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Them Bones
Every story - even the ones that end "They all lived happily ever after!" - dangle an implied demand for more. "And then what happened?" always follows. This posting adds what happened next, but only ambiguously, to some of the stories told here earlier.

Fantasy football. Team Roski and Team Leiweke - fronting competing proposals for an NFL stadium - were last seen in Sacramento playing football as it's played these days. Not with linebackers but with lobbyists. Team Roski is touting the suburban charms of an $800-million, 78,000-seat stadium in the apparently traffic-free City of Industry. Team Leiweke is still behind on points. It needs the state to look the other way on the environmental impacts of its $1.2-billion (or $1.35-billion) proposal for a 64,000-seat stadium at the edge of downtown, where there's plenty of traffic. But Team Leiweke has a promised $700 million from Farmers Insurance and a pep squad of eager city council members. Neither stadium has a team, and NFL owners weren't talking as contract negotiations with players got even uglier last week.

That's so rude! Angeleños didn't disagree with a Travel + Leisure poll which found (yet again) that we're not very nice. (The poll also decided that Los Angeles has nothing to attract visitors except the weather.) Amy Alkon, writing in the Los Angeles Times, offered kindness to strangers as the antidote to our climate of cold relations. Comments to her op-ed piece savaged her book on politeness and blamed L.A.'s meanness on heartless newcomers. Times columnist Gregory Rodriquez kind of agreed. Newcomers are uncertain and standoffish among so many common strangers, he suggested, but they are only seemingly cool to the idea of being nice. Apparently it takes generations to become sweet tempered in L.A.

We don't know. The events in Hawthorne that left one man dead, a woman injured, and another man beaten and robbed haven't been resolved. In a strange sequence of hit-and-run accidents and mob violence, a pedestrian crossing Crenshaw Boulevard was knocked down and run over in quick succession by two vehicles, only one of which was indentified and its owner later found. A woman coming to the rescue of the hit-and-run victim was hit when she ran into the street. The driver of that car stopped and was beaten by some of the bystanders and had his cell phone taken. Details are still unclear. This story is still half-finished and unlikely ever to be ended.

Bring out your dead. Angeleños are still in a nasty conflict over the building of La Plaza Cultura y Artes, where the rattling from the calaveras of old Los Angeles continues. A Mexican-era burial ground next to the plaza church was supposed to have been cleared decades ago. But construction on the site turned up bones. According to scholars at the Huntington Library, where church records had been laid to rest, some 700 burials were recorded there. One of them might even be Augustin Olvera, namesake of the adjacent Olvera Street. A putative great-great-grandson - Clarence Mendelson - wants answers. Native Americans want answers too, and an end to the callous removal ancestral burials by descendants of their long-ago colonial oppressors. Some of the descendants of the presumed oppressors think their ancestors are being uprooted to satisfy the ambitions of county politicians. The archdiocese wants to know why the county failed to clear the site years ago. The people who oversee the Plaza just want everyone to stop shouting while they try to get the construction project re-started. Meanwhile, they aren't saying what their contractor has done with the bones of Angeleños past.

D.J. Waldie, author, historian, and as the New York Times said in 2007, "a gorgeous distiller of architectural and social history," writes about Los Angeles every Monday and Friday at 2 p.m. on KCET's SoCal Focus blog.

The image on this page was taken by flickr user peppergrasss. It is used under a Creative Commons License.

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