LA Observed archive
for September 2009

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

USC hit-and-run victim's alcohol level

When USC freshman Adrianna Bachan was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver at 3 a.m. last spring, the 18-year-old had a high level of alcohol in her system, according...

Asst. DA says he lied in Polanski film

This could change some of the legal maneuvering in the Roman Polanski case. Retired prosecutor David Wells says now that he lied when he talks in the 2008 documentary, "Roman...

Times, WashPost go their own ways

"One of the oldest corporate marriages in the newspaper business ended in divorce Wednesday," Howard Kurtz reports in the Washington Post. He means the joint wire service of the Post...

Old DreamWorks team behind Jerry Brown

DreamWorks founders Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, as expected, are co-hosting a fundraiser for Jerry Brown on Nov. 18. "This will be a big launching pad for his...

Kremlin's woman in Hollywood

mukasei.jpg Elizaveta Mukasei was posted to Los Angeles as a spy for the Soviet Union from 1939 to 1943, according to an interesting Wall Street Journal remembrance today. Mukasei, who died...

LAT moves an editor to web

Lisa Fung, the Los Angeles Times editor who runs arts and culture coverage in the Calendar section, has been an active blogger for the paper's Culture Monster blog. Now she's...

Couple of new local blogs

inventinglacover.jpg There are two new blogs by L.A. journalists that I've started following. L.A. Explored is by journalist and fellow Angel City Press author Amy Dawes, who posts, "I live in...

Another local media bypass effort

In my post this morning on Jim Rainey's Times column about the local media crossover efforts we've been following, I forgot to mention one that Rainey left out. That is...

Daily News says Free the sprinklers

Today's Daily News editorial endorses Valley city councilmember Greig Smith's flouting of the city's water law by irrigating his lawn three times a week instead of two. In a city...

Looking at media bypass journalism

The LAT's media ponderer, James Rainey, catches up with and gives the once-over to three recently reported cases of a newsmaker hiring a journalist to deliver its news directly to...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 9.30.09

Schwarzenegger's new tax plan, Meg Whitman's Sonny Bono defense, American Apparel's firings and more after the jump. Get Mark Lacter's morning headlines over at LA Biz Observed, and you can...

NBC 4 intrigued...and thrilled..and sad

One feature, so to speak, of the new KNBC website lets readers vote on what emotion they feel about news stories. Just so you know, on the tsunami news out...

Dozens dead in Samoas from tsunamis *

samoatsunamiap.jpg A series of waves out of the Pacific crashed into Samoa and American Samoa, apparently killing at least dozens and wiping out some villages, but media in the region are...

In Los Angeles this month

lamag0ct09.jpg Los Angeles Magazine kicks off a new Hollywood sociology column, Cut!, in the October issue. New contributing writer Gina Piccalo writes the first one, talking to spouses and partners about...

Beaches to be cleared by 9 p.m. for tsunami

Lifeguards in Los Angeles County plan to clear the sand and harbors will make ready for some sort of swell generated by the earthquake this morning in American Samoa. It's...

Graffiti law: say what?

Instead of taking steps to reduce graffiti, the City Council voted unanimously today to require new mansions behind gates in the hills of Encino be covered in graffiti-resistant surfaces. Actually,...

LA Sketchbook: Whitman's sampler

sgWhitman.jpg Republican candidate for governor Meg Whitman didn't vote until she was 46. Her spinners want to make it into a plus, but Steve Greenberg isn't buying. LA Sketchbook archive...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 9.29.09

Polanski's role in his own arrest, more outrage on Kittridge Street, and water mains go national. Those topics and more below the jump. Also catch Mark Lacter's morning headlines at...

Billboard law gets judge's OK for now

In a tentative ruling, U.S. District Judge Audrey B. Collins denied a move by Liberty Media to invalidate the city's blockage of 16 supergraphics the company wants to post around...

Tale of two playoff teams

One playoff-bound team, the Yankees, swept three from the Boston Red Sox this weekend to clinch the toughest division in baseball. The Dodgers, meanwhile, lost three of four to the...

L.A. Times names new online editor

The new managing editor for online at the Los Angeles Times is Sean Gallagher, who has been a managing editor at the paper's website. Gallagher, who succeeds Meredith Artley, will...

LA Sketchbook: Just believe in NFL

sgRoski.jpg Just in time for football season. See more of LA Sketchbook by editorial cartoonist Steve Greenberg in the archive....

Morning Buzz: Monday 9.28.09

More on Polanski and a new water main break after the jump. Also see Mark Lacter's morning headlines at LA Biz Observed, and follow Mark and Kevin on Twitter....

Did Miguel Contreras defraud voter group?

The LA Weekly says a federal prosecutor alleged in court documents that Miguel Contreras, the labor leader who died just before the 2005 city elections, conceived a scheme to defraud...

Metrolink's death toll: 244

An L.A. Times investigation found that Metrolink trains have killed 244 people in 15 years, and that unsafe conditions have been allowed to continue at some intersections and rail crossings....

Swed: Let's keep our Dudamel cool

Thumbnail image for dudamel_gustavo_175x175.jpg On the Lufthansa leg of my flight back from Germany this month, I caught the marvelous documentary Tocar y Luchar, about the Venezuelan music education system that produced Gustavo Dudamel....

USC Annenberg hiring 'senior writers'

The new California HealthCare Foundation Center for Health Reporting at USC Annenberg has an ad running for three senior writers — "three experienced, accomplished, self-starting journalists to report about the...

William Safire, columnist was 79

safirenytreuters.jpg The New York Times columnist of three decades died today of pancreatic cancer at a hospice. Safire had been a speech writer for President Richard Nixon and an influential conservative...

AP's chatter on Polanski makes web

polanskigrab.jpg This is kind of amusing. Yahoo's pick-up from Associated Press on the Roman Polanski arrest in Switzerland seemed for awhile this morning to include some not-for-public-consumption, reporter-editor go-between. "no surprise,...

Polanski arrested after DA issues warrant

Director Roman Polanski was arrested on Saturday as he arrived at the Zurich airport to receive an award at the Zurich Film Festival. Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley's office...

Bob Long's last day

Long checked out Friday as news director and VP at KNBC Channel 4. He's headed to Istanbul to teach a class in journalism ethics at Bahcesehir University. Long had previously...

Conan injured, show called off

Conan O'Brien took a bump to the head while performing a skit on tonight's show and was taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He's doing fine — NBC released...

On assignment

I'll be out of the loop most of the day. My LAObserved on KCRW segment this afternoon (4:44 p.m. on 89.9 FM or on the web) touches on those water...

Susan Atkins dies in prison

susanatkinslapd.jpg Atkins, 61, becomes the first of the Charles Manson followers on life sentences to die while in California prisons. She died Thursday night as the longest-serving female inmate in the...

MTA buys into AnsaldoBreda deal

Mayor Villaraigosa and the unions got their way — the Italian rail car builder with the spotty record will now be the provider of choice for L.A.'s transit future. The...

Neon Museum makes it official

The Museum of Neon Art is leaving Downtown for Glendale's Brand Boulevard. Earlier post here and new L.A. Times story....

Toni Sciacqua named editor of Daily Breeze

The managing editor moves up to the top job. From the story in the Daily Breeze: Sciacqua, 37, fills a position left vacant after former editor and interim publisher Phillip...

Audrey Tautou turns the tables

tatouaschanel.jpg At the end of her interview with the LA Weekly's Gendy Alimurung, French actress Audrey Tautou asked if she could snap the writer's picture. Does it with all the journalists...

Brackpool gets a gig

Gov. Schwarzenegger today named Keith Brackpool to the state horse racing board. Brackpool is the friend-of-Antonio and water speculator who employed Mayor Villaraigosa as a consultant when he was between...

Water scofflaw

City Councilman Greig Smith defies the city's rules on use of sprinklers at his home, and insists he saves water by doing so....

UC protests expected today

With fall quarter classes starting today, protests over budget cuts and employee furloughs are expected at many University of California campuses, including at UCLA. LAT...

Vaccine seems to prevent some AIDS

The AP reports out of Thailand that "For the first time, an experimental vaccine has prevented infection with the AIDS virus, a watershed event in the deadly epidemic and a...

Times admits Westwood crypt 'sale' bogus

The L.A. Times led the way in breathlessly reporting a few weeks ago that the crypt above Marilyn Monroe in Westwood had "sold on eBay" for a startling $4.5 million....

Joe Francis cops a plea

Joe Francis, the legally challenged "Girls Gone Wild" impresario, accepted a plea offer from the feds today to avoid more jail time over back taxes. From his statement, via flack:...

MONA looking to Glendale

The Museum of Neon Art is thinking seriously about moving from Downtown — and Los Angeles — to the city of Glendale. "MONA needs a permanent location to display these...

CBS' Cami McCormick to lose foot *

Some Dodgers visited Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington today. They met CBS Radio reporter Cami McCormick, who said she was going to have a foot amputated tomorrow. She was...

Kings hire their top blogger *

Sports teams everywhere are trying to figure out a way around the declining volume and quality of the free media they have long enjoyed. The Los Angeles Kings are adapting...

McIntyre in the morning no more

Longtime local radio talker Doug McIntyre is leaving the morning slot at KABC 790 after tomorrow. Peter Tilden will take over for now. Orange County Register radio columnist Gary Lycan...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 9.23.09

That testimony about Cardinal Mahony, more statewide candidates, Chief Bratton's house and more after the jump. Also see today's Mark Lacter morning headlines at LA Biz Observed, and follow Mark...

Krekorian v. Essel

Not much surprise in the 2nd City Council district: Assemblyman Paul Krekorian (34%) will face Christine Essel (28%) in the December runoff. Only 14,525 people voted, a bit more than...

Memorial to LAPD officers arrives

lapdmemorialtruck.jpg Gary Leonard read about the approaching truck on LA Observed and headed out to take pictures of the arrival for the Downtown News. The truck from Kansas City rolled through...

Mayor helps out Corzine

corzineinvite.jpg Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is billed as the special guest at a fundraiser reception next Tuesday for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine at the Beverly Hills home of Rhea Perlman and...

Community journalism play expands to L.A.

David Cohn's Spot.us, which raises money from website readers to finance longer-form journalism, is opening in Los Angeles in association with USC Annenberg. He's looking for a managing editor. The...

Name that celebrity

angelamerkel.jpg Fox 11 reporter John Schwada used to be a print guy, and recently spent two weeks on a reporting fellowship in Germany. So I guess he feels comfortable exposing the...

Higher L.A. mathematics

An LA Observed reader driving north on the 110, somewhere below the Santa Monica Freeway, emails that the Caltrans info sign that predicts travel times was for once indisputably accurate:...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 9.22.09

In the morning news: a couple of local genius grant winners, a big gang raid, voting in the Valley and a bunch more notes. Also see Mark Lacter morning headlines...

Around LA Observed

In case you missed them: Bill Boyarsky spent a delightful evening with Norman Corwin, the 99-year-old "Los Angeles literary treasure," at the Barnes & Noble in Westside Pavilion. Visiting blogger...

LAPD memorial arrives Tuesday

Motor officers plan to meet the truck from Kansas City when it reaches Rosemead Boulevard on I-10 at 10:30 on Tuesday. The bikes will escort the truck to a mounting...

Lisker won't be retried

Prosecutors still insist that Bruce Lisker probably killed his mother, but the DA's office says a new trial is problematic given the passage of time. Lisker's conviction was overturned by...

LAPD memorial headed our way

lapdmemorial.JPG On Friday in Kansas City, a memorial to fallen Los Angeles police officers was loaded onto a trailer for the trip west. Kansas City Police officers escorted the truck to...

Channel 36 in jeopardy again

The city's grant to keep Channel 36 on local television was negotiated back into the City Hall budget a few months ago, but now apparently the whole operating budget —...

Morning Buzz: Monday 9.21.09

More water main breaks, Dick Cook's bad day, John Edwards' bad decision and more in Morning Buzz, tucked below the fold. Don't forget to check out Mark Lacter at LA...

Kevin Starr's Valley

kevin-starr-california-gold.jpg Historian Kevin Starr's latest thick work on California, "Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance, 1950-1963," devotes much attention to the San Fernando Valley, which swelled during the time...

Another media hockey blog

talkingducksbanner.jpg Steve Hymon isn't the only recent media type who has taken up blogging about ice hockey. Talking Ducks: A Ladies Hockey Salon is by Orange Coast Magazine managing editor Rose...

Local author makes good

williesboyscover.jpg John Klima, the writer behind the website Baseball Beginnings, has written "Willie's Boys: The 1948 Birmingham Black Barons, The Last Negro League World Series, and the Making of a Baseball...

Celebrating Julius Shulman

juliusshulmanbw.jpg Colleagues, family and admirers of Julius Shulman gathered at Getty Center this afternoon to remember and applaud "truly one of the great photographers of the 20th century," in the words...

Friday desk-clearing

The City Council voted unanimously to offer early retirement to 2,400 employees in lieu of layoffs and furloughs. LAT, Ron Kaye Producer John Wells was elected president of the...

KCRW's ratings quandary

James Rainey's media column in today's L..A. Times explores the question of KCRW's recent big drop in the Arbitron ratings. After the service switched from listener diaries to meters that...

Puck boy

Steve Hymon, the former transportation and City Hall reporter for the Los Angeles Times, has a blog devoted to his crusade — as a 43-year-old novice — to learn to...

Morning Buzz: Friday 9.18.09

I'm still catching up (with email and sleep), so just a quick run through this morning with some news and items from the past few days. Tucked after the jump....

LA Sketchbook: Couple of guys

sgClinton Newsom.jpg I guess Steve Greenberg isn't too impessed by the Clinton-Newsom alliance. See more of Greenberg's cartoons for LA Observed in the LA Sketchbook archive....

More Time Warner Cable out(r)age

Dodgers' post-game show host Ken Levine lets the city's least favorite cable provider have it with both blog barrels after a late-night phone exchange with the, so to speak, help...

Starting back up

A big hand to Mark and Veronique for stepping in with substance, style and good cheer over the past week.... Nothing says being back like slogging through email, phone messages,...

Visiting blogger objects to LAT ads

Murray Fromson, the longtime CBS News correspondent who holds emeritus professor status at USC Annenberg, has good things to say about the Los Angeles Times these days. He just doesn't...

Villaraigosa's new safety deputy

Federal prosecutor Eileen Decker, chief of the national security section in the local U.S. Attorney's office, is joining the Villaraigosa administration as deputy mayor for homeland security and public safety....

Change at LAT opinion pages

Jim Newton relinquishes the top spot to go ahead and write his book on Dwight Eisenhower. He'll serve as an editor-at-large. Nick Goldberg ascends from deputy to be editor of...

Help clean up our coast

Saturday is Coastal Clean-up Day, the 14th annual, if anyone's counting. Heal the Bay and the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors are taking the lead in our...

Good morning 9.17.09

It's Thursday and Kevin's returning today so here are just a few tidbits to get things started: They might not be able to say yea or nay on that early...

Janice Hahn eyes statewide office

Looks like Janice Hahn, who has served on the LA City Council for the last eight years, has set her sights on Sacramento again. From Phil Willon at the LAT:...

ACLU settles on facility

Here’s a story that's gotten too little attention. Federal officials had been accused of keeping suspected illegal immigrants in "barbaric" conditions in a downtown detention center. From AP: The federal...

Jewish Federation's new head

TV producer Jay Sanderson succeeds John Fishel, who served 17 years as the Federation president and is leaving at the end of the year. A search committee picked Sanderson over...

Wile E. Coyote

A coyote nabbed Jessica Simpson's dog:And her fans are rallying:Well, maybe not all of them:...

Progress is in the eyes of the beholder

It took seven long hours but the LA City Council managed to find consensus on that controversial union worker retirement plan. The decision? To decide later. David Zahniser and Maeve...

Good morning 9.16.09

It's Wednesday and what? No new outbursts to report? Emotional ones, no. But two more water mains burst in the San Fernando Valley overnight. And what do water officials have...

Clinton supports Newsom

It's pretty unusual to see a former president make an endorsement for governor so early in the campaign - and there will be those who see Clinton’s decision to side...

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Make that apples in this case, as the offspring of two local writers make publishing deals. First, 19-year-old Emmett Rensin, son of LAO's own David Rensin, has made profitable use...

Michael Moore's big mouth

That would be the filmmaker Michael Moore, who can't seem to stop blathering about subjects he doesn't seem to know much about. At a news conference in Toronto, he accused...

Good morning 9.15.09

It's a newsy Tuesday in which leakers assure us Barack Obama called Kanye West a "jackass" and George W. Bush referenced Hillary Clinton's fat ass. Ahhh, the joys of civil...

D.J. Waldie retires (Is that even legal?)

Brace yourselves for a shock -- D.J. Waldie, whose lyrical writings about his hometown have earned him awards, honors and the title 'the bard of Lakewood', is stepping down from...

Patrick Swayze dies

The star of "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost" had been battling pancreatic cancer. He was 57. (AP)...

Ummm, never mind...

Remember that early retirement plan Antonio Villaraigosa helped craft with labor unions earlier this year? Seems it's looking a bit iffy. Here are David Zahniser (Hi Dave!) and Maeve Reston,...

Sweet dreams...

If this Getty Images shot (via the NYT) doesn't give you nightmares tonight, I don't know what will....

Williams apologizes

What's really pathetic about her updated statement is that there will be folks out there who believe she means it this time. "I want to amend my press statement of...

LA Sketchbook: Civil discourse

qqxsgCivil Discourse.jpg Not that "politics" and "civility" always go together, but the noise level of political discourse has become deafening as of late....

Good morning 9.14.09

It's Monday (sorry) and the Station Fire continues to burn. Three weeks, $90 million and 160,000 acres later, with full containment in sight, news reports turn to living conditions at...

The mouse that soared *

As Discovery astronauts readjusted to earth's gravity, scientists at JPL in La Canada Flintridge (yes, despite Pasadena datelines, the research facility isn't actually there) levitated some unhappy mice. From Reuters:...

Danny Pang dies

Pang is the Newport Beach financier accused by federal regulators of a massive fraud in which millions of dollars were re-directed for his personal use. He had been taken from...

Catching up...

Moving on up: Villaraigosa press secretary Matt Szabo becomes deputy chief of staff. One of his first priorities will be to tackle the city's worsening financial situation. (LAT) Warhol art...

Boom!

In case you haven't heard, that explosive boom that rattled windows and more than a few nerves yesterday afternoon was Discovery, the space shuttle, landing at Edwards Air Force Base....

Delay in Expo line

Phase 1, going from downtown to Culver City, was supposed to be finished in 2010, but now they're talking about only a partial opening. Spokesperson Gabriela G. Collins tells Curbed...

Gelbart explains the craft

Here's an extended excerpt from a series of interviews he did in 1998 for the Archive of American Television. He talks about working with Bob Hope, Carl Reiner, Sid...

Larry Gelbart dies

One of the greatest comedy writers - ever. He's probably best known for the TV series "MASH," but there also was "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the...

Worries near SM Airport

Talk about a story that's going nowhere fast (the above video is from 2007 and not much has happened since). As the FAA and the city of Santa Monica...

Oldest person dies in L.A.

Gertrude Baines was 115, the world's oldest person. She died in her sleep at Western Convalescent Hospital. Baines was a native of Shellman, Ga., and her father was believed to...

Cops tagged in Rihanna leak

Two LAPD officers have been placed on paid leave as investigators figure out how a photo showing the singer's battered face wound up on TMZ. Both cops have been “assigned...

Good morning 9.11.09

It's the 8-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and while the memorial at Ground Zero remains mired in money woes and petty (are there any other kind?) politics,...

Banking on Malibu Colony

It's bad enough when a Malibu couple gets creamed by Bernie's outrageousness. It's even worse when the couple has to give up its Malibu Colony home to Wells Fargo. But...

RIP: William Trombley

The long-time education writer at the LAT was 80. From the Times obit: At The Times, where he was a reporter for nearly 30 years starting in 1964, Trombley was...

CA Watch readies story

California Watch, the new investigative reporting operation, will be coming out with its first piece tomorrow - an examination of waste and mismanagement in local homeland security grant spending across...

Duvall gets a spanking

No surprise that the sordid tale of now-former OC assemblyman Michael Duvall has gone viral. Just a few minutes ago, a google search brought back thousands of hits. We've got...

Duvall denies affair

The now-former OC assemblyman says on his Web site that the decision to resign was based on his "inappropriate story-telling" and should not be viewed as an admission that he...

Lu Parker switches jobs

Mayor Villaraigosa's gal pal (at least the last we checked) is now a field reporter for KTLA, moving from the weekend anchor/general assignment slot. KTLA News Director Jason Ball tells...

Good morning 9.10.09

It's Thursday -- just one more day to the weekend. (Why is it that short weeks always seem longer?) In case you missed Mark's posts about the brouhaha yesterday, Assemblyman...

Anything goes in Sacto

That's the obvious takeaway after Wednesday's resignation of OC Assemblyman Michael Duvall, who inadvertently boasted of his sexual conquests over an open microphone. From the LAT: As TV camera crews...

Sports columnist apologizes

Response to Mark Whicker's tasteless sports column in the OC Register has been so brutal that he was forced to make a public apology on the newspaper's Web site The...

Public option? Yes. No.

Prez appears to be allowing for lots of wiggle room on whether the health care package should provide some sort of public-insurance program, the most controversial (and some would argue...

LA Sketchbook: Drip

Duvall resigns

According to his statement on his Web site, the OC assemblyman says "I have come to the conclusion that it would not be fair to my family, my constituents or...

Lindsay Lohan as what?

She's been named artistic director (whatever that means) of the French fashion house Emanuel Ungaro. LAT's Booth Moore manages to keep a straight face - sort of. It's a puzzling...

SM Pier turns 100

Lots of festivities on tap, including musical performances and a big fireworks show tonight in Santa Monica Bay. It's likely to be a mob scene later on, so city officials...

*Sex and spankings

In case you haven't heard (and the whole world will have heard in another few hours), Assemblyman Michael Duvall has a big mouth when it comes to his sexual trysts....

Skittish school start

District officials begin the year $140 million in the hole - and that's after $869 million in cost-cutting measures. Already, students can expect crowded classrooms, fewer teachers and limited services....

Desk-clearing items

Thanks to United I have some extra time to kill at LAX. And also later at SFO. Some stuff I didn't get to yesterday: Style Section L.A. is a new...

Fire scar in San Gabriel Mountains

stationfirescar.jpg This is pretty dramatic. Photo from NASA Earth Observatory, hat tip to Emily Green of Chance of Rain. Click it to see full sized....

Late summer hiatus

August was a heck of a month around here for news and visitor traffic -- the highest of the year so far. One way of looking at that is it's...

Army Archerd, Hollywood legend was 87

archerdobit.jpg Army Archerd was a Variety columnist for 52 years, a fixture on the red carpet and at Hollywood parties — and he liked to say that his style made him...

Here's the 'Politics of Culture' link

OK I'm biased, but I thought we had a fun 30 minutes with authors Richard Rayner and John Buntin talking about Los Angeles' dark and storied past. Here's the audio...

Bay Bridge opens early

An update to the Morning Buzz: the Bay Bridge between Oakland and San Francisco re-opened at 6:30 this morning after emergency repairs went quicker than expected. Also: As Witness LA...

Preemptive strike in CD 12

Mitch Englander, the chief of staff to City Council member Greig Smith and a longtime City Hall figure, has landed the first press release of the next race for City...

Corruption like you wouldn't believe

I thoroughly enjoyed reading two recent books on the colorful history of Los Angeles politics, mobsters and City Hall corruption. This afternoon I get to host a discussion on KCRW's...

Lady of the L.A. house

kelly-wearstler.jpg This week's New Yorker proclaims Kelly Wearstler the “presiding grande dame of West Coast interior design." In the Letter from Los Angeles, Dana Goodyear says that "Wearstler represents the uninhibited...

LA Sketchbook: Mt. Wilson

sgMountWilson-Fire.jpg See more by Steve Greenberg in the LA Sketchbook archive....

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 9.8.09

Talk about Bratton and Villaraigosa leads today's news and notes, and be happy you aren't commuting in the Bay Area today. Also see today's Mark Lacter morning headlines at LA...

Studio City still sinking

While city crews try to repair that giant hole where a water trunk line failed on Coldwater Canyon Avenue over the weekend, another water main break has claimed a fire...

L.A. Pyrocumulus

tjpyrocumulus.jpg Times Op-Ed columnist Gregory Rodriguez, who is the man behind Zócalo, ponders today what it means that so many Angelenos were torn between horror and awe by the Station Fire's...

Open plea to Rupert Murdoch re: KTTV

Mark Sudock, a senior editor at Fox 11, is chagrined enough at the station's deep layoffs to send me an open letter asking Fox owner Rupert Murdoch to intervene. The...

View from Case Study House #22

casestudy22b.jpg I visited a Los Angeles icon yesterday for the first time. Before we got there I told friends I half-expected to be disappointed. Boy, was I not disappointed. As soon...

Westlake District featured

westlakeparkboat.jpg The new episode of Vista LA that airs Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on Channel 7 focuses on recent improvements to MacArthur Park — led by the Levitt Pavilion — and...

Gratitude for saving Mt. Wilson

Firefighters from Tuolumne and Calaveras counties knew well the history and scientific treasure that was at stake when the Station Fire threatened the Mount Wilson Observatory. They made it their...

Advice for the fire zone

Residents who lost their homes in last year's fire at the Oakridge mobile home park in Sylmar urged patience for the latest crop of rebuilders on KPCC's Off-Ramp. Also on...

Council punts on golf carts

Withering under an assault by high-powered lobbyists, the City Council decided Friday not to award a new contract to run the golf carts at city courses. Instead, the current contractor...

KTLA anchors 'meet' on tape

KTLA senior producer Erik Candiani swears that in the following promo, new Channel 5 anchors Micah Ohlman and Victoria Recaño really do meet for the first time. Watch them get...

LAT loses Artley

Exactly an hour after praising his staff's fire coverage online and off, Los Angeles Times editor Russ Stanton sent a memo announcing the departure of managing editor for online Meredith...

Times fire kudos

While local television has been skimping on fire coverage, the L.A. Times has been going all out. I'm planning to give props in my KCRW segment today (4:44 p.m. at...

What are the odds

A doctor jaywalking across Sepulveda Boulevard near LAX was struck and killed Wednesday night by a passing car. The car was driven by another doctor, who stopped to render aid....

Inside the new LAPD building

lapdhqtour.jpg A media group was escorted Thursday through the new Los Angeles Police Department headquarters across Spring Street from the L.A. Times building. The new HQ, as yet unnamed, opens in...

Firefighters hold moment of silence

fftribute9409.jpg At the morning shift change at the Hansen Dam command post, more than 1,000 firefighters paused to remember Capt. Tedmund Hall and Arnaldo Quinones, the County Fire veterans who died...

Boyarsky gets email

Departing Villaraigosa chief of staff Robin Kramer and publisher-education adviser David Abel both sent Bill Boyarsky emails about his LA Observed post on the mayor and charter schools. Bill talks...

Woman vs. Fritz Coleman *

fritzcolemanrectangle.JPG Weird story. Melanie Patton Renfrew, a geography professor at Harbor College, has pleaded no contest to violating a judge's order to stop harassing KNBC weather caster Fritz Coleman. That, as...

Jaycee's story

Register reporter Greg Hardesty got through to the aunt of kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard and gets a bunch of exclusive details about the family reunion after 18 years....

KFWB looking at Roger Hedgecock

The new, less-useful KFWB that debuts Sept. 8 as "News Talk 980" will start with an 18-hour marathon of Dr. Laura — most of that reruns.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 9.3.09

Ted Kennedy's letter about Sirhan — plus more politics, fires and books — in the news and notes hidden below the jump. Also see Mark Lacter's morning headlines at LA...

Mercury to get $9 million high-speed rail deal

California's high speed rail commission is set to award a big PR contract tomorrow to Mercury Public Affairs, the firm run by Gov. Schwarzenegger's top political advisor and his former...

Jackson estate to pay for funeral II

Costs of this Thursday's Michael Jackson funeral and interment at Forest Lawn Glendale — the second Forest Lawn to have handled his body — will be paid by the singer's...

Slate vs. rap legend

Los Angeles lawyer and journalist Ben Sheffner, who used to represent some Warner Music arms, pens a piece at Slate today that destroys an earlier New York Daily News story...

Introducing Scott and Phillips

atthemovieshosts.jpg The newest iteration of "At The Movies" debuts this weekend with A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips installed as hosts — they both filled in a lot for Roger Ebert when...

Chronicler of cool

sternsinatrajfk.jpg Los Angeles photographer Phil Stern turns 90 tomorrow. That's his photo of Frank Sinatra lighting JFK's smoke. Vanity Fair celebrates the big day with an online piece by David Friend:...

New Yorker on L.A. burning

Staff writer Susan Orlean has been in Los Angeles some of the summer and offers a blog entry on The New Yorker website about the week of fires. Excerpt: All...

Proud dads at City Hall

Those entrepreneurs behind the Flying Pigeon bicycle shop in Highland Park featured in yesterday's L.A. Times are the sons of Saeed Ali, chief of staff to Councilmember Richard Alarcon. (Meanwhile,...

LA Sketchbook: Angeles Ashional Forest

sgAngelesFire.jpg See more LA Sketchbook by Steve Greenberg in his archive. Click on the cartoon to view it larger....

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 9.2.09

Improving fire conditions and a familiar name appointed to the Board of Public Works lead this morning's news and notes. Also see Mark Lacter's morning headlines at LA Biz Observed,...

Susan Atkins parole hearing today

The former Charles Manson follower who murdered actress Sharon Tate in Benedict Canyon 40 years ago is reportedly dying of brain cancer and 85% paralyzed. Supporters want her to be...

Ling & Lee make statement

Thumbnail image for freelauraeunacrop.jpg "We tried with all our might to cling to bushes, ground, anything that would keep us on Chinese soil, but we were no match for the determined soldiers," Laura Ling...

Look who declined to help on L.A. fires *

The San Francisco Fire Department refused a state request to send a strike team south to join the thousands of firefighters — many from out of state — on the...

Jobs for journalists

Variety is advertising for an editor of the daily paper and for an online editor to run the website. Also, USC Annenberg is helping to recruit a project manager "as...

The real 'Inglourious Basterds'

shoshanna.jpg Kim Masters, host of The Business on KCRW, talks about her father's part in a secret unit that killed Nazis on today's Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio....

Anschutz adds another media arm

Billionaire Phil Anschutz's Examiner.com is acquiring the citizen journalism site NowPublic for about $25 million, according to paidcontent. Remember, back in June Forbes said that L.A.'s most publicly elusive major...

Official fire info

Here's the latest page from the U.S. Forest Service command post, with evacuations and other data. The Station Fire stands at 121,762 acres....

Has Bratton changed LAPD culture?

That is the question explored by journalist John Buntin in a new piece for Governing magazine. Buntin comes at the subject with extensive background: he's the author of a new...

Ken Levine doesn't like Denver

Dodgers post-game broadcaster Ken Levine didn't enjoy this last road trip to Denver, it would appear. From his blog: Stayed at the Ritz-Carlton hotel downtown (or, as they call it...

Blogger turns tables on paper

Fishbowl LA's Tina Dupuy takes to YouTube to demand $75 she feels owed by the Tampa Tribune, which ran a funny piece she sent in....

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 9.1.09

Squawking about TV's fire coverage leads the news and notes hidden after the jump. Also see today's Mark Lacter morning headlines at LA Biz Observed, and follow Mark and Kevin...
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