LA Observed archive
for October 2007

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

One last West editor departs

Martin J. Smith and Barbara Thornburg were, I think, the last senior editors at the Los Angeles Times Magazine to pre-date and survive the West experiment. Anyway, Smith is finally...

Yet another cheapie L.A. paper

The Craigslist posting is looking for recent college grads and interns — code words for low to no pay. Worse, the ad can't decide if the paper is the Sun...

Rosenbaum's rumor rumble

Pajamas Media's Ron Rosenbaum has got some chatter going with an item that hand-wrings about media gossip that the L.A. Times is sitting on an explosive story about sex and...

Big wet kiss for Allan Mayer

Sure, Allan Mayer is a veteran Hollywood crisis flack with many successes on his resume — but he's not the only one. So what explains this slobbery treatment in Elizabeth...

Media pumpking-carving contest *

"Scary Larry" is one of the Variety entries in the battle of the media offices at the Wilshire Courtyard complex on the Miracle Mile. The L.A. Business Journal, Entravision and...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.31.07

Three's a crowd Headline on the Daily News website says "Orange County Sheriff Carona, his wife, and alleged mistress expected to surrender in federal corruption case." The OC Weekly's R....

End of the gay enclaves?

In a piece about how San Francisco's Castro district won't be the place for dressing up like Larry Craig tonight, the New York Times says gay enclaves are becoming less...

Around LA Observed

Here's some of what the LA Observed contributors have been posting while I've been away from the desk: Mark Lacter was on the Dodgers drama this afternoon at LA Biz...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.30.07

Should the Valley get lower electric rates? It's an old, and potentially divisive, debate. The DWP is considering separate rates in summer that give the Valley a break since the...

Torre rumors are alive and kicking

Joe Torre says there's nothing to it, but the New York Post says there is and the L.A. Times cites two major league sources who say the Dodgers are talking...

OC Sheriff Carona indicted

The Times reports, apparently alone, that Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona has been indicted on federal corruption charges. Former Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo already has pleaded guilty and is cooperating,...

Press-Telegram too

Rich Archibold, editor of the Long Beach Press-Telegram, announces the advent of the pages that his paper will now share with the Daily News in a note to readers. Earlier:...

NuWilshire to close

Another theater is going dark. Landmark is leaving the NuWilshire in Santa Monica, though it seems the chain wanted to stay but was kicked out by an owner intent on...

Metromix is growing

The Tribune-owned pop culture and listings site for Los Angeles is looking to hire full-time editors, as soon as possible. They want a copy editor, photo editor, general editor, Style...

Nahai to DWP

Hmm, guess it was all pre-arranged. Mayor Villaraigosa today will nominate H. David Nahai for the vacancy at the head of the Department of Water and Power. He quit the...

New look at Daily News

The paper has been reorganized a bit. Stock tables are out, and there are new common pages to be shared among other papers in the LANG chain. Here's the editor's...

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.29.07

New talk station debuts This is the day that Michael Jackson returns as host on KGIL 1260 AM, a station with too weak of a signal to be much of...

Cinderella men

Brian Grazer (that's him on the left, pre-big hair) and his younger brother Gavin, who has nepotistic roles in several of Brian's movies, have a complicated relationship. Complicated enough that...

Bruce Wagner weighs in

From the author's Op-Ed in the New York Times: The fires have come to Los Angeles again and there is only one thing certain, and it is an obscene horror:...

What price news?

An LA Observed reader who didn't receive his L.A. Times on Sunday went to the paper's website and was amused to see these competing notices on the same page. Emphasis...

Next year's Pulitzer photo?

Remember this photograph from the L.A. Times that I posted on Monday, at the start of this week from hell? It's still the strongest fire image I've seen, because you...

L.A.'s highest-paid official exits

Ron Deaton made it official that he won't be returning to the top job at the Department of Water and Power. He either resigned (Times) or retired (Daily News) —...

Morning Buzz: Friday 10.26.07

Bratton begins second term Bagpipes serenade at the chief's swearing-in ceremony. LAT Urges more tough questions "L.A. Sniper" Alan Mittelstaedt liked the hard questions that Times editorial page honcho Jim...

Ashes on eBay

Ash that supposedly fell from the sky in the San Diego area has been put up for sale on eBay, with a starting bid of $9.30 for a baggie full....

Trading up to THR

The Los Angeles Business Journal isn't losing people as fast as it did there for awhile, but there is a new defection. Todd Cunningham, the assistant managing editor, is jumping...

Life after journalism

Christy Porter was a photojournalist in Kentucky when the little paper where she worked did hard investigations of local sacred cows like the university basketball program. She moved to L.A....

Evacuee numbers 'probably exaggerated'

Today's LAT devotes a story — and three bylines — to casting doubt on the claims of a million fire evacuations that the paper reported earlier. For one thing, many...

Ridley-Thomas makes it official(ish)

State Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas has formed an exploratory committee to run for Supervisor Yvonne Burke's seat and filed his intent papers today. He told the Downtown News, "I am a...

Antonovich mourns 'loss' of KTLA News

L.A. County Supervisor Mike D. Antonovich adjourned the Supes meeting with a motion to mourn the reduction of live news coverage at Channel 5. It apparently got his goat that...

Current view of Long Beach crud

Skies are clear of clouds over Southern California, but smoke and ash are obscuring the air in many areas. Here's the scene at the Port of Long Beach, far from...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.24.07

Now the finger pointing With the fires claiming at least 1,165 homes in Southern California, some firefighters are saying the region wasn't prepared. "It is an absolute fact, had we...

Some bloggers do need an editor

Local freelancer Michael Goldstein wonders at his blog, Monday Morning Media Quarterback, if the Huffington Post is getting its money's worth out of unpaid fire blogger Kristen Reeves: Newspapers are...

How it's being covered

Michael Schneider at Franklin Avenue puts all the newspaper front pages together side by side — for headlines we've got an Inferno, an Armageddon, a Firestorm and a Hell on...

The big picture

NASA satellites view the Southern California fires from space.

San Pedro detainee center shuts abruptly

The Daily Journal's Sandra Hernandez reports that attorneys for immigrants being held in the U.S. facility are livid. In the wake of a series of scandals including the death of...

KPBS in San Diego knocked off the air

The PBS TV and FM station in San Diego is informing other stations that "our transmitter site was engulf[ed] by the fire. We are off the air completely." The FM...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.23.07

'That was my garage' Larry Himmel, a reporter for KFMB in San Diego, reported on video as flames burned down his own home. KTLA video Journalists on the scene Veronique...

Good timing

Editorial judgment or just luck? I dunno, but the big story on the cover of the November issue of Los Angeles (ignore John Cusack) is Dave Gardetta's post-mortem on last...

What a fire photo

I've nothing to add on the wildfires that are burning homes by the hundreds across Southern California, but you've got to see — and appreciate — this photo on the...

Daily News not delivered to most readers

Editor's note from Ron Kaye at the Daily News website blames the delivery glitch partly on the Santa Clarita fire: To our readers: Due to production problems at our printing...

This week in The New Yorker *

Today's issue of The New Yorker has an excerpt from Steve Martin's forthcoming memoir, Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life, in which he talks about starting out as an actor...

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.22.07

Fire closures Public schools in Malibu, Topanga and Canyon Country are closed for the day, as well as Pepperdine and College of the Canyons. Hard to believe, but the weather...

Shav Glick, auto writer was 87

Shav Glick covered auto racing for the L.A. Times for 37 years, until he was 85 years old, and earned legend status in the sport. He died Saturday of complications...

Fires raging across the area **

Veronique de Turenne is monitoring the Malibu situation, where Pepperdine students have been evacuated to a campus center, Malibu Presbyterian Church and the visual landmark Malibu castle have been destroyed,...

Batten down

It's going to be windy in a big way this weekend. The National Weather Service this morning posted an upgraded high wind warning for the whole area through Monday, with...

Phoenix DA drops case against New Times

Full surrender by Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, who held a press conference in Phoenix this afternoon to admit it was stupid to arrest New Times founders Jim Larkin and...

Around LA Observed

Rising gas prices, tanking stocks, and a sinking feeling among TV fans as the writers' strike edges closer to reality. Mark Lacter has that (and more) in LA Biz Observed....

Lacey and Larkin arrested in story dispute

Michael Lacey (right) and Jim Larkin, the founders and top dogs at Village Voice Media, were taken in at home by deputies after their Phoenix New Times weekly disclosed yesterday...

TV schlock so bad it was good

Now that Rebecca de Mornay is on HBO all the time, it figures somebody would ask, "what became of the old Wally George 'Hot Seat' shows on Channel 56?" That...

Home of the Draft Colbert movement

Google Stephen Colbert for President and the first listing (other than news about the announcement of his, uh, candidacy) is Colbertocrat.com. That's the website that launched a petition last year...

Inspiring team spirit *

I haven't checked this out, but the source who tipped me has never steered me wrong. The report is that the L.A. Times held a little internal silent auction yesterday...

New photographers at LAT

Jay Clendenin, a freelancer in Washington, DC, and Liz O. Baylen, a freelancer in New York, are joining the L.A. Times photo staff. Photo editor Colin Crawford's memo also posts...

End of the run for 'Life & Times'

I missed this in the news last week. Or rather, let's say it got way underplayed — just a brief buried in the LAT Calendar section. The news is that...

Chicken Boy rises over Highland Park

The newest feature on the Los Angeles skyline is something old. Congratulations to Amy Inouye, the artist whose years-long project to reunite L.A. with Chicken Boy became reality this morning...

Singleton speaks

Dean Singleton, the biggest owner of newspapers in the L.A. area, has sent his employees an eight-page status report on the health of the industry that is both upbeat and...

Correction o' the day week year

From today's Los Angeles Times: The obituary of Doolittle Raider Nolan A. Herndon in Monday's California section gave his nickname as Sue. In fact, he was known only as Nolan...

NY to LA in 31 hours

A new book released this week, The Driver: My Dangerous Pursuit of Speed and Truth in the Outlaw Racing World, describes a wild cross-country drive that broke the previous record...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.17.07

Staph superbug kills more than AIDS A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, has spread well beyond hospitals and prisons...

California Adventure officially a bust

Disney announced a $1.1 billion makeover of California Adventure to make it, well, more like Disneyland. They also plan to add a replica of the old Carthay Circle Theater, where...

One way to avoid Phil Spector II

Times reporter Peter Hong sat through the whole first act of The People vs. Phil Spector, but he found a way to leave at intermission. He's transferring to the LAT's...

National Theatre gone again

Westwood Village's Mann National closed in April, reopened a little later as an indy screen and apparently locked the doors again on Oct. 7. Not that anybody noticed. Cinema Treasures.org...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.16.07

Victims of our geography As more people live beyond the mountain ranges that ring metro Southern California, expect more traffic chokes of the sort that followed the I-5 tunnel closure...

'Hell no, we won't go'

Things got tense at the big post office near LAX for taxpayers trying to meet last night's deadline for filing IRS returns (on the six-month automatic extension.) MIckey Kaus blogs...

Michael Jackson returns, but not on KABC

The ill-considered move to make AM 1260 a classical music station has officially failed, and owner Saul Levine is planning to resurrect the call letters KGIL and become a talk...

Dodgers return to KABC 790

The Dodgers are going home again, radio-wise. The team announced a deal today to return their games to AM 790 in a package that includes pre- and post-game shows, a...

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.15.07

Quick hits today: Fox Business Network launches Neil Cavuto is managing editor and on the air. Romenesko Jay Leno doesn't want to go Fears at NBC that he could take...

Southbound I-5 to reopen this morning *

* 8 am update: Lanes were open in both directions this morning. Caltrans district chief Douglas Failing said the southbound lanes of the freeway would be opened through Newhall Pass...

Another airline horror story

Author and journalist Ann Louise Bardach writes in today's Washington Post that a friend advised her to stay off US Airways — "It's the worst airline in the history of...

Never a dull moment at KPFK

The Pacifica FM station in town has found out who the new interim general manager will be: it's Jim Lafferty, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles...

Home of mariachi gives up

La Fonda de Los Camperos has been fighting eviction from its historic building at Wilshire and Carondelet, but the restaurant and its world-famous Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano are...

Weekend shorts

Ian McKellen frenzy has reached $1,700 a seat for his appearance with the Royal Shakespeare Company in "King Lear" opening Friday at UCLA's Royce Hall. Top list price: $90....

Said with a straight face

Announcing today's return of the Los Angeles Times Magazine name, the front page note in the Times reads: The magazine will offer a richer and more substantial report on the...

Mess in Newhall Pass *

Don't plan on sailing in or out of Los Angeles on Interstate 5 (or the Antelope Freeway, for that matter) any time soon. Last night's conflagration in the truck tunnel...

Not so quiet talks with axed DOT chief

Both the Times and Daily News have stories today on efforts to quietly reach a severance settlement with Gloria Jeff, the not very effective chief of the city Department of...

What Eva Georgia cost KPFK

The Pacifica radio station paid former general manager the equivalent of nine months’ salary, or $63,268, to part ways, former KPFK hand Marc Cooper reports in the LA Weekly. The...

Julius Shulman's L.A.

This shot of Angels Flight in its old location beside the 3rd Street tunnel is one of the photographs in the exhibition of "Julius Shulman's Los Angeles" at the Central...

Another exit from LA Weekly

This one's not voluntary. Dave Shulman, who has columnized at the Weekly since 1998 — first as Sitegeist, more recently as Column Dave — was informed today that the run...

Flailing Fabian

Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez has been taking a pounding in the Times for his extravagant spending with money stuffed in his pockets by the interests who grease lawmakers in this...

NBC says so long to Burbank

The big three local network TV stations will still be in the Valley, but NBC made official what's been talked about for awhile: the station is moving most of its...

Ruminations of an ex-sex columnist

Lara Loewenstein gave up her gig as the sex columnist for the Daily Bruin last year, graduated from UCLA and now has a blog where she ruminates on that phase....

David Hiller, now publisher and blogger

This could be good — or not. Times Publisher David Hiller, who likes to explain at length his view of the emerging media world, has decided to blog it. But...

LAPD blames itself, up to a point

Based on the coverage, the department's long-awaited report blames bad command decisions, gaps in officer training and a small splinter group of trouble-making demonstrators for the May Day melee in...

Reopening old wounds

Remember that episode back in March when Andrés Martinez resigned as editor of the Times editorial pages after the publisher, David Hiller, didn't back him in the Brian Grazer...

Details loves the 'burbs

In one of those glib, fast-moving pronouncement pieces that magazines are in love with, Details pronounces the suburbs hip in the November issue. The sidebar anoints Montrose as a worthy...

Zell: Times not for sale

Sam Zell was in Beverly Hills today and more or less swore that he has no plans to sell the Los Angeles Times, assuming that he gets hold of Tribune,...

Reprising the Lana Clarkson role will be...

The last time that Kitty Felde's one-act play "Man With No Shadow" was staged in Los Angeles, the lead actress was Lana Clarkson. Now that the play is opening October...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.9.07

It's May Day in October, as Chief Bratton reports on the costly events at MacArthur Park. Also Sheriff Baca, a threat of water rationing, and some bloggers observed. Plus more....

Being funny for $10 a pop

Ever wonder how those bright, not very insightful little blurbs about restaurants, shops and nightlife get onto all the city search websites you mostly don't read? They come from people...

Blogging while Latino is alive in L.A.

Couple of new ones to me, just as Daniel Hernandez prepares to decamp to Mexico City. Abel Salas, who has written for the New York Times, L.A. Times Magazine and...

Catching up on the Hollywood Reporter

This reorganization was announced Friday, but since I wasn't paying attention then — and I want to have the moves noted in the archives — here it is a couple...

LAT Magazine hires — with a purpose

Lennie LaGuire may have taken the sweet buyout to leave the L.A. Times staff, but her fingerprints remain on the weekly-turned-monthly Sunday magazine. As consulting editor she's looking to hire...

Tawn Mastrey, metal deejay

Nice post by Deanne Stillman at Native Intelligence on the passing of Tawn Mastrey, once "the voice of heavy metal" in Los Angeles on the old KNAC-FM. Deanne interviewed her...

Day off

This is one of those occasional Fridays when I need to stay away from the keyboard to meet an outside deadline. Back Monday, if not sooner, and I'll be on...

No more slouching

I always enjoy sitting down with the LA Weekly Best Of L.A. issue, and I'm sure I'll get to the new Armageddon-themed one that runs an imposing 376 pages. However,...

In praise of L.A. driving

Richard S. Chang, writing in today's New York Times Wheels section about the pleasures of driving a stick shift: I was living in Los Angeles. Even though stopping and starting...

New story line at Daily News

On the same day that the Daily News unveils a newly designed website, the comic strip Funky Winkerbean kills off main character Lisa Moore with cancer. On Oct. 21, the...

Gary Franklin...out

L.A. broadcasting fixture Gary Franklin died at 79, at home in Chatsworth. He first became known as a street reporter on KFWB, ending his reports with a signature sign-off "Car...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 10.4.07

Some politics, some media, some books...click to go on in....

Zócalo gets Antonio

Zócalo, the public lecture series that LA Observed helps co-sponsor, has just added an evening discussion with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. It will be at the Walt Disney Hall's BP Hall...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.3.07

Quick round-up today on the region-wide immigration raids, Antonio's plan for the telephone tax, what the feds see wrong at the fire department and more....

L.A. wedding of the year

Real-estate developer Jeffrey Greene, one of L.A.'s least-public billionaires, and New York real-estate executive Mei Sze Chan were married last weekend at his 27-acre Beverly Hills estate. Columnists Rush and...

Oh no, not awards blogs again

Variety deputy editor Anne Thompson says the season for newspapers to crank up their Oscars-Globes-etc blogs is fast approaching. She gives a rundown on who's doing what at the big...

Now: Boing Boing TV

Mark Frauenfelder, Xeni Jardin and the rest of the very successful Boing Boing blog team launched tv.boingboing.net tonight. Xeni explains on the site: The idea is simple. Explore the same...

More blogs coming at LAT.com

Meredith Artley, executive editor of LATimes.com, has sent the staff another periodic update on the site. Traffic is creeping back up, and there are plans this month for more blogs...

THR adds one, loses one *

Gina McIntyre, managing editor for features at the Hollywood Reporter, is moving to the L.A. Times as an assistant entertainment editor. The memo on that follows. And as we noted...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.2.07

Union deal at City Hall, the WGA asks for a strike OK, saving an old Van Nuys building and how to take your picture with Chicken Boy — plus why...

Jon Lauritzen, ex-LAUSD board member was 68

Lauritzen died today of a brain tumor, according to the Board of Education and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. He lost his reelection campaign for the board earlier this year. Lauritzen had...

Salinas ankles Telemundo

Given the option of Riverside or the greener pastures of a fresh start, mayoral paramour Mirthala Salinas opted for...not Riverside. A couple of Los Angeles TV crews were on hand...

New CEO for Huffington Post

Betsy Morgan is leaving as general manager of CBSNews.com to lead the HuffPost. Arianna Huffington remains editor in chief and co-founder Kenneth Lerer moves up to chairman of the board....

David Corn's exit email at The Nation

Corn is one of those writers who seemed like he might be at The Nation forever. But he's jumping to a newly powered-up Mother Jones presence in Washington. He'll be...

Another Hahnie returns to City Hall

Council President Eric Garcetti has been close to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa since the new administration took over in 2005, even though Garcetti actually endorsed then-Mayor Jim Hahn for reelection. Now...

Good adds a digital side

First there was GOOD magazine. Now there's GOOD Digital, announced today by founder and COO Ben Goldhirsh. The new unit will be headed by Craig Shapiro, formerly in charge of...

O'Shea decrees transparency, shorter stories *

Jim O'Shea, coming up on one year since he inherited the top job at the L.A. Times, is shaking things up a bit. In a memo posted in full below,...

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.1.07

Still looking for the mayor's million trees, more fallout from the Yom Kippur inspection in Hancock Park, new arrivals Downtown and a lot more....
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
Can we all agree Elizabeth Peña had a certain something?
elizabeth-pena-variety.jpgThe actress who worked in Hollywood from her early 20s died at Cedars at age 55. Read more.
Streetscape | Whitnall Highway
dwp-bldg-whitnall-hwy.jpg DWP architecture in North Hollywood.
LAO_LewisMacAdams copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed. Check out Gary's archive.