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Morning Scoop: creative courts, talk radio, El Salvador election

March 15, 2009 | 10:03 am

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The power that once was conservative talk radio in California is on the wane -- which makes it hard for those who remain and who are trying to foment a tax revolt, writes Michael Finnegan. Some radio stations have cut back their programming and some of the biggest names of yore now have national shows focused on the White House.

Cathy Decker, in the Week, writes about the tangled history of, and fragile hope for, reopening a hospital in South Los Angeles. "Hope and despair have always resided side by side in South Los Angeles, and the hospital complex named for Martin Luther King Jr. has evinced both."

President Obama soon will name six new federal judges for California, and court watchers are waiting to see how big the change will be, writes Carol Williams.

Columnist Steve Lopez takes a look at innovative California courts that take a comprehensive approach to turning around the lives of those with mental illness and substance abuse problems. Their funding, he says, is on the chopping block -- and should not be.

A historic election is underway in El Salvador, and many sons and daughters of immigrants who fled that country's civil war in the 1980s now are activists passionately advocating on both sides of El Salvador's historic election, writes Esmeralda Bermudez.

Foes of outdoor advertising in Los Angeles are infuriated by advertising entrepreneur Michael McNeilly, who earlier this year submitted documents asking a federal judge to let him keep enormous images on the sides of many buildings, writes David Zahniser. What especially riles them is that most of the 66 buildings he named in the documents aimed at winning an exemption from a city moratorium have no images on them at all -- indicating that he may be trying to secure rights to greatly expand his use of the supergraphics just as the city tries to crack down on them.

Since the days of the horse and wagon, the Los Angeles Police Department has had only two homes, Steve Harvey writes in the Then and Now column. They'll move into their third home in November.

A Carpinteria high school student of Chumash descent last year asked the school board to remove symbols that go along with the high school's Warriors teams. The debate ever since has been heated and ugly, writes Steve Chawkins.

We'll bring you today's news as we get it.

-- Nita Lelyveld

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