Archive by Date

December 31, 2010
Among the new state officials of various kinds are Susan Kennedy, Schwarzenegger's chief of staff, his press secretary and Kimberly Belshé, his cabinet secretary for health and human services.
The on-air lineup remains the same at KCRW's Friday afternoon stalwart, but producer Sarah Spitz is giving up the chair after 15 years of wrangling topics, guest hosts and sometimes difficult personalities.
The bookstore and its adjoining Starbucks have been pretty popular hangout spots at Ventura and Hayvenhurst in Encino.
City Councilman Greig Smith has compiled his favorite City Hall stories into a self-published book from Xlibris.
Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne makes a civic splash in the L.A. Times by pointing out that the Downtown NFL stadium Tim Leiweke and Casey Wasserman are pushing is another case of Los Angeles going about it all wrong.
Mark at LA Biz Observed has been watching the slow demise of the Borders chain, and in particular the Westwood Boulevard store near his home. Now Gendy Alimurung of the...
December 30, 2010
Riordan to close two restaurants, Zine recuses over girlfriend, Yvonne Burke and Matt Toledo get state appointments and is Hollywood L.A. neighborhood of the year?
Joe Lumer is the name behind the Joe's Auto Parks lots so ubiquitous in Downtown Los Angeles.
In her KCRW column airing tonight at 6:44, swimmer Diana Nyad calls the late documentarian Bud Greenspan "my long-time, dear friend...and he was far and away THE number one mentor in my career."
Friday is the last day for the Hollywood Boulevard restaurant and bar that the new AOL Patch Hollywood says helped clean up a blighted stretch of the street.
Channel 5 reporter Elizabeth Espinosa began the day standing beside I-5 in the shivering Grapevine area talking about — and tweeting about — the cold weather. Then she popped out some other news.
Photographer Gary Leonard will be a guest of Patt Morrison's during the 1 p.m. hour coming up on KPCC (89.3 FM) to talk about the demise of Kodachrome film.
Steve Greenberg notes that today is the 75th birthday of Sandy Koufax.
Listen to DJ jingles and the station fanfare from the heyday of 93 KHJ, in the 1960s and 70s a very big AM rock radio station in Los Angeles
The last rolls of Kodachrome color film will be developed today at Dwayne's Photo, a small family business in Parsons, Kansas.
Gold suspects that the dude at Red Medicine knows it was dumb to turn away L.A. Times reviewer S. Irene Virbila and compound his error by posting her picture on the web.
December 29, 2010
I thought my daughter's snowed-in-at-Heathrow story was bad enough: eight days late coming home and missing Christmas. But the experience of UC Irvine professor Ngugi wa Thiong’o was even...
Nice piece in the new Angeleno magazine on past residents (and current staffers) on what they like about the Chateau Marmont hotel.
Live Talks Los Angeles is offering tickets to a select number of LA Observed readers wishing to see author Anne Rice in conversation with her son, the author Christoper Rice,...
In today's L.A. Times, Bob Pool picks up and runs with Eric Lynxwiler's visiting blogger post from a couple of weeks ago on the terra cota angel that sits in his Arts District loft.
December 28, 2010
Victoria Delgadillo at the LA Eastside blog explains the December relationship many Angelenos have with their San Marcos blankets — the big thick colorful cobijas that sometimes double as art works.
Tying up loose ends on the Bell story, Disneyland turns away crowds, re-thinking the Gray Davis recall and more.
Steve Greenberg closes the book on the Schwarzenegger era.
In one of those promotional interviews that actors do with the smaller magazines when their movie is coming out, Mila Kunis was asked how she broke the diet that let her lose a bunch of weight for "Black Swan."
If you have any plans to hit Big Bear or Running Springs this winter, you will be going the long way around.
Denis Dutton in 1998 created the well-read Arts & Letters Daily, which the New Yorker's Blake Eskin today calls "the first and foremost aggregator of well-written and well-argued book reviews, essays, and other articles in the realm of ideas. Denis was the intellectual’s Matt Drudge."
US Weekly reports "exclusively" that the Dodgers can have their centerfielder back this coming season.
December 27, 2010
My final KCRW column of 2010 looks back at how this hasn't been an auspicious year for Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Channel 2 and 9 weathercaster Evelyn Taft is certainly working a full shift today.
Oscar ballots go out, the falling murder rate, new execs at KCET and more.
Anderson covered the county Hall of Administration for the Daily News and its sister papers for about a decade.
Now the Hullabaloo Dancers — they dance.
Two, apparently, when one of them is David Willis of the BBC's Los Angeles bureau.
December 26, 2010
Here's the scene a few minutes ago from the Mount Wilson cam, looking east from the 150-foot solar tower toward the 60-inch telescope dome.
December 24, 2010
L.A. Times restaurant critic Sherry Virbila has tweeted a pretty good response to that dust-up with the co-owner of Red Medicine, the Beverly Hills restaurant that refused her service in a hissy fit over past reviews.
KNBC reporter Robert Kovacik was attacked last night at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel by a drunk man who had been bothering Lisa Vanderpump, the star of "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."
The Sacramento Bee website posts — very big — 38 photos of the past week's rain and flooding from newspapers around state, plus AP and Getty Images.
One of the existing copies of the Magna Carta, the charter of rights presented to England's King John at Runnymede in 1215, will be displayed at the Los Angeles County...
The Wall Street Journal tech columnist talks about the best and worst products he reviewed during the year.
December 23, 2010
S. Ireve Virbila, Patrick O'Connor, Brian Lowry, Ryan Kavanaugh, David Kipen and more.
Anchor Chuck Henry opened tonight's 11 o'clock news with an unusual first item.
Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, running out of time on his term, took an action today that got him some media coverage.
The L.A. Times website is running a traffic-inflater from one of its web partners: the 50 best women's butts in sports.
Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein sent a memo to the staff this afternoon reporting that the paper will end 2010 with "improved operating cash flow over the prior year," and listing the year's high points.
Just posted on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's YouTube page, holiday greetings from snowy somewhere.
Overnight growth at the River Center on San Fernando Road in Cypress Park, by John Rabe.
Did this month's revelations of an arsenic-eating microbe in the mud at Mono Lake really upend our basic understanding of how life works? Not so much, a growing chorus of scientists is saying.
December 22, 2010
Here's two more: Olvera Street in the rain, by photographer Kevin McCollister, and this evening on the Glendale Freeway, by photographer Jonathan Alcorn.
Jerry Brown, the Downtown Art Walk, even Lindsay Lohan. And more.
Is this when we make a joke about pots of special interest gold at the end of the rainbow?
The view is from the window at Langer's deli. I'm guessing lunchtime.
The blogger at Bottom of the Fourth was invited to join his roommates' holiday tradition of commemorating some big Jewish event in gingerbread. He chose Sandy Koufax' 1965 perfect game against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium.
KCET's weekly news show racked up another honor, a silver baton from the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards in broadcast journalism. Plus an Alicia Patterson fellowship winner.
For some reason, co-owner Noah Ellis of the recently opened Red Medicine in Beverly Hills didn't want L.A. Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila to critique his restaurant.
Blame the "blocking anticyclone." Skies should clear on Thursday.
n 1987, a man with mental health issues walked onto the set during KNBC's 4 p.m. news, stuck in the gun in the back of consumer reporter David Horowitz and told him to read a statement. Here's a YouTube clip.
The county's Department of Mental Health released a public service announcement yesterday that stars the Lakers' Ron Artest urging people to seek help.
City councilman Dennis Zine declined to talk about the controversy over his dating a lobbyist for Tutor-Perini, but he did ask the City Attorney whether he should recuse himself from an upcoming key vote involving the firm.
December 21, 2010
The city has activated the Emergency Operations Center and gone to level 2 until morning, Council President Eric Garcetti says.
Neighborhood councils, Hollywood, City Hall politics and more.
Gene Kelly on the backlot at MGM. Hat tip to Eric Spillman.
For the first time since 1920, California's congressional delegation will not grow in the shuffle of seats that occurs after each 10-year census.
That leaves about 140 women who the LAPD would still like to identify and locate to see if they are OK and survived their contact with Grim Sleeper suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr.
Here's the rain totals map I always prefer, from the county's public works website, with rain gauge measurements for the past 72 hours.
December 20, 2010
The Kings' press box crowd is mourning the death of their friend Graig Woodburn, a Los Angeles attorney who by night covered the Kings and Ducks for the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Associated Press and The Sporting News.
In my column airing tonight on KCRW, I make some suggestions of Los Angeles-centric books for the Angeleno on your last-week shopping list.
Former city Controller Laura Chick sent an email release announcing that Governor-elect Jerry Brown's transition team has let her know they will be shutting off funds for her state office of inspector general.
Mike Tetreault was the longtime letters editor at the Daily News. He died last night after a long battle with cancer.
This morning's flash flood watch from the National Weather Service advises that a lot of water will be coming down, with the usual potential consequences.
The youngest daughter of Daily Breeze columnist John Bogert took to her dad's paper to fill in readers on his health after an operation discovered late-stage colon cancer.
The rainfall broke a few records, Villaraigosa's un-campaign tour, a safe year on Santa Monica streets and the LA Weekly sheds an art critic.
Over on my Facebook page, I opened the floor for captions on Gary Leonard's photo of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa high-stepping with the Rockettes.
Certified list from the Los Angeles City Clerk covers city council, school board and community college board races.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa put out a news statement shortly after the Senate on Saturday blocked a vote on the DREAM Act.
Actor, writer and KCRW personality Harry Shearer takes issue with the L.A. Times' recent depiction of how Disney Hall's popular "Twelve Days of Christmas" pop-up sing-along number came about.
The Hollywood Farmers Market can continue in its current location and size for 90 days while the market and L.A. Film School continue to negotiate. From the market's side, former Councilman Michael Woo has circulated an email detailing why a final agreement didn't get done.
December 17, 2010
Natalie Portman decorates the cover of January's Vogue, from a fashion shoot probably in the Alexandria Hotel. Watch the video.
Possible serial killer victims, Vernon's expensive attorney, Russell Martin speaks about leaving the Dodgers and more.
December 16, 2010
I noticed a lot of yellow and red trees from a Wilshire high-rise this morning, and I read now from Roy Rivenburg at the Times' gardening blog that it's more or less official.
Gary Leonard caught up to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa kicking it up with the Rockettes in Pershing Square.
A half-hour news special, "Eye on our Community: Black-Brown Relations," hosted by anchor Laura Diaz on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
This is cool. The magazine has been celebrating its 50-year anniversary and has now put up an image of every issue, back to its origins under various names in 1958.
KCRW says that on tonight's "Which Way, L.A.?," City Council President Eric Garcetti and "Good Food" host Evan Kleiman will discuss details of a deal struck today between the Hollywood Farmer's Market and the LA Film School.
If the three competing designs for Phil Anschutz's downtown football stadium were an NFL division, LAT architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne says "they'd be the NFC West."
December 15, 2010
Kathleen Brown, the former state Treasurer and Los Angeles schools official, is moving from her post as Goldman Sachs’ West Coast head of public finance to avoid conflicts over her brother, Governor-elect Jerry Brown.
Ploehn, who on Monday lost her position as director of the embattled Department of Family and Child Services, will keep her $260,000-a-year salary and serve as assistant county executive. "Ploehn's...
Right about now, at 5 p.m., AEG is formally unveiling prospective designs for the Downtown stadium it wants to build in place of the Convention Center's West Hall.
Journalism students at USC Annenberg have put together a website exploring the two blocks around MacArthur Park, with one focus on the Park Plaza hotel at Park View and 6th Street.
Mark Zuckerberg is Time's man of the year and a new member of the California Hall of Fame, plus red-light cameras, a new school year for LAUSD and The Tasting Kitchen gets noticed.
King wants to name the successor to Vin Scully as Dodgers' voice.
December 14, 2010
Which team do you think expects to win more games next season?
Tonight at the Los Angeles City Historical Society's annual dinner, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner accepted an award from the group for his help preserving the Hollywood sign and open space on nearby Cahuenga Peak.
Sherman Oaks and Echo Park start up this week, with familiar names involved.
Jim Newton began his new weekly op-ed column in the Times with a piece on the failings of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Carter, a longtime specialist in labor relations for the LAPD, was off-duty when his motorcycle collided with another bike Sunday on Santiago Canyon Road in Santa Ana. He was struck by a car and died at the scene.
I'll be offline until later this afternoon.
Arianna tells Bloomberg News that the company will make it first annual profit this year.
Current TV has a new docu-series coming next year called "4th and Forever," on the football program at Long Beach Poly — the U.S. high school that has sent...
December 13, 2010
My piece today commented on the observations of L.A. I've mentioned recently by a gifted migrant to the city, Christopher Isherwood, and by 50 native (or close to it) Angelenos in Los Angeles magazine.
Flash mob takes over a Canadian food court. Views on YouTube in under a month: 19 million and counting.
Today brings word of a new Patch news site in the Belmont Shore-Naples area of Long Beach, edited by a former L.A. Times reporter.
Trish Ploehn was removed Monday as director of Los Angeles County's Department of Children and Family Services, after months of turmoil and increasingly critical reports.
Michael Speier is no longer Nikki Finke's managing editor at Deadline, just three months after he hired on to much Finkeian fanfare. But he hasn't completely left either, she emails.
In this week's New Yorker, architecture writer Paul Goldberger takes in the Eric Owen Moss structures in Culver City.
Brian Alexik has been talking a lot to Downtown News reporter Ryan Vaillancourt.
Mayor Villaraigosa is suddenly making a lot of speeches, including today in New York. What's up? And why did the Times miss his big hit on UTLA?
Calbuzz on Arianna, Rick Orlov's Tipoffs, Variety's shadow and the list of SPJ's new journalists of the year.
Photojournalist Jonathan Alcorn said the sunset was so awesomely red over L.A. on Saturday that he had to pull off the freeway and start shooting.
The plan to sell off the city parking garages is not going over well in Westwood Village.
Michael Speier departs Deadline.com and other media notes.
In a Visiting Blogger post at LA Observed, J. Eric Lynxwiler announces he has become the proud owner of a 1½-ton terra-cotta angel that used to stand guard over downtown...
December 12, 2010
Two experienced downtown planners from Michigan and Florida argue on the Times op-ed page that fooitball stadiums tend to be a bad choice for downtowns.
Every time I post a photograph from Venice Beach's oil era, such as the Charles Brittin shot from 1957, readers email in disbelief. So here above is further evidence, uncovered...
Jim Newton, soon to debut as an op-ed columnist for the L.A. Times, writes in this week's New Yorker about the discovery of some long-lost papers that change what is known about President Dwight Eisenhower's 1961 speech warning of the rise of an American "military-industrial complex."
ESPN's Rick Reilly spent a day tooling around L.A. in Ron Artest's Cadillac Escalade, talking about the Lakers, therapy, and a bunch of other things.
"The Social Network" was voted best picture today by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. "Carlos" was runner-up.
December 10, 2010
Here's what the station says it will air in primetime, after a news block at 6 p.m. with NHK Newsline and BBC World News at 6:30.
Sounds like some fun stories were swapped about L.A. in the 40s, 50s and 60s, and especially of the gay and artistic underworld of the time, tonight at the Hammer.
I've really been enjoying Los Angeles magazine's feature this month on 50 more-or-less famous Angelenos remembering something about growing up here.
December 9, 2010
Almost 3 in 4 U.S. adults say they are Internet users, and of that group 8% say they use Twitter, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project
Madison Square Garden is in the process of finalizing its purchase of the Forum in Inglewood from the Faithful Central Bible Church, Billboard.biz reports.
ports architects HKS and HNTB and L.A. Live designer Gensler are the three finalists to plan the stadium, says Sports Business Journal.
If the Universal City development project goes through, the size of the city of Los Angeles will grow by 44 acres. How's that, you may ask?
The Geffen Playhouse regrets to announce that the show cannot go on.
Sam Rubin of KTLA takes to Twitter to say how much he dislikes the new Angelina Jolie vehicle.
Dana Harris has been at Variety for nearly 11 years.
This might be the biggest thing to help Westside traffic congestion that is in the works.
The ex-first baseman with the checkered financial record said he has assembled a group of three to five investors from the business and entertainment communities, all "deeply rooted in Southern California."
A memo obtained by Media Matters shows how Fox News staffers were directed to use the preferred Republican phrase in place of "public option" in the Obama health care plan....
An Arab-American writer who lives in Alhambra wanted to explain to others in the San Gabriel Valley what it means to be Lebanese, since so many ask her about it.
December 8, 2010
Based on clothing and physical description, authorities believe it may be Michelle Yu, the missing hiker from Venice.
The Angels made outfielder Carl Crawford their top free-agent target this baseball winter, but he has signed tonight with the Boston Red Sox.
Andrew Blankstein at the L.A. Times has a law enforcement source who says, not for attribution, that the gun Harold Smith used to kill himself in Hollywood appears to match the gun used to kill publicist Ronni Chasen.
USC wants to buy Coliseum land, Villaraigosa vs UTLA, HIV positive porn actor speaks out, plus more inside.
The second most-watched YouTube video of John Lennon. The guy who posted it writes simply fantástico.
Tribune Company has asked a bankruptcy judge to permit lawyers to investigate former chief executive Randy Michaels, who the company says wiped data and e-mails from his company laptop and phone.
December 7, 2010
Live-fire training for the LAFD at LAX early on Tuesday morning.
Tonight his friend and KTLA colleague Jennifer Gould posted on Twitter that Kriski has been forced back into the hospital for treatment of pneumonia.
Frank Emi worked in his family's Los Angeles market before being interned at the start of World II at Heart Mountain in Wyoming.
Sallie Hofmeister, assistant managing editor for arts and entertainment coverage at the Los Angeles Times, says in an email sent a few hours ago that she wants her Company Town entertainment bloggers to be more "surprising or interesting."
Lee Kanon Alpert said today he will step down as president of the Department of Water and Power commission at the end of the year.
Various media are reporting that Elizabeth Edwards has died of complications from breast cancer.
What the Prop. 8 judges asked about, Joe Cerrell's memorial service, a new City Hall press deputy, California's "imaginary tax" and Derek Fisher's union activity. Plus more.
ESPN reporter Molly Knight is the first to tweet from today's hearing that the judge has sided with Jamie McCourt and thrown out the disputed marital agreement with Frank McCourt.
December 6, 2010
Ten days without pay in the first three months of 2011 for our friends at the Los Angeles Newspaper Group newspapers, plus a reduction in vacation days.
Going on the air in about 20 minutes to talk about AEG's proposal for a Downtown football stadium. The piece airs at 6:44 p.m. (my usual Monday spot) and is...
KTLA reporter Lu Parker is shifting to "special feature correspondent," a move that she says will let her work on stories "that inspire and represent residents in Los Angeles." She...
For Al Martinez' front-page column in today's Daily News, he nibbles on the medical marijuana cookie he brought home for his daughter's cancer nausea.
Figment.com, launched today, is "an experiment in online literature, a free platform for young people to read and write fiction, both on their computers and on their cellphones."
The teenage girl who sailed from Marina del Rey to the Indian Ocean is co-writing her story with Lynn Vincent, who also ghosted Sarah Palin's memoir.
It's a dispute with the L.A. Film School, say operators....
The Daily Beast runs an email, apparently of the Beverly Hills neighbor-to-neighbor gossip sort, reporting second-hand that someone saw a black man in gang garb brandish a gun at a driver on Benedict Canyon a week or so before Ronni Chasen's murder.
Prop. 8 in court and on TV, DWP news, Villaraigosa blew off the Hollywood Christmas parade, plus bedbugs, shots fired at the Arclight, a riff on Silver Lake and Scoops opens on the Westside.
December 5, 2010
A house fire last week in Boyle Heights claimed all of the musical instruments and clothing of 19 mariachi musicians. On Friday night, a benefit at Mariachi Plaza on 1st Street raised some money.
Today's Sunday Styles section of the New York Times profiles Philo Hagen, a Los Angeles writer and blogger who is the founder of Hooping.org — and whose video of hooping (and stripping) through Downtown inspired the story.
December 4, 2010
And with that, the Pac-10 is history.
News, notes and observations from the weekend.
December 3, 2010
Where else can you see Roger Moore, Glenn Close, Huey Lewis, Jason Alexander and other actors from 1980s and '90s TV shows, plus Olympic skaters Katarina Witt and Tonya Harding — and many others — lip-syncing to "Let it Be" in front of a giant screen to promote a Norwegian program?
Fox 11's Gigi Graciette tweeted a little behind-the-scenes reality from the studio before she took the air at noon.
Joe Cerrell, a prominent player in Los Angeles and Democratic politics since the 1950s, died today at age 75.
Airport Commission head resigns, Boxer outspent Fiorina, DA looking at Assemblyman Gatto's residency, Manson's cellphone, a new CicLAvia in April plus Mark Kriski tweets a health update.
December 2, 2010
The science story of the day is that one of the basic assumptions about life on Earth — and potentially elsewhere (get it?) — has been upended by a discovery at Mono Lake, the briny prehistoric lake in the Eastern Sierra.
One resident at the dicey Hollywood apartment building where "Harold" shot himself last night says he had bragged about killing Ronni Chasen.
The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is joining the trend of public agencies and elected officials publishing their own news.
Fear of conspiracies is woven deeply into the American identity, but especially in Orange County.
No World Cup for Los Angeles, Steve Cooley gets testy, a new communications director for Councilman Rosendahl, and is the yet-to-open Expo Line really a fiasco?
December 1, 2010
The L.A. Times is reporting that "a man described as a suspect in the slaying of veteran Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen fatally shot himself at a Hollywood apartment house Wednesday evening as Beverly Hills police were serving a search warrant there."
I guess our NFL stadium item this morning sparked some media followup.
All of a sudden, the intrigue swirling around AEG's wishes to build a football and soccer stadium in place of part of the Los Angeles Convention Center has gotten more interesting.
LAT film columnist and Big Picture blogger Patrick Goldstein announced last night that he will be expanding his portfolio and adding James Rainey as a co-blogger.
Another thought on how Steve Cooley lost, Tim Rutten on Sarah Palin's new book-length manifesto, journos who investigate for the state, KOCE officially becomes our PBS station and a bunch of news.
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9:08 AM Wed | The races to replace Waxman and Yaroslavsky, sidewalk money goes unspent, Garcetti and Jay Z to announce DTLA festival, sheriff's use of force rules, and no subway entrance at 2nd and Spring because Tribune has development plans. Plus more.
Mark Lacter, LA Biz Observed
2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.

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