LA Observed archive
for September 2012

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

Time travel: 3rd Street (Promenade) in 1949

promenade-crossing-lao.jpg Before Santa Monica's 3rd Street shopping district hit the skids and was re-imagined as a pedestrian mall, it was the busy center of town. This photo was posted Sunday at the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page.

Video: Does your Asian mom in the 626 vote?

A comedic message from the Fung Brothers urging Asian Americans in the San Gabriel Valley to vote.

7 cited on 405, but skateboarder gets away

carmageddon2-skateboarder-g.jpg Cindy Whitehead, a former pro skateboarder from Hermosa Beach, had the phone numbers of a bail bondsman, a lawyer and a friend written on her arm — just in case.

405 to open as scheduled, officials promise *

mulholland-bridge-dusk-thesource.jpg Removal of the north side of the original Mulholland Drive bridge over the 405 freeway has gone about as well as expected. Mayor Villarigosa and Metro officials said Sunday evening that the lanes through Sepulveda Pass will open as promised by 5 a.m. on Monday.

Going to be hot on Monday

burned-tree-anf.jpg The National Weather Service has put out a special weather statement and declared a red flag alert in inland areas of Los Angeles County.

The Stanley Cup, now with names

stanley-cup-with-names.jpg The names of Phil Anschutz, his wife Nancy, and co-owner Ed Roski have been inscribed on the Stanley Cup. Oh, and some hockey players too.

Schwarzenegger's image rehab tour hits a bump

arnold-on-60minutes.jpg Arnold Schwarzenegger, who recently paid $20 million for a think tank at USC, gets a segment on "60 Minutes" tonight to give just enough mea culpa on the whole cheated-on-Maria thing to sound like it was a blip. But at the Daily Beast, Ann Louise Bardach says the chronology given to CBS' Lesley Stahl and in Arnold's new memoir is anything but true

Nikki Finke's Deadline calls a time out

variety-sign-300.jpg Amid talk that the owner of Deadline.com is on the verge of buying Variety, Nikki Finke announced on Deadline.com that her staff will be too busy next week on some unstated business to post breaking news nuggets.

Carmageddon II: So far, so good

carmageddon2-fwy-map-sat.jpg Traffic has been a bit heavier than usual for a Saturday in a few spots, especially near the immediate detours around the closed 405 freeway. But for the most part,...

County has big issues with tax story implicating Caruso

That story yesterday out of the Los Cerritos Community News tying developer Rick Caruso's properties to the emerging probe around tax reductions by Assessor John Noguez drew a strong objection today from the fill-in assessor appointed by the Board of Supervisors. "Several erroneous conclusions based on nonexistent evidence," says a letter to the paper's publisher from Santos Kreimann.

Carmageddon not just good for air quality, it's great

bridge-from-above5501.jpg UCLA researchers say in a study today that the benefits began as soon as the freeway closed, and extended for miles around. Since traffic fell everywhere in Southern California, the whole region felt an effect — for a couple of days.

Baca failed to act on out of control jail deputies, report says

jail-cell.jpg In its final report, issued this morning, the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence put a lot of the blame on Sheriff Lee Baca and his number two, Paul Tanaka, and said the department needs to be reformed top to bottom and undergo a management shakeup. Civilian oversight is also needed.

Hometown-Pasadena sold by Prospect Park Books

Prospect Park publisher Colleen Dunn Bates created the site in 2006 as a companion to the book "Hometown Pasadena."

Friday politics notes: Garcetti gets Latino backing

Garcetti gets Salma Hayek but few LA names, a bunch of other endorsements, what will be in the news today and more.

KPCC president to address changes on the air

bill-davis-kpcc.jpg KPCC is taking the unusual step of having president Bill Davis stop in to "Airtalk" and chat with Larry Mantle about the recent programming changes, including the resignation of Madeleine Brand.

Miss Carmageddon 1929

Miss Carmageddon 1929.jpg Staffers at the Auto Club Archives on South Figueroa had a little fun with a 1929 picture from their files — and remind people to avoid driving near the 405 this weekend.

Rick Caruso properties implicated in Noguez scandal *

rick-caruso-twitter.jpg Rick Caruso, the wealthy developer who's mulling a run for mayor as a self-financed candidate, received special treatment and substantial property tax reductions from the office of county Assessor John Noguez, then donated thousands to Noguez's political efforts, according to the Los Cerritos Newspaper Group.

Jillian Barberie Reynolds out, next blonde in

maria-sansone-fox.jpg Reynolds tweeted this morning that she was just informed that her "Good Day L.A." days were over. Steve Edwards' new co-host is Maria Sansone.

Maker of anti-Muslim video jailed on probation violations

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who made the controversial film "Innocence of Muslims," was deemed a flight risk by a federal magistrate and ordered held without bail.

Gundlach gets his stolen artwork back

That $10 million art theft at the home of Santa Monica bond trader Jeffrey Gundlach has been solved — or at least he has gotten his artwork back and two men have been arrested. I guess rewards work when they are big enough.

Report: Dodgers have secret deal to protect revenue *

Bloomberg News says that an agreement between Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball limits how much of the Dodgers' revenue from a new TV deal has to be shared with other teams.

Chef who boiled wife's body guilty of murder

The jury found Lomita chef David Viens guilty only of second-degree murder: willful and deliberate, but not premeditated. His sentence will be 15 years to life, says the Daily Brreeze.

Morning Buzz: Design flaws, jails and news briefs

city-hall-park-closed.jpg Design flaws at Convention Center, ACLU alleges head injuries in jails, Occupy LA after a year, DA Steve Cooley to endorse in mayor's race, missing UCLA student's remains found, medical building falls off tax rolls and an LAT photographer explains his Endeavour shot in front of the Hollywood sign.

Time travel: Paul Newman and the Mulholland Drive bridge *

harper-mulholland-bridge-fa.jpg "Harper" starring Paul Newman aired tonight on Turner Classic Movies. Here's a screen grab circa-1966 of the Mulholland Drive bridge in Sepulveda Pass, spanning what was then called by everybody the San Diego Freeway.

Very big earthquakes can be global events, studies find

indo-australian-plate-nature.jpg Anything that advances the science of seismology is news in Southern California, or should be. This week's lead entries in the journal Nature qualify.

Madeleine Brand says outside offers are behind her KPCC exit

mbrand-crop.jpg Ex-KPCC host Madeleine Brand, who left the station last week, tells Current.org that "outside offers just became too attractive” for her to remain at the station. She doesn't specify any offers, but says she will be staying in Los Angeles.

Media will pool helicopters for Carmageddon II

If things go right, there will be fewer media choppers hovering pointlessly above the ends of the closed 405 freeway during this weekend's traffic event. Or non-event, whatever.

NY Post decrees LA is the future

dt-skyline-lao.jpg A New York Post real estate editor and travel writer have written a very readable travel piece on the "new" Los Angeles that transcends enthusiasm. It's actually savvy about some of the shifting cultural currents here.

Ouch: Harsh critique of California's legislators

Thumbnail image for state-capitol.jpg "When you meet with people in the legislature in Sacramento, the most striking thing is how stupid everybody is," says Bloomberg News' Josh Barro

Vaux's Swifts return to Downtown

swifts-dtla-2010.jpg The migrating birds adopted the unused chimney of the old Chester Williams Building at 5th and Broadway a few years ago. "If you think you’ve seen everything in downtown Los Angeles, you’ve never seen anything like this," says a watcher.

Jamie McCourt sues to get more of Dodgers sale cash

Thumbnail image for frank-jamie-mccourt-star.jpg Before the Dodgers were sold, Jamie McCourt agreed to a divorce settlement with ex-husband Frank McCourt that gave her $131 million. Now that he has received considerably more than previously expected in the team's sale, she has sued and alleged Frank committed fraud by understating the team's value.

Morning Buzz: Rate hikes, media notes & Andy Williams

andy-williams-cover.jpg DWP rate hikes, LAPD to review an investigation, Herb Wesson's son and deputy arrested, future of Ontario Airport and Amtrak in SoCal studied, beach quality, San Fernando's battling council people and Reseda's 100th. Plus the passing of Andy Williams.

Eric Gagne says 80% of Dodgers used performance drugs

eric-gagne-glasses.jpg In a new biography, the relief pitcher who starred for the Dodgers early last decade says again that he used performance-enhancing drugs — and this time he alleges that so did most of his Los Angeles teammates.

In the middle of Carmageddon, a triathlon will close streets

triathlon-disney-hall.jpg By the time Metro decided to schedule the 405 freeway shutdown for this weekend, the Herbalife Triathlon Los Angeles was already on the calendar for Sunday. So there will be closed streets and a lot of people in town.

Speaking of the bomb squad and dubious media promotions...

clocks-from-bet.jpg In 2006, an LA Times and Paramount promotion for "Mission: Impossible III" went awry. They settled with the federal government for $75,000.

Free tix: T. C. Boyle

TC-Boyle-small.jpg Live Talks Los Angeles is back for a new season of what sound like they will be provocative, entertaining or enlightening discussions mavened by Ted Habte-Gabr. Up this Thursday is author T.C. Boyle, talking about his new novel, "San Miguel."

Caruso making some mayoral moves behind the scenes

rickcarusocrop.jpg Ad buyers have inquired about TV time in November, sources say, and Caruso also reportedly begged off a sizable commitment of money to pension reform citing large upcoming political expenses of his own. We'll see.

Laura Chick drops rhetoric bomb on Trutanich, with responses *

laura-chick-red.jpg Former City Controller Laura Chick found herself in a feud with City Attorney Carmen Trutanich almost as soon as he took office in 2009 — with her endorsement, by the way. Now she's with Mike Feuer, and calling Trutanich a liar and a demagogue. There's a backstory.

Note to PR types: No beeping clocks in promo materials

knx1070-bomb-scare.jpg It turns out this morning's evacuation of the Miracle Mile building that houses KNX, KFWB and other media outlets may have been caused by suspicious beeps in a promotional package sent by the Black Entertainment Network.

Morning Buzz: Politics, media and HuffPost goes Italian

arianna-huff-logo.jpg John Edward Smith freed, Sheriff Baca sure travels a lot, DWP salaries are sure high, Jon Bon Jovi, Jennifer Hudson and Stevie Wonder added to Obama concert, Schwarzenegger's symposium, poet cops and the Huffington Post debuts in Italy.

Finally, something gets better on the 405

Sunset-Bridge-new-metro.jpg No, Carmageddon II is still coming this weekend. But the people behind Carmageddon had a ceremony out along the 405 freeway this morning to reopen the rebuilt Sunset Boulevard bridge.

Do you have the stuff to blog for Atlantic Cities?

For them it's about the quality of the content, the most precious commodity in the competition for readers' brains.

Morning Buzz: Monday reset

Emmy winners, Sunset Boulevard bridge opens over 405, pension politics, LAT urges a "lid" on pot dispensaries, Al Martinez appoints Eli Broad, Press Club signs up Jane Fonda and more.

Valley notices the space shuttle snub

shuttlke-dn-holzman.jpg The San Fernando Valley has been a major player in the Southern California aerospace legacy, dating from Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes up through America's first moon rocket tests and the invention of the stealth warplane. The engines that blasted the space shuttle into the sky came, I think, from the Rocketdyne plant in Canoga Park. But no flyover.

LA Weekly, OC Weekly get a new owner

lacey-larkin.jpg Village Voice Media owners Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin announced Sunday night that they have agreed to sell the chain of 13 weeklies — a mix of papers they created and big established titles they acquired, including the LA Weekly and Village Voice — and will get out of alt journalism. The buyers are a new company formed by ex-editors and publishers of the New Times chain that Lacey and Larkin helped start in Phoenix in the 1970s.

Berman gets the Times endorsement too

The Los Angeles Times editorial page on Sunday endorsed Rep. Howard Berman in the big Democratic Party battle in the San Fernando Valley. "The Times supported Berman in the first round of voting, and we're sticking with him in the head to head" over Rep. Brad Sherman.

Video: Eagle owl at 1,000 frames per second

eagle-owl-grab.jpgAn eagle owl flying toward a camera at 1,000 frames a second.

Endeavour mounted on its temporary home

endeavour-deplaned-nasa.jpg The space shuttle Endeavour being placed on its transporter and rolled into its hangar at LAX. Photos and video.

Who says there's no street life in LA?

shuttle-and-crowd-nasa.jpg The retired space shuttle Endeavour and its NASA 747 circled the Los Angeles basin for more than an hour on Friday, delighting tens of thousands of school kids, aerospace admirers and ordinary Americans and visitors.

Geoff Boucher joins Entertainment Weekly

geoff-boucher-fb.jpg Boucher, who left the Los Angeles Times earlier this month after clashing with his editor, posted the memo from Entertainment Weekly managing editor Jess Cagle on Facebook.

That was fast: Madeleine Brand leaves KPCC

brand-martinez.jpg So much for all those pretended sounds of happiness from KPCC over the forced merger of morning show host Madeleine Brand with newcomer A Martinez.

Morning Buzz: Campanile, Maxine Waters, police chases

Thumbnail image for maxinewatersthehill.jpg Rep. Maxine Waters cleared by House Ethics Committee, anatomy of an LA police chase, San Fernando councilwoman will go to trial, 2013 mayoral debate, Kato Kaelin repeats himself and a Campanile update.

Video: Sometimes it pays to be connected

For his HuffPost Live segment advancing the space shuttle Endeavour's flight over Los Angeles, host Jacob Soboroff got an exclusive guest in studio: His dad, Steve Soboroff, the former candidate for mayor in Los Angeles who's in charge of the move for the California Science Center. "I think this is the most meaningful thing to happen to Los Angeles since Staples Center," says the senior Soboroff.

Restaurant news: Campanile loses lease, will close *

campanile-1932.jpg The owner of the La Brea Avenue building that houses Campanile is close to signing a long term lease for a new restaurant, Republique, the LA Times says.

Morning Buzz: Brown's tax measure sags

Thumbnail image for la-maps-book-cover.jpg Public support falls for Gov. Brown's initiative, register to vote online, Register circulation is up, dinging Eli Broad's museum, the Angels talking to city of Industry and a nice feature on LAPL's map librarian. Plus more.

Wednesday night media notes

chris-paul-gq.jpg Chris Paul graces the cover of GQ, newspaper moves of local note on Spring Street and in Las Vegas, and more media notes from the in-box.

All LA streets lead to Aram Sahakian

aram-sahakian.jpg Sahakian oversees special traffic operations for the city’s Department of Transportation. This makes him the official responsible for planning and executing street closures for all the big traffic-snarling events in Los Angeles — from the Oscars and the LA Marathon to next month's move of the space shuttle Endeavour.

Writer calls BS on the right's Obama mythology

young-obama.jpg Peter Hong, the former Los Angeles Times reporter who now works as a deputy to county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, grew up by coincidence on the Barack Obama path. He too was born and raised in Honolulu — has the same style of birth certiifcate — and also went to Occidental College. He observes in a piece for Zocalo that it gives him a certain perspective on the more hysterical claims being fed to conservatives about the president's past.

Donors to Trutanich's 'stupid pledge' fund may want edge

Thumbnail image for trutanichdunked.jpg Gene Maddaus at the LA Weekly got the list of contributors to the account City Attorney is using to make good on his promise to raise $100,000 for after-schol programs if he broke his previous promise not to run for any office other than the one he now has. (Which he did.)

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 9.19.12

el-monte-lifeguards-protest.jpg Short stack today, with a big turnout in El Monte and Lindsay Lohan racks up another arrest.

LA Times looking for deputy books editor *

lat-is-creativity-better-in-the-nude-20120917-001.jpg The job opening was posted without explanation of what the vacancy may say about the incumbent deputy. The Times book department is down to three full-timers who all contribute reviews, features and blog posts, including this week's "Is creativity better in the nude?"

Naked Echo Park Lake

echo-park-lake-dirt-eastsider.JPG The lake bed is currently exposed and the dirt is being pushed around to form habitat for fish to thrive and plants to grow. "The lake bed has to be lined to keep the water from seeping into the ground. What would that look like, I wondered?," Judy Raskin writes at The Eastsider LA.

Richard Neutra's offices in Silver Lake for rent

neutra-offices-curbed.jpg Dion Neutra has put his father's old Glendale Boulevard offices up for sale before. Now he's listing them for lease on Craigslist as "a pristine example of the commercial work of a seminal architect of the Modernist movement" and as "the only surviving uncompromised example of Neutra commercial design."

Where to see Endeavour on Friday morning

endeavour-sunrise-fla.jpg Friday's low-level flyover of the Los Angeles basin by the space shuttle Endeavour (atop a jumbo jet) is expected to occur between 10 and 11 a.m. The FAA and NASA haven't revealed the exact route, but did announce that the shuttle would fly over or near about a dozen landmarks.

Rep. Laura Richardson in trouble again

Politico reports that Rep. Laura Richardson, already under reprimand for pressuring her staff to work on her campaign, is now accused by the House Ethics committee of retaliating against and intimidating aides who cooperated with the earlier investigation.

Gray whale washes up dead near Cabrillo Beach

dead-gray-whale.jpg A young gray whale that was found dead on Friday is believed to be the same emaciated animal that was freed from a rope off Manhattan Beach on Sept. 6.

Driver dies after hitting horse at 2 a.m. *

City News Service is reporting that a 69-year-old driver was killed early this morning when his car hit a horse at Palos Verdes Drive North and Crenshaw Boulevard in Rolling Hills Estates.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 9.18.12

erwitt-book-marilyn.jpg More trees to be planted after Endeavour passes, no more picketing at funerals, more naming of street corners in LA, a power temple in LA, a new book of photos by Elliott Erwitt, and more media and politics notes.

Garcetti plays the Gyllenhaal card

garcetti-jake.jpg Councilman and candidate for mayor Eric Garcetti plays the part of the Los Angeles mayor in the forthcoming film, "End of Watch." They got together with campaign supporters at a preview screening.

Magic Johnson says he put $50 million into Dodgers deal

HBO's "Real Sports" on Tuesday night is a double Dodgers episode, with Magic talking about his role with the team and an update on Bryan Stow, the firefighter and Giants fan who was left brain damaged by a beating in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

Cindy Carcamo lands final project for Register, heads to LAT

carcamo-fb.jpg Immigration reporter Cindy Carcamo's opener of a three-part series this past weekend in the Orange County Register was a doozy. With illegal overland entry into the United States from Mexico getting harder and harder, immigrants increasingly turn toward the Pacific Ocean. On Oct. 1, she starts covering the Southwest for the LA Times from Arizona.

Space shuttle Endeavour will delay until Friday

endeavour-on-jet-ground.jpg Weather is forcing NASA to delay by a day the arrival of Endeavour over Los Angeles. I talk about the meaning of the shuttle's move to LA, and the excitement generated, with host Steve Chiotakis in my weekly segment on KCRW at 6:44 p.m.

Ex-Assemblyman Carl Washington arrested by FBI

Washington, charged with defrauding banks by falsely claiming identity theft, is one of more than 40 arrests this year of staffers at the county probation department.

Whatever happened to... Sasha Vujacic

sasha-vujacic-haircut-fb.jpg He's at basketball training camp — in Turkey — and announced on Facebook this morning that he has a new haircut. What he doesn't have any more is a professional tennis player for a fiancee.

Marijuana referendum qualifies for city ballot

city-hall-over-bldgs.jpg City Clerk June Lagmay just announced that the proponents of a referendum to undo the Los Angeles City Council ban on medical marijuana outlets submitted enough signatures to force the issue. Or, as Lagmay's office puts it, "has achieved sufficiency." One of three things now has to happen.

Morning Buzz: Monday 9.17.12

rickcarusocrop.jpg Baca's trying times, Rick Caruso still hedging, Rick Orlov's Tipoffs, the ten greatest ranchera songs of Antonio Aguilar, Amanda Bynes stopped again and more.

Open for business

bonsai-car-lao.jpg Car covered with bonsai plants on Westwood Boulevard. The disabled parking placard is a nice touch.

Getty parking correction: some of our numbers were wrong

getty-entrance-view.jpg My item last week on the Getty's parking revenue included two incorrect numbers billed as coming from the museum's IRS filings, and they alter one of the key points of the post. In fact, the Getty has netted more than $1.2 million in new parking revenue that did not go for executive salaries.

Lindsay Lohan's Doppelgänger mugshot

lohan-doppelganger.jpg "Vintage mugshots have an eerie beauty to them that’s lost in current mugshot photography," says the website Mugshot Doppelganger. "What would celebrity mugshots, the ones we’ve become accustomed to seeing on TMZ, look like if instead they were taken in the 1920’s?" Asked and answered.

38,598 pounds of junk found in coastal cleanup — some of it weird

beach-cleanup-heal-the-bay.jpg Heal the Bay's 23rd yearly cleanup of the coastal watershed on Saturday yielded nearly 20 tons of junk that shouldn't be in the ocean. Oddities this year included the body of a rooster with its head cut off, found at Santa Monica Beach, and a rifle barrel.

Fired 'Gangnam' lifeguard to El Monte: Please un-fire me

Swimming-pool-e1347825758742.jpg Daniel Surmenian loved his job as senior instructor lifeguard at the city of El Monte's pool. And he knows that most of the 1.4 million people who watched the YouTube video of El Monte lifeguards clowning around Gangnam style smiled. So he asks, what's the problem?

Christopher Hawthorne's latest enthusiasm: Crenshaw Boulevard

leimert-park-sign.jpg Like with Hawthorne's earlier pieces on Atlantic and Sunset, the theme isn't much deeper than him enthusing that some Angelenos are embracing a shifting style of boulevard and city defined by mass transit, bicycles and walkable neighborhoods. But hey, rail lines are being built and a guy can dream.

Dodgers spin their wheels as the days flit away

Thumbnail image for dodger-dogs-sign-lao.jpg They played a 4½-hour game out at Dodger Stadium Sunday and it went better than the LA team could have expected, given that ace Clayton Kershaw missed his start with a bad hip and a rookie pitcher was on the mound. But the Cardinals still leave town ahead of the Dodgers for the last National League playoff spot.

Fires burning in canyons above Bel-Air and Beverly Hills*

sepul-pass-fire-twitter.jpg Firefighters were dropping water on a fire that began beside Sepulveda Boulevard on the east rim of Sepulveda Pass when smoke was spotted rising a few miles away at Muholland Drive and Coldwater Canyon Avenue. A third blaze near Mulholland apparently got started due to a power transformer blowing.

San Jose literary agent possibly attacked by rejected author

Pam van Hylckama reported Thursday on Twitter (she blogs as Bookalicious) that a man tried to carjack her, but he was bitten by her dog and fled the scene. She reported it to police, who checked her email for any particularly virulent sounding threats. Apparently they saw one from a rejected author that seemed suspicious, went to the man's home and found bite marks on his arm.

Chief Beck injured riding in motocross *

beck-supercross-grab.jpg LAPD Chief Charlie Beck suffered a broken collarbone during a motocross event on Thursday and is home resting. He's expected back at work on Monday.

One place print isn't dying

jewisj-journal-cover-91412.jpg This week's edition of the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles totals 148 pages — "the largest in our 26 year history," says editor Rob Eshman. "It is also completely redesigned, with a new masthead, new page layouts, new features."

Yaroslavsky as Lincoln

zev-as-lincoln.jpg On Sept. 11 at the Hollywood Bowl, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky narrated the Abraham Lincoln parts of it “A Lincoln Portrait,” by Aaron Copland. Watch the video.

Lance LeGault, actor was 75

lance-legault-bhcourier.jpg.jpg Character actor Lance LeGault worked in Hollywood for 50 years. You know his face and his deep voice, as in the following video.

Morning Buzz: Friday 9.14.12

Thumbnail image for lafd-ambulance-41.jpg The Egyptian Christians who made anti-Islam movie, LAFD's 911 dispatchers too slow on CPR, LAT explains Stevens photo, Garcetti speech stresses jobs and break from Villaraigosa, stadium plan goes to City Council and a big media Scientology watcher resigns.

Man falls to his death inside the Pacific Design Center

pdc-green-red-wehonews.jpg The man fell "from considerable height" on Thursday in the rotunda of the center's green building, WeHo News reports. Sheriff's detectives made a tentative determination that it was a suicide.

Imagine this: Caine's Arcade goes global

caines+arcade.jpg Nirvan Mullick's little video about an Eastside boy's cardboard arcade is now a foundation, a cardboard movement and a Global Day of Play on Oct. 6. New video from Mullick.

And the Daily News endorsement goes to... ... ... Berman

Thumbnail image for berman-tv-grab.jpg The differences between Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman are few, says the Daily News editorial, "but they're significant....We urge a vote for Howard Berman."

Pedro E. Guerrero, photographer from Art Center was 95

SturgesHouse.jpg Many in Los Angeles just became acquainted with the architectural photographs of Pedro E. Guerrero this April when he appeared at an exhibition of his work at Wodbury University's gallery...

Obama returning Oct. 7 for fundraiser at Nokia Theater

clooney-obama.jpg An email to Los Angeles area Obama donors says the concert evening will be "a large scale event with multiple performers and speakers preceding the President’s remarks," the Hollywood Reporter says. Good news on the Obamajam front: it's a Sunday night.

Before there was Art Walk there was the Young Turks

young-turks-logo.jpg In the late 1970s, performance artist Stephen Seemayer used an 8mm movie camera to film the artists who were starting to inhabit Downtown, "before skyscrapers, MOCA and loft living." His 1981 documentary, "Young Turks," has been re-cut with Pamela Wilson using found footage of Al's Bar, Pino's Tropical Paradise, the Atomic Cafe and other landmarks of the Downtown art scene that no longer exist. Watch the trailer inside.

After extensive review, Death Valley is now hottest place on Earth

sand-dunes-dvnp.jpg For a long time the keepers of the weather stats believed the hottest temperature recorded on Earth to be 136 degrees at El Azizia, Libya, exactly 90 years ago today — September 13, 1922. Doubts were raised, studies were done, and now scientists say the distinction belongs to Death Valley.

Video time travel: Los Angeles circa 1969, in French

This three-minute video from French television "is almost haunting in its poetic but spare portrayal of what was then seen as the city of the future." Via The Atlantic Cities.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 9.13.12

Thumbnail image for farmers-field-overview.jpg Farmers Field at City Hall, Kirk Douglas gives millions to the homeless, The Wrap suit dismissed, USC reverses ban on Daily News reporter, dark realities at the Beverly Hills courthouse and more.

Garcetti speech to lay out his mayoral ideas

greuel-garcetti.jpg City Councilman Eric Garcetti plans to "outline some of his thoughts on the future of Los Angeles" in a Thursday evening speech at Los Angeles City College.

City Council raises campaign limits, matching funds

city-hall-flags.jpg The Los Angeles City Council gave preliminary approval of new campaign rules that raise contribution limits to $700 in City Council races and $1,300 in citywide races. Plus more matching funds.

Berman and Sherman play 'Dueling Republicans'

Thumbnail image for Berman+Sherman+Town+Hall+JJ.jpg Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman are both liberal Democrats, more or less. But they also are fighting for their political survival in a San Fernando Valley congressional district that is about 26% Republican in registration, and by now most of the Democrats (48%) have probably long made up their minds who to vote for. So this has been claim a Republican week.

Johnny Perez, Topanga drummer and songwriter was 69

sir-douglas-quintet-album.jpg Johnny Perez came out of San Antonio as the drummer of the 1960s band Sir Douglas Quintet, which had hits with 'She's About a Mover" and "Mendocino." Perez landed in Topanga Canyon and more recently owned Topanga Skyline Studio, a famous recording venue used by Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Sting, T-Bone Burnett and others.

Doubts cast on identity of filmmaker the Muslim world is mad at *

AP has tracked down Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Coptic Christian near Los Angeles who says he was involved in the film but who denies he is the missing "Sam Bacile." AP says he pleaded no contest in 2010 to federal bank fraud charges in California, was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and ordered not to use computers or the Internet without approval from his probation officer.

Chuck Philips to unveil new rap story on Twitter

Philips is the former LA Times staff writer who left the paper shortly after editors fully retracted his 2008 story naming names in the murder of rapper Tupac Shakur. He will break what he calls a new story Thursday via tweet.

Dodgers get the big interleague boys next season

dodger-stadium-seats-left-=.jpg They will host the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays at Dodger Stadium — the first visit ever to Chavez Ravine for the Tampa Bay team. And the Dodgers will make their return to Yankee Stadium, scene of so many great World Series battles. And Vin Scully should go.

Rosendahl attends first Council meeting since cancer treatment

Looking gaunt after losing 45 pounds, and using a walker, Rosendahl said he will decide by the first week of October whether he will run for reelection next year.

Anti-Islam California filmmaker reportedly in hiding

Filmmaker Sam Bacile, who talked to Associated Press Tuesday by phone "from an undisclosed location," admits provocation was the intent. "Islam is a cancer," he told the Wall Street Journal. "The movie is a political movie. It's not a religious movie."

Solid evidence now points to Salton Sea, AQMD says of 'odor event'

salton-sea-mtns-ssa.jpg Southern California's air quality agency has spoken: the rotten egg smell that wafted over much of the region starting Sunday has been traced to the distant desert lake.

Boucher and Maharaj post about his exit from LAT *

geoff-boucher-fb.jpg "It is very strange and sad to leave the paper after 21 years but it is completely my choice," the ex-Calendar writer and comics blogger posts. "I'm going to gamble and bet on myself and what I've learned over these past few years with the Hero Complex success."

VA takes in millions while housing plans go nowhere

va-wla-out-window-npr.jpg NPR's Ina Jaffe calls the West Los Angeles "campus" of the Department of Veterans Affairs "one of the most fought-over pieces of property in Los Angeles." Indeed.

Readers' Rep blog tries a new approach

deirdre-edgar-lat.jpg While I wasn't looking, the Readers' Representative Journal at the Los Angeles Times has rebranded as simply Readers' Rep — which I always called it anyway — and announced a new approach

Morning Buzz: City IDs for the illegal?

stevens-cartoon 1.jpg Library cards for the undocumented, convention center costs way understated, Metrolink shows off a new safety system, Feuer gets an endorsement, Lalo Alcaraz gets some national ink, and the New Yorker explains what size of nipple dot gets a cartoon banned from Facebook for, quote, nudity.

Getty takes in $6.4 million in parking a year *

getty-parking-990.jpg Officially, there is no admission charge to visit the Getty Museum. But parking takes in almost two million dollars more than it used to.

Geoff Boucher exits the LA Times after all

geoff-boucher-fb.jpg Following a blow-up with editors last month, high-level discussions and a Florida vacation could not keep the Calendar writer and Hero Complex blogger around. His exit has staffers and outside observers both talking about editor Davan Maharaj's choice of assistant managing editor over arts and entertainment.

AQMD buys into Salton Sea theory on bad smell

salton-sea-dead-fish.jpg Late in the day, the South Coast Air Quality Management District posted an update in which it acknowledged the possibility that dead fish at the Salton Sea are the source of the rotten-egg smell reported all day Monday. The update noted, however, that "it is highly unusual for odors to remain strong up to 150 miles from their source."

Joe Francis a loser again: $20 million for slandering Wynn

A Los Angeles jury found that Las Vegas hotel-casino mogul Steve Wynn was defamed when Joe Francis, the creator of the "Girls Gone Wild" brand, told people that Wynn had threatened to kill him and bury his body in the desert. The jury awarded Wynn, a millionaire, $20 million in damages.

Dodgers add two City Hall types to the staff

dodgerstadium_thefostercity.jpg Renata Simril, deputy mayor for economic development when James Hahn was in the corner office, will be the team's new senior vice president for external affairs. The new director of community relations comes from the Villaraigosa Administration.

Stench across Southland blamed on Salton Sea fish *

salton-sea-natl-geo.jpg So many residents across the inland parts of the Los Angeles Basin began complaining about a bad, sulfur-like smell this morning — even clogging 911 phone lines — that officials were forced to look into it. Read the memo from an AQMD scientist briefing his board members.

San Diego U-T goes loony tunes on Obama

Editorial board predicts an Obama win will mean death panels and "an effort to get 'In God we Trust' removed from U.S. symbols, including our money."

Siqueiros' America Tropical finally gets a public date

América Tropical, on a second-story outside wall of the old Italian Hall on Olvera Street, is the last surviving public mural by Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros in the United States that remains in its original location.

Morning Buzz: Baca's jails and AEG's influence

twin-towers-jail.jpg AEG's influence with LA pols, Sheriff Baca's very bad day, Berman gets Republican endorsements, upset over Xposed billboards, confusion over TAP cards, Variety's price drops and Steve Lopez's ailing heart flutters. Plus more for Monday.

New info video for Carmageddon II

dinner-on-405.jpg Metro explains what will happen to the 405 freeway over the weekend of Sept. 29-30, and how it's basically the same exercise as in July a year ago.

Museum directors christen Grand Park, defend MOCA *

Zócalo-at-Grand-Park-panel.jpg On Friday night, Zocalo held its first event outside in the new Grand Park — a co-branded dealie with KCRW. On the panel, Los Angeles Times arts reporter Jori Finkel...

Jack Dunphy's take on body slam in the Foothill division

michellejordan-cbs2.jpg The Los Angeles Police Department officer who blogs for various conservative political sites using the pseudonym Jack Dunphy has two interesting observations about that use-of-force incident where the handcuffed woman was thrown to the ground in the parking lot of a Del Taco in Tujunga.

Cool Facebook page for book (and bookshelf) lovers

books-labyrinth-london.jpg This labyrinth of 250,000 remaindered, new and used books is installed at The Clore Ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall in London. Check out the Bookshelf Porn page.

Dodgers go into SF and blow the math exam

dodger-dogs-sign-lao.jpg Time is running out for the Dodgers to win their division. They went to San Francisco Friday with a chance to cut deeply into the Giants' 4½-game lead over LA in the west this weekend. Instead, the Dodgers leave town tonight trailing the Giants by 5½ games.

AP covers the change coming to King Eddy Saloon

king-eddy-menu.png Downtown's King Eddy Saloon, a favorite of the new urban enthusiasts for its patina of LA history and image as "Skid Row's last great dive bar," is about to go the full hipster route. A story on the AP wire this weekend talks about the link to John Fante and Charles Bukowski, and the likely arrival of craft beer and cocktails.

Another bear captured, this time in Montrose

montrose-bear-lasd.jpg Our summer of urban wildlife encounters continues. On Sunday morning, a black bear roamed down out of the Angeles National Forest to briefly disrupt traffic on the 210 freeway and put a scare into soccer players on the field at Crescenta Valley High School.

Photos of Surfridge, the ghost suburb by LAX

surfridge-launfd.jpg The website LAUNFD posts a gallery of images showing the old neighborhood of homes that was cleared out, starting in the mid-1960s, between LAX and Vista Del Mar, the street in Playa del Rey that runs above Dockweiler State Beach.

Video: Villaraigosa's roll call act skewered by Jon Stewart

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is busted on "The Daily Show" for his presiding over that bogus voice vote on the platform changes (re: God and Jerusalem) at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

MOCA postpones this year's gala fundraiser

mocagagadancer.jpg The Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Los Angeles isn’t in a party mood this year, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Register hiring three investigative reporters now

oc-register.jpg The hiring spree continues at the Orange County Register. A listing has gone up at the Investigative Reporters and Editors jobs page for three "top-notch investigative reporters in order to expand its watchdog/investigations team."

Morning Buzz: Friday 9.7.12

obama-hope-poster.jpg Shepard Fairey sentenced for evidence tampering, anti-Prop 8 groups fined, campaign consultant jumps sides in medical marijuana fight, Jan Perry pushed faster stadium OK, Yosemite's hantavirus scare goes up country, and more.

Westside tweets about second light quake in a week *

quake-map-9712.jpg Go back to bed. It's the lengthy, rocking, violent quakes that you have to worry about, not the puny 3.5 neighborhood shakers that are over in a few seconds.

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl returns to the ice

minsk-ceremony.jpg Friday is the anniversary of the airplane crash in Russia that killed nearly all members of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team. Tonight in Yaroslav, the newly reconstituted Lokomotiv played their first game back in Russia's KHL. They won 5-2.
impaled_by_fence.jpg I have to give it to Steven Mirkin, the Los Angeles music journalist. He makes lemonade of impaling his testicles on an iron fence while house-sitting for a friend — while locked out of the house, with a dog who tried to bite the paramedics.

White shark hooked and released from South Bay pier

white-shark-manhattanbeach-pt.jpg If you don't know by now that our notch of the Pacific is popular with the sharks, here comes another piece of evidence. There was an amusing moment a few seconds later when the shark swam under a swimmer who had no clue.

LA Times adds another pop music writer

The newest music writer on the LAT staff is Mikael Wood, most recently a freelancer for the paper and elsewhere. Here's the newsroom memo:

Is there a funny smell in the Silver Lake water?

silver-lake-map-grab.jpg A reader emails to say he has been picking up a "strange odor" in the water in his neighborhood above the Silver Lake reservoir. He notes that we've posted about odors in the water before and asks: "Any other reports these days?"

Food blogger beats up cyclist who calls him 'faggot'

fuji_21_speed_road_bike-OCW.jpg Somewhere in Orange County is a humbled bicyclist with a shiner and a damaged "$2,000 carbon fiber-and-unobtainium bicycle....(slash) penis extension."

New ad from Berman invokes '94 quake

Rep. Howard Berman's latest television ad in his race with Rep. Brad Sherman is pegged to the service that Berman provided in the Valley after the devastating 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 9.6.12

nadia-lockyer-ocda.jpg Medical marijuana ban on hold, SoCal Connected expands to nightly, Villaraigosa has a rough moment in Charlotte, LA banned from summarily collecting homeless' belongings, Bay Area's Nadia Lockyer charged in Orange County, and a promotion in the LAT newsroom. Plus more.

Dorothy Lucey moves on with blog about Fox 11 boss who fired her

dorothy-lucey-board.jpg Former co-host at "Good Day LA" says the new boss told her she "made his eyes bleed." That's what you like to hear when you're on-camera talent.

Timberg to do book on 'creative destruction'

scott-timberg-mug.jpg Scott Timberg's recent series of pieces for Salon on the struggles of architects, journalists, video store clerks and others in the "creative class" has got him a book deal with Yale University Press. The book, tentatively titled "Creative Destruction," is supposed to "detail the evisceration of an entire class of cultural workers under the onslaught of warp-speed technological change, economic slump, and both longstanding and shifting attitudes regarding the values of art and the creative life."

Parent of Daily News, et al trying a Chapter 11 maneuver

daily-news-box-200.jpg Digital First Media, which jointly operates Los Angeles Daily News owner MediaNews Group and the Journal Register Co., announced today that the Journal Register has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. But have no fear, says CEO John Paton.

Democrats' convention likes Hahn over Richardson

At the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, the powers that be clearly signaled they want Janice Hahn to stay in Congress.

Joel Silver's purchase of old Venice post office is official

venice-post-office-old.jpg The producer of the “Matrix,” “Lethal Weapon” and “Sherlock Holmes” series of films was officially welcomed to Venice by press release quoting Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Councilman Bil Rosendahl. Silver is moving his production company, Silver Pictures, into the former post office on Windward Circle built in 1939 during the Works Progress Administration.

Big quake on Pacific coast of Costa Rica

The preliminary 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck at 8:42 this morning near the town of Liberia and was widely felt across Central America. Houses are down and highways blocked near the epicenter.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 9.5.12

fed-courts-dtla.jpg LAPD's demoted Foothill captain claims harassment, Villaraigosa in Charlotte, blocking a new federal courthouse, Yaroslavsky to narrate at Hollywood Bowl, Bell sues ex-chief, Ezra Klein profiled and Curbed LA needs a new planning and development enthusiast.

More sad notes to last week's Hollywood crash

saida-mendez-girls-laop.jpg Saida Méndez Bernardino, the 27-year-old mother who was killed with her daughters Hilda, 6, and Stephanie, 4, when their car was struck head-on on Highland Avenue at Willoughby, is survived by a 12-year-old daughter. Friends and Oaxacan community organizations are trying to raise money.

Dwight Howard era in LA sports commences

kaj33-dwight-howard-twitter.jpg Does this make it semi-official?

Al Martinez has a nomination for LA poet laureate

al-martinez-irony.jpg The Daily News columnist feted earlier this year as The Bard of LA by the Huntington invokes both Charles Bukowski and Dylan Thomas and writes: "I am pleased to enter my name today as a candidate for poet laureate of Los Angeles."

New 'Noir Magazine' starts to crank up for tablets

noir-mag-icon.jpg Nancie Clare and Rip Georges, the former editor and creative director, respectively, of the late Los Angeles Times Magazine, are moving toward launching a mystery-oriented tablet magazine they are calling Noir. "The first of its kind iPad magazine for the mystery, thriller and true crime genres in all mediums: books, movies, TV, graphic novels and video games" is how they describe it.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 9.4.12

fire-above-azusa.jpg Items from Charlotte on Villaraigosa, Garcetti and Kelly Candaele, Janice Min to get Press Club award, whither alt weeklies, KCRW adjusts the afternoon lineup a bit, in defense of Patrick Goldstein, ex-reporter Ralph Frammolino goes into PR and a trend story alert.

Tale of three tree tales

palms-in-silhouette.jpg Next month's move of the retired space shuttle Endeavour through Inglewood, Crenshaw and South Los Angeles to its permanent home at the California Science Center is forcing the removal of more than 400 mature street trees. Plus: no more palms in Fillmore, and one giant of a local oak tree.

Lily's Library is Valley's answer to Libros Schmibros

gary-platt-books-dn.JPG Gary Platt, 86 years old and retired, has put up a community book exchange and lending library on the curb in front of his house in Woodland Hills. Lily's Library is named for his granddaughter.

Correction o' the day: making it up edition

book-of-mormon-pic.jpg Catching up to this unusual Los Angeles Times correction from last week — a reader pointed it out to me today. Um, don't say someone declined to comment unless they actually did.

Holiday weekend LA reads

vf-cover-katie-holmes.jpg Internal emails show how bad off Michael Jackson really was, Scientology's auditions for a Tom Cruise wife to succeed Nicole Kidman, Burt Bacharach on Hal David, Michael Woo on the Chinatown Massacre and more.

Villaraigosa takes the spotlight in Charlotte

villaraigosa-politico-charlotte.jpg For those of us in Los Angeles, one of the subplots of the Democratic convention this week in North Carolina will be the omnipresence of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. How will he go over on a national stage? Will he emerge from Charlotte with a changed profile, pro or con? How many news media interviews will he manage to squeeze in? Before the convention's first TV session, we know the answer to the last question.

Reagan tapped FBI to spy on his family

cover-rosenfeld-subversives.jpg Seth Rosenfeld's book "Subversives: The F.B.I.’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power” looks at how Ronald Reagan, both as a liberal turned anti-Communist crusader in Hollywood then as candidate and governor, helped the FBI and made use of his relationship with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to get information not available to others. Some of that assistance involved his children, daughter Maureen and son Michael.

Fire burning above Azusa and Glendora

fire-above-azusa.jpg That smoke tower you probably see if you are in the Los Angeles area is from a brush fire that broke out this afternoon in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills above Azusa. Looks to be a bit of pyrocumulus action happening at the top of the plume. By about 5 p.m. the fire had swept across 700 acres, authorities told the media.

'Just sitting in for Deirdre O'Donoghue'

deidre-odonoghue.jpg Today on KLOS, Chis Carter celebrated his birthday and kicked off his 12th year as host of the Sunday show "Breakfast with the Beatles." It was the longest running U.S. radio show devoted to the Beatles before Carter took over, following the death in 2001 of creator and LA radio personality Deirdre O'Donoghue.

Rev. Sun Myung Moon dies at 92

The North Korea-born self-proclaimed messiah who turned his Unification Church into a worldwide religious movement died Monday at a church-owned hospital near Seoul, AP reports.

Schwarzenegger the enviro's new $250,000 truck

arnold-unimog-usat.jpg The five-ton Mercedes Unimog U1300 isn't usually street legal in California, says Yahoo Autos. But Arnold Schwarzenegger has the money to customize and as the ex-governor he may know how to get his way with the regulations.
Ficus vs sidewalk
sidewalk-eaten-by-tree.jpgThis ficus has definitely won on Ben Lomond Place in Los Feliz. Bigger inside
Teammates
blue-jackets-foligno.jpgMembers of the Columbus Blue Jackets wait for teammate Nick Foligno to be placed on a stretcher at Staples Center. He was OK after the game, won 5-2 by the Kings.
LAO_TyrusWong104 copy.jpgTake My Picture Gary Leonard is a regular weekly feature of LA Observed. See Gary's archive.
Fauna observed
owl-in-yucca-vdt.jpgGreat horned owl perched in a yucca. Veronique de Turenne
Struckus House
struckus-house-door-kr.jpgSwiveling front door at the Al Struckus House in Woodland Hills. More photos