LA Observed archive
for March 2005

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

Catch up time

Photographer Gary Leonard's archive of 40 years of Los Angeles ephemera and artifacts—menus, flyers, concert tickets and other hard to replace historical items—was soaked by a leaky roof in his...

Blog-free Wednesday

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Sorry....

Media and books notes

Drex Heikes, recently replaced as editor of the LAT Magazine [actually, he was doing the #1 job from the #2 slot, with the top editor job vacant], becomes deputy editor...

Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. dies *

The famed Los Angeles defense attorney, former prosecutor and behind-the-scenes political figure died from his brain tumor today, reportedly at home in Los Feliz. He was 67. He became most...

Dowie sues Fleishman-Hillard

Remember Fleishman-Hillard? The PR agency's former boss in Los Angeles, Doug Dowie, has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit over losing his $370,000-a-year job in January, the L.A. Business Journal reports....

Yeah, it's getting petty

So far today—and it's still early!—the Hahn campaign has challenged Villaraigosa to stop hiding and debate, the Villaraigosa camp has responded by calling that "the ultimate act of chutzpah" and...

Shaw riles critics

David Shaw's Sunday media column in the Times struck me as one of his intellectually weakest efforts. His position that bloggers should not be covered by shield laws that protect...

Who do you trust?

Regarding Monday night's political theater-slash-debate at CSUN, the print reporters pretty much agreed: Times: "Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn and his challenger, Antonio Villaraigosa, tangled over trust and leadership...

'Generation Kill' a winner

Evan Wright, who writes locally for Rolling Stone and others, has picked up this year's J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for Generation Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the...

Trib reports on Times-Tribune troubles

A Sunday piece by Chicago Tribune business writer James P. Miller summarizes the parent company's weakened financial status and points to the "still controversial" 2000 acquisition of the L.A. Times...

Nate skates right in

I noticed ex-councilman Nate Holden standing around when Mayor Hahn posed for the cameras last week at Galpin Motors, but I didn't chat him up. Rick Orlov did, and reports...

Advantage East

In the ongoing feud between the two Writers Guild of America spheres, score one for the New Yorkers. Walter Bernstein, who sits on the WGA-East council, got a piece onto...

Long Beach cop shoots dog

The official version, put out by the LBPD and printed Thursday in the Press-Telegram, is that the dog charged at a detective, who shot in self defense. The dog's owner,...

Not 1973 *

The Times' Mark Z. Barabak writes Sunday that the replay between Hahn and Villaraigosa echoes the 1973 rematch between Tom Bradley and Sam Yorty, but only to a degree. The...

Top L.A.-based blogs

The Defamer item below reminded me it's been a year since I checked in on the popularity rankings of local blogs. On Technorati.com's Top 100, which ranks based on how...

Defamer Inc.

Mark Lisanti and Defamer get nice front-page treatment in the new L.A. Business Journal. The story goes into Lisanti's background and blogging ethos—"he tries to distinguish between credible information and...

Checking in on Tana's

Dan Tana's in West Hollywood is apparently as hot as ever (and more expensive.) A piece in tomorrow's New York Times Sunday Styles by Hooman Majd (with a nice pic...

Campaign Weekend *

* Updated All three dailies (Times, Daily News, Daily Breeze) top their Saturday campaign stories with Mayor Hahn's Friday attack on Antonio Villaraigosa that he's untrustworthy and pandered to voters...

Riordan, end of the line!

LAist's Josh Strike says that ex-mayor and current education secretary Richard Riordan was humbled yesterday at LAX. With about 500 people in the security line at Terminal One, Riordan tried...

And a Business Editor

Russ Stanton is the new LAT Business Editor. The memo follows:...

A few Times moves

The Metro staff has muscled up a bit. Gale Holland, city editor of the Daily Journal, is joining the Times as the editor overseeing legal and law enforcement coverage in...

Cooley's remarks strike a nerve

The other night, DA Steve Cooley told some reporters that Robert Blake was guilty as sin and a miserable human being. He also remarked that the jury that acquitted him...

On the LAT and Tribune

In today's "Heard on the Street" in the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times' drag on Tribune Co. fortunes is examined. Joseph T. Hallinan writes that investors for the most...

Folo on KNBC firings *

Friday's New York Post Page Six picks up the story we had Tuesday on the three KNBC news staffers fired over an affair that somehow broke station rules. No mention...

Didn't get your Variety?

Blame the lollipops. At least some Variety subscribers didn't get their morning fix until late Thursday. Apparently the promotional suckers wrapped in with the full-page ad for Kojak stuck up...

Hahn woos neighborhoods *

The mayor said today he would reserve a seat on every city commission for members of neighborhood councils. I presume that includes the juice commissions like planning, airport, harbor and...

Maxine goes for Antonio *

The black-Latino political coalition that could make 2005 different than 2001 for Antonio Villaraigosa moved a good bit closer to reality today. Rep. Maxine Waters, who was with Jim Hahn...

Thursday shorts *

Some collected items, from here and there (updated a couple of times): • District Attorney Steve Cooley told the SPJ gathering Tuesday that Robert Blake is "as guilty as sin. He...

1947

Imagine a blog that does nothing but noirishly count off the days in 1947 Los Angeles, felony by bloody felony. Stabbings, gunshots, suicides, interspersed with photographed visits to the scenes...

More rainfall debunkage1

Turns out a second writer had her op-ed piece on the great rains of 1861-62 rejected by the Times. Frances Dinkelspiel, a Berkeley journalist and books blogger at Ghost Word...

Sam Hall Kaplan signs off Fox

Weekend reporter Sam Hall Kaplan has left Fox 11 News after ten years. In an emailed column scheduled to run in the April 4 Downtown News, he says the routine...

Barry von Shtupp

In a brilliant comment on Barry Bonds' "The Media Ruined Me" speech, Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts turns for inspiration to—yes—Blazing Saddles: I'm tired Tired of playing the game Ain't...

#2 at LAT Mag

The Times has made official what L.A. Observed reported a couple of weeks back: deputy business editor Anne Reifenberg will become the number two editor at the Sunday magazine. She...

Not the 2nd wettest year?

Ralph Shaffer is Professor Emeritus of History at Cal Poly Pomona (he compiled a searchable book of 1880s letters to the L.A. Times) and something of a stickler about the...

Head to head debates **

The Hahn campaign just released the list of eight debates the mayor has agreed to participate in with Antonio Villaraigosa. First one is next Monday. The one that stands out...

Freeway justice

Jonah at LA Blogs links to what he calls "possibly the best documented freeway encounter that I have read." It takes place on the southbound Pasadena, just after Hill Street...

Times dings Nuñez

The top editorial in today's Times sets its sights on that $35,000 a year that Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez gets paid by his friends in Los Angeles' labor movement (see...

The new LAT publisher

Not surprisingly, the Times' James Rainey has the longest story on the paper's new 45-year-old publisher. The news didn't break until after 2 p.m. here, too late in the day...

Alarcon, Dems go for Antonio **

James Nash of the L.A. Business Journal has posted a web story that Richard Alarcon will announce tonight that he is endorsing Villaraigosa for mayor, as he did in 2001....

Campaign scene: Galpin Ford

First in a series, I think. EXT. GALPIN MOTORS PARKING LOT DAY Noise from 405 Freeway and Van Nuys Airport traffic drowns out voices. Cameras and reporters record as BERT...

LAT publisher out

Times publisher John Puerner, who has had his share of battles with Chicago, is going surfing. No nice landing within Tribune, no nothing—he's just gone with "no specific plans for...

Hahn woos H'zberg

When last seen at Canter's deli, Bob Hertzberg was chasing after Mayor Jim Hahn with a kitchen sink. On Monday, they sat down at Art's—at Hahn's request—to talk about a...

KNBC staffers fired over affair

Ron Fineman follows up today with reporting on his scoop last week that KNBC reporter Kyung Lah and "Today in L.A." producer Jeff Soto got fired for having an affair—and...

Scam alert

Copley's James P. Sweeney reports today that investors across the U.S. are being pitched about a big Indian casino to be built near Magic Mountain in Valencia, involving a Native...

Neither fish nor foul

Loyola Law School election expert Rick Hasen looks at the election night Inka job by City Clerk Frank Martinez and concludes it was not "ballot tampering—as some have suggested—or sound...

Gagged by Disney

Jim Hill gives reality tours of Disneyland to tourists who want the inside story, not the official Magic Kingdom pablum. During yesterday's tour, park security and an Anaheim police detective...

Coming along

A new batch of construction photographs from the Griffith Observatory renovation are posted at Griffithobs.org. It wouldn't reproduce small here, but the top-down, fish-eye view of the cork floor recently...

Santa Monica is so 2004

After many years on Ocean Park Boulevard, the Center for Law in the Public Interest is moving where it's warmer. They have taken the 16th floor of an office building...

Campaign Monday *

LAT profile I: In her piece on labor boss (and Hahn airport commissioner) Miguel Contreras, Matea Gold goes quickly to the Godfather card: "With his wireless glasses, slightly cherubic face...

Mayne wins Pritzker prize

Santa Monica architect Thom Mayne on Monday will become the first American in fourteen years to receive his profession's top award. His Caltrans District 7 building opened downtown to mixed...

Dowd gets the East Coast discount

In his Times column in Sunday Opinion, Michael Kinsley paid a nice compliment to the NYT op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd: [She] proceeded to reinvent the political column as a comedy...

Cedars dinged in WashPost

On the front page of Monday's paper, the Washington Post comes out to report on how badly things went when Cedars-Sinai Medical Center tried to install a $34 million computer...

LAT should 'apologize' for dumbing down

David Abel, public policy consultant and publisher of The Planning Report, argues in this week's Outside the Tent that dumbed-down media are largely to blame for the city's pathetic voter...

Weekend wanderings *

The Jewish Journal story about forged Hahn endorsement signatures has legs. The Times and the Daily Breeze picked it up in Saturday's paper after Rabbi Weil and two others held...

Now she tells us

Betty Pleasant is a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Wave and writes the paper's gossipy Soul Vine column, mostly about black community politics. In the run-up to the mayoral...

Last chance for a Jewish mayor? *

Joel Kotkin, still in disbelief about Bob Hertzberg's inability to make the runoff, writes in Friday's Jewish Journal that Jewish political clout in L.A. is on the wane and ain't...

Media notes

Catching up with some reading and email after a slow online day: • Venice gets the 36 Hours treatment in Friday's NYT Escapes. Janelle Brown has the gig and visits the...

Rocky shows his cards

The city attorney just elected to a new term filed to run for state attorney general. Delgadillo says in the Times, "I've said all along I want to fight for...

Party tonight at Vitello's

Well, you just never know. From AP via Yahoo News: LOS ANGELES - A jury acquitted tough-guy actor Robert Blake of murder Wednesday in the shooting death of his wife...

People in L.A.: Not so happy

The Public Policy Institute of California is out today with a new survey of attitudes in Los Angeles County about life here. It's an annual event, and the bottom line...

Morning roundup *

Here's some stuff that piled up while I was off. Updated a couple of times: • Gary Webb, the investigative reporter whose suicide has been partly blamed on his treatment in...

Day off

No blogging today. Back tonight....

Dowd v. Estrich

In a column today about the discussion of why so few women writers run on op-ed pages, the New York Times' Maureen Dowd takes a whack at Susan Estrich—then agrees...

Some blog awards

Some local blogs were honored with 2005 Bloggy Awards announced this afternoon at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin. Boing Boing won for weblog of the year and...

24 years and counting

Seth Rosenfeld's Freedom of Information Act request for FBI documents was filed in 1981. The San Francisco Chronicle reporter is still waiting, after three lawsuits, orders to release the records...

On the animal beat

he Monterey Bay Aquarium's young great white shark, the only one in captivity, has started doing what they do best: killing other sharks.

Hahn's predicament

The mayor has to go negative to cut into Villaraigosa's vote, but by now his own numbers are so low he may not be believed, says a Times piece by...

Iger it is

Disney's board today named Bob Iger as the successor to Michael Eisner. Here's the Disney press release, reaction from dissidents Roy Disney and Stanley Gold, and staff coverage in the...

Weekend dabbles

Updated occasionally, newest at the bottom. • Bob Hertzberg tells the Daily News he's undecided about what the future holds for him. • That Friday Times piece on Estrich v. Kinsley is...

Feh on that

Andy Fixmer in the L.A. Business Journal has a piece (sub. req'd) on the L.A. hot dog scene and the impending arrival of a new player: Portillo's Hot Dogs of...

Kinsley Q-and-A

Michael Kinsley, the Times' Editorial and Opinion Editor, is interviewed (sub. req'd) by James Nash in next week's L.A. Business Journal. Susan Estrich is only a small part of it....

Inka dinka don't?

Los Angeles City Clerk Frank Martinez, a recent Hahn appointee, had election workers use blue ink to color in ballot "bubbles" that were only partly filled, the Daily News reports...

Can't hide on the Web

Industrious readers have been emailing that KTLA morning anchor Cher Calvin's banned-by-management website lives on in the cache of various Internet search engines. But now someone points out that Calvin's...

Would L.A. elect a Latino?

Times columnist Steve Lopez writes today that he ran into councilmen Alex Padilla and Tony Cardenas at Pete's Cafe downtown on election night and got into a discussion about whether...

LAT covers Estrich v. Kinsley

The Times' new media reporter, James Rainey, steps between Susan Estrich and Michael Kinsley with a piece in today's Calendar. The brouhaha that Rainey covers began as a debate about...

Covering the Haidl trial

Did the Times get used by the defense in the high-profile gang-rape case that is occupying so much attention down in Orange County? R. Scott Moxley contends the answer is...

It's Giuliana's show now

I caught up last night with E! News for the first time in months. To my surprise, Giuliana DePandi is back in the host's chair (actually, she stands to read...

New 'Outdoors' writer

I guess Times editors don't spend a lot of time with the Thursday Calendar Weekend section. Just a month ago, staff writer Hugo Martín wrote about subtly altering his byline...

PETA protest that didn't happen *

LA.com says they have caught the San Francisco Chronicle's website in some premature gossiping. SFGate's Daily Dish column has a colorful item about a PETA disruption during lunch today at...

Chick endorses *

No surprise that City Controller Laura Chick came out today in support of Antonio Villaraigosa. She endorsed him four years ago, and in the city council Villaraigosa backs her wish...

On the demise of department stores

Taking off from the news that Robinson's-May will soon vanish from the scene, Cathy Seipp revisits the department store past of Los Angeles in her "From the Left Coast" column...

Once around some blogs

Catching up on my reading: • LA.com catches Susan Estrich un-wowing at the William S. Paley Television Festival. On her website, Estrich sort-of apologizes for bringing up Michael Kinsley's health in...

Fugitive brought back

Jesse James Hollywood has been returned to Santa Barbara after being tracked to coastal Brazil and arrested. Authorities say he was being supported there by $1,200 a month sent from...

Starting all over *

Media coverage of Day One of Round II all predicts a campaign high in invective. The Times says Hahn begins as the trailer in this sequel. On page A20 the...

One last Pulitzer add

The list of rumored Pulitzer finalists I began running last week keeps growing. Editor & Publisher adds the leaked photography categories, and among the finalists is Luis Sinco's photo in...

Jason Leopold book cancelled

He is the ex-reporter for Salon and an LAT community paper—and former president of the local SPJ chapter—whose piece about the energy crisis was retracted. His book Off the Record,...

Election by the numbers *

Jim Hahn opened his press conference at noon with a smile and a quip—"now the fun begins." A cursory look at yesterday's results, however, shows the challenge the mayor faces....

Getting to know L.A.

Cher Calvin's short stint so far as Sharon Tay's replacement co-anchoring KTLA's morning show has not met with much approval at RonFineman.com. The TV site has pointed out some of...

Rematch *

Villaraigosa33.07%Hahn23.68%Hertzberg22.15%Parks13.37%Alarcon 3.59%99.19% of precinctsLatest results from City Clerk Unless there's an unexpected change, it's Antonio Villaraigosa versus Jim Hahn in the May 17 general election for mayor. Just like it was...

Election night notebook *

• In the 11th council district, they couldn't settle it. Runoff between Bill Rosendahl and Flora Gil Krisiloff. • Controller Laura Chick waited to see which good friend got in the runoff,...

LAT Magazine moves

You might remember we told you on Feb. 14 that Rick Wartzman will be the new editor of a relaunched Times magazine. He's more than a month from taking over,...

Bukowski considered

In this week's New Yorker, New York Sun book critic Adam Kirsch takes a leisurely look at the life and work of the late Los Angeles poet Charles Bukowski. His...

Thinking ahead to the next term

Things are pretty quiet around City Hall today, with most of the press and many of the political staffs engaged on the election. But out of City Hall East comes...

Ex libris hizzoner **

David Kipen of the San Francisco Chronicle, "Day to Day" and KCRW asked each of the Big 5 candidates for mayor to name their favorite book and also recommend one...

Parsing the Calendar wall

After reading Sunday's freelanced L.A. Times story about CNN chief Jonathan Klein, Slate's Mickey Kaus says he's finally figured out why Calendar's website blocks readers who aren't subscribers: "It's a...

100,000 absentee ballots already in *

Election Day I is finally here. Final campaign wraps in the Times, Daily Breeze and Daily News. Daniel B. Wood of the Christian Science Monitor gets in on the last...

'Press Pass to the World'

That's the name of a documentary about foreign correspondents being screened tonight by the Los Angeles Press Club and the American Cinema Foundation. It was filmed on location in New...

Movable Type in the news

Michael Hiltzik's "Golden State" column in today's Times tells the story behind Movable Type, the popular blogging software developed by Six Apart, a San Francisco company started by married couple...

Pulitzer add

On the rumored list of Pulitzer Prize finalists I excerpted last week, add Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal in the criticism category. The list shows up today on...

Talk about variation **

SurveyUSA is the polling operation that uses the recorded voice of KABC news anchor Marc Brown to ask questions and lets respondents answer without talking to an actual human. They...

Authors getting ink (and electrons)

Daniel Olivas is profiled in Stanford magazine: At age 3, Daniel Olivas stopped speaking for an entire year. When his parents took him for tests, experts told them that growing...

'Distinguished journos'

The SPJ chapter in Los Angeles recently changed the name of its Journalist of the Year awards to the Distinguished Journalist awards. This year's winners are Carolyn Cole, the L.A....

Estrich v. Kinsley is back

Most of Howard Kurtz's Media Notes column in today's Washington Post is about the public squabble between Susan Estrich and Michael Kinsley that began as a rift over how many...

Campaign Monday *

It's the day before the day before the real race for mayor begins. In the main daily stories, the Times decided to cover the gamut: From black churches to Jewish...

Sunday Deli Sunday *

Mayor Hahn's campaign schedule for Sunday includes stops at several black churches, Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, Canter's on Fairfax and Farmers Market. Bob Hertzberg's first deli is Brent's in Northridge,...

'Le Show' on demand

KCRW has added Harry Shearer's Le Show to the list of programs that are available as podcasts. (Here's my Feb. 23 post announcing the move to podcasting.) So if you're...

Last chance to shoot the Ambassador

A photographer at photoblogs.org has posted some tips for making last-hour pictures of the doomed Ambassador Hotel, which closed this week to on-site location work in preparation for its eventual...

Don't forget the marathon *

Street closures begin Sunday just before the wheelchair racers take off at 7:50 a.m. It can be a mess getting around for several hours. On the other hand, marathon runners...

Campaign Saturday *

Rolling into the final weekend, the candidates are riding buses, filling the airwaves and sniping at each other. All in the name of getting out the vote. • Times roundup: The...

Drums beating on the right

Conservative political blogs led by talk show host Hugh Hewitt have chosen a new media bogeyman, or woman in this case. She is Barbara Demick, the L.A. Times bureau chief...

Jim Gray gets a star

The sports journalism world seems both mystified and miffed that somebody ponied up $15,000 to give ESPN broadcaster Jim Gray a star this week on the Hollywood Walk of Fame....

GOP adviser found dead by Carrie Fisher *

R. Gregory Stevens, 42, was a houseguest of the actress in Hollywood for Oscar weekend, the Washington Times says. She found his body Saturday morning, hours after they attended a...

L.A. rain falls mainly on USC

When TV and newspaper weather reports talk about the amount of rainfall in the "Civic Center," don't believe it. The rain is actually being measured by a weather device beside...

Changing sides

For the second time in less than three weeks, one of Michael Kinsley's predecessors as opinion editor of the L.A. Times, Tom Plate, has shown up on the Daily News...

Campaign Friday

E-Day minus four: • He's baaaack: Carlos Vignali returns to L.A. politics in a new Hahn ad that hits both Villaraigosa and Hertzberg for writing letters on the crack dealer's behalf....

Take that, Pink's *

How Only in L.A. is this? It's 4 a.m., you're nursing a cup of Joe at Astro Burger on Santa Monica Boulevard. In blasts a faintly familiar babe who looks...

When in Rome

Tracy Wilkinson, the L.A. Times bureau chief in Rome, has sold Warner a book on, as Publishers Lunch puts it, "the chief exorcist for the Diocese of Rome, Father Gabriele...

Pulitzer rumors: LAT and Register *

The first wave of supposed leaks from the Pulitzer judging swept through newsrooms today. Both the Times and the Register are buzzing that they're finalists together in the prestigious Public...

Two who didn't make it

Tom Hayden and Mike Woo both ran for mayor and lost to Richard Riordan. In this week's CityBeat, they have some things to say. First Hayden, who wrote an essay...

Campaign Thursday

In the news on Election Day minus five (* updated with new entries at the bottom): •  Talkin' 'bout Enron: Hahn's hit at Hertzberg and Villaraigosa over their campaign contributions...

KNX & KFWB to stream on the net

Starting March 14, Infinity Broadcasting will make available streaming audio of 11 news and talk radio stations. In addition to KNX (AM 1070) and KFWB (AM 980) here, 1010 WINS...

LAT national edition lives on

It's down to 24 pages in black and white, on odd-sized 11-by-19 inch paper, the New York Times says. There are no paid ads, and "national" really means 1,500 mostly...

Wednesday in the campaign *

* Updated below The Times' Jeffrey L. Rabin reveals that for two months Bob Hertzberg has refused to disclose the law clients that have paid him $1 million a year...

Vintage Scully

Rob McMillin at the baseball blog 6-4-2 has posted an MP3 audio clip of Vin Scully calling the ninth inning of Sandy Koufax's perfect game at Dodger Stadium on Sept....

Frank Lloyd Wright house red-tagged

The landmark Ennis Brown house in Los Feliz has been ruled "uninhabitable" due to a crumbling retaining wall. Inspectors estimate that about $500,000 in rain and mud damage has already...

Zorianna Kit a protective wife? *

LAT investigative reporter Gary Cohn emerges from the Schwarzenegger-groping beat to chip in a piece in today's paper about KTLA entertainment reporter Zorianna Kit grazing up against an ethical line....
Streetscape: East Hollywood
beverlys-appliances-smblvd.jpgBeverly's Appliances, Santa Monica Boulevard
Al Satterwhite's photos of Muhammad Ali
ali-satterwhite-secret.jpgDavid Davis talks with the photographer about shooting a key chapter in Ali's career and a Kickstarter campaign to put out a book. Interview
Can we all agree Elizabeth Peña had a certain something?
elizabeth-pena-variety.jpgThe actress who worked in Hollywood from her early 20s died at Cedars at age 55. Read more.
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.