LA Observed archive
for October 2008

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

Sam Zell has given $40,000 to McCain

Sam Zell's contributions in this election cycle include $20,000 to the McCain Victory Committee on May 6 and another $20,000 to McCain-Palin Victory 2008 on Sept. 16. Previously, all we...

Studs Terkel, 96

The Chicago Tribune summarizes Studs Terkel as "author-radio host-actor-activist and Chicago symbol." He died today at home there, with his book scheduled for release next month, "P.S. Further Thoughts From...

Daily News lays off 4, Haddock leaves

The way things work at the guild papers is the union for some reason announces who has been let go. So, Southern California Media Guild official Vicki Di Paolo has...

Swaim new publisher at CityBeat

Will Swaim, the founding editor and later publisher of OC Weekly, and founder of the District Weekly in Long Beach, will be announced today as publisher of CityBeat and New...

Election overlap

Just when you were hoping the campaign ads would stop already on TV, the Los Angeles City Clerk puts out word that filing opens Monday for candidates in the city...

Confused by Vanity Fair photos

Critic Christopher Knight found LACMA's exhibit of celebrity portraits by Vanity Fair a curious choice for an art museum — "a vanity exhibition, plain and simple" — especially since it...

Morning Buzz: Friday 10.31.08

This has been L.A.'s warmest October since 1965. Daily News Yet another re-do of downtown's Pershing Square is being contemplated. LAT Yeah, that McCain supporter in Redondo Beach took...

Six parts later, it's still 1959

I enjoy Los Angeles history as much as the next guy, and probably more than the guy beside him. Yet I haven't felt motivated to read the L.A. Times' seven-part...

One last debate before Tuesday

Barack Obama and John McCain? Feh. How about Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. The L.A. Theatre Works production of "The Rivalry" by Norman Corwin, starring David Strathairn and Paul...

The new photo op

Board of Supes candidate Mark Ridley-Thomas doesn't wait until election day to vote with his family. He votes early with his family....

Now Korenstein out of LAUSD race

Longtime L.A. Unified school board member Julie Korenstein announced today she won't seek reelection, just days after her colleague Marlene Canter said the same thing. That's two open seats in...

Union: DN layoffs by Friday

The guild at the Daily News says it's been told by the front office that there will be four newsroom layoffs, "possibly two today and two Friday." It was just...

Real estate blogger leaves Times

First the Los Angeles Times lays off its real estate editor and reporter, and now blogger Peter Viles posts that he is moving on to a corporate job. L.A. Land...

Marc Cooper, managing editor cut at LA Weekly

Sources at and around the LA Weekly confirmed that last night's staff cuts include long-time editor and columnist Marc Cooper, managing editor Sharan Street and copy chief David Caplan —...

New editorial writer at LAT

There had been speculation that Marjorie Miller might leave the Los Angeles Times after stepping down in June as Foreign Editor, but instead she's moving downstairs to be an editorial...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 10.30.08

Now a McCain supporter has hung a Halloween effigy of a lynched Obama in Redondo Beach. Daily Breeze Proposition 8 leaves unclear what would happen to the estimated 16,000...

Palin effigy taken down

West Hollywood mayor Jeff Prang had a talk with the homeowner, who then relented. LAT Previously: Which Halloween tableau is in poorer taste?...

Inspired pundit choice

Who better to talk about Obama's infomercial than Ron Popeil, the king of the informercial? NPR's "All Things Considered" put some questions to the master. Audio...

Layoffs at LA Weekly

Editors, other editorial staff and on the business side, according to a source....

LAT consorts with the Devil

The L.A. Times admirably sent out an email bulletin to website subscribers right after the Phillies won the World Series. Alas, they got the opposing team wrong. Thrice. From: Los...

Rooms with a view

Downtown blogger Eric Richardson got to see what the view will be like from the top floors of the Ritz-Carlton tower under construction at AEG's L.A. Live complex. Check out...

Register to cut 110 people by Friday

Affected staffers are being told today and Thursday that they will be laid off, The Register's publisher Terry Horne announced today. They will get the company’s standard severance package of...

Obama's first rally in Los Angeles

From the LA Observed video archive, Sen. Barack Obama came to Los Angeles in February 2007 and drew an excited crowd long before he pulled ahead of Sen. Hillary Clinton....

'De-coloring' of the Los Angeles Times

Daniel Hernandez is a former L.A. Times staff writer now working on a book in Mexico City. He's watching the continued outflow of talent from the paper and wonders, as...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.29.08

The L.A. Times issued a statement saying it cannot release a video tape in which Barack Obama talks about his friendship with Rashid Khalidi because it was provided under...

Chicano rock and the first Eastside

I put together a four-minute video from the weekend's Los Angeles Archives Bazaar at USC on the two documentaries I caught up with — "Chicano Rock" and "The Eastsiders" —...

Talking about the Times cuts

I will be on Which Way, L.A.? with Warren Olney at 7 pm on KCRW, describing the latest newsroom shrinkage at the Los Angeles Times. There's also a segment about...

Which Halloween tableau is in poorer taste?

Gov. Sarah Palin hanging in effigy or this Los Feliz store display with a Manson family murders theme? That's a pregnant Sharon Tate, tied with a noose around her neck,...

They love Bratton in London (again)

LAPD chief William Bratton has given another interview across the pond — to ITV's London Tonight program (pardon me, programme) — and his remarks about British justice caught the eye...

Christian Science Monitor gives up daily printing

The century-old newspaper's circulation has dropped to 52,000 from a 1970 high of 220,000, so it will stop printing a daily paper and go web only. There will be a...

Jonathan Gold gets a plea from his brother *

Mark Gold is executive director of Heal the Bay, which often puts him at odds with his brother, the whale-eating food writer for the LA Weekly (and their Madison Avenue...

Roundup of L.A. Times reactions

Yesterday's newsroom cost-cutting is shaping up as the biggest single downshift in content and staff depth in the history of the Los Angeles Times — with big hits in Washington,...

Covering his own wedding

Variety managing editor and politics writer Ted Johnson blogged about his marriage to Stewart Scott, presided over by West Hollywood City Councilman John Duran, in the context of Proposition 8....

Delmar Watson, photographer was 82

Delmar Watson came from a family of nine children that supplied kids to the movies — he was in more than 300 during his youth — and later became a...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.28.08

Nick Patsaouras says he intends to resign from the DWP commission later this week to start his campaign for Controller. I think he last ran in 1993 when he...

Times story does the numbers

With the 75 job cuts yesterday, which was another 10% of the staff, the newsroom has eliminated at least 250 positions this year, the paper's story says. The editorial staff...

Financial Times does Los Angeles

A special report on Los Angeles packaged in today's print edition of the U.K.'s Financial Times includes pieces on digital media, art, Antonio Villaraigosa, Hollywood, Downtown, real estate and other...

Patsaouras to run for Controller

Department of Water and Power commissioner Nick Patsaouras told activist Ron Kaye that he will run for City Controller next year against current city council member Wendy Greuel. It's an...

LAT publisher spins

Eddy Hartenstein, the L.A. Times' rookie publisher, cheerleads in a memo to the paper's entire staff. I can just hear them muttering bullshit throughout the building. From: Hartenstein, Eddy Sent:...

List of L.A. Times departures *

As per my usual practice, I'll list staff departures from the Los Angeles Times who put out the word that they're leaving or whose exit I'm able to confirm. They...

Carina Chocano among the LAT cuts *

The film reviewer who was billed as such a big hire when she replaced Manohla Dargis a few years ago confirmed to Mayrav Saar at Fishbowl LA that she was...

Nice Tony Hillerman tribute

Deanne Stillman posts at Native Intelligence about Tony Hillerman, her former professor who died yesterday and who provided inspiration for her own writing about the West. I can't remember any...

Another bad day at 1st and Spring *

This morning's email memo from editor Russ Stanton on layoffs in the Los Angeles Times newsroom: From: Stanton, Russ To: yyeditall Sent: Mon Oct 27 08:31:50 2008 Subject: Newsroom job...

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.27.08

LAT circulation down another 5%, to 739,147 daily and 1,055,076 Sunday. Looks like sub-million Sunday circulation is a sad but definite possibility. Several other papers lost 10% or more....

Tony Hillerman, mystery writer was 83

Tony Hillerman introduced readers to the Navajo culture of the Southwest through his series of mystery novels centered on Navajo Tribal Police Lt. Joe Leaphorn and officer Jim Chee. Hillerman...

Ongoing story of Rikki Madrigal

Writer Brian Bentley has posted online a long story on Rikki Madrigal, a fixture on the Wednesday night barbecue circuit in Silver Lake's hipster scene who died in a house...

California represents

Bruce Riordan, the director of anti-gang operations for the Los Angeles City Attorney's office, has a signed letter in the print edition of The Economist. His comment, in the context...

Forgotten but not gone

Shirley Babashoff won eight medals swimming for the U.S. at the 1972 and '76 Olympics, but she and her legacy were victims of doping by her East German competition. When...

Story on 107-year-old Rosie the Riveter

An item in last Wednesday's Morning Buzz out of the paid obits in the Times mentioned the passing of Marie Dey, who was 107 and worked at Douglas Aircraft during...

Dissing the Times from the road

A friend who was listening to the L.A. Kings telecast from St. Louis the other night called to tell me the team's longtime, much-honored and very mild-mannered broadcaster, Bob Miller,...

New low in news ad placement

Franklin Avenue's Michael Schneider was stunned when Channel 2 traffic reporter Vera Jimenez described last week's fire-caused snarl in Sepulveda Pass, then segued to her test drive of a Lincoln...

Archives day

Los Angeles is fortunate to have as many historical archives as it does. For the third year, dozens of them are strutting their stuff today for the enlightenment and entertainment...

Headed for Irvine

Light posting today. I'm on a panel this afternoon at the UC Irvine Humanities Center, part of a conference they call "Public Spheres, Blogospheres" that's described as "conversations among important...

Bratton tapes robocall for Obama

LAPD chief William Bratton's phone message for Barack Obama "challenged Republican John McCain's 'record on policing issues and extolled Obama's,'" he told the L.A. Times. Bratton said he got involved...

Brian Williams gets overexcited

On tonight's NBC Nightly News, my ears perked up when anchor Brian Williams introduced a story by saying a world-famous museum came "dangerously close" to being burned by fire today....

Nation mourns for Morning Briefing *

When the Los Angeles Times tinkered with its design this week, the Sports section stopped producing the long-standing Morning Briefing feature. Papers all around the country used MB in their...

Scorcher (or typical October)

Veronique's sunrise photo over the cove at Malibu captures the day in Southern California. It's 93 in downtown Los Angeles right now, with 5% humidity. Here in Malibu...

CTG offers $20 tix, lots of them

The Center Theatre Group says it's making 100,000 tickets available at $20 a pop to all shows this season at the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre....

Getty closed due to fire

The Getty Center will remain closed today to visitors and most staff to help reduce traffic congestion resulting from this morning's hillside brush fire (now out) in Sepulveda Pass. The...

The Mongols and their weapons

A slide show">slide show at the LA Weekly website displays the weapons, bikes and gang colors seized from the Mongols motorcycle gang after a multi-year investigation by several agencies. This...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 10.23.08

The City Council asked for reports on the billboard conversions and the inventory of illegal boards. DN About 100 acres burned this morning in Sepulveda Pass near the Getty,...

Patricia Faure, L.A. art dealer was 80

Patricia Faure ran the gallery that bore her name at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, and other notable Los Angeles galleries before that: Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Asher/Faure Gallery. Times art...

Caruso: I can win *

I caught up with Rick Caruso tonight at The Grove — not by accident — and asked if he intends to go for it and challenge Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's reelection...

Kirk Gibson homer via Big D

Anyone who goes to Dodger Stadium or pays much attention to the team has probably heard Vin Scully's call of Kirk Gibson's pinch-hit home run in the 1988 World Series...

Bratton: Osama's October surprise?

LAPD chief William Bratton co-authored an Op-Ed piece in the New York Daily News that posits Osama Bin Laden wants to influence the Nov. 4 election: "If history is any...

Zell wants to buy Register?

The Financial Times is reporting that Sam Zell's Tribune has been kicking the tires on the Orange County Register with an eye to "consolidate the Los Angeles newspaper market, as...

Early voting with Kirsten Dunst

Jacob Soboroff, who produced and appeared in more than a dozen LA Observed videos, is now executive director of the voting reform group Why Tuesday. He and new best pal...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.22.08

Tim Rutten argues that the mayor, police chief and City Council majority are equally to blame for the LAPD's rape kit embarrassment. LAT Op-Ed, plus reaction at Witness LA...

One-minute video: Kagel Canyon post-fire

Kagel Canyon looked scorched but almost serene over the weekend. The locals had put up signs thanking the firefighters who knocked down last week's wildfire. Here's a one-minute video of...

Count him unimpressed

Jonathan Dobrer is an author and professor of comparative religion at American Jewish University, but the subject of his post today at the Daily News' Friendly Fire opinion blog is...

Once around the site

In week four of her voluntary conversion from unathletic journalist to marathon runner, Sara Catania discovers that runners are serious rewardists. Massages, carbs, margaritas and naps — what's not to...

LAT layoffs roundup

The final word on this wave of newsroom layoffs at the L.A. Times — and on whose buyout offers are accepted — may not come until next week, but in...

LAT designer discusses redesign

Michael Whitley, assistant managing editor for design and graphics, talks about the visual tweaks that appeared in the Los Angeles Times this morning over at the Society for News Design's...

LAT redesign: nothing to see

Not much to say about today's lite redesign of the Los Angeles Times. They added the color to the nameplates that I told you about, moved "Times Staff Writer" to...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.21.08

LAPD officers are far more likely to stop, search and arrest minorities than whites, according to a ACLU-sponsored study that adjusted for high- and low-crime areas. LAT, DN The...

Singleton: outsource everything

Dean Singleton, owner of most of the Los Angeles-area newspapers that aren't part of the Times empire, said yesterday in a speech that his MediaNews Group is considering going to...

Maclovio Perez quits the TV weather biz

Former Channel 2 weatherman Maclovio Perez, in Texas the past six years, has left his station in San Antonio to take a job as spokesman for a school district there....

Mike Penner returns to Los Angeles Times

Eighteen month after writing a column about becoming Christine Daniels, veteran sportswriter Mike Penner has quietly returned to work at the Los Angeles Times, according to multiple sources close to...

LAPD behind on processing 7,000 rape kits

Controller Laura Chick calls her audit finding a backlog of 7,000 unprocessed rape evidence kits "one of the most startling and important audits " since she was elected seven years...

L.A. Michelin Guide makes some changes

Providence gets a second star, and the list one one-star restaurants grows: Hatfield's, Bastide, Osteria Mozza and Sushi Zo. There are also more Asian and Mexican restaurants and the added...

Undercover work for writers who drink

Barfly Staff Monitoring Service is looking for writers to do some undercover work. Hitch: you must have bartending experience. From a craigslist ad that landed in my email box: This...

LAT redesign already has a critic

The Los Angeles Times won't unveil its top to bottom redesign until Tuesday's paper, but Tribune innovation dude Lee Abrams shared his thoughts with the staff. He sounds kind of...

Newton on LAT's Obama endorsement

In a long blog post at Opinion L.A., editorial page editor Jim Newton says the paper's editorial supporting Barack Obama has gotten a near-record response and was written wholly without...

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.20.08

Development projects around town "that financing forgot" -- they may never get built because of the economy. LA Business Journal From the weekend On the road with the NYT...

On the road with the NYT

Los Angeles bureau chief for the New York Times Jennifer Steinhauer and L.A.-based staff photographer Monica Almeida have completed one of those cross-country road trips to gauge voter sentiment. It's...

Mr. Blackwell, designer was 86

Richard Blackwell was an obscure dress designer who became a media star of sorts after issuing his celebrity worst-dressed list starting in 1960. He died Sunday of complications from an...

Taking stock of Los Angeles

Marc Haefele has some praise and some criticism for Los Angeles Magazine and editor Kit Rachlis in the cover story at this week's CityBeat. Samples: Los Angeles weighs like two...

Daily News endorses Obama

Does this editorial seem a tad bleak? The world of America as we know it in the first decade of the 21st century is a dark, money-in-the-mattress place of foreclosed...

What Bradley effect?

Nelson Rising, who ran Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley's campaign for governor in 1982, sounds pretty certain that Barack Obama won't suffer any "Bradley effect" backlash from white voters misleading...

Digital billboards on LA Observed on KCRW

My KCRW segment on Friday afternoon discussed the digital billboards that are altering the L.A. cityscape. Billboards have been a sore point in Los Angeles since at least the days...

'The Soloist" delayed by studio

The movie based on LAT columnist Steve Lopez's stories and book about homeless musician Nathaniel Ayers was already being promoted in trailers. But Paramount bumped it from the November schedule,...

Hermosa PD's Wolcott retires for real

In April of 2007, a release arrived from the Hermosa Beach Police Department announcing that longtime spokesman Paul Wolcott was leaving his post. He didn't, until now. Wolcott has an...

Fired copy editor sues LAT for age bias

Courthouse News reports: A longtime copy editor for the Los Angeles Times sued Tribune Co. for age discrimination, claiming it fired him and 111 other people older than 40 in...

LAPD officer booked for soliciting sex

Russell Mecano, 40 and an eight-year-veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, was taken into custody at the West L.A. station. From the LAT's Richard Winton: Two law enforcement sources...

L.A. Times endorses Obama, rips Palin

For the first time since backing Richard Nixon in 1972, the Los Angeles Times editorial board has publicly endorsed a candidate for president. It's also the first time ever that...

See inside The Edison

Here's a full-screen, high resolution 360-degree online tour of the bar and club in the basement of the Higgins Building downtown....

Marta Waller latest KTLA exit

The longtime Channel 5 anchor and reporter emailed colleagues and friends. For nearly 24 years, KTLA has been my second home. I have loved my career here at KTLA and...

Morning Buzz: Friday 10.17.08

An internal LAPD report acknowledged that people have been falsely implicated in crimes because the department's fingerprint experts wrongly identified them as suspects. LAT Comparing Villaraigosa's spending and fiscal...

J.D. Drew the hero in Boston

If you haven't seen the baseball news...to sum up, the Boston Red Sox trailed 7-0 in the 7th inning, facing elimination from the playoffs. Boston scored four that inning, three...

Carmen Rocha, nachos creator was 77

Carmen Rocha waited tables at the original El Cholo on Western Avenue for nearly four decades and in El Cholo lore gets credit for introducing patrons to nachos. From Mary...

Dreaming the Hollywood dream

Milwaukee lawyers Robert Bernhoft and Robert Barnes figured that getting actor Wesley Snipes off the felony tax charges he faced, and opening an office in Malibu, would gain them entree...

Layoffs in Riverside

I just received email saying the axe is being swung this afternoon at the Press-Enterprise....

L.A. almost last in debate ratings — again

This time only Sacramento was worse than Los Angeles, among the 56 Metro areas that Nielsen meters. But then, the Dodgers were on and, as usual, the debate did not...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 10.16.08

If you call an LAFD ambulance, the bill will now be $712 (or $1,004 for advanced life support) plus $15.75 per mile. That's 15 dollars per mile. Yes, the...

Playboy to quit Santa Monica

The photo studio in Santa Monica will be sublet and the functions there — photo shoots and the L.A.-based editors of Playboy magazine — will move over to a production...

In the magazines

Dave Gardetta studies the Santa Ana winds in the November issue of Los Angeles: "A town known for extremes deserves a contrary wind, and L.A.’s Santa Anas bestow a season...

The Barbara Bain plot thickens

OK, so first the story is reported — back in the 1980s — that a big, fat Sunday Los Angeles Times landed on and crushed a dog belonging to actress...

Answer: Frank and Jamie McCourt

Question: Which Los Angeles developers with business pending in City Hall get the most face time with Antonio Villaraigosa? The mayor has been sitting in the Dodger Stadium owners' box...

Bunch of finales at Dodger Stadium? *

The Dodgers...lose 5-1 and don't look like champions doing it. The Phillies are in the World Series. Greg Maddux? Grabbed the game ball as he left the field, probably for...

Abrams shrugs off newspaper cuts

Radio guy turned Tribune innovation guru Lee Abrams is talking a lot these days. Today, Portfolio's Jeff Bercovici caught up to him at the Dow Jones/Nielsen Media & Money conference...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.15.08

The L.A. wildfires made no dramatic advances during the night and are now at 18,000 acres and 49 (or 62) structures burned. LAT, DN Sidebar on Twin Lakes, which...

Legend of Barbara Bain's dog shrinks

Though Herald Examiner fans love the tale of a Sunday Los Angeles Times crushing Barbara Bain's dog in the 80s, a former Times staffer who I know sends along an...

Moves at the LAT editorial pages

Nick Goldberg, who has run Op-Ed, officially gets the title of deputy editor of the Los Angeles Times editorial pages with added responsibilities. Sue Horton, who was editor of Sunday...

OC loses another news source

KDOC, Orange County's only commercial TV station, has dropped its morning news show "Daybreak OC." From the Orange County Business Journal report: The move comes a year after KDOC launched...

Which books do fleeing writers take?

Mark Hull, publisher of Red Hen Press, got the word to get out of his Granada Hills home office as the Sesnon Fire bore down. Which books did he choose...

It's Huffington season in the magazines

Both The New Yorker and Los Angeles have pieces on Arianna Huffington in their current issues. The New Yorker profile by Lauren Collins (with the photo here by Jonathan Becker)...

Arts and the economy

It's not just the Pasadena Symphony. The almost-certainly-a-recession is affecting arts and culture organizations all around. On KCRW's Politics of Culture at 2:30 this afternoon, Ruth Seymour talks with key...

Mayor gives $25,000 to fight Prop. 8

"I entered politics because the America of my dreams includes everyone, not just a few," Antonio Villaraigosa wrote with his check to the campaign fighting the state ballot initiative that...

Tale of two fires

The fire that began on Oat Mountain above Porter Ranch doubled in size overnight to 9,872 acres and was burning southwest across Ventura County, while the Marek fire that began...

This is a real sign of the Times *

In Los Angeles media circles the legend is told that in the 1980s, the Los Angeles Times was so fat with news, feature stories and ads that a paper thrown...

Mark Gold on Dorothy Green

The current president of Heal the Bay posted a personal tribute to the death earlier today of the organization's founder and inspiration. Mark Gold calls his blog post "the passing...

Dodgers' bullpen blows the game, 7-5

The Dodgers fought back tonight to twice take the lead from the Phillies, but relief pitchers Cory Wade and Jonathan Broxton each gave up two-run homers in the eighth inning...

Media moves for the day

L.A. Times Editor Russ Stanton today named Alice Short, the former editor of the L.A. Times Magazine, as an assistant managing editor to oversee some of the feature sections that...

Fires reach 10,000 acres

The two wildfires burning in and around Los Angeles have destroyed at least three dozen mobile homes in Lopez Canyon and 19 structures, many of them homes, in the area...

Fire to the sea 'a real possibility'

Los Angeles County fire chief P. Michael Freeman is quoted on City News Service saying that firefighters are doing their best to check the Porter Ranch-Browns Canyon fire "from making...

Cal State Northridge cancels classes

The campus is probably five miles from the nearest flames, but the heavy smoke over the Valley and interrupted freeways prompted CSUN to cancel afternoon and evening classes. Also, Chatsworth...

Mayor announces death of Dorothy Green

Heal the Bay founder Dorothy Green has passed away, according to a release from Mayor Antonio Villarigosa's office. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued the following statement today on the passing of...

Evacuations spread to West Valley *

Channel 7 just reported that, with the wind blowing more fiercely, evacuations have just been called for Box Canyon, Woolsey Canyon, Bell Canyon, Dayton Canyon and Lake Manor. KABC thought...

Awesome fire photo

It's by Mel Melcon of the Los Angeles Times, on LATimes.com. It shows the smoke roiling off the Sesnon fire in Browns Canyon and Porter Ranch....

Fire fatality on 118 Freeway *

Channel 4 says there is a report that someone died in a car fire on the freeway near DeSoto Avenue, a bit east of where the Sesnon fire has jumped...

Evacuations above Chatsworth *

* Updated post Twin Lakes and Indian Hills, two communities hard up against the brush north of Chatsworth, are evacuating. Flames are moving across Browns Canyon, the access up to...

Oat Mountain burning above Porter Ranch *

* Update: All Los Angeles TV new stations are live on the fires. A fast-moving new fire has erupted in the Santa Susana Mountains and is laying down smoke on...

Recession strikes the symphony

Laurie Niles of Violinist.com said the letter hit her like a punch in the stomach. "Due to the recent extraordinary conditions in the financial markets, the Pasadena Symphony has been...

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.13.08

The 210 and 118 freeways across the upper San Fernando Valley are closed by the wildfire that started yesterday in Little Tujunga Canyon and is now burning buildings within...

Hollywood defies the recession

The New York Times' David Carr jets out to the coast and finds that in Hollywood, it's still morning in America. Hollywood comes by its indifference honestly. Certainly, the stock...

Dodgers get fired up — and win

The Dodgers worked the Phillies for five runs in their first ups — led by a two-out, three-run triple by Blake DeWitt — and won 7-2. The Dodgers also finally...

Big layoffs at KNX/KFWB *

The axe fell Friday at the AM news radio stations, with talk that as many as 20 anchors, reporters and writers were let go. The Orange County Register says the...

That smoke and fire smell

Brush is burning in the Little Tujunga Canyon area and threatening ranches and homes from there down into Lake View Terrace. About 1,000 people have been ordered to evacuate in...

Ratings for public radio put KUSC on top

Arbitron now counts public broadcasting in its radio ratings for Los Angeles and Michael Schneider blogs the numbers at Franklin Avenue. Several of L.A.'s public stations outperform their commercial counterparts....

Gil Stratton, 86, called 'em as he saw 'em *

A friend of longtime Los Angeles sportscaster Gil Stratton emailed the news that Stratton died this morning at home in Toluca Lake. He was 86 and had suffered heart problems....

Obama threat, white powder sent to LAT *

I'm told the Los Angeles Times mailroom opened a hand-scrawled letter today that read "death to Obama" and contained a white powder that triggered a call to the FBI and...

Wolinsky's exit email at L.A. Times

Associate Editor Leo Wolinsky checked out Friday, the first to go in the new wave of departures from the Los Angeles Times. He had been there 31 years, starting as...

Dodgers drop second game too

Chad Billingsley couldn't get out of the third inning as the Dodgers lost in Philadelphia for a second time, 8-5. Manny hit a three-run homer, but the Dodgers still come...

Friday desk-clearing

Metrolink appointed an 11-person panel of industry experts to take a comprehensive look at commuter rail safety and operating procedures. LAT A homeless man died after being set on...

Leland Wong gets 5 years

The former City Hall power broker and commissioner was sentenced today to state prison in connection with the pay-to-play scandal during the Jim Hahn years. In particular, Wong carried water...

LACMA blogging now too

Arts blogger Tyler Green calls Unframed, the staff blog at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, his "new daily obsession." They are not limiting posts to happenings at LACMA,...

Morning Buzz: Friday 10.10.08

Investigations into former Hahn airport commissioner Ted Stein have closed and now he wants his lawyer fees reimbursed. Zahniser/LAT Free food and drink if you can prove you voted...

Some new L.A. blogs

PBS Channel 28 has soft-launched KCET Local with original web stories, video, reader comments, calendar items and blogs by author D.J. Waldie, KPCC reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, former LAT columnist Erin...

Register plays the layoff card

Thirty positions to be eliminated at the Register tomorrow, the OC Weekly says....

Caruso's Miramar project gets key OK

If you've been following the saga of the former Miramar resort beside the 101 freeway in Montecito, there's been actual movement you might be interested in. The Montecito planning commission...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 10.9.08

Army Corps of Engineers suspends a staffer who floated the L.A. River in a kayak as a protest. AP L.A.'s billboard explosion is the subject of a segment on...

L.A. Times focus-groups more changes

I got a look at some of the latest Los Angeles Times redesign options being tested with selected readers. They're being asked their reaction to new designs for the front...

Diversity hires at Daily News

Carolina Garcia, named the new editor at the Daily News in April, has been replacing staffers who departed since she arrived with more reporters and editors of color. I posted...

Mocking Eddy's 'treason' obsession

Roy Rivenburg's tongue-in-cheek Not the Los Angeles Times jumped right on the news that the real LAT publisher, Eddy Hartenstein, is warning employees that it's "treason" — treason I say!...

CityBeat publisher exits

Charles Gerencser says he is leaving Southland Publishing, where he oversaw LA CityBeat and New Angeles Monthly, on Oct. 17 to join the Barack Obama campaign as a fundraiser and...

Campus crime beat

The City Council today approved $50,000 rewards for information on sexual assaults against two women near USC in September. And UCLA police announced the arrest of three suspects in a...

Coyote bites runner

The 25-year-old woman was running near the Griffith Park carousel on Tuesday morning when she got nipped by a coyote. LAT...

Shriver & Schwarzenegger to gather again

The Women's Conference created by Maria Shriver and hubby returns to Long Beach on Oct. 22. The program includes MSNBC’s Chris Matthews moderating a conversation on leadership and the economy...

Chucko the Clown, 86

Another familiar figure from 1950s and '60s TV in Los Angeles has died, the L.A. Times reports. Charles Runyon portrayed Chucko the Birthday Clown on Channel 7 from 1955 to...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.8.08

Motorcyclist shot and killed this morning on the Glendale-Foothill freeways connector. LAT, DN Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa warned San Fernando Valley business leaders that the city is in for continued...

Note to sources at the Los Angeles Times

I've never felt the need to do this before, but it seems prudent to alert the Los Angeles Times staffers who help me stay informed about the inner workings of...

Checking in on David Beckham

While I'm on the subject of London media coverage of L.A. celebrities, The Independent gets a little snarky about David Beckham's transformation from European soccer superstar to American celebrity. Or...

Bratton: 'I keep my options open' *

The Sun newspaper in the U.K. continues to call LAPD chief William Bratton "a leading contender to replace ousted Sir Ian Blair as London’s Metropolitan Police Commissioner." In a story...

Panic mode (again) at L.A. Times

This time — just weeks after the last, historically deep round of newsroom and content cutbacks at the Los Angeles Times concluded — I'm hearing there's a fair bit of...

Elgin Baylor out at Clippers

Two years removed from executive of the year honors in the NBA, Los Angeles hoops legend Elgin Baylor was apparently ousted as Clippers' vice president of basketball operations and general...

Lloyd Thaxton, Los Angeles TV vet dies at 81

Lloyd Thaxton created and hosted a popular dance show for teenagers in the 1960s, later produced segments for NBC's "Today" and directed “Fight Back! With David Horowitz,” and most recently...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.7.08

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Latinos and African Americans must "face up to" existing racial strains over jobs, language differences and violent crime. LAT Jobless father kills family of six,...

Angels coming home...empty

Boston wins it in the bottom of the ninth, after the Angels blow a squeeze play in the top of the inning. Red Sox 3, Angels 2. The pennant series'...

Incredibly, deep new cutbacks at L.A. Times *

This is a breaking situation this afternoon. Editors met over the weekend to get the word and to refine their lists. Newsroom staffers are being told today individually and in...

Times blogger calls Palin a "rally monkey"

Former sportscaster Lisa Guerrero has been given an outlet on The Fabulous Forum, the sports blog at LATimes.com. In this morning's post, she says it may be time for the...

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.6.08

The Angels stayed alive in the American League playoffs, dropping the Red Sox 5-4 in 12 innings. ESPN Update: The Dodgers open against the Phillies Thursday in Philadelphia, play...

The original LAT magazine

Native Intelligence contributor Adrienne Crew made a nice find for fans of L.A. media history: a web archive of covers from West, the Sunday magazine in the Los Angeles...

Bratton's excellent London adventure

LAPD chief William Bratton attended the London tabloid The Sun's "Broken Britain summit" on crime last week (in conjunction with the Conservative Party), got some attention from the papers, and...

Taco trucks win the fight

"Carne asada is not a crime," attorney Phil Greenwald said again, perhaps for the last time, after DA Steve Cooley's office said Friday that it would not appeal a judge's...

Gadahn resurfaces in video

Looks like the British newspaper speculation that California-born al-Qaeda operative Adam Gadahn is dead was a little off. The former Adam Pearlman turned up Saturday in a new tape talking...

Dodgers sweep Cubs back to 1945

This won't be the year the Cubs end their run of World Series non-appearances. The Dodgers scored two runs in the first and never looked back, winning 3-1 to sweep...

Angels lose 2 to Red Sox

Lots of dour faces down in Anaheim tonight. Ex-Dodger J.D. Drew delivered the killer blow, a 2-run homer to center field off Frankie Rodriguez in the ninth inning, moments after...

O.J.'s number finally retired

O.J. Simpson was convicted tonight in Las Vegas of all charges — kidnapping, robbery, assault, 12 charges in all. Simpson was handcuffed and taken immediately into custody. Life in prison...

Friday desk-clearing

Add the LA Weekly's Detour festival to the list of Downtown traffic challenges on Saturday. Not to mention that at 5 pm, Sen. Hillary Clinton and celebrities like Natalie...

Gawker in turmoil again

Gawker Media creator Nick Denton sent an email announcing the layoff of 19 editorial employees (out of 133) and eliminating the traffic bonuses that whipped so many of his bloggers...

VP debate does well, but not in L.A. *

Nielsen says that last night's Biden-Palin debate drew a much larger television audience — 45% of households in the 55 biggest metered metro areas — than the earlier McCain-Obama debate....

Wining and dining the bloggers

How important are bloggers to promoting the success of Downtown developments? Pretty important, based on this invitation by AEG for the Ritz-Carlton condos to be built as part of L.A....

Morning Buzz: Friday 10.3.08

Another possible perfect storm of traffic Saturday with USC playing at the Coliseum at 5 pm, the Dodgers taking the field at 7 pm, UCLA at the Rose Bowl...

New around LA Observed

Our columnist Bill Boyarsky has been on the national campaign trail this year for Truthdig, and as he used do to for the Times as a columnist and political reporter,...

In defense of the screenwriter

After 25 years as a talent agent and literary agent, Nancy Nigrosh is leaving Innovative Artists and Hollywood with a spirited call for a return to the lone screenwriter getting...

Whoa, Dodgers go up 2-0

The Dodgers pitched well until the end, got some timely hits — including another Manny Ramirez home run — and executed all game to spoil the party in Chicago with...

LAT's most viewed: Steinem on Palin

The top grossing release at LATimes.com for the month of September was Gloria Steinem's Op-Ed piece called Palin: wrong woman, wrong message. The latest monthly update from website executive editor...

Dodgers win, Angels lose

James Loney's only good swing of the night was a grand slam that put the Dodgers ahead to stay. They beat the Cubs 7-2, with solo home runs from Manny...

Michael Jackson off the air again

I'm a couple of weeks late on this, so just catching up: Michael Jackson's somewhat ballyhooed return to the L.A. radio waves ended when KGIL (AM 1260 and 540) dropped...

Antonio offers Sam Zell back to Chicago

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa upped the ante today in the traditional jousting between mayors of baseball playoff cities. Chicago mayor Richard Mayor Daley previously wagered a “Take Me Out to the...

Deputy's attack worse than first reported

After being told that his wife was leaving him for a younger man, Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy Robert McClain sexually tortured her and her lover for hours and left...

Rep. Sherman still against the bailout

Valley congressman Brad Sherman's office sent out a seven-page analysis explaining in some detail why he still opposes the financial package being voted on soon in Congress. Sherman has gotten...

Metrolink engineer's texts confirmed

The NTSB says that Robert Sanchez, the engineer whose Metrolink train ran head-on into a freight train in Chatsworth, sent a text message 22 seconds before the crash that has...

Patriotic ideals?

Today's L.A. Daily News letters page published this overtly political note from Richard B. Scudder, chairman of the board of MediaNews Corp., the company that owns the paper. Patriotic ideals...

McCain not in town

With John McCain staying in Washington for the Senate vote on the bailout measure, Cindy McCain and Todd Palin will fill in at tonight's Century City fundraiser. Kelsey Grammer and...

Now in Downtown: Obama fundraisers

The perking up of Downtown has reached the point that Sen. Hillary Clinton is scheduled to appear at an Obama fundraiser at the hipster bar The Edison on Oct. 4....

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.1.08

The special interests that secretly bankroll Gov. Schwarzenegger's travel have been identified. LAT East Los Angeles' cityhood pitch covered. AP The Mark Ridley-Thomas campaign has put up a blog....

West Hollywood Book Fair video

Just for kicks, before and after my "Noir of Politics" panel at Sunday's West Hollywood Book Fair I shot some video of other panels and did interviews with author...
Al Satterwhite's photos of Muhammad Ali
ali-satterwhite-secret.jpgDavid Davis talks with the photographer about shooting a key chapter in Ali's career and a Kickstarter campaign to put out a book. Interview
Can we all agree Elizabeth Peña had a certain something?
elizabeth-pena-variety.jpgThe actress who worked in Hollywood from her early 20s died at Cedars at age 55. Read more.
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