LA Observed archive
for March 2006

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

Greg the newsstand guy *

For a little slice of life from below-the-media-radar Los Angeles, check out the personal tributes I'm gathering over at The Valley Observed about the man who ran the newsstand at...

Friday afternoon shorts

♦ As expected, Mayor Villaraigosa did recommend Cecilia Estolano to be CEO of the Community Redvelopment Agency. Villaraigosa's CRA commissioners have to approve her, but they could just mail that in....

When you're running for office...

...you do things like this and send out press releases on it: Los Angeles City Councilmember Alex Padilla today announced that he has filed an amicus brief in support of...

Todd, we hardly knew ya

The struggling Los Angeles Times has gone through another advertising chief. Publisher Jeff Johnson waited until after the stock market closed on Friday afteroon to disclose a new managament reorganization...

Another officer down

An off-duty Los Angeles Police Department motor officer was killed today while speeding through a red light on Pearblossom Highway in Palmdale. His name has not yet been released. The...

Spring ahead

Wow, two of my favorite days in the year back to back. Sunday marks the return of evening sun with Daylight Saving Time—sorry about that for you morning risers. Clocks...

No check for Dianne

Rick Jacobs, the Howard Dean campaign chair in California and regular chipper-in of thoughts at the Huffington Post, really didn't like the phone call he got from Los Angeles politics...

Friday, 3.31.06

Scary talk about bird flu, a third deputy sheriff dies, Cecelia Estolano for CRA chief, Los Angeles lawyers breaking away and a little online dust-up between CBS and the Times'...

Tough act to follow

Eric Lynxwiler and I were pleased to give a little talk about Wilshire Boulevard yesterday at Round Table West, a venerable luncheon group that began meeting 29 years ago at...

Next the book

Times columnist Steve Lopez has sold Putnam a book to be called Imagining Beethoven, based on his personal connection to the columns he has been writing about the homeless, Juilliard-trained...

Distinction killed

Tribune's experiment with a glossy lifestyle magazine aimed at high-income Southern Californians is over. Staffers at Distinction were told that next Friday is their last day. Today they are busy...

NBC4 freshens up

NBC4 gave its website a new design, adding more video and simpler navigation. Local news also got a boost in emphasis, which is good for me. When I don't have...

Thursday, 3.30.06

That cop who held back in the Biggie Smalls case costs us $1.1 million...There's a video from the protest walkouts that you'll be seeing more of...Amanda is out at the...

No, not Trader Vic's *

Beny Alagem, who paid $130 million for the Welton Becket-designed Beverly Hilton two years ago, wants to tear down Trader Vicís restaurant at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica...

Manhole covers as art

Manhole covers on Los Angeles streets are always being lifted open in films, usually for nefarious reasons. Sliding open a cover to drop the loot was just a plot twist...

Afternoon shorts

♦ Deputy Maria Cecilia Rosa's death was homicide, not an accident, with robbery the apparent motive. The Sheriff's Department says her gun had not been fired. ♦ About one hundred Westchester High...

Reiner quits

Rob Reiner has resigned under pressure as chair of the state's California Children and Families First Commission. Gov. Schwarzenegger has appointed Hector Ramirez to replace him. Ramirez is Vice President...

DealBreaker launches

Today's the first official day of original Gawker (and ex-Mediabistro editor) Elizabeth Spiers' new money-backed Wall Street blog, DealBreaker.com. As she describes it, "an online business tabloid and Wall Street...

LAT edict: shorter stories

Managing Editor Doug Frantz thinks that stories in the Los Angeles Times are too flabby and he wants to tighten them up. Everyone at the paper has heard this before—it...

Meyerson on protests

Harold Meyerson, the LA Weekly editor-at-large who taps out an op-ed column for the Washington Post, writes over there that "L.A. has never been a city for public outpourings of...

Clips get a blog

Had to happen, with the playoffs-bound Clippers turning respectable. ClipperBlog.com is from Kevin Arnovitz and friends. He is the Slate magazine Fray editor who confessed his season-ticket status at Slate...

Dowie fights back

News that Sharon Stone will guest star on the new Showtime series "Huff" as a larcenous "high-powered Los Angeles public relations executive" caused the PR industry blog Media Orchard to...

Wednesday, 3.29.06

Everybody is vowing to get tough if students walk out again today, but we'll see how that goes...Villaraigosa's political squeeze...Bratton calls the freeway swarms "insanity" (and he's right)...That just might...

Pellicano sidebar

Reporters on the Pellicano story for Vanity Fair, the Daily Journal and other publications have been beating a path to the door of Hollywood talent manager Seth Ersoff, says The...

City Hall confab *

Mayor Villaraigosa is meeting about the immigration demonstrations this afternoon with LAPD Chief William Bratton, Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Roy Romer and the district's police chief Lawrence...

Hey, thanks everybody

With four days to go on my server's stats counter, LA Observed has already surpassed the previous high for traffic in a month. I'm honored. As always, your comments and...

KTLA interruption

Cary Baker of Sherman Oaks emails that his "KTLA Morning News" on Channel 5 this morning was replaced the first hour by a pitch for a workout video and the...

405 closed by kids on freeway **

Northbound lanes of the San Diego Freeway have been closed north of Sherman Way because of protesting students on the freeway. The CHP called a Sigalert at 11:53 am, with...

Another newspaper blog

Looks as if the Daily News and its sister papers have quietly launched Hollywood Babble On, "where our film, music, TV and Hollywood critics dish out their latest thoughts!" I...

Deputy killed *

An off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was shot on the street in Long Beach this morning as she left for work. She died at a local hospital. Her name...

Immigration shorts

Notes from around... ♦ An estimated 5,000 students are protesting outside of school today in San Pedro, Compton, Bellflower and the Valley, according to NBC4. ♦ There's a 1 pm press conference...

Bad week for Reagan insiders

Caspar Weinberger, the former California legislator who served in the Cabinet for Presidents Nixon and Reagan, died at age 88. As Secretary of Defense for Reagan, he presided over the...

Speaking of race and L.A. *

Press release this morning from the mayor's office, verbatim: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Los Angeles City Council and Police Chief William Bratton will honor Lionsgate, Paul Haggis, the producers, cast...

Tuesday, 3.28.06

Rain may dampen the impulse to march, but immigration remains the story of the day on multiple fronts. District officials say they will lock down LAUSD schools once students arrive...

Lyn Nofziger, adviser was 81

There were probably some good stories swapped tonight wherever politicos and journalists gather from Sacramento to Washington. Lyn Nofziger, the Copley reporter who became Ronald Reagan's spokesman and chief quipster—"irreverent...

Protest's best organizer *

Marching students downtown swarmed onto the Harbor and Hollywood freeways this afternoon, shutting down traffic and prompting some arrests. NBC-4, meanwhile, came up with a good man-in-the-news profile on Piolin,...

Harlem Hammer pleads guilty

Former boxing champion James Butler, who fought as ďThe Harlem Hammer,Ē pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and arson Monday in the 2004 bludgeoning death of freelance sportswriter Sam Kellerman. Butler...

Fishbowl wedding

Sunday's wedding of Fishbowl LA editor Claude Brodesser and Taffy Akner of mediabistro's L.A. office, as blogged by Luke Ford....

Interview with Bush

La Opiniůn is touting an exclusive interview about immigration with President Bush. Senior correspondent Maribel Hastings conducted the interview this morning but the paper won't post it on the website...

Students protesting on Sunset **

Emmanuelle Richard has posted this photo (larger) of students marching against the Sensenbrenner immigration bill this morning on Sunset Boulevard in east Hollywood. She said there were about three hundred...

Time to revisit Reggie

Reggie, the alligator set loose last year in Harbor City's Machado Lake, hasn't been seen since October. Gator watchers are pretty sure he's still there, though, and will be waking...

Monday, 3.27.06

The day after the weekend of the Gran Marcha, blogs try to figure out what it means....plus, the funeral for Marco Firebaugh, a smattering of closures (but mostly not) for...

Best of the week

Some of what passed across the LA Observed front page in the past seven days... Streisand and Hollywood heavies christen RAND's global issues salon in Bel-AirEx-assemblyman Marco Firebaugh diesGustavo and the...

Weekend shorts

♦ Saturday's downtown protest march against the Sensenbrenner bill to criminalize giving aid or jobs to illegal immigrants was really big. The LAPD, usually conservative on these things, estimated the crowd...

Red Sox Choi

The Dodgers let last year's most productive first baseman, Hee Seop Choi, go on waivers to the Boston Red Sox. He figures to play more there than he would have...

Friday desk clearing

♦ Former West Basin Municipal Water District board member R. Keith McDonald, convicted on ten felony counts of corruption, has asked to delay prison so he can care for his ailing...

Magazine notes

From the wonderful world of magazines... Vogue loves Suzanne: Lucques chef Suzanne Goin gets star treatment from Sally Singer in the April issue of Vogue, as much for her style...

The compact dodge

We've all seen that parking spaces have been shrinking as cars and SUV's get bigger, making parking lots tighter and creating conflicts all over town. It's no accident. Developers have...

Don't mess with the trees

City bureaucrats in San Pedro learned a valuable lesson: you don't yank out eighty-year-old street trees in Los Angeles, even sick ones, without somebody noticing and caring. The Breeze reports:...

Leaving DreamWorks

Andy Spahn, the head of corporate affairs at DreamWorks and political consigliere to Messrs. Geffen, Spielberg and Katzenberg, is heading out on his own. Well, he won't exactly be alone....

Friday, 3.24.06

Santa Monica's other side of the tracks...getting serious about L.A.'s homeless...retraction city at the Daily News...plus the Undie Run, some new Ansel Adams photos, blogging my USC panel and a...

Deputy Pierre Bain, 45

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy Pierre Bain died Thursday when his traffic motorcycle crashed during a pursuit in Lancaster. Bain is survived by a wife and three teenage daughters from...

Elite Eight! *

Down by nine with three minutes to go? Never led in the game? No problem. Just score the last eleven points. UCLA 73, Gonzaga 71 Bruins play Memphis in the...

CNS alert o' the day

From the City News Service wire: Eds: At 3:30 p.m., Andrew Ahlering, a candidate for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, will hold a news conference to discuss his...

Universal Mega-City

NBC Universal hired Thomas Properties Group to re-start the process of developing the studio's backlot into homes, offices, stores and production facilities. "Sooner or later, it's going to get developed,"...

LAT's 'Flying Squad'

In the past year or so the Los Angeles Times newsroom has seen the creation of the Image Team, the Demographics desk and the Sense of Place team. Yet another...

Thursday, 3.23.06

Taking another look at an old murder of a local politician. Is it the Aqua Line, the Cardinal Line or the tan line? Adios to the chief of neighborhood empowerment....

LAT loses London bureau chief

John Daniszewski is going to Associated Press as International Editor. Romenesko has the memos from AP and the Times....

Boozer v. Prince

The Smoking Gun is all over Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer's lawsuit against Prince over unauthorized "work" the performer allegedly did on the 10-bedroom, 11-bath West Hollywood estate he rented...

Trash politics

Every Los Angeles political story has a backstory. At his blog, John Stodder takes off from the recent news about Sunshine Canyon landfill to reconstruct how, when he was the...

Bob Hope Airport warning

Parking at the Burbank airport is seriously short. The airport's website is advising people to take a cab or share a ride, and stories in today's Daily News and Glendale...

Correction o' the day

From today's Los Angeles Times Food section: An article in last week's Food section said an invitation-only "Secret Restaurant" event in Los Angeles would be open to the public and...

'Chicano All Stars'

Gustavo Arellano at the OC Weekly's blog gets in the face of "Chicano yaktivists" (his term) who are attacking Daniel Hernandez of the sister LA Weekly for his hard-hitting story...

Wednesday, 3.22.06

Turn the page for items on Dean Singleton's California strategy, Sheriff Baca's Compton strategy, a Saudi prince gets booed at Town Hall Los Angeles, celebrities at the fashion shows and...

Kings make the change

Andy Murray was fired tonight as coach of the Los Angeles Kings. Assistant John Van Boxmeer goes too. The hockey team will introduce interim coach John Torchetti at a press...

Undie Run back in the news

Midnight on the Wednesday of finals week is the traditional hour for UCLA students to strip to their underwear and run through a few blocks of Westwood (if four years...

Discovering Leimert Park

Sunday's Washington Post Travel section proclaimed the Leimert Park neighborhood "one of the country's last strongholds of old-style African American culture and activism, with the happening ethnic flavor of Washington's...

Marco Firebaugh, ex-assemblyman, dies **

Marco Firebaugh, a Democratic candidate for the state Senate in the 30th district of southeast Los Angeles County, died this morning or last night. Liver illness is reportedly the cause....

Papers don't have to look boring

Redesign of the Bakersfield Californian is critiqued pro and con at Newsdesigners.com, and apparently has begun to move the needle on circulation....

Why she blogs

Orange County Register columnist Mayrav Saar writes in the paper today about what she gets from posting at Big Action!, a group blog whose writers include Leslie Gornstein (E! Online's...

Tuesday, 3.21.06

Light lineup this morning, with a little Schwarzenegger, a touch of Pellicano, a bit of Condi Rice and a smattering of Jim Hahn. And of course, links to all the...

Recycled Becket

Architect Welton Becket's low-slung, ranch-style house at the southeast corner of Wilshire and Highland has changed hands. For sale signs have been replaced by fence banners for the Korean-oriented Western...

Afternoon snack *

♦ New indictment coming in Pellicano case in early April, prosecutor says. ♦ Funny how the fate of Knight-Ridder's Northern California newspapers could be settled by either Ron Burkle or fellow L.A....

Veea-ga-rosa again *

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg stepped before the cameras today at P.S. 282 in Brooklyn and introduced Antonio Villaraigosa as Alcalde Veea-ga-rosa, before correcting his pronunciation (and switching, mercifully, to...

Take a guess

How many people do you think get taken to hospitals in Los Angeles Fire Department ambulances every day? 50? 100? 300? A thousand? I would have guessed about a hundred...

New head of VICA

The Valley Industry and Commerce Association, arguably the most influential advocacy group for the Valley, this morning named Brendan Huffman its new president. Huffman is currently the director of public...

Westwood farmers market is history

After a twelve-year run the Thursday afternoon Westwood Village farmers market has been told to leave. Construction on the giant Palazzo Westwood development makes the area too unsafe for market...

What now for the NFL?

Political consultant Matt Szabo blogs that today's retirement announcement by NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue raises questions about the fate of Los Angeles' drive to get a pro football team in...

UFW has an opening

In the wake of the recent Los Angeles Times series spotlighting questions about the union, the United Farm Workers has posted an ad on Monster.com looking for a new director...

Channel 5's sad blogs

I just caught up to the official KTLA blogs written by four of the station's top news anchors. In theory they represent an admirable step in connecting the talking heads...

New salon in town

RAND, the Santa Monica think tank, debuted a new Foreign Policy Roundtable series targeting leaders of the entertainment and media communities. Friday night's gathering at the Bel-Air home of Kenneth...

Pellicano to defend himself?

Anthony Pellicano will go into court today and ask for an expedited trial, possibly foregoing the use of a federal public defender, journalist Ross Johnson reports. Family members tell Johnson...

Monday, 3.20.06

Turn the page for Orlov's return...how Heidi Fleiss got bugged and screwed...a new lead Tinseltown Spywitness...Huffington's mea culpa...political theater downtown...and the return of Fashion Week. Those items and a lot...

Looking backward

Most talked-about posts from the past week at LA Observed, including a few exclusives... Exclusive blog coverage of the Los Angeles Political Roast. Patt Morrison new host of "Talk of...

Weekend shorts

♦ The Daily News talks up public financing of city election campaigns, but ethics commissioner Bill Boyarsky—who proposed it—writes in the LAT that he's getting tired of wasting his time: "I...

L.A. Marathon is Sunday

That means traffic hiccups between downtown and La Cienega Boulevard (from 3rd Street down to Martin Luther King, but see the map below for details) all morning—and sightings of lean,...

Friday afternoon snack *

♦ Rep. Maxine Waters' and her husband's presence at the SEIU's endorsement interviews in January has candidates in an uproar and got the attention of the FBI, the Los Angeles Wave...

Patt Morrison takes over at 2 pm

Just as I was posting the last item on KPCC, the station sent word that Times columnist Patt Morrison is the new host of "Talk of the City." Kitty Felde...

Inside glimpse of KPCC

Today's Wall Street Journal runs a front-page piece on how public radio stations are "scooping up new sponsorship by mimicking the tactics of commercial broadcasters," but at the risk of...

Story takes him 31 years to tell

Orange County Register reporter Larry Welborn was 25 when he covered a woman's suspicious death in 1974 and never believed the official ruling of suicide. He gathered string off and...

What a concept

Now that the buyouts, layoffs and resulting transfers are finished, the Times' Sports section is looking to recruit some new staffers. For the open reporter slot, the memo feels obliged...

More 'Calendar' tinkering

Editors of the Los Angeles Times Calendar plan to revamp the staff lineup yet again, aiming to "build on the considerable strengths of the section and augment its talent pool...

'Inauguration Day' spoof

If you have Flash installed, you can click below to watch Council President Eric Garcetti's video about Mayor Villaraigosa from last night's Los Angeles Political Roast. (Earlier post.) If you...

Friday, 3.17.06

Heat on Bratton is turned up...Sunshine Canyon could come to a vote today...Ralphs in trouble again...Pellicano on tape again...Did Tom Cruise kill "South Park" for the church?...Chris Arellano can't drop...

Roasted Villaraigosa *

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's political ambition, lust for the spotlight, desire to take control of the schools and supernaturally white teeth all came in for some playful ribbing at tonight's Los...

Afternoon notes

Because it feels like a notesy kind of day... The Cultural Heritage Commission will recommend to the City Council that the Derby in Los Feliz be declared a historic-cultural monument....

More Ellies nominees

In addition to the Los Angeles magazine profile by Jesse Katz, National Magazine Awards finalists of local note include three pieces of criticism on the subject of parenting that Sandra...

'American Family' revisited

In a talked-about LA Weekly series that ran in 2004, Celeste Fremon followed the travails and chronicled the hopes of Frances and Luis Aguilar and their six children. The Aguilars...

Move at City Hall

Dan Laidman, who became the new guy in the Daily News' City Hall bureau just last summer, is jumping to Copley News Service to fill the shoes of David Zahniser....

Dissing Tommy's

Original Tommy's' sprawling empire extends far beyond the hallowed ground at Beverly and Rampart—including now San Diego. But a reviewer in the Union-Tribune there doesn't get what the fuss is...

Thursday, 3.16.06

Check out the Forbes piece on a bogus L.A. billionaire... Congressman Gallegly isn't feeling so bad after all, but Dario Frommer looks a little ill...The Times stiffs the Business Journal...

Possible college hoops scandal

CBS Sportsline.com has posted a story saying that NCAA schools across the country have steered more than $147,000 in game fees to a company co-founded by Los Angeles City College...

Update on Boyle Heights JCC

Since posting its first story about the missing former Soto-Michigan Jewish Community Center on Sunday, the Jewish Journal has done more checking and found that the federal government razed the...

Catching up: The Bloggies

The Weblog Awards were handed out for the sixth time on Monday at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin. I was on the road that day, but some...

Clooney v. Huffington

Comments by George Clooney on the Huffington Post about being a proud and unabashed liberal created a small blogosphere boomlet this week, but the aftermath may prove more entertaining. Clooney's...

Klimts headed for Los Angeles *

Five paintings by Gustav Klimt that were looted by the Nazis during World War II are on their way to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They left Vienna's...

Be your own Escher illusion

Boing Boing points to a service called TurnYourHead that will make a custom-lathed "pirolette" that contains your profile, "like an MC Escher litho come to life, starring you, you, you."...

Put an "A" in your window *

You too can get one of those little "A" placards from the county health department—if your kitchen at home passes inspection. You do the inspection yourself, today's Daily News says,...

Morning Buzz: 3.15.06

Seeing old friends in federal court...fining Pierce O'Donnell and Martin Ludlow...Giving Steve Cooley a pass...Arnold and Sirhan...Tear-downs in Century City...and Larry King gets no respect again. Those items and quite...

Examining Los Angeles

There may not yet be a Los Angeles Examiner in the fledgling Philip Anschutz newspaper empire, but there is a dedicated L.A. page on Examiner.com. The website lets you choose...

Trouble on the farm

Media and blog coverage of the South Central Community Garden mostly celebrates a story line of plucky, poor South L.A. residents banding together in agrarian fellowship to stand up to...

On the market

Hollywood's iconic Capitol Records building has been put up for sale by parent company EMI Group. The potential of converting the circular, Welton Becket Associates-designed tower on Vine Street into...

Poor Antonio

Bad enough that the mayor and his wife can't go to the movies without being reported on, as we noted yesterday. Now someone else who claims to have been at...

Going Hollywood

The L.A. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has abandoned downtown's Figueroa Hotel as the venue for its monthly schmoozefest. They are trying out the Cat & Fiddle on...

Ambulance deal goes through

Either L.A. County's Board of Supervisors stood up to the final lobbying swarm or all the deals for friends got written into the staff recommendations. But the Supes today OK'd...

Arellano bails *

Chris Arellano—the school board candidate without the degrees he claimed and with the criminal record he played down—has dropped out of the runoff campaign, the LA Weekly reports online. City...

Be a looky-loo

Curbed LA says the home of the late photographer Herb Ritts is open today above Sunset Strip on St. Ives Drive. Asking price: $5.4 million. The open house runs until...

Anatomy of an L.A. activist

Grist magazine interviews Francisca Porchas, an organizer for the Bus Riders Union here in Los Angeles. She sees global reach in her cause of cleaning up pollution from MTA buses....

Voice editor fired

This will get noticed over at the LA Weekly. Gawker says the new owners fired Village Voice acting editor-in-chief Doug Simmons, but are keeping Nick Sylvester, the writer of a...

Morning Buzz: 3.14.06

Pellicano turns up on tapes cutting deals with tabloid reporters... there may be a Singleton in the future of Norcal newspapers...Jay Leno does the mea culpa...the blogger king of Santa...

Afternoon shorts

I'm spending Monday on the freeways, but meanwhile here are a few items from the stack... ♦ Peter Tomarken, actor and host of the 1980s game show "Press Your Luck," and...

New DVD blog

Pan and Scan promises everything DVD "from media news and gossip, to the latest release dates and reviews, up-to-minute industry developments, and technology trends, we cover all aspects of digital...

Nomorebigideas.com

Bob Hertzberg's moribund website BIGIdeas4LA.com has finally been taken off life support and allowed to pass into the Internet afterlife:...

Morning Buzz: 3.13.06

Linking Brad Grey to Pellicano through Linda Doucett...two heads for Universal?...those stinking badges for friends of Lee Baca...seeing purple along Wilshire Boulevard...Robert Altman's new heart...your NCAA brackets...and borrowing a familiar...

In the rear-view mirror

Looking back at the past week on LA Observed... Does Chief Bratton like Los Angeles? Does it matter? Kitty Felde gets the new job she was promised. New DOT chief...

The Douridas question

People have been asking what ever happened with the arrest of KCRW's Chris Douridas. Monday's Los Angeles Times reports the DA hasn't decided whether to charge Douridas, pending the results...

Boyle Heights history torn down

The former Soto-Michigan Jewish Community Center, designed by Raphael Soriano and called by the Jewish Journal "the focal point of Jewish social and political community life in Boyle Heights from...

Weekend shorts

♦ Rep. Elton Gallegly of Simi Valley opted out of running again, citing health problems. He made the announcement too late Friday for other candidates to jump in. Times, Daily...

Gone 125 days

Police chief William Bratton's unofficial bicoastal lifestyle makes the news again. Bratton released his travel records to the Los Angeles Times' Patrick McGreevy, who calculated that the chief was outside...

Any guesses? *

This is how the Times website packaged this morning's Meghan Daum op-ed column jumping into the question of whether teenagers really do engage in lots of oral sex, and whether...

Friday desk-clearing

⇒ Scientists at JPL were happy to hear a signal from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter following a successful entry into orbit. Added: Susan at 2020 Hindsight live-blogged the entry procedure...

Times Book Prizes

At this year's Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, Joan Didion will receive the Robert Kirsch Award previously accepted by Carolyn See, Tony Hillerman, Wallace Stegner and a list of other...

Face of a journalist-actor

David Willis is the BBC's West Coast correspondent, based here. He has reported on several continents, and returned to L.A. in 2004 after completing a fellowship at Oxford. For six...

Times passes on this UFW story

From today's Daily News: OXNARD - The United Farm Workers and Dole Food Co. have reached agreement on a three-year contract that gives berry pickers the best wage and health...

Morning Buzz: 3.10.06

LAPD crime maps go interactive (left)...It's going to be cold and windy today...Praising Brokeback despite the Oscar upset...blocking traffic for the mayor...questions but few answers about Herb Wesson Jr....reviews of...

Afternoon snack

⇒ This year Editor & Publisher actually is first with the leaked list of Pulitzer finalists. It has the Los Angeles Times up for two reporting prizes—investigating the Getty and...

Felde's new job

KPCC has named Kitty Felde a Special Correspondent: "In that new role, Felde will be responsible for in-depth reporting and special coverage of a wide variety of issues in southern...

Chick on schools

"It is clear from this initial review that there is a disturbing lack of transparency and accountability at LAUSD." Release after the jump....

Be on HGTV

The new HGTV series "Small Space, Big Style" is looking for tiny L.A. apartments to feature. Well, not just apartments: 1- SIZE: The homes can be ANY type of living...

DOT gets a boss

The mayor today offered up Gloria Jeff to run the Department of Transportation, subject to City Council approval. Jeff resigned last month as director of the Michigan Department of Transportation,...

First thing Thursday, 3.9.06

Laura Chick locks and loads to talk about schools...the mayor gets ready to name a transportation chief...Daniel Hernandez on secret talks to save the South L.A. farm...Ludlow pleads after being...

USC player punk'd at Cal

In the days before last weekend's big hoops game at Berkeley, Trojans guard Gabe Pruitt was chatted up on AIM by a lovely from cross-town UCLA who said her name...

Is he in L.A.?

Reader Louis just emailed: It's 8:25pm, and the Kings made a major trade today....it was announced hours ago. So I go to the Times' sports on the web, and not...

Murder down, robbery up

LAPD chief William Bratton's monthly report for February says that homicide and most serious reported crimes are down substantially from last year. Only robbery is up: CRIME STATISTICS - CITY-WIDE...

Sad excuse for an election

Just over ten percent of registered voters in the 2nd Board of Education district cast ballots in Tuesday's election—for a total of 13,561 votes. So much for the persuasion of...

Farm fight

South Central Farmers Feeding Families, the group behind the embattled community garden at 41st and Alameda streets, says it has won an eviction delay until at least a hearing on...

First thing Wednesday, 3.8.06

Runoff for school board...more strangeness around the Ferrari Enzo crash...Rob Reiner's campaign chief steps out of the limelight...L.A.'s blogging pet czar blasts the Animal Defense League...while Cardinal Mahony seeks a...

NYC prepares for Two Buck Chuck

With just ten days until the invasion of Manhattan by Trader Joe's, the New York Times sends food writer Julia Moskin out to the provinces to see what the fuss...

Dutton's sendoff *

Dutton's North Hollywood and proprietor Davis Dutton are featured on the cover of the Studio City Sun. The bookstore on Laurel Canyon Boulevard is still in the throes of its...

Deputy charged

San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy Ivory Webb was charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter for the videotaped shooting of an unarmed Air Force police officer in Chino on January 29. If...

Different rules for LAT website?

Robert Niles at USC's Online Journalism Review blog picked up an exchange in which the Los Angeles Times readers' representative seems to say that headlines on LATimes.com are encouraged to...

'You're a cop, right?'

Actor Mickey Rourke to LAPD chief Bill Bratton at the Vanity Fair Oscar party, as Madonna and Guy Ritchie looked on. Told that Bratton was indeed a cop, Rourke skulked...

Correction o' the day

From the Los Angeles Times: Abortion: A March 4 column about abortion and overpopulation said that "roughly 10 billion people" die of hunger annually. The correct figure is 10 million....

First thing Tuesday, 3.7.06

Fighting in the hills of Northeast Los Angeles...Bratton's Oscar party of choice...the Times trims stock tables...Kitty Felde makes an appearance while Rose Apodaca leaves and Derek Lowe's wife says hold...

Sam Chu Lin, reporter was 67

City News Service is reporting that Sam Chu Lin, a former CBS News correspondent who reported most recently for Fox 11, died Sunday in Burbank. Chu Lin began reporting in...

Kirby Puckett

No obvious Los Angeles angle that I can think of, other than the delight that he gave to local baseball fans. Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett died today of the...

Just noting

This weekend's ad for the New York City DUI attorney was the last straw for the top-of-the-page Google Ads banner. I'll keep Google elsewhere on the site for now, but...

KFWB promotions

Better late than never—here is the internal memo from KFWB News Director Andy Ludlum: From: Andy Ludlum Subject: Exciting News!!! I have some exciting news...you'll see several of your colleagues...

Afternoon shorts

Monday always seems so busy... ⇒ Mayor Villaraigosa and retired New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Sr. attended this morning's funeral for Otis Chandler. Ex-publisher and CNN chief Tom Johnson...

What does a new lawyer make?

Newly hired associates at Quinn Emanuel Urquardt Oliver & Hedges now get $145,000, the only Los Angeles law firm to go that high for first-year lawyers, the L.A. Business Journal...

First thing Monday, 3.6.06

First reviews of the Oscars and Jon Stewart: not good. Also, Arnie Berghoff's diabetes roast gets some scrutiny, the Times finds waste in the local bioterrorism budget, Villaraigosa promises to...

Deja vu

Selected posts from the past week at LA Observed: Hilburn's replacement: Ann Powers.Kitty Felde dropped abruptly by KPCC.Reactions to the death of Otis Chandler pour in.Ethics questions at KTLA.Randy Harvey...

RENZI marks the spot

Workers who drive the vast concrete ramps and taxiways at LAX have puzzled for years over the letters painted on a secluded corner of the airfield: R-E-N-Z-I, in white on...

Weekend shorts

Updated during the weekend, with the latest at the bottom... ⇒ Continuing feeds from the geek-confab BarCampLA at blogging.la and LAVoice.org, among others. ⇒ The Times devotes its entire Sunday...

Finally a speeding ticket

Reporter Chris Ayres of the Times of London was on Mulholland Drive when he got to experience another Los Angeles rite of passage. After four years of broken speed limits,...

Durazo gets the nod

Maria Elena Durazo was chosen to head the County Federation of Labor, just ten months after her husband, Miguel Contreras, died while serving in the post. From the Times: Durazo,...

Nikki Finke goes daily

The LA Weekly has created another new blog, "Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily." The kickoff post announces that she will be live-blogging the Oscars on Sunday: Come for the Cynicism...

Hilburn's replacement

Ann Powers is the new chief pop music critic for the Los Angeles Times. The former pop critic for the New York Times and editor at the Village Voice lives...

First thing Friday, 3.3.06

If nothing else, Christopher Arellano has found a way to deflect scrutiny from the $200,000 he has taken from UTLA. But the Times and Daily News miss a big chunk...

More ethics issues at KTLA

Two more developments on the ethics front involving Channel 5: Channel Island, the Los Angeles Times TV blog, reports that Morning News anchor Michaela Pereira "received a customized dining-room makeover...

Gets worse for Arellano

KPCC's Adolfo Guzman Lopez aired a late Thursday update reporting that Board of Education candidate Chris Arellano has fudged his campaign claims of multiple college degrees from USC and UCLA....

Flog & Blog: Welcome to L.A.

Mr. Kipen goes to West Hollywood... Because I made up a little time on the way to L.A., and because it was just a few blocks from Book Soup, I...

Flog & Blog: Dalton Trumbo

Technical issues delayed my posting of Mr. Kipen's final dispatches from his drive through California. Here is the penultimate feed, a musing on the the undervaluing of screenwriters and a...

Daily Calendar editor

The Times moved quickly to fill the job vacated recently by Alice Short. But now they need a new media editor: To: The Staff From: John Montorio, Associate Editor Lennie...

Flog & Blog: Passing Buttonwillow

Closing in on L.A... Iím now in the central valley of California, the bread basket, passing some flowering pear trees. It's cloudy but in the distance the coastal range has...

Yet another Ferrari twist

At the scene of that Ferrari Enzo disintegration last week in Malibu, two men showed up, flashed ID to onlookers and claimed to be "Homeland Security" officers from the San...

Flog & Blog: musing about Jay Sebring

Stuck in traffic, the mind tends to wander... Iím now in Morgan Hill, which used to be a wide spot in the road on El Camino Real (now 101) but...

Kitty signs off

During the opening of "Talk of the City" on KPCC at 2 pm, Kitty Felde urged listeners to stick around to the end: "As promised, we will have a very...

Flog & Blog: Stanford in a hurry

Kipen enjoys his time at Stanford, but feels a little deadline pressure... I got back on El Camino Real after Keplerís and before I knew it I was in Palo...

Campaign surprise: Arellano a convict *

La Opiniůn reported today that Christopher Arellano, the labor candidate in the East Side school board race, was convicted of robbing a Pioneer Market in 1992, then had a second...

Balzar returns

A lot of people in California and Los Angeles politics know John Balzar, the Times' former political writer, columnist and Sacramento correspondent. He has written most recently for the paper's...

Lowe's longest season

One thing is clear from Bill Plaschke's LAT column today where Dodgers pitcher Derek Lowe finally talks about his personal turmoil last season: the beat writers at Dodger Stadium missed...

Flog & Blog: Kepler's

In which the intrepid critic-author-rookie book tourist pushes on toward L.A... Mission accomplished! Keplerís was very nice. I managed to find a loading dock where I could park for 15...

New LAT Sports Editor: Randy Harvey

Bill Dwyre is vacating the post of Los Angeles Times Sports Editor after 25 years and being succeeded by one of his former writers and columnists. Randy Harvey most recently...

Flog & Blog: The way to San Jose

The former books editor of the San Francisco Chronicle is driving south to appear tonight at Book Soup. He blogs from the road: Iím driving south on Highway 101 toward...

KTLA's freebies slammed

James Gilden writes The Daily Traveler blog at LATimes.com, but being a Tribune cousin didn't inhibit him from taking a fair shot at the Channel 5 "Morning News" anchors who...

Chandler's LAT versus today *

Stephen Burgard was an editorial writer in the Los Angeles Times Orange County edition and now is director of the journalism program at Northeastern University. He emails: A few thoughts...

First thing Thursday, 3.2.06

Villaraigosa warns of red ink and loves Crash...Jim Hahn gets $800 million to play with...Martin Ludlow and Octavia Butler are remembered in much different ways...big meeting today at Yahoo in...

Flog & Blog

Even the Director of Literature at the National Endowment for the Arts has to hit the road if he wants to sell books. And it is Oscar week, after all....

USC vs UCLA heats up

There will be more raw emotion on the ice than usual when the Trojans and Bruins meet on Friday for the Crosstown Cup hockey tournament at Toyota Sports Center in...

Kitty Felde out at KPCC

Tomorrow is the last Talk of the City on KPCC with Kitty Felde as the live host. She was removed by program director Craig Curtis and has been offered a...

Afternoon shorts

⇒ Mayor Villaraigosa told a press conference that he agrees with Cardinal Roger Mahony that churches should not be called upon to enforce federal immigration laws. Mahony followed up his...

Gavin comes to town

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom flew into L.A. last weekend to spend some time with new actress-squeeze Sofia Milos and take in the annual dinner for Scientology's Citizens Commission for...

New Pellicano charges expected

Federal prosecutors told a judge today that at least one new indictment in the Anthony Pellicano case is likely before April 18. Thirteen people have already been charged. Pellicano was...

More Chandler reaction

Patt Morrison writes in today's Los Angeles Times on her former publisher Otis Chandler: In his person, Otis stitched together two ideas as dissonant as Valvoline and Sparkletts: a believer...

Santa Monica student killed *

A Santa Monica High School student described only as "a popular tenth grader" was shot and killed last night on Pico Boulevard, prompting counselors to speak to classes this morning,...

First thing Wednesday, 3.1.06

Cardinal Mahony takes on the anti-immigrant crowd...Yvonne Burke makes it more or less official...the juvenile jails are in an uproar now...KTLA defends its anchors taking freebies...and surprise endorsements in the...

Cut a tree, pay a fine

If you want to cut down a Southern California black walnut, Western sycamore, California bay or any oak tree in your backyard, you'll have to get a permit and plant...
Ficus vs sidewalk
sidewalk-eaten-by-tree.jpgThis ficus has definitely won on Ben Lomond Place in Los Feliz. Bigger inside
Teammates
blue-jackets-foligno.jpgMembers of the Columbus Blue Jackets wait for teammate Nick Foligno to be placed on a stretcher at Staples Center. He was OK after the game, won 5-2 by the Kings.
LAO_TyrusWong104 copy.jpgTake My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed. See Gary's archive.
Fauna observed
owl-in-yucca-vdt.jpgGreat horned owl perched in a yucca. Veronique de Turenne
Struckus House
struckus-house-door-kr.jpgSwiveling front door at the Al Struckus House in Woodland Hills. More photos