LA Observed archive
for January 2007

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

O'Shea settles in to the South Bay life

Jim O'Shea, the Times' reluctant editor, has moved to a Manhattan Beach condo and taken to commuting downtown via Lexus. He has done an LAPD ride-along in South Los Angeles...

Afternoon snacks

The three white female victims of the Halloween beating in Long Beach testified tearfully in court today and asked that the black defendants, in jail since then, get the...

Mauk got away just in time

Bill Boyarsky directed the Times reporters covering the county Board of Supervisors for more than ten years. He doesn't blame Thomas Mauk for fleeing from the CAO job before he...

Chandlers extend Tribune deadline

The Chandler Trusts, which own a 20% stake in Tribune, are continuing talks with the special committee reviewing offers for Tribune, a source tells Chicago Business. The deadline had been...

Business wins one (or not) *

The City Council just voted 14-0 to rescind the living wage ordinance it imposed last year on LAX-area hotels. If the council had not caved, a referendum qualified by business...

Long Beach city hall goes dark

Long Beach city hall and the city's main library were shut down for the day after a worker reportedly drilled through a main power line, causing a power outage. About...

Lakers go high-def

Time Warner will begin carrying KCAL 9 HD on Friday with the 5:30 pm broadcast in high-definition of the Lakers game at Indiana. It's channel 409 in the new Time...

Baquet's decision

“It became clearer and clearer to me that The New York Times was the place where I belonged now,” ex-LAT editor Dean Baquet told the New York Observer. He said...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.31.07

Looks like there's a deal on the living wage controversy at LAX hotels. And sexual predators in Long Beach? Click for the whole neatly arranged and hidden-away Morning Buzz....

Sidney Sheldon, best-selling author was 89

Sidney Sheldon had won a screenwriting Oscar (The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer), a Tony ("Redhead") and created TV sitcoms ("I Dream of Jeannie" and "Patty Duke") before beginning to write...

Lacey makes an impression in OC (* updated)

Village Voice Media executive editor Mike Lacey showed up yesterday at the OC Weekly offices and created some ruffled feelings. Lacey brought along VVM executive managing editor Christine Brennan and...

Rep. Miller probe spreads

FBI investigators have contacted current and former city officials in Monrovia and Fontana about Rep. Gary Miller's land sales, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported this morning. The Brea Republican,...

Dowie gets 42 months

Doug Dowie insisted he was innocent in a three-minute speech to the court before sentencing. John Stodder gets 15 months. The Times web story doesn't say where they will serve...

CAA's new building evacuated *

A small gas explosion slightly injured three at the Century City headquarters of Creative Artists Agency. The building has been emptied as a precaution. * Updated: Nine injured, including three...

Scratch one CAO

KFWB and City News Service are reporting that Thomas Mauk, who the Board of Supervisors announced yesterday had accepted the job of chief administrative officer of Los Angeles County, has...

LAT answers with a memo of its own

Doyle McManus, Washington bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, bucks up the troops with a go-get-em memo. Posted at Romenesko: From: McManus, Doyle Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 11:29...

Some Baquet gossip was true

Former LAT editor on high Dean Baquet is returning to the New York Times as Washington bureau chief. He'll also be an assistant managing editor and instantly a potential contender...

Bob Carroll, 87, wrote for Lucy *

Bob Carroll Jr. worked with writing partner Madelyn Pugh Davis for more than 60 years, including on all the television series that Lucille Ball starred in. Carroll and and Pugh...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.30.07

Mayor Villaraigosa got heckled a bit for using Spanish last night — and also got an ovation. Details and the rest of the Morning Buzz inside....

Restaurant closures

During the readers survey, someone asked for the Los Angeles County health department's restaurant closures list that used to run in the Times. Here it is, after the jump: all...

South Bay's controversial dandy

James F. Goldstein is described in today's Daily Breeze as the National Basketball Association's "favorite eccentric...he attends at least 110 games every year. He sits courtside and wears broad-brimmed hats,...

New feminist mag from L.A.

They run it by collective, call it make/shift — subtitle "feminism in motion" — and plan to launch in March. One of the Los Angeles-based regulars caught my eye: Times...

Chick's new ambition

Catching up to a Rick Orlov story from the weekend (and Steve Hymon's in the Times), Controller Laura Chick says she is considering a return to the City Council when...

Stein the gift that keeps giving

As a clicks-generating tactic, LATimes.com could do worse than having op-ed columnist Joel Stein chat live with visitors again. Last week's chat brought in a few readers and some attention....

NYT drops another Baquet hint

Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, was asked by Market Watch's Jon Friedman if ex-LAT editor Dean Baquet would be returning to the NYT. Friedman writes: "Lately,...

Golden Mike winners

KFWB and KPCC-FM each won six Golden Mikes to lead the pack at Saturday night's banquet of the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California. Channel 4's 5pm newscast...

Supes find their CAO

Thomas G. Mauk, the executive officer of Orange County since 2004, will start March 12 as chief administrative officer of Los Angeles County. The Board of Supervisors offered him the...

Parkers resisting Dukakis so far

Michael Dukakis's campaign to free Westwood of the plague of apron parking — parking in driveways so as to obstruct sidewalks, for the uninitiated — has hit a snag. City...

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.29.07

Today's Buzz incorporates some shorts from the weekend and a whole lot of Monday news. Just click to venture inside....

Known for more than Hollyweed

Last week's News & Chatter post on the death of Danny Finegood, who first altered the Hollywood sign in 1976, spurred a lot of response. It also seems to have...

Editor's Dozen: Jan. 21-27

Some of the most talked-about posts from the past week at LA Observed: Black teens guilty in Long Beach assault KTLA's star makes news — on KTLA's "news" Times editor...

Another Sitrick departure

Mark Saylor is leaving the entertainment practice at Sitrick & Company to launch his own crisis PR firm, Saylor Company. Saylor, the former entertainment desk editor in the L.A. Times...

Radio Antonio

Mayor Villaraigosa gave the Democratic Party radio address this morning and said, with regard to the war in Iraq, "it's time for a new direction." Bipartisanship was the bigger theme,...

Friday desk-clearing

LA Weekly editor Laurie Ochoa corrects one of our posts from yesterday. Wall Street Journal showbiz reporter Kate Kelly is returning to New York to cover Wall Street. Deadline...

Profile of our readers

More findings from last week's LA Observed reader survey: → Half of the 804 respondents live in the city of Los Angeles (so half live outside — duh.) Half are...

Saturday's antiwar protest

Protesters against the Iraq war will assemble at noon tomorrow in front of the Democratic Party headquarters at 9th and Figueroa, then march to the federal building via this route:...

Guilty verdicts in Long Beach (* updated)

Allegations of felony assault against nine juveniles are found to be true, not true for the youngest accused. The hate crime allegations are also found true against eight of the...

Giants in West L.A.

Flickr user unsure shot posted this photo from Ohio Avenue in West Los Angeles. There's speculation at Flickr that it's connected to the Fiesta de San Pablo Apóstol, which is...

Remodeling Otis Chandler's mobile home

The lumber has arrived, demolition has begun, and Veronique de Turenne is off on the home remodeling ride of her life. She tries at Here in Malibu to take it...

Whither the CAA building in Beverly Hills?

Kim Masters writes in Slate that the I.M. Pei-designed former Creative Artists Agency home on Wilshire is nothing but trouble. First, co-owners Michael Ovitz and former partner Ron Meyer are...

Living near freeways is not good

Children who grow up close to busy highways "have significant impairments in the development of their lungs that can lead to respiratory problems for the rest of their lives," the...

Whittier mayor has breast cancer

Cathy Warner, who is 63, announced her diagnosis at Tuesday's meeting of the Whittier City Council. "It's a responsibility as elected folks to make sure that our constituents know that...

Eli Broad is the people's choice

More than 500 LA Observed readers put their media savvy credentials on the line and offered predictions on the top Los Angeles media stories of the coming year. The news...

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.26.07

We filter, you decide. Come on inside for a neat and orderly start on the day's news and observations....

The survey said...

Thanks again to everyone who answered last week's LA Observed reader survey. I closed it at 800 responses, blown away by the wealth of insight and suggestions that came in....

Jerry Roberts lands a gig

The former editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press will provide adult supervision for the UCSB student paper, the Daily Nexus. Roberts' various travails covered here....

Web celebs

Local bloggers and web entrepreneurs placed well on the Forbes Web Celeb 25, called "the biggest, brightest and most influential people on the Internet [and]...famous primarily for creating or appearing...

Missed the cut — or just cut?

An alert LA Observed reader noticed a discrepancy between the Times' online version of yesterday's web shake-up and today's print version. The James Rainey story that ran on the web...

OC Weekly editor gives notice

Will Swaim, founding editor of the OC Weekly, told the staff today that he's leaving. He didn't specifically address the New Times ownership, but he's thought to have tired of...

Meredith Vieira's trip to L.A. *

She actually calls it La-La Land on her Today Show blog. Later, the host fills in fans on a trip to Universal Studios and guest shots on Jay Leno and...

Mayor Sleepy

Channel 5's Morning Show had some fun today with the photo that ran in the Washington Post of Mayor Villaraigosa, uh, deeply in thought during the state of the union...

Danny Finegood, prankster was 52

Later in life, Daniel Finegood became a husband, father, art lover and longtime member of the board of the Oakwood School. But on January 1, 1976, the Cal State Northridge...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.25.07

L.A. Times editors are busily trying to come up with a new beat attractive enough to keep Business section rising star Claire Hoffman away from the New York Times. The...

Naked Giuliani

Politico, the new politics website, has a nice early scoop. The site posted the full 140-page battle plan for the Rudy W. Giuliani presidential campaign that was reportedly lost in...

Starting lawyer pay: $160,000

The law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges raised its salary for new associates to $160,000 a year, following the lead of a top New York City firm,...

KTLA news values

I watched Channel 5's "Prime News" at 10 pm to see how long they would go with real news before veering away to report on this morning's star ceremony on...

Little slice of Her Ex culture

Tom Plate has a singular L.A. media distinction. He was the editorial page editor at the Los Angeles Times toward the end of the Chandler ownership era and, previously, at...

Chatting with Stan Chambers

LA Observed contributor Jacob Soboroff caught up with local TV news legend Stan Chambers in Hollywood at KTLA's 60th anniversary bash. Click on the pic to watch the short video...

'Philosophical clash' at LATimes.com

James Rainey's staff story on today's shakeup at the Times website reveals some behind-the-scenes details on the internal tension over how best to move the LAT toward a higher and...

Times retools on web — again

This is the big reinvention that publisher David Hiller promised. Joel Sappell is out as Assistant Managing Editor for Interactive, and current Business Editor Russ Stanton will get the new...

Bee takes Weintraub behind the wall *

The Sacramento Bee today announced a big new risky online gamble: a premium politics website called CapitolAlert that costs a whopping $499 a year and gives subscribers early access to...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.24.07

Thousands of Los Angeles news makers, breakers and shapers have clicked on the Morning Buzz already this week. Join the rush and come on in. All neatly arranged just beyond...

Bravo!

By day Susan Patron is a senior librarian in the Los Angeles Public Library system, where she has worked for thirty-five years. She is also an accomplished author of children's...

Barbara and Munch

Denise Hamilton writes that Barbara Seranella, who died this week, was the rare mystery author who didn't have to rely on second-hand observations to create gritty, realistic characters and scenes....

Afternoon snacks

Sheriff's deputies are "relatively sure" they have the guy who spilled mercury in the Pershing Square Metro station last month. Armando Bustamante Miranda, 27, was being held on an...

Lapides on L.A. and NYC

Manhattan's 92nd Street Y is hosting a night this week with three L.A. literary types who happen to be ex-New Yorkers. In advance of Thursday's event, artist/writer/standup Beth Lapides answers...

When Lopez met Szabo *

The PR industry anony-blog Strumpette is making fun today of Villaraigosa press deputy Matt Szabo. He came up in Steve Lopez's recent Los Angeles Times column on Hummer-driving transportation aide...

Sneak peek at Swink 3

Issue number three of Swink — the "bi-coastal, biannual print magazine dedicated to identifying and promoting literary talent in both established and emerging writers," edited by Leelila Strogov — will...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.23.07

Oscar nominations and the State of the Union. Go figure. It's also Mark Lacter's morning to talk biz on KPCC. Click for today's helping of Buzz....

Mack Reed giving up LAVoice.org

After a four-year run, the creator of LA Voice says he has too much going on in his professional and personal life to keep going. He announces in an open...

Wishing Luc luck

They threw a big party down at Staples Center Saturday night for the city's most popular hockey player, so naturally LA Observed had to tag along. There were laughs and...

New twist in LAPD shooting

The suspect killed this morning by police was handcuffed at the time he was shot, but had managed to reach a gun in his pants and open fire on officer...

On a theme of the day

Two themes, really: Latino-black relations and Daniel Hernandez. (Both came up prominently in the Morning Buzz.) Hernandez, the LA Weekly staff writer and recent blogger, had a commentary on black-brown...

Afternoon snacks

Mayor Villaraigosa and LAPD chief Bratton were booed and taunted by homeless advocates at the groundbreaking for the new LAPD headquarters, Rick Orlov reports in the Daily News. Andy...

On Caruso's Miramar play

Aficionados of the Santa Barbara coast, as well the neighbors in Montecito, still mourn the demise of the Miramar. The motel squeezed between the 101 freeway and the Amtrak tracks...

Media shorts

→ The Times' Robin Abcarian is filing video updates (left) from Sundance on LATimes.com. → Variety's Gabriel Snyder is jumping to the Los Angeles bureau of W. He will be...

Barbara Seranella, author was 50

The best-selling mystery author from Laguna Beach died yesterday in Cleveland while awaiting a liver transplant. She had received two livers in 2005 and spent much time since at USC's...

Rampart officer shot

The shooting in the Westlake district occurred as officers climbed the stairs of an apartment building at 4:55 am to answer an assault with a deadly weapon call. The 12-year...

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.22.07

Click for the whole big rich cup of Monday news and observations. It's a good one....

West Covina's man in Mogadishu *

Hussein Mohammed Aidid, an ex-Marine who graduated from Covina High School and worked as a clerk in the West Covina planning department, is now the interior minister of Somalia's transitional...

One of those days for LAFD

PIO Brian Humphrey's blog account of Saturday's action log for the Los Angeles Fire Department's helicopters makes a good read. The day began with high-rise fire on Wilshire Boulevard caused...

Last gasp for Pledge Week

No sonorous hard sell by Ruth Seymour or endless loops of Roy Orbison at the Cocoanut Grove. Just a simple pitch. We all love putting LA Observed on the web,...

Our man in al-Qaeda

The current New Yorker takes its turn with the tale of Adam Gadahn, the Southern California kid from a hippie family who converted to Islam and who now is thought...

Denny Doherty, Papa was 66

Doherty (next to Mama Cass at this 1966 performance in L.A.) was one quarter of the 1960s hitmakers the Mamas and Papas. His death today of kidney disease near Toronto...

Have you voted?

Hey, please don't forget to take a couple of minutes and give me your opinions on LA Observed. Along with some basic survey questions, you can let me have it...

Magazines observed

What's in Los Angeles: Helen Mirren grabs the cover of the annual Oscars-targeted Movie Issue. There are pieces on the making of Blade Runner and on how David Poland and...

Woman jumped from Times garage

Correction to yesterday's item: it was a homeless woman who jumped to her death from the L.A. Times parking garage yesterday while staffers were arriving at work. Brief memo today...

McCaw's revenge

Sordid stuff out of the Santa Barbara News-Mess never stops. Now owner Wendy McCaw has hit her former editor Jerry Roberts with a claim for $25 million. Let's see, he...

Media breakthrough *

Govindi Murty, co-founder of the Liberty Film Festival, sits in the guest chair this weekend on "Ebert and Roeper." She joins a lineup that has included Jay Leno, director Kevin...

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.19.07

Last chance to take the reader survey and let me know what you think of the site and want more of — or less of. More than 600 of your...

Tighter security than Kazakhstan

Borat has been out since November and has grossed more than $100 million. The DVD release must be in sight. So some attendees at Wednesday night's members-only screening for the...

Kelly Martin returning to city payroll

Martin had been chief of staff to Mayor Richard Riordan back in the day. A fellow Riordan Administration alum, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, today named her general counsel for Los...

Trader Vic's fate sealed

Forget the condo towers. A 120-room Waldorf-Astoria hotel now is planned for the high-profile crossing of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards in Beverly Hills. In the project, the adjacent Beverly...

Pondering traffic solutions

Free today at WSJ.com, economists Peter Gordon of USC and Matthew Kahn of UCLA discuss the costs of traffic congestion: "the problem it poses -- or doesn't pose -- for...

Mercury in subway being probed

Authorities now are actively looking for the man shown in surveillance video pouring or spilling liquid mercury onto the platform of the Pershing Square Metro station the night of Dec....

Where the homeless are

Eric at Blogdowntown has posted a heat map showing where the homeless population is concentrated, based on LAPD counts. You can see distinct nodes of where people are sleeping on...

NY Sun vs. Los Angeles

The New York Sun has turned its critics and reporters loose to ruminate on the Los Angeles they don't know very well. Some of the pieces are interesting, even if...

Time's massacre takes local toll *

Time magazine is shuttering its Los Angeles bureau (and those in Chicago and Atlanta) as part of today's layoffs, Ad Age says. People magazine will close its Washington, Miami, Chicago...

Tribune deals examined

Mark Lacter applies his veteran business editor acumen to figuring out what the heck is going on at Times-Tribune. He was also on KPCC this morning as an analyst. LA...

Buchwald's exit video

Syndicated columnist Art Buchwald, who died last night, taped his own "obituary video" for the New York Times. It's up on the front page of their site and includes the...

Close enough

Back in the middle of last week I received a prophetic email from Beverly Hills lawyer Eric Spiegelman. From: Eric Spiegelman Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2007 4:49 PM To: 'Kevin...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.18.07

Finally, Jonathan Gold weighs in on the great Du-Par's debate. Plus Villaraigosa, Zahniser, Boyarsky and even Lindsay Lohan — click past the jump for your daily dose of Morning Buzz....

Tribune bids a moving target

In a revision to her first story for today's paper, Sarah Ellison of the Wall Street Journal says that three proposals were submitted to Tribune by yesterday's deadline: one of...

Media snacks (* Updated)

Twice Updated: Eli Broad and Ron Burkle and the Chandlers are readying competing bids for all or part of the Tribune, Jim Rainey reports in the LAT He essentially confirms...

Afternoon snow in Malibu

Not just a little bit either. There was a snow plow working on Kanan-Dume Road this afternoon, and lots of school kids at play beside the road. Also, Channel 4's...

Broad beating Geffen here at least

Eli Broad has opened up a bigger lead on David Geffen as LA Observed readers' most likely (or preferred?) buyer of the L.A. Times. Ron Burkle runs a distant third;...

Burning out on Van Nuys

Blogger Andrew Hurvitz at Here in Van Nuys sounds exasperated, or worse, at the way the onetime downtown of the Valley has gone. He writes in a post called Columbus...

Mumbai, how do I get to LA Observed?

While L.A. Times publisher David Hiller struggles to make the paper more local, his business side has decided to out-source the in-house computer help desk — to India. This function...

L.A. Crazy architecture

Curbed LA turns up a real estate listing for a remodeled postwar home in the Valley flats that has an aquarium embedded in the floor. And a big one. The...

HuffPost gets more communal

HuffIt is a new beta-test section of The Huffington Post where readers can indicate (Digg-style) which news stories of the moment interest them. Those stories will then get priority play...

Snow falling where you are?

There's been some in the Santa Clarita area, apparently. (SCVTalk says it's hail.) The National Weather Service at 9:30 issued a winter weather advisory for the local mountains and the...

Dutton's Brentwood is next

Will the sad bookstore news never stop? Dutton's Brentwood Books on San Vicente "may soon succumb to its landlord's plans to redevelop the site," the Times' Scott Timberg and Martha...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.17.07

L.A.'s Latino vs. black gang violence lands on the front page of the NYT, with a web slide show of photos. The county's choice for CAO bolts, Steve Lopez embraces...

More old L.A. eateries

If you enjoy remembering old local restaurants and already exhausted Jonathon Foerstel's Los Angeles Time Machines, writer Mark Evanier's POVOnline is an entertaining place to spend some time. His pages...

Sorkin not so happy with LAT *

In a recent interview with FilmStew, Aaron Sorkin complained about the less-than-cheerleading coverage of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" by writers at the Times' Calendar section. He named Maria...

Art and radio, on the web

What do you get when you put together art and radio? Not much, frankly. But what if you add visuals? ArtScene magazine is doing just that with the newly launched...

Favorite survey answer so far

Less than twelve hours into Pledge Week and the number of replies to the LA Observed Visitor Survey is fast approaching 200. Thank you for helping. I'd like to crack...

The other newspaper-family squabble

The Washington Post's Frank Ahrens looks into a Southern California tale of a disgruntled newspaper family selling to private equity buyers and the cutbacks that followed — but his subject...

LAT diversifies in Sports

You might remember that after losing Tim Brown to Yahoo last November, LAT sports editor Randy Harvey put out the call (second item) for a Spanish-speaking writer to work general...

Pellicano has lawyers again

PI Anthony Pellicano's client isn't as much a fool as he seemed. A week after receiving court permission to represent himself against charges of racketeering and wiretapping, the Daily Journal...

Well, there's the problem

The re-incarnation of Du-Par's at Farmers Market hasn't been panned by everybody, but enough to get your attention. Now comes the flackage for the Jan. 22 "official" reopening, with a...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.16.07

This is the day to sit down with the Column One story in the Times. Surprise and touching L.A. slice of life that begins with reporter Hector Becerra grappling with...

State of the blog '07

Hi all. My traditional State of the Blog message was delayed a bit while I got my head around what has to happen in 2007. If you've been here much,...

Golden Globes spoiler

Full list of winners and nominees at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association website....

Now that's a road house

Some lovely holiday finds around the LA Observed blogs: On old Mulholland: Veronique de Turenne ventured into the hills above Malibu in search of The Old Place, a mythical spot...

'Connected' gets a prize

California Connected, produced at KCET, received the Alfred I. duPont award from Columbia University for "War Stories from Ward 7-D," called a "sobering report on the range of brain injuries...

Spotting Comet McNaught

You don't have to shiver at the top of Maui's Haleakela volcano to spot Comet McNaught. Clifford V. Johnson has detailed local tips and links at his Asymptotia blog. Not...

Holiday Buzz: MLK Day

Government, schools, most banks and the U.S. Postal Service are closed for the Martin Luther King holiday. News, of course, continues. A scaled back but still pretty rich Morning Buzz...

Meet Mr. Orlov

Rick Orlov gives a sneak peek at tomorrow's Tipoff column in the Daily News to LA Observed video blogger Jacob Soboroff — psst, there's a good item about City Attorney...

Likely Trib scenario: No sale

Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Rich Fine thinks the most likely outcome of the Tribune Company's dance with potential buyers is no outcome -- that no sale will take place, Editor...

Devin Brown officer plays his ace

Steven Garcia, the LAPD officer who shot and killed 13-year-old suspect Devin Brown, today released the finding of the confidential Board of Rights proceeding that cleared him of wrongdoing. The...

Reports on the Miracle Mile Stench

Regarding the bad smell on Wilshire, an employee of KNX NewsRadio emails that it's definitely coming from the excavation at Wilshire and Hauser. In this Google Earth pic from before...

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.12.07

Sure, it's chilly out there. But that's not all. Lots of other news to talk about on a (somewhat late) Friday morning. What's the greatest word in the dictionary? Where...

It's going to be cold

"Potentially record-setting cold conditions," the National Weather Service says in a special weather statement for the Los Angeles area — and not just in the mountains. "Widespread hard freeze possible...

Mayor loses again on schools

Judge Dzintra Janavs denied a motion by the mayor's lawyers to delay enforcement of her December ruling that AB 1381 is unconstitutional. The whole issue is headed to the state...

Call it the Miracle Mile Stench

Variety and the other occupants of 5700 Wilshire Boulevard have been alerted to a funky odor in the neighborhood almost across from the La Brea Tar Pits: The building management...

AEG's great hope

Sure, in Europe he's just a bench warmer on Real Madrid who got dropped from the English national team. But here, David Beckham will do as a new media face...

Kicker to a hellacious year

Jerry Roberts' 2006 included leaving as editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press, gaining unwanted national media attention, paying lawyers to defend himself against Wendy McCaw and being operated on to...

L.A. as Eden

The PBS series "Edens Lost and Found" does Los Angeles tonight at 10 pm on KCET. Jimmy Smits hosts the episode, which features TreePeople's Andy Lipkis and his crusade to...

HuffPost hires again

Elinor Shields leaves the BBC to become managing editor of the Huffington Post, based in New York. She will oversee day-to-day editorial operations, including the site's expanding ambitions toward original...

L.A. moments

→ Los Angeles magazine executive editor Mary Melton had a scare on the Santa Monica freeway: her left rear window exploded, spraying safety glass bits over her thankfully unoccupied child...

FBI school for Hollywood

How times have changed. The FBI filled a room at the Westwood federal building yesterday with screenwriters invited in for a seminar on how to realistically portray anti-terrorist efforts. Special...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.11.07

What do you do if you're Frank McCourt and the Dodgers just sold 3.6 million tickets? Raise prices by a minimum of 11%, that's what. That and more inside the...

NYT: Kerkorian knew what Pellicano knew

Mogul Kirk Kerkorian got briefings from his high-powered attorney on what P.I. Anthony Pellicano was learning from illegal wiretaps of Kerkorian's ex-wife in their child-custody and support case, the New...

Wendy McCaw saga continues

Never a dull moment on the Wendy McCaw/Santa Barbara News-Press beat. Today the American Journalism Review posted its response to her lawyers' complaint about the recent AJR story on the...

Weekly critics pick 'Army of Shadows'

They're billing it as the First Annual L.A. Weekly Film Critics Poll, gathering votes from 72 critics "who span the spectrum of print, broadcast and online journalism." They include all...

EAA members approve contract deal

The Engineers and Architects Association at City Hall has voted to accept the recent contract deal negotiated with the city. Website....

Wilshire's missing skyscrapers

Franklin Avenue has posted a fun find: the drawings for a late 1950s plan to redevelop the Ambassador Hotel site with skyscrapers and rebrand it as the Ambassador International. At...

Unarmed man killed by LAPD

The suspect was reaching for his waistband as he exited a disturbance at a South Los Angeles Masonic lodge early this morning, the sergeant who shot him told investigators. After...

Downtown's big pit

Times columnist Steve Lopez isn't the only one keeping a literal eye on construction of the new LAPD headquarters on the downtown block where a civic park should be instead....

Super sports editor *

The Los Angeles Newspaper Group has posted an opening for an executive sports editor to oversee the sports coverage at all nine papers in Southern California. The papers already share...

Dutton's dispute still rages

Dutton's Beverly Hills closed December 31, but the hard feelings continue. At a city council meeting last night the city manager of Beverly Hills apparently made a report blaming the...

Tia Chucha in trouble

Another independent bookstore is on the ropes. Tia Chucha's Cafe & Cultural Center in Sylmar lost its lease and has to move. Co-founder Luis J. Rodriguez writes on the website:...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.10.07

The LAPD officer who shot and killed 13-year-old Devin Brown was cleared — in secret. There's a new Rampart reforms watch group, plus items on Gail Berman, Steve Lopez, Seth...

Fugitive in deputy murder back from Mexico

They got their man. Jorge Arroyo-Garcia, better known as Armando “Chato” Garcia, was extradited from Mexico and turned over to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigators before dawn at the...

From Lennon to Brennan

Items of L.A. note from today's Slate.com: → The John Lennon FBI files that Jon Wiener (of UC Irvine, The Nation and KPFK) finally wrested out of government hands last...

LACMA does another free thing

Tyler Green's blog-jabs about the high cost of L.A. art seem to have gotten the goat of the folks at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Last week, you...

Malibu aftermath

Veronique de Turenne runs the media gauntlet near Suzanne Somers' house on Old Malibu Road and posts some photos of the scene. Would the torching of four homes anywhere else...

Panning the LAT's ad campaign

Have you seen the Times spots where fisheyed faces peer into a newsbox and consider whether to drag out a copy of the paper? Advertising Age reviewer Bob Garfield has,...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.9.07

Let's see — some more details on City Hall's alleged Red Light Bandits, reports from the jam-packed Dowie-Stodder sentencing hearing, a KNX anchor returns and a couple of L.A. obituaries....

Forty years at AP

The Associated Press bureau on Figueroa threw a party this afternoon for special correspondent Linda Deutsch, celebrating her 40 years with the wire service. She signed on in 1967 to...

Fire in Malibu *

Wrap: Four homes and a guest house destroyed, four other structures damaged. Full containment by 8 pm. The blog Code 6 Charles monitored the scanners and pros checked the fire's...

Dowie sentencing postponed again

Former Fleishman-Hillard executives Doug Dowie and John Stodder received a sentencing reprieve until January 30. They were convicted last May of federal charges in the overbilling of the city Department...

New LAT blog: BuzzBands * (updated)

Kevin Bronson's Buzz Bands column in Calendar Weekend is now a blog. He's been doing it quietly since New Year's Eve, but the news just filtered down. Bronson writes of...

I need to get out more

Finally stumbled outside after shaking off a couple of days of chest cold and, wham, it's 80-something degrees at the beach. The plants are gasping for water. What month is...

Jay Levin's magazine

Jay Levin founded the LA Weekly more than 25 years ago. Lately he has been busy trying to recruit staff and writers around Los Angeles for a new magazine: RealTalk...

LAT hires from Merc

There's one California newspaper in bigger turmoil than the Times: the San Jose Mercury-News. After being taken over by the Dean Singleton crowd last year, the Mercury has been downsizing...

Historic Googie demolished

Word swept through local preservation ranks yesterday that a crew began demolishing Downey's historic Johnie's Broiler about 3 pm — on a Sunday. No permit had been issued, activists say,...

Will they be AT-sacked? (* updated)

One of the traffic engineers being arraigned today for shutting down four intersections on the day that EAA went out on strike was featured last January in a Downtown News...

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.8.07

Can't remember the last time we posted so much on the weekend, including Mark Lacter's exclusive memo from LAT publisher David Hiller on rethinking the Times website. The menu for...

First LAO cat blog ever

Regular readers of Kevin Drum's Political Animal blog, successor to CalPundit, are used to his frequent diversions about his cats. So it's not surprising that his Jan. 4 post, Final...

Hiller's big idea for Times website

Tim Rutten's Saturday LAT column about the online-vs-print future of newspapers exemplified by the redesigned Wall Street reached at least one influential reader. Times Publisher David Hiller, shaking off that...

LAO video: Inside the union vote

Jacob Soboroff has video up now with Times employees celebrating their success at bringing a union into the paper's downtown and Orange County pressrooms....

Editor's Dozen: New Year's edition

My favorite posts, or just the newsiest, from the first week of 2007. The lost Hollywood tape of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jim Lampley and El Cucuy get arrested, but...

Times pressmen vote to unionize *

General Otis (and Otis Chandler) must be rolling in their graves. For the first time in a long while, workers at the Los Angeles Times have voted to affiliate with...

Seeing stars at the LAT

Slate's Jack Shafer identifies the Los Angeles Times newsroom stars he says are vulnerable to poaching by other media outlets if the Tribune-induced fear and loathing doesn't settle down soon....

Engineers hacked traffic lights

What a story. Two high-ranking city traffic engineers, Gabriel Murillo and Kartik Patel, were charged Friday with breaking into the city's automated traffic system and disabling the lights at four...

Further thoughts on the future newspaper

The newly re-designed and re-conceived Wall Street Journal got a thoughtful review from Mark Lacter on Wednesday at LA Biz Observed. Today it's Tim Rutten's turn in the Times. He...

Friday desk-clearing

Anthony Pellicano can represent himself at his racketeering and wiretapping trial, a federal judge rules. Better than paying a lawyer, the PI figures. CBS2Ed Boks' official city blog has gotten...

Recycle your Xmas tree

If you live in Los Angeles and don't want to chop up your Christmas tree so it fits in the green trash barrel — or abandon it on the sidewalk...

Freeway therapy * (updated)

Remember when South Bay bagel shop owner Lynn Diane Olson shocked the legal establishment by getting elected last June to the Superior Court? Although rated not qualified by the county...

¡Ask a Mexican!™ and get suspended

Not everyone gets or appreciates Gustavo Arellano's satirical and increasingly popular ¡Ask a Mexican! column in OC Weekly. Now reading it can be dangerous to a person's livelihood, at least...

Bad news for Woodland Hills

Climatologists say the odds are that this year will be the hottest on record, based on a resurgent El Niño in the Pacific and global warming. Considering that a new...

Lampley: I'm innocent

Noted, since it hasn't been included in the mentions here of Jim Lampley's arrest: "I am innocent of the charge of domestic abuse that has been leveled against me and...

Story of sludge

Examining a plan to inject the city's daily mountain of sludge into the ground under Terminal Island, CityWatch's Marc Haefele revisits past schemes to dispose of the treated (but still...

Real gridlock

I won't repeat my rantlet (and here) about casual abuse of the word 'gridlock' by local media and pols. Just check out this photo of the real thing from Xiamen,...

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.5.07

Mayor Villaraigosa picks up another tribute from People en español, a strange phone call to Channel 2 about Jim Lampley's arrest, Pellicano's day in court and a flock of other...

Chowhound votes: Providence wins

Posters at Chowhound L.A. only voted 94 times, so consider the very small sample of Los Angeles foodies. But among those who cast ballots, Providence topped the Ultimate Los Angeles...

Martin's voice in Hollywood *

Now this is cool. The Jewish Journal has turned up and posted on its website an audio recording of the Rev. Martin Luther King giving a sermon on Feb. 26,...

Afternoon snacks

Michael Goodwin was convicted of murdering his former business partner, Mickey Thompson, and the racing legend's wife in 1988. Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty. CBS2 Alleged details...

Instant review of Du-Par's (* Updated)

Not good, blogs Colleen Cuisine. She didn't go in looking for a gourmet experience but "just hearty good food:" After shuttering its doors for remodeling nearly two years ago, Du-par's...

Pocket change for the boss

Symbolic little twist to the news that Home Depot's departing CEO Robert Nardelli leaves with an exit package worth $210 million. In an ad on page A11 of today's Times,...

Stephanie's hot

By last night's web stats run, more than 2,200 visitors had found their way to LA Observed by searching on Google for Stephanie Edwards. That's in just the first three...

Old versus new

The difference between the news side of the L.A. Times and the newly and earnestly irreverent opinion side was on display in the handling of this photo from the Gerald...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.4.07

There's a full helping of media items after the jump today, leading with the arrests of El Cucuy and Jim Lampley, the dropping of Jamie White's morning radio show, and...

County mayor drumbeat builds

There was yesterday's piece in the Christian Science Monitor (which prompted some email), now outgoing chief administrative officer David Janssen says Los Angeles County needs a powerful executive to make...

How the LAT fights the union

The Times' Pressmens Club blog has photos up of all the anti-union banners and placards placed around the Olympic plant (and presumably in Costa Mesa too) in preparation for today's...

Afternoon snacks

Ax falls at Channel 2/9: veteran reporter Paul Dandridge has been taken off the bio page, though his blog remains — last updated in August. Newsroom sources say that Inland...

No parties for Arnold

All that bravado about making the party scene on crutches is so last week. Gov. Schwarzenegger's office just announced that his broken femur will keep him away from tomorrow's inauguration...

Los Angeles before cars

Meant to re-post this oldie but goodie from 2004 for New Year's. On Dec. 31, 1897, a cameraman for Thomas Edison shot movie footage of the street scene in the...

LAT union vote tomorrow

Workers in the L.A Times press room on Olympic Boulevard downtown begin voting tomorrow whether to bring in a union. The paper, of course, has long been anti-union within its...

L.A. less literate

A study at Central Connecticut State University ranks the most literate cities in the U.S. based on "newspaper circulation, number of bookstores, library resources, periodical publishing resources, educational attainment, and...

Blog pecking order shuffles (* updated)

Eat the Press analyzes how Technorati's somewhat-incestuous Top 100 (which measures not readers or popularity, just inbound links from other blogs) looks different now than it did a year ago....

Whale season is on

Twenty gray whales have been spotted traveling south across Santa Monica Bay this week, one has been poking its head up at the Redondo Beach pier, and "Immense pods of Common Dolphins are also being spotted offshore, feeding on the abundant bait fish (probably anchovies)."

Art costs too much in L.A. (* updated)

Arts blogger Tyler Green lives on the East Coast but covers Los Angeles like a glove — all but one of his ten favorite shows of the year were here,...

County mayor goes national

Today's Christian Science Monitor takes up the question of whether Los Angeles County should have its own elected executive. Reporter Daniel Wood takes off from Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's remarks at...

Remember that name

City news junkies will soon start hearing more about the "912 Commission." More formally called the Neighborhood Council Review Commission, it is required by the City Charter revamp that created...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.03.07

Tucked away neatly after the jump are items on the Getty's threatened Aphrodite statue, Chief Bratton's future with the LAPD, scant details on Lydia Kennard's departure as airports chief and...

New year's food notes (* updated)

→ Los Angeles magazine's January Restaurant Awards issue proclaims Hatfield's the best new place in town, Bottle Rock the best new wine bar, Square One the standout breakfast spot, Swinging...

Dutton's update

Last-chance talks between Dutton's management and the city of Beverly Hills failed to stave off the Dec. 31 closure of the Canon Drive bookstore. The doors did not reopen today...

Kennard out at LAWA

We urged City Hall reporters to make the calls last week. Nobody got a story out of it, and now the news breaks on its own: Lydia Kennard is stepping...

Murdoch vs. Regan: Hollywood girds

Judith Regan's upcoming fight for her honor with Rupert Murdoch's empire inspires the NYT's Sharon Waxman to muse on Hollywood court battles of yore: think Bette Davis meets Joan Crawford...

Mecoy declines Sacto

Laura Mecoy looked at the Sacramento Bee's offer of recall to the home office and decided it wasn't for her. Instead, the paper's soon-to-be-ex Los Angeles correspondent takes a page...

Backhanded compliment

Time magazine credits convicted Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff with one of the quotes of the year: "God sent me 1,000 hints that he didn't want me to keep doing what...

CJR to Tribune: get out

An unsigned editorial in the Columbia Journalism Review calls on Chicago's Tribune company not just to sell off the Los Angeles Times, but to quit the newspaper business entirely. After...

Stein doesn't want your email

In his Times column today, Joel Stein drums up web traffic and blogosphere chatter by throwing down with his readers. Don't email him, Stein writes, because he doesn't care what...

NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates Q-and-A

Karen Grigsby Bates, who interviewed me last year for NPR's "Day to Day," gets the Q-and-A treatment from Kate Coe at Mediabistro.com. Bates is an L.A. correspondent for the show...

Hybrid day

Federal courts and post offices are closed for the national day of mourning for former President Gerald Ford. County and city offices and public transit in Los Angeles are keeping...

Patterico's take on the LAT

Right blogger Patterico's fourth annual review of a year in the life of the Los Angeles Times is up. It has become kind of a yearly event for the conservative...

2006: Most clicked on

One last look at the year just past, through the lens of the subjects and posts that LA Observed readers devoured, forwarded and talked about the most. In order, from...

They still miss Stephanie

KTLA's own viewer forum filled up today with more comments about the Rose Parade broadcast than on any other topic in months. Most are strongly pro-Stephanie Edwards and vent at...

2006: Random and quirky

Before we get to the Most Clicked On stories of 2006, here are some personal favorites that don't fit anywhere else. Most interesting car wreck in years: Take an Enzo...

2006: Politics

You can't make this stuff up. Some gems from the archive: Antonio and the schools: Mayor Villaraigosa began the year talking tough about taking over LAUSD, compromised in the Legislature...

2006: Media

Here are some of the top local media items from LA Observed that won't quite make the Most Clicked On list for 2006: Mel Gibson: TMZ got the scoop on...
Sky and palm
sky-and-palm.jpgGreat skies we're having this week. #DTLA. Bigger on Facebook
Double pump
mikes-main-diesel-port.jpg Mike's Diesel, Port of Los Angeles. LA Observed photo.
Dancers audition
barak-audition.jpgTryouts for LA's Barak Ballet. Photo by Judy Graeme
Weird Pacific summer
Velellas-htb.jpgCool, strange jellies are washing up on on LA beaches. Fauna
DTLA residential
Broadway-Olympic-lofts.jpgThree new lofts projects in the works. Renderings