Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Solemn news from LA on day of royal wedding fever

With every one wallowing - especially US cable TV - in the prospect royal wedding, I must admit my first thought was that the date those choose might be a good time to book a vacation. And not in the UK. The world's news agenda is bound to shift to London and that's always a cue to leap off the radar for a while. That said I've probably just jinxed the idea - knowing the 'big one' can happen in LA, at any time.

Rambling vacation thoughts and wedding indifference aside, today has been a sad day in LA.

Local TV has been carrying continuous coverage of a funeral for a police officer, Ryan Bonaminio, who was shot dead last week. The 27-year old officer and Iraq war veteran was killed while chasing down a suspected truck thief just over a week ago. A man has been arrested and faces 1st degree murder charges - and perhaps the death penalty if found guilty. 8 thousand people lined the streets for the funeral.

Another tragedy in LA today. A veteran Hollywood publicist, Ronni Chasen, shot dead while driving home from a movie premiere (Burlesque). Chasen was known as a "powerhouse" in the entertainment industry. The circumstances surrounding her death are a mystery and disturbing.

On a positive note, LA County has just enacted one of the most aggressive environmental measures in the US - a ban on plastic grocery bags. If shops choose to offer paper bags, they must sell them for 10 cents each. Customers are encouraged to take their own. I hope they do.

-- listen to my weekly wrap of California news on BBC 5 Live's Up All Night at 0445 GMT every Tuesday.