LA Observed archive
for February 2010

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

NYT invades L.A. by video screen

While the suits and editors continue to discuss internally how to gear up in the Los Angeles market, the New York Times on Monday takes over content on video screens in L.A. coffee shops and restaurants and in other cities,

When JFK closes a runway, we all feel it

jfk-airport-taxiway.jpg Airfares from LAX to New York are heading higher — and delays will be more numerous — because of four months of repair work on the long runway at JFK.

Click *

I wonder if there was a DWP power surge from all the TVs switching off as Bob Costas tossed viewers from the Olympics closing ceremonies to the debut of "The Marriage Ref

L.A. women blogging from Chile *

aneya-and-lauren.jpg Lauren Williams and Aneya Fernando moved from Los Angeles to Santiago last month and have been blogging about the quake and its aftermath.

Police back off hit-and-run in Brentwood girl's death

No criminal charges are expected in the death of Julia Siegler, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Harvard-Westlake School who was struck by two cars Friday morning while crossing Sunset Boulevard.

Signature magazine and editor split, not amicably

hellin-kay.jpg Email came in on Friday from the publishers of Signature, the Los Angeles style magazine, announcing that editor Hellin Kay no longer speaks for the magazine.

Supergraphic arrest: $1 million bail?

A judge went along with City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's request for $1 million bail for a man charged with three misdemeanors for posting an illegal sign near the Oscars theater in Hollywood.

Jacqueline Montalvo, LAPD officer was 37

Montalvo, an 11-year-veteran of the LAPD's Hollywood division, was the officer who died in an off-duty crash in Diamond Bar on Thursday.

Focus shifting back to Chile *

chile-highway.jpg The death toll in Chile has reached at least 214 by some reports.

Impressive map gets your attention *

tsunamimodel.jpg Modeling by NOAA of the tsunami action expected across the Pacific from the 8.8 earthquake in Chile. The ocean is normally blue on these maps. Small world, as they say....

8.8 quake strikes Chile, tsunami warnings in effect *

More than 140 people have been killed by a major earthquake that struck before dawn, centered in the Pacific 60 miles offshore from the port city of Concepcion. A tsunami could hit Hawaii at 11:05 island time.

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.26.10

A quickie roundup for Friday.

Garza on the Los Angeles Public Media Service

oscar-garza-kcet.jpg The goal, as he tells KCET blogger (and KPCC reporter) Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, is to diversify the public radio audience.

There is crying in hockey

hockey-canada-cigars.jpg And cigars, too, when you're the gold medal-winning Canadian women. They celebrated on the ice with champagne, cigars and a couple of their players' children.

Off-duty LAPD officer killed in crash

Her name has not yet been released. She was pronounced dead at the scene of a four-car crash in Diamond Bar.

Ruth Seymour feted at Getty

Stamberg-Weschler-Nelson.jpg On Wednesday night in the Getty Center restaurant, retiring KCRW chief Ruth Seymour received a champagne and hors d'oeuvre send-off from people in the arts and media.

AOL's Patch launches in Manhattan Beach

The Patch approach of hyper-local news hubs debuted today on the West Coast with the unveiling of a site in the South Bay.

News van keeps on truckin'

kabc-van.jpg Spotted today on Alameda near 6th Street Downtown.

LA Sketchbook: Dodgers prices


'Thinking about now in Los Angeles'

The Society of Professional Journalists of Greater Los Angeles is branching out, subject-wise and geographically, for a free panel discussion tonight.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.25.10

Assignment editor takes part in sting, a councilman registers his dog, Cooley called a liberal, 99 things to eat before you die — and more after the jump.

Where to meet your friend from San Hose

knbc-ohai copy.jpg Channel 4's suggestions for a weekend getaway are so exclusive, you won't find them on an any map.

405 work moving along

Picture 4.png Metro just tweeted that restriping of the northbound lanes has been completed for now. Southbound restriping won't begin until March 3 at the earliest.

Pup 'n' Taco sighting *

pup-n-fries.jpg In the new TV spot for "The Runaways" film, the relatively short-lived but fondly recalled SoCal fast-food chain shows up as "Pup 'n' Fries."

Mosi Tatupu, former USC and NFL star was 54

The running back died at a hospital in Attleboro, Mass., on Tuesday. The cause of death has not been reported.

Matt Labov leaves B|W|R after a month as president

Actually, Labov was co-president of the Hollywood PR firm with Leslie Sloane Zelnik. Therein may lie a clue into his departure.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.24.10

Teachers prevail over charters in LAUSD vote, Schwarzenegger turns to a friend, Ridley-Thomas's office redo is back — and more after the jump.

Observing L.A. via the Dodger Stadium lens

dodger-stadium-aerialbw-lapl.jpg Deadspin's editor emeritus Will Leitch turns his spring training eye on the Dodgers and, by extension, Los Angeles.

Transition at Calif. Planning & Development Report

Josh Stephens is the new editor of California Planning & Development Report, the Ventura-based land-use publication

Nice list of good journalism, nicer to be on it

conorfriedersdorf-logo.jpg Journalist Conor Friedersdorf's compilation of the best journalism he encountered in 2009 is eclectic, personal and arguable -- and that's its charm.

Elvis Mitchell, sartorialist

elvis-mitchell-sartorialist.jpg Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist posted this photo of longtime L.A. media person Elvis Mitchell after being interviewed by Mitchell on "The Treatment" on KCRW.

L.A. downgraded by Standard & Poor's

The city's lower credit rating, while expected, "will almost assuredly increase the city’s cost for borrowing money."

'Chinatown' revisited by A.O. Scott

chinatown-dunaway-grab.jpg "Much blacker than even the darkest film noir," Scott says, and he means it in the good way.

Hahn strips soundtrack out of Newsom piece *

Since our post yesterday, the audio now is just Gavin Newsom sounding clueless about the post of lieutenant governor, though in this exchange it's the Hahn group that looks a bit like amateur hour.

Magic Johnson's bid for Ebony, Jet breaks down

Ebony_Jet_covers.jpg Talks reached an advanced stage before ending, but Johnson says he'll continue to look for opportunities to invest in African-American media.

Dodgers move quickly to raise ticket prices

No sooner did the Dodgers secret plan for a long-term rise in ticket prices get out than the team unveiled an immediate jump in prices on low-end tickets.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.23.10

Reaction from the neighborhood councils, Ramona Ripston makes plans to retire from the ACLU, Jay Leno's first guests, an Obama biography and more.

LA Sketchbook: City layoffs

qqLos Axemless.jpg

El Cholo coming Downtown *

liberty-grill-fuentes.jpg The L.A. institution is expected to open an outpost in the former Liberty Grill spot in the South Park area.

Channel 4 axes 11 a.m. newscast

kim-baldonado.jpg KNBC's morning newscast was "taken off the schedule in order to reallocate resources,” with anchor Kim Baldonado returning to reporting.

Olney back in the saddle

olney-ttp.jpg Warren Olney, out several weeks after a bike accident, returned today to the hosting chair on KCRW's "To the Point" and "Which Way, L.A."

Oops, Janice Hahn may have a copyright issue

sam-cooke-cover.jpg The lawyer-blogger at Copyrights & Campaigns says the candidate may well face a lawsuit for using Sam Cooke's "Wonderful World" in her video slam on Gavin Newsom.

Selden Ring Award goes to ex-LAT reporter

t-miller.jpg T. Christian Miller won for ProPublica stories on how insurance coverage for private contractors in war zones "had become a boon for companies and a disaster for those who relied upon it for treatment and death benefits."

LAT adds book prize for graphic novels, names finalists

The L.A. Times announced the finalists for its 30th annual book prizes and added a new category for graphic novels

Manny sorta kinda predicts this is his last L.A. year

mannyjg120.jpg Manny Ramirez arrived at spring training today and, since his contract expires at the end of the season, told reporters he won't be a Dodger next year. Well, maybe he did.

How worried about Newsom is Janice Hahn?

She's worried enough that her campaign staff has put together a short video mashup of Gavin Newsom saying he doesn't know what the state's lieutenant governor does.

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.22.10

Villaraigosa plans to eliminate the city department that supports neighborhood councils, candidate Steve Cooley has union troubles, and an LAFD pilot retires.

In the face of Saveur's enthusiasm, a taste of reality

saveur-march-2010.jpg Saveur's March issue on Los Angeles "is edited to within a hairs breadth of puffery," says food blogger Rob Eshman, who lists what they left out.

Dodgers plan big price hikes, cut in player spending

Higher ticket prices to see inferior teams, by design. Is that any way to run the Dodgers?

How Neda video got to the world

neda-video-thumb.jpg Brian Stelter of the NYT summarizes neatly how the video of Neda Agha-Soltan's shooting death last summer got from a Tehran cellphone to YouTube, winning a Polk Award last week.

Jeff Bridges outside the Aero

jeff-bridges-nytmag.jpg Photo on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, from a photo feature on actor Jeff Bridges in Sunday's New York Times Magazine.

U.S. hockey takes it to Canada

us-canada-hockey-scrum.jpg SoCal hockey players were all over Sunday's hugely entertaining Olympics match won 5-3 by the U.S., especially the Kings' young defenseman Drew Doughty.

Shuttle booms possible tonight *

Bad weather in Florida may take precedence over our own dodgy weather, possibly forcing the space shuttle Endeavor to land at Edwards Air Force Base late tonight. NASA officials have yet to decide.

'Hurt Locker' cleans up at BAFTA's

Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” pretty much swept the Orange British Academy Film Awards tonight at London’s Royal Opera House.

Dalai Lama in town

dalai-lama-in-la.jpg The Dalai Lama is staying in the presidential suite of a Beverly Hills hotel and sat down for interviews with the Associated Press and L.A. Times, at least.

WGA honors 'Hurt Locker,' 'Up in the Air'

"Inglourious Basterds" and "An Education" were not eligible.

How Ebert feels about the story (and photo)

roger-ebert-esquire.jpg Roger Ebert wrote this week about his reactions to the Esquire story and how shocked he was to see the portrait that has gotten so much attention.

Paula Deen cancels Pantages event, U.S. tour

Picture 35.png The Food Network chef cites problems with the concert promoter.

KCRW's next general manager: Jennifer Ferro *

jenifer-ferro-linkedin.jpg The Santa Monica Daily Press reports that Ferro, the assistant GM at KCRW, will succeed public radio legend Ruth Seymour.

How Tarantino saved the New Beverly Cinema

tarantino-new-beverly.jpg With the movie house on the verge of closing, director Quentin Tarantino decided to buy the place where he had spent so much time.

What's the TV news equivalent of -30-?

danni-fortier.jpg Fox 11 talent tweets nice farewells to departing hairstylist.

Newsom social without being popular

A New York Times blog story tonight on Gavin Newsom "the Twitter prince" feels so 2009 — gushing about his Twitter followers but failing to say they don't matter.

Feds probing Fox game show 'Our Little Genius'

our-little-genius.jpg Answers to quiz questions were reportedly given to prospective contestants (who were going to be ages 6 to 12) on the pending show created by reality TV pioneer Mark Burnett.

Friday desk-clearing

Sunday's News Conference guests, a new column for Amy Wallace, a warning from Nikki Finke and more.

Villaraigosa: end environment & human services depts

The moves would eliminate about 56 positions, saving about $3.2 million in the city general fund.

KPFK suspends online music archives

Staffers at the Pacifica radio station have been told that, due to copyright and licensing issues, KPFK's music archive is being taken offline.

Big loser in the Tiger Woods...situation

tiger-woods-double.jpg Canh Oxelson paid for a graduate degree at Harvard as a look-alike for Tiger Woods. That's not working anymore.

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.19.10

Tiger Woods is sorry, the McCourt divorce battle enters another inning, Gavin Newsom's money, Jonathan Gold on the street fest lines — and is Maxine Waters trying to drum up a candidate against Karen Bass?

Lysacek wins the gold

lysacek-tsc.jpg El Segundo skater Evan Lysacek is the Olympiic champion.

Cortines quits lucrative post with LAUSD supplier

emember those defenses Supt. Ramon Cortines put up to justify his seat on the board of Scholastic Inc. — an arrangement that paid him $150,000 last year?

KUSC claims #1 in public radio ratings

Classical KUSC at 91.5 FM says the latest Arbitron ratings show it to be the top public radio station in the country based on average number of listeners and individuals who tune in during the week.

Print reporter on the move

Anna Scott moves from the Downtown News to the Los Angeles Daily Journal on March 1.

TiGeorges closed by fire

The Echo Park restaurant that become such a community and media center after the Haiti earthquake may be closed 6 to 8 weeks. An electrical short is blamed.

James Cameron to direct Tiger Woods press conference (not)

tiger-avatar.jpg But just imagine if Cameron did take over Woods' Friday coming out, as the crazy guys have at eTrueSports.

LA Weekly loses music editor to LAT

Randall Roberts gave notice at the Weekly yesterday, and sources say he has been hired to be music editor at the Los Angeles Times.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.18.10

Jacques Barzaghi spotted in Oakland, Poizner comes under pressure, Newsom still undecided, changing the sheriff's rules of engagement and some media people in the news.

LA Sketchbook: Red light cameras


Book notes, plus what we're reading this week

Willie-Mays-cover.jpg With no changes this week at the top of the local bestseller lists, I decided to see if there is any difference in book buying between Southern California and Northern California.

Checking in with the real Sharona

sharon-alperin.jpg Sharona Alperin was a 17-year-old at Fairfax High School and the girlfriend of the lead singer, then 25, when The Knack's 1979 hit My Sharona made her name famous.

Angeleno social diary

Looking for some smart things to do around town over the next week? LA Observed contributor Adrienne Crew, the creator of L.A. Brain Terrain, offers her suggestions.

Posnanski on Lindsey Jacobellis

jacobellis-wide-dennis.jpg Just to add to Jon Weisman's admirably bristling take from this morning — "I want my kids to be like her" — Sports Illustrated's Joe Posnanski blogs his thoughts on the media's disappointment over snowboard champion Lindsey Jacobellis falling short of a medal.

Tweeting Olympians

vonn-tweet.jpg Twitter's feed of posts by verified Olympic athletes. Rife with spoiler alerts, including the one hidden after the jump. Some safe samples: ApoloOhno Catching womens skiing, mens halfpipe and cheering...

Olney off another week

olney-ttp.jpg After taking a conk on the head, and earning some stitches, when somebody opened a car door in front of his bicycle, Warren Olney has extended his time off from hosting at KCRW.

Olympic endorsements for Joan's, Lindsey Jacobellis

jacobellis3.jpg Skater Evan Lysacek likes Joan's, while Jon Weisman says of snowboarder Linsey Jacobellis: "I want my kids to be like her."

Bass kicks off with Watson, Ridley-Thomas

Former Speaker Karen Bass made it official this morning that she is running in the 33rd congressional district. Her announcement was timed with a release from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas saying he's endorsing her.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.17.2010

DiFi out, Karen Bass in (with Watson's support), Newsom still not saying and Janice Hahn has more explaining to do.

Roger Ebert hasn't eaten since 2006

roger-ebert-esquire.jpg Television's most famous movie critic is rarely seen and never heard, says Esquire in a nicely detailed piece. But Roger Ebert is still reviewing movies and "producing the best work of his life."

Shepard Fairey has more legal problems

obama-hope-poster.jpg An unsealed legal filing reveals details about L.A. artist Shepard Fairey being the subject of a federal investigation for "potential violations" of laws prohibiting evidence tampering and perjury.

Dodgers watch Gagne throw *

eric-gagne-topbuzz.jpg A name from the past, Eric Gagne, may show up in the Dodgers spring training camp.

More layoffs at Ventura Star

A few more editors and web people got the word today, according to staffers.

Two views of lovely Downey

downey-studios-alternet.jpg District Weekly writer Steve Lowery grew up in Downey and revisits the home turf for a piece pegged to the city apparently beating out much-bigger Long Beach for the new Tesla electric car plant. Or is Downey toxic central?

Mary Herczog, 45, loses battle with breast cancer *

Los Angeles writer Mary Susan Herczog wrote first-person stories about her experiences with breast cancer in the L.A. Times during the late 1990s and again in 2002.

Roadside fires quickly put out in Sepulveda Pass

Northbound freeway traffic was snarled briefly near Getty Center Drive.

Finally, a Starbucks that will stay open late

The Starbucks at L.A. Live is trying a three-month experiment of closing at 2 a.m. six nights a week.

Westall drops out of 43rd AD race

Democrat Andrew Westall has dropped out of the race in the 43rd assembly district, citing the weekend death of Charmette Bonpua, his colleague and the chief of staff for Councilman Herb Wesson.

Daryl Gates seriously ill, Chief Beck says *

Former LAPD chief Daryl F. Gates, 82, is hospitalized with a "very serious malady," Charlie Beck told the police commission today.

Neda video wins Polk Award

Neda-Agha-Soltan-wp.jpg The keepers of the prestigious Polk Award call the anonymous, raw clip of a young woman's killing in Tehran "an iconic image of the Iranian resistance" and the award a recognition that "in today's world, a brave bystander with a cell phone camera can use video-sharing and social networking sites to deliver news."

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.16.10

Black tar heroin from Mexico, journalist murders in Mexico and the Board of Supervisors pln a vote on the Grand Avenue project. Plus more, after the jump.

Dan Weintraub launches health news website

HealthyCal debuts today, billing itself as "a new independent, non-profit web site focused on the health of Californians and their communities."

Google makes quick fixes to Buzz

Journalists and others with confidentiality issues may no longer have to worry quite as much about Google's new Buzz social media product automatically disclosing their Gmail address and frequent correspondents.

Gabriel Snyder 'canned' as editor of Gawker

gabriel-snyder.jpg Gawker this afternoon posted two internal memos about itself: one that the site has acquired Cityfile to be its main New York media channel, and the other that Gawker editor-in-chief Gabriel Snyder is out.

Radio crossover: Ruth Seymour guests on KPCC

ruth-seymour-goldstein.jpg With Ruth Seymour midway through her final month at the head of NPR station KCRW, she'll be the guest of Larry Mantle on rival KPCC's "Airtalk" show Tuesday from 10:40 to 11 a.m.

Marriott opens at L.A. Live

marriott-la-live-blogdt.jpg A day ahead of the official ribbon-cutting, the new JW Marriott hotel — that's the shiny tower that looms over L.A. Live these days — admitted its first guests today.

Ken Starr leaves Pepperdine to run Baylor

Former U.S. Solicitor General Kenneth Starr is leaving as dean of Pepperdine University Law School to become president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Ex-editor rips idea that LATExtra is innovation

Noel Greenwood, the LATs retired Senior Editor, says the suggestion that earlier deadlines are an improvement is nonsense.

Political type balances with yoga studio

Valley-based campaign consultant Julie Buckner is opening InYoga Center, a studio with boutique, in the former Dutton's bookstore on Laurel Canyon Blvd.

Weekend (and holiday) reads

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (at the home of attorney Bruce Broillet and his wife Norah) and Sen. Mark Warner are among the Democrats holding L.A. area fundraisers during the congressional recess.

Charmette Bonpua, City Hall chief of staff

City Councilman Herb Wesson's chief of staff died this morning in Las Vegas, where she had suffered an aneurysm while visiting a week ago, Wesson's spokesman announced this afternoon.

Local Toyota dealers hire Sitrick

Sitrick and Co. has been hired to give media training to Southern California Toyota dealers, set up meetings between dealers and the media, and serve as an on-air spokesman, according...

Friday desk-clearing - plus politics musical chairs

A little afternoon news and notes roundup, plus my script for today's LA Observed commentary on KCRW.

L.A. Olympian charters flight to Vancouver for ceremony

la_charter_400.jpg Kings' defenseman Jack Johnson will be the first American-born NHL player to walk in the Opening Ceremonies at the Winter Olympics.

Airborne laser test downs missile off Pt. Mugu

A super-heated, basketball-size beam fired from a modified 747 destroyed a missile last night over the military range in the Pacific off Point Mugu.

You too can work in The Jungle

jim-rome-logo.jpg Hard-working sports talk host Jim Rome is looking for writers or bloggers to "help grind content" for his TV and radio shows.

Philippe's closed by roaches, could reopen today *

philippe.jpg Philippe's has reopened after a bout with cockroaches.

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.12.10

Searching for Cardinal Mahony's successor, mayor explains his layoff talk, thinking about city bankruptcy and the Hollywood sign story boomlet.

Cortines paid $439,000 by top LAUSD vendor

Superintendent Ramon Cortines got the payments for sitting on the board of Scholastic Inc., which has done $16 million in business with L.A. Unified in recent years, the LAT says.

Birotte confirmed as U.S. Attorney

Andre-Birotte-108.jpg Andre Birotte Jr. received Senate confirmation tonight to be the next U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, aka Los Angeles and environs.

Union-Tribune goes with online guy as editor

The San Diego Union-Tribune has nabbed Jeff Light from the Register in Orange County to be editor and vice president.

Dan Neil hits the road, loves the LAT

The Wall Street Journal-bound L.A. Times auto critic and columnist sent his farewell message to the newsroom this afternoon, saying he'll miss the place and the people.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.11.10

The Century Plaza hotel won't be torn down after all thanks to a negotiated deal, the L.A. Times puts a large house ad on its front page, and disclosure of campaign donations sours Janice Hahn's plans to serve as an "impartial arbiter" at the port

Nina Blanchard, modeling agency founder was 81

Blanchard opened the Hollywood agency that bore her name in 1961 and represented, among others, Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley, Shari Belafonte, Rene Russo and Cristina Ferrare.

Iran bans Google mail

The government crackdown on Internet communication by Iranians now extends to a "permanent suspension" of Gmail service, in favor of a national email service for citizens.

SoCal Connected & Annenberg to partner on web

Ten USC Annenberg graduate students who work on the Annenberg News21 team will produce Web-exclusive multimedia reports for the SoCal Connected website at KCET.

News desk massacre in Ventura

Current and former staffers of the Ventura County Star are chattering on Facebook that the paper's entire news and sports copy desk was informed yesterday that their jobs are moving this spring to Corpus Christi.

Diane Watson rumors are true, she's retiring *

diane-watson-140.jpg Everybody's citing Democratic sources confirming that Rep. Diane Watson won't run for reelection to Congress this year. Former Speaker Karen Bass is expected to run with Watson's backing.

County cracking down on $40 pens, $18 scissors

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's news web site has posted a story about the county's Chief Executive Office getting serious about spending on overly expensive office supplies. Excerpt: Somewhere out there in...

How 'Rough & Tumble' comes together each day

Jack Kavanagh has been producing Rough & Tumble, "the single most essential news source for California political junkies," since 2002 and has logged more than 35 million page views.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.10.10

Wendy Greuel, Steve Bing, Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Jonathan Gold and Laurie Ochoa, James Rainey and more.

LA Sketchbook: Book ends

qqBook Ends.jpg

Politics, food & Zinn: book notes & bestsellers

game-change-cover.jpg Time again for the newest Southern California bestseller lists, fresh through Sunday's sales at local independent bookstores.

Moot but interesting: Conan's contract with NBC

coco-graphic.jpg Conan O'Brien's contract language did specify that he would host "The Tonight Show" at 11:35 p.m.

Today in the city budget deficit

av-lucci.jpg No decisions were made, but there was a lot of noise — Mayor Villaraigosa spoke to the City Council for more than two hours — and of course the deficit grew a bit more.

Rainbows galore

wilshire-rainbow.jpg Twitter has erupted with rainbow images from across Los Angeles.

Media people calendar

elvis-mitchell-120.jpg Writers and photographer Nick Ut on the calendar.

Black leaders feeling insulted by Villaraigosa

EricLee_thumb.jpg The head of the SCLC in Los Angeles accuses the mayor and his staff of dissing African Americans, especially in comparison to Latinos.

Variety hiring on the web

Variety has a craigslist ad up looking for a part-time web editor (with one whole year of experience), prompting former Variety columnist Anne Thompson to tweet: "this after Variety laid...

A little KCRW pledge drive satire

The drive did not really inspire a drinking game in the UCLA Greek houses. We think. Programming note: Warren Olney is not scheduled to host "Which Way, L.A.?" and "To...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.9.2010

Jay Leno slinks out of prime-time, expect the Hollywood sign to be covered with a banner, more City Council drama over the budget and more.

Yosi Sergant's strange year as a 'left-wing propagandist'

YosiSergant-neontommy.jpg Back home in Echo Park, the former director of communications for the National Endowment of the Arts talks about discovering that in politics, being right is no substitute for looking like you're right.

New evacuation orders for foothills

Once again, residents of about 500 homes in La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta and Acton have been told to leave due to an approaching "very cold and vigorous storm system."

Novel of SoCal dream going bust

model-home-cover.jpg Model Home," the first novel by Eric Puchner, is set during the Reagan presidency and tells the story of a family — Camille, Warren and their three kids — who move from Wisconsin to Southern California so Warren can get into the real estate game. Bad move.

Kings streak ends

Just to finish a thought from the weekend, the Kings lost tonight to the Ducks — ending their club-record winning streak at nine.

LAT adjusts changes, misses Clippers game

clippers-maggette-espn.jpg After hearing complaints from readers, the L.A. Times made some fixes to its tinkering with the format last week. Apparently the readers also asked that the Times stop covering the Clippers, because Saturday night's game wasn't in the paper..

Olney out for today's shows

Judging by my email, a lot of people heard KCRW's fundraising pitch last week that included the news that Warren Olney, host of "To the Point" and "Which Way, L.A.?,"...

Mystery solved: Murray walks into courthouse

conrad_murray_court010810.jpg Dr. Conrad Murray was allowed to walk into court and give himself up before today's arraignment on charges that his medical actions killed Michael Jackson.

NYT gets its arms around Eli Broad's 'iron checkbook'

broad-map-nyt.jpg It's community leadership day on LA Observed, I guess. New York Times bureau chief Jennifer Steinhauer profiles Eli Broad as the "iron checkbook" whose grip on Los Angeles and its...

Los Angeles magazine to unveil online 'CityThink' effort

Lord_110_Arroyo.jpg Los Angeles magazine, in the midst of its 50th anniversary year, is about to officially take the wraps off an ambitious effort to generate more conversation about the city's future. CityThink will be housed on the magazine's website and be supported by a new Los Angeles Magazine Foundation, which has seed money from the California Community Foundation.

'My Way' kills in Philippine karaoke bars

karaoke-violence-nyt.jpg The most-emailed story on the New York Times website right now is, with good reason, a piece from the Philippines on the number of bar fights and killings attributed to karaoke renditions of the Frank Sinatra classic "My Way."

Pelicans showing up sick and injured again

brown-pelicans-breeze.jpg At least 250 brown pelicans have been treated over the past month at the International Bird Rescue Research Center in San Pedro, according to the center.

Best local location for a Super Bowl commercial

Former inmates at the Daily News' offices in Woodland Hills recognized the dark, old newsroom — cleaned up for Career

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.8.2010

NBC makes Conan disappear online, feuding over Conrad Murray, the gay judge hearing the Prop. 8 case and plenty of politics notes for a Monday.

L.A. architecture in this month's magazines

pellissier-lapl.jpg n the February issue of Vogue, writer Amy Ephron talks about befriending (when she was a child in Beverly Hills) the man next door who she knew as "Samuel Clemens." Only recently did she learn it was Stiles O. Clements, one of the most under-appreciated names in Los Angeles architecture.

Video: Boulders tumbling down street

From this morning in La Cañada Flintridge, via Channel 7.

Equator Books in Venice, RIP

equatorbooks-to-close.jpg Sunday at midnight is the final closing for Equator Books on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The owners sent a note to customers and friends saying, "We ask that you come by...

Rain triggers slides and flow in foothills

rain-totals-map-262010.jpg The heavier-than-expected rain that fell overnight has challenged debris basis and runoff channels across the front of the San Gabriels, especially in drainages where the Station Fire burned.

New contender in town

kings-wings-262010.jpg After several years as an afterthought in the sports world, the Los Angeles Kings have just won their franchise-record 9th game in a row. They did it the hard way this afternoon, falling behind 3-0 to an older, more talented team — the Detroit Red Wings — but came back to win 4-3 and send another sell-out crowd out onto the streets of Downtown raucous and happy.

Memo challenges mayor's authority to order layoffs

Chief Deputy City Attorney contends in a memo apparently making its way around City Hall that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's order to lay off 1,000 city employees has no teeth under the city charter

LA Sketchbook: ToYOta


Correction o' the day: reuniting families

The surprising L.A. Times headline today that Los Angeles County's Department of Children and Family Services would "no longer strive to reunite families" proved to be a bit too surprising....

Inside KCRW's pledge drive central

Video from the KCRW studios at Santa Monica College, showing the station in its pledge drive mode. My weekly Friday segment doesn't air today so the pledge drive can continue....

News-Press ordered to pay Jerry Roberts $748,000

Up in Santa Barbara, finally, some justice in the saga of News-Press owner Wendy McCaw. She forced out editor Jerry Roberts and most of his staff, tried to ruin his...

Jan Perry reiterates that she's running for mayor

The 9th district City Council member walked in to the office of Jewish Journal editor Rob Eshman and made it clear that she's running in the 2013 race for mayor.

Whitman backs off '30 years in California'

In Meg Whitman's first TV ad, the original verbiage about her three decades of living in California has been quietly changed to "many years."

Demon sheep creator says response split 50-50

demon-sheep-grab.jpg “My goal is to get things noticed,” Republican media consultant Fred Davis tells Mark Z. Barabak of the L.A. Times, discussing his instant cult classic ad for Carly Fiorina's Senate...

KTLA appears to have crossed the line again *

ktla-logo.jpg Ethical issues seem to be a recurring theme for Channel 5, and today the Times' James Rainey takes on the paper's sister station over a three-part puff series on the "dramatic turnaround" at Ford Motor Co.

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.5.10

Sure glad there's nothing suspicious about the latest Charlie Sheen more amusing reaction to the Carly Fiorina demon sheep ad, doubts about the mayor's pledge to find jobs for 360 city workers, and the Expo Line to Santa Monica passes a big hurdle.

Bestsellers: Edwards, Beatty, Salinger, food

edwards-hunter.jpg John Edwards is certainly doing his part to sell books. His dying reputation propels two onto this week's Southern California bestseller lists.

Steve Jobs' dinner with NYT executives

steve-jobs-close.jpg None of the 50 top New York Times executives reportedly knew that their special guest at dinner last night would be Steve Jobs, there to wow them with the new Apple iPad and its meaning to the future of media.

Los Angeles, or Shreveport by the bay?

battle-los-angeles.jpg Most of the local action for "Battle: Los Angeles" was shot in Shreveport, Louisiana, using painted palm trees, with other footage gathered in Baton Rouge. “You’re never going to know we didn’t shoot the movie in Los Angeles,” producer Neal Moritz.

Fiorina's demon sheep hit piece on Tom Campbell

The talk of politics from coast to coast. Video link And now with Pink Floyd soundtrack....

Visiting blogger: The Wrap punk'd by Republican

jay-rosen-thumb-140x151-2346.jpg NYU journalism professor and media critic/innovator Jay Rosen argues in a Visiting Blogger post that The Wrap fell for a tale about GOP consultant Frank Luntz going Hollywood.

Mayor begins cutting budget *

Villaraigosa spokeswoman tweets early details.

Dan Neil, Zitner jump from LAT to Wall Street Journal **

dan-neil.jpg Neil was the Los Angeles Times' Pulitzer-winning automobile columnist who sued Sam Zell and Tribune over management of the paper.

Another 6.0 quake off Eureka

eureka-quake-242010.jpg No damage has been reported and no tsunami action is forecast.

Peek inside a magazine editor's apartment

laurie-pike-apartment.jpg Laurie Pike at Los Angeles magazine let the website Apartment Therapy do a tour of her Koreatown apartment. Reader reaction hasn't all been positive.

Michael Brand lists his differences with Getty boss

michael-brand.jpg In an interview with Lee Rosenbaum of the art blog CultureGrrl, the former director of the Getty Museum opens up a bit about his problems with Getty Trust president James Wood.

When web gimmicks backfire

avinowensvalley.jpg In a pretty transparent bid to attract more web "interaction," L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez recently asked readers of the Times website to vote for their "worst Angeleno of all time." And of course it got gamed.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.4.10

A Supreme Court justice knocks California sentencing policy and the prison guards union, higher fines for red light violations, a question about Eli Broad — and why is airport commissioner Sam Nazarian not coming to meetings?

With Bratton gone, LAPD's McDonnell jumps to Long Beach

Jim McDonnell, a top assistant to William Bratton at the LAPD but passed over for chief, was named Wednesday to run the Long Beach Police Department. The 28-year veteran currently...

City Council delays cuts, *adds* $4 million in spending

Facing a room full of people demanding that the City Council not enact layoffs or other tough steps to solve its growing deficit, that's just what the council did. Council...

Phil Agre, missing ex-UCLA professor, found safe

phil-agre-ucpd.jpg The former UCLA assistant professor of information sciences and Internet culture figure was located by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on January 16 — but the news is only now getting out.

LA Sketchbook: Corporate megaphones


Journalist teams with Barry Minkow to probe fraud

Former L.A. Times religion writer William Lobdell and ex-felon Barry Minkow have launched iBusiness Reporting to investigate inflated claims by public companies — paid for in part by short-selling stock in the companies they investigate.

Memories of a woman named Nita in Echo Park

nita-story,jpg.jpg The Eastsider LA posts about a little mystery in Echo Park and a call for some information about the woman who may have been known as Nita.

This year's SPJ Distinguished Journalist honorees

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will honor five local journalists at a banquet on April 27. This year's winners follow.

Snow on the way, but no chance of meatballs?

lat-page-grab-2310.jpg For some reason the weather forecast on the Los Angeles Times home page right now is calling for snow and says the temperature is 37 degrees.

Staff shifts at the L.A. Times

Thumbnail image for LAT-extra-section.jpg Four newsroom staffers move around, plus a new Dodgers blogger and today in LATExtra.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.3.10

The mayor's job czar supports Meg Whitman for governor, Gavin Newsom could ruin Janice Hahn's day and the "litmus-test politics" behind GOP opposition to Steve Cooley — plus much more.

Confucius vs Romper Room in Hacienda Heights

confucius.jpg That headline is a bit over-simplified, but not by much.

Erroll Southers replies by letter to the New York Times

erroll-southers-usc.jpg Southers' letter to the editor has a bit of a chiding tone to it.

City Council wavering on cuts, at least publicly

We enter act three of the ritual drama that accompanies budget cuts at L.A. city hall.

Afternoon news and notes

Leading with Rep. Jackie Speier saying she's out of the Democratic race for attorney general.

Willie Brown's expensive dinner with Mayor Villaraigosa

williesworld.gif Former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown was a good friend of, and frequent subject of, the late columnist Herb Caen. Brown is doing a decent job of emulating Caen's political...

'Sign bandit' talks about crusade against illegal boards

Thumbnail image for fuel-billboards-laist.jpg Tibby Rothman of the LA Weekly interviews one of the activists she says is behind last week's guerrilla action.

Budget session goes too late for new late news section

Blog coverage was the best way to find out what went on.

L.A. Times changes its look on readers again

LAT-extra-section.jpg It was less than a year ago that the Los Angeles Times surprised readers by doing away with its long-lived local news section. Today it's back, sort of — in...

Oscar nominations, the quick list

The academy got what it wanted: a broader menu of best picture options, some of which aren't as worthy as one might like.

Kobe passes Jerry West, now all-time Lakers scorer

jerry-west-logo.gif Bryant scored 44 tonight in Memphis to take over the franchise lead from West, but the Lakers lost by two.

Magnum agency's photos move to Texas

capa-spain-magnum-story.jpg The entire collection of pictures amassed over more than half a century by the Magnum photo cooperative — Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Davidson and friends — was driven by truck from New York City in December.

Relive 25 years of Spirit Awards

Film Independent has put up two decades of opening monologues and dozens of acceptance speeches and other clips from the show on Babelgum.

Memo: LAT prepares for latest reduction in content

On Tuesday we begin to find out how well L.A. Times editors have been able to contain the damage from the latest management order to cut costs — by moving to some of the earliest news deadlines in town and trimming story lengths. Read the latest memo.

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.1.10

Your list of Grammy winners, plus blue whales change their octave, Cardinal Mahony's succession, the budget mess at City Hall, a bunch of endorsements for Janice Hahn and Ed Roski's political donations. And more.

This day in history: KTLA airs live nuclear blast

abomb-blast-wired.jpg On Feb. 1, 1951, Channel 5 in Los Angeles aired on live TV — for the first time ever — the detonation of an atomic bomb blast.

Correction o' the day, NYT edition

Cintra Wilson's takedown a couple of weeks ago of celebrity dresser Rita Watnick and her Beverly Hills shop Lily et Cie was entertaining on several levels. Alas, Wilson got one thing wrong.
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