LA Observed archive
for April 2012

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

The American Prospect may be on the ropes

the-american-prospect-cover.jpg The Washington liberal politics and policy magazine edited by Kit Rachlis, the former Los Angeles magazine editor, is in financial trouble. "I'm extremely hopeful that we'll be able to raise the money," Rachlis told Michael Calderone of the Huffington Post. Nonetheless, staffers were told last week that if donors don't cough up about $500,000, there was a possibility that "the Prospect's last issue as currently constituted would be the July/August issue."

Howard Berman unveils a Golden endorsement

The Berman campaign is rolling out a video spot with the backing of Betty White, the seemingly timeless former star of TV's "Golden Girls." She appears in the commercial with actress Wendie Malick talking up Berman, who is facing fellow Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman in the June primary. Berman is "the Valley leader who fights for the humane treatment of all animals," says White, who is known as an animal activist. "And he has very nice blue eyes." Watch the video.

Baca can be sued for jail violence, court rules

baca-in-dc.jpg The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Sheriff Lee Baca and let stand a ruling that says he can be personally sued for racial violence in the county jails, which Baca's department runs.

NYT eats tacos with OC's Gustavo Arellano

gustavo-arellano-nyt-mitla-ak.jpg The dateline is San Bernardino, where followers of Arellano's taco chronicles know is the home of Mitla Cafe, the Route 66 roadhouse where Taco Bell reportedly got its original taco recipe.

Beck on how the riots changed him and LA

beck-villaraigosa-occupynight.jpg LAPD chief Charlie Beck writes in an LA Times op-ed piece that the riots 20 years ago were "a defining point in the history of the LAPD and, for me personally, a life-changing event. I knew in my heart then that we had to completely change the way we policed this city."

Morning Buzz: Monday 4.30.12

Wingnuts tie coroner technician's death to Breitbart, who died where during thje 1992 riots, a journalist admits a little rioting of his own, Jerry Brown on "Face the Nation," unions versus Villaraigosa, the Times endorses Berman over Sherman and more.

Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius

RalphLawler-kcrw.jpg Here's a side of Clippers' play-by-play man Ralph Lawler that you probably didn't know. The 1960s stage musical "Hair" changed his life. He's this week's guest DJ on KCRW.

Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'

USC professor of physics and astronomy Clifford Johnson has been waiting for a train line to campus. He's been known to pedal his bike to USC and to ride transit all over Los Angeles. On Saturday he finally rode the Expo Line and shot a video.
lmu-bluff-sign.jpg Since 2000, drivers to Loyola Marymount University have parked for free. That's about to change, but not without controversy.

Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way

dodger-stadium-42812-srr.jpg I caught a great night at Dodger Stadium, with plenty of interesting little plot turns and a walk-off home run to send everybody home happy. Plus the Kings win game one in St. Louis and the Lakers and Clippers prepare to start their playoffs.

LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations

LAT-A1-May-1-1992-crop.jpg Some days after the 1992 riots had begun to calm down, LA Times editors selected some of the staff's writers to produce first-person stories about what the violence meant to them as Angelenos. On Saturday, the Times ran fresh pieces from Patt Morrison, Elaine Woo, Greg Braxton and, sitting in for George Ramos — who died last year — Hector Tobar. They are good — go read them.

LA Weekly's executive editor in '92 details riot coverage

from-the-ashes.jpg Harold Meyerson, the LA Weekly's executive editor and chief political writer at the time of the Los Angeles riots in 1992, is one of the alumni whose jaw dropped when the current LA Weekly posted a blog item yesterday claiming that the alt-weekly did not cover the riots when they happened. (Alas, I fell for it.) In a note to LA Observed, Meyerson explains what actually went on.

Los Angeles more worldly since '92, LA Times 'more insular'

PeterHong-240x300.jpg Peter Hong was a reporter at the Los Angeles Times who, he writes today, got his newsroom job because of the 1992 riots that tore up Los Angeles after the acquittal of white LAPD officers in Simi Valley. His career "roughly covered the rise and fall of newsroom diversity." Now he's a deputy to Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Balboa Island has to decide if it believes in global warming

Balboa Island for LAO.jpg A piece in Orange Coast magazine focuses on the dilemma in OC's Newport Harbor where the good Republicans of Balboa Island either believe the Pacific is rising and need an $80 million seawall — and soon — or they believe Rush Limbaugh and friends that global warming is a creation of the loony left.

Police union's take on what we've learned from the riots

In its communication this week on the riots, the Police Protective League downplays the role of the riots in changing the department. It includes an interesting stat: about 7 in 9 of today's officers were not in the LAPD at the time of the riots, or by extension at the time that Rodney King was beaten in the dark on Foothill Boulevard.

More recommended media coverage of the riots

Trying to get a handle on highlights from the Los Angeles Times, KPCC and other sources.
shelby-coffey-mug.jpg One of the milestones of LA Times lore from Shelby Coffey's era as editor was his use of scissors to repel rioters trying to climb through a smashed window in the LAT Magazine's first-floor suite. He writes about the episode at the Daily Beast.

When LA Weekly (did) cover the riots *

akbars-riot-tshirts.jpg According to LA Weekly blogger Simone Wilson, who went back through the paper's archives, in 1992 "two full issues went by without any mention of the riots." She was wrong. The LA Weekly covered the riots in a big way. Wilson has posted a correction.

20 years since the riots with Warren Olney and 'Which Way, LA?'

warren-olney-2007-marc-goldstein.jpg There has been so much terrific journalism published and aired and posted around the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 riots. It's been an especially awesome week for "Which Way, LA?", started by KCRW right after the riots with Warren Olney providing the steady hand.

Bill Skowron, ex-Dodger and Angel was 81

bill-skowron-card.jpg Back when most baseball players were lean and a little mean, Bill Skowron looked like his nickname: Moose. He was big and muscular, but he actually got the name in childhood because somebody thought he resembled the Italian dictator Mussolini. Obit material

Expo Line grand opening at noon hour on Friday

expo-park-usc-station.jpg The grand opening to unveil the new Expo Line light rail train is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at the 7th Street/Metro station in downtown. That kicks off a weekend...

Kumar vs Smith: the political power in a name

bill-300.jpg In his column over at the Jewish Journal, Bill Boyarsky looks at the ballot battle over a judgeship that once again appears to be a case of a challenger trying to capitalize on a sitting judge having an ethnic name. The highly ranked incumbent is Superior Court Judge Sanjay T. Kumar. The challenger is a guy named Smith. And that's all most voters will know when they look at their ballots.

Officer saves choking infant before nabbing robbery suspect

West Covina police officer Eduardo Flores had a busy morning on Monday.

Morning Buzz: Friday 4.27.12

Studio City's red curb vandal, Browns and Villaraigosa head to DC to schmooze, MTA also approves Regional Connector, more revelations from the assessor's office, staffers exit Daily Journal and more.

Transferred Miramonte teachers wait - and learn to sew

Remember all those teachers who were summarily moved out of Miramonte Elementary School after two teachers were accused of sexually attacking children at the school? Fox 11's Phil Shuman found out what they are doing. It isn't teaching.

Bestselling books of the week in SoCal stores

50ShadesofGreyCoverArt.jpg "The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection," "Wild," "Fifty Shades of Grey" and a certain bossypants comedian lead the lists. Turns out SoCal women like their spanking stories too.

Lloyd Wright's Moore house demolished in Palos Verdes

moore-house-after-pv.jpg The Los Angeles Conservancy says that the 1959 home by architect Lloyd Wright was torn down on Wednesday, "the day after the Palos Verdes Estates City Council denied the Conservancy's appeal of the decision to allow the home's demolition."

Silver Lake Badminton and Adventurers Club solves the crime

fernando-fernando-clue.jpg "In a world full of secrets, lies, and depravity, there are some crimes that the police are just too mainstream to handle. Enter: The Silver Lake Badminton and Adventurers club. The heros Silver Lake deserves but hasn't necessarily heard of yet."

Federal judge in LA files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Judge Otis Wright II, a George W. Bush appointee who was confirmed in 2007, has filed for personal bankruptcy, "a rare thing for a federal judge." His home in Rancho Palos Verdes will be put on the market.
westside-subway-logo.jpg The Metro board of directors today certified the Westside Subway Extension’s Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report, approving the route and station locations for the first phase out to La Cienega Boulevard.
atocha-madrid-flavorwire.jpg Flavorpill's Los Angeles bias is showing through again — not that we're complaining. Its Flavorwire site has put Union Station, sometimes called the last great American rail station to be built, in 1939, high on its aggregation of The Most Beautiful Train Stations in the World.

LAPD, Trutanich add more muscle around USC

usc-students-killed-nt.jpg Think this is serious? Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and the president of USC, C.L. Max Nikias, all threw a press conference this morning to try to assure parents, students and potential students — here and abroad — that the neighborhood around the campus is safe. More cops and prosecutors are among the steps.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.26.12

More on Noguez, Board of Education maps, Ridley-Thomas on the probation department, Sexy Frisbees and the new Pacific Standard magazine.

Hollywood Reporter gets political

hollywood_reporter_political_issue.jpg The Hollywood Reporter includes in its May 4 issue a 20-page special report on politics that "examines the complicated relationship between Hollywood and politics." It leads with a profile by contributing editor Tina Daunt of Obama fundraisers and power couple Ted Sarandos, the chief of content for Netflix, and Nicole Avant, the president's former ambassador to The Bahamas. "Sarandos is the man everyone in Hollywood wants a meeting with," says the trade. Included is what THR is calling "a guide to 20 of the biggest political players in Hollywood, including George Clooney, J.J. Abrams, Haim Saban and Ron Meyer."

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.25.12

Enthusing about those Hollywood arson fires, Villaraigosa vs Jerry Brown, Fred Karger's Sexy Frisbee video kicked off YouTube, a condom billboard in Van Nuys and Blogdowntown's original blogger leaves town.

The other horrible April 29 date in Los Angeles history

lapl-on-fire.jpg April 29, 1986 — the day the Central Library was torched by an arsonist. The building didn't reopen for good until 1993. Some 200,000 books were destroyed, plus irreplaceable periodicals, drawings from patents, historic maps, fine art prints, photography negatives and newspaper archives.

Q&A with Griffith Observatory curator Laura Danly

laura-danly-westways.jpg The only Griffith Observatory figure we usually hear about is Edwin Krupp, the longtime face of the institution who has done a thousand interviews if he's done one. Westways goes another way for its May Space issue.

Serial rapist who stopped in 2005 active again, LAPD says

teardrop-composites.jpg The so-called "teardrop rapist" appeared to stop in 2005 — at least no victims have come forth. Now DNA evidence ties the same criminal to a sexual assault last November around Adams and Normandie. Women should not walk alone at night, an official says. Video

One of those special athletes retired Monday

ivan-rodriguez.jpg Ivan Rodriguez arrived in Texas from Puerto Rico as a 19-year-old kid with a special arm. He was feted, back in Texas, as the man who caught the most games in the history of baseball.

Bruce Brugmann steps down from Bay Guardian

nude_beaches_banner.jpg Up in San Francisco today the 1960s survivor, the Bay Guardian, announced that co-publishers Bruce Brugmann and Jean Dibble "are stepping down from day-to-day operations at the paper." The Bay Guardian appeared on the streets in 1966, before the Summer of Love.

World Peace suspended for seven games, into playoffs

metta-gives-elbow.jpg The Lakers will be without Metta World Peace for the final game of the season and the first six games of the NBA playoffs, if they get that far. MWP was suspended for his unprovoked elbow to the head of Oklahoma City's James Harden, sidelining him with a concussion.

Tow truck guy leads LAPD on two-hour chase

Starts in the Valley around Magnolia and Woodman, moves slowly and almost politely through Hollywood, Los Feliz and Atwater Village, then into the city of Glendale.

Mountain lion killed in Sunland by state warden

lion-sunland-killed.jpg A Department of Fish and Game warden called to the scene of a mountain lion near homes in Sunland shot and killed the animal last Friday. DFG officials told KTLA the warden felt shooting the animal was necessary to keep the neighborhood safe.

Women's Conference will return to Long Beach

The California Women's Conference started by the wife of Gov. George Deukmejian in 1985, and made into a big event by Maria Shriver, will go on in September — under new organizers and without Gov. Brown.

KNBC 'live-tweeting' the run-up to '92 riots

real-time-riots-tweets.jpg This is more interesting than the exercise of tweeting the sinking of the Titanic, because as you read the mundane tick-tock of events from the trial of the officers who beat Rodney King you know that something really big is coming. The idea came from Olsen Ebright, a member of the digital team at NBC4.com.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.24.12

Death penalty to be on ballot, MTA dinged on civil rights, Berman fundraiser, Hefner bids Chicago farewell, the politics of "The Hunger Games: and more.

When Muhammad Ali boxed in LA - and posed for pictures *

clay-yorty-lapl.jpg I woke up this morning to an LA history story of a sort by Nick Roman of KPCC. He reported on the Los Angeles debut 50 years ago this week of the young heavyweight boxer Cassius Clay. Two years later, as Muhammad Ali, he joined the leader of the Nation of Islam on stage at the Olympic Auditorium.

MALDEF sues sheriff over withheld Ruben Salazar files

salazarstamp.jpg Two decades before the Rodney King verdict riots, the Eastside erupted over the Vietnam War and other issues. The events of that time still echo in the city.

Student apologizes to gay teacher, 39 years later

A newspaper story about a grown-up Huntington Beach kid who searched for his former teacher so he could apologize for a long-ago act tells us something about forgiveness, and memory, and life. The story unfolds in layers for him, the teacher and the writer of the story. Go read at the Portland Oregonian.

Breitbart died of steak and DNA, not left-wing conspiracy

andrew-breitbart-dies.jpg The news late last week from the LA County coroner must have hit some of Andrew Breitbart's more conspiracy-minded fans hard, kind of like the dissonance felt by the followers of that old clergyman who keeps proclaiming — then surviving — the end of the world. He died at 43 of heart disease and hardening of the arteries, the coroner concluded. Andrew did like his steak.

Lucy Delgado, Mothers of East LA founder was 87

mothers-at-cesar-chavez.jpg Lucy Delgado, the founder of the Mothers of East Los Angeles activist group that formed to fight construction of a prison in Boyle Heights, died on April 11. She lived her entire life in Boyle Heights.

'20/20' drives down Sunset Boulevard, talks to celebs

lou-adler-abcgrab.jpg ABC devoted a two-hour "20/20" special edition this past weekend to Sunset Boulevard, "a curving slice of American romance running from the rough edges of East LA through the music of Hollywood, past the riches of Beverly Hills and ending at the Pacific Ocean." Well, not quite East LA, or even the Eastside, but hey it's the promotional side of national news — what do they know.

Touring the sites of famous Julius Shulman photos in LA

stahl+house+pool+view.jpg The New York Times Travel section on Sunday offered a tour, with online slide show, of locations in the Los Angeles area that the late Julius Shulman photographed. "Shulman captured Los Angeles and its surroundings in the middle of the 20th century as the city was shedding its small-town roots and becoming an international capital."

Morning Buzz: Monday 4.23.12

AT&T's power in Sacramento, Blue Line woes, gay LA's man in the white House, tax relief for documentary filmmakers, local teacher wins top honor plus riots coverage and John Edwards.

Expo Line misses book festival by that much

usc-event-staff.jpg During both days of the book festival at USC this weekend, trains were running on the Expo Line just south of the campus. No riders, though. These were test runs. Would it have killed Metro to accelerate the opening one week with thousands of potential Expo Line users already going to USC?

Kings win in OT, advance to second round of NHL playoffs

kings-win-inot.jpg The Kings will get several days off before opening round two in St. Louis. The Kings had the worst record of any western team in the playoffs, so this is a major upset. Story and video clip

Portrait of a Bookstore to close on Tujunga Avenue

aroma-cafe-bookstore.jpg The store inside Aroma Cafe in Studio City closes May 17. "In the words of Orson Welles, 'If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.' This is our happy ending," a note says.

Fiction does have a winner at LA Times Book Prizes

Unlike the Pulitzer Prizes, the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes had no reluctance about giving awards to fiction books on Friday night.

The City Maven signs up with KPCC's website

The-Maven.jpg I missed this note on Alice Walton's site this morning. The City Hall reporter who launched The City Maven in 2010 as a newly minted master's degree holder will now blog on the KPCC website. Read more
SturgesHouse.jpg Pedro E Guerrero: Photographs of Modern Life" is on exhibition at the Woodbury University Hollywood Gallery through April 25. Guerrero, who is now 94, was a close friend of, and the photographer for, Frank Lloyd Wright.

From the Chicago Tribune...

"Facts is survived by two brothers, Rumor and Innuendo, and a sister, Emphatic Assertion."
 
Facts, 360 B.C.-A.D. 2012

Bob Dylan on the passing of Levon Helm

levon-helm-rs.jpg "He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about...." More inside.

Morning Buzz: Friday 4.20.12

LAPD cancelled the car impound of a city official's husband, Villaraigosa's budget, ex-appraiser admits trying to spur donations to Assessor John Noguez and more.

LA Observed at this year's Festival of Books

bill+boyarsky+latfob.jpg As usual, writers from LA Observed will be all over the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend at USC. I'll be there both days signing books and schmoozing with anyone who drops by.

Chinese students murdered near USC 'were nearly inseparable'

ying-wu-ming-qu.jpg Ying Wu and Ming Qu are profiled at USC's Neon Tommy by a Chinese journalism student who was able to gather information in Mandarin from social media. Corrina Shuang Liu writes that the pair came from humble backgrounds, unlike the image some believe that they were spoiled rich kids.

LA Times geography throws USC a curve

lat-grab-usc-violence.jpg Shooting the Times places "near USC" is actually five miles away in Baldwin Hills. The LA Times building itself is closer to the campus. For whatever reasons, grokking the inner map of Los Angeles is just not an LAT strength.

A sour prognosis on KCET's future

kcet-sign+lao.jpg There is no way, "absolutely no way, that KCET can survive as a television station," says the former head of the California Community Foundation.

Michael Heizer living at LACMA while he seats the boulder

rock-heizer-vevweb550.jpg The artist and his wife are staying in an Airstream trailer at LACMA during the installation of Levitated Mass. He gave architect Frank Gehry a tour of the site this week.

Scenes from a convention - Los Angeles, 1960

winogrand-LAconv-nyt-slide-RMHY.jpg The New York Times wants your help identifying people in photos by the late Garry Winogrand from the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in 1960.

First crash on the Expo Line? *

expo-line-rightofway.jpg The Los Angeles Fire Department's news feed this morning noted a car-vs-Metro train collision on South Hoover Street. Unless there's a gypsy train operating out there today, this can only mean one thing. (* OK, it's the third.)

Mayor walks out on Antonovich over 'gang-rape' quip

Dennis Romero at the LA Weekly is reporting that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stormed out of an MTA board meeting this morning after county supervisor Mike Antonovich, who is also on the board, characterized the mayor's call for extending the Measure R sales tax by saying something like communities are going to be "gang-raped again."
cenventtion-center-night-rendering.jpg AEG has posted on Facebook a series of new views of the proposed Farmers Field football stadium and the changes it would bring to the Convention Center and LA Live area. Here are a sample.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.19.12

More investigation of Assessor John Noguez, Villaraigosa's legacy, police union to sue over impounds, DA's race, Huffington gloats on 'Colbert Report," more Kardashian to Glendale fun and USC remembers the slain Chinese students.

Frantic searches to set up shop in tony parts of L.A.

intermix.jpg With consumer spending on the rise, especially among affluent shoppers, it's little wonder that merchants are starting to compete for the most desirable locations.
The two disturbing corpse photos from Afghanistan that the Los Angeles Times published today were the least gruesome of the 18 that the paper received from a solider in the 82nd Airborne, reporter David Zucchino said.

Jesse Linares, city editor was 49 *

jesse-linares-hoy.jpg Jesse Linares, the city editor of Hoy Los Angeles, died on Saturday after a battle with cancer. From El Salvador, he had previously worked in the newsroom at La Opinión.

Dick Clark, TV music pioneer was 82 *

americanband-clark.jpg Television legend Dick Clark has died. The popularizer of "American Bandstand" in Philadelphia in the 1950s went on to become a true TV programming impresario. "The oldest living teenager" reportedly suffered a heart attack this morning after an outpatient procedure at St. John's hospital in Santa Monica.

Kings go for sweep on bi-national TV *

richard+carter+lakings.jpg The Kings have wrapped up their morning skate in El Segundo and tonight try to upset the NHL's top team and advance to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Local TV will only be on NBC Sports Network on cable, reportedly with a Canadian feed.

LA Times' use of dead Afghan photos explodes into big issue *

At the Times website, editor Davan Maharaj and national editor Roger Smith took part in a live chat with readers this morning. "At the end of the day, our job is to publish information that our readers need to make informed decisions," Maharaj said.

Website relaunched for Los Angeles Review of Books *

larb-website-grab.jpg Nicely done. They wanted to be able to show off the mass of great content already on the site, plus new features, and that they have. The relaunch comes with a call for voluntary memberships to help pay for the online review.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.18.12

USC police shoot a robbery suspect, LAT publishes photos of dead bodies from Afghanistan, advance look at Mayor Villaraigosa's state of the city talk, he's dinged for his support of gay marriage, probation offices ban kids from Homeboy Industries and more.

Kerri Walsh, now a mother of two, is back to try it again

Video: Two-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh of Manhattan Beach tells NBC 4 that she and beach volleyball partner Misty May-Treanor are going for the gold again in London.

Soboroff's typewriters cross over to LA Times

bradbury-typewriter-soboroff.jpg Steve Soboroff, the former city commissioner and candidate for mayor who took a brief spin with Frank McCourt at Dodger Stadium last year, has become pretty well known for his personal typewriter collection. We've written about it a few times, other blogs have. Now it's the LA Times' turn.

Peeking into Wilshire Boulevard Temple's restoration

wilshire+temple_renovation+sg.jpg KCRW's Saul Gonzalez has aired his report inside the renovation of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple that I gave a little advance look at a couple of weeks ago. "While driving down Wilshire Boulevard early one morning about a month ago, I spotted a beautiful combination of form, function and construction-an exo-skeleton of scaffolding enveloping one of L.A.’s most treasured architectural monuments."
amanda-hesser-mug.jpg Amanda Hesser, the former New York Times food writer who made a cameo in the movie "Julia and Julia," writes on her current website, Food 52, that she used to always give encouragement to would-be writers who contacted her. Then she felt she had to stop feeding, so to speak, their hopes. It's about the market for writers.

If it be your will, your honor, do throw the book at her

leonard-cohen-sings-hat.jpg Leonard Cohen delivered a heartfelt statement in Los Angeles Superior Court today at the sentencing of Kelley Lynch, his former business manager. He also thanked the judge for "the elegant manner in which these proceedings have unfolded. It was a privilege and an education to testify in this courtroom."

Imagining the 6th Street bridge

6th-street-bridge-city.jpg Mayor Villaraigosa, architect Alex Ward and others consider replacements for the 6th Street Viaduct on "DnA" with Frances Anderton on KCRW. Listen there Previously at LA Observed: 6th Street...

Register replaces one interim publisher with another

Ken Brusic, editor and senior vice president of The Orange County Register, was named interim publisher Tuesday, succeeding the interim publisher who got the temporary job last year

Central Library makes a 'most beautiful' list

library-mexico-city.jpg Flavorwire has posted another of its 25 most beautiful lists — and they do aggregate some gorgeous photos and noteworthy locations. This time it's the 25 most beautiful public libraries in the world.

Ed Humes on living with LA's mountain of garbage

mountaingate-aerial.jpg I love stories about infrastructure: sewers, pipelines, trash and the like. The subject of SoCal investigative author Edward Humes' new book warms my wonkish heart — "Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair With Trash" — and has some good LA angles.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.17.12

Jerry Brown, Darrell Issa, Berman-Sherman, Abdul Arian, Mark Ebner, Vincent Gallo and Melanie Lundquist, plus Richard Riordan on the '92 riots and Jim Romenesko quits cable.

LA Sketchbook: California always a bridesmaid

qqxsgBridesmaid.jpg

Read the memo: LAT publisher congratulates non-winners

latentrance.jpg The paper was shut out in the Pulitzers (or beaten by the Huffington Post, if you prefer) but columnist Steve Lopez and photographers Carolyn Cole, Brian van der Brug and Francine Orr were finalists.

No Pulitzer awarded in fiction

pulitzers-books-salon.jpg The Pulitzer Prizes board could not agree on a single "distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life." "Wow, Pulitzer committee. That's cold," writes Stephen Lee at Entertainment Weekly. Laura Miller at Salon argues that it was "an exceptional year for fiction, American and otherwise."

Echo Park Patch invades Silver Lake, takes over

silver-lake-aerial-patch.jpg Speaking of Arianna Huffington's news empire, the AOL Patch site for Echo Park has expanded into adjacent Silver Lake as of today.

Huffington Post wins Pulitzer Prize for national reporting

Talk about a new era at the Pulitzers. The Huffington Post just won its first Pulitzer Prize, in the national reporting category for David Wood's 10-part series on the lives of severely wounded veterans and their families. "We are delighted and deeply honored by the award, which recognizes both David’s exemplary piece of purposeful journalism and HuffPost's commitment to original reporting that affects both the national conversation and the lives of real people," said Arianna Huffington. Politico's political cartoonist Matt Wuerker, who is from Los Angeles, wins too. Click for list of winners.
Joe-Eszterhas-on-tv.jpg Sharon Waxman of The Wrap has now read the script that Joe Eszterhas turned in for the Mel Gibson production of a film about the Jewish hero Judah Maccabee. It's very bloody, but true to the story.

Morning Buzz: Monday 4.16.12

Long Beach editor admits favoring advertisers, Junot Diaz in the New Yorker, Chief Beck under pressure over discipline, how Villaraigosa created some of the city's financial mess and in journalism it's Pulitzer day.

Yes, we redesigned LA Observed (again)

lao-2007-wbm.jpg This is the first time we have rebuilt the coding guts of LA Observed from scratch. It has taken many months of work behind the scenes — and isn't finished. But it was time to go public and live with the new look awhile. The biggest change, obviously, is a rethinking of the LA Observed front page — something I've wanted to do for a few years. I'm truly thrilled by the possibilities.

Crazy: the Kings lead a playoff series 3-0 for the first time

kings-canucks-41512-lak.jpg The Los Angeles Kings have been around for 45 years without doing hardly anything to make a lasting impression in the hockey culture. (Except trade for Wayne Gretzky, 24 years ago.) But they're getting noticed now.

CicLAvia returns to the streets on Sunday

ciclavia-map-april2012.jpg Mayor Villaraigosa and Lu Parker plan to ride in Sunday's CicLAvia. At least, that's what her tweet says. Here's the latest route map and street closures.

Saturday notes

Best Buy leaving Westwood, the Grapevine reopens, Joan's on Third heads to the Valley, the Kings go up 2-0 and Vin Scully misses his fourth game.

Sherman raising money for 2014 already

Berman+Sherman+Town+Hall+JJ.jpg Some of Rep. Brad Sherman's fundraising during this election cycle — he's in a tough fight in the Valley with fellow Democrat Howard Berman — is actually being carried on the books as money raised for his 2014 reelection campaign. Now that's being an optimist.

Publicist Michael Sands dies after choking on sample at Gelson's

The Hollywood publicist choked on a meat sample at the Gelson's in Century City on March 24 and died after two weeks in the hospital, The Wrap reports.

Moving day at KCET

kcet-studios-sunset.jpg Today's the day that television station KCET has to be out of its historic former movie studio on Sunset Boulevard. Everyone has been told to vacate by 3 p.m., I'm told. The new home is in Burbank in a media building adjacent to NBC.

Campaign 2012: The view from over there

economist-hardball-campaign.jpg The cover of the April 14 issue of The Economist: Americans play hardball.

Video: Checking in on Libros Schmibros

libros-schmibros-mariachi-grab.jpg Journalist Steve Saldivar has posted a nice video story on David Kipen and his Boyle Heights lending library and pay-what-you-can used bookshop, newly relocated in a storefront at Mariachi Plaza on 1st Street.

Morning Buzz Friday 4.13.12

Molly Munger, reward in USC area murders, Kelley Lynch, Shereen Meraji, Vin Scully and more.

Caine's Arcade passes 3 million views and $130,000 - this week

caines+arcade.jpg On Monday, Nirvan Mullick posted his short film about nine-year-old Caine Monroy and the cardboard arcade he built last summer in his dad's auto parts store in Boyle Heights. The rest is Internet history.

Greuel audit and the Coliseum's response

Coliseum-postcard.jpg "Management controls over Coliseum spending were weak or nonexistent," the city controller finds, but the Coliseum Commission dings her for not doing her job.
The basic news headline is that Warner Brothers has passed on the script that long-time screenwriter Joe Eszterhas delivered for Mel Gibson's attempt to make a movie based on Jewish...

Here's why Kobe Bryant went to Germany for treatment

The reason that Kobe Bryant is having such a good season for the Lakers may be the 34-year-old's experimental Regenokine treatment on his arthritic right knee in Germany. Grantland digs...

Video of fatal police shooting on the 101 freeway *

Police were reportedly in cellphone contact with Abdul Arian, 19, and his mother during last night's chase across the West Valley.

Ed Savko, proprietor of the Rock Store was 86

the-rock-store.jpg Savko bought a small grocery on the twisty part of Mulholland Highway in the Santa Monicas west of the San Fernando Valley in 1961. He would park his Harley-Davidson out front, other bikers would see it, and they began stopping in.

LAT corrects tweet that urged support for George Zimmerman

lat-tweet-zimmerman.jpg After readers on Twitter objected to the wording of this tweet, Los Angeles Times editors send out a fix and tinkered with the story headline that fed the post....
The inbound 101 at Canoga Avenue in Woodland Hills has been closed all night because of a police shooting following a chase.

Thursday notes

Lots of early notes: That mole in Fox News is uncovered, Greuel audits the Coliseum, no crime in the injury of a rider in the Spring Street bike lane, plus items on Eli Broad, Doug Kriegel, Noel Massie and the real Three Stooges.

Correction o' the day

From the New York Times.

Touring the history of the Valley in five hours

survey-la-tour-tujungaave.jpg A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I took a day to serve as guide for the team of architecture historians, researchers and others who will be studying the pre-1980 San Fernando Valley for the SurveyLA project. They blogged about it.

KPFK staff warned to stop downloading (old) pirated movies

Somebody at the KPFK studios on Cahuenga Boulevard downloaded via BitTorrent a copy of "A Beautiful Mind." NBC Universal complained to the internet provider, and you can read the email to the staff that resulted.

Kings take 1-0 lead in NHL playoffs

canucks-fan-41112.jpg The Los Angeles Kings went into Vancouver tonight and upset the number-one seed, winning 4-2 and pretty much dominating.

Watch an iPad get made in the Chinese factory

foxconn-schmitz.JPGMarketplace Shanghai Bureau Rob Schmitz got inside the giant Foxconn complex in China where Apple's devices are made. First off, he says, don't call it a factory.

Quake in Michoacán, preliminary 7.0

The great quake in Sumatra this morning has been followed by an earthquake in Mexico's Michoacán state.

Two students from China, 23, shot and killed near USC *

usc-students-killed-nt.jpg The graduate students in electrical engineering were in a BMW about a mile from campus when both were shot early this morning, possibly in a robbery or carjacking attempt.

Finally, some good Sam Zell news

Judge Kevin Carey of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. has ruled that Sam Zell should be the very last creditor to get money in any payout from the Tribune bankruptcy proceeding.

Investigative reporting comes to YouTube

The Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley just announced that it will be launching an investigative news channel on YouTube with $800,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. "One of the goals of this partnership will be to raise the profile and visibility of high impact story telling through video," says CIR executive director Robert J. Rosenthal.

You may have noticed...

We're in the final stages of a thorough freshening up of the site. Stay tuned.

Register's Angels mob shows results

Those plans we told you about last month to swarm the Angels' season opener with a "news mob" turned out just fine.

Santorum checks out

Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign on Tuesday, but did not immediately endorse Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination.

Vin Scully misses Dodger Stadium opener

vin-scully-lifemag.jpg The Dodgers put out the word that 84-year-old broadcaster has a cold and isn't at this afternoon's first home game of the season. First time since '77.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.10.12

Bradley Terminal cost, stadium poll, LAPD dispatch failure, road rage on the Spring Street bike lane and the Dodgers open at home today.

Neda film to show at Cannes

neda-still.jpg Los Angeles filmmaker and actress Nicole Kian Sadighi's short film on the killing in Tehran of Neda Agha-Soltan will be shown at the American Pavilion during the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Lamar Odom is having a really, really bad year

It wasn't that long ago that Odom was thought to be the best sixth man in the NBA. Now the Mavericks just want him to leave.

Both sides declare victory on Trutanich ballot title

A judge decided today that City Attorney Carmen Trutanich can't call himself Los Angeles Chief Prosecutor as a candidate for District Attorney. But look how he can list himself on the ballot.

Leonard Cohen back in LA court today

Music legend Leonard Cohen testified in Los Angeles Superior Court for a second day in the harassment trial of his former business manager, Kelley Lynch. She is charged with inundating Cohen and others with harassing phone calls and emails over the years.

Southern California's romance with the taco is now a book

taco+usa+cover.jpg Its earliest-known mention in American letters came in an 1899 Los Angeles Times story about life in Mexico City, says Gustavo Arellano. His new book is "Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America."

Morning Buzz: Monday 4.9.12

Romney spoils the party for California, more financial trouble for City Hall, Alarcon court case update, how one profiles Sheriff Baca, Jonathan Gold in the green room and more.

Wrong trees planted in Angeles Forest burn zone

angeles+forest+burn+basin.jpg After the Station Fire denuded vast areas of Angeles National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service made a crucial call to plant seedlings from species of fir and pine trees that nature had already decided didn't really fit with the larger plan for the San Gabriels. Yeah, nature wins again — but what does Chevron have to do with it all? LA Observed photos from the fire zone.

Mike Wallace, TV journalism pioneer was 93

mike+wallace+secterserviceagent.jpg The television newsman who pretty much invented the style of the tough interview in the early years of the medium died Saturday at a care facility in Connecticut. His last appearance on "60 Minutes," and on TV, was an interview with Roger Clemens in 2008. We have vintage video as tributes pour in.

Kings playoff dates announced

richard+carter+lakings.jpg By losing their final two regular season games, the Kings draw the worst playoffs matchup they could have imagined.

NYT poses the question: should LA New Yorkify?

times+square+srr.jpg Interesting exercise on the New York Times website, with six writers or experts from Los Angeles taking part.

Morning Buzz: Friday 4.6.12

Endorsement in DA's race, a meeting for Brad Sherman, parsing the Farmers Field EIR and more.

Kings lose, clinch playoff spot and get robbed

A player on the opposing San Jose Sharks bench interfered with the puck while the Kings were making a rush that could have won the game. “It’s a shame that a guy can cheat and get away with it in a game this important,” AEG chief Tim Leiweke said afterward.

Google cuts off independent bookstores

bookstore+clearance.jpg Google has decided to stop letting bookstores profit by selling the search company's e-books through store websites.
city-hall-flags.jpg City Attorney opinions "failed to exercise the skill, prudence, and diligence required of attorneys when they are formulating advice," says the mayor's lawyer. The chief deputy city attorney scoffs in response.

Video: Ron Paul wows 'em at UCLA

Paul attracted a healthy crowd of about 5,000 for Wednesday night's rally in the tennis stadium on campus.

Olbermann sues Current TV, seeks $70 million

olbermann-1988.jpg He accuses Al Gore and Joel Hyatt of reneging on agreements and bungling the television channel. Current calls the allegations "false and malicious."

Happy opening day

Fernando_cover.jpg To welcome the new Dodgers season, here's a gem of an audio clip of Vin Scully from early in the 1981 season — the year of Fernandomania.

Ugliest people in sports? New at LA Times site

lorenzo-mata-bleacherreport.jpg Some mainstream media websites seem willing to publish just about anything to squeeze a few more clicks out of visitors.

Manson at 77: new picture from prison

mansonbar.jpg The murders Charles Manson ordered at the home of actress Sharon Tate in Benedict Canyon, and took part in the next night in Los Feliz, shook Los Angeles so hard that Joan Didon wrote "many people I know in Los Angeles believed the '60s ended abruptly on Aug. 9, 1969.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.5.12

Sheriff's official takes inmate golfing, City Hall moves forward on ban of paper bags, stadium EIR to propose widening of 101 freeway, LAPD radios out for 12 hours and more.

Hey, take a gander at this: geese in traffic on the 110 *

geese+on+110.jpg There on top of the red van, in the Mitt Romney family pet carrier: those are a pair of geese.

So much for reports that Whitney Houston's room was clean

In the bathroom where she died were "a small spoon with a white, crystal-like substance in it and a rolled-up piece of white paper," the final coroner's report says.
Republican candidate Rick Santorum claimed he read somewhere that 7 or 8 UC and CSU campuses don't even offer U.S. history — and isn't that outrageous, angry real Americans?

Demolition underway of Pickford Building at The Lot

pickford-building-demo.jpg The site should be cleared by the end of today. Check out the photo.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.4.12

More Assessor shenanigans, pepper spray at Santa Monica College, USC to get Coliseum, City Hall wants to charge you for paper bags, list of Peabody Award winners and big remodeling at the Huntington.

Inside Wilshire Boulevard Temple's restoration

wilshire+temple_renovation+sg.jpg KCRW reporter Saul Gonzalez took this shot of the inside of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple synagogue during rehab of the National Register of Historic Places site.

Hitchcock's 'Rear Window' - the three-minute re-cut

Jeff Desom's time-lapse video uses only the actual footage from Alfred Hitchcock's classic "Rear Window," set to "Hungarian Dance No. 5" by Brahms.

Harvey Mudd turns around ebb in female computer scientists

maria+klawe+skateboard.jpg The president of the college gets credit for drawing more women into computer science, the main STEM field where they were most obviously lagging.

Wilshire subway to devour A+D Museum, galleries

AplusD-Museum.jpg An op-ed piece protests the plan by Metro to raze the Wilshire Boulevard buildings that house the A+D Architecture and Design Museum and nearby galleries in order to stage construction of the Purple Line stop at Fairfax Avenue.

West 3rd Street has reopened

The DWP says that the portion of 3rd Street east of Fairfax reopened about 6:30 p.m. after crews plugged this morning's water main break and repaved the street.

Stolen luxury cars intercepted in shipping containers

A stolen Ferrari's GPS ping tipped off customs agents before the new cars and trucks could be loaded on ships for export to Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Los Angeles mag a finalist for two Ellies

Today's list of finalists for the National Magazine Awards includes two writers for Los Angeles magazine.

EastsiderLA servers are catching their breath

Blogger-in-chief Jesus Sanchez tells me the host is moving him to a new box. It should all be cleared up within hours, fingers crossed.

Watch Lindsay Lohan age 25 years in 74 seconds

Drugs, partying and age — plus to be fair, the things she has seen in a few hours in jail and several weeks at the county morgue that most of us haven't — have taken a toll on Lindsay Lohan's face.

Buy an ad, get mass murder adjacency for free

anegls+ad+lat.jpg I doubt that the Angels paid to have their web ads show up in the LA Times' online gallery of photos from yesterday's mass shooting of college students in Oakland.

3rd Street to remain closed at Fairfax all day *

The DWP, which is scrambling to repair a flurry of water main breaks it blames on work at the distant Lower Franklin Canyon reservoir, says that West 3rd Street will remain closed between Fairfax Avenue and Ogden Drive until 7 p.m.

Peter M. Douglas, former coastal commission head was 69

Douglas retired last year as executive director of the California Coastal Commission, a regulatory entity he helped create.

Cops left behind: Stragglers of Parker Center

parker+center+cops+dtn.jpg It turns out that about 150 LAPD officers and other employees still work in Parker Center, the bedraggled former headquarters that most of the department gladly abandoned a couple of years ago. "Nobody is happy to be here,” says facilities manager Thom Brennan.

George Lewis on covering wars for NBC

george+lewis+press+card.jpg George Lewis, the recently retired NBC News correspondent in Los Angeles, reflects on the wars he has covered and a career "running toward the guns."

Berman and Sherman on 'Which Way, LA?'

Warren Olney will host a little radio debate tonight between the Valley congressmen who are running against each other.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.3.12

Water main breaks in the Fairfax area and why, donor to the Assessor gets a big tax break, changes to high speed rail, Ron Paul coming to UCLA, Al Martinez grieves and museums join the Google Art Project.

Leonard Cohen soundcheck *

Nice informal footage of Leonard Cohen rehearsing in Ghent, Belgium with his band and the angelic accompaniment of the tour's two backup singers from Ojai, Julie Christensen and Perla Batalla.

Bratton still uses his NYPD parking card - 16 years later

bratton-cropped.jpg The New York Post reports that former LAPD chief William Bratton was spotted parking his Lexus SUV in a “No Standing” zone outside his offices in midtown Manhattan — with an official police business card in the window.

LAFD responds to 86% of fires 'before they even started'

lafd-truck-dtn.jpg Jon Regardie, editor of the Downtown News, has some Mobius Strip-inspired fun with the Los Angeles Fire Department's confusing messages about its response time on fire and ambulance calls.

Anschutz shifts into higher gear on NFL

anschutz2008reuters.jpg The seldom-seen head of the AEG empire says if necessary he will buy an NFL team himself and move it to Los Angeles.

Home burglary in Hancock Park nets $10 million

Police say a safe taken out of an upstairs closet in a home in the 200 block of South Highland Avenue contained cash, jewelry and valuables worth $10 million.

DNC chair does Villaraigosa no favors on KABC

In this audio clip, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz showed up unprepared to be grilled about Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa by KABC talk host Doug McIntyre.

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger jumps to Vanity Fair

Goldberger had been at the New Yorker since leaving the New York Times, where he won a Pulitzer Prize, in 1997. Is this the end for architecture at the New Yorker?

Morning Buzz: Monday 4.2.12

More investigations of the sheriff's department, can the new Dodgers buyers make a profit?, another award for California Watch, and Toronto looks to LA as a model of transit.

Bryan Stow a year later: 'we try not to cry in front of him'

stow+and+kids.jpg Bryan Stow's family website marked Saturday's anniversary of the attack outside Dodger Stadium that left the father of two and Giants fan from Northern California brain-damaged and unable to live outside a care facility.

Film academy acquires Bison Archives photographs

jesse+lasky+truck+bison.jpg Marc Wanamaker's collection of more than 70,000 photographs covering the history of movies and studios has found a home at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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