LA Observed archive
for January 2009

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

Off-duty LAPD officer shot outside home

Anthony Razo, 49, was attacked as he left his home in City Terrace to play golf about 5 a.m. He is listed in serious condition with a gunshot wound to...

Reactions to 'Times' news *

* Saturday updates are down below There's been a lot of email, blog and Facebook traffic reacting to my report this morning that the publisher of the Los Angeles Times...

Latino bloggers of L.A.

Some of them got together at Philippe's and Adolfo Guzman-Lopez of KPCC dropped in wearing his KCET blogger hat. A discussion ensued over where's the Eastside?, and in this group...

LAT to cut 70 more in newsroom, 300 overall

With the news out about killing of the California section, Los Angeles Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein and editor Russ Stanton have sent around their memos announcing the latest round of...

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.30.09

An L.A. Times blog covers the news about the paper eliminating its own California section, under headline "L.A. paper loses local news section." L.A. Now The federal investigation of...

Los Angeles Times kills local news section

Publisher Eddy Hartenstein has ordered the California section killed, leaving the L.A. Times without a separate local news front for the first time since the paper's early decades. The publisher...

Fourteen children is a lot

The media descended today on the Whittier home of the woman who gave birth to octuplets — with six children ages 2 to 7 already at home. The Times puts...

Box of broken L.A. dreams

Mark Groubert's cover story in the new LA Weekly jumps seven times on the web — but drew me all the way to the end. He found a box of...

Fresh and cool, or old and amateurish?

Hollywood apparently isn't impressed that the new Los Angeles Times thinks the cutting-edge way to cover Sundance is to give a print reporter a cheap cellphone camera and have him...

Reflecting on these tough times

Blogger and sometime writer about town Will Campbell has a post up at Metblogs reflecting on his experiences as a suicide hotline counselor, inspired partly by his bike commute past...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.29.09 *

Cardinal Mahony responds to reports in the Times and Wall Street Journal about a grand jury investigation, and his lawyer says Mahony is not a target. KNX One way...

Santa Monica Airport closed by crash

A private plane has crashed and burned on takeoff at Santa Monica Airport. The plane stayed on airport property. Channel 2 says two people on board are believed to have...

Sgt. Curt Massey, officer killed on freeway

The Culver City Police Department is mourning the death of Sgt. Curt Massey in this morning's wrong-way crash on the Santa Monica Freeway. He was a 17-year veteran and recipient...

Afternoon news and notes

David Beckham admits to the Euro press that he's considering an offer to leave the Galaxy and stay with AC Milan: "little more than a formality" says The Independent....

Federal grand jury looking at Cardinal Mahony *

The Times and reporters Scott Glover and Jack Leonard say, based on "two law enforcement sources familiar with the case," that Cardinal Roger Mahony is under federal grand jury investigation...

About the big quake that's coming

No one who lives in Southern California has yet experienced a "great earthquake" on the San Andreas fault like the ones that recur through history at regular intervals, UC Irvine...

Elephant exhibit will be finished

The City Council voted 11-4 to go ahead with plans to build the elephant enclosure at the Los Angeles Zoo, despite the presence of some low-grade celebrities arguing against it....

Week without pay for LANG staff *

The Los Angeles Newspaper Group newsrooms (Daily News, Breeze, etc) have been told that everyone must take a week off without pay and pretty soon. More details to come. Update:...

Santa Monica Freeway still closed *

A wrong-way head-on in the eastbound lanes near National Boulevard about 5 a.m. killed two drivers and still has the area gummed up. The freeway's eastbound lanes and the connectors...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.28.09

An Australian family that was refused entry at LAX despite holding visitor visas says in the Aussie press it was treated badly by U.S. officials and urges visitors not...

James Brady, editor and Parade interviewer was 80

Brady did the celebrity profiles for Parade magazine for nearly 25 years — his last, of actor Kevin Bacon, runs February 15. Before that he was a Washington reporter for...

Brian Wilson v. Tavis Smiley

I'm not sure I've seen a rougher pairing on Tavis Smiley's PBS show than last week's match-up of Tavis with Brian Wilson. It could have worked, but didn't. Wilson has...

Afternoon news and notes

Police say a murder-suicide in Wilmington claimed five children and their parents who had lost jobs at the Kaiser medical center at Venice and La Cienega. The father apparently...

Jennifer Pendleton, L.A. journalist was 56 *

Business writer Jennifer Pendleton died yesterday after a fifteen-month battle with cancer, according to a friend. Pendleton specialized in advertising, entertainment and entrepreneurship and her work appeared in Fortune, Essence,...

John Updike, writer was 76 *

John Updike released more than 50 books in a career that started in the 1950s. He won two Pulitzer Prizes, for ''Rabbit Is Rich'' and ''Rabbit at Rest,'' two National...

L.A. neighborhoods redux

Dialogue continues about what and who defines the Los Angeles area's hundreds of neighborhoods. Today in the Times, columnist Hector Tobar revisits his home turf in East Hollywood — he's...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.27.09

Los Angeles will give up its federal certificate to operate Palmdale airport as part of the regional airport web, but the city of Palmdale hopes to take over. LAT...

Long Beach has its bunnies

Long Beach City College is awash in bunny rabbits, "big, fat, brazen ones who will run up to strangers and beg for food," says the blogger at UnHip L.A. She...

'Truly, truly amazing delivery'

Six boys and two girls were born to a mother at the Kaiser Permanente hospital in Bellflower — only the second live octuplets on record in the U.S. The babies,...

New layoffs at Variety

Columnist-blogger Anne Thompson is among the layoffs to hit the trade today. "Today I got slashed from the ranks of Variety staffers along with some 30 people, most of whom...

Joe Francis means trouble for his lawyers

Remember Robert G. Bernhoft and Robert E. Barnes, those lawyers known as "the Bobs" who came out from Milwaukee last year determined to make it big in Hollywood? The L.A....

O'Shea gets gig he knows something about

Former Los Angeles Times editor Jim O'Shea, who lost the top job after clashing with then-publisher David Hiller, will study conflicts between newspaper editors and owners as a spring fellow...

Garcetti gets Obama bonus

Along with their invitations for a Jan. 31 fundraiser in the Hollywood Hills for Council President Eric Garcetti, potential contributors got a personal note from Obama fundraising chief Yolanda Parker....

Sign of the (L.A.) Times: layoff signs

Maybe this has been up for awhile, but it was just pointed out to me today. The L.A. Times website has a little photo slide show feature called: "Are you...

Golden Mike winners

The Radio and Television News Association of Southern California handed out the year's Golden Mike awards on Saturday night. No time to go through them all, but here's the list...

The Wrap launches, names its editors

Tim Doyle, formerly of Variety and Maria Russo, formerly of The Los Angeles Times, are the lead editors of Sharon Waxman's new Hollywood news website, which officially launched today. A...

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.26.09

A Times editorial gives more detailed coverage to the March 3 city election than the news pages have offered as yet, but says that with so many candidates the...

Lacter on 'Off-Ramp'

Mark Lacter of LA Biz Observed talks about why another 164,000 people (or so) will be losing their jobs in the Los Angeles area this year, on KPCC's Off-Ramp at...

More tea-leaf reading at LAT

The Los Angeles Times staffers I've heard from seem pretty convinced there will be a new round of newsroom bloodletting next week, with many fearing the firing starts Monday. A...

Small shaker off shore

A quake initially assigned a 3.4 magnitude struck at 7:42 p.m. It was centered a mile off Marina Del Rey and felt like a quick jolt in this corner of...

Friday desk-clearing

Sharon Waxman's Hollywood news site The Wrap will make its official debut on Monday, and Eric Estrin of LAO (and the LAO Script Project) will be on board as...

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.23.08

The rollout of Gustavo Dudamel, beginning with a free October 3 concert at the Hollywood Bowl featuring Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, even rates a byline story in New York...

New L.A. book by Chris Ayres

Ayres, the Los Angeles correspondent for The Times of London, previously wrote "War Reporting for Cowards." From the flap for "Death by Leisure: A Cautionary Tale," his newest: All Chris...

Waxman, Berman, Orlov et al

Newly powerful Reps. Henry Waxman and Howard Berman are the key draws at a Sunday gathering at USC of the Jewish Federation's New Leaders Project. They will be honored along...

Now a word from the kitchen

I'm glad to see the most emailed L.A. Times story right now is the one I enjoyed the most in yesterday's paper — Food Editor Russ Parsons' guide to caramelizing...

Rocky files to raise AG money — again

City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo's final term has five months and change to run, so today comes word that he has filed papers to let him raise money for a second...

US Bank Tower vs photographers

A group of shooters from the National Photographers' Rights Organization went downtown on Sunday to see if they would be blocked from taking pictures anywhere, and they did run up...

dineLA returns

Two weeks of special prix-fixe menus at more than 150 participating restaurants — more than last year — start on Sunday. Here's the list. The price levels this time are...

Oscar nominations list

The best picture choices are "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Frost/Nixon," "Milk," "The Reader" and "Slumdog Millionaire." For best actress: Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie, Melissa Leo, Meryl Streep and...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.22.09

Oscar nominations will be announced starting at 5:30 a.m. at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Oscar.com Cleaner air over the past two decades has added nearly five months to...

Times will try to agree on neighborhoods

The Los Angeles Times has a thick book of style conventions that seem more and more to be ignored, especially online — same with past work by in-house committees to...

Scheer loses his column...again

Syndicated columnist Robert Scheer has been dropped from the San Francisco Chronicle Op-Ed page. The editor told him his take on world affairs and politics had become "predictable," to which...

Afternoon news and notes

Because the desk is flowing over, and I have a few minutes... Film critic John Anderson repeatedly punched veteran publicist Jeff Dowd over a disagreement at Sundance about "Dirt! The...

Costco's scanners pay off

TJ Sullivan got a robo call from Costco reminding him that he bought a box of Clif Bars a few months ago — and alerting him they are part of...

Jeff Kent, done

The Dodgers' angriest man will retire Thursday at the stadium as the leading all-time home run hitter among second basemen. In just four seasons with L.A., he also slugged enough...

World War II Los Angeles in color

I'm not sure that I've seen color photos of the wartime aircraft workers, and certainly not any like these from the Library of Congress stash on Flickr. That's been a...

More TV viewers watched Reagan inauguration

The difference being, apparently, the huge numbers of people who took in the Obama festivities on line rather than on television. Then last night, "American Idol" beat the top inauguration...

Bargain Babe spins off after all

When Daily News reporter-blogger Julia Scott announced her Bargain Babe shopping blog, it sounded as if she would also keep writing her self-described less-edgy, less-personal blog for the paper. Nope....

Eating cheaply around LAX

Billy Vasquez, the 99 Cent Chef, has put together a blog and video guide to "dining and drinking establishments within the shadows of the arriving and departing giant silver birds"...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.21.09

Rain is coming tonight or Thursday, or so they say. Daily Breeze Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed with the William Morris Agency to represent her "in all...

Should Obama break South Pasadena?

Journalist Joe Mathews has become the latest advocate of a narrow SoCal position to argue that taking his side is somehow a test of whether President Barack Obama truly means...

It's not cold here

Friends in Washington keep messaging about how frigid it is there. So just for the record, the giant thermometer outside LA Observed Tower reads 84 degrees. Golden sunshine, as David...

White House.gov right now

The website switched over right about 9 a.m. PST....

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.20.08

Workers whose windows look through those supergraphics popping up around town are not happy campers. LAT Jonathan Dobrer recalls flying into Burbank with airline pilot Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger...

Inauguration Day

The big day is here. Barack Obama becomes the 44th U.S. president a few ticks before 9 a.m. Pacific time. Most TV networks will be live from Washington, D.C. at...

Advance word of LAT layoffs

Rumors have been swirling at the Los Angeles Times about lists being pulled together for the next round of newsroom cuts, but there's been a lack of solid numbers and...

MLK Day on MLK (and Crenshaw)*

Today's Kingdom Day Parade on Martin Luther King Boulevard, Crenshaw and Vernon by photojournalist Jonathan Alcorn — more at his photo blog. Below, LAPD Chief Bratton and Sheriff Lee Baca....

That's community relations

Copies of the Nov. 5 edition of the Los Angeles Times cost 50 cents on the street the day after the election. Today at the Martin Luther King Day parade...

Food blogger moves on

Lesley Balla, late of Eater LA, is not the new LA Weekly food blogger. She starts Jan. 26 as Los Angeles editor for Tasting Table LA, a new daily email...

Photog gets accosted in Santa Monica

Anthony Citrano was taking pictures with his Nikon on Santa Monica Pier when a security guard for Pacific Park said he would have to show ID and sign a waiver,...

New ethnic news hub

LA Beez is an online collaboration of "ethnic media organizations featuring hyperlocal news content covering the metropolitan Los Angeles area." The participants are: Arab-American Affairs Magazine Asian Journal Carib Press...

Al Martinez signs off

Dropped again as a Times columnist, Al Martinez writes his final column for the paper: Actually, this is my second final column. I wrote one a year or so ago...

New on the desk at Daily News

Senior copy editor Denise Swibold returns to the city desk at the Daily News, replacing departed assistant city editor Aron Miller. The note from city editor John Miller also has...

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.19.09

KTLA adds a new 6:30 p.m. newscast today, with Leila Feinstein and Emmett Miller anchoring — the first big change since Don Corsini came on as general manager. Franklin...

Houses for a Californian imagination

Author D.J. Waldie ruminates on the Spanish Colonial Revival style, inspired by dinner at the Santa Monica home of Angel City Press publishers Paddy Calistro and Scott McAuley. From his...

Who's where in Los Angeles County

Poking around on a project I came across the state's latest population estimates for the 88 cities in Los Angeles County. Good to be reminded that most of the county's...

Laurel Erickson retires from KNBC

Laurel Erickson has been a familiar face on Los Angeles television for three decades, most recently as a rotating co-host of KNBC's "Newsconference" and holding down an anchor chair on...

Week in review

Here's a shortcut to all of my posts this week, in order with a brief summary of each. Plus: Mark Lacter, Native Intelligence, Bill Boyarsky, Jenny Burman, Veronique de Turenne...

Praise for news in print, from Nixon's corner

Can't say I expected to read an eloquent tribute to the printed newspaper from John H. Taylor, an Episcopal priest and the longtime executive director of the Richard Nixon Library...

Last word from Furnell

Furnell Chatman guests on KPCC's Off-Ramp to talk about leaving KNBC Channel 4 after 35 years and moving back to New Orleans. I'm told he also shares quite a personal...

Carona mostly cleared in OC

Former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona was found guilty on one count of witness tampering and not guilty on five other charges that led to his departure from elected office....

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.16.09

An airline pilot uses his 40 years experience to bring his stricken jetliner down safely in the Hudson River, and the governor of New York dismisses it as "a...

Cops told not to wear helmets at protests?

Anonymous LAPD cop "Jack Dunphy" says that officers were told not to wear helmets while working the line at last Saturday's pro-Palestinian rally in Westwood — Dunphy says commanders thought...

Lowry takes a blog

Variety columnist Brian Lowry is now blogging about television at the trade's new BLTv — "Good TV; reasonable prices." He posts that the current TV critics tour feels more pointless...

Journos in Long Beach get a contract

After two years of negotiations, the Long Beach Press Telegram and the SoCal Media Guild have agreed on a contract that includes a one-year moratorium on layoffs. The covered journalists...

If Zell owned Lou Grant's paper...

A scenario as imagined by Joe Flint, the former WSJ, Entertainment Weekly and Variety reporter who is now director of industry programs at the Paley Center for Media. It helps...

Skewering the L.A. Daily Journal

Alan Mittelstaedt resigned last month as an editor at the Los Angeles Daily Journal. I hadn't seen him express his thoughts about the legal daily — until now. In response...

Dodgers cut Andruw Jones loose

Of course the zaftig outfielder who forgot how to hit after the Dodgers made him their highest-paid player ever still has $22 million coming to him. Actually, Jones forgot how...

No more raises at Daily News *

A memo in the newsroom today says pay raises are suspended at the Daily News. It comes amid gossip about furloughs, pay cuts and other draconian steps to stop the...

Indie 103.1 goes off the air

Entravision has replaced the popular-in-some-quarters FM station with regional Mexican rhythmic and cumbia music. Michael Schneider at Franklin Avenue blogs some details, and a posting at the station website says...

Channel 4 wants your text messages

KNBC plans to air Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's State of the State speech live at 10 a.m. The station's Mekahlo Medina says they will post text messages from viewers on the...

Tribune bankruptcy claims reader surveys

Those supposedly secret reader survey panels convened by the Los Angeles Times to provide feedback on proposed changes — thanks for the posts, guys — are no more. An email...

Timberg adds 'blogger' to resume *

Scott Timberg, who has started freelancing for the New York Times and others since being laid off last year by the L.A. Times Calendar section, has fired up a blog....

CityBeat reports on the Weekly

Matthew Fleischer worked at the LA Weekly for two years until being laid off and writes that "the second-largest paper in Los Angeles suffered two of the most disastrous years...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.15.09

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers his sixth State of the State address at 10 a.m., and it has to be all bad news. Rough & Tumble Tribune and the Washington...

Los Angeles in winter *

Syd Lovelace and Booda on a paddleboard off Will Rogers State Beach this evening, with Catalina in the background. "Syd and Booda (who is a rescue dog) are Venice residents...

Yes, foundations want to fund news

That's the conclusion of David Westphal, who writes at USC's Online Journalism Review that the Knight Foundation's effort to seed the creation of local news operations across the U.S. received...

New campaign firm reaches across the aisle

Democratic and Republican consultants with a lot of experience in Los Angeles — and in California more generally — have formed a new firm to work on ballot measures. LFM...

Bratton prevails at Israeli consulate

Anti-Zionist protesters blocking the entrance to the Israeli consulate on Wilshire Boulevard today broke up after LAPD chief William Bratton showed up and intervened. The Jewish Journal posted video and...

Motion Picture Home to close nursing facility

Jeffrey Katzenberg and other Motion Picture & Television Fund officials just revealed plans to close the acute-care hospital and long-term care residence at the home in Woodland Hills. About 100...

Palm tree plague spreads

Pasadena plans to tear out 43 mature shade trees along Colorado Boulevard, Lake and Los Robles and replace them with shadeless, soulless fan palms (yuck) and gingkos. The ficus trees...

Death of Ricardo Montalban announced

City Council President Eric Garcetti announced this morning that actor Ricardo Montalbán died today at home in his district, surrounded by family. Montalban was 88, according to Garcetti, who made...

Another critic down: Andy Klein *

CityBeat and film critic Andy Klein parted ways yesterday, say sources close to the weekly and to Klein. He continues apparently with KPCC's FilmWeek segment and "Off-Ramp." This follows last...

Zell coming to town

Los Angeles is going to be lousy with its absentee news moguls this month. Dean Singleton is coming in for a meeting of his suits on the 23rd — no...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.14.09

Good story on the transformation of a former Bob's Big Boy on Valley Boulevard in Alhambra into the popular Noodle World — the kind of local Column One the...

No photo this time *

Kevin McCollister has been sharing his gorgeous photographs of Los Angeles for a few years in elegantly wordless blog entries at the Jimson Weed Gazette. Tuesday's post, however, was all...

An editor goes hungry

Los Angeles Magazine executive editor Mary Melton — "in the name of science and post-holiday boredom" — is following the Gwyenth Paltrow starvation diet all week and blogging about it....

Become the mayor's friend

It's been a little over a month since I stumbled upon Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's social network sites and posted about the mayor's search for a new media director. They've been...

Enviro coverage on the ascent at NYT

The New York Times is a forming a team of seven reporters from several desks to ramp up its coverage of environmental issues and news. The team includes former L.A....

Talking the transition

Invitation-only forums and salons hosted by media outlets are becoming more common. The L.A. Times has one tonight to talk about the Obama transition, with an eclectic mix of speakers...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.13.08

LAFD inspector Dennis Archie was arrested and accused of taking a $500 bribe from a board and care facility operator. L.A. Now So-called moderates on the Screen Actors Guild...

Sign of the (L.A.) Times

Author J. Michael Walker didn't mind that three brochures for local arts institutions — REDCAT, the L.A. Art Show and the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage — tumbled out his...

Wicked box office: $145 million

The Los Angeles production of "Wicked" closed Sunday after 791 performances (and 12 previews) at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Variety says the show registered more than 1.8 million admissions...

Nixon caught in another lie

Former president Richard Nixon began his memoir with the line "I was born in the house my father built." Well, in 1959 his mother told the Los Angeles Times he...

Gustavo Arellano adds another outlet

Author, reporter, columnist and blogger Gustavo Arellano is now the host of Four O'Clock Tuesdays with Gustavo Arellano every, yes, Tuesday at 4 p.m., on KPFK. The show's focus is...

Polanski's victim wants case to go away — again

Samantha Geimer, who was 13 when director Roman Polanski had his way with her in Jack Nicholson's hot tub back in 1977, filed a formal request today that the legal...

Sixty years of KNBC

Channel 4 plans to air a special about itself this Friday night and again on Super Bowl Sunday. Here's a blog preview from Franklin Avenue: Paul Moyer and Colleen Williams...

W's last press conference

KTLA reporter-blogger Eric Spillman calls President George W. Bush's session with the media today "the most interesting of his Presidency. President Bush is not known for public self-examination, but in...

Golden Globe ratings: worst since '96

Americans who watch TV don't watch the Golden Globes any more, even if the newspapers, blogs and celebrity cable channels continue to insist they are a big thing. An average...

Another theater critic out

Jm Farber wrote for the South Bay Daily Breeze for 16 years, serving as the paper's theater and arts critic. He was let go today, according to Culture Monster....

LA Weekly on the web: up and down

An internal memo seems to indicate the LA Weekly is falling into the mode of obsessing about page views over content. We learn that music is by far the site's...

LAT now 50% more

The street sale price of the Los Angeles Times went up to 75 cents (from 50) all over town today, judging by my email....

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.12.08

If anyone remembers the 2009 Golden Globes, it will be for "Slumdog Millionaire" and Kate Winslet. Variety, NYT, LAT, winners list "It's a completely meaningless awards show by a...

Appreciating a fallen rival

Times theater critic Charles McNulty weighs in via blog on the layoff of LA Weekly theater overseer Steven Leigh Morris: The news that Steven Leigh Morris, long-standing theater editor of...

Times further explains dropping Al Martinez *

David Lauter, California editor of the L.A. Times, has been replying to readers upset at the latest dropping of Al Martinez' column. Lauter's reply was posted online by the paper,...

Angry and black in PV Estates

Jennifer Baszile, a professor of history at Yale, has written a memoir called "The Black Girl Next Door" that doesn't reflect kindly on her upbringing as an African American girl...

Students...in dresses...playing rugby

The Bruin Rangers, UCLA's official women's rugby club team, held their annual Prom Dress Rugby game on Thursday. "I got into rugby because I got tired of getting yellow cards...

Metromix, we barely knew ya

Word, unconfirmed, out of 1st and Spring is that Metromix Los Angeles is shutting down — the Tribune pub's staff will merge with the staff of The Guide at the...

Times confirms Martinez exit

L.A. Times Editor Russ Stanton sent the staff a note about the approaching re-departure of Al Martinez from the columnist ranks. Here's the LAO exclusive from Wednesday. Stanton's note today...

Another punitive parking tale

Say you live on one of those Los Angeles streets with permit parking. Say you want to get a couple of visitor permits so friends or family can visit you...

LA Observed on KCRW

My segment on the air at 4:44 p.m. centers on the ailment afflicting brown pelicans, with a little mention of the SS Catalina meeting its demise. It's about icons of...

Next out at LA Weekly: Ella Taylor

Longtime film writer Ella Taylor was told today that she too is being laid off by the LA Weekly, sources say. On top of the earlier news about Steven Leigh...

Hanes out as Daily News publisher, sources say *

Sources close to the Daily News say the newsroom has just been told that publisher Doug Hanes has left the company. No immediate word on a successor, if any. For...

Weekly eliminates Theater Editor slot

Word came down from Village Voice Media HQ in Phoenix that the LA Weekly can't afford a theater editor any more. That puts Steven Leigh Morris out of a job....

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.9.09

Santa Ana winds are back and the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning effective from noon today until 4 p.m. Sunday. Wires Mayor Villaraigosa's pro-Israel comments have...

'Slumdog' howls at Critics' Choice awards

"Slumdog Millionaire" won for best picture, director, writer, young actor/actress (Dev Patel) and composer, A.R. Rahman. Sean Penn won the top actor prize for his role in "Milk." Anne Hathaway...

5.0 4.5 quake in San Bernardino *

As SoCal earthquakes go, this one was moderate but probably felt like more if you are near San Bernardino. The epicenter is initially thought to be right under the Inland...

On a long list, Zell is the grinchiest

Readers of Los Angeles Metblogs have spoken. They voted Sam Zell as the 2008 Grinch of the Year. Quips the blog's David Markland: "Congratulations, Sam! Ebenezer Scrooge and William Mulholland...

More cuts across Singleton land

Guild blog The Stress Telegram has the background on the three journalists laid off today (by seniority in each department, I'm told) at the Long Beach Press-Telegram. There were also...

KPCC to open Washington bureau

The L.A. Times may not have a Washington bureau of its own anymore, but soon KPCC will. Kitty Felde is heading east to open the first Washington bureau of any...

Romero yields to Cedillo in CD 32 *

State Sen. Gloria Romero has dropped her interest in running for the Hilda Solis seat in Congress. Romero said today she will run as planned for Superintendent of Public Instruction...

Life after journalism

Last year at this time, Brent Hopkins was a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News and the guild shop steward/blogger called upon to keep the staff informed through waves...

Anne Thompson dittos Cooper on LA Weekly

Variety blogger-editor-columnist Anne Thompson endorses Marc Cooper's autopsy on the decline in gravitas of the LA Weekly under New Times leadership. She posts: It's a sad tale. Like many L.A....

Robert Graham as gang counselor

Author and former state Senator Tom Hayden, writing at the Huffington Post, praises the late sculptor Robert Graham for his quiet work with the street gangs in Venice. In the...

Daily News layoffs: O'Connor, Dilbeck

Among the newsroom cuts at the Daily News are the editorial cartoonist Patrick O'Connor and sports columnist Steve Dilbeck, both fixtures in L.A. media. I'm told that today's layoffs will...

Matthew William Bernsen, 35

The son of former LAPD spokesman and Fox 11 reporter Rod Bernsen died of cancer. The family suggests donations be made to the Memorial Hospital Cancer Center's Circle of Hope,...

Candace Parker caps golden year

The Sparks' Candace Parker won the WNBA's most valuable player award — and rookie of the year, plus an Olympic gold medal and a national championship at Tennessee before turning...

Big traffic gains at LATimes.com

Traffic was up an average of 83% over last year, with local readership up 54% and overall page views up 47%, says the year-end memo from LATimes.com executive editor Meredith...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.8.09

Schwarzenegger proposes to cut five days of public school to save money. LAT, Capitol Weekly Passengers on Delta flight 110 subdued a passenger who tried to open the exit door...

Heal the Bay alleges lax oversight of toxics

Heal the Bay says its staff spent the past year reviewing eight years of records on wastewater discharges kept by the Los Angeles Water Quality Control Board. The findings: "A...

Newsroom cuts tomorrow at Daily News

Not the kind of email you like to see at the end of your shift. Long Beach gets in on these layoffs too. Email to staffers from the SoCal Media...

Home Depot gives up on Sunland-Tujunga

Looks like the former K-Mart store on Foothill Boulevard will stay empty. Home Depot has given up trying to get approval — over concerted neighborhood opposition — to open a...

Herb Katz, Santa Monica ex-mayor

The city of Santa Monica website says that Katz, a member of the City Council, died today with family and close friends by his side. The family appreciates everyone’s prayers...

TJ on the radio

LA Observed contributor TJ Sullivan talks about the new parking regulation controversy in Los Angeles with Warren Olney on "Which Way, L.A.?" on KCRW at 7:30 p.m. He's up against...

Al Martinez dropped again

This time the editors mean it: Al Martinez's last column is scheduled to run in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 19. He asked to go until his 80th birthday...

Frantz becomes Senate investigator

Doug Frantz, one of the many senior Los Angeles Times editors to depart in recent years, has been named chief investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under new chairman...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.7.09

Some top LAPD officials pushed hard, but unsuccessfully, to get the coroner to change the finding that a SWAT bullet killed 19-month-old Suzie Peña in 2005. LAT, Witness LA...

Dueling protests outside Israeli consulate

Ted Soqui at LA Photo has images from the scene, which closed Wilshire Boulevard at rush hour tonight....

LAT blows lid off nude actresses *

These two items aren't really related, but they came in at the same time and are both about the new Los Angeles Times. First, right now the story at the...

Marc Cooper: the LA Weekly autopsy

Former LA Weekly columnist and editor Marc Cooper (now director of Annenberg Digital News at USC Annenberg) has been relatively quiet about his longtime editorial home since he was squeezed...

Those bogus Rose Parade crowd counts *

This year the L.A. Times didn't fall back into the trap of reporting the old canard that a million spectators watched the Rose Parade. But the editor in charge of...

Los Angeles Times, the documentary

There's been plenty of drama at the Los Angeles Times the last couple of years — and now there's a documentary. "Inventing Los Angeles: The Chandlers and their Times" hits...

Another exit from the Daily News

Aron Miller, who recently served a stint as interim city editor at the Daily News, has given notice that he's leaving the paper and journalism. He's been on the Woodland...

L.A. wins one on billboards

Whether or not City Hall actually wants to take control of billboards is open to interpretation, but today the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out a challenge to...

Garcetti takes a bride

City Council President Eric Garcetti and Amy Elaine Wakeland, his longtime partner, were married Sunday at a small ceremony attended by the couple's parents and close friends, his office announced...

Serious dining on $35 per person

Los Angeles Magazine's restaurant issue includes three-course epicurean splurges for $35 or less at Local, The Park, Palate, Sugarfish, Terroni and Delancey. Also in the issue: Patric Kuh's designation of...

Transit reality sets in

A new staff report from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority sort of confirms what people involved in the transit arena knew, but may come as a shock to...

Alan Rich on Betty Freeman *

The longtime L.A. music critic blogs about this week's death and the legacy of arts patron Betty Freeman. (Here's my news post from yesterday.) Rich: She insisted on facing death...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.6.09 *

Proposition 8 proponents filed briefs challenging AG Jerry Brown's legal position against the measure. AP, LAT, Chronicle Sen. Dianne Feinstein isn't happy about the Obama appointment of Leon Panetta...

Pelicans are ailing again

Decades after the damage from DDT almost destroyed the Southern California brown pelican population, something is causing the coastal birds to get sick and turn up distressed in unusual places:...

Breitbart goes Big Hollywood

The latest web venture from Drudge Report West Coast man Andrew Breitbart goes live Tuesday. Big Hollywood, he says, "is not a 'celebrity' gabfest or a gossip outpost - it...

Boi from Troy, R.I.P.

One of the old-time Los Angeles bloggers, Boi from Troy, has typed his final entry. There, anyway. In more than five years since this blog started, more than 3.5 million...

Council aide arrested

Henry Casas, deputy chief of staff for Councilman Jose Huizar, has been arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence. Casas, 40, was booked in Van Nuys on New Year's Eve...

Ned Tanen, studio exec and producer was 77

Variety reports that Ned Tanen, who served as president of Universal and Paramount and produced three popular "Brat Pack" films in the 1980s, died today in Santa Monica. He was...

Polanski wants case moved out of L.A.

Roman Polanski's lawyers argue that the director's bid to have that pesky sex with a minor case from the 1970s dismissed should be moved because the entire Los Angeles Superior...

LAPD opens emergency center over Gaza

Andrew Blankstein reports at the Times: Over the weekend, the LAPD opened its emergency operations center in the wake of Hamas rocket attacks against Israel and the Jewish state's bombing...

Betty Freeman, arts patron was 87

Betty Freeman, who died at her home in Los Angeles on Sunday, was a leading patron of the arts and new music. That's her in David Hockney's Beverly Hills Housewife,...

Press Club's board for 2009

Voting by members of the Los Angeles Press Club has returned Ezra Palmer, Anthea Raymond, Jon Regardie, George White and Adam Wilkenfeld to the board for new two-year terms and...

Gene Parrish, KUSC host

Gene Parrish was from 1984 to 1996 a host and producer on classical music station KUSC-FM. Its website says that Parrish passed away after a long illness and most recently...

Corsini to run KTLA

Confirming speculation that's been around since he left Channels 2 & 9 last summer, Don Corsini has been named president and general manager of KTLA Channel 5. The job has...

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.5.09

Michael Hiltzik asks the question: what is the succession plan for Apple after Steve Jobs, who has been treated for cancer of the pancreas? LAT There's a new LAPD...

Another ad barrier falls: NYT front page

Monday's front page in the New York Times carries a 2½-inch high display ad from CBS across the bottom. Economic necessity, the paper explains in a news story. In the...

Today's L.A. book in the NYT

Echo Park author Charlie Huston, who blogs at Pulpnoir.com, gets a helpful Janet Maslin review in today's New York Times for his latest book, "The Mystic Arts of Erasing All...

2008 quotes: Top of the news

"This is a human tragedy that is beyond words. A horrific night this evening." — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at Metrolink crash scene in Chatsworth "Officer Randal Simmons was a...

2008 quotes: Only in L.A.

"I didn’t have to put much thought into it....It’s really an honor." — Lindsay Lohan, on posing nude as Marilyn Monroe for New York Magazine "What we need is...

2008 quotes: Politics

"I always keep my options open." — LAPD Chief William Bratton, dismissing speculation he was a candidate for London police chief "Barack's better half not only has stature but...

2008 quotes: Media

"We used the internet to win the internet." — WGA head Patric Verrone, on the writers strike "Trying to get a story on the front page is so similar...

2008 quotes: Transitions

Dutton's farewell gathering "It is with profound regret and sorrow that Dutton’s Brentwood Books must announce that it will be closing on April 30, 2008." — Note from owner...

2008: Signs of the (L.A.) Times

Everyone in power at the Los Angeles Times vowed that 2008 would be the year the paper stopped making news for the wrong reasons — remember how unbelievable 2007 seemed?...

Glenn Goldman, Book Soup founder was 58 *

Goldman died today of pancreatic cancer, a disease that was just recently diagnosed. He leaves two teenage sons. As I posted earlier today, Goldman and staffers at the Sunset Strip...

2008: Metrolink 111 tragedy in Chatsworth

On Sept. 12, a Metrolink commuter train headed for Simi Valley and Moorpark smashed head-on into a southbound Union Pacific freight train in Chatsworth. Twenty-five passengers and crew have died...

Book Soup looking for buyer

Staffers and friends of Sunset Strip fixture Book Soup are contacting potential buyers due to a serious illness afflicting founder Glenn Goldman. Judging by emails circulating in L.A. book circles,...

An L.A. walkabout

Channel 2 (and 9) photographer Bryan Frank had Friday afternoon off and spent it taking pictures on foot in Hollywood and Downtown. Hot dogs at Skooby's and a beer at...

First cost-cutting of new year *

Production and copy editing at all the Singleton papers in SoCal will merge into a universal desk to be based at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, I'm hearing. This means...

Stephanie Edwards returns

For a sizable chunk of the television audience, the proper world order was restored on KTLA's broadcast of the 2009 Rose Parade: Stephanie Edwards back in the booth gabbing with...

New Year shorts

Some new, some holdovers from the end of the year. I'll be back to regular posting on Monday. Happy New Year everybody! Bell Gardens city counciman Mario Beltran took the...

So long to Furnell Chatman *

The veteran Channel 4 reporter and weekend anchor — usual signoff: "Thanks for having us in" — has left the building in Burbank. He's calling it retirement to the Big Easy after 35 years at KNBC.

Wendy McCaw gets zip from Jerry Roberts

The crux of Wendy McCaw's crusade to ruin the life of her respected former editor at the Santa Barbara News-Press, Jerry Roberts, was to seek $25 million from him through...
Can we all agree Elizabeth Peña had a certain something?
elizabeth-pena-variety.jpgThe actress who worked in Hollywood from her early 20s died at Cedars at age 55. Read more.
LAO_LewisMacAdams copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed. Check out Gary's archive.
Streetscape | Whitnall Highway
dwp-bldg-whitnall-hwy.jpg DWP architecture in North Hollywood.
Print relic
linotype-le-figaro.jpgKevin spotted this Linotype machine on display in the Paris lobby of Le Figaro, the second-largest national newspaper in France. Bigger
Streetscape | Alameda Corridor
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