L.A. seeking donations for Jackson memorial

Web site launches Tuesday asking fans to help pay the bill

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Deficit-ridden Los Angeles is asking Michael Jackson fans to help pay the bill for police and other public servants needed for the entertainer's memorial service.

A Web site was posted Tuesday seeking donations to cover the costs, estimated at $1.5 million-$4 million, according to Matt Szabo, a spokesman for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The Web page reads: "Help the City of Angels provide the extraordinary public safety resources required to give Michael the safe, orderly and respectful memorial he deserves." The site is linked to a PayPal account where donors can make tax-deductible contributions.

Thousands of police officers and other city workers were enlisted to provide security and logistical support for Jackson's private funeral at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills and the public memorial at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Some city officials have expressed concern about the cost, given the city's estimated $530 million deficit.

Similar complaints followed the announcement that the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers would hold a victory celebration at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum last month. In the days before the event, much was made of its estimated $2 million cost, with critics grumbling that the city could not afford it.

The Lakers and AEG, which owns Staples Center, donated $1 million and private donors covered public costs. AEG Live, the promoter for Jackson's now-canceled London shows, has not committed any money to cover the city's bill for the Jackson memorial.
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