LA Observed archive
for July 2009

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

LA Observed on KCRW: Lily Burk

My commentary today talks about the murder of 17-year-old Lily Burk and the strong reaction it has evoked in the city. The piece airs at 4:44 p.m., can be heard...

LA Sketchbook: Hey dudes

sgMarijuanaOversight.jpg See more from Steve Greenberg in LA Sketchbook...

Restoration a dying art

wsjartrestorers.jpg Nice science column in today's Wall Street Journal by Robert Lee Hotz on the lost art of restoring and conserving masterpieces. It's set at the Getty, which is spearheading a...

Morning Buzz: Friday 7.31.09

News and notes are after the jump. Also see Mark Lacter's morning headlines at LA Biz Observed, and follow Mark and Kevin on Twitter....

Westwood's Mann Festival, RIP

anseladamsww.jpg Hat tip to the New Beverly Theater's Twitter poster for noticing that the Mann Festival has put up a final message to patrons. Known previously as the Egyptian (and as...

Anne Thompson moves blog

The film writer's affiliation with Variety has finally played its last note. She posts there that as of Sunday night, her Thompson on Hollywood brand will be housed at IndieWIRE....

Who left the light on?

cityhallnightlight.jpg Most nights, it seems, one window remains brightly lit on the west face of the City Hall tower. Lisa Napoli emails that she and her neighbors on Bunker Hill watch...

Investigative reporter gets a gig

The Center for Investigative Reporting received more than 600 applications for its new California Watch project. The winner, to be announced soon, is Lance Williams, who has been part of...

Vintage street scene: The Go-Gos

gogosfountain.jpg The Go-Gos tool around early '80s Los Angeles in a convertible, vamp outside Trashy Lingerie on La Cienega and frolic in the electric fountain at Wilshire & Santa Monica in...

Odom and Lakers kiss and make up

Lamar to sign a four-year deal for $33 million, J.A. Adande reports at ESPN. Broderick Turner at the LAT agrees. Dodgers note: They get lefty reliever George Sherrill for two...

Mayor's vacation on KPCC

Patt Morrison will be talking to Eric Spillman of KTLA, whose blog post I mentioned here yesterday, and I presume others about Mayor Villaraigosa jetting off to Iceland so soon...

Frank Gehry on Disney Hall design

"Forget the exterior," Gehry says in this recent interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival, via Curbed LA. Covering the interior in wood cost an extra $5 million, and was...

Why didn't Lily call out? *

It's an unanswerable question probably, but the LA Weekly's Christine Pelisek says police are puzzled by an aspect of the Lily Burk murder. Surveillance video shows the 17-year-old walking with...

Manny positive for doping in '03, NYT says

Manny Ramirez and his Boston Red Sox teammate David Ortiz were among the 100-plus major league players who tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003, the New York Times...

Turan slaps LACMA over film

Cari Beauchamp took her deep personal umbrage at Native Intelligence the other night, and now you can add the LAT's Kenneth Turan to the list of Hollywood and film aficionados...

Kaye's meltdown 'denier' called out

Ron Kaye's new organ for his activist brand of politics and news, OurLA.org, ran a long piece yesterday claiming to debunk the "meltdown myth" regarding the 1959 nuclear reactor incident...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 7.30.09

News and notes are tucked away there after the jump. Also see today's Mark Lacter morning headlines at LA Biz Observed, and follow Mark and Kevin on Twitter....

What's up with the Burbank PD?

Another lawsuit has been filed against the city of Burbank by officers (or former officers) in the city's police department. This is the second suit alone by former detective Christopher...

Lily Burk case on WWLA

This evening's Which Way, L.A.? on KCRW sets up the discussion this way: "The murder of 17-year-old Lily Burk has received saturation coverage. Does a brutal crime contain any lessons...

Maxine Waters the beautiful

maxinewatersthehill.jpg Who is the first female Congress member mentioned on The Hill's new list of the 50 Most Beautiful hill people? Why, our own Rep. Maxine Waters, who comes in at...

HuffPost looks for L.A. editor

The Huffington Post is moving ahead with its long-talked-about local pages for Los Angeles. The site has "yet to set a launch date but is actively looking for the right...

Times to deliver OC Register

The Times and Register have announced a deal in which L.A. Times delivery people will deliver both papers. The Register will thus become the Times' largest commercial delivery client. If...

Eddy hires on the business side

L.A. Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein has turned to the San Diego Union-Tribune for his newest executive. The post is a hybrid that carries the title of Executive Vice President/Business and...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.29.09

News and notes are hidden after the jump. Also see today's Mark Lacter morning headlines at LA Biz Observed, and follow Mark and Kevin on Twitter....

Vin Scully: One more year then out

Vin Scully told Bill Plaschke tonight that if he feels OK this winter he'll come back to the Dodgers next season — his 61st — but then that's it. Retirement?...

LACMA goes dark on films

Museum director Michael Govan announced the film program will be closed and rethought — audiences were down, he said. LA Observed contributor Cari Beauchamp, an author and film historian, calls...

Hiring at the Daily News

The Daily News is looking for an online breaking news reporter to replace Jason Kandel, who is moving to KPCC as online managing editor. Job description is after the jump...

Mayor on Ice(land)

Mayor Villaraigosa has been busy online today, sending out Twitter updates (and email) on his new Ask a Mayor feature, replying to this morning's dissing of LAX and, just forty...

Marciano for guv campaign dealt blow

A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury today assessed $370 million in damages against Guess? Inc. co-founder Georges Marciano for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress in a case...

Graduation stunt doesn't help 'Beth Cooper'

bethcooper.jpg Today's front page of the Wall Street Journal talks about Hamilton High senior Kenya Mejia receiving $1,800 to plug the movie "I Love You, Beth Cooper" in her valedictorian address...

Huell Howser tripping, the video

Yesterday on Twitter I re-tweeted this affectionate parody of Huell Howser on a road trip of another sort, but forgot to post it here. The creator calls it California's gold...

Correction o' the day

The L.A. Times does Ted Kennedy no favors with this one: Sen. Kennedy: An article in Sunday's Section A about Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's role in Congress' healthcare debate said...

LA Sketchbook: Higher Ed

sgHigherEd.jpg Steve Greenberg picks up on the lost story of the California budget mess. The crunch and the political fallout of kids being kept out of college in California — and...

Seeing the news sausage

LAT728A1.jpg An LA Observed reader grabbed this screen shot of the half-digested front page that appeared on the Los Angeles Times website when he clicked print edition this morning. Still no...

LAX drops to #6 *

Los Angeles International now ranks as the world's sixth busiest airport, just behind Paris' Charles de Gaulle. Of course, on any ranking of airport amenities, transportation, signage or comfort of...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 7.28.09

News and notes are hidden after the jump. Also see today's Mark Lacter morning headlines at LA Biz Observed, and follow Mark and Kevin on Twitter....

KPFK loses another general manager

It seems the Pacifica radio station just can't keep a GM. Here's Sean Heitkemper's resignation letter to Grace Aaron, Interim Executive Director of the Pacifica Foundation, after just a year:...

Unofficial Thomas Pynchon guide to L.A.

pynchonmap.jpg Wired magazine's Mark Horowitz has created a Zee Maps-assisted guide to the Los Angeles locations in Thomas Pynchon's novels and real life, based on the presumption that "Pynchon, the paranoid...

Newsom's top strategist exits

Eric Jaye, Gavin Newsom's longtime political strategist, tells the San Francisco Chronicle's Matier and Ross that "there was a fundamental difference in how to run" the mayor's campaign for governor....

Hank Stuever takes over for Tom Shales

The Washington Post has a new TV critic in Stuever, whose job will be "exploring the medium across the many platforms and in the many ways it now traverses our...

Parolee named in Lily Burk abduction, murder *

Police said today that they took transient Charlie Samuel into custody by 5:30 p.m. Friday on drug charges in Downtown. They now have a pretty horrific chronology of the events...

Gawker grabs from LAT *

Gawker just put out the word that the site's new West Coast editor will be Richard Rushfield, currently at LATimes.com. The note from Gawker's editor in chief is below (and,...

More turnover at LAT

When Jack Klunder returned to the Los Angeles Times in 2005 to run circulation, the crowing from Spring Street was that he was a brilliant choice to turn around the...

'Hancock Park,' the debut bestseller

Isabel Kaplan is 19, got her book deal when she was a high school junior, and now is enjoying "Hancock Park" hold a spot on the L.A. Times bestseller list...

New publisher at LAT magazine

The memo to the sales and marketing staff says it's Steve Gellman. External announcement to come later, tied to a launch (finally?) of the Los Angeles Times magazine website. Remember,...

Watch for subway crews

metrodrilling.jpg This week's exploratory subway drilling is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at San Vicente and Gracie Allen (that's near Cedars-Sinai), Wednesday in UCLA parking lot 36 near Wilshire and Veteran,...

That's one way to get in the NY Times

Sunday's New York Times published a letter to that newspaper's public editor from the publisher of L.A. Youth, the paper run here by teenagers, commenting on a column about how...

Arrest in Lily Burk killing

Police announced that a 50-year-old man named Charlie Samuel has been booked on suspicion of murder in Friday's killing of 17-year-old Lily Burk. A press conference is scheduled for 11...

Morning Buzz: Monday 7.27.09

Some week-starting news and notes for today are after the jump. For a quick look back at the past week at LA Observed, click here. Also see today's Mark Lacter...

Salonen's musical sauna

salonensauna.jpg Esa-Pekka Salonen's house in upper Brentwood has gone on the market for $4.1 million. It has six bedrooms, 5.5 baths and a chilly Scandinavian demeanor throughout. Check out the sauna...

Koreatown boom a dud

After the U.S. waived the visa requirement for South Korean tourists, and Seoul loosened controls on foreign investment, Koreatown was expected to take off. Instead, the Los Angeles Business Journal...

City Hall office shuffle

City Council President Eric Garcetti grabs Wendy Greuel's old suite on the fourth floor where they keep the elected inmates. Same square footage but more windows, says Rick Orlov at...

Job: Latino-themed content chief

The formal title is Chief Content Officer, and the employer is Radio Bilingue. The project takes a little more explanation. A major new public media programming service in Los Angeles...

Chasing desert storms

blevinslightning.jpg We've all seen the enormous white thunderheads build up on summer afternoons out beyond the San Gabriel Mountains, over the Mojave Desert. Photographer Gene Blevins chases the storm cells; check...

Lily Burk, 17 *

The daughter of Los Angeles journalist Greg Burk and Southwestern Law adjunct professor Deborah Drooz was found slain this morning in her car near Alameda and Fourth Street downtown. A...

Best city for deli: L.A.?

From the Jewish Journal's food blog, posted by editor Rob Eshman: I just got a peek inside David Sax’s new book, “Save the Deli,“ due out Oct. 19, and can...

Best of LA, the blog

fromeditor_0809.jpg Los Angeles Magazine is out with its annual Best of LA issue, and #16 among its 101 favorite things is "Blog by an ex-LAT staffer." By that they mean Craig...

Chez Manny, the hair salon chain

chez manny.jpg Not really. But Frank Coffey at eTrueSports has fun with the concept of a chain of shops where everybody can just be Manny. Noted: Time Warner Cable's official story is...

Assembly approves most of budget

Oil drilling off Santa Barbara and borrowing of transportation funds from local governments are dropped. Mayor Villaraigosa tweets that it's a big victory for cities, plans 4:15 news conference. "This...

Author E. Lynn Harris dies here at 54

The best-selling writer of gay black fiction fell ill yesterday at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. He lived in Atlanta. LAT...

Morning Buzz: Friday 7.24.09

Whoa, the news and notes run a bit long today — that's what happens when you take the night off. The buzz is after the jump. Also see Mark Lacter's...

Attention Internet Explorer users

Just a heads up to the 12% of LA Observed visitors who still drop in using Internet Explorer version 6 or earlier. The bane of web designers everywhere may soon...

Time Warner and Manny's home run *

Synthesizing the emails I've received and comments I've seen about Time Warner Cable cutting to commercial and missing Manny Ramirez's sensation of a home run last night, it sounds as...

LA Sketchbook: Honored budget traditions

sgBudgetTraditions.jpg Sacramento's fragile deal on the state budget is in the best tradition of California governing, according to editorial cartoonist Steve Greenberg. See more of LA Sketchbook by Greenberg in...

Put words in Antonio's mouth

Mayor Villaraigosa is apparently looking for a director of speechwriting, based on this job posting that just dropped in the mailbox. Salary commensurate with experience, and who knows, you may...

Bukowski tours Hollywood & Western

Charles Bukowski narrates a tour of the Hollywood and Western area, highlighting his favorite bars, hangouts, hookers and dope-dealers. From "The Charles Bukowski Tapes" (1985), by Barbet Schroeder, via...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 7.23.09

News, notes and observations are after the jump. Also see Mark Lacter's morning headlines at LA Biz Observed and follow us on Twitter....

Time Warner Cable misses Manny homer *

Manny Ramirez just hit his most dramatic home run as a Dodger, a first-pitch grand slam coming off the bench in a tie game on Manny bobble-head night — and...

Glendale's first homicide of the year *

An unidentified man was shot dead in his black Lexus about 11 a.m. today in the parking lot of Allstate Insurance in Glendale. Police were searching for a man who...

Rebranding the duopoly

newscentral29.jpg Channels 2 and 9 will be known, as of the fall, as CBS 2 NewsCentral and KCAL 9 NewsCentral. Behold the joint logo. Release is after the jump....

Daily Breeze editor flips

Phillip Sanfield announced in the newsroom (well, technically in the publisher's conference room) this afternoon that he's leaving as executive editor and interim publisher of the Breeze to become director...

Laura Chick slams Trutanich

Well, that honeymoon's over. Twenty-two days into City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's term, campaign backer and ex-Controller Laura Chick called him a liar and a demagogue this morning on Doug McIntyre's...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.22.09

Wednesday's news, notes and observations are after the jump. Also see Mark Lacter's morning headlines at LA Biz Observed and follow us on Twitter....

Century Plaza goes national

centuryplazadovarganes.jpg Tomorrow's New York Times real estate page ventures into the Century Plaza preservation dispute. Diane Keaton, listing the hotel's supposed glories, likens the design to a "sexy woman surrounded by...

TMZ falls for hoax

TMZ.com received a lot of attention and some praise — including from me — for scooping the rest of the media on the cardiac arrest and later death of Michael...

Replacing newspaper sports coverage

L.A. Times coverage of the Los Angeles Kings is the poster child in a Sports Business Journal examination of waning sports reportage in newspapers and how worried pro sports teams...

Manny taken for x-rays

mannyjg120.jpg Manny Ramirez was hit on the left hand by a pitch early in tonight's game at Dodger Stadium. He shook the hand and flexed his fingers for a few minutes,...

Busy local news day

LA Biz Observed has followed some of the state budget fallout over there. Cal State university and colleges trustees raised student fees 20% and furloughed employees, as California's higher ed...

Plot thickens in broker murder

That South Bay real estate broker whose body was found inside a home for sale in Westchester has the kind of checkered past that will certainly perk up the ears...

Shulman radio documentary

shulmanchemosphere.jpg Nice photograph by Juergen Nogai of Julius Shulman at John Lautner's Chemosphere house. Nogai, Frank Gehry, Dion Neutra and others, including Shulman himself, talk during a radio documentary on the...

HuffPost grabs from WashPost

Jose Antonio Vargas, a national reporter at the Washington Post who covered the intersection of politics and technology during the 2008 campaign, was named Technology and Innovations Editor of the...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 7.21.09

Tuesday's news, notes and observations are after the jump. Also see Mark Lacter's morning headlines at LA Biz Observed and follow us on Twitter....

North Korea, U.S. negotiating on Ling & Lee

freelauraeunacrop.jpg The South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo says that the U.S. and North Korea have "started delicate negotiations" over the future of Los Angeles journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, citing...

Sacto says it has a budget deal

Deal requires "significantly scaling back many services that have been offered to residents -- particularly the elderly and the poor -- for years," says the LAT story. More: Bee, Capital...

Janice Min resigns at Us Weekly

Min announced today that she's leaving next week to do something else unspecified. "The top spot of US Weekly may be a coveted job, but its by no means be...

LA Sketchbook: Cloudbreak at LAPD

sgLAPD CLoudbreak.jpg News item: LAPD consent decree lifted See more in the LA Sketchbook by editorial cartoonist Steve Greenberg....

Antonio's dinner date

TMZ videotaped Mayor Villaraigosa and Lu Parker coming out of Mozza just ahead of the newly enriched Ryan Seacrest this weekend. The site says the trio was eating together. Watch...

What Padilla does for Newsom

alexpadillamug.jpg State Sen. Alex Padilla's title as campaign chair may help Gavin Newsom grab some Latino votes away from Jerry Brown, but even Padilla's political mentor — James Acevedo — says...

Sports editor named at L.A. Times

I mentioned in last night's ESPN item that the Times was about to name a new editor for sports. It's Mike James, a veteran of the LAT's sports desk. The...

Conde Nast to 'realign'

The magazine publisher is struggling, so here comes McKinsey and Co. to study all aspects of the company. Ominous memo from the CEO this afternoon to employees in Los Angeles...

Changes in WSJ bureau

Alexandra Berzon's addition isn't the only move this summer in the Wall Street Journal bureau here. I'm told that when Berzon arrives, Tamara Audi is expected to slide from casino...

Morning Buzz: Monday 7.20.09

Monday's news, notes and observations are after the jump. Also see Mark Lacter's morning headlines at LA Biz Observed and follow us on Twitter....

Postcards from Mayor Villaraigosa

onsafari.JPG In her weekend column, Daily News editorial page editor Mariel Garza imagines what the mayor might have written if he had sent back postcards from his recent Africa trip. The...

Don't block the driveway in Venice

veniceparking.jpg When visiting Venice, notes the blog Yo Venice, "it is advisable not to block a driveway when you park your vehicle. Odds are that two towing trucks, two parking enforcement...

ESPN invading Los Angeles

The cable sports giant will announce plans Monday for a website devoted to covering Los Angeles sports teams. It has worked for ESPN in Chicago, but L.A. Times sports boss...

Lee Abrams innovates his hobby

leeabramsfood.jpg Remember Sam Zell's chief innovation officer, the irrepressible Lee Abrams? Turns out he has been a pilot since he was 17, and like many hobbyist pilots across the U.S. he...

Chicken Corner returns

Jenny Burman is back and blogging at Chicken Corner after a bit of hiatus. She explains. Watch for her blog to expand beyond the borders of Echo Park....

500 Days in Downtown L.A.

"We're young, we live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, we might as well have fun while we can," Zooey Deschanel's character says in "500...

LA Sketchbook: Walter Cronkite

sgWalterCronkite.jpg Cronkite passed away Friday at age 92. Here's our earlier link. More from LA Sketchbook by Steve Greenberg...

LAPD consent decree lifted

U.S. District Court Judge Gary A. Feess freed the Los Angeles Police Department from most of the federal oversight that has been in place since the Rampart corruption scandals of...

Friday desk clearing

Thomas Saenz talks about the MALDEF job and being passed over by the Obama Administration. NPR's Tell Me MoreMarc Haefele says the debate over paying for police services during the...

Walter Cronkite, 92

Media sites are saying that the longtime CBS News anchor has died, according to his family. Cronkite announcing the assassination of President John Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963:...

Talking about Shulman

In today's LA Observed segment on KCRW, I honor Julius Shulman as a foremost chronicler and interpreter of Los Angeles and get personal on behalf of my wife, who has...

Pulitzer winner coming to L.A.

Alexandra Berzon, the Las Vegas Sun reporter whose four-part series on the high death rate among construction workers on the Las Vegas Strip won the Public Service medal in this...

Morning Buzz: Friday 7.17.09

Friday's news and notes are after the jump. Also see Mark Lacter's morning headlines at LA Biz Observed and follow us on Twitter....

Farmers Market through a new eye

clocktower.jpg Los Angeles photographer Iris Schneider attended this week's birthday party for Farmers Market and took in the USC band and "hokey card trick" spelling out 75 years. Schneider covered news...

Nikki Finke as Hollywood's 'feared blogger'

David Carr came through town a week or so ago and lands on the New York Times' front page tomorrow with a piece on Nikki Finke. Her deal to sell...

L.A. Jewish history on Flickr

Frances Dinkelspiel, the author who talks tonight at ALOUD about "Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California," is also president of the board at the...

Julius Shulman, 1910-2009

shulman255.jpg Julius Shulman, the dean of Los Angeles photographers, died Wednesday at home in Laurel Canyon. He was 98 years old. “He led a charmed life right up to the...

Mike Woo gets academic gig

The former City Councilman and current planning commissioner will be dean of Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Environmental Design, effective July 30. Release after the jump....

Zac excitement in the Marina

marinapic.jpg An LA Observed reader phoned in this photo from Marina Del Rey, where they're expecting Zac Sunderland's return this morning from his round-the-world solo sail. Sunderland's blog says he is...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 7.16.09

Quick first read of the day's news and notes is after the jump. Also see Mark Lacter's morning headlines at LA Biz Observed and follow us on Twitter....

Afternoon politics notes

Busy day on the local politics front: State Sen. Alex Padilla was named statewide chairman of Gavin Newsom's campaign for governor, a pretty blatant appeal to SoCal Latino donors and...

Sam Nazarian named to airport commission

Nightlife and hotel impresario Sam Nazarian is Mayor Villaraigosa's choice to fill the Chris Essel opening on the Board of Airport Commissioners. A release from Villaraigosa is going out this...

Ex-LAT photogs hang out shingle

Pro Photography Network is a new business offering photo services from recently departed Los Angeles Times photojournalists, including Pulitzer winner Annie Wells. From today's release: A funny thing happened on...

LA Sketchbook: Out of Van Nuys

sgVan Nuys.jpg In honor of Sherman Oaks adding a new precinct of ex-Van Nuysians, here's the latest by Steve Greenberg. For the heck of it, here's my timeline of San Fernando...

Reminder to Trutanich

Today's Daily News, in an editorial, reminds new City Attorney Carmen Trutanich that as a candidate he promised to reverse Rocky Delgadillo's legal opinion that prohibited audits of his office...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.15.09

Quick first read of the day's news and notes is after the jump. Also see Mark Lacter's Wednesday morning headlines at LA Biz Observed and follow us on Twitter....

The Valley's nuclear past

ssfl.jpg With local media obsessing a bit this week on the 50th anniversary of the partial meltdown of an experimental nuclear reactor above Chatsworth, here's the first comprehensive news story on...

Piece of Van Nuys OK'd to move

Sherman Oaks now extends north of Burbank Boulevard, at least in one neighborhood, in another blow to Van Nuys. Lots of levity during the City Council debate, so to speak...

LA Sketchbook: Farewell to Hollywood

sgRunawayProduction.jpg Sing along with Steve Greenberg as he mourns runaway production from Hollywood. Click the cartoon to view it larger. See the entire LA Sketchbook archive and Steve's bio in one...

Doug Jehl, ex-L.A. journo, goes to Wash Post

Doug Jehl is a former Los Angeles Times White House reporter who jumped years ago to the New York Times, where he is deputy editor in the Washington bureau. He...

Columnist takes leave of absence

Tina Daunt, who writes the Cause Celebre political column for the L.A. Times' Calendar section, posted on her blog that she's taking time off to care for her ailing father....

Saenz to be head of MALDEF *

Thomas Saenz, Mayor Villaraigosa's in-house legal counsel, will become president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund next month. Saenz, 43, says in the Los...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 7.14.09

A quick first look at today's items on politics and the city, with a media obit. Inside after the jump....

Riding Route 66 to Tennessee

kpccshine.jpg This morning there was the guy running from Burbank to Texas. Now KPCC's John Rabe, riding his bike into work today, ran into a South Korean native named Shine who...

Mayor: Never mind on MJ donations

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has changed his office's tune on donations to defray expenses of the Michael Jackson memorial, saying this morning that providing police services is what cities do and...

Free tix to Chris Anderson

Mark Lacter has ten tickets for Thursday morning's appearance by Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson to talk about his book, "Free: The Future of a Radical Price," at the ALOUD Business...

Violinist found dead

Robert Korda's body was located by LAPD detectives Sunday in the county morgue. His death is under investigation. Korda disappeared on Wednesday and his son Noah had been seeking help...

LAPD vs. NYPD, on TV

Los Angeles and New York both make great settings for police dramas on TV. But why, over the last decade or more, are most of the better ones located in...

Morning Buzz: Monday 7.13.09

A mix of today's news and observations and some from the weekend. Inside after the jump....

Violinist Robert Korda is missing *

Korda, 69 and a veteran of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has not been seen since Wednesday, the day before he was supposed to drive from home in Van Nuys to...

Little piece of Canada in July

Four minute LAO video: Young (mostly 17-20) not-yet-pro players in the Los Angeles Kings system came to L.A. this weekend for the team's summer prospects camp. They worked with the...

John Arthur's LAT exit note

johnarthurexit2.jpg John Arthur left the L.A. Times newsroom Friday, eight days after being told that a masthead reorganization meant his services as executive editor were no longer needed. Staffers, including managing...

Hotel Rosslyn neon, all lit up

downtownwedding2.jpg I can't remember the last time I saw the Hotel Rosslyn roof signs on display over Downtown, but I was pleased to see the northern one of the pair fired...

Mayor is back

Well, he is if his Twitter posts are real. @villaraigosa Good to be back in LA! And good to see @revcarr 's work in action: check out this Summer Night...

Friday desk clearing

Former UCLA chancellor Charles Young filed suit asking the California Supreme Court to invalidate the state's 2/3 vote requirement for raising taxes. Dan Walters More chest-beating and attention-seeking by...

LA Observed on KCRW: Downtown

For the first time in what feels like forever, Michael Jackson isn't mentioned in this week's LA Observed segment airing at 4:44 p.m. on KCRW. The subject this time is...

LA Sketchbook: Freedom of screech

sgEBillboards.jpg I don't know — I'm kind of thinking Steve Greenberg is no fan of the distracting digital billboards popping up around Los Angeles. With the issue due to get hot...

Rev. Lee in hot water over Prop. 8 opposition

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is trying to remove its Los Angeles president, Rev. Eric P. Lee, over his support of gay marriage. It's reopening the rift over African American...

Morning Buzz: Friday 7.10.09

Abbreviated Friday edition... Chief Bratton says he's selling his Los Feliz home to get free of the unused pool and will buy another home in or around Los Angeles. L.A....

Jackson casket moved by LAPD, Channel 7 says

Channel 7 reported tonight that Michael Jackson's casket was removed from Staples Center after Tuesday's memorial while hidden in a SWAT van. Chief Bratton would neither confirm nor deny, saying...

Hitler's music exiles in Southern California

Jonathan Kirsch reviews "A Windfall of Musicians: Hitler's Émigrés and Exiles in Southern California," Dorothy Lamb Crawford's study of the 1930s emigres to Los Angeles such as Igor Stravinsky, Arnold...

'Moneyball' back on

Aaron Sorkin will take over the script, Steven Soderbergh will no longer direct, but Brad Pitt is still attached to star and the movie remains at Sony, says Variety's Marc...

Bratton puts house on the market

Hmm, selling in a down market. Let the speculation begin. The Times' Hot Property column says that LAPD Chief William Bratton and his wife Rikki Klieman are asking 1.875 million...

Times critic Ann Powers moving to Alabama

Her husband Eric Weisbard posts on Facebook that he will be teaching in Tuscaloosa. Powers says in a Facebook note that she will continue to write as L.A. Times pop...

Who killed California's economy?

Joel Kotkin posits five suspects in a new piece at Forbes. It took some amazing incompetence to toss this best-endowed of places down into the dustbin of history. Yet conventional...

Kmiec named ambassador to Malta

Catching up to this via the SoCal Minds blog: Pepperdine law professor Douglas Kmiec, a regular on op-ed pages and elsewhere in the media, was nominated by President Obama to...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 7.9.09

The Getty remains closed today due to that mostly contained fire in Sepulveda Pass, and Sepulveda Boulevard is still closed from Sunset to Mulholland. LAT, KNX Capitol Weekly's Anthony...

Villaraigosa tweeter uncovered

Back in June, when I posted about Mayor Villaraigosa's Twitter updates lagging behind by hours, the account at HTRimalower tweeted the link and a question: "Why is L.A.Observed hating on...

LAPD maps miss 40% of crimes

The L.A. Times says its comparison of LAPD crime stats to the department's online maps that are supposed to show what's going on in neighborhoods found that 40% of serious...

'Spamalot' finally hits L.A.

Spamalotcrop.jpg Wednesday night's opening performance of "Monty Python's Spamalot" at the Ahmanson ended with creator Eric Idle taking the stage (to a standing ovation, though his name was never used) and...

Laura Ling and Euna Lee: 113 days

freelauraeuna.jpg The Los Angeles staffers for Current TV have now been held in North Korea for 113 days. Lisa Ling sends word of a new website — lauraandeuna.com — to galvanize...

Lu Parker likes Africa

Mayor Villaraigosa's posts on Twitter during his Africa trip have all been about Los Angeles — and until further evidence appears I'll assume they have been written by @Matt_Szabo or...

Fire moving away from Getty, Mt. St. Mary's

alcorngettyfire.jpg Smoke is much reduced out here. Jonathan Alcorn shot this photo when the plume was still growing....

Wildfire forcing evacuation of the Getty

1cGettySmoke.jpg The Getty Museum is being evacuated down through Brentwood as a precaution due to a fire burning in brush a ridge or two to the north in Sepulevda Pass. Damn...

LA Biz Journal back online

The Los Angeles Business Journal site went dark on Tuesday and didn't come back until late this morning. No, they weren't mourning Michael Jackson. Editor's note posted today: The Business...

LA Sketchbook: Who pays the MJ bills?

sgMichaelJacksonBills.jpg Steve Greenberg picks up on the local politics of the Michael Jackson event seen 'round the world. Click to view larger; see more cartoons by Greenberg in the LA...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.8.09

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich appeared at the City Council podium to say he is investigating how the city got the tab for the police costs of staffing the Michael...

Ray Watt, developer was 90

The real estate developer who may have had a hand in 100,000 new homes was a condo and strip mall pioneer in Southern California and built office towers in Century...

Leiweke: shame on Zine

AEG chief Tim Leiweke, asked by Mark Coogan on Channel 2/9 to respond to Councilman Dennis Zine's demand that the company cover the public costs of the Jackson memorial, sounded...

Where does MJ go now? *

Eerie media silence regarding the return trip to wherever Michael Jackson goes now, and the continuing buildup of costs for public services. Will freeway closures occur again this afternoon? 1:28...

Jackson memorial ceremony *

Live in Los Angeles on channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 34 and 52 (translated), MSNBC, Fox News Channel, CNN. And on many L.A. radio stations, as well as...

Jackson's funeral procession

A hearse is driving through Forest Lawn and falling into procession formation. Which route to Staples Center? Updates: Left the cemetery at 9:25, east on Forest Lawn Drive. 134 eastbound...

LAPD detective kills herself *

The Times is reporting that the unidentified detective shot herself last night after walking into the Santa Clarita sheriff's station and speaking to a deputy. She placed a box of...

Mayor missing the party

mjad.jpg Wags are cackling that Mayor Villaraigosa is on vacation in Africa and missing the city's biggest media day in years — all those cameras, perhaps a billion people watching L.A....

Motorcade leaving Encino *

Several dozen black limousines (and other vehicles) are starting to move away from the Jackson family home on Hayvenhurst Avenue, presumably headed toward Forest Lawn. They have a police escort,...

Kevin Starr's California

goldendreamscover.jpg In the same issue of The Atlantic where Sandra Tsing Loh finishes off her marriage, the editor's choice book is Kevin Starr's eighth in his series on Golden State history:...

Nomar returns to Fenway Park

Ex-Dodger Nomar Garciaparra took the field today in Boston for the first time since the 2004 trade that broke off one of the great sports love affairs. The Red Sox...

Joe Torre on drugs, the Yankees and Manny

Dodgers manager Joe Torre is on Fox Business Network today talking with David Asman about, of all things, the Yankees he used to manage. Some highlights from FBN: On Roger...

LA Sketchbook: Ringmaster of Calif. Circus

sgringmaster.jpg Who's the ringmaster of the circus in Sacramento? We are, ultimately. Steve Greenberg nails it. See more by Greenberg in the LA Sketchbook archive....

Jackson to be buried in the Valley

The Forest Lawn cemetery wedged between Griffith Park, Burbank and Toluca Lake calls itself FL Hollywood Hills for marketing purposes, but make no mistake: it's in the San Fernando Valley....

Zell may be rid of Cubs

Sam Zell's Tribune Company has a written agreement to sell the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and other assets to the Ricketts family for about $900 million, says the Chicago Tribune....

Good luck downtown on Tuesday

dtmapmj.jpg City Council prez pro tem Jan Perry has released the city's map on street closures designed to keep the ticketless masses far away from the Michael Jackson memorial at Staples...

Morning Buzz: Monday 7.6.09

So to attend the Michael Jackson memorial, you have to be a web user, able to print your instructions, have free time today and the transportation to get to...

On Fox 11's 'deaths in the family'

Channel 11 reporter John Schwada blogs that the recent layoff of 99 staffers cost his newsroom "a lot of good young people, with energy and dreams (fortunately, not all of...

When bin Laden was in L.A.

I skipped right past this Steve Coll piece in last week's New Yorker skimming revelations from a forthcoming book by Osama’s first wife, Najwa Bin Laden, and his son. Coll...

'Ungovernable' California

Today's New York Times Magazine devoted more than 8,000 words to the question: "Who can possibly govern California?" Reporter Mark Leibovich gets at his inquiry through Gavin Newsom, the other...

LAT cuts back weather map, comics

In a move to save space, the Los Angeles Times weather page dropped 43 international cities, 16 U.S. cities and four California locales — Blythe, Mt. Wilson, Rialto and Santa...

Little Tujunga brush fire *

lvtfire7509.jpg Lori Jablons sends this photo of a brush fire burning this afternoon in the hills behind her Lake View Terrace neighborhood. "You can see the flames within the smoke, and...

Latest on Michael Jackson plans

They're talking now about a private family funeral at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, with no motorcade through the city. Cops will have their hands full with Tuesday's Staples Center memorial,...

Where Farrah Fawcett is buried

From the Adventures in Grave Hunting blog: While the world's media focused on speculation about where Michael Jackson would be buried, lovely Farrah Fawcett was quietly laid to rest two...

Manny talks, walks

Manny Ramirez rejoined the Dodgers tonight in San Diego, was greeted with a loud mix of boos and cheers when he came up in the first inning, and drew a...

Villaraigosa off to Africa

Did Lu Parker go along, as she implied she would in that first public glimpsing of the couple at Chevalier's bookstore a month ago? Mayoral spokesman Matt Szabo isn't saying....

Steve Brennan, Hollywood Reporter editor

Cynthia Littleton at Variety reports that Brennan, a longtime reporter and editor for The Hollywood Reporter, died today at Cedars-Sinai after a yearlong struggle with cancer. "He was my friend,...

Eater LA apologizes

Eater LA, through a post signed by Curbed creator Lockhart Steele, says its post earlier this week leveling blind charges at downtown wine bar The Must "didn't rise to our...

Inside the Las Virgenes landfill

lasvirgeneslandfill.jpg Veronique de Turenne drops off a load, posts some pictures at Here in Malibu: "Kind of freaks me out, but it's also fascinating, this other world where tons of junk...

Pre-holiday putsch at L.A.Times *

Newsroom groups are being informed right now that John Arthur is out as Los Angeles Times executive editor — that's number two on the paper's masthead. Sports editor Randy Harvey...

Holiday observed

LA Observed will begin observing the first holiday weekend of summer by switching early to infrequent posting mode. Enjoy the weekend!...

Remembering Manson

mansondouble.jpg In this issue of Los Angeles Magazine and on the website, Steve Oney revisits the summer of 1969 when Hollywood figures, and then much of the city, were terrified by...

LA Sketchbook: Pico Rivera

sgPicoRivera.jpg Steve Greenberg is traveling this week to the annual convention of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. While he's gone, we'll post some previously unpublished work. This one was...

Antonio's security detail: $450,000 a year

An elected San Francisco supervisor has been agitating up there for details on the cost of Mayor Gavin Newsom's security detail, without much luck. Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, however, easily tracked...

Hymon working in City Hall again

Steve Hymon, who covered the City Hall beat (and later transportation as the Bottleneck blogger) for the Los Angeles Times, is back again, at least virtually. This time, he's doing...

Ex-candidate looking for a job

Emanuel Pleitez is the 26-year-old who may have played a bit of a spoiler role in the 32nd congressional district by taking votes from Gil Cedillo in the Democratic primary...

American Apparel in trouble with ICE

Dov Charney's L.A. firm today was "fingered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for employing some 1,600 workers at its Los Angeles factories whose eligibility documentation is 'suspect and not...

Top 10 July 4 mistakes

Actually, the tongue-in-cheek list at LatinoLA is titled Top 10 Mistakes You Made Last July 4, But Not This One. Favorites: 3. A Congresswoman was still asleep on the sofa...

Read Michael Jackson's will

TMZ has posted the PDF. Plus: We may not know when or where [or if?] Jackson will be buried, but it won't be at Neverland. L.A. Now...

Lu Parker attends Villaraigosa's ceremony

luparkeratceremony.jpg Channel 5 reporter Eric Spillman posted the photo on Twitter of his KTLA colleague, the mayor's girlfriend, in the invited crowd at Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's pre-swearing-in church gathering this morning....

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.1.09

Homies Unidos director Alex Sanchez was denied bail even though former Senator Tom Hayden offered his home as security and support at the hearing included a deputy to City...

Now they put Chick on the cover *

governing709.jpg One day before she would have left elective office, Governing magazine features former Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick on its July cover. She stepped down early, of course, to...
Ficus vs sidewalk
sidewalk-eaten-by-tree.jpgThis ficus has definitely won on Ben Lomond Place in Los Feliz. Bigger inside
Teammates
blue-jackets-foligno.jpgMembers of the Columbus Blue Jackets wait for teammate Nick Foligno to be placed on a stretcher at Staples Center. He was OK after the game, won 5-2 by the Kings.
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
Struckus House
struckus-house-door-kr.jpgSwiveling front door at the Al Struckus House in Woodland Hills. More photos