LA Observed archive
for December 2011

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

At least two more car fires already tonight *

The new fires, inside the Hollywood and Highland parking structure and in a Hollywood home's carport, came as authorities deployed hundreds of extra firefighters, patrol cars, undercover officers and helicopters to fight the mysterious ongoing arson string.

More restaurant closures plus a couple of newbies *

mr-cecils-zoomout.jpg Mr. Cecil's Ribs on Pico is gone and Orris is going. But there are a couple of fresh new entries in Westwood Village.

Evan Kleiman talks about shutting down Angeli

Thumbnail image for evan-kleiman-angeli.jpg The owner of Angeli Caffe got a little emotional with host Lisa Napoli last night on KCRW.

Bodhi Tree bookstore closes today

bodhitreefront.jpg "We are hopeful for a reincarnation of a physical store in a few months at a new location," co-founders Stan Madson and Phil Thompson say.

Sixteen more arson fires overnight

Los Angeles police and fire officials suspect the string of 35 or more suspicious fires reported since Friday morning have been set by more than one arsonist.

This might be my favorite L.A. video of the year

Ink and Paper spends nine lovely minutes at adjacent shops out of another time in the Westlake district, near MacArthur Park.

Oregon's wandering wolf enters California

ors4-oregondfg.jpg OR7 crossed the state border yesterday, becoming the first gray wolf known to roam wild in California since the 1920s.

Angeli to close, Evan Kleiman announces

evan-kleiman-angeli.jpg Losses have been mounting, and Kleiman informed her staff that she can no longer cover the restaurant's bills after 27 years.

Sean Bonniwell, lead singer of The Music Machine was 71

The Music Machine got a regular gig at Hollywood Legion Lanes bowling alley and in 1966 scored their only chart hit, "Talk Talk."

Robert O'Rourke, Caltech spokesman was 72

robert-orourke-caltech.jpg Rourke, familiar to many journalists as the head of Caltech's communications office from 1986 to 2009, died at home in Pasadena after battling pulmonary fibrosis.

Greenberg cartoon included among 2011's best

greenbergcaricature.jpg Steve Greenberg's LA Observed cartoon on Jerry Brown makes Joel Pett's selection on the LAT op-ed page.

Sean Collins, founder of Surfline was 59

Sean Collins, a self-taught wave forecaster who changed the way that surfers find out where to take their boards, died yesterday after collapsing of a heart attack while playing tennis in Orange County.

Valley of 'It's a Wonderful Life'

bedford-falls-life.jpg
bedford-falls-life.jpg
Life magazine has posted online a gallery of unpublished photos from the Encino set of the 1946 holiday classic starring Jimmy Stewart.

Behind the scenes of today's holiday concert downtown

Video from the only rehearsal of the local tradition at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Now it's Christmas: Darlene Love returns to Letterman

Love, from Hawthorne, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year as "popular music’s greatest session vocalist and backup singer."

Historic newspaper used to cover a window in Torrance

herex-torrance-3.jpg Twenty two years after the Herald Examiner folded, its final edition papers over a new pizzeria.

This time, DiCarlo razzes the KTLA intern *

The guys at the KTLA Morning News had some fun the other day making new intern Irene bring them coffee on the air. Then anchor Megan Henderson stepped in.

Looking back: the Wilshire Grand hotel *

hoffman-bldg-lapl.jpg The Wilshire Grand, closing this week to be torn down and make way for a new high-rise hotel and office tower, opened in 1952 as the Statler.

Gloria Allred profiled in 'Los Angeles'

allred-spread-lamag.jpg
allred-spread-lamag.jpg
The Herman Cain sexual harassment allegations (and the Anthony Weiner frolics some months earlier) provide fresh material for the January profile.

Reporter turned Occupyist on her time in jail

bethania-palma-sgvt.jpg Bethania Palma Markus was until recently a reporter for the LANG papers east of L.A.

How Democrats gamed the redistricting process *

rosemead-thumb-propub.jpg ProPublica landed a major California investigation this week, using internal memos to show how the Democrats secretly and very successfully manipulated the new congressional district lines.

Times re-hires Drex Heikes, adds in Sacramento

drex-heikes-law.jpg Heikes is the former LA weekly editor. Read the memo on the new Sacto reporter.

KTLA's Henry DiCarlo does the mea culpa

katz-dicarlo.jpg On this morning's show, the weatherman and his colleagues made light of him storming off a live camera the other day.

LA Sketchbook: San Fernando

qqSan Fernando Laundry.jpg

Pemberley, Steve Jobs still the books we're buying

As they did last week, authors P.D. James and Walter Isaacson top the last pre-Christmas bestseller lists at Southern California indie bookstores.

KFI adds food show: 'The Fork Report'

Neil Saavedra, the KFI/AM 640 marketing director, will host the new Saturday afternoon show that's due to start Jan. 7.

City Attorney tallies up Occupy LA prosecutions

The office of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has just distributed a summary of Occupy members charged, sentenced or awaiting a resolution of their arrests in the Nov. 30 raid outside City Hall

End-of-year business (and slow down)

Instead of the traditional end-of-year look back, I'll be using the holiday down time to freshen up the site.

Best books published in California in 2011

Critic David Kipen's list of his favorite California-published books of the year includes "Los Angeles Stories" by Ry Cooder, "Tomorrow is Another Song" by the late Scott Wannberg, "Car-Free Los...

Yay, new bathrooms for the Hollywood Bowl

bowl-bathrooms.jpg The makeover project is costing $3 million and Mark Rios is the architect.

L.A. librarians pick the top books of 2011

rebels-in-paradise-cover.jpg The adult choices range from David Foster Wallace's "Pale King" to the new reissue of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" to baseball numbers guru Bill James opining on true crime cases.

Mountain lion cubs found under car in Burbank

cougar-cubs-burbank.jpg The pair of 5-pound cougars discovered beneath a parked car on Orange Grove Avenue apparently had not eaten in two weeks. They were taken to the California Wildlife Center in...

Tuesday news and notes

A roundup for a holiday week.

KTLA's Henry DiCarlo has a fit on the air

Video: KTLA's morning weatherman stalks off camera after his segment is cut.

Times 'terminates' blogging pressman Ed Padgett

ed-padgett.jpg He can't write yet about the reason, but it came as a surprise, Padgett says.

Cartoonist O'Connor done at Weekly

occupycityhall-oconnor.jpg Patrick O'Connor posts on his blog that "This week's cartoon is my last print cartoon for the LA Weekly. I've been on staff since January of 2009 and it's been...

On the work and lives of Ray and Charles Eames *

EamesXmas-682x1024.jpg American Masters on PBS on Monday night aired "Charles and Ray Eames: the Architect and the Painter," about the famed Los Angeles design team and couple.

Patriots paid for Villaraigosa tickets in Denver

mav-in-denver.jpg After my post last night about Mayor Villaraigosa attending Sunday's Broncos-Patriots game, City Hall reporters put the key questions to the mayor and his staff.

Turan: Fincher didn't get Lisbeth Salander

lisbeth-craig-bath.jpg Adding David Fincher to "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" story "has proved counterproductive," says the L.A. Times reviewer. A.O. Scott is more enthusiastic in the NYT.

Phil's Diner makes it 8 months, but that's it

phils-diner-2.jpg There's less demand in NoHo for an "organic, sustainable fast food restaurant that embraces local, hormone-free and pesticide-free food, compostable containers and other green components" that one might have thought.

Read the memo: LAT adding political cartoonist

he Los Angeles Times has tapped Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist David Horsey to revamp the Top of the Ticket politics blog with cartoons and commentary.

Jerry Brown's best Jack Palance imitation

jerry-brown-pushup.jpg Gov. Jerry Brown's wife, Anne Gust, just tweeted this picture of hubby doing a pushup.

Dan Walters surrenders to the Twitter

Dan Walters, the venerable political presence in Sacramento, is the latest holdout to fall.

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.19.11

City Council tensions, Bay Area's Warren Hellman dies, giving credit to Dalton Trumbo and celebrating Esther MCCoy, plus more.

Sex, cheerleaders and Jackie Johnson?

cbs2-jackie-johnson-refers.jpg I can't imagine that Channel 2 weathercaster Jackie Johnson could be too happy at how the station's website arranges its photo galleries.

Jumping the gun on LACMA's big rock *

rock-photo-w-figs1.jpg The Levitated Mass boulder is still in Riverside County, despite what Los Angeles magazine says.

Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset closes Monday

sarah-mason-soqui.jpg Two local Hamlets remain from the chain that made its mark in part by hiring African Americans in visible positions when many L.A. restaurants didn't.

Villaraigosa pops up at Broncos-Patriots game

mav-in-denver.jpg Getty Images photographed Villaraigosa on the Denver sideline with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, left, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Viewers as lab rats at the end of TV's 'golden age'

danes-as-carrie.jpg Heather Havrilesky's immediate point in the NYT Magazine is her disappointment in "Homeland" and "American Horror Story."

North Korea announces death of leader Kim Jong Il

kim-jong-il-mug.jpg Death was attributed to a "severe myocardial infarction along with a heart attack" in the report on North Korea television in Pyongyang, delivered by a tearful woman dressed in black.

LAT photo gallery from Iraq *

c-cole-iraq-lat.jpg With the last American troops crossing out of Iraq into Kuwait tonight, the L.A. Times photo blog Framework has posted an impressive gallery of images from the war.

Volleyball women win UCLA's 108th national title

ucla-wvb-fingers.jpg Tonight at the Alamodome in San Antonio, UCLA's women's volleyball team beat Illinois to win the NCAA national championship.

Pomona Freeway reopens both directions

Westbound lanes of the 60 freeway were opened about 11 a.m. on Saturday. The eastbound lanes were back in service by about 3 p.m.

Surviving Beach Boys to tour, make album for 50th year

beach-boys-surfin-usa-album.jpg News item: Brian Wilson will rejoin the Beach Boys to make a 50th anniversary album and go on tour.

Bryan Stow speaks on camera for first time

bryan-stow-tv-grab.jpg NBC bills it as an interview with the Santa Cruz paramedic who was beaten at Dodger Stadium on opening day of the past season, possibly because he was a Giants fan.

Kobe and Vanessa Bryant to divorce

It's her move, says TMZ, which reported that Vanessa Bryant cited "irreconcilable differences" in Friday's Orange County filing and that a source says "the last straw" was infidelity.

Edison worker kills 2 colleagues, wounds 2 others

edison-irwindale-abc7grab.jpg The employee at Southern California Edison's information technology facility in Irwindale, reportedly a systems analyst, began methodically shooting co-workers this afternoon before killing himself.

Fela's long connection with Los Angeles

fela-and-tom-1986.jpg Fela Anikulapo-Kuti was on stage in 1986 when KCRW held its first live music show ever, at the Olympic Auditorium.

Bonds gets 30 days at home in Beverly Hills, plus probation

Baseball's all-time home run leader can appeal before serving his sentence.

KPCC refines job posting for new co-host

mbrand-crop.jpg The posting for a new co-host to work with Madeleine Brand has reached Journalism Jobs, and it's a little more svelte than the original detailed posting we told you about...

Sarah Spitz gets a sendoff from KCRW

Sarah-spitz-plants.jpg The station's longtime producer, voice and spokeswoman has a note on the KCRW members blog.

Guess who lies the most in political polls

It's not the respondents who call themselves likely voters, though they lie too.

Morning Buzz: Friday 12.16.11

Pomona Freeway stays closed, State Senate pays for sexual claim against Rod Wright, Villaraigosa defends Asia trip, Hahn won't endorse and another housing authority report tonight on "SoCal Connected."

Christopher Hitchens, writer was 62 *

hitchens-2004-vf.jpg The author and Vanity Fair contributing editor has died of cancer at a hospital in Houston, the magazine announced.

A gray wolf could be approaching California - first since 1924

orgeon-wolf-map.jpg Wildlife trackers in Oregon have followed a lone male gray wolf on a 730-mile trek across the state, south toward the border with California. "He could be in Yreka in two days if he wanted to be," a California fish and game official says.

Text links disguised as a rant about L.A.?

times-square-chairs-jg.jpg The item on the Huffington Post site about New York City doesn't feel right.

Getty Research Institute acquires two Man Ray archives

lips-manray.jpg Manuscripts, correspondence, calendars and other archival materials are included in the acquisitions, as well as some photographs of course.

Read the memo: L.A.'s Latino Patch sites launch

The note is from Marcia Parker, West Coast Editorial Director for AOL's Patch websites.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 12.15.11

60 freeway stays closed into weekend, Laura Chick endorses Buscaino, Gerald Rivera coming to L.A. talk radio, the Kinde Durkee story, Golden Globe nominations and the owner of Junior's Deli dies — plus more.

LA Weekly's ten best burgers

billhirokosburger-law.jpg The list ranges from Mom's to Lazy Ox Canteen.

This could be L.A.'s most secret courthouse *

mental-health-court-regardie.jpg Not many people probably know that there is a Mental Health Courthouse in Los Angeles County, or that when you report for Superior Court jury duty Downtown you could be sent to this building on San Fernando Road.

Shopping for the holidays: SoCal's bestselling books

pemberley.jpg P.D. James claims the top fiction spot with "Death Comes to Pemberley."

In the end, Clippers land Chris Paul

chris-paul-clippers-grab.jpg The point guard the Lakers coveted is coming to L.A. anyway, he just won't have the nice dressing room.

Metro's blog responds to Reason video on trains

light-rail-long-beach.jpg The MTA, not surprisingly, didn't care for Reason.tv's lampoon of light rail the other day.

Time's 'Protester' cover an L.A. production *

sarah-mason-soqui.jpg Time's Person of the Year cover was designed by Shepard Fairey from a Ted Soqui photograph of an Occupy LA protester in Downtown.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.14.11

LAUSD cuts, animal shelter tech fired, a 2006 view of Herb Wesson, the Christian film John Atterberry was working on, a Lenin bust on La Brea and more.

L.A. celebrates la Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

Family-guadalupe-mccollister.jpg Kevin McCollister, the photographer whose book and blog are both called "East of West L.A.," was out Sunday and Monday nights for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Times frames Stanton's exit in the context of cuts

news-box-lat-dn.jpg In its story tonight about editor Russ Stanton stepping down, the Los Angeles Times introduces in the fourth paragraph the idea that the "mutual decision" to leave comes amid dissension over more newsroom cuts. Did the axe man lose his stomach for more cuts?

Herb Wesson endorses Buscaino

It can't be a bad sign for your chances when the incoming president of the City Council publicly endorses your campaign to be elected to said council.

NBC 4 dropping Jennifer Bjorklund

Jennifer+Bjorklund+16x9.jpg Shock and dismay in the Burbank newsroom over News Director Vicky Burns deciding to let reporter and sometime-anchor Jennifer Bjorklund go.

Russ Stanton's last memo to the LA Times staff

russstanton.jpg Russ Stanton, who stepped down today as editor of the Los Angeles Times, sent this note to the staff. A note from LAT president Kathy Thomson follows.

Editor change at the Times: Stanton out, Maharaj in *

davan-maharaj.jpg The Times story says simply that Russ Stanton "will step down as the editor and executive vice president of the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 23," and that Managing Editor Davan Maharaj will take over the top newsroom job.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 12.13.11

More Housing Authority, poll says Brown looks good on taxes, Brokaw and Olney to be feted, and more.

Mountain roads closed by snow

sandberg-sign.jpg Lots of roads in the higher elevations of Los Angeles County are having snow closures after Monday's storm.

Baseball's new media dress code (mostly for women and bloggers)

heidi-androl-handzus-eyes.jpg Major League Baseball and its partner association of sportswriters have become the first major sport to issue dress guidelines for the media working games. It applies to camera people and...

DWP cafeteria to open again?

dwp-building-lao.jpg The Department of Water and Power has apparently decided to reopen its once well-regarded cafeteria to the public, KPCC says.

Reason's take on L.A. light rail: too expensive, too slow *

The libertarians at Reason.tv made an entertaining video on traveling by rail from LAX to Burbank, accompanied by their research on how much the public subsidizes the transit system.

Video: CNS reporter's arrest differs from LAPD account

beck-villaraigosa-occupynight.jpg In an Occupy video of the Nov. 30 LAPD raid outside City Hall, City News Service reporter Calvin Milam is observed being thrown to the ground and arrested after he crosses (outbound) through the police skirmish line.

John Atterberry, music executive shot at Sunset and Vine was 40

The music industry veteran who was shot in his Mercedes by Tyler Brehm in Friday's rampage in Hollywood died of his injuries this afternoon, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center announced.

Kings fire their coach

terry-murray-kings.jpg And just because it's been one of those sports weeks, the Los Angeles Kings have removed coach Terry Murray — "relieved him of his duties," in press release speak.

As the L.A. sports world turns

And we thought the Frank and Jamie McCourt melodrama was intense.

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.12.11

Good deed by music writer Kevin Bronson, Ridley-Thomas responds to Times, Mike Downey has an idea for the Dodgers, Steve Lopez writes on his father's deteriorating choices and Bill Moyers returns to KCET

LA Sketchbook: Bull-it train

qqBull_It1.jpg

Antonio Banderas' code name for Obama visit

obamajam-creshts-1011.jpg You can probably guess handle the Secret Service used for the actor.

Kobe, other Lakers really won't like this *

world-peace-jersey-duran.jpg Sunday was media day at the Lakers training camp in El Segundo. Then the Clippers traded (apparently) for Chris Paul.

Hollywood shooting notes

Top aide to Mayor Villaraigosa heard the shots and the screams, and a local photojournalist takes the money shot of the gunman lying wounded.

Video: Orcas making their way down the coast

The pod of 12 killer whales logged previously in British Columbia was spotted off Ventura on Friday, off Rancho Palos Verdes on Saturday and off Newport Beach today.

'The Descendants' is #1 for L.A. Film Critics Association

The L.A. Film Critics Association is tweeting out the news from their annual vote.

Alec Baldwin gets even with American Airlines (on SNL)

Guest spot on 'Weekend Update' as the pilot that threw him off his AA flight at LAX.

Lakers trade Odom to Mavericks, Times says

The Lakers get a first-round pick in 2012 from Dallas for Lamar Odom, who came back to the team after his trade to New Orleans (with Pau Gasol for Chris Paul) was voided by the league.

Fairly big quake in southern Mexico

The earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.7 struck in Guerrero state about 5:45 p.m. our time.

ESPN Films does Todd Marinovich story

The producers of the documentary on the troubled life of USC football phenom Todd Marinovich premiering tonight on ESPN write that "for six months we tried to track him down and were greeted with radio silence."

Photos of Carleton Watkins, today at the library

la-placita-lao.jpg This amazing photograph of the old Plaza downtown, and showing La Placita and Fort Moore Hill in the background, is one of the 19th century treasures by photographer Carleton Watkins.

Metro confirms trouble with 405 retaining wall

I-405-logo-color.jpg Metro says it has no cause yet for the failure of a retaining wall section on the 405 freeway improvement project in Sepulveda Pass.
pujols-signs-with-angels.jpg Fans are invited to today's 11:30 a.m. press conference at the stadium in Anaheim where the Angels will show off the newest SoCal megastar.

Donate your theater programs to the L.A. Public Library

lapl-theater-program.jpg The Central Library has an impressive collection already and is looking for more.

This morning's lunar eclipse

sm-eclipse-citrano.jpg "Man, was it *cold* up there on the bluffs!," says Venice photographer Anthony Citrano.

Doug McIntyre returns to KABC-AM drive time

doug-mcintyre-ocr.jpg The longtime talk radio host takes over mornings from Peter Tilden, paired with Terri-Rae Elmer, until this week a fixture at KFI.

Loney says he wasn't loaded or arrested

Dodgers first baseman James Loney says he remembers colliding with the first car on the 101 freeway on Nov. 14, and hitting his head, then nothing more until he woke up in the hospital and was sent home.

Watch for a red moon late tonight

Tonight's total lunar eclipse begins at 4:45 a.m., reaches its peak about 6 a.m., and is expected to create a deep red shade on the moon with a hint of turquoise. NASA explains in the video.

Got to admire the councilman's sense of history

sunland-protest-50s.jpg City Councilman Paul Krekorian's latest emailed newsletter got my attention, and not for any of the headlines or stories.

Lindsay Lohan's jailhouse nude photos posted online

lohan-nude-thumb.jpg Actually, it's the pictorial spread the former actress did for Playboy. Here's one somewhat safe for work example.

Odom says he'll be NBA fan 'from a distance' for awhile *

Lamar Odom was a no-show at Lakers camp today and from the sounds of it, he doesn't intend to make an appearance any time soon.

Xeni Jardin writes about her breast cancer

xeni-cancer.jpg Anyone who has spent much time around new media and blogs in the past ten years, especially in Los Angeles, has read or heard Xeni Jardin.

So, just to review on James Loney

Even the janitors at the New York Post and NY Daily News are probably having a good laugh about La-La-Land and the "citizen journalism" power of Twitter and cellphone cameras.

Video of shooter at Sunset and Vine

Twitter video from above shows the gunman in the Hollywood intersection and cars jamming on the brakes and making u-turns to escape. The gunman was later killed by police....

Reality hits home at Voice of San Diego

Award-winning site lays off four, cuts budget and refocuses the core mission.

Morning Buzz: Friday 12.9.11

Prop. 8, Kinde Durkee, Walmart pepper spray, Occupy LA arrestee and more.

Fruit sellers of Los Angeles

StellaAjose_FruitSellers_3.jpg Stella Ajose, a photography student from Russia, has been shooting a series of pictures of immigrant fruit vendors on the streets around L.A.

Zev: State's rule on tickets amnesty is crazy

chp-stop.jpg On January 1, a new amnesty program allows drivers who ignored their traffic tickets before 2009 to pay half of what they owe and clear their record. The Legislature saw...

New column: A Muslim Girl in O.C.

Reporter Mona Shadia, who was born in Egypt, has been assigned to write a weekly column about living as a Muslim-American in Orange County for the three Times Community News papers.

NBA kills trade for Chris Paul, and Odom asks 'now what?'

Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol now have to report to Lakers camp on Friday.

Berman gets help from 22 California Dems

berman-invite-dc.jpg Berman's friends in the House are lending their name to a "California wine tasting" fundraiser next week in Washington.

Mayor's administration can't keep story straight on Montiel deal

In stories posted within minutes of each other, one top deputy to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says the mayor most everything, and another says he knew nothing.

Now interim head of Housing Authority forced to step down *

rudy-montiel-kcet.jpg Even though Mayor Villaraigosa's office now admits the boss approved the sweet golden parachute with Rudolf Montiel, interim Housing Authority chief Ken Simmons "is resigning at the Mayor's request."

Whoa, Lakers deal for Chris Paul on hold - maybe dead

gasol-archbishop-cardinal.jpg A wild twist to an already topsy-turvy day, says the L.A. Times reporter.

'Unfortunately, The Huntington was significantly affected'

huntington-tree-down.jpg President of the Huntington Library and botanical gardens asks for financial help to clean up "extensive" damage from last week's winds.

Oops, mayor did OK million-dollar payout to housing chief *

KCET quotes deputy chief of staff saying Villaraiogsa knew of and approved deal with Rudolf Montiel.

Happy 20th to 'Harbor Freeway Overture'

harbor-fwy-mural-laco.jpg Kent Twitchell's mural of L.A. Chamber Orchestra players started going up in 1991

Meanwhile, Dodgers' first baseman arrested after crash

James Loney allegedly hit several cars, exhibited strange behavior and was taken to the hospital and put in leg and arm restraints after last month's crash, TMZ reports.

Angels sign Albert Pujols for ten years

pujols-signs-with-angels.jpg Baseball's biggest free agent, possibly ever, is coming to play in Los Angeles of Anaheim.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 12.8.11

Edison says the power is on, more Housing Authority on KCET, who really runs the jails, Romney leaves town with $1 million, Joan Didion on "Bookworm" and more.

SoCal bestsellers: Connelly surges to the top

It didn't take long for Michael Connelly's newest Harry Bosch mystery to take over the top spot in Southern California independent bookstores.

SPJ's 5 'Distinguished Journalist' winners for the year

The Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will honor these local journalists.

Barbara Orbison dies on same date as Roy

roy_barbara_orbison.jpg Barbara Orbison, who was 60, died here in Los Angeles on Dec. 6, the 23rd anniversary of the death of her husband Roy Orbison.

Autumn colors come to Los Angeles

meg-sullivan-autumn.jpg Meg Sullivan photograph from the Rancho Park neighborhood.

Harry Morgan, actor was 96

harry-morgan-webb.jpg Wow, just take a look at Harry Morgan's career.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.7.11

Mayor chooses distance from Housing Authority scandal, DWP approves water rate increase, more politics and media notes, plus the most powerful images of 2011.

Janet Fitch's tribute to 'a fallen giantess'

janet-fitch-eucalyptus.jpg On her blog, the novelist uses verse to mark the century-old eucalyptus' passage into firewood and sawdust.

Mayor flies out of Beijing smog

mav-in-china-2011.jpg I was told by City Hall late tonight that Villaraigosa's group did fly out to Chongqing without incident. Plus a fashion report on Lu Parker.

Here's something I don't like

craig-huey-sign.jpg Candidates who don't clean up their old campaign signs.

Artist draws the NPR voices in his head

NPR-voices-cartoon.jpg Artist Gaelan Kelly draws what public radio reporters and hosts look like in his head, based on their voices.

Dobie Gray, singer was 71

Dobie Gray, born in Texas, moved to Los Angeles in the early 1960s to be an actor but had greater success as a singer. (He did spend a couple of...

Rodney King sells his memoir to HarperOne

rodney-king-patch.jpg Coming in time for next April's 20th anniversary of the so-called Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, King has signed with HarperOne to deliver his memoir: "The Riot Within."

Laura Chick chides officials on sweet Housing Authority deal

Controller Wendy Greuel and her predecessor issue letters on the deal given Rudolf Montiel.

Sonenshein named to head Pat Brown Institute

Raphael J. Sonenshein, the Cal State Fullerton professor, author and analyst of Los Angeles politics, has been named executive director of the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 12.6.11

Voters want a do-over on high speed rail, DWP board takes up rate hike, a different Villaraigosa joins the Young Democrats, naming a Navy ship after Cesar Chavez and more.

Altadena will turn on its Christmas lights Saturday

altadena-treedown-patch.jpg Volunteers have restrung most of the the wind-damaged lights on Altadena's traditional Christrmas Tree Lane and say they will flip the switch on Saturday at 6 p.m. — as scheduled before last week's freak wind event.

So there's a little tar in Ballona Creek

upper-watershed-with-commen.jpg L.A. Creek Freak pretty much destroys the official notion that an oily sheen on the runoff in Ballona Creek comes from overflows at the La Brea Tar Pits — or is even a problem at all worth spending millions to fix.

Zocalo's ten favorite nonfiction books of 2011

manana-forever-cover.jpg As the year winds down, says Zócalo Public Square, "we want to give a shout-out to the books that incited our passions, changed our minds, or made proselytizers out of...

Dreaming of (under) the 7th Street bridge

7th-street-bridge-mercado.jpg Fun story on Off-Ramp over the weekend about architect Arthur Golding's concept of an open-air mercado with cafes spanning the Los Angeles River.

Samuel French to close Valley store, keep Hollywood

samuel-frencyh-studio-city.jpg This isn't a total dose of bad bookstore news, just a demi-dose for people in Valleywood.
dragon-tattoo-uncensored.jpg In exchange for a special early viewing of David Fincher's "Girl With a Dragon Tattoo," David Denby and other members of the New York Film Critics Circle agreed to embargo any reviews.

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.5.11

Brown's poll numbers, $1 million-plus for Rudy Montiel, JIm Newton calls for a raise in DWP rates, and Giuliana Rancic goes for the double mastectomy.
The amateur musical groups selected to perform in the free holiday concert at the Music Center on Christmas Eve get 20 minutes each to rehearse — in one day-long marathon on the fourth floor of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. LA Observed was there Saturday.

Bill Fulton to end run as mayor of Ventura, leave California

bill-fulton-mug.jpg Bill Fulton, a well-known writer on California affairs and the nitty gritty of urban planning before and since he became an elected official in Ventura, is moving away largely because he is losing his eyesight to retinitis pigmentosa.

Blogger draws front page of L.A. Times every day

lat-front-page-drawn.jpg Today, like every other day this year, artist Erik Shveima will interpret what he sees on the front page of the Los Angeles Times and post his drawing on his blog.

Viggo Mortensen's relationship with L.A.

With some of his “Rings” earnings, he founded Perceval Press, a small L.A.-based publishing house specializing in art books and poetry.

Shaun Lumachi, Long Beach Post co-founder was 33

Lumachi died early Saturday in a car accident in Florida, where he was attending a conference in St. Petersburg.

Ray Bradbury's typewriter *

bradbury-typewriter-soboroff.jpg Steve Soboroff shared a photo after last week's news about the e-book of "Fahrenheit 451." Plus: a typewriter documentary?

Cain 'suspends' his campaign

He cites distractions and blames enemies and the media, of course.

San Fernando gets more interesting

hernandez-sanfernando-back.jpg San Fernando Mayor Mario Hernandez is expected to face a crowd calling for his resignation at next week's City Council meeting, but his girlfriend will be in Israel.

Friday desk clearing

Media and politics notes, plus a Hollywood obituary and more.

County arboretum left in a real mess

arboretum-damage-3.jpg Over half the specimens at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden suffered some kind of wind damage. Sobering pictures.

Housing Authority spending on SoCal Connected

Tonight's report, at 8:30 p.m., focuses on extravagant spending by the agency and its officials, including on personal items.

Barnes & Noble looking for new Westside location

barnes-noble-westside.jpg Confirming what we reported in October, Barnes & Noble stores CEO Mitchell Klipper says the only reason the store is leaving Westside Pavilion is the mall's rent hike when the...

Also: Mono Lake tufa to stay open

monolake-southtufa-jg.jpg The state has taken the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve off the parks closure list.

Sustained winds at Mammoth: 150+ miles an hour

The National Weather Service update for Mammoth Mountain contained a startling fact.

Wildlife Waystation puts out desperate call for money

lion-waystation-dn.jpg The animal sanctuary on Little Tujunga Canyon Road is again on the verge of financial collapse and closure, founder Martine Colette says.

Morning Buzz: Friday 12.2.11

San Gabriel Valley catches a break from winds, Occupy LA arrestees still in jail, Villaraigosa headed to Asia and Cuomo coming to town, plus more.

Shopping cart Christmas tree

shopping-cart-xmas.jpg Main Street, Santa Monica by Judy Graeme.

Now that's an occupation

occupy-germany.jpg Protesters occupy railroad tracks in a German forest to block a train carrying nuclear waste.

Almost 300,000 customers still without power *

pasadena-tree-down-cbs.jpg What's that, half a million people in the Los Angeles metropolitan area bedding down for a second night without electricity?

How windy was it? Surf's up at Tahoe

tahoe-surfing.jpg A couple of hardy surfers hit the waves today on Lake Tahoe — at 6,225 feet above sea level.

L.A. winds: visuals tell the story

los-feliz-deodars.jpg DWP's map of outages is impressive. Plus: historic Los Feliz deodars down.

Sergeant to the stars hangs up his poker face

lohan-wheatcroft.jpg Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson, Phil Spector, even Conrad Murray — Sgt. Steve Wheatcroft has walked them all past the paparazzi and into court.

On the Occupy LA box mural

occupy-mural-oberstein.jpg Ed Fuentes, the Downtown photographer and muralist, examines the case for preserving the mural created on the plywood box that city crews had erected in the Occupy LA camp to protect a fountain.

Pasadena red tags 42 buildings due to wind damage

Pasadena really took the brunt of last night's wind storm.

How all this wind got started

pressure-map-cliffmass.jpg The air over the Pacific Northwest has been at his highest barometric pressure in a long time. Instant wind down here.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 12.1.11

Winds close schools and more, Baca was told of jail abuse but did nothing, Occupy LA aftermath and more.
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
Australian Ballet and more
swan-lake-dp.jpg
The Australian Ballet's recent visit reviewed, plus Mahler's Fifth by Dudamel and the LA Phil. Donna Perlmutter
Streetscape: East Hollywood
beverlys-appliances-smblvd.jpgBeverly's Appliances, Santa Monica Boulevard
Al Satterwhite's photos of Muhammad Ali
ali-satterwhite-secret.jpgDavid Davis talks with the photographer about shooting a key chapter in Ali's career and a Kickstarter campaign to put out a book. Interview