LA Observed archive
for January 2010

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

Inglewood's Fox Theatre 'a time capsule from 1949'

fox-auction-sign.jpg The Inglewood Fox, closed since the 1980s, is up for sale with bids due on Friday.

Oakie estate in Northridge acquired by city

oakie-house-dn.jpg The city has paid $3.35 million for ten acres and the home designed by Paul R. Williams for actress Barbara Stanwyck, a vestige of the Valleywood horse-ranching heyday.

Friday desk-clearing

News and notes for the end of the week.

Huell Howser goes inside the In-N-Out empire

huell-howser-burger.jpg Howser's 'California Gold' ets exclusive access to the Baldwin Park headquarters of In-N-Out and camera access to one of the chain's stores, both billed as firsts by KCET.

Body painting goes back to its roots: naked bodies

naked-people-chic-leak.jpg Chic Leak blog came back from last night's launch of a line of acrylic body paints with nice photos of naked bodies and a classic PR quote.

LA Sketchbook: Newspaper merger talk


Gold Line vs. car in South Pasadena *

A car got in the way of a northbound Gold Line train about 1 p.m. at the Glenarm crossing north of Mission Station. At least one person is injured.

W Hotel opens in Hollywood

w-hollywood-curbed.jpg The first reviews of how it fits in the cityscape are mixed.

ESPN/LA hires have domino effect in local market

When ESPN staffed up its local operation in Los Angeles, it hired several staffers from the Daily News and Los Angeles Times. The result has been some promotions and hiring at those papers.

Fake violation signs posted on Fuel billboards

fuel-billboards-laist.jpg Fuel's billboards around town may be illegal, but the city of Los Angeles isn't the one posting violation notices on them.

Pasadena Playhouse to close

pasadena-playhouse-flickr.jpg Founded in 1917, the playhouse designated the state theater of California is out of money and will close Feb. 7 after the final performance of its current production of "Camelot."

Most generic news report ever, or how TV news happens

A little TV journalism parody from across the Atlantic. Enjoy.

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.29.10

Higher traffic and parking fines as a budget tool, LA vs. the Petersen auto museum, Saban goes Republican and more.

In the case of MTA vs. Tutor-Saliba

Now that the Metropolitan Transportation Agency has spent 15 years and $32 million fighting the giant engineering and construction contractor Tutor-Saliba-Perini, staff writer Gabe Friedman asks a reasonable question in Friday's L.A. Daily Journal: what price is too high for a legal victory?

LA Sketchbook: Tickets


The man who loved Susan Atkins

susan-atkins-deputy.jpg Susan Atkins was the Charles Manson follower who used the knife on actress Sharon Tate on Cielo Drive in 1969. After she died this past September, Orange Coast Magazine...

L.A. firefighters return from Haiti

lacfd-in-haiti.jpg California Task Force 2 got a heroes welcome from friends and loved ones when the buses pulled into L.A. County Fire's urban search and rescue compound in Pacoima.

Papadakis Taverna, RIP

The San Pedro destination for Greek food and community closes Sunday after 37 years.

Roy Orbison gets Walk of Fame star #2,400

roy-orbison.jpg Orbison, who gets his star Friday, will be outside the Capitol Records tower next to John Lennon and George Harrison.

Dodger Thoughts on the move again

The Dodgers blog by Variety TV writer-editor Jon Weisman that moved into the Los Angeles Times stable a year ago is going to ESPN.

J.D. Salinger, author was 91

j-d-salinger-graphic-nyt.jpg Salinger died Wednesday at the home in Cornish, N.H., where he had lived in seclusion for more than 50 years. From the New York Times: Mr. Salinger’s literary reputation rests...

Beware of the red fire ants

red-fire-ant.jpg Our post this week on the lament of the ant fighters brought some interesting suggestions — lots and lots of cloves, for instance — and a reminder from the county agricultural commissioner that red imported fire ants are here and causing trouble.

Sign of the (L.A.) Times

I have to wonder if the Times' near-total surrender of its award-winning tradition of covering a major local industry — cutting-edge science — helps explain why the New York Times beat the locals on the apparent suicide of a world-class Caltech scientist.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.28.10

Couple of LAPD Metro officers busted, Prop. 8 testimony ends, why the mud didn't flow and how movie portrayals of female journalists are always so lame (Maggie Gyllenhaal edition.)

New 'content' VP brought in at KNBC

Here's the newsroom memo that went out at Channel 4 tonight.

What Southern California is reading this week

game-change-cover.jpg The new bestseller lists are posted, covering sales in local independent bookstores through last Sunday — and you just can't get any fresher than that. The politics talker that everyone...

Jack Weiss joins Bratton at new firm

jack-weiss.jpg Former City Councilman Jack Weiss will run the Los Angeles office of Altegrity Risk International, the new international investigations firm that William Bratton left the LAPD to establish.

Howard Zinn, author and activist was 87

howard-zinn.jpg Zinn died today of a heart attack while traveling in Santa Monica.

Check out the iPad demo video

ipad-demo-graphic.jpg OK, you've heard the hype and the early reviews of Apple's iPad. (Plus Mark's reports at LA Biz Observed. Now here's the official demo video.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.27.10

Lawmakers hang on to their free tickets and meals, new City Hall job czar chats with Steve Lopez, the L.A. connection for an anti-Obama website and more.

City Council members and their pot smoking ways

city-council-1933.jpg Frank Stoltze of KPCC had some fun asking each member of the Los Angeles City Council — before today's final vote on the medical marijuana ordinance — if they had ever smoked pot.

Lament of the ant fighters

I'm hearing from people around L.A. about epic indoor invasions of ants. Driven inside by the rain, I suspect — but please feel welcome to educate me with better theories.

Goody's, a San Gabriel culinary landmark, moves on

goodys-sign.jpg Goody's is leaving San Gabriel for El Monte.

Radio programming notes

California's prisoner release program is Warren Olney's main topic tonight on "Which Way, L.A.?" on KCRW.

'Runaways' hits Sundance 'like a freight train'

stewart-fanning-sundance.jpg Kristen Stewart, as usual, is so uncomfortable doing media it always creeps me out a bit to watch her.

Council approves law that may close many pot clinics

The City Council finally was able to pass a medical marijuana regulation ordinance that a majority of council members could live with. Tuesday's vote was 9-3.

Have drinks with TJ Sullivan

The LA Observed contributor gives an advance preview of his new novel at an SPJ event this evening Downtown.

God is not dead, just lives in L.A.

British author Lucy Broadbent writes in the U.K.'s Times on how living in Los Angeles for a dozen years has turned her into a churchgoer.

Re-dreaming Downtown circa 1939

civic_center_plan.jpg D.J. Waldie has turned up a planner's sketched-out concept of a reenvisioned Downtown Los Angeles that centered in 1939 or '40 on the newly built Union Station, the recently opened Olvera Street tourist trap and an imaginary cityscape that reminds Waldie of Italy under Mussolini.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.26.10

More rain today, the inmate release plan kicks in, Inglewood's mayor pleads out and resigns, plus a couple of local obituaries — and more.

Village Books puts out the appeal again

village-books-logocrop.jpg This past season wasn't so great at the independent bookstore in Pacific Palisades, so they're asking customers to come in for a 25 percent off sale this weekend.

'Best architecture of decade' includes OC's waterworks

OC-GWRS.jpg Switzerland's Large Hadron Collider is also on the list, along with Norway's seed vault and the iPhone. No, it's not your typical architecture list.

Downtown suddenly a player in Broad museum talks

Discussions this morning centered on the parking lot south of the REDCAT theater.

Another journalist jumps to UC Irvine law school

jonathon-glater.jpg Jonathan Glater, a legal affairs writer for the New York Times, has joined the UC Irvine School of Law as interim director of academic support. He's the fourth ex-journalist on staff.

LAT names a new Readers' Representative

deirdre-edgar.jpg The open spot goes to Deirdre Edgar, the L.A. Times' national copy desk chief since 2006. Memo to the newsroom from Editor Russ Stanton goes into some changes in the job.

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.25.10

Arnold gloats to Maureen Dowd about Scott Brown, "The Hurt Locker" picks up momentum and a bunch of politics, media and author notes for a Monday.

Internet Explorer bug should be fixed

The code conflict that has been causing LA Observed to act erratically (and sometimes crash) in Internet Explorer 8 seems to be repaired.

New version of 'Newsthinking' is available

book-newsthinking-cover1.jpg Former Times reporter, editor and writing coach (and occasional LA Observed contributor) Bob Baker has updated his book, "Newsthinking: The Secret of Making Your Facts Fall Into Place."

New prez of Press Club is a public radio veteran

Chris Woodyard of USA Today passes the gavel to Will Lewis of KCRW.

Charles Johnson and Little Green Footballs in the NYT

charles-johnson-cnn.jpg Today's New York Times Magazine takes its crack at deciphering for the rest of us the bitter divorce between the ideological fanatics of the Little Green Footballs blog and its creator, Angeleno musician Charles Johnson.

Joe Papp book with Kenneth Turan appears 20 years later

ken-turan-cropped.jpeg Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan has a new book out co-authored by New York theater impresario Jospeh Papp — who died in 1991 and who killed the book a few years before that.

Huneven, Vollman finalists for Book Critics Circle

michelle-huneven.jpg Los Angeles writer Michelle Huneven and William T. Vollman are among the finalists for National Book Critics Circle awards announced Saturday night.

SAG awards and Golden Mikes on the same night

fss_ingloriousbastards.jpg The cast of "Inglorious Basterds" won the honor for top film ensemble today at the Screen Actors Guild awards at the Shrine Auditorium.

Polanski won't be sentenced in absentia, judge rules

roman-polanski-closeup.jpg Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza decided today that fugitive director Roman Polanski has to return to a Los Angeles courtroom in order to be sentenced in the 1977 sexual assault case.

Late Night War as seen by 'Ken Burns,' via Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel envisions how Ken Burns would tell the story of the great late night TV wars.

Obits: Guy Day, Gerald McCabe

Day co-founded the Chiat-Day advertising agency. McCabe started McCabe's Guitar Shop, the Santa Monica landmark.

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.22.10

Villaraigosa's fiscal plan for the city, foreign money in campaigns and Jerry Brown's elusive more after the jump.

Tiffany robbery in Century City a tad underplayed, no?

tiffany-cc.jpg Three, four or five armed men in ski masks walk through Century City's outdoor shopping mall, storm into Tiffany and Co., order the employees on the floor, then use hammers to smash the jewelry cases before fleeing with loot — and they aren't seen by dozens of nearby shoppers at 6:30 p.m.?

One print sector is healthy in L.A.: pot magazines

marijuana-leaf.jpg Steve Appleford in the current LA Weekly describes "a tidal wave of publications aimed at the L.A. medical-marijuana community and its previously untapped well of advertising dollars."

LA Sketchbook: El Nino

qqxsgEl Nino.jpg

Air America going off the air, into bankruptcy

It turns out if there's a market for liberal talk radio, it isn't yet ready for prime time.

Southwest cancels flights at Burbank, Ontario and OC

The airline is canceling most arrivals and departures this afternoon at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, and in Ontario, Orange County, San Diego, Phoenix and Tucson, because of high wind conditions.

Strongest storm of the week arriving as we speak

The strongest flood warnings from the National Weather Service are for the Orange County canyons. The morning update on the Los Angeles situation from Mayor Villaraigosa's office follows.

Bay Area news startup names editor, rest still unclear *

jonathan-weber.jpg Jonathan Weber, the former Los Angeles Times tech editor who co-founded (and recruited me to join) The Industry Standard magazine a decade ago,will be the editor-in-chief of the new Bay...

Get ready for even more bought elections

The Supreme Court's Republican appointees cleared away long-standing law and ruled today that corporations and labor unions have the same First Amendment rights as American citizens and, thus, can spend as much as their officers want to influence federal elections.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.21.10

NTSB investigators go with the red light theory on the Metrolink crash in Chatsworth, Whitman puts in another $20 million, bracing for layoffs at City Hall and the case against Erroll Southers.

John Edwards admits love child with Rielle

john-edwards-75.jpg Edwards admitted in a statement on Thursday that he is the father of Frances Quinn Hunter, the 2-year-old daughter of his former mistress, Rielle Hunter. Edwards has been denying it ever since the National Enquirer reported Edwards' tie to the child.

Conan O'Brien gets $32 million to go away

O'Brien's severance deal with NBC will let him take another TV gig as soon as September.

KNX reporter sending reports back from Haiti

andrew-mollenbeck-knx.jpg Reporter Andrew Mollenbeck of KNX 1070 flew into Haiti from Guantanamo Bay and is embedded now with the U.S. Navy ship USS Bataan. In Wednesday's report he described a water...

'Stun gun bandit' nabbed for robbing his own bank branch

Lester Robert Evans, a 68-year-old who lives Downtown, was arrested by the LAPD on suspicion of robbing the bank branch where he has an account.

Chatting with Ruth Seymour

ruth-seymour-goldstein.jpg Before Ruth Seymour retires next month as the power behind NPR station KCRW, the February issue of Los Angeles magazine sits her down for a Q&A with editor Richard E. Meyer.

Playboy's L.A. editor may not be lonely much longer

Deputy editor Stephen Randall has been Playboy magazine's Los Angeles-based presence for years. His office and the photo studios moved to Glendale from Santa Monica in 2008, and now the New York Post says the magazine is thinking of relocating the entire editorial staff from Chicago.

Does the rain seem kind of intense?

cbs2-weather-map-2pm.jpg is the current radar map on Channel 9. That's Los Angeles buried under the orange.

Foothill homes evacuated, mudslide threat real

rain-photo-cbs2.jpg More than 1,000 homes beneath the Station Fire burn areas are now under mandatory evacuation orders, per media reports.

Channel 7 anchor David Ono is in Haiti

Video from KABC7 of last night's story.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.20.10

Southers pulls out of consideration to run TSA, what the Massachusetts vote could mean in the Boxer Senate race, Fiorina in the Valley and the geniuses at NBC stumble toward the post-Conan future.

Video: Tornado touches down in Riverside County

A Channel 7 viewer sent the station this clip of a tornado funnel touching down near Riverside

LA Sketchbook: Holes in the net


Mayor sticking around due to storms

Mayor Villaraigosa won't be heading to Washington for the U.S. Conference of Mayors this week after all. "Out of an abundance of caution," spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton says, he'll be staying...

Judge Hahn commutes to Monterey Park these days

judge-jim-hahn.jpg When he was mayor, Jim Hahn made the daily trip from San Pedro to City Hall — none of that Getty House stuff for him. As a new judge at the Ed Edelman Children's Court, he has 1,500 at-risk kids under his responsibility.

Times, Capitol Weekly team on politics blog

California Politics carries the title line "the Los Angeles Times on politics and government in the Golden State," but in practice most of the items (at least today) are written by Anthony York, editor of the independent Capitol Weekly.

Another LACFD rescue, Haitians chant 'U.S.A'

The Los Angeles County Fire Department urban search and rescue team in Port-Au-Prince pulled another woman from the earthquake rubble. In this one, you can hear the crowd applauding and chanting "U.S.A!"

Pot law with 1,000-foot buffer gets tentative OK

The City Council voted 11-3 for an ordinance requiring medical marijuana stores to be located 1,000 feet from places where children gather — including schools, parks and libraries. A final vote has to wait until at least next week.

Tornado warning in South Los Angeles, OC

There's no evidence of tornadoes forming, but the storm coming through is apparently capable of spinning them off.

Promoting movies is tough work, Gibson finds

Promoting movies is tough work, Gibson finds

MediaNews bankruptcy: what now?

Dean Singleton's MediaNews, publishers of the Daily News, Daily Breeze, Press-Telegram, SGV Tribune and other local newspapers, is taking the pre-packaged bankruptcy route in hopes of survival with Singleton in...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.19.10

Prisoner release on hold, Chief Beck changes his tune on pot clinics, praising Army Archerd and the Bodhi Tree, and much more in an extra-full, post-long weekend edition.

Storm gate is open...just ask the foothills

'Rocks the size of frozen turkeys' tumbled down Canyonside Road in La Crescenta during Monday's storm, says the father of Dashel Dupuy, the 13-year-old who shot this amazing video. It's...

Haiti: 'Suddenly, help arrives. Firefighters from Los Angeles.'

Task Force 2 comes through again. Just watch the video.

Journalist discovers he's related to Jessica Alba

jessica-alba-bubble-gq.jpg OC Weekly writer and KPFK host Gustavo Arellano is sort of digging the news that they are third cousins once removed, by way of a tiny Mexican village.

L.A. Times loses another top reporter to ProPublica

The non-profit investigative reporting outlet ProPublica has grabbed Sebastian Rotella, a 23-year reporter at the Los Angeles Times who most recently was doing national security reporting in the Tribune Washington bureau.

Glen Bell, founder of Taco Bell was 86

taco-titan-cover.jpg Bell had opened a few fast food chains around Southern California after World War II, starting with a rival to McDonald's in San Bernardino. He also started Der Wienerschnitzel, but...

Monrovia's bears were introduced in the 1930s

black-bear-duarte-ur.jpg Those black bears that keep coming down into the foothills of Monrovia and Duarte may not be native to the San Gabriel Mountains at all, but descendants of 33 "problem" bears relocated from the Sierra Nevada.

Broad, Ridley-Thomas call for single-payer health care

Philanthropist Eli Broad and county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas jointly signed a Martin Luther King Day piece at the Huffington Post that calls poverty the biggest civil rights issue and advocates for a single-payer system of health care.

Politics video: Get to know Paul Krekorian

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Sheriff Lee Baca, Speaker Karen Bass, City Council President Eric Garcetti, Assemblyman Mike Feuer and former Controller Laura Chick spoke Sunday at a swearing-in ceremony for new City Council member Paul Krekorian in the Van Nuys City Hall.

Holiday hours

Antonio in good place personally, Lu fitting in

antonio-lu-moca.jpg Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is "noticeably more at ease" since not running for governor and with his relationship with Lu Parker settling in, writes City Hall reporter Phil Willon in the...

Internal split at Getty led to Brand's exit

getty-entrance-view.jpg Michael Brand's resignation as director of the Getty Museum was requested by Getty Trust president James Wood, according to L.A. Times reporter Jason Felch, citing unnamed sources.

LA rescuers in Haiti trying to reach girl

Firefighters apparently from California Task Force 2, the L.A. County FD urban search and rescue team in Haiti, are live on CNN trying to reach a girl buried in rubble in Port-Au-Prince who is believed to be tapping messages to rescuers.

Alarcon has a new story about his residence

Councilman Richard Alarcon now concedes he hasn't been staying at the Panorama City home his wife owns in his council district for three months, citing a break-in and attempted squatting...

LAT loses its D.C. national security reporter

Josh Meyer is leaving after 20 years for a gig at the nexus of journalism and academia. Here's his exit note to the newsroom.

Conan gets $30 million to go away

That's the negotiated settlement amount The Wrap hears from sources.

Bad storm news for the foothill communities

Thumbnail image for debrisflowmap1009.jpg Three or four storms that could drop as much as 20 inches of rain on the San Gabriels and the adjacent foothills are expected to start rolling in this weekend.

The Huizars have a baby

Los Angeles City Council member José Huizar and his wife, Richelle Rios, welcomed Aviana Rose this morning at 11 o'clock.

J. Putnam Henck, Santa's Village builder was 91

santasvillage.jpg Henck was known in the San Bernardino Mountains as the builder and manager of the Santa's Village amusement park in Skyforest, and as a keeper of the mountain communities' past.

Frank McCourt breaks silence, adds nothing

frank-jamie-mccourt-star.jpg Choosing to give his first lengthy statements on the divorce and Dodgers future to beat writer Ken Gurnick, Frank McCourt repeated what has been asserted out of the stadium all along.

Conan's hanging in there

His last 'Tonight Show' may be Jan. 22, but Conan O'Brien had it rocking in last night's monologue.

Who better to run into at an L.A. art walk

len-aaron-crop.jpg Howard Stiers was strolling last night's Downtown Art Walk when he stopped in at the ARTY Gallery and had a chat with the founder of a Los Angeles art institution.

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.15.10

Villaraigosa, Garcetti, Cedillo, Greuel, even an appearance by Larry, Moe and Curly — and Lucille Ball.

OC publisher saves Editor & Publisher, sans editor

Editor & Publisher announced late Thursday that it has been acquired by Duncan McIntosh Co. Inc., an Irvine-based publisher and trade show operator.

Media swarm at TiGeorges'

tigeorgesphoto.jpg The cameras crew grew in number today at TiGeorges' Chicken, the Haitian restaurant on Glendale Boulevard where Jenny Burman visited yesterday for Chicken Corner.

Getting to Haiti is the big first step

haitiloomis11410b.jpg I'm told that L.A. Times photographer Carolyn Cole was packing in her Brooklyn apartment within fifteen minutes of the first quake bulletin. How she got to Port-Au-Prince.

News director change at Channels 2 and 9

Scott Diener is the new VP and news director at the KCBS and KCAL duopoly. He follows his former boss, recently named president and GM Steve Mauldin, from the CBS duopoly in Dallas-Fort Worth.

DA investigating where Alarcon really lives

Alarcon_profile.jpg Search warrants were served this week at homes owned by Alarcon's wife in Panorama City (in his district) and Sun Valley (not.)

'Complete scene of chaos' in Haiti

haiticcole11410.jpg The L.A. Times has photographers Carolyn Cole and Rick Loomis on the ground in Haiti.

Online family tree of L.A. chefs for Restaurant Week

cheffamilytree.jpg Pretty clever use of Flash by the folks at dineLA as part of the upcoming Restaurant Weeks.

Cal/OSHA investigated on tonight's 'SoCal Connected'

Correspondent Vince Gonzales spent six months unearthing a multitude of problems with the agency that is supposed to ensure worker’s safety in California.

Arnold's last yodel

timothyegan-nyt.jpg That's the headline on a good Timothy Egan perspective piece on broken California currently getting high billing on the New York Times website.

Name one way California is worse off than Kazakhstan

It now costs more to insure Californian municipal debt against default than it does bonds issued by the central Asian country satirized in "Borat."

George Lucas and the history of movie blockbusters

alexbenblock-mug.jpg L.A. journalist Alex Ben Block was the lead editor on the the new book, "George Lucas's Blockbusting: A Decade-By-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies." Block, now at the Hollywood Reporter, will...

Religion and county beats filled at the Times

Metro desk reporter Mitchell Landesberg is the new religion writer at the Los Angeles Times. More staff moves in the memo from Metro honcho David Lauter.

LA Sketchbook: Haiti and SoCal


New on the skyline, the Ritz-Carlton tower

ritzcarltontowerbdt.jpg The JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels at L.A. Live don't open until Feb. 15, but Blogdowntown was on hand last night when the tower was lit up for a City of Hope gala.

Red Hen Press working on a California book

Publisher Kate Gale blogs that the idea of a book on the living history of California was inspired by book agent and Truthdig book editor Steve Wasserman. Doesn’t have an...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.14.10

Fiddling with the medical pot ordinance, the assessor won't run again, a TV reporter switches sides and more — including the family of Mitrice Richardson filing a claim.

Dock Ellis and his no-hitter on acid going to Sundance

L.A. journalists Donnell Alexander and Neille Ilel helped co-produce an animated short on the amazing feat turned in by Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis in 1970.

Banned in Afghanistan

LA Observed and the Drudge Report are blocked on military computers over there.

What Southern California is reading this week

elizabethgilbert.jpg There are fresh number ones at the top of the bestseller lists from Southern California independent bookstores, counting sales through this past Sunday.

Mr. Fish unhooked at LA Weekly

FoxyLady-300x257.jpg Dwayne Booth, for nearly six years the Mr. Fish cartoonist for the LA Weekly, has been discontinued.

Haiti, MOCA chief on Olney's WWLA

TiGeorges Laguerre, the Haitian restaurateur in Echo Park who Jenny Burman visited with earlier today, talks about the earthquake devastation tonight on "Which Way, L.A.?" with Warren Olney.

Rick Reilly remembers Christine Daniels and Mike Penner

ESPN columnist Rick Reilly began at the Los Angeles Times in the same year as his friend and sports colleague Mike Penner. Reilly and his wife helped Penner make the transition to a new identity as Christine Daniels.

Bodhi Tree Bookstore to close in a year

bodhitreefront.jpg Forty years after it was opened by two reformed aerospace engineers, the Bodhi Tree on Melrose Avenue is likely to close. "Perhaps a wealthy philosopher entrepreneur will come in to buy the store and keep it going," co-owner Phil Thompson says.

Calls, concern at Haitian restaurant in Echo Park

haitiquakechildren.jpg Jenny Burman at Chicken Corner went over to TiGeorges' Chicken, the Echo Park restaurant that is becoming a center for the local Haitian community.

Gang counselor and suspect Alex Sanchez granted bail

U.S. District Judge Manuel Real changed course and approved Sanchez's release on $2 million bail, Celeste Fremon says at Witness LA.

Alycia Lane still makes news in Philly

alycialanenydn.jpg Channel 4 reporter and weekend anchor Alycia Lane's lawsuit over her firing in Philadelphia is working its way through the courts there.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.13.10

Early call today, so no time for the Buzz. Check out Mark's morning headlines at LA Biz Observed.

Letterman gives NBC a way out of Leno mess

Dave suggests a new program NBC can put on a 10 p.m. Video.

It takes a military man to fix the 405 freeway mess

mike-barbor-featured.jpg When work begins Wednesday night on the Sepulveda Pass Widening Project — the first full closure of the northbound freeway is after midnight — Metro's man in charge will be an Iraq veteran.

She's not buying the Lily et Cie attitude

sugarpoptart.jpg No gushing journalism worship for celebrity dresser Rita Watnick and her Beverly Hills store from the New York Times' Cintra Wilson.

Ducks fan breaks silence on fight in stands

Professional skateboarder Mike Vallely was involved in that post-game fracas in the stands at the Honda Center in Anaheim after a Ducks match in November.

Thinking Positive, a cancer and AIDS blog

Blogger Paul Serchia doesn't pull any punches about his diseases, but he's readable and often funny

Reed 'quietly dangling' Variety for sale, says The Wrap

Plus ex-Hollywood Reporter publisher Robert Dowling on what ails the trades.

Sandy Koufax will take to the stage in L.A.

torre-koufax-live.jpg Koufax is seldom seen at Dodger Stadium, let alone in Los Angeles. But on Feb. 27 he will sit on stage and chat with Dodgers manager Joe Torre and T.J. Simers at Nokia Theatre.

Waiters who do Langer's and Canter's

Great Los Angeles story in the L.A. Times: there are several waiters who sandwich in deli shifts at Langer's by day then head over to the Fairfax area to work Canter's at night.

USC goes with Lane Kiffin to coach Trojans

Kiffin, who coached at Tennessee this year, is a former Oakland Raiders coach who was on the USC coaching staff from 2001-2005.

L.A. earthquake aid staging for Haiti

haitigrab.jpg The Los Angeles County Fire Department's urban search and rescue team, veterans of Katrina and the South Asia tsunami, is poised to head for Haiti.

High court overturns 9th Circuit's Wardlaw

U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judge Kim McLane Wardlaw committed an "egregious error" in incorrectly interpreting Supreme Court precedent in granting habeas corpus relief to a prisoner convicted of raping a nine-year-old girl in Nevada in 1994, the high court said in a summary reversal.

Cooley in, Campbell out

District Attorney Steve Cooley has apparently thought it over and decided the exploratory committee he announced yesterday is the real thing. "The exploration phase was very brief,” he quips in...

Tritia Toyota writing books and grading papers

tritiatoyotabook.jpg Former KNBC anchor Tritia Toyota, an adjunct assistant professor of anthropology and Asian American studies at UCLA< has a new book on Chinese American political power in the San Gabriel Valley.

Grazergate and Andres Martinez make the j-ethics syllabus

L.A. Times editor-at-large Jim Newton is now teaching a course in journalism ethics at UCLA, part of his appointment as a senior fellow in the School of Public Affairs. In...

Talking up Jan Perry three years early

jan-perry-mug.jpg At last night's neighborhood meeting on air pollution around Santa Monica Airport, Los Angeles councilman Bill Rosendahl made sure the audience knew that his colleague Jan Perry, who also attended, was thinking seriously about running for mayor — in 2013.

Dead inmate said he saw deputies beating prisoner

Before he turned up dead in his cell at Men's Central Jail, murder suspect Marlon Martinez had told of seeing Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies beating an inmate.

Simon Cowell's exit from 'American Idol' explained

simon-cowell-portrait.jpg In a piece at the Daily Beast, Richard Rushfield reveals what he learned about Simon Cowell and behind-the-scenes dramas at "American Idol."

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.12.10

Emotional testimony on Prop. 8, ambition at City Hall and a critical audit of spending by neighborhood councils. Plus more.

Deitch it is for MOCA

jeffrey-deitch-nymag.jpg As expected, MOCA chose New York gallery owner Jeffrey Deitch as its new director.

Afternoon news and notes

A roundup of items in the news and our in-box.

Mark McGwire admits to years of steroid use

McGwire, a former USC baseball star, said he regrets using performance enhancing drugs. He acknowledged their use during the 1998 season when he smashed the all-time record with 70 home...

LA Sketchbook: Pete Carroll leaves town

qqPete Carroll.jpg Steve Greenberg says aloha to USC's football coach.

Anne Thompson analyzes Finke moves

Hollywood columnist-blogger Anne Thompson says that hiring Mike Fleming away from Variety is a smart move for Deadline|Hollywood, if he can co-exist with Nikki Finke.

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.11.10

Supreme Court blocks YouTube coverage of Prop. 8 trial, Carmen Trutanich as DA candidate, the Times fumbles away another subscriber — and more.

Cooley forms AG exploratory committee

District Attorney Steve Cooley today announced the creation of a committee to let him start raising money to go after the Republican nomination for state attorney general.

Pete Carroll officially gone

The USC football coach is taking the Seattle Seahawks coaching job.

Leno definitely out at 10 p.m., all else is TBD

NBC confirmed Sunday that Jay Leno's last show in primetime will be on Feb. 11, the day before the nwtwork starts airing the Winter Olympics in the 10 p.m. slot.

LAT's new section name already taken...

latextramag.jpg LATextra is the name of a British magazine for latex fetishists.

Finke takes a couple more reporters

The company backing Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood blog is expanding the site with two more entertainment journalists, including Variety veteran Mike Fleming.

L.A. is one place to go in 2010

Today's New York Travel section recommends 31 places to go in the world this year. Tucked in between Leipzig and Shangai — and after Antarctica and Damascus — is our own little town.

What to do with the papers when the book's done

deadshallrise.jpg Los Angeles journalist Steve Oney was consumed for nearly half his life by bringing "And the Dead Shall Rise:The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank" into print.

MOCA's choice looks to be Jeffrey Deitch

jeffrey-deitch-nymag.jpg When Eli Broad introduces the new director of the Museum of Contemporary Art on Monday, the betting is that the choice will be unconventional.

LeBron James in L.A.? Maybe, says Heisler *

lebron-james-vogue.jpg Times basketball columnist Mark Heisler floats an intriguing idea in today's column: it's within the realm of possibilities that James could get his upcoming free-agent riches from Donald Sterling and the Clippers.

Stimulus funds go to companies with spotty records

corpsgraphic.jpg Corporations with records of pollution violations, criminal probes and fraud allegations are sharing in the millions of dollars being doled out in federal stimulus funds, California Watch says in an investigation running in newspapers across the state today.

LAT didn't look very hard for Hawaii Republicans

linda-lingle.jpg Twenty paragraphs into a sob story about Hawaii's lack of Republicans, you find out the governor of seven years is one.

No clues found in search for Mitrice Richardson

mitrice-booking-photo.jpg About 300 volunteers helped the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department search through the hills of Malibu Canyon on Saturday without finding any evidence that sheds light on the woman's disappearance.

Ken Genser, Santa Monica mayor was 59

kengenser.jpg Genser, in his third stint as mayor over 21 years on the Santa Monica City Council, had been ill since October and died on Saturday.

Caruso talking up the mayor thing

rickcarusocrop.jpg This was the week that developer Rick Caruso got the next mayoral race — whether in 2013 or sooner — pretty much underway.

LA Observed on the radio

My weekly Friday afternoon segment on KCRW tied together the Chicago flutist's farewell finger at the L.A. Phil, Michael Brand's departure from the Getty and the end of the Aerospace...

Palisades bike rage driver gets five years

Superior Court Judge Scott T. Millington expressed doubts about Dr. Christopher Thompson's remorse for stopping short and injuring two cyclists on Mandeville Canyon Road. Millington also claimed the five-year sentence...

Conan not happy, Fox offers a hand

conan.thewrap.jpg Conan O'Brien is apparently resisting NBC's plan to move him back to midnight and shoehorn Jay Leno into the late-night lineup. And Josef Adalian at The Wrap says "Fox has...

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.8.2010

Some hints at what's behind Michael Brand's Getty departure, John Perez elected Speaker and Charles Johnson talks some more about the right's anger at his conversion.

Source: LAT editors forced to sign non-disclosure pacts

An email to LA Observed from a Los Angeles Times insider I trust says that, in recent weeks as the latest moves involving new deadlines to accommodate the Wall Street...

Not a bad epitaph at all

benbradley.jpg Everyone in the flamenco community in Los Angeles knew Ben Bradley made a wicked tortilla Espanola.

End of the Aerospace Century in SoCal

Earhart at Lockheed.jpg Northrop Grumman's decision to leave Los Angeles marks the end of an era, say scholars William Deverell, Daniel Lewis and Peter Westwick in a Visiting Bloggers post at LA Observed.

Bestsellers: we like to eat

julia-child-my-life-in-france.jpg After Greg Mortenson's "Three Cups of Tea," the next four best-selling nonfiction trade paperbacks in Southern California this week are all about food.

L.A. Times sells out deadline news to WSJ

Today's moves at the Los Angeles Times are about the financially stumbling paper selling the prime time on its Los Angeles presses to the Wall Street Journal, forcing much earlier deadlines on the Times itself.

Times moves editor to new late-news section

Here's the newsroom memo from L.A. Times Editor Russ Stanton about staffing for LATExtra, the section made necessary by the early deadlines that will flow from the of the Costa Mesa printing plant.

Now you can freelance about medicinal pot

Marijuana Business is looking for experienced freelance reporter/feature writers in Los Angeles to "interview dispensary owners and do general profiles/Q&A with other business professionals. Trade magazine reporting experience helpful....

Brand will be paid through December

The Times, chasing the news that Michael Brand resigned as director of the Getty, got Brand on the phone but he didn't say very much. "I really don't want to...

Something's up with Leno *

Thumbnail image for lenomulhollandforthumb.jpg It certainly appears as if Jay Leno's time at 10 p.m. on NBC is short, though what would happen next is way unclear. NBC has denied FTV's report that Leno...

Times' changes back to the future in some respects

Mark has the rundown over at LA Biz Observed on the latest Los Angeles Times restructuring to keep the place running. In closing the Orange County printing plant (and casting...

Michael Brand steps down as Getty's director

The release gives no explanation. Brand's five year contract was to be up this year.

The Valley now has 1.75 million residents

san-fernando-valley.jpg he latest census data gathered at the request of Rep. Brad Sherman shows that Latinos are still the largest population group at 42.8%.

Big search for Mitrice Richardson, finally

mitricerichardson.jpg The Sheriff’s Department, LAPD and search and rescue forces will join in a "major field search" of the Lost Hills/Malibu Canyon area on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 9.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.7.10

New smog standards, Facebook's guy in the AG race and crime stats keep getting better.

Cerrell restructures: new chairman, 2 presidents

Co-founder Joe Cerrell remains as chairman emeritus of Cerrell Associates, the Larchmont public affairs firm. Hal Dash, the company's president for 21 years, becomes chairman and CEO. Current executive VPs...

'Biggie and Tupac' together again

The 2002 Nick Broomfield documentary on the killing in Los Angeles of Biggie Smalls, and the earlier murder in Las Vegas of Tupac Shakur — "a story of great friends...

Clippers beat Lakers. Yes that's correct.

clippersbeatlakers.jpg Baron Davis scored 25 as the Clippers continued their winning ways, now at five straight at home.

Flutist leaves with a blast at L.A. Phil

dufour.jpg Mathieu Dufour, on leave from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra while playing here with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has decided to return to the Midwest. In the Chicago Sun-Times, he's quoted...

Amanda, only sometimes real

amandacongdonscreen.jpg When Amanda Congdon, the host of web show Sometimes Daily, got married in June, I linked to video of her apparently skateboarding down the hill on Ocean Park Boulevard to...

Happy New Year from LARadio

LARadioLogo201.jpg Don Barrett has made his daily news posts at free without registering.

Would a college football playoff kill the Rose Parade too?

Journalist Robert Niles says that national college football playoff that would replace the Rose Bowl game should also consider that it might end the Rose Parade.

Compton Bulletin hit by fire

Picture 8.png The weekly's offices will be closed for about two weeks but publication will continue uninterrupted, says editor Allison Jean Eaton. The cause remains unclear. She writes about getting an unexpected...

Nikki Finke takes a reporter

Diane Haithman, the former Los Angeles Times arts and enterrtainment writer, has joined Finke's Deadline Hollywood as an interviewer of TV show runners

A New Year's baby

darleenebaby.jpg Longtime L.A. blogger (and Channel 2 web journalist) Darleene Powells gave birth New Year's Day to Michael Christian Powells. Not without some drama, it turns out. Darleene is due to...

Jonathan Gold finally joins the LA Weekly

jgoldjj.jpg Yes, all this time, LA Weekly food star Jonathan Gold has been a freelancer. Now he's on staff, the rest of the newsroom was told today. He'll continue writing his...

Breitbart kicks off Big Journalism

andrewbreitbart.jpg Los Angeles-based media impresario and culture warrior Andrew Breitbart launched his latest website.

Autism clusters look to be health access quirk

autismgraphic.jpg California scientists have discovered clusters of autism, largely in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, where children are twice as likely to have the disorder. But wait.

In search of D. Smith, taxpayer

The Los Angeles County tax collector has spent 22 years looking for the "D. Smith" who owns a lot in South L.A. that someone wants to buy. So far no...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.6.09

Arnold's final state of the state speech, moves at City Hall against the unions and for a film commission, and some of Councilman Krekorian's new hires — plus much more...

Steve Lopez crosses one toke over the line *

The Times columnist begins this week as a contributor on "SoCal Connected" on KCET.

Matt Kemp reaches the big leagues

matt-kemp-and-rihanna.jpg The Dodgers outfielder was snapped spending quality time with new girlfriend Rihanna in Cabo San Lucas.

'East of West LA' getting discovered

brysonandroyalaptsmccollister.jpg It's nice to see the blogger-photographer getting some mainstream media acclaim for his new collection of L.A. images,

Tributes to Rory Markas

Channel 11's news at 10 p.m. opened tonight with five minutes of reporting and personal commentary about Rory Markas, the station's sportscaster who was discovered dead at home in Palmdale...

LA Sketchbook: FEMA floods the zone

qqxsgFEMA LA.jpg A new editorial cartoon by Steve Greenberg.

Some green advice for Villaraigosa

markgoldsquare.jpg Heal the Bay's Mark Gold proposes three green initiatives the mayor should focus on in the remainder of his term.

Round of applause

randyjohnsonretires.jpg Randy Johnson retires from baseball, and Bert Blyleven makes it in at least one Hall of Fame vote.

Arrest in killing of Ben Bradley

benbradley.jpg The suspect knew the Fountain Theatre director and producer, police say.

Crime stats tomorrow

The annual exercise in revealing the city's crime rate is will be held at the new police headquarters.

Caruso taking Jerry Brown's side *

rickcarusocrop.jpg Developer and unrequited mayoral candidate Rick Caruso is hosting a fundraiser for governor candidate Jerry Brown on Feb. 2 at Caruso's home in Brentwood. His support could be a nice...

Tiger Woods cover of Vanity Fair *

tiger-vf-cover.jpg The Annie Leibovitz shot is the February cover. Profile by Buzz Bissinger. Imitation or flattery?: Vanity Fair also has a 25-year-old writer following Gwyneth Paltrow's dietary and cocktail advice, which...

Thousands mourn Bobby Salcedo

At least 2,500 people, and perhaps as many as 5,000, attended last night's event in the stadium at Mountain View High School for El Monte school board member Agustin Roberto...

Angels broadcaster Rory Markas found dead

rorymarkas.jpg Team spokesman Tim Mead says the voice of the Angels was found dead at his Palmdale home on Monday.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.5.10

Trutanich says what ails him, new life for Kirkus Reviews and the water main break du jour.

What's behind Villaraigosa's staff shake-up

Perceived lack of follow-through and some specific trouble cases were dealt with, according to story.

LAT loses another reporter in Sacramento

Eric Bailey will be communications director of Consumer Attorneys of California.

How the parties funnel their political funds

laundrymain_0.jpg California Watch christened its website with a report on how politicians of both parties and their supporters routinely funnel money through county-level political party committees.

It's Los Angeles Arts Month again

artsmonthphoto.jpg The kickoff media op for year two is Tuesday morning at 9 at REDCAT Downtown. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, actor Alec Mapa, LA Opera mezzo soprano Ronnita Nicole...

Who killed Manchester Square?

manchestersquareneontommy.jpg Neon Tommy checks in on the long-suffering effort to relocate residents of the LAX-adjacent neighborhood where you can stand at the corner of 99th and 99th.

Lakers and me on 'Politics of Culture'

Thumbnail image for lakersbookcover.jpg Inside on the new LA Observed books page, the featured book of the week is "Los Angeles Lakers: 50 Amazing Years in the City of Angels," the first issue from...

New outdoors blog by a journalist *

petethomasblog.jpg Pete Thomas had one of those newspaper reporting jobs that many lust after. Now he blogs.

Demolished buildings of the '00s

Before we get too far away from New Year's, here's Curbed LA's look at some of the buildings that Los Angeles lost (or discarded) during the decade just past.

Cops form a new PAC

Unions for the LAPD and the county's deputy sheriffs will try to get along and influence the race for governor.

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.4.10

Welcome to the new year, which in Sacto means the long farewell of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the sudden arrival of John Perez.

Rise and fall of Matthew Krane

matthewkrane.jpg From Hollywood power lunches to house arrest with an ankle bracelet.

Regardie's players to watch in '10

One of the choices is everybody who might run for mayor in '13.

Lot B closing at LAX

You have until Jan. 31 to pick up your car.

Patterico reviews the Times' year

It's the blog's seventh annual compilation of "bias, omissions, and distortions" at the paper they call the Dog Trainer.

Jay Leno races Mulholland for Wired

lenomulhollandforthumb.jpg Cruising the canyons in a Gullwing and telling tales of Steve McQueen drag racing.

Our new look

Well, I told you I was engaged in some website housecleaning over the holidays. This is the third or fourth redesign of the site since 2003, and by far the...

USC basketball takes a tough hit

Phil Wallace got into the details of the Trojans' self-imposed sanctions at Native Intelligence, and also wonders whether it will be enough to keep the NCAA from coming down harder....

LA Observed on KFI

I emerged from my redesign hole for a bit to go live on KFI with Tim Conway Jr. a few minutes ago. We talked about the 405 widening project, today's...
Clinton fundraises in LA
kermit-la-brea-closer.jpg Jim Henson Studios on La Brea became a presidential campaign stop on Thursday.
Brown declares disaster area
porter-ranch-sign.jpgThe natural gas leak above Porter Ranch now qualifies for various government actions. Story
Wet coyote
wet-coyote-vdt.jpgSpotted between the storms at Here in Malibu.
Performing arts with cheer
guys-dolls-kevin-parry.jpgDonna Perlmutter closes out 2015 with productions downtown and on the Westside.
Junkyard down
upick-firetruck-560.jpgAfter 53 years, Sun Valley's Aadlen Brothers and U-Pick Parts cleans out. Photos