LA Observed archive
for November 2011

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

It's official: Glendale is boring

glendale-galleria-rendering.jpg Image consultants hired by the city of Glendale reported back this week after a year of marketing research. Bad news.

Wind tweet o' the night

So windy in LA that twice the usual amount of sad tumbleweeds made of broken dreams just blew down my street.

LAX returning to normal after power outage

lax-powerout-113011.jpg All passenger terminals and runway 25R were affected by an hour-long power outage tonight at Los Angeles International Airport.

City orders red flag parking rules due to winds

station-fire-tree.jpg The red flag restrictions that limit parking on many streets in the hills and canyons kick in at 8 a.m. Thursday. I'm kind of surprised they are not in force tonight.

Expo Line turned over to MTA

jeans-shack.jpg The Expo Line has taken its next big step on the path from construction project to actual light-rail transit line.

Bestsellers this week: a lot like last week

vengeance-cover-grafton.jpg Sue Grafton, Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography and "The Tiger's Wife" by Téa Obreht lead their respective bestseller lists in Southern California again, but there's a new leader in trade...

Fox 11's Reynolds becomes a citizen

jaime-chambers-ktla.jpg "I'm so proud," she told co-host Steve Edwards during the live feed of the ceremony on "Good Day L.A."

Photos of morning aftermath at former Occupy LA

occupycleanup6.jpg Photographer Iris Schneider has been documenting the Occupy LA camp almost from the start, and she went back this morning to see what remains.

Gorgeous piece of old L.A. turns up on eBay

wilshire-safe.jpg Before the Wilshire boys, Gaylord and William, became known more for the street they put their name on in 1887, they ran a safe company in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 11.30.11

High winds, Westwood loses four movie screens, an old local pol dies and more.

Arrests in Occupy raid total 292

The breakdown is 290 booked for failure to disperse, one for battery on a police officer and one for interfering with an officer.

LA Sketchbook: Occupy in the gears

qqxsgOccupy Gears.jpg

City removes Occupy LA, makes about 200 arrests *

beck-villaraigosa-occupynight.jpg Raid looks like it's about to happen.

Somebody's dreaming big in Long Beach

IslandofLongBeach-grab.jpg The Island of Long Beach is promoting a huge 'shopping, dining and entertainment district" around the Queen Mary and promising to create 300,000 jobs.

'Fahrenheit 451' now out as an e-book *

fahrenheit451-ebook.jpg Yes, Ray Bradbury used to say that he would never embrace e-books or the Internet. But, well, you know.

Murray gets 4 years *

Dr. Conrad Murray was just sentenced to four years in L.A. County jail for his part in the death of Michael Jackson.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 11.29.11

Gov. Brown on pepper spray, mayor tested by Occupy LA, Chief Beck tweets, blaming the tar pits and more.

KPCC to 'evolve' Madeleine Brand into national Latino show

mbrand-crop.jpg KPCC's head office has wanted to do something with a Latino flavor for awhile. Read the job posting.

Davis photog on how she got the pepper spray picture

pepper-spray-davis-hodzic.jpg Jim Romenesko contacted Jasna Hodzic after her photo of campus police Lt. John Pike using pepper spray on passive students hit the web.

Looking for the next city to investigate? Try San Fernando *

mario-hernandez-sf.jpg Are any of the small cities in Los Angeles County not havens of crazy or worse?

Gustavo Arellano named editor of OC Weekly

gustavo-arellano-mug.jpg Arellano moves up from managing editor after the resignation, effective Dec. 2, of editor Ted Kissell.

Mayor vows eviction of Occupy LA "when it makes sense"

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is telling the media today that last night's deadline on Occupy LA came and went as planned, and that there will definitely be an eviction showdown if protesters refuse to leave, but he repeated that the eviction would come when it "makes sense: for police officers and the protesters.

Neuheisel out at UCLA

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero relieved football coach Rick Neuheisel of his duties this morning.

Maxine Waters moves up with Barney Frank retiring

maxinewatersthehill.jpg Rep. Waters is next in line to become ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services committee.

Border fence to extend into ocean

border-fence-east.jpg The U.S. Border Patrol is planning to spend $4.3 million trying to extend the border fence with Mexico 300 feet into the Pacific Ocean off Imperial Beach, but it's not easy to do.

Four arrested in street outside Occupy LA, which remains

Police said the arrests were of protesters who refused to get out of the street opposite City Hall or who threw things at officers. The camp remains, but smaller.

Morning Buzz: Monday 11.28.11

Villaraigosa hits the airwaves, somebody is polling on Rick Caruso, Arianna Huffington interviews Scarlett Johansson and more.

Things gets a little tense at Occupy LA after deadline *

occupyla-grab-deadline.jpg Some campers have left, the crowd has grown with sympathizers, and there has been milling in the traffic lanes of 1st Street at Spring, inhibiting passing cars but no actual trouble. Police presence: light.

LA Sketchbook: Basement

qqBasementNowLA.jpg

Occupy LA promises a raid, but cops are mum *

city-hall-night-alt.jpg Supporters of Occupy LA have been sounding the alarm all day about a supposed LAPD raid of the encampment after tonight's midnight deadline. But the LAPD says: who, us?

USC 50, UCLA zippo

neuheisel-lao-file.jpg The Los Angeles Newspaper Group papers are reporting, based on "multiple sources close to the program," that UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel will be let go after the Pac-12 Conference championship game on Friday.

Deadline.com website infected (or something) *

attack-page.jpg Nikki Finke's Hollywood news site has been slapped with Google's dreaded (and often overheated) "attack site" designation.

Wal-Mart pepper sprayer surrenders to LAPD

porter-ranch-walmart-sign.jpg The women suspected to using pepper spray on a crowd of Black Friday shoppers at the Wal-Mart in Porter Ranch turned herself in at the Devonshire Area station late last night.

Petruno signs off at LAT, as expected

tom-petruno.jpg Tom Petruno, the longtime markets columnist for the Los Angeles Times, said back in September that he would be leaving the paper right around now to try out some other pursuits.

Jean Yoo, LA 18's Korean anchor was 36

Jean_Yoo.jpg The co-host of the Korean-language Prime News on Los Angeles-area TV channel LA 18 was found dead in her Koreatown apartment last Monday after not reporting to work.
lakersbookcover.jpg The agreement still has to be approved by the league's owners and by the players association, but negotiators for both shook hands on a tentative deal.

Art of the morning anchorman

shocknek-bw-bl.jpg Newsman-turned-artist Bill Lagattuta's latest project appears to be photographs behind the scenes of Channel 2 anchor Kent Shocknek at work.

Bryan Stow has Thanksgiving with family

bryan-stow-tksgiving.jpg Bryan Stow's familyposted a photo showing the Dodger Stadium beating victim surrounded by smiling relatives and friends on Thanksgiving.

Occupy LA deadline is 12:01 a.m. Monday

After that time, say Mayor Villaraigosa and LAPD chief Beck, the curfew banning overnight use of the City Hall park will be enforced. KInda sorta.

Villaraigosa, Beck schedule time to talk about Occupy

The mayor's office has put out the call for a 4 p.m. media op in his 3rd floor conference room "regarding Occupy LA and the closure of City Hall Park."

A month later, LAT discovers Barnes & Noble closing

barnes-noble-window-clearan.jpg LA Observed readers have known since October about the Westside Pavilion store shutting down.

Holiday trash reminder

city-seal-lao.jpg in the city of Los Angeles, residential trash pickup that usually occurs on Thursday will happen on Friday, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Regular Friday pickups will occur on Saturday...

Choice of Bratton not popular with UC faculty

Why bring in a cop, and pay his consultants' fee, when there's a whole university worth of independent scholars who could recommend how to revisit the use of pepper spray against UC Davis students.

Hitler outraged at pepper spray cop going viral

"I'd like to be in a scene with Yoda! Or Princess Leia for god's sake!!! "

City officials agree Occupy almost over, one way or another

occupy-iris-noschool-nojob.jpg Deputy Mayor Matt Szabo told reporters today that Occupy LA will be cleared out some time next week, and the mayor's office followed with a statement.

New bestsellers for this week

Sue Grafton, Steve Jobs, Stephen King, Joan Didion and more.

Morning Buzz 11.23.11: Pre-holiday short stack

Possible end days for Occupy L.A., City Hall PR deal collapses, foreclosed homes become parks, plus politics and book notes.

Bratton called into UC Davis situation

pepper-spray-cave.jpg Former LAPD chief William Bratton has been tapped by the University of California to lead the official examination of the UC Davis pepper spraying of passive student protesters.

Speaking of magazines: what's wrong with this picture?

inland-empire-cover.jpg December is The Glam Issue for Inland Empire magazine.

Los Angeles magazine redesigns

lamag-1211-cover.jpg December's issue of Los Angeles brings a new look and a revamped lineup in the front of the book. Plus: what's in the magazine.

Big crowd forms for South L.A. turkey giveaway

turkey-giveaway-sla.jpg he Jackson Limousine Service gave out turkeys and fixings for the 23rd year today from its fleet yard on West Slauson Avenue.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 11.22.11

City offers Occupy LA a deal, that City Hall PR contract gets messy, a new dance company from Benjamin Millipied, new board members at the Press Club and Father Dollar Bill dies.

Smash and grab at the Baldwin Hills mall

baldwin-hills-mall.jpg Four robbers rushed into the Macy's at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza before closing tonight, began smashing jewelery cases with hammers and started grabbing loot.

Romney coming after L.A. money *

mitt-romney-shakes.jpg Republican presidential front-runner (at least in California) Mitt Romney will be in town Dec. 6 for a fundraiser at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Free tickets: Harry Belafonte and Tim Robbins

harry-belafonte.jpg Harry Belafonte will engage in conversation about his life as an entertainer and his new memoir, "My Song," with Tim Robbins on Monday night at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

Video: How to make pizza margherita

Tips from Zach Pollack of Sotto, via Los Angeles magazine.

Dick Adler, author and journalist was 74

Dick_Adler-toon.jpg Dick Adler, who used to write the cheeky Page Two feature at the old Herald Examiner, and more recently a book reviewer and blogger, died on Nov. 11.

Mash-up: Spray painting the new bike lane?

spray-mashup.jpg Ed Fuentes imagines the UC Davis pepper spray cop being given community service on the new bike lane on Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

Morning Buzz: Monday 11.21.11

UC president decries pepper spraying, mayoral candidates unsettling to watch, Beck's big test, and Wesson's too.

Paseo del Mar slides into the sea

paseo-del-mar-slide-breeze.jpg A little rain finished off the job in San Pedro's White Point neighborhood, apparently.

Galaxy win the MLS Cup

mlscup_champs.jpg Landon Donovan scored in the 72nd minute at Home Depot Center and that was all the Galaxy needed to top Houston and win the championship of Major League Soccer.

Wim Wenders on living the unreality of Los Angeles

The director recalled that when he lived in Los Angeles the life and things that happened were so fantastical and divorced from the rest of the world that when he went back to Germany, he couldn't talk about L.A. — because no one would believe him.

Romenesko launches his new media (and other things) blog

Jim Romenesko's first post at the new website is titled "How I ended up leaving Poynter."

Videos of the events at UC Davis

The national focus of the Occupy activities has suddenly become the University of California at Davis, showing the massive power (once again) of YouTube to capture relatively unfiltered events and disseminate them widely to great effect.

Joan Didion at Aloud

The author spoke with David Ulin of the Los Angeles Times before a full house at St. Vibiana's on Wednesday night. Here's the full conversation.

Occupy East L.A. College into third week

occupy-elac-lu.jpg A small but determined group of students has been occupying tents outside the East Los Angeles College administration building.

Friday desk clearing

Lowering expectations on Natalie Wood case, tearing down the 6th Street bridge, media notes and a local sports death.

Photo of the day: Pepper spray in Portland

pepper-spray-oregonian.jpg Randy L. Rasmussen of the Portland Oregonian newspaper took this photo Thursday of a woman being hit in the face with pepper spray during an Occupy protest in downtown Portland.

Princeton junior elected to La Cañada school board

Princeton University junior Andrew Blumenfeld won the final seat on the La Cañada Unified school board by ten votes.

Carl Pope resigns as chairman of the Sierra Club *

carl-pope.jpg He will spend a year as advisor to the Sierra Club and Michael Brune will be the top officer.

Mike Davis advises Occupy protesters

Few events in a young activist’s life, says the historian and author, are "as memorably disturbing as the first time you look into cop’s eyes a few anxious inches from your face and find only robotic murderous hatred staring back at you."

Judge sanctions FBI for withholding files in Muslim surveillance

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney sanctioned Justice Department lawyers and ordered the FBI to pay monetary sanctions over the government lying about its surveillance of SoCal Muslim groups.

Geometry teacher who called student 'Jew boy' keeps job

A La Cañada High math teacher accused of calling a student "Jew boy,'' using other slurs and mocking a student's stutter will receive sensitivity training.

Cinefamily adds showings of 'Melancholia'

It seems people want to see the new Lars von Trier film with Kirsten Dunst.

Morning Buzz: Friday short stack

6th-street-viaduct-arch.jpg More on Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner, latest on Occupy, Trutanich endorses Buscaino, and the National Entertainment Journalism awards.

Wesson to begin ascent at City Council

herb-wesson-bio.jpg Current president Eric Garcetti will nominate Councilman Herb Wesson to succeed him.

Sheriff reopens case of Natalie Wood's death, 30 years later

natalie-wood-wagner.jpg The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced Thursday that it was reopening the investigation into "one of Hollywood's most enduring mysteries."

Wilshire and Barrington condo project shrinks in size

wilshire-barrington-curbed.jpg The 28-story condo tower once proposed for the vacant northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Barrington Avenue has been downscaled to a six-story apartment building.

Inside the Occupy L.A. 'microhood'

Curbed LA made this video on life inside the Occupy L.A. camp on the lawns around City Hall.

Jonathan Gold's essential restaurants, now on spreadsheet

Food blogger and list-maker Sarah Gim went to bed the other night with several years' worth of Jonathan Gold's essential restaurants lists from the LA Weekly.

Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw wins top pitching award

kershaw-mlbcom.jpg Kershaw, at 23, is the youngest Dodger since Fernando Valenzuela (20, in 1981) to win the National League's Cy Young Award.

Prop. 8 backers can defend measure in court

The California Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the proponents of banning gay marriage can take the place of state officials defending the initiative in court.

About 20 protesters arrested in Downtown *

occupy-la-arrests-111711.jpg Sounds like the choreographed sort of street protest crackdown, with marchers and police each playing their part.

Arrests at CSU offices in Long Beach

csu-protest-49er.jpg The Daily 49er at Cal State Long Beach covered the arrests Wednesday of protesters at the Cal State trustees' meeting.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 11.17.11

Protesters blocking Figueroa St. this morning, Beck mellow on Occupy L.A. camp, more state budget cuts coming, court to rule on Prop. 8, Kovacik sues over Polo Lounge attack and more.

Inside the county's Men's Central Jail

zw-jail-blue-cells.jpg Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky blogs that the jail, built mostly during the Kennedy Administration, is "a deeply depressing place, filled with 4,000 or more men crammed into dank cells." With photos.

Press Club to honor Woodward and Bernstein

The L.A. Press Club will bestow its President's Award on Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein next June, almost on the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in they covered as Washington Post reporters.

Time capsule: 1st Street and Broadway in 1950s

redwood-door.jpg Here's what a key Downtown corner looked like, showing some old cafes and a legendary saloon.

Krassner vs. Breitbart in Playboy

krassner-breitbart-gloves.jpg Lefty icon Paul Krassner and conservative culture warrior Andrew Breitbart actually got together by mutual assent to discuss their respective world views.

Read the memo: Don't feed the squirrels

daily-news-box-200.jpg Reporters, editors and other staffers at the Daily News offices in the Valley have been told to stop feeding the wildlife.

Feniger and Milliken the subject of an ABC sitcom

Susan and Mary Sue hair-thumb-250x311.jpg Before Border Grill, City, the Too Hot Tamales and Street — and way before "Top Chef Masters" — chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken had a game-changing little dive on Melrose called City Cafe.

7 of 10 most congested freeway segments are here

405-looking-north.jpg The worst of the bunch, in the latest Texas Transportation Institute study, is supposedly the stretch of the 110 Freeway from Interstate 10 to the Dodger Stadium exit at Stadium Way.

Student gunman shot at UC Berkeley dies

A 32-year-old student shot Tuesday by UC Berkeley police after he brandished a handgun in a computer lab has died at a hospital.

Should reporters tweet under their own names?

Coverage of the police crackdown on Occupy Wall Street protest and the media who cover the scene (and tried to cover the arrests) has spurred new discussion of one of the trickier questions posed by new media.

PJ Media's Roger L. Simon helped Perry

Simon did unpaid work for Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign for awhile. Plus: Tina Dupuy on Occupy.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 11.16.11 *

Villaraigosa to make "major address," City Council reneges on South L.A. park, killing the City Hall lawn is a good thing, KOST-FM goes holiday and a Munchkin dies.

City curtails location shooting for the holidays

batman-downtown.jpg Citywide "holiday filming restrictions" limit filming activity, street closures and lane closures between Nov. 21 and January 2.

Typo o' the day

cosell-typo-lat copy.jpg Only off by a couple of letters. From LATimes.com.

Farmers Field: New artist renderings

farmers-field-field-open-roof.jpg AEG and Gensler released fresh looks at the proposed Downtown football stadium.

New restaurant critic named at NYT

It's dining editor Pete Wells, according to an internal announcement at the New York Times.

Beck: Negotiating with Occupy LA to leave

occupy-sign-iris.jpg LAPD chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that he expects long negotiations today with Occupy L.A. on a timeline for protesters to leave the camp outside City Hall.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 11.15.11

Mayor wants to trim trees too, the dangers of ignoring Mexico, Chelsea Clinton, Teresa Hughes and The Wave goes Christmas.

LA Sketchbook: L.A. jails

qqLAJails.jpg

Getty imposes $10 fee to park at night

Parking at the Getty Museum used to be free after 5 p.m.

NYPD begins raid on Occupy Wall Street

occupy-nyc-streamgrab.jpg Occupiers have been told they will be arrested if they don't leave. The police showed up at 1 a.m.

McCourt apologizes to fans, talks about future

Could it be the Dodgers owner is a stand-up guy after all?

City Hall is hiring PR firms again

city-hall-flags.jpg Bids are due on Friday to work four months for the City Council's redistricting commission, for as much as $100,000.

Consider yourself warned

grand-avenue-warning-sign.jpg Grand Avenue will be blocked in front of Disney Hall on Tuesday, or so the sign says.

Afternoon politics notes

Items from the in-box on Wendy Greuel, Gil Cedillo and more.

MediaNews' boss looks toward end of print newspapers

daily-news-box.jpg The recently installed CEO of Dean Singleton's MediaNews chain of newspapers isn't shy about saying that his papers — a group that takes in the Daily News, Daily Breeze and a bunch of other smaller papers in SoCal and NorCal, including the San Jose Mercury — will be changing.

What the heck is going on at ESPN?

erin-andrews.jpg On Nov. 5, ESPN Senior VP Joan Lynch woke up in her home to find a front tire of her vehicle slashed. This is notable for two reasons.

Olney apologizes for including gay parenting in Penn State show

olney-ttp.jpg During today's "To The Point" on KCRW and across the country, host Warren Olney read a comment regarding the controversy over his Friday show.

What does Hollywood want for its political dollars?

Motivations behind political campaign donations by Hollywood figures are more complex than they might seem, Variety's Ted Johnson writes.

Police raid, dismantle Occupy Oakland camp

occupyoakland-police-kgo.jpg Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the Bay Area encircled the Occupy Oakland camp at about 5 a.m.

Fundraiser season in L.A. *

bermandinnercrop.jpg Rep. Howard Berman looks like the big winner on the dollar side.

Morning Buzz: Monday 11.14.11

Punishing deputies with jail duty, Stevie Wonder drops in at Royce Hall, USC enrolls most foreign students and more.

Politics video: Villaraigosa on CNN

Mayor Antonio Villaraiogsa got a nice long chunk of free time on CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley Sunday and said, among other things, that the number...

Jan Perry: Council getting too much like Sacramento

City Councilwoman Jan Perry talks with Conan Nolan on NBC 4's News Conference about the city's redistricting process being tainted by politics.

Too many people at Grove tree-lighting

Police and fire officials had to close off the Grove when the crowds got too big for the Christmas tree unveiling ans show, NBC 4 says.

Can you pay the ticket with Monopoly money?

general-thaddeus-sign.jpg A no parking sign of dubious origin, plus evidence of progress on the Eli Broad art museum on Bunker Hill.

NYT does Alan Mootnick obit

alan-mootnick-lao.jpg Sunday's New York Times print edition carries an obituary of Alan Mootnick, the founder and director of Santa Clarita's Gibbon Conservation Center who died Nov. 4.

Occupy LA as business opportunity

occupy-pie-hole.jpg The sign here was out front of The Pie Hole, a new dessert and coffee spot in downtown's Arts District.
scientology-sfvsign.jpg The Florida paper bills this weekend's package, The Money Machine, as its latest of 13 major investigative stories about the Church of Scientology since June 2009.

SNL video: Rick Perry and the debate

In the cold open from "Saturday Night Live," Gov. Perry has a bit of trouble finishing his points.

Weekend desk clearing

pomonacollegebowl.jpg Romenesko, the Geffen Playhouse, Evelyn Martinez, Haskell Wexler, Winston Doby and more.

Holiday schedule today

I'll be posting some later....

Another LAFD captain in trouble

This time it's a captain with the Los Angeles Fire Department arrested on suspicion of trying to buy seven balloons of simulated heroin from undercover officers near Avenue 61 and Figueroa Street in Highland Park.

Expo Line's next phase approved by PUC *

expo-line-rightofway.jpg The California Public Utilities Commission gave its go-ahead to the grade crossings proposed for the second phase of the Expo Line, west from Culver City across the Westside to Santa Monica.

Our LAT sniff story has legs

times-sniff-test-crop.jpg The Atlantic Wire picked up my post from last night remembering — with photographic evidence! — the time when Mark Willes commissioned a sniff test comparing the smell of his L.A. Times with other papers.

Poynter creates weird non-issue with Romenesko *

For reasons that aren't really clear, Jim Romenesko's bosses at the Poynter Institute have put up a long post wringing their hands about as if they just discovered some issue with the way Romenesko has posted for them through the years.

City Maven marks one year

MavBODY_HIGHres-93x300.jpg The news site has been a welcome addition from day one, reporting on City Hall moves and politics without rants, hidden agendas or anonymous comments.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 11.10.11

Change at the top at county jail, Villaraiosa wants to borrow Measure R funds, what Occupy LA plans for Friday, Kirsten Dunst, Tyler Shields and the Getty acquires some photos.

Free tickets: Darrell Hammond and Fred Willard

Fred-Willard.jpg Coming up on Nov. 17 from Live Talks Los Angeles: Darrell Hammond talks about his upcoming memoir, "God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m F*cked: Tales of Stand-Up, Saturday Night...

O'Shea, Zell and the 'dismantling' of the Times

times-sniff-test-crop.jpg Ex-LAT staffer Laurie Winer reviews Jim O'Shea's book and recounts the Sam Zell years in a piece titled "Zell to L.A. Times: Drop Dead." Subtitle: On the Dismantling of a Once Great Newspaper.

Isn't this nice: Buscaino and Furutani vow clean campaigns *

So it should be a friendly CD 15 runoff, right? Plus: Buscaino consultant denies he sent gloating email.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 11.9.11

Leaked poll in the mayor's race, costs of Occupy LA mount, Valley Democrats endorse Sherman over Berman, Metro's blogger calls for Dodger Stadium to move Downtown, and more.

Buscaino and Furutani get into the CD15 runoff

This sets up what should be an interesting and potentially brutal showdown in the 15th council district.

Jordan Farmar on playing hoops in Israel

Jordan Farmar, the former Laker and UCLA Bruin, is one of a only a few NBA players who are Jewish.

Heavy D, hip-hopper was 44

The singer known as Heavy D collapsed this morning outside his home in Beverly Hills, and was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai.

Times embraces the Globe Lobby again

LATlino 001.jpg The lobby will host Thursday lunch chats once a month with L.A. Times journalists.

KCET unveils first five shows from new partnership

Here's what KCET has come up with to kick off its teaming with Eyetronics Media and Studios.

Car clubs of the San Fernando Valley

Sinners_SFV.jpg A website gathers the rear-window plaques for hundreds of car clubs across the U.S., including more than 100 in the San Fernando Valley alone — covering generations of low riders, high riders and more.

Sandy Koufax is still number one to Angelenos

greenberg-koufax.JPG Readers of the LAT's Fabulous Forum sports blog voted Sandy Koufax the greatest figure in Los Angeles sports history.

Occupy will ramp up in Los Angeles for winter

occupy-sign-iris.jpg Occupy Wall Street organizer David DeGraw spoke at Occupy L.A. on Sunday night and said focus would shift to the Los Angeles encampment during the New York winter.

Media mob: Shakira gets star

shakira-gets-star.jpg Recording star Shakira poses after receiving her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this morning.

Political media note: Pilar Marrero

pilar-marrero-pic.jpg La Opinión political columnist Pilar Marrero has reactivated her blog with a post about Latino immigrants as a sleeping giant in U.S. politics.

Ron Galperin declares for Controller

Galperin lost the race for City Council in the 5th district to Paul Koretz in 2009.

Dinosaurs over Eagle Rock, not in neon

EchoParkLight.jpg The Eastsider L.A. has a nice piece on Darren Pearson, an Eagle Rock artist who uses the LED on a key chain to "draw" images of dinosaurs.

Traffic jams are bad for your health—really

traffic-creshts.jpg Evidence is mounting for the bad health effects of breathing the air in traffic jams and living near freeways, even as the exhaust from cars and trucks gets cleaner.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 11.8.11

Mayor appeals to car dealers, Madeline Janis steps down, Yaroslavsky takes a ride, Playboy moves back to Beverly Hills, Kirk Honeycutt out at THR and more.

Scott Wilson, founder of North East Trees was 89

scott-wilson-net.jpg Wilson, who pledged to plant five trees a day for the rest of his life, died after losing consciousness while taking clippings from a tree in hi sgarden.

LA Observed on KCRW: Magic Johnson

olympic-aud-jesus.jpg We unveiled a new format today for the weekly LA Observed commentary on KCRW.

Look who the mayor goes to the track with

Mayor Villaraiogsa shows up at the Breeders' Cup in Louisville with old friend Keith Brackpool.

Dr. Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter

The Los Angeles jury holds Murray responsible for the death of Michael Jackson....

New map exhibit at LAPL

map-lapl.jpg If you love maps like we do, check out the new exhibit of mostly historical Los Angeles maps in the first-floor gallery at the Los Angeles Public Library.

Morning Buzz: Monday 11.7.11

Baca (and Lohan) and the jails, Durkee and the money, Jim Ladd gets to say goodbye, UCLA warns patients and more.

Nate Silver: Obama 'probably a slight underdog'

nytmag-cover-11611.jpg He's not toast, maybe, but the odds are getting longer.

Why yes, we are nicer than New Yorkers

welcome-to-calif.jpg A reader of the New York Times contributed an observation to the paper's Metropolitan Diary that included a compliment to Californians.

Comes the darkness

bwclock.jpg Condolences, everyone. Normalcy returns March 11, 2012.

Magic Johnson and HIV, 20 years later

Monday is the 20th anniversary of the shocking afternoon press conference, on live national TV from the Forum in Inglewood, when Magic Johnson announced that he had been infected with the AIDS virus and would be retiring from the Lakers, effective immediately.

Galaxy advance to MLS final

donovan_dunivant_RSL.jpg Mike Magee scored the go-ahead goal (on a pass from David Beckham) in the 58th minute, helping the Los Angeles Galaxy drop Real Salt Lake 3-1 on Sunday at Home Depot Center.

Harry Pachon, educator and Latino advocate

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced the death of USC professor of public policy Harry Pachon, founding board member and past executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund.

Gibbons' savior to be featured on Madeleine Brand

gibbon200x150crop.jpg On Monday's show on KPCC, "The Madeleine Brand Show" is bringing back a recent interview with Alan Mootnick, the founder of the Gibbon Conservation Center who died on Friday.

Andy Rooney, TV commentator was 92

CBS News announced that Rooney died Friday night in a hospital in New York City of complications following minor surgery.

Garfield 29, Roosevelt 15

Another East Los Angeles Classic is in the books.
Gibbons Ricky & Pepper photo-Gabi Skollar.jpg Mootnick, the founder in 1976 of the Gibbon Conservation Center in Santa Clarita, died Friday after complications from heart surgery.

Three LANG papers get new management structure *

When Daily News editor Carolina Garcia was named editor over the Daily Breeze and Press-Telegram as well, it seemed pretty clear more moves were coming. Now they have come.

And up in Mammoth...

MammothNov. 4 .jpg The folks at Mammoth Mountain must want people to come ski and board, since they send out pics like this.

Benedict Canyon's culture war over a (Saudi) house

benedict-cyn-vanity-fair.jpg Vanity Fair digs into the neighbor-on-neighbor clash over plans for a big house on the five-acre estate of Saudi prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

Exploring the bottom of Echo Park Lake

lat-ad-echoparklake.jpg KPCC ventures into the mud with the local councilman, Eric Garcetti.

An artist's take on McCourt news

dodgers-rapeport.jpg From Stuart Rapeport in Highland Park.

Laemmle drops Sunset 5, but Sundance will take over

sunset-5-logo.jpg The Sunset 5 theaters at Sunset and Crescent Heights were once the cat's meow, but as newer theaters got bigger and better theirs got smaller and rattier — and with time the whole shopping complex became tattered.

Morning Buzz: Friday 11.4.11 (short stack)

Jan Perry leaves council leadership post, ethics inquiry for Rep. Laura Richardson, "Funny Girl" postponed, "Twilight" star does a good thing and more.

Subdued opening night at the Geffen

gil-cates-ucla.jpg On Wednesday night, the Geffen Playhouse run began for "Next Fall," handpicked for the schedule by producing director Gil Cates.

LACMA's gala tries to copy NY, says WSJ

lacma-resnick-pav.jpg The big fashion and celebrity fundraiser on Saturday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, co-chaired by Leonardo DiCaprio and Eva Chow, is billed in today's Wall Street Journal as essentially a borrowed idea.

Simers: O'Malley would be the wrong choice of Dodgers owner

Former owner Peter O'Malley might be a sentimental fan's favorite to re-take the Dodgers, but T.J. Simers makes a point somebody had to raise.

L.A. domestics as literary subjects

maids-daughter-cover.jpg The subject of "The Maid's Daughter" is interviewed by Hector Tobar.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 11.3.11

O'Malley and other possible Dodger buyers, Occupy Oakland, Jerry Brown shuts down transparency website, more Gensler fallout, Walter Mosley's L.A. childhood, Google opens in Venice and more.

New round of belt-tightening at L.A. Times

lat-sign-script.jpg Times editor Russ Stanton reportedly held meetings on Wednesday to announce the merging of some departments and the expected layoff of 10-20 staffers.

Demolishing the 405's Sunset Boulevard bridge

Time-lapse video of the tear-down work on the north side of the Sunset bridge.

Jon Stewart's heartfelt tribute to Gil Cates

You knew you were in show business when you sat in Gil Cates' office, Stewart says in introducing the moment of Zen at the conclusion of last night's Daily Show.

Red flag conditions defined *

weather-grab-11211.jpg What do you think of the bizarro temps this afternoon?

Afternoon media and politics notes

Lindsay Lohan, Guy Crowder, John Cage, Edward Headington and more.

Reaction to McCourt's surrender pouring in

mannyfrank.jpg As you could guess, people are generally thrilled that Frank McCourt has agreed to put the Dodgers up for sale. The excitement is tempered by the realization that last time...

Best sellers: John Grisham, Steve Jobs

This week's bestseller lists at Southern California independent bookstores have some new arrivals.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 11.2.11

Durazo tells City Hall that Occupy LA should stay, Occupy Oakland wants a general strike, Freedom sells its TV stations, finalists for entertainment journalist of the year and much, much more.

Our long civic nightmare may be over *

LAT-mccourt-banner.jpg Frank McCourt has agreed to baseball's pressure to put the Dodgers up for auction, Bill Shaikin reports tonight for the Los Angeles Times website

Live tree frog found in Costco salad

tree-frog-costco-sgvt.jpg It now goes by the name of Dave.

Free tix: Adam Gopnik and Ed Zwick

New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik talks about his new book, "The Table Comes First: Family, France and the Meaning of Food," with producer-director Ed Zwick on Thursday night.

Write-in candidate is a Beverly Hills sleeping lion

noah-margo-patch.jpg Noah Margo, a write-in candidate for the Beverly Hills school board, has a family musical legacy.

Police Commission picks a new inspector general

It's Alexander Bustamante, a prosecutor in the Major Frauds Section of the U.S. Attorney's office, where he has worked since 2002.

LAT spins the circulation numbers

The daily circulation of the printed Los Angeles Times was 572,998 in the latest audited numbers released today. It used to be well over a million, at the paper's peak.

LA Sketchbook: Jerry's toothpaste

qqxsgJerryToothpaste.jpg

Gil Cates, producer-director was 77 *

gil-cates-ucla.jpg Gilbert Cates, the stage, film and TV producer and director and the producing director of the Geffen Playhouse, has died at age 77.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 11.1.11

High speed rail even more costly, legal opinion says some campaign donations can be given twice, a warning about Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, members of the jails commission and more.
Ficus vs sidewalk
sidewalk-eaten-by-tree.jpgThis ficus has definitely won on Ben Lomond Place in Los Feliz. Bigger inside
Teammates
blue-jackets-foligno.jpgMembers of the Columbus Blue Jackets wait for teammate Nick Foligno to be placed on a stretcher at Staples Center. He was OK after the game, won 5-2 by the Kings.
LAO_TyrusWong104 copy.jpgTake My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed. See Gary's archive.
Fauna observed
owl-in-yucca-vdt.jpgGreat horned owl perched in a yucca. Veronique de Turenne
Struckus House
struckus-house-door-kr.jpgSwiveling front door at the Al Struckus House in Woodland Hills. More photos