Casa Bianca Founder, Sam Martorana, Dies at 83


The LA Times needs to revamp their policy, if one exists, on obituaries. Today, while Carol Scott, the activist and minister, is remembered, Sam Martorana is relegated to the agate-type paid announcements. Martorana, who with his brother, Joe, founded Casa Bianca Pizza Pie in Eagle Rock in 1955. It’s a landmark, he’s a local hero, what’s to discuss?

Also in the same section ( and online at ), the careful reader finds Paquita Maqchris, who in other times might have been labeled a “society matron”. She was the daughter of two old-time Angeleno families, and as an avid sports-woman, she contributed many of the bird and animal exhibits in the Museum of Natural History, including the elephants shot by her husband and herself. FBLA bets the family had some great photos. Too bad we can’t see her in full safari kit.

Also hidden away is filmmaker Jack Copeland. Copeland made Hollywood pictures, and then founded National Education Media and made 100s of training films. He was an early activist against illegal reproduction of copyrighted materials–a battle that’s still going on.

Yet, the editors at the LA Times decided that these people–and no doubt, dozens of others– weren’t worthy of the paper’s official notice. At least no wire-service obits of Virginia congresswomen or aged IRA members usurped their page space. Is the paper worried about looking too local, too regional, too small-town by writing about people who built Los Angeles and Southern California?