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Morning Scoop: Coliseum cash, ballot-box blues, the lions of early L.A.

May 14, 2009 | 10:04 am

Lanow_morningscoop

Good morning from the City Desk. A sampler of California stories from today's paper:

The governor says he could earn the state somewhere from $600 million to $1 billion by selling a pile of state property. On his list, reports Michael Rothfeld: the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, San Quentin State Prison and the Orange County and Del Mar fairgrounds.

Speaking of the governor, Sacramento columnist George Skelton says he is getting some political cover for himself and fellow lawmakers today by releasing two budget proposals -- a pretty grim one for if the slate of budget-related ballot measures passes Tuesday, a much grimmer one for if they don't.

The campaign for that slate of ballot measures has been muddled, writes Michael Finnegan. Take the television advertising, in which ads are being run, Finnegan writes, only for the two ballot measures that would do nothing immediate for the state's budget crisis.

Budgets are being slashed in the city of Los Angeles too, where yesterday the City Council's Budget and Finance Committee recommended cuts "that would eviscerate Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's police hiring program and almost certainly lead to significant cutbacks for parks, libraries, street-paving programs and other city services," writes Phil Willon.

Nearly a century after Los Angeles silent movie producer William Selig placed 15 statues of elephants and tigers outside his combination studio and zoo, some of those dramatic statues have found a new home at the Los Angeles Zoo, writes Carla Hall. They "come from an era in Los Angeles when visits to ostrich farms and alligator farms were pastimes and zoos were wild, eccentric menageries," she writes.

As part of a national effort to identify and deport more illegal immigrants with criminal records, Los Angeles, Ventura and San Diego counties will become the first in California to check the immigration status of all inmates booked into their jails, reports Anna Gorman.

As expected, Cal State trustees approved a 10% hike in student fees for the coming school year.

TV stations covering a car chase captured video of an El Monte police office kicking the chase suspect in the head after he appeared to have surrendered.

We'll bring you more news as we get it.

-- Nita Lelyveld

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