LA Observed archive
for December 2006

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

2006: Tumultuous Times

Did the Los Angeles Times have a tough year or what? Lots of unhappy departures, speculations about a dark future and criticism aimed at the paper. There also was much...

2006: Gone but not forgotten

Some of the Los Angeles-area institutions, famous and not, that didn't make it though the year — as covered by LA Observed. Ambassador Hotel Tower Records Rhino Records Dutton's North...

2006: Passings

Obituaries come in three varieties on LA Observed. Either the death is big news with a SoCal connection, the deceased is prominent in the fields that the site obsesses about,...

Ron Fineman, web journalist was 54

Ron Fineman lost his battle with colon cancer today. The founder of the television news website Ron Fineman's On the Record was taken off his respirator Dec. 21 and told...

New art magazine

Former LA Weekly-ians Charles Rappleye and Tulsa Kinney have reappeared as publisher and editor, respectively, of Artillery, a new Los Angeles-based art magazine distributed mostly in galleries here and in...

L.A. ethics 101

City ethics commissioner Bill Boyarsky took the on-line ethics course required of Los Angeles officials and found the exercise filled him with mixed emotions. "Campaign contributions -- the target of...

LAPD and the Chechen terrorists

Today's Wall Street Journal front page says that in breaking up an international car theft ring recently, the LAPD interrupted the flow of profits to terrorists in the Republic of...

The end for Strumpette?

The webmaster at PR industry blog Strumpette has posted a fake AP dispatch announcing that the blog's creator, the pseudonymous Amanda Chapel, suffered broken bones and a concussion in a...

Why Geffen would be bad for LAT

Kim Masters writes at Slate that David Geffen is the wrong man to run the L.A. Times, taking issue with the position voiced earlier this month by Times Hollywood writers...

More fingers point at deputy chief

Five more LAPD officers will hold a press conference Friday to allege misconduct by ex-deputy chief Michael Berkow, Eric Leonard reports at KFI.com. Berkow is the former head of internal...

Daniel Hernandez gets letters

Shades of Brown in the LA Weekly was Daniel Hernandez's take on the relationship between the Times (his former employer) and its Latino staffers as well as the city's largest...

Thursday shorts

Judge Dzintra Janavs bitch slapped Mayor Villaraigosa over his LAUSD compromise, David Zahniser writes in the LA Weekly. Greg Stacy found out the hard way, after 600 weeks writing...

NYT adds a (young) New Media reporter

Rebecca Dana, a 2004 graduate of Yale, has been covering television for the New York Observer. At the New York Times she will carve out a new beat in the...

Edwards confirms she opted out

Stephanie Edwards tells the Pasadena Star-News that she took the hint and declined KTLA's offer to reprise her limited role in KTLA's Rose Parade coverage. According to Edwards, it was...

December email to LA Observed

Lots of Time Warner cable woes, a response to Daniel Hernandez on Latinos and the L.A. Times, many complaints from Times subscribers — also Stephanie Edwards, Dean Baquet as a...

Work keeps going bad for Gibson deputy

James Mee, the Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who arrested Mel Gibson in Malibu, claims through his lawyer that he's being harassed by supervisors. Mee's arrest report, you might remember,...

Wednesday shorts

Gov. Schwarzenegger has been out of state for 204 of the 1,136 days he has been in office — or 1 of every 5.6 days, the LAT says based...

Times hires EW alum

Mary Kaye Schilling, the former executive editor of Entertainment Weekly, gets the helm of the LAT's Calendar Weekend section. She used to be the magazine's Los Angeles bureau chief. Looks...

Gerald Ford, president was 93

Former president Gerald Ford died today, Betty Ford announced. No location was given, but the Fords were residing in Rancho Mirage on the desert near Palm Springs. Ford lived to...

What's up at LAWA?

Print reporters who have to work the dead week between Christmas and New Year's are always scratching for news to fill the time and the papers, so here's a live...

Giving L.A. architecture some due

Yesterday's New York Times offered some backhanded praise of Los Angeles architecture, with writer Robin Pogrebin taking the position that L.A. design is leaving the dark ages and finally starting...

Tuesday shorts

Longtime local news figure Ross Becker is leaving NBC4 and the on-hiatus daytime show he anchored, The Local Story, for an anchor slot at KTVX, the ABC-affiliated Channel 4...

The Godfather of Soul, 73

James Brown died early Christmas Day in Atlanta after being admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. The Hardest Working Man in Show Business made one of his many comebacks from...

75° for Christmas

The NWS says Christmas Day in L.A. will be a lot like today — spring-like and mostly clear. Sunday's warmth helped make for a festive atmosphere on the Music Center...

Rain won't fall on Stephanie again

KTLA's press release tries to make the upcoming coverage of the Rose Parade sound special: "Bob Eubanks and Michaela Pereira will be back as co-hosts of the Rose Parade....Grand Marshal...

When Encino became Bedford Falls

One thing I can add to the Times' appreciation today of It's a Wonderful Life, the film classic starring James Stewart and Donna Reed: all that fake snow was created...

Metro free on Xmas & New Year's eves

You can ride the buses, Red Line and light rail lines for free from 9 pm Dec. 24 to 2 am on Christmas morning. The fare gets dropped again from...

West editor out at LAT

Mark Lacter has the scoop over at LA Biz Observed: Rick Wartzman gave his notice at the L.A. Times to join the New America Foundation, the think tank where Gregory...

Yule log returns

KCAL-9 will once again air the yule log on Christmas morning, continuing a 40-year tradition (in New York — just three years here.) The log will crackle away in silence...

Balzar leaving the newspaper game

John Balzar, one of the last ties to the L.A. Times' run as an exemplar of the literary newspaper journalism form, has given his notice and will move to Washington...

Riordan always has a place to eat

Ex-mayor Richard Riordan already owns the Original Pantry downtown and Gladstone's 4 Fish on Pacific Coast Highway. Now he's close to closing a deal for the venerable Mort's Deli in...

Rocky's office defines what makes news

A recent email reminded all the lawyers in City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo's criminal branch never to talk to reporters without clearance — and how they should recognize a newsworthy legal...

Thursday shorts

A day after News & Chatter broke the unfortunate news that Dutton's Beverly Hills is closing, the store posted an explanation on the web saying the landlord and Beverly...

Mayor loses on schools: unconstitutional *

Superior Court Judge Dzintra I. Janavs this afternoon threw out AB 1381. The law that Mayor Villaraigosa and friends pushed through the Legislature would have given the mayor power over...

The Times' Latino problem

Daniel Hernandez, a former Metro reporter for the Los Angeles Times, goes long on the paper's dearth of Latino journalists and disconnect from the community in today's LA Weekly (and...

Wednesday shorts

Not much of a hiatus today, it appears — but I promise to make up for it tomorrow. Peace in our time: the city and the Engineers and Architects Association...

Dutton's Beverly Hills to close

It was a big deal for Beverly Hills in 2004 when Dutton's opened the city's first general bookstore in a decade. Business has not been all it was hoped, however,...

LAT's Rubin jumps to NYT

Alissa Rubin, who just last September was given the Paris bureau chief slot for the L.A. Times, succumbed to the lure of the New York Times. She's going back to...

Ron Fineman terminally ill

LARadio.com reports that Ron Fineman, the former TV reporter and producer whose On the Record is one of the original Los Angeles media websites, is near death at Henry Mayo...

Staying home on election day

Four in ten California voters (41.5%) cast their November ballots absentee. Los Angeles County voters not so much: just 26% of those who voted used the convenient absentee method. (Contrast...

What a mensch

Dean Baquet's defense of news values against the bean counters — and his November ouster from the LAT — has won him the New York Observer's fourth annual Media Mensch...

Just to complete the circle

In July, Ryan A. Jimenez left the staff of the Geffen Playhouse to become press secretary for Maria Shriver in Sacramento. He abruptly departed that job last week, says the...

Channel 2 flunks geography again

This time it wasn't local, but still. While Paul Magers was reading a story last night about the heavy snowfall that blanketed New Mexico, the graphic carried the flag of,...

Tuesday shorts

Yeah, the former head of LAPD internal affairs cops to the affair with a sergeant under his command — but only for three years! Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally apologized (sort...

Joseph Barbera, cartoon legend was 95

Warner Bros sends word that animation legend Joseph Barbera died today at home in Studio City. He and partner William Hanna, who died in 2001, had worked together at MGM,...

Dov sells American Apparel

Founder Dov Charney will remain chief executive officer after the $382.5 million sale to be announced tomorrow, the New York Times reports online. Nothing on the L.A. Times website, even...

Handel apologizes and sits a week

Catching up with the fallout from KFI shouter Bill Handel's tirade on Jamie White's morning show last Friday, LARadio.com says that Handel will sit out a one-week suspension when he...

Good reads

No Morning Buzz today, but here are some offerings from LA Observed contributors. How not to blog: When his piece flinging around 23 n-words riled a friend, Bob Baker faced...

Editor's Dozen: Dec. 10-16

Some highlights from the past week at LA Observed, chosen by the guy who signs the checks. Judith Regan's firing by fax breaks late Friday. David Geffen offers $2 billion...

Creature of habit

Nate Holden, the ex-city councilman and state legislator, bopped into the HMS Bounty on Wilshire Boulevard last night confident of two things. For 40 years the political consulting firm of...

Reconsidering the Persian Palace

Greg Goldin, the architecture critic for Los Angeles magazine, thinks outside the box in today's West and defends the McMansions that have been altering Los Angeles neighborhoods for awhile now....

Regan was fired by fax

An "offensive" phone call to a HarperCollins attorney on Friday preceded Judith Regan's sudden firing, Sunday's Los Angeles Times says citing two unnamed but "highly placed corporate sources." Regan was...

Breeze stories on itself

Saturday's Daily Breeze ran this photo of Dean Singleton addressing the staff, along with a main story about the day's big news in the South Bay. Including the Breeze within...

Judith Regan gets pink slip

Judith Regan, publisher of the terminated O.J. Simpson book, was abruptly fired tonight by HarperCollins. The company announced the dismissal, “effective immediately,” in a news release issued about 7 p.m....

Friday desk-clearing

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel in San Jose barred further executions in California, saying the state procedure for lethal injection "lacks both reliability and transparency." Superior Court Judge Dzintra...

Democrats smell a party

The list of co-chairs for Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's inaugural includes leading California Democrats Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer, Villaraigosa and Núñez — and even a few Republicans such as Pete Wilson...

Dymally and his stinking badges

When Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally got in trouble recently over issuing fake badges to friends and campaign contributors, he called the fellow Democrat who was assigned to investigate, Hector De La...

Handel drops f-word on the air

Radio hype or actual anger allowed to get on their air? Never can tell with KFI. Morning angry man Bill Handel did not like that 98.7's Jamie White shooed his...

Daily Breeze sale done (* updated)

The website immediately slows down to molasses. Hearst's purchase includes the Palos Verdes Peninsula News, The Beach Reporter and More San Pedro. Dean Singleton's MediaNews will operate all of the...

LA Observed goes courtside

Video blogger Jacob Soboroff uploaded from last night's Clippers' game, chatting in the floor seats with #1 fan "Clipper" Darrell Bailey and courtside at Staples Center with Bob Baker, the...

Morning Buzz: Friday 12.15.06

Big serving of politics, media and police beat items for a Friday — plus another reason to avoid 7-11 and more. All nicely hidden away below the jump. Click...

Harvey Levin on Kato

Harvey Levin, who covered the O.J. Simpson legal circus for CBS 2, has some observations over at TMZ.com on Brian (Kato) Kaelin, who lived in a guest house on Simpson's...

Add one Hollywood website

Hollywood Today calls itself a "newsmagazine, with attitude...we cover the world of entertainment in all its multimedia glory, from screens and stages large and small." The site has been active...

Ahmet Ertegun, 83

The founder of Atlantic Records died today in New York. Ertegun fell at an Oct. 29 concert by the Rolling Stones and later slipped into a coma. He will be...

New LAPD scandal: sex

Chief William Bratton says in the LAT that the department is investigating the former deputy chief in charge of internal affairs over allegations that he exchanged preferential treatment and promotions...

'Sunset Strip' returns

AmericanLife TV is a "network for baby boomers" showing up on the new channel alignment for Time Warner Cable. Its selling point is old series' like "The Honeymooners,” “The Man...

'Subway to the Sea' in Bee

Laura Mecoy, the Sacramento Bee's Los Angeles reporter, weighs in today with a longish piece on L.A. transit pegged to the revived talk of a subway out Wilshire Boulevard. Mayor...

Black murder rate improving

Jill Leovy covers homicide and the police for the L.A. Times, often in South Los Angeles. She writes today at Salon.com that the recent uptick in murder stats and spreading...

Recycled Scorsese

Readers of The Envelope in yesterday's Times might have thought that Calendar staffer in New York Paul Lieberman's interview with Martin Scorsese was timely. It was all framed around the...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 12.14.06

Babel leads Golden Globe nominations If you own a movie or worked on one, you should care. Otherwise... List State Sen. Alex Padilla has brain surgery The day after...

Geffen's offer: $2 billion

Tribune has neither accepted nor rejected David Geffen's all-cash offer last month to buy the Los Angeles Times, a source tells the paper's James Rainey. Also: Rainey reports that ousted...

Warren Beatty's earlier life

This is kind of fun: Bonhams and Butterfields' big auction Sunday of Hollywood materials includes papers that Warren Beatty apparently abandoned in a New York hotel suite in the late...

Breeze sale to close Friday *

Hearst filed a legal document today that says it will buy the South Bay Daily Breeze from Copley, then sell the Breeze to Dean Singleton's MediaNews Group along with the...

Mid City's new mall

Curbed LA has the skinny and the renderings of the proposed new Midtown Crossing where Pico, Venice and San Vicente come together. Lowe's will anchor. Lots of comments on what...

Neighborhood humor, L.A. style

Active members of homeowner and residents' group live in a world of acronyms and nettlesome neighborhood issues. In their honor, here's the Christmas carol that was sung at the holiday...

Now in the game for the Clippers...

No, not Allen Iverson — not yet anyway. LA Observed contributor Bob Baker has taken over from Rick Cipes as the official, paid Clippers blogger at LATimes.com. He'll be spending...

Another shoe drops in Santa Barbara

Randy Alcorn, chief financial officer for the News-Press for 23 years, was escorted out of the building just before he could quit in exasperation with Wendy McCaw. Alcorn told his...

Spoofing Nora Ephron

The author and screenwriter contributed a blog entry on Condoleezza Rice to the Huffington Post over the weekend that begins: I met Condoleezza Rice last weekend. She was much prettier...

Baquet brothers profiled

Dean Baquet told his younger brother Terry (right) that he was being ousted as editor of the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 31, seven days before the Wall Street Journal...

Mayme Clayton's black history treasures

Bill Booth, the Washington Post Style section's writer in Los Angeles, is on a roll. Last week it was the 99-tuba salute for Tommy Johnson, today's it's a nice piece...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.13.06

Chandler family trying to buy the Times They could be the worst option yet for editorial quality. The Chandlers who are left are mostly the former John Birchers and...

Two pair of journos dish

A quartet of Hollywood old hands — Patrick Goldstein and John Horn of the LAT and Sharon Waxman and Laura Holson of the NYT — agreed last night at Zócalo's...

A mother's fear

L.A. journalist Mona Gable has stirred up a storm at the Huffington Post with a post reacting to her 16-year-old son receiving mail from the National Guard, the same week...

Guard who stabbed has a past

Michael Buchanan, the security guard who stabbed an intruder at the Beverly Hills home of celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, is an ex-Rampart Area officer who was fired from the LAPD...

Gagne really is gone

Dodgers bullpen closer Eric Gagne has agreed to a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers for $6 million, pending a physical. He actually only closed for three healthy seasons in...

Hiller's anti-union pitch

The Teamsters union is trying again to organize in the L.A. Times pressroom, and new publisher David Hiller has taken to the web to urge employees to vote no. I...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 12.12.06

City of Future winner to be announced The contest sponsored by the American Institute of Architects challenged top architecture firms and students to design a 22nd Century Los Angeles....

Power play

Both Felipe Fuentes and Cindy Montañez have been persuaded to drop out of the 7th council district special election and make way for Richard Alarcon. I assume Fuentes will now...

800,000 UCLA files hacked

Records containing the names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of students, faculty, employees and some applicants since the early 1990s may have been accessed. The online intrusion went on...

Little less red

I've switched the color of links here on News & Chatter to black, hoping to cut down on the cacophony of dark red (closer to brown on some monitors) that...

Pop star mayor

My cover story on Antonio Villaraigosa's first eighteen months as mayor has gone online at the still-in-transition Los Angeles magazine website. The piece delves into the roots of the mayor's...

Times reinvents the index — again

Remember this spring when the Los Angeles Times announced with some fanfare that it was devoting three staffers, two front-section pages and some design energy to giving readers a brighter...

Netty's calls it quits

The slogan at Netty's is "serving Silverlake before it was hip." Well, no longer. Netty's, which brought takeout "California Comfort Food" to the corner of Silver Lake Boulevard and Effie...

NY critics go with 'United 93'

The New York Film Critics Circle today voted United 93 their best film of the year. Martin Scorsese was deemed best director for The Departed. Anne Thompson has more at...

LAPD's toll for the year

One day after ABC featured LAPD officer Kristina Ripatti on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Chief William Bratton sent out an update on all the officers who are living with serious...

Wrong Way Richie

If you saw the SUV barreling the wrong way in the carpool lane on the 134 early this morning, first, congratulations for not getting killed. Second, the SUV driver who's...

Naming the source 40 years later

On today's New York Times op-ed page, USC Annenberg professor emeritus Murray Fromson for the first time discloses the source of his 1967 report for CBS that a top American...

Variety promotions

They are refining the masthead titles at Variety. The winner seems to be Michael Speier (pictured), who has been named executive editor of news for Variety and Daily Variety. He...

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.11.06

L.A. film critics pick 'Iwo Jima' Clint Eastwood's World War II drama Letters From Iwo Jima won the best movie nod from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, less...

Editor's Dozen: Dec. 3-9

It was a good week for scooplets, links and smart posts by LA Observed contributors at large in the city — here's my dozen-plus-some for catching up on what you...

Tokofsky said to quit schools race *

School board incumbent David Tokofsky, a critic of the mayor's bill to dilute the board's powers, has filed papers with the City Clerk dropping his campaign for reelection, according to...

Councilwoman's tax troubles

Jan Perry and her estranged husband, Douglas Galanter, blame him and his business problems for falling $270,000 behind on taxes and being late on mortgage payments. Legal separation papers and...

Bart disses 'The Envelope'

Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart uses today's column to say he doesn't think much of The Envelope, the L.A. Times' effort to take Oscar campaign ads away from the trades. He...

Mayor names his schools team

On January 1 Mayor Villaraigosa becomes responsible for three clusters of L.A. Unified schools — three high schools and the elementary and middle schools that feed students to them. It's...

Weekend sendoff

Richard Montoya of Culture Clash (left, as Sen. Gilbert Garcia in "Water and Power" at the Taper) recently joined the Villaraigosa Administration as a commissioner on the Cultural Affairs board....

New delay on Breeze deal?

Staffers at the South Bay Daily Breeze were previously told to switch to a new, post-Copley ownership timecard as of Sunday. That directive has been cancelled: Subject: Timecards All employees,...

Geffen wants to make improvements

There's already been an item today about David Geffen and the L.A. Times, but this is about his home on Carbon Beach in Malibu. The mogul goes to the Coastal...

Bryce Nelson gives Tribune a low grade

Nelson is a professor at the Annenberg School of Journalism at USC and a former national correspondent at the Los Angeles Times. In an op-ed in next week's Los Angeles...

Zócalo presents...

Couple of interesting sessions coming up at Zócalo, the public lecture series started by Gregory Rodriguez that LA Observed helps sponsor. Next Tuesday, Dec. 12, "L.A. vs. New York: Who's...

LAT gears up for 2008 campaign

There will be a new lineup of Los Angeles Times editors managing coverage of the next presidential race. The desk will be bicoastal: one editor in Washington, one here in...

Elizabeth Stromme, writer and 'Underground Gardener'

Stromme died yesterday of cancer at the age of 59. She wrote the Echo Park novel Joe's Word and the Underground Gardener column for the old L.A. Alternative Press. Just...

Transit in L.A.

Brief history lesson and somewhat optimistic view of the future from The Economist: In the past 15 years the city has gradually built a skeletal subway and light-rail system. Thanks...

Morning Buzz: Friday 12.8.06

Breeze sale '99% complete' Hearst will buy the Torrance paper but MediaNews will "operate" it, until eventually buying the paper from Hearst, the Breeze says in a story today....

Geffen would do 'whatever it takes' at LAT

David Geffen tells the WSJ that Dreamgirls is his final Hollywood project: "I don't want to keep solving the same problems. I'm not interested in buying things simply to make...

Late start Friday

Morning Buzz will be delayed today....

Tough times for neon museum

The Museum of Neon Art has to vacate its downtown space by the end of January. Talks on a new location have broken off, the Times' Christopher Reynolds reports today,...

Breeze deal semi-revealed

The South Bay Daily Breeze will fetch just $25 million and end up in the hands of Dean Singleton's MediaNews Group via an indirect route, according to the San Jose...

Afternoon snacks

Hollywood Reporter lays off five more, including executive editor Peter Pryor, Fishbowl LA and Nikki Finke say. Earlier in the week editorial director Howard Burns got the axe. (I'm...

L.A.'s most despised customer service providers?

Maybe it's the nature of LA Observed, but I keep hearing nothing but horror stories from subscribers to the Los Angeles Times and disgruntled customers of Time Warner's cable service....

LAPD officer arrested for station assault

Sean Joseph Meade, 41, was taken from home on order of Chief Bill Bratton after a videotape allegedly showed him choking a handcuffed sixteen-year-old suspect at the Central station. Meade...

Bloom is Santa Monica's mayor again

Richard Bloom, the mayor from 2002 to 2004, is back again after the bi-annual dance of the slates on the Santa Monica City Council. You probably have to live there...

Snapshot: the San Fernando Valley

With Glendale and Burbank included the Valley's population is now 1.74 million, larger than every U.S. city except New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.

New LACMA board members

Announced today: Developer Geoffrey Palmer, Tom Gores of Platinum Equity and Eric Smidt, CEO of Harbor Freight Tools in Camarillo and collector of postwar art. Previously: New blood at LACMA...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 12.7.06

Development stories Only in L.A. would a pair of 47-story condo towers in Century City be rated by planners as good for traffic, and Universal City has the mayor's...

A river runs through it — sort of

Benett Kessler lives 225 miles from Los Angeles but has been covering the Department of Water and Power as a local story for more than 25 years.

Dodgers go one better than Maddux

While Greg Maddux takes however many innings might remain in his 40-year-old arm to San Diego, the Dodgers appear to have a deal with Jason Schmidt for three years at...

Birdman of L.A. *

Will Campbell at Metroblogging interviews the artist who claims to be responsible for the doves found hanging from wires over many Los Angeles streets. They started appearing in Venice...

Car of Long Beach witness is attacked

Suspected gang members backed into and nearly totaled the car of a black woman who has been testifying for several days in the racially inflamed trial over assaults on white...

Tubas in the news

The talker item around here yesterday was definitely 99-tuba salute, my post on Hollywood studio musician Tommy Johnson from Bill Booth's story in the Washington Post. Yesterday afternoon, NPR's "All...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.6.06

Courage on the witness stand Jill Leovy's lede on the LAT Column One: "Debra Johnson was poor, skinny, asthmatic, addicted to crack cocaine and spent her days pushing a...

No taste in Harbor City

From Eric Lynxwiler at LottaLiving.com I learned that this classic-style, fully functioning neon sign on the Rose Motel in Harbor City was taken down before Thanksigiving. It was thrown in...

Afternoon snacks

Harold Nelson is out as director of the Long Beach Museum of Art, replaced on an interim basis by former board president Ron Nelson in a move by trustees...

Upheaval at 'Weekend America'

Barbara Bogaev is out as co-host of the American Public Media program heard here on KPCC. It sounds as if a number of Los Angeles producers for "Weekend America" (and...

Exasperation Tuesday

LA Observed contributor Cari Beauchamp posts at Native Intelligence on the frustration of trying to wrestle answers about her cable service from the voice(s) on the line at Time Warner....

'Dateline Hollywood' sucks in CBS

No, Michael Richards did not attend a celebrity roast for Whoopi Goldberg in blackface. Nor did he pour a bottle of Aunt Jemima syrup over Whoopi's head. That was satire...

99-tuba salute

Tuba players came from all over to play at USC's Bovard Auditorium in tribute to the member of their club whose deep notes you have heard the most. Tommy Johnson,...

Switching beats at the Times

New religion and higher education reporters, a philanthropy beat, a reporter for the South Bay and Long Beach and Jeff Rabin moves off the city ethics and developer influence beat....

Mariachi gets some respect

Nativadad Cano, the gent on the right, is a legend in his own time. Born in Jalisco, he came to Los Angeles in 1957 as a member of one of...

Woman power

Amy Pascal, promoted this year to co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, tops the latest edition of The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Power 100. She also holds the title of...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 12.5.06

Thinking through Prop. 83 Times reporter Peter Y. Hong wanted to hear out the convicted child molester before deciding whether to join his Altadena neighborhood's push to force him...

Ablack official at William Morris

William Morris has sent along the press release on former Villaraigosa deputy Cecile Ablack, who we told you Friday was going Hollywood. The flackage — which notes that Chris Petrikin,...

Times forces him to un-subscribe

LA Observed reader Marc Litchman emails with one of those shake-your-head stories about trying to get through to the more-depleted-than-ever business side at the Los Angeles Times. I know circulation...

Editor out at THR *

Reports in the newsroom are that Howard Burns, editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, will leave the job tomorrow. A call to him was transferred to spokeswoman Linda Miller, who...

Hippest ministry in L.A.?

Tu Ciudad's new issue proclaims Erwin Raphael McManus's Mosaic the city's fastest-growing and hippest Christian congregation, with services that feature comedy skits, video clips and rock DJs. Also in the...

Separated at birth (* updated)

Political Muscle, the Times' Sacramento politics blog, sees a certain resemblance between Borat Sagdiyev and newly elected state Assembly member (and ex-L.A. City Council member) Mike Feuer. Can you tell...

Ronnie Lippin, music publicist was 59

Lippin had co-managed Brian Wilson and had been a PR rep for, among others, Prince, Eric Clapton and Stephen Stills. The Lippin Group, where she was president, said that she...

You'll always have Baghdad

The LAT is once again trying to find good reporters willing to relocate to, as Jon Stewart puts it, Mess-O'-Potamia. Memo from foreign editor Marjorie Miller follows. The Foreign staff...

Getty gets a new prez *

James N. Wood, former director of the Art Institute of Chicago, will become president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust in February. This is the replacement for Barry...

Synergy at KPCC

National Public Radio reporter Daniel Zwerdling spent six months investigating a story that is billed as an exposé of the mistreatment by the Army of soldiers with psychological problems. It...

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.4.06

Acting fire chief Douglas L. Barry has been with the department 31 years and is African American. Mayor Villaraigosa will introduce him this morning at Fire Station #66 at...

Editor's Dozen: Nov. 26 - Dec. 2

Some of the more talked-about, linked-to or noteworthy exclusive posts from the past week here at LA Observed: Job openings in the mayor's press office — and here's why. LAFD...

Celebrating in Westwood

UCLA 13, USC 9 No national title for the Trojans this year. Game stories: ESPN, AP. It's quiet around TJ Sullivan's neighborhood, but my daughter just called and said it's...

Turnover in the mayoral suite

Considering how many confidential requests I received this week for the email address to apply for jobs with Mayor Villaraigosa's press office, there should be a lot of interest in...

Friday desk-clearing

Daily Trojan saga comes to a head: Jeremy Beecher, an ally of editor-in-exile Zach Fox, was elected editor for the spring, apparently with the understanding that he will run...

Bamattre resigns *

Political theater plays out: Mayor Villaraigosa accepted the fire chief's resignation this morning. Just now William Bamattre faced the cameras at a station in Panorama City, said the politics got...

2016 Olympic bid in trouble already

Alan Abrahamson, Los Angeles-based columnist for NBC Sports.com, is in Kuwait City with the International Olympic Committee and finds that anti-American sentiment will be the biggest obstacle to L.A. getting...

LAT's declining hold now a story for wonks

I'm quoted in another out-of-town piece about the Los Angeles Times, this one a cover package by Rob Gurwitt in Governing magazine that takes on the larger issue of declining...

Interview with Salvador Plascencia

On the occasion of the paperback release of his well-received first novel, The People of Paper, Salvador Plascencia talks with guest blogger Daniel A. Olivas over at The Elegant Variation....

LAFD pranks have a long history

Sure, the city promoted William Bamattre to fire chief eleven years ago hoping he would clean up the station house culture of abusing women and minorities that kept raising its...

Mahony agrees to pay $60 million

The Los Angeles archdiocese just announced the first settlement of claims alleging sexual abuse by clergy here. It covers 45 out of 562 pending claims, the LAT says, reporting a...

Daily Trojan editor might try again

USC says that Zach Fox, already elected once as spring editor of the Daily Trojan but blocked by administrators, can run again. He tells Jacob Soboroff on video over at...

Morning Buzz: Friday 12.1.06

Times says Bamattre to quit today Fire chief William Bamattre, never able to stem longstanding controversy over the racist and sexist extremes of the LAFD's culture, has "become a...
Don Shirley on CTG's new season
Paul_Oakley_Stovall-ctg.jpg Once again our columnist has to ask: where is LA in the upcoming schedule of the Center Theatre Group? Native Intelligence
Engine 23
engine-23-5th-street.jpg 5th Street in Downtown LA.
Church of Type
church-of-type-pico-sm.jpg Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica.
Garden envy
garden-envy-vdt.jpgVeronique de Turenne has a case of it. Here in Malibu
Wilshire Royale
royale-wilshire-mccollister.jpg Another sweet LA street image from Kevin McCollister. East of West LA