LA Observed archive
for September 2010

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

Comic-Con staying in San Diego

The giant comics-plus convention will announce Friday it's remaining in San Dego for at least five years.

Ruth Reichl lands at Random House

Ruth Reichl, the longtime California-based food writer and editor before moving to the New York Times and Gourmet, has been named an editor-at-large of Random House.

Ed Rosenthal found, airlifted in critical condition

The downtown real estate broker-poet missing since Friday in Joshua Tree National Park was found today and flown to a hospital, according to a family friend cited by Blogdowntown and...

The local downside of AOL Patch

The AOL news sites are posing a threat to long-established but lesser-funded local news outlets around the L.A. area, says an LA Weekly story by Tibby Rothman.

Washington reporter leaves frustrated by Obama, media

Ken Silverstein, the Washington editor and blogger for Harpers who used to be an investigative reporter at the D.C. bureau of the L.A. Times, is moving on to do investigative reporting for Global Witness and take a fellowship with the Open Society Institute.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 9.30.10

What the Whitman-housekeeper boomlet means, Whitman and Brown tied in another poll, the FBI and LAPD collaborate to solve a whole bunch of homicides, almost half don't pay their red-light camera tickets, plus one ex-councilman gets a job and another one passes on.

Tony Curtis, actor was 85

tony-curtis-imdb.jpg Tony Curtis starred opposite Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon in "Some Like it Hot" — which the American Film Institute named the best comedy of the 20th century.— and got an Oscar nomination for "The Defiant Ones."

L.A. Times launches new online crime maps

The Times has been working with the LAPD and sheriff's department to ensure good data and today launches a new feature mapping crime across the city and a substantial part of the county.

Community wins big change on 405 project

mulholland-bridge-550.jpg Caltrans and Metro have all but finally decided to alter the way the impressively high, 1959-era Mulholland Drive bridge is replaced during the I-405 widening project. It's a simple change that will reduce headaches and could save $10 million.

LAT-style faux front pages spreading *

LaTimesWrap92910-apple.jpg Several smaller papers around the country today joined the Los Angeles Times in running a fake front news page to promote NBC's new show "Law & Order: Los Angeles." LA Observed readers react.

Tonight's sunset from Venice Beach

alcorn-venice-pier-92910.jpg Photographer Jonathan Alcorn got to the Venice pier for this shot of tonight's gorgeous sunset.

Dreaming of a park along the river

lewis-macadams-nyt910.jpg Poet and L.A. River advocate Lewis MacAdams' dream of a park on the Union Pacific Piggyback Yard made a splash in today's New York Times real estate pages.

Searchers find tracks for Ed Rosenthal

Search teams in Joshua Tree National Park shut down trails to preserve any tracks that may have been left by hiker Ed Rosenthal, and by nightfall had picked up "clear indications of Rosenthal's presence" several miles south of the original search zone.

Art Gilmore, Hollywood narrator was 98 *

Art Gilmore narrated hundreds of movie trailers, television episodes and radio shows. He also worked back in the day as a news announcer at KFWB and KNX.

Arthur Penn, director was 88

Arthur Penn, the director of "Bonnie and Clyde," The Miracle Worker" and "Alice's Restaurant," died Tuesday in New York a day after turning 88.

First rule of corrections: get it right

From today's Los Angeles Times corrections page, plus a reaction tro the latest NBC ad to wrap the paper.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 9.29.10

Debate roundup, Boxer-Fiorina today, higher fees to adopt a dog, and Angeleno editor Degen Pener signs on with Janice Min at the Hollywood Reporter.

LA Sketchbook: Antonio and Beutner


Suspect fires at cops with AK-47, is killed

No LAPD officers were hurt in this afternoon's shooting in the 1600 block of Temple Street near Union Avenue.

Greuel audit questions use of red-light cameras

City Controller Wendy Greuel will release an audit tomorrow of the city's 32 red light cameras, discussing why they weren't placed at the most dangerous intersections and concluding that the program "cannot document conclusively an increase in public safety."

Brown and Whitman debating right now

They're live on Channel 7 here. After the debate, at 7 p.m., Warren Olney will convene a panel to analyze it live on "Which Way, L.A.?" on KCRW.

Nahai takes a law job

H. David Nahai, whose short stint as general manager of the Department of Water and Power for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa ended last year, is joining the Los Angeles law firm of Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith as partner.

HuffPost says Mayhill Fowler full of it

"How do you resign from a job you never had?," Huffington Post spokesman Mario Ruiz says about ex-blogger Mayhill Fowler.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 9.28.10

Meg and Jerry debate tonight, questions about methodology of the Times-USC poll, thumbs down on the state Legislature, a stress hotline for LAUSD teachers and more after the jump.

Overcast and cooler right now, but it will be hot again

Temps are supposed to reach 100 again in some parts of Los Angeles today. If these clouds mean the humidity will be higher than yesterday's approximately bone-dry conditions, this afternoon might be more unpleasant than Monday.

Sally Menke, film editor was 56

The body of a hiker reported missing yesterday in Griffith Park has been located at the bottom of a ravine. Law-enforcement sources say it's Sally Menke, Quentin Tarantino's editor on...

NPR's Michele Norris offers a memoir of growing up black

michele-norris.gif NPR host and reporter Michele Norris' new book is called "The Grace of Silence: A Memoir."

It was so hot...the thermometer broke

National Weather Service officials at the regional base in Oxnard monitored the official Downtown reading on Monday as it reached, then passed the old record of 112 degrees — then saw the meter had broken down.

Downtown's 'poet-broker' missing in Joshua Tree *

Ed Rosenthal is the subject of an active search after his car was found over the weekend at the Black Rock campground in Joshua Tree National Park.

Kudos keep rolling in for L.A. Times on Bell

NPR media reporter David Folkenflik devoted six minutes to the Los Angeles Times reporting on Bell and the related media coverage issues in a piece for Weekend Edition.

HBO's 'Teenage Paparazzo' debuts

teenage-pap-hbo.jpg The film is hosted by actor Adrian Grenier, who it's said became interested when he noticed Autsin Visschedyk, then 14, taking pictures in a pack of Hollywood paparazzi.

Patty Fox, fashion director and author was 62

Patty Fox, a longtime media commentator on fashion and the former fashion director of Divine Design, died Sunday of ovarian canc

Two new MacArthur grants in the L.A. area

Installation artist Jorge Pardo, who is a graduate of Art Center, and Caltech biophysicist John Dabiri, who studies the theoretical engineering behind jellyfish propulsion, have been named 2010 MacArthur Foundation fellows.

KCRW brings back Joe Frank

Joe Frank is one of the legendary voices of KCRW's past. The station is reprising five notable episodes on Sundays at 11 a.m., starting Oct. 10.

Hot enough for you?

car-temp-92710.jpg My car thermometer (pictured) registered 116 degrees at about 2:30 p.m. while on the 405 freeway at Wilshire, near Westwood. Today's official high of 113 is the highest ever recorded in downtown Los Angeles.

Mayhill Fowler quits HuffPost, wants to be paid *

Mayhill Fowler was the Huffington Post election blogger who got a lot of attention during the 2008 campaign for recording Bill Clinton's three-minute rant about Vanity Fair writer Todd Purdum and Barack Obama's critique of "bitter" small-town Americans.

Morning Buzz: Monday 9.27.10

Hotter yet again today, last week for McCourt v. McCourt, more polling mania in the state election races, plus Jose Huizar, Ari Swiller and more.

Harold Dow's last story for CBS

rodney-alcala.jpg Before he died in August, longtime "48 Hours" correspondent Harold Dow working for more than a year on a story about Southern California serial killer Rodney Alcala and his "40-year odyssey of rape, murder and eluding justice."

Check that: Downtown Art Walk back on

artwalk-810-trucks.jpg Last week's abrupt announcement that the Downtown Art Walk would cease being held monthly on Thursday nights is now being called an unauthorized statement by "former director" Jay Lopez.

Teacher named in Times' rankings may have killed himself *

The body of Rigoberto Ruelas, a 5th grade teacher at Miramonte Elementary in South Gate, was found near his car in the Angeles National Forest.

Soboroff endorses McCourt, chides naysayers

Steve Soboroff and Frank McCourt share a PR rep and a mutual admiration, apparently.

Brown, Boxer lead in LAT-USC poll

The poll findings, based on likely voters being more Republican this year, have Democrat Jerry Brown leading Meg Whitman 49%-44%. Barbara Boxer leads Carly Fiorina 51%-43%.

Pasadena Now goes to the outsource card again

Three years after he got national attention and local criticism for outsourcing some local coverage of Pasadena to reporters working in India (and then in-sourced again), James McPherson says his new Pasadena Now web video channel will also hire in Asia.

NFL in Spanish irks some L.A. viewers

futbol-americano.jpg NBC is airing tonight's football game between the Jets and the Dolphins with some production graphics in Spanish. Those graphics and some commercials in Spanish have apparently sparked a bunch of complaints to KNBC.

Lohan gets bail, judge overruled

Turns out that Beverly Hills Judge Elden Fox can't just make it up and prevent Lindsay Lohan from getting bail on a misdemeanor violation.

Downtown Art Walk too popular, will go on hiatus

When the official Downtown Art Walk returns in January, it will switch to a weekend day and be held quarterly, the organizers say.

Clip from 'The Social Network'

The David Fincher movie based on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg opens the New York Film Festival tonight.

Programming note

I'm the keynote speaker today at the Founders Day celebration at California State University, Northridge. Five hundred something alumni from the college's early years will be there. They're going to...

Gliding over the Santa Monicas in high-def

Great scenery from a hang glider soaring over the mountains.

Media swarming for Lohan — again *

Lindsay Lohan's progress from her home to Beverly Hills court was tracked en masse, and TMZ has reactivated its live stream from outside the courthouse.

Resnick Pavilion closer to opening

resnick-pavilion.jpg LAO's Judy Graeme attended today's press preview for the new Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion at LACMA.

Architectural Digest's new editorial team unveiled

Only a few of Architectural Digest's Los Angeles staffers show up on the masthead for the newly constituted AD in New York.

Flying man of Venice

jeb-corliss-flying.jpg Jeb Corliss wants to be the first person to jump out of an airplane and land safely without a parachute.

Daily News exec gets stolen Mustang back after 35 years

jack-klunder-mustang.jpg ack Klunder, the president and publisher of the Daily News, was 18 and at Rio Hondo Junior College in Whittier when his 1966 Mustang (bought for $800 in 1974) was stolen from a parking lot.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 9.23.10

Whitman and Brown tied in Field Poll, how Robert Rizzo may have hid the high salaries in Bell, LADOT chief resigns, Larry Elder returns to KABC and more inside.

Fred Davis is GOP's ad man in the Hollywood Hills

fred-daviis-alcorn.jpg Davis, who did the famous Demon Sheep spot for Carly Fiorina and ads for John McCain this year and the Barack Obama-Paris Hilton spot in 2008, "is perhaps the most sought-after ad man in politics," the Washington Post says in a feature with photos by Jonathan Alcorn.

City Hall hiring freeze must be off

Councilman Tony Cardenas' office is also looking to hire a deputy for communications. Deadline to apply is Friday.

Caruso still leaning toward mayor run

It's amazing Rick Caruso doesn't fall over, as much leaning as he's doing on the question of running for mayor in 2013.

LA Sketchbook: Rizzo's Bell

qqBell Rizzo.jpg

Beutner on 'Which Way, L.A.?'

First Deputy Mayor and DWP chief Austin Beutner guests with Warren Olney on "Which Way, L.A.?" tonight at 7 p.m. and talks about the department and the chatter that he...

Rizzo's bail set at $2 million

That's down from the $3.2 million originally set for ex-Bell city manager Robert Rizzo.

Times moving Festival of Books to USC *

L.A. Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein and USC just jointly announced that next year's Festival of Books will be moving from UCLA, where it started and was held for 15 years.

Courtroom scene for Bell 8

bell-mug-shots.jpg Arraignment is coming up for the eight current and former city of Bell officials who were arrested yesterday. "LA courtroom hallway jammed with friends, family, lawyers, bail bonds men, activists...

Where stop sign cameras are located in L.A.

stop-sign-cameras.jpg Channel 2 has mapped the locations of what it calls the only cameras in the state placed to catch drivers running stop signs.

Remembering Buddy Collette's Los Angeles

Buddy Collette, the legendary jazz musician and Los Angeles native who died here on Sunday at 89, "both profited from and contributed to the rich midcentury jazz scene along Los...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 9.22.10

Whitman, Brown, Mrs. Brown, pot, Mrs. Obama, a job opening at City Hall for a media type and more inside.

McCourts seem closer to settlement after lawyer testifies

Once Larry Silverstein gets done testifying, the two sides will go into mediation, reports say.

In Los Angeles magazine for October

av-failure-crop.jpg With the lifeguards at Zuma, inside the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, why we love Helen Mirren, plus an analysis from our own Mark Lacter on the prospects of (and arguments for) bankruptcy by the city of Los Angeles.

Doing without Boyarsky for a while

billbanner-crop.jpg Bill's hard at work on a future book and needs to pull in from his writing on politics for awhile.

Nicole Richie's publicist does her job

nicole-richie-book-release.jpg Simon and Schuster is all over the case of pitching Nicole Richie as a well-rounded author-whatever.

Racial and ethnic clusters in L.A., all mapped out

race-ethnicity-map-flickr.jpg This graphic posted to Flickr by Eric Fischer maps Los Angeles using racial and ethnic data from the 2000 census. Each dot represents 25 people.

Wall Street Journal names new L.A. bureau chief

Rob Guth, the Wall Street Journal's tech reporter based in San Francisco, is coming south to be Los Angeles bureau chief. Read the memo.

Afternoon media notes

Catching up with some stuff that's been piling up.

Rizzo, 7 other Bell officials arrested in morning raids *

District Attorney Steve Cooley is on live TV now announcing the charges and arrests. Former city manager Robert Rizzo is accused of misappropriating more than $5 million in public funds....

Clifton's plans get more detailed *

cliftons-flickr.jpg The new owner of Clifton's Cafeteria will be appearing at a press conference shortly with Councilman Jose Huizar to announce that there will be 100 new jobs for the formerly homeless as part of the new Clifton's. Plus a DWP cafeteria update.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 9.21.10

Concessions contracts awarded at LAX, original Wonkette talks to Schwarzenegger, Mel Brooks on the radio and much more.

Did city councilman get married? Yes and no

In Pomona, "even a feel-good wedding story turns out to be nuts."

What ever happened to: Alan Mendelson

Alan Mendelson, the former Channel 9 business and consumer reporter, talks to the L.A. Business Journal about his kidney and pancreas transplant, his infomercials pitching paid products and how he sees his firing from KCAL after 16 years.

LA Sketchbook: Meg-a-millions


Mickey Kaus takes his blog to Newsweek

The former U.S. Senate candidate finds a new home for Kausfiles, which left Slate during his campaign for U.S. Senate.

From law school to the McCourt trial

joshua-fisher-nyt.jpg Joshua Fisher, the 24-year-old University of Minnesota Law School student who started, is back in town covering McCourt v. McCourt, which resumed today with Jamie on the stand.

Bon Appetit leaving L.A., Fairchild leaving the mag

Conde Nast announced today that the editorial offices of Bon Appetit magazine will be moving to New York, without longtime editor Barbara Fairchild.

Teachers database worth 1.4 million page views for LAT

The Los Angeles Times's controversial database rating LAUSD teachers based on test scores has been a big online traffic draw.

Morning Buzz: Monday 9.20.10

Jamie McCourt's SUV hits a pedestrian, Paris Hilton pleads guilty in Vegas, The Madeleine Brand Show debuts at 9 a.m. and more for a Monday — including items on Jerry Brown, Rick Caruso, Rick Dees, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, Ruben Martinez and others.

Russo is the tea parties' 'potent force'

Longtime California Republican hand Sal Russo is riding high with the success in GOP primaries of tea party candidates.

Newsweek's Fineman jumps to Huffington Post

Howard Fineman, who the New York Times calls "one of the more recognizable pundits on cable television and a correspondent for Newsweek for 30 years," is leaving the magazine to become a senior politics editor at The Huffington Post.

Going to be a long 'long time' for McCourt

If Frank McCourt does manage to own the Dodgers for a long time to come, as he vows, he's in for some rough pubic relations. He's already lost the Times, if Plaschke's column is any indication.

Lawyer Richard Fine released from jail

Fine, the 70-year-old lawyer and self-styled taxpayer advocate sent to jail "indefinitely" by a ticked-off Superior Court judge, served a year and a half before being released abruptly last night.

Weekend obits: James Bacon, Roderick Mann and more

Bacon and Mann both made their names interviewing movie stars and other Hollywood celebrities.

Tech blog Lalawag shuts down

Founder Sean Percival, now VP of Marketing at MySpace, says there's just not enough time in the day to keep it going.

Clifton's sold, will go more hipster

cliftons-flickr.jpg The last remaining Clifton's Cafeteria in Downtown, the forest-themed one on Broadway, has been purchased by Andrew Meieran, owner of The Edison.

Yeah, Joe Torre's escaping the mess at Dodger Stadium *

Dodgers manager Joe Torre will announce this afternoon that he is stepping down at the end of the season, to be replaced by Don Mattingly.

Jonathan Franzen reads in L.A.

There's been a lot of talk about Franzen and his novel "Freedom," and close to 600 people came out to hear him last night at the Aratani Japan-America Theater in Downtown.

Brown's office delays action on Lisker

Bruce Lisker's lawyer says that a representative of Attorney General Jerry Brown's office asked to delay consideration of Lisker's legal status until mid-November — in other words, after the election.

No Morning Buzz today

Check out Mark Lacter's morning headlines at LA Biz Observed.

Fat Beats, hip-hop landmark on Melrose, is closing

Pix4-Jorge_Ledesma_ArtrucultureGroup.jpg This weekend is the last one at Fat Beats, a destination music store for hip-hop artists and fans for 14 years.

Tide turns swiftly against the McCourts

frank-jamie-mccourt-star.jpg Nobody wants the McCourts to keep the Dodgers, it's beginning to sound like — including Bud Selig and Peter O'Malley.

Editor's wife and daughter earn a cover

jewish-journal-cover91610.jpg Rob Eshman, the editor of the Jewish Journal, begins this week's note to readers with an admission: "Yes, that’s my wife and daughter on the cover of this issue." As...

Jesus Saves, the backstory

jesus-saves-blogdtown.jpg Blogdowntown's Eric Richardson explains why the Jesus Saves neon signs tower above the United Artists theatre on Broadway — and digs into their travels since the first sign appeared on the downtown skyline in 1935.

Encyclopedia of Wikipedia edits on Iraq war

wikipedia-iraq.jpg James Bridle has published every edit to the Wikipedia entry for the Iraq War, from the article's creation in December of 2004 to November 2009, as a 12-volume set.

MTA drops remaining claims against Tutor-Saliba-Perini

The Daily Journal's Ciaran McEvoy seems to have this alone, in today's paper.

This time his retirement will stick, D.J. Waldie says

Author and thoughtful Los Angeles observer D.J. Waldie is leaving his longtime day job with the city of Lakewood, his home town, at the end of the month.

KNBC moving to Conan's stage at Universal lot *

KNBC Channel 4's news operation and the Los Angeles bureau for NBC News will move to the vacant stage built for "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" at Universal City, Michael Schneider reports at Variety.

Sen. Rod Wright indicted over residency, pleads not guilty

State Sen. Roderick Wright, the Democrat representing Inglewood and environs, pleaded not guilty today to eight felony charges that he lived outside his district and voted fraudulently. He was indicted Monday and the indictment was unsealed tod

Andrés Martinez goes home for El Grito

Zócalo has launched a series where it invites writers to contribute pieces on going home, "wherever or whatever that may be." First up is Andrés Martinez, who helped spawn Zócalo while he was editor of the editorial pages at the Los Angeles Times, before the dramatic fall.

Opera on the 110 hits BBC

110-opera.jpg The Strand, a program on the BBC World Service, features a segment on One-Ten, the opera being composed in serial form along and about the Pasadena and Harbor freeways by Los Angeles Magazine.

LA Sketchbook: Mayor's ticket to ride

qqVillaraigosa tix.jpg

Morning Buzz: Thursday 9.16.10

Whitman's record spending, Jerrry Brown needs to be lucky, Bell's new city attorney has a past, new job for Bill Bratton and a floating pig over Downtown.

Blue whales good for what ails an enviro's heart

blue-whale-pete-thomas-blog.jpg Heal the Bay president Mark Gold's wife made him get on a whale watch boat and go see the whales. He's glad he did.

New morning show debuts on KPCC on Monday

The "Madeleine Brand Show" we've been telling you about since March joins the morning lineup on Sept. 20 at 9 a.m.

Mayor shifts some senior duties and titles *

With Jay Carson leaving at the end of the month, Mayor Villaraigosa is moving the chess pieces again.

Brand X reorganizes

The weekly entertainment listings section put out by the Los Angeles Times is now more of a Times Community News operation.

Speier, formerly of The Wrap and Variety, joins Deadline

After Michael Speier was laid off last year as executive editor of Daily Variety, he served a stint as news editor for Sharon Waxman at The Wrap. Now he's joining Waxman's arch-rival Nikki Finke in the new position of managing editor at Deadline.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 9.15.10

Pay to play on local TV, Jerry Brown sues over Bell and more inside.

New shows unwrapped at KPFK

Alan Minsky, the programming director at Pacifica Radio's KPFK, had been warning the station's community of programmers and listeners that changes were coming. And now they have.

Penelope Cruz confirms: yeah, it's a baby

penelope-cruz-people.jpg People around town have been seeing Spanish actress and newly adopted Angeleno Penelope Cruz carrying an obvious baby bump.

Ethics commission votes to limit freebies

In a preliminary move that will eventually have to be validated by the City Council, the City Ethics Commission voted to bar top officials from taking free tickets to concerts and sports if the donor has business pending before the city.

Brown and Clinton make up

"We're very pleased to have the endorsement of former President Bill Clinton," says Jerry Brown's spokesman Sterling Clifford. Brown also releases a new anti-Whitman ad....

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 9.14.10

Jerry Brown apologizes for bringing Monica Lewinsky into it, Board of Supes to look at letter grades for food trucks, LAPD officers get scammed, a gay Saudi diplomat here seeks asylum and more inside.

Hanging in L.A. with the Beatles in 1974 *

Rock musician Jesse Ed Davis's 64-year-old ex-girlfriend has Polaroid photos of Paul McCartney and the other Beatles, plus Eric Clapton and others, hanging around at John Lennon's Santa Monica beach house.

Oops, Google Maps robot drinking again

wahoo-to-louisvuitton.jpg More fun with Google Maps and its perplexing take on the geography of Los Angeles. I will say, this one seems more like a technical glitch than a failure of...

Sue Schmitt named editor of Press-Telegram

sue-schmitt-pt.JPG Sue Schmitt, the editor of the Daly Breeze from 2001-06, is returning to the newsroom grind as Editor and General Manager of the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

DWP's final insult: cafeteria closed to public

dwp-building.jpg ow they have gone too far. The Department of Water and Power, already in the running for least popular city agency, has closed its cafeteria to the public,

Next L.A. Times ad stunt for 'Law and Order: Los Angeles'

The next shock for Times readers could be an upcoming ad campaign for "Law and Order: Los Angeles" that Variety says again blurs the line between editorial and advertising, similar to previous ads in the Times for "Southland" and the King Kong attraction at Universal Studios.

LA Observed on KCRW: the Westlake shooting

My KCRW column this week suggests that the late Paul Conrad, if he were still commenting on Los Angeles, would see tragedy in the Westlake police shooting, not a clash of good and bad.

ESPN's Jay Mariotti charged with 7 misdemeanors

The City Attorney's charges against Mariotti stem from a domestic violence incident last month with his girlfriend at their condo in Venice.

Tribune creditors ask permission to sue Sam Zell

The creditors who fear getting screwed in the Tribune Company's bankruptcy want a Delaware court's OK to sue Zell if it comes to that.

Garcetti gets to practice his mayor look

City Council President Eric Garcetti takes a turn as the fictional mayor of Los Angeles on tonight's episode of The Closer on TNT.

Daily Beast's gangster matriarch of L.A.

maria-leon-dailybeast.jpg The Daily Beast is billing former LA Weekly writer Christine Pelisek as the site's "new L.A.-based crime reporter, with a piece up today on Drew Street's Maria Leon.

Morning Buzz: Monday 9.13.10

Daily News warns mayor again, schools open at the old Ambassador Hotel site, bikers count on Arnold, Natalie Portman dances and much more.

The Hollywood Reporter to go weekly & glossy

thr-mag-cover.jpg Janice Min's Hollywood Reporter will switch to a weekly magazine next next month, the New York Times says. "A mix of analytical and feature articles and photo spreads, will be...

Our 5,000 Twitter follower is...

Over the weekend Kara Seward became the 5,000 follower of LA Observed on Twitter. Her food blog is Front of the House, and she tweets as @frontofthehouse. Thanks for the...

When asteroids attack...

asteroid-landings.jpg There's been some chuckling around town, especially among TV news folks, about Channel 9 getting caught with its graphics out of synch on the night of the San Bruno disaster up north.

Weekend news and notes

Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere," a forthcoming film set mostly at the Chateau Marmont, won the top Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival. LAPD chief Charlie Beck said the...

Optical illusion of a girl tried for pedestrian safety

The image of a girl painted on the pavement is being tried in lieu of speed bumps, or humps if you prefer.

Campanile's Mark (The Voice) Peel joins 'Off-Ramp'

Mark Peel, the chef at Campanile and Tarpit (and formerly of Spago if you want to go way back), will contribute pieces on the restaurant business to KPCC's Off-Ramp beginning with an inside look at tipping on today's show at noon.

Floating a stretch of the L.A. River

river-floating.jpg Ten friends, including journalists Anthea Raymond (public radio) and Bettina Boxall (Los Angeles Times), paddled down a two-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River between Atwater and Elysian Valley last weekend.

Friday developments in Westlake shooting

Last weekend's fatal shooting of 37-year-old Guatemalan Manuel Jamines continues to echo in the news. LAPD officer Frank Hernandez, who shot Jamines, was accused in a civil lawsuit earlier this...

Elvis Mitchell to co-host Ebert's new 'At the Movies'

mitchell-lemire.jpg Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz will co-produce a new version of "At the Movies" for PBS, with KCRW's Elvis Mitchell and Christy Lemire of Associated Press as the main critics.

Majestic Crest to keep showing movies

Robert Bucksbaum, who recently announced he is giving up the Majestic Crest theatre in Westwood, says in his final email to customers that a chain will be taking over and continuing to show movies.

California Watch declares itself a success

California Watch has been at it for a year now, and says its 11 full-time reporters are "by far the largest investigative team operating in the state."

Find out your closest gas pipeline, if you can wait

The National Pipleine Mapping System website lets you search for the natural gas main lines near you, but in the aftermath of the San Bruno tragedy it is being overloaded with requests.

Police impounds in Bell not an LAT story

The L.A. Times has rightfully been receiving a lot of credit for its disclosures of the corruption in the city of Bell (and probably too little criticism for enabling the...

NYT checks out Downtown food scene

starry-kitchen-nyt.jpg Before she left town for Washington, former New York Times bureau chief Jennifer Steinhauer did the tour of newer Downtown restaurants.

Morning Buzz: Friday 9.10.10

San Bruno residents smelled gas for days, another tragic shooting in Rampart, Bell not the first corrupt city, why City Hall contracts get so political and Marilyn Monroe's home sells.

At least 3 dead, 53 homes gone in Bay Area blast & fire

san-bruno-fire.jpg An underground natural gas pipeline blew up in a San Bruno neighborhood south of San Francisco this evening, engulfing whole blocks in a fireball.

Brutal take on McCourts at ESPN *

Bryant_Howard_35.jpg If this is really how the McCourts and the Dodgers are viewed around the sport, the media in this town — and ESPN at all levels — has done one horrendous job of reporting up to now.

Schwarzenegger takes a little swipe at Sarah Palin

arnold-over-alaska.jpg Five hours after tweeting that his plane was "wheels up" on the trade mission to Asia, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger added a little barb aimed at Sarah Palin.

Federal judge voids 'don't ask, don't tell'

U.S. District Court Judge Virginia A. Phillips in Riverside ruled tonight that the military’s ban on openly gay service members violates the 1st Amendment rights of lesbians and gay men.

LAPD union rushes to judgment on Westlake shooting *

Police Protective League drops its usual no rush to judgment stance on this one, plus a new witness saying there was no knife and other developments.

Jay Carson leaving Villaraigosa staff *

The Chief Deputy Mayor says he'll be gone by the end of the month, after just a year.

Dodgers use cease-and-desist on Los Doyers

los-doyers.jpg One of the websites that was selling Los Doyers t-shirts before the Dodgers trademarked the phrase has taken its merchandise off the market. Latin Lingo Clothing got a cease-and-desist letter...

Boyarsky on Conrad: the rest of the story

billbanner-crop.jpg The L.A. Times obituary on Paul Conrad, one of its most recognized names ever, didn't quite tell all.

La Opinión and KPCC to host Boxer-Fiorina debate

The live debate between Sen. Barbara Boxer and challenger Carly Fiorina is set for Wednesday, Sept. 29 from 1 to 2 p.m. as part of the Patt Morrison show on KPCC.

LAT health editor gets corporate promotion *

Tami Dennis, health and science editor at the Los Angeles Times, is getting new Tribune-wide responsibilities and the title of vice president of health content for Tribune Company.

Trader Vic's covers up topless Polynesians

trader-vics-blue.jpg Blogger Tabloid Baby notices, and cares, that the little Trader Vic's remnant at the pool of the Beverly Hilton has added modest blue bikini tops to the bare breasts of the polynesian women in a painted scene.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 9.9.10

Another Brown-Whitman debate, the benefactor of Schwarzenegger's Asian trip, Robin Kramer to the harbor commission and more inside.

Long-delayed Siqueiros mural a step closer

olvera-mural-kpcc.jpg Ground was broken on a $9 million interpretive center for the American Tropical mural at Olvera Street.

Third night of street protests in Westlake area

Police and a few hundred protesters squared off again Wednesday night in the area of 6th Street and Union Avenue, with some objects thrown and at least one fire lit and quickly extinguished. Earlier in the evening, Chief Beck was greeted by jeers at a community meeting where he had gone to promise a full investigation into the shooting of Guatemalan day laborer Manuel Jamines.

Alatorre and Roos won't be charged for lobbyist violations

Former City Councilman Richard Alatorre and his lobbying partner, ex-Assemblyman Mike Roos, won't be prosecuted by the DA for violating the law that requires lobbyists to register and declare their clients, even though prosecutors concluded they did the deeds.

New 'content exchange' for freelancers and publishers

bill-momary.jpg Ebyline, which launches tomorrow after several months in stealth phase, hopes to connect freelance journalists with publications that want their stories. Ex-LAT ad people are key players.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 9.8.10

Larry King's replacement becomes official, LAT urges defense of Prop. 8, Mel Gibson's arresting deputy sues, the times loses two reporters in Washington and much more inside.

2 and 7 lead with Westlake protest, 4 goes to LAX *

With protesters still running in the streets, and the LAPD on citywide tactical alert, KNBC 4 led the 11 p.m. news with the investigation into a possible threat on board...

Trutanich weighs into LAX concessions, helps HMS Host

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has recommended that the City Council's Board of Referred Powers disqualify the group of restaurants bidding against incumbent LAX concessionaire HMS Host, whose top lobbyist is a campaign contributor.

Protesters and police clash again in Westlake area **

westlake-protest-9710neontommy.jpg A gathering of protesters massed in front of the Rampart LAPD division on 6th Street tonight to vent over the weekend killing of day laborer Manuel Jamines.

Pay even if broken or move the car at new meters

pay-to-park-meters-los-angeles.jpg Complying with the parking limits isn't enough to avoid a ticket at the city's new "smart" meters — which have more ways to fail than the old ones.

Yaroslavsky will think about running for mayor

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, answering a question from Patt Morrison in the weekend LAT, says he has no real regrets about not running for mayor against Tom Bradley in 1989. And as for 2013?

SeaWorld orca dies

sumar.jpg Sumar, one of seven orcas at Sea World San Diego, died this afternoon after appearing lethargic yesterday and being given antibiotics.

First read: Euna Lee's story from North Korea

glamoureuna-lee-laura-ling_.jpg Current TV producer Euna Lee's book on her and Laura Ling's captivity in North Korea is coming this month from Broadway Books. Here's a snippet from the excerpt online of...

Noomi Rapace talks about moving on

reakout Swedish actress Noomi Rapace sat down in Venice with Anne Thompson to talk about her new movie projects, her recent introductory trip to Hollywood and leaving behind the role of Lisbeth Salander.

Rodney King to marry juror from trial

Rodney King, who is 44 now, is set to marry "Juror number 5" from his civil case against the city of Los Angeles over the infamous beating he took from the LAPD along Foothill Boulevard in 1991.

LA Sketchbook: Paul Conrad

qqxsgConradObit.jpg Steve Greenberg's tribute to his cartooning inspiration, plus funeral information for Paul Conrad.

'Los Doyers' trademarked by the Dodgers *

los-doyers.jpg In August the Dodgers filed paperwork to trademark the use of the phrase Los Doyers on clothing and souvenirs for sale and in media.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 9.7.10

Long bunch of news and notes coming back from the holiday weekend. Tucked away neatly inside, as usual.

Waxman: Schism at Min's THR

Janice Min's arrival at the Hollywood Reporter has left the trade's previous staffers feeling shut out, Sharon Waxman says.

Remembering Paul Conrad

conradobit.jpg Tim Rutten's tribute is one of the best I've come across.Plus this cartoon from John Sherffius.

New film and politics blog from Kelly Candaele

clooney-the-american.jpg Writer, filmmaker and Los Angeles political figure Kelly Candaele has launched Politics and Films to write about feature films and documentaries from a political perspective.

Editor still clings to his land line

Stephen Randall, the editor in Los Angeles for Playboy magazine, explains in an Op-Ed piece for the LAT that while he loves his smartphone and all of his tech toys, the old fashioned telephone on his desk at home still has its place.

Tense day and night in the Westlake area

union6th-valdez-twitpic.jpg fter a day of protest marches, vigils and confrontations with police, the LAPD declared an illegal assembly about 10 p.m. and officers in riot gear began clearing the streets around 6th Street and Union Avenue. That's where an LAPD bicycle officer on Sunday shot and killed a day laborer identified unofficially as Manuel Jamines.

McCourt trial, and L.A., beckon to ESPN writer

Molly Knight says that Joan Didion speaks for her on why L.A. has it all over New York, fo rher.

Is LA Observed the blog that shall not be named?

A quick search for LA Observed on the L.A. Times website found four mentions this year, all on blogs. That's fewer links than LA Observed provides to LAT stories on a typical day.

ABC News chief Westin to step down

David Westin writes "I’ve always admired those few who know when it’s time to move on." Read his entire email.

Lazy (and foggy) Sunday afternoon by the coast

reel-inn-neon.jpg I spotted Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver pedaling their bikes northbound on Main Street in Santa Monica.

LA Sketchbook: Labor Day calendar


Paul Conrad, political cartoonist was 86 *

conrad112006.jpg For decades, Paul Conrad's cartoons in the Los Angeles Times were conversation starters, debate shapers and eyeball attractors. He was one of the paper's best known journalists, the one sure to draw the longest lines at book signings and other public appearances.

First Friday on Abbot Kinney

firstfriday910e.jpg Abbot Kinney Boulevard's sidewalks were packed for tonight's monthly First Friday extravaganza — with pictures — plus an exhibit for L.A. Times photographer Carolyn Cole.

Inside the talk of a Lance Armstrong investigation

lance-armstrong.jpg In today's Los Angeles Daily Journal, reporter Gabe Friedman says that "as federal prosecutors ramp up the high-profile criminal investigation into alleged doping by U.S. pro cyclists, including seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, two questions have stumped observers: Why here? Why now?"

LA Sketchbook: Mummies


LAT joins the Breitbart profile parade

andrew-breitbart-time.jpg Better late than never, I guess. The L.A. Times looks today at the Los Angeles-spawned Andrew Breitbart phenomenon, though not as deeply as national pubs have. One interesting note: a...

Leno's ratings trail Conan's in the 18-49 demographic

jay-leno-soqui.jpg Jay Leno's overall audience is bigger than Conan O'Brien's was in the Tonight show chair, but it's way off what Leno used to get. And in the key demographic that advertisers look for, well, Leno is no Conan.

Story line on LAT teacher evaluations leaves stuff out

LA Observed columnist Bill Boyarsky, writing for the second time on the teacher effectiveness series that has been getting so much attention for the Los Angeles Times, argues that the debate over the stories is being over-simplified.

Bruce Lisker reacts: Keep the faith *

lisker-nofurn-crop.jpg In Part 6 of The Lisker Chronicles at LA Observed, Bruce Lisker is hit with the state's move to send him back to prison, just as he celebrates his one-year anniversary of freedom.

Full clip of Fallon's Emmy opening goes up

Sure, it's already Thursday and the Emmys were Sunday. But now, Bruce Springsteen has apparently given NBC the OK to post the full video of Jimmy Fallon's "Glee" spoof.

Frank McCourt admits 'family' image was BS

Might be fun for somebody to go back and look at which print columnists and which Dodgers-hypers in broadcast media bought into the myth that the McCourts were a return to O'Malley-style family ownership.

Manny reverts to Spanish for White Sox media

manny-in-chisox.jpg When Manny Ramirez met the media for his debut moment with his new Chicago team, the graduate of New York public schools answered in Spanish through coach Joey Cora.

Owner of 1930s trunk with infant remains has a name *

LAPD detectives said today they are confident that Janet M. Barrie owned the trunk that contained the mummified remains of a fetus and possibly a newborn baby. Barrie, born in...

Time clock training at the L.A. Times

With time clocks a foreign concept in the Los Angeles Times newsroom, a top editor sends out a memo reminding the staff that everyone must be trained in the new "time and attendance system."

'Bookworm' gets new theme music

michael-silverblatt-kcrw.jpg Today's KCRW show will unveil new theme music after 21 years of the old song.

State's lawyers want Lisker back in prison

bruce-lisker-fermin.jpg The attorney general’s office filed a motion late Wednesday saying that Bruce Lisker, released last year after more than 20 years in prison on a conviction of killing his mother, should be sent back because the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that inmates should not be allowed to file late petitions for release even if they can prove they are innocent.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 9.2.10

Boxer v Fiorina, labor rests on Brown spending, enviros lick their wounds, Baca says pot shops are crime dens, the New Yorker's coming stories on AOL and Facebook, and a...

New look for Channel 2 news on the web

logo-cbsla5.png It's branded now as CBS Los Angeles and includes stuff from the two TV stations, CBS 2 and KCAL 9, and radio stations KNX and KFWB. Plus a whole lot that has little to do with CBS.

Dodgers debt worse than we thought

The Times used an outside accountant to look at the mounds of financial information that has become publicly available as part of the Frank and Jamie McCourt divorce action. The...

City will rent out its own damn golf carts

After wallowing in the politics of golf carts for seven years, the Recreation and Parks commission voted Wednesday to cancel its search for a new golf cart concessionaire at city courses and will use department employees

Another Google Maps snafu

google-maps-pasadena.jpg Fun as it has been around here to pick out archaic references and just plain mistakes on Google Maps' Los Angeles pages, there are too many to keep going to that well. But this one is new and strange, affecting Pasadena.

Programming note: tonight's debate

KCRW is preempting "Which Way, L.A.?" to carry the Senate campaign debate between Barbara Boxer and Carly Fiorina tonight.

A campanile in Culver City *

The Eric Owen Moss art tower beside the Expo Line, as observed by John Rabe, Mark Peel and Scott Timberg — and Moss.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 9.1.10

Boxer and Fiorina meet on TV tonight, Frank McCourt on the stand, coverage of Sacramento's end of session and much more.

Plastic bag ban dies in state Senate

The bill, carried in the Senate by Gil Cedillo of Los Angeles, received just 14 votes on the final night of the legislative session.

Twitter saves LA Observed author from ink-nominy

scoresheet-timmermann.jpg Bob Timmermann likes to keep score when he's at a baseball game, but Monday night at Dodger Stadium — horrors — both of his pens ran dry. Twitter to the rescue.
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