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In today's pages: Dutton's, drinks, and gangs

February 27, 2008 |  9:37 am

Author T.C. Boyle remembers his first trip to the soon-to-be-shuttered Dutton's Books in Brentwood:

It was like stumbling into a Borgesian reality in which everything was made of books -- the walls, the floors, the ceilings, even the employees. Before I could think, there was Scott Wannberg, one of the true literary zealots of our time, exploding from behind a cordillera of books to greet me. Within minutes, I'd signed the well-represented editions of my own titles, which were on permanent display right alongside those of all the authors I most admired, and then Scott was piling my arms high with books I absolutely just had to read. He had a sixth sense, knowing exactly what I wanted and needed, and from then on, though it was a bit of a haul from Woodland Hills, Dutton's was my bookshop.

Columnist Tim Rutten asks who'll stop L.A.'s gangs. Deputy U.S. Atty. Gen. Craig Morford says crack criminals should be kept in prison. And Claremont Review of Books associate editor Joseph Tartakovsky explains why writers love to booze.

The editorial board chastises the Bush administration for lying to Britain about its rendition flights. The board also offers an update on the situation in Kenya after mediation fell apart, and compares Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's star-studded schools team with the LAUSD's vacancy-riddled roster.

Readers react to the Health Net scandal. San Luis Obispo's M.J. Johnson says, "Health Net's dropping of Patsy Bates in the midst of chemotherapy proves that wrong. The fact is, healthcare and the corporate profit motive are incompatible."

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