LA Observed archive
for May 2010

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

Villaraigosa gets in deeper on free tickets

mayorlakers-fox11.JPG It turns out that John Schwada's reports for Fox 11 last week on Mayor Villaraigosa getting free, unreported tickets to Lakers games and other events got on the air just ahead of an L.A. Times investigation.

Dudamel's first year a mixed bag, says Swed

dudamel_gustavo_175x175.jpg In a critic's notebook piece, L.A. Times music critic Mark Swed looked back at the inaugural season with Gustavo Dudamel at the head of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Protest over Gaza raid outside Israeli consulate

Reaction to the Israeli raid on a flotilla of ships headed to Gaza, leading to nine deaths, was sufficiently strong that Jacob Dayan, Israel's consul general in Los Angeles, held a Monday afternoon news conference at his home.

Louise Bourgeois, artist was 98

bourgeois_maman-gugg.jpg On my trip to Bilbao in 2007, one of the more unforgettable visual aspects to the Guggenheim Museum (other than seeing a replica of Walt Disney Hall beside the xx river in Spain) was Louise Bourgeois' sculpture of a giant spider.

LA Observed on KCRW: Memorial Day

This Memorial Day I have Paul Neubauer to remember.

Ten years on Dennis Hopper bio -- and still no book

Richard Stayton, now the editor-in-chief of Written By, was working at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner in 1985 when he met and first wrote about Dennis Hopper.

LAPD clash with bike riders on video under investigation

Email from the Los Angeles Police Protective League asking the community to "refrain from a rush to judgment" usually means one thing: there's some new video or eyewitness report suggesting misconduct by an LAPD officer.

Kobe carries Lakers into a rematch with Celtics *

Picture 10.png The Lakers almost gave back a 17-point lead in the fourth period, but Kobe Bryant took charge (again) when they needed him most.

L.A. Times Hollywood writer jumps to Hollywood

Rachel Abramowitz is leaving to to work on "Outlaw Country," a new FX show she wrote with her husband.

Finke is on 'medical leave,' her site says

The underlings at Deadline Hollywood finally explained this morning the whereabouts of their missing leader.

When Gary Coleman went to Crossroads

alg_gary_coleman_headshot.jpg Writer and blogger Richard Rushfield posted a nice reflection on Gary Coleman pegged to their time together at the Crossroads School, the upscale and academically creative Santa Monica private school....

Dennis Hopper, actor, director & artist was 74

dennis-hopper-bwclose.jpg Dennis Hopper died this morning at home in Venice, likely from complications of advanced prostate cancer.

Celtics back in the NBA finals

If the Lakers get past the Phoenix Suns, they will open the finals against Boston next Thursday at Staples Center. Final 96-84....

Lily Burk's killer pleads guilty, gets life in prison

Charlie Samuel, the 50-year-old transient who kidnapped and killed Lily Burk in July 2009, will escape a possible death penalty by pleading today to first-degree murder, carjacking and other crimes.

Sean Penn to present at Press Club awards

sean penn-90.jpg The Los Angeles Press Club has secured Sean Penn to present its President's Award to Anderson Cooper for his coverage of Haiti.

Shepard Fairey will lose AP case, urged to settle

obama-hope-poster.jpg The judge overseeing the Associated Press lawsuit against Shepard Fairey — over his famous "HOPE" poster of then-candidate Barack Obama — told the Los Angeles artist that he is likely to lose in court.

Gary Coleman, actor was 42

gary-coleman.jpg Coleman, the child star of the hit sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," died at a hospital in Provo, Utah after suffering a brain hemorrhage at home earlier this week.
hurt-locker-box.jpg Voltage Pictures' complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. doesn't name anybody, but incorporates 5,000 people it says illegally downloaded the Oscar-winning film "The Hurt Locker."

Advertising shakeup at L.A. Times

The Los Angeles Times Media Group on Thursday announced that it "restructured" the entertainment division of its advertising department, naming three new vice presidents. The most interesting part was buried...

It's a Morning Buzz-less day

Posting will occur at a somewhat lighter pace through the holiday weekend....

Does AEG's stadium plan conflict with Comic-Con?

OC political blogger Jon Fleischman wonders if talk about tearing down the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center to accommodate an NFL stadium shoots in the foot Mayor Villaraigosa's attempt to lure the big Comic-Con convention away from San Diego.

Guatemalan TV reporter killed in Pacaya volcano eruption

Anibal Archila was injured in the eruption that closed the airport at Guatemala City, declared missing then confirmed dead Thursday night.

The couple that blogs for HuffPost together...

mayorlakers-fox11.JPG The Huffington Post loves Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, or at least loves his press releases. And now Lu Parker promotes her stuff there too.

Where Iraq and Afghanistan war dead came from

cnn-casualty-map-iraq.jpg CNN's website has an interactive map of all 5,485 U.S. deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, each dot loaded with personal information and corresponding to a dot on the war zone maps.

(500) Days of Fatal Attraction, plus where's Nikki Finke?

"(500) Days of Summer" re-envisioned as a thriller.

Last Remaining Seats opens with a hit

how-to-succeed.jpg he Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway was packed last night for the opening film of the 24th year of Last Remaining Seats.

Victoria Recaño gone but not forgotten at KTLA

victoria-recano-site.jpg Look whose bio has gone missing from the KTLA website. Victoria Recaño has co-anchored the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. news on Channel 5 just since last fall.

Artest saves the Lakers and himself

The Lakers' Ron Artest missed two three-point attempts in the final minute or so, the second miss coming with a Lakers lead and a full 24-second clock. Then, after the Suns tied the game with three seconds to go and Kobe missed his final shot, Artest grabbed the rebound and sank the game-winner.

Couple of L.A. baseball blogs to note

newhans-blog.jpg Ross and David Newhan have found a blog niche they should have all to themselves.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 5.27.10

Janice Min's plans for THR, a Mickey Kaus radio spot, plus billboards, Charlie Beck, Bobby Shriver and a fun transit blog.

The mayor's courtside Lakers seats

mayorlakers-fox11.JPG Fox 11's John Schwada went with a story Wednesday night on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sitting in free courtside seats at Lakers games with girlfriend Lu Parker or with his daughter ‐ seats not reported on gift forms.

Taking on Bernard-Henri Levy, way later

Five years after French writer and philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy observed Los Angeles somewhat harshly in the pages of the Atlantic, writer Conor Friedersdorf prosecutes a point-by-point defense of L.A. on the magazine's website.

New class of Nieman fellows announced

Anna Gorman of the Los Angeles Times is among the journalists selected to spend the year at Harvard and attend Nieman Foundation for Journalism reunions forever after. She "plans to...

Art Linkletter, timeless radio and TV voice was 97

art-linkletter-1.jpg Art Linkletter, who died today at home in Bel-Air, was a ubiquitous broadcast presence from the 1940s through the 1960s, and a voice and emcee at Los Angeles events for long after.

Hidden Los Angeles goes full-time

Lynn Garrett, who started the Hidden Los Angeles website and wildly popular Facebook pages of the same name about a year ago, has quit her job to run the sites and plans to hire an employee.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 5.26.10

Whitman's people claim big lead, debuts for the new Tom Bradley Terminal and Coadjutor Archbishop Jose Gomez, an LAPD cop gets $2 million from a jury and the Times gives itself its awards. Plus more after the jump.

Janice Min gets top job at Hollywood Reporter *

Former Us Weekly editor Janice Min has been named the editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, says Huffington Post media editor Danny Shea on Twitter.

Santa Monica writes on-air parking tickets for Channel 5 *

Gayle Anderson's segment at Santa Monica beach went on despite a parking officer scribbling out tickets, perhaps not knowing she was on live across Southern California.

LA Sketchbook: PG&E and Prop. 16

qqxsgPGE Prop16.jpg

Lakers lose in Phoenix, come home tied 2-2

The Suns' bench went crazy with three-pointers, and Kobe's 38 for the Lakers weren't enough.

Tribune planning $15 million more in executive bonuses

This third round of bonuses will bring "to more than $72 million the amount of pay enhancements the media company handed out while operating under bankruptcy protection."

Live chat with the boss about 405 project

I-405-logo-color.jpg Mike Barbour, the project manager on the big 405 freeway rehab and widening project from the Westside through Sepulveda Pass to the Valley, will take questions on the Metro website from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

LA Sketchbook: PG&E and Prop. 16

qqxsgPGE Prop16.jpg Steve Greenberg's editorial cartoon on Proposition 16 needs a little more size than they usually get in the media box at the top right of the main page. So I'm...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 5.25.10

You won't believe what a paramedic call costs in Los Angeles — and they want to raise it 37%. Plus Meg Whitman's polling, advice from David Nahai, some blog and media notes, a job opening at the ACLU and bad reviews for "Sex and the City."

Local news startup in Orange County shuts down

The Orange County Local News Network was a partner of the Los Angeles Times, working out of the Times' offices in Costa Mesa and doing hyper-local coverage.

Bunker Hill and Downtown in 1961: 'The Exiles'

Kent Mackenzie's 1961 film about Native Americans living in Downtown Los Angeles premiered that year at the Venice Film Festival but was not released commercially. It screens Wednesday at The Hammer.

'Which Way, L.A.?' moves a little earlier on KCRW

Tonight on WWLA, Warren Olney talks to Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk about last week's decision to build electric vehicles at the former NUMMI factory in Fremont — and not in Downey or Long Beach. Downey City Councilmember Mario Guerra and John O'Dell, Senior Editor of Edmunds' GreenCarAdvisor.com, are also on.

New York Times names a media writer

Jeremy W. Peters, who covers New York state government in Albany, takes over the New York Times newspaper and magazine beat as of June 1.

City Hall media have their meeting with Garcetti, et al

Today's powwow between the City Hall press corps and City Council president Eric Garcetti (plus members Jan Perry and Dennis Zine) over media access was on the record after all....

Lozano becomes CEO of ImpreMedia

Monica Lozano, the publisher and CEO of La Opinión, has been named chief executive officer of parent ImpreMedia

Metblogs announces a reprieve

Plans to shut down Metblogs L.A. and the rest of the network are now on hold.

Lohan gets a cuter alcohol monitoring device

Lindsay Lohan was fitted with a "secure continuous remote alcohol monitor" on her ankle before she left the Beverly Hills courthouse this morning &mash; a lighter, sleeker version than when she last wore an ankle monito

De la Torre, Jones, they all look alike

LA-Times-does-it-again1.jpg At least one political consultant was chuckling over the weekend about the Los Angeles Times using a photo of Assemblyman Hector de la Torre when the paper meant to endorse Dave Jones. "

Update on the City Hall media access brouhaha

council-cop.jpg City Hall reporters have a noon appointment with Council President Eric Garcetti and pro-tem Jan Perry (or their representatives) to discuss the new access restrictions for the council chambers that...

Morning Buzz: Monday 5.24.10

Sarah Ferguson and Bruce Beresford-Redman skulk into town, though not necessarily together. Plus a Monday assortment of media, politics and news notes.

Metblogs planning to shut down May 31 *

Metblogs, the global network of local blogs that began here as blogging.la, is closing down due to lack of financial support. Farewell message from Sean Bonner and Jason DeFillippo.

Brittany Murphy's husband found dead at home

An LAFD crew answering a 911 call pronounced screenwriter Simon Monjack dead at his home in the Hollywood Hills.

Lakers let it get away, 118-109

The Lakers led by 1 with under nine minutes to play, then Phoenix kicked into high gear while L.A. kept missing key shots.

Jose Lima, ex-Dodgers pitcher was 37

jose-lima-stadium.jpg Lima died today at home in Los Angeles, reportedly of a heart attack. A native of the Dominican Republic, Lima won 89 games in thirteen seasons as a pitcher, including in 2004 the Dodgers' first port-season win in more than a decade.

Reserve Lofts questions get more interesting

alexik-dtn.jpg In addition to the earlier mysteries about why Brian Alexik had counterfeit $100 bills, AK-47s, fake IDs and a CIA floor mosaic in unit 701 overlooking the Federal Reserve Bank, the Downtown News has posted an update with more good questions.

Applause: Rafat Ali leaving paidContent

rafat-ali-atd.jpg li created his media business news site eight years ago, sold parent company ContentNext to the London-based Guardian Media group two years ago, and recently moved to New York from Los Angeles.

Amgen Tour meets the Rock Store

rockstore-zev.jpg On Sunday's stage 8 of the Amgen Tour of California, riders will loop four times up the Rock Store Climb on Mulholland Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Morning Buzz: Friday 5.21.10

Kevin Costner gets oily, Lindsay Lohan gets off the boat, President Obama gets back on the plane, Meg Whitman gets talky and more after the jump.

Gone but not forgotten, KCET style

ralph-story-grab.jpg During the upcoming pledge breaks, KCET Channel 28 will air a freshly made update of Ralph Story's popular "Things That Aren't Here Anymore."

Ten of LA Weekly's people for 2010

The LA Weekly's annual LA People issue is always a savvy glimpse into the local culture and a good read. Here are ten.

New acronym to remember: SFVCOG

Valley-by-550.jpg If you're one of those who never memorized what SCAG stands for, well, it doesn't really matter. Same for this new entry of local semi-officialdom, but some folks in the Valley are happy anyway that as of next Tuesday, when the Board of Supervisors votes it into existence, there will now be a formal San Fernando Valley Council of Governments.

Hollywood star for Chris Berman? Take it backbackback

chris-berman-star.jpg Daily News sports columnist Tom Hoffarth was not amused to come across the installation activity on Hollywood Boulevard for ESPN's Chris Berman.

Football stadium not built yet? No problem

pacific-palms.jpg So let's say you're an NFL fan, or just a resident of Walnut or a nearby city, and you signed up to receive email updates on the football stadium Ed Roski wants to build in Industry.

Something is looking up on Pasadena cultural scene

While the Pasadena Playhouse has fallen into bankruptcy and the Pasadena Symphony is in turmoil, the repertory-theater company A Noise Within is going ahead with plans to move from Glendale to Pasadena.

Westwood traffic gummed up *

westwood-traf-520.jpg There's some kind of demonstration on Wilshire Boulevard in front of the Westwood federal building

Morning Buzz: Thursday 5.20.10

Parsing the PPIC poll, Villaraigosa still with the president of Mexico, DWP, Randal Simmons, Suge Knight, Otis Redding and more.

Political quote of the day

"Commissioner Gary Pierce is the Forrest Gump of Arizona politics."

Meg Whitman's lead over Poizner falls by 40 points

poizner-whitman.jpg If you believe that Meg Whitman really was 50 points ahead of Steve Poizner in March, the news that her lead is down to 9 points in the latest poll from the Public Policy Institute of California will be stunning news indeed.

Lakers win again, up 2-0

A burst of points in the fourth period lets the Lakers pull away 124-112. Next game is Sunday in Phoenix.

Latino L.A. represents at White House tonight *

av-prisila.jpg President Obama's head table at tonight's White House state dinner for Felipe Calderon, the president of Mexico, includes Speaker of the Assembly (and Villaraigosa cousin) John Perez (with Jason Seifer), County Fed chief Maria Elena Durazo, TELACU leader David Lizárraga, farm workers' legend Dolores Huerta and Univision host Maria Elena Salinas.

Dean Baquet's role at New York Times expands

Dean Baquet, the Washington bureau chief at the New York Times, will rotate through the managing editor chair for two months this summer.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 5.19.10

Sheriff Baca's "un-American" revenge, Whitman cashes another check, L.A.'s budget hawks, Villaraigosa heads back to D.C., Steve Lopez campaigns, a lesbnian in West Hollywood, a shout-out to Axles of Evil — and so much more.

Dinner at the White House for Maria Elena Durazo

maria-durazo-mic.jpg The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor just sent out a helpful press release informing the world that the boss, Maria Elena Durazo, will attend the state dinner for Mexico's president Felipe Calderon on Wednesday night.

Laura Chick: I warned City Hall about spending

governing709.jpg In the latest in Los Angeles Magazine's City Thinkers conversations on the status and future of our great metropolis, former Controller Laura Chick chats with editor Mary Melton.

Nikki Finke looking for 'Tilda' payday from HBO

HBO is trying to make a deal with "litigious showbiz blogger Nikki Finke" to be a consultant on its new show "Tilda," which is pretty clearly based on Finke.

Andre Ethier hits the disabled list

ethier_bobblehead.jpg Tonight is Andre Ethier Bobblehead Night at Dodger Stadium, but the featured bobblehead won't be playing.

Whipped: More fun with related links that aren't

lat-related-links-may18 copy.jpg For the LATimes.com story on Indiana Republican congressman Mark Souder resigning in tears as he discloses an affair with a staffer, I especially like that the related links robot came up with a theater review for "The Whipping Man."

Does Kobe Bryant's wife look illegal?

vanessaev-thumb-400x227.jpg Much chortling in Orange County, apparently, after Vanessa Bryant showed up at last night's Lakers game wearing a shirt with the political slogan "Do I Look Illegal?

News executive at KNBC doesn't stay long *

Steve Lange arrived at KNBC as vice president for content just last January. Sources at the station today say he's leaving. Whether he was exactly fired or not will come...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 5.18.10

Political consultants rolling in the dough, Brown finally campaigns, Kaus tapes radio spots, Conan chooses Burbank and Drew Street may ask for a new name.

Laura Ling has book and baby coming

lings-villaraigosa.jpg Former Current TV reporter Laura Ling's book with her sister Lisa Ling, "Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home," is due out today from Harper-Collins.

Technology bites LAT.com again

lat-releated-web-bsun copy.jpg Being saddled with Tribune Company technology has held the Los Angeles Times website back through the years. I'll assume that's what happened here. The "related stories" list with tonight's City...

Retweets o' the day

My favorites from Monday, including from Roger Ebert.

City Council passes most of Villaraigosa budget intact

The City Council ended a long day of give and take by passing a $6.7 billion city budget for next fiscal year. The balanced budget raises fees and reduces services, adds $5 to parking fines, proposes a billboard tax, and keeps the pressure on unions to accept concessions or face up to 26 furlough days and as many as 761 layoffs.

Lakers take game 1 over Suns in a romp

Final score 128-107, with Kobe Bryant scoring 40 points. Steve Nash had just 13 for Phoenix.

'Off-Ramp' producer moving to Bay Area news startup

jrblog-queena-400.jpg Queena Kim, a producer at KPCC's "Off-Ramp" since the show went on the air in 2006, is heading to the Bay Citizen.

'Iron Cross' lawsuit against Variety tossed

Remember the lawsuit that alleged Variety violated a deal by running a critical review of "Iron Cross' while the film's producers were buying ads in the trade paper? A judge said no way, on First amendment grounds.

LAPD hiring to continue as Villaraigosa wanted

The City Council voted 13-0 during its budget session today to keep replacing LAPD officers who leave, despite budget cuts that threaten layoffs elsewhere in the vast city workforce. The decision will maintain a force of 9,963 officers.

Our love-hate affair with the 405 freeway

Thumbnail image for 405projectlogo.jpg My KCRW column airing this evening at 6:44 p.m. talks about the San Diego's place in the delicate organism of Westside traffic and more broadly how it has shaped Los Angeles.

Sitrick's old buddy joins lawsuit *

sitrick-mayer-book.jpg Allan Mayer was a key player in the rise of Sitrick & Company into a major crisis PR firm, and also was the co-author of Michael Sitrick's "Spin: How to Turn the Power of the Press to Your Advantage.”

Here's which Calif. races the Dems and Reeps are targeting

Republican consultant Allan Hoffenblum, who publishes the California Target Book, takes a crack at analyzing the fall congressional and legislative races, with a big caveat and a warning to the GOP.

Add one California politics blog

California's three largest NBC stations — KNBC here in Los Angeles plus the outlets in San Diego and the Bay Area — are going in together on a new blog launching today called Prop Zero. Reporters, anchors and others will contribute, including Conan Nolan at Channel 4.

Five years ago in L.A.: Villaraigosa elected

avinowensvalley.jpg On May 17, 2005, Antonio Villaraigosa defeated the one-term incumbent mayor, James Hahn, 59 percent to 41 percent.

Morning Buzz: Monday 5.17.10

Schwarzenegger's onus, Mozingo's series, neglected ponies, a chef in trouble with the law, the Lakers begin round three and a blogger's photo gets picked up. Plus the death of Ronnie James Dio.

Jay Leno gets a tow

jay-leno-soqui.jpg Photojournalist and blogger Ted Soqui was riding with the L.A. Wheelmen on Mulholland Drive when they came across Jay Leno, loading his 1963 Porsche onto a truck.

Breitbart profiled in The New Yorker

breitbart-cartoon-tny.jpg This time it's The New Yorker and Rebecca Mead who go driving in Los Angeles with Andrew Breitbart, the rising right-wing media mogul who makes no pretense that for him it's all about defeating the left.

Dodgers wait on Ethier news

andre-ethier-close.jpg Andre Ethier leads the league in batting average, home runs (tie) and RBI — all reasons that the Dodgers are hoping his broken finger isn't serious.

They like her, they really like her

scarlett-nyt.jpg Both drama critics of the New York Times, Ben Brantley and Charles Isherwood, say that Scarlett Johansson deserves a Tony award for her Broadway debut in the revival of Arthur Miller’s “View From the Bridge.”

Der Meisterdude on '60 Minutes'

Gustavo Dudamel, his roots in Venezuela's El Sistema, and the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles were the subject of a segment tonight on "60 Minutes."

LA Sketchbook: Speed limit 4.05

4.05.jpg

Two UCLA graduates killed in Maine crash

tam-cinthya.jpg Tam Ngoc Tran of Orange County and Cinthya Felix of Los Angeles had been activists for the DREAM Act, the proposed law to grant citizenship to undocumented students like themselves.

Author versus Bank of America

tod-goldberg.jpg Tod Goldberg blogs a transcript of his telephone conversation with Bank of America Home Loans, with which he's been having a horror story of screw-ups. When a call starts out this way, you know what's coming is a tale of frustration.

Mayor and the meltdown of Homeboy Industries

greg-boyle-at-lapl.jpg Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Father Gregory Boyle are scheduled to chat with Patt Morrison on KPCC at 1:35 p.m., talking about the financial collapse of L.A's best-known anti-gang organization.

Morning Buzz: Friday 5.14.10

What the police commission won't tell us, how Homeboy is no MOCA, GOP attacks on Streisand, more on Klinkenborg's L.A. and The Ring cycle's singers feel at risk.

Author blogs her divorce from billionaire

justine-musk.jpg Bel-Air author Justine Musk is blogging about the financial details of her divorce from Elon Musk, the Paypal co-founder who is behind the Tesla electric car company and Space X. It sounds contentious.

More things to know before dating a journalist

Ophelia Chong replies with "an opinion from the side that sits down."

Glendale woman admits it was all a hoax

Nancy Salas is alive and safe, but the story of her disappearance did not exactly end happily.

Homeboy Industries lays off most staff

Father Gregory Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries, said the anti-gang organization on Thursday laid off 300 people, including all senior administrators. Homegirl Cafe will stay open.

Journo takes pot to the airport, gets away with it

adam-baer.jpg Adam Baer, the Los Angeles-based founding editor-at-large and travel guru of the website The Faster Times, is a two-time cancer survivor who has written about his brain surgery and adventures in the U.S. medical system.

5 things you should know before dating a journalist

San Diego journalist Tom Chambers aims his warnings to women primarily, but they could apply both wa

Lu Parker to be on 'O'Reilly Factor'

Not sure what this is about, but KTLA reporter and Villaraigosa companion Lu Parker just tweeted that she will be live on "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News at 5 p.m. Pacific.

Los Angeles Magazine publisher to leave

A restructuring of the senior leadership at Emmis magazines means that Amy Saralegui, publisher at Los Angeles, will become publisher of Texas Monthly as well as vice president and group publisher of national sales for Emmis Publishing.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 5.13.10

More budget pain on the way, Nazi victims don't like all this name calling, Greig Smith explains, Villaraigosa heads to D.C., an LAPD officer pleads guilty and the Hotel Figueroa comes clean — plus geese drop in at the Norton Simon.

City Council votes to boycott AZ travel, some contracts

The council’s action today "fell short of a total boycott or canceling all of the city’s $58 million worth of contracts with Arizona companies."

Los Angeles newspaper of 1907 skewers Supes

la-herald-cartoon-1907.jpg The design isn't much to brag about, and they were partisan to the max, but one thing about the newspapers of Los Angeles a hundred years: they were chock full of news.

Not everybody happy about new City Council media rules

Longtime Fox 11 political reporter John Schwada isn't so sure he likes the compromise media access rules put forth last afternoon by City Council President Eric Garcetti's new press deputy.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 5.12.10

New website for Sheriff Baca, boycotting Arizona, Jewish Journal up, Sarah Silverman down, and perhaps the last great newspaper novel.

LA Sketchbook: Prop. 187 in the closet

qqxsgCloset 187.jpg

Council clarifies media access rules

This morning's crackdown on City Hall media access during City Council meetings is being reworked enough that the reporters are less concerned — and escorts won't be required.

Los Angeles roots of Asian American journalists' group

The Asian American Journalists Association was started in Los Angeles in 1981 by Tritia Toyota and Frank Kwan of KNBC, Bill Sing, Nancy Yoshihara and David Kishiyama of the Los Angeles Times, and Dwight Chuman of Rafu Shimpo.

NYT expands into Phoenix

With the Arizona theater of media operations heating up, the New York Times is opening its "first new national bureau in decades" in Phoenix. The inaugural bureau chief will be Marc Lacey, currently based in Mexico City.

Correction o' the day, f-word edition

California Democratic Party chairman John Burton didn't exactly say "f--- you" to the reporter from Calbuzz.

City Hall reporters in uproar over access rules *

Every decade or so, it seems, the City Council moves to close off the area behind the third-floor council chambers to reporters. Eventually it gets opened again when the pols remember, hey, it's useful to have quick encounters with reporters that don't require a full-on calendar appointment back in the office upstairs.

Tonight's damage on the 405

Thumbnail image for 405projectlogo.jpg Expect a busy night of work and traffic disruption on the San Diego Freeway below Sepulveda Pass (on the Westwood side, not the Valley side.) Here are the scheduled closures.

An outpost of El Sistema in South Los Angeles

YOLA Expo Center Youth Orchestra in South Los Angeles is the first youth orchestra program established by the L.A. Philharmonic, inspired by El Sistema, the Venezuelan program that spawned Gustavo Dudamel.

Tour and cocktails at Julius Shulman's home

julius-shulman-home-modcom.jpg The Los Angeles Conservancy's Modern Committee is raising money this week with a Wednesday screening of "Visual Acoustics, the Modernism of Julius Shulman" at the Egyptian Theatre and a Saturday bus trip to the late photographer's home in the Hollywood Hills.

Tyler Green moves Modern Art Notes

MAN-note.jpg Arts journalist Tyler Green is moving his blog, a must-read for scoops on the Los Angeles museum scene, from its long-time home at ArtsJournal to Art Info.com.

Witness LA and Spot.Us team up

The LA Justice Report will be a joint effort of Witness LA, journalist Celeste Fremon's blog, and the Spot.Us project that helps readers fund journalism they support. "The idea is...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 5.11.10

How to buy entry into the governor's house, Pete Wilson on immigration, the cost of city layoffs, plus Villaraigosa on jury duty, George Will, Roman Polanski, Mike Piazza and a Leimert Park reading for Lena Horne.

Another dumb freeway naming idea

I've ranted a little bit before about the second-rate practice of naming freeways and other big public works for minor political players and less-than-extraordinary do-gooders — I believe I said...

Broad museum spot Downtown worth $7.7 million

That's the market value of the city-owned parcel near Disney Hall that officials are thinking of giving to Eli Broad at $1 a year for his art museum and offices for the Broad Foundation

A bit of football stadium ballot stuffing? *

The first City council member who cites this poll as evidence of public support for a Downtown football stadium should be laughed out of the horseshoe.

Lakers sweep Utah, get a week off

Next up are the Phoenix Suns, but not until a week from tonight. Time for Kobe to rest his finger.

LAO on KCRW: Riding The High Line

high-line-long.jpg In today's column on KCRW, which just aired at 6:44 p.m. (new day and time), I muse on some of the differences between New York and Los Angeles via public...

Morning Buzz: Monday 5.10.10

Microsoft to convene in L.A., no Times endorsements for Whitman, Ponzer, Brown or Boxer, the return of Al Checchi and more bankruptcy talk from Dick Riordan.

Something escapes him about Los Angeles

The New York Times continues to run Verlyn Klinkenborg's occasional musings about Los Angeles, but they seem to be getting shorter.

Lena Horne, singer was 92

Lena Horne was the first black performer signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio — MGM, for whom she appeared in “Panama Hattie” in 1942 — and by the end of World War II was being called the country's top black entertainer.

L.A. Times misses another Saturday night L.A. game

Saturday night's game at Dodger Stadium had a 7 p.m. start time, did not go into extra innings, and only lasted 2:52 according to the box score. Yet it wasn't in the Times.

Prime-time parking rates coming to Downtown L.A.

parking-linder.jpg The 10,000 fancy new parking meters being introduced around the city are getting most of their attention for being solar powered and taking credit and debit cards. But the fanciest thing about them is that they will let the city raise parking rates block by block and hour by hour in response to demand — or the desire to alter behavior.

OK, here's a Reggie the alligator update

It's been almost three years since we've passed along any news of Reggie, the alligator (first thought to be a caiman) that eluded capture in Machado Lake in Harbor City for so longuntil May 24, 2007.

Lakers take 3-0 lead over Utah

Saturday night's game came down to the last four seconds, with the Jazz taking the final shot. But Deron Williams missed and the Lakers prevailed 111-110.

Alan Rich memorial service

A public memorial for music critic Alan Rich has been set for Tuesday, May 25th in Zipper Hall at the Colburn School on Bunker Hill in Downtown

New lineup of weekly columnists at KCRW

LA Observed on KCRW is moving to Mondays at 6:44 p.m. as part of a revamped menu of weekly programs — and we're all now being called columnists.

On the road, still

Need to call a little posting hiatus until late in the day on Friday. Made it to New York fine, just busy — though the cab driver nodding off at the wheel on the Williamsburg Bridge did kick up the tension level a bit.

Travel day

Nothing but tweets for me until probably tonight. I'll be in New York for a media panel and meetings. Watch Mark's space at LA Biz Observed for updates during the...

Dismantling the 405: Be very afraid

Hoe-ram550.jpg The 405 freeway widening project begins a new phase this week, and you're not going to like it. Got to be done, but still — beware if you can. There will be full freeway closures at night this week and next heading up into Sepulveda Pass from the Westside, for restriping of lanes. That's because this month a giant "hoe ram" — a crane equipped with a massive jackhammer — will begin smashing the Sunset Boulevard bridge over the freeway.

Blogger (and copy editor) turns Good Samaritan

Larry Harnisch, a longtime copy editor at the Los Angeles Times who also created The Daily Mirror, a blog that compiles items extracted from the paper's archives, was honored by District Attorney Steve Cooley for helping save a woman from a beating by her husband outside the Pasadena police station in 2007.

Nicole Bershon chosen new LAPD inspector general

Mayor Villaraigosa's statement commends the selection.

Fabian Nuñez's son pleads guilty in San Diego

Esteban Nuñez, 21, the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, and a co-defendant had faced a murder charge in the 2008 stabbing death of a college student in San Diego.

Max Palevsky, art collector and liberal Democrat was 85

Max Palevsky sold Scientific Data Systems to Xerox in 1969 for $1 billion, then used his money to collect art and to finance liberal causes and campaigns, including those of George McGovern, Jimmy Carter and Tom Bradley for mayor.

Tweet o' the day: You can't make this up

arnold-cinco.jpg Posted from the Twitter account of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, with this text: "Happy Cinco de Mayo!"

Tom Bradley film looking for money

om-bradley-sign.jpg Filmmakers Lyn Goldfarb and Alison Sotomayor are taking a new tack in their push to make a feature documentary on the life of the late mayor Tom Bradley. They have sent out a pitch for funds saying, "If the Hollywood Sign said Tom Bradley, would we allow his story to be forgotten?"

Village Voice Media puts up the money in Arizona

The parent company of the LA Weekly and OC Weekly, and more pertinently of Phoenix New Times, has battled through the years with the out-of-control local sheriff Joe Arpaio. Now, in a note to readers, Village Voice Media executive editor Michael Lacey and CEO Jim Larkin say they are underwriting the cost of the ACLU's legal challenge to the new Arizona immgration law.

Inside the Brody mansion in Holmby Hills

brody1AB-nyt.jpg Since the prize of the Frances and Sidney Brody art collection — “Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur” — sold at auction last night for a record $106.5 million, the New York Times offers a look inside the mansion where the Picasso used to hang.

KNBC employee among $266 million jackpot winners

Now this is one story you can find on the Channel 4 website.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 5.5.10

Riordan op-eds again, Schwarzenegger lifestyle reined in, the DWP writes a big check, the City Attorney notifies pot clinics and Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a misspelled star.

Lakers go up 2-0 over Jazz

Los Angeles 111, Utah 103. ESPN recap....

HuffPost burned by its own Facebook journalism *

After the arrest of Faisal Shahzad in the Times Square firebomb attempt, the Huffington Post quickly grabbed a photo off Facebook and said it was him. It wasn't.

Anticipation: Scully on Ernie Harwell *

Legendary Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell died today at age 92. Legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully takes to the air for tonight's game against the Brewers on KCAL Channel 9...

LA Weekly gets a little staff help

Jonathan Gold, fresh off his James Beard Foundation win, will be splitting some of the food writing duties at the LA Weekly with a second staff critic. Plus a new news blogger. Read the memo.

Villaraigosa names Chris Essel to run CRA

Mayor Antontio Villaraigosa today named defeated City Council candidate Christine Essel to be the top executive of the Community Redevelopment Agency.

What Conan was really thinking on '60 Minutes'

Video from the folks at Funny or Die.

'Los Suns' to protest Arizona immigration law

los-suns.jpg For tomorrow's NBA playoff game, the Phoenix Suns will wear jerseys that rephrase the team name into Spanish: Los Suns.

Kobe phone home

kobe-et.jpg When was the last time a fashion spread in the L.A. Times got this much attention? Kobe as ET.

How many candidates for mayor can fit in one room?

hahn-inviite-caruso.jpg Rick Caruso and his wife Tina are hosting a fundraiser at their home in Brentwood for City Council member and lieutenant governor candidate Janice Hahn

Pedro Guerrero wants back in the club

pedro-si.jpg Guerrero has gone sober (though just for three years) and wants a job in baseball, preferably with the Dodgers.

Legally speaking, schmuck is OK

an LA Observed reader sent me to this Yale Law Review article from 1993 in which Alex Kozinski, the U.S. 9th Circuit judge, and Eugene Volokh, the UCLA scholar and law blogger, do a thorough briefing on Yiddishisms in the law.

New 'Twilight' entry to debut at L.A. Film Festival

twilight-eclipse.jpg Bella will enjoy her next kiss in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" at the Los Angeles Film Festival, which opens June 17 in its new downtown location at L.A. Live. See the full schedule.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 5.4.10

Times Square suspect in custody, Tony Awards nominations, Webby Awards for locals and more, including a question for our times: is comedian Paul Rodriguez on the state water commission or not?

LA Sketchbook: Putting the O in Olvera Street

qqOlveraStreet.jpg

Rabbi Hier blesses title of new Steve Carell movie

carrell-rudd-dinnerforschmucks.jpg The summer film's title, “Dinner for Schmucks,” gets a thorough analysis by Michael Cieply in the New York Times.

Another local food writer wins big

Brad A. Johnson, the national food and travel editor for Modern Luxury and Angeleno, won the top restaurant critic prize at the international 2010 Le Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards held in Adelaide, Australia

Daily Journal could be looking for editors

Two of the associate editors at the Los Angeles Daily Journal — Christian Berthelsen and Evelyn Larrubia — are going off on a couple of the most sought-after fellowships among print journalists. Only Larrubia is expected back, apparently. Read the memo.

Here's that CIA emblem from Reserve Lofts

CIAemblem.jpg Here's a photo of the CIA seal mosaic that was found in the floor of the Downtown loft where a counterfeit operation was found, along with AK-47s and fake passports.

Metrolink's new crash-resistant rail cars

Crushable nose cones, engineers placed above crash zone, other improvements.

In the magazines: Kobe as we haven't seen him

kobe-latmag-may2010.jpg The L.A. Times Magazine has an online array of photos from yesterday's fashion spread that accompanies a Q&A with Kobe Bryant. They call it White Hot.

Jonathan Gold wins again

The LA Weekly's Jonathan Gold won the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Reviews category at last night's James Beard Foundation awards.

Lynn Redgrave, actress was 67

lynn-redgrave-people.jpg Redgrave died last night after a lengthy fight against breast cancer.

Morning Buzz: Monday 5.3.10

Poizner-Whitman debate, how the Hoiles lost the Register, when Steve Glazer met Jerry Brown, Villaraigosa backs off his arts cuts and much more.

Haim Saban profile: still wants L.A. Times

haim-saban-home-newyorker.jpg Connie Bruck's profile of Haim Saban went online an hour ago at The New Yorker — all 11,299 words.

Greuel audit: Lots of city property is missing

Controller Wendy Greuel will release an audit on Monday at City Hall that her office says shows city departments were unable to locate hundreds of pieces of equipment and other items purchased with taxpayer funds.

Roman Polanski breaks his silence in Switzerland

Roman-Polanski_digne1.jpg Perhaps the surest sign that the Roman Polanski saga could be speeding toward a final disposition: Los Angeles' most famous fugitive took to the web this weekend to make a personal plea to Swiss authorities to stop his extradition.

Any ticked-off crossword fans?

last-dance-crossword.jpg Turns out the crossword puzzle the Los Angeles Times ran in today's Calendar section, titled "Last Dance," was a repeat of the puzzle that ran two Sundays ago.

BBC reporter waits for The Big One, eats his quake kit

sanandreas-faultt-bbc.jpg David Willis, a BBC News correspondent in Los Angeles, entertained the home folks today with a dispatch on Southern California's recent spate of earthquakes.

How L.A.'s food scene can be better, continued

saveur-march-2010.jpg If you remember the minor dust-up in March over Saveur's Los Angeles issue — or even if you don't — you might like this. Plus: The Bazaar on "60 Minutes."

Lakers take game 1 from Jazz, 104-99

The Lakers gave up the lead late in the fourth period, but Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Kobe Bryant turned on the jets and got it back.

Mayor, it's Mahony with no e

villaraigosa-mahoney-tweet.jpg I guess we can safely say that if Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa hasn't learned yet how to spell the name of Cardinal Roger Mahony, he probably never will.

On TV: Times Square in NYC closed by suspicious car

times-square-bomb-nyt.jpg Several blocks around 44th and Broadway in Manhattan are blocked off while a bomb squad investigates a Nissan Pathfinder that is parked illegally, has visible gas cannisters in it, and was seen smoking. There are also reports of a timing device, black powder and someone running from the scene.

Saban profile coming in The New Yorker

haim-saban.jpg There's an 11,000-word piece on politically active L.A. mogul Haim Saban coming in Monday's New Yorker by writer Connie Bruck, but the best story might be in what has gone on behind the scenes.

Rainey nails Channel 4's descent

Whoa, what got into Jim Rainey? The L.A. Times' media writer not known for his bite channeled his inner Howard Rosenberg in a piece today saying KNBC News has "devolved from cheese to cheesier to, perhaps, cheesiest of them all."

May Day rally crowds sort of a tweener

maydayrally-2010-kcbs.jpg Today's May Day rally crowds in Downtown fell far short of the bar set in 2006, but were bigger than last year — and way bigger than the turnouts for...
Can we all agree Elizabeth Peña had a certain something?
elizabeth-pena-variety.jpgThe actress who worked in Hollywood from her early 20s died at Cedars at age 55. Read more.
LAO_LewisMacAdams copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed. Check out Gary's archive.
Streetscape | Whitnall Highway
dwp-bldg-whitnall-hwy.jpg DWP architecture in North Hollywood.
Print relic
linotype-le-figaro.jpgKevin spotted this Linotype machine on display in the Paris lobby of Le Figaro, the second-largest national newspaper in France. Bigger
Streetscape | Alameda Corridor
red-dress-alameda-corridor.jpg