Archive by Date

July 31, 2012
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.
Vidal died this evening at his home in the Hollywood Hills. Complications of pneumonia, his nephew Burr Steers has been telling the media.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July 30, 2012
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.
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 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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
July 29, 2012
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.
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.
July 28, 2012
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.
July 27, 2012
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.
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.
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.
Target's new City store opened on Weyburn Avenue, but BeBe has vacated the original Bullock's department store location in Westwood Village.
July 26, 2012
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.
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.
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+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.
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.
July 25, 2012
Katherine Jackson, Kristen Stewart and a paparazzo who chased Justin Bieber.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
July 24, 2012
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July 23, 2012
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.
No Los Angeles angle. Just a sports moment.
 
Video add: Ichiro bows to the fans.
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 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."
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."
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.
July 22, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July 20, 2012
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.
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.
Villaraigosa calls for assault weapon ban, police commissioner appointed, two media layoffs and more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July 19, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Emmy noms, Tribune's plans for LAT, Variety's future, Michael Brand on the Getty, an opening on the police commission and more.
July 18, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July 17, 2012
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
July 16, 2012
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July 15, 2012
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."
July 14, 2012
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.
July 13, 2012
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Last night's downtown Art Walk included an Occupy LA protest and a skirmish line with police on Spring Street.
July 12, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
July 11, 2012
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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 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.
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.
July 10, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July 9, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
July 8, 2012
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.
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.
Photographer Gregory Bojorquez talks about the months since he was at the scene of that deadly shooting rampage at Sunset and Vine.
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.
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.
July 7, 2012
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'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.
July 6, 2012
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.
July 5, 2012
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.
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.
July 4, 2012
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, 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.
July 3, 2012
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.
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.
July 2, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 .
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
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.
July 1, 2012
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.
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3:31 PM Mon | Shelly Sterling is close to receiving the go-ahead on her sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer.
Mark Lacter, LA Biz Observed
2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.

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