Archive by Date

October 31, 2012
How KPCC's quest for Latino listeners doomed the "Madeleine Brand Show," plus the first choice of a co-host — and the complications of A Martinez's advocacy for steroids in sports.
Tax hikes at the City Council, Gov. Brown at Town Hall, Riordan's pension reform plan, DA candidates on WWLA, defending Patt Morrison and a Twitter troll apologizes for sending out false reports about scary storm damage in New York — without explaining why. Plus the Lakers bomb on opening night and the Dodgers sign a pitcher.
Well, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa certainly seemed to be enjoying himself at Tuesday's opening of the Endeavour exhibit at the California Science Center. But now the video has been taken down.
Signs are posted on Sunset Boulevard and elsewhere in Hollywood reminding Halloween revelers that even the possession of silly string is illegal in Los Angeles — but only on Halloween and only in Hollywood.
The City Council's deal several years ago to introduce digital billboards to Los Angeles is likely to be invalidated by the 2nd District Court of Appeal, a panel of the court's judges told lawyers on Tuesday.
October 30, 2012
Measures to raise the California sales tax (Proposition 30) and to extend the already-higher sales tax in Los Angeles County (Measure J) are up for a vote on the November 5 ballot. Now City Council President Herb Wesson is floating the idea of an additional half-cent sales tax increase within the city of Los Angeles to be voted on next March.
The venerable Magic Castle private club above Franklin Avenue in Hollywood is the basis of a feature film being developed by producer Ted Field and his company, Radar Pictures.
Assemblyman hit with protective order, more City Attorney wrangling, 10,000 cops an illusion, Space X agrees to stay in Hawthorne, a media person's fortune cookie business and the Lakers season finally opens. PLus much more.
October 29, 2012
Have you seen this car? Veteran LA journalist Steve Devol was out early Sunday morning to shoot some dawn photos around Walt Disney Hall. So were a film crew and a guard who tried to stop Devol from taking pictures. Didn't work.
Six-minute clip from Harry Pallenberg looks at the rise of Googie coffee shop architecture around Los Angeles. Included are old clips of Astro Burger, the old Carnation building on Wilshire Boulevard, a Van de Kamps drive-in, Ship's, Norm's, Pann's and an interview Googie architect Eldon Davis.
Could the Press Club's plan to honor Janice Min for revamping the Hollywood Reporter be a factor? Finke says the club "seems more interested in collecting entry fees and selling gala tables...than in rewarding high standards of journalism or conducting a competition with integrity."
KPCC's website has posted a nice gallery of photos from the maintenance work on the iconic Hollywood sign. Nothing like a new coat of paint to freshen up a place.
Mona Shadia got some media coverage here and elsewhere last December when she was assigned to write a regular column about living as a Muslim in Orange County for the three local newspapers run by the LAT's Times Community News unit.
Katzenberg's work for Obama, Skelton and Newton give their opinions, what political cartoonists have against Brad Sherman, NYT suspends paywall for Hurricane Sandy, downtown's ghost hotel, Santa Monica Mountains lion tracker and more for a Monday.
October 28, 2012
I went over to KCET's new studios in Burbank last week to catch the first day of run throughs for the made-over "So Cal Connected." Here's what to expect from the nightly show and some pictures of KCET's digs.
San Francisco swept the Detroit Tigers four games to none to win the series — again. They beat the Texas Rangers in 2010.
NASA posted this image of Hurricane Sandy taken at noon Eastern time on Sunday.
Mary Jane's Place, North Main Street, Lincoln Heights.
October 26, 2012
This looks south down Avenue of the Stars from Santa Monica Boulevard, toward Pico Boulevard. The Century Plaza Hotel stood mostly by itself then.
Minor Huizar accident, First Lady in town, LANG papers endorse Romney, how LA entices businesses, LAT staffers' concern about Murdoch and the Malibu Lagoon fight in Smithsonian.
October 25, 2012
Gunman in Downey shooting of five family members still at large, Prop. 30 support falls under 50% in poll, City Council votes to ban commercial pets, donations sought for Endeavour and a big bobcat in Simi Valley.
October 24, 2012
If you remember Pauley Pavilion as dark and dated, look again. UCLA's renovated arena reopens in November, newly encased in glass and bathed in light. LA Observed photos.
With Campanile winding down to next week's end of its almost-25 year run on La Brea, Emily Green writes at the LA Weekly's food blog that the restaurant launched by Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel "has stood as proof that Los Angeles has a native-born food culture on par with anyone's. It introduced us to the glories of trattoria cooking and reintroduced us to American classics."
Gov. Brown begins final Prop. 30 push, Bobby Brown arrested on DUI in Tarzana, Beck's overtures to Latinos, Santana's list of proposed City Hall cuts, surfer killed by shark on Central Coast and more.
October 23, 2012
Average weekday ridership on Metro's rail lines in September soared to 357,096, up nearly 12 percent over the same time last year and 16 percent over 2010. Higher gas prices, plus the opening of the Expo Line and the extending of the Orange Line busway to Chatsworth were all factors.
Newhall Pass crashes, City Hall job cuts, "BS" poll in mayor's race, Tony Scvott did not have cancer, an LAT reporter checks out of Kabul, Zocalo relaunches and the Mt Washington cabin with all the maps is for sale.
A cheerleading note went out to Los Angeles Times employees yesterday from the paper's president, Kathy Thomson, announcing a new branding campaign ("How California Thinks") and a web page called Trending Now to lure readers to spend more time on the website. Plus assorted other digital items.
October 22, 2012
According to a report at CBS, NFL owners have expressed new doubts about the AEG-City Hall plan to build a stadium at LA Live and revived their lust for the parking lots and abundant space around Dodger Stadium. Also: no team before 2014 at the earliest.
Photos from upstairs at The Last Bookstore, on 5th Street in Downtown.
Increasingly, and perhaps inevitably, his subjects are the vagaries and cruelties of becoming elderly. This might be the least recommended direction to go in these days when media editors count web hits above all else, but I think it's his best material. No one else in LA reports this personally on the aging thing.
A judge on Monday set Assessor John Noguez's bail at $1.16 million, the amount the prosecutors allege he cost taxpayers by lowering property tax assessments for the clients of a consultant accused of bribing Noguez.
The White House Press Office advises that President Obama will land at LAX aboard Air Force One on Wednesday evening, go tape "The Tonight Show" and depart again from LAX two hours later. Should be minimal traffic impact.
An Italian court on Monday found six scientists and an official guilty of manslaughter for failing to properly warn residents about the risk of an impending earthquake that killed more than 300 people in 2009. "It's a sad day for science," said seismologist Susan Hough of USGS in Pasadena.
Writer Jeff Gordinier used to summer around Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, and spent some time there this summer for a New York Times Travel piece that ran this weekend.
Lance Armstrong stripped, presidential race close, Times endorses Obama, Daily News endorses Alan Jackson, Nerws Corp denies talks about LA Times and more media and politics notes.
The Brewery Arts Complex in Lincoln Heights held its twice-annual open house and art walk this weekend. Good crowds both days. Here are a few pics.
For his new book documenting the rock and roll billboards of the Sunset Strip, Robert Landau wondered what happened to Paul's head from Abbey Road. Now we know, 43 years later. Pics and video inside.
October 21, 2012
A new Los Angeles bureau, meaning mostly Hollywood apparently, will be run by Richard Rushfield and include chief correspondent Kate Aurthur. Both are veterans of Hollywood coverage and of the LA Times, among other places.
October 20, 2012
Glen Creason, the curator of all things maps at Central Library, has posted some appetizers from the collection retrieved from the home of a late Mount Washington hoarder.
Gary Leonard's Take My Picture gallery on Broadway is opening a new exhibit tonight of 51 paintings and drawings by Philip Stein, who was nicknamed Estaño by the Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros.
Murdoch isn't alone: Austin Beutner, the Register's Aaron Kushner and San Diego partisan Doug Manchester all are expressing interest in the paper, which could be sold soon after bankruptcy ends.
October 19, 2012
Channel 4's Robert Kovacik was live on the air from West Los Angeles when a roach crawled across his shoulders. No problem! Watch the video.
The "infrastructure" firm HNTB has won the city's international design competition for the new bridge that will replace the decaying concrete 6th Street Viaduct over the Los Angeles River. Here's what they have in mind.
Lotsd of action on the politics and crime beat, plus the CAO asks for new city taxes, Garcetti opposes Riordan-style pension reform, the ACLU sues Sheriff Baca, the Times sues LAUSD and the LAPD says it's investigating 12 old deaths as possible Manson murders.
My local Orchard Supply Hardware store on Bundy Drive has redesigned and rebranded as the kind of hardware store it says should appeal to women. You know: brighter colors, lower shelves, "aspirational images" and less of that masculine hardware stuff.
The Los Angeles Public Library and maps librarian Glen Creason have a few newly acquired maps on their hands. Make that tens of thousands, at least. "I think there are at least a million maps here," Creason said after visiting a small Mount Washington cottage whose late owner, John Feathers, apparently liked hoarding maps.
October 18, 2012
"Please be advised that PMC employees, including but not limited to Nikki Finke, Mike Fleming, Pete Hammond and Nellie Andreeva, are under long term employment contracts," says the lawyer letter.
The former City Controller sent out email this afternoon endorsing her successor in next year's mayoral election. Here's the full text of what she said.
Young (OK, very young) versions of the former KNBC 4 stalwarts and a feature story on the Mojave Desert landmark.
Today, the department took to social media to try find out what happened to 42 women who showed up in Lonnie Franklin Jr.'s photographs.
Los Angeles-based political satire with a message from Lost Moon Radio, which has a show Friday night at Club Fais Do-Do.
Newsweek to cease print edition, Berman and Sherman attack, editorials against condom measure, Riordan on pension reform, Peter Boyer jumps to Fox and Nic Harcourt takes over mornings at KCSN. Plus no more raspberry vinaigrette, ever.
October 17, 2012
A female Argonaut, a form of octopus usually seen only in warmer regions, was brought aboard by fishermen a few miles out from Angel's Gate lighthouse. They took it alive to Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.
You might remember the motorcycle column and videos that Sue Carpenter did for the Los Angeles Times. She's heading to the Register, according to a newsroom memo this morning.
I'm not sure I get the full impact of this, but KCET has announced what it's calling a merger with Link Media, the non-profit media company in San Francisco that produces LinkTV. Their new non-profit creation will be called KCETLink. No big changes on the air for now.
Arizona interests drop millions against Prop. 30 and for Prop. 32, Supes crack down on Baca over jails, Berman-Sherman spending exceeds $9 million, Rep. Richardson slows down, plus digital billboards, Lance Armstrong, Bumble Ward — and those El Monte lifeguards will be rehired.
DA investigators arrested embattled Assessor John Noguez this morning at his home in Huntington Park. Allegations include bribery and corruption. Two others were also arrested.
No, there are not 4.3 million immigrants in the city of four million, though the Los Angeles Times keeps saying there are.
Roxane Arnold is a senior projects editor who has been the lead editor on the Column One story that runs on the front page of the Los Angeles Times most days. Here's the newsroom email about her upcoming exit.
October 16, 2012
Molly Munger pulls an ad, Berman and Sherman tangle again, digital billboards issue, Villaraigosa in NYC, Vernon votes tossed out, rare Civil War images at the Huntington and more.
The longtime morning news anchor is the third high-profile woman let go by Channel 11 in recent months. "Wonder if this'll get my security desposit back?," she tweeted along with a picture of her cleaned-out desk.
October 15, 2012
Larry Kmetz, who is 70, grew up in downtown Los Angeles toward the end of the streetcar era. He has strong, favorable memories of his travels around the city and has recreated an interpretation of the LA of his youth in his basement in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. Ed Fuentes chats him up.
I was tied up this morning, but here are some news items from the day.
I don't know what they were filming over the weekend, but a neighbor of Lisa Napoli's spotted these bison at 5th and Grand, a corner now called John Fante Square.
Forget all that stuff about a 99 Cents Only store opening on Rodeo Drive. Just a gimmick to get the media talking. But the 99 Cent Chef, he's real — and on TV this morning.
Every so often somebody asks about the corroding civil defense sirens up on poles scattered all over Los Angeles. Well, Dennis Hanley knows all about them.
October 14, 2012
Mark Bittman, the New York Times food columnist, asked readers where in the world they wanted him to go to write a solid, serious piece for the NYT Magazine's food issue this Sunday. This challenge led him to California's Central Valley, where so much of the food consumed in America comes from — at least for now. He explains why that had to be the place, and shows his excitement at the scale of it all, but sounds the alarm about the future.
Things got a bit delayed — they are now more than 12 hours late towing the retired space shuttle Endeavour to its new home at the California Science Center. Of course that means more people have been able to see it. Here are some Sunday photos from Gary Leonard
October 13, 2012
Maury Weiner was Mayor Tom Bradley's first chief of staff and a key figure in the black-Jewish liberal coalition that helped elect Bradley in 1973 and that was dominant in city politics for awhile. More recently Weiner was chairman of the Tom Bradley Legacy Foundation at UCLA. Weiner died on Sept. 30.
October 12, 2012
When the Los Angeles Press Club gives its first Visionary Award to Jane Fonda in November, she will be introduced by Robert Redford. The pair starred together in "The Chase," "Barefoot in the Park" and "The Electric Horseman."
A sampling of photos from the space shuttle Endeavour's trip from LAX to the California Science Center: 12 miles in two days.
Updates and commentary on the shuttle Endeavour's move, Riordan unveils pension measure, more on Sherman-Berman getting physical and more.
The space shuttle Endeavour was scheduled to leave the field at LAX about 2 a.m. and begin rolling east toward Friday night's crossing of the 405 freeway. A couple of major viewing spots are planned for Saturday before the shuttle reaches Exposition Park.
October 11, 2012
Well this can't be good. The heated acrimony in the bitter race between Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman boiled over into something a bit more...unseemly. At one point, Sherman roughly grabs his more senior colleague and shouts, "Do you want to get into this?" Then a lawman arrives to calm things down. Videos inside
Statement just in from developer Rick Caruso, putting an end to speculation that he would join the mayoral race late.
The Coro community in Los Angeles is reporting online the death last night of John Greenwood, the president of Coro Southern California and a former president of the Board of Education. More details to come.
Jay Penske visits Variety, Villaraigosa endorses Alarcon, LAPD undercover officer shot in Westlake area, construction worker dies on the 405 project and some media notes.
The three-year experiment in which the Los Angeles Kings paid reporter Rich Hammond to cover the team wasn't all smiles, according to Daily News columnist Tom Hoffarth. He writes that the league demanded that a story Hammond recently posted about the current labor dispute with players be taken off the web, citing his employment status with the Kings.
October 10, 2012
Candidates for mayor in next spring's election have already raised $9.2 million — including the $1.8 million collected by Austin Beutner before he dropped out. Reports filed on Wednesday show City Councilman Eric Garcetti with a slight lead in both the total money raised so far and in the amount taken in during the latest reporting period — as you can see in our handy charts.
Councilman and mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti is not only a Rhodes Scholar who plays jazz piano. He also was in a junior high school breakdancing group and has the moves to prove it.
Supes talk about the jails, Mungers attack Brown's Prop. 30, money in the DA race, pot shops, unclaimed parking ticket refunds and a new beat reporter for LAX. Plus more.
October 9, 2012
Rich Hammond broke new ground when he left the Daily News three years ago to blog about the Los Angeles Kings for the Kings. He was the first journalist locally to be employed by a team to report independently on the team.
Photo of the staff reveals a lot of Los Angeles connections.
LA Times City Hall reporter Kate Linthicum was struck by how many personal bridges that ailing Councilman Bill Rosendahl appeared to burn in a speech today about his decision not to run for reelection.
Yongda Huang Harris caught the attention of Homeland Security agents at LAX — after his flight. I wonder if it was the bulletproof vest and flame retardant pants underneath his trench coat?
KCET will announce today that former KPCC host Madeleine Brand will become a special contributor to "SoCal Connected." The show is also going daily — it had aired on a weekly cycle. Val Zavala will remain the show's news anchor, with Brand doing mostly interviews, it sounds like.
More on sale of Variety, Sunday magazine next for Register, books from Roman Polanski's sex victim way back then and on LA's hardcore music scene, some media job notes and Dean Singleton speaks. Plus more.
Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson sent in a letter to the Los Angeles Times responding to a piece on Saturday by Mike Love, another original member of the band — and Wilson's cousin — about how it came to be that an entity called the Beach Boys will continue to tour without Wilson or Al Jardine.
Siqueiros mural to be unveiled, Yaroslavsky and Super Bowl tickets, Trutanich and Shallman squabble some more, appreciations of Mervyn Dymally, and the teenaged hiker who left a note on a Sierra peak 40 years is now a judge.
In reporting that his employer has now acquired his former journalism home at Variety, Deadline film editor Michael Fleming took a moment for some personal words. Plus: The Wrap claims Finke 'having a major tantrum.'
October 8, 2012
Here's the full text of the email that just landed around the 11th council district (Brentwood to LAX, basically) from Councilman Bill Rosendahl. He tells supporters that he intends to become a cancer survivor, but is dropping his reelection campaign and endorsing chief deputy Mike Bonin.
"One of the toughest, and strangest, congressional races in the country is between two Los Angeles incumbents...Democrats," the national audience learned on "All Things Considered."
"I try to advocate for a certain group. And not just for Latinos, but for immigrants," he tells Ana Garcia of NBC 4.
Live Talks LA has a few pairs of tickets for LA Observed readers to enjoy Chris Elliott in conversation with Merrill Markoe on Thursday night at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica.
Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who has been fighting cancer, plans to announce in a letter to his district tomorrow that he will not seek reelection in the spring, the LA Times reports.
After 35 years at CBS, assignment editor Steve Crawford left the newsroom at Channels 2 and 9 on May 23 without revealing to anyone that he had stage 3 esophageal cancer. He insisted that no one know, his wife says in a note posted at the station today.
Brown orders up more gasoline, SpaceX launches again, Obama at Nokia Theatre, up close with campaign consultant John Thomas, bad blood in the city attorney's race, grounds maintenance at LAPD headquarters and more for a Columbus Day Monday.
October 7, 2012
Whit Johnson, the new co-anchor at NBC 4, is married to new KCAL 9 reporter Andrea Fujii. He's a proud husband, per Twitter.
Mervyn Dymally served as California's lieutenant governor during Jerry Brown's first term as governor in the 1970s and also at various times represented the Compton area and southern LA County in Congress, the state Senate and the Assembly (twice.) His career as an elected office holder spanned four decades, starting with the Assembly in 1963.
President Obama arrived at LAX a little after 1 p.m. and went right to a private gathering of donors in Trousdale Estates before tonight's concert and exclusive dinner downtown.
Nine miles of city streets closed to cars and open to bikes, strollers, feet, skateboards and whatever. Exposition Park to Chinatown, MacArthur Park to Mariachi Plaza and a little beyond, with lots of activities along the route.
October 6, 2012
If you didn't grow up in the Los Angeles area during the baby boom, you can leave the room for a couple of minutes. Though if your parents fit the description, you might want to stick around.
October 5, 2012
The Guardian in the UK today published the first in a 7-part series on the Latino vote produced by USC Annenberg grad students over the summer as part of the News21 fellowship. "Across America an electoral giant is stirring."
One of the most talked-about of the positions the Orange County Register is filling is the paper's food critic. Now we know the job will go to Brad A. Johnson, the James Beard winner who had been writing about restaurants for Angeleno.
Mark Medina has been overseeing the Lakers blog at, one of the site's biggest draws, for the last couple of years.He will now be covering the Lakers as a best writer and multimedia reporter for the Los Angeles News Group and its papers.
October 4, 2012
Here's the job description for a full-time associate producer for Patt Morrison in her new role as special correspondent at KPCC. Pays $41,672 to $62,508.
The Dodgers' trades during the season for a gazillion dollars in fat contracts wasn't enough for them to make the post-season party. In fact, they played worse with Adrian Gonzales, Hanley Ramirez and Josh Beckett than they did in the first two months of the season. But the Angels' failure is likely to be more painful.
October 2, 2012
The newspapers that make up the Los Angeles News Group have been gradually blending over recent months, and today take a big step toward being a regional news operation with the emphasis on digital — and less on geography. One upshot: Daily News editor Carolina Garcia has a new role and title.
October 1, 2012
After President Obama's fundraising concert in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, he will travel up to Keene and formally establish a national monument on the site of labor leader Cesar Chavez's gravesite and former home.
In the wake of Hero Complex blogger Geoff Boucher's departure from the paper, the LA Times has re-hired Chris Lee and moved Gina McIntyre over to be the lead writer and editor on the Hero Complex blog.
Catherine Davis, the Los Feliz woman bludgeoned to death last week by an emotionally disturbed actor, was the mother of the Los Angeles author-journalist Margaret Leslie Davis, and had a large family of friends in Hollywood who had stayed at her "writers villa" through the years.
Brown busy with the pen, Schwarzenegger reveals same-sex marriages but not much else, Riordan's pension reform plans, Lopez talks sidewalks and more for a Monday.
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Kevin Roderick blog
6:09 PM Wed | Former Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife were acquitted on most charges, but convicted on enough. Alarcon said he would probably appeal.
Mark Lacter, LA Biz Observed
2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.

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