Archive by Date

November 30, 2012
Prop. 8 ruling maybe, what happens if SoCal loses its water, Boxer endorses Greuel and more.
November 29, 2012
Brand tells Los Angeles magazine that she's in talks with KCRW for a 9 a.m. show that would compete with the friends she left at KPCC. But KCRW's Jennifer Ferro says in a statement that nothing is firm.
Both the Times and Daily News are reporting, with somewhat differing details, that Board of Public Works president Andrea Alarcon was at the Doubletree Hotel in Little Tokyo when her unattended 11-year-old daughter was taken from City Hall to a nearby LAPD station about 11:45 on a recent Friday night, following a party.
David Courtney, the arena announcer for the Los Angeles Kings and Clippers at Staples Center and the stadium announcer in Anaheim for the Angels, has died at age 56. No cause was given by the Kings, but Courtney had tweeted yesterday that he was at a hospital awaiting an angiogram.
Witness contradicts deputies on shooting, NYT covers Crenshaw line and Leimert Park debate, LAFD's billing data leaks out, Newhall Ranch versus the judge, Nikki Finke on the old Newsweek days, Lindsey Lohan arrested again, plus hard times at the Spring Street Arcade.
November 28, 2012
Santa Monica mayor Richard Bloom said he expects to be sworn into the state Assembly on Monday. Measure J creeps closer yet, but almost certainly won't pass.
A federal grand jury in Santa Ana today indicted retired baseball star Doug DeCinces and three associates "for allegedly using non-public information regarding a takeover bid to purchase stock in an Orange County-based medical device company – stock that dramatically increased in value when the takeover bid was publicly announced.
"Off-Ramp" host John Rabe called and talked to me this afternoon for a piece he's doing on the end of Huell Howser's television career. Listen to some of the audio.
In the November issue of Los Angeles magazine, and online today, editor Amy Wallace and photographer Damon Casarez pay attention to the impromptu memorials you sometimes see placed where someone recently died.
Tamar Brott profiled Huell Howser for Los Angeles magazine and found him to be defensive about his enthusiasm and his affection for finding the positive, or denying the negative, in any situation.
Kinde Durkee explains some, foster kids turn into prostitutes, who really rescued those hikers in Eaton Canyon, swatting of celebs and bloggers, 8100 new US citizens, LA's most threatened sites and the return of Arthur magazine in print.
November 27, 2012
On Wednesday's show, I'm told that KCET's "SoCal Connected" digs into the ties between Supervisor Don Knabe, his son Matt Knabe, and the clients of Matt's lobbying firm, Englander Knabe and Allen.
How's that 110 freeway HOV lane working out for you? A lot of people are flouting the transponder rule, it seems.
Howser is "retiring from making new shows but does not want to make any formal announcements about it," says an email. Amazing.
In a post rife with punnery, celebrity gossip site TMZ says that contrary to a report that originated in the San Francisco Chronicle, it has no interest in using airborne, unmanned drones to gather news.
Those signs are outdated and never were a perk, and they are coming down, says the spokesman for Councilman Mitchell Englander.
Bullet train a tough sell some places, new no-fireplace days in SoCal, meet Register owner Aaron Kushner, warnings again about travel to Mexico, touring Hollywood Forever Cemetery and where you can get a paper Uzi.
How Latino voters go could obviously be a big factor in deciding the next mayor, especially if the Latino vote falls heavily toward one candidate. Controller Wendy Greuel took a big step on Monday, announcing the endorsements of State Sen. Alex Padilla and two members of the City Council.
Interviewed by Warren Olney on KCRW's "Which Way, LA?," former mayor Richard Riordan rejected criticism by Mayor Villaraigosa and others that his pension reform plan would have cost the city money. Plus: Little digs at Herb Wesson, Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti.
November 26, 2012
The percentage of yes votes keeps going up, but not fast enough to make passage likely. There are only so many votes left to count.
A tongue-in-cheek rip on living in Los Angeles from a transplanted Londoner has some amusing observations. "David Spade is one of the city's most celebrated residents. David. Spade." Plus: Cafe Gratitude.
Federal prosecutors in Sacramento intend to seek a prison sentence of 97 months for Kinde Durkee, the Los Angeles-area political campaign treasurer who pleaded guilty to absconding with more than $7 million in funds she managed for Democratic candidates, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Really, America? Tomorrow is three weeks from the election, and they're still counting votes. For the first time — these are not recounts, folks.
The newest technology business reporter at the Times is Chris O'Brien, who comes from the San Jose Mercury. The memo to the newsroom from Business Editor Marla Dickerson.
Former mayor Richard Riordan and his Save Los Angeles group are shutting down the effort to place a pension reform measure on next spring's city of Los Angeles ballot.
It's Craig Thornton’s private Wolvesmouth dinners in a loft downtown, says Dana Goodyear in "Toques From Underground" in this week's New Yorker.
AEG raising for Jan Perry, proposed parcel tax for stormwater runoff, end of Copley family in San Diego, tennis tournament leaves LA for Bogota and a few media moves.
Nice line: Harbor Boulevard's architecture, "largely anonymous and inward-looking, is marked by a studied blandness...that recipe has produced on Harbor a feeling of unnatural civility — the architectural equivalent of a forced smile."
Christine Pelisek, the veteran local police reporter who is now a Los Angeles writer for the Daily Beast, writes for the website's broad audience on "the latest use-of-force incident to surface in recent months involving the Los Angeles Police Department, which has been grappling with a series of brutality claims—some of which have been caught on tape."
November 25, 2012
In a piece at the Los Angeles Review of Books getting some nice social media buzz, Laurie Winer considers Wallace and the reality, and literature, of depression and suicide. Plus: a pitch to donate.
The New York Times says it got questions to Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in federal custody and, with his comments plus interviews with "church and law enforcement officials and more than a dozen people who worked on the movie," can conclude that "the making of the film is a bizarre tale of fake personas and wholesale deception."
"Rust and Bone” is rated R: Sex, fighting, killer whales and parental neglect.
At least one high-spending SuperPAC achieved its goal in the November election. That SuperPAC belongs to Michael Bloomberg, the media mogul and billionaire mayor of New York City. It spent $3 million to defeat Rep.Joe Baca.
Making Angelenos suffer to park their cars is all the rage in City Hall these days. But if you work for Councilman Mitch Englander and want to park at the Chatsworth Metro station, there are a couple of nice spots right in front. (Updated.)
November 23, 2012
The Dallas Morning News says that the longtime actor died this afternoon of cancer complications in a Dallas hospital. He was reportedly in town to film episodes of the TNT remake of the hit TV show "Dallas," in which Hagman played star J.R. Ewing.
The story on Board of Public Works president Andrea Alarcon being in trouble for the handling of her 11-year-old daughter inched forward a tiny bit on Friday.
November 22, 2012
"My daughter is my top priority and nothing could be more important to me than her well-being," says the president of LA's Board of Public Works. "In order for me to be the best parent possible, I have decided to seek professional help and treatment." Her 11-year-old daughter was found unattended in City Hall at almost midnight.
Guy Adams, the Independent's man in Los Angeles for the last few years, is returning to London and starting after the new year as a feature writer for the Daily Mail. "Today I wrote my last ever article for the @independent. Fittingly, it was about the Elmo sex scandal," he tweets.
November 20, 2012
After the city Department of Building and Safety quietly posted the location and permit status of every billboard structure in the city, KCET mapped the data and drew some conclusions about billboards in Los Angeles.
Terrorist suspects in court, Judge Manuel Real at it again, Villaraigosa says the Obamas haven't called, minorities equal to whites in California electorate, Jackie Lacey names team, Santa Monica wins a round on nativity scenes, Pasadena OK's Rose Bowl for NFL should the need arise, and a tweet from Jeanie Buss.
The story fingers the late THR owner Billy Wilkerson, starting in 1946, as the force behind the industry's high-level collusion to exclude leftists real and suspected from working. The package includes an apology from a son of Wilkerson.
The producers call it a rare, "unflinching portrait." I suspect there's some flinching. Video: Geffen in love with Cher in 1973.
November 19, 2012
The LAT's weekend story about Republican media adviser Fred Davis vowing to raise and spend $4 million in independent expenditures for mayoral hopeful Kevin James is the most interesting thing to happen in that race in awhile. Both Greuel and Garcetti are already using it to raise money. It's the subject of tonight's LA Observed segment on KCRW.
David Beckham announced Monday that the LA Galaxy's Dec. 1 match for the MLS Cup will be his last game with the team. He was in Los Angeles for six seasons.
Former Silicon Valley software millionaire John McAfee remains at large and wanted for questioning about a murder in his adopted country of Belize. But Monday was a busy day on his blog, where claims to be keeping an eye on his home and the movements of police and news media while in disguise and a fugitive with his young girlfriend Samantha.
New Republican super-PAC for LA mayor's race, Riordan pension admission, LAPD cop tasers cuffed woman, lots of media notes and a "catastrophic failure" for the LA Times digital edition.
Ken Burns' latest documentary debuted on PBS on Sunday night. The great migration to California begins in tonight's second part. Watch a preview.
November 18, 2012
This past September, David Davis contributed at our Native Intelligence blog a lovely piece on the legacy of Theo Ehret, his friend who was the house photographer at the Olympic Auditorium. A show of Ehret's boxing and wrestling photos is now on display downtown.
The Hollywood Reporter won six first-place awards at tonight's National Entertainment Journalism Awards put on at the Biltmore by the Los Angeles Press Club. Kim Masters of THR (and KCRW's "The Business") won entertainment journalist of the year, and THR also won for best entertainment publication and best website.
Born Sam Bensussen, he worked for 40 years at KLAC radio and Metromedia, was the editorial director for Channel 11, and in the 1950s and 60s was a commercial pitchman on local airwaves: "Se habla espanol at Lou’s Garage."
November 17, 2012
Former mayor Richard Riordan spent Tuesday night at St. John's for observation and tests after calling the paramedics because of dizziness and chest pains. Riordan was released the next day and says he did not have a heart attack.
Another year of the cross-city football rivalry is in the books. Yes, that's right: UCLA won.
Bring ponchos to the UCLA-USC game, says the city of Pasadena. "Umbrellas are prohibited from the stadium, as they block the view if those behind them,'' said William Boyer, a...
November 16, 2012
Villaraigosa was in a forgiving mood about that "Failure" cover back in 2009. He even joked about his "General Petraeus moment."
Federal regulators gave the go-ahead for Tribune Corp. to continue operating TV stations and newspapers in five markets where it holds both, removing a major obstacle to the Chicago company...
The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC announced this morning that Geneva Overholser, director of the School of Journalism since 2008, will step down in June. She said she will return to New York with her husband, Annenberg faculty member David Westphal. USC's release says it will launch a recruitment campaign for a successor to Overholser.
Analysis by Gallup and UCLA Law's Williams Institute suggests that the gay and lesbian vote for Obama was big enough to matter. That would certainly add to gay political clout if the belief takes hold.
The New York Times statistical guru made a strong case at FiveThirtyEight for the Angels' Mike Trout to win the American League's Most Valuable Player Award.
One of the remaining unsettled California congressional contests has been won by Democratic challenger Ami Bera. Dan Lungren, the former Long Beach area lawmaker who has also been the state's attorney general and the Republican nominee for governor, lost by more than 5,000 votes. The margin on election night was fewer than 200 votes.
November 15, 2012
The California Supreme Court denied a request by Neighbors for Smart Rail for a stay that would stop construction on the Expo Line extension across the Westside to Santa Monica. The supremes agreed with previous rulings that there's no cause to stop work while the homeowner groups press their case that the project's environmental review made mistakes.
"The call I feared finally came late on a Friday...'I’m a nurse at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital,' she said. 'Don’t panic, but we have your son.'"
The first round of reductions at Variety under new owner Jay Penske was announced in a 1:40 p.m., unbylined post at sister site Deadline.com. A "Dear Team" memo from Jay Penske says "without a doubt, this is a challenging day." No editors or reporters got the axe.
In which the third floor at City Hall fills up and numerous staffers and reporters post Facebook pictures of themselves with Snoop Dogg and a certain new Lakers center. Video from the office of Councilman Joe Buscaino.
Wilbur Woo immigrated to Los Angeles in 1921, became the head of his family's Chungking Produce Co., a vice president of Cathay Bank, and emerged as a top Chinese American community leader in Los Angeles. Woo, a Republican, was the top contributor when his son, Democrat Michael Woo, ran and became the first Chinese American elected to the Los Angeles City Council.
Many LA area courtrooms to close, Dems get super-majority in Sacramento, LAFD response times mapped, city attorney hopefuls get testy, Noguez stays in jail and more.
November 14, 2012
Lynn Harrell, the international cello master who lives in Santa Monica, always buys a separate seat for his instrument on Delta flights. He's been accruing frequent flier miles for "Mr....
Deadline.com editor Mike Fleming returns to the site two weeks after his dad was injured at home during the storm in New York. Fleming says he's grateful for the support of his colleagues at the website.
George Mann was a vaudeville performer who made color photographs of downtown's Bunker Hill neighborhood before all the Victorians and rooming houses were torn down. There is a show of his 1960s Kodachrome photos — in 3-D, with glasses provided — tonight at Central Library.
President Obama has nominated Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell for a seat on the United States District Court.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is being talked up as a possible chair of the Democratic National Committee during President Obama's second term, should there be a change.
Composite sketches in possible El Sereno kidnapping, LAPD officers convicted of lying, Krekorian apologizes for fake column, LAT catches up on Carmen Warschaw obit and where are all the KUSC listeners going?
Los Angeles journalist John Johnson and his co-author, Joel Selvin, have finished "Peppermint Tiwst," their book on the nightclubs where the mob discovered through "The Twist" that there was money in rock and roll music. "The Sopranos meets American Bandstand," Ronnie Spector blurbs. With some fun video.
November 13, 2012
Spotted on Councilman Eric Garcetti's TwitPic page, from last month but worth a reprise.
City Councilman and candidate for mayor Eric Garcetti up in the saddle, posted to his TwitPic account in October with the message "Happy Horse Day." While we're on the subject,...
Many journalists in Los Angeles, and many more in the LA Times diaspora, remember Baron as the business editor at the LAT during the section's glory days and a contender for higher-level jobs even since he left for the New York Times.
Message to freelancers: sue the Los Angeles Times at your own risk. An arbitrator has awarded the paper $266,000 to cover the costs of defending itself against a suit by the longtime Hollywood photographer.
LA sales tax would be a victory for real estate lobbyists, John Noguez' campaign contributions, the engineering challenge of high-speed rail, Tony Cardenas' plans for his City Council seat, a new sea creature and more.
November 12, 2012
BuzzFeed gets to the heart of the latest revelations in the David Petraeus scandal. Plus: an LA media angle to the Paula Broadwell story.
Councilwoman Jan Perry's move last week to re-brand herself as the business-minded reform candidate in the race for mayor is at least "viable," Times columnist Jim Newton says. What choice does she have really?
On Sunday it was mayoral hopeful Wendy Greuel's turn to go for a trail ride with the equestrians of Chatsworth. It's a rite of political passage in LA: we even have a pic of Antonio Villaraigosa in the saddle.
Self-serving questions from constituents for the 'Ask Paul" column on AOL Patch are actually written by the councilman's press deputy. But let's hope you knew that.
Jackson says the call waking him to say he didn't get the job was "slimy." He says the Lakers might have the talent to win the West, but not necessarily the East.
Before the LA Times rediscovered the corruption in Bell, and in some cases before DA Steve Cooley got to town with his corruption prosecutions, investigative reporter Jeffrey Anderson was digging into the dirty dealings in the southeast cities for the LA Weekly. KCET interviewed Anderson about the challenges of reporting in places like Cudahy last decade.
Live Talks Los Angeles is offering LA Observed readers a pair of tickets to see Penn Jillette on Thursday at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.
Mike Trout wins some hardware, a new co-anchor for 'ET,' remembering the colorful Art Snyder, Manhattan Beach's sand, a memorial for John Retsek and more.
The mayor vows he's staying, but his new reformer mode sounds a lot like a statewide candidate. This week he kisses and makes up with Los Angeles Magazine, three years after the "Failure" cover.
Men by a wide margin opposed requiring condoms on porn actors in LA County. Women, by an equally large margin, favored condoms. Blacks favored condoms. Whites opposed the new rule, strongly. Voters in the city of West Hollywood also rejected the condom mandate for porn films.
The Lakers signed a big-name coach on Sunday night, but it's not Phil Jackson. When talks with Jackson bogged down, despite his all-out endorsement by Kobe Bryant and the Staples Center fans, the Lakers quickly gave a multi-year deal to Mike D'Antoni.
The Los Angeles Times went to the red ink on Sunday's front page for the opening story in a series on prescription drug overdose deaths.
November 9, 2012
This morning the former Fox 11 reporter showed up on NBC 4 covering the wood shop fire at James Monroe High School in the Valley. "Yes. I'm now at ch.4 news," she tweets.
Media sources are reporting that the Lakers have fired coach Mike Brown after opening the season an ugly 1-4. No replacement leaked yet.
Stormwater runoff cleanup, Councilman Alarcon on his future, porn condoms could go statewide, LA Radio.com signs off for good and so does the Bay Area's Belva Davis.
The unused drawers in Doheny Library now have locks on them and can be used by university donors to leave gifts for their families — just the right shape for wine bottles, apparently.
November 8, 2012
Patrick Frey and his wife, both veteran prosecutors in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, are victims of one of the more despicable political dirty tricks practiced in America these days. Over his blogging.
I know that it's already Thursday night and the election post-mortem period is all but over. But my wonky side is still eating up the numbers and inside analysis.
Nate Silver, Fox News, Obama and the single girl, San Diego's U-T wrong about Romney landslide, the Howard Berman loss, a Runaway gets a book and much more.
November 7, 2012
Snyder represented Northeast LA's 14th district on the Los Angeles City Council for 18 years, until 1985. He was a City Hall deputy before that. Born in Los Angeles, Snyder attended Los Angeles City College, Pepperdine University and USC. He became a lobbyist after leaving office and was living in Huntington Beach, where he owned Don the Beachcomber, when he died in his sleep on Wednesday.
Friends on Facebook and Twitter and staffers at the duopoly newsroom in Studio City are saying that Joel Connable, a reporter at CBS 2/KCAL 9 for three years until 2005, has died. Connable had just started a new anchor gig at KOMO-TV in Seattle last month, after being out of the local news business since 2009.
Mark McGwire, the Pomona native who starred for USC before setting the major league record with 70 home runs in the 1998 season, will be sitting in the Dodgers dugout next year. Too bad about all that steroid baggage.
Carmen Warschaw was a major figure in Democratic politics in Los Angeles and beyond for decades. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky announced her death today at the Board of Supervisors.
Here are the stats from the Registrar-Recorder of Los Angeles County:
With 100% of the precincts counted, but not all of the ballots, Santa Monica mayor Richard Bloom leads Assemblywoman Betsy Butler by 218 votes. That's out of 138,342 votes already counted. The county hasn't said how many provisional and uncounted ballots it thinks it has.
California voters went 59 percent for President Obama, 39 percent for Mitt Romney. It's largely, but not totally, a coastal thing. But Obama lost 2.7 million voters in California since 2008.
The measure to extend the transit sales tax beyond our lifetimes in order to pay for projects now got almost 65 percent of the vote, but needed 66.67 percent. LA County Democratic Party chair Eric Bauman blamed the loss on "the special interests and conservative forces."
Howard Berman and Laura Richardson lose their seats in Congress, Councilman Tony Cardenas goes to Washington, Jackie Lacey wins DA of Los Angeles County, Prop. 30 leads, the death penalty stays, three strikes as we know it goes, and from now on LA porn actors have to cover up. Plus more.
November 6, 2012
NBC and CNN were first to declare Barack Obama the winner, I think. The LA Times sent out its tweet calling the race for Obama a few minutes later. At 8:30, it's pretty much a sweep of the major media.
Councilman Rosendahl doesn't regret blast at colleagues, Michael Jackson death house sells, some media hires and USC plans to install fingerprint scanners on residence halls.
November 5, 2012
This Saturday, the HOV lanes on the Harbor Freeway south of downtown convert to HOT lanes — meaning if you are a solo driver, you can pay to drive with the carpools. That may not be so controversial, but it means that everyone who drives in the 110 lanes, carpoolers included, have to pay $40 plus $3 a month for a FasTrak transponder.
The contributions came through two nonprofits with right-wing ties, Americans for Job Security and The Center to Protect Patient Rights, that do not have to report their sources of funds. The $11 million pumped into the fight against Prop.30 and for Prop. 32 is "the largest contribution ever disclosed as campaign money laundering in California history," the FPPC says.
Shady Arizona group starts providing contributor data to California, Villaraigosa campaigns in Florida, porn actors remind voters they are against Measure B, John Noguez needs money to get out of jail, and more for a Monday.
Madeleine Brand gives an interview to the LA Times about leaving KPCC and her initial reactions to being seen on television.
Reagh took 40,000 photographs of Los Angeles and Southern California from the 1930s until 1991, chronicling a time of huge change in the cityscape and the people of LA. A major new book that showcases a selection of Reagh's work promises to be a must-have for the Angeleno buff you know — even at $225 per copy. Here is a gallery of Reagh's photos through the decades.
November 4, 2012
Forty years ago this weekend, Italian pop singer Adriano Celentano released a song that became a hit in Italy and across Europe — but it wasn't sung in Italian or English. Caution: infectious video ahead.
With a note from the editors.
Leonard Cohen returns to Los Angeles Monday night for a show at the Nokia Theatre. Here's a taste from his London concert on July 17, 2008. I don't know who the bandmates are, but the voices of the angels are Sharon Robinson, Charley Webb and Hattie Webb.
Nate Silver, the polls and stats analyst whose FiveThirtyEight forecasts runs in the New York Times, wrote Saturday that President Obama is "now better than a 4-in-5 favorite to win the Electoral College, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast. His chances of winning it increased to 83.7 percent on Friday, his highest figure since the Denver debate and improved from 80.8 percent on Thursday."
November 3, 2012
Before Saturday night's first game of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, former Dodgers and the son of Gil Hodges came down to the floor and exchanged jerseys with the players. Nice touch.
He has the complex algorithm to back up saying that President Obama is the favorite to win on Tuesday. But all he needs, he says, is this: Obama is ahead in Ohio.
The Lakers record fell to 0-3 after they lost to the Clippers, 105-95, on Friday night. Jamal Crawford led the Clippers with 21 points off the bench.
November 2, 2012
Bill Dees was a Nashville songwriter working with Roy Orbison in 1964 when they wrote 'Oh, Pretty Woman," inspired by Orbison's wife Claudette. The song changed both of their lives forever.
Saturday morning on one of Los Angeles' longest-running radio programs, the hosts will announce the death of John Retsek, who created "The Car Show" on KPFK in 1973. They will talk about John and possibly take calls from the legions of listeners who have listened to the show or been guests in its nearly four decades on the air — the odd duck among the politically charged news, talk and revolutionary rhetoric at the Pacifica-owned radio station.
Next season's roster of Dodger Stadium bobblehead giveaways includes a bit of a surprise. Here's the list.
As of Thursday afternoon, about 549,000 mail ballots have already been returned to the LA County Registrar-Recorder. Just over a majority, 50.59 percent of the ballots, have come back from Democrats. Some 29.65 percent have come in from Republicans.
Voting by mail to delay count, shady AZ group appeals, how Brown might be able to save Prop. 30, city wants hotel developer at Pico and Fig, Metro fares after Measure J, Bean to donate a kidney to co-worker and USC continues to reel from campus shooting.
November 1, 2012
The newspaper recently owned by the New York Times announced it was bought by a group that includes Darius Anderson, a Sonoma-based developer and top Sacramento lobbyist, and former Democratic congressman Doug Bosco.
Chris Little takes to his blog at AM talk station KFI to explain to listeners why he says "driver license" when referring to the card issued by the California DMV — and won't say "Democrat Party."
Just a mild heart attack, the Daily News columnist reports on Facebook.
Four people were wounded in a shooting outside a Halloween party near the center of the USC campus. None were students. Plus politics, media and books notes.
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2:57 PM Thu | Kim Murphy to run both Foreign and National, Shelby Grad takes over Metro, Ashley Dunn moves to National and Brandi Grissom joins the Times from the Texas Tribune.
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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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