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AM news: no more Neverland, Bratton, municipal yawn

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He just beat it: Michael Jackson has closed the house at Neverland Ranch. Apparently the ranch part of the ranch, where the giraffe and elephants live, is still operating at the expense of a generous veterinarian. Jackson's action came as the property's bills were piling up and state officials were making moves to come after him for back pay for staff. Jacko has settled in Bahrain where, we assume, laws aren't so strict for people who... wear surgical masks in public.

Transparency, schmansparency: LAPD Chief Police Bill Bratton says he's not required to disclose what his buddies did for a total of $1 million in contracts, since the money came from the LA Police Foundation, not the city. But since the City Council is asking, and $1 million is a lot of money, wouldn't it be nice if he told them?

Two nuts-and-bolts municipal stories today that we feel obliged to mention, but find incredibly unsexy: the city may make a last-minute deal to divert our trash from the Grenada Hills dump, and the Daily News is upset that installation of energy-saving stoplights may be done by city employees, rather than contractors. Gawd, being responsibly citizens can be boring sometimes.