LA Observed archive
for November 2007

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

Late start Friday

The red flag alert is definitely over. No Morning Buzz today. My KCRW commentary this afternoon at 4:44 will talk about USC and the Coliseum....

Bunch o' new city commissioners

Among them is director Oz E. Scott, appointed to the Cultural Heritage Commission. Release with bios follows....

Signal mad at itself

The Signal in Santa Clarita on Wednesday published a column and accompanying editorial cartoon skewering the manipulation of faith and politics. After some readers complained that the cartoon was offensive,...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 11.29.07

Villaraigosa accepts the NFL won't come to Coliseum Time to forget the NFL dream and give a USC a long-term deal, the mayor says. LAT Christopher Hawthorne on the Coliseum...

USC's position on the Coliseum *

An open letter from Athletic Director Mike Garrett. Excerpt: It gives me no pleasure to write a letter of this kind, but there are issues facing our university that you...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 11.28.07

Airbus returns to LAX today An Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft, will arrive at LAX at 11:45 a.m. on Runway 25L then taxi to the Flight Path Learning...

Sure, USC wants to play in the Rose Bowl

USC alumni don't want to gather on campus Saturday mornings, touch the statue then get on a bus. They want to walk to the stadium. Skepticism abounds over the Times...

Red flag is up

The Santa Anas are back and the LAFD has declared a red flag day in the hills for Wednesday. Those who live there know what it means: no parking on...

'National Entertainment Journalism Awards'

The Los Angeles Press Club is getting into the non-geographic awards game, announcing it will accept entries (for $35 each) and give out the National Entertainment Journalism Awards next year....

Blogger reflects on turning 40

Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts: People can minimize it all they want, but these round-numbered birthdays are times that I take stock, and looking at myself, I see a complicated...

Yagman gets three years

No word in the Times web story on when civil rights lawyer Stephen Yagman begins serving his federal prison term for tax evasion, money laundering and bankruptcy fraud. But the...

Times into health care 'crisis'

Sometimes the hiring memos at the L.A. Times yield some insight into the interests an editor brings to the table. In this case, we learn that new California Editor David...

Name from the past is back again

Remember Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, the journalist who quit the L.A. Times in a huffy outburst and resurfaced as a successful novelist? (And who more recently mourned the death of Cathy Seipp.)...

Rest of the Welch shoe drops

We told you Saturday that Matt Welch had left the L.A. Times editorial page to return to Reason magazine, and said to await further details. Well, here they are via...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 11.27.07

Yagman dances, sentencing delayed Civil rights lawyer Stephen Yagman talked so long at Monday's sentencing hearing that it won't be until today that he finds out how long he is...

Being Christian at the Jewish Journal

Commenters on the God Blog have attacked the Jewish Journal for employing a "God-fearing Christian" with the last name of Greenberg to write for the weekly. (Brad) Greenberg explains his...

Carol Baker Tharp dies, mayor says *

Mayor Villaraigosa's office says that Carol Baker Tharp, general manager of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, has died. The mayor just released this statement: “Carol Baker Tharp loved the City...

Morning Buzz: Monday 11.26.07

Malibu toll: 53 homes County fire chief says this blaze could easily have taken 250 homes, but he credits firefighters. LAT, Here in Malibu Villaraigosa no longer frontrunner for governor...

Holiday weekend in review

Here are quick links to some posts from the weekend, which wasn't all about Malibu fire coverage and the end of Mayor Villaraigosa's affair with Mirthala Salinas. In case you...

In Vanity Fair for December

In the December issue of Vanity Fair, David Friend writes that this Oct. 31, 1974 photo of President Gerald Ford and then-Gov. Ronald Reagan — a few months after Richard...

Taking care of business

Former Los Angeles Times staffer Michael Krikorian, one of several reporters to work the paper's gangs beat over the past decade or so (he later contributed a number of strong...

Dumping on Malibu

The footage on Channel 9 of "super-scoopers" scraping the ocean surface in Santa Monica Bay has been awesome. Fresh fish tonight for the raccoons in the Malibu hills. Couldn't find...

Leaving the LAT for Reason

Matt Welch makes official what has been unfolding behind the scenes for a bit: he has left the Los Angeles Times editorial page to return to Reason, with the current...

Malibu fire updates

Veronique has updates on the fire at Here in Malibu. Last I heard, 35 structures had burned and 200 more were threatened, mostly in the Corral Canyon area and the...

Village Books calls for help

Katie O'Laughlin of Village Books, one of the city's best and coziest small bookstores, says she's losing the battle against the big boxes and rising rents in her Pacific Palisades...

Mayor and Mirthala over

David Zahniser reports in the Times, based on unnamed sources, that the affair between Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Mirthala Salinas "disintegrated" possibly as long ago as September, right about the...

Fire in Malibu *

Residents smelled smoke at about 3:30 a.m. Fire started in Corral Canyon, then swiftly spread wests due to strong winds, which have since died down. Mandatory evacuations from Corral Canyon...

Reading some blogs

Long weekend equals time to catch up on some L.A. blog reading. Here's a few; may be more later: Jasmyne Cannick drove down Crenshaw this morning to MLK, thinking she...

Gushing over Torii Hunter

Baseball blogs are already ridiculing today's Kurt Streeter column in the L.A. Times worshiping at the feet of new Angels center fielder Torii Hunter, a good but not great hitter...

Holiday pace

Posting will be intermittent until Monday. My regular Friday afternoon LA Observed spot on KCRW is pre-empted today by a This American Life marathon....

Mitchell Harding, L.A. radio fixture was 79

Mitch Harding co-created (with Mike Hodel in 1972) the long-running science fiction and writing show "Hour 25" on KPFK. Later at KCRW, he was the operations manager and afternoon voice...

Apollo has left the building

Sharon Waxman went out to the Getty Villa today to monitor the packing up, and shipping out, of some of the 40 statues and other antiquities being returned to Italy...

Gabacho defined

In this week's ¡Ask a Mexican! column in the LA and OC Weekly(ies) — and around the country, I presume — Gustavo Arellano delves into the origins and usage of...

New reporter on federal courthouse

Scott Glover has been a digger on local law enforcement for the L.A. Times. He's moving over to focus his reporting on the U.S. Attorney's Office and the feds, which...

How it works in L.A., cont.

Before a City Council committee voted yesterday to tentatively approve a controversial condo project in Van Nuys Valley Village, a planning staffer for the city called the developer and told...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 11.21.07

Cooley's mixed record on corruption District Attorney Steve Cooley took down corrupt officials in Compton, South Gate, and Vernon, but in Cudahy and Bell Gardens "the stench of political corruption...

Scene in Hollywood

Nice photo from yesterday's writers guild street rally in Hollywood by Barbara Davidson at the L.A. Times. Strike coverage is pulled together at a compilation page on the LAT website...

KPFK leader speaks

Pacifica radio station KPFK is in the midst of an election that, once again, has divided the staff, show programmers and listeners over politics and personality issues. Rival slates are...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 11.20.07

LAPD officer struck by hit-and-run Unidentified officer is believed to be in critical condition after being hurt near Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights. NBC4 City electeds split on pay raise...

Science Guy seeks protection from ex-wife *

Bill Nye "The Science Guy," who lives in Studio City, wants a restraining order to protect himself from his former wife, Blair Tindall, author of Mozart in the Jungle: Sex,...

In Los Angeles next month

Sure enough, my pals at Los Angeles have somehow come out with another monthly issue — this one containing the magazine's first Walk of Shame Awards. I don't have time...

Avoid Hollywood Boulevard

Writers Guild strikers and their brethren are planning to converge Tuesday afternoon for a rally, accompanied by Alicia Keys. The guild is hoping for a turnout of thousands. Here's the...

Boyarsky to hit the campaign trail

In addition to his blog here at LA Observed, Bill Boyarsky is a regular columnist for Robert Scheer and Zuade Kaufman at Truthdig. They actually pay him, unlike here, and...

Nice new L.A. photo website

PhotoFriends.org is the site for the nonprofit organization that supports the Los Angeles Public Library's photograph collection, which is lovingly nurtured (and increasingly put on-line) by Carolyn Kozo Cole. The...

If you find a photo of Brian Grazer...

Brian Grazer was "deeply upset by the episode" in which the L.A. Times asked him to guest-edit the opinion section on Sunday, then refused to publish it — and he...

Morning Buzz: Monday 11.19.07

Mayor Bobblehead The Southwest Voter Registration Education Project sells a bobblehead doll of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for $30. It's a fundraiser for the group. Rick Orlov, La Politica More struggles...

Sarah Silverman is Jewish?

OK, just kidding about that. But who knew her older sister is a rabbi on a kibbutz in Israel? I guess you would if you remember Sarah's debut joke on...

Linda Alvarez prepares to go

Veteran anchor-reporter Linda Alvarez is taking her leave of Channel 2 at the end of the month, concluding 14 years at the station. Here's the so-long email and invitation she...

Nikki Finke's busy weekend

The writers strike has inspired a frenzy of non-stop posting by Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily. (I shudder to think of the condition of her office.) Since Friday morning...

Clancy Sigal has this to say about Robbins

Los Angeles novelist and screenwriter Clancy Sigal turned up in today's letters section in the New York Times Book Review, offering a counter view to the description of mass-market writer...

Scary picture

Axel Koester grabbed this scene (for the New York Times) of photographers swarming actress Mandy Moore's arrival at a Beverly Hills restaurant. The term paparazzi increasingly encompasses not only the...

Variety's eye on Westside politics

Ted Johnson, the Variety managing editor who writes the trade's politics blog, Wilshire & Washington, posts about Sen. Hillary Clinton's appearance Saturday at a local environmental gathering: At [a] global...

L.A. blog for the angry Asian male *

An email correspondent caught me up with angryasianman.com by Phil Yu, a 27-year-old Korean American who was the subject of a story last month (!) in the Washington Post. The...

Posts will resume later today *

No Morning Buzz, sorry. * Where did the time go?: Before you know it, Friday turns into Sunday......

San Diego City Attorney drops probe of KPBS

Michael Aguirre began "investigating" San Diego's PBS station after cancellation of a show where he was a frequent guest. As soon as light was cast on his stunt, he dropped...

New Calif political writer

Phil Willon, who runs the L.A. Times bureau in the Inland Empire, is becoming the paper's newest statewide political writer. He'll continue to be based in Riverside. Higher education reporter...

Hiller says no sale

Times Publisher David Hiller uses his in-house blog to refute Joe Scott's blind item that reported the LAT building is for sale. I guess most Times editors don't keep up...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 11.15.07

Yeah, LAPD won't map where Muslims live Who didn't see this coming? The department dropped the plan, but will still do outreach. "Muslim Americans were very disturbed and concerned about...

Let there be pumpkin bread

Heidi Klum tries to appear charmed at the gift of pumpkin bread from Councilman Tom LaBonge, but most of the Victoria's Secret Angels seem — let's call it wary. Perhaps...

Times building for sale? *

Political blogger Joe Scott, citing buzz among major real estate brokers, says the Tribune Co. intends to sell the square block of Downtown where the Los Angeles Times sits for...

Leeza now a public official

"Dancing with the Stars" didn't work out for Leeza Gibbons, so the former celebrity gossip monger has time to take a new gig — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's appointee to the...

Broadway revival in the WSJ

Councilman Jose Huizar, downtown advocate Brady Westwater and, especially, the owner of several of the former movie palaces on Broadway are featured in a Wall Street Journal story today that...

John Ziegler finished at KFI

Last night's was the final show for the talker who came with a bit of a checkered past from Kentucky and had some run-ins here, including with fellow KFIers John...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 11.14.07

Coroner investigating Donda West's death The mother of Kanye West died under mysterious circumstances a day after undergoing cosmetic surgery from high-profile Brentwood plastic surgeon Jan Adams. The Medical Board...

Caruso gets the rest

Shopping mall developer Rick Caruso nicked the owners of the Glendale Galleria for $15 million in punitive damages today, on top of the $74 million he picked up last week....

Regan sues, involves Kerik and Giuliani

Judith Regan today sued News Corp for $100 million over her firing last year and charged that a senior executive urged her to mislead federal investigators about her relationship with...

405 or the San Diego?

Larry Mantle this morning took on one of the lesser issues of our time, but one that's still interesting and perplexing for locals: should we refer to freeways by their...

Remembering Big Daddy

Events are starting up for Bill Boyarsky's major political history from University of California Press, Big Daddy: Jesse Unruh and the Art of Power Politics. Unruh, of course, was the...

Rutten column moves to Op-Ed

Times media columnist Tim Rutten is moving to the opinion pages, where he began his L.A. Times career [* nope, I'm told he began in the old View feature section.]...

Birth of a new magazine, perhaps

Speaking of Ciudad (next item below), former executive editor Yvette Doss is on to a new project. The founder of Frontera magazine, Silver Lake Press and (with her husband) the...

Ciudad gets tasty

Ciudad's culinary guide to Latin dining in the November issue ranges from La Casita Mexicana in Bell to La Super-Rica Taquería in Santa Barbara, and has good things to say...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 11.13.07

Weekend catch-up edition... City Council is gone to New Orleans No meetings this week with so many members off to a League of Cities confab for panels and wining and...

Tuesday's roster for picket with the stars

Monday was bring your family to the picket line day. The Tuesday target for Writers Guild media attention is Universal. The talent scheduled to appear outside the main gates on...

Recommended reading

L.A. Times photographer Luis Sinco has been immersed in the life of former Marine Cpl. James Miller since the horrible day in 2004 when Sinco snapped this photo during a...

LAT masthead grows by two

It seems the masthead where the L.A. Times lists its top editors is either expanding — or shrinking — depending on the leadership culture in vogue. Right now the trend...

Red, blue and purple America

USC's Norman Lear Center and pollster John Zogby tested for the link between political leaning and taste in entertainment. They conclude that 37% of the nation bleeds red, 39% fit...

Augustus F. Hawkins, South L.A. icon was 100

Gus Hawkins was elected to the California legislature in 1934 [editor's note: !] and almost three decades later he became the first African American from California to be elected to...

Lippman goes back to the Times

It's hiring memo day at the L.A. Times. First, before he became the Wall Street Journal Hollywood columnist and a Sitrick and Company troubleshooter, John Lippman covered the television biz...

Oops, not his wife

I'm observing the holiday today — have been all weekend, actually — but I couldn't resist this. AP's photographer and caption writer can be excused for not knowing their local...

Morning Buzz: Friday 11.9.07

LAPD plans to map Islamic neighborhoods "We are looking for communities and enclaves based on risk factors that are likely to become isolated. . . . We want to know...

Cartoonist gets a blog

Want to know how editorial cartoonists work? The Daily News' Patrick O'Connor posts early sketches, talks about his process for deciding on a topic and even tells the occasional tale...

Vague threat against L.A. malls

The FBI has sent a notice to law enforcement warning of possible Al-Qaeda threats against shopping malls in Los Angeles and Chicago this holiday season, but quickly followed up to...

Unofficial rules of the L.A. road

Sue Doyle compiles her realities of driving for the Daily News, and some are just so true: If you're waiting behind cars in a left-turn lane, never expect to go...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 11.8.07

No progress in writers strike Yesterday was the day when stars were brought out to the picket lines to entice the media with tales of woe about productions shutting down...

Did he just say that?

During today's discussion of the expansion at Holy Cross hospital in the Northeast Valley, Councilman Richard Alarcon made City Hall reporters sit up in their chairs and look at each...

The Chemerinsky papers

CityBeat columnist Alan Mittelstaedt FOI'd the chancellor of UC Irvine trying to find out who pressured him to un-hire Erwin Chemerinsky as dean of the new law school, before eventually...

Off to the races

Fun little item on Rich Hammond's Kings blog for the Daily News. Even though the players supposedly had the day off, they were called to the rink at 7:30 am....

Jittery in Malibu

The surfers get edgy when the big waves roll in as they did today, "sleek and steely and cold, spitting out sets like a Tommy gun." Here in Malibu Also:...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 11.7.07

Studios to stop production deals Plans to suspend scores of long-term contracts with television production companies, as early as today, "underscores just how hostile their relationship has become with the...

Tuesday shorts

Busier-than-usual day for me away from the blog. Here's what has caught my eye: Would you believe $40 million more for the new LAPD headquarters that is despoiling the view...

Stump the ex-editor

Andrés Martinez, the former LAT editorial page editor, has teamed up with the Washington Post website on a twice-weekly online political advice column. (His former deputy in Los Angeles, Michael...

Walking Chandler's L.A.

In a post over at Native Intelligence, Denise Hamilton goes for a sidewalk adventure in the city with Judith Freeman, author of the new book The Long Embrace, Raymond Chandler...

Not your average Joe

Points to photographer Gary Leonard for getting the front position at this morning's Joe Torre investiture at Dodger Stadium. But who's Gary giving the evil eye? Also: Catching up on...

Sam Zell talks to The New Yorker

The New Yorker's Connie Bruck examines the personality that is Sam Zell and his deal to acquire Tribune, and comes up with some earthy quotes and notable observations. Zell on...

Morning Buzz: Monday 11.5.07

Kennard deal at LAX raises eyebrows When Lydia Kennard was still a consultant at Los Angeles World Airports when she talked to URS about joining the firm's board. Now that...

Strike's on

Late-hour talks broke down over the weekend, so the Writers Guild of America went on strike at midnight New York time and is preparing to set up picket lines all...

Best read of the weekend

Joel Rubin's first-person Column One in the Saturday L.A. Times described — in tasteful but descriptive detail — how he ended up in the ER with salmonella. He suspected the...

Copley News Service fades away

The bureau in Los Angeles will close at the end of the year, the San Diego Union-Tribune staff was told yesterday. No word on what happens to the remaining personnel....

Observatory is drivable again

The parking ban and shuttle bus system at the renovated Griffith Observatory is history as of today. Although the mayor says 650,000 patrons have visited since the observatory reopened a...

Radiohead

No LA Observed on KCRW this afternoon — I had to take the day off. Purely by coincidence, I will be on KPCC's "Off-Ramp" tomorrow at noon, beginning an occasional...

Injunction against Daily News slapped down

The DWP was told it could not have a preliminary injunction blocking the Daily News from publishing salary info on nearly 8,500 workers on the paper's website. A hearing was...

Nuñez caught with hand in jar again

Another of Speaker Fabian Nuñez's legal dodges to squeeze money out of special interests has been uncovered. The LAT's Nancy Vogel and Evan Halper report that companies like AT&T, Verizon...

Viewing Torre from afar

While his columnist ex-colleagues at the L.A. Times fall over themselves to pronounce Joe Torre just what the Dodgers need, J.A. Adande is now a national columnist for ESPN. His...

The LA Sun/Star

After posting Wednesday's item about the newspaper that couldn't decide if it was the Los Angeles Sun or the Los Angeles Star, I heard from Editor in Chief Jeremy Meyer....

Postcard from the California fires

Dana Goodyear has been blogging on the fires for The New Yorker and has a Talk of the Town piece in this week. Excerpt: Southern Californians don’t like to wake...

These can be a good gig *

The Washington Post team in Los Angeles is losing their bureau aide to National Public Radio [actually KCRW, see below] and would like to hire another pretty quickly. If it's...

Commie Girl aroused by the Carona story

The District's Rebecca Schoenkopf got to know Sheriff Mike Carona in her OC Weekly days — he once sent her a bottle of wine and chocolate for her son —...

Nahai over his head, says L.A. Sniper

Brian D'Arcy, head of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, is going to eat David Nahai's lunch at the Department of Water of Power, Alan Mittelstaedt argues in...

Bee pretends Internet has changed

In January the Sacramento Bee baffled people by going against the trend and moving its online political coverage behind the pay wall — a high wall at $499 a year....

Remember RiShawn Biddle?

The former Los Angeles Business Journal reporter and L.A.-based blogger was dismissed this week as an editorial writer for the Indianapolis Star after posting a blog item that had, apparently,...

Torre's unimpressive record

Before Joe Torre's hiring — as the most expensive Dodgers manager ever — became official today, Jerry Crowe in the LAT noted that his pre-Yankees ledger was nothing to brag...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 11.1.07

Writers talks break down at deadline Writers Guild could be moving closer to striking Hollywood, and all that that entails. Variety, LAT, Deadline Hollywood Daily UCLA professor explains her work...
David Garth, political consultant
david-garth-bradley.jpgNew Yorker David Garth played a big role in the elections of Tom Bradley and John Tunney. Obit
LAO_die-in copy.jpgTake My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed. Click on the pic to see larger. Gary's archive.
Campaign 2015 takes shape
city-hall-night-alt.jpgHere is the certified list of who is running for Los Angeles City Council, school board and community college board. Story
A tale of two Sugar Plum Fairies
joy-womack-iris.jpgJoy Womack comes to the Santa Monica Nutcracker from Moscow, Lyrica Blankfein from NYC. More