LA Observed archive
for May 2012

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

Jose Rios, ex-Channel 11 news director, retires from Fox TV

jose-rios-fox.png Rios, who had been the news director at Channel 2 in Los Angeles before going to Fox 11, where he became the top news executive, moved over a year ago to a corporate job as vice president of digital news applications at Fox Television Stations. He's retiring from there and he got an extended sendoff on the air during this morning's "Good Day LA" from hosts Steve Edwards and Jillian Reynolds.

Dodgers lose Matt Kemp for at least four weeks this time

falsone-on-kemp-53112.jpg Head trainer Sue Falsone explains that outfielder Matt Kemp, just back from a hamstring muscle strain, has reinjured the area of the first injury and has a second strain as well. Both are grade one strains, she said, meaning they are at the less severe end of the scale. Data from other players calls for a "best case" return to play in four weeks, she said.

LA's last gay piano bar

other-side-kpcc-rabe.jpg The Other Side on Hyperion closes June 24, says John Rabe of KPCC. A documentary in the works traces the decline of Silver Lake as a center of gay Los Angeles through the years.

LA temperature snapshot right now: from 64 to 100

weather-snapshot53112.jpg I was just consulting the LA Observed weather page. The range of temperatures at 6 p.m. made me laugh. Check out the screen grab.

John Edwards: Not guilty on one count, mistrial on others

edwards-nc-verdictday-nyt.jpg Edwards, speaking outside the court, praised the jurors for taking the time to “reach a fair and just result under the evidence of the law.” “Thank goodness that we live in a country that has the kind of system that we have.”

I can see it now - CSI: Body Art Unit

tattoo-kat550.jpg Starting July 1, Los Angeles County's public health department has to start enforcing new state standards for tattoo studios and artists. The Safe Body Art Act, as it's called, passed in October. Now the county's Body Art Unit figures to be swamped.

Video: Buscaino rides with LAFD station 65 in Watts

Councilman Joe Buscaino, a former LAPD cop, went with firefighters from Watts to put out a sizable fire in an alley. While there, he made a quip about the city firefighters outperforming LA county firefighters.

NHL and Kings deny the team is for sale

National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman gets snarky over New York Post report that the Los Angeles Kings are for sale. Plus: the Anschutzes attend Game 1.

Daily Journal editor kudos on McCourt investigation

David Houston, the editor of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, has some nice words in a newsroom note this morning for departing reporter Casey Sullivan (see today's LA Observed Morning Buzz) and for reporter Ben Adlin. The latter scribe gets credit from the boss for yesterday's scoop on the federal investigation of former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. Read the memo

Dodger Infield

LAO_dodgerinfield.jpg Take My Picture Gary Leonard
From the posting on the American Public Media jobs board. The show isn't named.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 5.31.12

Short stack today due to the SpaceX news this morning.

'Dragon is in the water'

spacex-employees-watch.jpg The Dragon space capsule splashed down in the Pacific 560 miles off Baja California at 8:42 a.m., two minutes ahead of schedule. Boats will find and secure the craft, then it will be lifted onto a barge. In the photo, about 1,000 SpaceX employees in Hawthorne watched outside the control room. More

SpaceX Dragon to return Thursday morning

spacx-recovery-2010.jpg The SpaceX capsule was sealed off by crew members on the International Space Station on Wednesday. After 1 a.m. Dragon should be cut loose from the station, carrying 1,455 pounds of NASA cargo bound for home. Here's how everything should go this morning.
darryl-sutter-finals-grab.jpg The Kings won tonight's Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in Newark, New Jersey — 8:13 into sudden-death overtime — on a very sweet breakaway goal by Anze Kopitar, the NHL's first player from Slovenia. The Kings as a team kind of sucked all night, with errant passes, fanned-on shots and slow feet, and got lucky when the shooters for the New Jersey Devils missed several open nets. But they ended regulation time tied, and in the overtime period the Kings had their best scorer in the right place when it counted. Plus: A New York Times essay on Kings fandom.

Dodgers show off Vin Scully bobblehead

Vin-Scully-Bobblehead.jpg The Dodgers yesterday afternoon kindly sent out PR images of the first Vin Scully bobblehead doll. Here you go - bigger inside.

Hospital bed interview with Bobby Womack

bobby-womack.jpg The nurse attending Bobby Womack in Encino wears an expression for which the phrase "long-suffering" was invented. "Can I give you your meds?" she asks, proffering a handful of tablets. "Potassium, magnesium, something for blood sugar," she explains.
gomez-tight.jpg In an April op-ed piece in the Washington Post timed to the Supreme Court's consideration of Arizona's anti-immigrant SB-1070, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez wrote that "I am deeply concerned about the human consequences if Arizona’s law is upheld." Excerpt and link

USS Iowa arrives off San Pedro

uss-iowa-offshore-breeze.jpg The World War II battleship will remain about six miles offshore for cleaning of its hull before being brought into its permanent home at San Pedro's Berth 87 and a big grand opening on July 7.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 5.30.12 *

Romney comes to town to raise money, Riordan ads for Republican Latinos, Cortines settlement in danger, Grand Park close to opening, and obits for Craig Stanke, Dr. David Rimoin and Doc Watson.

Light quake way offshore felt along the beaches

A magnitude 4.0 quake, which the USGS classifies as a "light earthquake," broke at 10:14 p.m. way out in the bight, 27 miles off Point Dume. Twitter has a way of magnifying these things — not the quake, just the human and news media reactions onshore — so you may hear about it even if you didn't feel it.

Jim Paratore, TMZ co-founder was 58

Paratore was a television producer and president of Telepictures, a production division of Warner Bros. Television. He helped to create "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show," and in 2006 he teamed up with Harvey Levin to create

Up close with the collector behind Valley Relics

tommy-gelinas-dn.jpg Burbank native Tommy Gelinas reckons he's spent $300,000 acquiring his personal collection of San Fernando Valley memorabilia and ephemera. He's got a website, blog and busy Facebook page devoted to Valley stuff. Plus: TV writer and ex-Dodgers broadcaster Ken Levine has a Kindle book on growing up in the '60s Valley.

Observing the Beach Boys, California and life

pet-sounds-cover.jpg Joe Donnelly, the co-editor and publisher of Slake: Los Angeles, writes in a Las Vegas magazine about his epiphany with the Beach Boys, many years ago. "I think it was 'Sloop John B' that did it," he writes, "...a miniature pocket symphony, if you will, of ascending and descending harmonies, vocal bass lines, multi-tracking, odd-but-effective instrumentation." Excerpts and a video

Video: Golden Gate Bridge fireworks show

Los Angeles has many beautiful, awe-inspiring places and structures. But San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. Happy 75th, friends.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 5.29.12

Gay marriage issue a wash for Obama here, voting already in Berman-Sherman district, Wendy Greuel's hot hand, Expo Line dangers, more newspapers stop printing certain days, Bourdain gets a CNN show, Junot Diaz in the New Yorker and more.

Howard Richmond, music publishing pioneer was 94

howard-richman.jpg The founder of music publisher TRO, The Richmond Organization, "contributed mightily and without fanfare to the music business for nearly three quarters of a century," family friend and former employee Michael Sigman, the former LA Weekly publisher, writes at the Huffington Post.

You can now own Jo Mora's map of Los Angeles *

mora-detail3.jpg Glen Creason, the author of the stupendously grand Los Angeles in Maps, is the map librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. So when he calls this 1942 carte by Jo Mora "one of THE greatest maps ever" and "one of the true masterpieces of pictorial mapping and my favorite Los Angeles map of all," ordinary schmoes like me have to listen. Well, it turns out that LA Observed has played a small role in making reproductions of the map available for the first time.

Downtown 'sunbathers' were taken away - and not by the artist

sunbathers-greenwood.jpg Calder Greenwood, one of the artists who stationed some papier-mâché figures in the vacant pit where the state building in Downtown was razed five years ago, says he doesn't know what happened to his papier-mâché sunbathers. "But I'm glad people saw them while they were up."

Kings head east to begin the Stanley Cup final

quick-jersey.jpg The Los Angeles Kings practiced over the weekend before large crowds at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo then flew east on Monday. They open the final round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday. All games are at 5 p.m. LA time.

US Soccer honors Grahame Jones

The Los Angeles Times' longtime soccer writer, Grahame L. Jones, gets a nice honor this week from the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

USA Today sports jobs: specialization now the rule

Dave Morgan, the former LA Times and Yahoo sports editor who has just overseen a massive change in personnel at USA Today, explains that it was about getting the right kinds of journalists in the right places for the future.

Free tix: David Westin and the TV business

Westin-David-head-shot-cropped.jpg David Westin, the former president of ABC News, will be in town Thursday morning to talk about television news over breakfast with Willow Bay, senior editor of The Huffington Post. Tickets for LA Observed readers

For Memorial Day: Just sayin'

lancflags06a.jpg There are more people interred at Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood than live in Westwood today. Or in Beverly Hills and Culver City combined. More stats for Memorial Day.

Station Fire burn areas reopen for Memorial Day

angeles-forest-warning-sign.jpg Some 41,000 acres at the Big Tujunga Canyon end of the Angeles National Forest reopened this weekend for the first time since the big Station Fire in 2009. Read more

LAO behind the scenes: Grauman's Chinese

Take a look backstage, in Sid Grauman's private VIP box and around the gorgeous auditorium of Hollywood's (and probably the world's) best-known movie palace. Public tours by the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation continue on Sunday morning.

Brentwood Run canceled: fees too high, sponsors too few

brentwood-run.jpg The Brentwood 5k/10k Run on San Vicente Boulevard had become a Memorial Day tradition after 35 years. An email notice on Friday reminded runners and Westsiders who lined the route that "regretfully, the Brentwood Run has been cancelled for this year due to a loss in financial sponsorships."

Snow weekend in the Sierra Nevada

bodie-snow3-512-vargo.jpg Here are pictures of snow last night in historic Bodie, the preserved mining town in the Eastern Sierra near Bridgeport. The Tioga Road into Yosemite National Park reopened today after a weather closure.

Getty gardens reopen Saturday

getty-garden-trees-fall.jpg The Getty Center’s Central Garden will reopen to visitors on Saturday, May 26. It has been closed since February for maintenance to the walkways and planters.

405 project months behind, Carmageddon II delayed

Thumbnail image for 405-mulholland-bridge-zevweb.jpg The overall project is now four to six months behind schedule. This means that the plans to close the freeway over a weekend to finish tearing down the Muholland Drive bridge in Sepulveda Pass are now delayed at least until late summer. Plus: Wilshire Rampture by the numbers.

Morning Buzz: Friday 5.25.12

Press secretary vs Dan Walters, safe sex petitions, drug tests at Beverly Hills High, media notes and Molly Ringwald to marshall the Pride parade. Plus more.

LA Sketchbook: Space X

qqxsgSpace X.jpg The latest cartoon by Steve Greenberg. His LA Sketchbook archive.

KPCC relaunches website as

scpr-kpcc-grab.jpg News, blogs and community get the emphasis over the radio station's programming in the web design unveiled today (after months of use behind the scenes.) Nice to see: a news staff list with beats and bios for 78 reporters, producers, editors, hosts and others. Read the memo and links

Brian Banks exonerated in court, by AP's Nick Ut

brian-banks-nick-ut.jpg Lots of tears in the courthouse in Long Beach on Thursday. After almost ten years, five of them spent in prison, once-promising high school football player Brian Banks was officially exonerated of the rape charge he pleaded no contest to as a sixteen-year-old, in a bid to avoid a longer sentence. The childhood friend who accused him, Wanetta Gibson, friended him on Facebook last year and admitted on tape that she had made up the rape allegation.

Claudia Laffranchi, Swiss journalist in LA was 49

claudia-laffranchi.jpg Claudia Laffranchi was part of the colony of overseas journalists who cover Hollywood for global media outlets and participate in related events. She was, for instance, the host and master of ceremonies of the Locarno Film Festival’s screenings. Laffranchi was found dead Tuesday in her Los Angeles-area apartment.
lucey-reynolds-edwards.jpg Jillian Reynolds apologized to Dorothy Lucey for the bad things she has said about her "Good Day L.A." co-host all these years. Then they exchanged "I love yous" and hugged. "The most painful TV you'll watch all day: Jillian and Dorothy's cringe-worthy farewell and fake tears," TV Guide's Michael Schneider said.

Downtown 'sunbathers' identified

sunbathers-greenwood.jpg The figures that showed up — briefly — in the Civic Center pit on Wednesday are made of papier-mâché and apparently the work of artist Calder Greenwood, the LA Weekly says. Sounds good to us.

Meanwhile, lawsuit over Red Line subway rolls into 16th year

The Daily Journal's Ciaran McEvoy ran one of the paper's periodic updates on the epic lawsuit between the MTA and one of its subway contractors accused of overbilling — way back on the original subway project. If nothing else, it's a reminder that the path from here to a new subway line is long and fraught with unforeseeable delays and problems.

Buy an ad in the Beachcomber, get a story

Potential advertisers in the Beachcomber in Long Beach can secure a nice featured story for the same price as their ad, according to this pitch that went out from an advertising rep at the bi-weekly.

MTA board approves subway tunnel under Beverly Hills High

westside-subway-logo.jpg What was mostly at stake today was where to put the Century City station — the MTA board stayed with Constellation Avenue and Avenue of the Stars, inside the development.

Staples Center insiders make music video

Arena staffers and a few media types take part in a video to "Call Me Maybe" to commemorate the playoff weekend. Workers clocked in 55,000 hours over the four-day weekend siege of games, Staples says. Watch the video inside.

H.H. Brookins, bishop and pastor was 86

brookins-fame.jpg The Rev. Hamel Hartford Brookins, who was pastor of the influential First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles during the rise and tenure of Mayor Tom Bradley, died Tuesday in a Los Angeles retirement center.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 5.24.12

More on the dead mountain lion, Jerry Brown's poll numbers slip, helicopter noise over LA, bad ratings for "American Idol," recall petitions in San Fernando, a big newspaper cuts back to three print issues a week, a truly pointless Twitter gimmick by the New Yorker, and Wayne Gretzky praises the Kings.

Public comment - plastic bag ban

Take my picture Gary Leonard.

Huntington to close and renovate main hall for a year

huntington-exhibhall-hunt.jpg The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino announced Wednesday it will close the Main Exhibition Hall on June 5. After renovation and reinstallation with "a new, dynamic permanent exhibition designed to provoke visitors’ sense of connection to history and literature," the hall will reopen in fall 2013.

High school yearbook photos of Steve Martin, Diane Keaton

DianeKeaton-highschool.jpg Orange Coast magazine digs up old pictures of more than a dozen celebrities who grew up in Orange County. Also: the Seal Beach salon massacre revisited as an exercise in what the Internet gets wrong.

Otto Jensen, Burbank photographer was 101

Otto Jensen, reportedly a longtime photographer for Hollywood studios, was 101 years old when he was struck and killed Tuesday night by a car driven by a 91-year-old woman, Burbank police said.

Calvin Hicks, LA artist-photographer was 71

calvin-hicks-figure-1973.jpg Artist J. Michael Walker sends word that his friend Calvin Hicks died on Sunday, from complications of cancer. Hicks' photography was most recently seen in the Pacific Standard Time exhibition, "Identity & Affirmation: Post-War African-American Photography," at Cal State Northridge.
Also: Otto Jensen, Burbank photographer was 101

Urban seaside in the Civic Center

urban-seaside-bellman.jpg Who were those figures going to the beach in Downtown LA today — and where did they go? Investigate

LA Times editor in chief is on Twitter - and gets hacked

davan-tweet-2.jpg Davan Maharaj has only posted 26 tweets thus far — including two today noting that he has had to change his password.
SIcover-magic-kemp.jpg The hed and deck to Lee Jenkins's piece called La La Palooza: "For a 78-hour stretch Los Angeles was, finally, the sports capital of the world: 300,000 fans, 10 events, four teams, three playoff series, 110 cyclists. And an eclipse. Results be damned, it was a good four days." Read an excerpt

Sherman jokes that deleting mom was a media ploy

Rep. Howard Berman's camp thinks that Rep. Brad Sherman and his flacks just can't get their stories straight. I don't know. I think it's just the dry sense of humor we saw on The Colbert Report. You decide

Revisiting the ukulele (so soon)

tranquadaUkulele.jpg The LA author of a new history of the ukulele says last week's story in The Daily got a few key things wrong. Here are his corrections, and more proof that the uke has soul.

Fans greet Kings at LAX in the middle of the night

I understand the emotion of Kings nation, and the passion of hockey fans generally. Still, I'm surprised by this turnout. Click to watch.

Venice boardwalk photo essay

venice-lemonade-slush.jpg Diana Chang, who blogs at HRGBRG, posts: "In order from south to north, here's every Venice Boardwalk storefront that faces the Pacific Ocean. Photographs taken on May 17, 2012. With soundtrack."

Hunting for dirty swimming pools

mosquito-air-patrol.jpg The Pasadena Police Department and San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District flew over El Monte and Duarte on Tuesday and identified 21 dirty, abandoned or improperly drained swimming pools that could provide breeding environments for Asian tiger mosquitoes. San Gabriel Valley Tribune photographer Walt Mancini rode along.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 5.23.12

NRDC asks stadium questions, Berman and Sherman squabble over 405, LA County's official condom, Voice of San Diego adds a print magazine, Kristen Stewart goes topless and the art scene of the northeast San Fernando Valley.

What Tom Lutz of LA Review of Books reads every day

tom-lutz-che.jpg The Chronicle of Higher Education's Pageview blog asked Tom Lutz how his daily reading has changed since he began editing and publishing the Los Angeles Review of Books. There are some things he no longer has time for, his morning ritual now includes Google Analytics, and he includes LA Observed prominently in his blog reading. More

Kings leave Arizona with a trophy *

kings-trophy-2012.jpg Actually, they may leave the NHL's Western Conference championship hardware behind. Kings captain Dustin Brown didn't even look at the trophy after the Kings beat Phoenix tonight 4-3 in sudden death overtime to reach the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 1993.

LAT's Randy Harvey leaves for sports job in Houston *

The Houston Chronicle announced this morning that Los Angeles Times associate editor Randy Harvey is joining the paper as sports columnist. Harvey was a longtime sports writer, editor and columnist before becoming a masthead editor under Russ Stanton at the LAT.

Time lapse: Weekend at Staples Center

Between Thursday and Sunday, the Kings, Lakers and Clippers played six games in 72 hours before 110,000 fans at Staples Center. That's tough on the arena staff. Getty Images put together a time lapse of the weekend.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 5.22.12

Another star-studded fundraiser for Democrats, a take on the county jails commission, the UFW at 50, the Times endorses plastic bag ban, and up close and personal with the guy who designed the SpaceX rocket. Plus much more, of course.

Mountain lions spotted in Santa Monica, Griffith Park *

mountain lion courtyard-thumb-550x732.jpg The city of Santa Monica sent residents an email alert this morning saying that "2nd St. between Wilshire and Arizona is closed down to vehicular and pedestrian traffic due to a mountain lion sighting. The lion is contained and The Department of Fish and Game is in route." Plus the first known photo of a lion in Griffith Park. More Update: Lion shot and killed.

Now who's going to cover the foundations?

LAT-extra-section.jpg The Ford Foundation's new practice of paying for reporters at ad-driven, profit-motivated corporate media — in this case, the Los Angeles Times — poses all kinds of issues and angles yet to be examined. But one issue in particular comes to mind for Joe Mathews, the former Times reporter who is now an author and journalist for several foundation-backed organizations. Go on

Pat Brown documentary airs on PBS SoCal

brown+brown.jpg Sascha Rice's film on her grandfather, the late two-term governor Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, aired tonight at 10 p.m. on the PBS station for Los Angeles. A lot of good that does you, I know. I see "California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown" on the schedule again for Wednesday at 9 p.m. and June 2 at 10 p.m., on the station's digital channel 50.2. It airs tomorrow night at 8 p.m. on KLCS. Read up

Dorothy Lucey out as Fox 11's 'Good Day LA' reboots

dorothy-lucey.jpg The morning show on Channel 11 has kept the same chemistry since 1995 or so, except that it became clearer through the years that Steve Edwards' female co-hosts didn't much like each other. Now Lucey's contract was not renewed, Jillian Reynolds will switch to freelance status, and on-air auditions will be held. Details

Big Willie Robinson, street racer and peacemaker was 70

big-willie-jalopnik.jpg Los Angeles car culture never saw anyone like Big Willie Robinson — or needed anyone quite so much. In the mid 1960s, when baby boomers were racing hot rods and fighting each other and the cops all around town, he created the International Brotherhood of Street Racers and brought some order to the subculture. (Big Willie stood 6'6" and people listened.) I'm guessing he was the only 6'6" black man to speak at Otis Chandler's memorial service. Tributes, backstory and video

Lakers lead! For awhile! Then they lose, season over

lakers-out-kobe-2012.jpg The Lakers never had much of a chance of beating the ascending Oklahoma City Thunder. And they went pretty meekly, losing 4 of 5 games.

Dodgers release statement on latest parking lot beating

The Dodgers are concerned enough about Sunday night's parking lot incident — and the memories of last season's Bryan Stow assault — to put out a statement this afternoon. Full statement

'Levitated Mass' opens to the public on June 24

levitated-mass-move-zevweb.jpg The payoff for all that excitement and disruption involved in moving a 340-ton hunk of rock from Riverside County to Wilshire Boulevard comes June 24. That's the day the Levitated Mass exhibit will debut at a dedication ceremony on the back lawn of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Free admission if the rock passed through your Zip code.

LA Sketchbook: Derivatives bet

qqxsg-Derivatives-Bet.jpg The latest cartoon by Steve Greenberg. His LA Sketchbook archive

Garry Marshall in conversation with Sam Rubin *

Garry-Marshall-at-the-Aero-300x225.jpg Live Talks Los Angeles has ten pairs of tickets for the LA Observed community to see writer, producer, director, and actor Garry Marshall talk about his life and new book, "My Happy Days in Hollywood," with KTLA's Sam Rubin. It's Wednesday night at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Get your tickets
kings-info-graphic.jpg Sure, a lot of Angelenos have no interest in hockey and no idea about the Kings, the Ducks or anyone else. But the local team is the hottest thing in the sport right now, their games are on national television, and they pack more fans into Staples Center and downtown bars than the Clippers do. So what's the local sports media's excuse? Here's a little infographic to help them.

Overheard and worth repeating

Organic firefighters in Santa Monica and the science of "To Kill a Mockingbird"? Check out what our writers heard.

Can't say we weren't warned about John Noguez

At least one journalist tried to warn Los Angeles County voters people before they elected Noguez in 2010. That was Jeffrey Anderson, who was reporting on corruption in the unwatched southeast cities long before the LA Times rediscovered Bell and went on to win a Pulitzer.

Chuck Philips: I was right, LA Times was wrong

chuck-philips-laweekly.jpg The former Pulitzer winner at the LA Times elaborates for the first time on the paper's 2008 retraction of his story on the killing of Tupac Shakur, why he thinks the decision was wrong then, and what has happened in the case — and to him — since. The Times stands by its full front-page retraction of Philips' story.

Morning Buzz: Monday 5.21.12

Murdered bus driver identified, Expo Line's serious design flaw, urging the supervisors to get rid of Baca and Noguez, plus politics items on Jackie Lacey, Mike Antonovich, Brad Sherman, Howard Berman, BongHwan Kim, John Van de Kamp and Tom Fuentes and media items on Doug Frantz, Mike Taugher and Andre Gumbel.

Taco books are suddenly a growth industry

taco-irene-montano-laweekly.jpg Last month the editor of OC Weekly, Gustavo Arellano, began readings around the country and got an interview in the New York Times for his new book, "Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America." Now comes Jeffrey M. Pilcher, a professor of history at the University of Minnesota who for 20 years "has investigated the history, politics and evolution of Mexican food, including how Mexican silver miners likely invented the taco, how Mexican Americans in the Southwest reinvented it, and how businessman Glen Bell mass-marketed it to Anglo palates via the crunchy Taco Bell shell." Read up

Evelyn Taft is there, and you're not

evelyn-taft-bed-ps.jpg Channel 9 weathercaster Evelyn Taft tweeted her 5,000-plus Twitter followers a personal note this afternoon from Palm Springs. Included was a pic of her reclining on a hotel room bed.
dt-streets-parking-52012.jpg Both LA basketball teams are on the brink of elimination, but Staples Center is warning of major traffic and parking issues around Sunday's noon-start Kings game.

Zuckerberg updates status to 'Married'

zuckerberg-married-timeline.jpg Instead of the Saturday graduation party they thought they were attending, invited guests at Mark Zuckerberg's home in Palo Alto saw the Facebook founder and his longtime girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, get married.

In praise of Hawaii's ukulele (via Portugal)

aloha-uke.jpg The stringed instruments that define so much Hawaiian music all came from somewhere else — and not so very long ago. In the case of the ukulele, that was from Portugal's Madeira Islands. Hawaii's King David Kalakaua embraced the four-stringed instrument after it arrived about 1879, and the rest kind of is history, as Los Angeles writer Swati Pandey explores at the Daily.

Two arrested in killing of USC students from China *

The LAPD says robbery was the motive for the April 11 killings of Ming Qu and Ying Wu as they sat in a car about a mile from the USC campus. Two men were arrested Friday, possibly based on cellphone signals and forensic evidence tying the gun to other recent crimes.

Urasawa the second most expensive restaurant in US

urasawa-daily-meal.jpg The Daily Meal did a web exercise of deciding the 25 most expensive restaurants in the United States. Urasawa in Beverly Hills came in at number two, after Masa in New York City. The average bill at Urasawa is said to be $1,111. But there are alternatives.

One LA career with growth potential: parking cop

parking-cop-in-red.jpg Mayor Villaraigosa's budget calls for adding 50 more part-time parking officers to walk foot beats in crowded areas such as Downtown, Hollywood and North Hollywood. There already were 100 of these part-timers hired last year. It's all about bringing in more fines.

Morning Buzz: Friday 5.18.12

LAFD response times, DA's race, U.S.S. Iowa, the mayor gets somewhere on time, the US catches up to California demograhics, more attempted robberies around UCLA and the parents of those slain USC students sue the university.

Two video views of Beverly Hills subway issues

westside-subway-logo.jpg The MTA board held a hearing today to listen to concerns from Beverly Hills about the agency's desire to tunnel under Beverly Hills High School and locate the Purple Line station inside Century City at Constellation Avenue. For various reasons some in Beverly Hills would like the station to be on Santa Monica Boulevard and the tunnel re-routed from beneath the school.

Kings win, Clippers lose

kings-win-king.jpg The Kings lead their playoff series 3-0 (again.) The Clippers trail theirs 0-2.

Author Chip Jacobs and 'The Ascension of Jerry' on KCAL

Journalist Chip Jacobs' newest book, "The Ascension Of Jerry: Murder, Hitmen and the Making of L.A. Muckraker Jerry Schneiderman," spins out the tale of a truly interesting Los Angeles figure and a bunch of intriguing episodes. It's a murder mystery and more, but nonfiction (despite the interviewer calling it a novel.)

Stan Lee cancels on Times' film festival

hero-complex-poster.jpg Stan Lee was supposed to be the center of attention on the final day of the Hero Complex Film Festival this weekend in Downtown. But his people say the 89-year-old comic book icon is clearing his schedule. The festival will now end a day earlier, on Sunday. Read more

For many LA fans, the Kings play tonight for Tanner *

tannerheads.jpg Tucked in among the purple and yellow and white Kings jerseys filling Staples Center tonight, there will also be small cardboard likenesses of a smiling fan. Tannerheads, the fans call them. Here's the backstory, via Toronto. [Update: Kings win]

Trutanich call to investigate DA's office rejected

District Attorney candidate Carmen Trutanich had asked the Attorney General to look into "suspicious political activity," citing the DA's inability to produce his old personnel file. Today, AG Kamala Harris says there will be no investigation.

Ford Foundation to fund new LA Times reporters *

latimes-east-face-tighter.jpg This tweaks the model for how to pay for big-city newspaper journalism. The Los Angeles Times, still one of the biggest newspapers in the country and by far the most potent in California, has accepted a $1 million grant to hire new reporters on selected beats. The money comes no strings attached, says the memo from editor Davan Maharaj. Read the memo

Does anyone care where Jim Rome does his gabbing?

jim-rome-faux-set.jpg Sports talker Jim Rome's CBS Sports TV show depicts him in front of a window that appears to look down on Staples Center and across at the Los Angeles downtown skyline. As if he were in the Marriott or one of the other buildings at LA Live. Well, he's not. Daily News sports columnist Tom Hoffarth is concerned enough about this to do some checking.

The four stooges break in to Apple store in Santa Monica

Surveillance video spotted four suspects, two males and two females, fleeing the scene. "Three fled north on the Promenade and the fourth ran south."

Donna Summer, disco queen was 63

donna-summer.jpg The singer known for her disco era hits such as "Love to Love You Baby," "Last Dance" and "On The Radio" has died of lung cancer.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 5.17.12

DA Cooley's media rounds regarding John Noguez, Hollywood for Jackie Lacey, a further note on Rep. Brad Sherman's mom and Photoshop, NPR in the red, local columnist treated for cancer and another bear in Glendale — plus Pacquiao apologizes even though he didn't say what they said he said.

Cooley calls on Noguez to resign as Assessor

johnnoguez.jpg Los Angeles County's elected tax assessor, John Noguez, should resign, District Attorney Steve Cooley told a gaggle of reporters today. It goes further than his pretty harsh comments yesterday about the investigation into the assessor's alleged dealings with campaign donors and clients of consultants who sell their ability to get property tax bills lowered. "I don't think he should be there,'' Cooley is reported saying. "In my view, he should resign in light of everything that's come out publicly and because it's interfering with the discharge of that important office's critical functions."

Brad Sherman mailers come with (or without) mom *

Some Valley voters are getting campaign mail that shows Rep. Brad Sherman with his wife and three young children. The lucky ones also get his mother, apparently photo-shopped in to the same scene.

Cadiz project to mine Mojave Desert water is back

cadiz-valley.jpg The plan cooked up by politically connected investors to deliver water from a remote corner of the Mojave to thirsty Southern California cities refuses to die after more than two decades. How the LA Times can do a new story on Cadiz without mentioning Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa or Arnold Schwarzenegger (and barely mentioning their pal who is at the center of things, Keith Brackpool) is a mystery. Note: No time for the Morning Buzz today.

LA Sketchbook: Jerry Reaper

qqxsg Jerry Reaper.jpg The latest cartoon by Steve Greenberg. His LA Sketchbook archive...

Indictments coming in Assesor probe, DA Cooley says

District Attorney Steve Cooley made his first public comments about his unit's investigation into possible corruption in the operation of county Assessor John Noguez. If anything, it sounds as if the investigation is white hot.

Kings take a 2-0 series lead — again

dustin-brown-51512-grab.jpg OK, right about now the hockey fans of North America have to be getting a little itchy. Confused. Not sure they understand what they're feeling, but maybe just because they have never seen it before. Post-game video

Runaway construction in Laurel Canyon

jackie-fox-video-grab.jpg Residents of Grand View Drive in Laurel Canyon are mad as hell about a "scofflaw" builder who has already mansionized one lot on the street and started work on two other parcels. They have banded together to make an effective and informative video — and have a little piece of local rock and roll history in their film.

Carlos Fuentes dies in Mexico City at age 83

carlos-fuentes.jpg The novelist, called in the New York Times obituary "Mexico’s elegant public intellectual and grand man of letters," died today in Mexico City. Fuentes was "one of the most admired writers in the Spanish-speaking world, a catalyst, along with Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Julio Cortazar, of the explosion of Latin American literature in the 1960s and ’70s known as 'El Boom.'"

LA Times kills the Sunday magazine — again

latimes-east-face-tighter.jpg Admittedly, many Los Angeles Times print subscribers didn't know the Times still printed a magazine every month. Even some high-income Zip codes didn't receive it with any regularity. But now the magazine is gone again. Here's the memo from LAT president Kathy Thomson.

What's the deal with Trutanich's personnel file?

trutanichdunked.jpg He's making a fuss about his old DA employment file being missing. But his people knew in 2008 that it couldn't be found, the LA Weekly says.

Restoration work begins on Lankershim depot

lankershim-depot-dn.jpg The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has begun the initial phase of work to restore the 1896 Southern Pacific Railroad depot from the San Fernando valley farming town of Lankershim, now known as North Hollywood. The decaying wooden structure sits at the corner of Lankershim and Chandler boulevards. Local historians took up the cause of saving the depot more than a decade ago.

Willie Middlebrook's last cry of rage

willie-middlebrook-thesource.jpg Friend and artist J. Michael Walker recounts in a piece for the LA Times op-ed page ow the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida overwhelmed artist Willie Middlebrook in the hospital last month.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 5.15.12

Building trades endorse Sherman, Zev vs. Parks at Coliseum vote, LA's violent jail deputies, bogus LAFD response time stats, a media type joins Gavin Newsom's staff, Eli Broad on the radio and more.

Carroll Shelby's LA connections and the Cobra *

carroll-cobras-venice.jpg Carroll Shelby, the auto racing legend who died last week in Dallas at age 89, apparently divided his time recently between Texas and Beverly Hills. The Southern California chapters of his career, though, are a pretty important part of the story.

USC control of the Coliseum approved

The Coliseum Commission voted 8-1 Monday to give up day-to-day control of the historic facility to neighboring USC. Commissioner Bernard Parks, the City Council member who has been skirmishing with the commission for years, voted no.

Lakers have a very bad first night in Oklahoma

The Thunder led by as many as 35 points and finished up by 29, winning 119-90 on Monday night in the opening game of the NBA Western Conference semifinals. Also: The Dodgers put Matt Kemp on the disabled list with a hamstring injury and the Angels excused outfielder Torii Hunter for an undisclosed amount of time after the arrest of his son in Texas.

Morning Buzz: Monday 5.14.12

Politico gives Brad Sherman the edge, unions claim Villaraigosa warring against women, a commentary against LA's proposed paper bag ban, Gregory Rodriguez on immigration and being an Angeleno, California's demographics are alright and SI profiles Kobe Bryant with a look at his father and mother. Plus much more for a catch-up Monday.

At least 49 more mutilated bodies found dumped in Mexico

mexico-bodies-hanging.jpg The latest atrocity in the Mexico drug wars is the remains of at least 43 men and six women found in plastic garbage bags near the town of Cadereyta Jimenez, on the side of a highway that runs between Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo on the U.S. border. Most of the victims had been decapitated and their hands and feet cut off.

Kings finish LA's weekend sweep

doughty-kings-phx-lak-getty.jpg After the Lakers and Clippers won their game sevens to advance in the playoffs, the Kings skated to a win in Arizona tonight to begin round three of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Kings captain Dustin Brown scored the game-winner in the third period. An empty-net goal in the final minute put the game away, 4-2.
jackie-lacey-courthouse.jpg Not a good day on the newspaper editorial pages for City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, who wants to be seen as the frontrunner in the district attorney race. "Trutanich is not the disaster portrayed by many of his critics," the Times says, adding the inevitable but.

I'll be hanging at Pasadena's LitFest this afternoon

kr-mug-color-100.jpg Pasadena is throwing its first community-wide book festival all day today at Central Park, just down the street (south) from Old Town Pasadena. I'll be meeting readers and signing some books at the Angel City Press booth from noon to 2 p.m. Stop by and have a chat. LitFest Pasadena, which is free, goes from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

LA Youth says $187,000 keeps teen paper alive

save-LAYouth.jpg Donna Myrow, the founder and executive director of the nonprofit that publishes LA Youth, emails: "We've received $187,000 from individual donors. Fundraising continues and the presses roll next week [on] the May-June issue." Statement from her inside.
rampmerge550.jpg in June, the rebuilding of the Wilshire Boulevard on- and off-ramps will begin a year-long traffic disruption in one of the nation's congested spots that will be so majorly disruptive it's being called The Rampture. We've been warning you this was coming. In case you were hoping it would just go away, it didn't.

Wolf OR7 has his first known human contact in California

Wolf-OR7-DFG-Shinn.jpg State wildlife biologist Richard Shinn snapped spotted OR7 on Tuesday in California's Modoc County and snapped the first known color photo of the male gray wolf that crossed over from Oregon in December, becoming California's only documented free-ranging wolf since the 1920s. "He appeared very healthy," said a state wildlife specialist.

Full text of Obama's remarks at Clooney fundraiser

This is the official transcript from the White House of what President Obama said from the stage at last night's Democratic fundraiser at George Clooney's home in Studio City.

Time's breastfeeding cover with LA mom

time-breast-cover.jpg The Los Angeles woman who everyone in the media seems to be talking about this week is Jamie Lynne Grumet, a 26-year-old mother of two and also a lactation consultant and breastfeeding advocate. She blogs about breastfeeding, mothering and "attachment parenting" at I am Not the Babysitter, but the site seems to be down. Not surprising, given the emotional frenzies sparked by her still breastfeeding her soon-to-be four-year-old son, and Time putting them on the cover in such a provocative pose.

Lakers lose ugly in Denver, now face a seventh game

The Lakers had another chance to close out the Nuggets and advance to the next round of the NBA playoffs. Didn't happen: 113-96 final.
President Obama told the guests at tonight's Democratic Party fundraiser in Studio City that his comments yesterday on completing his move into the yes column on same-sex marriage were "a logical extension of what America is supposed to be." Plus notes on who attended, what else Obama said during his 19-minute talk.

Obama chooses Berman in the battle of the Valley

Berman+Sherman+Town+Hall+JJ.jpg Rep. Howard Berman, not Brad Sherman, was invited to meet the president's helicopter at Bob Hope Airport this evening in Burbank. Berman then was swept into the car with Obama and got to discuss the weighty matters of state — or perhaps the Wolfgang Puck menu — on the drive to George Clooney's house for the big fundraiser in Studio City. I'll score that as a major point for Berman.

Signs point to Burbank Airport for Obama

BobsBigBoy-burbank.jpg If I were a betting man, or a Valley commuter hoping to avoid tonight's presidential motorcade traffic snarl, I would avoid the route between Bob Hope Airport in Burbank and Studio City as the clock approaches 7 p.m.

West Hollywood will actually ease up on parking enforcement

laurel-erickson-socalconnec.jpg Memorial Day will be extra special in the city of West Hollywood. The city that almost makes sport of ticketing parking violators will go easy on some of its citizens for the holiday.
LAO_panhandler.jpg Click to view the latest weekly photo for LA Observed by Gary Leonard.

Chez Jay's future may be short

chez-jay-pavlik.jpg Santa Monica's city hall and the Ocean Avenue landmark Chez Jay are not playing well together. The city is developing the parcel around Chez Jay into a park and wants a restaurant that will point inward to the park — not out to the street — and will serve healthier fare than the steaks and stuff drinks that Chez Jay's current patrons like.

Kings get a date and a video re-airing *

kurri-gretzky-mcsorley-si.jpg The Kings open Sunday evening in Arizona. Tonight, Fox Sports West will re-air the two most memorable games from the only time the Kings ever made it to the third round of the Stanley Cup finals before.

Steve Wasserman moves to Yale Press, signs Greil Marcus book

stevewassermantruthdig.jpg Steve Wasserman, the former longtime books editor at the Los Angeles Times (back in the years when the paper had a Sunday book review section), is giving up the agenting game to become a full-time editor at large for Yale University Press. His first acquisition for Yale is "an intimate history of rock ‘n’ roll" by Greil Marcus.
The Register's news mob swarm of the Angels' season opener worked so well that they're doing it again next month when Disney's California Adventure relaunches.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 5.10.12

Studio City braces for Obama, Clippers can't clinch, more bad sheriff's deputies, Time Warner Cable's new sports channels, Magic Johnson's veto power over Frank McCourt's parking lots and more.

LA Sketchbook: Parking fines in LA

qqParkingFines.jpg The latest cartoon by Steve Greenberg. Click to view bigger.
av-obama-lax.jpg Some recent political analysis had Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his call for a Democratic Party platform plank supporting gay marriage posing a potential problem for President Barack Obama. I'm not sure it really did pose such a problem then, but Obama has put it out in front of the voters now, for better or worse.
kelly-thomas-ocw.jpg Manuel Anthony Ramos, a ten-year veteran of the Fullerton Police Department, will be the first Orange County police officer to stand trial on a murder charge for his actions while in uniform. A judge ruled today that enough evidence of a crime was presented at a preliminary hearing for Ramos, 38, to face trial on charges of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Some updates on Obama's visit to Studio City on Thursday

clooney-obama.jpg Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian, who represents Studio City, says he has been told that the area south of Ventura Boulevard around Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Fryman Canyon will be pretty much a mess between 8 and 10 p.m. on Thursday. He also confirms that President Obama will stay overnight in Beverly Hills, as on recent trips.

SoCal bestsellers: Fifty Shades of LBJ?

50ShadesofGreyCoverArt.jpg Robert Caro's latest biographical installment on the late president Lyndon Baines Johnson shot to the top of this week's hardcover nonfiction list of the best sellers in Southern California independent bookstores. "Deadlocked" by Charlaine Harris tops the hardcover fiction list, while "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James continues to hold the top of the trade paperback list. (And others in the series the next two spots.) Books and authors page
Gregg-Allman-Poster-LTLA.jpg Live Talks Los Angeles is hosting a May 15 conversation with rocker Gregg Allman. His new memoir is "My Cross to Bear." He will be interviewed by music journalist Alan Light. Tickets are set aside for LA Observed readers.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 5.9.12

Profits booming but tax collections aren't, LAUSD requires even worst students to pass college prep courses, Hahn gets Times endorsement, trouble at KCET's production partner, LACMA apologizes to breastfeeding mom, and "Follies" opens tonight at the Ahmanson.

Obamajam moves to uncharted territory: the Valley

obamajam-creshts-1011.jpg President Obama returns to Los Angeles on Thursday to separate more Democrats from their $40,000. He's going to George Clooney's house in Studio City's Fryman Canyon, but how he will get there nobody's saying. The president will overnight somewhere in the LA area — back in Beverly Hills or does a new hotel get to host Obama this time?
santa-monica-sidewalk-meter.jpg The city bills the new parking meters as smarter and cooler. For drivers, though, they foretell some expensive lessons in how you can't cheat technology. Get ready for more tickets.
metta-elbow.jpg World Peace says he was "over-excited" when he smashed the head of James Harden of the Oklahama City Thunder. Officials of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health are forgiving of their very public partner.

Rich Buhler, Christian talk radio pioneer was 65

rich-buhler.jpg A former newshand at KFWB, Buhler moved into the Christian broadcasting side of radio in 1980. He did his final "Talk From the Heart" show on KBRT/740 AM in Costa Mesa last Sept. 16 due to advancing cancer of the pancreas.

Lakers come close, but can't finish off Nuggets

Kobe Bryant almost single-handedly brought the Lakers back from a big deficit in the final minutes of tonight's game at Staples Center, sinking three-pointers one after another. But Denver hung on to win 102-99 and stay alive in the best-of-seven playoff series. Game 6 is in Denver on Thursday.

WeHo News goes away for awhile, comes back

ryan-gierach-wehonews.jpg The online newspaper WeHo News apparently shut down March 1 and now has returned. The hiatus was due to founder and editor Ryan Gierach checking himself into residential rehab to quit drinking.
Prosecutors allege that former Glendale city councilman John Drayman embezzled between $304,000 and $880,000 from the weekly farmers market in Montrose, and filed false tax returns that did not reflect his true income.

Another media job open in LA: associate editor for Ms.

An LA media person sent this along. Ms. magazine is looking to hire an associate editor to work in Los Angeles.

LA Times posts books editor opening with a new twist

latentrance.jpg The Los Angeles Times is taking its newly vacant position of books editor in a somewhat new direction — emphasizing knowledge of pop culture and adding a focus on "California and the West" to the editor's job. The title is even being redefined to as "Books and Culture Editor."

LA Sketchbook: Long-term transit taxes

qqTransit-taxes.jpg The latest cartoon by Steve Greenberg. Click to view bigger.

Austin Beutner explains why he's out of mayor's race *

beutner-lamag.jpg Word got out this morning that Austin Beutner was telling friends and supporters that his quest to become mayor of Los Angeles next year was over. Mark Lacter had an item earlier at LA Biz Observed. Here's Beutner's statement this afternoon.
hwd-bowl-bathrooms.jpg Yes, the long wait is over. We now know what the bathrooms will look like when the Hollywood Bowl season opens. Courtesy of ZevWeb.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 5.8.12

Sheriff's stories, Valley Republicans, what Charles Dickens would think of LA transit, missing Fox executive, inside LA Youth, an LAT vet jumps to the New York Times and the Kings will play Phoenix. Plus more inside.

Maurice Sendak, author and illustrator was 83

where-the-wild-thigs-are.jpg The creator of "Where the Wild Things Are" and other dark children's fantasy books died Tuesday at a hospital in Danbury, Conn. "Where the Wild Things Are," published in 1963, became one of the bestselling children's books of all time. Here he is with Stephen Colbert.

Clippers go up 3-1, could reach new heights

griffin-clippers-espngrab.jpg The Clippers beat the Grizzlies in overtime on Monday night at Staples Center — 101-97 was the final score. One more win and the Clippers will reach the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Villaraigosa to propose another jump in parking fines

parking-cop-in-red.jpg Parking fines in Los Angeles are already way disproportionate to the crime, but in his desperation to balance his budget Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is planning to ask for the sixth increase in his time in office. Is it a policy move because parking violations are becoming some kind of civic nuisance? Uh, no. It's about money — and parking after the street sweeper comes could cost you a day's pay.

Video of Fullerton police beating Kelly Thomas

kelly-thomas-ocw.jpg I haven't posted much about this Orange County case, in which a homeless man was beaten so severely at police hands that he died, but the video of what happened to Kelly Thomas was released today. Thomas's pleas for his dad to help him are what may get to you. Warning: the video and audio are graphic.
lara-logan-cbs-grab5712.jpg It's not just Lara Logan. The presence of Anderson Cooper probably helps too. But it's an interesting ratings trend. "The oldest newsmagazine on television," writes Brian Stelter in the New York Times, "might have figured out how to halt the aging process."

Artist Willie Middlebrook dies

willie-middlebrook-thesource.jpg The Inglewood artist died over the weekend, just a week after the opening of the Expo Line, which features his artwork in the Crenshaw station. The MTA joined friends on Facebook in announcing his death.

Metrolink chief resigns to go into industry

John Fenton came to Metrolink about two years ago, after the disastrous crash of a Metrolink train and a freight train in Chatsworth. He said Monday he is stepping down for family and professional reasons to become the chief executive officer of Patriot Rail Corp.
Jon Thurber, the Los Angeles Times book editor since 2010, is leaving the paper at the end of the summer. He's one of the few remaining 40-year employees. The note from editor Davan Maharaj is silent on what Thurber may be going off to do, or on the future of the books staff. Read the memo inside.

Daily News endorses Berman over Sherman

ShermanANDBerman.jpg In "one of the most competitive congressional races in recent history," the Daily News editorial is asking voters to cast ballots for Democrat Howard Berman and Republican Susan Shelley. That leaves out the Valley's other big congressional incumbent, Brad Sherman. Here's what they say in this morning's editorial.

Sherman wants investigation of Berman-flavored super PAC

A supposedly independent committee that is spending money on behalf of Rep. Howard Berman in the big San Fernando Valley showdown is too close to the congressman, says the campaign of rival Rep. Brad Sherman.

Morning Buzz: Monday 5.7.12

A rash of lawmaker arrests, stadium vs Port of LA, Chief Beck and the police commission, mythical fireballs at Beverly Hills High School, the Lakers win and much more for a Monday.

Steve Lopez catches up with the riot victim we don't know

Fidel Lopez was dragged from his truck, beaten and nearly killed at Florence and Normandie just minutes after the same bad luck fell on Reginald Denny, the afternoon of April 29, 1992. Lopez had gasoline poured over him as he lay on the ground and was saved from death by a pastor who told the attackers they would have to kill him too. Lopez has not been seen in the media much since then, so Times columnist Steve Lopez tracked him down. Wasn't easy.
giovanni-ramirez-dailynews.jpg When Giovanni Ramirez attended the first game at Dodger Stadium in April — his first ever — fans asked for his autograph or to take a picture with him. A television crew taped an interview. "Of the all the 56,000 fans who bought tickets for opening day at Dodger Stadium," writes J.P. Hoonstra in the Daily News, " it's possible that none were treated as well" as Ramirez.

Albert Pujols finally hits a home run for the Angels

pujols-graphic-mlb.jpg Pujols went 111 at-bats into his 10-year, $240-million new life in the American League before finally clubbing a home run on Sunday afternoon in Anaheim. It was the longest homerless drought in his career. When he got back to the dugout, his Angels teammates were nowhere to be found.

Kings sweep away the Blues

kings-clinch-blues-grab.jpg The LA Kings' amazing playoff run continues. They swept out the St. Louis Blues on Sunday afternoon, winning 3-1, and are now 8-1 in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Kings are going to the third round, the Western Conference finals, for the first time since Wayne Gretzky led the team in 1993. Inside: Photo of Phil Anschutz at the game, ticket info for round three, video of the handshake.

Yet Lock retires from City News Service after 40 years

yet-lock.jpg Lock, the executive vice president of City News Service, came to the local wire service from the mayor's office. Mayor Sam Yorty — in 1972. This makes him "possibly the longest-serving news executive in Southern California," CNS says in a release.

Video: Sam Rubin on Dick Clark's memorial service

sam-rubin-screen-crop.jpgSam Rubin at KTLA Channel 5 says the private memorial service for Dick Clark yesterday in Malibu was amazing. "I found the whole thing so very moving, so heartfelt, that I asked the family if I could talk about it after the fact on TV. I did so on KTLA this morning."
The office of City Councilman Richard Alarcon released a statement this morning repeating that Alarcon and his wife, Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon, are not guilty of the voter fraud and perjury charges filed yesterday by District Attorney Steve Cooley.

Morning Buzz: Friday 5.4.12

Point man at spinning the assessor's scandal, stash of unused equipment found, Huffington's role at AOL reduced, Wendy Greuel's women, campaign manager Garry South donates papers and a bunch of media and politics notes for a Friday.

Kings have a good night — and How

kings-blues-focus-hhow.jpg They got to play at home Thursday night for the first time since forcing their way into the second round of the NHL playoffs — and they didn't disappoint the standing-room crowd of screaming fans at Staples Center. You know who also had a great night? Photographer Harry How of Getty Images.
time-protester-cover.jpg Time magazine picked up the top honor tonight at the Ellies in New York, singled out by the American Society of Magazine Editors for its print and digital achievements, including the cover with Ted Soqui's picture of an Occupy LA protester. The New Yorker won in reporting for Lawrence Wright's story on director and screenwriter Paul Haggis' fight with the Church of Scientology.

The night Junior Seau introduced a Marine to the ukulele

seau-marine.jpg After Junior Seau died, Deadspin received an email from Albert Flores Jr., a U.S. Marine Corps captain in Sneads Ferry, N.C. He describes a chance encounter in an Oceanside bar last year with Seau, the former USC and NFL linebacker — and Flores' football hero.

Arrest made in assault on LAPD officer at May Day rally

The LAPD says that Brian Mendoza, 23, has been arrested in the videotaped head bonking of an officer working the May Day rallies in downtown. He is 6 feet 280, she is 5'1" 115.

Take My Picture Gary Leonard: New owners

alarcon-home-dn.jpg Superior Court judge Kathleen Kennedy dismissed the DA's two-year-old perjury and voter fraud case against City Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife, Flora Montes de Oca Alarcon, saying the prosecution failed to present evidence to the grand jury that undercut its case. Prosecutors indicated they would refile the charges.
Ann Ravel, the chairwoman of the state's Fair Political Practices Commission, is giving up for now on trying to force bloggers to disclose payments they receive from political campaigns. She's moving instead to seek voluntary disclosure by bloggers for the November election, but isn't holding her breath. "I don't think there's going to be a large amount of voluntary disclosure," she says.
eli-broad-book-cover.jpg Eli Broad speculates in ""The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking" — with a foreword by Michael Bloomberg — that the LA Times will be for sale once the Tribune's bankruptcy closes and says he's interested again. Broad is also now on Twitter and Facebook and has started to blog.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 5.3.12

Son charged with killing ICE agent-father, charges dropped against casting director, Molly Munger starts submitting signatures, Brad Sherman invests campaign funds, Ruth Seymour talks about start of "Which Way, L.A.?" and putting speed limits on skateboards. Plus a date for Leonard Cohen to play Los Angeles.
nyc-met-steps.jpg Vanity Fair and "60 Minutes" conducted a little poll of Americans' answers to an eclectic set of questions you may not have known were pressing. The answers are fun to see.

Scarlett Johansson gets a star and Garcetti was there

scarlett-garcetti-vertical.jpg Councilman Eric Garcetti has given the people what they want before by posting to Facebook his inside-the-rope cellphone pics of celebrities receiving stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in his district. Today he caught a good view of the cameras watching actress Scarlett Johansson watch them.
latimes-east-face-tighter.jpg In another nod to the importance of what the paper does online, the Los Angeles Times is stationing veteran foreign correspondent Carol J. Williams on a desk in the newsroom to write for the paper's World Now blog.

LA Sketchbook: Man Up

qqManUp.jpg Cartoon by Steve Greenberg.

Video: LAPD officer smacked by May Day protester

Some dude was caught on camera whacking an officer on the helmet with a drum during Tuesday's protest in Downtown. Pretty amazing that none of the other LAPD cops on the scene saw him.

Junior Seau, former NFL and USC star, possible suicide at 43

Screen shot 2012-05-02 at 12.40.32 PM.png A 911 call came from Seau's Oceanside home about 10 a.m. Responders found Seau dead of a gunshot wound that appears to be self-inflicted.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 5.2.12

Rail car lobbyists, how Angelenos feel about Occupy, how George Clooney came to host a big Obama fundraiser at his home, Kevin James lunches with Steve Lopez, a new PBS series on Latinos and another place to eat on historic Broadway.

Dodgers press conference to air live on LA television

kemp-lopes-homerun-42812.jpg High fives all around — the McCourt pox has passed from Dodger Stadium. The new owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers will be introduced Wednesday at 10 a.m. in center field.

Two strong testimonials for saving L.A. Youth

layouth-icon.jpg Donna Myrow, the founder in 1988 of the teen-written free newspaper L.A. Youth, is telling anyone who will listen that the paper is facing financial calamity this month. Two alumni of the paper offer compelling arguments for finding the money, somehow — especially with the anniversary of the riots so prominently on the city's mind.

Read the memo: LA Times celebrates its circulation numbers

bill-nagel-lat.jpg "Our Daily circulation results, which now reflect inclusion of Hoy, showed The Times’ largest reported increase in more than a decade. Our total Sunday circulation was up for the third consecutive ABC Statement and reached the highest level reported since September 2009."

Los Angeles magazine has breakfast and great weekends

lamag-bkfst-5-1-12.jpg As part of its CityThink efforts, Los Angeles magazine hosted another of its breakfast conversations this morning at Kate Mantilini, this time with Ben Hecht, the president and CEO of Living Cities. The May issue features a return of the 52 Great Weekends feature, and a profile of KFI power talkers John and Ken, and a Q&A with Controller Wendy Greuel.

Best evidence yet of the LA Weekly's riots effort in '92 *

Judgment_Day_0592-2.jpg After reading that the LA Weekly itself could not turn up an archive copy of the paper's first issue after the riots in 1992, Los Angeles magazine editor-in-chief Mary Melton dug out her copy and posted it. "The issue was a thoughtful, impressive undertaking, featuring some of the finest journalists L.A. has known," she writes.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 5.1.12

Koreans and sa-i-gu, Football Williams talks from prison, Metro awards rail car contract to Japan, Greuel audit of LADOT, and Laura Diaz on the weekend schedule.

May Day traffic disruptions expected downtown

2012MayDay-streets.jpg Several Downtown streets will be closed temporarily and Metro bus lines detoured for May Day rallies and marches today. "Street closures will begin as early as 6 AM for the participant assembly area located on Broadway between 11th Street and Olympic Boulevard, as well as for the rally area located on Broadway between 1st Street and Temple Street," the city says. "Street closures for the rest of the route will begin as early as 9AM." Check the map.
Clinton fundraises in LA
kermit-la-brea-closer.jpg Jim Henson Studios on La Brea became a presidential campaign stop on Thursday.
Brown declares disaster area
porter-ranch-sign.jpgThe natural gas leak above Porter Ranch now qualifies for various government actions. Story
Wet coyote
wet-coyote-vdt.jpgSpotted between the storms at Here in Malibu.
Performing arts with cheer
guys-dolls-kevin-parry.jpgDonna Perlmutter closes out 2015 with productions downtown and on the Westside.
Junkyard down
upick-firetruck-560.jpgAfter 53 years, Sun Valley's Aadlen Brothers and U-Pick Parts cleans out. Photos