LA Observed archive
for December 2007

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

New year's notes

Happy 2008! Clearing the decks from 2007: Times-basher Patterico is out with his fifth annual Dog Trainer Year in Review, "documenting omissions, distortions, and misrepresentations" by the Los Angeles Times....

Not your average holiday blog

John Stodder, the former Fleishman-Hillard executive whose wire fraud and conspiracy conviction is on appeal, blogs about the pressure of facing Christmas with a prison sentence hanging over your head,...

Around LA Observed

Quite a media zoo at UCLA today as Rick Neuheisel, who led the Bruins to a Rose Bowl victory as quarterback back in his day, returned as head football coach....

Sara Jane Moore released from prison

The mother of four who took a politically motivated shot at President Gerald Ford in San Francisco in 1975 got out of the low-security Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin this...

Judge rules against News-Press

An administrative law judge has ruled that wacky Wendy McCaw's Santa Barbara News-Press did violate a number of federal labor laws and must re-hire — and give back pay —...

On the ground in Iowa

Let's face it, the fun place to be for a politics junkie right now is Iowa. Mayor Villaraigosa flew in Saturday (after skiing in Aspen with his kids, reportedly) to...

Graciela Iturbide in East L.A.

There are three notable photo exhibitions up at the Getty right now — a survey of nudes and seven decades of André Kertész among them — but the largest and...

No more green makeup for her

If you were in Hollywood last night, you might have seen a line around the block at the Pantages after the performance of Wicked. Hundreds of fans queued up outside...

Remembering Stu

Josh Rawitch of the Dodgers gets personal in his blog farewell to Stu Nahan....

Hotel living wage law upheld

Remember when the City Council got around that whole referendum thing by, wink wink, making a few changes to its living wage policy for the LAX-area hotels? It worked. A...

Briefly noted

KCRW and KPCC have jumped on this morning's assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Warren Olney's shows, "To the Point" and "Which Way, L.A.?," are both devoting extensive time to the...

Golden Mike winners

KNBC Channel 4 leads the TV stations with six Golden Mikes from the Radio Television News Association, including best newscast writing, documentary ("On the Verge") and investigative story (for its...

Stu Nahan, sportscaster was 81

The Kings held a moment of silence before tonight's game to honor Stu Nahan, the former sportscaster at channels 4, 5 and 7 and sports talk host on KABC and...

Irv Letofsky, editor and critic was 76

Irv Letofsky, former editor of the L.A. Times Sunday Calendar section and a critic for the Hollywood Reporter, died Sunday of liver cancer at age 76. From the Reporter obituary:...

Briefly noted

Still catching up from my unintended, and unwanted, time away from the keyboard... Adam Carolla stays, Danny Bonaduce goes. The Virgin Megastore at Sunset and Crescent Heights will close at...

Original Van Nuys Airport hangar saved

Valley history buffs were aghast to learn last week that the first hangar built at what's now called Van Nuys Airport was in the process of being torn down. The...

Rutten on Tribune's time in Los Angeles

The Tribune Company takeover by Sam Zell prompted Times media columnist Tim Rutten to pronounce the seven years of Tribune ownership at the LAT "a disastrous journalistic experiment...there's no need...

Roger Clemens and the L.A. Times

That was quite a front-page correction the L.A. Times ran on Thursday, below the fold under the headline 'Steroid affidavit unsealed.' The Times acknowledged that its own 2006 story implicating...

Who else had the ham? *

I'd forgotten what happens in offices around the holidays — tons of cookies, pumpkin breads, cheese platters and fruit baskets show up and sit around. I must have gotten hold...

S.F. Chronicle's 'Rosey' gets a gig

Robert J. Rosenthal, the former managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, will lead the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Berkeley-based independent reporting group co-founded by Lowell Bergman that has...

Nikki persuades another editor

The editor's note on page 34 of the new Vanity Fair caught my eye (well, after it was pointed out to me): "In Bryan Burrough's 'showdown at Fort Sumner' (December),...

FitzSimons' farewell

Tribune Company chairman Dennis J. FitzSimons won't be missed much at the L.A. Times. Here's his farewell missive sent this morning (the typos or misspellings are his, not mine.) From:...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.19.07

Taking sides in the Supes race The county Federation of Labor comes out for Mark Ridley-Thomas, Supervisor Gloria Molina says she'll help Bernard Parks. L.A. council members Herb Wesson and...

Once around some blogs

Ed Boks, L.A.'s constantly embattled animal services chief, is still blogging away. He posts today that the "No-Kill Equation" getting a lot of buzz in the animal welfare community...

New design honcho at LAT

It's been six months since Joe Hutchinson left the L.A. Times for Rolling Stone. Today his replacement was named. It's apparently a somewhat controversial decision within the newsroom, judging by...

Playing both sides

Times Hollywood columnist Patrick Goldstein got off some good observations about the waning quality, originality and relevance of Oscar race analyzing and gossip. The award announcements make a nice one-day...

Fitzsimons expected to quit Tribune

With the Zellionaire's takeover of Tribune expected to close this week, the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune are reporting that chairman and chief executive Dennis J. FitzSimons could resign...

Remembering Laura Huxley

Tammara at Metroblogging Los Angeles posts about her connection to Laura Huxley, who she used to see around Hollywood Reservoir and who died on the blogger's birthday. Here's our post...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 12.18.07

Paying the price We knew Mayor Villaraigosa was going to put the screws on local business and rich guys to pay for his pet projects and causes, but wow. The...

Moves at Los Angeles

Los Angeles magazine's January issue, landing this week, has pieces on LAT homicide blogger Jill Leovy and on the Wendy McCaw situation at the Santa Barbara News-Press. There's also some...

Times magazine gets an editor

Leslie Brenner, the Food Editor at the L.A. Times, will move over to become interim editor of the monthly Sunday magazine. There's at least nominally a search on for a...

'Life & Times' airs a little longer

I'm told by KCET that "Life & Times" will hold down its 7pm time slot until Dec. 28, then give way to Tavis Smiley. Stories this week will include a...

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.17.07

Woman found dead in towed away car — a day later The body of an elderly woman was discovered hidden under the deployed passenger air bag in a crumpled car...

So much for L.A. history

In 1957 the mayor of Los Angeles helped install a plaque at 7th and Main streets downtown commemorating the birth of the local film industry at that spot. (It's where,...

Another exit from Dodger Stadium

From Tony Jackson at the Daily News: Camille Johnston, the Dodgers senior vice president for communications and chief spokesperson for the past two years, said on Friday that she is...

Looks like it for 'Life & Times' *

Tonight's show at 7pm on KCET has Tom Brokaw looking back at the 1960s, Vicki Curry checking in on the Orange County Museum of Art's "Birth of the Cool" exhibit,...

Focus on Andrew Malcolm

A long story at Editor & Publisher.com on newspaper political blogs ledes with the veteran reporter who co-writes Top of the Ticket, the L.A. Times campaign blog. The story muses,...

Laura Archera Huxley, 96

The author and widow of Aldous Huxley has died in Los Angeles, according to family friends. She was 96. She was born in Italy and became a top violinist at...

Silver Lake and Elysian water to be dumped

The DWP has decided to dump all the water in Silver Lake and the Elysian reservoir because of unusually high traces of the carcinogen bromate, which formed in the water...

LAT.com makes web moves official

The memo is out on the additions we told you were coming to the Times' web staff — LAist's Tony Pierce and LAO's Veronique de Turenne — plus a couple...

His conversations with Freddie

David Rensin writes with affection at Native Intelligence about all the months he spent with Freddie Fields, the agent who died this week, talking about Hollywood and a book proposal...

Morning Buzz: Friday 12.14.07

Congestion pricing in diamond lanes You know all those carpool lanes being built squeezed onto freeways, often requiring a year or two of construction traffic mess? MTA and Caltrans are...

Dodgers deeply involved

"Perhaps no team comes off worse in the 409-page report than the Dodgers," says the trio of Times reporters who pored over the Mitchell report on steroids and human growth...

Rhino Records is back, briefly

The late, beloved Rhino Records closed on Westwood Boulevard last year, but if you need a fix a pop-up Rhino store has opened on 3rd Street at Laurel. They've got...

Regretting the error (in judgment)

Following the lead of sister paper the Daily News, the San Bernardino Sun and Inland Valley Daily-Bulletin got hold of the salaries of county workers out there and decided to...

Arrests in Malibu fire

Five men aged 18 to 27 have been arrested in connection with the Thanksgiving weekend fire that burned 53 homes in Malibu. Authorities said the fire started as an illegal...

Drilling down in Mitchell report

The Times found a passage based on internal notes from within the Dodger organization about former catcher Paul Lo Duca. Seems the team may have considered trading him because he...

Backstory on gangs *

Seems there is some backstory to today's LA Weekly cover piece on Los Angeles street gang violence by Peter Landesman. It apparently had started as a piece for the New...

Must be some burger

Jonathon Gold, in the course of praising the new French brasserie Comme Ça, on Melrose in West Hollywood: The cheeseburger paradigm has shifted a lot of times over the last...

Undie Run, again

LAist was a tad late to the recent Undie Run phenomenon at UCLA, but has sure embraced it fully. Plenty of pics at the blog from last night's thrice-yearly run...

Change of guard at the Press-Telegram?

In a piece on semi-retiring Long Beach columnist Tom Hennessy, the District Weekly's Dave Wielenga says the Press-Telegram is losing local control in the consolidation of roles and content within...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 12.13.07

Skipping the Golden Globes Yes, in case anyone cares, the few dozen C-listers who make up the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have again published a list of movies and actors...

Ike Turner dies at 76

The ex-husband and abuser of Tina Turner died at home in suburban San Marcos in the San Diego area. Ike and Tina were a pretty successful act in the 1960s,...

Freddie Fields, oldtime agent was 84

The one-time vaudeville booker who became the agent for Judy Garland, Henry Fonda, Barbra Streisand and other stars died of lung cancer Tuesday at home in Beverly Hills. Fields was...

Where's Jacob Soboroff?

The erstwhile LA Observed video maker pulled up to the Des Moines Register's Republican debate in Johnston, Iowa in a horse and buggy, trying to make a point about outdated...

Reporter moves on *

Evan George has left the Downtown News for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, where he will take over the health care beat and cover insurance lawsuits, health care reform and...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.12.07

Handicapping Parks vs. Ridley-Thomas The first seriously contested Board of Supervisors race since 1992 — when Kenneth Hahn was replaced — is "going to be a humdinger," says Jaime Regalado,...

Villaraigosa salvages a schools win

No way the mayor's organizers could let this one slip away. Parents and teachers at six LAUSD campuses — including one of the high schools Mayor Villaraigosa attended, Roosevelt —...

One of deputy's killers convicted

Remember the murder last year in Long Beach of off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Maria Cecilia Rosa? She was apparently surprised by two guys on a morning crime spree...

Trio of local book deals

Publishers Lunch brings word that Maria Shriver has sold Just Who Will You Be, "presenting life lessons and reflections on what's important in her life, inspired by a poem she...

Back to the future on local coverage

The L.A. Times is going back to reporter "bureaus" placed around the Los Angeles area, in hopes of flushing out more local news. The paper has had them before, then...

More bookstore tales

This one is more of a prank than yesterday's scam, also from Shelf Awareness: Kerry Slattery, general manager of Skylight Books, Los Angeles, Calif., has another cautionary tale about an...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 12.11.07

Villaraigosa school plan comes to a vote Teachers and parents at Roosevelt, Santee and Jordan high schools, and at Hollenbeck, Stevenson, Markham and Gompers middle schools, vote today on whether...

Correction o' the day

OK technically it was an editor's note. And the day was Sunday. But it was just pointed out to me. The subject is architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne's piece in Sunday's...

Looking for a black Santa?

Jasmyne Cannick found one at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw mall....

We have a winner

I had to be sure she wanted them, but now it can be told: Vicki Kechekian was the first LA Observed subscriber to email for the tickets to the New...

Call it the Nigerian author scam

John Evans, co-owner of Diesel: A Bookstore out in Malibu, told the newsletter Shelf Awareness about a strange come-on at his Oakland store. I guess with everything else they face,...

Gone phishing in Iraq

Somebody at the New York Times bureau in Iraq apparently fell for the old password trick. Read the memo: Gang, The Baghdad Bureau e-mail address nytiraqb@yahoo.com has been compromised and...

Public records abuse in P.V.

Anonymous residents of Rancho Palos Verdes have demanded, through an attorney, that the city produce eleven years of public records — "all documents, communications, e-mail, memos, contracts and other writing...

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.10.07

Digging in for a long strike Patric Verrone's plan at the WGA all along was for a bloody fight over respect, says Michael Cieply in the NYT. Hollywood moves to...

L.A. Film Critics awards

There Will Be Blood was voted the best picture of 2007. Here are the other awards that local critics went for, picked up from the LAFCA website. DIRECTOR: Paul Thomas...

Around LA Observed

David Rensin rants at Native Intelligence about a close call with a cellphone-gabbing, wide-turning Valley driver, and Jenny Price makes the case for camping in the canyons above Malibu despite...

Marion True talks to the New Yorker

The defrocked Getty curator of antiquities who has faced criminal charges in Europe finally talks to the media, in the form of Hugh Eakin in this coming week's New Yorker....

LAT.com has plans

I'm working through my email from last week and will be posting the most worthy stuff. To start, here's the latest memo at the Times from Meredith Artley, executive editor...

Radio weekend

No LA Observed on KCRW today since I'm traveling, but I'm told there's another of my segments about the Valley on John Rabe's "Off-Ramp" Saturday at noon on KPCC. This...

Ticket giveaway for New Year's Eve

Thanks to Veronique for keeping everything going while I got drenched by non-stop rain in Hawaii. I never suspected lightning storms would be the best part of the trip. (Blizzard...

A quick swing through blogland

Around LAO: Writers talks look bleak, job reports look better, the ports get bigger, and gas gets, if not cheaper, then slightly less expensive. Mark Lacter at LA Biz Observed....

Good morning 12.07.07

Short and sweet: Tribune Co. uses $500 million in cash to reduce buyout loans and close the $8.2 billion deal by year's end. AP by way of Yahoo. Evacuation of...

Still messy in Santa Barbara

A veteran copy editor has been fired by the News-Press after words from the gag front page traditionally composed for a departing employee's send-off ended up on the paper's Web...

It's Wednesday, right?

I'm out here in the boonies where they've barely heard of the internets. Service is spotty and loading a page takes. A. Really. Very. Painfully. Long. Time. Which means minimal...

Good Morning 12.04.07 **

A few links to limber up those early-morning fingers: Triple whammy Big surf, big wind, big rain - a big week for weather. David Reyes in the LAT. Unsafe **...

Around LAO

Surf's (almost) up! Say adios to the Lake of the Pacific. Surfline sees a swell swell headed our way. Bonus link here. The games people play Vivendi's purchase of a...

Monday Night Live

Red Hen, LA's own indie press, is off to an auspicious start tonight with its new writers-in-conversation series, Monday Evenings at the Geffen. Authors Janet Fitch, Sarah Goodyear and Jennifer...

Big Kahuna, gone again

Dear Kevin, So you've decided to work for a few days from the Maui bureau of LAO? Excellent move. Overnight temps here in SoCal have dropped to a brutal 6...

Choire Sicha quits Gawker again

Sicha and two others editors quit the New York news and gossip site, apparently at least partly over a new pay scale. Romenesko rounds up some links....

Gustavo invades KFI

The OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano did a guest-host stint last week on KFI — yes the same AM shout station where John & Ken live in fear of the Reconquista...

Things I'll miss this week

As I mentioned down below, I'll be out of town all week. In addition to fewer posts from me it means I'm going to miss a couple of events I...

UCLA talking to football coaches

Karl Dorrell's stint as head coach in Westwood isn't over yet — officially — but the Times reports that UCLA has been in contact with at least three potential successors....

LAT hires a couple of bloggers

All of us at LA Observed Tower congratulate Veronique de Turenne, doyenne of Here in Malibu, who will join the Los Angeles Times staff after the New Year as a...

Piling on the Michelin guide

Takedown of the new Michelin guide for Los Angeles began with Leslie Brenner in the L.A. Times food section back on Nov. 21. Sample: In short, it's amateurish, confusing and...

SPJ names its journos of the year

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has picked six journalists to honor at its banquet next April. The winners of SPJ's Distinguished Journalist Award: Beth...
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.
LAO_LewisMacAdams copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed. Check out Gary's archive.
Streetscape | Whitnall Highway
dwp-bldg-whitnall-hwy.jpg DWP architecture in North Hollywood.
Print relic
linotype-le-figaro.jpgKevin spotted this Linotype machine on display in the Paris lobby of Le Figaro, the second-largest national newspaper in France. Bigger
Streetscape | Alameda Corridor
red-dress-alameda-corridor.jpg