LA Observed archive
for December 2010

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

Schwarzenegger makes flurry of last-day appointments

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.

Changing of the guard at 'Left, Right & Center'

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.

Last day for Barnes & Noble Encino

The bookstore and its adjoining Starbucks have been pretty popular hangout spots at Ventura and Hayvenhurst in Encino.

Councilman Smith writes a book *

greig-smith-book-cover.jpg City Councilman Greig Smith has compiled his favorite City Hall stories into a self-published book from Xlibris.

Hawthorne: stadium idea shows L.A. needs a plan

stadium-first-look-gensler.jpg 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.

Further thoughts on the loss of Borders Westwood

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...

Thursday notes

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, L.A. parking magnate was 62

Joes-parking-sign.jpg Joe Lumer is the name behind the Joe's Auto Parks lots so ubiquitous in Downtown Los Angeles.

Diana Nyad pays tribute to 'mentor' Bud Greenspan

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."

Kung Pao Kitty closing

kung-pao-kitty-patch.jpg 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.

Big day for KTLA's Elizabeth Espinosa

elizabeth-espinosa.jpg 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.

Gary Leonard, Patt to talk Kodachrome

leonardbillboardtimes.jpg 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.

LA Sketchbook: Koufax turns 75

greenberg-koufax.JPG Steve Greenberg notes that today is the 75th birthday of Sandy Koufax.

KHJ DJ jingles from back in the day

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

RIP Kodachrome, 1935-2010 *

kodachrome.tshirt.jpg The last rolls of Kodachrome color film will be developed today at Dwayne's Photo, a small family business in Parsons, Kansas.

Jonathan Gold: Red Medicine panicked, looks 'second-rate'

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.

Wednesday news and notes

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...

In love with the Chateau Marmont

chateau-marmont-angeleno-crop.jpg Nice piece in the new Angeleno magazine on past residents (and current staffers) on what they like about the Chateau Marmont hotel.

Free tickets to see Anne Rice

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,...

Eric's Richfield angel featured in the Times

eric-and-angel.jpg 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.

LA Sketchbook: Calendar 13 for Obama

qqxsgCalendar13.jpg

In praise of the San Marcos blanket

san-marcos-blanket.jpg 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.

Tuesday notes

Tying up loose ends on the Bell story, Disneyland turns away crowds, re-thinking the Gray Davis recall and more.

LA Sketchbook: Arnold fades to black

qqxsgArnoldFadeBlack.jpg Steve Greenberg closes the book on the Schwarzenegger era.

Mila Kunis votes for In-N-Out

mila-kunis-upclose.jpg 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."

Figure on the long way to Big Bear

hwy330-slide.jpg If you have any plans to hit Big Bear or Running Springs this winter, you will be going the long way around.

Denis Dutton, Arts & Letters Daily founder was 66

arts-letters-header.jpg 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."

Rihanna and Matt Kemp go their separate ways

matt-kemp-and-rihanna.jpg US Weekly reports "exclusively" that the Dodgers can have their centerfielder back this coming season.

LA Observed on KCRW: the mayor's forgettable year

Thumbnail image for mayorav-rockettes-thumb.jpg My final KCRW column of 2010 looks back at how this hasn't been an auspicious year for Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

So that's why they call it a duopoly

evelyn-taft-map.jpg Channel 2 and 9 weathercaster Evelyn Taft is certainly working a full shift today.

Monday notes

Oscar ballots go out, the falling murder rate, new execs at KCET and more.

Troy Anderson exits the county beat

Anderson covered the county Hall of Administration for the Daily News and its sister papers for about a decade.

Natalie Portman doesn't dance, she acts

Now the Hullabaloo Dancers — they dance.

How many BBC reporters does it take to start a car?

Two, apparently, when one of them is David Willis of the BBC's Los Angeles bureau.

Winter day in the San Gabriels

mt-wiloson-cam122610.jpg 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.

Virbila gets in a little dig

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.

Media melee at the Polo Lounge

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."

Nice gallery of storm photos

calif_storm_09.jpg 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.

A Magna Carta is coming to LACMA

800px-Magna_Carta.jpg 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...

Walt Mossberg's best and worst of 2010

The Wall Street Journal tech columnist talks about the best and worst products he reviewed during the year.

Thursday late notes

S. Ireve Virbila, Patrick O'Connor, Brian Lowry, Ryan Kavanaugh, David Kipen and more.

Channel 4 begins the news with a little comedy

Anchor Chuck Henry opened tonight's 11 o'clock news with an unusual first item.

Acting governor declares emergency in L.A. county

Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, running out of time on his term, took an action today that got him some media coverage.

Maybe Sam Zell won: LAT's '50 best butts'

lat-best-butts.jpg The L.A. Times website is running a traffic-inflater from one of its web partners: the 50 best women's butts in sports.

L.A. Times publisher lists year's highlights

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.

Happy holidays from the mayor

Just posted on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's YouTube page, holiday greetings from snowy somewhere.

After the rain: toadstools

mushrooms-river-center-rabe.jpg Overnight growth at the River Center on San Fernando Road in Cypress Park, by John Rabe.

Mono Lake bacteria may be nothing special

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.

Couple more nice rain photos

rainbow-alcorn-122210.jpg Here's two more: Olvera Street in the rain, by photographer Kevin McCollister, and this evening on the Glendale Freeway, by photographer Jonathan Alcorn.

Wednesday notes

Jerry Brown, the Downtown Art Walk, even Lindsay Lohan. And more.

Rainbow over City Hall (and more *)

rainbow-mdr-12210.jpg Is this when we make a joke about pots of special interest gold at the end of the rainbow?

Flooding at 7th and Alvarado

langers-flood.jpg The view is from the window at Langer's deli. I'm guessing lunchtime.

Koufax perfect game in gingerbread

koufax-gingerbread.JPG 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.

'SoCal Connected' wins Columbia's duPont Award

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.

Beverly Hills restaurateur outs LAT's Irene Virbila *

irene-virbila-tumblr.jpg 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.

Why this La Niña is wet, not dry

Pineapple3_crop.jpg Blame the "blocking anticyclone." Skies should clear on Thursday.

Time travel: gunman on the KNBC News set

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.

Behind the scenes of Artest's PSA for mental health

artest-psa-shoot.jpg The county's Department of Mental Health released a public service announcement yesterday that stars the Lakers' Ron Artest urging people to seek help.

LA Sketchbook: Homeless Xmas

qqHomelessXmasLA.jpg

Zine seeks advice on dating from City Attorney

dennis-zine-mug.jpg 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.

Storm preparations for tonight

The city has activated the Emergency Operations Center and gone to level 2 until morning, Council President Eric Garcetti says.

Rainy day notes

Neighborhood councils, Hollywood, City Hall politics and more.

Just dancin' and singin' in the rain

Gene Kelly on the backlot at MGM. Hat tip to Eric Spillman.

California to hold at 53 House seats

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.

21 women in Grim Sleeper's photos identified so far

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.

How's that La Niña going for you?

rainfall-totals-122110.jpg 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.

Graig Woodburn, hockey writer was 50

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.

LA Observed on KCRW: Holiday books

la-portrait-of-city-cover.jpg 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.

Laura Chick's state post eliminated

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.

LA Sketchbook: Didn't ask, didn't tell

qqxsgDidntAsk.jpg

Mike Tetreault, letters editor was 66

Mike Tetreault was the longtime letters editor at the Daily News. He died last night after a long battle with cancer.

Large plume of rain headed our way

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.

Breeze columnist John Bogert has cancer, daughter writes

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.

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.20.10

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.

Caption this: Villaraigosa and the Rockettes

mayorav-rockettes-thumb.jpg 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.

List of candidates for March 8 city election

Certified list from the Los Angeles City Clerk covers city council, school board and community college board races.

Villaraigosa 'disappointed' in DREAM Act vote

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa put out a news statement shortly after the Senate on Saturday blocked a vote on the DREAM Act.

Who really created the Disney Hall Xmas sing-along?

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.

Hollywood market gets 90 days, at least

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.

Vogue brings Natalie Portman downtown *

natalie-portman-vogue.jpg Natalie Portman decorates the cover of January's Vogue, from a fashion shoot probably in the Alexandria Hotel. Watch the video.

Morning Buzz: Friday 12.17.10

Possible serial killer victims, Vernon's expensive attorney, Russell Martin speaks about leaving the Dodgers and more.

Fall colors especially vibrant this year

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: The Rockettes and the mayor

mayorav-rockettes-thumb.jpg Gary Leonard caught up to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa kicking it up with the Rockettes in Pershing Square.

Channel 2 delves into black-brown relations

A half-hour news special, "Eye on our Community: Black-Brown Relations," hosted by anchor Laura Diaz on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

50+ years of Los Angeles Magazine covers now online

los-angeles-mag-nov1963.jpg 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.

Hollywood farmers market deal to be detailed

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.

Hawthorne on stadium proposals: feh

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."

Kathleen Brown moving from California

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.

Trish Ploehn gets another county job, keeps salary

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...

First looks at AEG stadium designs

stadium-first-look-gensler.jpg 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.

Who turns NYT staffers into fanboys and girls?

sofia.coppola.jpg Sofia Coppola, that's who.

Exploring Elks Lodge #99, better known as the Park Plaza

Park-Plaza-117.jpg 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.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.15.10

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.

Breakfast with Larry King at Nate 'n Al's

larry-king-tight.jpg King wants to name the successor to Vin Scully as Dodgers' voice.

Russell Martin good enough for Yankees, but not Dodgers

Which team do you think expects to win more games next season?

Hugh Hefner accepts historical honor

hefner-award.jpg 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.

Two more Patch sites debut

Sherman Oaks and Echo Park start up this week, with familiar names involved.

LA Sketchbook: Lame duck Schwarzenegger

qqArnold Quack1.jpg

Newton's first column: Villaraigosa a letdown

lamagjune09.jpg Jim Newton began his new weekly op-ed column in the Times with a piece on the failings of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Kent Carter, LAPD officer was 60

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.

On assignment this morning

I'll be offline until later this afternoon.

Huffington Post says it will make a profit this year

Arianna tells Bloomberg News that the company will make it first annual profit this year.

In praise of Long Beach Poly football

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...

LA Observed on KCRW: L.A. stories

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.

'Tis the season for a Hallelujah chorus

Flash mob takes over a Canadian food court. Views on YouTube in under a month: 19 million and counting.

Another day, another Patch site

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.

Ploehn out as county DFCS chief

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.

Finke: Speier hasn't parted ways

Screen shot 2010-12-13 at 10.20.06 PM.jpg 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.

Eric Owen Moss and Culver City

In this week's New Yorker, architecture writer Paul Goldberger takes in the Eric Owen Moss structures in Culver City.

Reserve Lofts suspect an odd duck

brian-alexik-dtnews.jpg Brian Alexik has been talking a lot to Downtown News reporter Ryan Vaillancourt.

Villaraigosa's new speechiness

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?

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.13.10

Calbuzz on Arianna, Rick Orlov's Tipoffs, Variety's shadow and the list of SPJ's new journalists of the year.

Red sky over City Hall

city-hall-sunset-alcorn.jpg 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.

Alarm in Westwood Village about city parking garages

The plan to sell off the city parking garages is not going over well in Westwood Village.

Weekend media shorts

Michael Speier departs Deadline.com and other media notes.

Calling all Richfield angels

eric-and-angel.jpg 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...

Questions for L.A. to ask about a downtown stadium

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.

When Venice was covered in oil wells

venice-oil-wells.jpg 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...

Revising history: Eisenhower's most famous speech

general-dwight-d-eisenhower.jpg 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."

Inside Ron Artest's head may be a scary place

artest-kimmel.jpg 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' is L.A. Film Critics' choice

SocialNetwork.jpg "The Social Network" was voted best picture today by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. "Carlos" was runner-up.

KCET's new post-PBS schedule

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.

Christopher Isherwood's Los Angeles

bachardy-zocalo.jpg 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.

Angeleno stories

lamag-dec2010.jpg 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.

Only 8% of online Americans use Twitter

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 close to buying the Forum

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.

AEG's stadium has three design finalists already

ports architects HKS and HNTB and L.A. Live designer Gensler are the three finalists to plan the stadium, says Sports Business Journal.

Learning new lines at Universal City

universal-map.jpg 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?

Dick Van Dyke out of 'Step in Time!' with injury

The Geffen Playhouse regrets to announce that the show cannot go on.

One thumb way down on 'The Tourist'

Sam Rubin of KTLA takes to Twitter to say how much he dislikes the new Angelina Jolie vehicle.

IndieWire grabs new editor in chief from Variety

Dana Harris has been at Variety for nearly 11 years.

Wilshire fly-over ramps on 405 confirmed

wilshire-ramp-graphic.jpg This might be the biggest thing to help Westside traffic congestion that is in the works.

Steve Garvey interested in buying the Dodgers

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."

How Fox News spun the health-care debate

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....

Dear Alhambra: I'm Lebanese, get over it

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.

Body spotted by searchers on Mt. Baldy

Based on clothing and physical description, authorities believe it may be Michelle Yu, the missing hiker from Venice.

Angels lose out on Carl Crawford

The Angels made outfielder Carl Crawford their top free-agent target this baseball winter, but he has signed tonight with the Boston Red Sox.

Suicide gun now does appear to match Chasen gun *

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.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.8.10

USC wants to buy Coliseum land, Villaraigosa vs UTLA, HIV positive porn actor speaks out, plus more inside.

John Lennon, 30 years on

The second most-watched YouTube video of John Lennon. The guy who posted it writes simply fantástico.

Tribune's ex-CEO wiped his drive on way out the door

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.

Photo: This is only a drill

lafd-live-fire-trng-lax.jpg Live-fire training for the LAFD at LAX early on Tuesday morning.

Mark Kriski back in hospital

mark-kriski-ktla-sitting.jpg 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, Nisei leader in World War II was 94

Frank Emi worked in his family's Los Angeles market before being interned at the start of World II at Heart Mountain in Wyoming.

LA Sketchbook: McCourt cut

qqMcCourt Cut.jpg

Blogging 101 at the L.A. Times: the memo *

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."

DWP board prez stepping down *

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.

Elizabeth Edwards died this afternoon, she was 61

Various media are reporting that Elizabeth Edwards has died of complications from breast cancer.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 12.7.10

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.

Jamie McCourt wins, back in Dodger blue

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.

Furloughs back at LANG papers

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.

LA Observed on KCRW: A downtown stadium

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...

Lu Parker changes job titles

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...

Columnist gets medically stoned for journalism

al_martinez_40_by_50.jpg 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: a new website for young writers and readers

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."

Now the Abby Sunderland book

abby-sunderland-face.jpg 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.

Hollywood Farmers Market may lose its spot

It's a dispute with the L.A. Film School, say operators....

Email: earlier threat kinda maybe similar to Chasen's

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.

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.6.10

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.

Mariachi fire victims get help from Red Cross

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.

LA Sketchbook: California donkey

qqDonkeyCalif1.jpg

Hooping through Downtown

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.

USC 28, UCLA 14

And with that, the Pac-10 is history.

Weekend notes

News, notes and observations from the weekend.

Most randomly weird celebrity video you'll see today *

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?

How pressure plays out on the TV news set

GigiAnchoring.jpg Fox 11's Gigi Graciette tweeted a little behind-the-scenes reality from the studio before she took the air at noon.

Joe Cerrell, political figure was 75 *

cerrell-pic.jpg Joe Cerrell, a prominent player in Los Angeles and Democratic politics since the 1950s, died today at age 75.

Morning Buzz: Friday 12.3.10

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.

Mono Lake's bacteria hits the big time

monolake-nasa.jpg 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.

Latest on dead suspect in Ronni Chasen murder

One resident at the dicey Hollywood apartment building where "Harold" shot himself last night says he had bragged about killing Ronni Chasen.

Sheriff's Dept. latest to bypass the media

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is joining the trend of public agencies and elected officials publishing their own news.

Spending time with OC's conspiracy wackos

Fear of conspiracies is woven deeply into the American identity, but especially in Orange County.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 12.2.10

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?

Suspect in Chasen murder killed himself as police closed in

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."

Stadium talk featured on WWLA tonight

I guess our NFL stadium item this morning sparked some media followup.

NFL stadium plot thickens *

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.

Goldstein and Rainey team up on a bigger Picture *

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.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.1.10

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.
LAO_TyrusWong104 copy.jpgTake My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed. See Gary's archive.
Fauna observed
owl-in-yucca-vdt.jpgGreat horned owl perched in a yucca. Veronique de Turenne
Australian Ballet and more
swan-lake-dp.jpg
The Australian Ballet's recent visit reviewed, plus Mahler's Fifth by Dudamel and the LA Phil. Donna Perlmutter
Streetscape: East Hollywood
beverlys-appliances-smblvd.jpgBeverly's Appliances, Santa Monica Boulevard
Al Satterwhite's photos of Muhammad Ali
ali-satterwhite-secret.jpgDavid Davis talks with the photographer about shooting a key chapter in Ali's career and a Kickstarter campaign to put out a book. Interview