Happy Halloween


I want to go to Venice. Ever been? That's okay. If you watch the first couple of scenes from The Italian Job, you can begin to understand what a nice place it is.

Alex's 10-year high school reunion is right around the corner. I have to come up with "cocktail attire" - which is my second least favorite attire. He mentioned that a few of his friends don't feel like attending the party-portion of the reunion, and I can't blame them.

It wasn't that high school was a bad time, I just don't feel compelled to go back. Like a good movie, watching it a second time...you know the good parts, you know what to expect, and the ending is just around the corner. I didn't go to my high school reunion for a couple of reasons:

1) I wanted to stay at the Alderbrook Inn and there were no rooms available during the time of the reunion. I didn't want to stay at the Belfair Motel.

2) Ginger wasn't going to go.

3) Most of the people that I want to talk to, I've already been talking to.

It's not that I didn't want Alex to meet people who knew me in high school. I didn't want to hear about how my quest to save trees is going (which I never said I was into saving trees...although it's a honorable quest), how my family is doing (they all live close to town, so why not ask them), and where do I live now (don't you read my blog?).


Sky Jernberg....

I just saw that you added me as a contact to the reunion.com website.

Dude! I'm RIGHT HERE!!!

Make the trains go Choooooooooo!

Come to a Community Open House
Metro invites you to attend a Community Open House to learn more about the Mid-City Exposition Light Rail Transit Project and the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIS/EIR).

This project would run from 7th/Metro Center station in Downtown Los Angeles and continue along the Exposition right-of-way to Culver City.

Click here for a map of the project.

Questions? Call the Project Hotline at 310.366.6443 or visit metro.net/expo for more information including an online copy of the FEIS/EIR.

image: Metro logo. Click to visit Metro website

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium,
Rotunda Room
4117 Overland Ave.
Culver City 90230
Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
West Angeles Church,
Crystal Room,
North Campus
3045 Crenshaw Blvd.
Los Angeles 90016
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Exposition Park,
Muses Room,
Wallis Annenberg Bldg.
700 State Drive
Los Angeles 90037

Fogger all over

It's foggy outside.
You can't see the high-rise buildings from across the way.
I'm tired.
I'm glad it's Friday.
I'm going to get coffee now.

Don't Steal

U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney's Office
Northern District of California

11th Floor, Federal Building (415) 436-7200
450 Golden Gate Avenue, Box 36055 FAX:(415) 436-7234
San Francisco, California 94102

October 12, 2005


Individuals Charged with Infringing Over 325,000 CDs Containing Music and Software

Largest CD Manufacturing Seizure in the United States According to Recording Industry

SAN JOSE - The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced that a federal grand jury today indicted three South Bay individuals charging their involvement in a scheme to pirate over 325,000 copies of copyrighted CDs and software. According to the recording industry, this is the largest CD manufacturing seizure in the United States. This indictment follows the arrests of five individuals and searches of 13 locations in California and Texas on October 6, 2005, as part of "Operation Remaster." Operation Remaster is an undercover law enforcement operation in Northern California targeting the large-scale suppliers of pirated copyrighted music, software, and movies. This operation focused on replicators, the companies or individuals who use sophisticated machinery to create hundreds of thousands of copies of copyrighted works that are then distributed around the country.

The operation is a joint investigation led by the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team High Tech Crimes Task Force (REACT) in San Jose, a task force composed of state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, and the Sacramento Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force assisted in this investigation.

The following individuals were charged in two separate indictments with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and traffic in counterfeit labels; criminal copyright infringement; trafficking in counterfeit labels; and aiding and abetting:

* Ye Teng Wen, a/k/a Michael Wen, 29, of Union City, California;
* Hao He, a/k/a Kevin He, 30, of Union City, California;
* Yaobin Zhai, a/k/a Ben Zhai, 33, of Fremont, California.

Wen and He were charged in a ten-count indictment. Zhai was charged separately in a seven-count indictment.

U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan stated: "The allegations of massive piracy of music and software reflect the potential loss of millions of dollars to the artists and businesses who legitimately own the copyrights on these works. These individuals are charged with affixing counterfeit labels on CDs to create the appearance of legitimacy, including the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning that stated 'Unauthorized copying is punishable under federal law.' We will continue in our work to protect intellectual property rights and prosecute those who pirate music, software, and movies for their own enrichment."

According to court filings, piracy conspiracies often involve geographically separate businesses that secretly handle different stages of the process of pirating intellectual property. Brokers, replicators, assemblers, packagers, printers, distributors and retailers play distinct roles in the conspiracy. Brokers solicit the orders of copyrighted works, while the replicators have the equipment to manufacture hundreds of thousands of CDs. Printers and packagers are responsible for making the infringed work appear legitimate by assembling the CD case, booklet, and artwork into a completed CD/DVD package that almost exactly resembles the copyrighted work.

The indicted individuals are charged with involvement in the large scale replication of pirated music and software. The replicator is the business or individual who has the manufacturing equipment to duplicate mass quantities of CDs or DVDs. Using expensive and sophisticated equipment, sometimes including silk screening machines to place artwork on the CDs or DVDs, replicators can quickly create tens of thousands of counterfeit CDs or DVDs. For example, a replicator armed with an easily obtainable mold of a CD or DVD - called a "stamper" - can potentially manufacture 50,000 to 80,000 counterfeit CDs or DVDs, effectively flooding the market with copies of the work.

According to the affidavits in support of the criminal complaints, Wen and He have been involved in large-scale replication of pirated music and software, including songs by numerous Latin artists as well as anti-virus software manufactured by Symantec. Similarly, Zhai has been involved in large-scale replication of pirated Latin music. All the counterfeited works at issue are copyrighted in the United States.

According to the indictment, these defendants are charged with possessing over 2,000 stampers in connection with the conspiracy. The Recording Industry Association of America estimates that a conservative value of one infringing music stamper is $25,000. These defendants are charged with using over 2000 stampers, with an estimated potential replicating value of millions of dollars.

Once a pirated work enters the market, it can circulate widely. For example, according to court documents, a counterfeit music CD found at a retail store last month in Chicago, Illinois, came from two of the Northern California individuals arrested as part of this operation.

The defendants were arrested pursuant to criminal complaints charging, among other things, violations of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and traffic in counterfeit labels (18 U.S.C. § 371); criminal copyright infringement (17 U.S.C. § 506(a)(1)(A), 18 U.S.C. § 2319(b)(1)); trafficking in counterfeit labels (18 U.S.C. §§ 2318(a), 2318(c)(3)); aiding and abetting (18 U.S.C. § 2 ); criminal forfeiture and destruction (17 U.S.C. §§ 506(b) and 509(a)).

Defendants Wen, He and Zhai are scheduled to make their initial appearance on the indictment before Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd at October 27, 2005, at 9:30 a.m. Zhai was released today on $150,000 secured bond. Wen and He were released on October 6, 2005, on $75,000 secured bond.

Law enforcement agents also arrested Jesus Becerra Huerta, of Stockton, California, and Rosa Isela Huerta, of Stockton, California, on warrants issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California. That U.S. Attorney's Office is handling the prosecutions of those individuals.
For someone without a similar prior offense, the maximum penalties under 18 U.S.C. §§ 506(a)(1)(A), 2319, 371, and 2 are five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years supervised release, and a $100 special assessment for each violation. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

An indictment only contains allegations and these defendants, as with all defendants, must be presumed innocent unless and until convicted. The investigation of large-scale replication conspiracies is continuing.

Mark L. Krotoski and Matthew A. Lamberti are the Assistant United States Attorneys from the CHIP Unit in the Northern District of California who are prosecuting the cases. The Recording Industry Association of American and the Motion Picture Association of America have also assisted in this investigation.

Further Information:

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney's Office's website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.

Further procedural and docket information along with electronic court filings for criminal cases filed since February 2005 are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/.

Judges' calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court's website at www.cand.uscourts.gov

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney's Office should be directed to AUSA Christopher P. Sonderby at (408) 535-5037 or christopher.sonderby@usdoj.gov, or Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 .

Come meet your Downtown neighbors and be a part of the future of 7th Street!

Who: Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council

What: "7th Street Visioning" Workshop: "From Vision to Action"

When: Tuesday, October 25th
5:30-6:00 pm Reception/Registration
6:00-8:30 pm Workshop

Where: 515 W. 7th Street (N side of 7th, between Grand and Olive)

Please RSVP to 7thStreetLA@gmail.com by October 21st

Pitfire's a zinger!

Reviewed earlier last week in the LA Downtown News, the newest Pizza joints to hit downtown had their run-through tonight. Um, YUMMMMMEEEE! I haven't had pizza this good in a while. Alex finished off his Chicken/Garlic foldover (like a calzone), and I inhaled my mushroom/4 cheese pizza.

Looking forward to walking to gauntlet of Main street for seconds!

The Wise Guys will need to clean up their act (and get rid of that B in the window) if they want to compete against these Pitfire!

Marching Bands Rule!

The Home Depot Center Foundation

The Battle of the High School Marching Bands

Date: 11/19/05 6:00 PM
End date: 11/19/05 9:00 PM
Series: Comm. Events
Location: Soccer Stadium


Ticket Price $10.00

The Home Depot Center and VH1 Save The Music Foundation "The Battle Of The High School Marching Bands" to be held on Saturday, November 19, 2005 at The Home Depot Center. There will be (8) national and local high school marching band finalists battling it out "Southern Show Style" for $10,000 to purchase new instruments or uniforms for their school in front of celebrity and music industry executive judges.

Proceeds benefit The Home Depot Center Charitable Foundation and the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.

Special Performances by:
Chris Brown

2005 Finalists
Alain Locke High School Marching Band (Los Angeles, California)
Carroll Senior High School Marching Band (Monroe, Louisiana)
Crenshaw High School Marching Band (Los Angeles, California)
Eastern High School Marching Band (Washington D.C. )
Frank W. Ballou High School Marching Band (Washington D.C.) (2004 2nd Place Winner)
Inglewood High School Marching Band (Inglewood, California)
Louisiana Leadership Institute High School Marching (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Redan High School (Stone Mountain, Georgia) (2004 Winner)


Dreamy Dan Wilson - :-( Retires.

Saturday, October 1, 2005 - 12:00 AM

Permission to reprint or copy this article or photo must be obtained from The Seattle Times. Call 206-464-3113 or e-mail resale@seattletimes.com with your request.


Mariners catcher Dan Wilson descends the dugout steps last night with his son Eli, 7, after his final appearance as a player.


Dan Wilson gets a hug from trainer Rick Griffin in the dugout.

Ichiro tips his hat after recording after surpassing his 200th hit of the season, for the fifth straight year.

Wilson bids farewell; Ichiro turns 200 hits

By Bob Finnigan
Seattle Times staff reporter

With his son Eli alongside him on the bench and wife, Annie, and the rest of the family in the stands, Dan Wilson played his final game last night.

With him went the last direct link to the 1995 team that turned Seattle into a baseball town, that led to the construction of Safeco Field, which stands as an emotional memorial to that group.

Fittingly, Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner were also in the dugout when Wilson came off the field for the last time, after taking warmups and then a warm embrace from Jamie Moyer at the start of the second inning.

The Mariners activated Wilson from the 60-day disabled list early yesterday, to enable him to make his final appearance.

The 14-year veteran, the best fielding catcher of all time, went out with his helmet held high, waving it toward the stands in appreciation of the prolonged standing ovation he received as he walked off.

Fittingly, he went out a winner for the 667th time in 1,251 games played for the Mariners, who beat Oakland 4-1.

Wilson ranks among the top 25 among major-league catchers all-time in several categories, including:


Oakland at Seattle, 1:05 p.m.

Jeff Harris (2-5, 4.47) vs. Joe Blanton (11-12, 3.55)

• .995 fielding percentage (No. 1 all time);

• 1,299 games (20th)

• 209 doubles (22nd)

• 437 runs scored and 504 RBI (24th).

He also was third with 86 sacrifice hits and one of only seven catchers ever to hit an inside-the-park grand slam.

Among American League catchers, he finished ninth with 1,251 games, 10,100-2/3 innings and 508 RBI.

He caught 30 of 34 postseason games for Seattle and was the starting catcher in games that clinched postseason appearances in 1995, 1997, 2000 and 2001.

The Mariners had a .533 win percentage (667-584) in games in which he appeared.

Speaking of Wilson as a former opponent, especially when his Cleveland clubs had big series against the Mariners, Mike Hargrove said: "Dan was always one of my favorite players, with the way he played and the way he carried himself. There was always a sense of stability about him.

"There was some volatile players on Seattle teams then, but Dan always seemed to help keep that team on an even keel and focused and able to do the job."

Referring to Game 1 of the memorable 1995 ALCS, when young Bob Wolcott was a surprise starter for Seattle, Hargrove said, "I don't see how Bob Wolcott wins that game had Dan Wilson not been behind the plate."

In an unforgettable first inning, the Indians loaded the bases on Wolcott with no outs and were unable to score. Wolcott went on to a 3-2 win in the series in which Cleveland prevailed, 4-2.

Before his final night was over, Wilson wound up sharing the spotlight with Ichiro, who had four hits to reach 200 for the fifth straight season, and Moyer, who seemed rejuvenated after throwing to Wilson for even one inning. Ichiro has 202 hits this season.

The old man of the mound, who keeps going while one teammate after another leaves, threw a five-hitter for eight innings and finished 13-7 with Eddie Guardado working the ninth for his 36th save.

With Moyer as Seattle's pitching yin to Wilson's catching yang, it was like old times in the top of the first. Working with Wilson again for the 210th time in his 299 Mariner games — 192 starts and 18 relief appearances — Moyer was never better.

Moyer gave up a single to Jason Kendall and double to Mark Kotsay with one out, but set down Eric Chavez and Bobby Kielty on three more pitches, and wound up with 13 strikes in 17 pitches thrown to Wilson.

Ichiro led off the first inning with a hustle double into the right-center gap, but was out between second and third on Yuniesky Betancourt's grounder. Oakland starter Kirk Saarloos walked Raul Ibanez and Riche Sexson and Adrian Beltre got a run home with a bouncer to third.

Meantime, Moyer rolled on. After giving up the two hits in the first and having Yorvit Torrealba replace Wilson, he set down 20 of the next 24 batters.

Wilson left innings before to the stadium message board flashing: "Thanks For The Memories."

But bright light as that was, no one said better than the one sign, held aloft by a fan, that read: "We'll miss you, Iron Dan."

Elite company

Ichiro erased what little concern there may have been that he would not reach 200 hits with a double and a single in his first two at-bats, his 199th and 200th hits of the season. He added two more hits to finish 4 for 5 on the night.

With his achievement the Mariner All-Star outfielder became only the sixth player in major-league history to collect 200 or more hits in five straight seasons. Wee Willie Keller did it eight straight, 1894-1901; Wade Boggs seven, 1983-89; Chuck Klein (1929-33), Al Simmons (1929-33) and Charlie Gehringer (1933-37) each did it five times.

Bob Finnigan: 206-464-8276 or bfinnigan@seattletimes.com

Kings of swings
Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki is the sixth MLB player with 200 hits in five consecutive seasons:
Player Years 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Ichiro Suzuki 2001-05 242 208 212 262 202*
Wade Boggs 1983-87 210 203 240 207 200
Charlie Gehringer 1933-37 204 214 201 227 209
Chuck Klein 1929-33 219 250 200 226 223
Al Simmons 1929-33 212 211 200 216 200
Willie Keeler 1894-98 219 213 210 239 216
*With 2 games remaining