LA Observed archive
for June 2008

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

Larry Oakley, Westwood stalwart was 80

Oakley's Barber Shop is the last of the original businesses in Westwood Village, dating to 1929. It started on Vermont, near the original UCLA campus that now houses Los Angeles...

MySpace and friends headed to Playa Vista

Fox Interactive Media, the News Corp subsidiary that includes Myspace, signed a 12-year lease agreement to move next June into a new facility at the Playa Vista development. TechCrunch has...

More downsizing at KTLA?

ERS News says that seven Channel 5 news staffers got the pink slip today, including on-air reporters Walter Richards, Bill Smith, Willa Sandmeyer and Janet Choi. Two long-time executive producers...

Gretzky's former estate listed: $25 million

That's what retired baseball player Lenny Dykstra is asking for the seven-acre, 12,713-square foot Lake Sherwood mansion he took over from hockey great Wayne Gretzky. Dykstra is now a stock...

Villaraigosa's fundraiser weekend

Six events at least, including a bunch involving contributors with business (or potentially so) pending at City Hall. David Zahniser touches on them at the Times' local blog, but for...

Ken Reich's daughter posts *

Kathy Reich, who is familiar to many on the California politics scene, posts at Take Back the Times: I am deeply saddened to write that my father, Ken Reich, died...

Ken Reich, retired Times reporter, dies *

Word at the Los Angeles Times is that retired reporter Ken Reich, 70, died in his sleep. He was found this morning. Friend and former Tom Bradley deputy mayor Anton...

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.30.08

Status report on the mayor Rick Orlov interviews the mayor on the start of his fourth year, talks to a few observers, and concludes "for the first two years, he...

'Book of Tribune damnation'

That's what retired Los Angeles Times reporter Ken Reich calls his series of blog posts telling a little bit about 75 former Times staffers who left during the later part...

Mittelstaedt and the Weekly, together again

Eighteen months after he lost his news editor job at the LA Weekly to Jill Stewart, Alan Mittelstaedt is back in the Weekly's good graces — as a poster on...

News Raw goes sports

KNBC's News Raw channel, which is branded as Digital 4.4, announced today that as of Monday, pre-Olympic programming from Universal Sports would take over many of the channel's hours. News...

Neon cruise on 'Off-Ramp'

The LA Observed neon cruise with the Museum of Neon Art a couple of weeks back is featured on today's Off-Ramp on KPCC at noon. The show also remembers George...

Nepenthe, Deetjens saved in Big Sur

Most of Big Sur's main landmarks have been spared by the Basin Complex Fire, but there have been some losses and several close calls. From the San Jose Mercury News:...

Good week for blogs in L.A.

Patrick Goldstein (plus Ben Affleck), Patterico (plus Judge Alex Kozinski) and Alan Mittelstaedt (plus David Nahai) come together in this week's LA Observed segment that airs Fridays on KCRW. Listen...

Los Angeles mayor arrested!

Not Antonio Villaraigosa, but Russell Napolitano — the city's mayor in our LA Observed Script Project story Right of Way. This week's winning writer, Marvin Wolf, has written fifteen books,...

Morning Buzz: Friday 6.27.08

Chick and Delgadillo, the morning after This morning's stories add some context to the fight that went public yesterday between the controller and city attorney. LAT, DN History lesson on...

James Melroy, P-T prep editor was 36

From the Long Beach Press-Telegram website: The sudden death of James Melroy, 36, whose byline has graced these pages both as a prep editor and a keen chronicler of MMA,...

Hiller: Smaller, different LAT

Los Angeles Times Publisher David Hiller sent the staff a little pre-layoff salvo to prepare them for the cuts and repositioning that will be announced soon. Light on details, but...

P.M. shorts: Chick takes on Delgadillo

City Controller Laura Chick wants to audit the City Attorney’s Workers’ Compensation Program. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo declined her request to turn over records, so she is using the subpoena...

Dawson's Book Shop cuts back

Email from proprietor Michael Dawson announces that Los Angeles' oldest bookstore, now located on Larchmont Boulevard, will go to appointment only. Dawson's has sold books in L.A. since 1905 and...

Copy editing India

TJ Sullivan checks out the Mindworks Global website and decides to help the Orange County Register's new offshore copy editors with their command of English. Native Intelligence Previously on LA...

Mittelstaedt wins the point

A remarkable editorial in this morning's Daily News admits the paper got used in the news story earlier this week about DWP chief David Nahai offering up data on his...

Softer side of George Carlin

Britt Allcroft is the Santa Monica-based creator of "Shining Time Station" on PBS and "Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends." If you have been the parent of young children, you...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 6.26.08

California Air Board proposes major cut in greenhouse gases It's the first comprehensive plan by a state, affecting virtually every sector of the economy, but could be unpredictably costly and...

Ray Bradbury mourns Acres of Books

Ray Bradbury spoke last night at the iconic Long Beach bookstore and railed about its threatened closure and the dearth of bookstores in certain areas around Los Angeles. LBReport.com was...

Inglewood mayor might face charges

Roosevelt Dorn is expected to be charged in connection with a low-income housing loan he reportedly received from the city of Inglewood, according to the Los Angeles Wave and contributing...

Daily News columnist signs off

Steve Young's regular column in the DN's Sunday Viewpoint section is no longer needed, given that this week saw the last Sunday Viewpoint section to be published. Young takes it...

Times building "virtually worthless'

Mark Lacter isn't alone in predicting that Sam Zell would be lucky to get any value for the Los Angeles Times property in the Civic Center. Downtown guru Tom Gilmore...

Gallup has Obama and McCain tied

You know that L.A. Times-Bloomberg Poll this morning that had Barack Obama up by 12 points? The Gallup tracking poll out today disagrees in a big way. It says the...

Today in Sam Zell

I'd much rather not be posting all the time about a Chicago billionaire, but Sam Zell is L.A.'s biggest news media mogul right now. Yesterday at a taping for Dave...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 6.25.08

Drew Street raid in progress A federal indictment targeting the violent Northeast Los Angeles gang will be unveiled at noon. CBS 2 Also: Preliminary injunction granted against San Fers. LAT,...

Downtown News goes dot com

CurbedLA's sharp eyes spot a new sign on the building....

Samueli suspended by NHL

Anaheim Ducks co-owner Henry Samueli was suspended indefinitely by the National Hockey League after the co-founder of Broadcom pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the U.S. Securities and...

Add Geneva Ellroy

Frank Girardot, city editor at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, also posted his paper's original 1958 coverage of the murder of writer James Ellroy's mother. In the post Girardot describes...

L.A. Coliseum naming rights for sale

Today's Wall Street Journal reports that the Coliseum Commission is ready to entertain offers for the rights to put a name on the city's most hallowed stadium. A rich history...

Case of the Nahai family DWP bill

Alan Mittelsteadt blogs that the Daily News and reporter Beth Barrett — he calls her "the Queen of Spoon-Fed Journalism" — got snookered into running DWP chief David Nahai's planted...

Register: Outsourcing editors to India

Copy-editing of some stories in the Orange County Register, as well as layout of a sister community paper, will be handled at a company in New Delhi starting next month,...

Yes, another Lee Abrams bobble

Tribune's Lee Abrams, in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic, sought to clarify some of his image as...a not very informed observer of newspapers, even though he's the...

Hewitt re-advises the LAT

Radio talker Hugh Hewitt offers some new advice to Sam Zell and Randy Michaels on the problem child of their big debt-laden, default-threatened investment in the Tribune company. (Here was...

Video: Steve Lopez on Sam Zell

At the Los Angeles Press Club awards on Saturday night, L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez had some fun at Sam Zell's expense — alluding to Zell's lame ideas, four-letter...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 6.24.08

Preparing for a SAG strike Threat of the actors going out or being locked out already has slowed production in Hollywood. Greenlighting of movies has virtually stopped. LAT Nahai comes...

Patrick Goldstein becomes a blogger

The writer of the Times' weekly Big Picture column will now start posting to a blog, also called The Big Picture. The print column will become a rehash of what's...

Geneva Ellroy, 1915-1958

Today is the 50th anniversary of a story hitting the Los Angeles papers that would become iconic in local literature. On June 22, 1958, 10-year-old James Ellroy came home in...

Time for some New Geography

New Geography.com, based in Sherman Oaks and North Dakota, has launched as a website "devoted to analyzing and discussing the places where we live and work. Practitioners at heart, we...

Obama day downtown

From now until November, expect the presidential candidates to be a giant pain in L.A.'s butt. Motorcades shutting down entire freeways, etc. For Barack Obama's appearance Tuesday night at the...

Abrams memos again

This time the Tribune innovation guru explains why the Orlando redesign will work. Again, nothing about higher quality or better, deeper, smarter stories. It's all about the presentation and marketing....

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.23.08

Paparazzo attacked by Malibu surfers Looks like a couple of beach skirmishes over the weekend, triggered by photos of actor Matthew McConaughey. LAT, TMZ, X17 On the water front The...

George Carlin, comedian was 71

The once-edgy comic who played on his counter-culture roots died about 6 pm at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica. He was admitted in the afternoon for chest pains,...

Editor's notes

Eric Lynxwiler and I will be the featured speakers in Westwood today at 4 pm at the inaugural literary salon of the Friends of the Westwood Library. It's a benefit...

L.A. Press Club winners

Journalists of the year announced at last night's Los Angeles Press Club awards: Big print: Melissa Healy, L.A. Times Small print: Anat Rubin, Los Angeles Daily Journal TV: Antonio Valverde,...

Old home week at L.A. Times

Earlier this month, it was Truthdig's Robert Scheer reappearing on the L.A. Times Op-Ed page — notable because his firing as an Op-Ed columnist after thirteen years created quite a...

Villaraigosa's fundraising travels

Right after he got back from his week in Israel, Mayor Antonio Vllaraigosa took off for a Conference of Mayors gathering in Florida where he will work in a weekend...

Zell's influence kicks in on his papers

Sam Zell's Orland Sentinel has unveiled its new more colorful and "get to the point" redesign. The editor of the Chicago Tribune today told her staff that the paper will...

Morning Buzz: Friday 6.20.08

Powerful L.A. women gather Downtown Councilwoman Wendy Greuel hosted a reception for Los Angeles Magazine publisher Amy Saralegui last night at Elevate Lounge attended by a range of women, among...

Daily News shrinks again

Sunday's four-page Viewpoint section will collapse next weekend into two pages (to be labeled Opinionated) inside the front section. The Sunday Wall Street Journal section will also disappear, along with...

Woodland Hills cooking with gas

Today's high of 109 degrees set the local record for a June 19. AP...

'The Cool School' airs here tonight

I really like this photo of Venice from 1957, showing the lineage of the ocean-front condos and converted beach shacks that are now so desirable. It's by Charles Brittin, the...

Next year's Hollywood (Blvd.) stars

KCRW host Harry Shearer and KFI's Bill Handel are on the list to get their stars installed on the Hollywood walk of fame next year. Among the others are Cameron...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 6.19.08

Jamiel Shaw murder case in court Two witnesses described the shooting of the Los Angeles High School star near his Arlington Heights home at the preliminary hearing for Pedro Espinoza,...

L.A. slave auction: $500 per

A reader sends in the personal ad o' the day at the Los Angeles craigslist site. I will be house sitting for relatives for 3 wks in July. I do...

Celtics and Lakers 20 years later

Back in 1988, Pete Handelman shot some High-8 video asking ordinary people in Boston who was going to win that year's finals: Celtics or Lakers? It became moot when Detroit...

Around LA Observed

Quick run around the site: Celeste and Mayor Napolitano are reunited — with a twist I didn't see coming — and it's time to tie together some of the...

Frappuccino invented in Santa Monica?

Greg Rogers, a flack at CRPR who represents Anisette and other restaurants, tells Eater LA that he created the Frappuccino while working at a Starbucks on Third Street Promenade: "No...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 6.18.08

Parking fines increased in L.A. Come July the average parking fine will be $35. DN City sued over Las Lomas Legal action over the giant development proposed for Newhall Pass...

What gay marriage is all about

Elaine Martin, left, and Cindy Gise have been together since meeting at Valley State College, now Cal State Northridge. They were among the first in line this morning in Norwalk....

Celtics blow out Lakers for the title

"This is unbelievable," one of the ABC announcers gasped when the Celtics went up by 29 points in the third quarter. (Soon to be 37.) They had more than a...

I'm away today

Back later in the afternoon. Check out Mark Lacter's posts at LA Biz Observed and listen to him this morning on KPCC....

Tu Ciudad publisher's closure email

What I posted earlier was the word from corporate headquarters at Emmis. Tu Ciudad's founder and publisher, Jaime Gamboa, takes it more personally. Colleagues, peers, friends and family, It is...

USC shuts down Online Journalism Review

The Online Journalism Review had survived for ten years under the stewardship of USC's Annenberg School of Communications. No more. Editor Robert Niles posted today: I'm pleased to say that...

Today in Sam Zell

The anonymous L.A. Times staffer (plural?) behind Tell Zell has posted a list of the LAT journalists who have left the newsroom in the past two years and a link...

Tu Ciudad goes dark

Tu Ciudad, the Emmis magazine that has tried to make a go of the upscale Latino market in Southern California, is suspending operations. The email from Emmis exec Gary Thoe....

Blogger gets hot

Billy Vasquez has only posted a few dozen times at The 99 Cent Chef, but he makes them count. He was featured recently on "Marketplace" and tonight he's scheduled to...

Best of Los Angeles, sadly

Los Angeles magazine's many-month contest to let readers choose the single greatest thing about L.A. probably fizzled credibility-wise that first round when McCabe’s Guitar Shop beat the Hollywood Bowl. But...

Parsons featured on 'Off Ramp'

I've been kicking myself for a week for under-playing the selection of Russ Parsons, one of my favorite food writers, to the dining industry's hall of fame. He's the first...

John Rabe and Julian Bermudez

John Rabe, host of "Off-Ramp" on KPCC, hopes to be pretty much first in line for a marriage license Tuesday morning at the Beverly Hills courthouse. Rabe, 42, and Julian...

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.16.08

Judge Kozinski's wife speaks out In a lengthy letter to Patterico, Marcy Tiffany criticizes Times coverage of her husband and says there was no website, just a folder full of...

Freeway cyclists on NPR

I don't know if National Public Radio's "Bryant Park Project" airs here at all, but if you're interested the show has done a story on the riders who demonstrate by...

Lakers cling to life

The Lakers gave back a couple of big leads, but held on to force game 6 back in Boston. It was closer than the final score of 103-98 suggests. The...

Busch objects to LAT and Pellicano

Anita Busch, the journalist who was famously threatened by associates of jailed Hollywood snoop Anthony Pellicano while reporting for the L.A. Times, has a letter in Saturday's LAT co-signed by...

Tim Russert coverage

The longtime moderator of "Meet the Press" and chief of NBC's Washington bureau collapsed this afternoon in the bureau and could not be resuscitated. He was 58. Here are links...

No Morning Buzz today

My KCRW commentary airing at 4:44 pm ties together the Lakers, the Roman Polanski documentary and Susan Atkins. Archive and download Mark Lacter's LA Biz Observed headlines...

Judge Kozinski's stalker

Cyrus Sanai is the Beverly Hills attorney who found sexually explicit photos and videos on Judge Alex Kozinski's personal website and who tipped the Los Angeles Times to the porn,...

Susan Atkins considered for release

Susan Atkins, center, did the stabbing of actress Sharon Tate during the August 1969 murders in Benedict Canyon that are popularly blamed on Charles Manson. Atkins was the killer who...

Celtics, wow

The Lakers blew a 24-point lead and just buckled to the Celtics, both defense and offense, in the second half. Boston goes up 3-1 and could end the NBA finals...

Today in Sam Zell

Never a dull moment.... Chicago Tribune publisher Scott Smith says he'll retire, calling it time for Zell and Randy Michaels to bring in their own morning deejay "new leadership." Romenesko...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 6.12.08

Sheriff: serious race violence problem Sheriff Lee Baca writes that "as a Latino raised in East Los Angeles, and as the elected sheriff of Los Angeles County for the last...

New sex advice column in town

This was inevitable. In its quest for a young demographic, Metromix has added a weekly sex advice column. Peter Gilstrap, who has written for Variety and the LA Weekly, will...

Sex and Judge Kozinski *

Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, confirmed to the L.A. Times that he had posted sexually explicit photos on his website and only blocked...

Regarding that Roman Polanski doc

Two of the lawyers featured prominently in the HBO documentary on Roman Polanski that debuted this week have issued a statement disputing the Superior Court's allegation that the film was...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 6.11.08

Times acknowledges magazine plans Unbylined story in Business quotes Publisher David Hiller calling Annie Gilbar the "leading candidate" to be editor of a renamed Sunday magazine that will report not...

Durazo goes with Antonio again

Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary of the County Labor Federation, will join Mayor Villaraigosa and his coterie of city employees and Jewish community leaders on the trip to Israel that...

KCAL babes meet Joe Francis

Weather reader Jackie Johnson was out last night with Channel 9 colleagues Mary Beth McDade and Melissa McCarty, but it was Johnson who got all the personal attention from Girls...

Lakers get back in the series

They beat the Celtics 87-81 to win game three. Kobe and Sasha overcome off games by Odom and Gasol. ESPN Meanwhile: Convicted ex-referee Tim Donaghy alleges in court papers that...

Pat Tobin, honored PR executive was 65

Patricia Tobin, co-founder of the National Black Public Relations Society, died today at Cedars-Sinai. She had been treated for colon cancer. The Black Journalists Association of Southern California reported on...

Look who's covering sports now

Dave Zirin has been named the first-ever sports correspondent for The Nation. From the flackage: Starting this month, Zirin will report regularly for The Nation and TheNation.com on the intersection...

Stanton memos newsroom on LAT Magazine *

Times editor Russ Stanton emailed the newsroom today with his take on the conversion of the LAT's Sunday magazine into a non-editorial venture. He suggests that today's New York Times...

More on the gibbons of Santa Clarita

You may remember my post (and photo) in April on the Gibbon Conservation Center in a wild corner of Bouquet Canyon, just beyond the Santa Clarita suburbs. Well, those suburbs...

Four new city commissioners

Mayor Villaraigosa has appointed Alicia Maldonado to the Housing Authority, Margarita C. Garr to the Housing Authority, Marsha Hirano-Nakanishi to the Commission for Children, Youth and Their Families and Christopher...

Wesson, Alarcon fined over campaign ethics

The Ethics Commission today fined Los Angeles Councilman Herb Wesson $3,000 for taking campaign money above the limit and and Councilman Richard Alarcon $2,650 for various violations of the campaign...

Angeleno wins James Beard Award

Brad A. Johnson, national food and travel editor for Angeleno, won the James Beard Foundation Award in restaurant reviews for his pieces on Hampton's, Sona and The Penthouse. Junot Diaz...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 6.10.08

Fuentes bill yanked in Sacramento Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes pulled his AB 212 after the coverage of it being a special interest bill for a developer and a hit on L.A.'s...

LAT Magazine demise story finally lands

The New York Times has posted the story it almost ran last week revealing a sloppy end to the Los Angeles Times Magazine as a newsroom product. This being the...

Sappell finds a calling outside journalism

Joel Sappell, who vented recently in the American Journalism Review about Sam Zell and other changes that led him to flee the Los Angeles Times, started today as Deputy for...

Make it 14 weekend homicides

The toll is corrected upward after late killings in Los Angeles, Inglewood and Long Beach. Most are believed to be gang related. LAT Previously: 11-murder weekend in Los Angeles County...

Fans fighting at Staples Center

YouTube video of at least two fights between fans at yesterday's Staples Center screening of the Lakers-Celtics game is posted at LAist. Here's the more violent of the skirmishes:...

HBO's Polanski doc has an error

The public information office at the Los Angeles County Superior Court has a bone to pick with tonight's Roman Polanski documentary on HBO. The court sent out this media advisory:...

Was mocking Villaraigosa anti-Semitic?

No of course not, but the Downtown News' satire of the mayor's upcoming junket to Israel with a bunch of city officials in tow gets a perusal anyway at the...

LAT hires celebrity court reporter

Harriet Ryan has been a senior correspondent for Court TV and "is comfortable on camera," the L.A. Times memo says. In Times fashion, the memo wraps her hiring to monitor...

What is off the record, post-Fowler?

The Huffington Post blogger's decision to tape, and then post, Bill Clinton slamming Vanity Fair writer Todd Purdum is still being discussed and dissected all over the politics and mediasphere....

What the mayor might say...

Jon Regardie at the Downtown News imagines an address by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in advance of this week's trip to Israel. Selected quips: Many people have asked why I am...

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.9.08

Today's Los Angeles Times front page Two stories about sex and a Bill Plaschke column on the Lakers make A1, but no mention of the murderous weekend in Los Angeles...

Still time to get on the bus

Our bi-annual (or so) LA Observed neon cruise pulls out of the Museum of Neon Art downtown this Saturday evening. Urban anthropologist Eric Lynxwiler serves as our hilarious guide, narrating...

Missed a Daily News exit

I guess Josh Kleinbaum's last official title was director of audience development for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group websites, but he came out of the reporting ranks at the Daily...

11-murder weekend in L.A. County

At least eleven, says the Times roundup — nine of them in the city of Los Angeles, and four of those in the Valley. Ruben Vives gives some details on...

Lakers fall behind 2-0

Celtics run away 108-102, even though the Lakers — down 24 points in the fourth period — closed to within two with 38 seconds left. So far in the series...

Hiller singing the national anthem

Tony Pierce of the LA. Times website captured and posted video of the boss, publisher David Hiller, belting out the national anthem at Thursday's Cubs-Dodgers game. Hiller hit all the...

L.A. cleans up at alt-weekly awards

The good news out of today's Association of Alternative Newsweeklies awards in Philadelphia is that Jeffrey Anderson won top honors for investigative pieces in the LA Weekly and Andrew Gumbel...

Daily News loses another

I'm told that opinion columnist and Friendly Fire blogger Bridget Johnson has accepted an offer to become an editorial writer, columnist and member of the editorial board at the Rocky...

Rep. Richardson didn't pay car bills either

The saga of the Long Beach deadbeat continues. The Press-Telegram's Paul Eakins reports today that Rep. Laura Richardson didn't pay a $735 mechanic's bill on her 740iL BMW — didn't...

Variety's move west

I reported last weekend that Variety would move down Wilshire Boulevard to the former People's Bank tower across from the new entrance to LACMA. Today's Times adds the news that...

LAT makes news again *

While Sam Zell's pronouncement of yesterday continues to ripple across the media, the New York Times has budgeted a daily for Saturday saying that the Los Angeles Times Magazine has...

Who is Mayhill Fowler anyway?

She's the Huffington Post Off the Bus blogger who recorded Bill Clinton's three-minute rant about Vanity Fair writer Todd Purdum — and who earlier captured Barack Obama's critique of "bitter"...

Morning Buzz: Friday 6.6.08

LAUSD teachers strike for an hour Erika Schickel has a mother's point of view at Native Intelligence, plus coverage at the LAT, KPCC audio LAPD detective wounded on the job...

Mayor Napolitano takes a breather at City Hall

After being threatened, chased, kidnapped, battered and beaten, fictional L.A. mayor Russell Napolitano finally got back to his office in City Hall. Phew. The fast-moving action in "Right of Way"...

Lakers stumble

Celtics win game one of the NBA finals, 98-88. Even before the game, the Daily News' Steve Dilbeck predicted the Lakers will lose the series. Phil Wallace analyzes the action...

Foreign editor steps aside at LAT

Marjorie Miller says it's her call to return to reporting and that the new management team at the L.A. Times should get to name its own foreign editor. Memos here...

Big day in local sports

6 PM - Lakers and Celtics tip-off in the NBA finals, from Boston. Channel 7 6:55 PM (ish) - Times Publisher David Hiller sings the national anthem at Dodger Stadium....

Hertzberg says to count him out

Former candidate for mayor Bob Hertzberg told a bunch of friends at lunch at The Palm that he won't be running for anything next year. David Zahniser blogged it. Previously...

Nicholas' indictment R-rated

Did Henry T. Nicholas III, the co-founder of Broadcom, really spike the drinks of other tech executives with ecstasy? The feds say he did that, and a bunch of other...

Zell acknowledges new cuts coming *

* Update: The Times' unofficial pressroom blog, which posted the Sam Zell memo formerly quoted below, now says it was a repeat from February. (!) So no, Zell hasn't talked...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 6.5.08

Villaraigosa scampers over to Obama side National co-chair of the Clinton campaign announced his acceptance that Obama is the party's nominee. "Americans said it's time for change," the mayor said....

CityBeat's remake

Five years in, CityBeat plans to relaunch next week with a new design, logo and lineup of columns and features. The most notable addition is that content from Wonkette, the...

Why Caruso won't run

Author and urban affairs expert William Fulton says a challenge to Mayor Villaraigosa "would be a haberdasher’s dream," but he doesn't buy that developer Rick Carsuo would go after a...

Stanton concedes smaller staff on the way

In an interview with Mediabistro's David S. Hirschman, L.A. Times Editor Russ Stanton puts the good spin on the cuts that his newsroom expects to land soon. "I get that...

Justin Timberlake gets legal with scribes

Journalists attending the junket for "Love Guru" were required to sign a detailed contract about how they would treat...Justin Timberlake? Sharon Waxman verbally flails his handlers, appropriately: Has Justin Timberlake...

Gina Gershon not happy

The actress has demanded a retraction from Vanity Fair and says she has only been in the presence of former President Bill Clinton three times, always with lots of other...

Universal admits classic prints were lost

Perhaps hundreds of classic 35-millimeter film prints burned up in the weekend fire, causing an immediate impact on films available to theaters, museums and other places that use the old...

DWP as patronage spot

Department of Water and Power chief David Nahai has hired former Assemblywoman (and City Council candidate) Cindy Montañez to do whatever it is that pols do at the big-spending agency....

Call it Ridley-Thomas v. Parks II

State Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas came out on top in the race for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, but fell way short of a majority. He and Councilman Bernard...

Around LA Observed today

Erika Schickel chatted up Bo Diddley on a plane to New Mexico. She was ten and headed for sleep-away camp. Denise Hamilton loved Pest Control the Musical so much "my...

NPR goes deep on L.A. gangs

Mandalit del Barco of National Public Radio wraps up a four-part series on Los Angeles street gangs with a seven-minute piece on All Things Considered about the feds' decade-long fight...

Times posts its story on Newton

Staff writer Thomas S. Mulligan, based in the New York bureau, writes "Newton's message carried praise for his colleagues and the paper, plus a hint of unspecified conflict between him...

Next newspaper trend...

Not just fewer pages and sections, but fewer days of the week in print. The Daily Pilot in Orange County just dropped Mondays....

Jim Newton out at Times

Updated Los Angeles Times Publisher David Hiller announces that Jim Newton, his editor of the editorial pages, will leave in July to write a book. Newton lasted 14 months. Newton...

Waldman book on liberalism

Tom Waldman is the chief of staff to Los Angeles school board member Tamar Galatzan (and he formerly was press secretary to Rep. Howard Berman.) He's also the author of...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 6.3.08

Worker's blowtorch blamed for Universal Studios fire Two workers and a supervisor were putting up shingles in an alley on the New York Street set. They finished at 3 a.m.,...

Charles Brittin becomes cool again

Brittin was the in-house photographer of the Los Angeles avant-garde artists who made the Ferus Gallery legendary in the 1950s and 1960s, then he faded from view. Now the Getty...

Universal Music damage overstated too

Turns out that irreplaceable master recordings from top artists may not have been lost in the destroyed video vault at Universal Studios. Nikki Finke was the first to report there...

Ex-Times editor explains why he had to leave

Joel Sappell had been at the L.A. Times for 26 years, most recently as an investigative projects editor. He never considered any previous buyout, thinking of the LAT as his...

Adios 'Cada Dia'

Telemundo had another bad day on Friday, dropping the network's national morning show "Cada Dia" and making some executive changes. Host Maria Antonieta Collins, who joined Telemundo from Univisión, had...

Front page political ad in Daily News

Stripped across the bottom of today's front page is a paid ad banner for a candidate in the 27th congressional district. The day before the election. The paper could make...

Bo Diddley, 79

Heart failure in Florida. Here's the lede of the New York Times obituary: Bo Diddley, a singer and guitarist who invented his own name, his own guitars, his own beat...

Universal clarifies damage to backlot

The courthouse facade on Courthouse Square was saved, and no sound stages were burned. The statement that follows sheds no light on the fate of original master recordings said to...

Today in Parks v. Ridley-Thomas

Oh, let somebody win on Tuesday so it can all be over. KPCC's Frank Stoltze went out walking the district with the candidates for a long story during "Morning Edition"...

Susan Spano adopts Roma

After three somewhat stormy years living and blogging in Paris, four months in China and a stint in a rented apartment near Santa Monica beach, Los Angeles Times travel writer...

Where is...Jules Asner

The former E! Channel host, Elite model and daughter-in-law to Ed Asner (she's now married to Steven Soderbergh) has a new novel landing tomorrow. "Whacked" is set in Hollywood, of...

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.2.08

Universal park to reopen MTV's Movie Awards went off Sunday night as scheduled, post-fire. The theme park side of the lot is set to open this morning at 10 a.m....

Women get out of the box

Nice piece on public radio's "Weekend America" about Sophie Evans, who moved up from magician's assistant to the close-up room at the Magic Castle. "She was 18, she was attractive...

Weekend shorts

At least two Japanese gangsters who received liver transplants at UCLA Medical Center then donated $100,000, the LAT reports. (WitnessLA adds some context to the UCLA transplant stories.) Todd...

Universal Studios fire images

First, some raw Associated Press video from this morning. AP's Mike Meadows on the ground, via L.A. Times gallery: Aftermath, from Andrew Gombert / EPA via L.A. Times gallery:...

Music history lost in Universal fire

Thousands of original Decca, MCA, and ABC master recordings belonging to Universal Music were lost in today's fire at Universal Studios, Nikki Finke says, quoting an unidentified source. Artists such...

Backlot fire at Universal Studios *

Universal's New York and New England sets, Courthouse Square, the King Kong stage, at least one soundstage and a video vault have been destroyed by a fire that began...
LAO_TyrusWong104 copy.jpgTake My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed. See Gary's archive.
Fauna observed
owl-in-yucca-vdt.jpgGreat horned owl perched in a yucca. Veronique de Turenne
Australian Ballet and more
swan-lake-dp.jpg
The Australian Ballet's recent visit reviewed, plus Mahler's Fifth by Dudamel and the LA Phil. Donna Perlmutter
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