LA Observed archive
for February 2013

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KCRW kicks off event series with Scientology book

wright-masters-kcrw.jpg KCRW joined with Writers Bloc tonight to pack a couple of hundred people in the new Moss Theater on the Westside. The draw was New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright talking with Kim Masters, host of "The Business" on KCRW, about "Going Clear," his new book that authoritatively gives further exposure to the unusualness of the Church of Scientology.
greuel-presser-step-repeat.jpg Wendy Greuel called the media to her Van Nuys Airport-adjacent headquarters this morning to attack Councilman Eric Garcetti for endangering children and profiting from oil drilling near Beverly Hills High School. Except it appears that no oil has been drilled for under Garcetti's property, no children have been endangered, and any profit has been extraordinarily slim.

Morning Buzz and campaign news: Thursday 2.28.13

city-hall-from-lat.jpg The pope leaves Rome, Bradley Manning pleads guilty, LA asks for OK to remove homeless property in TB fight, who will buy the LA Times?, indie spending tops $3 million in mayoral race, Jan Perry's old tax liens and more from the campaign trail.

Missing Santa Barbara anchor with LA ties back home*

paula-lopez-sb.jpg Paula Lopez, who was a staffer at KCAL 9 in Los Angeles for six years, co-anchors the 11 p.m. news on KEYT in Santa Barbara. She was reported missing this morning to the Santa Barbara County sheriff's department.

Tina Fey says MacFarlane was fine as Oscars host

tina-fey-amy-poehler.jpg Tina Fey cuts Seth MacFarlane some major slack for disappointing many viewers of Sunday's Oscars show, telling Anne Thompson of IndieWire that "It's the hardest job there is. It's a tough room. Seth did great."

Online Journalism Review relaunched by USC Annenberg

ojr-newhome-screenshot.jpg The Online Journalism Review fell off my radar, and I suspect that of other news types, a few years ago. Now USC Annenberg has given it a new look and a new view of its role.

Campaign Wednesday: Liars, dead bodies and plenty of news

kevin-james-bodies-grab.jpg Wendy Greuel goes negative, Kevin James goes noir, Boxer urges history, Linda Griego recalls history and a roundup of media coverage in the race for City Hall. Election is next Tuesday.

Finke quietly drops her claim that the boss 'lied to me'

deadline-hwd-bug.jpg Nikki Finke's post this morning at Deadline on the changes at Variety almost dripped ice water, especially when she flat-out accused the boss she shares with Variety, Jay Penske, of lying to her. Never mind: sometime during the day, the phrase "Penske lied to me" disappeared.

Check out the progress on the 405 project at Wilshire

405-wilshire-from-va.jpg The 405 freeway widening and upgrade project on the Westside and in Sepulveda Pass is about a year behind schedule. But if you haven't been through there in awhile, you might be surprised at the visuals. The skyline at the Wilshire Boulevard interchange is starting to look very different.

Claudia Eller: Leaving LAT 'most difficult decision' *

claudia_eller-variety.jpg Nice farewell note to the Los Angeles Times newsroom from Claudia Eller, the entertainment news editor and veteran of the Hollywood scoop wars who was announced today as one of three new co-editors who will run Variety. She opens with praise for her current editor, John Corrigan, and confirms the Times counter-offered.

Cyclist loses leg after hit-and-run drags him onto freeway

kevitt-mother.jpg Damian Kevitt was riding a bicycle on Zoo Drive about 11:30 a.m. a week ago Sunday when the driver of an older gray Toyota Sienna minivan bolted out of traffic and made a sudden left turn. Witnesses told the CHP that the van accelerated after hitting Kevitt and dragged the biker for 600 feet, then sped away.

Colby Evett, model shop owner was 92

Thumbnail image for Evetts-model-shop-ad.jpg Colby Evett owned and operated Evett's Model Shop on Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica. The store celebrated its 65th anniversary in January.

John North retiring from ABC 7

john-north-abc7.jpg Channel 7's long-time political reporter, John North, is retiring at the end of this week. The newsroom in Glendale got a memo announcing North's departure from news director Cheryl Fair.

Variety drops daily paper and pay wall, names 3 co-editors *

variety-sign-300.jpg The other shoe fell today in the evolution of Hollywood trade Variety under new owner Jay Penske. One of the new co-editors is Claudia Eller, a 20-year veteran of movie coverage at the LA Times. Nikki Finke says Penske lied to her.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.26.13

Thumbnail image for lalaezary-with-baca.jpg Baca's bad year gets him Sheriff of the Year, Trutanich likes Jan Perry, another corrupt Cudahy official goes away, Press Club to honor Bill Rosendahl and the LA Times drops TV grid and some sports pages today.

Al Naipo moving on from Fox 11

al-naipo-fox11.jpeg It's transition time at some of the local TV stations, if the drumbeats I'm hearing are accurate. One transition that's for sure is that of Al Naipo, the Orange County bureau chief for Fox 11. His classy farewell note went out to the Bundy Drive newsroom tonight.
la-mag-power-wheels.jpg How power works here, sobering wisdom on mayoral candidates from Mike Woo, a doctor spends $150K on Greuel, Jan Perry day in the media plus much more. Election Day is a week from today.

Bunch of moves at the LA Daily Journal

The bunch includes a new editor in San Francisco for the legal newspaper, which is based in downtown Los Angeles. There's a also a shift on the entertainment law beat, plus more. Memo from editor David Houston inside.

New science writer for LA Times *

It's an internal hire: Geoff Mohan, who has recently been the editor for state bureaus and the immigration beat. He was previously the paper's environment editor, among other jobs. Memo to the newsroom inside.

Oscar ratings are up despite the reviews

affleck-oscars-2013.jpg Most (but by no means all) of the reviews for last night's Oscars show and host Seth MacFarlane have not been favorable. But the early ratings for the TV show are up about four percent over last year's show hosted Billy Crystal — and much younger. And that's entirely logical, says Richard Rushfield at BuzzFeed.

Yaroslavsky slams Jan Perry mailer

Thumbnail image for jan-perry-mug.jpg Yet another controversy over a mayoral campaign mailer by candidate Jan Perry. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky released a statement this morning criticizing Perry's use of his name in a mailer. He does not endorse Perry.

International Herald Tribune rebrands under NYT

iht-screen-shot.jpg The venerable but dated brand of the International Herald Tribune will be dropped and the paper re-christened as the International New York Times. Plus assorted other changes.

New courtyard coming to DTLA isn't so new

Courtyard-at-Current-Verizon-Location.jpg The new owner of the 1908 Pacific Mutual building facing Pershing Square plans to tear down a Verizon store and open up a pocket courtyard space facing the street that was there in the 1920s. It was later covered over to create a new storefront on the sidewalk.

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.25.13

hamburger-hamlet-sunset.jpg LAPD shot and killed a suspect in North Hollywood, Nate Silver a bit better than half right on Oscars, a radio profile of Garcetti asks if he's tough enough, Cardinal Mahony answered questions, 43 years at the Hamburger Hamlet, plus saving the language of Okinawa.

Campaign Monday: What's new in the race for City Hall

jennifer-aniston.jpg Newton on Garcetti and UTLA, new union spending for Greuel, the Kevin James and Jennifer Aniston connection, Rick Orlov's Monday Tipoffs, the voters aren't voting, new endorsements and who the Socialists like (or don't like) for mayor — plus a roundup of more media coverage of the races.

'Argo,' Jennifer Lawrence make their points at the Oscars

jennifer-lawrence-oscar-gra.jpg The film academy voted the best picture Oscar to "Argo" and by extension to director Ben Affleck, who gave the final speech of the night and was emotional about the win. Jennifer Lawrence won the best actress Oscar for "Silver Linings Playbook," and at 22 is now a bona fide Hollywood star, if she wasn't before. Daniel Day-Lewis won his third best acting Oscar, for "Lincoln" — no actor has ever won more Oscars in the lead actor category. Complete list inside.

In LA, the Oscars are a local event

oscars-cookies-thyme-jg.jpg The media who parachute into Hollywood for the Oscars don't always get that, for the locals, the Academy Awards are something of a community event. It's not just that traffic sucks in Hollywood and officials shut down the Hollywood and Highland subway station. The week of the Oscars provides work, diversion and more.

Mark Saylor, PR executive and ex-journalist was 58

Saylor started his own public relations firm in 2007 after leaving Sitrick & Co., and before that was entertainment editor for the LA Times Business section. He oversaw the Pulitzer-winning stories on the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, radio payola and luxury detox by reporters Chuck Philips and Michael Hiltzik.

LA hula dancers get invited to the big show (video)

KON-dancer-2007-ha.jpg In hula, it's a big thing to compete in the annual Merrie Monarch Festival held each spring in Hilo. This year there are only three troupes from outside Hawaii, and two are from the Los Angeles area. There's video inside; one halau struts its stuff Sunday in Lakewood to raise money to go.

Now Perry mailers suggest Wendy Greuel is a Republican

Thumbnail image for jan-perry-mug.jpg Trying to trick voters with the fake Republican tag is a loser's move, said John Burton, chairman of the California Democratic Party. "To suggest that Wendy Greuel is anything other than a proud Democrat is absurd.”

Henry's Tacos to reopen in Tujunga Village

studio-sub-patch.jpg The late, apparently missed Studio City taco and burger stand that closed in January will reopen next month a half-block away on Tujunga Avenue. What that means more immediately is that Studio Sub, a sandwich shop that opened in 2010, will be closing on Sunday. More inside.

Herald Examiner photographers to reunite at library

her-ex-pic-lapl.jpg Former Los Angeles Herald Examiner photographers Paul Chinn, Anne Knudsen, Javier Mendoza, Mike Mullen, Jim Ober, and Jim Ruebsamen will chat March 9 at Central Library with Dean Musgrove, now photo editor of the Daily News.

Science writer David Perlman still working at 94

He had 111 stories in the San Francisco Chronicle last year. Born before the discovery of penicillin or Pluto, he tells the LA Times: "I'm doing exactly what I wanted to do all my life, be a reporter."

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.22.13

la-opinion-grab.jpg Irvine PD got the call about Dorner from his former partner, a bad Skid Row TB strain kills 11, Garcetti's and Greuel's budget claims under question, Greuel touts landlord backing, La Opinión endorses Garcetti, Zimmer vs. Anderson for the school board, plus an LAT photographer on the Pulitzer juries and Metropolis returns to KCRW.

Garcetti and Greuel have spent $6.6 million and it's pretty even

Thumbnail image for eric-garcetti-on-horse.jpg Thursday's latest filing of campaign finance reports in the mayoral race shows the top two candidates essentially as matched in fundraising as they are in positions on the issues. There's no real news in the numbers.

Jimmy Kimmel's 11 best movies I never saw

kimmel-daily-beast.jpg Of "Fight Club," Kimmel writes for the Daily Beast that "I’m sure this is a great movie, but it seems like a lot of the people who really, really love it are dickheads." Same for the Terminator franchise.

What do you do with a life-like interior of a 747?

747-redondo-guy-lang.jpg You visit it and have dinner and drinks served by former Pan Am flight attendants. Of course.

Amazing (if unsafe) encounter with a gray whale calf in Baja

whale-calf-baja.jpg This whale rubs on the boat, rolls over to be caressed and even closes its eyes — only thing missing is the purr. But really, kids should not stick their hands into the mouth of a whale, baby or not. Watch inside.

For the Oscars: George Hurrell photos of Hollywood stars

norma-shearer-hurrell.jpg "George Hurrell was one of the most important American photographers of the 1930s, but you won’t find his work in many history books," according to The Atlantic. He gave Hollywood glamour.

Here's why journos should keep old memos from the boss

bill-thomas-letter.jpg A memorabilia dealer on Amazon is offering for sale a thank you note signed by LA Times editor William F. Thomas, who retired 23 years ago. Price: about $37. Tip: You can get it cheaper on eBay.

NBC takes big dive - fifth place - as Univision rises

nbc-logo.jpg NBC's prime-time schedule looks as if it will finish the February sweeps period for the key age 18-49 demographic segment behind both Fox and Univision. It's the first time that NBC will finish in fifth place, according to Dominic Patten at

LA Times to cut TV grid, squeeze sports pages

latimes-from-broadway.jpg The LA Times has been warning readers for more than a week that the daily primetime television schedule will disappear from the Calendar section next Tuesday. Now comes a memo explaining significant cuts in the space devoted to sports.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.21.13

holly-park-casino.jpg Greuel's negative turn and support for Hollywood density plan, Garcetti's conflict on digital billboards, embedded reporter with Pleitez, Harvard-Westlake alums for Garcetti and some more endorsements, plus other Campaign 2013 races and labor trouble at the Hollywood Park Casino. And: An opinionated, annotated Oscars ballot.

Kate Linthicum of the LAT's other life (video)

basement+babies++photo+by+A+Dol.jpg Los Angeles Times City Hall reporter Kate Linthicum has been deep into coverage of the race for mayor et al for months. She also finds time to pursue her after-hours gig as the vocalist and keyboard player for Basement Babies, a band that looks to be based around Echo Park, where she lives.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.20.13 *

dtn-cover-40-years.jpg Dorner stalked at least five LAPD families before killing, mayoral candidates talk runaway production but not really, Jan Perry's "disingenuous" anti-Greuel mailers, "The Closer" creator gives to Garcetti PAC, outside money in the school board races tops $1 million, David Dreier gets a gig and much more Campaign 2013 news. Plus: the Oscars are now just the Oscars and it's 40 years for Sue Laris and the Downtown News. (And added: a fix.)

Laura Chick wants to change the dates of LA elections

laura-chick-red.jpg There are at least two schools of thought on the long-standing practice of holding Los Angeles city elections in odd-numbered years. The former city controller argues that bundling with the national elections will raise voter participation. But maybe that's not the problem.

Body found on roof of Hotel Cecil may be missing Canadian tourist *

Elisa Lam was last seen in or around the Skid Row-adjacent tourist hotel on Jan. 31. Surveillance video appears to show her acting strangely, and today the body of a woman was reported on the roof.

New Tribune CEO is no Sam Zell

peter-liguori.jpg When he was the top guy at a media company, Sam Zell liked to hurl the f-word at his damnable journalists. The latest CEO of Tribune Company, Peter Liguori, appears to have more respect for his employees. His email today after a month on the job is full of praise for, you know, stories. Read the memo inside.

Angel wings and Gary Leonard *

gary-leonard-angels-rabe.png Photographer Gary Leonard took pictures this weekend of anyone who wanted to stand in front of angel wings painted by Colette Miller on the security shutters of the Regent Theatre downtown. John Rabe of KPCC went to observe — and pose — and reports back. Inside: Eric Garcetti gets wings.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.19.13

brokien-shield-graphic.jpg Two married LAPD officers high on Dorner's hit list talk on CBS, four dead in Orange county shootings, more mayoral debate news, the NYT on THR, a new book from Jenni Rivera, California Watch wins another Polk Award and staffing up in Santa Barbara. Plus rain today and Oscar street closures in Hollywood.
dorner-camo.jpg Former LA Times veterans of LAPD coverage come at the Dorner issues from different places. Plus a view from the Inland Empire.

Roundup: With two weeks to go, Garcetti gets more pointed

marc-brown-debate-2013.jpg Debate carried on Channel 7 finds the candidates for mayor firming up their positions. Plus: A video spot for Greuel, Mr. D'Arcy's DWP, Zine's Mountaineer and links to media coverage galore.

Expo Line West rising

expo-line-work-sepulveda.jpg Behind a construction fence on Pico Boulevard, what used to be the parking lot for Billingsley's Steak House and a medical marijuana dispensary is now taken up with bridge structures for the second, Westside phase of Metro's Expo Line light rail. More scenes inside.

Rocky Delgadillo, family escape bad house fire

delgadillo-after-fire.jpg Former Los Angeles city attorney Rocky Delgadillo's home in Wilshire Park was gutted by fire over the weekend. Delgadillo, his wife and two boys — and the family dogs — escaped the early morning fire.

Jerry Buss, Lakers owner was 80

jerry-buss-smiling.JPG Jerry Buss grew up in Depression-era Wyoming and moved to Southern California in 1953, worked for awhile in aerospace plants then made money in real estate — a West LA apartment building originally. He bought the Los Angeles Strings of the World Team Tennis league in 1974, and in 1979 was ready when Jack Kent Cooke, in the midst of a nasty divorce, needed to sell the Forum and his prize, the Los Angeles Lakers. Buss died today of kidney failure after fighting cancer.

LA Times endorses Eric Garcetti for mayor; Riordan picks James

garcetti-tv-spot-grab.jpg The LAT praise is better than lukewarm, but not quite love. Garcetti has "the most potential to rise to the occasion and lead Los Angeles out of its current malaise.... At this time, out of this field, he's the best choice." Also this: "It is hard to see how [Greuel] would rise to the challenge..."

Frank McCourt gives $50,000 to Greuel PAC

frank-jamie-mccourt-star.jpg Former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt — I guess we should call him the Dodger Stadium parking lots owner now? — shows up in the filings as a donor of $50,000 to Working Californians to elect Wendy Greuel Mayor 2013. That's the officially independent committee that says it will use big contributions from labor and the entertainment industry to buy TV ads for Greuel.

Aviation mechanic school in Van Nuys gets OK for $1 rent

vny-mechanic-school-sign.jpg A letter from the FAA to city officials says it would be within federal policy to charge the school just $1 a year rent for its facility on the west side of Van Nuys Airport at Saticoy Street. Although the city of Los Angeles airports department runs VNY, the FAA is allowed to dip its bureaucratic fingers into all kinds of policy areas at airports.

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.15.13

dwp-bldg-flags-lao.jpg Dorner questions, Sheriff Baca's friends get gun permits, Jerry Buss ailing, Top Shop draws a crowd plus a Campaign 2013 update: new commercials, PACs and media coverage, an Austin Beuter op-ed and a examination of the Wendy Greuel-DWP union nexus.

Great white shark from Mexico pays a visit

white-shark-arden-grace.jpg A female great white shark tagged in 2012 off Guadalupe Island, which lies about 165 miles west of Ensenada in Baja California, has made her way north toward the islands off Southern California. It's apparently the first time a tagged Guadalupe Island shark has been tracked into the local waters.
jerry-roberts-sbi.jpg Jerry Roberts was the editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press who stood up to the news outrages of owner Wendy McCaw. He's giving $150,000 to a Santa Barbara news startup, SPJ and EFF.

How Oscar campaigns got a boost from Dorner coverage

silver-linings.jpg Because the State of the Union speech by President Obama was going to depress TV viewership numbers on the West Coast on Tuesday night, the local stations sold half-hour blocks for infomercials on the movies. But then, voila, lots of eyeballs were watching TV in Southern California. TV Guide's Michael Schneider explains.

Inside the Hall of Justice renovations (video)

hall-of-justice-019.jpg The county has produced a nice video showing the restoration work going on inside the long-vacant Hall of Justice in Downtown Los Angeles. The sheriff's department and the DA will move back in when work is done in 2014, assuming all goes well.

Jeremiah MacKay, San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy was 35

jeremiah-mackay-sbsd.jpg MacKay died Tuesday of wounds incurred during the firefight with fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner outside a cabin in the 7 Oaks area of the San Bernardino Mountains. He lived in Redlands and was assigned to the Yucaipa station. MacKay is survived by his wife, 7-year-old daughter and four-month-old son.

NBC4 to air one-hour Dorner special on Thursday night

Keith+Lawrence+and+Monica+Quan.jpg Channel 4 will pre-empt "Law and Order, Special Victims Unit" to air a one-hour special, "Manifesto for Murder: The Hunt for Christopher Dorner." Airtime is Thursday at 10 p.m.

Hollywood's Greuel checkbooks kicking into gear

dreamtrio-skg.jpg Spielberg, Katzenberg and Geffen lead the way with $150,000. Boxer will headline fundraiser at Haim Saban's Feb. 20. Plus: Will Ferrell video for Garcetti and more campaign notes.

Next step is to identify remains as Dorner's

dorner-surveill-tape.jpg Associated Press reported that a California driver's license with the name Christopher Dorner and other personal items were found in the basement of the burned-out cabin next to the remains. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says the episode appears to be over, but that tests are needed to be certain so that LAPD targets and families can relax.

Manuel Rojas, burrito maestro of El Tepeyac

manuel-rojas-el-tepeyac.jpg KFI News tweeted that employees of the burrito stand, on Evergreen Avenue since 1952, confirmed Rojas' death. Rojas is credited with creating the Hollenbeck Burrito.

Weird story o' the day: Dorner's mom at bar watching standoff

dorner-mom-gile.jpg The woman at the Mexican restaurant in Orange County told CBS2 reporter Michele Gile that she knew nothing about Dorner. Ten minutes later, she went inside the home he sometimes shared with his mother. Also: CBS 2 gets pranked.
angelus-oaks-map.jpg Several reports say that Christopher Dorner is the gunman who died in a vacation cabin in the 7 Oaks area off highway 38, about 10 miles down the hill from Big Bear. But both the San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman and the LAPD insisted that Dorner's death has not been confirmed and that no body has been recovered. A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy was killed in the shootout and another was wounded.

Greuel goes up with another TV spot, on waste theme

Here is the second 30-second TV spot from the Wendy Greuel for mayor campaign. Script and video inside, plus a response from Eric Garcetti.

What became of Lindsey Jacobellis (video)

The American snowboardcross champion who fell at the Vancouver Olympics (and disappointed some in the media) is doing just fine. Jacobellis lives at the beach in Encinitas now.

Unfortunate ad placement o' the day

LAT-all-cop-homepage.jpg If I'm the publisher of the LA Times, I probably reject the big ads for "Southland" right now and don't let images of cops with guns take over my website for a small amount of revenue.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.12.13

civic-center-wright.jpg Does Dorner profile as a super-criminal or a bumbler, Greuel defends her LAPD vision, Villaraigosa pushes LA Zoo to bring in more cash, Metrolink CFO resigns after bad report, the man who shot Bin Laden, and Never Built: LA meets Kickstarter goal.

This should be required reading for Lakers

eleven_rings_g_mp_400.jpg Grantland runs an exclusive first look at the cover of Phil Jackson's new book, coming in May.

Dorner could be in Mexico — and may have had help

A couple of intriguing points are contained in the federal court criminal complaint filed last week against rogue ex-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner.

Video shows Dorner buying scuba gear in Torrance

dorner-scuba-tmz.jpg The video is from the Sports Chalet in Torrance on Feb .1, two days before the first two of the murders that authorities attribute to rogue ex-cop Christopher Dorner. It shows a man who is apparently Dorner getting two scuba tanks re-filled with air and purchasing a third tank.

Garcetti goes up with Spanish language ad

garcetti-tv-spot-grab.jpg Councilman Eric Garcetti is the first of the mayoral candidates, I believe, to air a TV spot in Spanish. He calls it "Comprobado" and speaks in Spanish about his record. Watch.

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.11.13

pope-resigns-front.jpg Pope Benedict XVI resigns, Archdiocese used money from cemetery fund for molestation settlement, SoCal Connected does feral cats, former FAME minister fired in San Francisco, a savior for Wilshire Boulevard Temple and more — plus Frank Zappa and Pomona College again.

KPCC's John Rabe makes the Weekly's Couples Issue

bermudez-rabe-law.jpg John Rabe, the host of "Off-Ramp" on KPCC, and his husband Julian Bermudez are one of the six featured couples in the current issue of LA Weekly. Also included are Michael Ritchie and Kate Burton, "the first couple of L.A. theatre."

Sick sea lions are overwhelming rescue center

sick-sea-lions.jpg Sick and hungry sea lion pups are showing up almost daily at the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro — a dozen on Saturday alone. What is afflicting the young sea lions is unknown.

Campaign 2013: Getty House, heat on Greuel and more

gettyhousewikipedia.jpg I moderated a town hall of the five leading mayoral candidates on Sunday in Hancock Park, and their plans for Getty House — the official city residence — became an issue. Plus the cost to Wendy Greuel of her half-baked LAPD expansion plan, the Times endorses Galperin and more campaign coverage from the weekend.

$1 million reward offered for Dorner information

beck-villaraigosa-reward-nyt.jpg The LAPD, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and several cooperating agencies announced on Sunday a $1 million reward for information that leads to fugitive ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, who has vowed to keep killing officers and their families. It might be the biggest local reward ever — and was suggested by the wife of Chief Charlie Beck.

'Argo' and Affleck win again at BAFTAs

affleck-baftas-argo.jpg "Argo" won the top prize for best film and Ben Affleck was named best director at Sunday's British Academy Film Awards. It's on to the Oscars now. Click inside for full list of winners.

Michael Crain, Riverside police officer was 34

michael-crain-rpd.jpg Crain, an 11-year veteran of the Riverside Police Department, was the officer killed the morning of Feb. 7 when allegedly ambushed by rogue ex-LAPD cop Christopher Dorner. He was an 11-year veteran of the Riverside PD, a Marine veteran of Kuwait, and leaves a wife and two children.

Beck calls on Dorner to surrender, says will re-look at grievances

pat-harvey-grab.jpg LAPD Chief Charlie Beck called in CBS2 anchor Pat Harvey for an exclusive interview today in which Beck said he would take a look at some of the allegations of racism made by disgraced ex-cop Christopher Dorner. Beck told Harvey that his motive in re-opening the case that led to Dorner's firing was to keep the department's trust among African-Americans. "I'm not doing this to appease Dorner," Beck said.

Villaraigosa to back sales tax hike on ballot

Thumbnail image for beck-villaraigosa-occupynight.jpg Supporters of Measure A on the March 5 ballot say that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will take part in a Monday news conference announcing support for the sales tax increase, along with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and LAFD Chief Brian Cummings.

Roger L. Simon steps down as CEO of his creation

roger-simon-grab.jpg Roger L. Simon was a novelist and screenwriter who went through a very public political conversion from left to right in the early 2000s. His blog hammering on the left turned into Pajamas Media and now into a conservative website and video outlet called PJ Media.

Michael Parrish, LA journalist

michael-parrish-niger-river.jpg Michael Parrish was a longtime presence on the magazine journalism scene in Los Angeles as an editor and writer. He was founding editor of the Los Angeles Times Magazine, a contributor to Playboy, New West, California and other magazines, and a lecturer at USC Annenberg. He died today in the LA area, according to friends.

Dorner's truck was disabled by broken axle

dorner-gun-ktla-grab.jpg It appears that fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner abandoned his Nissan truck on a fire road above Big Bear Lake due to a broken axle. Of course, that doesn't explain why he lit the truck on fire before heading into the forest, but it suggests that abandoning the truck and setting out on foot just before a snowstorm hit the area may not have been his first choice.

Greuel endorsed for mayor by Daily News and VICA *

wendy-greuel-handout.jpg For Wendy Greuel's mayoral campaign, these were a couple of good if expected endorsements. She has campaigned hard in the Valley. The National Women's Political Caucus of Los Angeles County also announced its endorsement.

Program director Craig Curtis leaves KPCC

craig-curtis-kpcc.jpg Two memos have nice words for Curtis, but there's no mention of him going on to anything else. KPCC had all the upheaval last year over the hiring of new morning host A Martinez and the subsequent departure of Madeleine Brand, whose morning show without Martinez was KPCC's most listened-to local program. Then last month the staff voted to unionize the newsroom with SAG/Aftra.

Garcetti plays his cool guy card at Hollywood fundraiser

garcetti-moby-evry.jpg In the race for mayor of Los Angeles, Councilman Eric Garcetti doesn't have a record of accomplishment that stands out among the others, or better connections, or more popular positions, or much more money. One advantage, though, with some voters is his image as a blogger, bike rider, composer, chef and performer — like at last night's appearance alongside Moby.

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.8.13

big-bear-manhunt.jpg The manhunt for fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner is complicated by snow in the Big Bear area. There have been no sightings elsewhere, the San Bernardino sheriff said. Plus: Eric Garcetti raises about $250,000 at Hollywood fundraiser and plays with Moby, Beutner grills the candidates, LAT endorses Feuer, end of the Berman-Waxman machine, and author Daniel Olivas on the Catholic sex abuse scandal.

Korean Air hotel in DTLA to be tallest building in the West

tallest-building-acmartin.jpg Developer Korean Airlines today unveiled the AC Martin design for the new Wilshire Grand tower at Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street and said it will be 73 stories — one floor more than the US Bank tower downtown.
christopher-dorner.jpg Law enforcement all over Southern California is on alert after the events of this morning in Riverside County. Police suspect that Christopher Dorner, a former LAPD officer, killed one officer and wounded two others. Dorner has threatened cops in a Facebook manifesto and the LAPD is on citywide tactical alert. Updated post.

Andy Spahn letter urges $15,000 donations to help Greuel

andy-spahn-mug.jpg The political adviser for Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and other Hollywood figures signed a letter to industry activists asking for contributions of $15,000 to an independent expenditure committee that plans to air commercials pushing Wendy Greuel for mayor.

CBS 'wardrobe advisory' on Grammys nudity is very...detailed

rihanna-2012-grammys.jpg A pre-Grammys email from the CBS standards and practices department all but dares performers to show a little skin at the upcoming show. How many ways are there for a musician (or an audience member) to violate the CBS code? A whole lot.

Alan Jackson leaves DA's office for private practice

alan-jackson-campaigning.jpg This cannot be called a surprise. Losing candidates for DA don't usually have happy careers in the office after taking on the boss.

Tough night for the badge in LA

An ex-LAPD cop is the suspect in those two Irvine slayings, the department was sued by a Hollywood executive who says officers beat him, the Sheriff's Department moved to fire seven deputies who belonged to a secret clique, and a Building and Safety inspector agreed to plead guilty to bribery.

Trailer for 'The Wrecking Crew' (video)

wreckingcrewlogo.jpg Here's the trailer for Danny Tedesco's 2008 documentary on the famed Hollywood session musicians dubbed The Wrecking Crew, screening on Saturday night at the Saban Theatre followed by a Q-A with musicians from the era.

Daily News loses Kerry Cavanaugh to KCRW

kerry-cavanaugh-dn.jpg Assistant city editor Kerry Cavanaugh is leaving the Daily News to be a producer on "Which Way, LA?" and "To the Point." Here's the note from City Editor Harrison Sheppard that is going around the Woodland Hills newsroom.

LA Times editor does A-1 story on his White House flakkery

barney-bush-sharon-wh.jpg Just count the ways in which you could not imagine this story taking up high-profile space on the front page of the NYT or WSJ, or in earlier eras of the Los Angeles Times. Jimmy Orr, the LAT's managing editor for digital, writes a 1,500-word first-person story talking about an episode from his previous life as a press spokesman for the George W. Bush White House — when he came up with the idea for a webcam featuring the Bush dog Barney.

NBC4 adds more news on weekends

nbc-door.jpg Channel 4 is expanding its weekend newscasts, beginning this Saturday. Robert Kovacik and Kathy Vara, who now co-anchor at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on weekends, will also do a new "NBC4 News at 5PM" show.

Hollywood all divided over race for mayor

greuel_vs_garcetti-THR.jpg Both Greuel and Garcetti have bases in Hollywood. The race is pitting mogul against mogul, agent against agent, says the Hollywood Reporter.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.6.13

pleitez-podium.jpg AP floated Speaker Perez for Labor Secretary, Gov. Brown calls the Texas governor's anti-California ad "barely a fart," coverage of Greuel's sop to the LAPD and LAFD unions, Pleitez has a plan now, Trutanich switches on pot shops and more.

Five questions for Dave Barry

barry-groening-ltla.jpg Barry will discuss his new book, "Insane City," with Matt Groening at Live Talks LA on Thursday. For us he talks about Neil Diamond, Justin Bieber and the difference between Miami and LA, and he has some advice for the Lakers. Check it out inside.

LA County prepares for Obamacare (video)

The county of Los Angeles has put together a video explaining how the Affordable Care Act is already changing medical care for the two million uninsured in the county, and how county departments are preparing for the full impact once the new act takes effect. Watch inside.

KPCC adds Pleitez to mayoral debate

KPCC's press release last week for its mayoral debate coming up on Wednesday night talked about the "four major candidates for mayor" who would be taking part. I guess some discussions ensued. Here's how the release reads now.

Lost train depots of Los Angeles

la-grande-station.jpg I intended to post on this a couple of weeks ago, but it slipped with the whole cold/flu/whatever thing. Nathan Masters has done a really nice piece at KCET's website on the train stations that dotted Los Angeles before rail service was consolidated at the "union" station in 1939.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.5.13

steven-cuevas-kqed.jpg Archdiocese says it warned LAUSD about Pina, Greuel and Garcetti swear solidarity with SEIU in private, ex-LAPD official may run against Sheriff Baca, Congress may try to regulate LA helicopters and Steven Cuevas (in picture) heads LA bureau of 'California Report' for KQED.

Time to rethink Pershing Square (again)

pershing-square-1965-lapl.jpg A new group, Friends of Pershing Square, is trying to get the conversation going. Why not tear down the walls, open up the park again and invite people to come in?

Sentinel solicits donations for managing editor's care

yussuf-simmonds-thumb.jpg Yussuf J. Simmonds is recuperating from a stroke suffered in December while he was in Washington, D.C. "People who want to support Simmond’s convalescence can send contributions to the Los Angeles Sentinel," says the paper.

Tracy Manzer leaves Long Beach police beat behind

tracy-manzer-pt.jpg Sounds as if the Press-Telegram newsroom is in a bit of mourning this week. Tracy Manzer is leaving their midst after 18 years to move to Washington with her husband, the press secretary for new congressman Alan Lowenthal.

Striving to detail the evolution of Kevin James

kevin-james-lamag.jpg Los Angeles Magazine in a new piece up today calls Kevin James "the surprise of the mayor’s race." The story, though, is really about how candidate James has softened the kinds of things he used to say when he was an anger talk radio host.

Portola Middle School teacher arrested for molestation

portola-ms-sign.jpg Jason Leon, 32, a teacher at the Tarzana middle school, was taken into custody today on an arrest warrant and charged with four counts of child molestation and three counts of battery. The victims were girls aged 13 and 14 at the time of the alleged crimes.

Old Nike site above the Valley a trouble spot

oat-mtn-bus-dn.jpg The former Cold War missile base in the hills above Chatsworth has become an "unsanctioned playground for hikers, taggers and vandals, raising safety concerns among neighbors and triggering a Los Angeles Police Department internal investigation."

Why you saw malware warnings around the web today

chrome-malware.jpg Users of the Chrome web browser, and that's more of the web all the time, were met by a big scary malware warning today at popular news sites. There's no real threat.

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.4.13

precinct-map-grab.jpg Greuel jumps ahead in TV ads, exploring the Jewish and Valley connections in the race for mayor, an interactive map from the Times, editor opf the NYT chats with Alec Baldwin, Virgin America will fly from LAX to San Jose and more.

How LA Times coverage of Archdiocese documents came together

latentrance.jpg The two top editors of the Los Angeles Times sent the staff a memo on Friday afternoon giving kudos to the team that scurried late Thursday to cover the late-breaking release of sexual abuse files by the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Reporter Harriet Ryan is their star of story.

Friday media notes

Local and national layoffs, shifts in the morning radio lineup and more.

Villaraigosa says he'll stay for rest of term

Thumbnail image for villaraigosa-sacto-pc.jpg For some reason, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sent out a statement on Friday trying to quash once and for all any talk that he will be taking a job with the Obama Administration before his term ends June 30. Which likely means he wasn't going to get an appointment.

Metro finally getting its TAP act together

tap-metro-zevweb.jpg Sometime this summer, the turnstile gates will close at Metro's train stations and riders really will be forced to pay the fare. But before that can happen, the agency is remaking the TAP card system that discouraged honest riders from paying up.

Mahony responds in argumentative letter to Archbishop Gomez

mahony-on-pc.jpg There are a couple of things that I think will be remembered about the open letter to Archbishop Jose Gomez that Cardinal Roger Mahony posted Friday on his personal blog. Neither will help Mahony regain his reputation, I suspect. Meanwhile, Gomez clarifies that Mahony remains a bishop in good standing with the right to celebrate Mass.

KCRW to do Westside vs. Eastside

skyline-from-getty.jpg KCRW plans to devote an hour-long broadcast of "Which Way, LA?" on February 6 to the rivalry (if any) between partisans of east and west in Los Angeles. They want your input on that and also want to hear from the people who are "neither Eastside nor Westside and don’t know what the fuss is all about."

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.1.13

aaron-salcido-zocalo.jpg Pelosi briefs Hollywood Democrats at Norman Lear's house, Greuel and Garcetti get feistier, Survey USA shows Garcetti ahead a little, Downtown News endorses, Jackie Goldberg endorses in the 13th, the state says Latinos will pass whites in the California population shortly, a movie on Gary Webb and Zocalo's photographer becomes a city official (sort of.) Plus more.
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