LA Observed archive
for December 2012

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

LA New Year's Eve ritual: The smoking deaths billboard

smokingdeaths-bboard.jpg Westside playwright and screenwriter Gideon Brower has found community in the small crowd that gathers to watch the death counter on Santa Monica Boulevard reset to zero at midnight. "People cheer and drink champagne," he says. There's a twist.

Barnes & Noble in Woodland Hills closed doors tonight

bn-wh.jpg The shutdown of the Barnes & Noble store in the Westfield Promenade shopping center leaves just two of the book chain outlets in the Valley, none of them within the city of Los Angeles portion (population about 1.5 million people.) The company had no comment.

Rep. Hahn sends regrets for New Year swim, cites fiscal cliff

hahn-labonge-polarbear-gary.jpg Rep. Janice Hahn has been profligate with the press releases recently — but this one is actually worth mentioning.

Year-end obits: Catherine O'Neill, Mark Hundahl, Lee Dorman

catherine-oneill.jpg I'm catching up on some locally prominent deaths I've missed during the holiday slowdown. Video inside: 17 minutes of "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida."

End-of-year restaurant closure roundup

juniors-sign-wide-lao.jpg Junior's Deli in Rancho Park closes today at 5 p.m., and there are other longtime LA restaurants shutting down or already gone.

Tribune exits bankruptcy after four years, ending Sam Zell era *

ktla-truck-300.jpg With a new board of mostly entertainment industry types, and a CEO on the way who has been at Fox and Discovery, it seems clearer that Tribune will look to sell the newspapers. Whether that's good or bad for the LA Times, it's too soon to tell.

Army Corps clears Valley wildlife area used for sex

la-river-burbank-blvd-lao.jpg A portion of the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve was cleared of trees and brush in an abrupt move by the Army Corps of Engineers that caught the area's birdwatchers and volunteer caretakers by surprise. Reacting to an outrcy, the Army Corps halted work for more discussion.

Mayor V parties with Charlie Sheen in Baja?

sheen-mavillaraigosa.jpg Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa showed up in a Twitpic by Charlie Sheen from the actor's new hotel bar that opened last night in Baja California. A spokesman for the mayor confirms he is in Mexico until Jan. 2.

When Jonathan Gold chose food over the Foreign Service

oki-dog-counter.JPG This weekend's year-end edition of "This American Life" reprises a 1998 segment in which Jonathan Gold explains his year exploring the food offerings of West Pico Boulevard. Then everything changed. Listen inside.

Plumber saves girl from jumping off freeway bridge

Jay Schaefer, a father of four daughters, saw a bicycle parked on an overpass above the Hollywood Freeway. Then he spotted the 16-year-old girl perched on the ledge above the freeway. He stopped, jumped out, and grabbed her through the fence rails. "I asked her if she was OK. She said, No, she wanted to die."

Harry Carey, Jr., character actor for John Ford was 91

harry-carey-jr-rifleman.jpg The son of cowboy star Harry Carey was born on his father's ranch near Saugus and went on to ride horses in the westerns directed by pal John Ford and act in many other films and TV shows. Through Ford, Carey also was part of an exclusive San Fernando Valley club of Hollywood men that's now mostly forgotten.

LANG names key editor for photography and visual journalism

The year-end memo from Michael Anastasi, vice president and executive editor of the Los Angeles News Group, announces the promotion of senior editor Kim Guimarin and suggests that photos and graphics will get more attention in the planning of projects. "Photo, in other words, will have a seat at the table," Anastasi says.

Murder and theft up in LA, but overall crime down again

Thumbnail image for lapd-valley-bureau.jpg With a few days left in the year, the number of murders in the city of Los Angeles has crept up and will likely surpass 300 for the first time since 2009. Total crime declined for the tenth straight year.

Media buzz of 1978: a new Los Angeles alt-weekly

new-west-731978.jpg Former New West staffer Michael Kurcfeld found this clip from July 3, 1978, disclosing plans for a new alternative newspaper to fill the void left by closure of the Los Angeles Free Press. Working title: L.A.Weekly.

LA Times loses sports writer to Boston

The Celtics lost Thursday to the NBA-best Clippers, but they did gain a new beat writer from LA.

Grand Central Market going 'new Downtown'

grand-central-mkt-chop-suey.jpg The owner of Grand Central Market has launched a makeover aimed at capturing more of the new demographic moving into downtown. The new downtowners who are renting condos and lofts and walking their dogs on Spring Street and Broadway apparently don't appreciate the market's gritty vibe and sub-par produce. The redo is beginning with a "deep cleaning" and repainting. See the photos.

NYT avalanche story gets 3.5 million page views

nyt-to-the-peak-grab.jpg The New York Times package reconstructing the stories around an avalanche in the Cascades has been called by some the best designed big web story ever. That encompasses a lot of great work, with much competition, but let's agree it's in the conversation and may be the best thing the NYT has ever done on the web.

Fontella Bass, soul and gospel singer was 72

fontella-bass-record.jpg Fontella Bass, a church choir singer in St. Louis who recorded as a soul singer for Chess Records and had a hit with "Rescue Me" in 1965, died Wednesday at age 72 in her hometown. She suffered a heart attack three weeks ago.

Video: 'Stairway to Heaven' at Kennedy Center Honors

Awesome. Brilliant stroke to go female with the Led Zeppelin anthem. The surprise church choir voices finally brought Robert Plant to subtle tears.

Mojave Desert flora

tumbleweed-pearblossom-lao.jpg Photos: Yuccas thrive in the foothills on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains. If there's one plant more iconic of the Mojave, it could be the tumbleweed.

Long lines at LA's drive-up gun buyback sites

gun-buyback-iris.jpg Gun holders queued up in cars around the block at Exposition Park to exchange guns for Ralphs gift cards in front of the Sports Arena — no questions asked. Long lines were also reported at the Van Nuys Masonic Temple.

Junior's Deli can't face rent hike, will close within days

juniorr-deli-ext.jpg Longtime employes of Junior's Deli at the Rancho Park end of Westwood Boulevard were told today that the Westside landmark will close before the end of the year. A rent hike from the landlord is to blame, along with slumping business, say the sons of Junior's late founder.

California Aqueduct running high

calif-aqueduct-wire.jpg Photos: The California Aqueduct near Littlerock, moving Northern California water across the Mojave Desert on Wednesday afternoon.

Jack Klugman, last of the 12 angry men was 90

klugman-marshall-grab.jpg Actor Jack Klugman began on television in 1950 and became known as a character actor ( in "Twilight Zone" and many other series) until he broke through as the co-star of "The Odd Couple" from 1970-75 and the star of "Quincy M.E." from 1976-83. One of his most enduring roles, though, was as Juror #5 in the jury room in the Oscar-nominated 1957 film "Twelve Angry Men."

Henry's to stay open two weeks longer as lease talks go on

henrys-tacos.jpg Janis Hood, the owner of Henry's Tacos in Studio City, says on Facebook that the landlord has asked her stay open until Jan. 15 and has agreed to hold lease talks with a possible new owner. Hood had previously said the landlord would not discuss a lease with the person she hopes will buy the business her family opened 51 years ago.

Big departure from NBC 4's newsroom

nbc-door.jpg Executive producer Wendy Harris, at Channel 4 for three decades, is retiring from the station. Here's the newsroom memo earlier this month from the VP for news.

SPJ's distinguished journalist honorees named

beverly-white.jpg The Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists says it will honor five local journalists and an attorney at its 37th annual awards banquet next spring. This year's...

Morning Buzz: Friday 12.21.12

Thumbnail image for andrea-alarcon-fb.jpg No felony for Andrea Alarcon, Trutanich jumps into guns fray, wife of LAPD chief threatened by homeless woman, LA bans food trucks from LACMA area, Occupy LA sues City Hall, worst columns of 2012 and Eva Longoria denies she's dating Villaraigosa.

Big things that were never built in Los Angeles

civic-center-wright.jpg Imagine if Disneyland had been built in Burbank, or if LAX lay west of the corner of Balboa and Roscoe. A major new exhibit will look at the city that never happened — a cool video inside invites you to support the project on Kickstarter.

Joe Donnelly to lead Santa Barbara journalism venture

The former senior editor at the LA Weekly and co-founder of Slake has been named executive editor of the Santa Barbara Journalism Initiative, a nonprofit journalism startup supported by a Knight Foundation grant and local foundations.

Cooler (local) legend than the Mayans: Burro Flats pictographs

Iron-Mountain-Trail.jpg By legend and observation, today is when the sun lines up with a target-like pictograph in a cave in an area of the Simi Hills called Burro Flats. Hopefully, you will never find this place.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 12.20.12

clippers-win-11th-grab.jpg Sen. Feinstein protests "Zero Dark Thirty," Council President Wesson and his ethics commissioner, the mayoral race observed, sea otters may come back south, Jay Mohr takes Jim Rome radio slot and it was really cold in Lancaster this morning. Plus the Clippers win again.

Jenni Rivera memorial celebration a tear-jerker

rosie-rivera-memorial-grab.jpg The Jenni Rivera memorial held today at the Gibson Amphitheatre looked to be a very large family gathering. There were the 6,000-plus fans in the seats who sang along with the songs and chanted her name, and there was the singer's extended family baring their souls on stage.

'SoCal Connected' team wins duPont Award *

scc-courting-disaster.jpg KCET's story on Los Angeles County's dependency courts was one of 14 winners of Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards announced this morning at Columbia. This is big in the world of broadcast news, considered by some to be their Pulitzers.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.19.12

Thumbnail image for jenni-rivera-smile.jpg Live webstreams of Jenni Rivera memorial, County Fed endorses council hopefuls, Noguez keeps salary in jail, sheriff investigated over jail informant, Mark Zuckerberg donates, Steve Column focuses on death and possible Hollywood contenders for Obama ambassadorships. Plus more.

French bistro comes to the heart of Broadway

figaro-patisserie-byen.jpg f you still think of Broadway in Downtown as a street entirely devoted to bridal shops and other small stores catering to Latinos, look again. The Los Feliz bistro Figaro has just opened a large, gleaming new flagship restaurant near Clifton's Cafeteria.

Court rules for Wendy McCaw in old Santa Barbara fight

newspresstapesmall.jpg A panel of three conservative appeals justices in Washington ruled that when McCaw fired her reporters for starting a union, she was the victim under the First Amendment.

No undocumented at Jenni Rivera memorial at CityWalk?

For free attendance at Wednesday morning's Gibson Amphitheatre service, LiveNation is requiring fans to have both a credit card and a photo ID. Guess who that leaves out.

Feds will drop gang charges for now against Alex Sanchez

Federal prosecutors filed to drop their long list of charges accusing Los Angeles anti-gang leader Alex Sanchez of actually being a shot caller for the deadly Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) crime organization. But the feds say they will refile some charges.

Los Angeles Mag sounds unimpressed by mayoral choices

In her editor's note introducing the January issue of Los Angeles magazine, Mary Melton doesn't sound too wowed by the candidates who are running for mayor. The next leader of...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 12.18.12

Raising the police profile at schools, no charges in local schools threat, Kendrec McDade shooting justified, transit to LAX and more.

NBC's Richard Engel freed from captors in Syria

engel-crew-grab.jpg NBC's chief foreign correspondent and his crew were held five days then freed Monday in a firefight at a checkpoint in Syria, NBC News announced this morning. Engel, producer Ghazi Balkiz and cameraman John Kooistra appeared live on "Today" from Turkey.

Scientology series in the LA Times revisited

sappell-lamag.jpg Joel Sappell writes in the January issue of Los Angeles magazine about the harassment he and co-author Robert Welkos endured, and he talks to a key church defector who used to run intelligence for L. Ron Hubbard and was the chief "auditor" for Tom Cruise.

One Adam 12: Code 7 at Henry's Tacos

henrys-reed-malloy.jpg Sunday's scene at Henry's Tacos in Studio City included actors Aaron Paul, Elijah Wood and George Lopez, plus City Councilwoman Jan Perry, taking her candidacy for mayor to the corner of Moorpark and Tujunga. Newbies all. About 1969 or 70, officers Reed and Malloy came by in Adam-12.

Dog skateboards on Venice Beach boardwalk

Happy holidays from Venice Beach.

Jenni Rivera service Wednesday at Gibson Amphitheatre

Jenni-Rivera-nbc4.jpg Rivera's family is asking to be left alone for a private burial, but on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon there will be a public memorial service at the amphitheater in Universal CityWalk. Her minister brother, Pedro Rivera Jr., will lead the service.

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.17.12

reagan-home.jpg LAPD will visit schools every day, Fred Davis in the mayoral race, DA reassigns her rival, NRA drops off Facebook, herding cats in Hollywood, Caruso buys up Pacific Palisades village and Ronald Reagan's GE Showcase home hits the market. Plus more.

Times urges: Hey LA, pay attention to the city election

Thumbnail image for city-hall-flags.jpg The Los Angeles Times ran a Sunday editorial urging people to recognize that the election on March 5 is a big one that could shape the future of the city for years to come. They're right, you know.

Rutten's debut for the other guys: Marriage equality and the court

tim-rutten-lang.jpg With Rutten on the editorial page, and Al Martinez on the front page, the Daily News now offers its readers two columnists with something like 80 years between them at the Los Angeles Times.

Sales tax measure splits City Hall

city-hall-from-lat.jpg Rick Orlov in the Daily News looks at the lineup of ballot argument signers for the City Council's proposed sales tax increase. Some members are for it, some against. Same with labor.

'SoCal Connected' moves earlier in the night

Thumbnail image for kcet-control-room.jpg Starting Monday, KCET will air SoCal Connected first at 5:30 p.m. then repeat at 10 p.m. "Rick Steves' Europe" is going into the old time slot on Monday, with various shows in the prime time hours the rest of the week.

Gil Friesen, the 'ampersand' in A&M Records was 75

Friesen was the longtime president of A&M Records, executive producer of "The Breakfast Club" and was at work on a documentary about back-up singers called "Twenty Feet From Stardom."

Jeni LeGon, early movie tap dancer was 96

LeGon-obit-rko-nyt.jpg Jeni LeGon made her name in the 1930s singing and dancing with other African-American stars such as Bill Bojangles Robinson and Fats Waller. She later taught dance in Los Angeles, the NYT says.

NYT reporter tells us about his divorce healing

Jesse McKinley went through a Santa Monica workshop that helps people rid themselves of the personal toxins of divorce. "I had been chosen for this assignment...for the simple reason that I was getting divorced. And, you know, that I probably needed it."

Prank bomb threat called in on Newtown church of mourners

Eight of the 20 children who were killed at Sandy Point School attended St. Rose of Lima Church during their lives.

Whoa: Long lines at Henry's Tacos on Sunday

henrys-lice-facebook.jpg Celebrities such as George Lopez, Adam Carolla and Elijah Wood have rallied around the Henry's Tacos cause, and there's a group. The result is a very long line outside Henry's on Sunday afternoon.

Seen one Chastain, seen them all?

brandy-chastain-ladn.jpg The Daily News headline writer had a brain freeze (happens to all of us) and wrote that soccer player Brandy Chastain stars in "Zero Dark Thirty," not SAG and Golden Globe-nominated actor Jessica Chastain. "So after Bin Laden is killed she takes off her shirt?," Bob Timmermann quips.

Gunman fires 50 shots tonight outside Fashion Island

Another sad lonely guy with a gun terrorized a crowd tonight, this time in the parking lot of the Fashion Island shopping mall in Newport Beach. No one was hit, but there some injuries in the panic.

Every child killed at Sandy Hook was in first grade

newtown-candle-nyt.jpg All 26 of Adam Lanza's victims at the school in Newtown, Connecticut were shot multiple times with a long gun of some sort, officials said today. Lanza's mother, killed at home, has no known connection to the school.

Henry's Taco's to give employees a break

Thumbnail image for henrys-tacos-close-sign.jpg Business has been so overwhelming since the news got out about Henry's losing its lease that the staff needs Monday off "to regroup."

Order of candidates for the 2013 elections

city-hall-from-lat.jpg The certified names and ballot titles from the city clerk for mayor, city attorney, controller, city council, board of education and community college district board of trustees.

Internet service restored at home

Time Warner Cable finally responded to my Thursday cable outage about 4 p.m. Friday and got the service restored this morning a little after 9. Since I mostly post from home, that's a good thing.
The current death toll in Newtown, Conn. stands at 28, 20 of them children aged five to ten.

Friday media roundup: Kushner, Rutten, Prop Zero, Alycia Lane

aaron-kushner-300-ocw.jpg OC Register's new owner Aarson Kushner is profiled, and former LA Times writer Tim Rutten starts a Sunday column in the Daily News and its sister papers. Plus more

No Internet connection at home

Nothing since early last evening. Thanks Time Warner Cable.

LA Times building welcomes new call center tenant

Thumbnail image for latimes-from-broadway.jpg "We have implemented a number of protective measures to ensure each company has separate and distinct domains within the property."

Jenni Rivera had 'ovaries of steel'

jenni-rivera-smile.jpg If you read one more obituary on the cross-cultural star Jenni Rivera, I suggest it be Gustavo Arellano's personal observation on her life and career in the OC Weekly. "What was most amazing about Rivera is that everything she told me she'd do in our two interviews, she accomplished—empty promises simply didn't exist in her life."

LA gay couple with media angle profiled in NYT boomer series

acosta-gratz.jpg Acosta is a former Los Angeles Times editor who now is the director of strategic initiatives at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.

Berman proposes massive overhaul of U.S. foreign aid

Thumbnail image for berman-tv-grab.jpg Rep. Howard Berman won't go out quietly after most of three decades in Congress, ending as a respected senior member of the House foreign affairs committee.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 12.13.12

laweekly-baca-tanaka.jpg Why the West could run out of water, Rocketdyne site still radioactive, Bee cuts off comments on Jerry Brown cancer, Baca-Tanaka cover story in LA Weekly, Google Maps for iPhones and Golden Globe nominations. Plusmuch more.

Ray Briem, late-night radio host was 82

ray-briem.jpg Ray Briem was the overnight talker on KABC-AM from 1967-1994 and kind of pioneered the form here in Los Angeles. That made him the welcomed late-night companion to thousands.

From Ravi Shankar's living room to Occidental College

ravi-shankar-music-circle.jpg Oxy posts a little remembrance today that connects the small size of Shankar's living room in Beverly Hills in the 1970s with a 40-year tradition of live Indian classical music at the Eagle Rock campus.

As San Fernando turns: bench warrant for ex-mayor

mario-hernandez-150x180.jpg A judge issued a bench warrant today for former city of San Fernando mayor Mario Hernandez, who failed to show up and testify at the trial of his ex-girlfriend, the former San Fernando City Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre.

Jerry Brown being treated for early-stage prostate cancer

brown-prop30-ucla.jpg The governor's office made the announcement this afternoon.

Story behind the photo: JFK swims in Santa Monica

jfkswim600-uclalat.jpg Who is that woman exchanging grins with President John Kennedy in 1962 on Santa Monica Beach? The LA Times photo blog tells us.

Register acquires OC freebies

The Orange County Register has purchased Churm Media, the publisher of OC Metro and OC Family. Perplexing, says Gustavo Arellano at OC Weekly.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.12.12

argo-still.jpg Prison realignment after Northridge, 911 concerns, USC development plans, targeting Miguel Santana, San Diego's loony publisher interested in LAT, Jenni Rivera's plane plunged from high altitude, and the SAG Award nominations. Plus more.

How the media missed Jenni Rivera: part two

jenni-rivera-smile.jpg The Washington Post's Paul Farhi takes his stab at explaining why most Americans had never heard of Jenni Rivera until the Mexican-American performer died in a plane crash — and why very few media in Southern California had ever done stories on the local girl who made good. Make that very good.

First big Wilshire church no longer for sale

wilshire-chr-church-googlee.jpg The Wilshire Christian Church, built from 1925-27 on the northeast corner of Wilshire and Normandie, will become the new home of Oasis Christian Church.

Ravi Shankar, sitar maestro and Beatles inspiration was 92 *

ravi-shankar-2009.jpg Ravi Shankar has died in San Diego after being admitted to Scripps Memorial Hospital last week complaining of breathing difficulties. The legendary musician and his musician daughter Anoushka are nominated for 2013 Grammy awards in the world music category. The prime minister of India has confirmed the death and called Shankar a national treasure.

'Zero Dark Thirty' team isn't talking about romantic breakup

boal-bigelow.jpg After winning Oscars for "The Hurt Locker," director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal became "entertainment’s hottest couple who wouldn’t say they were a couple since Jay-Z and Beyoncé." Now it's complicated, says BuzzFeed.
lou-adler-rrhof.jpg The April 18 induction ceremony will be held at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, moving to the West Coast for the first time since 1993. The event will be open to the ticket-buying public, and will air as an HBO special on May 18.

Andrea Alarcon offered a DUI plea deal in San Bernardino

Thumbnail image for andrea-alarcon-fb.jpg Board of Public Works president Andrea Alarcon's future as an LA political figure got a little more clouded today, at least temporarily.

Remains of Jenni Rivera have been recovered

Thumbnail image for jenni-rivera-mun2.jpg Authorities in Mexico say that the remains of singer Jenni Rivera were found overnight in the wreckage field of her jet that crashed Sunday in mountains in the state of Nuevo Leon.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 12.11.12

fed-courthouse-design-som.jpg NTSB sends team to help with Jenni Rivera crash, ex-City Hall commissioner Al Abrams taken to federal prison, DA admits mistake on Northridge suspect, LAFD threatens fallout over 911 staffing, County Fed may sit out mayoral primary plus a design for the federal courthouse that may fill the Civic Center pit. Plus more.

Cost of Berman-Sherman campaign: $16.3 million

Thumbnail image for ShermanANDBerman.jpg And that's not even the most spent this year on a California congressional race.

Rebekah del Rio announces final concert due to brain tumor

rebekah-del-rio-grab.jpg She will perform "Llorando," from the David Lynch film "Mulholland Drive," perhaps one last time on Sunday in Downtown LA. The brain surgery is expected to damage her voice.

Councilman Krekorian says don't blame him for Henry's Tacos

henrys-tacos.jpg Reaction to the news that Henry's will close has been swift and intense. Krekorian felt moved to post a lengthy statement denying that his office is aware of any development plans for the site.

LA Times president puts the happy face on 2012

latimes-mirror-bldg.jpg I'm not sure this kind of corporate cheerleading helps the lousy newsroom morale at 1st and Spring streets, but praise and optimism is better than being threatened with cuts. No mention of the recent price hike at the newsstand or the proposed sale of the paper's one-time hope for the future in Orange County.

Dodgers sign ex-Angel Zack Greinke, officially

greinke-angels-espn-grab.jpg The Dodgers make the biggest splash in baseball off-season's free-agent signing pond, for better or worse. He will be introduced Tuesday.

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.10.12

nury-martinez-dn.jpg Panga drops 25 illegal immigrants on Palos Verdes shore, Steve Cooley's legacy, Latinas running for the City Council, Greuel grows out her hair, Councilman Huizar's car crash, Coast Guard funeral for Terrell Horne and more.

Journo remembers the night he shot someone

Michael Krikorian freelances now, far as I can tell, but he used to be a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Seventeen rounds from an AK-47 in his trunk got him a 30-day sentence in county jail.

'Amour' wins best picture of 2012 from LA Film Critics

amour-poster.png "The Master" is the runner-up, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association also taps the 'Master' director and actors.

Jenni Rivera, 43, singing star dies in Mexico plane crash *

jenni-rivera-mun2.jpg Jenni Rivera, who was born in Long Beach, is a popular performer and songwriter in the Mexican Nortena and banda styles and a rising television star on both sides of the border. She recently signed a deal with ABC to develop a comedy around her. Rivera is divorced from former Dodgers pitcher Esteban Loaiza and leaves five children.

Henry's Tacos announces it will close this month

henrys-janis-hood.jpg Signs went up Saturday saying the Studio City landmark would close at the end of December. The owner contends that the landlord and Councilman Krekorian have plans for the corner. Last year's cultural heritage commission vote never went into force.

Traffic jam in Toluca Lake: Bob Hope yard sale

bob-hope-sale-entrance.jpg There's wasn't much to buy or even see, but that didn't stop the crowds from converging Saturday at the corner estate where Bob and Dolores Hope lived from 1939 on. Photos inside include the Hopes' nativity scene that is displayed this Christmas for the final time.

Mack Reed's pot-in-yard story explodes in the media

mack-reed-drugs.jpg Mack Reed's Tumblr post about finding a duffel bag full of someone else's weed in his Silver Lake yard and calling the LAPD — we posted about it early yesterday — has made its way rapidly around the web.

Eloise Klein Healy to be LA's first poet laureate

eloise-healy.mug.jpg Healy is the author of seven books and emeritus professor of creative writing at LA's Antioch University.

Petersen Museum opening the 'vault' to tours

Delage_1937-petersen.jpg Starting this month, museum visitors who take a guided tour on weekends and pay an extra $25 will get to see the special cars kept out view in the garage.

'Take Five' ala ukulele in Little Tokyo

In honor of Dave Brubeck, who died yesterday, a video of his 1960s hit "Take Five' being performed live on the electric ukulele at the 2008 SoCal Ukulele Showcase. Just listen.

Baca agrees to release unredacted Ruben Salazar files to filmmaker

salazarstamp.jpg Phillip Rodriguez will have access to unredacted autopsy and investigative documents, and coroner's photos, for his documentary on the 1970 death in East Los Angeles of journalist Ruben Salazar.
Three federal grand jury indictments led to the arrest of 18 members of the Harpys, which claim territory just north of USC and are "one of more than a dozen Latino gangs across a wide swath of South Los Angeles allegedly controlled by Mexican Mafia member Danny Roman."

Huffington Post names a CEO

Arianna Huffington moves to president and editor in chief of the media group. Jimmy Maymann, previously AOL senior vice president of international, becomes CEO.

What to do with $175,000 in pot found in your back yard

mack-reed-drugs.jpg Silver Lake games developer Mack Reed, the former LA Times reporter and Voice of LA blogger, was faced recently with a quandary most of us will never encounter. On deadline, of course.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 12.6.12

5th-flower-bonaventure-lao.jpg Speaker Perez as lite governor, Baca reverses course on deporting, rise and fall of Andrea Alarcon, mayoral candidates and the environment, promotion at Daily Journal, suspected Northridge shooter was on probation, hit-and-run epidemic in LA and Ray Bradbury Square to be dedicated.

Media tweets: Channel 9 news team

tay-taft-lee-kcal.jpg Anchor Sharon Tay, meteorologist Evelyn Taft in the middle and reporter Amber Lee in the KCAL studio. Tweeted by Taft.

Feuer feeling better, says campaign didn't hold back crash news

Thumbnail image for mike-feuer-mug-close.jpg I chatted briefly Wednesday with hospitalized city attorney candidate Mike Feuer. He said he's up and around, isn't in too much pain, and even got to drink some apple juice. He should be out of the hospital in a few more days.

City regulates valet parkers, keeps broken meter rule

parking-meter-sticker.jpg It will remain a ticketing offense to park at a broken meter in LA. But for the first time, valet parkers have to be licensed and insured.

Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian architect was 104

strick-house-schall.jpg The modernist designed one home in the United States, the Strick House in Santa Monica. He never saw it.

County buries unclaimed remains of 1,656 people

county-cemetery-lao.jpg Wednesday was the day of the annual interring in Boyle Heights of cremated human remains that were never picked up from the coroner by family members. A couple of dozen people attended a brief ceremony, among them county Supervisor Don Knabe.

Gustavo Arellano moves to KCRW

gustavo-arellano-mug.jpg Gustavo Arellano, editor of the OC Weekly and creator of the paper's popular "Ask A Mexican" column, will start doing regular weekly commentaries about Orange County for KCRW. He had been a regular on KPCC.

Four arrested in connection with Northridge murders

The suspects are picked up at a Las Vegas casino.

Track 16 yields to the Expo Line

track-16-goodbye-kcrw.jpg Beside Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica, bridge foundations are rising that portend the demise of a portion of the Bergamot Station arts complex, including the Track 16 gallery where many have attended events through the years. Lisa Napoli pays a little tribute for KCRW.

Port deal reached, at least tentatively

port-warehouse-no1-lao.jpg The leadership of the clerks union that has been striking the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach agreed Tuesday night to take a settlement deal to its membership. The deal was announced by Mayor Villaraigosa shortly after federal mediators arrived at the negotiating session.

Look, Barbra Streisand plays a 30-something

streisand-no-wrinkles.jpg The Trader Joe's on Olympic Boulevard in West Los Angeles was awash Tuesday in billboards promoting "The Guilt Trip." And not a wrinkle in sight.

Hope compound in Toluca Lake coming on the market *

bob-hope-estate-google.jpg The 1.3-acre estate on Moorpark Street, built for Bob and Dolores Hope in 1939, has never changed hands. We're calling it the most celebrity-infused property left in the San Fernando Valley.

Feuer injuries more serious than his campaign first said

mike-feuer-mug-close.jpg The jaws of life were needed to free city attorney candidate Mike Feuer from his damaged Toyota Prius, and he is in intensive care in stable condition, campaign strategist John Shallman now says. Feuer tweets his thanks to @LAFD and @911LAPD.

LA librarians choose best books of 2012

prague-winter-cover.jpg The staff of the Los Angeles Public Library has some thoughts on which books of 2012 are most worth reading: fiction, nonfiction, teen and children's.

Arrest made in Northridge killings of four

Police arrested a suspect in Las Vegas who they believe was involved in the weekend shootings at a Devonshire Street unlicensed boarding house where four people were killed. A news conference is expected later this afternoon.

Vice magazine claims to be traveling with McAfee

mcafee-guatemala-vice.jpg A crew from Vice posted photos this morning reported to be of on-the-run former tech pioneer John McAfee and his 20-year-old girlfriend from Belize, Sam, meeting with a lawyer in Guatemala City.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 12.4.12

Thumbnail image for andrea-alarcon-fb.jpg Legislature returns, Andrea Alarcon's issues, what LA voters want, Alex Chadwick sits in at KCRW, Schwarzenegger to produce, suicide victim decapitates himself, nativity scenes move across Santa Monica and Tioga Road closes for the season.

Coast Guard colleagues of Chief Horne face the cameras

Grieving members of the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut and other friends spoke to the media in Marina del Rey Monday about their late shipmate, Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne.

Murder house in Northridge may have had 17 residents

he owner, an elderly man who lives there, denied it was a boarding house despite evidence that the rooms had been partitioned so completely that one section of the house could only be accessed via a window.

'Curiosity' discovery on Mars is less than remarkable

mars-rocknest-nasa.jpg The Martian soil contains organic material of as-yet-undetermined origin, as the scientists already knew from previous missions. That was the big NASA reveal today, advance-billed a few weeks ago by a breathless NPR reporter as something sure to be historic.

Downtown streetcar bond passes

streetcar-map-dtla.png Of the 2,066 voters who mailed in ballots, 73 percent voted to tax property owners in order to obtain funding for the $125 million loop mostly along Broadway and Hill.

If Villaraigosa leaves, it won't be as DNC chair

Thumbnail image for melton-mav.jpg President Obama today tweeted that he would like Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to remain as chair of the Democratic National Committee. That's one post Antonio Villaraigosa won't get.

Mike Feuer hurt in car crash on way to Lacey ceremony

mike-feuer-mic.jpg Feuer's Prius was hit by a truck that ran a red light. The candidate for city attorney will remain in the hospital for a few days, but his campaign says the injuries are not life threatening.

Exit-polling the mayor's race tells us not much *

lmu-poll-cover.jpg When the Center for the Study of Los Angeles sent out undergrads to conduct exit polling of voters on Nov. 6, the center had them tack on questions about next year's mayor's race. Meanwhile: Garcetti wins the endorsement of Valley Democrats.

Metro statement on Measure J losing

Thumbnail image for expo-line-work-sepul.jpg "Progress will continue as Metro remains focused on delivering a dozen new transit projects and 15 highway improvement projects that voters approved four years ago in passing Measure R."

Morning Buzz: Monday 12.3.12

civic-center-pit.jpg Swear-in day in Sacramento, GOP advice from a former Republican, City Hall unions after Riordan scare, summons for LAFD chief, Univision rebrands a network, DJ Waldie on Huell Howser, LA stormwater at SCOTUS, downtown's worst eyesores and the final weeks of the King Eddy Saloon. Plus much more.

Four slain in yard of Northridge home

lapd-valley-bureau.jpg Until these four killings, the LAPD's crime maps show just one homicide since July 1 on the Devonshire division's turf.

Terrell Horne, 34, Coast Guard petty officer killed by smugglers *

uscgc-halibu-logo.jpg Chief Petty Officer Horne, of Redondo Beach, was out with the Marina Del Rey cutter Halibut when a suspected smuggling vessel rammed his inflatable boat, throwing Horne into the sea near Santa Cruz Island.

Close the books on Felipe Calderon's sexenio

Thumbnail image for mexico-bodies-hanging.jpg Enrique Peña Nieto was sworn in Saturday as the new president of Mexico. So how did the six-year term of Felipe Calderon go?

Now that's close: Measure J falls 0.56 percent short

measure-j-final-table.jpg Also: Measure J, the transit tax extension, ends with 66.11 percent of the vote, and needed 66.66 percent to pass. How close did it come? If you take the 2,863,951...

Santa Monica mayor resigns, heads to Sacramento

ad50-results-table.jpg Richard Bloom leads Assemblywoman Betsy Butler by 1,705 votes in this afternoon's essentially final update on the Nov. 6 election from LA County Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan. Bloom posted a resignation message on Facebook.

Galaxy wins MLS Cup again

galaxy-win-cup-2012-grab.jpg Nice win by the Los Angeles Galaxy this afternoon at Home Depot Center. The Houston Dynamo scored first, then the Galaxy took over the second half of the game.

DA drops murder case against tennis umpire

Los Angeles county prosecutors said only that new information led them to dismiss the murder charge against Lois Goodman over the death of her 80-year-old husband, Alan Goodman, in the couple's Woodland Hills condo last April.

Birther case against Oxy laughed out of court

obamaoxy.jpg A lawsuit against Occidental College and President Barack Obama by Obama conspiracy-theorist Orly Taitz provided some eye-rolling amusement in the courtroom before it was tossed out by the judge.
Clinton fundraises in LA
kermit-la-brea-closer.jpg Jim Henson Studios on La Brea became a presidential campaign stop on Thursday.
Brown declares disaster area
porter-ranch-sign.jpgThe natural gas leak above Porter Ranch now qualifies for various government actions. Story
Wet coyote
wet-coyote-vdt.jpgSpotted between the storms at Here in Malibu.
Performing arts with cheer
guys-dolls-kevin-parry.jpgDonna Perlmutter closes out 2015 with productions downtown and on the Westside.
Junkyard down
upick-firetruck-560.jpgAfter 53 years, Sun Valley's Aadlen Brothers and U-Pick Parts cleans out. Photos