LA Observed archive
for August 2006

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

Voice axes Christgau (* updated)

Robert Christgau, whose own website uses the descriptor Dean of American rock critics, was fired in a putsch of Village Voice staffers. He has covered the music scene since 1967...

Rather tribute bumped -- by CBS

Dan Rather's farewell retrospective on CBS couldn't even make the cut on the Friday evening before Labor Day. In Los Angeles and New York, the hour-long show is yielding to...

Details on LAT politics blog

Fear of the long knives from Chicago is rampant again in the Los Angeles Times newsroom at First and Spring streets downtown. You know people are skittish when a rumor...

KNBC announces fall schedule

Looks like there's no room for "The Local Story: Summer Edition," which has been running at 3 pm on Channel 4 since July. It was billed as a temporary fill-in...

Times reporter's book: Iraq a failure

T. Christian Miller of the Los Angeles Times Washington bureau shows up on the blog at the Huffington Post with an entry about the subject of his new book, Blood...

LAT and 'Dahlia'

The Black Dahlia opened the Venice Film Festival yesterday, with James Ellroy and the stars in attendance. (Variety covers and reviews: "...literally ripping good yarn is undercut by some lackluster...

Morning Buzz: 8.31.06

Valley robbery video NBC 4 last night showed surveillance video of the ski mask robbers hitting Mr. Cecil's in Sherman Oaks. Lincoln Place tenants face eviction. Tomorrow is the...

Glenn Ford, actor was 90

Hollywood lost another stalwart today. Actor Glenn Ford was found dead by paramedics called to his Beverly Hills home about 4 pm. Ford lived with his son Peter and his...

Inland Empire Weekly deal

Southland Publishing, which owns L.A. CityBeat, ValleyBeat, Pasadena Weekly and the Ventura County Reporter, acquired the relatively new Inland Empire Weekly. Publisher Jeremy Zachary, editor Stacy Davies and managing editor...

Everybody (but LAT) talking about Leinart

David Davis at SoCal Sports Observed makes the point that the Los Angeles Times has yet to mention that the father of USC basketball player Brynn Cameron says his daughter...

Cutting to his personal chase (* update)

SoCal talk radio host and blogger Hugh Hewitt's message and worldview can almost always be reduced to a simple statement: Republicans good, Democrats bad. On yesterday's nationally syndicated show, he...

Podcasting L.A.

Bon Appétit's Los Angeles bureau has joined the podcast lineup at iTunes. Heather John, a senior editor here, covers local hotspots in a roundup of national bars and lounges with...

Free music at a price

Celia Hirschman, KCRW's resident music industry expert, doesn't like yesterday's deal between SprialFrog and Universal Music for ostensibly free downloads. At first glance, the SpiralFrog deal seemed like a huge...

Let the healing begin

At today's victory performance in South Los Angeles for his school reform measure, Mayor Villaraigosa and his aides pretty much stuck to the script: enthusiastic cheerings kids, lots of talk...

Appreciating the Far East Cafe

Los Angeles mystery writer Naomi Hirahara, whose best-known character is Japanese American gardener Mas Arai, will be giving a private walking tour of Little Tokyo mystery sites later this year....

One more book in him

Kirk Douglas says that Let's Face It will be the last of his nine books. The announcement at Publishers Lunch calls it a "humorous and poignant examination of moments in...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 8.30.06

Looks like arson Santa Clarita fire burned 655 acres but is almost out. Playa Vista opponents lose in court Judge tells Grassroots Coalition that he isn't convinced the city...

Instant makeover

TVNewswer caught CBS giving Katie Couric a little help to look thinner. Compare her first official network photo at this year's TV upfronts from May (left) and the slimmer version...

Instant analysis

Democratic strategist Chris Lehane says Mayor Villaraigosa's school reform victory tonight in Sacramento show his political juice, but calls it "a very short-term win [and] an extraordinary long-term political gamble...

Kid's still in the picture

It was forty years ago this month that Peter Bart wrote a positive story in the New York Times about a young Hollywood producer, Robert Evans. Bart later went to...

AB 1381 stalled for the moment (* update)

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's school bill got to 30 ayes in the Assembly before the voting was suspended about 5:20 pm. His side expects to get over the top before the...

'Non-Tactical Negligent Discharge'

The headline is LAPD-ese for "he's in trouble." According to the department news blog, Officer Chris Walker of Pacific Division was at home around midnight when he heard his wife...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 8.29.06

Firing on LAPD Someone shot a round into the front window of the North Hollywood community station. No one was hit. Santa Clarita fire mostly controlled Full containment expected...

Malibu close-up

Check out Veronique's photo of a monarch butterfly and sunflower at Here in Malibu....

Monday blogs eclectic

Ten posts from the feed reader... Daily News sports columnist Tom Hoffarth blogs about the Beatles' penultimate road concert, forty years ago today at Dodger Stadium. It was a Bob...

Daniel Hernandez interviewed

The young reporter (he's 25) who left the Los Angeles Times this year for the LA Weekly (and did a well-received profile of Gustavo Arellano and took heat for his...

His beat lasts four stories

Don Woutat doesn't stay long in any job at the Los Angeles Times. But he really didn't stay long as the Times' new correspondent in Las Vegas. He was announced...

Senate passes Antonio's bill

The vote was 23-14. AB 1381, aka the Gloria Romero Educational Reform Act of 2006, now goes to the Assembly for a thumbs up in the education committee and a...

SoCal book nominees

Nice to hear that Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles (link) is a finalist for the Southern California Booksellers Association 2006 Book Awards. Especially nice to be included in...

Lion on Palos Verdes?

The Daily Breeze gathers together all the reports of big cat sightings through the years on the Palos Verdes peninsula — and official assurances that nothing has ever been confirmed...

Swimming in Silver Lake

A security guard patrolling in the Silver Lake area about 1 am somehow launched his truck into the reservoir and had to swim back to shore. The truck went in...

Ellroy and the Black Dahlia

From the 'Black Dahlia' commercials that began running this weekend and the four-page ad wrap in Sunday's Times, it looks like we're going to be inundated with the catch phrase...

Defending Leland Wong

The blog of the Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment disagrees with observers, I guess most notably DA Steve Cooley and the Daily News, who say that whether...

Morning Buzz: Monday 8.28.06

Mayor back to Sacramento Antonio Villaraigosa is around the Capitol today lobbying for passage of AB 1381. Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally came out opposed to the bill after an "emergency"...

Nineteen minutes to go one mile

The most meaningful stat in the Times' Sunday page one story about the Westside's awful traffic is that it takes an average of nineteen minutes to travel one mile on...

Weekend shorts

No more Jdate: Valley congressman Brad Sherman can stop meeting women online now. He announced his engagement to Lisa Nicola Kaplan, a foreign affairs officer for the U.S. State Department....

Chiding USC from within

Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing writes extensively on what he sees as the abuses of copyright and the law's dampening effect on free exchange of ideas and art. Just because he's...

The week that was

Some highlights from the past week on the LA Observed blogs, for the review-minded: Welcome to Gentrification City, Leland Wong indicted, Sunset Junction kisses up to celebrities, Dopest Lawyer makes...

Gropee settles with Arnold

Anna Richardson is the former British late-night TV personality who said that Arnold Schwarzenegger pulled her onto his knee, fondled her and asked if her breasts were real after a...

Mystery stench invades Long Beach

It's been awhile since those mysterious smells wafted over Los Angeles, but Long Beach firefighters were dispatched this week to look for the cause of an unexplained "foul odor" that...

Hard to do, as they say

Adam Carolla sidekick and occasional L.A. Times contributor Teresa Strasser elaborates in her Jewish Journal Singles column about a recent stormy break-up — which I guess makes her single again,...

Black Dahlia wrap (* updated)

An LA Observed reader sends word to expect a creative movie tie-in for the Brian De Palma film in the Los Angeles Times. More around than in, actually: The Sunday...

Gentrification story o' the day

Reports the Star-News: Residents living in South Pasadena's only senior housing complex are demanding the city put a stop to a new owner's plans to turn their modest units into...

Morning Buzz: Friday 8.25.06

AB 1381 lacks the votes Mayor Villaraigosa's school bill couldn't get out of the state Senate on Thursday, but President Pro Tem Don Perata said it should have the...

Admiring Sixth Street

Blogger Tim McGarry at Angels and Vagabonds captures the trees in Windsor Square, near the mayor's official residence. "The camphor trees along Sixth, among the largest and most beautiful in...

Vogue's coolest house in L.A.

It's Michael Chow's palace in Holmby Hills, designed by Chow and his wife Eva with a 28-foot-high central atrium and many Chinese touches, but with Mexican arches and carved wooden...

Afternoon snacks

Los Angeles subscribers to the New York Times missed a juicy Bert Fields quote about Tom Cruise that the irate reporters got restored to this morning's later NYC edition,...

Joining the g-word fray

Jenny Burman blogs at Chicken Corner that the LA Weekly's David Zahniser is a fellow Echo Parkster and describes the view of gentrification from her corner of the neighborhood. Next...

Summer in the city

Reader William Etling emails an observation: I live near the Grove and I've seen almost every state's license plate in the last 48 hours. Wyoming, South Dakota, Indiana, New Jersey,...

Garlic warfare in Silver Lake

Blogger Francis Stokes was schmoozing with the enviro-types of Green Drinks on the Edendale Grill patio when they came under attack from above. He posts: Apparently Silver Lake’s rise to...

Palm trees, pro and con

There's no denying that palm trees are an iconic feature of the Los Angeles landscape, despite being non-native and ecologically almost worthless. In this week's CityBeat (out today), David Davin...

Gems in the weekend radio desert

Martin Miller in the LAT's Calendar Weekend section says that radio offerings on Saturday and Sunday used to be richer, but he found some programming he likes. On his list...

Morning Buzz for Thursday, 8.24.06

Wilshire stretch closed by shooting It's in Beverly Hills between La Cienega and Robertson. Just a little mess for the morning commute. DWP pipe leaking since Easter Tujunga residents...

'Welcome to Gentrification City'

I just received an email from a local editor-in-chief which reads, "David Zahniser's piece in this week's LA Weekly .. is brilliant. I'm jealous." The subject of the rave is...

Afternoon snacks

Sumner Redstone's pique at Tom Cruise's, uh, personal style (reported yesterday at LA Biz Observed) broke the basic Hollywood social contract of always — always — lying when you...

David LoCicero, Her Ex photog was 83

David LoCicero covered the Korean War, shot sports for Associated Press and worked at the Herald Examiner for 7½ years until 1973. He retired in 1983 as chief photographer for...

Wong charged with 20 counts

Pay to play is back in the news, in a big way. Former Hahn Administration power broker Leland Wong pleaded not guilty this morning to a twenty-count Grand Jury indictment...

Beirut-Los Angeles website

Beirut | Los Angeles calls itself a "nonpartisan albeit progressive project for peace, linking Americans with Lebanon in particular and the Middle East more generally." It's from the Levantine Cultural...

Morning Buzz, 8.23.06

Amending AB 1381 Former mayor Richard Riordan likes Villaraigosa's reform move, but he along with opponents ex-Gov. Pete Wilson and Eli Broad want to delete the severability clause. LAT...

Reseda surprise

Today's heat sneaked up on people, even in the Valley — though you should never really be shocked when the thermometer crosses a hundred in August. Reader Arthur Medrano emails...

'Battle for Control' of LAUSD

NBC4 yesterday ran a half-hour special report on the political fight over the future of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Didn't see it, but the station's website has a...

In 'Los Angeles' this month

September's Los Angeles Magazine offers a primer on finding a good and safe elementary school, putting the spotlight on sixty schools around the Greater L.A. area (not just the parent...

Margolin and Dodger Thoughts

I figured I would leave any mention of today's page one LAT feature on Allison Margolin down below in the Morning Buzz. After all, she's nothing new to LA Observed...

LAPD responds to Lopez

Central area commander Andrew Smith posts today at the LAPD blog. He doesn't link to Steve Lopez's column in the Aug. 19 L.A. Times about observing drug sales downtown, so...

Saving Rose Tree Cottage

Catherine Elsworth of the London Telegraph credits the Pasadena institution with introducing "proper, English-style tea drinking" to the Lipton-sipping heathens of Southern California. The tea shop faces imminent eviction from...

Morning Buzz for Tuesday, 8.22.06

Engineers and Architects on strike Thousands of city workers are out, with picket lines up at City Hall and elsewhere. Mayor Villaraigosa says he plans to cross and has...

Afternoon snacks *

Bad case of indigestion at Cheesecake Factory, brought on by unwanted attention from Nasdaq and the SEC. LA Biz Observed The OC Post tabloid debuted today in Orange County,...

Judge orders 200 workers not to strike

Superior Court judge Dzintra Janavs (her again!) ordered about 200 "essential" city workers not to join the walkout called for tomorrow by the Engineers and Architects association at City Hall....

Getting in the game

Blogger Zach Behrens (In the Oaks and LAist) is running for a seat on the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council. He's unopposed, so it looks like he should be addressed in...

Sunset Junction grows up

This weekend's festival will have a "first-ever VIP hospitality lounge." It will be at the Cliff's Edge restaurant on Sunset, where the flakkery says that "headliners from the street fair...

Photo buzz

El Mirador: Alan Pavlik of Just Above Sunset captures S. Charles Lee's classic apartments on Sweetzer in West Hollywood. Liquids on a plane: Tabloid Baby catches Homeland Security chief Michael...

L.A. should vote, S.F. says

Mayor Villaraigosa took his LAUSD campaign to UTLA's leaders on Sunday in La Quinta and got a good reaction, despite some catcalls at the start. Up north in San Francisco,...

Valley restaurant holdup du jour

Ca Del Sol in Toluca Lake was robbed at gunpoint about 10 pm last night. Two gunmen came in wearing masks and emptied the cash register. Sound familiar?...

Here's 23 more of the powerful

The Planning Report didn't think that West magazine's stab at the hundred most powerful Southern Californians went far enough. So TPR's August issue adds 23 more names, among them essential...

Morning Buzz, 8.21.06

JonBenet Ramsey suspect in L.A. John Mark Karr flew back to the U.S. from Thailand in Business Class, escorted but not handcuffed, and enjoyed champagne, fried king prawns and...

The week that was

Some highlights of the past week from LA Observed contributors: Eric Estrin's ten tips for enjoying Dodger Stadium include go late, leave early and buy from scalpers. You can shuttle...

Pro and con on Ellroy

Two letters make it into today's West magazine praising James Ellroy's July 30 essay about moving home to Los Angeles, but it's the zinger that's more notable. Ellroy must be...

Creationism at the tar pits

According to Amy Wilentz in today's West magazine, creationists have a theory that's wackier than anything they can pin on Darwin. In this theory, the thousands of fossils extracted from...

'The Times completely misinformed me'

It's not unusual for someone to claim that a newspaper misinformed them. It is quite unusual, though, for the complaint to come from a Los Angeles Times contributor — about...

Friday desk clearing

Martin Kaplan of USC Annenberg-Huffington Post-Hollywood-Democratic politics is interviewed by Tom Teichholz in today's Jewish Journal. Also in the JJ: columnist Bill Boyarsky observes verbal pummeling of an LAT...

Antonio to maybe-strikers: 'Make my day'

Well not exactly, but in so many words Mayor Villaraigosa this afternoon called the bluff of the Engineer and Architects Association. He said that City Hall is ready if the...

Judy Raphael, L.A. music figure

Raphael died in her sleep last Saturday in a hospice in Palm Desert, following what Todd Everett calls "a long and excruciating illness." She was a contributor in the early...

Friday, 8.18.06

Morning Buzz End of the line for aerospace Boeing will take steps to shut down the C-17 plant in Long Beach. How long before all evidence of the aerospace...

Things tense at Channel 2

Writers in the newsroom at KCBS and KCAL left their desks about 3:30 pm Wednesday and took an unscheduled break together in the courtyard before returning to their desks at...

Yen Do, Vietnamese newspaper publisher was 65

The Nguoi Viet Daily News in Orange County is the largest Vietnamese daily newspaper in the nation. Do started the paper in his Garden Grove garage as a four-page weekly...

Afternoon snacks

The mayor's school bill passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and will head next week to a floor vote. Technicians at LAX replaced a sensor they think malfunctioned...

Times calling

A half-dozen Los Angeles Times subscribers have now emailed me about their call from the LAT phone robot asking if they want to keep receiving the emaciated TV Times. The...

No more country at KZLA

Mike at Franklin Avenue records the abrupt change this morning from country music to Top 40 — with Rick Dees as the morning guy on "Movin 93.9." How abrupt? KZLA,...

Gibson cops a plea

TMZ reports that Mel Gibson's lawyer dropped in on Malibu's courthouse today and revealed a deal with prosecutors. He pleads no contest to misdemeanor drunk driving, but counts of driving...

Guest bloggers sign the papers

After several weeks as resident guests, and some time before that as anonymous visiting bloggers, Mayrav Saar and Kate Coe are official at Fishbowl LA. Mayrav is a former Orange...

Thursday, 8.17.06

Morning Buzz Unfriendly fire Over the past two decades, 90 LAPD officers were shot by bad guys while 68 either shot themselves or were shot by other officers. The...

Less lonely on the county beat

In my Politics piece this month for Los Angeles magazine, while talking about South L.A. black politics post-Yvonne Burke I observe that reporters typically resist assignments at the county Hall...

Mother Jones taps editors-in-chief

Senior editor Monika Bauerlein and deputy editor Clara Jeffery will take over the San Francisco-based magazine. City Pages has details via Romenesko....

Most read LAT Mag story ever

Claire Hoffman's talker on Girls Gone Wild creep Joe Francis in West two weeks ago might be the most-clicked-on L.A. Times non-news story ever. As this memo sent from LATimes.com...

New L.A. blogger for pay

Alyssa Shelasky will be posting about her L.A. dating life for Glamour magazine's new website — with a little twist. Apparently, she will ask readers for love advice then put...

A little less Mystique

When Spa Mystique opened at the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa in 2001, it was billed as Los Angeles' largest luxury spa—a 35,000-square-foot "oasis of serenity, offering hotel guests and...

Aren't editors a bitch?

Silman-James Press here is upset all over again with the New York Times for not allowing the title of its book, Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport by...

Wednesday, 8.16.06

Morning Buzz How a nuke could ruin your day A ten-kiloton blast at the Port of Los Angeles "would not only kill tens of thousands of people, but have...

Judge guilty of being Angels fan

Riverside County Superior Court judge Paul Zellerbach was at an Angels-Red Sox game in Anaheim in 2004 when his jury came in with a murder verdict. The state judicial watchdog...

1,100 homes in Santa Clarita get OK

A judge told Newhall Land and Farming that it can go ahead with the Riverpark project. The Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Santa Clara River and...

Douridas: probation and counseling

KCRW music host Chris Douridas received his sentence today in Superior Court, after pleading no contest to possession of cocaine. He must enroll in a drug-counseling program and serve three...

Carless in L.A.

For his interview on today's "Morning Edition," How To Live Well Without Owning A Car author Chris Balish took the Metro bus to Venice Boulevard and Hughes then rode his...

Tuesday, 8.15.06

Morning Buzz LAX outages a mystery Runway 25R never closed during yesterday's forty-minute ILS failure but controllers had to talk planes down, forcing flights to circle or be held...

Romer and Canter 'all but concede'

Bob Sipchen went to Sacramento for the show today and says that Supt. Roy Romer and Board of Education president Marlene Canter have given up trying to substantially alter the...

What I read at lunch

You get pretty far into Mary McNamara's LAT piece on Mary-Louise Parker (pegged to tonight's return of "Weeds" on Showtime) before you learn that she is not a happy faux...

Not again!

LAX lost the instrument landing system on runway 25R again this morning. The system was out for about forty minutes, forcing landings to move to the north runways and reducing...

Village Voice gets its editor

David Blum takes over at the Village Voice Sept. 12. He is a New York media veteran. Blum began at the Wall Street Journal in 1979, jumped to Esquire then...

Biz notes

At LA Biz Observed, Mark Lacter reports on a juicy court case between Maxine Swim Group and its former CEO, tells who's going to promote "Desperate Housewives" and "Ugly Betty"...

Playing Daniel Pearl

Actor-screenwriter Dan Futterman will play the part of Daniel Pearl in the upcoming movie based on Mariane Pearl's book, according to the Washington Post's Reliable Source column. When it became...

Sign of the (TV) Times *

The LAT announced in yesterday's TV Times that the weekly guide to what's on television will no longer come with Sunday papers. If you are a Times subscriber, and if...

Monday, 8.14.06

Morning Buzz Channels 2 and 9 lead the Emmy pack The sister stations took home eight local Emmy's on Saturday, followed by Fox 11. Top news writer was Mary...

Malibu's beaches just became more public

What's better than one insider pulling back the veil on exclusive Malibu? Why two, of course. Jenny Price actually lives in Venice, but she knows her way around Malibu's hidden...

Council backs mayor 15-zip *

They talked and talked first for going on three hours, but in the end the City Council fell into line behind Mayor Villaraigosa and voted unanimously to endorse his LAUSD...

Santa Barbara Nine get award

Nine of the journalists who resigned from the Santa Barbara News-Press rather than go along with the questionable decrees of owner Wendy McCaw will receive an Ethics in Journalism tribute...

CCA jumps on mayor's wagon

The Central City Association, the lobbyists for downtown business interests, endorsed Mayor Villaraigosa's bill in the Legislature to put the Los Angeles schools partly under his control. We'll see in...

Rampart veteran arrested

LAPD officer Edward Beltran Zamora has been charged with filing a false police report and making false arrests. He surrendered at Parker Center then was released on $20,000 bail. The...

Friday morning, 8.11.06

Morning Buzz New airport rules Wall Street Journal lists them. Just check your stuff — including your laptop if you are headed to London — and you'll be OK....

Number six

Veronique de Turenne joins the LA Observed family today with a clear agenda: to raise the blogosphere profile of her hometown. Here in Malibu will feature her observations on coastal...

Beaches at Ballona Creek reopen

The Pacific worked its magic, dissipating the raw sewage that came down the creek earlier in the week. Public health officials say the surf is safe again on the Marina...

Gibson has three Jewish invites

Tomorrow's Jewish Journal compiles the invitations extended to Mel Gibson by groups that apparently hope to be part of whatever mea culpa tour the actor-producer decides will cleanse the taint...

Rest of the West 100

The Times has posted the full list of its anointed 100 most powerful Southern California players. After the first ten, which I gave you here this morning, they are in...

Daily News prepares to expand online *

The fifteen "InsideSoCal" staff blogs fed mostly out of the newsroom in Woodland Hills — and the absorption of LA.com — were just the beginning for the Daily News' online...

LAT names SoCal's 'most powerful'

West Magazine will run "The West 100" of power players in Southern California on Sunday, as chosen by Los Angeles Times staffers drafted by the magazine. It's not a conventional...

Thursday morning, 8.10.06

Morning Buzz No disruption at LAX With the arrests and disclosure of an airliner terrorism plot in London, threat level red security rules are in effect — passengers cannot...

McIntyre in our morning

Just to point out some of the pieces now in the queue at Native Intelligence, the LA Observed blog where the subjects can range wherever the contributors want to go:...

Nobody killed their electric cars

When Nissan showed up unannounced with two flatbed trucks yesterday to haul away the city of Pasadena's zero-emission Hyperminis, officials were not amused. They didn't exactly blockade the yard where...

Blogger in the news (again)

Charles Johnson of the Los Angeles-based war blog Little Green Footballs and co-founder of Pajamas Media got most of the praise due the blogosphere for uncovering the fake documents about...

Bratton on the LAPD blog

LAPDBlog.org gets about 2,000 visits a day. Chief William Bratton sees it as mainly a tool for the department to put out its version of events without media interference, as...

Should the LAT have spiked the Francis piece?

I don't think so, but Clay Risen at the website The Morning News does. His reasoning is a little tortured: he calls Claire Hoffman's piece in last Sunday's West magazine...

Wednesday, 8.9.06

Morning Buzz Dodgers streak reaches 11 They beat the Rockies and Daily News columnist Steve Dilbeck eats crow. Beauty comes before duty — or not Some veterans are upset...

On the Biz beat

Newsy day over at Mark Lacter's daily business blog. He posted on the troubling questions over Pixar's stock options, Wonder Bread's product placement in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky...

Mel's letter for McClintock *

It's not as surprising as, say, usually reliable Hollywood Democrats Spielberg, Katzenberg and Saban endorsing Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, as they did last week. Mel Gibson has well-known religio-conservative leanings. Still,...

Afternoon snacks

Mayor Villaraigosa announced today that his initiative to deploy traffic officers during the rush hour will soon cover 51 intersections. Just for the record, every one is listed after the...

Sewage spill closes beaches

Two miles of surf in either direction from Ballona Creek and the Marina del Rey entrance channel will be marked off limits until at least tomorrow afternoon, thanks to raw...

Book coming on Gary Webb

The topic of Gary Webb and his treatment within the journalism world remains divisive. People I respect fall on both sides: that he was a courageous investigative digger who got...

Kids who won't play on Sabbath lose

You probably don't know that there is a big Little League championship tournament underway in San Bernardino, with a team of Northridge 11- and 12-year-olds involved. One contender has a...

Don't take Amtrak

If you were thinking of a little holiday on the Coast Starlight that runs from Los Angeles to Oakland and beyond to Seattle, be aware that things aren't going too...

Tuesday, 8.8.06

Morning Buzz Bill Ouchi against AB 1381 William G. Ouchi, UCLA professor, former Riordan chief of staff and author of Making Schools Work argues on the Times op-ed page that...

This month in VF

There's a line in the new Vanity Fair's cover story on Kate Moss that the model makes more money than ever, post-coke addiction, and peers out from more magazine pages....

Flashlight officer sues Bratton

John Hatfield contends that Chief William Bratton unduly influenced the LAPD Board of Rights that fired him. Hatfield is the officer who applied a flashlight to the head of auto...

Hurry up and wait at LAX *

This time the instrument landing system for runway 25R — the long one on the south side — failed after 9 o'clock this morning. That forced arrivals to squeeze onto...

Garry Abrams, journalist was 58 *

The Los Angeles Daily Journal columnist died over the weekend after an eight-year battle with prostate cancer. He had previously worked as a feature writer at the Los Angeles Times....

Declaring themselves 'hot'

When you are promoting a new business, I guess you can write anything you wish. In the promo material on the web for Tripmates, an online service that launched here...

Well read, indeed

That profile of Joe Francis in West magazine I told you about last week was the talk of the town (to the degree that can happen in L.A.) all weekend....

Violins over eucalyptus

Drivers on the northbound 110 Freeway downtown have watched the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra players depicted in Kent Twitchell's mural "Harbor Freeway Overture" gradually disappear behind a shroud of tree...

Monday morning, 8.7.06

Morning Buzz Mayor apologizes to Muslim leaders Villaraigosa met Sunday with the Muslim community groups that had criticized him for attending a pro-Israel rally and not responding to their...

The week that was

These are some highlights from the past week of posts on the five LA Observed blogs, since I know some of you cut out early for a long weekend... From...

They heard the news today, oh boy *

"Breakfast with the Beatles," radio's longest-running Beatles show at more than twenty years, will air on 97.1 KLXS for the last time the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. Host Chris...

China off the hook

Last weekend I picked up a Daily News item saying that air pollution that drifts around the earth from China accounts for 25% of the particulates in our air. Today...

Mayor signs term limits measure *

Late Friday afternoon action, short and simple: "The question of extending term limits belongs rightly with the voters. The City Attorney has approved the ordinance as to form and legality....

Local Muslims protest Villaraigosa

Leaders of the Islamic Center, the Shura Council and other local groups are unhappy that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined in a pro-Israel rally on the Westside July 23. They held...

Joe Francis goes wild on LAT writer

Business section staff reporter Claire Hoffman opens her piece in the Sunday magazine West with a graphic scene. The screaming phone calls, accusations that she has a crush on her...

Raising questions for Israel

Jack Miles' essay asking if Lebanon is Israel's Iraq — and whether the war on Hezbollah is a miscalculation that might leave Israel worse off — would not be so...

Travis fires back in Santa Barbara

Travis Armstrong, the Wendy McCaw aide whose elevation to publisher and newsroom boss — and suppression of his DUI sentence from the news pages — sparked the mass departure of...

More Quinceañera

Besides the NYT and LAT reviews cited in today's Morning Buzz, the film based in Echo Park is the talk of the free weeklies. Ella Taylor writes in LA Weekly:...

John Rabe gets a show *

KPCC will debut "Off-Ramp" Saturday at noon and run it biweekly until October, when it goes weekly. John Rabe, a reporter at the station who is a veteran of public...

Aug. 5, 1962

For the 44th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death, LA Observed contributor Deanne Stillman imagines a first rendezvous between the ultimate California girl and the Kennedy men. Jack arrived first. Marilyn...

Demolition in San Pedro

They are going to blow up San Pedro's first high-rise this weekend. About 6 am on Sunday, wind conditions allowing, the stripped-down former Logicon building at 55 W. Fifth St....

Friday morning, 8.4.06

Morning Buzz Why magazines arrive late A May 4 spot check at the big mail-processing plant in South L.A. found that some first-class mail destined for Los Angeles was...

Mayor won't commit on term limits

At Mayor Villaraigosa's press conference this afternoon to help unveil Councilwoman Wendy Greuel's "anti-gridlock zone" signs, he refused to say whether he would sign or veto the City Council's attempt...

Criminal cop gets 30 years

Former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy Gabriel Gonzalez assaulted women he stopped while on patrol in the Compton area. He was convicted in federal court earlier this year....

Pico closed by bomb scare *

A suitcase chained to a street sign brought out the bomb squad in the heavily Jewish Pico-Robertson neighborhood. All clear after a few hours of disruption. It's the Jewish holiday...

Reprise by editor's prerogative *

I was burrowing through the LA Observed archives and came across this Correction o' the Week from 2005 and thought it deserved renomination for the Newspaper Correction Hall o' Fame....

Yet another Valley restaurant robbed

The Valley Inn, just off the 405 freeway in Sherman Oaks, is about the 200th restaurant in the Valley to be hit during a spree that has been especially hard...

Thursday Morning, 8.3.06

Morning Buzz Council's term limits gambit sparks ire City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo called on the mayor to veto the council's action putting a term limits extension on the November...

TMZ isn't the only Gibsongate winner

Until Mel Gibson's real arrest report leaked out, Steve Whitmore was not the most visible of law enforcement media handlers. Cindy Beavers with the San Bernardino County sheriff's and that...

You will clean up now!

Moving day to the new building on the Radford lot in Studio City is still two whole calendar seasons — and at least one sweeps period — away for staffers...

Defining moment? Ha!

Bruce Feirstein jumps into the pool at Native Intelligence with a post that labels Arianna Huffington's "defining Hollywood moment" spin on the Mel Gibson affair ridiculous and dismisses Ari Emanuel's...

Email outage downtown

The power outage that knocked out lights and elevators across the Civic Center this morning has been mostly over since before 9:30 am, but the Hall of Administration's computers must...

Introducing Chicken Corner

One of the additions we've talked about at LA Observed — and have been hatching in the background — is encouraging writers to blog occasionally (or more) about the places...

Wilentz does California *

First thing Amy Wilentz did when she moved to Los Angeles with her husband, Nick Goldberg — op-ed editor at the LAT — was to write a book about California...

Wednesday, 8.2.06

Morning Buzz Moonshadows? Mel Gibson got smashed and posed for sloppy photos with fans at the PCH hangout Moonshadows before jumping in his car, making a u-turn and speeding...

Goldstein shames Hollywood's lack of shame

In a column tomorrow motivated by Mel Gibson's anti-Jewish recidivism, Times Calendar columnist Patrick Goldstein chides Hollywood executives for not distancing themselves from the actor-producer. Amy Pascal is my hero....

Mayor lauds Clinton

At a UCLA event this afternoon to launch a global initiative on climate change, Mayor Villaraigosa embraced former President Bill Clinton with a warm introduction. The text is after the...

Council clamps down on rants

The City Council imposed new rules of decorum for public speakers at the thrice-weekly meetings: one minute instead of two, no addressing a specific council member (let's see them defend...

Bellman gets his say

This all began back on July 21 when longtime ACLU member Joel Bellman released an open letter to Ramona Ripston, head of the Southern California ACLU, protesting an award to...

More freeway patrols

Free lane-side assistance from the Metro Freeway Service Patrol is expanding to the 210 west of Pasadena and to I-5 from Sylmar up to Lake Hughes Road in Castaic. Trucks...

Tuesday, 8.1.06

Morning Buzz Mel: "I am not a bigot" Mel Gibson's people have a released a statement in which the actor denies having anti-Semitic beliefs and apologizes for his Jewish-conspiracy...

Say hello to...

Two more contributors have posted over at Native Intelligence, the LA Observed blog where selected writers are invited to post their unedited observations about Los Angeles: their life or work,...
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
Australian Ballet and more
swan-lake-dp.jpg
The Australian Ballet's recent visit reviewed, plus Mahler's Fifth by Dudamel and the LA Phil. Donna Perlmutter
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