LA Observed archive
for January 2011

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

Blogger's home burglary makes the 11 o'clock news

barbara-hansen-mess.jpg That messy break-in we told you about Friday — at the home of food blogger Barbara Hansen — is the subject of a story coming tonight at 11 p.m. on Channel 2. Why isn't so clear.

Egypt wakes up to big day; trains halted

Photos from Monday's protests on the streets of Egypt It's just after 5 a.m. Tuesday in Egypt. (Cairo is ten hours ahead of Los Angeles.) Protesters have called for a...

AEG bids with the naming rights card

Phil Anschutz' football stadium at L.A. Live would be called Farmers Field under a $700 million naming-rights deal with Farmers Insurance to be announced tomorrow.

Google, Twitter launch tweets from Egypt without net access

From CNET: Designed specifically for those on the ground in Egypt unable to communicate via the Internet with the outside world, Speak to Tweet allows anyone with a voice connection...

Hilburn sells bio of Johnny Cash as seminal rock artist

Cash-and-Hilburn350.jpg Little, Brown and Company has bought world rights to "In Search of Johnny Cash," an exploration of the singer's life by former L.A. Times music critic Robert Hilburn that is promised to go beyond previous works.

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.31.11

OC's romantic bald eagle, Brown's state of the state, Anschutz donates to mayor's favorite PAC, Ron Kaye blasts LaBonge, and new media gigs for Snyder and Boyer. Plus more, inside.

Americans to be flown out of Egypt

Charter flights to begin Monday. New AP video.

'King's Speech,' Firth & Portman win again at SAG

firth-kingsspeech.jpg "The Kings Speech" picked up the Screen Actors Guild's equivalent of the best picture Oscar tonight. Colin Firth and Natalie Portman picked up the top actor awards.

Weekend reads

Jane Fonda's third act, multi-racial America, The Dude in London and more.

Valley finally gets another concert hall

valley-perf-arts-center-big.jpg Forty seven years later, the San Fernando Valley gets another performing arts space and it's bigger and grander.

Deal preserves Marquez family cemetery in Santa Monica Canyon

marquez-cemetery-ucla-today.jpg Ernest Marquez, who's a fellow author at Angel City Press, has been working to hold on to access to the cemetery, which through the years has been surrounded by homes and yards.

Neon and L.A. artist get their first postage stamp

neon-stamp.jpg In March, the U.S. Postal Service will release its first stamp featuring neon art. The design is by Van Nuys neon artist Michael Flechtner.

Global pressure on Egypt's Mubarak grows

syria-vigil.jpg With ongoing skirmishes between looters and vigilante groups, several hundred escaped convicts reportedly on the run, and a complete absence of police on Egypt's streets, the situation remains precarious.

A neighborhood blogger signs off

90042-logo-crop.jpg Waltarrrrr at 90042 has blogged about Highland Park for four and a half years, becoming essential reading in Northeast Los Angeles.

Tonight in Egypt

"The sight of its people losing their fear of the police state will inspire others across the Middle East," reports the BBC's Jeremy Bowen.

Dear NYC: don't worry baby

nyc-snow-cunningham.jpg Really, snow in January? That's so unfair. To our New York friends, here's an early valentine from the Coast.

Charles Brittin, L.A. photographer was 82

brittinwalsh.jpg Charles Brittin was a beat-era photographer whose best-known work captured Los Angeles and the avant-garde artists of the decades when the Ferus Gallery was big. His photos from the streets...

Mystery jet skids off runway at Van Nuys *

vny-mystery-jet.jpg Men with plastic sheeting rush out and cover the words Policia Federal: now we're intrigued.

Food blogger writes about burglary that stole her appetite

barbara-hansen-mess.jpg Police told Barbara Hansen that the burglars who ransacked her place were pros, but the destruction seems needlessly vicious.

City Hall vet to rep redistricting commission

The state's new Citizens Redistricting Commission voted unanimously this afternoon to hire Rob Wilcox as Communications Director.

Exene Cervenka returns Downtown

exene-bdt.jpg The former lead singer of X talks about the former punk venues of Downtown and her appearance tonight at the Redwood Bar and Grill on 2nd Street.

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.28.11

Fallout from the cop-shooting hoax in Woodland Hills, more Grim Sleeper cases, Special Order 40, Dean Singleton, radio ratings and more.

Free tix: Peter Guber and David Ulin *

Writers Bloc is making five pairs of tickets available to LA Observed readers who would like attend a conversatiion between Hollywood veteran Peter Guber and David Ulin, the Los Angeles Times book critic.

Meanwhile, in real Woodland Hills crime

An LAPD alert posted to Facebook by a resident: "Burglary Suspects posing as DWP employees are attempting to enter homes in Woodland Hills.

El Camino High shooting all a hoax by the 'wounded' cop *

Last week's lockdown of Woodland Hills schools, fear felt by students and parents, and massive dragnet for a gunman that disrupted entire Valley neighborhoods — all the result of a dishonest LAUSD police officer, LAPD chief Charlie Beck said tonight.

Visiting blogger: Bus riders unite

Joel Epstein, one of the more single-minded transit advocates in town, argues that fans of the rapid express buses on Wilshire should stage a massive work slowdown before Friday's City Council meeting to vote on the boulevard bus lane.

'This Old House' invades Silver Lake

los-angeles-house.jpg Tonight's episode kicked off the first Los Angeles project ever of the venerable public television franchise.

Zell: 'I just don't need to be the media's bitch anymore"

ZellClockAnimation.gif Sam Zell says in a new interview with Forbes that "A true entrepreneur doesn't have the word ‘failure' in his lexicon. Maybe [a venture] doesn't work out. But no failures."

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.27.11

Two more Grim Sleeper cases, LAPD tactical alert due to high number of radio calls, Brown gets poll support and an earful from mayors, city money for projects around Broad's art museum and a lot of media notes.

Post of the day: why Casa Zsa Zsa isn't really for sale

casa-zsa-zsa.jpg Curbed LA's Adrian Glick Kudler goes to the numbers to put the lie to the media hype that buyers from China and Russia are lining up to buy Zsa Zsa Gabor's Bel-Air home.

Things seem a bit slow?

Thanks to everyone who has emailed about the intermittently slow load times of the last couple of days. The hosting service is working on a Denial of Service attack.

From Majestic Theatre to majestic Rockies

MDR Logo 3.jpg Robert Bucksbaum, the Majestic Crest Theatre savior who got out of the cinema biz last year, sent an email to his former patrons today saying he now owns a guest ranch in Colorado. And you're invited.

JPMorgan buys Fox Interactive Media offices in Playa Vista

The Hollywood Reporter calls the sale of the Horizon at Playa Vista, at about $300 million, "one of the biggest real estate deals in Los Angeles in years."

Friars Club in Beverly Hills coming down

friars-club-la.jpg The Los Angeles Conservancy sent out an alert this afternoon saying the owner of the 1961 building that housed the Friars Club has begun razing the unofficial landmark, with no plans yet filed for a new structure at the site on Little Santa Monica Boulevard.

Remembering the old Jerry Brown with a smile

jerry-brown-avedon.jpg Los Angeles Magazine columnist Anne Taylor Fleming covered Jerry Brown when he was governor the first time, then became good friends with his sister Kathleen.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.26.11

Villaraigosa in Sacramento, charter schools, campaign endorsements, Channel 22 sold, an award for Vin Scully and Dudamel turns 30. Plus more.

Google's expansion includes space in Venice

binoc-bldg.jpg One of Google's new locations is the Frank Gehry-designed former Chiat/Day ad agency studio on Main Street with the distinctive binocular sculpture out front.

In case you wondered where Keith Olbermann spent the SOTU

keith-olbermann-young.jpg Instead of national face time on MSNBC, the liberal ranter spent this State of the Union speech live-tweeting on Twitter.

Now it gets interesting for the McCourts

mccourtslogo.jpg After a procedural gathering of the city's most fortunate lawyers — those with a piece of the McCourts divorce proceedings — a couple of things became clear.

L.A. Noire, the video game

A preview of the L.A.-centric game from Rockstar, coming later this year.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.25.11

Oscar noms, labor vs. Parks, Mark Kriski comes home again, Rashida Jones and more.

Hoffarth riles up the motocross crowd

In writing about Dodger Stadium's turf being converted to a Supercross course last weekend (while the baseball groundskeeper sounded like he wanted to cry), Daily News sports columnist Tom Hoffarth threw around some cultural stereotypes. They noticed.

Q&A with arts writer Jori Finkel

jroi-finkel-salcido-zocalo.jpg Finkel, the arts writer at the L.A. Times, took some questions in the green room at Zocalo Public Square.

Reading L.A. with Christopher Hawthorne

casestudy22.jpg The L.A. Times architecture critic announced today that he will read and post brief blog essays over the next year on "25 of the most significant books on Southern California...

Checking in on Trutanich's political ambitions

trutanich-rooftop.jpg Gene Maddaus of LA Weekly and Jim Newton of the Times eyeball the city attorney as a candidate for DA.

LA Observed on KCRW: On location in Los Angeles

In tonight's KCRW column: location filming, "Somewhere" and Buster Keaton.

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.24.11

Leiweke vs. Roski, Santos parents on Schwarzenegger, Villaraigosa staffer arrested, The King’s Speech wins the Producer's Guild, and who Richard Riordan escorted to the Golden Mikes. Plus much more.

NYT takes a lite shot at the LAT

latentrance.jpg When freshly assigned New York Times' newspaper beat writer Jeremy W. Peters called more than a month ago to talk about the decline over time of the Los Angeles Times, I never quite became clear on his rationale for writing that story now. I'm still not.

Wayne Gretzky at 50

wayne-gretzky-SI-1988.jpg Gretzky's milestone birthday will be noted with some wistfulness in Canada, where they have been following his feats since he was about four. He's also the top pro athlete in any sport to play for an L.A. team.

Somebody loves Neil Diamond

Singer Neil Diamond's 70th birthday is Monday. On Sunday afternoon, five skywriters spelled out a birthday greeting over the Bel-Air hills.

Jack LaLanne, fitness innovator was 96

jack-lalanne.jpg Long before Jack LaLanne became an infomercial pitchman, he was America's best-known health and fitness advocate.

KNBC and Fox 11 have a good night at the Golden Mike awards

KNBC, KTTV, KNX, KFI and Regis Philbin win the top honors at tonight's Golden Mike banquet.

Olbermann out at MSNBC *

Keith Olbermann announced on the air that tonight's "Countdown" show was his last, and the network followed quickly with a press release.

Blogger meets Blyleven

Rich and Bert.jpg Thirty minutes before Bert Blyleven's Hall of Fame election became public, he called L.A. blogger Rich Lederer with the news. The two later met in Florida.

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.21.11

Does Jerry Brown actually have any clout, Whitman reappears, Garcetti on mayoral run, moving Bon Appetit's test kitchen, Heidi & Frank, and much more.

Manson follower Patricia Krenwinkel denied parole...again

krenwinkel-2011.jpg Krenwinkel, now 64, is the longest-serving female prisoner in the California prison system — a distinction she gained when fellow Charles Manson follower Susan Atkins died in 2009.

Video: Rocket launch from Vandenberg

This afternoon's successful launch was the largest ever on the West Coast.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.20.11

Supreme Court rules against JPL scientists on privacy, this afternoon's rocket launch, lawmakers turning down free cars, plans for Union Station, CD 12 candidate returns and Blackboard Eats starts to charge. Plus much more.
daniel-pearl-close.jpg The Pearl Project was formed by fellow journalists and Georgetown University students to investigate the 2002 killing in Pakistan of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter raised in Los Angeles.

Sam Rubin spoofs Piers Morgan

If Howard Stern can be Piers Morgan's 2nd guest on CNN, Rubin asks, why can't he be the third guest?

On the Valley's news wars of the 1960s

My posts on Dr. Martin Luther King in the west valley and mention of the late Valley Times newspaper led reader Jim Houck to point me to a Time magazine story on that newspaper in 1963.

TIghten the gradients, Marge

The National Weather Service is warning of a "strong Santa Ana event" starting tonight across Los Angeles and Ventura counties, lasting into Thursday afternoon.

Wednesday afternoon notes

Councilman Bill Rosendahl to undergo heart procedure, and more news notes.

Case closed on Ronni Chasen murder, BH police chief says

Beverly Hills Police Chief David Snowden told the Hollywood Reporter that the final ballistics report confirms that Harold Martin Smith gunned down publicist Ronni Chasen on Nov. 16.

Student, officer shot outside LAUSD high schools

The student was shot today near Bell High school, the LAUSD school police officer outside El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills.

Hollywood journo describes path to the Peace Corps

Angelina Jolie is to blame, says Sean Smith, the Entertainment Weekly bureau chief in L.A. who quit last week to serve in the Peace Corps.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.19.11

Mark Kelly on learning erroneously that his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, had died. Plus news and notes from City Hall, the media and more....

KCET chairman: Back to PBS some day, maybe

KCET Chairman Gordon Bava was asked by Broadcasting & Cable if the Los Angeles station might return to the PBS fold. To much surprise, he said yeah, could be.

What might be going on at MediaNews

With Dean Singleton looking to step down, there could be a merger coming between his MediaNews and Freedom Communications.

Print coverage of MLK's 1961 speech in the Valley

mlk-in-canoga.jpg A history teacher at Canoga Park High School graciously pointed me to this online evidence of Dr. Martin Luther King's 1961 appearance.

La Opinión newsroom unionizes

For the first time in the paper's history, dating to 1927, La Opinión reporters, photographers and videographers voted last week to join a union.

Milton Bradley arrested in the Valley

Troubled ex-Dodger Milton Bradley looks to be in trouble again. He was booked into the Van Nuys jail today on suspicion of making criminal threats, reportedly involving a woman in...

Angelenos among '50 Most Powerful People in Food'

The Daily Meal's list is more than a lazy tally of hot chefs of the moment; the 50 include corporate and government officials, journalists and others who shape the food business.

Dean Singleton to step down as CEO and chairman of MediaNews

MediaNews owns the Los Angeles Newspaper Group papers in and around Los Angeles, including the Daily News, as well as the San Jose Mercury and others in Northern California.

Nichols gets the DWP job, officially

The City Council made the appropriate noises then signed off on Mayor Villarigosa's appointment of outsider Ron Nichols to head the Department of Water and Power.

Sargent Shriver dies at 95 *

Sargent Shriver, a close confidante of brother-in-law John F. Kennedy and first director of the Peace Corps, died today in Bethesda, Maryland. Also: Dale Fetherling, Tom Ferguson.

Gardena High shooter 'holed up' in classroom *

At least two students have been shot at Gardena High School, possibly by accident. The student suspected of the shooting is believed to be in a classroom and talking to...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.18.11

Jerry Brown, more Golden Globes reaction and fallout, showbiz numbers down, Regis Philbin retires, Dodgers add another cheap alternative and much more.

'Public breakdown' in the Golden Globes' dirty secret

L.A. Times columnist Patrick Goldstein says Ricky Gervais and Robert De Niro made show business history by getting down and dirty on Sunday's Golden Globes telecast.

Inside the L.A. Film Critics' dinner

There were no TV cameras and few reporters at Saturday night's Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards dinner. That's the way VP Tim Grierson likes it.

Both L.A.-based Coopers writing about sex now

cooper-porn-wide.jpg L.A. writer Natasha Vargas-Cooper has created a cultural stir with her piece in The Atlantic on the effect that easily available amateur web porn is having on sex between real...

LA Observed on KCRW: MLK in the Valley

My column airing at 6:44 p.m. on KCRW revels in, and adds some historical backstory to, the awesome audio file the Daily News posted of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in 1961 in Canoga Park.

Scientists pushing threat of California 'superstorm'

usgs-arkstorm.jpg On the 17th anniversary of the Northridge earthquake, it seems like a good time to point out the new research that says a theoretical Pacific-spawned superstorm is now believed likely to do much more damage in California than a major earthquake on the San Andreas Fault.

Honest media tweet o' the day

This was actually last night, just before the 10 o'clock news began on Fox 11 here, from anchor Jeff Michael.

End of the line for L.A. media institution

The monthly gathering of media and political types formerly held at Yamashiro in Hollywood is losing its organizer after 11 years.

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.17.11

Audio of Dr. Martin Luther King in Woodland Hills, Anschutz on board with stadium, Fox paying the Dodgers' bills and more.

Clippers beat Lakers this time

Clippers rookie phenom Blake Griffin schooled the Lakers Sunday night at Staples Center, a game won by the Clips 99-92.

Councilman Huizar would rate this story -3

Councilman Jose Huizar and his staff have been keeping score on people and institutions in his district, grading them in writing on how well they support His Councilmanness and, more pointedly, the degree of their opposition to him

'Social Network' wins at Globes, Douglas gets ovation

Michael+Douglas+Globes.jpg "The Social Network" won four Golden Globes tonight, ending with the award for best drama — surpassing "The King's Speech," which had the most nominations coming in to the night.

LA Sketchbook: MLK Day

qqxsgMLK Day.jpg

KCET brings back BBC news at 5 p.m.

The return of BBC World News with Mike Embley pushes that Japanese news program to 5:30 and Globe Trekker to 6 p.m

Schwarzenegger says being governor cost him $200 million

But he says it was worth it, despite the toll on his family.

Kay Mills, writer was 69

kmills-210-exp-Mills_kay.jpg Kay Mills, the former Los Angeles Times editorial writer who authored five books, died Thursday at age 69.

From the Hollywood beat to the Peace Corps in Africa

Sean Smith is leaving as Los Angeles bureau chief of Entertainment Weekly to serve overseas in the Peace Corps.

Plaza excavation halted over remains *

Miguel Angel Corzo, President and CEO of L.A. Plaza de Cultura y Artes, announced a halt to the archaeological excavation where the remains of early Angelenos have been found.

McCourt case ruling now final

Jamie McCourt, who gets substantial ammunition to argue that she remains co-owner of the Dodgers, also shared the same room today as Roz Wyman, the former City Council member who played a key role in bringing the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles.

Mila Kunis on dancing: no mas

mila-kunis-w.jpg "Before Black Swan, I had never danced in my life, and I will never dance again."

Flattery, spoof or desperation?

golden-voice-imitation.jpg Somehow I'm not surprised that the whole Ted Williams/homeless guy with golden voice saga spawned either an imitator or a spoofer.

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.14.10

Quick and early for Friday, but still pretty good.

Demos' endorsement doesn't keep candidate in CD 12 race

Brad Smith got the endorsement of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party the other night in the 12th district City Council race in the west Valley. On Thursday, Smith dropped out of the contest.

Anchor shakeup at Telemundo's KVEA-52

ana_patricia_candiani2.jpg Ana Patricia Candiani will be the new 6 p.m. weekday anchor on KVEA starting Jan 31, forcing other moves in the lineup.

Around LA Observed today

On gun violence, signs of life in the economy, Boyarsky on redevelopment and schools, and the return of Angeleno Datebook.

Ex-publicist sues, calls Golden Globes org corrupt

Michael Russell says his employer of 17 years, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and its awards are tainted by fraud and corrupt practices.

News of the weird: Rizzo loses surf museum gig

rizzo-surfs-x.jpg Rizzo brought too much heat for obscure Orange County museum.

Kirsten Dunst's guest DJ set for KCRW

dunst-campos-kcrw.jpg On the Guest DJ Project, KCRW gathers the musical choices of a pretty wide variety of people, Angelenos and not. Recent guests have included Colin Firth (who gets his star...

How dare we be shocked by Tucson

LAO Contributor Jenny Price, who has written here before about guns and her brother's killing, at Native Intelligence.

Google Street View on Pico

google-maps-car.jpg KTLA's Eric Spillman spotted this Google-mobile at, by the looks of it, Fairfax and Pico.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.13.11

More good news from Rep. Giffords hospital room, Jerry Brown vs. UC, Brown's big risks on budget, up close with activist Cary Brazeman and medical reports on local greats Etta James and Frank Robinson.

'Do you surf?'

rizzoSurfs.jpg Artist Stuart Rapeport, inspired by his favorite line from Steve Lopez's encounter with disgraced Bell official Robert Rizzo in the parking lot at the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach.

Four tree sitters arrested in Arcadia

tree-sitters-ktla.jpg Four protesters who tried unsuccessfully to block destruction of dozens of trees in the Arcadia Woodlands for a sediment-dumping project were arrested for trespassing this evening.

Ron Kaye to write column for LAT community paper

I'm not sure where Ron Kaye's grand plan to topple the L.A. City Council with a slate of candidates stands, but he'll be columnizing on Sundays in Glendale and Burbank.

Council acts in private to move ahead on garage leases

After a three-hour closed-door session, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said the City Council had voted unanimously to submit a parking garage concession agreement to potential private operators. But no details.

Local media tweet o' the day?

From Channel2's irrepressible Jackie Johnson.

Stop the presses: Clippers beat the Heat

The Miami Heat came to town on a 13-game road win streak. They had LeBron James and friends, and they were playing the Clippers. Clips win 111-105.

Peter Fonda finds body of suicide on Sunset Boulevard

peter-fonda.jpg Actor Peter Fonda was driving in Pacific Palisades this afternoon when he discovered an apparent suicide. Plus: Jane Fonda tweets.

Lopez tracks down Rizzo in OC parking lot *

Instant classic Steve Lopez column in tomorrow's L.A. Times. A tipster dropped me a line the other day to say she'd spotted an infamous former public official in Huntington Beach,...

Arnold may be living on another planet

esq-arnold-schwarzenegger.jpg Ex-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declares victory on pension and budget reform.

Elvis Mitchell gets a consolation gig

elvis-mitchell-sartorialist.jpg Elvis Mitchell, the longtime print film writer and critic who hosts "The Treatment" on KCRW, has signed on as co-chief film critic (with ex-Salon critic Stephanie Zacharek ) for the expanding Movieline.

Novelist and the museum curator: a story of coincidence

two-beths-getty.jpg Robert Masello's novel "Bestiary" came closer to the truth than he could have imagined.

Hotel photos that lie

sofitel-pool.jpg Not included in the Sofitel Hotel's pool shots: the big ol' shopping center right across the street.

Selling the new Lisbeth Salander

lisbeth-salander-gun.jpg The new W unveils the first official look at American actress Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander, the kick-ass heroine of the Swedish trilogy by the late Stieg Larsson.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.12.10

Giffords prognosis improves, wounded deputy identified, AP and Shepard Fairey reach settlement over the Obama Hope poster, plus Mark Kriski and a bunch of media notes.

CHP officer charged with killing her husband

Officer Tomiekia Johnson, 31, originally told police she shot her husband two years ago because he was abusive.

LA Sketchbook: In Guns We Trust

qqxsgUSGuns.jpg

It's not every day you sell a '49 Plymouth

veronique-plymouth.jpg Regular followers of Here in Malibu know about Veronique de Turenne's "sweet 1949 Plymouth."

After thinking it over, the Ventura County Star apologizes

Nearly two months later, the paper says eight men are not sex offenders and parole violators.

Breaking: Sheriff's deputy shot on Eastside

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy was shot in the cheek Tuesday night in East Los Angeles. The gunman was killed.

New mayor takes over up in San Francisco

edlee-sfchron.jpg Ed Lee, San Francisco's administrative officer, was appointed and sworn in today as the city's first Chinese-American mayor.

In praise of Tropico de Nopal

reyes-rodriguez-kcet.jpg Tropico de Nopal is west of Downtown, but the gallery space and its director are of the Eastside.

Havrilesky does the memoir

heather-havrilesky-laist.jpg Los Angeles writer Heather Havrilesky, staff critic on film and TV at Rupert Murtdoch's forthcoming iPad news site, has a new memoir out, "Disaster Preparedness."

Mystery Bookstore in Westwood to close

Ack. Another independent bookstore in Los Angeles is closing.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.11.11

Golden voice man detained by LAPD, more Brown budget reaction, Newsom becomes Lite Gov and the second issue of Slake.

PBS SoCal plans to hire, may open L.A. office

KOCE president and CEO Mel Rogers still can't quite believe that his little Orange County station that nearly went off the air a few years ago has suddenly become the public broadcasting powerhouse of Southern California.

LA Sketchbook: Consumers take an arrow for Blue Shield

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Busy day around LA Observed today

I was tied up most of the day, but these were highlights from other contributors to the site. Think books and politics, with a little fashion.

LA Observed on KCRW

Today's column: the rising political dominance of the Bay Area at the expense of Southern California.

Report: Huffington escorted off plane for Blackberry abuse

Arianna Huffington was escorted by Port Authority police off United Flight 7118 at La Guardia after refusing to turn off her Blackberry, according to a report by Gawker's Valleywag.

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.10.11

Human remains at La Placita, Dennis Zine's dating, rats at City Hall, Playboy to go private, TNT's view of the Valley and more.

Sylvia Bursztyn, Sunday crossword maker was 62

Sylvia Bursztyn created Sunday crossword puzzles for the Los Angeles Times for 30 years. She was found dead of natural causes in her Granada Hills home on Dec. 30, according...

Updates from Tucson shooting scene

tucson-media.jpg LA Observed contributor Deanne Stillman was outside the University Medical Center in Tucson on Sunday for the outpouring of public support for the six victims killed in Saturday's shooting and for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in intensive care with doctors optimistic about her chances for recovery.

View from above Baldy Village *

baldy-cloud-cover.JPG Guy McCarthy of Watershed News grabbed a shot of the Sunday cloud cover over the basin from Baldy Village, below the summit of Mount Baldy.

F. Lee Bailey makes case that O.J. Simpson's not guilty

bailey-simpson.jpg Lawyer F. Lee Bailey, who's now 77, has posted a lengthy argument on his consulting firm's firm website contending that O.J. Simpson did not kill his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994.

Ex-LAPD official Gascon named San Francisco DA

gascon-chron.jpg San Francisco Police Chief George Gascón said he had no idea when he walked into Mayor Gavin Newsom's office that he would be asked to take over as District Attorney.

Leiweke's stadium push picks up speed

stadium-first-look-gensler.jpg Bunch of developments in the campaign by AEG's Tim Leiweke to rush through approval of a football stadium next to Staples Center and, he hopes, secure an NFL team to play there before Ed Roski's proposed stadium in Industry gets one.

Democratic congresswoman shot at Tucson event *

rep-giffords.jpg Representative Gabrielle Giffords was making an appearance at a Safeway in north Tucson this morning when a young gunman walked up and shot her at close range in the head.

Jennifer Gould finds new family on Facebook

jennifer-gould-crop.jpg She posts on Twitter: "Ok, so i DIDNT win $300mil lottery, but I DID just win a new family! This #Adoptee found #biological family!"

Dowie, Stodder lose appeals in Fleishman-Hillard case

dowiebee.jpg Doug Dowie, the former power broker as head of the Fleishman-Hillard PR office in Los Angeles during the mayoral administration of Jim Hahn, has been ordered to report to federal prison on Feb. 4. Same for John Stodder, his underling at Fleishman, the LAT says.

Two suspects in video sex assaults ID'd

Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives said Friday that LAPD help has led them to identify two of the men whose faces were shown on video that allegedly recorded sexual attacks...

Morning Buzz: Friday 1.7.11

Grim Sleeper photos lead to new cases, Villaraigosa's secret stadium memo, and the return of Doug Frantz plus other politics, media and books notes.

Now confirmed: Moreno leaving state high court

L.A. Democratic Party chairman Eric Bauman was right in our post last night. Associate Justice Carlos Moreno has resigned from the California Supreme Court, effective Feb. 28.

Richfield angel found in Silver Lake

richfield-angel-silverlake.jpg Eric Lynxwiler's quest to find any surviving terra cotta angels from Downtown's old Richfield building has turned up a nice sample.

Bell reporters Gottlieb and Vives to be honored

The L.A. Press Club is creating a Public Service in Journalism award and giving the first one to Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives, the lead reporters in last year's Los Angeles Times . stories on corruption in the city of Bell.

Sheriff seeks help ID'ing suspects in sexual assaults

laso-wanted-poster-10611.png The Los Angeles County sheriff's office has put out an unusual press release based on anonymous (and unreleased) video footage reportedly showing at least ten severely disabled women being sexually assaulted by four men.

'Charlie Rose' finds an L.A. home

charlie-rose-grab.jpg Rose will be on KOCE starting January 17. Here's where in Los Angeles he runs in the meantime.

Lithgow is no John Cleese

john-lithgow.jpg Tony winner John Lithgow was mistaken for John Cleese this morning at a Hollywood photo lab, causing howls of disbelief in the room.

NPR's top news VP leaves over Juan Williams firing

Ellen Weiss resigns as Senior Vice President for News as part of internal review into the firing of Fox News commentator.

Broad museum renderings

broad-lobby.jpg The Broad Art Foundation this morning announced the designs for The Broad, the name it's now using for the museum to be built on Bunker Hill to hold Eli and Edythe Broad's art collection.

Dodgers will open at home March 31

The Giants will come to Dodger Stadium and open the 2011 season against the Dodgers on Thursday, March 31.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.6.11

Design for The Broad, permanent housing bust in the Inland Empire, Brown's new team and Rihanna's topless cover does well, plus more.

New opening on Cal Supreme Court?

Eric Bauman, the chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, has posted on Twitter that Justice Carlos Moreno of the California Supreme Court has submitted his resignation to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Open Table from the restaurant's point of view

The reservation service is a mixed bag of good and bad, says Angeli's Evan Kleiman on her KCRW blog.

L.A.'s black politics, the nut grafs

The Root looks at the history, who's in power now and some reasons why black clout is declining.

Dudamel sits with Jay Leno

L.A. Philharmonic maestro Gustavo Dudamel took another step into the big media world with a guest appearance last night on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

Now SPJ announces its officers for the year

A couple of days ago it was the L.A. Press Club, now the Los Angeles chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists reports its election results.

TV critics begin their winter marathon *

This is the time of year when television reporters and critics descend on Los Angeles to receive the same canned pitching on shows.

Daily News job posting for county beat

The Daily News is looking to fill the Troy Anderson opening at the Hall of Administration.

FBI to examine Mitrice Richardson remains

Sheriff Lee Baca says the remains collected in Malibu Canyon last year will be exhumed and sent to the FBI lab in Virginia, at the request of the family.

Blogger's reward: Blyleven elected to Hall of Fame *

rich-lederer-fox.png Ex-Angel pitcher Bert Blyleven was elected today to the baseball Hall of Fame, and he has Los Angeles blogger Rich Lederer to thank for it.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 1.5.11

Jerry Brown's staggering blow to Los Angeles, Schwarzenegger's exit stench, a first look at KCET's new news offerings and more.

Australia top source of L.A. visitors in 2010

australia-from-space.jpg Australia passed the United Kingdom and Japan to become the No. 1 feeder of overseas tourists to Los Angeles in 2010.

L.A. Arts Month kicks off on Wednesday

laartsmonth-banner.jpg There were several events listed today on the calendar for Los Angeles Arts Month, but the opening media moment is a lunchtime show on Wednesday by David Hidalgo and Louis Perez of Los Lobos in the Music Center Plaza.

My parking idea gets one fan

John Rabe, the host of KPCC's Off-Ramp, picked up and ran with my suggestion that parking garages be required to open the gate and let people go if the queue to pay reaches five minutes.

KTLA's Mark Kriski still hospitalized

Channel 5 reporter Eric Spillman blogs that Kriski, the morning guy at KTLA, is once again hoping to be released from the hospital soon.

Yagman officially disbarred

Stephen Yagman, the civil rights lawyer who did battle with the LAPD several times before his 2007 conviction for tax evasion, money laundering and bankruptcy fraud, was formally disbarred by the State Bar Court.

It's a McClintock versus Sherman kind of day

capitol-small-kcrw.jpg Both KPCC's "Airtalk" (in the morning) and KCRW's "Which Way, L.A.?" (coming up at 7 p.m.) featured Republican Tom McClintock of Northern California and Democrat Brad Sherman from the Valley going at it.

'Rent' too uncomfortable for Monrovia school officials

rent-wallpaper.jpg When Monrovia High school's drama teacher wanted the students to produce "Rent," the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical with a cult following that deals with AIDS and homosexuality, the district's superintendent said no.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 1.4.11

Jerry Brown's arrival, Arnold's exit, a new communications director in City Hall and a bunch of other politics and media notes.

Brown vs. Schwarzenegger

Cost to donors of inauguration party: Schwarzenegger $2 million, Brown under $100,000.

L.A. Press Club elects new board members

New to the board of directors of the Los Angeles Press Club: Tony Castro, Daily News; Eric Leonard, KFI News; Martha Sarabia, La Opinion and Sharon Waxman, The Wrap.

Ready for $10 parking at the Arclight?

broxton-garage-labj.jpg In the real world where Angelenos live and drive, the city's sell-off of parking garages in Hollywood and Westwood would let rates triple over five years.

LA Observed on KCRW

In tonight's column I observe that when Jerry Brown was sworn in as governor the first time, Borders and Barnes & Noble had not yet arrived in Los Angeles. And now the national giants that helped kill off so many local stores here are closing too.

Grapevine and Cajon Pass open to traffic

The CHP is letting drivers cross in and out of Southern California again on Interstate 5 through the Tehachapis and on I-15 in Cajon Pass.

Brown budget cuts to be broad and deep *

New governor Jerry Brown will propose budget cuts in the coming days that "would touch nearly all Californians, eliminating local redevelopment agencies, shrinking social service benefits, shuttering parks and reducing library hours."

Morning Buzz: Monday 1.3.11

Jerry Brown gets set to take the oath, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Diane Watson look back on their time in politics, Laura Chick leaves Los Angeles behind — and another scheduled release for Lindsay Lohan.

Americans watching more TV than ever, Nielsen says

Total viewing of broadcast networks and basic cable channels rose to an average of 34 hours per person per week.

Cajon Pass closed too *

The CHP closed I-15 through Cajon Pass after 10 p.m. due to the snow, ice and sliding cars.

Gov. Jerry Brown's inaugural address

qqxsgJerryThenNow.jpg Brown leads with restoring confidence in government and creating jobs. Oh, did I mention this is from his 1975 inauguration speech?

Another brutal night for Lakers

The Lakers continued their funk with a blowout loss to the Memphis Grizzlies tonight. As the game wound down, KCAL and ESPN radio sportscaster John Ireland tweeted: "Never heard the Lakers booed this loudly at home."

Schwarzenegger reduces sentence of Fabian Nuñez's son

Esteban Nuñez, son of the former Assembly speaker, had been sentenced to 16 years in prison for his role in the October 2008 stabbing death of a student during a fight near San Diego State. The governor's executive action, on his last day in office, commutes the sentence to seven years.

LA Sketchbook: Jerry then and now

qqxsgJerryThenNow.jpg

Coming home? The Grapevine is closed

santa-clarita-snow.jpg It figures that on the last day to get back in town for many Angelenos, Interstate 5 is closed by snow over The Grapevine.

John Olguin, San Pedro leader was 89

"It's hard to imagine San Pedro without John Olguin," says City Councilwoman Janice Hahn. "He was like a grandfather to everyone."
Aon tower
aon-tower.jpgWilshire and Hope, downtown Los Angeles. Once known as the First Interstate Bank tower.
Don Shirley on CTG's new season
Paul_Oakley_Stovall-ctg.jpg Once again our columnist has to ask: where is LA in the upcoming schedule of the Center Theatre Group? Native Intelligence
Engine 23
engine-23-5th-street.jpg 5th Street in Downtown LA.
Church of Type
church-of-type-pico-sm.jpg Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica.
Garden envy
garden-envy-vdt.jpgVeronique de Turenne has a case of it. Here in Malibu