Mike Spasoff is a tireless servant to this community -- at least for a few months out of the year -- and that's good enough for me. It's also more than good enough for the 600 trick-or-treaters he delights and terrifies with the elaborate, Disney-rivaling, pirate-themed yard display at his house on San Fernando Mission Boulevard (near Shoshone).
When I was a kid, I used to always wish someone in the neighborhood would do something beyond carving a pumpkin. Fortunately, kids in Mike's neighborhood will never have to cope with that same unfulfilled sense of longing that I always had.
What makes you want to invest the time, money, and resources into such an elaborate production?
I can remember the magic of walking the streets of our neighborhood each Halloween and the excitement of finding a house that did something more than just a jack-o-lantern or a cardboard skeleton. My parents and I always made a special effort to do something extra but it wasn't until we moved to o…
"I've never watched a pornographic movie in my life," says Bobi, genial lab tech at the modest, quiet office of AIM Health Care on shady White Oak Avenue.
When I press her, incredulous that someone who works in a health care office that caters to the needs of adult film actors has never been exposed to that industry's primary product, she sticks by her story. "They did have one on at my bachelorette party, but I didn't really look at it, and now you couldn't pay me to watch one. I know everyone in the industry, and it would almost be like watching a video of my kids having sex. I wouldn't want to do that."
When she puts it that way, it makes sense. Bobi tells me that some clients of the clinic even refer to her as "Mom," and when I overhear her soothing a nervous patient on the phone ("Don't worry honey; chlamydia is a bacterial infection and it can be cured with medicines") I understand why. It's actually rather …
After the jarring arrest of former City Councilmember Mitchell Englander dropped jaws all over Los Angeles, heads swiveled next toward his successor and protégé, Councilmember John Lee.
Englander was arrested by federal agents on criminal charges that he obstructed an investigation into accepting cash, female escort services, hotel rooms and expensive meals from a businessman during trips to Las Vegas and Palm Springs, and later lied to the FBI about his conduct.
In response, Lee issued a statement that he had in fact been along for the ride in Vegas, but had made an effort to reimburse expenses and was "unaware of any illegal activities for which Councilmember Englander is being charged."