LA Observed archive
for August 2012

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

Morning Buzz: Friday 8.31.12

lariver-bigditch-lindley.jpg Brown skips Charlotte, Los Angeles River gets reclassified as a river, new taxes proposed for SM Mountains, Live Nation gives to Trutanich, steal a police car lose your legs, social media engagement bv the City Council and the Dodgers fall further behind. Plus more of course.

This time, a cuffed woman dies in LAPD use of force

lapd-car-protect-serve.jpg Alesia Thomas was described as large and not cooperative with police who came to talk to her after she left her two children at the LAPD’s Southeast Area station. Some of what happened next was caught on a patrol car's video camera, the LA Times says.

Summer storm fun

storm-ie-83012.jpg Today's usual afternoon thundershowers over the San Gabriels and the high desert smushed down into the basin this time, drenching places like Altadena and Studio City in some pretty heavy rain. Then it lifted and many rainbows were had, including one over Dodger Stadium. Fun diversion for many, judging by social media, unless you were caught in the places where summer t-storms turn into flash floods.

When Ayn Rand lived in the Valley

von-sternberg-home.jpg With Ayn Rand in the media conversation around Paul Ryan and the Republican convention, here's a look at the home that Rand used to occupy in Northridge. And what a house it was — if it still existed, the Richard Neutra design might conceivably be the most architecturally renowned home in the San Fernando Valley.

Driver who killed family on Highland had suspended license

highland-crash.jpg The LA Times says that Solomon Mathenge, who is 74 and lives in Lawndale, had his drivers license suspended for not showing up in court on a traffic ticket. His DMV record includes citations for speeding and talking on a cellphone. The mother and daughters who died have been identified.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 8.30.12

farmers-field-overview.jpg Lawsuit against Farmers Field, Steve Wynn vs Joe Francis hits court, rise and fall of Mr. Cudahy, big waves this weekend, Rec and Parks' expensive closed camps, medical pot signatures and a save Patt Morrison Facebook page, plus more.

Revealing the noir side of Tampa

connelly-olney-kcrw.jpg Author Michael Connelly is known for his LA mystery novels, but he lives in Florida these days and sat down in Tampa with Warren Olney on KCRW to talk about the sides of town the Republicans may not be seeing.

Kiss and ride: LA's newest dance venue

van-nuys-flyaway-front.jpg The Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre's latest work, "Kiss n' Ride," will be performed inside the city's Van Nuys FlyAway Bus Terminal on Woodley Avenue.

Head rolls already over LAPD use of force in Pacoima

michellejordan-cbs2.jpg Whoa, this was decisive: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced tonight that he has relieved Foothill division commander Capt. Joseph Hiltner for his "severely deficient" response to the appearance of excessive force used against a handcuffed woman in Pacoima. "Proper steps were not taken," Beck said.

Wow: No fee waiver for women electrocuted at Valley crash *

magnolia-crash-cbs2.jpg Instead of a Thursday press conference to appeal to the public for help, Councilman Paul Krekorian might shame his fellow council members into taking care of it like they do so many, many lesser things — or just absorb the bills in his office slush fund.

100-year-old driver injures 11 at South LA school *

Preston Carter's car backed into a crowd near Main Street Elementary, hitting at least nine children and two adults. He has a clean DMV record — but has to wear glasses while driving.

Missing gravestone of Civil War abolitionist found in Altadena *

white-ayers-owenbrownstone.jpg Cool local Altadena story. An old stone grave marker for Owen Brown, the son of Civil War abolitionist John Brown, had been missing from its old spot in the Altadena hills for a decade or so, under mysterious circumstances involving a development dispute. It was found recently by artist Ian White, who got in touch with the Paul Ayers of Save the Altadena Trails to help relocate the marker.

Today in wildlife: Glendale bear shipped out, shark, whale

glendale-bear-kabc.jpg The Glendale black bear incurred his third strike and has already been taken to an animal sanctuary in San Diego County. Plus: nice video of a young white shark and a humpback whale in the Pacific off Orange County.

Documentary producer Brian Gerber found dead on Angeles Crest

Gerber, 41, had left a suicide note. His crashed car was found this morning off Angeles Crest Highway.
michellejordan-cbs2.jpg LAPD chief Charlie Beck, on the Patt Morrison show on KPCC just now, said he's very concerned by a video showing officers throw a handcuffed woman to the ground during a traffic stop. He said there are criminal and internal investigations going on and the main officer has been assigned to home duty. Watch the video.

Just like that, mom and two girls dead on Highland

I can just imagine the tragic news rippling through the day across several communities. Awful.

Yahoo fires DC bureau chief over Romney remark

davia-chalian-twitter.jpg David Chalian is the Washington bureau chief for Yahoo who last month floated that weak and mysterious story asking if Antonio Villaraigosa was poised to become the first Latino president. Today he was fired over something he said during a webcast at the Republican convention.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 8.29.12

michellejordan-cbs2.jpg LAPD stop in Pacoima under investigation, Sacramento interest groups pile on the money, Antonovich in North Korea, free masseuses, more naming abuse and more.

In praise of the Sanborn atlas

chutes-park-sanborn-06.jpg For historians of Los Angeles, and librarians such as LAPL maps Glen Creason, old reference tools called the Sanborn Fire Insurance atlases are invaluable. They can show a researcher what was on the ground in a specific place in, say, 1901. Here are MGM studios in 1929 and the city's former amusement park Chutes Park in 1906.

Appreciating Richard Neutra's Hall of Records

hall-of-records-zevweb.jpg The county's Hall of Records might be the least appreciated of the government office buildings strewn around what used to be called downtown's Civic Center. I would bet that many visitors to Grand Park, which will open a new section on its back side in September, have no idea of the building's name or function. Its name is actually a misnomer these days — the county Registrar-Recorder took most of the eponymous records to Norwalk more than a decade ago. But the hall has sterling LA architectural roots.

LA River opens a visitor's eyes

lariver-kayak-folar-fb.jpg British readers of The Guardian got a glimpse the other day of a Los Angeles they may not have known about. West Coast correspondent Rory Carroll became the latest journalist to take one of activist George Wolfe's kayak tours on the short stretch of unpaved Los Angeles River in the Sepulveda Dam Basin. Carroll makes some cogent observations, but first he has to find the place.

Canter's changes up the menu a little

canters-fairfax-sign.jpg Out are short ribs, canned salmon, a triple-decker sandwich with tongue, macaroni salad and peppered beef. In are panini wraps, more salads, more breakfast choices and a cocktail menu.

LA gets another Latino journalists group *

CCNMA-Latino Journalists of California has picked up a competitor in an LA chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

KPCC VP explains more about Patt Morrison's future

russstanton.jpg Russ Stanton, the former Los Angeles Times editor in chief who is "Vice President, Content" for KPCC these days, has taken to the comments section of the station's website to further explain this morning's announcement that KPCC would drop the Patt Morrison show. She will keep doing the Comedy Congress segment and be involved with the station's other shows.

Glendale's bear took swim in La Crescenta this morning

glendale-bear-dfg.jpg Sheriff's at the La Crescenta station say a resident in the Briggs Terrace area this morning reported the bear with the orange ear tag, presumably the one spotted earlier this year in the Glendale area. The Glendale bear could be getting closer to exile to Colorado.

Sherman puts up new TV spots in Valley race

sherman-vid-grab.jpg One of Rep. Brad Sherman's new videos focuses on what he's done for the San Fernando Valley. The second, titled "Courage," is built around William Isaac, a former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. who gives Sherman kudos for his opposition to the TARP bank bailout. View them here.

LA Times promotes Scott Kraft to deputy ME

scott-kraft-lat.jpg These internal moves at the Los Angeles Times aren't nearly as newsy as they used to be, either in LA or around the media biz. But still worth noting: Scott Kraft, the LA Times' former national editor and current page one editor, will now take a spin as the deputy managing editor for the front page, Column One and projects. In that role he succeeds Marc Duvoisin, who recently was named managing editor.

Open letter in Little Tokyo: 'How could this happen?'

The Rafu Shimpo is running an open letter to the Little Tokyo community about last week's embarrassment at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, whose new CEO vanished after his checkered legal and professional past was revealed by activists.

Mapplethorpe's gay S&M photos coming to LACMA

mapplethorpe-sm-lacma.jpg It has been two decades since artist Robert Mapplethorpe's exhibit of sexually graphic photographs of black men were denounced by Jesse Helms and put on trial for obscenity in Cincinnati. (The jury acquitted the museum director.) Now Mapplethorpe’s rarely shown "X Portfolio" will go on display this fall at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, "in a space beyond immediate sightlines."

New sports editor -- and four open jobs -- at LA News Group

Gene Warnick, the sports editor at the Daily News, will expand his duties to oversee sports across the Los Angeles News Group papers. His appointment follows the promotion of Daily News opinion editor Mariel Garza to a similar LANG-wide role. Also announced by Michael Anastasi, the group's new vice president and executive editor, is that LANG will fill four reporters jobs in sports, including Lakers beat writer. Read the memo.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 8.28.12

Unclean jail informant, sports fans' conduct, Oliver Sacks drug-taking, a California magazine issue and more.

KPCC drops Patt Morrison show, expands Brand and Martinez

PattMorrison-kpcc.png The other shoes have fallen at KPCC from the addition of A Martinez as co-host with Madeleine Brand in the morning. Larry Mantle's time slow move, and Patt Morrison's show ends.

Center Theatre Group's LA commitment: deleted?

tribes-ctg-shirley.jpeg Theater critic Don Shirley likes to peruse the new CTG seasons when they are announced and gauge how well the material fits the company's pledge to tell stories "inspired on our own streets” and through “collaboration with other Los Angeles theatres and ensembles.” Only this time, Shirley says that principle has gone missing from the CTG website.

Times editorial writer Carla Hall in the Zocalo green room

carla-hall-zocalo.jpg Zocalo Public Square likes to tape featured speakers answering a few personal questions in the green room before events. Carla Hall talks about her best friend, her dancing style, her last voicemail, the time she spent the night with a newborn elephant, and the TV show that got her to LA.

KTLA 5 copter makes emergency landing in Hollywood

ktla-copter-emergency.jpg Everyone got down safely, but there was a scary moment over Hollywood Monday afternoon. Helicopters for Channel 5 and Channel 2 were covering the report of a gunman in Hollywood when Stu Mundel, the pilot for KCBS' SKY2, noticed smoke spewing from the engine of KTLA's Sky5.

Jeffe and Jeffe evaluate the November election

jeffe-jeffe-fh.jpg Married political analysts Sherry Bebitch Jeffe and Doug Jeffe don't pundit-ize in print together very often, I don't believe. But they forecast the November election's "defining moments" in a piece at Fox and Hounds Daily.

Villaraigosa sets up shop in Tampa as Obama surrogate

antonio-mantle-tampa.jpg Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa isn't doing much for the people who elected him this week — and he'll likely do even less next week when the Democrats meet. He's in Tampa now doing CNN every morning with Soledad O'Brien, filling the role of Democratic counterpoint to the Republican convention. He also sat down Monday with KPCC's Larry Mantle and mingled with the gathered journalists on the convention's Radio Row.

Kareem to get that statue he's wanted

kareem-sportingnews.jpg The Lakers will erect a statue honoring NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar outside Staples Center this season, the LA Times reports. This is newsworthy because Abdul-Jabbar last year said in a huff that he was through with the Lakers in part because they had no plans to honor him with a statue — but had honored Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Chick Hearn. Kareem is the NBA's all-time leading scorer.

Brawley area seismic storm calmer today

brawley-quakes-sinkhole-ivp.jpg So far on Monday there have been just four earthquakes measuring magnitude 3 or higher in the Imperial Valley, and none larger than 3.8. That's a lot easier for residents to take than Sunday's swarm, which included two quakes over 5.0 and another late last night that came in at a 4.9.

Tribune scrambles to remove Vin Scully gaffe from web

rebecca-hall-oops-scully.jpg KTLA sportscaster Rebecca Hall's weekend oops — in which she jokes during an on-air tribute to Vin Scully that he "should get his shit together" — has been pulled down from Big Lead Sports. Copyright claim by Tribune, which owns Channel 5, is the explanation. Well, the Tribune suits haven't made it to Deadspin yet, apparently.

Morning Buzz: Monday 8.27.12

Steve Lopez has a heart scare, Al Martinez told to write less about death, today's LA Times just 40 pages. Greuel and Garcetti pick up names, Valley Good Samaritans won't get a paramedic bill, and a KTLA sportscaster tells Vin Scully to "get his shit together." Plus more for a Monday.

KPCC chief dismisses critics of 'Brand and Martinez'

Thumbnail image for brand-martinez.jpg Bill Davis, the station's president and CEO, tells a complainer via email that the Madeleine Brand and A Martinez pairing on KPCC checked out in focus groups and audience testing, is here to stay and will be expanding to two hours day: "I know a thing or two about public radio programming --and I like what I hear with these two." He recounts and pooh-poohs the complaints that came in from previous program changes, including the addition of Brand in the first place.

Bear hit by car on Foothill Boulevard put down

bear-euthanized-lcf.jpg A brown bear that was reported hit by a car Sunday morning on Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada-Flintridge was located later in the afternoon behind a Starbucks. Fish and Game officials tranquilized the bear after it climbed a tree, but they said later that its injuries called for euthanasia.

Cortines' accuser details long friendship that went bad

Scot Graham, the LA Unified leasing chief who has sued ex-superintendent Ramon Cortines for sexual harassment and filed a $10 million claim with the district, says he first met Cortines in San Francisco's gay community in the 1980s. Now married to a man, Graham details in the Daily News numerous unwanted sexual advances allegedly made by Cortines, who is now 80.

The case against Lance Armstrong's accusers

Thumbnail image for lance-armstrong-bw-hissite.jpg LAT columnist Michael Hiltzik argues that the anti-doping system "is the most thoroughly one-sided and dishonest legal regime anywhere in the world this side of Beijing," a position directly opposed to the case made here last week.

Imperial Valley has been shaking all day

brawley-quakes-82612-ivpress.jpg Another in the periodic earthquake swarms that visit California's lowest-lying populated area has been bothering the Brawley area all day. With two more over 4.0 in the past hour, there have now been 11 quakes of magnitude 4 or more on Sunday and dozens of lesser strength. The two biggest measured 5.5 and 5.3, enough to cause scattered damage.
 
Sunday night: 7.4 quake off El Salvador with tsumani warning

Venus and Serena get the cover of NYT magazine

venus-serena-williams-nytmagcover.jpg The headline of the piece is "Venus and Serena against the World." It's thrust is that the tennis stars have come a long way from Compton to dominate the sport, with a close look at mom and dad. May be some new stuff in there even for those familiar with the Williams' story.

Origin of those garage door bookshelves

garage-door-books-crais-fb.jpg The trompe l'oeil bookshelves were commissioned by Lee Dembart, a former Los Angeles Times editor and writer, and painted in 2005 by artist Don Gray. Author Robert Crais posted about the garage door recently on Facebook.

Vin Scully to return for 64th season

vin-scully-lifemag.jpg Dodgers fans can breathe easy for another year. Check out our new story on Scully's five most memorable calls, by guest author Paul Haddad.

Hosts with the most

olney-mantle-tampa.jpg KCRW's Warren Olney and KPCC's Larry Mantle crossed paths at the Tampa airport. Both are in town to do shows from the Republican convention.

Gonzalez comes to Dodgers, homers in first time up

adrian-gonzalez-homer.jpg Baseball was still reeling at the arrival of the new high-spending Dodgers when the biggest name in Saturday's trade, Adrian Gonzalez, homered dramatically in his first at-bat (on his second pitch seen) in the LA uniform. The Dodgers got him to hit home runs, and maybe draw more Latino fans to the stadium, and the San Diego-born Mexican-American got off to a good start. He's wearing number 23, same as Kirk Gibson.

Dodgers pull Loney from lineup, Red Sox pull Adrian Gonzalez

All signs point to the Dodgers being close to acquiring Boston's slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzales, the former Padre. If the talk among the baseball writers is accurate, and it sure seems to be, it would be a huge deal bringing several highly paid Red Sox to Los Angeles in exchange for young Dodgers pitcher Rubby De La Rosa and more.

City Hall announces new post of LA poet laureate

Thumbnail image for vin-scully2010-dn.jpg Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has announced creation of an official city of Los Angeles’ poet laureate program, to "serve as the official ambassador of Los Angeles’ vibrant poetry and literary culture." It will pay $10,000 a year. Let the machinations, hushed lunches and jealousies begin.

The case against Lance Armstrong

Thumbnail image for lance-armstrong-bw-hissite.jpg Alan Abrahamson, the veteran Los Angeles journalist behind 3Wire Sports, calls Lance Armstrong's decision to stop contesting the doping allegations against him "a defining moment in our sports history." But Abrahamson says the proceedings against Armstrong by the US Anti-Doping Agency are legitimate.

Expect low-flying jets on Saturday morning

NASA and the FAA have announced "training and photographic flights" over the Los Angeles area on Saturday at 8 a.m., or 12:30 p.m. if there are weather delays. It's part of the preparations for the Space Shuttle Endeavour fly-in.

Morning Buzz: Friday 8.24.12

What led homicide detectives police to tennis umpire Lois Goodman, Alarcon's home had no signs of occupancy, voters and the media, Burbank Walmart put on hold, typhus in LA County, the Dodgers are into Adrian Gonzalez and the Times may be losing a top writer.

Llama dies after brush fire

frisco-llama.jpg Frisco was led to safety by his owners when a fire burned close to the family home. But he might have suffered stress and smoke inhalation.

Street racing may have caused crash where two were electrocuted

magnolia-crash-cbs2.jpg LA police confirmed that last night's crash in Valley Village is being investigated as a reckless driving case. Witnesses said they believed two cars were speeding along Magnolia Boulevard at Ben Avenue when the crash occurred. Two women who rushed to help the driver of the car that sheared off a fire hyrdrant were electrocuted, and at least six other people who tried to help were treated for electric shocks.

Rodney King was very, very high when he died

rodney-king-patch.jpg Rodney King had PCP, cocaine and marijuana in his system and was probably in a drug- and alcohol-induced delirium when he fell into his swimming pool and drowned in June, the San Bernardino County coroner's report said Thursday.

Terry Tracy, Gidget's 'Tubesteak' was 77

kohner-tracy-keck.jpg Terry Tracy moved to the beach in Malibu in 1956, built a shack and became "the personification of the rebellious surf subculture that emerged in California in the late 1950s." He may — or may not — have also been the first surfer to call beach girl Kathy Kohner "Gidget."
lance-armstrong-bw-hissite.jpg Facing a Thursday deadline to take the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to arbitration, Lance Armstrong announced he would no longer fight the body's move to impose severe sanctions for use of banned substances. Armstrong, who has vehemently denied using performance-enhancing drugs or ever testing positive, said his surrender was not an admission of guilt. Late in the day the agency moved to strip Armstrong of his Tour de France wins and said it would ban him for life.

Nightfall: New LA time lapse from Colin Rich

Artist Colin Rich, who made a pretty stunning timelapse piece on Los Angeles at night last year, returns to the subject of illuminated LA. The music this time is "Echoes of Mine" by M83. Watch inside.

Reckon that's Governor Brown?

jerry-brown-sierras.jpg "The High Sierra beckons," Brown's Twitter feed says....

LA Times adds staff on immigrant communities and immigration

latimes-east-face-tighter.jpg The reporters will be familiar to some in Southern California. Left unclear in the LAT memo is whether they are paid for by the Ford Foundation grant announced a few months ago.

Yaroslavsky warns mayoral field of trouble ahead

Now that he's out of the race for mayor, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky warned that whoever does get the job will be faced with an immediate financial crisis and echoed Richard Riordan's warning that the unions must be tamed.
Former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan sounds pretty disappointed that Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky opted out of the race for mayor. Of the candidates who are in the race, Riordan said Thursday, "I think we have to look hard for other candidates" — and joked that his best suggestion for voters might be "to move out of the city." A Garcetti spokesman replied, "Dick's out of control."

Berman up with two TV spots, Sherman files FEC complaint *

berman-tv-grab.jpg Rep. Howard Berman is airing two new campaign spots that push his record on issues in the Valley and show him being thanked by the Republican father of a soldier killed in Iraq. Also, rival Rep. Brad Sherman today alleged that Berman "enriched" his brother with campaign funds.

Video: Kittens invade KCRW


The pledge pitches in public radio are getting more creative all the time. Watch bigger.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 8.23.12

jerry-brown-burrito.jpg Horrible accident in Valley Village, City Council kills new ethics rules, Jerry Brown hits Burrito King, the man and women of police scanners, porn's latest patient zero, a new assistant managing editor at the Times and services planned for ABC7's Artie Williams III.

Greuel statement on Yaroslavsky not running for mayor *

City Controller Wendy Greuel and Concilman Eric Garcetti put out statements on Zev Yaroslavsky's decision to remain on the Board of Supervisors and not join the field seeking to become mayor of Los Angeles.

Yaroslavsky not running for mayor *

Zev Yaroslavsky said today that he will finish out his term on the county Board of Supervisors and not make a bid to become mayor of Los Angeles. "While I have never been a supporter of term limits, I do believe that four decades is long enough for any citizen to hold elective office, especially in an executive capacity."
Greg Wiliis, hired in January as to lead downtown's Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, reportedly resigned after it was reported that he was convicted in France of theft, fraud and embezzlement. He was reportedly sentenced to five years in prison and may be on the run.

Brand asks web commenters to give KPCC's new couple a chance *

brand-martinez.jpg If those who post anonymously on KPCC's website are any gauge, the NPR station's gamble to pair veteran morning host Madeleine Brand with public radio newcomer A Martinez could be in trouble. Brand took to the web tonight to plead for patience: "I totally understand your anger and confusion now."

Herd on the street

cattle-sfv.jpg How dry are the hills around Los Angeles right now? So dry that a small herd of cattle showed up eating lawns on the edge of Chatsworth this morning. And last night. Then a mysterious woman with a bullwhip herded them back home.

Alycia Lane gets new co-anchor and other NBC4 moves

AlyciaLane.jpg The new leadership team at Channel 4 continues to make changes in the newsroom lineup. Today the station will announce that Michael Brownlee will be getting up really early from now on as co-anchor of "Today in LA" with Alycia Lane. Plus some other moves

Hertzberg goes with Greuel this time

greuel-426.jpg Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel unveiled three more endorsements today that are actually kind of interesting. One of them is Robert Hertzberg, the former Speaker of the Assembly who ran for mayor in 2005 as sort of a voice from the Valley, lost in the primary then joined Antonio Villaraigosa's campaign and had the title role in the transition.

NPR West losing reporter to Mexico City

carrie-kahn-npr.jpg Carrie Kahn, who has been based at NPR West in Culver City since 2004, is shifting to Mexico City to be NPR’s correspondent covering Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

Video: Filming location for 'The Office'

This is a few years old. But with producers announcing the end of "The Office" after next season, here's a look back at a clip of LA Observed video showing the filming location on Saticoy Street. A little taste of Scranton (and Dunder Mifflin) in industrial Van Nuys.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 8.22.12

Prop. 30's taxes and the Democrats, City Hall talks taxes, police union accused of lying in email, Grand Park is "promising" but only that, Register food editor recruits via public tweet, San Fernando councilwoman pleads not guilty, ex-Dodger joins "Survivor" cast and more.

Patrick Goldstein's final Big Picture column for LA Times *

Patrick Goldstein doesn't explain the end of his film column, but he seems to be defending how he went about it. The piece begins "When I began writing this column...

Natalie Wood's death certificate drops the term 'accidental'

AP got a look today at the Los Angeles County coroner's revised death certificate, which now says that actress Natalie Wood died in the waters off Catalina Island in 1981 due to "drowning and other undetermined factors." The certificate used to attribute the cause of death to "accidental drowning."

Jimmy Kimmel moves to 11:35, same time as those other guys

jimmy-kimmel-banners.jpg ABC is moving Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show into head-to-head competition with Jay Leno and David Letterman. "Nightline" flips back to 12:35, a big disappointment to the news types.

Redford discusses new Sundance cinemas on WWLA

sundance-sunset-cinemas-logo.jpg Robert Redford will guest on tonight's "Which Way, L.A.?" at 7 p.m. on KCRW to chat with Warren Olney about the Sundance Sunset Cinema.

Paul Ryan's new vegan LA speechwriter, plus demon sheep

matthew-scully.jpg Two stories in the news today about Republican campaign specialists with national reputations and roots in liberal Los Angeles: Matthew Scully, the former speechwriter for George W. Bush and Sarah Palin, and demon sheep creator Fred Davis.

Diana Nyad 'pulled from the water' as latest swim ends

nyad-break-cnn-812.jpg Nyad's Twitter feed posted at 7:42 a.m. Eastern time that "Diana has been pulled from the water. We'll have more information when it becomes available." She had been swimming for 63 hours since leaving Cuba on Saturday, and suffered numerous jellyfish stings.

Register can fill 25 newsroom positions, editor says

oc-register.jpg New details on the hiring that owner Aaron Kushner's team at the Orange County Register has authorized. Sports editor Todd Harmonson, who last week put out the word that he...

Matt Groening blames LA Weekly for end to 'Life in Hell'

groening-self-portrait.jpg Once the LA Weekly dropped his longtime comic strip, the end was inevitable. "It was particularly aggravating that I wasn’t being printed locally in Los Angeles," Groening said. "If 'Life in Hell' were still in LA Weekly, it would probably have kept me going."

On Catalina buffalo, Ernest Borgnine and her dad the actor

larb-western-wedding.jpg Julie Cline, the Senior Nonfiction Editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books, writes at the review today about her father's LA life and travels on the edges of the Hollywood movie machine. Her father lives on a boat in San Pedro, "a retired builder, general contractor, and salesman of everything from used cars to room additions." He's not really an actor, but he showed up in a film shot last year.

Diana Nyad swimming toward Florida again *

nyad-swim-82012.jpg Diana Nyad's team says that she has swum 46 miles since leaving from Cuba on Saturday, and has made it through a storm and several jellyfish stings. Tonight she was joined by a pod of dolphins.

Scott McKenzie, musician of the 1960s was 73

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.59.06 PM.png Scott McKenzie, who died Saturday at home in Silver Lake, is best known for singing the ballad "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," which beckoned the youth of the world to come to the first Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 and became an anthem of that year's Summer of Love. The song, written by John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas and released by Lou Adler's Ode Records, went as high as No. 4 on the Billboard chart but was No. 1 across Europe. Check out this video from Monterey.

LA garage door painted to look like bookshelves

garage-door-books-crais-fb.jpg Author Robert Crais posts on Facebook: "Another reason I love LA is because people like this live here. They painted their garage door to look like book shelves."
oc-register.jpg Not just a paywall, but an emphasis on print. Many fewer blogs. No push to mobile phones. Possible new fulltime food writer and film critic — just like in the old days. And more, via OC Weekly.

Phyllis Diller, entertainer was 95 (with video)

p-diller-imdb.jpg Comic Phyllis Diller lived a good long time and had a long career. Many female comedians say she paved the way. She died this morning at her Los Angeles home, her manager Milt Suchin confirmed. Watch her with Groucho Marx on "You Bet Your Life," inside.

KLOS goes with Heidi and Frank in the morning

heidi-frank-klos.jpg KLOS has its replacements for Mark and Brian. They will be Heidi Hamilton and Frank Kramer, starting Sept. 4.

Mariel Garza upped to opinion editor of all LANG papers

Mariel Garza has been the opinion editor for the Daily News, and then took on added responsibilities for the Daily Breeze and Press-Telegram when those papers were put under DN editor Carolina Garcia, Now Garza will oversee the editorial pages for the whole Los Angeles News Group chain, based in West Covina. Here's the newsroom announcement.

Artie Williams, ABC7 news photographer, dies while diving *

artie-williams-kabc.jpg Longtime Channel 7 photographer Artie Williams died over the weekend while diving with a friend off Catalina Island, the station announced.

Morning Buzz: Monday 8.20.12

Rick Orlov, Wendy Greuel, Manuel Figueras, Madeleine Brand and A Martinez, Jay Leno, Tatiana de la Tierra, David Hockney, Alex Morgan, Diane Gordon, Michael Feinstein, William Windom and media websites get another chance to post items about their favorite small LA Industry: porn.

Central and South Americans on the rise in the Valley

Vannuys-victory-sky.jpg The Times has caught on to the demographic shifts in the middle of the Valley that are finding places like Van Nuys taking in more Latin American immigrants from beyond Mexico. As the stream of illegal arrivals from Mexico slows, "the greater Van Nuys area, with its apartment-rich neighborhoods, has become a thriving hub not of Mexican immigrants as much as Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, Ecuadoreans and Peruvians." Plus our pictures from the hub of the community.

Caltrans relaunches freeway status map and app

caltrans-quickmap.jpg Finding out what's happening on the freeway before you hit the road may have just gotten a bit easier — or at least more accurate. Caltrans has relaunched its QuickMap that lets you see what the observation cameras are seeing on any freeway in California — or read any changeable message sign.

Chris Burden's favorite Westwood office tower

helmut-jahn-tower.jpg Artist Chris Burden used to see the Helmut Jahn-designed Tower building at Wilshire and Midvale Avenue on his trips to and from UCLA, where he taught for 26 years. It's a "visually complex and satisfying office building" that gives him pleasure, as he explains.

Molly Ringwald on writing fiction as an actor

molly-ringwald-thumb-nyt.jpg The appeal of diving into a character has always been the back story: everything that my character has been through up to the point when the audience first encounters her, says the actress-novelist.

Esalen ponders its future again

esalen-baths.jpg With a yurt, a Mayan shaman, a massage practitioner and of course nudity, Esalen has almost everything the NYT loves in a story from California.

Director Tony Scott jumps from Vincent Thomas Bridge *

tony-scott-touchstone.jpg A man observed jumping from the high bridge that connects San Pedro to Terminal Island was dentified as Tony Scott, 68, the British film director known for such films as "Top Gun," "Days of Thunder," "Beverly Hills Cop II" and "The Taking of Pelham 123." A suicide note was found. He is the brother of Ridley Scott.

LA Times of two minds on power in California

state-capitol.jpg A news story in the LA Times calls the California Teachers Association "arguably the most potent force in state politics." But Times columnist Michael Hiltzik writes "Who really wields political power in Cal? Not the teachers union, but the 1%, and they want even more!" His Sunday column blasts Prop. 32, a conservative-backed measure to undercut union influence.
mar-vista-firesta-palms.jpg That the south side of working class Mar Vista is upset about declining city services is a less joke-producing turn of events than exclusive Holmby Hills making noises about leaving Los Angeles. But the chances of the Mar Vista-to-Culver City movement going anywhere are equally non-existent.

Tarzan Inc.

burroughs-yard-gate.jpg Edgar Rice Burroughs' home in Tarzana is gone, but the offices where his family business — and everything Tarzan — is administered remains behind a low wall on Ventura...

KPCC turns to sports for Latino co-host with Madeleine Brand *

brand-martinez.jpg KPCC's long search for a Latino to pair with Madeleine Brand has led to A. Martinez, the former host of "Dodgertalk" and most recently at ESPN Radio in Los Angeles. KPCC's morning show reboots Monday as "Brand and Martinez."

Tess Vigeland leaving 'Marketplace Money'

tess-vigeland-fountain.jpg The host of Marketplace Money since 2006 will step down in November, America Public Media announced today. There was no successor named. She will continue as a contributor. I don't...

First Mark, now Brian leaving KLOS airwaves

mark-and-brian-logo.jpg Brian Phelps, half of the long-running "Mark and Brian" morning duo, had been negotiating to stay on after the retirement of his partner. But he announced on the air this morning that the end has come. Off to "recharge" then do a podcast.

Another Big Boy bites the dust

vt-bobs-drivein.jpg The Bob's Big Boy in Torrance is set to close Sept. 3. Cause of death? "A general lack of sales," the owner says. Boy, Bob's used to be big in LA.

Video: Rosendahl thanks all for support on his cancer

"Millions of us have hit this obstacle over the last ten years," Councilman Bill Rosendahl says of his cancer. "We're optimistic about this." He also plans to make a video with the mayor candidates.

Morning Buzz: Friday 8.17.12

State may force cities to use the (gasp) Internet, Forest Service now agrees it can fly at night, Carmageddon II warnings to begin on freeways, a new LA schools blog and more.

Cinerama Dome to celebrate with original movies

cinerama-dome-lapl.jpg When the Cinerama Dome opened on Sunset Boulevard in 1963, it was the first new movie house built in Hollywood in three decades. Now part of Arclight Hollywood, the dome in late September will begin a week of classic Cinerama films, including the comedy that opened the place: "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." Also on the bill are "How the West Was Won," "2001: A Space Odyssey" and assorted shorts.

Freeways before the Arroyo Seco Parkway

ramona-fwy-construction.jpg Fun and informative history piece on Los Angeles' first freeways by Nathan Masters on the KCET website. The very first freeway was not the Arroyo Seco Parkway from Pasadena to almost downtown, as many believe. Have you ever seen the Ramona Boulevard freeway?

Gore Vidal, Christopher Isherwood and LA

gore-vidal-82-upi.jpg They designated pet names for each other derived from "The Wind in the Willows:" Isherwood was Mole, slowly working underground; Vidal was Rat, working productively above ground, engaged with the world.

Trutanich does raise some money for LA's Best *

trutanich-rooftop.jpg City Attorney Carmen Trutanich kinda sorta comes through with some of the $100,000 for kids that he promised as penance for violating his no-run pledge. But mostly not. "It was a stupid pledge to begin with," his flack said Thursday.

Register's new owner gives OK to hire a Dodgers writer

dodger-stadium-seats-left-=.jpg The newly acquired Register has put out the word that it wants to staff the Dodger Stadium press box again. But there are some requirements, and a strong preference for Spanish fluency. And yes, they know it's near the season's end.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 8.16.12

More Coliseum Commission insider dirt, another pledge issue for Trutanich, digging near the tar pits, housing the homeless, more late-night buses, Mark prepares to sign off of Mark and Brian and Reggie Bush returns the Heisman.

Hotel Shangri-La discriminated against Jews, jury rules

Hotel_Shangri_La_Exterior.jpg The Santa Monica jury found that the Art Deco hotel on Ocean Avenue and its Muslim owner violated the rights of attendees at a Jewish gathering two years ago. Guests...

Sherman and Berman go at it

sherman-berman-fox11-grab.jpg The Valley's battling Jewish Democrats debated Wednesday night in a Catholic school cafeteria in Sherman Oaks — first time since the June primary — and if anything the race is getting nastier. Our columnist Bill Boyarsky was there, as were other interested journalists and a crowd that was a bit on the old side.

Message to cancer from Xeni Jardin

xeni-jardin-finger.jpg As many know, Los Angeles writer, journalist and more Xeni Jardin is being treated for breast cancer. After an especially unpleasant session today with the blood takers at Cedars-Sinai, she posted an image and message that I suspect many people who have been patients will endorse.

Getty Images acquired for $3.3 billion

The Carlyle Group announced Wednesday it will take a controlling stake in the photo archive.

Mayim Bialik hurt in Hollywood car crash

Mayim-Bialik-with-Cara-Santa-Maria.jpg The actress has tweeted that she won't lose any fingers, despite a breathless report by TMZ from expert bystanders.

Federal court clerk in LA busted for tipping off defendants

The arrest of Nune Gevorkyan, 35, and her husband Oganes Koshkaryan, 40, came through the multi-agency Eurasian Organized Task Force. Didn't know we had one of those.

Tacos of the 2013 mayoral race

emanuel-pleitez-taco.jpg Chances are we won't hear a whole lot from or about Emanuel Pleitez as the mayoral race evolves into the big-bucks contest that everybody expects. But he did answer the call from LA Taco to give his list of favorite tacos. Wendy Greuel hasn't done that.

Video: Misty May-Treanor with Jon Stewart

The undefeated Olympic champion shows she can handle 'The Daily Show' too. The episode re-airs tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Summer of Cup Love: Mt. Benedict, B.C.

cup-mitchell-mtbenedict.jpg Willie Mitchell, the oldest of the Los Angeles Kings players at 35, spent part of his day with the Stanley Cup on a peak in British Columbia.

Kate Gale on the cultural geography of LA

kate-gale-lamag.jpg Says the editor at Red Hen Press: "Before we moved to Pasadena from the Valley in 2009, there was a lot of discussion about where we should go. We really wanted to move to a place that celebrates arts and culture."

Dodgers playoff chances get a boost thanks to Melky Cabrera

melky-cabrera-grab.jpg The San Francisco Giants have this outfielder, Melky Cabrera, who has been hitting much better than at any time in his career. Today he was suspended for the rest of the regular season after testing positive for a banned substance.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 8.15.12

Only one of 23 new TV dramas going into production will shoot in LA County, plus Larry King's Hulu gig, Sundance almost ready in the old Sunset 5 space and more.

Not a Cornfield artist has a new idea for downtown

Water-wheel-550.jpg Lauren Bon's latest project is to install a large working water wheel to extract water out of the Los Angeles River (once the city's main source) and irrigate land beside the Broadway bridge, near the Los Angeles State Historic Park where her cornfield transformed a former train yard in 2005. Check out the prototype.

New York Times grabs new CEO from the Beeb

nyt-newsroom.jpg Here's how the New York Times itself puts it: "In choosing Mr. Thompson, a veteran of television who has spent nearly his entire career at the BBC, The Times reached outside its own company, its own industry and even its own country to find a leader to guide it in an uncharted digital future." Indeed.

New business editor at the LA Times

latentrance.jpg Marla Dickerson, currently the deputy business editor at the Los Angeles Times, gets the department's top job.

Bratton shows interest in the top NYPD job again

bratton-cropped.jpg Former LAPD chief William Bratton has been meeting with potential mayor candidates in New York and voicing his desire to succeed New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the WSJ says.

Griffith Park mountain lion back in the news

p22-griffith-park-mountain-lion.jpg Since at least February, National Park Service trackers have known that P-22 was roaming the canyons of Griffith Park. But his GPS collar has stopped working and they want to track and tag him again.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 8.14.12

Prop. 32 language change, Gov. Brown's climate change website, Miramonte teachers return and Nikki Finke's Twitter feed doesn't. Plus more inside.

William Reagh's long walk downtown

reagh-window-shopping-on-broadway.jpg Michael Dawson, the collector and proprietor of the late Dawson's Books on Larchmont, announces the first book of photographs by William Reagh. "William Reagh: A Long Walk Downtown. Photographs of Los Angeles & Southern California, 1936-1991," shows his perspective on urban renewal and change in Los Angeles, with images of Angels Flight, Bunker Hill, Pershing Square, Broadway, Grand Avenue, Hill Street, Wrigley Field and Chavez Ravine.

Center for Investigative Reporting to partner with Univision

The center in Berkeley will announce tomorrow a partnership with Univision to jointly produce investigative stories for Spanish-speaking audiences in the United States and Latin America.

Two new hotel brands go up in downtown

doubletree-hilton-dtla.jpg The former Marriott hotel on Figueroa and 3rd Street is now the "L.A. Hotel," and the former Kyoto Grand has become the DoubleTree by Hilton.

Twitter suspends Nikki Finke accounts — both of them

The anonymous Twitter spoof account that poses as Deadline.com's Nikki Finke currently rings up suspended if you try to visit. And for whatever reason, the real Finke account is also suspended as of now.

White House winks toward Berman again

When First Lady Michelle Obama ended her fundraising swing through Los Angeles today, the presence of Rep. Howard Berman by her side was noteworthy when viewed through the lens of Democratic politics. Berman was invited to the Ladera Heights luncheon and Rep. Brad Sherman was not.

Hearse driver dies behind the wheel in Beverly Hills

beverly-hills-city-limits.jpg It appears to be just one of those things. A woman who had been en route to a funeral was found dead sitting in a hearse outside the Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

The older guy who dances at concerts around LA

dancing-man.jpg Daily Bulletin columnist David Allen tracked down his man — the mysterious figure who stands up and dances at so many live music performances around town that he showed up in "Shut Up and Play the Hits," a documentary on the band LCD Soundsystem. Here's the scoop.

Media notes: Out at LAT, in at Pacific Standard

Leaving the Los Angeles Times staff is Dean Kuipers, recently the nightlife editor in Arts and Entertainment. Read his farewell email. Plus an editor joins Pacific Standard magazine, and Nieman Journalism Lab explains HuffPost Live.

Video: She's worked for LA County for 60 years

Leophis Hester, a licensed vocational nurse at Harbor/UCLA Medical Center, started working for Los Angeles County in 1952. That makes her #1 among the county's 101,000 employees. She should get to hang out with Vin Scully or something.

Helen Gurley Brown, editor and media benefactor was 90 *

helen-gurley-brown.jpg Helen Gurley Brown was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazines for three decades and the author of the 1962 bestseller, "Sex and the Single Girl." "Helen Gurley Brown was an icon," said Frank A. Bennack, Jr., CEO of Hearst Corporation.

Pellicano bail denied after emotional appeal by Anita Busch

Busch, the former Los Angeles Times reporter who was threatened over a story by Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano and his cronies, appeared frail and frightened-looking in court today, says The Wrap.

'Onion Field' killer Gregory Powell dies

The-Onion-Field-cover.jpg The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced today the death of inmate Gregory U. Powell, who served a life term for 1963 kidnapping and murder of Los Angeles police officer Ian Campbell. Powell and his partner, Jimmy Lee Smith, had been pulled over for an illegal turn by Campbell and another plainclothes LAPD officer from the Hollywood division. The criminals commandeered the officers and drove them to an onion field outside Bakersfield where Powell shot and and killed Campbell.

Morning Buzz: Monday 8.13.12

Walmart in Chinatown, Howard Berman "comes out swinging," Villaraigosa seeks time to "reflect," removing parking meters by the hundreds, the problem with print magazines, a new Spanish-language news channel, Muslims donate on Skid Row and more.

Karl Fleming, journalist was 84

KarlFleming.jpg Karl Fleming covered the civil rights movement in the South and Los Angeles for Newsweek, started a local magazine and was the editor of Chanel 2 news. His memoir was "Son of the Rough South: An Uncivil Memoir."

Rubén Martínez explores desert life in America

ruben-martinez-lmu.jpg Martínez, the writing professor at Loyola Marymount University, lived for a time beside the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico, searching for truth and meaning and the guidance to break his drug habit. A review of his new book, plus an excerpt of a new mystery by Miles Corwin.

Up close with KUSC's Brian Lauritzen

brian-lauritzen-kusc.jpg Lauritzen is portrayed as "a laid-back evangelist of the classical radio world" in a short Times feature by Scott Timberg.

Liza Minelli at the Bowl: 'Crowd was growing restless'

liza5.jpg Charles McNulty's review sounds completely fair, while saying what had to be said. "The unretireable Minnelli owed her success on Saturday as much to her signature strengths as to her often parodied weaknesses."

House of Pies, the prequel and the sequel

House-of-Pies-sign-thurman.jpg Here's a bit more intelligence on the House of Pies, the Los Feliz survivor that attracted some appreciative attention recently from a blogger at The Paris Review. The LA Weekly got there first.

DirecTV loses Olympics closing ceremonies

Twitter has erupted with DirecTV customers in Los Angeles who want the last minutes of their Olympics. But no.

KPCC reporter goes stream of consciousness on Paul Ryan

Sharon_McNary_reasonably_small.jpg Sharon McNary, a KPCC political reporter, unfolded her story on Twitter, which is fitting I guess since it began with her looking at VP candidate-designate Paul Ryan's Twitter account and becoming curious that he follows just one other account.

Huffington Post launches live streaming channel Monday morning

jacob-soboroff-huffpost.jpg HuffPost Live will begin with eight hours of live web programming out of New York and four hours out of Los Angeles each weekday. It's starting with ten hosts, including the former LA Observed video contributor Jacob Soboroff in the Beverly Hills studio, plus contributions from Huffington Post editors, bloggers and readers.

Susan Stratton's Emmy honor - in the refrigerator

susan-stratton-emmys.jpg At Saturday night's local Emmy awards, the Governors Award for lifetime achievement went to Susan Stratton, Chick Hearn's producer on Lakers broadcasts for most of three decades. In the station count, NBC4, ABC7 and KTLA5 each won seven Emmys. Link to full list of winners inside.

Alarcon draws Villaraigosa's sister as judge

The judge presiding over Councilman Richard Alarcon's preliminary hearing today is M. L. Villar de Longoria, the sister of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Learning to swim at 45

Nice Column One story by the LAT's Kurt Streeter on confronting his fears of the water so he can help his two-year-old learn to swim.

In praise of the House of Pies and its history

house-of-pies-graphic.jpg "Sure, you can get gourmet pie flavors at Pie Hole downtown," writes Aaron Gilbreath at the Paris Review blog. "You can get better coffee most anywhere. You can find more unusual egg breakfasts right across the street. But the burgers here are fat and delicious, the pies are unmatched."

Ira Glass on the death of David Rakoff

"It was no surprise; he'd been talking about it for months. He even named August as when it would happen."

Morning Buzz: Friday 8.10.12

LA gunshot victim in the Olympics, Councilman Alarcon heads to court, Trutanich goes after ticket scalpers, new deputy mayor, Santa Barbara's Jerry Robert close to collecting from Wendy McCaw, and the geography of JPL.

Where and how the Coliseum scandal began

coliseumtorchressler.jpg A really nice, detailed and clearly told cover story in the LA Weekly by Gene Maddaus reconstructs how corruption and under-the-table payments at the Coliseum offices came to be commonplace under general manager Pat Lynch — while the appointed overseers on the Coliseum Commission failed to oversee. It came to light only due to an accident, Maddaus writes.

Greuel lines up a bunch of Valley folks

victory-van-nuys-palms.jpg In her bid to become the first mayor of Los Angeles from the Valley since Sam Yorty, Controller Wendy Greuel has put together an early list of supporters that has some range to it.

San Fernando's JC Penney closure goes national

penneys-sf-neon-dn.jpg A 'Marketplace" reporter made the drive out to the city of San Fernando to do a radio piece on the upset over closure of the town's once-popular J.C. Penney store. The story begins with a historical error but goes on to explore the hopes of some in town that the chain will either reconsider or the Penney's will be replaced by something better.
dwight-howard-magic-200.jpg Kobe Bryant looks to have some fine new shoulders to ride with. The Lakers have agreed to acquire Orlando's Dwight Howard in a complicated deal that would send Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers.

LA Times finally names the managing editor

marc-duvoisin-twitter.jpg It's Marc Duvoisin, currently the deputy managing editor for projects and enterprise. The newsroom's number two job has been open since Davan Maharaj was elevated to editor in December. Here's the memo.

LA Times names new books editor: Joy Press

joy-press-twitter.jpg The pop culture and deputy television editor of the LA Times' calendar section gets the newly created job of Books and Culture Editor. Press was a book critic for VLS as well as culture editor at the both the Village Voice and Salon.

Not hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk

egg-no-cook.jpg John Rabe of KPCC enticed me out to Northridge on Wednesday for an "Off-Ramp" story, and since it was midday in the West Valley, in the middle of a heat wave, and Rabe's an intrepid reporter slash radio host, he brought along the makings of a classic journalism experiment. The temperature was a few notches over 100, but was it hot enough to cook an egg? Find out inside.

Hey, Mars looks like the Valley of 100 years ago

mars-landscape-8812.jpg NASA has fired up the good camera to take a quick look around the crater where the Curiosity rover landed.

Three-peat for Misty and Kerri

missy-kerry-win-gold,jpg.jpg Two years ago, Misty May-Treanor wasn't sure she would even try out for the London Olympics. On Wednesday, she and Kerri Wash Jennings completed their stunning run through three Olympic Games, never losing a match — and only dropping one set. They beat the American team of Jennifer Kessy and April Ross to claim their third gold medal.

New details on shuttle Endeavour's arrival in LA

endeavour_landing.jpg The retired space shuttle Endeavour's trip across the south end of Los Angeles will look a lot like last spring's movement of the giant boulder that landed at LACMA. Slow and disruptive — though only for two days.
Thumbnail image for parking-cop-in-red.jpg For more than five years, Sacramento's CBS TV affiliate has been investigating reports by drivers in Northern California who get parking tickets from the city of Los Angeles when they swear they weren’t there. The latest case involves a Sacramento area man who says his new car has never been in LA.

Nick Williams, LA Times retired journalist was 75

Nick B. Williams Jr., a veteran Los Angeles Times reporter and editor who also was the son of the paper's former editor, died this morning in Texas at age 75.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 8.8.12

Berman-Sherman and Barney Frank, DA candidates meet and clash, voters can extend transportation tax, LAT's Julie Cart and her dad, "Braving Beverly Hills" and Sally Ride laid to rest in Santa Monica.

Wesson admits to playing racial politics with council maps

herb-wesson-mug.jpg The racial politics of City Hall seldom gets bared this nakedly. City Council President Herb Wesson told a gathering of black ministers in Los Angeles that in the recent political skirmishing over drawing new city council district lines, he was out to protect African American seats. And more.

The Valley grows another neighborhood name

sherwood-forest-map.gif The real estate industry's name for my old neighborhood in Northridge has gained official status at City Hall. Blue signs marking Sherwood Forest as LA's newest community should be going up shortly. Plus: Part of North Hills jumps to Northridge, officially.

Loughner pleads guilty to Tucson shootings

Jared Lee Loughner faces life in prison without parole for last year's attack that killed six bystanders and wounded 13 other people, including his main target, then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

MOCA changes tune, will name a chief curator

Bloomberg News is moving a story by Chris Palmeri saying that the Museum of Contemporary Art has reversed an earlier decision and will hire a new chief curator. “In the past weeks we have witnessed considerable media attention and criticism directed at MOCA and its leadership, particularly at our director,” the MOCA board’s executive committee wrote in a letter to other trustees.

Refinery fire out, but more than 350 visit hospitals

chevron-rfinery-fire-kgo.jpg Chevron said the fire was put out this morning at its oil refinery in Richmond. More than 350 nearby residents showed up at hospital emergency rooms complaining of respiratory issues, but none were admitted, reports say.

Olympics spoiler: Women's volleyball semi-finals *

Thumbnail image for treanor-walsh-london-sleeves.jpg Click inside if you want to know what happened in today's match between China and the U.S. team of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings.
sand-dunes-dvnp.jpg The National Weather Service says the combination of hot temperatures (over 100 in many areas) and higher than usual humidity for the summer "will create a prolonged period of well above normal and possibly dangerous heat." Some of the desert temperatures could take your breath away.

Judith Crist, film critic was 90

Judith Crist was the critic for many years on the "Today" show and in print at TV Guide and elsewhere. She had two long stints at TV Guide &mdash the first before they fired her in favor of computerized summaries of films, the second after a deluge of reader complaints forced the editors to ask her back.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 8.7.12

Blue Line fatals, copter noise complaints, Robert Hughes dies, remembering David Shaw, running Chevron ads during the Richmond fire, San Diego reporter told to "get a life" and a new head of stadium development at the Dodgers.

Marvin Hamlisch, composer was 68

Hamlisch collapsed and died in Los Angeles on Monday. He has won three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize. He had been scheduled to return in September as conductor of the Pasadena Symphony and Pops.

Gawker's new West Coast editor announces he's black

cord-gawker.jpg Cord Jefferson, who started Monday as the West Coast editor for the Gawker gossip and blog empire, penned an opening greeting post that says he's "the first California staffer since Seth Abramovitch left in January. I'm also the first staffer (on record) to watch hardcore pornography in Fred Willard's favorite Hollywood peep show." Oh, and he's black.

Jennifer York back on the air, but on the ground

jennifer-york-crop.jpg A couple of readers have noticed the familiar voice of Jennifer York doing traffic reports for KNX 1070 radio. York was the very popular airborne traffic reporter on KTLA Channel 5 for 13 years, until she and the station parted ways in 2004.

O'Malley group reaches deal to buy SD Padres

hof_omalley_6.jpg Former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley and members of his family are key players in a group that has agreed to purchase the San Diego Padres for a price believed to be about $800 million. O'Malley, who sold the Dodgers to Fox in 1998, had tried to re-buy the team this year but was bumped from the bidding early.

Refinery fire forces Richmond residents indoors

chevron-rfinery-fire-kgo.jpg Officials fighting a major fire tonight at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, north of Oakland and Berkeley, have advised residents to stay inside in Richmond, North Richmond and San Pablo.

Mt. Sharp on Mars

mars-rover-mtsharp.jpg The view from NASA's Curiosity rover of the Mars crater and the mountain, more than three miles in height, that the scientists call Mt. Sharp. The image has been "linearized" to remove the fisheye effect of the camera's lens.

Gold medal in online newspaper info graphics

nyt-graphic-usain-bolt.jpg The New York Times graphic comparing Usain Bolt's run in the Olympics 100-meter race to previous winners — back to 1896 — is something to see. Watch 'One Race, Every Medalist Ever'

Chavela Vargas, Mexico's 'rough voice of tenderness' was 93

Just your average cigar-smoking, tequila-swigging, pistol-packing lesbian Mexican ranchera singer who may have had a love affair with Frida Kahlo.

Morgan scores [very] late, puts U.S. women in soccer final

oly_u_alexmts_576.jpg Extra time. The U.S. and Canada's women, bitter soccer rivals, are tied at 3-3. In the 123rd minute, just seconds before the game goes to penalty kicks, Alex Morgan scores off a header. The jubilant Americans go into the final on Thursday against Japan, a rematch of the last World Cup final.

Morning Buzz: Monday 8.6.12

Where mayoral race money comes from, Jim Newton on the Board of Supes, Noguez' employees want him to resign, a new co-anchor at NBC4, sucking seawater at the Aquarium of the Pacific and more.

Serena Williams, May and Walsh all crush in London

serena-williams-london.jpg Serena Williams absolutely dominated Russian Maria Sharapova to win the gold medal in women's tennis this weekend. How about 6-0, 6-1 — impressive enough for you? And in Sunday's beach volleyball match, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh literally reduced one of their Italian opponents to tears with a smothering attack.

Natalie Portman, Millepied marry in Big Sur

Portman and Benjamin Millepied managed to keep it secret until after the fact, so good on them.

Curiosity lands on Mars to cheers and tears *

Confirmation of the craft's complex soft landing on the surface of Mars came in to Pasadena at 10:31 p.m. PDT, about 14 minutes after it happened. (It takes that long for the communications data to burst across space.) The first thumbnail photos flowed a couple of minutes later, including scenes of the Mars horizon and a picture of a shadow cast on the surface by Curiosity.

Two more lion cubs tracked in Santa Monica Mountains

puma-cubs-smmts.jpg National Park Service biologists affixed tracking devices recently on male and female kittens born to one of the adult female lions already being tracked through the mountain range. They were fathered by a well-known lion, P-12, who unfortunately also fathered the cubs' mother.

Friday desk clearing

Gore Vidal's LA house, greening the Arts District, what Jonathan Gold will do next, another state legislator eyes the City Council and more.

Biden, Michelle Obama add LA fundraisers

There's also a private benefit concert with Yo Yo Ma at the home of architect Frank Gehry.

Morning Buzz: Friday 8.3.12

Rep. Laura Richardson reprimanded and fined, the Ethics Committee and Rep. Maxine Waters, assessor probe expands, flacking the Carmageddon II message, Armenian is now a ballot language in LA and more.

Bus riders rejoice: Wilshire to be re-paved

rapid-bus-window.jpg Starting sooner than expected, the condition of the roadway on Wilshire Boulevard may no longer be LA's own inside joke. Repaving of the curb lanes between Wilton Place and Fairfax Avenue will begin this month, says a report.

His back pages at Rhino Records

rhino12106.jpg In a nice guest piece for Native Intelligence, Joel Bellman tells stories from his years as a staffer, then the manager, of the Rhino Records sister store in his hometown of Claremont. "What a gig! Sit around in a rock t-shirt and jeans all day playing whatever records we wanted, hanging out, spewing opinions, and getting paid for it! I still can't believe it." The Kickstarter campaign for a Rhino documentary ends Friday.

Schwarzenegger, USC form policy think tank

nikias-arnold-usc.jpg The new USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy will be housed in the Price School of Public Policy. Initial members of the board of advisors include Henry Cisneros, Vicente Fox and George Shultz.

I Files: New investigative reporting YouTube channel

The Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley will curate the new YouTube channel, billed as "a hub of the best investigative reporting from around the world." It's funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Video contributions are expected from ABC News, BBC, The New York Times, Al-Jazeera and others.

Tess Vigeland gets her feet wet for the story

tess-vigeland-fountain.jpg "Marketplace Money" host Tess Vigeland took off her shoes and rolled up her jeans to dive deep into the story of the Downtown's new Grand Park. Also: Suzanne Rico on her mom and cancer.

Caltech professor gets $3 million phone call

kitaev-caltech.jpg Alexei Kitaev is among the first winners of the new Fundamental Physics Prize, funded by a Russian millionaire. It's worth three million bucks, but first you have to give your bank info to a guy on the phone with a Russian accent.

Batchelder's Chocolate Shoppe murals coming back to light

chocolate-shop-batchelder.jpg City of Los Angeles historic-cultural monument #137 is the former Chocolate Shoppe on 6th Street, between Spring Street and Broadway. The shop has HCM status because the interior is covered in early 20th Century tile murals by Ernest Batchelder, the city's most revered old-time tile maker. Now, almost 100 years later, it could become a chocolate shop again.

WSJ puts the bad in badminton

"NBC paid over $1 billion to broadcast the London Olympic Games. The Wall Street Journal paid...less than that."...

Councilman Rosendahl begins treatment for cancer

Councilman Bill Rosendahl writes that a persistent back pain led him to the doctor. He says he will run for reelection to a third term.

Gavin Polone dares Nikki Finke to go after him

Thumbnail image for hollywood-sign-oh-vdt.jpg Rather than be just another Hollywood type who complains about the unprofessionalism and blackmail of the Deadline founder, the ex-agent and producer dares Finke to prove her clout.

Mythbusting the Broad conspiracy to ruin MOCA

eli_broad_museum_plans.jpg William Poundstone writes at Artinfo that the whole notion of Eli Broad trying to run the Museum of Contemporary Art into the ground is uninformed, illogical and should just go away. Frequent MOCA critic Tyler Green agrees, posting on Facebook: "This is fantastic. I wish I'd written it."

Remembering Gore Vidal at The Nation

"Gore was glorious before live audiences...I concluded by noting that he had pretty much done it all—novels, essays, plays—and won every award; I asked, 'What keeps you going? What gets you up in the morning?' He had a one word answer: 'rage.'"

Ethics panel urges reprimand for Rep. Laura Richardson

Richardson, the Democratic House member from the Long Beach area who is in a reelection fight, improperly used House resources for campaign and personal purposes and compelled congressional staff to work on her campaign, the House Ethics Committee's subcommittee on investigations said today in a report.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 8.1.12

Lynwood officials convicted in novel prosecution, Irvine professor accused of plotting mass murder at late son's school, Garcetti and Greuel tie in fundraising, Koreatown residents sue over City Council maps, Breitbart.com wants to be HuffPost of the right and more.
Don Shirley on CTG's new season
Paul_Oakley_Stovall-ctg.jpg Once again our columnist has to ask: where is LA in the upcoming schedule of the Center Theatre Group? Native Intelligence
Engine 23
engine-23-5th-street.jpg 5th Street in Downtown LA.
Church of Type
church-of-type-pico-sm.jpg Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica.
Garden envy
garden-envy-vdt.jpgVeronique de Turenne has a case of it. Here in Malibu
Wilshire Royale
royale-wilshire-mccollister.jpg Another sweet LA street image from Kevin McCollister. East of West LA