LA Observed archive
for July 2012

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

City Hall workers told to stop watching Olympics on the net

olympic-gymnast.jpg All that live streaming on the job threatens to melt down the city's computer system, so please stop, LA's chief technology officer pleads.

Gore Vidal, writer was 86

gore-vidal-82-upi.jpg Vidal died this evening at his home in the Hollywood Hills. Complications of pneumonia, his nephew Burr Steers has been telling the media.

Feds indict ex-labor chief Tyrone Freeman

Tyrone Ricky Freeman, who used to be president of Service Employees International Union Local 6434, was indicted Tuesday afternoon by a federal grand jury on charges of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the union that represents tens of thousands of home healthcare workers.

Yahoo asks a funny question: Villaraigosa for president?

avparis.jpg I'm assuming there's no actual impetus for the story, other than a lazy sidebar to the symbolic role Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been cast in for the Democratic convention later this summer. He does says in the story that he would like to be governor.

Guy Adams returns to Twitter after NBC retracts complaint *

guyadams.jpg "Did I miss much while I was away?" the Los Angeles bureau chief for The Independent tweets after Twitter lifted his suspension. Twitter sent an email notifying Guy Adams that NBC had dropped its complaint about Adams posting the email address of a network executive as part of an Olympics rant.

Remains found in Verdugos near home of missing FBI agent

Burbank police say the body is that of Stephen Ivens, missing since May 11. His remains were located in woods in the 3600 block of Scott Road near St. Francis Xavier School. His weapon was found nearby.

Dodgers acquire OF rental Victorino from Phillies *

Shane Victorino, who the Dodgers let go for nothing several years ago, has been the starting center fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies. He comes to the Dodgers for the rest of this season, likely to play left field, in a trade for reliever Josh Lindblom and minor league pitching prospect Ethan Martin, the Dodgers first-round draft pick in 2008.

San Fernando rallies around neon sign at shuttered Penney's

penneys-sf-neon-dn.jpg Residents in the city of San Fernando could not stop their J.C. Penney store from closing over the weekend. But they did manage to stop the dismantling of the store's long-time neon sign.

Councilman Rosendahl talks about his medicinal pot use

City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who the LA Times calls a longtime proponent of legalizing marijuana, told David Zahniser that he has had his own medical marijuana prescription for a decade. The pot helps him with painful neuropathy in his feet, Rosendahl says. He also has taken campaign money from pot dispensaries and their supporters.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 7.31.12

Warner Bros. spends in LA, more on Guy Adams and NBC, a reward in that severed head case, a new public works commissioner, Laker Matt Barnes arrested and more.

Dodgers trade for a pitcher, and secrets of the deadline

brandon-league-mariners.jpg The Dodgers picked up Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Brandon League tonight in a trade for two minor league prospects, and they may have other deals working. Plus: Ex-GM Dan Evans shares some secrets of baseball's trading deadline.

New biography praises the late, great Jim Murray

jim-murray-cosell.jpg Jim Murray, writes reviewer John Schulian, "made the sports page seem as if it should have a $10 cover and a two-drink minimum...Even when he railed against the carnage at the Indianapolis 500, there was a laugh, however dark, in his outrage: 'Gentlemen, start your coffins.'...By the time he died, in 1998, he was one of those rare ink-stained wretches who fly with the eagles."

John Bogert, Daily Breeze columnist with cancer was 63

john-bogert-mug-breeze.jpg John Bogert is the South Bay columnist who announced in his final column last month in the Daily Breeze that he had stopped treatment for his colon cancer. The paper has just posted the news that Bogert died Sunday afternoon at home in Pasadena.

I'm sure Grand Park is nice, but let's not forget

zooey-grab.jpg The former park wasn't heavily used, but It was a nice spot for Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character to celebrate bedding Zooey Deschanel's Summer in "(500) Days of Summer."

May-Treanor and Walsh go for long sleeves *

treanor-walsh-london-sleeves.jpg When they played their first match of the London Olympics the other night, beach volleyball legends Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings eschewed their usual competition bikinis. It was 11 p.m., after all — and in London. "It's cold," Walsh Jennings said.

So long, and thanks here's a fish

cody-martin-fish.jpg Cody Martin captured a large yellowtail by hand off the Manhattan Beach pier — thanks to some dolphins who stunned the fish then left it behind. Outdoors blogger Pete Thomas explains how it happened.

Brit reporter in LA suspended by Twitter after NBC complained *

twitter-suspended-grab.jpg This seems more than a little embarrassing for Twitter. Seems the service suspended the very active account of Guy Adams, the Los Angeles-baed bureau chief for UK's The Independent, after a siege of weekend tweets pummeling NBC's coverage of the Olympics — and a complaint by NBC.

LA Times adds three more entertainment reporters

These will be stationed in Business, and include yet another body devoted to coverage of entertainment industry awards and another covering TV, plus the return of a slot based in New York.

Morning Buzz: Monday 7.30.12

E3 staying in Los Angeles, another gold for Monrovia's skeet shooter, Tyrone Freeman expects to be indicted, John Phillips joins Doug McIntrye talk show, David Geffen and his Judaism and the Cheesecake Factory in Brentwood may be closing. Plus more for a Monday.

LAFD to resume hiring this fall

lafd-ambulance-41.jpg For the first time since a class of new firefighters was inducted in 2009, the Los Angeles Fire Department will crank up the hiring and training of recruits. The numbers won't be big — 300 slots over the coming two years.

Freeway signs for colleges: out of control

loyola-fwy-sign.jpg Good Bob Pool story in the Times: the busiest stretch of freeway for signs that, in theory, help drivers find their way to a nearby college is now the 101 in the west Valley. The latest institution to get a sign is Tarzana's Hypnosis Motivation Institute, "which has classrooms on the third floor of a Ventura Boulevard office building."

Westwood Village trees marked for the ax

westwood-trees-glendon.jpg Some sidewalk trees in Westwood Village are bearing signs that announce they will soon be removed. Like in many areas of the city, Westwood's sidewalks are being cracked or buckled by tree roots.

Holmby Hills group takes the chutzpah prize

holmby-hills-carolwood.jpg The neighborhood of Holmby Hills is one of the highest-income enclaves of Los Angeles, if not the highest. It has probably the least-used city streets — in part because of the questionably profligate use of no parking signs. But still, a small group wants to be traded to Beverly Hills because financially strapped LA City Hall won't fix a few potholes.

German view of 'Fashioning fashion'

fashioning-fashion-berlin.jpg If you remember the exhibit at LACMA a couple of years ago on European clothing through the centuries, here's some interesting behind-the-scenes detail on the show and its recent run in Berlin. Plus a reprise of our video tour with costume designer Marlene Stewart.

From the files of (Beverly Hills) police squad

bev-hills-confidential-cove.jpg The Beverly Hills Police Department has opened its photo and case files to the authors of the newest book from Angel City Press — "Beverly Hills Confidential: A Century of Stars, Scandals and Murders." It's what it sounds like, only authorized.

LAT's Rainey moves back to politics

James Rainey has been covering media as a reporter since his bosses at the Los Angeles Times dropped his media column back in October. He will now post items to the paper's Politics Now blog, per Friday's note to the newsroom from national editor Roger Smith.

Lupe Ontiveros, veteran actress was 69

lupe-ontiveros-400.jpg Ontiveros, a versatile actress from El Paso who came to Hollywood and once estimated she had a played a maid 150 times on stage or screen, died Thursday night of cancer in Whittier. She's being remembered as a Mexican American symbol and as an activist, as well as for her acting. "It is with deep sadness yet much pride that we reflect upon a woman whose immense contributions opened the door for Latinos and touched so many through her artistic talent," Mayor Villaraigosa said in a statement.

Which side is Anaheim 'protester' on?

blonde-anaheim-protest.jpg Protesters and the OC Weekly suspect a police plant after a blonde woman seen taunting Anaheim police during street protests was also spotted standing with a police line and verbally defending officers. Meanwhile, city officials called for outside reviews of the Anaheim PD's use of force.

Californians buying more guns this year than ever

The state says that California residents will buy 725,000 rifles, pistols and shotguns in 2012, nearly twice the number they purchased five years ago, when 370,628 were acquired.

Tale of two ex-Bullock's stores in Westwood

westwood-village-aerial.jpg Target's new City store opened on Weyburn Avenue, but BeBe has vacated the original Bullock's department store location in Westwood Village.

Sherman claims the lead, Berman goes negative

Berman+Sherman+Town+Hall+JJ.jpg There have been some developments, political and media, since we last checked in on the congressional race in the Valley between incumbent Democrats Brad Sherman and Howard Berman. Today's serve came from the Sherman side.

Latest act in MOCA drama: Ex-CEO calls for Deitch's removal

Charles Young, the former UCLA chancellor who was named chief executive officer at the troubled Museum of Contemporary Art in 2008, has sent an email to friend and museum trustee Eli Broad urging they move on from director Jeffrey Deitch.

Behind the scenes at Guelaguetza

emilia-mateo-guelaguetza-sonicid.jpg Sonic Trace, a radio storytelling project from KCRW and Localore — which is a nationwide initiative of the Association of Independents in Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — spent a morning talking to servers and other staff at Restaurante Guelaguetza before the venerable Oaxacan eatery in Koreatown opened for the day.

Anaheim as the tragic kingdom, from a native

anaheim+ground.jpgThe city of Anaheim's hot summer has been years in the making, writes Gustavo Arellano, the editor of OC Weekly whose family has called Anaheim home for many, many decades.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 7.26.12

Gov. Brown delta water tunnels, the Twitter account that follows what Brown says, Anaheim's divisions, three law enforcement officers arrested, Garcetti announces fundraising and more.

Weird day of actual celebrity news

kristen-stewart-people.jpg Katherine Jackson, Kristen Stewart and a paparazzo who chased Justin Bieber.

US women's soccer opens Olympics with a win

alex-morgan-uss.jpg Alex Morgan, who graduated from Diamond Bar High School and UC Berkeley, scored two goals today as the American women came from behind to defeat France 4-2.

That quake this morning was just a baby

Just a magnitude 3.7 earthquake but right under a pretty big population: a little north and east of LAX, and three miles south of Culver City. The shake map stays all blue though the measurement seems quite widespread.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.25.12

Anaheim arrests, porn condoms, LA Zoo elephants, San Fernando's restraining orders (and its J.C. Penney store) and upset over the Getty's new parking fees for scholars, plus the Stanley Cup is back in town and a local media obituary.

Dodgers reportedly land a very big fish *

hanley-ramirez-to-la-espn.png Media reports say LA has acquired Hanley Ramirez from the Miami Marlins at the minor cost of rookie pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and a prospect. Ramirez has been in a hitting funk this season and last, and he's a potential head case, but he's young and before that he was a more dangerous offense weapon than anyone the Dodgers have other than Matt Kemp.

Hollywood passings: Chad Everett, Sherman Hemsley

Between them, Everett and Hemsley appeared on screen in many hours of episodic television. And for many, Everett played it just right during the scene of Betty's audition in David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive."

Long tense night in Anaheim

anaheim+ground.jpg Police and protesters clashed in the streets of Anaheim again Tuesday night, more aftermath of the police killing of an unarmed man who was running from officers. The day's turmoil began when a crowd of about 200 tried to get past officers and into the Anaheim city hall for a city council meeting.

Bunker Hill in 1965: Dick Clark and the Turtles

Dick Clark points out the DWP building and the new Music Center, then the Turtles play "You Baby" on the Grand Avenue sidewalk with City Hall in the background, in a clip from "Where the Action Is."

LA's war against jitneys

jitneys-kcet.jpg Two good stories within a week on the uneasy relationship in Los Angeles with lone wolf car services and drivers — through the decades and now.

Photog firepower at the City Council *

photogs-council-cd15.jpg Los Angeles photojournalism stalwarts Nick Ut of AP, Al Seib of the Los Angeles Times and Jonathan Alcorn (who might be working for anybody on this one) at this morning's City Council discussion on medical marijuna.

Kudos for the Aurora police dispatcher

Jack Dunphy, the LAPD veteran who blogs anonymously for a number of conservative political websites, listens to the audio on the Aurora, Colorado shootings and gives huge credit to the unidentified woman on the radio.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 7.24.12

Anaheim upset over police shootings, new water wars in California?, Antonovich wants to stay beyond 36 years, Ramon Cortines and the "unwanted sexual advances" and more.

Free tix: Kurt Andersen and Lawrence O'Donnell

Kurt-Andersen.jpg The last event of the season for LA Talks Live is a conversation between Kurt Andersen, the host of "Studio 360" and former editor of Spy whose new novel is "True Believers," and writer and TV host Lawrence O'Donnell.

Rhino Records, the video, needs your help

rhino-popup-poster.jpg Keith Shapiro grew up in Pittsburgh listening to Dr. Demento talk about a magical place in LA's Westwood called Rhino Records. Now he's making a movie. Check out the video.

Ichiro takes the field in Seattle — as a Yankee *

ichiro-yankee-carig.jpg No Los Angeles angle. Just a sports moment.
 
Video add: Ichiro bows to the fans.

Sally Ride, LA-born astronaut and scientist was 61 *

sally-ride-space,jpg.jpg Sally Ride, who grew up in the Encino and graduated from Stanford, became in 1983 the first American woman to work in space. She was also the youngest American at the time to fly into space for NASA. She died today of pancreatic cancer.

Frank Pierson, Hollywood leader was 87

frank-pierson-obit.jpg Frank Pierson served as president of both the Writers Guild, West, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences. He rose in Hollywood as a screenwriter and director. He got his start on the TV series' "Have Gun, Will Travel," "Naked City" and "Route 66." He won the original screenplay Oscar in 1976 for "Dog Day Afternoon."

Tom Cruise PSA for Scientology surfaces *

Video of Cruise talking the Scientology talk is included in a Daily Beast story by a defector from the Church of Scientology's elite and odd Sea Org unit. The story compares the many similarities between church founder L. Ron Hubbard and the lead character in the upcoming film "The Master."

Morning Buzz: Monday 7.23.12

Romney and Obama cross in Bay Area, LAPD to ration fingerprint analysis, who is responsible for sidewalks?, Lorenza Munoz on the pain of not trying for the Olympics, Sandy Banks on spanking (again), freeway workers killed and obits for Alexander Cockburn. Plus more.

Stanley Cup hits the farm belt

Cup-sutter-brothers-fsw.jpg First there was a visit to Los Angeles Kings executive Ron Hextall's farm in Manitoba. Then this weekend the Stanley Cup was in Viking, Alberta to be celebrated by the clan of Kings coach Darryl Sutter.

Angeleno athletes all over ESPN's Body Issue

volleyball-team-espnmag-body.jpg Candace Parker of the Sparks and Carlos Bocanegra, the former UCLA player who is a defender on the U.S. national soccer team, are among the local figures featured prominently in ESPN The Magazine's annual issue devoted to the (nude) bodies of top athletes. Art Streiber's strategic positioning (and lighting) of the U.S. women's volleyball team has to be worth some kind of prize.
boom-cover.2012.2.gif For the first time in history, California-born residents constitute a majority of the state's total population. Native Californians are now the state's only majority. Here's one thing that could mean.

NYT Travel: the Valley's 'way cooler' than LA

trailhead-wsfv-lao.jpg Freelance travel writer extolls the virtues of the San Fernando Valley for the global audience of the New York Times. Plus more from Sunday's paper.

Deitch talks about his rough month at MOCA *

jeffrey-deitch-nymag.jpg Embattled MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch sat down with the LA Times' Reed Johnson on Friday to give his side of the past month's turmoil at his museum. Deitch "vigorously defended his two-year record of exhibitions and programming. Meanwhile, a NYT critic who endorsed Deitch's hiring backs away some.

Ex-Dodgers farmhand gets arty

wakamatsu-calligraphy.jpg Don Wakamatsu, a former major league baseball manager (Seattle Mariners) who is now a coach for the Toronto Blue Jays, is getting some attention up there for the stylish calligraphy he applies to his lineup cards.

America's young are driving a lot less

Drivers-Licenses-atlantic.png Since 1983, the percentage of Americans with drivers licenses has fallen for every age group under 40 (the magazine says 50, but the difference looks minor over 40.) The study authors say Internet use probably explains the declining interest in driving.

Friday desk clearing

Villaraigosa calls for assault weapon ban, police commissioner appointed, two media layoffs and more.

Times debuts new global population series

lat-series-promo.jpg Not the best weekend to unveil a major new project, given the mass shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado, but the LA Times is committed now. The paper has unveiled the promotion campaign for a five-part series on global population growth, by the journalists who produced the Pulitzer-winning Altered Oceans series awhile back.

SoCal connections of the Colorado shooter

james-holmes-college.jpg Authorities and media now say that James Holmes, who is 24, grew up in the San Diego suburbs and graduated in 2010 with honors and a neuroscience degree from UC Riverside.

Oops o' the day *

lat-oops-butt-crack.jpg Unfortunate extra letter on page A12 in the Las Vegas sheriff story in some print editions of today's Los Angeles Times. It was fixed in my print copy, but not in those of a couple of LA Observed readers who sent it in. Update: Times assistant managing editor emails.

Morning Buzz: Friday 7.20.12

LAT vs Coliseum Commission in court, Hollywood neighbors sue over community plan, Malibu's Skylar Peak briefly committed to mental facility, LA is "in love with itself" and more.

No S in construction at KCAL

tay-typo-kcal.jpg I really shouldn't be needling anyone else over typos, but reader Donald sent this in amused. Is Sharon Tay surprised to find there's no S in construction at KCAL? Is she just enunciating an O at that moment? "I'm amazed they spelled the recently coined (and lame) word 'Carmageddon' correctly!," says Donald.

Photo o' the day, New York edition

new-york-tstorm-buzzfeed.jpg BuzzFeed says this photo of Wednesday's thunderstorm over New York was taken out the window of an airliner at 10,000 feet by former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones.

A mom no kid can be proud of

Check out the story in the Daily News on a Valley mother who gave her daughter (and her middle-school friends) a ride to terrorize some ex-friends. Hey, at least they weren't out walking in the unsafe city.

Joe Frank story to air on KCRW

Recently silent but longtime-KCRW storyteller Joe Frank will produce an episode of the "UnFictional" series. His episode, "Dreamers," airs Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Carmageddon II has a date: weekend of Sept. 28

I405-East-View-of-Mulholland-Bridge-5501.jpg Metro has decided when to drop the other shoe on the necessary weekend closure of the entire 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass. The follow-up to last summer's disruptive but successful closure will begin about 7 p.m. on Friday, September 28. The freeway will be scheduled to reopen at 5 a.m. on Monday, October 1

Morning Buzz: Thursday 7.19.12

Emmy noms, Tribune's plans for LAT, Variety's future, Michael Brand on the Getty, an opening on the police commission and more.

Cattle drive, Mid State Fair

cows-paso-robles.jpg The annual cattle drive through the streets of Paso Robles on Wednesday for the Mid State Fair, which opened today. The fair runs through July 29.

Red sunset in LA tonight

sunset-july18-gregrod.jpg Social media are lighting up with camera grabs of the sunset, color-enriched by a little unusual July cloud action. This is Gregory Rodriguez's Facebook post from Washington Boulevard and Hill Street south of Downtown.

Little Tokyo building with a past for sale: $1

senor-fish-bldg.jpg The unreinforced brick building that houses Señor Fish at 1st Street and Alameda has to be moved or torn down for the Regional Connector underground light-rail line. It formerly housed The Atomic Cafe and at least one other '80s restaurant.

Channel 4's Ana Garcia saves a hawk in Larchmont

Hawk-Face-larchmont-buzz.jpg Ana Garcia, the investigative reporter on NBC 4, tweeted to her neighbors in the Larchmont area that she needed assistance with an injured hawk on Windsor Boulevard. The help was forthcoming and all is well.

Afternoon news notes

drew-doughty-vf.jpg Drew Doughty, the Kings' 22-year-old star, won't be charged in connection with a South Bay woman's police report that he forced her to have sex.
 
Rusty Hicks, political director for the County Federation of Labor, has been called up by the Navy Reserve for a year-long tour in Afghanistan and will miss the Prop. 32 campaign and the mayor's race. He leaves in August.
 
More inside.

Photo op at Union Station for high speed rail

highspeedrail-unionstation-brown.jpg Gov. Jerry Brown convened the local faithful at Union Station to sign the bill that authorizes the state to sell $4.7 billion in bonds to build 130 miles of high-speed rail track between Bakersfield and Madera. The bill also helps fund LA transit projects.

Third Cudahy official cops a plea

Another former member of the Cudahy City Council, Osvaldo Conde, has agreed to plead guilty to federal extortion and bribery charges. He joins the former mayor, David Silva, and another official who formally agreed last week to plead guilty to federal charges.

Final story from Sierra correspondent

Thumbnail image for owens-valley-dwp-trucks-lao.jpg Michael J. Ybarra, the longtime California freelancer who died recently in a fall near Yosemite, had a byline this week in the Los Angeles Times Calendar section.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.18.12

Coliseum fugitive talks, Omidis stop raising money, undersheriff tries to fix "gray area" claim, Joseph Gordon-Levitt not happy with GQ, Tyler Green on MOCA's mess and Angela Ruggiero on the London Olympics.

Berman campaign puts Brandon Hall in charge

ShermanANDBerman.jpg The Democratic strategist who joined the Howard Berman reelection campaign in March as a senior advisor is taking full charge of everything, campaign sources say. That would be a big and serious shift in approach by Berman, who for decades kept his political campaign machinery tightly in the hands of his brother Michael. For the first time, Berman is also using an outside pollster.

Woody Guthrie's Los Angeles still being discovered

woody-guthrie-columnist-kcet.jpg In honor of Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday, which would have been last weekend, KCET blogger and artist Ed Fuentes went in search of understanding why LA's months of celebrating the Dust Bowl era singer-songwriter includes city signs proclaiming 4th and Main to be "Woody Guthrie Square."

Central Coast politician tries to bully news site

george-ramos-calcoast.jpg Cal Coast News.com, the website that the late journalist and professor George Ramos was leading when he died last year, says that a San Luis Obispo County supervisor is pressuring advertisers and sources to shun the site.

Video: Humpback encounter off Dana Point today

Up close with a humpback whale for about 30 seconds. Though, video of a coyote trying to chase off that mountain lion in Orange County's Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park might be more dramatic.

Video of ABC special on Disneyland opening in 1955

disneyland-sign-bw.jpgArt Linkletter hosted special coverage on ABC of Disneyland's debut on July 18, 1955 — 57 years ago. "This is not so much a show as it is a special event."

Susanna Hoffs lands a new record

susanna-hoffs-gdla-grab.jpg The lead singer for The Bangles released a new solo album today and made the rounds, including a conversation and mini-concert at the Grammy Museum last night and a visit to "Good Day LA" on Fox 11. Meanwhile, she performs with the original band next month in Pershing Square then goes out on tour. Oh by the way, she is 53 and the mother of two teenage sons.

Universal expansion plan drops residential

nbc-universal-plan.jpg NBCUniversal has killed a controversial proposal to build 3,000 homes on its property at Universal City. Instead the expansion will feature a new hotel and more room for the movie and TV studios and the theme park.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 7.17.12

No "taxes" in Gov. Brown's ad for Prop. 30, Lockyer filed for divorce, Beck on Art Walk skirmish, Noguez grand jury asks questions, more trouble for the Expo Line, a new gig for ex-Dodgers GM, new media hires plus what you can expect from Malcolm Gladwell next year.

William Asher, prolific TV director-producer was 90

Asher directed 100 episodes of "I Love Lucy," brought the Gidget character to television, directed the popular series of 1960s beach movies starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, and produced the "Bewitched" TV series that starred his then-wife, Elizabeth Montgomery.

Things looking bad for KPFK, Pacifica

kpfk.jpg The Pacifica Foundation's head office has notified the network's five local radio stations, including KPFK here, to prepare for deep cuts in budgets and staffing. The latest alarms at the perennially strapped stations were apparently prompted by an audit of the books that concluded there is “substantial doubt” that Pacifica can "continue as a going concern.”

LA geography lesson o' the day

San-Fernando-fox11.jpg San Fernando is not Pacoima. The first clue for the graphics editor at Fox 11 should have been the sign visible in the background that reads San Fernando City Hall. There are 88 cities in Los Angeles County. San Fernando is one of them. Pacoima is not.

MOCA loses Ed Ruscha too

ed-ruscha-exhibit.jpg Ruscha became the last of four artists to leave the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art since the whole kerfuffle erupted over the removal of chief curator Paul Shimmel.

DONE's Kim leaving city for a San Diego foundation

bhkim.jpg Kim announced today that he's resigning as general manager of the city's Department of Neighborhood Empowerment on August 4 — and departing Los Angeles — to take a position in San Diego. This means he's out of the race for the 13th Council District, the crowded derby to choose a successor next year to termed-out mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti.

San Fernando ex-mayor wants charges dropped against ex

mario-hernandez-150x180.jpg Mario Hernandez, who resigned last week as a San Fernando City Councilman, said the DA's charges against Councilwoman (and ex-girlfriend) Maribel De La Torre over a violent argument should be dropped. He also said that he only filed for a restraining order against De La Torre at the urging of a biased San Fernando police sergeant who was motivated by revenge.

Morning Buzz: Monday 7.16.12

Villaraigosa's tenure and possible exodus, Baca's bad week, Lohan judges rebuked, Sandy Banks and spanking, kayaking the river for symbolism and money, plus City Hall park to reopen.
austin-healey-stolen.jpg Robert Russell, who lives in Texas, told Los Angeles County sheriff's officials that he had never given up searching for the 1967 Austin-Healey. It was stolen from his Philadelphia home in 1970 — the morning after his second date with his future wife.

Look who's using the Expo Line

red-line-station.jpg To the surprise of some transportation experts, the new Expo Line is drawing a healthy number of riders who use it to commute from the San Fernando Valley. They take the Red Line subway to the 7th Street station in downtown, then jump on the Expo Line heading toward USC then west to Culver City.

Christopher Hawthorne considers Sunset Boulevard

sunset-junction-sign-100.jpgThe LA Times architecture critic's expanded essays based on walking the Los Angeles area's "iconic boulevards" took on Sunset this weekend. He previously visited Atlantic Boulevard.

Catherine Opie, Barbara Kruger join the exits from MOCA

moca-gala-loadin.jpg The board of the Museum of Contemporary Art lost two more prominent artists. In a joint resignation letter, Opie and Kruger said "perhaps we're just not the appropriate artists to represent this current version of MOCA."

Desert reckoning in the Mojave

bookcover_desertreckoning.jpg LA Observed contributor Deanne Stillman's latest book is a page turner. Desert Reckoning: A Town Sheriff, a Mojave Hermit, and the Biggest Manhunt in Modern California History takes off from the 2003 killing of Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy Stephen Sorensen, by a hermit named Donald Kueck, to peel back some of the mystery and secrets about life in the Mojave Desert north of us. She reads this afternoon at Skylight Books.

Suspect in Ventura Blvd. vandalism: 58-year-old broker

encino-commons-sign-lao.jpg Michael Steven Poret has an investment brokerage office on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and a home in the posh hills of Encino. Still, police have now arrested him twice as the suspect in a siege of broken windows on Ventura Boulevard and in Beverly Hills.

Willis Edwards, LA civil rights leader was 66

willis-edwards-sentinel.jpg Willis Edwards, part of the Robert F. Kennedy for president campaign in Los Angeles in 1968 and later a key member of the Tom Bradley adminsitration at City Hall, died today of cancer. He was the longtime president of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood Branch of the NAACP.

Judge says he will OK Tribune's plan for ending bankruptcy

latimes-east-face-tighter.jpg Tribune's plan, endorsed by several of the company's largest creditors, would transfer ownership of Tribune Company — owner of the Los Angeles Times, KTLA and numerous other media outets around the U.S. — to a group of hedge funds and banks based in LA and New York.
maribel-delatorre-150x180.jpg San Fernando city council member Maribel de la Torre was booked Friday on misdemeanor charges of vandalism and battery in connection with her stormy visit on June 28 to the home of her ex-lover and fellow city council member, Mario Hernandez. De Le Torre was released without bail, but she was fingerprinted.

Brothers behind controversial surgery centers claim charity

get-thin-billboard-kpcc.jpg KPCC News is reporting that the two Los Angeles brothers behind the controversial 1-800 GET THIN surgery centers are soliciting donations to a nonprofit charity they formed “in order to put an end to a social injustice they feel cannot stand.”

Lenny Dykstra pleads guilty to federal charges

dykstra-feature.jpg The personal fall of ex-New York baseball star (and SoCal financial whiz) Lenny Dykstra continues. The former outfielder for the Mets and Phillies, already in state custody on earlier convictions, pleaded guilty today to bankruptcy fraud and other federal charges for selling items "pilfered from his mansions in Ventura County," the feds said.

Richard D. Zanuck, Hollywood producer with lineage was 77

richard-zanuck.jpg Richard D. Zanuck, the son of 20th Century Fox legend Daryl F. Zanuck who grew up to produce "Jaws" and other major Hollywood films, died of a heart attack Friday in Los Angeles. He was 77.

Are they kidding? Baca appointed to state prisons board

Thumbnail image for baca-in-dc.jpg You may have noticed that Sheriff Lee Baca is under intense scrutiny for his management of the Los Angeles County jail system. Nonetheless, Gov. Jerry Bown just announced he is appointing Baca to the Board of State and Community Corrections.
The Los Angeles Daily Journal had two staff photographers, Todd Rogers and Robert Levins. They have been cut loose in favor of freelancers and pictures taken by reporters for the legal paper. New cameras are on order, editor David Houston says in his note to the staff this morning.

Blake Griffin out of Olympics with knee injury

Griffin has a torn medial meniscus in his left knee and will have arthroscopic surgery, probably early next week, the Clippers announced. He should be ready for training camp in the fall.

John Baldessari resigns from MOCA board

The artist, on the Museum of Contemporary Art board board for 12 years, is the fifth member to leave since February, says Mike Boehm in the LA Times. Baldessari said his reasons include the recent ouster of chief curator Paul Schimmel and news that the museum will hold an exhibition on disco music's influence.

17 arrested in Art Walk clash with police *

Last night's downtown Art Walk included an Occupy LA protest and a skirmish line with police on Spring Street.

More nice Stanley Cup photos from Slovenia

kopitar-grave-gauthier.jpg The Stanley Cup is making the rounds of LA Kings homes in Canada and on the East Coast this week, but a wonderful new gallery of photos from last week's visit to Slovenia and the home village of Anze Kopitar has been posted on the Los Angeles Times website. Must see: Kopitar with the Cup at the grave of his grandmother.

Scientology reveals plans for Sunset Boulevard studio

kcet-studios-sunset.jpg KCET's longtime home near Sunset Junction, turned over to the Church of Scientology in April, will become the home of a religious broadcasting center to promote Scientology teachings over TV, radio and the Internet. No timetable was given.

Cudahy officials agree to plead guilty in corruption case

cudahy-logo.jpg The red-handed bribery in support of a marijuana store is bad enough. But it's the other corruption, including vote tampering, that's really chilling.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 7.12.12

The top watchdog at the Los Angeles Fire Department complained Wednesday that fire officials aren't providing him access to the information he needs. Plus a great white shark in Manhattan Beach, Expedia quits Arcadia and more.

Villaraigosa deputy Matt Szabo declares, resigns

matt-szabo-profile-pic.jpg Last night on Facebook, Mayor Villaraigosa's deputy chief of staff updated his profile photo and included a sly comment: "Hmmm...I feel like this pic makes me look like I'm running for office. Perhaps I should change it ... ;)" Today he let it be known that he has submitted his resignation to the mayor and will join the crowded race for the open City Council seat in the 13th district.

Getty tightens the screws on parking a bit more

getty-entrance-view.jpg Research readers will now have to pay to park at the Getty, and automated machines are replacing the money takers out at the Sepulveda gate. Still $15 a car to get in, or $10 after 5 p.m.

Ina Jaffe gets new beat at NPR West

inajaffe-npr.jpg NPR national correspondent Ina Jaffe is taking on the newly created aging beat, starting today. "In this new role, Ina will cover all aspects of aging: from finances and work life, to health care, relationships and the broader demographic realities facing the country," says an NPR spokesman.

KCET will team with 'Globe Trekker' on LA show

zay-harding.jpg "Global L.A." debuts July 24 at 8 p.m. on KCET and will be "examining the region’s ties to a number of destinations and cultures around the world," the station says. Zay Harding will host.

Part 2 of letter from the Pulitzer fiction jury

On a blog at The New Yorker, novelist and Pulitzer judge Michael Cunningham further explains what he's learned about why the Pulitzer board declined to give a prize to any of the three books that the jury recommended.

Philip Fradkin, author and journalist was 77

phil-fradkin.jpg Philip L. Fradkin, a native New Yorker who I believe became the first environment reporter at the Los Angeles Times, died Saturday of cancer at his home in Point Reyes Station. After the Times he went on to write numerous books about California and the West, focusing on earthquakes, water, history and the natural environment.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 7.11.12

Sheriff's badges, ACLU lawsuit against the DA and sheriff, voting on porn condoms, Pomona may vote on a library tax, snake bites up, Reagan and Disney together and more.

San Bernardino to seek bankruptcy, joining the trend

sbdoo-civic-plaza-ef.jpg The city council of San Bernardino voted today to seek bankruptcy protection after being told the city faces a $45 million deficit and might not be able to make payroll next month.

One of San Fernando's battling electeds resigns

mario-hernandez-150x180.jpg Mario Hernandez, the elected and married San Fernando city council member who either was the victim of an assault by his estranged girlfriend — or the perpetrator — or both! — resigned from office before tonight's council meeting. While he didn't show his face at the meeting, his ex-girlfriend did.

Jerry Buss hospitalized with dehydration

The Lakers put out a statement after TMZ reported that team owner Jerry Buss was rushed from home to a hospital last night by LAFD ambulance. The TMZ report says that Buss, 78, is suffering from extreme dehydration.

David Brancaccio gets another 'Marketplace' show

brancaccio-apm.jpg Many of us still remember David Brancaccio as the host of LA-based "Marketplace," and now he will be host of "Marketplace Tech Report." He'll be doing the tech report from New York City.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 7.10.12

Ballot prop numbers, Hollywood's new status symbol, E! Entertainment tries to clean up its image, Spin magazine purchased, Paul Conrad's "Chain Reaction" gets status, Anne Rice brings back her erotic S&M trilogy, Ventura Boulevard's slingshot vandal and the wonderful LA photos of C.C. Pierce.

Endeavour to land at LAX, spend two weeks in hangar

endeavour_landing.jpg The Space Shuttle Endeavour is expected to arrive in Los Angeles in late September, carried atop a 747 jetliner from Cape Canaveral in Florida. In mid-October it should begin the roll across town to Exposition Park.

Free tix: Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Marcus-Samuelson.jpg Short notice on this one. You can receive two tickets to see Marcus Samuelsson, the much-honored New York chef whose new book is "Yes, Chef," Tuesday night at Begamot Station in Santa Monica. He will be interviewed by David Burtka, the actor who joined E! News as a correspondent in January.

Traffic building the Patch way: UFOs and plenty of them *

patch-UFOheadline.jpg Ordinary skywriting turns into a headline and story about UFOs at Laguna Niguel Patch, with a bunch of related links for past local stories about — UFOs. And the comments go biblical.

Lance Armstrong's suit rejected the same day

Thumbnail image for lance-armstrong.jpg The cyclist's lawsuit filed Monday in Austin that sought to block the United States Anti-Doping Agency from punishing Armstrong for doping violations was dismissed within hours by a federal judge. "This court is not inclined to indulge Armstrong’s desire for publicity, self-aggrandizement or vilification of Defendants," the judge wrote.

New, simpler route for the next CicLAvia

ciclavia-map-oct12.jpg Basically USC to Chinatown, with feeder legs from MacArthur Park and Boyle Heights.
Michael Cunningham, the novelist who was one of three jurors for this year's Pulitzer Prize in fiction, posts at The New Yorker that he and his fellow jurors were completely taken aback by the Pulitzer board's refusal back in April to award a best book this year. The jurors read more than 300 novels and short stories and submitted three finalists that they really liked, then waited expectantly to find out which would win.

LANG newspapers get a new top editor

Michael Anastasi, managing editor of the Salt Lake City Tribune, takes over August 13 as Vice President and Executive Editor of the Los Angeles News Group. He spent 11 years as a sports editor for LANG and the Daily News before he went to Utah.

Brown wins on ballot listing order

A Sacramento judge rejected activist Molly Munger's argument that Jerry Brown's tax measure should not be listed first on the November ballot. Munger's group, Our Children, Our Future, said it won't appeal. "We're moving on," said spokesman Nathan Ballard.

Morning Buzz: Monday (after holiday) 7.9.12

Michelle Obama coming to Gwen Stefani's house, items on Villaraigosa, Perry and Garcetti, the sorry state of the newspaper business, attacking Erin Andrews, endorsing Stephen Glass, plus Dave Eggers, Garrison Keillor and more.

On Aaron Sorkin, television and repeating oneself

emily-blunt-newsroom.jpg In a piece being well received at the Los Angeles Review of Books, television critic Phillip Maciak calls Aaron Sorkin "one of the only commercially bankable and socially conscious screenwriters now working; his writing style is fast, fluid, and instantly recognizable..." And yet.

Give cash for Woody Allen to make his next movie in Israel

noa-tishby-woodyallen.jpg The Jewish Journal, noting that Woody Allen has made movies in London, Paris and now Rome because he gets financial help from those places, is organizing a campaign to collect enough money to convince Allen to shoot in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.
gregory-bojorquez-shooting.jpg Photographer Gregory Bojorquez talks about the months since he was at the scene of that deadly shooting rampage at Sunset and Vine.

Bookstore closing: Mysteries to Die For

mysteries-to-die-for.jpg Eric Estrin, the emeritus contributor at LA Observed who is editor of Movie Smackdown, sends word from Ventura County that Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks will be closing later this month.

Ernest Borgnine, actor was 95

ernest-borgnine-imdb.jpg How's this for an acting career? Raise a glass to Ernest Borgnine, who died about 1:30 this afternoon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
moca-gala-loadin.jpg In an op-ed in the Sunday L.A. Times aimed at defusing the controversy over curator Paul Schimmel's departure, museum patron Eli Broad expresses his support for the direction the Museum of Contemporary Art is headed. He's fairly critical of some past practices and says he's happy with controversial director Jeffrey Deitch.

Anze Kopitar brings the Stanley Cup home to Slovenia

kopitar-cup-crowd.jpg Anze Kopitar's privilege to spend 24 hours with the Stanley Cup might be a tad more meaningful for him than for some of the other Los Angeles Kings. He left Slovenia as a teenager to live in Canada and work hard to become his country's first NHL player. On his day with the Cup, he made sure thousands of Slovenians got to see the trophy.

Uh-oh: restraining orders for San Fernando's dating pols

maribel-delatorre-150x180.jpg The small but curiously interesting city of San Fernando has slid one more step into the bizarro world. Both of the City Council members who last year were reveled to be dating sought and received temporary restraining orders against the other, citing a violent argument over a disputed iPad.

Lakers acquire Steve Nash from the Suns

nash-kobe-espnillo.jpg Even though Nash is 38, the basketball media is calling the longtime star with Phoenix the point guard the Lakers need to stay competitive the next few years. Nash says he got Kobe Bryant's blessing before okaying the trade. The Lakers gave up draft picks to get him. Here are three views from the Lakers beat.

Journo jumps from Daily Journal to Warren Olney

David Houston, editor of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, sends Evan George off to "Which Way, LA" and "To the Point." Plus a promotion at the legal daily.

Protester who smacked LAPD cop sentenced to jail

It's a plea deal for Brian Mendoza, the May Day demonstrator who was caught on video whacking LAPD officer Mandee Duyanen on the back of her helmet with a snare drum.

Michael J. Ybarra, journalist was 45

michael-ybarra.jpg Michael J. Ybarra, a freelance writer from Los Angeles who had a regular gig writing about extreme sports for the Wall Street Journal, died in a fall while mountain climbing in the Sierra Nevada.

Andy Griffith, actor was 86

andy-griffith-obit.jpg Griffith died Tuesday morning back home in Manteo, North Carolina. He received a Tony acting nomination for "No Time for Sergeants" on Broadway in 1955, before going into movies and on TV with "The Andy Griffith Show" in 1960.

Felix to run 100m in London; Dara Torres retires

allyson-felix.jpg Los Angeles sprinter Allyson Felix got the last spot in the 100 meters race at the London Olympics when her training partner, Jereba Tarmoh, decided not to take part in a special runoff race arranged to settle their tie finish at the Olympic trials last month.

Google Maps deems 'Tehrangeles' a (very specific) place

googlemap-tehrangeles-bldg.jpg Ask Google Maps to find you Tehrangeles, and it places the community on the upper floor of an apartment building in the 10600 block of Kinnard Avenue, between Westholme and Hilts avenues. That's in Westwood, about eight blocks east of Westwood Boulevard, the shopping street sometimes referred to as Little Tehran. Street view is even more specific.

Lu Parker broke it off with Villaraigosa in May

lu-antonio-ocamb.jpg KTLA reporter Lu Parker's rep confirmed today that she and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have split up, ending their relationship after about three years. The LA Times has been asking Villaraigosa in recent weeks to explain his status with Parker, but his answers had been evasive.

MOCA's firing of Paul Schimmel getting horrid reviews

hopper-moca-iris.jpg The news last week in the LA Times that the MOCA board of directors fired curator Paul Schimmel, with Eli Broad giving him the word, revealed deep discord in the arts journalism world about the direction of the Bunker Hill museum under the recent guidance of Jeffrey Deitch.

20% of LAPD traffic tickets get the street name wrong

lapd-car.jpg Fun story in the LA Times: an analysis of 75,000 computerized traffic citations found the street name "mangled beyond all but the most hopeful inference about 20% of the time....The only thing we can say with 90% certainty about data like this is 'Argh!'"

Jim Drake, father of windsurfing was 83

jim-drake-windsurfing.jpg Jim Drake is another example of an aerospace industry worker who pioneered the Southern California outdoor sports scene. Drake, an engineer who worked at RAND and elsewhere, didn't invent the sailboard, but he and a partner, Hoyle Schweitzer, perfected the design and got a patent for the Windsurfer.

Morning Buzz: Monday 7.2.12

Anderson Cooper acknowledges he is gay and proud, Rodney King funeral, new Assessor plans to stick around, venomous spiders gain foothold, Francesca Lia Block has good news and more.

Ex-reporter tells some about losing on Jeopardy

Jia-Rui-Chong-Cook-on-Jeopardy.jpg Jia-Rui Chong Cook, a former LA Times reporter now in media relations at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was on Friday's airing of "Jeopardy" — she was one and out on the show. But she got a nice little story out of it .

Katie Holmes reportedly believes Scientology is tailing her *

katie-holmes-face.jpg TMZ reports, citing "sources close to the actress," that Katie Holmes believes that the Church of Scientology began to consider her a threat as she became more estranged from high-profile church member Tom Cruise. The church's lawyer responded that it's not them.
Greg Krikorian, the Republican candidate in the Glendale area's 43rd assembly district, said it was his wife's debt and that she filed for bankruptcy protection

In-house kudos for LAT's man at the Supreme Court

David Savage, the Los Angeles Times' long-time Supreme Court expert in Washington, gets a nice pat on the back for his coverage of the health care ruling in this note to the newsroom from Deputy Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin. Interestingly, we learn in the email that the Times website had six alerts of various flavors pre-written to be sent once the news broke.

LA photographer's book on women with freckles

freckles-book-emily.jpg Reto Caduff is a Swiss-born photographer who lives part-time in Los Angeles and who, apparently, really likes beautiful women with facial freckles. His new book of images, called just Freckles, is a limited edition of 500 numbered copies which features "portraits of young women with various amounts of freckles – from a slight cluster on the cheek to faces covered with the beauty marks." His book is out Monday.
Giant floating ducky
duck-tall-ships-meg.jpgThe big rubber duck was the most photographed thing about the tall ships festival recently held in San Pedro. Photo: Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Sky and palm
sky-and-palm.jpgGreat skies we're having this week. #DTLA. Bigger on Facebook
Double pump
mikes-main-diesel-port.jpg Mike's Diesel, Port of Los Angeles. LA Observed photo.
Dancers audition
barak-audition.jpgTryouts for LA's Barak Ballet. Photo by Judy Graeme
Weird Pacific summer
Velellas-htb.jpgCool, strange jellies are washing up on on LA beaches. Fauna