LA Observed archive
for June 2011

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

Ashton Kutcher tweets for LAPD, asks a favor

kutcher-twitter.jpg As part of the official choreography of publicity for the 405 freeway shutdown next month, the LAPD asked Ashton Kutcher and other celebrities — Lady Gaga among them — to...

Boston pities us for what McCourt has done to Dodgers

Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan says the happiest thing for a Boston sports fan these days is that Frank McCourt is L.A.'s problem now.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 6.30.11

NIgerian flies to LAX on fake boarding pass, Getty House wall is only a fence, Villaraigosa tweets to Conan, plus more.

Westside subway construction: the basics

westside-subway-rendering.jpg Metro has posted a six-page fact sheet on construction of the Westside subway extension, a project whose future is still tied to decisions yet to be made in Congress.

405 Carmageddon machine cranks up

kiewit-snake-soqui.jpg The latest news and gimmicks on the coming 405 shutdown, including the LAPD asks a favor of Lady Gaga.

SoCal's bestsellers: we're different

Here's what leads the lists at Southern California independent bookstores through last weekend's sales. All but the last category are different in New England indie bookstores, by the way.

Jonathan Gold branches out

In the new issue of the Wall Street Journal Magazine, the LA Weekly's Jonathan Gold escapes from the San Gabriel Valley's Asian dives he frequents to profile the Copenhagen restaurant just voted the best in the world for the second year in a row.

L.A. Times folds Brand X

Brand X, the Times' somewhat youthier culture and events publication, is ceasing publication with today's issue.

Springsteen releases his eulogy for Clarence Clemons

"Clarence doesn’t leave the E Street Band when he dies. He leaves when we die."

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 6.29.11

A brief roundup today.

Mayor Villaraigosa gets his wall *

gettyhousefront.jpg A zoning variance will allow Getty House to add a six-foot wall.

New maps could save Dreier, hurt Richardson

Revjsed concept maps for redistricting of congressional districts in California may have moved San Gabriel Valley Republican David Dreier out of the Democratic strongholds where the first round of maps appeared to place him

LA Weekly picks a music editor

Ben Westhoff, a New Yorker who has written for the Village Voice, NPR, Pitchfork, Spin and XXL has been named the LA Weekly's music editor.

Another ex-supporter who wants McCourt gone

Bob Daly, the Dodgers' managing partner when Frank McCourt got to town, rues the day.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 6.28.11

Beutner invites.pdf Fire chief to retire, new harbor commissioner, Villaraigosa to Aspen, reviews of Jim O'Shea's book and New York Times teams with USC.

Hey, Dodgers could get used to this Chapter 11 stuff

In their first game as a legally bankrupt club, the Dodgers on the field went out and just had some fun tonight against the Minnesota Twins

Jean Harris, Democrat and lesbian was 66

Jean Harris. a former Deputy Mayor of San Francisco and an icon of the lesbian political community in California, died Sunday in Palm Springs.

Dodgers: The view from Canada

Jeff Blair, a columnist in Toronto, briefs readers of the Globe and Mail on WTF's going on down in Los Angeles.

LA Sketchbook: Pillaged

qqMcCourt Cap.jpg

LA Observed on KCRW: 'Page One'

nyt-newsroom.jpg Today's radio column was inspired by the film, "Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism."
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig released a statement in reaction to today's bankruptcy filing by the Dodgers.

Dodgers bankruptcy 'very sad,' says Roz Wyman *

Make that "very, very sad," says the woman who as a young city council member in the 1950s played a key role in closing the deal to bring the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.27.11

Stadium snookerage, A.J. Duffy prepares to yield, Stelter to write a book, AP hiring, Zocalo announces a poetry prize and a petition for Vin Scully. Plus more.

Manny is the top Dodgers creditor

mannyjg120.jpg The Dodgers' bankruptcy filing this morning lists Manny Ramirez as the club's leading creditor, owed $21 million.

Press Club names its journos of the year *

Here are the L.A. Press Club's journalists of the year from Sunday night's awards banquet.

Sunday night video: Chelsea Hotel, 1988

This popped up tonight on Facebook: Leonard Cohen, Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen in San Sebastian in 1988, singing about Janis Joplin.

How to pronounce 'Los Angeles' through the years

Steve Harvey walks us through the various eras before we end up at Loss AN-ju-less.

NYT media on TMZ, Breitbart

andrewbreitbart.jpg New York Times media reporters have takes this weekend on two L.A.-based fixtures on the current media scene.

Sensing a thaw in the cold war between LA and OC

Shawn Hubler writes in her Orange Coast magazine column that she senses more openness toward Orange County from her Los Angeles friends.

Rescued hawk released back into the wild

hawk-released.jpg Caitlin Barron, a Riverside County Animal Services officer who rescued an injured red-tail hawk from the 60 Freeway in May, released the healed bird a couple of days ago on Jack Rabbit Trail in the Badlands west of Beaumont.

Weekend reads

Topics include L.A.'s children's museum, LudoBites, Westside Pavilion parking, the 405, Los Angeles magazine and more.

Steve Soboroff resigns from Dodgers

Civic leader Steve Soboroff was brought in as vice chairman of the Dodgers two months ago and became, for a short time, Frank McCourt's most vociferous public defender.

Emmy nomination ads are on L.A. buses

The question, Patrick Goldstein asks, is why?

Couple of notable hires for The Wrap

the-warp-sign.jpg The Wrap is bringing in Fred Schruers as a senior writer and Lucas Shaw, a recent Columbia grad, as media writer.

Ron Artest files to change his name

In papers filed in L.A. Superior Court, the Laker requests to change his name to Metta World Peace.

You think kids don't care about teacher layoffs?

I don't know what's going on at Roy Romer Middle School in North Hollywood, but after watching this video posted today at YouTube, if I were on the school board or a news assignment desk, I'd get somebody out there tomorrow.

Continuing the conversation on L.A. theater

Here's a report by Los Angeles theater types who aren't fans of the Center Theater Group model.

That was prescient of Google

bulgerHouse.jpg The Google street view glimpse of the Santa Monica apartment house where Boston crime boss James Bulger was living shows a unit for lease sign up.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 6.23.11

Enviro review for AEG's stadium idea, upset over Autry and Southwest Museum, a local Knight Challenge winner, LAT's editor plays photog and more.

Boston crime boss James 'Whitey' Bulger nabbed here *

bulger-status.jpg Bulger, a fugitive since 1994, was reportedly arrested tonight in Santa Monica, the L.A. Times says citing "multiple law enforcement sources."

Shot fired this time at Century City jewelry heist

A robber hit the Fast Fix jewelry store in the Westfield Century City outdoor shopping mall about noon today, and while running to a waiting car he fired one shot in the air as a security guard gave chase.

Lonnie White: I took cash while playing at USC

lonnie-white-wearesc.jpg Former L.A. Times sportswriter Lonnie White has posted a remarkable first-person story for Fox Sports disclosing for the first time how he accepted a brown bag with $5,000 cash — and took a total of $14,000 — while he was a star wide receiver and kick returner for the Trojans in the 1980s.

Bryan Stow breathing, moving, upgraded to 'serious'

Guarded good news out of San Francisco on Bryan Stow, the victim of that brutal assault at Dodger Stadium on this season's opening day.

Abby Sunderland wants to fly around the world

abby-sunderland-face.jpg Abby Sunderland, now 17, is taking flying lessons and talking about going around the world.

Chuck Philips wants his retraction back

chuck-philips-laweekly.jpg Philips, whose story about an attack on Tupac Shakur, was "fully retracted" by the L.A. Times in 2008, says new information corroborates his original story.

KPFK transmitter down, station is off the air *

Problem is on Mount Wilson. The Pacifica station remains live on the web.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 6.22.11

LAX food concessions awarded, county CEO's challenge, Rizzo lists his home, Crenshaw High snags Kareem for graduation and more politics and media notes.

Curbed, Eater sites knocked off line by the FBI *

Curbed LA, Eater LA and the sites they share ownership with are off the air because the FBI raided their server host in Virginia — looking for info on someone unrelated to Curbed — and grabbed their machines too.

Controller Chiang on WWLA

Controller John Chiang will be a guest on KCRW's "Which Way, L.A.?" at 7 p,m, to talk about his decision earlier today that legislators continue to forfeit their pay due to Gov. Brown's veto of the budget.

Daily News loses city editor...to Kuwait

John Miller and his wife are moving to Kuwait to teach, per today's memo from Executive Editor Carolina Garcia.

LAT creates new beat: local research and intellectual trends

Metro reporter Scott Gold will focus on stories about "the scientific and technological breakthroughs of the modern era" — and also earthquakes. The challenge of the beat will be to...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 6.21.11

DiFi approval sags, stadium questions remain, right turn cameras in Council today, harbor commissioner quits, plus media notes and more.

Rob Long on writing, 'Cheers'

rob-long-100.jpg Nice interview by The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf with Rob Long, the Emmy-winning writer on "Cheers" who lives in Venice, does his weekly Martini Shot column for KCRW and continues to write for TV.

KCET gets props for airing Al Jazeera

The New York Times media blog says Al Jazeera trails BBC in the ratings but beats both the Japanese and Israeli newscasts.

Why McCourt must go, from one baseball blogger

mccourts-chart.jpg Many kudos on baseball websites today for blogger Larry Behrendt's detailing of the case against Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.

LA Observed on KCRW: Theater

superior-donuts-geffen.jpg Today's column on KCRW: Is Los Angeles a theater town?

Ching-chong-ling-long is now a business

ching-chong-takeout.jpg A Chinese restaurant in Brentwood has teamed up with UCLAMunchies, a service that matches students with late-night eats, to offer Ching-Chong-Ling-Long Gourmet Takeout. That is, assuming it's not a joke.

LA Sketchbook: Safe seats

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McCourt's reaction to Dodgers-Fox ruling by Selig

As Mark noted earlier at LA Biz Observed, baseball commissioner Bud Selig has rejected Frank McCourt's longterm deal with Fox Sports for the future broadcast rights to Dodgers games. Here's a statement from lawyer Steve Susman on behalf of McCourt

LAANE fights back, uses attack to raise money

The left-side activist group Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy is being targeted by an anonymous foe who has, apparently, paid a Sacramento opposition research firm to pummel local officials with requests for any documents or contacts with the group and its director, Madeline Janis.

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.20.11

California Republicans favor Mitt Romney so far, Villaraigosa takes a stand on wars, LAT backs AEG's stadium, plus more politics and media notes from the weekend.

Video: One minute on the 405

Here's one minute of Sunday afternoon traffic looks and sounds like on the 405 freeway in Sepulveda Pass. No wonder there's talk of carmageddon.

Conan's street isn't just a joke

raymer-street-sign-dn.jpg Not everyone's happy, but Councilman Krekorian is willing to play along.

Clarence Clemons, tenor sax player was 69

Clemons, a beloved member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since 1972, couldn't survive the massive stroke he suffered a week ago. He died Saturday at a hospital in Palm Beach, Florida.

Look who's invited to join the motion picture academy

wes-studi-400.jpg I can't remember the last time I mentioned Beyonce, Wes Studi, Nastassja Kinski, Rooney Mara and Bradley Cooper in the same sentence. They are among the 178 actors, other artists and executives on today's list of newly invited members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Wrap calls on THR to stop 'stealing' scoops

Sharon Waxman of The Wrap calls out The Hollywood Reporter under Janice Min for lifting scoops and calling them "exclusives."

Wild Man Fischer, songwriter and performer was 66

wild-man-fischer.jpg Lawrence Wayne Fischer, known for a long time as Wild Man, was a musical partner of Frank Zappa until the two had a falling out, and the "spiritual godfather" of Rhino Records.

Elvis Mitchell on LACMA film: Expand, not redefine

elvis-mitchell-120.jpg Mitchell tells IndieWire's Dana Harris that in his new role as curator for the Film Independent/Los Angeles County Museum of Art film series, "The first thing I want to do is not alienate people who have been coming to LACMA to see movies.

Harcourt actually moving to KCSN *

nic.harcourt-kcsn.jpg For some reason the initial news this morning was that longtime KCRW music force Nic Harcourt was leaving the station where he used to be music director (he still hosted a weekend show) to concentrate on work at MTV. Now comes a release from KCSN.

The story behind Vancouver riot photo of kissing couple

vancouver-riot-kissers.jpg Scott Jones, an Australian, and Alex Thomas, a Canadian, had been at the Stanley Cup finals seventh game and were caught in the post-loss rioting in downtown Vancouver.

Morning Buzz: Friday 6.17.11

Brown's veto, a local Republican supports tax extension vote, Molina denies sexting, reviews of "Page One" and Nic Harcourt leaves KCRW.

McCourts have a deal, says LAT *

Frank and Jamie McCourt have reached a divorce settlement, according to three people familiar with the case, says the LAT's Bill Shaikin. They are in court this morning to inform...

Out-of-state donor sends the county $10,000

check-to-county.jpg An anonymous donor in Bellingham, Washington sent Los Angeles County a casher's check for $10,000 with a handwritten note: In this time of economic difficulties, governments need all the...

Judge extends McCourt talks, deal might be close

Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon on Thursday rescinded his finding that Frank and Jamie McCourt were at an impasse in their settlement talks, and he set a hearing for later today to determine if a deal had been reached.

Mayoral candidates in the house at Los Angeles party

la-mag-party-crowd-schmitt.jpg Los Angeles magazine gathered quite a crowd Wednesday night in the lobby of 5900 Wilshire, the tall office tower across from LACMA that the magazine shares with Variety, the New York Times and other media outlets.

Conan really wants that street named for him

west-raymer-conan.jpg Conan O'Brien has sweetened, so to speak, his request for the city of Los Angeles to rename a segment of West Raymer Street beside the train tracks in Van Nuys....

Elvis Mitchell to run LACMA film program

Anne Thompson notes that Mitchell lands on his feet again, but she suggests the museum be aware of issues with his "skills as an administrator/manager/organizer."

Morning Buzz: Thursday 6.16.11

Sexting and Mike Molina, Villaraigosa on 'Meet the Press,' Hefner's runaway bride, Jim O'Shea's book, Huffington makes Rita Wilson an editor and accusations against Shaq. Plus more.

When Captcha codes go bad

LATimesVerification.jpg Reader Daniel J.B. Mitchell has noticed more newspapers using the Captcha service to prevent abuse of the forwarding option on stories. Sometimes the words it comes with are amusing. Or in this case, from the L.A. Times website, just unintelligible.

Weiner to resign today *

Rep. Anthony Weiner reportedly told House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi last night at the White House that he would step down today.

L.A. Public Media, LA>Forward suspend operation

Radio Bilingüe announced today it is halting Los Angeles Public Media and LA>Forward "for the foreseeable future."

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 6.15.11

William and Kate will be Downtown, Wilshire bus lane, Prop. 8, Rick Caruso and more.

FBI looking into incident between Lance Armstrong and accuser

lance-armstrong.jpg Tyler Hamilton, the former bike racer who said on "60 Minutes" that he took banned substances with then-teammate Lance Armstrong and knew of a positive drug test that was covered up, had words with Armstrong at a bar in Aspen on Saturday night.

Visiting blogger: L.A. of today nothing like 1993

Political consultant Michael Trujillo disagrees with writer Joel Fox on the comparison between the Los Angeles of 1993, when Republican businessman Richard Riordan was elected mayor, and the condition the city will be in when voters choose again in 2013.

Finke makes the day interesting (again)

lynne-segall.jpg In the small world of the Hollywood trades, Tuesday began with the former L.A. Times advertising exec Lynne Segall quitting MMC to become publisher and senior VP of The Hollywood Reporter. Then Nikki Finke posted a 1,300 word screed against Segall.

Wingnut video swings at Hahn and misses

Craig Huey, the Republican running against Janice Hahn in the 36th congressional district, says he had nothing to do with it and called the video "inappropriate [and] highly offensive."
baenas-hello.jpg Mildred Baena and her 13-year-old son by Arnold Schwarzenegger sat down with Hello magazine, and she describes crying with Shriver.

Ex-LAT publisher now saves Utah from Playboy

Mark Willes, the CEO who lost Times Mirror (and the Los Angeles Times) to Tribune, says NBC's "The Playboy Club" won't air on his LDS television channel.

Carl Gardner, original Coaster was 83

Carl Gardner was singing in the Los Angeles R&B group The Robins in 1955 when he and other musicians formed The Coasters, the first vocal group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 6.14.11

Lawmakers without degrees, Wilshire bus lanes, how is HuffPost actually doing, returning to Dodger Stadium and more.

It's getting real in the Whole Foods parking lot

"It's how we live on the Westside of L.A....pay my 80 bucks for six things and get the heck out."

Posted near Hollywood sign: 'Tourists go away'

tourists-go-away.jpg This warning has popped up just off the Mulholland Highway segment in upper Hollywoodland, east of the Lake Hollywood reservoir.

Observing the business hopefuls for mayor

Small business advocate and politics writer Joel Fox, the name partner behind the Fox & Hounds Daily website, checked out mayoral candidate Austin Beutner and possible candidate Rick Caruso last week at separate appearances in the Valley.

LA Observed on KCRW

Tonight's weekly column features obits: Laura Ziskin, Joan Luther, Allen Levy.

Today at LA Biz Observed

Mark's got new ticket prices at Disneyland, bankruptcy for Marie Callender's, boffo ratings for the Mavericks and Heat, analysis on Facebook going public and Conan O'Brien's life lesson from losing 'The Tonight Show.'

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.13.11

Mehserle gets out of jail, Brown takes to YouTube again, a resignation at Airports, Michelle Obama and Republicans come to town, HuffPost hires again and much more for a Monday.

Laura Ziskin, producer and activist was 61

Ziskin died at home tonight after a long and public battle with breast cancer.

Free tickets: Ann Patchett and Maile Meloy

patchett_malloy-300x198.jpg Live Talks Los Angeles is presenting a conversation between authors Ann Patchett (her new novel is "State of Wonder") and Maile Meloy with tickets set aside for LA Observed readers.

LA Times rehires David Willman in Washington *

Willman, a Pulitzer winner for the paper in 2001, is the author of the recent "The Mirage Man," about the suspected perpetrator of anthrax attacks that killed five. Read the memo.

A little Papaya King, a little Wahoo

papayaking-kpcc.jpg They had a really good lineup of stories on Saturday's "Off-Ramp" on KPCC, plus a search for Wahoo, Calif.

Noted: NBC pledges to air Olympics live (somewhere)

As part of the deal NBC agreed to with the International Olympic Committee last week, NBC says it will start with the 2014 Olympics to make every event available live on one platform or another.

On a personal note

sean-graduation.jpg Mr. and Mrs. LA Observed announce the graduation of our cherished and super-cool Sean from the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture. (Phew, glad that's over.)

Kemp must not miss Rihanna that much

matt-kemp-ondeck-cropped-la.jpg A season after seeming to lose his focus, the Dodgers' Matt Kemp leads the National League in home runs.

LAT sources: bloody jersey not linked to Bryan Stow

The L.A. Times has been reporting all weekend that anonymous "law enforcement sources" are contradicting NBC 4's report that blood stains on a Dodgers jersey match Bryan Stow's blood.

L.A. Times eliminates another blog

Next to go from the L.A. Times blogroll is apparently The Daily Mirror, copy editor Larry Harnisch's look back at stories and photos out of the Times archives.

Naked Bike Ride from Saturday

Here's 54 seconds of video from the Los Angeles entry in World Naked Bike Ride on Saturday. Looks like about 100 riders in different stages of nudity turning off...

Blood-stained Dodgers jersey linked to Bryan Stow **

NBC 4 reports tonight that police have a jersey with blood stains that was dropped off at a cleaners.

LAPD's Mary Grady leaves the force

Today was the last day for longtime Los Angeles Police Department media relations spokeswoman Mary Grady.

Redistricting maps put online

The servers are reportedly jammed, but here's the link for the draft maps of congressional and legislative districts put forth this morning by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Banksy does good, but Guetta loses big time

Banksy will sponsor free admission at The Geffen Contemporary every Monday for the duration of the Art in the Streets exhibition. Thierry Guetta, the other star of "Exit From the Gift Shop," takes a big loss in court.

Morning Buzz: Friday 6.10.11

Redistricting, police budget politics, the football stadium and more.

Allen Levy, CBS producer was 59

Levy was working for CBS Newspath out of Los Angeles covering the Arizona wildfires when he failed to show up this morning to produce a live shot for "The Early Show." He was found dead in his hotel room, apparently of natural causes.

Flying through Venice Beach

Flying and filming over the beach and skate park.
archbishop-gomez-facebook.jpg Los Angeles' Archbishop José H. Gomez joined with other California bishops in issuing a "statement of moral principles to help legislators and citizens find a just solution to California's budget dilemma."

Visiting blogger: Why the U.S. sees the Olympics last

Ron Rapoport, the author and former sportswriter and columnist, stops in as an LA Observed visiting blogger on the occasion of Dick Ebersol leaving NBC and the network getting the rights to keep airing (on delay) the Olympic Games.

Rainey column in the works?

L.A. Times media columnist James Rainey tweets an open question about AOL Patch.

LA Weekly names its web awards

BestoftheWeb_01.jpg Hey, we're on the LA Weekly's list this year.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 6.9.11

Robbery-Homicide takes over Bryan Stow case, 29,398 fewer state cellphones, John & Ken OK a tax vote by Republicans, Times and Daily both say no on red-light cameras, and more.

Coliseum's event manager sure had a lot of side deals

Todd DeStefano, who resigned in January as the Coliseum Commission's long-time events manager, "collected tens of thousands of dollars in private payments from liquor and soft drink companies, television and...

Early 405: 'Sex and the Single Girl'

In the 1964 comedy Sex and the Single Girl, Tony Curtis (a womanizing tabloid reporter) and Natalie Wood (who plays Helen Gurley Brown) gallivant around Los Angeles — including on the new 405 freeway and its Mulholland Drive bridge.

Villaraigosa signs Grand Canyon ad aimed at Obama

grand-canyon-ad-nyt.jpg Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gets third billing on the list of signators to an ad in the New York Times calling on President Obama to extend a ban on uranium mining claims near the Grand Canyon.

Early call at Crenshaw High on Friday

morning-joe-crew.jpg MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show will air live on Friday from the campus of Crenshaw High School — starting at 3 a.m. to reach the East Coast audience.

Gidget goes paddleboarding

1938-paddleboard.jpg Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman, Gidget herself, will be a guest of honor at Saturday's Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival.

Report: Brooklier on the state's delinquent taxpayer list

Anthony Brooklier has been in the news recently as the lawyer for Giovanni Ramirez, the parolee who the LAPD thinks is a top suspect in the Bryan Stow beating at Dodger Stadium.

Patt Morrison goes far afield

Patt Morrison will do her KPCC show on Thursday live from the United Nations in New York. Here's the guest list.

Conservative tweeters tracked Weiner for months

Three months before Rep. Weiner sent a photo from his Twitter account to a 21-year-old Washington State college student, the conservatives were warning young women on Twitter to be wary and speculating about a sex scandal.

How about red-light paint ball guns?

left-turn-1955.jpg KPCC's John Rabe seems a little perturbed that the police commission has overruled the LAPD staff and voted to discontinue the red-light cameras that spew out dubious tickets at 32 intersections around Los Angeles. It's moire about L.A. drivers though.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 6.8.11

Budget, prisons, Villaraigosa's newest deputy, Garcettis at the White House, KNBC's new channel, the worst actor and actress and an exciting new Dodger. Plus more notes.

Police commission votes to turn off red light cameras

The Los Angeles Police Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to reject a new contract the LAPD wants with the firm that runs the city's 32 red light cameras.
hitler_letter_eblast.jpg The Simon Wiesenthal Center calls it "the most significant document in its 34-year history," a four-page letter signed by Adolf Hitler six years before the publication of "Mein Kampf."

Joan Luther, restaurant publicist was 82

Joan Luther, called by some the first lady of restaurant PR in Los Angeles, died yesterday.

Huffington now employs about 1,300 journalists

The number of full-time journalists that Arianna Huffington now oversees is more than the staffs of the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post. Still, all's not well in the merger of Huffington and AOL.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 6.7.11

New Weiner disclosure involves a porn actress, Loretta Sanchez may lose her district, Lacey makes a campaign video for DA, plus Schwarzenegger, Frank Buckley, Marc Cooper, D.J Waldie, Ron Kaye and more.

LA Sketchbook: Dodger Stadium attendance

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Santa Monica mayor running for state Assembly

Richard Bloom is getting in the race to succeed the terming-out Julie Brownley. Torie Osborn, the onetime adviser to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, is also in.

County finally apologizes for theft of foster kids' money

Christina Villacorte of the Daily News has the more human story of the pain caused by thefts by a trustee.

Video: Meet UCLA Live's new director

Kristy Edmunds, who comes to UCLA from Australia, talks about programming the performing arts and how she intends to get to know what Los Angeles audiences want.

Andrew Gold, L.A. musician was 59

Andrew Gold, who died Friday at home in Encino, had serious roots in the Los Angeles music scene. His father, Ernest Gold, won an Oscar for his score on the...

Pelley debuts on CBS Evening News, without Weiner

pelley-debuts.jpg Scott Pelley took the anchor chair on the CBS network's flagship news program tonight, and the only real suspense was how would his show cover the Anthony Weiner sex scandal.

Breitbart shoots...he scores

weiner-chest-biggovt.jpg Andrew Breitbart, the Westside-based conservative activist and website mogul, doesn't always hit the targets he aims for on the left. On Monday, though, he leveled New York Rep. Anthony Weiner with a clean check.

Coming up on LA Observed on KCRW

In tonight's column I visit Pacific Palisades, one of the city's richest corners, and hang around the bookstore the community could not keep open.

No circumcision battle in Santa Monica after all

The lactation consultant and self-described “children’s rights advocate” who was behind the anti-circumcision effort says she'll drop the bid before beginning to collect signatures.

AP updates its Steve Jobs advance obit, Apple not happy

The Associated Press made calls to some top executives in Hollywood looking for quotes to freshen up the prepared obituary on Apple's Steve Jobs.

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.6.11

A quick roundup of news and notes.

Los Angeles magazine gearing up for its 50th birthday

lamag-611.jpg I guess things are looking up financially for Los Angeles magazine, after winning a couple of National Magazine Awards last month.

Metropolis Books in Downtown is for sale

Following on the news about Village Books and Latitude 33 closing, Metropolis Books on Main Street near 4th Street was put up for sale recently.

Living in West Adams as the neighborhood changes

queenannehome_zocalo-bariscale.jpg Jennifer Ferro, the general manager of KCRW, writes at Zocalo about changes in her neighborhood near Western Avenue and Washington Boulevard.

Video: riding up Angeles Crest

Ted Soqui checks out the seven-mile stretch of Angeles Crest Highway above La Cañada-Flintridge that reopened Friday

Friday desk clearing

Mayor names new DOT head, stadium suspect stays in custody, Greuel on TV, James Arness dies and more.

New Boyle Heights paper is reported by teens

The 20-page bilingual tabloid, distributed to 22,000 homes in Boyle Heights, aims to educate residents about the culture, personalities and news of this vibrant neighborhood.

Looking for an indie tour of Los Angeles?

7daysinla-logo-jpg.jpg 7 Days in LA bills itself as a web home for "the city's most interesting guided tours. We're not a tour operator, but a consortium of the region's best independent...

Morning Buzz: Friday 6.3.11

John Edwards indicted, Jack Kevorkian dies, Tim Leiweke threatens, Hector Tobar columnizes, Denise Hamilton reviews and more.

And another bookstore: Latitude 33 in Laguna Beach

The independent bookstore on Ocean Avenue, open since 1996, will close by the end of summer.

405 shutdown will be "heard around the world"

405-mulholland-bridge-zevweb.jpg How LAX is planning for the worst weekend ever. Isn't it weird how the best job of covering the 405 freeway construction disruption so far hasn't been by any traditional media at all, but by the websites of Metro and of Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky?

Geronimo Pratt, ex-Black Panther was 63

Elmer G. "Geronimo" Pratt, the former Los Angeles Black Panther Party leader who spent 27 years in prison before his 1972 murder conviction was overturned, died today in a small village in Tanzania.

How the NYT editor turnover came about

Bill Keller started talking to Jill Abramson last summer about taking his place, says Gabriel Sherman in New York Magazine.

Covering Mexico is hard, drugs and all

mexico-panel-zocalo.jpg A sold-out house came to MOCA to hear five journalists talk about the challenges of covering Mexico.

An alternative diet plate

ruth-bourdain-plate.gif The anonymous blogger at Ruth Bourdain has customized the government's new dietary plate to his/her own foodie taste.

Bookstore down: Village Books to close its doors

laughlin0602.jpg Katie O'Laughlin announced today "with great regret and sadness" that she will close Village Books on June 30, after fourteen years in Pacific Palisades.

Times eliminates outdoors blog

Outposts will drop from the L.A. Times blogroll due to "committee" decision, blogger Kelly Burgess says in her final post.

Sky Daniels to run KCSN in the Valley *

KCSN, the FM station from Cal State Northridge, has a new program director. Sky Daniels, formerly of the late KMET and other stations, has also been a label executive at...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 5.2.11

Now the green band trailer for "Girl With a Dragon Tattoo," PPIC's poll and Jerry Brown's taxes, Greuel subpoenas, more.

Abramson to be new editor of New York Times

nyt-abramson-announcement.jpg Biller Keller steps down effective Sept. 6. Dean Baquet, the former L.A. Times editor, will succeed Abramson as managing editor.

Cardenas will take a day off to collect checks

tony-cardenas-100.jpg It's April Fool's Day in June, or seems like it.

Lance Armstrong attacks '60 Minutes,' but CBS hangs tough

lance-armstrong.jpg Armstrong's lawyers reportedly demanded that "60 Minutes" make an on-air apology for last month's report, and called the story "extraordinarily shoddy to the point of being reckless and unprofessional, or a vicious hit-and-run job."

Chief Justice not pleased with comment on her looks

cantil-sakauye-nbc4.jpg California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye spoke out today in Beverly Hills on the remark that Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon made at a recent hearing on his bill to strip her of some powers to oversee the courts

Shaq retires from the NBA

shaq-on-tout.jpg Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement from basketball today, via the social media tool Tout: "We did it. Nineteen years baby."
victoria-beckham-2011.jpg Gjelina's no substitution policy has always been ridiculously amateurish, but this time the Venice hot spot did its Menu Nazi act on Victoria Beckham. And Gordon Ramsay.

LA Sketchbook: Free with purchase

qqFreeWithPurchase.jpg

Matt Fong, former state Treasurer was 57

Matt Fong, a Republican who served as California's elected Treasurer for a term in the 1990s, died today of skin cancer at home in Pasadena.

NYT Magazine on Bill Simmons

Los Angeles-based Bill Simmons is "the most prominent sportswriter in America," this Sunday's New York Times Magazine says in a profile pegged to Simmons getting a ton of ESPN cash to headline his own website.

LAT names Roberts as pop critic

Randall Roberts is moving over to fill the pop critic spot at the Los Angeles Times that was vacated recently by Ann Powers. Read the memo.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 6.1.11

Ramirez a suspect in Nevada shooting too, Parks wants to split City Attorney office, what people don't know about Prop. 13, plus David Bergstein, Roger Ailes, David Folkenflik, Nikki Finke, Pandora Young, David Beckham, Charles Fleming and more.
Giant floating ducky
duck-tall-ships-meg.jpgThe big rubber duck was the most photographed thing about the tall ships festival recently held in San Pedro. Photo: Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Sky and palm
sky-and-palm.jpgGreat skies we're having this week. #DTLA. Bigger on Facebook
Double pump
mikes-main-diesel-port.jpg Mike's Diesel, Port of Los Angeles. LA Observed photo.
Dancers audition
barak-audition.jpgTryouts for LA's Barak Ballet. Photo by Judy Graeme
Weird Pacific summer
Velellas-htb.jpgCool, strange jellies are washing up on on LA beaches. Fauna