LA Observed archive
for February 2011

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

A conversation with Tarantino's collaborator

Sally_Menke-kcrw.jpg KCRW's Elvis Mitchell has re-edited and posted a conversation with the late Sally Menke.

Laurel Erickson back on the air in L.A.

laurel-erickson-socalconnec.jpg I missed that longtime KNBC reporter (and the ex-anchor of "News Conference") Laurel Erickson returned to the local air waves last month as the correspondent on an episode of KCET's "SoCal Connected." She also has a piece this week.

Academy blocks Portman question about anti-Semitism

portman-backstage-wrap.jpg After she picked up her Oscar last night and went backstage to meet the media, Natalie Portman was asked by a reporter why she wasn't wearing Dior — she's a...

'Two and a Half Men' crew will be paid by Warner Bros

More than 100 employees of the hit TV show shut down after star Charlie Sheen's recent outburst will get full paychecks for the season's final four unproduced episodes.

The Wrap uses Bert Fields to respond to Finke *

Fields dismisses cease and desist letter and says that Nikki Finke and company have engaged in trade libel and unfair competition.

LA Observed on KCRW: Libraries and Measure L

In this week's column, on the air at 6:44 p.m., I discuss the pros and cons of Measure L on the March 8 ballot and come down on the side of the libraries.

Jane Russell, movie sex symbol was 89

jane-russell-hurrell-1941.jpg Jane Russell is probably best known as the busty actress whose cleavage Howard Hughes exploited so flagrantly in "The Outlaw." Her life story, though, runs through several other prominent Los Angeles threads.

Selden Ring award to the LAT's Bell team

The Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting from the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism comes with a $35,000 prize.

Sirhan Sirhan comes up for parole on Wednesday

sirhan-2009-doc.jpg A new lawyer will argue that his client, who is now 66, does not remember shooting Sen. Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel on June 4, 1968.

Morning Buzz: Monday 2. 28.11

Archbishop Jose Gomez takes the crooked staff, Times urges defeat of three city councilmen, print pieces on Charlie Sheen, more politics and media notes and a book on the Hollywood sign.

Free tix: T.C. Boyle in Santa Monica *

tc-boyle_event-300x198.jpg Author T.C. Boyle will talk about his new novel, "When the Killing’s Done" — the one set in the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa Barbara — on Thursday, March 3 at 8 p.m. at Track 16 Gallery in Bergamot Station.

Debate you didn't know was on: will Jews ride the subway?

jj-cover-022511.jpg The Jewish Journal cover story this week poses the question to the community: will Jews support the expansion of Metro's subway, other rail lines and busways?

Natalie, Colin and 'King's Speech' get it done

All those predictions that Natalie Portman and Colin Firth would win the top acting Oscars and "The King's Speech" would win best picture — they were right.

Backstage at the Oscars with Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn

grace-kelly-aubrey-hepburn-.jpg Life magazine has posted a nice online gallery of photos from Oscars past, including this one with Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn backstage at the 1956 ceremony at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.

Mark Tulin, bassist was 62

Tulin was the bassist for the 1960s psychedelic garage band The Electric Prunes (formed in the Valley) and had been playing recently with the Smashing Pumkins and with Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan.

Duke Snider, Boy of Summer was 84

duke-snider-lad.jpg The Dodgers' all-time leader in home runs and runs batted in and a Hall of Fame icon of the 1950s died this morning in Escondido. Snider grew up in the Los Angeles area and starred at Compton High School.

Mayor charms visiting Oscars reporter

mav-russell-thr-party.jpg Melena Ryzik, lead writer for the New York Times' Carpetbagger awards blog, hit town this week and attended the Hollywood Reporter Oscars party on Thursday night at the mayor's residence...

'Black Swan' takes a bunch of Spirit awards

portman-winner2.jpg Kind of a ragged show on IFC tonight from the Film Independent Spirit Awards — lots of gaps and fumbles. The actors also seemed fairly miserable about the chilly temperature in the tent on Santa Monica Beach.

Banksy piece removed from wall in Boyle Heights

"Caution," located at Soto and 1st streets, was sawed off the wall in broad daylight, as they say.

Weekend desk-clearing: L.A. people

Jeremy Bernard, Darryl Morden, Cardinal Mahony and more.

Snow level not so dramatic *

mt-wilson-cam-snow-2262011.jpg There's lots of visible snow this afternoon on the mountain slopes lining the Los Angeles basin, but the predictions of snow below 1,000 feet proved to be overly enthusiastic.

Academy pulls Deadline's credential over Finke's leaks

Nikki Finke says that the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences this morning pulled her film editor Mike Fleming's backstage press credential to cover Sunday's Oscars, citing Deadline's reporting of spoilers about the show.

David Poland goes nuclear on Finke *

Reacting apparently to Nikki Finke posting details of Sunday's Oscar telecast, Hollywood blogger David Poland has posted a "Crazy Nikki" rant that's aggressive even for him — and also says that motion picture academy president Tom Sherak should be fired "if he continues to feed her any information."

CHP busts man for making 18,000 prank calls to 9-1-1

Maurice Cruz made his first alleged prank call to 9-1-1 last August 27 at approximately 4:46 p.m.. He placed the last of more than 18,000 calls this morning at about 2:35 — and then he was arrested.

Salma Hayek gives up L.A. for Paris

hayek-paris-kitchen-nyt.jpg She tells the New York Times fashion magazine that she's now a French housewife who cooks every night, but there's also the designer clothes and front-row seats at the fashion shows.

Finke gets the Oscars' show rundown

There are spoilers galore in Nikki Finke's report on what will be in the Oscars show on Sunday, so tread carefully if that matters to you.

Glenn Allen honored by thousands

lafd-glenn-allen-procession-soqui.jpg Ted Soqui at LA Photo has posted a page of pictures from this morning's memorial procession in Downtown for fallen LAFD firefighter Glenn Allen. Links to more coverage.

With Pauley closing for awhile, UCLA looks far afield

pan-pacific-hoops-lapl.jpg Venues being considered include Staples Center, Honda Center, the Sports Arena — plus Ontario, Bakersfield and San Diego.

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.25.11

Brown to get support of L.A. Chamber for taxes, Tom Campbell to run Chapman Law, Villaraigosa wants higher wall around Getty House, plus Charlie Sheen, Cardinal Mahony, Frank McCourt, Chris Erskine, "Glee" and more.

Finke story on the Today Show? *

An NBC source says that "Today" will do a pre-Oscars piece about (or with?) Deadline's Nikki Finke in the 7:30 a.m. half-hour on Friday's show.

No interview with Aaron Sorkin for 'Hollywood Jew'

Danielle Berrin, who writes the Hollywood Jew column for the Jewish Journal, recounts her failed attempt to get an interview with Aaron Sorkin about the women in "The Social Network" — and his reaction to the column she did finally write.

Street closures for Glenn Allen funeral in Civic Center on Friday

lafd-funeral-feb252011.jpg Streets around City Hall and the cathedral will be closed Friday morning for the funeral procession and service for Glenn Allen, the LAFD veteran killed fighting a fire in the Hollywood Hills last week.

Scott Brown is here to sell books

Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown will sign copies of his memoir, "Against All Odds: My Life of Hardship, Fast Breaks and Second Chances" at noon Friday at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena.

Zagat wants your votes on L.A. restaurants

They'll take your recommendations at the website until April 10.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.24.11

State Department warns journos in Libya, Alarcon cleared of one accusation, Abby Sunderland memoir sells and more books notes.

Kit Rachlis named editor of The American Prospect

The former editor of Los Angeles magazine and the LA Weekly starts April 18 at the progressive policy/politics magazine based in Washington, DC.

LAT photog and writer are in Libya

L.A. Times photographer Luis Sinco and staff writer Raja Abdulrahim crossed into Libya on Wednesday to report on the clashes there.

Clippers trading Baron Davis to Cleveland

They will get back Mo Williams and Jamario Moon, sources tell ESPN and LAT's Lisa Dillman.

Hail Dooce, still queen of the mommy bloggers

dooce-nyt.jpg Heather Armstrong has traveled a lot of blog miles since she was fired from her Los Angeles start-up job in 2002 for keeping a personal online diary called a weblog.

It could be really, really cold* for the Oscars

Storm that's coming could bring snow to areas that rarely see it.

Your Oscar presenters for this weekend

oscar-presenters-2011.jpg Javier Bardem, Helen Mirren and Matthew McConaughey have been newly added to the list of Oscar presenters at Sunday's ceremony. Mo’Nique and Christoph Waltz, winners last year and thus invited...

Finke unloads on The Wrap with post, lawyer letter *

Deadline's Nikki Finke has publicly called out The Wrap for taking her content, and reports that a "cease-and-desist" letter was sent from her corporate overseer to Sharon Waxman and her board of directors

Mark Kriski set to return to TV on Monday

mark-kriski-ktla-sitting.jpg Kriski has been missing from the "KTLA Morning News" since early November while fighting an infection that led to pneumonia.

KNBC's Paul Johnson gets a freeway

Part of the 55 freeway in Orange County is now the Paul Johnson Memorial Freeway.

'Person of interest' in possible homicide jumps from cliff

David Viens jumped in Rancho Palos Verdes hours after being named in a Daily Breeze story.

Rizzo and Lohan leave court under different circumstances

Robert Rizzo leaves on a gurney, Lindsay Lohan walks away but is told that she faces jail time if convicted or if she pleads out.

Hidden Los Angeles versus Los Angeles Magazine

HiddenLA-lamag.jpg Los Angeles magazine's Hidden LA cover package this month has some fun stuff. Not amused, though, are fans of the wildly popular Hidden LA website and Facebook page.

Simpsons pick out the L.A. hot spots

simpsons-la-tour.jpg On a recent episode of "The Simpsons," Bart Simpson's list of "must-see attractions" for Los Angeles included Cerritos Auto Square, Keyes on Van Nuys, "The Valley," LAX lot C, the...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.23.11

Apple after Jobs, Cardinal Mahony's mixed legacy, Lohan back in court, politics and media notes and the Ciclavia route.

Satellite going up from Vandenberg after 2 a.m. *

The Los Angeles Fire Department tweets: No need to call 9-1-1.

Channel 2 gets inside the mummified babies story *

KCBS had a good story at 11 p.m. tonight showing the valises, 1930s newspapers and silk wrappings that contained those two mummified newborns found in a Westlake area apartment last year.

Task Force 2 heads out to Christchurch

Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department's search and rescue team are at LAX right about now boarding a flight for New Zealand.

Caltech wins! No prank

caltech-celebration.jpg Caltech broke its 310-game losing streak with a one-point win tonight over rival Occidental in the final game of the season. It's the Beavers' first basketball win in the conference since, oh, 1985.

Emanuel elected mayor of Chicago

Rahm Emanuel, the former White House Chief of Staff and brother of Ari and Zeke, avoided a runoff by drawing 55% despite the presence of five other candidates.

Earthquakes make a lot of noise

Video: Never underestimate how loud an earthquake can be as it pummels your home.

Banksy hits Pacific Coast Highway

banksy-pch-alcorn.jpg Jonathan Alcorn spots this latest Banksy piece on a tank at the base of the palisades along PCH across from Will Rogers Beach. Recently: LAT: The truth of 'Exit Through...

Why 'King's Speech' wins Oscar and 'Black Swan' doesn't

kings-speech-colin-firth.jpg It's all about academy voters' second and third choices for Best Picture. 'Social Network,' maybe.

They still talk about Alycia Lane in Philly

AlyciaLane-thumb-180.jpg Larry Mendte, a former news anchor in Philadelphia, is interesting here in L.A. pretty much only because he was the colleague who criminally snooped in co-anchor Alycia Lane's email.

Finalists named for L.A. Times Book Prizes

Christopher Hitchens, Patti Smith, Jonathan Franzen, Laura Hillenbrand and Michael Lewis (plus others) are on the list of finalists for the 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.22.11

Hijacked couple killed by pirates, 6 quake deaths in New Zealand, Philip Bruce leaves NPR West and more local media and politics notes.

Ruben Salazar files to be opened a little *

salazarstamp.jpg Mistakes were made by deputies at the East Los Angeles riot in 1970 at which newsman Ruben Salazar was killed, but there's no surviving evidence that Salazar was targeted, says a report by the sheriff department's Office of Independent Review.

NYT declares Craig's an instant institution

The new West Hollywood restaurant by Craig Susser, former manager at Dan Tana's, got the feature treatment in the New York Times over the weekend.

LA Sketchbook: Redevelopment agencies


Last Remaining Seats hits the big 25

SafetyLast.jpg This year's 25th run of Last Remaining Seats in the Broadway Historic Theatre District will open at the Orpheum with "Rear Window," the Alfred Hitchcock classic starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, and end there with Harold Lloyd in "Safety Last."

Holiday weekend news and notes

Politics and media notes, plus obituaries.

Polk Award for LAT's Bell coverage

The Los Angeles Times picked up this year's Polk in local reporting for those stories on corruption in the city of Bell.

Happy centennial, Van Nuys

flooding-van-nuys.jpg On Feb. 22, 1911, trains from Los Angeles delivered the first buyers of vacant lots to the new town of Van Nuys.

Yes, Earl Spencer lives here now

spencer-gordon-engaged.jpg After a couple of journos recently spotted Britain's Charles Spencer, the brother of the late Princess Diana, in Arianna Huffington's living room in Brentwood, the question went out on Twitter: what's he doing here? Now we know.

New arts and culture editor at LA Weekly

zachary-pincus-roth.jpg LA Weekly editor Drex Heikes told the staff this afternoon that the paper's new arts and culture editor will be Zachary Pincus-Roth.

Much better snow view

alcorn-bikes-snow-22011.jpg And now from a real photographer: Jonathan Alcorn, out early Sunday at Marina del Rey.

Snowy view from LA Observed Tower

snow-from-roof.jpg Up on the roof on Sunday afternoon, after the storm.

Critic Ann Powers leaves L.A. Times for NPR

Powers, the LAT's pop music critic since coming from Blender in 2006, will join NPR Music and switch to contributor status at the Times.

Glenn Allen, Los Angeles firefighter was 58 *

glenn-allen-lafd.jpg Glenn Allen had been with the Los Angeles Fire Department for 38 years and had been contemplating retirement. He died after noon today of injuries incurred while battling a house fire in the Hollywood Hills on Thursday.

Serene Branson goes national

The KCBS reporter who suffered the on-air "complex migraine" was on CBS' The Early Show today, again saying she's fine.

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.18.11

Stadium progress, Board of Ed campaign spending, more politics and media notes, a Scientology book and a fight over the term urban homestead.

Afternoon news and notes

Veteran firefighter battling for his life, Jerry West statue unveiled and the mayor's stadium committee meets.

John Stodder signs off for a little while

John Stodder, the other former Fleishman-Hillard executive convicted a few years ago, reports to federal prison authorities tomorrow. He posts a farewell note on Facebook.

Serene Branson: Docs say it was a migraine *

Channel 2 reporter Serene Branson will tell anchor Pat Harvey tonight at 11 that her on-air incident at Sunday's Grammys has been blamed on a migraine that mimicked stroke symptoms.

La Nina fades to black yellow

la-nina-mom.png The scientist who watches the weather at Bad Mom, Good Mom says the evidence is in. The La Nina phenomenon that was supposed to be keeping us relatively dry this winter has abated in the eastern Pacific.

Keeping up with LA Observed

I'll be out of pocket Thursday morning, so Morning Buzz will be put up late if at all. Been a while since I pointed these out, but here are some...

Lovers Lane lines up nicely with...North Main

lovers-lane-fajack.jpg Our Valentine's Day mystery about the present-day status of L.A.'s Lovers Lane from 1871 appears to be solved

Meet the 'heroes of early Scientology reporting'

dianetics-dn-ucla.jpg L. Ron Hubbard in 1950; crowd at Dianetics seminar in L.A. the same year. The Daily Awl has posted a story today revisiting and giving credit to the ground-breaking 1990...

Center for Social Cohesion to open between L.A. and AZ

Zocalo Public Square is joining with Arizona State University and the New America Foundation to launch the non-partisan Center for Social Cohesion, "dedicated to studying the forces that shape our sense of social unity."

Ridley-Thomas hires from LAT

lisa-richardson-mrt.jpg Lisa Richardson, an L.A. Times editorial writer from 2006 until recently, has joined the staff of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas as Senior Deputy for Communications.

Talk about a non-profit L.A. news venture

Tom Unterman, the venture capitalist and former chief financial officer of Times Mirror who engineered the company's 2000 sale to Tribune, has been having discussions around town about starting a non-profit journalism venture that would partner with the L.A. Times on investigative and other projects.

NYU journo resigns over flippant Lara Logan tweets

Nir Rosen joked that the sexual assaults on CBS chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan "would have been funny" if they happened to Anderson Cooper. Also, a Salon writer blasts LA Weekly.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.16.11

Borders to close 17 SoCal stores, Brown hiring freeze, special election winners, LAUSD's budget, more politics and media notes and the NYT gets a local dateline amusingly wrong.

Quick media hire of note

runon-crop.jpg Sara Catania, the talented L.A. journalist who conceived and wrote our Run On blog about preparing to compete in the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon, is the new Web Editorial Director at KNBC Channel 4.

Strong words about LAT and teachers from a research expert *

I can't help but notice the detailed nature of the criticism leveled at the Times' adoption of "value-added" measures as its metric of choice for rating teachers.

Runyon Canyon mystery mansion now on the national radar

solar-drive-graphic-nyt.jpg Runyon Canyon's mystery mansion gets some ink in the New York Times.

County worker dies at her cubicle, isn't found for a day

Rebecca Wells, 51, was found slumped over on her desk in the L.A. County Department of Internal Services in Downey by a security guard on Saturday.

Afternoon news and notes

Coliseum manager out, Villaraigosa appoints to the DWP commission and more.
Lara_Logan_244x183.jpg CBS correspondent Lara Logan is back home in an undisclosed U.S. hospital after being beaten and sexually assaulted in Cairo's Tahrir Square last Friday.

Sam Rubin loses it on air over 'Crusty Buttocks'

sam-rubin-laughing.jpg On today's "KTLA's Morning News," Sam Rubin couldn't get all the way through a report on the new paper towel dispensers in the Channel 5 mens room without cracking up. Click the link to watch the video over there. Tribune's vertical video player doesn't embed well here.

Another stroke doc: Branson should have gone to hospital

The NYT quotes a stroke specialist who suspects, in the footage of Serene Branson that aired live on the Channel 2 news here Sunday night, that we saw rare and medically valuable video of an ischemic stroke as it is happening.

Trailer: 'East LA Interchange' and Boyle Heights

Boyle Heights, established east of the river in 1875, by the 1920s had become "a working-class, multiethnic neighborhood far more diverse than any U.S. city; Mexicans, Japanese, African-Americans, Russian...

Bowen not scared off by Hahn endorsements

debra-bowen-bee.jpg Bowen, the California Secretary of State, announced today that she will be a candidate in the special election to replace Jane Harman.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.15.11

Salaries in Bell, DiFi backs Hahn, Colorado researchers still upset at the Times and a Valley beagle wins at Westminster.

Anchors read statement about Branson on the news

Monday night on the news, the anchors for CBS 2 and KCAL 9 addressed reporter Serene Branson's "health-related problems" during Sunday's Grammys report.

Lovers Lane, Los Angeles 1871

lovers-lane-1871-lapl.jpg "Yes, Los Angeles has always been a town for lovers," reads the caption for this 1871 map posted on Facebook.

LA Observed on KCRW

Coming up on the air at 6:44 p.m., a often-forgotten corner of the city — the far northeast Valley — and two historical milestones there.

The lowdown on Arianna Huffington's adviser and right-hand

We mean Kenneth Lerer, the former AOL and Microsoft official — and ex-Democratic campaign strategist — who helped launch the Huffington Post and remains as chairman.

CBS takes down Serene Branson videos

CBS has put in a copyright claim to get YouTube to take down all the videos it can find of Channel 2 reporter Serene Branson's on-air medical event last night.

Playboy Mansion toll now 170

County Health says that 170 people who attended that party at the Playboy Mansion on Feb. 3 have since been reported as feeling symptoms afterward.

Dominic and Maria, a video love story for Valentine's Day

In this WSJ video, Dominic Ehrler talks about how the conection began between him and Maria the goose that follows him around Echo Park lake every day.

LAT stands by criticized story on teacher rankings study

Last week's very pointed academic criticism of the Los Angeles Times' work on teachers rankings has finally gotten a repsonse from the paper.

Memo: LAT promotes Orr to managing editor, online

Jimmy Orr, the deputy editor for, is getting the promotion to managing editor, online.

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.14.11

No knives at the Grammys, Patsaouras writing memoir, Saenz on short list for state Supreme Court and city election endorsements.

Concern for Channel 2's Serene Branson **

Serene Branson's report from the Grammys Sunday night went awry soon after Paul Magers threw to her live.

Traffic impedes L.A. booty calls

Here's our modest contribution to Valentine's Day.

Potluck dinner with Lisa Napoli

The longtime public radio journalist's weekly potluck dinners were featured in the Los Angeles Times.

More Mitrice Richardson remains found in Malibu hills

It seems safe to say that nothing about the Mitrice Richardson investigation will go into the how-to training manuals.

HuffPost bloggers not so widely read

silver-huffpostchart-nyt.png Posts by "free" bloggers get a very small piece of the Huffington Post's huge readership, says the NYT's Nate Silver.

Professor removes camera his body rejected

camera-in-head-wsj.jpg The NYU arts professor who had a Los Angeles tattoo parlor embed a web camera in the back of his head has changed...focus...and is now wearing the camera around his neck.

How J.C. Penney gamed the Google rankings

nyt-google-illo.jpg Great New York Times story this weekend looking deep into the phenomenon that saw J.C. Penney turn up as the #1 result on a variety of Google keyword searches: from dresses and bedding to Samsonite carry on luggage — ahead of Samsonite itself.

L.A. Times editor thanks the staff for Egypt coverage

Russ Stanton's Saturday morning email to the bureaus and the newsroom names lots of names.

LAT names 2012 campaign editor

Cathleen Decker will oversee all aspects of Los Angeles Times national campaign coverage between now and November 20102.

Playboy Mansion makes people sick, officially this time

playboymansionsat.jpg Many conventioneers go to the Playboy Mansion hoping for a special experience, but attendees at the DOMAINFest conference really did catch something special.

Steve Martin goes over better in L.A.

Unlike in New York, the LACMA audience apparently was quite satisfied to hear Martin talk about art.

Global health a hot Hollywood ticket

chernin-party-pic.jpg Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Michael Milken and a bunch of Hollywood types came out to the home of Peter Chernin Thursday night for a discussion of discuss global health issues.

LAT loses managing editor for online

Sean Gallagher, the editor in charge of the online product at the L.A. Times since late 2009, is leaving the paper for the United Kingdom.

New editorial writers at the Los Angeles Times

Carla Hall has already joined the editorial board on the second floor, and Sandra Hernandez will be starting shortly.

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.11.11

Brown's L.A. area appearances, the race to replace Harman, Democratic senators coming for Hollywood's money, authors back Measure L for the libraries and more.

Trutanich trying to lock up protesters for up to a year

Under previous city attorneys, protesters arrested for failing to disperse and blocking streets were usually prosecuted for infractions and fined.

A time-lapse view of Los Angeles (and Santa Monica)

Orange County photographer Matthew Givot renders parts of the city beautifully in his time lapse videos.

T.C. Boyle's 'When the Killing's Done'

tc-boyle_event-300x198.jpg T.C. Boyle lives up near Santa Barbara and his upcoming novel is set out on the Channel Islands, which sometimes seem to loom so close to the shore from up there.

Variety wants you, to intern

Variety has openings for paid spring and summer interns.

Sad state of the art house theaters

I'm just catching up with this from last week's LA Weekly.

Map of running tweets from Egypt: anger

hypercities-egypt-graphic.jpg UCLA's HyperCities Egypt project displays and archives tweets as they come in from Cairo and Alexandria.

Gov. Brown flies to L.A. frills-free on Southwest

Gov. Jerry Brown caught a Southwest flight this morning from Sacramento to Burbank — no press aides, no entourage, no security and no special seating.

Live feeds from Cairo

Al Jazeera anchor, observing the scene in the square: "It's quite something, isn't it?"

The Daily either does or doesn't run photo of Nikki Finke *

She says it's not her, and The Daily doesn't sound all that convinced, but they run it anyway.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.10.11

Brown's speech in L.A. tonight and his sagging poll numbers, who got Whitman's money, the City Council forms a stadium committee and more.

Jane Fonda draws a crowd at the Ahmanson

33-Variations-Photo-11.jpg Jane Fonda blogged on Tuesday that tonight's opening performance of "33 Variations" at the Ahmanson Theatre would be attended by Cher, Colin Farrell, Angelica Huston, Chelsea Handler, Rosanna Arquette, Carla Gugino, Christian Slater, Peter Fonda, John Glover, Ben Vereen, Lindsay Lohan "and many other friends and family." She was right.

'Law & Order: Los Angeles' kills off WSJ reporter

Real-life Wall Street Journal reporter Amy Chozick pulled a shift as an extra on L&O:LA and ends up with blood on her face. Hat tip to Movie City News....

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.9.11

Possible MPAA chief, new Ruben Salazar info coming, Huizar and Martinez actually talk issues, plus controversy over a photo of Nikki Finke.

Feb. 9, 1971, 6:01 a.m.

sylmar-quake-usgs-tracks.jpg Sixty-five people died in the 6.6 magnitude Sylmar earthquake 40 years ago today. We have pictures.

Children's Hospital embraces the apostrophe

childrens-hosp-logo.jpg For 110 years, Children's Hospital has been a Los Angeles institution with a flaw. Its name, in the official papers and everywhere else, was spelled wrong.

Rutten pretty much nails AOL and Huffington journalism

Tim Rutten's op-ed column in the L.A. Times tomorrow gives Arianna Huffington, the Huffington Post and AOL their due for what they do right, journalistically. But he also skewers some of the less praise-worthy realities.

Valentine's Day advice, cheap

valday-screen-shot.jpg Your friends at the 99 Cents Only stores, as usual, offer you some buying advice for the cheap date on your Valentine's Day list.

Picking apart the city's stadium panel

In a story exploring the bios of the group appointed by Mayor Villaraigosa to report to him on the wisdom of AEG's downtown stadium, the Associated Press's Jacob Adelman cuts to the chase right in the lede.

Columnist honesty

Steve Lopez's lead on tomorrow's column: "What do 'tea party' beauty queen Sarah Palin and U2 guitarist the Edge have in common? Nothing..."

Afternoon news and notes

Politics. media and other items from the in-box.

Hiking the stairways of old Hollywoodland

hollywoodlandhike-11.jpg Mark Frauenfelder went for a fun Saturday walking tour of the old Hollywoodland development in Beachwood Canyon.

Alarcon raising money for next job, indictments or not

alarcon-invite.jpg City Councilman has a Sacramento fundraiser scheduled next month for an Assembly run in 2012.

LAT spins story that strongly criticizes its teacher series

Times' controversial "value added" project is called a disservice worthy of an apology by Colorado researchers. The LAT spins it otherwise.

Leiweke: 'It’s easy to take shots'

AEG chief Tim Leiweke kept to the us versus them message in remarks today to reporters asking him about public doubts over his company's NFL stadium plans for Downtown.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.8.11

Olbermann's Current TV gig, Jane Harman's seat, woman who regained her family's Klimt paintings dies, and more.

L.A. movie trailer: 'The Lincoln Lawyer'

The movie version of Michael Connelly's 20xx bestseller stars Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller, an L.A. defense attorney who eschews an office and operates out of the back of his Lincoln Continental.

Olbermann looks headed for Current TV

Looks as if Keith Olbermann is teaming up with a cable channel with an even smaller audience than MSNBC.

LA Observed on KCRW: Downtown football stadium

'm getting used to the idea that there might be a football stadium dropped behind Staples Center, but if Phil Anschutz and friends want Angelenos to buy into the idea, they better come up with some better assurances — and drop the classless us versus them attacks.

Mapplethorpe's work acquired by Getty and LACMA

mapplethorpe_calla-lily.jpg The Getty and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art jointly announced today that more than 2,000 photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe will be housed here in Los Angeles.

Will HuffPost start to pay its bloggers? Will they care?

The Huffington Post counts something more than 6,000 volunteer blog writers who contribute for various reasons: to join in the conversation, to get a clipping, to push their pet cause, maybe even to claim an affiliation they use to gain access to events or impress a date.

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.7.11

Roski insists he's still in, remembering Reagan as a moderate, Paul Haggis vs. Scientology and more.

Rep. Jane Harman leaving Congress to run think tank *

Looks like there will be yet another p[ening and possible special election in the South Bay to Westside crescent.

First look at AOL as HuffPost, via Kara Swisher

aol-huff-mockup.jpg Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal posted the page, as well as scoring a video interview with Arianna Huffington and AOL's Tim Armstrong before the announcement on Sunday...

Caltech's man in Egypt calls for Mubarak to step down

a_zewail_0206.jpg Ahmed Zewail, a Nobel prize winner in chemistry who is a professor at Caltech, returned to Egypt Sunday as a potential leader of his native country and called on Hosni Mubarak to give up power.

Huizar aide leaves campaign over 'political bullet' email

Michael Trujillo talked about putting a political bullet in between Rudy Martinez's forehead (sic) and called on other aides to spread dirt on Huizar's opponent.

Jack Popejoy, honored radio news anchor was 63

jack-popejoy-knx.jpg Popejoy, winner of 27 Golden Mikes, died Saturday of cancer.

AOL to buy Huffington Post and put Arianna in charge

Arianna Huffington will take control of all of AOL’s editorial content as president and editor in chief of a newly created Huffington Post Media Group, under the deal reached Sunday night.

How Hefner got his groove back

hefner-crystal-harris-nytmag.jpg In the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Charles McGrath looks at the business empire and physical presence of Playboy's Hugh Hefner and says he looks pretty good for a guy who will turn 85 in April and was thought by many to be a dinosaur long ago.

SoCal newspapers likely to join up, LAT media columnist says

James Rainey argues in his Saturday column that with the corporate owners of the Times, Register, Daily News and San Diego Union-Tribune each facing their own financial squeezes, the inevitable best hope is for them to stop competing.

Costumes from 'True Grit,' other Oscar nominees

true-grit-fidm.jpg Judy Graeme at Native Intelligence got a preview this afternoon of the new exhibition of costumes from the past year's Hollywood movies that opens Tuesday at FIDM.

Jesse Valadez, co-founder of The Imperials *

valadez-caravan-soqui.jpg Lowriders from around the West caravanned through East Los Angeles on Saturday in a funeral procession for Jesse Valadez, co-founder 45 years ago of The Imperials car club. His red...

Weekend desk clearing

Media and politics notes from around L.A. and the web.

LA Sketchbook: Super Bowl of egos


Kaus joins The Daily Caller

Venice-based Kausfiles blogger and former U.S. Senate candidate Mickey Kaus has a new web home.

How big is new Starbucks cup? Big enough

Video of an entire bottle of red wine being poured into the new Trenta size cup, with room for cream. Watch...

At home with Benedikt Taschen

The German book publisher who lives in (and below) the Chemosphere house in the Studio City hills is profiled today by the Wall Street Journal. Just like the scavengers in...

Hollywood farmers market threatened again

The Los Angeles Film School wants to build a large new classroom building at the Ivar and Selma intersection where the Hollywood farmers market has operated on Sundays since 1991.

Buzzless Friday

No Morning Buzz today. Check out Mark's morning headlines at LA Biz Observed....

Ritchie Valens, garage band success was 17

valens-grave.jpg There's a reason that, 52 years later, they still remember Ritchie Valens. Especially in Pacoima.

Dowie reports to prison on Friday

dowie-facebook.jpg Doug Dowie is the former Daily News managing editor who was convicted of mail fraud and other charges as head of the Fleishman-Hillard PR office in Los Angeles during the administration of then-mayor James Hahn.

Top Egyptian TV anchor quits over limits on what she can say

Shaheera-Amin-grab.jpg "We were not allowed to report what was happening in Tahrir Square," said Shaheera Amin, who resigned from the state-run English-language news channel, Nile TV, to join protests in the streets.

Afternoon notes

Downtown stadium, City Hall, Egypt and more.

Amanpour gets sit-down with Mubarak

ABC's Christiane Amanpour met today with Egypt's Hosni Mubarak. Here's her exclusive interview.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.3.11

Egypt violence goes after the journalists, chief justice on Prop. 8, stadium and bus lane follows, plus the end of the Women's Conference in Long Beach.

KNBC lottery winner funds USC journo scholarship

wells-cisneros.jpg Jacki Wells Cisneros and her husband have put $1 million into a scholarship fund at the USC Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism, her alma mater.

Pay cuts for everybody at L.A. Newspaper Group

LANG-memo-2-2-11.pdf Managers will have their salaries reduced by 10 percent, other staffers by 5.5 percent starting Feb. 13. The cuts are "not temporary."

Bratton's company snags a journalist

Former LAPD chief and repatriated New Yorker William Bratton has been in town this week, presumably taking care of business at Kroll International. Meanwhile, the security's firm Los Angeles office,...

Manson nabbed with another cellphone

mansondouble.jpg For at least the second time, guards at Corcoran State Prison found a mobile phone in Charles Manson's cell on January 6.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.2.11

Cairo turns violent, Anderson Cooper attacked, Carolyn Cole photos, more stadium aftermath in L.A., plus Tim Rutten, Joe Frank, Rob Neyer, Doyce Nunis and more.

The rumble on Mulholland Highway

rock-store-zevweb.jpg Bikers aren't happy about rumble strips being added to the loop of canyon roads off Mulholland Highway where motorcyclists have raced for decades.themselves or others. T

Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue hits newstands

VF-march2011-hollywood-issue.jpg Men are included among the young bodies that Vanity Fair hopes will boost magazine sales this year. Here's who they put on the cover.

Sacramento a key next step for AEG

stadium-slider-1.png Tim Leiweke met this week with Speaker John Perez, and with labor's backing for Farmers Field I have to bet Perez will give the Anschutz company whatever it wants.

Murdoch's 'The Daily' to hit iPads on Wednesday

These are some of the Los Angeles-based journalists involved, plus some pre-reactions from New Media observers.

Wilshire bus lane hits a snag with Rosendahl

metro-rapid-bus-320x200.jpg The proposal to dedicate a lane each way of Wilshire Boulevard to Bus Rapid Transit during the hours when the street is already at its most packed has picked up a new obstacle in Westside Councilman Bill Rosendahl.

Hiltzik on the stadium show: televised 'flapdoodle'

The biggest political threat to the AEG stadium deal might be skepticism among die-hard Angelenos (and sports fans) who have heard it all promised before.

Full-court press on AEG's stadium

Pardon my mixed sports metaphors. After this morning's pep rally for the Downtown NFL football stadium, Mayor Villaraigosa announced the members of a "blue ribbon commission" to evaluate the proposal...

KCET airs Al Jazeera show

All that new flexibility in the broadcast schedule can be a good thing. KCET today at 4 p.m. is airing Al Jazeera English News. It's the only station in Los...

AEG hits Roski where it hurts

Mark's right over at LA Biz Observed. AEG's stadium show this morning, officially to announce the naming of Farmers Field but more importantly staged to make the downtown NFL stadium...

LA Sketchbook: Jerry Brown's in and out boxes

qqJerry InOutBoxes.jpg

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.1.11

Jail move downtown, Rosendahl feeling "great great great," campaign and media notes, a Newton column and a reporter in Egypt. Plus more, all inside

News from Egypt through the night

watch-al-jazeera.jpg Al Jazeera live stream and blog BBC | NYT | LAT | CNN Tweets early Tuesday from on the ground in Egypt: Al Jazeera correspondent Dan Nolan: A BIG thank...

LA Sketchbook: Mubarak's pyramids

qqxsgMubarak Pyramids.jpg
Clinton fundraises in LA
kermit-la-brea-closer.jpg Jim Henson Studios on La Brea became a presidential campaign stop on Thursday.
Brown declares disaster area
porter-ranch-sign.jpgThe natural gas leak above Porter Ranch now qualifies for various government actions. Story
Wet coyote
wet-coyote-vdt.jpgSpotted between the storms at Here in Malibu.
Performing arts with cheer
guys-dolls-kevin-parry.jpgDonna Perlmutter closes out 2015 with productions downtown and on the Westside.
Junkyard down
upick-firetruck-560.jpgAfter 53 years, Sun Valley's Aadlen Brothers and U-Pick Parts cleans out. Photos