re worthy of being set on the shelf. Examined. Maybe even admired.
Cancer (June 22-July 22):
It gets better when you get
better. Or maybe you make it
better, and then you get better too. Either way, be actively hopeful.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22):
When you’re fully rich on the
inside, no external validation can make you richer.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):
Saying nothing says some-
thing. Today the silent response has meanings including, but not limited to, “I
disagree,” “I have a secret,”
and “I’m processing the
emotional impact of this.”
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23):
As you honor the unspoken
requests of others, they invest increasing amounts of
trust in you.
Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21):
Thomas Jefferson said,
“Nothing gives one person
so much advantage over another as to remain always
cool and unruffled under all
circumstances.”
Sagittarius (Nov. 22Dec. 21): How can you make
them want and need to follow your plan instead of
making them feel as though
they have to follow it?
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan.
19): You’re proud to have
powerful friends, but sometimes this makes you feel, by
comparison, less successful
than them. Success is measured in many ways.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb.
18): Structure trumps freedom. It’s finding the right
structure that’s the key,
though, and that’s what
you’re searching for now.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March
20): You’ve been known to
put yourself in stressful
situations just to see if you
can find your way out. Don’t.
Today’s birthday (Feb.
7): A windfall starts this solar return on a high note.
One of your cosmic gifts now
is that you’re mysterious to
people, and they want to get
to know you better. You’ll
have more social opportunity than you know what to do
with this year. April brings a
fantasy to life. Regarding
your personal life: July beckons you in a new direction.
Sagittarius and Libra adore
you. Your lucky numbers
are: 6, 39, 2, 21 and 48.
Holiday Mathis writes
her column for Creators
Syndicate Inc. The
horoscope should be
read for entertainment.
Dear Amy: I have lifelong
buddy in his 50s. He had a
few
emotional/family/divorce issues a decade ago
and basically checked out of
life. He stopped maintaining
his home and business and
let his health go. During that
period, I listened and offered
support and advice.
Two years ago, he announced he was going to
turn things around. He isn’t
making much progress and
is making some seriously
bad decisions. Luckily, he’s
financially secure, with a recent large inheritance and
no major financial worries.
Now our weekly calls have
evolved into hours of him either droning on about how
hard he’s working and how
smart he is to overcome
these self-inflicted problems
or complaining about how
hard it is to get out of the
hole that he dug.
I recommend a solution,
then ask him not to complain. If I continue to offer
advice or feedback, he gets
mad or hangs up on me. Recently he told me he just
wants me to provide emotional support. But his behavior screams: “Help!”
I want to help but don’t
want to listen to him complain.
Tired of Listening
Dear Tired: Your friend is
not asking for help. You
seem to be perennially
tempted to leap in and fix, or
suggest fixes, but your suggestions fall upon deaf ears.
This frustrates you.
If you want to maintain a
friendship with him, don’t
make suggestions. Don’t cut
him off and tell him not to
complain. Just don’t. Listen
without comment, don’t engage and then, when he has
run out of gas, change the
subject.
You might be able to rebalance this relationship by
focusing on other topics or
spending time together
(rather than talking by
phone), which would take
you both outside of your familiar ways of relating.
Dear Amy: I have a couple
of friends with therapy dogs.
I fully support these dogs
providing needed support
and companionship.
I do, however, expect
dogs, whether they are therapy dogs or not, to be welltrained, well-behaved and
clean when they are a guest
in my home.
Recently, I’ve had friends
with therapy dogs get mad
at me when I set limits on
their dogs when I was hosting them.
One friend came to my
house for dinner with her
therapy dog. The dog is very
sweet and important to my
friend, and I genuinely like
the dog. However, the dog
had a dirty butt and my
friend let her sit on our furniture, let her eat expensive
cheese off of our good china
at the table and let her stand
on her lap with its butt
poised over the dinner table.
She shot us a look of,
“How dare you say that!”
when we asked that the dog
stay on the floor, not beg and
not eat people food. She’s
been very distant since then.
Do you or any of your readers
have advice on the etiquette
of interacting with other
peoples’ therapy dogs?
Doggy Manners
Dear Doggy: I fail to see
what is therapeutic about
having a poorly trained dog
interfering with your human
friendships. To me, this is
the opposite of therapeutic.
I think this whole “therapy animal” trend is out of
control, and unfortunately
this only serves to diminish
the important role that
trained and sanctioned animals serve for those who
truly need them.
You sound exceptionally
tolerant. Your expectations
are completely reasonable.
Send questions for Amy
Dickinson to askamy@
amydickinson.com.
L AT I M E S . C O M / CA L E N DA R
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
COMICS
E9
E10
W E D N E S DAY , F E B RUA RY 7 , 2 018
L AT I M E S . C O M / CA L E N DA R
A show of emotion
[Lambert, from E1]
ducer, Frank Liddell, who is
friends with John’s songwriting partner of 50 years,
Bernie Taupin.
“As soon as word about
this came up, I texted him
and said, ‘A lot of people will
probably want to do this one,
but I want to be the first to
ask,’ ” Lambert said as her
tour bus was pulling into the
parking lot of the Spokane
Arena in Washington, several
days ahead of her arrival Saturday for her L.A.-area date
at the Forum in Inglewood.
“It’s such a great record,
and they have such a love for
the American South,” said
Lambert, 34. The show,
“Elton John: I’m Still Standing — a Grammy Salute” is
scheduled to air this spring.
“It was incredible. I got to
meet Elton and drink martinis with Bernie, one of the
greatest songwriting teams
of all time. It’s such a cool experience when you meet people that are nice and normal
and so iconic — it’s so inspiring.”
Lambert herself has been
on a roll of inspiration in the
last few years, most readily
evident in the creative outpouring displayed on her latest work, 2016’s “The Weight
of These Wings,” a double album comprising two dozen
songs she wrote in the throes
of the meltdown and aftermath of her marriage to
country star Blake Shelton.
Said Lambert: “That
record is such a journey for
me. It was kind of scary at
first putting it out, but people
were great. I think just being
able to say the truth and be
able to move on is what we
look for in music. Fans are
commenting on that.”
The vulnerability she exhibits in heartbreak songs
such as “Tin Min” and
“Things That Break” is disarming. The latter includes
her admission that “I leave it
all in ruins / Cause I don’t
know what I’m doing / I’m
hard on things that matter /
Hold a heart so tight it shatters / So I stay away from
things that break.”
The album spans a pano-
Ethan Miller Getty Images
MIRANDA LAMBERT taped a performance for an
Elton John tribute recently and is at the Forum soon.
Miranda
Lambert
Where: Forum, 3900 W.
Manchester Blvd.,
Inglewood
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $24 to $908
Info: www.mirandalambert
concerts.com
ply of emotions, as she shares
her feelings about finding her
way through rough patches
in “Pushin’ Time”: “Sometimes love acts out of spite /
And good things happen
overnight.” In “Well-Rested,”
as she strives to regain her
balance, she pleads with
whoever is listening, “Forgive
me, I’m finding my wings.”
And where is she on that
front, a couple years down
the line from writing and recording those songs?
“I feel like I’m one of those
people who loves really big,
does everything really big,”
she said, quickly adding as
something of an explanation,
as if it were needed: “I’m from
Texas. But I’m excited about
the journey.”
A big part of the solace
and healing she’s found following a messy and very
public divorce that was
tabloid news fodder for
months has come through
live performance.
“I re-fall in love with this
job every time I go out on the
road, and I’m very thankful
for that,” she said. “I have the
most incredible job in the
world, and the fans have just
been great.
“It’s been awesome,” she
said. “Jon Pardi is on the tour
with us, and almost every
weekend we have a different
opening act. We brought out
my friends and people we
wanted to see. At the Forum
we have Lucie Silvas, who’s
amazing. I have these people
I go watch before I go onstage,
and they really inspire me.”
Other openers on her 2018
Living Like Hippies Tour include such rising performers
as Ashley McBryde, Turnpike
Troubadours, Sunny Sweeney, Charlie Worsham and the
Steel Woods. Later this summer she’ll be sharing dates
with Little Big Town.
At the end of 2017 she
made just her second transatlantic jaunt for a series of
dates in England, Ireland,
Scotland and the Netherlands.
Of the latter show, a rarity
for her in a country where
English is not the primary
language spoken, she said, “It
kind of blew my mind honestly. I was a little worried… I
wasn’t sure how that was going to go. But they knew my
songs — I was so thankful.”
randy.lewis@latimes.com
Twitter: @RandyLewis2
Return of ‘Queer Eye’
[‘Queer Eye,’ from E1]
other best such program, for
my money — which followed
a similar narrative to similar
philosophical ends. Unlike
ABC’s surface-obsessed “Extreme Makeover,” which
threw plastic surgery into the
mix, the upgrades were relatively modest, and the thrust
educational; the message was
that you are already the person you need to be, once you
get out of your own way
— “all things just keep getting better,” in the words of
the series’ theme.
Or as grooming expert
Jonathan Van Ness tells one
subject, “We fixed you topically and we fixed this house,
but the essence of who you
are really didn’t need a whole
lot of fixing — you just need
to dust your shoulder off and
make sure you moisturize
right before you go to your
big meeting, sonny.”
Here is how it works: A
person, stuck in a rut or facing a challenge, is chosen for
a makeover. In come the Fab
Five, each with his specialty:
clothing, food, décor, grooming and (the most variable
of categories) culture. They
invade the subject’s living
space, wreaking havoc like a
bigger Marx Brothers. By the
end of the show — the original
took place in a day, or “a day”;
the new show over a week —
they have transformed their
target outside and in.
The subject then hosts an
event — a party, a date —
highlights of which the team
watches on video back in
their loft headquarters.
There is laughter, there are
(especially in the reboot)
tears. Some of that laughter,
and some of those tears were,
I don’t mind saying, mine.
Every episode has its
theme. There is the wedding
do-over, the lonely older person looking for love, a fireman raising money to train
more firemen, the father of six
working two jobs, and young
men who need to grow up
(one, an aspiring comic, still
lives in a room next to his parents; another sleeps in his
mother’s preserved old room,
in the house he inherited from
his grandmother).
And there is something
the old show never tackled,
a semi-closeted gay African
American who regrets never
having come out to his father,
and fears coming out to his
stepmother, and lives in a sort
of dull camouflage, “self-conscious of looking gay or looking like people can tell my
TV H IG HLIG H T S
SERIES
Celebrity Big Brother Former Trump administration official Omarosa
Manigault, Mark McGrath, Keshia Knight Pulliam (“The Cosby Show”)
and Ross Mathews become housemates as the
unscripted series returns.
Julie Chen as host. 8 p.m.
CBS
Netf lix
TAN FRANCE , left, works with Neal Reddy on his
wardrobe makeover in Netflix’s “Queer Eye” reboot.
‘Queer Eye’
Where: Netflix
When: Anytime, starting
Wednesday
Rating: TV-14 (may be
unsuitable for children
under the age of 14)
preference just by my
clothes.” “You’re literally hitting home with me,” says culture advisor Karamo Brown,
who also bears the distinction of having been reality
TV’s first out gay black man
(“The Real World,” 2004).
As a fan of the Bravo series, I approached the reboot
with trepidation. The original cast — Carson Kressley,
Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia,
Jai Rodriguez and Ted Allen,
who have stayed more and/or
less in the public eye since the
show went off the air in 2007
— had a special combination
of personalities and talents
that added up to a greater
whole, like the Beatles, whose
“Fab Four” moniker was borrowed for their collective
nickname, the Fab Five.
Of course, you can’t take
four people, give them instruments and haircuts and say,
“These are the Beatles now.”
The new crew is, on the
whole, not as droll as the original — Van Ness, who stars in
the Funny or Die comedy recap series “Gay of Thrones,”
is the designated Kressley,
the chatterbox joker — but
they are full of life and ideas,
of fun and feelings, which
they are ready to discuss.
Indeed, the Netflix “Queer
Eye” has been arranged to
provide moments of revelation and education for the
Fab Five as well; their own
feelings and back stories have
been stirred into the mix. As
before, some of the best
scenes take place in transit,
as the week’s subject and one
or two of the team just talk, as
they travel to or return from
checking out clothes, buying
a mattress, trimming a beard.
It is one thing to become a
phenomenon unexpectedly,
because what you do strikes a
nerve, and another trying to
repeat a phenomenon. In a
way, the new “Queer Eye” is
about the old “Queer Eye”
and its incidental real-world
effects — bringing a marginalized community into the
mainstream, educating the
straight world and providing
models for LGBTQ people,
including some members of
the current cast. There is a lot
of explicit stating of themes
left implicit in the old show.
But “Queer Eye” 2018 has
been made for a different moment, when advances have
been made and ground lost.
Some new cast members
have husbands and children;
there is an African American
Fab member in Brown; fashion adviser Tan France is halfPakistani. (Food person Antoni Porowski and designer
Bobby Berk, whose brand
may be familiar to you, round
out the cast.) At the same
time, in the wider world, a
megaphone has been handed
to those eager to re-marginalize
the
marginalized.
Putting the new series in
Georgia, in cosmopolitan Atlanta and in conservative
small towns, lets conversations happen. Some cast
members have their own, not
necessarily pleasant, small
town histories.
All bends toward love in
the end — so many hugs!
Come for the serial reveals,
stay for the life lessons. (Don’t
judge a book by its
cover. Pick up your room.)
Or come for the lessons and
stay for the reveals. It works
either way.
robert.lloyd@latimes.com
The X-Files Haley Joel Osment (“The Sixth Sense”)
guest stars. 8 p.m. Fox
Animals With Cameras: A
Nature Miniseries Cheetahs, seals and baboons
are among those recording their lives. 8 p.m.
KOCE and KPBS
grown-ish After a traumatic
breakup, Zoey (Yara
Shahidi) begins partying.
8 p.m. Freeform
The Librarians The season
finale opens with the
world transformed into a
dystopian
nightmare
where the Library never
existed and Baird (Rebecca Romijn) knows the
only way to stop this chain
of events is to reunite the
Librarians
(Christian
Kane, Lindy Booth, John
Harlan Kim). 8 p.m. TNT
9-1-1A surprise marriage proposal takes a dangerous
turn that requires the assistance of first responders, while Abby and Buck
(Connie Britton, Oliver
Stark) have their first
date in this new Valentine’s Day-themed episode. 9 p.m. Fox
NOVA This new episode
documents the efforts of
forensic detectives as they
reconstruct elements of
the life and culture of a
teenage girl whose 13,000year-old skeleton was
found in a Mexican underwater cave. 9 p.m. KOCE
Expedition Unknown In the
first of the two-part special “Great Women of Ancient Egypt,” host and adventurer Josh Gates reveals the stories of three of
the most powerful yet elusive women of that early
civilization:
Cleopatra,
Nefertiti and Hatshepsut.
9 p.m.
Knightfall Landry (Tom
Cullen) and his fellow
Knight Templars fight for
their lives in a face-off
against the Red Knights
in the season finale. 10
p.m. History
Sonja Flemming CBS
JULIE CHEN hosts the
new spinoff “Celebrity
Big Brother” on CBS.
Waco With the ATF siege in
motion, assault vehicles
storm the Mount Carmel
compound, beginning a
51-day standoff in Part 3 of
this six-part miniseries. 10
p.m. Paramount
Channel Zero: Butcher’s
Block An idealistic young
woman looks forward to
moving to the city, where
mysterious things happen. Holland Roden,
Brandon Scott and Rutger Hauer also star. 10 p.m.
Syfy
MOVIES
Don’t Breathe (2016) 8:08
a.m. Starz
Shaun the Sheep Movie
(2015) 1:15 p.m. EPIX
TALK SHOWS
CBS This Morning Chance
the Rapper. (N) 7 a.m.
KCBS
Today (N) 7 a.m. KNBC
Good Morning America Patricia Heaton. (N) 7 a.m.
KABC
Good Day L.A. Meta Golding and Roger Smith
(”Behind the Movement”)
Benj Pasek and Justin
Paul (“The Greatest
Showman”);
Whitney
English. (N) 7 a.m. KTTV
Megyn Kelly Today Author
Dawn Davies. (N) 9 a.m.
KNBC
Live With Kelly and Ryan
Whitney Cummings Baha
Men perform. (N) 9 a.m.
KABC
The View Valerie Jarrett;
Anthony Sadler, Spencer
Stone and Alek Skarlatos.
(N) 10 a.m. KABC
Wendy Williams Robin
Thede. (N) 11 a.m. KTTV
The Talk Kelsey Grammer;
Charlie Puth performs;
Tabatha Coffey. (N) 1 p.m.
KCBS
The Dr. Oz Show Substitutes for butter. (N) 1 p.m.
KTTV
The Doctors People taking
rideshare services instead
of ambulances. (N) 2 p.m.
KCBS
Steve Eddie Griffin; Tamara
Taylor (“Altered Carbon”). (N) 2 p.m. KNBC
Harry Rick Springfield;
Page Turner and DeRon
Jenkins; Jace Norman.
(N) 2 p.m. KTTV
Rachael Mary Giuliani, chef
Amanda
Freitag
(“Chopped”) and Tiffani
Thiessen. (N) 2 p.m.
KCOP
Dr. Phil A woman says that
when her mother found
out she was working as an
escort, she told her she
had to go. (N) 3 p.m.
KCBS
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is
Us”); Dax Shepard. (N) 3
p.m. KNBC
The Real Danica McKellar.
(N) 3 p.m. KTTV
Amanpour on PBS (N) 11
p.m. KOCE, KVCR
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Anthony Sadler;
Alek Skarlatos; Spencer
Stone. (N) 11 p.m. Comedy
Central
Conan Kumail Nanjiani; Van
Jones. (N) 11 p.m. TBS
The Tonight Show Sienna
Miller; Tim Tebow; Noel
Gallagher’s High Flying
Birds perform; Tye Tribbett. (N) 11:34 p.m. KNBC
The Late Show John Oliver;
Beanie Feldstein; Wolfgang Puck. (N) 11:35 p.m.
KCBS
Jimmy Kimmel Live Rose
Byrne; In Real Life performs. (N) 11:35 p.m.
KABC
The Late Late Show
Meghan Trainor; Guillermo del Toro; Jamie
Lee. (N) 12:37 a.m. KCBS
Late Night John Mulaney;
Seth Moulton; Tony Rock;
Alan Cage performs. (N)
12:37 a.m. KNBC
Last Call Daniel Brühl; Angus and Julia Stone; Orla
Doherty. (N) 1:38 a.m.
KNBC
SPORTS
2018 Winter Olympics Coverage kicks off early with
the world’s fastest alpine
skiers in training runs of
the men’s downhill. 8 p.m.
NBCSP
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