LA Observed archive
for February 2008

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

Where's Chuck Quackenbush?

The former California insurance commissioner, who resigned in 2000 amid corruption allegations, is now a deputy sheriff in Florida. And he just shot somebody: a domestic violence suspect with a...

Press-Telegram essentially merged **

I'm told by a staffer that the positions of publisher and managing editor were eliminated today at the Long Beach Press-Telegram, along with the copy desk and most of the...

Hopkins chooses LAPD over newspapers *

* Rewritten at 2:40 pm with better info Brent Hopkins, the Daily News reporter who has been keeping everybody informed about pending cuts via his blog, took the buyout and...

Cartoonist gets a show

Doug Davis broke in as the Downtown News editorial cartoonist by lampooning the insular concerns of downtown bloggers. He ruffled feathers, but "when I saw that reaction, I said, 'I...

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.29.08

Yesterday: New Line is historyDN alumni speak upSave Beyond Baroque? Naked girl on the Promenade Past 24 hours in brief City Hall sacred cows Everybody is talking about them with...

Layoffs at Daily Breeze

Staffers who contacted me say nine positions at the Singleton-owned Daily Breeze were eliminated today, including four reporters, a web editor and a newsroom receptionist who were laid off. More...

Meetings and apologies at DN, but....

Tonight on The Paper Trail, the blog by Daily News reporter and union steward Brent Hopkins: In the morning and again in the afternoon, Kerry [Cavanaugh] and I met with...

LAT Book Prize nominees announced

Novelist Maxine Hong Kingston wins this year's Robert Kirsch Award. Nominees in the nine categories, announced tonight in New York, include Ron Brownstein, Naomi Klein and Tim Weiner. Winners are...

Daily News alumni mourn for the paper

I've been hearing today from graduates of the Daily News who are concerned about the scythe being taken to what remains of the paper where they worked. (Some also are...

Brought down by his own blog *

Kazuyoshi Miura never should have posted on his blog that he would be visiting the Pacific island of Saipan. That's where U.S. immigation officers grabbed him. They were tipped by...

More Zell damage control

How often can the people who actually have to run the L.A. Times cover for Sam Zell's...Zelliousnness? This time, Publisher David Hiller sent the Washington bureau a valentine assuring the...

Naked babe on Promenade

Writer and blogger Tom Teicholz was on the Santa Monica Promenade this afternoon when he spotted a woman strolling naked and preening for a video camera and still photographer. "This...

Women who run L.A.'s clubs

Metromix profiles women who are rising through the club scene. Shereen Arazm, a petite, bubbly brunette, could easily be mistaken for a Hollywood clubber at trendy venues such as Central,...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.28.08

Eight shot at South L.A. bus stop If you missed it:Tears flow at Daily NewsBass to become SpeakerScript Project news Past 24 hours in brief Five children and three adults...

Zell's firm could make $15 million on Prop. 98

The eminent domain measure on the June ballot would also phase out some rent control laws, potentially resulting in a $15 million windfall for Sam Zell's Equity Lifestyle Properties Inc.,...

Celeblogs, paps and the law

Interesting lineup at noon today at the Loyola Law School Entertainment & Sports Law Society symposium. Topic: "The Paparazzi, Celebrity Bloggers...and the Lawyers Who Represent Them." Speakers: Michael Amir, legal...

'Worst day ever...heartbreaking' at Daily News

Everyone I talked with agrees. And the actual layoffs won't be announced until Friday. Editor Ron Kaye gathered everybody around this afternoon, said he was sorry, and confirmed that 22...

Buddy Miles, Hendrix drummer was 60

Not too many musicians follow this particular career arc. Buddy Miles, who died yesterday in Austin of congestive heart failure, began as a session player with the Delfonics and on...

Call her Speaker Bass

Los Angeles assemblywoman Karen Bass has the votes to become Speaker, the Sacramento Bee reports. Fiona Ma, the San Francisco Democrat who tried to get the job, conceded that Bass...

Take the A Train: Script Project

Pages 4-6 of Right of Way have been posted at the LA Observed Script Project. In the emerging L.A. noir tale, Mayor Russell Napolitano has left the abandoned tunnel mouth...

Garcetti chief moves on, Guerrero named

David Gershwin has been chief of staff to Council President Eric Garcetti since 2005. He is leaving to be a vice president of Cerrell and Associates. Ana Guerrero moves up...

Mayor claims traffic is about to move better

The newly completed Mid-Wilshire Signal Sync System, bounded by Hollywood Boulevard, Western Avenue, La Cienega Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard, synchronizes a total of 256 traffic signals and spans 12-square miles...

Buried 'treasure' dug up in the Valley

OK, more loot than treasure. But when cops followed the map scrawled by burglar Roberto Caveda and dug where the X was marked near White Oak Avenue and the Reagan...

Tribune bureau chief OK with change in DC

Michael Tackett, who runs the Chicago Tribune's side of the big bureau in Washington that the LAT dominates, tells Editor & Publisher that his people are ready to work with...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.27.08

Just a quickie today. Lopez can't get interview with the mayor Times columnist Steve Lopez says the Villaraigosa press office won't even return his calls. By the way, on "Charlie...

Zell to DC bureau: 'unsupportable'

Chicago Tribune media columnist Phil Rosenthal covers yesterday's Sam Zell attack on the LAT Washington bureau, and it goes beyond the psychic bloodbath I picked up. Zell wants the Times...

DN staff expects imminent bad news

Amid signs that the severest cuts yet are coming this week at the Daily News, tonight's latest word to the newsroom staff from union steward Brent Hopkins: The rollercoaster continues....

Yeah, the writers ratify deal

Would you believe 93.6 percent of 4,060 votes cast by Writers Guild of America members in Los Angeles and New York OK'd the new contracts, which runs through May 1,...

LAT Poll will be good news for Obama, McCain *

Staff editor-blogger Don Frederick plays it a little coy but says the latest Times/Bloomberg national poll, due to post about 4 pm our time, will show "Obama has erased the...

Willard Murray still at the public teat

Murray was in the Assembly for four terms, ran a slate mailer in South L.A. with Mervyn Dymally and spawned ex-legislator Kevin Murray. Willard's name figures prominently today in a...

Antonio an honorary Jew

The Forward interviews Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and calls him "something of an honorary member of the tribe." “He’s basically treated as if he’s a Sephardic Jew,” said Jack Weiss, an...

Zell delivers 'psychic bloodbath' in DC bureau *

I'm told Sam Zell just informed the Los Angeles Times Washington bureau that there's way too many people there and they should start acting like a wire service for the...

Register-Singleton deal already done?

Nick Schou* thinks so and posts some intriguing evidence from a Singleton paper up north — how about a joint Media News Staff byline that includes a Register reporter's name?...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.26.08

Quarter of younger viewers dropped Oscars this year The total of 32 million national viewers did not include a whole bunch of 18-to-49s who watched last year. In that key...

Developer will cover $550,000 in Dutton's debt

Charlie Munger, who owns and wants to redevelop the Brentwood block that includes Dutton's Books, promised to pay all of the bookstore's debts — and forgive the rent — in...

Vets who cheat

Channel 4's Ana Garcia began an undercover investigation tonight on veterinarians who take advantage of distraught pet owners to order unnecessary procedures and "hundreds of dollars in unnecessary expenses." Kind...

'Talking Points Memo' profiled

Last week Joshua Micah Marshall wins journalism's George Polk Award. This week the New York Times feigns surprise that he doesn't blog in his pajamas and has an office. To...

Angeleno's poem of the day

Poet T.S. Kerrigan lives in Burbank, so not precisely L.A.. And OK, it was Friday, not today. But some verse of his was the selection of the day at Best...

Sonenshein takes a blog

Even poli sci professors, columnists and all-around political pundits are doing it. Raphael Sonenshein, who's all three and the author of books about Los Angeles politics, is writing the Jews...

Why Gawker Inc. items might seem a little hyped

Media gossip blogger Maggie Shnayerson was let go at Gawker after less than six months. It's all about the ratings, per this item at Radar: An e-mail from Gawker Media...

Dutton's reaction rolling in

A lot of sites and media are reacting to the sad news — first posted here at LA Observed early this morning — that Dutton's Books in Brentwood will be...

More signs of the (new) Times

Jacket Copy, the blog written by the staff of the L.A. Times' books section, today added a new voice: Carolyn Kellogg's. She is the former editor of LAist who left...

Mobsters, molls and mayhem

Mickey Cohen was L.A.'s best-known and most media-savvy mobster in 1958, the year that USC's library focuses on in an exhibit of photos from the old Los Angeles Examiner. USC...

Book PR release of the week

The words "speculative sports fiction" caught my eye and made me go: huh? But that's the genre that covers the anthology edited by Tujunga author Karen A. Romanko. She emails...

Worst Oscar ratings ever

Initial numbers from Nielsen look like a 20% drop in TV viewers from last year. About two-thirds of the people watching TV during the show watched something else in Nielsen's...

Best breakfast in L.A.?

In another of those generic magazine roundups claiming to know the best of something, but really an exercise in geographic diversity, Details includes Square One Dining on its top ten...

Stay out of the water today

High waves are pounding the coast and rip currents are making the sea more treacherous than usual. Piers at Manhattan Beach and Seal Beach were closed yesterday due to the...

Dutton's calls it quits with 'profound regret and sorrow'

Dutton's Brentwood Books will close April 30 after a tough year. A clientele like Dustin Hoffman, Diane Keaton and half the authors in the city isn't enough to keep a...

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.25.08

Another Oscars comes and goes Deserved new reputations for Marion Cotillard, French winner of the best actress statue for channeling Edith Piaf, and Gary Busey, who freaked out Ryan Seacrest...

Satsumas for $1.89 a pound

The winter fruit of the gods has been fingered, crushed and tossed aside at my Westside supermarkets. But I found some yesterday in Little Tokyo, at the Mitsuwa Marketplace, that...

Go Fug Yourself watches Oscar arrivals

Heather and Jessica got a gig live-blogging the red carpet for New York magazine's website, starting at 3 pm Hollywood and Highland time....

Wesson's glint about running for mayor

Councilman Herb Wesson entertained a lunch crowd at the Current Affairs Forum the other day with some fairly open comments about his political decision making. He didn't run for the...

Debating the future of Ventura Boulevard

With seven residential projects containing 900 units already under construction — and another two dozen projects approved — the most upscale shopping street across the Valley is evolving. But the...

The new Koreatown

Actually it's not so new, but the Koreanization of the suburbs in the northwest Valley has really taken hold. I think every church my parents tried to drag me into...

Cousin John Perez tosses hat in 46th AD ring

A day after stepping down from the Community Redevelopment Agency board, labor leader John Perez joined the crowded (for now) race to succeed termed-out Speaker Fabian Núñez. Perez's entry is...

Sitrick loses claim against film financier

Crisis PR executive Michael Sitrick tried to collect a $7.7 million judgment from Ryan Kavanuagh, but a judge Friday said no. The reason is that Sitrick apparently agreed previously not...

PPL responds to Rutten

The L.A. Police Protective League took umbrage at Times columnist Tim Rutten's chiding of Mayor Villaraigosa for injecting a bit of politics into his TV time at the funeral of...

Baby boom at the City Council

Councilman Jose Huizar and his wife Ricchelle welcomed Simon Luis Huizar at 3:10 am. The baby was delivered at Arcadia Methodist Hospital weighing 7 pounds, 10 ounces and measuring 20...

Regarding Sam Zell

Inspired by Zell's comments last night at the Hammer, my LA Observed segment on KCRW at 4:44 pm wonders why anyone sees him as a potential saviour of journalism here...

AP bulks up here

Dan Becker, the Los Angeles-based director of entertainment content for Associated Press, announced a couple of moves as part of the wire service turning up its entertainment coverage: The Los...

Press Club hands out entertainment awards

The Los Angeles Press Club's "national entertainment awards" are new and mostly local. Winners include Matthew Garrahan of the local Financial Times bureau for best print news story, Jacob Soboroff...

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.22.08

Avenues gang blamed for shootout in Glassell Park area A man who opened fire on LAPD officers with an AK-47 was killed and a big swath, including four schools, was...

Zell: 'Anybody but Clinton'

I listened to Sam Zell answer questions Thursday night at the Hammer Museum, then afterward shook his hand and chatted a bit about the Times and newspapers. First time I'd...

Villaraigosa on Charlie Rose *

No time yet to watch last night's conversation about Hillary Clinton and immigration, but here's a link to the video. Viewer comments on the show's site are mired in the...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.21.08

Variety for sale Reed Elsevier wants to sell Reed Business Information and get far away from the advertising-driven market. In addition to Variety, this puts Broadcasting and Cable, Publishers Weekly...

Back to L.A., virtually

When LA Observed was just a toddler of a blog, I watched Nancy Rommelmann chronicle her anxiety-filled but hopeful (and ultimately happy) move to Portland in a blog she called...

Bratton vs. Britney and the 'airheads'

At the end of his monthly visit with Patt Morrison on KPCC today, LAPD chief William Bratton pooh-poohed the need for the paparazzi law proposed by Councilman Dennis Zine. He...

Mirthala story kicks up a ruckus

The new L.A. Times news blog looks and acts freakishly like LA Observed, often posting on the same news nuggets after we do. (And sometimes it works the other way.)...

Zell's back in town

Alert YouTube. Sam Zell makes his first public appearance in Los Angeles Thursday since all that foofah over his demeaning language — and the launch of a new era at...

Weisberg book party

Slate editor Jacob Weisberg gave a little shout out to LA Observed in his remarks last night at a book party at Arianna Huffington's home. Actually, he noted that I...

Lohan pics provide her a simple pleasure

Dana Goodyear, the New Yorker's blogging L.A. staff writer, had her own paparazzi encounter recently near the Chateau Marmont that inspired her to check out New York magazine's nudes of...

Why recall two-year-old ground beef?

In case you were wondering, Slate explains why that order to recall meat sent to schools from Hallmark Meat Packing wasn't as pointless as it may have seemed: Why would...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.20.08

Board of Supes keeps clinics open Plan to close nearly all county health clinics to save money was spiked for now. LAT Nicolas Cage has big tax troubles The IRS...

Mirthala Salinas is back on L.A. air

The onetime rising star at Telemundo whose career burned up in the wreckage of an affair with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has taken the familiar post-TV route — AM radio. Tomorrow's...

Times buyout offers come with a stick

Editor Russ Stanton, in offering the package clearly aimed at getting older staffers to leave, suggests that Sam Zell's message is "take it or else." Sam's people have indicated that...

Los Angeles mag for March

In the March issue, Los Angeles kicks off a contest to let readers pick the single greatest thing about Los Angeles. They start with 64 in the magazine, then whittle...

Daily News rumors: 'catastrophic' cuts

All newsrooms are skittish these days, but the atmosphere at the Daily News today sounds beyond morose. Staffers are gathering tomorrow night at the home of reporters Jason Kandel and...

Another Zell shoe falls: KTLA's GM out

Vinnie Malcolm will be leaving the building at Channel 5. He may already be gone. Staffers aren't clear just how hard he was pushed, but the memo from new Sam...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.19.08

Montorio says he was 'surprised' at firing New boss Russ Stanton walked in on Friday and summarily fired the Times managing editor for features. "It was really quite brief and...

Blog wins a Polk Award

Talking Points Memo, the Democratic politics blog run by Joshua Micah Marshall, received a prestigious (within journalism) George Polk Award for legal reporting. TPM "led the news media coverage of...

The GOP's book on Obama

The Republican National Committee convened its winter retreat for major donors this weekend at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, presenting Karl Rove and figure such as RNC chairman Robert Duncan —...

Hiller's fondness for Hollywood

A mini-profile of L.A. Times publisher David Hiller in tomorrow's New York Times leads with the idea that he's star-struck by the glamour of his adopted hometown. It's pegged to...

Lohan nude in Marilyn shoot for New York

New York magazine got itself a sure seller this week. Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan is nude — as in freckles, nipples and tattoo — in a color photo spread recreating...

Probation officer and her Crip arrested

Crystal Dillard, a Los Angeles County probation officer, and her boyfriend — a reputed Crips leader &mdash were among 23 people indicted in a Pomona-based drug ring, authorities announced today....

Oscars disruption kicks in

Today is when Hollywood and Highland really starts to feel the pain of hosting the Academy Awards for another year. Hollywood Boulevard is set to close to traffic at 10...

Times brass on with Olney

L.A. Times publisher David Hiller and editor Russ Stanton both guest on tonight's Which Way, L.A.? with Warren Olney, at 7 pm on KCRW. Presumably Hiller will talk about why...

TMZ hits bottom

TMZ has posted a paparazzi picture of singer LeAnn Rimes picking her nose. Isn't it nice how the Web has empowered new, more relevant news media? Related: NPR's Karen Grisgby...

Montorio's exit email at LAT

The rumors were true that new editor Russ Stanton made getting rid of John Montorio his first big move. Montorio, the managing editor for features, told his editors this morning...

Holiday shorts

Holiday hours today so no Morning Buzz, but stuff has still been piling up on my desk. City Council members are lining up to object to Controller Laura Chick's move...

Papadakis Taverna could be closing

San Pedro's best-known Greek restaurant has been targeted by Marie Callender's, and the Community Redevelopment Agency and the local councilwoman sound excited. "If it works out, this would be a...

If the SWAT team shows up...

It could be a prank, pulled by a teenager in another state. They call 911 with a report of hostages and guns, hiding their real phone number ID. The cops...

LA Observed Script Project

Meet Eric Estrin, if you haven't already. He's been an occasional contributor to Native Intelligence for awhile now, as well as a TV writer and a moderator of the Writer...

Mt. Waterman has skiers again

The tiny ski area on the Angeles Crest Highway reopened Saturday after five years of stillness. Only two lifts were running, there were no rentals nor were there even difficulty...

Intricate rehab at Natural History Museum

The skylight over the rotunda of the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park has been nicely, if painstakingly, restored with help from the great-grandson of the original Judson Studios artist....

The other Hollywood sign

Runyon Canyon hikers Bob Eicholz and Steve Scott a few years ago discovered the remnants of a large sign in the brush above their Outpost Estates neighborhood. Turns out it...

Street scene for Randy

It wasn't until I saw the 10 o'clock news that I fully appreciated how many people lined Vermont and Slauson to greet the procession escorting the remains of Randal Simmons...

How Kareem came to blog for the LAT

Kareem Abdul Jabbar's blog on the Times website seems to be working its way through his personal African American Hall of Fame — the latest subject is Charlotte E. Ray,...

Gold miner of Carthay Circle found

One of my favorite quirky L.A. public sculptures — the gold panner of Carthay Circle — has been stolen and recovered. The bronze cast in 1925 by Henry Lion recently...

Northern Illinois alumni meet here tonight

By coincidence, an alumni group from the campus where a gunman killed five students and wounded sixteen others is having an event tonight at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica....

KCRW today

I switched my LA Observed commentary subject to the Randy Simmons funeral. In it I wonder why there were no mainstream media clips on him while he was alive. KCRW...

Wall to wall coverage *

Every network owned TV station in Los Angeles plus KTLA has switched live to the Simmons funeral. Channel 4 handled the bringing in of the casket nicely: no talking. Just...

41 David

Motorcycle officers working the route of the Randy Simmons funeral procession have marked their helmets with the radio designation of his SWAT unit: 41-D. Holy Geography, Batman: Furnell Chatman, holding...

Stanton's plans for the Times

The shrinking L.A. Times needs to get better in some areas and to "walk away from" some subjects it has traditionally covered, new editor Russ Stanton says. He wants the...

Reviewer retires after 50 years of eating out

Larry Lipson wrote up restaurants for the Daily News starting in 1958. From his exit column: Sure, there have been editors who have leaned somewhat heavily on me - especially...

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.15.08

Randal Simmons funeral and burial See last night's post for details and street closures. Burke makes Parks endorsement official Retiring Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke said at a Thursday news conference,...

One day of homicide blog entries

These didn't occur on Valentine's Day, but they hit the Homicide Report en masse. Got my attention. Athens: Antwan Cole, a 19-year-old young black man, was shot multiple times at...

Street closings for Randal Simmons funeral

Enough members of the City Council are attending this morning's services for slain LAPD officer Randal Simmons that the regular Friday session was cancelled. TV stations have agreed on pool...

Mayor orders limited Pico-Olympic steps

Mayor Villaraigosa told the city DOT today to bar most rush-hour parking as far east as Fairfax and to re-time the lights on Pico to favor eastbound traffic and Olympic...

Pick your poison: Zell or Murdoch?

Portfolio's Jack Flack tries to answer a provocative question: who is the smarter newspaper owner, Sam Zell or Rupert Murdoch. It might be an unfair question, since Murdoch has run...

Formerly the Mann National

Once the home of long-running hit movies, the National at Lindbrook and Gayley in Westwood Village is most of the way demolished. The Daily Bruin at UCLA poked behind the...

Cory Kennedy and Cobrasnake are so over

It was almost a year ago that West Magazine (remember it?) profiled Cory Kennedy, the under-age teenager from Santa Monica who became the It Girl of the club and fashion...

Las Lomas fight heats up

Developer Dan Palmer falsely claimed that his company is the sole owner of the property in Newhall Pass where he wants to build the Las Lomas project with L.A.'s blessing,...

Nation's first 'Feng Shui-inspired' McDonald's

The first of hundreds of stores to get a toned-down design hoping people will stick around is located off the 60 freeway in Hacienda Heights. Eater Los Angeles digests the...

Eclectic guest list on Obama-mania

Joel Stein and his mother, Clinton supporter Rosalind Byrd-Leszczuk, were guests on today's "To the Point" episode examining the support for Barack Obama. Others talking with Warren Olney on KCRW...

Stanton finally named editor of Times

Russ Stanton gets the job of Los Angeles Times editor, as expected for the past few weeks. The announcement had been delayed by the presidential debate in Hollywood, and apparently...

It's a boy for Kristina Ripatti

The paralyzed former LAPD officer and her husband, officer Tim Pearce, welcomed Lucas Braedon Pearce into the world yesterday. All are doing well. Ripatti was shot in South L.A. in...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.14.08

County looks at closing clinics Health officials put forth a plan that would close all but one clinic and reduce hospital services to deal with costs. LAT Chick has a...

News of the blogs

L.A. Now has gone live on LA Times.com, with posts on the news and the region from the recently hired Veronique de Turenne (yes, that one) and veteran Times staff...

Metromix hits print

The first print edition of the free culture weekly Metromix — "reverse-engineered" from the Times-run website of the same name, Ad Age says — hit the streets yesterday. It will...

Gawker way to blog, by the book

An internal memo leaked out of the Gawker blog empire (which is Defamer here in L.A., plus Wonkette, Gawker, Valleywag, et al) advises writers on what makes a good blog...

Lewis and Clark and Antonio

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa put on his jeans and outdoor boots and helicoptered up to the Eastern Sierra this morning to all but apologize to the locals for Los Angeles stripping...

Bad day at LAT Rock

While I was on the road, Mark Lacter picked up the news that Sam Zell ordered staff cuts at the Times and across Tribune, citing the need to reduce costs...

Mexico's Calderon to visit L.A. today

President Felipe Calder�n of Mexico was in Chicago and the Bay Area yesterday. Today he'll address the Legislature in Sacramento and visit the Napa Valley, then be greeted at LAX...

Harbor-UCLA in jeopardy of closing

Inspectors from the state's Department of Health Services visited the busy emergency room on Feb. 1 and said they would issue a citation of "immediate jeopardy" due to overcrowding and...

100 days war is over, writers end strike

Of the 3,775 votes cast by members of the Writers Guild of America, 92% were for going back to work. "The strike is over," union president Patric Verrone said last...

DaVik's heart

Long Beach Press-Telegram reporter Greg Mellen and photographer Jeff Gritchen are in Cambodia covering the effort to bring DaVik Teng to the U.S. for heart surgery. They have been blogging...

Martha has met her match

L.A. author, humorist and kitschy snapshot collector Charles Phoenix will share his vintage Valentine's Day slides with Martha Stewart on her syndicated TV show on Thursday. I have no idea...

Free the bacon-wrapped hot dog

In his last piece left in the can for the LA Weekly before taking his keyboard to Mexico, Daniel Hernandez uses Elizabeth Palacios's troubles with the law to tell the...

Cooper enjoys Fabian's worst day in politics

Marc Cooper sinks the hooks on Speaker Fabian Núñez at the LA Weekly website: With great pride, I accepted the honor a few months back of being labeled 'the state's...

Final Ambassador teardown

Crews are on hand today at the old Ambassador Hotel site on Wilshire Boulevard, taking down the Cocoanut Grove, ballrooms and last remaining remnants. The Los Angeles Conservancy recently gave...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.12.08

Jet Blue to launch service at LAX Three daily nonstops to Kennedy and one to Logan begin in May. More flights also at Long Beach and Burbank. "This isn't necessarily...

New name blogger in town

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has taken up a blog for the Times. So far he has talked about the Giants' win in the Super Bowl, the video he helped make for Barack...

Lisanti turns in his Defamer blazer

Mark Lisanti has posted, by his estimate, 9,000 to 10,000 posts since he began as the original, and anonymous, Defamer. This one today was the hardest:...

Let Sam be Sam, but you be nice

Bad timing. As soon as I finished and posted the previous item on some LAT concerns about the reaction to Sam Zell's style, I received an email that went out...

Drawing the big O *

So you get the choice assignment: illustrate a story on the science of orgasm. Problem: How do you depict something you can't see? Caveat: It's for a big family newspaper,...

We'll always have Paris, unfortunately

I know firsthand that media types who mention Paris Hilton (or Britney Spears) are likely to hear harangues from readers/viewers/listeners turned off by all the celebrity worship that's on the...

Trader Joe's will drop Chinese imports

Trader Joe's will give up single-ingredient items from China, such as garlic and frozen spinach, by April 1. Products that include ingredients from China will still be sold. "We feel...

Not moved by cartoonists of color

Count Los Angeles cartoonist Donna Barstow (who writes the blog Griffith Park, Interrupted) unimpressed by this story about minority cartoonists banding together to draw identical panels in yesterday's newspapers. It...

Sell the Coliseum?

Two state lawmakers want to see what Sacramento can get for the land under the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. They say the proceeds could help out the state budget shortfall....

Booth covers the 'Geek Oscars'

William Booth, resident feature writer in L.A. for the Washington Post, lurked at Saturday night's Scientific and Technical Awards given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...

Chairman Sam: It was for your own good

Sam Zell apparently got enough feedback about his boorish (at best) remarks at the Times and Orlando Sentinel last week that he sent out a mea culpa this morning posing...

Blogs make the book

At least two Los Angeles blogs are included in a new book, "Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks From the Wild Web," edited by the NYT's Sarah Boxer. They are Go Fug Yourself...

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.11.08

Rep. Tom Lantos dies The Northern California congressman, who was 80, said recently he wouldn;t run again due to cancer of the esophagus. He passed away at Bethesda Naval Medical...

Time for a new look

You may have noticed a few changes on the site. We're part way through a thorough freshening of the pages at LA Observed. There's more than 10,000 of them, so...

Ask Sam and receive

The pressmen at the Times' printing plant asked Sam Zell during last week's visit why the bosses wouldn't let them have a pool table to blow off steam during breaks....

WGA board approves deal, writers vote Tuesday

If the members vote to lift the strike as Writers Guild leaders expect they will, some writers could go back to work on Wednesday. As it is, show runners are...

Leo Greene, journalist with ALS was 62

Leo Greene chronicled his fight with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for more than a year in the pages of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, where he was a reporter, columnist and...

Catching up on City Hall move

The Breeze mentioned yesterday that Michael Molina has moved from chief of staff for Councilwoman Janice Hahn to senior director of government affairs for Los Angeles World Airports. Hahn's communications...

All in the family

Native Intelligence contributor Deanne Stillman has the cover of the new Los Angeles CityBeat with a nice piece on the Mojave Desert portion of L.A. County. Photos by Mark LaMonica...

Words of Chairman Sam *

As of now, Sam Zell has his own category at LA Observed. Signs are it will be a busy one. I get now what New York journos see in the...

Alarcons have a baby

City Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife, Flora Alarcon, welcomed Camilla Isabella Alarcon into the world this morning. She was born at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills...

Coming war between the Valley and Westside

Much honored Los Angeles sci-fi writer and alternate historian Harry Turtledove writes about time travel in his Crosstime Traffic series. Could he be predicting the future with the sixth book...

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.8.08

Valley shooter identified It appears that Edwin Rivera, 20, killed his Salvadoran father and his own two brothers before shooting two LAPD officers. LAT, DN Where the writer's strike settlement...

Live! nude! girls!?

Times pressman Ed Padgett blogs that Sam Zell was a big hit at the paper's downtown printing plant this morning. The new boss also brought some news, according to Padgett....

Simmons 'a professional police officer'

The LAT's Al Seib captures the memorable image of a sad day for the LAPD. It's posted on the Times website, along with a profile of slain officer Randal Simmons...

Celebs drive a lot of LATimes.com traffic

The latest report from web executive editor Meredith Artley shows the most important traffic drivers to the Times website are celebrity news and Hollywood. Nothing beats the page view-inflating efficiency...

Remembering Randy Simmons

Robert Parry, a contributor to the Daily News' Friendly Fire blog, attended the SWAT team's annual social dinner at the LAPD academy ten days ago. He was struck that night...

Padilla doesn't get Senate Pro Tem

Democrats in the state Senate have agreed to make Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento the chamber's next leader. That means Alex Padilla, the former president of the Los Angeles City Council,...

Zell email baffles the Times *

New owner Sam Zell apparently lit into ex-editor Jim O'Shea during this morning's talk to L.A. Times employees. If I get better reports, or the transcript — or video? —...

Hiller and O'Shea as drama, redux

That dramatic reading of the collected works of David Hiller and Jim O'Shea didn't air as billed on the Jan. 26 edition of "Deadline L.A." KPFK's transmitter was knocked off...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.7.08

Romney out Mitt Romney is suspending his presidential campaign, CBS News reports. OC beach toll road voted down The California Coastal Commission rejected plans to build a toll highway through...

Randal Simmons, LAPD veteran killed in action

SWAT team veteran Randal Simmons, left, was killed this morning during a shootout with a suspect in the Valley community of Winnetka. He is the first member of the Special...

Getty acquires Irving Penn series

Vogue fashion photographer Irving Penn began taking photographs of workers in Paris in 1950, usually posing them in natural north light. He continued in New York, and eventually amassed a...

Where is Doug Frantz?

Last year's managing editor of the Los Angeles Times (actually he stayed nearly two years) will be on Hugh Hewitt's radio show Thursday. Frantz and his wife, Catherine Collins, will...

Last vestige of blue-collar Malibu

They tore down Malibu Lumber yesterday. Veronique de Turenne took in the scene: Acreage keeps getting subdivided and those subdivisions get split into ever-smaller plots topped by gigantic, ridiculous houses....

Lining up for Fabian's job

There is no shortage of candidates looking to replace Speaker Fabian Nunez now that the voters have rejected the term limits modifications that would have kept him in the Assembly...

La Fonda returning to Wilshire

Downtown blogger Angelenic has the scoop (and some nice photos): Wilshire Boulevard institution La Fonda will reopen on Valentine's Day. The new version won't appeal to Japanese tourists or homesick...

McCain's appeal is coastal

Doug Johnson at the Rose Institute's blog has an interesting twist on the usual California divide between the Democratic coast and the Republican interior (itself an update on the old...

Burke to endorse Parks, DT News says

In a pop-up window on the Downtown News website, the weekly says: County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke will endorse Bernard Parks in the race to succeed her, Los Angeles Downtown...

Meghan Daum gives her playlist

The novelist and Los Angeles Times Op-Ed columnist shows up today on the New York Times' books blog, in a weekly feature that posts "a playlist of songs from a...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.6.08

Not even close Super Duper Tuesday settles nothing in the presidential races, though John McCain emerges as a clear front runner on the Republican side. Statewide, just the majors, 95%...

Where's Claire Hoffman?

The Portfolio contributing editor and former LAT writer — she covered the porn beat for a time and did that great West magazine piece on Joe Francis of Girls Gone...

Afternoon shorts

  Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton both called in to El Cucuy de la Mañana's radio show this morning.   A suspicious device ignited a fire at a home owned...

Al Martinez starts a blog

The veteran Times columnist, briefly dumped last year, holds his nose and starts posting on Blogspot: A blog is generally a loathsome, tedious creation of the electronic age, an opportunity...

Delgadillo wants investigation of ballot

City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo stepped into the controversy over the unique-to-Los Angeles requirement that independent voters who want to be counted in the Democratic primary be sure to color in...

American Apparel might like Obama illegally

American Apparel's website and an email are urging people to vote for Obama and McCain, and give a list of reasons why not to vote for Clinton. But Politico's Ben...

Polling place observed *

A reader sends this photo of the sign hanging outside his poll location on South Genesee in the Pico-Fairfax neighborhood. He also observed a pirate flag hanging over the voting...

Election Day Buzz: 2.5.08

Polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm for those who still vote the old fashioned way. Close to half of all California votes will be cast absentee, sent...

Register publisher asks readers to understand

Terry Horne writes on the Orange County paper's blog that he's sorry so many readers are unhappy with recent changes in format and coverage, but "The Register is under economic...

Lucky cops, unlucky burglars

Police were stumped trying to solve a string of nine residential heists pulled off inside Downtown's Orsini complex, a previously impenetrable place dubbed the Tuscan Rock by Curbed LA. Then...

Pardon our digital dust

Election coverage and assorted deadlines have prevented me from finishing off the design freshening and links cleanup I mentioned last week. They're coming. In the meantime, you may encounter some...

Zell drops f-bomb on his own journo *

Sam Zell is turning out to be prickly about having his wisdom about journalism challenged, even slightly. He got all huffy about a question in one of his visits to...

Boyle Heights too dangerous for LAT

The blogger at Spanglish Gringo lives in Boyle Heights and recently was told by the Los Angeles Times that he can no longer receive the paper at home. Baffled, he...

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.4.08

One year of The Homicide Report Jill Leovy's Column One today in the Times talks about the lessons learned in chronicling every murder in Los Angeles County for a blog,...

Fox 11's John Schwada takes up a blog

The talent at Channel 11 has been strongly encouraged to blog for MyFox LA, the branding given the station's website. Reporter John Schwada has taken to it easier than most...

Writers and producers may be close

As Mark Lacter posted this afternoon, several media sources are reporting progress in the Hollywood writers strike. "Informal talks between representatives of Hollywood’s striking writers and production companies have eliminated...

Sunday politics in L.A.

It's a big get out the vote day all over town. Former president Bill Clinton will hit four churches in the morning: City of Refuge in Gardena at 8 am,...

Political scribe jumps to think tank

Joe Mathews, who's covering the presidential campaign, will leave the Los Angeles Times sometime after Super Tuesday to join the New America Foundation as a California Fellow. Other ex-Timesmen already...

Fighting over Daniel Murphy High

Soulvine columnist Betty Pleasant says that Councilman Bernard Parks and former mayor Richard Riordan are trying to stave off the closing of Daniel Murphy High School, Parks' alma mater. The...

Lovie Yancey, founder of Fatburger

The bad run continues for founders of Southern California's fast-food icons. Yancey, who died Jan. 26 at age 96, and a partner reportedly used scrap materials to build a three-stool...

La Opinión endorses Obama

This whole battle for the Latino vote between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama keeps getting more intriguing. Today, the state's biggest Spanish-language newspaper endorsed Obama, saying the historic moment he...

TV Week loses another

Television reporter James Hibberd is leaving TV Week to take a newly created slot on the broadcasting beat at The Hollywood Reporter, I'm told. The path is getting familiar. Melissa...

La Opinión to endorse tomorrow

La Opinión confirmed the paper will endorse a Democratic and Republican candidate in tomorrow's edition, CandidatoUSA reports. The endorsement, first in the paper's history for a primary, will be posted...

Los Angeles Times endorses Obama, McCain

First presidential endorsements by the LAT since Richard Nixon in 1972. On Barack Obama: "Either of the Democratic candidates would make a strong nominee. But just because the ballot features...

Lakers trade Kwame Brown, get Gasol

Phil Wallace calls it a "huge trade," the Lakers getting Pau Gasol from Memphis for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, and two draft picks. Gasol immediately takes the Lakers to another...

Councilman proposes anti-paparazzi zone

Prompted by the $25,000 spent by the LAPD to escort Britney Spears to the hospital, Councilman Dennis Zine said today he'll push for an ordinance that would create a "personal...

Biggest ovation of the night

Recalled ex-Gov. Gray Davis, whose fumbling created Arnold Schwarzenegger as a (sort-of) Republican leader, received a standing ovation from the Democrats when he was introduced before last night's debate. We...

One mayoral advisor checks out

Torie Osborn, Mayor Villaraigosa's senior advisor on the homeless and poverty, left the City Hall staff at the end of January. Her departing email to colleagues says it's been nice...

Teddy Kennedy feted on El Piolin **

The most popular radio host in Los Angeles — and probably the nation — gave Sen. Edward Kennedy the royal treatment this yesterday morning, before Kennedy's pro-Obama appearance in East...

And action!

Robert Downey Jr. and Catherine Keener (said to be looking somewhat Maureen Dowd-ish) are in the Times newsroom today filming the Nathaniel story. Along with a bunch of extras portraying...

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.1.08

Regional airport panel disbands — again The Southern California Regional Airport Authority, revived in name by Mayor Villaraigosa in 2006, voted to put itself out of business. Lack of interest...
Wilshire Royale
royale-wilshire-mccollister.jpg Another sweet LA street image from Kevin McCollister. East of West LA
Tropical Storm Norbert
hurr-norbert-track.jpgStorm off of Baja California sent us some interesting weather after all. More
Honor for Hahn
garcetti-hahns-meg.jpgCity Hall East is now named for former mayor James Hahn. Read
New looks at Academy museum
academy-museum-ball.jpgThe draft EIR shows that Renzo Piano's giant ball remains in the plan and a big Oscar statue may take over the old May Co.'s iconic corner. More
Bit of damage
grand-park-splash-pad.jpgGrand Park suffered some damage from the Made in America festival. More