LA Observed archive
for October 2011

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

McCourt 'appears close' to agreeing to sell the Dodgers

dodgers-gate.jpg The LAT's Bill Shaikin reports tonight that a resolution to the Dodgers drama could be near. Owner Frank McCourt, the paper says, "appears close to agreement with Major League Baseball...

Behind the scenes of Romeo et Juliette

la-opera-sewing.jpg Work on a ball gown for the L.A. Opera's latest production The L.A. Opera will opens its doors for the company's first open house on Saturday at the Dorothy Chandler...

LA Observed on KCRW: Occupied L.A.

Tonight's radio commentary: a quick take on the media infatuation with the color and authenticity of Occupy L.A., and the challenge for the politicians inside City Hall.

Vernon mayor and city attorney resign

vernon-streetsign.jpg Major turnover tonight in the tiny, anachronistic city of Vernon, population 112.

Midday media notes: Larry Allison, editor was 77

Former Press-Telegram executive editor has died, plus more news items.

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.31.11

Baca's staff warned of jail brutality, Occupy LA and SFV, a new editor for Company Town, pressure on Village Voice Media over sex ads, plus more.

Mona Simpson puts her Steve Jobs eulogy in New York Times *

mona-simpson.jpg The Los Angeles novelist and sister of Steve Jobs breaks her media silence on his death.

German Shepherds get a new Westside home

german-shepherd-arrivals.jpg LAPD K-9 units last week escorted the delivery of what the flackage calls 60 German Shepherds from a dog boarding facility in downtown.

Los Angeles headline o' the day

Man in Smurf costume shot leaving Halloween party.

Weekend desk-clearing

Making ready for the coming week, with Jim Ladd, Zev Yaroslavsky, Steve Lopez, Dawn Hudson and more.

Atwater streetscape

halloween-house-atwater.jpg Halloween house.

Rainey's media beat redefined at LAT

James Rainey will no longer write a media column for the Los Angeles Times, but will continue to cover the media as a reporter for the arts and entertainment desk. Read the memo.

'73 Porsche stolen 23 years ago seized at Port of L.A.

The cherry-red Porsche 930 Turbo reported stolen in Las Vegas in 1988 was headed to the Netherlands.

Bay Area lawmaker charged with shoplifting at Neiman Marcus

Democratic Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi of Castro Valley was charged with felony grand theft after being caught on video surveillance allegedly shoplifting more than $2,000 worth of merchandise.

Roger Angell blogs on last night's World Series game

roger-angell-ws-scorecard.jpg "Yes, a great game and never mind the early stuff," says the New Yorker writer.

Occupy LA splits into two camps over pot smoking

Weed is the divisive issue, says Natasha Vargas-Cooper at The Awl.

KTLA anchor explains his idea for a screenplay *

FrankBuckley.jpg Frank Buckley of Channel 5 says his idea for an international thriller called "Portofino" is being made by JC Chandor, the director of "Margin Call."

Video: 'Boot camp' abuse of children

The Pasadena Star-News has posted two disturbing videos of children receiving "treatment" at a so-called boot camp in Pasadena.

Morning Buzz: Friday 10.28.11

Brown's pension reform, John & Ken at Occupy L.A., Occupy SFV is next, the City Maven Radio Hour and more.

6th Street viaduct as photo op

6th-street-yard-sign.jpg Concrete in the 1933 bridge connecting Downtown with the Eastside is rotting from the inside and the structure is slated for replacement.

Venture in new media: reporting on adult day care

health-reporting-seniors.jpg USC Annenberg's Center for Health Reporting has partnered with eight ethnic media outlets to gauge the impact of the impending closures of more than 300 Adult Day Health Care centers.

KABC drops traffic reporter Jorge Jarrin

The familiar names keep falling in L.A. radio.

THR loses couple of web staffers

Patrick Kevin Day, the deputy editor of The Hollywood Reporter's website, is leaving after just two months to return to the Los Angeles Times as a senior web producer. A...

Return of the NC-17 rating

shame-scene.jpg "Shame," the upcoming film with Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, will be the 11th movie released with an NC-17 rating by a major studio or division.

NYT declares war on Encino

encino-commons-sign-lao.jpg In an online commentary under the New York Times' Opinionator banner, newly New Yorkified journalist Katie J.M. Baker ticks off why she loathed growing up in Encino and the San Fernando Valley.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 10.27.11

McCourt and baseball talking about him selling the Dodgers, how Oakland weighs on city officials hoping to move Occupy L.A., redistricting challenges rejected, dumb burglars and get this: Big Fur is actually based in West Hollywood, the first city to ban fur sales.

Gary Leonard: Tyrus Wong celebrates 101

LAO__Tyrus101.jpg Each October, Gary Leonard heads out to Santa Monica Beach for artist Tyrus Wong's birthday.

No final show on KLOS for Jim Ladd

kmet-sticker.jpg Ladd tells the Register's Gary Lycan that he was stunned to be told he was laid off.

Villaraigosa, City Hall cool on Occupy L.A. sticking around *

occupy-jewish-sign.jpg It appears the relationship is chilling between City Hall's politicos and the encampment of protesters outside on the lawn.

Fashionization of Lisbeth Salander

rooney-mara-cover-story-01_153245359716.jpg_article_singleimage.jpg First the American actress who is portraying Swedish book and film heroine Lisbeth Salander graces the cover of this month's American Vogue. Now H&M unveils a line of clothing based...

End of an era at KLOS: Jim Ladd out

jim-ladd-klos.jpg Legendary Los Angeles radio personality Jim Ladd has reportedly been dropped at KLOS (95.5 FM.)

Tribune-LAT employees settle over Zell's use of ESOP funds

Current and former employees of Tribune have agreed to accept $32 million to settle a class-action suit over their Employee Stock Ownership Program funds that became part of Sam Zell's takeover of the Tribune Company.

Michael Caruso to run Smithsonian magazine

Smithsonian November 2011 cover.jpg Caruso, the editor of Los Angeles magazine between 1995 and 1997, was named Oct. 19 as editor-in-chief of Smithsonian.

Colbert makes a few Cain ads of his own

Stephen Colbert offers up alternatives to the campaign ad showing Herman Cain's campaign manager smoking.

LA Sketchbook: Medical marijuana

qqxsgMed MarijuanaCA.jpeg

That's one righteous OC tree

hallowed-tree-lat.jpg Either L.A. Times copy editors took the morning off, or that's a very special tree that a man became trapped in down in Orange County.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.26.11

Supes OK more Newhall Ranch homes, city spreads out pension costs, car wash workers unionize, one paper adds a book section and honoring Wanda Coleman.

Doug Krikorian set adrift by Press-Telegram

doug-krikorian.jpg The longtime L.A. sports figure has been laid off.

Police use tear gas on Occupy Oakland protesters

oaklandprotestgas.jpg Mayhem in downtown Oakland at this hour after police fired gas cannisters into a crowd that refused to disperse near 14th and Broadway.

Barnes & Noble Westside Pavilion: R.I.P. *

barnes-noble-westside.jpg Hushed talk has been around for a few weeks, but now the red clearance signs have gone up — 30 percent off on a lot of books — and store clerks acknowledged the news today.

Obama met secretly with Hollywood leaders at hotel

Before leaving the Beverly Wilshire this morning, President Obama had a meeting with "some of the entertainment industry's high-level executives, as well as talent representatives with access to the industry's top stars and musical acts," THR says.

Obama jokes with Jay Leno

The White House and NBC have released excerpts of President Obama's sit-down with Jay Leno, taped this morning in Burbank for tonight's show.

JPL employees: Stay inside on account of the bear

A black bear was spotted on the grounds of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory early this morning.

Pajamas Media changes clothes

Roger L. Simon's mostly politics and media operation is morphing from the L.A.-based Pajamas brand into PJ Media, as he explains.

Media memo: Patch hires up for new Latino sites

santee-scene.jpg Marcia Parker, Patch.com's West Coast editorial director, sent this note out to the other local Patchies about staffing for the mixed Spanish-English news sites.

Obama flies back to LAX, then to San Francisco

roscoes-sign.jpg It could have been worse. The final segment of Obamajam was avoided when the President flew by chopper from Burbank to LAX.

Recognizing the 'East L.A. accent'

Some linguists believe that aspects of the pronunciation and usage heard on L.A.'s Eastside for generations can be traced to Nahuatl, a group of indigenous tongues still spoken in parts...

Video: The latest CicLAvia

Rob Adams' video of the scene at the Oct. 9 CicLAvia on L.A. streets.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.25.11

Villaraigosa on pensions and taxes, where in Asia he's going, Obamajammers tweet, what Steve Jobs said about the New York Times and more.

Real Housewives of Westchester, the spoof

KCET producer Karen Foshay Kolesnikow and friends made this video as a school fundraiser.

Monthly staff evaluations coming to Daily Journal *

Editor David Houston's latest memo nforms DJ reporters they will now be evaluated in writing every month, on the quantity and quality of their output.

Would you line up to get a seat at the Murray trial?

Every day a whole bunch of people queue up outside the Criminal Courts building for the 7:30 a.m. lottery to hand out seats at the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray.

Rand retracts pot dispensary study

marijuana-collective.jpg Everyone — including Rand — knew its study saying crime went up when marijuana clinics closed smelled funny, but now Rand has gone the rest of the way.

Obama waffles while L.A. is fuming

obamajam-creshts-1011.jpg L.A. gets acquainted with a new level of Obamajam while President Obama himself stops for takeout and politics at Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles.

Drex Heikes leaving LA Weekly *

Heikes announced to the staff and his freelance writers today that he is stepping down as editor of the LA Weekly.

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.24.11

Chinese carmaker BYD opens but where are the jobs, Hollywood heavies schedule Elizabeth Warren funder, Villaraigosa planning trip to Asia, Harold and Belle's sweet deal, urging a bigger mall in Woodland Hills and tiring of Occupy L.A. Plus more.

Reminder: it's an Obamajam day in L.A.

av-obama-lax.jpg There's not much new to know since we filled you in last week.

Occupy L.A. slideshow from City Hall

img_1745small.jpg LA Observed contributing photographer Iris Schneider has been down on the lawn at City Hall shooting portraits of some of the participants in the Occupy Los Angeles encampment and protest.

Beverly Hills has a major earthquake fault

fault-map5501.jpg A byproduct of the geological research for Metro's Westside subway extension is that the northern end of the deadly Newport-Inglewood Fault is better understood by scientists.

Place: Saturday on Santee Alley

santee-male-faces.jpg If you've never shopped on Santee Alley in the downtown Fashion District, here's a short LA Observed video showing what the scene is like.

Norman Corwin appreciated as legend and mentor

Ncorwin-1973.jpg Former radio reporter Joel Bellman, now the communications deputy for Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, remembers in a piece for KPCC how radio legend Norman Corwin became his mentor.

Tony Curtis mural moving to Hollywood

blogtony-001.jpg For 16 years, Whittier artist George Sportelli has been cleaning and maintaining his mural of actor Tony Curtis on the southbound Hollywood Freeway. But no more.

Quite a tumultuous UCLA game in Arizona

First a fake referee stops play and takes off his clothes, then UCLA and Arizona players brawl on the field.

Barbara Kent, last silent film actress was 103

Barbara Kent, a 1925 graduate of Hollywood High School, is being called the last living actress to have achieved stardom in silent films.

LANG papers begin the inevitable consolidation

Carolina Garcia, the editor of the Daily News, will now be the executive editor for the Daily Breeze and the Press-Telegram in Long Beach as well.

Morning Buzz: Friday 10.21.11

HuffPo, Lohan, CareNow, LAPD's tweeting detective, apron parking and more.

Seattle girds for its own Carmageddon

seattle-viaduct.jpg They're calling it Viadoom, the massive urban traffic breakdown some fear from the nine-day closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct along the Seattle waterfront.

Three Angelenos pick up White House honors

The creators of three successful local nonprofits received the 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal from President Obama during a ceremony today in the White House East Room.

Times CEO reacts to those billboards *

lat-class-action-sign.jpg Times employees were filled in this afternoon in an all-staff email from president and chief operating officer Kathy Thomson.

Feeling sorry for Westwood Village

streetsc-lindbrook+westwood.jpg Josh Stephens, the editor of the California Planning and Development Report, set up a recent event to brainstorm solutions to the decline of Westwood Village with a revealing passage on how much they are needed.

Obama arrival Monday will be at rush hour

President Barack Obama is scheduled to arrive at LAX on board Air Force One between 4:30 and 5 p.m. on Monday, the White House just announced.

Non-news flash: L.A. has a lot of rich people

Exactly as you'd suspect, New York is first (7,720) and Los Angeles ranks second with 4,350 "ultra high net worth" residents.

Free tickets: Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne of NPR

inskeep-montagne.jpg Another nice ticket offer for LA Observed visitors.

We're in for a drier winter, probably

winter-outlook-201112.jpg NOAA's forecast for the coming winter expects a drier than average wet season in Southern California and a higher risk of wildfire.

County goes upstate for probation chief

The Probation Chief for Stanislaus County has been tapped to take over Los Angeles County’s troubled Department of Probation.

Daily News loses features and food editors

The note to the staff from Daily News editor Carolina Garcia doesn't make clear if this is downsizing, but it's being taken that way.

Westways honors Norman Corwin

The magazine posts a 2009 interview with its former columnist and an appreciation from editor John Lehrer.

President Obama will do Jay Leno while here

obama-piolin.jpg The show will air next Tuesday, the night after fundraisers in the Hancock Park area.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 10.20.11

An unfamiliar lull in California elections, jail visitor beaten while cuffed, sewer bills go up, L.A. to consider making homeowners responsible for sidewalk damage, Maxine Waters and controversy, and a quake drill this morning.

You can visit the Pacific tsunami debris

sea-dragon.jpg Two SoCal nonprofits that campaign against plastic pollution are leading an expedition to the debris area, but it will cost you $13,000.

MTA experts recommend Constellation station in Century City

westside-subway-logo.jpg Metro's experts panel of seismologists, geologists and engineers also says tunneling poses no threat to Beverly Hills High School.

Mary Grady to be spokesperson for LAX

Mary Grady, the LAPD spokesperson for ten years until this past June, has been named Director of Public and Media Relations at Los Angeles World Airports.

Here we go again: Lohan cuffed, taken into custody

A judge has revoked Lindsay Lohan's probation again.

Living in Portland vs. L.A.

Cloepfil-VanSant-zocalo.jpg Filmmaker Gus Van Sant and architect Brad Cloepfil spoke to a Zócalo Public Square crowd at the Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Auditorium about why they live in Portland (and not Los Angeles), plus what influences their work.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.19.11

Audio interview with Norman Corwin, initiative targets illegal immigrants, Hiltzik on 9-9-9, city cool to Occupy L.A. on banks, John & Ken apologize, and former Rep. Marty Martinez dies.

LA Sketchbook: Occupied America

qqOccupy-AmericaCM.jpg Steve Greenberg's latest editorial cartoon.

Norman Corwin, poet of the airwaves and USC prof, dies at 101 *

corwin-at-cbs.jpg "The best radio writer-producer-director in the whole history of radio," said longtime friend Ray Bradbury.

Sitrick firm hurting, The Wrap says *

Plunging earnings and a stream of executive defections "have set tongues wagging."

Supes approve commission on jail violence

The new Citizens Commission on Jail Violence, created on a unanimous vote of the Board of Supervisors, will have seven members yet to be named.

Onion Field killer rejected for parole

Gregory Powell, convicted and originally sentenced to death for the 1963 murder of LAPD officer Ian James Campbell, was turned down today as a candidate for parole.

Japanese tsunami debris drifting across the Pacific

tsunami-debris-navy.jpg It's right where scientists expected it would be, near Midway Island, and should reach Hawaii in two years and North America in three.

At least Staples Center being used for something

staples-ice-level.jpg Staples announcer David Courtney tweets his excitement for tonight's Kings opener.

Video: Robert Redford in Westwood Village in 1965

Robert Redford romps on the roof and inside the Village movie theatre in Westwood in a 1965 clip shot by actor Roddy McDowall.

Answer to Monday's mystery photo

state-bldg-1st-spring-usc.jpg OK OK, too easy. Next time I'll make it a bit more challenging.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.18.11

Shalit freed, Supes take up jail oversight, campaign fund losses, girding for Berman-Sherman, part 2 of the LAT vs. Kabbalah and more.

Celebrity division brainstorms ideas for Clinton foundation

New spoof from Funny or Die.

Lessons on sustainability for news startups

bay-citizen-logo.png A new Knight Foundation report makes a case study of eight of the biggest local news startups across the U.S., including Voice of San Diego and The Bay Citizen in San Francisco

Erika Schickel on being a Bad Girl

Erika_Buxton_1980-cropped.jpg Schickel has a revealing excerpt of her forthcoming memoir online at Sensitive Skin magazine.

LA Observed on KCRW: Historic music

clark-tomb.jpg I was inspired by my first visit last week to the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library to make this week's KCRW column about L.A.'s historical tradition of concerts and recitals in private homes.

E!'s Giuliana Rancic announces she has breast cancer

Rancic, the longtime host of various E! Entertainment shows and recently the co-host of the Style Network reality series "Giuliana and Bill," went on NBC's Today this morning to talk about her treatment for breast cancer.

John Miller, the ex-LAPD official, goes to CBS News

millerbratton.jpg Miller, a former TV newsman who came to the LAPD from New York with then-chief William Bratton, then became a national security official, is returning to the news business.

NYT executive editor Jill Abramson profiled by Auletta

abramson-nyt.jpg It has become almost traditional for Ken Auletta to weigh in at length in the New Yorker on major media figures, and Jill Abramson certainly qualifies.

Driver talked about Vegas race before his death

Tom Hoffarth of the Daily News wrote, after talking to Dan Wheldon, "So how much is it really worth for last May's Indianapolis 500 winner to risk his neck maneuvering from the last spot of a 34-car field to win this 200-lap, season-ending race?"

What becomes of Johnie's in LACMA deal?

johnies_coffee_shop-martin.jpg For a lot of us, the future (or potential fate) of Johnie's Coffee Shop was one of the first questions to come to mind after the news broke that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would buy the former May Company across the street for a film museum.

McCourts reach settlement that takes Jamie out of Dodgers *

Frank and Jamie McCourt have reportedly reached a divorce settlement under which she would get about $130 million and relinquish any claim to the Dodgers.

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.17.11

LAT goes after Kabbalah, LAPD loses a bunch of submachine guns, Baca tries a few steps of the mea culpa on jails, state politics crave L.A. city jobs and lots more inside for a Monday.

Clintons honor Edie Wasserman

Former president Bill Clinton was the final speaker at Friday evening's memorial service for Edie Wasserman at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

Galaxy finishes season unbeaten at home

barrett_goal_chivas.jpg A goal in the 53rd minute by Chad Barrett gave the Galaxy a 1-0 victory tonight over Chivas U.S.A. on the soccer field the teams share in Carson.

Huell and Rabe meet up

huell-rabe.jpg It wasn't quite like when Jacob Sobroff ran into Huell Howser in that Downtown park. This was pre-arranged, but fun nonetheless.

Writer stumbles home with the Kings

The Los Angeles Kings began the NHL season with two games in Europe, which meant a first time overseas for Rich Hammond, the traveling beat writer who the Kings employ.

Sue Mengers, super-agent turned maven was possibly 78

Mengers' death was announced by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, who posted this afternoon on his blog that she died last night "at her home, a short walk from the Beverly Hills Hotel, and surrounded by three of her close friends, Ali MacGraw, Joanna Poitier, and Boaty Boatwright."

Randy Michaels, ex-Tribune CEO, busted for drunk driving

randy-michals-mugshot.jpg Michaels, Sam Zell's right hand at Tribune until last fall and that New York Times story about his sexcapades and frat boy mentality, was arrested early Friday morning near Cincinnati and allegedly failed three field sobriety tests.

Laurel and Hardy dance to Santana

I guess there are many variations of the Laurel and Hardy dance meme on YouTube, but this was new to me until Facebook this morning.

Clintons will be busy in L.A. this weekend

clinton-crop-thr.jpg Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton are around this weekend to celebrate the former president's 65th birthday and raise money for the William J. Clinton Foundation.

Long way from L.A.

louise-roug-denmark.jpg Louise Roug Bokkenheuser, the former Los Angeles Times staff writer, is now host of a foreign affairs radio show in Denmark.

Morning Buzz: Friday 10.14.11

McCourt's big gamble, FPPC and Kinde Durkee, deputies' code of silence, killing the lawn at City Hall and Politico loses reporter over plagiarism. Plus more.

L.A.'s Center for Governmental Studies to close *

No official word yet from Bob Stern or Tracy Westen, but the board's chair has sent an email and former board member Art Agnos confirmed the news.

Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset Strip to close, blog says

hamburger-hamlet-sunset.jpg You've got a couple of months to pay a last visit to the early Hamburger Hamlet where Sunset forks into Doheny Road. Closing day is said to be Dec. 19.

Left coast writers splash in the Atlantic

atlantic-nov2011.jpg Pretty good month for Los Angeles in the print and web pages of the Atlantic, leading with Kate Bolick's cover story on what's happening to marriage now that men are on the decline.

IRS makes nonprofit journalism wait

Here's a story of frustrating government bureaucracy — and it could affect dozens of promising media startups.

A very Korean Sukkot

Korean broadcaster TVK24 did a feature story on Jewish Journal editor Rob Eshman's garden and cooking for the Sukkot holiday.

Yaroslavsky, Ridley-Thomas to propose jail commission

Citizens commission will be asked to “conduct a review of the nature, depth and cause of the problem of inappropriate deputy use of force in the jails, and to recommend corrective action as necessary.”

Obama adds second L.A. fundraiser on upcoming trip

President Obama will be the featured guest at a second Hancock Park-area fundraiser on Oct. 24, this one at the home of producer James Lassiter.

LACMA's rock finally has a route and a date

levitated-mass-map.jpg After some delays, the 340-ton boulder destined to be part of an exhibit at LACMA is now scheduled to leave the Riverside area quarry on Oct. 25. Wait until you see the route map.

Read the memo: New pop music editor at the L.A. Times

Lorraine Ali is the new pop music editor for the Los Angeles Times, where she began writing for the longtime pop music editor Robert Hilburn.

Pacific Standard Time appeal is not universal

Youry-Ceramic-Group-low-res.jpg The New York Times finds some skepticism about the arts festival.

Daily News celebrates 100 years in the Valley

dn-100-panorama.jpg It was on this day in 1913 that the pop-up town of Van Nuys — located at the intersection of a vast former wheat field turned dustbowl and a sandy seasonal flood wash — got a newspaper.

Free tix: Jerry West in conversation with Peter Guber

jerry-west-logo.gif Live Talks Los Angeles is offering LA Observed readers tickets to see NBA legend Jerry West talking about his life (and new autobiography) with producer and author Peter Guber.

Rocket Video's manager mourns loss of the store

In a piece titled My Store Just Died, Jeffrey Miller writes at Zócalo Public Square about being manager of "the last great independent video rental store in the city of Los Angeles."

Melanie Griffith Banderas to host Obama Latino funder

When President Obama returns to Los Angeles Oct. 24, the Futuro Fund event will be held at the Hancock Park area home of actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas.

Margaret Tante Burk, Round Table West co-founder was 93

Margaret Tante Burk, a publicist and businesswoman here, co-founded Round Table West with Marylin Hudson at the Ambassador Hotel in 1977. The forum for authors grew into one of the...

Morning Buzz: Thursday 10.13.11

Worst mass killing in OC history, new sheriff abuse report, feds to target media in pot war, Art Walk tonight and KCSN gets rock star support.

Video: Insufferable coffee snobs

Shot at Cognoscenti Coffee at Proof Bakery in Atwater, apparently.

Current temperature in Downtown: 99 degrees

weather-oct12.jpg Coming up on 4 p.m. on October 12, the LA Observed weather center reports a Downtown temperature of 99 degrees. 97 in the Valley, 88 along the KOST (sorry, couldn't...

Scarlett Johansson's phone hacker guessed at passwords

scarlett-johannson-buzzfeed-crop.jpg The feds today talked about Christopher Chaney, a 35-year-old in Jacksonville, Florida who is accused of using his home computer to crack into the email accounts and mobile phones of celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis and Christina Aguilera.

Coming up on 10,000 Twitter followers *

Hey, the little Twitter counter thingie says LA Observed is about to go over 10,000 followers. Who will push us over?

BlackBerries working again, or so they say

As of 1:43 p.m., Blackberries in L.A. are texting and beeping again. But it was tense there for awhile.

Feds vow to prosecute media that advertise medical pot

California Watch says federal prosecutors are preparing to target newspapers, radio stations and other media outlets that advertise medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.

LA Sketchbook: Trigger lock

qqCATriggerLock.jpg

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.12.11

Bust in Hollywood cellphone hacking, Jerry Brown and labor, L.A. County is hiring, woman defends LAFD over naked pictures and we now know the schedule for Farmers Field environmental review.

Broadway's United Artists sold, may become hotel

ua-broadway-brighamyen.jpg The landmarked United Artists Theater at the south end of Downtown's Broadway movie palace district has been sold to Greenfield Partners, a national hotel developer and real estate investment company.

Thoughts on becoming an L.A. commuter

lisa-napoli-in-car.jpg Lisa Napoli, the public radio veteran who stepped out of the rat race a few years back to live in Bhutan, recently began hosting All Things Considered every afternoon on KCRW. That made her a cross-town commuter.

RAND cancels claim about closed pot clinics and crime

That recent Rand study finding that crime went up after the city cracked down on marijuana dispensaries is going back for more work.

Baca open to altering how deputies staff jails

twin-towers-jail.jpg Tonight on KCRW's "Which Way, L.A.?," Sheriff Baca said maybe deputies shouldn't start their careers with years of jail duty.

Ethics Commission fines Hugh the maximum

city-hall-night-alt.jpg Alexander Hugh, the Koreatown developer nabbed for illegally contributing reelect Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2009, was fined $183,750 by the city's Ethics Commission this morning.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.11.11

Jerry Brown's unpredictability, sheriff's culture, the L.A. River, the Boston Globe and Whitey Bulger and more.

LA Observed on KCRW: Nerds and surfers in the blue sky metropolis

The line of California nerd-dom remains unbroken from Howard Hughes and hotrodders to Steve Jobs and the aerospace engineers who made surfing culture possible.

Kicking hybrids out of carpool lane slows all traffic

carpool410.jpg UC Berkeley researchers looked at the the after effects of the state moving hybrid drivers out of diamond lanes as of July 1 — and on Bay Area freeways, the impact was significant.

CicLAvia route in time-lapse photos

USC professor and Asymptotia blogger Cllifford V. Johnson rode from Heliotrope and Melrose, the western end of Sunday's CicLAvia route, to the eastern end at Hollenbeck Park.

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.10.11

Columbus Day closures, plus Gov. Jerry Brown bans open carry of handguns and more, why Sheriff Baca should not step down, more local candidates file and more.

Art Spiegelman brings 'Maus' to KCRW

kcrw-icon-sohohouse.jpg KCRW taped another installment of its online-only web cultural series, UpClose, on Sunday in the top-floor screening room at Soho House in West Hollywood.

Good day for LAT in exile at NYT

mag-cover09-sfSpan.jpg In Sunday's New York Times, it was hard to miss the bylines that were once among the top-billed names at the Los Angeles Times — plus an ad for Jim Newton's book on Eisenhower.

Weekend news and notes

A roundup from the news and the email in-box.

Free tix: Deepak Chopra and Leonard Mlodinow

Chopra-book-jacket.jpg Live Talks Los Angeles has Tuesday night tickets for LA Observed readers.

Third CicLAvia has a longer route

ciclavia_map_oct2011.jpg Here's a quick guide to Sunday's closure of ten miles of streets around Los Angeles.

Time to break up Caltech

caltech-water-polo.jpg This time the water polo team has broken a nine-year winless streak.

Villaraigosa applauds passage of California Dream Act

av-swork.jpg Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued a statement praising Gov. Brown for signing the law that lets California high school grads who are undocumented apply for college financial aid.

Blake Griffin gets naked for ESPN

gretchen-bleiler-espn-grab.jpg Clippers fans get a treat in the Body Issue of ESPN the Magazine: Blake Griffin nude, along with more than a dozen other sculpted athletes, including snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler at the Chateau Marmont.

Steve Jobs was no friend of journalists

time-jobscover.jpg James Rainey visits the less appealing side of Steve Jobs, plus biographer Walter Isaacson on the late Apple co-founder.

Obama returning to L.A. for another fundraiser

President Obama will be jetting back into Los Angeles this month for a political fundraiser aimed this time at Latinos.

Ever seen under a hockey arena?

The Los Angeles Kings opened their regular season a long ways from L.A., with games Friday in Stockholm (they beat the New York Rangers) and today in Berlin (they lost...

Brown signs Dream Act, bans shark fins

Gov. Jerrry Brown has been busy disposing of the bills sent to his desk by the Legislature.

Hotel Bel-Air to return to protests by fired workers

blue-sign-belair.jpg Only about 12 of the 275 union workers who were laid off when the Hotel Bel-Air closed for renovations two years ago have been rehired

Al Davis, owner of Raiders was 82 *

al-Davis-halloffame.jpg The last owner of an NFL team in Los Angeles died this morning at home in Oakland.

Nobel Peace Prize winner has an L.A. author connection *

mighty-be-our-powers.jpg Leymah Gbowee, one of the three African women to win the Nobel Peace Prize today, co-authored her memoir last month with L.A. writer Carol Mithers.

Brown vetoes Villaraigosa's bike bill *

Requiring drivers to slow to 15 miles an hour while passing a bicyclist closer than three feet is not going to fly.

Steve Lopez calls on Baca to step aside

Sheriff Lee Baca should step down, "at least temporarily," Times columnist Steve Lopez says in a column.

Out of the office this morning

I invite you to check out Mark Lacter's Friday morning headlines at LA Biz Observed.

Prison 'realignment' off to a rough start

Forget that stuff about only low-level offenders being part of the state's transfer of cases back to Los Angeles County.

New deputy resigns, says he was told to beat up inmate

Another turn in the stories of alleged abuse by sheriff's deputies assigned to the Los Angeles County jails.

Village Voice editor protested in OC

Tony Ortega, the editor of the Village Voice, is speaking today at his alma mater, Cal State Fullerton

New 'candidate' for mayor

Prince Frederic von Anhalt, better known to the world (if at all) as Mr. Zsa Zsa Gabor, puts up a billboard on Sunset Strip.

LA Sketchbook: Steve Jobs

qqxsgSteve Jobs.jpg Steve Greenberg on Steve Jobs.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 10.6.11

Lawsuits by LAPD officers piling up, City Hall and Occupy L.A., Michael Ovitz, Hank Williams Jr., Gregg Miller, Ed Ruscha and drinks with Mexico's consul general in L.A.

Steve Jobs' 2005 commencement speech at Stanford

On life and death, among other topics.

Steve Jobs, inventor was 56

woz-jobs-1976.jpg Steve Jobs died today in Palo Alto of complications from pancreatic cancer.

Bestsellers: Affairs, confidence men and Cleopatra

Here are the new top sellers for the week at Southern California independent bookstores.

Quakes and SoCal hospitals: not a pretty picture

hospitals-quakes-graphic.jpg A new study from the Center for Health Reporting at USC says flatly that when the Big One hits Southern California, "hospitals won't be ready."

County's Office of Independent Review makes money on the side

In her last story before leaving the Daily Journal for Warren Olney's team at KCRW, staff writer Anna Scott details lucrative outside consulting by Michael Gennaco's county-funded Office of Independent Review.

The winter of Jerry West

jerry-west-logo.gif The former Lakers star and general manager admits in a profile at Grantland that he's still uncomfortable with his fame. Maybe more now, at age 73 and apparently taking stock of his life.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 10.5.11

Rainy day short stack of headlines and links.

In appreciation of the Thomas Guide

thomas-guide-2009.jpg Before there was Google Maps — and still today, if an Angeleno really wants to know where something is located — there was the Thomas Bros. street atlas, aka the Thomas Guide.

Probation chief to be allowed to resign

The Board of Supervisors has the votes to dump Don Blevins as head of the county's troubled Probation Department, but Celeste Fremon says it appears he will get the chance to resign.

Academy, LACMA agree to plan film museum on Wilshire

mayco-ansel-lapl.jpg The historic landmark former May Company department store at Wilshire and Fairfax could become the major movie museum that L.A. lacks under a memo of understanding agreed to tonight between the boards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

LA Sketchbook: B of A pickpocket

Bridging the California divide

zocalo-calif-panel.jpg We didn't exactly answer the question of who rules California, but last night's Zócalo panel at the Museum of Contemporary Art did get into some interesting insights about the state and its cultural touchstones.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 10.4.11

Warning Obama about Solyndra, warning victims about clemency, Villaraigosa wrong on prisoners, new book from Jim Newton, Red Line turnstiles and remembering Gregg Miller and Amy Pressman.

Candaele brothers discuss 'Moneyball'

Q: Did you really take batting practice naked when you were with the Astros?

Now this is a geographically incorrect media op

At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Starbucks and the Los Angeles Urban League are announcing a new partnership. Guess where.

Code 3 in Hollywood on Tuesday

Old police cars and other emergency vehicles, many from TV shows and movies, will be on parade Tuesday starting at 11:30 a.m.

OC Register changes publishers

On Monday, the Register's general manager, Michael E. Henry, was named interim publisher.

LA Observed on KCRW: Saving their dad

This week's Monday commentary on KCRW: the man whose children rescued him from his crashed car off a mountain road, and the man who wasn't as fortunate.

Dodgers jump to Clear Channel, AM 570

The Dodgers finally announced their deal to move games to Fox Sports station 570 next season and to enter into an "integrated marketing and broadcasting agreement" with Clear Channel Communications.

Los Angeles magazine hires Immediato

Linda Immediato, the editor-in-chief at Pasadena magazine and former deputy at Angeleno, is moving over to Los Angeles as senior editor.

Does Susan G. Komen deny a BPA-breast cancer link?

Mother Jones has a story questioning statements about bisphenol A, or BPA, by leading breast cancer fundraiser Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Suit challenges county plastic bag ban

The suit on behalf of plastics manufacturer Hilex-Poly relies on the state's Proposition 26, which says fees levied on Californians should only cover the cost of a service.

Morning Buzz: Monday 10.3.11

Brian Alexik goes free, Kinde Durkee's lifestyle, Baca listens in the jail, Jerry Brown and running again, plus more HuffPost announcements and a local media death. And: is Henry's Tacos worthy of historic status?

Who really runs California: SF or LA or ?

zocalologo1.jpg Tonight at MOCA, I'm on a panel where the question is posed by Zócalo Public Square and the USC-Huntington Institute on California and the West.

West Hollywood opens its new library

we-ho-library.jpg The new library at San Vicente and Melrose was dedicated with a big celebration on Saturday, leading into Sunday's West Hollywood Book Fair. The WeHo city council will meet from...

LAO video: Inside peek at LACMA's 'California Design'

calif-design-jg.jpg See the Eames living room, furniture by Neutra and Schindler, Dick Van Dyke's Studebaker Avanti and more.

Two LAPD undercover officers shot in Koreatown

The LAPD says the officers were working undercover near Vermont Avenue and Leeward about 9:15 p.m. when they saw a gang-related shooting and intervened.
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.
City of LA historical photos
lachs-baldwin-hills.jpgMen on a storm drain project near the Baldwin Hills in the Depression. More images from newly digitized collection
LAO__Garcetti&Ballmer copy.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed. See it bigger.
Napa quake lessons
napa-quake-street.jpgAt last we know who woke up early — and who stayed up. More
La chambre photographique
la-chambre-sb-600.jpgSanta Barbara. Click to enlarge.