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Originally published April 21, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Page modified April 21, 2013 at 9:17 AM

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Bright lights, big omen for L.A. North?

The Wrap by Ron Judd

Seattle Times staff columnist

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Meanwhile, barely noticed in La La Land:

Seattle City Council member and longtime scribe Jean Godden dusted off her reporter’s cap for a recent tour of “L.A. Live, the glitzy entertainment complex in the heart of L.A.’s downtown.”

A spin through the complex — Staples Center arena, surrounded by hotels, a massive theater, a slew of restaurants, a convention center, and enough strobes and lighted signs to make Tokyo blush — was part of a Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce “study mission.”

Godden’s take: “It’s easy to get blinded. ... Everywhere you look, there’s enough stimuli to power an electrical substation.”

It’d be easy to scoff at the whole, decidedly un-Seattle, scene, except for suspicion that the visual eyesore might be a model that Bay Area resident Chris “It’s All About the Children” Hansen will attempt to replicate here in Jet City, using a shoehorned sports arena as a tax-sheltered economic engine to power a mega-profitable entertainment district.

“It’s obvious that those who would build a new arena in Sodo are thinking in a similar vein,” Godden reports. “Although it’s difficult to imagine that such an over-the-top complex could be replicated in Seattle.”

Uh, yeah. Every bit as difficult to imagine as the Seattle City Council coughing up corporate welfare for yet another sports arena, and its mayor going hat-in-hand to the bag man for a quasi-criminal enterprise known as the NBA.

More happy tidings:

Speaking of Which: Raise your hand if you’d feel better if city Chamber types were embarking on “study missions” to towns with a bit less neon and a lot more family wage jobs.

Other Weasel News: The aforementioned David Stern appeared before panting reporters in New York to reiterate that league owners will do whatever the hell they want, whenever they want, to Seattle and Sacramento.

Precipitous Fallings Dept.: You wonder how two guys can go so wrong, blowing a lifetime’s worth of opportunities and second chances, only to bring such great shame on themselves and their families. But enough about CNN’s John King and Wolf Blitzer.

We Kid the TV News Networks: But seriously: Wouldn’t everyone be better served if they just read their five minutes of actual news at the top of every hour, then reverted to Looney Tunes as primary programming?

This Just In: Because of the federal “sequestration” cuts, U.S. Coast Guard ships sadly will deviate from their normal summertime-festival duty and be relegated to guarding the coast.

Putting Bellevue On Notice: Numerous headlines during the massive Boston manhunt last week noted that the city’s “suburbs have been shut down.” Wow. Who knew that was possible?

Present Company Included: After months of official denial, our Microsoft friends in Redmond seem to be slowly, and finally, coming to grips with the fact that the world just don’t get Windows 8.

Bad Week at the Lazy B: Boeing, formerly of Seattle, is laying off up to 700 engineers. Good thing they’re not putting out products that require the fixing of a sea of snafus or anything.

And Finally: NASA’s Kepler space telescope has discovered at least two planets that might be Earthlike. Sorry, but after the past week, it’s pretty hard not to hope they’re mistaken.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at rjudd@seattletimes.comor 206-464-8280.

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About The Wrap / Ron Judd

"The Wrap" appears on Sundays, highlighting the absurd and providing the punch line to the week's news headlines.


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