LA Observed archive
for April 2011

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

Jennifer_Egan.jpg I guess the lede from Friday night's Los Angeles Times Book Prize ceremony is that Jennifer Egan and "A Visit From the Goon Squad" won in fiction over Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom."

Stop by and chat at the Times book festival

acp-logo.jpg I'll be signing books and having great conversations at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books from noon to 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Look for me at the Angel City Press booth.

Here's another reason to be mad at parking ticket writers

nbc-expose-porn-parking-officers.jpg NBC 4 tonight at 11 p.m. will air an expose showing two uniformed Los Angeles Department of Transportation traffic enforcement officers appearing in a porn film.

Shuttle launch delayed at least 48 hours

Today's scheduled final launch of the space shuttle Endeavour was delayed at least 48 hours due to what NASA is calling "an issue with Auxiliary Power Unit 1 heaters."

Photos before Staples Center and the new Convention Center

convention-center-1991-lafd.jpg The LAFD Historical Society has posted some good aerial photos of the Convention Center being expanded circa 1991 — before Staples Center or L.A. Live came to the Downtown neighborhood.

Friday briefs

Denise Hamilton's Native Intelligence tribute to the late journalist Terry McGarry will air this weekend on KPCC's Off-Ramp, noon Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Off-Ramp blog Police are preparing...

LeaLA, the other book festival in town this weekend

leaLA-logo.jpg LéaLA, or more properly Feria del Libro en Español de Los Angeles, is the first major Spanish-language book fair to be held here.

Sirhan Sirhan blames woman in polka dot dress

Sirhan Sirhan has a new story about what happened the night Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel.

Lakers advance, to face Dallas

The Lakers eliminated the New Orleans Hornets 98-80 and will open the second round against Dallas at home on Monday.

Lara Logan talks about the night she thought she'd die

lara-logan-60-minutes.jpg The CBS News correspondent who was attacked in Cairo's Tahrir Square tells the New York Times that she was surrounded by 200-300 men who tore at her clothes, beat her and "for an extended period of time, they raped me with their hands."

L.A. as foster city run by outsiders

dodgerstadium_thefostercity.jpg he McCourts' involvement in the Dodgers, and Bud Selig's for that matter — as well as Sam Zell and Tribune's role in the Los Angeles Times — are examples of outsiders with no sense of or loyalty to the sounds and rhythms and cultures of L.A.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.28.11

Villaraigosa doings, Feinstein on Trump, Capitol Weekly's top 100, Michael Kinsley, Moby — and are William and Kate coming to L.A.?

LA Weekly crystal balls 2013, puts Yaroslavsky ahead

Nobody knows nuthin' yet, but the LA Weekly went ahead and asked a half-dozen local political figures to handicap the 2013 race for mayor anyway.

McCourt defiant, says he's not going anywhere

After his Dodgers picked up a nice win in Florida, Frank McCourt met with baseball officials in New York and came out swinging in remarks to reporters.

Another music video in the Fred Harvey room

The Brian Setzer Orchestra with "Jump Jive An' Wail" in the old Fred Harvey diner at Union Station.

Magazines this month

miller-mccune-511.jpg Los Angeles has Chinese restaurants, Herb Alpert, Austin Beutner and girls on quads. Miller-McCune has Lee Baca.

City services may be slow, but this is ridiculous

KPCC's John Rabe spots an amusing misspelling in a press release from the Coalition of LA City Unions.

Fiona Apple at the Fred Harvey coffee shop

After yesterday's posts on the Fred Harvey cafe at Union Station, blogger Scott Lowe stumbled across a Fiona Apple video shot there.

Lockheed in camouflage

lockheed-war-after.jpg These pictures reemerge every so often, but they are always interesting. These are World War II shots of Lockheed Aircraft, a major builder of war planes at Burbank Airport,...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.27.11

Deasy hires a team and pays them well, Host International is back in the game at LAX, labor concessions at City Hall, plus Crenshaw rail, Vernon, Kelly Candaele and more.

Big week already for L.A. philanthropy

It's just coincidence I'm sure, but the same week that Eli Broad is profiled for his philanthropy on "60 Minutes," three major local gifts have been announced.

L.A. Flood, the emerging narrative

la-flooded-image.jpg The first stages of a "narrative experience" about a fictional flood hitting Los Angeles will be unveiled at this weekend's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC.

Patch wants you to blog for them

All the AOL Patch local news sites across the country have put out the call for bloggers to post on their community's site.

New life for Fred Harvey space at Union Station

fred-harvey-franklin-ave.jpg The first time I snuck into the vacated Fred Harvey cafe at Union Station, maybe 20 years ago, I could almost smell the 1940s cigar smoke. The room and adjacent...

A day in the life of L.A. County's giant scissors

A KPCC video crew follows around the ceremonial props we told you about last month.

'Glee' and NY's Bloomberg needle Villaraigosa

glee-nyc-wsj.jpg A "Glee" producer and New York mayor Bloomberg have a little fun at the L.A. mayor's expense.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.26.11

Climate change and water, the state of Black Los Angeles, a parking tickets audit and a new role for book agent Steve Wasserman — plus more.

Kings go golfing

The Kings were eliminated from the NHL playoffs by the San Jose Sharks on Monday night, so the hockey season in SoCal is officially over.

LA Observed on KCRW: Dodgers mess bruises LA's psyche

Frank McCourt's path back to civic grace is tough to see because in screwing up the Dodgers he didn't just disappoint, he offended.

KCET announces sale of studio to Scientology *

The public TV station has agreed to sell its 4.5-acre studio lot on Sunset Boulevard to the Church of Scientology and will relocate within a year to a new production facility.

Morning Buzz: Monday 4.25.11

A round-up of news, politics and media notes and other observations to get the week started.

Around LA Observed: Something new *

alex-ward-form.jpg Donna Perlmutter, the former dance and music critic for the Herald Examiner and CityBeat — and freelancer for the L.A. Times and New York Times, among other places — is the newest contributor to Native Intelligence.

Elvis Mitchell and Movieline break up after a short affair

Mitchell joined in January and now is out. Nikki Finke and Anne Thompson report different reasons.

Eldon Davis, icon of L.A.'s googie architecture was 94

googies-olive-fifth.jpg We have Eldon Davis to thank for many of those Googie-style coffee shops that sprouted along Southern California boulevards in the 1950s, then spread across the country.

If you haven't tuned in to Mexico yet, read these stories

We don't have to go halfway around the world to be horrified by killing fields and innocent people being slaughtered.

Pacific Ocean Park in 1967, with dancers and Nancy Sinatra

If you never saw the short-lived but very popular amusement park that was at the Ocean Park end of Santa Monica Beach — or want to see it again — check out this Nancy Sinatra video.

Off-duty LAPD officer killed in one-car freeway crash

Jose Diance-Cruz, 23, of the Southwest station was thrown from his truck after hitting the guardrail on the eastbound Ventura Freeway at Van Nuys Boulevard.

Kings live to skate another day

Actually, that day will be Monday for game 6 of the Stanley Cup playoffs round.

Today in the Dodgers debacle

I was quoted on camera in the "NBC Nightly News" story about the Dodgers mess Saturday, plus other news of the day.

Hazel Dickens, soul singer of the South was 75

Bluegrass legend Hazel Dickens used her music to tell people about the plight of coal miners and working women in the South, and inspired the work of Emmylou Harris and others.

Friday desk clearing

Obama's menu from last night, Lohan sentenced back to county jail, and more.

SCI-Arc buys its building finally

sci-arc-bldg.jpg The Southern California Institute of Architecture has bought the century-old former rail freight depot it occupies in the Arts District.

Madelyn Pugh Davis, 'I Love Lucy' writer was 90

Davis and her writing partner Bob Carroll Jr. were writing for Lucille Ball on radio when they collaborated on a TV pilot. The rest was television history. Also: Kevin Jarre.

Gang member does himself in - twice

Good story about a sheriff's detective who was thumbing through photos of gang members and recognized a Pico Rivera murder scene tattooed on one guy's chest.

As the McCourts Turn: what happened Thursday

Analysis and reaction as Frank McCourt gears up to fight baseball's decision to take control of the Dodgers.

Obama pool reporter not a foodie - or a details person *

Pool reporter from the LA Times gets the name of Obama's restaurant wrong. Can't say she wasn't warned.

Lights at night feed smog the next day

The artificial light we throw skyward in the city at night feeds chemical reactions that add to the haze of air pollution.

Exciting day of mistaken identity for L.A. journo *

Photojournalist Jonathan Alcorn and a news crew shooting a story on paparazzi for Bloomberg News were stopped near Sunset Plaza this afternoon (presumably by sheriff's deputies), ordered to the ground and treated as felony suspects.

Obama media alert: it's Tavern *

tavern-grab.jpg There is no article in Tavern, and no solid news on how to avoid traffic from president Obama's visit this evening.

'60 Minutes' on Eli Broad: sets the standard for philanthropy *

The preview portrays Eli Broad as L.A.'s top philanthropist and arts patron, one who is not shy about putting his name on things.

Alycia Lane, many others win Murrow awards

AlyciaLane.jpg Channel 4 morning anchor Alycia Lane just tweeted her good news.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.21.11

More on President Obama's visit, baseball v. McCourt, the subsidy behind the downtown NFL stadium and Riordan's backing of Beutner, plus Rick Dees, WeHo's John J. Duran and more.

LA Sketchbook: McCourt hook

qqxsgMcCourt Hook.jpg

McCourt responds, mildly defiant

The Dodgers just released a statement from Frank McCourt. Short and sweet.

Dodgers takeover: bullet points

Man, so many wrinkles and angles and reactions to the stunning news that baseball has taken over control of the Dodgers from Frank McCourt.

Baseball takes over Dodgers from McCourt

"Pursuant to my authority as Commissioner, I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club."

Jose Rios promoted at Fox, out as Channel 11 news director

Rios, the VP and news director at Fox 11, has been named vice president of digital news applications at parent Fox Television Stations.
hetherington-vf.jpg Hetherington's photos from Afghanistan for Vanity Fair and others formed the basis for the Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo, which he directed which his long-time journalistic collaborator Sebastian Junger.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.20.11

A year later in the Gulf, Bell's whistleblower, Villaraigosa's budget, when Obama moved to Indonesia and Grete Waitz.

Riordan to endorse Beutner for mayor

Former mayor Richard Riordan will formally endorse his pal, Austin Beutner, this morning at a media op in the produce district.

A bit more detail on Thursday's Obamajam

President Obama is scheduled to land at LAX at about 2:45 P.M. Thursday. He then has to get to the Sony lot for a 4:30 fund-raising appearance, then up to Tavern in Brentwood for dinner and another fundraiser.

End of the line for Joel Pett cartoons in Sunday LAT

joel-pet-lat-41511.jpg The L.A. Times opinion page has canceled the Sunday roundup of editorial cartoons that Joel Pett has done for six years-plus.

Tina Fey and Steve Martin fill the Nokia Theatre

fey-martin-ltla.jpg There were something like 5,000 people at the Nokia on Tuesday night to watch Tina Fey and Steve Martin mix and match wits.

LA Sketchbook: Trickle

qqxsgTrickle.gif

'One of the worst playoff losses in history'

That's how Fox Sports announcer Patrick O'Neal summed up tonight's L.A. Kings game.

Schwarzenegger doesn't like getting older

arnold-boris-johnson-newsweek.jpg Ex-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger "feels shitty" when he looks in the mirror, but he's happy about his accomplishments and defends reducing the prison sentence of Esteban Nunez.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.19.11

Brown helps the prison guards, stadium plan would give valuable development rights to AEG, county budget talk — plus Austin Beutner, Eric Garcetti, Nate Holden, James O'Keefe and more.

Dodgers rookie gets a hit his first try

jerry-sands-first-game.jpg Jerry Sands, the outfield prospect the Dodgers called up hoping he can add a little spark to the lineup, stroked a double to right field in his first time up in the major leagues.

Baca takes his Islam friendship tour on the road

Sheriff Lee Baca might be the only top law enforcement official to read and quote the Koran.

Mark Peel's Culver City outpost didn't go

The Point, located beside the route of the Expo Line in the artsy and techy Hayden Tract section of Culver City, closed on Friday.

Get ready for the return of Obamajam on Thursday *

Marilyn_Davenport-ocweekly.jpg President Obama will visit the Sony lot in Culver City and Tavern in Brentwood to meet with Hollywood donors.

LAT's newsroom celebration for Pulitzers

Video shot by a staffer, plus my KCRW column for tonight congratulates the paper on getting past the Sam Zell era's talk of demise.

Bryan Stow put back in coma after seizures

bryan-stow-kids.jpg The San Francisco Giants fan who was severely beaten outside Dodger Stadium was placed back in a medically induced coma after suffering seizures Saturday.
The Times' staff gets the public service medal for uncovering the corruption scandal in the city of Bell, and photographer Barbara Davidson wins for her images of the victims of gang violence in Los Angeles.

Morning Buzz: Monday 4.18.11

Sheriff Baca urges support for Trutanich as DA, Vincent Bugliosi writes about God, the Los Angeles Review of Books debuts a website, and it's Pulitzer day for the newspaper types. Plus more.

She knows a good book when she sees one *

wendie_malick.jpg Asked which one book she would recommend to President Obama, actress Wendie Malick offered one we like here at LA Observed too.

Lakers lose ugly to start the playoffs

The New Orleans Hornets came into L.A. and humbled the defending champions.
Geoff-Miller-portrait---198.jpg Geoff Miller was the first editor of Los Angeles, starting in 1960 when it was called The Prompter, and in 1990 became the magazine's publisher. He died Saturday at home in L.A.

Kings come up real big, tie playoff series

kings-sharks-41611-2.jpg Underdogs for a reason and already down one game to none, the Kings played perhaps their best game of the season and tied their Stanley Cup playoffs series against San Jose.

McCourt takes loan to cover Dodgers payroll (this month)

frank-mccourt-happy.jpg Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times says Frank McCourt borrowed $30 million from Fox to cover the Dodgers' first payday on Friday.

Metro transit ridership down across the board

SubwayRidership.jpg Use of the MTA's buses and trains is down about three percent compared to last year. Some data and graphs.

Trutanich files papers to raise money for DA

The latest to form a fundraising committee is Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, who filed so he can accept checks to finance a run for District Attorney, if DA Steve Cooley decides not to seek reelection in 2012.
City News Service now says there were 46 tickets written by the LAPD and no arrests at last night's game.

Friday quick links

No Dodger Stadium arrests, Trutanich endorses Hahn, former Daily News editor dies and public radio stations raise money for Japan. Plus more.

Beauty of the swirling winds

gfs_1000_4panel1.gif The weather geek who sent me this photo loves the wind vortices evident in the clouds off the Southern California coast this week. I just see a nice image.

Good looks at the L.A. Times

good-la-cover.jpg One of the main pieces in Good magazine's new issue on Los Angeles is Dave Greene's examination of the L.A. Times after a decade of Tribune ownership and four years...

LaBonge calls temple break-in a 'hate crime'

The Los Angeles Fire Department has posted four surveillance videos showing a Hollywood transient who broke into Temple Israel and apparently set a small fire in a second-floor classroom.

Arthur Marx, TV writer was 89

groucho-arthur-marx-nyt.jpg The son of Grouch Marx, he's known mostly for two books on his dad, sitcom work and the unauthorized and unflattering biography of Bob Hope.

L.A. couldn't save 'All My Children'

all-my-children-moment-abc.jpg ABC's announcement today that 40-year-old soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" are coming to the end isn't good news for crews numbering at least in the...

Playboy's top editor moving to L.A.

That means both editorial director Jimmy Jellinek and deputy editor Stephen Randall will be working out of the Playboy offices in Glendale.

Reporters drive toward the radiation

L.A. Times Seoul bureau chief John Glionna, his driver, interpreter and another reporter rolled up the windows in an SUV, closed the vents and drove toward the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Beutner's first press release as a candidate

It gives us an idea of how he will portray himself — his campaign is "grassroots," of course, and he loves the city and has a "proven track record."
beutner-lamag.jpg With today's news that Austin Beutner will file as a candidate for mayor, and his exit as a top deputy to Mayor Antonio Villaraigoisa, Los Angeles magazine picked a good time for its profile of Beutner.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.14.11

State of the city reactions, Dodgers come home to new security, Leiweke lashes out and more.

Connelly, Tina Fey debut at the top of L.A. bestseller lists

tina-fey-nbc.jpg Michael Connelly's newest, "The Fifth Witness," arrives at number one on the fiction hardcover list for Southern California independent bookstores. Tina Fey tops nonfiction books with "Bossypants."

Freedom of speech week on 'SoCal Connected'

'SoCal Connected' ties together two stories — on the animal rights activists who terrorize UCLA researchers and the clashes involving movie and TV characters who wait for tourists outside Hollywood and Highland — into an episode with a limits-of-free-speech theme.

'Left, Right & Center' leaning more to the right

Matalin_Mary.jpg Mary Matalin sits in for Arianna Huffington these days.

Dodgers won't include beer on half-price days

As part of the response to the Bryan Stow beating, the Dodgers had been thinking about whether to exclude alcohol from the half-price promotions offered at six day games this season.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.13.11

Lots of politics and media notes, plus the artwork hidden in Woody Woodpecker cartoons and Flip cameras RIP.

Sidney Harman, Newsweek owner was 92

Sidney Harman died last night in Washington of complications from acute myeloid leukemia, a disease he was diagnosed with a month ago.

'Supreme Commander' of fake local army busted

The FBI says that David Deng tricked Chinese nationals into paying him $300 and up (plus annual renewals) to enlist in what he called an elite U.S. special forces unit that operated out a storefront in Temple City.

Joel Wachs' legacy at UCLA

joelwachsphoto.jpg Turns out that former Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs was instrumental in getting Ackerman Student Union built.

Paramount latest studio to try 'The Martian Chronicles'

The-Martian-Chronicles-cover.jpg Paramount said today it has optioned the movie rights to Ray Bradbury's classic 1950 short story collection.

Sealed report makes for interesting Hollywood reading

A federal bankruptcy court judge unsealed an "explosive" 400-page court report on the affairs of film executive David Bergstein and his associate Ronald Tutor — then resealed the report. While it was available, the media got a look.

Parsing the new lawsuit against Frank McCourt

The suit against the Dodgers' top McCourt-in-residence, by the Boston-based law firm that made the big gaffe enshrined in McCourt v. McCourt, "is the strangest damned thing to read," writes Gene Maddaus of the LA Weekly.

Talking about L.A.'s space shuttle

endeavour_landing.jpg Pretty cool news about the space shuttle Endeavour being retired to the California Science Center after its final flight.

KPCC's Planned Parenthood move a local decision, NPR says

NPR's Ombudsman says KPCC acted on its own to pull Planned Parenthood spots, and could have explained it better.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.12.11

Ticket quotas, lawmaker gifts, more reaction to the death of Kam Kuwata and the Webby nominations, plus more media notes.

LA Sketchbook: Death and taxes

qqxsgFranklin Cuts1.jpg

Santa Monica bombing suspect arrested in Ohio

Federal officials say Ron Hirsch, 60, was arrested Monday night in Cleveland.

New photo book looks at L.A. from above

laday-lanight-light.jpg L.A. Day/L.A. Night features 30 aerial images of the city by photographer and pilot Michael Light. The book's introduction by Los Angeles Times critic David L. Ulin observes that "daylight...

Tonight in San Francisco

dodgers-giants-41111.jpg Before the game in San Francisco, the Giants and Dodgers gathered on the field to stand for a moment of silence in honor of injured fan Bryan Stow. Then the players spoke to the fans.

Kam Kuwata, political consultant was 57 *

kam-kuwata-thumb.jpg Kam Kuwata, a Democratic campaign strategist in California for at least 25 years, was found dead in his Venice condo Monday.

Another exit from LAT's entertainment staff

John Lippman, editor of the Company Town report, is moving his family to New Hampshire to work at a small newspaper that isn't on the web in a town that's not obsessed with Hollywood.

Franzen goes away to think about David Foster Wallace

TNY-cover-41111.jpg In this week's New Yorker, author Jonathan Franzen writes about his personal retreat to the South Pacific island that likely provided the setting for "Robinson Crusoe."

Another 7.1 aftershock knocks out power to Fukushima plant

Northeastern Japan endured another 7.1 magnitude aftershock on Monday afternoon.

KPCC's Planned Parenthood move catches some flak *

The most pointed barbs were by Jon Wiener, the author and UC Irvine historian (plus KPFK commentator) who blogs for The Nation.

Morning Buzz: Monday 4.11.11

A summary of news, notes and observations to kick off the week.

Looking ahead to the State of the City

joe-scott-mug.jpg Mayor Villaraigosa will return to an old theme in this week's State of the City speech, plus Joe Scott retires.

Dennis McCarthy picks winners for a book

dennis-mccarthy-book.jpg Daily News columnist Dennis McCarthy writes "when I arrived at the Daily News 30 years ago this month, I had dark hair, a flat stomach, and the stamina to chase stories all day and night. Five thousand plus columns later, what's left of the hair is white, I've got a pot belly, and need a nap after lunch."

New twist for NFL stadium: the county may get a say

stadium-first-look-gensler.jpg The county Board of Supervisors might just have some surprise jurisdiction over AEG's plan for a football stadium next to Staples Center, a Times reporter found.

MTA begins transit blog in Spanish

Metro's blog The Source has become in 18 months one of the MTA's main ways of exciting the base of L.A. transit enthusiasts and responding to rail critics. Now the...

Van Nuys Airport no longer special

vny-exangbase-lao.jpg Valley boosters used to take pride in the stat that Van Nuys Airport was the busiest in the country, due mostly to all the private pilots and students who flew there. Now traffic has fallen to 1963 levels.

Algae-sickened sea lions rescued off beach

sea-lion-rescue-2-alcorn.jpg At least eight ailing sea lions were rescued along the coast this weekend, including this one at Santa Monica Beach.

CicLAvia route for Sunday

ciclavia-map-41111.jpg Click on the map above to see the street closures for Sunday's second CicLAvia.

'Bill Cunningham New York' breaks out a bit

bill-cunningham-new-york.jpg The best documentary I've seen this year, on the octogenarian New York Times street photographer who rides his bike around Manhattan, has escaped the Nuart ghetto.

Sidney Lumet, 'quintessential NY filmmaker' was 86

sidney-lumet-200x150.jpg Sidney Lumet debuted in 1957 with "12 Angry Men," directed "Dog Day Afternoon," "Serpico" and "Network" later in his career, and was nominated four times for Oscars.

SoCal coastal features in 1901

archrock-1901.jpg Scientific American has dug out of its files a 1901 story and photographs about interesting rock features on the Southern California coast, including the arch rock north of Santa Monica.

Conversations with Almena Lomax, journalist

rememberingalmenalomax_300.jpg BNill Boyarsky remembers the founder of the Los Angeles Tribune.

Friday desk clearing

Clearing out the backlog, with more to come.

Go to prison, learn to dive

Dive school at Chino is "perhaps the most unusual prison job rehab program in the country." Watch the video.

City building inspectors arrested for bribes

fbi_exchange_cash_mamoun.jpg NBC 4 bills this as a photo from this morning of cash changing hands — literally — between an FBI agent and a Los Angeles city building inspector.

Meanwhile, Dodgers push half-price beer

Stay away from Chavez Ravine on these half-price beer days, says Oscar Garza.

Big month for L.A. Times website

LATimes.com broke its own new records for page views (195.2 million) and unique visitors (33 million) in March.

Manny Ramirez abruptly retires from baseball

It appears that Manny Ramirez got caught on a drug test again this spring. Facing a 100-game suspension, he retired from the Tampa Bay Rays.

KPCC suspends its own Planned Parenthood spots

Spots that credit Planned Parenthood as a sponsor of KPCC programming will be pulled off the air during the government shutdown debate in Washington.

Free tickets not just a Villaraigosa issue

Kerry Cavanaugh noted in her column yesterday in the Daily News that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa isn't the only City Hall politico to pay a price for taking free tickets (though...

Dodger Stadium atmosphere a big media event *

mav-dodgers-4811.jpg It's confirmation, if you needed any, that the beating of a Giants fan and the spreading perception of a violent tone at the stadium is a big issue that City Hall and the Dodgers hope to contain.

Dawn Hudson to run the Oscars group

dawn_hudson.jpg Dawn Hudson, who has run Film Independent since 1991, will take over as CEO of the academy.

NBC's Richard Engel to get Daniel Pearl Award

Richard Engel, the NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent, will receive the L.A. Press Club's 2011 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity on June 26th at the Millennium Biltmore.

Big Benedict Canyon project dropped

The mega Tower Lane construction project was withdrawn Thursday by the owner.

Cleaning graffiti off Eagle Rock

LAFD-Eagle Rock6-huizar.JPG A Los Angeles Fire Department urban search and rescue team went out today to clean graffiti off the rock beside the 134 freeway that gives Eagle Rock its name. See the photo.

It's appointment day for Gov. Brown

Since nothing else is getting done in Sacramento, they may as well as fill some openings.

Catching up after a few days semi-offline

L.A. sits out trend on nonwhite children, more Grim Sleeper victims, Abby Sunderland's book, LACMA partners with New York Times, Nikki Finke plans her return and more.

LA Observed contributors read, write and sell

Nancy Rommelmann in town to read and sign her novel, plus Gary Leonard and Deanne Stillman.

Blogging for Forbes: it's all about ratings *

susannahbreslin_136.jpg Bloggers for Forbes aren't rewarded financially for improving their writing, breaking some hard-to-get news or making an especially salient or persuasive argument — on anything about putting out a quality product. They are rewarded strictly for attracting unique visitors.

Glenn Beck too nutty for Fox News

David Folkenflik's piece for All Things Considered on NPR thing put a different sparkle on the story.

Dodgers hire Bratton as security consultant *

bratton-cropped.jpg It's hard to know whether ex-LAPD chief William Bratton and Kroll, where he is chairman, will be actual security advisers or they are there as Frank McCourt's latest in a series of image consultants.

LA Sketchbook: Elemmingphants

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Los Angeles mag nominated for three Ellies

Our friends at Los Angeles are up for three National Magazine Awards: general excellence, leisure interests and Ben Ehrenreich in feature writing for his piece on dying in L.A. David...

Spring break Tuesday

There's less web access in the Santa Ynez Valley than I expected. Up here for a couple of days. Posting will be spotty. Be sure to check in with Mark...

LA Observed on KCRW

My topic tonight is LACMA on its 46th anniversary, with mentions of the David Smith sculpture exhibit that opened this weekend and the new book from Angel City Press on...

LAT book festival schedule is out

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is at USC this year, pushed back a week to April 30 and May 1.

LAPD officer shot in Sylmar, in surgery

Steve Jenkins is in surgery in "very guarded" condition after being shot in the face on Dronfield Avenue, LAPD chief Charlie Beck announced.

Monday spring break notes

Laurie Pike out as Style Editor at Los Angeles magazine, Rick Orlov's Tipoffs and more media and politics notes. Plus a programming note.
Entertainment blogger Nikki Finke may be on medical leave, but a post she put up — then took down — has prompted renewed talk of "Crazy Nikki" and "Hollywood’s leading internet terrorist."

Whose ethics do you prefer: Charlie Sheen's or Tina Fey's?

tina-fey-nbc.jpg While Sheen risks the livelihood of everyone at his show, Tina Fey lists as her greatest achievement "providing 200 people with a nice place to work."

Charlie Sheen's fail: how bad was it?

The mainstream media sent real critics to the Charlie Sheen tour's opening night in Detroit, for whatever reason. It didn't take their experience to know it went very, very badly. But better tonight in Chicago.

Katie Couric leaving CBS anchor chair, AP reports

katie-couric-100.jpg A network executive, "who spoke on condition of anonymity because Couric has not officially announced her plans," reported the move to Associated Press on Sunday night,
opening-day-2011-ted-soqui.jpg Los Angeles and San Francisco leaders issue a joint statement, but will it be enough to assure fans who are leery of Dodger Stadium violence?

Lakers cover all the bases

gasol-archbishop-cardinal.jpg Archbishop Jose Gomez and Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru visited Lakers practice this week for chats and pictures with Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson.

Saturday desk clearing

Mayor Villaraigosa's negotiated deal with the FPPC to pay a $42,000 fine over not reporting free tickets "highlights the need for that agency to clarify its regulations," says Laurie Levinson of Loyola law school. Plus more

Al Martinez on the passing of his daughter

Veteran L.A. journalist and author Al Martinez has been keeping readers up to date on his daughter Cinthia's cancer in his Daily News columns.

LAX food fight gets even more political

Everything around the LAX retail concessions is about politics and the practice of influence — do you think services that disappointing and overpriced would fly in the real world?

LA Sketchbook: Dodgers' weight

qqDodgers Weight.jpg

Let the foolery begin

426.jpg Sites getting a jump on April Fool's Day.

Burt Rutan retires from aviation and California

Burt_Rutan_2.jpg Five planes designed by Mojave aeronautical engineer Burt Rutan hang in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Can we all agree Elizabeth Peña had a certain something?
elizabeth-pena-variety.jpgThe actress who worked in Hollywood from her early 20s died at Cedars at age 55. Read more.
LAO_LewisMacAdams copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a weekly feature of LA Observed. Check out Gary's archive.
Streetscape | Whitnall Highway
dwp-bldg-whitnall-hwy.jpg DWP architecture in North Hollywood.
Print relic
linotype-le-figaro.jpgKevin spotted this Linotype machine on display in the Paris lobby of Le Figaro, the second-largest national newspaper in France. Bigger
Streetscape | Alameda Corridor
red-dress-alameda-corridor.jpg