LA Observed archive
for January 2005

If you don't find what you want here, check another month or search below.

Quick notes

Finishing off Monday's queue and looking into Tuesday: • LA.comfidential takes a look at the pro-Bush, anti-Hollywood billboards that Citizens United is buying near the Kodak Theatre in time for the...

Christopher Reynolds moves on

The Times' Outdoors columnist pens his final piece in Tuesday's section. It's an ode to the West and talks about what you learn being out on the road, striving to...

Update from LAVoice.org *

Mack Reed's site is temporarily down and he sends this word: A public announcement to LAVoice users: The site has been moved to the new host, but the database isn't...

Promising everything to everyone

Candidate (oops, I mean Mayor) Jim Hahn is holding a press conference at Hollywood and Highland tomorrow morning to "announce his plan to end all dropped cellular phone calls and...

L.A. as fishbowl *

Mediabistro is striking off in a new direction with media gossip blogs focused on New York, Los Angeles and Washington. Fishbowl LA launched officially today, written by Michael Sonnenschein, a...

Alan Arkatov realigns

Back in Septemer 2003, Alan Arkatov walked down the hall from the downtown office he rented at Fleishman-Hillard and told his pal and F-H boss Doug Dowie that they were...

Wasserman leaving LAT?

L.A. Observed reported back in September that the Times had promoted Tim Rutten to the new post of Associate Editor of Features and gave him authority over the Sunday Book...

At least one San Pedran mad at LAT *

Christiana Dominguez blogs at Phoblographer. Her dad runs the group that sponsored yesterday's ceremonial lighting of the Vincent Thomas Bridge that connects San Pedro to Terminal Island and Long Beach....

Black is back

"Daily Show" rantist Lewis Black does his angry thing at the Wiltern Theatre this Friday night. He sold out in Irvine last year, so to prepare for his arrival Jewish...

Bloggers are in

The Los Angeles Press Club has established an entry for weblogs in the online category of its journalism awards this year. Here is the entire category, from the entry form...

37 days and counting

Just when you were starting to care, the mayor's race is almost over. Well, the easy part anyway—the first heat to the March 8 primary. Then we begin again with...

Bye bye Bernie

In Sunday's New York Times, retiring L.A. bureau stalwart Bernard Weinraub pens a personal farewell to Hollywood and admits to his fallability. He was star-struck, had money envy, and agrees...

It was innovative the first time *

Looks like the full-page JibJab cartoon on the front of the LAT's Opinion section two Sundays ago wasn't the bold stroke and clever visual play it seemed. Turns out it...

Golden Mikes

Members of the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California dined last night in Universal City and handed out this year's Golden Mike awards. Best news broadcast honors went...

Fun with numbers

After posting the latest cash on hand in the mayor's race on Thursday night, I wondered how much of the $7 million raised has come in via small contributions. Remarkably...

New rag mag

ClothesHoarse, the more fashion-obsessed of the two LA.com blogs, posts the news of an upcoming local magazine launch. Starting May 1, LA Mode—the self-proclaimed "voice of Los Angeles fashion"—will be...

Fleishman as pigskin

O'Dwyer's Report, a monthly pub for the PR trade, doesn't think much of all the scrutiny directed at Fleishman-Hillard's controversial activities in Los Angeles. The cartoon showing the agency being...

KNX going to Vietnam

Anchor Dave Zorn (Marines) and assistant news director Ronnie Bradford (Army) both arrived in South Vietnam in 1965 and saw action. They are going back together next month at the...

Life in the hover zone

Residents of Atwater Village are learning the hard lesson about living near the scene of a big news event in Los Angeles. Imagine a fleet of TV choppers hovering over...

Blow for Tribune Co.

The Bush Administration won't appeal a court ruling throwing out new FCC rules that would have made it legal for media giants to own TV stations and newspapers in the...

Black Clock #2

I can't swear that PEN Center USA's website is new, but I just came across it for the first time. Bookmark it as another good place to find about literary...

Cash on hand

Candidates for mayor have now raised $7 million in contributions for the upcoming battle of the airwaves, and have accepted another $2 million in public matching funds. They filed reports...

Garcetti blog

City councilman Eric Garcetti blogged his inside-the-yellow-tape observations of the Glendale train wreck. His reelection campaign blog also includes photos of the carnage and of fellow councilman Tom LaBonge on...

Luna Park's big C

LA.Comfidential has an item about Luna Park, the restaurant on the ground floor of the Wilson Building at Wilshire and La Brea, claiming that its C grade from county health...

Hiring more police

The City Council voted yesterday to borrow enough money to hire 250 (Times) or 300 (Daily News) new LAPD officers this year. Both papers cite Valley councilman Greig Smith as...

Hollywood flack gives it up

Bumble Ward, who represents Quentin Tarantino, Sofia Coppola, Tim Burton and others, is quitting the business to write novels. Michael Fleming writes in Variety that "Ward's decision is a stunner:...

Dismissing Sy Hersh

Max Boot, the LAT's conservative op-ed columnist, argues today that Seymour Hersh doesn't deserve his status as one of the top investigative reporters around. He's no Bob Woodward, Boot says....

What Scorsese left out

Journalist Doug Ireland calls The Aviator a mendacious film that "glorifies the odious Howard Hughes. Scorcese [sic], of all people, ought to know better than to have done so." His...

CityBeat redesigns the website

Not a moment too soon, CityBeat has given up the white-type-on-black look that made its website so difficult to read. The new design is definitely bolder. It's much easier to...

Walking the river

Walking in L.A. took a stroll this month along, over and in the Los Angeles River in Burbank and Glendale. He has put up a batch of photos and...

Wagner observed

The deck on the cover story by Brendan Bernhard in the LA Weekly observes that "Bruce Wagner infects his novels with madness, celebrity, name-dropping, drugs and sex. And that's just...

The view from NYC

In a New York Observer diary that begins with a riff on the Hollywood swag season that is upon us and ends with a personal tribute to Johnny Carson, Bruce...

Glendale deaths now 11

The Los Angeles Fire Department media relations blog announces the death of Julia Bennett, 44, a senior clerk typist for the Bureau of Fire Prevention and Public Safety, in the...

KPCC to launch 'Pacific Drift'

Sunday night at 9, KPCC begins a new hour-long weekly arts and culture program. "Pacific Drift" is created, produced and hosted by Benjamin Adair, who had produced The Savvy Traveler...

Worst day yet at Pendleton *

Thirty-seven Americans died today in Iraq, the highest toll of any day since the invasion. Most of them were Marines from Camp Pendleton who perished when their helicopter crashed near...

Carnage in Glendale *

Ten people are dead and more than 200 injured after this morning's Metrolink commuter train derailment behind the Costco in Glendale. One of the dead is Los Angeles County sheriff's...

Junk it

Daniel Van Meter's stack of old wooden beer pallets in Sherman Oaks has been cheapening the designation of city historic-cultural monument since 1978. The Column One in today's Times talks...

Campaign chat

Political analysts Arnie Steinberg and Raphael Sonenshein will be guests on Larry Mantle's Airtalk this morning at 10:30 (KPCC, 89.3 FM) to talk about the race for mayor. At 11:30,...

Getty gets Shulman archives

Julius Shulman's files number more than 260,000 negatives, prints and transparencies, including some of the most recognized images of Los Angeles architecture. His iconic photograph of Case Study House #22...

Choosing Mr. Right

KCRW has decided on Tony Blankley, editorial page editor of the Washington Times and former Newt Gingrich press secretary, to hold the conservative seat on Left, Right & Center. They...

Death Valley comes to life

Death Valley, the lowest and for much of the year hottest place in the Western Hemisphere, is only about four hours drive from Los Angeles. Usually one of the driest...

No cop tax this year *

City Council President Alex Padilla told the Current Affairs Forum Monday that the vote on a tax hike for hiring more cops should be delayed until next year. The L.A....

Kinsley reviewed

There seem to be two leading schools of opinion about Michael Kinsley's impact on the Times as a voice of Los Angeles. One group believes that in striving to be...

LAT turns to Hewitt

Scanning the Sunday Opinion section yesterday, I completely missed that Hugh Hewitt wrote the second installment of the Times' new commentary spot, "Outside the Tent." That's where the editors intend...

Another City Hall anony-blog *

What is it with City Hall and websites that encourage people with gripes to vent anonymously without standing behind their assertions? Yet another new anonymous site, Blog City Hall, has...

Body Worlds moves on

Body Worlds didn't end its amazing run at the California Science Center quietly. More than 15,000 visitors came through on Sunday alone, thanks to the museum staying open 24 hours...

Monday politics

From here on out, the race for mayor of Los Angeles is a sprint. With luck some Big Issues will be debated before March 8. Without a doubt there will...

Stadium remodeling

Dodgers historian Mark Langill is chronicling in photographs the redesign of Dodger Stadium's dugouts, foul territory and expensive seats. His photos are on the team's website. Construction crews must fear...

Weekend notes

Johnny Carson: No shortage of appreciations and retrospectives online and on the air for the late-night pioneer who died Sunday at home in Malibu (of emphysema at age 79). David...

On assignment Friday

No further postings until the weekend....

Mayor raises legal defense fund

It shows up in Jim Hahn's latest campaign disclosure filings with the city Ethics Commission. The fund took in donations of $11,000 before the end of the year and spent...

Air America returns

Oops, forgot to click the "publish" tab on this one. Air America, the liberal radio network, returns to the air in Los Angeles on Feb. 3. Its hosts will be...

Outdoors columnist comes in

Chris Reynolds, who began writing columns for the Times' new Outdoor section in 2003, is moving to be a senior arts writer. The staff announcement follows:...

Doing it wrong

The Daily News page-tops a pro-business report by frequent L.A. critic Joel Kotkin—and not usually so biting Jack Kyser—complaining that city officials are more concerned with social issues than creating...

Wednesday notes

Author testifies: Former Times reporter Miles Corwin took the stand in the Robert Blake murder trial to explain why he was with LAPD detectives as they searched Blake's home. He...

Remembering Sgt. Shea

If you don't yet see the benefits of community-based policing in an under-policed city like L.A., consider two letters I came upon today in The Argonaut. Both pay tribute to...

Hahn and hockey

Finally, someone has made a connection between local politics and hockey that I can give a link. It's a fleeting connection, but still. NBC Sports contributor Evan Weiner has a...

New site for politics junkies

The Roundup, it's called, is from the editors at Political Pulse and AroundtheCapitol.com. It joins Rough and Tumble ("a daily snapshot of California public policy and politics") in linking to...

Old black L.A.

On Kitty Felde's Talk of the City yesterday, author Douglas Flamming told some great stories about the little-known history of African Americans in early Los Angeles (including in the expedition...

Honoring Fitzgerald

Author and journalist Rodger Jacobs hopes to convince the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to name the intersection of Hayworth Avenue and Sunset Boulevard for F. Scott Fitzgerald. The author and...

Reviewing Plaschke and Simers

I have no idea if this is true with other sports, but blogs about baseball can be remarkably good. At their best, they offer the pleasure of eavesdropping on a...

LAT complaints

Customers of the Times are not taking well to some of the paper's recent cost-saving steps. The latest Reader's Representative report to the staff says that trims in the TV...

A few members would be nice

Two televised mayoral debates are being sponsored next month by the Citywide Alliance of Neighborhood Councils. With that name, you might think it's an alliance of the 80-some official neighborhood...

Muff Singer; author and political aide

Muff Singer was married to former Los Angeles City Controller Rick Tuttle. She died Sunday at home after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She was 62. Singer worked in...

No holiday at Google

Google is known for its creative holiday plays on its familiar logo. Last year artists came up with a logo for most big holidays plus Earth Day, Bloomsday, St. Patrick's...

Costco police *

Blogger LAPD Wife recounts that when she checked out recently at Costco, the clerk ringing her up said she could buy either the Sudafed in her cart or the Nyquil—but...

Lansing checks out

Sherry Lansing chats with Newsweek's Sean Smith about leaving Paramount after 12 years as chairman and being the first woman to run a major studio. She insists, of course, that...

Monday notes

Off to a fast start: Red carpet: The guv and his missus seemed to enjoy their prime table—and their time in front of the cameras—at the Golden Globes. In the...

Perfect storm of traffic

Close the canyons and the L.A. commute is lost, the Business Journal says in reconstructing last week's hellacious post-storm congestion. Five of the seven mountain roads that connect the Valley...

Objectivity still the better idea

Columbia professor Todd Gitlin argues on the Times op-ed page Monday that reporting that tries to be objective (by the mainstream journalism definition) is far from finished. Rumors of the...

The world has too little gossip?

The Sunday Opinion section in today's Times (with an inauguration cover by the brothers behind JibJab.com, right) introduces a new feature, Outside the Tent. It's billed as "an experimental column...

Layne's new gig

My favorite job used to be to roam around upstate California and Nevada looking for stories, then try to write them onto the front page of the newspaper. I would...

Coining a new category

Most reviews of the documentary Shortcut to Nirvana: Kumbh Mela, including the one by Kevin Crust in Friday's Times, mention the scenes where a man ties his penis to a...

Takedown

The LA Weekly's Marc Cooper recounts an incident from the recent storms involving a guy in a wet leather jacket on Sunset near Vine: As I sat idle in a...

Reporter's La Conchita notebook

Molly Freedenberg writes in the weekly Ventura County Reporter about going to cover the La Conchita mudslide and discovering that several victims were her friends. Her Reporter's Notebook (third item...

End of an era *

Felix Sanchez of the Long Beach Press-Telegram got the memo and broke the story that Boeing will announce today it's going to stop building the 717 airliner. [* The Register's...

Good timing

The cover piece in the CityBeat issue that came out Thursday happened to recite the litany of investigations, ethical questions and connections swirling around Jim Hahn's run for reelection. Stormy...

Fleishman case indictment *

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted former Fleishman-Hillard senior VP John Stodder on 11 counts of wire fraud. These are felony counts and allege that he "participated in a...

LAT investigator moves

Bill Rempel has been a lead investigative reporter for the Times on the international arms market and projects such as the Troopergate stories during the Bill Clinton years. He's shifting...

Van Gordon Sauter on CBS

The former top news executive at CBS (1982-1986), Fox and Channel 2 here has been on something of a kick about liberal media bias lately (he is more conservative). On...

Wednesday shorts

• The L.A. Times has an obit today on Marcus Arnold, who rocketed to Internet stardom as a 15-year-old legal expert on AskMe.com. Turns out Arnold died back on May 1,...

Dueling mouthpieces

The mayor's race got a little snippy today. This morning I guess Bob Hertzberg unveiled something he calls the Commuters' Bill of Rights. The Hahn campaign responded, over spokeswoman Julie...

Worse news at La Conchita

The bodies of Jimmy Wallet's missing wife and three daughters were found today under the landslide at La Conchita. He is the father who was returning from the market as...

LAT environment editor expands

Until now, the L.A. Times has had an editor for environmental coverage of California, Frank Clifford, whose oversight pretty much ended at the state line. In a long overdue realignment,...

Michel Thomas obit *

Some of you might remember last year's exchanges in the old comments section here about Michel Thomas. He was the language teacher to the stars who claimed a number of...

La Conchita *

If you have a good connection and enough memory, check out the photo full sized on the cover of today's Ventura County Star. The La Conchita mudslide is turning into...

Hahn ahead where it counts *

Where it counts in January, that is. The mayor's got $2.4 million in the bank to spend on ads and getting out the vote, compared to about $1.6 million for...

Now that's a rock

Yeah, Topanga Canyon is going to be closed for awhile. The photo is by Ken Hively in the LAT. Slide show of storm photos at LATimes.com. Meanwhile, things look bad...

Fast and loose *

Antonio Villaraigosa's campaign sent email to supporters this afternoon claiming that he's leading the race for mayor based on a poll released today by the Hertzberg campaign. The first problem...

Monday notes

Short items for a new week: WeHo mayor: BoifromTroy comments on West Hollywood mayor John Duran buying a share of Frontiers, which bills itself as "California's gay biweekly." Hewitt book:...

Rain spikes NYT delivery here

Southern California subscribers to the New York Times did not get their papers today because the weather interfered with satellite transmission. The L.A. Business Journal has a story on its...

Heads roll at CBS

Three network execs and producer Mary Mapes lost their jobs after an independent report concluded that a bogus "60 Minutes Wednesday" story on President Bush's National Guard failed to apply...

Not the usual baseball item

Monrovia's one-of-a-kind Baseball Reliquary is "dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history." Its version of the Hall of Fame is the...

Not in L.A.

The University of California Press has just published a book on Los Angeles politics by four Occidental College faculty members. Two authors of The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for...

Second Siqueiros mural found

Suddenly Los Angeles is awash in lost murals by Mexican revolutionary artist David Alfaro Siqueiros. In 1932, the comrade of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo came to L.A. to teach...

Wet weekend notes *

Hertzbucks up: Bob Hertzberg disclosed Sunday that his campaign for mayor has raised $2.2 million, double what he reported in September. He now has nearly $1.6 million on hand. We'll...

Shrinking Times

The Sunday Business section of the LAT is two pages thinner starting today. Certain stocks and mutual funds will no longer be included in the end-of-week stock tables, the paper...

'Pineapple Express'

From Sunday afternoon's Associated Press L.A. weather roundup: "We've had almost continuous rain for 60 hours, and it's going to continue for a day or two. I don't see any...

Tu Ciudad Los Angeles

Southern California is gaining another glossy lifestyle mag. Emmis Communcations—they publish Los Angeles magazine—is planning to launch Tu Ciudad Los Angeles this spring. It will be an English-language bimonthly targeting...

New L.A. photo book

There's another book of then-and-now photographs about Los Angeles coming. Los Angeles Views of the Past and Present opens with a foreword by Catherine Mullholland, the historian and granddaughter of...

Now that's a swag bag

Presenters at the Golden Globes will receive a wicker ottoman stuffed with gifts that total out at $38,390. That is if you count the full $16,000 value for the wine...

It's a deluge

The last time it rained this much in L.A. so early in the wet season was 1966—and that's before today's big Pacific storm arrives. There has already been 15.86 inches...

High-end crime

First there's the Michael Schnayerson story in Vanity Fair reporting that Bel-Air, Beverly Hills and other affluent sections of the hills are "under siege by gangs of burglars who have...

Friday roundup

In the news: Laura vs. Rocky: City Controller Laura Chick accuses City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo of blocking her audit of $29.6 million in fees paid to private law firms. (Daily...

Danny Sugerman; L.A. rock fixture was 50

From Rolling Stone's website this afternoon: Rock & roll manager and writer Danny Sugerman, best known as the manager of the Doors and the co-author of the best-selling Jim Morrison...

Today in the campaign *

[* Updated after the "More" link below] In today's LA Weekly, Civic Center reporter Robert Greene argues that even though most eligible Angelenos don't vote in races for mayor, the...

New meets old in Westwood

The only Westwood Village building listed on the National Register of Historic Places is the more-or-less Spanish-style former Ralphs Market on Westwood Boulevard at Lindbrook Avenue. It was designed by...

At least they aren't the Ducks *

How lame is Arte Moreno's new name for his Orange County baseball team? It's so bad that Thursday's New York Times runs an editorial calling the proposal "a bit of...

Cutting to the chase

Defamer spots a casting call that offers a day of SAG work on the new NBC series "Medium." It's nude if you can meet the punctuation-challenged requirements, and especially nice-looking...

Hahn launches website

JimHahn.org is the last of the mayoral campaign websites to get started. It's got the usual bio and endorsements (he leads with the labor unions and puts Eli Broad well...

Massacre at Fleishman-Hillard **

Staffers at Fleishman-Hillard offices around California were told this afternoon that Doug Dowie, who had been on paid leave, is "no longer with the firm." If you've been paying attention...

Another sign of the Times

A source at the L.A. Times writes that staffers returned from lunch today to see a banner going up on the employee parking garage offering monthly spaces to the public....

Truman out at Conde Nast **

In one of those magazine shakeups that is "effective immediately," James Truman is giving way after 11 years as Editorial Director of Conde Nast to Thomas J. Wallace, currently editor-in-chief...

End of Latino-labor era?

In last week's Dissonance column in LA Weekly, Marc Cooper lambasted the County Federation of Labor's endorsement of Jim Hahn over longtime labor activist Antonio Villaraigosa in the mayor's race....

Dropping 'Garfield'

The Times added a new comic on Monday: "Brevity," by Los Angeles cartoonists Guy Endore-Kaiser and Rodd Perry. The same day, "Pardon My Planet" moved back a page in the...

They're back

It's that time of year again when the Convention Center is overrun by crowds lusting after new cars. If you're not into the Los Angeles Auto Show, it's best to...

DWP customers not so green

Despite spending more than $4.8 million on marketing, the Department of Water and Power has lost most of the people who signed up for its Green Power Program. The Daily...

O.J. was there

Yes, the USC Trojans won the Orange Bowl in a rout, 55-19, and locked up a national title. Hard to miss among the illustrious alumni on hand was Orenthal James...

New California books

CaliforniaAuthors.com has freshened up its exclusive listing of books written by California authors or about the state. Those coming in 2005 include: Wrong Side of the Wall. By Eric Stone....

John Lawrence; editor was 70

John F. Lawrence had been the Washington bureau chief for the L.A. Times in the early 1970s and editor of the Business section, then a columnist, before leaving in 1988...

Sharon Tay heads for MSNBC

Friday is Sharon Tay's last day at Channel 5, says Ron Fineman. The longtime KTLA Morning News co-anchor is headed to MSNBC to co-host an entertainment show. She won Emmy...

Murders down again

Los Angeles was slightly less homicidal again last year. The number of murders fell from 517 to 511, half of those in South L.A. and 6 in 10 due to...

Airports are never easy *

Yesterday, it was El Segundo suing Los Angeles over the plan to renovate LAX. (Three more lawsuits are expected this week.) Today, Mayor Hahn reopened the air war between L.A....

LACMA vs. blogs? *

Sean Bonner at blogging.la has a beef with the County Museum of Art. He says the museum put a firewall on its computer system that blocks staff members from reading...

Avoiding the L word

On today's L.A. Times op-ed page, author Patrick Moore chides the LAT and the New York Times for not stating in last week's Susan Sontag obituaries that she was a...

New year, new week

A roundup of items in the news: Prostate cancer: Channel 7 weatherman Dallas Raines disclosed his disease on the air and underwent surgery today. The station website has video of...

Patterico pontificates

L.A. blogger Patterico has split his annual year-end rant from the political right about the Los Angeles Times into two installments. Part one finds liberal bias rampant in the paper's...

LABJ separates the pack

In a front page story in the latest L.A. Business Journal, Howard Fine says internal campaign polls show Antonio Villaraigosa and Bernard Parks—the two council members in the mayor's race—ahead...

Sandra Bullock steps up

The actress donated $1 million to the American Red Cross for tsunami relief efforts in Asia and Africa. She had previously sent a million to the Red Cross after the...

Giving editors a hint

Former LAT editor Bob Baker writes regularly about the process of writing and editing journalism at Newsthinking.com. Now he has come up with a way for frustrated scribes to chide...

Angels return to L.A. *

They were the Los Angeles Angels from 1961-65, and for decades before that as a minor league team in the Pacific Coast League playing in Wrigley Field at 42nd Place...

Who says L.A. lacks history?

One of Los Angeles' more charming secrets is that there are still families here whose ancestors were original settlers of the pueblo and surrounding Spanish and Mexican ranchos. Bob Pool...

Websites observed

Both Monday political notes columns glance at Antonio Villaraigosa's campaign website, which was relaunched last week. Rick Orlov in the DN says that Villaraigosa is borrowing from the Hertzberg play...

State of the blog

Start of a new year and time for a little refreshing of the look. First, an update on how things are going. They are, in a word, good. On the...

Council busted for being itself

Striking a symbolic blow for legions of frustrated Angelenos who have schlepped downtown to address the City Council only to be insulted and ignored, a state appeals court ruled last...
Streetscape: East Hollywood
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Al Satterwhite's photos of Muhammad Ali
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Streetscape | Whitnall Highway
dwp-bldg-whitnall-hwy.jpg DWP architecture in North Hollywood.
LAO_LewisMacAdams copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed. Check out Gary's archive.