LA Observed archive
for December 2005

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

Lunch with Eric Garcetti

KCET's charity auction this week on eBay included lunch with incoming president of the city council Eric Garcetti. Billed as "a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get your viewpoint heard," bidders were...

L.A. in 1908

This photo captures Los Angeles at night in 1908, taken from Mt. Wilson with a one-hour exposure. It's found in the online photo gallery of the city's Bureau of Street...

Friday media mix *

Newest adds at the bottom... ⇒ KNX 1070 reporter Michael Linder's website details his background as a KTLA reporter, creator of "America's Most Wanted" and "The Jesse Jackson Show" and...

Something is helping on the 101

The Times asked some UC Berkeley researchers to look at Caltrans data, and they came up with a surprising conclusion: even though Orange Line ridership has been modest, with mostly...

Incoming *

It's that time again. At 11 a.m. today in Lynwood, Mayor Villaraigosa, Chief Bratton, Sheriff Lee Baca and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo will once again plead with Angelenos (and our...

Thursday melange

⇒ New managing editor at the Long Beach Press-Telegram: it's John Futch. Also, Jason Gewirtz becomes city editor for business and John Canalis moves to the editorial/opinion pages. ⇒ A...

McCourt's NFL gambit

Dodgers owner Frank McCourt recently and very quietly proposed building a 65,000-seat football stadium on the parking lots at Dodger Stadium for a new NFL team he would own, the...

Pothole mania *

Two emails came in this morning about the city's ballyhooed pothole repair effort. One, from Bureau of Street Services chief William Robertson, lectures that I shouldn't have been so skeptical...

Safe on the ground

Los Angeles blogger Jeremy Hermanns and his fiancee were on the Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to Burbank that lost cabin pressure at altitude, causing a scary time for everyone...

Correction o' the day

From today's L.A. Times: An article in Tuesday's Section A about tensions over the federal effort to reintroduce wolves into parts of the West wrongly attributed to Wyoming Gov. Dave...

Wednesday mishmash

⇒ Only in L.A. quote of the day: "Just 2,200 square feet—it's practically an apartment" — Screenwriter Naomi Foner, mother of Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal, complaining in the LAT that...

With Skid Row's drug cops

In last week's LA Weekly, Sam Slovick wrote about drugs on Skid Row and the LAPD cops who work The Box, the area around Fifth and San Pedro. The story...

Tuesday miscellany *

⇒ City Controller Laura Chick turned up the heat today on schools Supt. Roy Romer, making a public records act request for all federal, state, county, and internal audits of...

Your city at work *

Mayor Villaraigosa's photo op du jour was the ceremonial filling of a North Hollywood pothole—reputedly pothole number 80,173 to be repaired since September 24. That would mean an impressive (or...

Holiday stupor

This will be a slow week around LA Observed Tower. I won't be doing the 'First thing' reports in the morning, but will probably pop in from time to time...

My Christmas bonus

Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles was at number eight on yesterday's Los Angeles Times hardcover nonfiction bestseller list....

It's a KCAL Xmas

In case the whole wintry Christmas thing in Los Angeles isn't faux enough for you, KCAL-9 added an hour to its new tradition of airing the WPIX-TV Yule log. New...

Kinsley: Scheer protest 'ridiculous'

Outside of the many disgruntled ex-colleagues (and a few fans) he left in his wake, Michael Kinsley's relatively brief tenure as chief opinionist at the Times seems mostly forgotten. He...

Red Cars live

Somebody asked me recently at a party if I remembered riding on the Pacific Electric Red Cars that used to rattle famously across Los Angeles streets. The answer was no:...

Seaton calls it quits

Bruce Seaton, the interim executive director at the Port of Los Angeles, informed the city today he will retire in January after thirty-five years. He was due to be replaced...

First thing Friday, 12.23.05

If I promised not to post again until after Christmas, some news would surely come along to make a liar out of me. So let's just say the pace will...

LAT is hiring

Fresh off the buyout/layoffs, the Times is bringing in San Jose Mercury News tech columnist Dawn Chmielewski to be a multimedia reporter. She used to be at the Register in...

Art o' the Pup

Shag, the artist also known as Josh Agle, commemorates the late (but maybe to be resurrected) Tail o' the Pup in a pair of acrylic works. This one envisions a...

Xmas tree yes, menorah no *

Paseo Colorado in Pasadena has angered some local Jews by eliminating the shopping center's annual Hanukkah menorah display, calling it a religious symbol, while featuring a tall Christmas tree. In...

One new CRA appointee

Mayor Villaraigosa has appointed architect Alejandro Ortiz to complete the board of the Community Redevelopment Agency. He replaces the commission appointment of architect Mark Rios, who withdrew in October. Release...

Stacey Murphy pleads guilty

Remember last summer's case of former Burbank mayor Stacey Murphy, arrested by an anti-gang task force on suspicion of cocaine possession and child endangerment? She pleaded guilty today in a...

First thing Thursday, 12.22.05

Attention hill people: the City Council took away your street parking during "red flag" fire alerts just in case a fire truck might want to come up your street some...

Antonio goes to Lucy's

Lucy’s El Adobe Cafe near Paramount Studios has been prime Democratic turf since Gov. Jerry Brown made it his L.A. headquarters in the 1970s. His long romance with Linda Ronstadt...

Who is 'L.A.'s Dopest Attorney'?

Allison Margolin's display ad in CityBeat features a fetching photo and this copy: LA's Dopest Attorney *Need Warrant Recalled? *Want to Smoke Pot on Probation? *All criminal defense, from drugs...

Fun with Dick and Jane (& Peter)

Variety's review today of the Fun with Dick and Jane remake coulda and probably shoulda said that one of the executive producers is none other than reviewer Justin Chang's boss,...

Shots fired outside Tookie's funeral

Neither the L.A. Times nor the Daily News mentioned the gang tensions at Tookie Williams' funeral yesterday, but KPCC's Frank Stoltze did. His report included audio of some arguing between...

Afternoon media shorts

⇒ Robert Rector, associate editor of the Pasadena Star-News, is leaving Jan. 13. He will write a twice-a-week column for the San Gabriel Valley News Group papers. He held a...

Another slap by the City Council

Residents of Laurel Canyon trekked downtown and waited four hours to address the City Council about a hillside development matter. When it came their turn to speak, twelve of the...

UC keeps Los Alamos deal

The University of California will continue to manage the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. UC had to bid competitively for the first time in sixty years after being...

Big waves and 80° for winter

We're not talking Oahu's north shore or Mavericks, but by local standards the high surf expected today is enough to get my attention. The National Weather Service has an advisory...

First thing Wednesday, 12.21.05

Four people were found dead on one day in different places on Skid Row, none of them due to crime. The City Council got the news just before creating a...

Nick Goldberg gets 'Current'

As many expected, LAT op-ed editor Nick Goldberg today also got responsibility for the Sunday Current section. The staffs of each will be merged and Goldberg receives a couple of...

Retirement jitters?

Colleagues of longtime LAT film reviewer Kevin Thomas have been unhappy that he was nudged to take the buyout and upset that after four decades the paper did not plan...

Back to City Hall

Thirteenth district councilman (and soon-to-be Council President) Eric Garcetti today announced the hiring of David Gershwin as his chief of staff. Gershwin left the office of current Council President Alex...

Anatomy of a left-wing cause

Last week a delegation of progressives met with the top opinion editors at the L.A. Times to complain about the axing of Robert Scheer's column and push for more anti-war...

'I just wanted a cup of coffee'

At the Hollywood crew blog Totally Unauthorized, "Peggy Archer" tells the story of a mean-looking power juicer who got drafted into a scene as a security guard because the guy...

'Happy holidays'

Few culture war causes strike me as more dishonest and less trivial than the Fox News-promoted meme that liberals are anti-Christmas. (Excuse me while I stop laughing.) Part of the...

First thing Tuesday, 12.20.05

More than 2,000 people (LAT; AP says "hundreds") viewed the body of executed murderer Tookie Williams Monday at a mortuary on South Vermont. Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and Snoop Dog...

The Pup is gone *

Drove down San Vicente to confirm what I heard tonight at the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee holiday party in Holmby Hills: Tail o' the Pup's giant hot dog has...

Shorts for a Monday afternoon *

New shorts added at the bottom as they come in... ⇒ Rep. Brad Sherman today introduced a bill to name a Valley post office for retired UCLA basketball legend John...

Scientology add *

With lots of buzz around today about Tom Cruise and Scientology, various sources emailed to remind me of some seminal local reporting in addition to the 1990 Sappell-Welkos series in...

Why one columnist jumped

Former LAT reporter Ken Garcia explains in his new column in the Phil Anschutz-owned San Francisco Examiner why he left the cross-town Chronicle, where he also had been a columnist:...

First thing Monday, 12.19.05

The L.A. Times website plans to launch tomorrow a new Flash-driven service feature called L.A. Off the Map. The first un-Timeslike installment has staffer Pete Metzger, on video wearing shorts,...

Reporter's hate mail

Reporters will recognize the email that L.A. Times staffer and dog owner Samantha Bonar received from an unhappy—some might say deranged—reader. He objected to her Sunday Current piece calling for...

Weekend chatter

⇒ The Daily News' Beth Barrett takes off from last week's nugget (and follow-up) about City Council time off to compare the L.A. council's pay and perks to other cities....

Poor Katie Holmes

In 1990, L.A. Times reporters Joel Sappell and Robert Welkos ran a six-part series on Scientology that took them most of five years to report, vet, re-report, write, re-write, lawyer...

Red Sox West

The Dodgers today added Nomar Garciaparra to their growing list of ex-Bostonians, joining the manager Grady Little, pitcher Derek Lowe and infielder Bill Mueller (plus owner Frank McCourt, of course.)...

Replacing Shav Glick

Car racing has a long history in the Los Angeles area. Legendary driver Barney Oldfield lived and raced on Wilshire Boulevard and drove on the speedway that stood where the...

John Spencer, 58

Veteran actor John Spencer died today of a heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital. He plays Leo McGarry, the former White House chief of staff and current VP candidate...

ImpreMedia buys SF paper

Execs at La Opinión sent over word that their owner, ImpreMedia, has acquired the #1 Spanish-language paper in the Bay Area, El Mensajero. Already the biggest Spanish-language newspaper publisher in...

Hotel memories

L.A. blogger Tim McGarry grew up with the Ambassador Hotel in his life. He accepts that the new schools will be a good thing and he likes where Koreatown is...

TypePad broken **

A major technical malfunction has thrown blogs on the TypePad service from Six Apart—all of them, apparently—back to their older backup versions. Bloggers can't log in nor can readers add...

Cleaning up the water

Federal rules finally taking effect mean that Los Angeles' uncovered city reservoirs will no longer hold drinking water, the Times says. Unlike most places, L.A. has traditionally treated its water...

First thing Friday, 12.16.05

Hey kids, it's Jack Valenti Day in Los Angeles. The former head of the movie-rating and politico-lobbying MPAA gets the key to the city from Mayor Villaraigosa in the council...

Beverly Hills no shows

Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman's party to raise campaign cash for Senate Democrats was supposed to be the last big Hollywood political event of the season. Melissa Etheridge came to...

Kester 'uniquely dangerous' *

One of the Valley busway intersections where red-light cameras will not be tried is at Kester Avenue in Van Nuys. Two of the Orange Line accidents have occurred there, however,...

Stuckey gets the axe

Animal activists don't have Guerdon Stuckey to kick around anymore. If they want to protest the new guy, they'll have to find out the home address for Ed Boks, who...

Mayor adds some schools heft

Mayor Villaraigosa has gone back to the Broad Foundation (from where he lured Chief of Staff Robin Kramer) and signed up Marcus Castain to be his Associate Director for Education,...

Afternoon shorties

⇒ Retired NFL defensive lineman Darrell Russell and a former Trojan teammate at USC, Michael Paul Bastianelli, died early today after a high-speed car crash on La Cienega near Pico....

Ralphs indicted

Remember the grocery store strike-lockout that seemed to last far longer than it should have in 2003? Ralphs was indicted today on federal charges of hiring workers under false names...

Make up your mind

Factor's Deli on Pico makes the whole valet parking transaction way too complicated. Just what makes nighttime parking exactly fifty cents less valuable than lunch (except on weekends)?...

Book announcement of the week

From L.A. writer, producer and blogger Lee Goldberg: Dear Friend, I am a former general in the Nigerian army who has managed to steal countless millions from my people. It...

First thing Thursday, 12.15.05

They almost had him: City News Service was alerted to a 4:30 pm press conference, but Guerdon Stuckey changed his mind and refused to step down as head of Animal...

'Radar' falls off the screen

Gawker reports that the staff of Radar magazine was just told that it's over. Also at FishbowlNY....

Animal activists may win *

David Zahniser reported in this morning's Breeze that Mayor Villaraigosa's deputy chief of staff, Jimmy Blackman, gave Guerdon Stuckey the word that he's out as head of the Animal Services...

Dodgers sign aging Mueller

Bill Mueller continues the exodus of Boston Red Sox who names are pronounced "Miller" and signs for two years with the Dodgers, the Times website says. The third baseman has...

LAT on the New Times takeover

Scott Martelle writes that for staffers at the LA Weekly, the coming regime change "is like being eaten by a monster they thought they had already killed." Laurie Ochoa, the...

Swim anyone? *

While I'm playing around with Microsoft's Windows Live Local pics (and burning up bandwidth), just for yucks here's the pool grotto of the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills (or as...

Turn back the hands of time

Like a lot of others with fast Internet connections, I've been losing hours to Microsoft's free new Windows Live Local satellite (and aerial photo) service. I've scoured the L.A. mountains...

First thing Wednesday, 12.14.05

The L.A. Times is dropping the shell that remains of its national edition. Once a full-scale newspaper sold on the street in Washington and New York as part of a...

Wish him luck

Angry Dodger Milton Bradley has been traded to Oakland for an outfield prospect, ESPN is reporting. To make the deal, the Dodgers had to include young infielder Antonio Perez. The...

LACMA garage comes down

Painter Gregg Chadwick photographed yesterday's demolition of the garage at the Los Angeles Museum of Art where murals by Margaret Kilgallen and Barry McGee inspired a spirited but unsuccessful salvage...

Break time

Tomorrow's meeting of the City Council rules and elections committee will take up an urgent matter of supreme interest to the electeds: how many days off to build into next...

But will it be funny?

HBO is planning a half-hour comedy based on the life of, well, Ruth Reichl. She is the editor of Gourmet who used to be the restaurant critic in disguise for...

Transparent yet fuzzy

The police commission voted to publish its decisions on use of force by LAPD officers, but without names. Union head Bob Baker of the Police Protective League applauds the move:...

Globe nods (off)

A bunch of movies and actors got Golden Globe nominations today. If you care, Variety has the lineup. It's at all the other new awards-hyping sites too since today is...

Blame them for your cable service *

Mayor Villaraigosa today appointed his commissioners for the Board of Information Technology. Natalie Cole, publisher of Our Weekly, is among those named. Full release with bios after the jump. *...

Meet the labiodental flap

UCLA emeritus professor of linguistics Peter Ladefoged gets credit in today's New York Times for inspiring the rare addition of a new symbol to the international phonetic alphabet. The labiodental...

First thing Tuesday, 12.13.05

Mayor Villaraigosa appears before the police commission at 9:30 am to urge more transparency in use of force investigations by the Inspector General. The LAT does an advancer on the...

No clemency **

Gov. Schwarzenegger opted not to step in and stop the execution of Tookie Williams. In his message (PDF file), Schwarzenegger recounted Williams' crimes and said he did not merit clemency....

Undie Run in Westwood

At midnight on the Wednesday of finals week, it has been a recent UCLA tradition for a thousand students to strip to their underwear and gather at the corner of...

New editor at LAist *

It's Carolyn Kellogg, who blogs on her own time at Pinky's Paper Haus. She replaces Jason Toney, who took over in February. * Today's LAist Interview: Adrienne Crew puts questions...

The woman behind Truthdig

New media reporter Anne Riley-Katz's LABJ piece on Robert Scheer's venture Truthdig.com focuses less on the deposed L.A. Times columnist and more on co-founder and publisher Zuade Kaufman. With good...

First thing Monday, 12.12.05

Don't miss posts from the weekend on the DreamWorks sale, the QM2, Richard Pryor's passing and a little media roundup. On to today: ♦ The state Supremes nixed a stay of...

Covering the dump people *

Although I link every day to the front page of La Opinión (and have had a standing link to the paper's website since day one), I only post about individual...

State of Grace

Variety's latest celebration of its centennial is a weekly countdown of the Top 100 awards ceremony fashions. They've reached the final ten on Variety.com. In order, they are worn by:...

Weekend shorts *

Tookie Williams has asked for a stay of execution by the state Supreme Court. No word yet. (* Also: Gov. Schwarzenegger won't divulge his ruling on clemency until Monday, his...

'End of the Dream'

Paramount today confirmed the huge Hollywood shocker that it will pay $1.6 billion for DreamWorks. The story began to get out Friday in the Wall Street Journal, and on Saturday...

QM2 coming to town

The new Queen Mary 2 will arrive for its first visit at the Port of Los Angeles on February 22. But it won't be easy. The world's largest cruise ship...

Saturday obits

Bill Robertson, the retired L.A. County Federation of Labor chief, was 89 and suffered from Alzheimer's: "...onetime bartender and bouncer who rose to become a major labor leader and power...

Fear and loathing downtown

News swept through the upscale lunch set this afternoon that at least one worker at Cafe Pinot has hepatitis A—and three other workers aren't feeling so hot. If you ate...

Bank Nazi in Culver City

You know how banks are supposedly fighting to win our business, being all helpful and friendly? At Sean Bonner's Washington Mutual branch, they didn't get the memo....

So that's what Lisa is up to

Lisa Guerrero used to be a sports reporter for KCBS and KTTV here, then for the "Regional Sports Report" on Fox Sports West. She was also a regular on Fox's...

Phase out

Now that everyone can scour the state's database of sex offenders from home and work, the LAPD is doing away with the Megan's Law computer terminals in the lobbies of...

Rocky loses his consultant

Larry Grisolano ran City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo's successful 2001 race and, more importantly, was directing the race against Jerry Brown to get the Democratic nomination for state attorney general. He...

Correction o' the four days

LAT watcher Brady Westwater has been watching closely to see how long it will take for the Times to correct a story that said Los Angeles was incorporated as an...

First thing Friday, 12.9.05

Mayor Villaraigosa's State of the Valley speech included his hopes for a denser, more urban Los Angeles than most in the Valley probably want: "This old concept that all of...

Hooray for Holy-wood

The headline belongs to today's Jewish Journal cover story by Joel Kotkin on the recent re-discovery and popularity of religious institutions close to the city's core. When the media or...

Streisand makes news again

Yesterday's Barbra Streisand-drops-the-LAT meme has morphed into a Yahoo News story posted this afternoon....

Marvin Braude passes on *

Services for former Los Angeles city councilman Marvin Braude will be held Monday at 11 am at University Synagogue on Sunset. Braude represented the Westside for thirty-two years. Statements released...

Three more Dodgers steal away

Jose Valentin signs with the Mets, Elmer Dessens goes to the Royals and Jason Grabowski—who was a Paul DePodesta reclamation project—takes what's left of his career to Japan....

Laura Chick won't run

City Controller Laura Chick just put an end to the chatter that she is considering a run for state Controller—by announcing that she isn't going for it after all. Just...

In the weeklies

The gambling issue. Sample lede: "Like so many young women before me, I had trekked to Las Vegas to hand out free T-shirts at a porn convention." (LA Weekly) The...

How they see us

Once again the New York Times turns to Southern California for a lifestyle feature. This time, the Pasadena home of film producer Gale Anne Hurd ("a delicate, soft-spoken woman with...

First thing Thursday, 12.8.05

Public Radio International's Tavis Smiley interviewed condemned Crips founder Tookie Williams by phone on San Quentin's Death Row. Calls are limited to fifteen minutes, so it took two redials to...

Vanishing treasures of Los Angeles

Franklin Avenue has begun a fun blog exercise. He's seeking nominations for the treasures of Los Angeles that are getting up in years and will be missed when if they...

Mary Katherine goes away sad

The LA Weekly's (possibly) longest-serving editorial staffer, Mary Katherine Aldin, has been there more than twenty years and remembers when "Jay and Joie were running the Weekly out of his...

The FBI's John Lennon files

UC Irvine historian Jon Wiener has been suing the government under the Freedom of Information Act since 1983 for complete access to the voluminous John Lennon FBI files. J. Edgar...

Barbra sets the record straight

Barbra Streisand wanted to make sure we all got to read the full text of her letter to the editor that ran—edited—in the L.A. Times on Nov. 28, protesting the...

Port director at 3 pm **

Mayor Villaraigosa and relevant supporting characters will appear at Berth 87 in the harbor to announce the new appointee to run the Port of Los Angeles. * 1:15 pm update:...

NYT blogging memo

All these newspaper awards show site creators ought to get together before choosing their brand names. The New York Times' new online effort announced today is called Red Carpet, same...

Tribune: More job cuts in 2006 **

* 12:30 pm update: Dow Jones Newswires has backpedaled all the way on its report of 2006 job cuts by Tribune: "Tribune Co. will not cut 4% of its workforce...

First thing Wednesday, 12.7.05

Erin Aubry Kaplan's regular Wednesday column debuts on the LAT op-ed page. She writes of being "genuinely shocked" that rapper Snoop Dogg is pressing clemency for Tookie Williams. Along the...

Hartwig will try to help Getty

Myron A. "Ron'' Hartwig, the senior executive in California for Hill & Knowlton, is the new vice president of communications for The J. Paul Getty Trust. His responsibilities will include...

Dodgers to play Little ball

Grady Little, former manager of Frank McCourt's hometown Boston Red Sox, will be introduced as manager of the Dodgers at a 5 pm press conference. He was run out of...

Dowling leaving the Reporter

No sooner did the Hollywood Reporter gets its annual Power 100 of most important women into print than Publisher and Editor-in-chief Robert Dowling announced he is leaving at the end...

What about the time capsule?

An angle raised by the Times' scheduled closing and sale of its Chatsworth printing plant: what happens to the time capsule that was buried under the floor amid great civic...

Evictions in Venice *

Tenants at Lincoln Place began to be removed by sheriff's deputies at 9 am today. Venice Paper says some residents were left empty-handed as locks on their units were changed....

Magazine Watch

Los Angeles has posted the top stories from the December issue, including Steve Oney's feature on Defamer Mark Lisanti and the rise of online gossip. The most influential and intimidating...

Two sports blogs *

She hasn't posted since the Kings began their annual fade in the standings, but actress Elisha Cuthbert is on board as the L.A. hockey team's blondest, most exclamation-pointed official blogger....

First thing Tuesday, 12.6.05 *

Another longtime L.A. record store, Hatikvah Records on Fairfax Avenue, is closing. Owner Simon Rutberg guests with KCRW general manager Ruth Seymour on today's Politics of Culture at 2:30 pm....

LAT and the labor beat *

Michael Massing, a Columbia Journalism Review editor writing in the New York Review of Books, reports on why Pulitzer winner Nancy Cleeland is no longer covering labor for the L.A....

No charges in Devin Brown shooting

District Attorney Steve Cooley's office has decided no criminal charges are warranted in the LAPD shooting death of thirteen-year-old Devin Brown. The question was whether officer Steve Garcia broke the...

Forst beats them to the punch

Village Voice editor Don Forst resigned effective December 31, leaving ahead of the New Times takeover of his paper (along with the LA Weekly and OC Weekly.) "A number of...

Times pulls out of the Valley **

Added below: Publisher says 300 Times jobs lost in all There's still a few reporters based in an office in Encino (and they are slated to move), but the Chatsworth...

Donnelly chats up the boss

LA Weekly Deputy Editor Joe Donnelly had a pleasant enough interview with Mike Lacey, the New Times co-founder who will soon be in charge of the Weekly (and its OC...

Attn: City Hall staffs

Those of you who were still cozying up to Richard Fausset of the Times' third-floor bureau can scratch him off the holiday party list. He is shipping out to Atlanta...

Antonio names a lobbyist

Andrew K. Antwih is the mayor's new Chief Legislative Representative in Sacramento. A native of South Los Angeles, Antwih has been chief consultant to the Assembly transportation committee and has...

Tribune-wide computer woes *

Websites at the L.A. Times and other Tribune properties aren't getting freshened this morning due to an unsolved technical glitch. This note was sent to Times editors by the "extended...

ABC News goes live

Starting January 3, the West Coast will get a live version of World News Tonight with newly named co-anchors Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff. The news on CBS and NBC...

Norge Øbserved

The Norwegian consulate in Los Angeles is a $350-a-month conference room inside the Global Business Centers rental suites in Beverly Hills. When someone needs a visa or to replace a...

First thing Monday, 12.5.05

Extending the subway out Wilshire Boulevard is essential—and only didn't happen originally because of white fears about "those people" coming to the Miracle Mile and Beverly Hills, bus rider D.J....

Raising questions about Oscar

Might this billboard pop up in Hollywood around Oscar time? It's a freshened up version of a billboard spotted during the 2002 Oscar season. The protest group Guerrilla Girls showed...

Weekend shorts

LAT notable: Patrick McDonnell, now the LAT's bureau chief in Buenos Aires, wrote about his two years in Baghdad in the Times' Sunday magazine...Steve Lopez helps his Skid Row violinist...

Dodgers sign a shortstop

They already had a Gold Glove incumbent in Cesar Izturis who made the All-Star team last season (though he isn't likely to ever again.) The new guy, though, is clearly...

KNBC News Conference *

I just taped a segment with host Conan Nolan to air Sunday at 9 am. Political analysts Arnold Steinberg and Darry Sragow are on first to discuss Gov. Schwarzenegger's hiring...

Purdum goes VF

Todd Purdum, the former Los Angeles bureau chief for the New York Times who also has covered the White House, will depart the paper's Washington bureau at the end of...

It's catching on

The Daily News feature staff has started a blog called Red Carpet. It apparently began a test run last month with Fred Shuster posting from the American Music Awards. In...

Al Martinez vents a little

Longtime LAT writer Al Martinez uses today's column to report that he survived the buyout and layoff putsch, and to commiserate with those who lost jobs at the Times and...

Is there a game this weekend?

Around the LA Observed offices, we prefer our pigskin roasted or barbecued. A hotbed of football fever we aren't, but we've ignored the gathering tension across the city (and the...

First thing Friday, 12.2.05

Rapper Kanye West will perform outdoors at Santa Monica High School on Monday afternoon, the result of students casting a million votes in a Power 106 contest. They get to...

More LAT buyout notes *

Couple more things came in via email after this morning's post: ⇒ MoveOn.org has—believe it or not—adopted the L.A. Times buyouts and cutbacks as a lefty political cause, complete with...

An original Joe *

Tonight's "Life & Times" at 6:30 pm on KCET features an interview with Joe Coulombe and his wife, Alice, the creators of Trader Joe's. They opened the first store in...

Chick wants LAUSD too *

Perhaps taking a cue from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Controller Laura Chick has offered to oversee an audit of school district administrative operations. "As the independently elected Controller for the...

Times does L.A. blogs *

Scott Martelle has the cover piece in the Weekend Calendar section on local blogs: "In an odd synchronicity, as the pervasiveness of the Internet and mass media homogenizes mass culture,...

Welcome to the club

Robert Greene in the LA Weekly observed the welcome ritual for L.A.'s newest city council members and says they fit in like familiar veterans—and for good reason. On their first...

Spring Street buyout notes

I received several reports that computer system troubles plagued the Times yesterday. A big chunk of the IT staff was laid off last week. Also, Orange County staffers are complaining...

First thing Thursday, 12.1.05 *

At 1:30 Mayor Villaraigosa will announce a deal to scale back the old LAX expansion plan (and settle the lawsuits) at a command audience of pols: two Congress members, two...
Giant floating ducky
duck-tall-ships-meg.jpgThe big rubber duck was the most photographed thing about the tall ships festival recently held in San Pedro. Photo: Mayor Eric Garcetti.
City of LA historical photos
lachs-baldwin-hills.jpgMen on a storm drain project near the Baldwin Hills in the Depression. More images from newly digitized collection
LAO__Garcetti&Ballmer copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed. See it bigger.
Napa quake lessons
napa-quake-street.jpgAt last we know who woke up early — and who stayed up. More
La chambre photographique
la-chambre-sb-600.jpgSanta Barbara. Click to enlarge.