LA Observed archive
for June 2013

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

Elisabeth Coleman, early Jerry Brown press secretary was 68

elisabeth-coleman-calif.jpg Coleman was part of the big sex discrimination lawsuit by women at Newsweek in 1970, then became the newsmagazine's San Francisco correspondent, then the first female press secretary for a California governor.

Oldest bookstore in LA getting ready to close

williams-books-plaque-breeze.jpg Williams Book Store in San Pedro opened in 1909 but in recent years has been operating on fumes. The store was all set to close, the Daily Breeze reports, when a flurry of sales last week and a meeting with the landlord bought the store another month or so, until at least San Pedro's 125th birthday celebration on Aug. 6.

Garcetti gets his party started

garcetti-swearing-in-gl.jpg Eric Garcetti took a ceremonial oath of office from Kenia Castillo, an 8th grader at Luther Burbank Magnet Middle School in Highland Park, on Sunday evening while his wife, Amy Elaine Wakeland, looked on. Garcetti will become the 42nd mayor of Los Angeles at midnight tonight. Excerpts from his speech inside.

19 firefighters die in Arizona wildfire *

az-republic-yarnell.gif Just awful news out of the Prescott area in central Arizona. Nineteen firefighters who were battling a fire near Yarnell in Yavapai County were overrun by flames and deployed their shelters. They were later found dead in and around the shelters. All but one is from the Prescott FD's hotshot team.

Cirque du Soleil acrobat, 31, dies in stage fall in Las Vegas

sarah-guiyard.jpg Sarah Guyard-Guillot, a mother of two who had spent more than 22 years as an acrobatic performer, became the first reported on-stage fatality in the 30-year history of Cirque du Soleil. She fell an estimated 50 feet during the final battle scene in Saturday night's Ka show at the MGM Grand. The show has gone dark until further notice.

Puig finishes June with 4 more hits, Dodgers win

puig-espn-card.jpg Puig's 44 hits in his first month is the National League record for a rookie. Only Joe DiMaggio, who got 48 hits in his first month in the American League in May 1936, had more.

Garcetti era about to begin

garcetti-rehearses-speech.jpg Eric Garcetti will take the ceremonial oath of office in the 6 p.m. hour in the swelter on the west steps of City Hall. He intends to call himself the "salesman-in-chief" for Los Angeles and in his speech will pledge to bring more jobs to the city. Here's the program as scheduled.

Photo moment: Mayoral transition

mayor-ofc-transition-bk.jpg Shot at noon Saturday outside the door to the mayoral suite in Los Angeles City Hall. Click for more.

Dodgers' 16-1 rout is no ordinary loss

van-slyke-espn-grab.jpg The Dodgers ended their brief 6-game winning streak with a flourish of a kind Friday night — they fell 16-1 to the Phillies in their most lopsided home loss ever at Dodger Stadium.

Garcetti takes oath at private gathering on Echo Park Lake

garcetti-council-gary.jpg Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti was sworn in for real today on the island in Echo Park Lake. The Sunday event is for show and includes the other new city officials and a public party in Grand Park.

Another deli down: Jerry's in Westwood Village

jerrys-deli-ktla.jpg The Jerry's Famous Deli in Westwood Village closed its doors tonight, citing a disagreement with the landlord. Employees were given three days notice, according to manager Michael Angelo.

Gay marriages resume as 9th Circuit lifts stay (video)

mav-gay-wedding-grab.jpg The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today abruptly lifted its injunction that barred same-sex marriages while Proposition 8 finished its course through the legal system. Soon after, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa married Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo in a ceremony at Los Angeles City Hall.

LA Times layoffs hit graphics team hard *

latentrance.jpg The layoff winds I mentioned in my LA Times post this morning swept through the newsroom today. The editors called it "modest staff reductions" in a terse memo this afternoon.

Is Death Valley going for the heat record this weekend?

badwater-basin-dvnp-gm.png A Corona meteorologist and blogger is heading into Death Valley National Park for this weekend's heat siege, betting on the come that the temperature will set a new world record. The old record is 134 degrees.

Feds say sheriffs mistreated blacks in Antelope Valley

Thumbnail image for sheriff-car-lao.jpg A two-year civil rights investigation into the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department concludes that deputies violated the Constitution and federal laws in the treatment of blacks and other residents of public housing in the Antelope Valley.

Morning Buzz: Friday 6.28.13

goodyear-blimp-kcrw.jpg More Villaraigosa legacy stories, he trots out Chief Beck a final time today, staff mostly gone already, Garcetti to attend last City Council meeting and get sworn in, Pelosi says Hillary would win, FAQs for media about NSA surveillance, Steve Lopez tries out voiceover, KCRW goes up in the blimp, new editor of California History, Dodgers and Bruins win, much more.

Neal Conan, 'Talk of the Nation' sign off

neal-conant-last-totn.jpg Conan leaves with a challenge to his NPR colleagues to keep reporting the news: "Tell me what's important. Don't waste my time with stupid stuff."

Open letter to 'the worst wax museum in America'

worst-wax-museum-vice.jpg "Dear Hollywood Wax Museum," says a story in Vice. "I recently visited your Los Angeles location and was exceptionally disappointed with what I saw...It was all of your waxworks. They look like something from the nightmares of a person who has been blind since birth and has no real concept of what human beings look like."

LA Conservancy reboots on the web - it's good

map-conservancy-grab.jpg The new site is driven by — this will shock you — big pictures of important buildings and architecture. Plus self-guided tours to places like the San Fernando Valley.

LA Times changes up the home page

lat-new-look-grab-62713.jpg With any redesign, like with a revamped restaurant kitchen, it's wise to withhold judgment while we get used to the changes and they figure out how to cook the new menu. Times staffers, meanwhile, are hearing new grim talk of layoffs.

How the Getty found architect Claud Beelman's papers

oxy-building-from-west-lao.jpg Claud Beelman was one of those Los Angeles architects whose work spanned eras and dramatic changes in style. He's responsible for noteworthy LA examples as different as the Eastern Columbia building downtown and the office tower occupied by Occidental Petroleum and the Hammer Museum in Westwood.

City Hall farewell emails: Dear Antonio, dear media

city-hall-with-palms.jpg Deputy Mayor Torie Osborn addresses her note to the staff but uses it to defend the legacy of Antonio Villaraigosa, who she calls a great mayor and a better boss. Jane Usher sends her exit email to the media.
piolin-bigshot-lamag.jpg Giselle Fernandez's latest Big Shots video interview for Los Angeles magazine is with Eddie (Piolin) Sotelo. The L.A.-based Univision Radio personality talks about the state of the Latino population in Los Angeles and the U.S.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 6.27.13

garcetti-boy-scout-harper-law.jpg Big night in West Hollywood, FAQ's for same-sex couples, Villaraigosa signs plastic bag ban, Garcetti's absurd optimism and ghost transition, DWP and Owens Valley settle, Coliseum deal, SoCal's top selling books right now and much more.

KPCC adds investigations producer from 'SoCal Connected'

Karen Foshay, a senior producer on the award-winning investigations "SoCal Connected" team at KCET, has been hired at KPCC. Yes, she's moving from TV to public radio — but that's a route that could become more common as KCET abandons the on-air news coverage it was known for.

Married gay couples deserve same rights, Supreme Court rules

plaintiffs-gay-marriage.jpg The Supreme Court today declared the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, but declined to make a sweeping ruling on Proposition 8. The ruling means that same-sex couples who are legally married deserve equal rights under federal law, and that gay unions may resume soon in California.

LAPD officer in surgery after being shot near South LA *

standoffhome1.jpg An unidentified Los Angeles Police Department gang officer helping to search a home in the unincorporated Willowbrook area this evening was shot in the face and neck by a suspect hiding in the attic. The house is surrounded by cops.
richard-matheson.jpg Richard Matheson wrote "I Am Legend," which was turned into films three times, and also wrote 16 episodes of the original "Twilight Zone" television series for Rod Serling. He was the screenwriter as well for "Duel," Steven Spielberg's 1971 TV movie debut.

Don Draper's childhood home is in Angelino Heights

drapers-home-real.jpg TV Guide's Michael Schneider says at his blog Franklin Avenue that he has figured out the location of the run-down former Pennsylvania whorehouse depicted in the season's final scene. It's an 1887 home that is often filmed on Carroll Avenue.

Supreme Court leaves ban on LA taking homeless people's stuff

The Supreme Court today without comment let stand a lower-court ruling that blocked Los Angeles officials from collecting and disposing of the belongings of homeless people that are left temporarily on sidewalks and streets. The court also said Wednesday would be its last day of the session.

Two LAPD officers shot outside Wilshire division station

white-sedan-lapd-ktla.jpg The undercover burglary detectives received minor injuries and are helping in the search for the gunman who ambushed them. The station is on Venice Boulevard in the Mid-City area.

'Literary LA' film project takes to Kickstarter (video)

david-ulin-screengrab.jpg Tom Lutz, the founding editor and publisher of the LA Review of Books, and Kurt Olerud of KO Pictures are co-producers on a feature documentary about the literary culture and history of Los Angeles. Or they hope to be anyway. They are looking to raise $23,000 in a month. Video inside.

Getty acquires Lane Barden photos of LA River

lariver-lane barden.jpg Photographer Lane Barden has announced that the Getty Research Institute acquired his series of 130 images called the Linear City Porfolio. The three segments consist of low-altitude oblique aerial photographs of three major visual features of the LA landscape: the Los Angeles River, the Alameda Corridor railroad trench and Wilshire Boulevard.

Read the memo: Ana Garcia out at NBC 4

This just went out in the newsroom at KNBC. "Ana has a lot to be proud of during her time here at NBC4. We wish her the very best in her future endeavors." The six-time Emmy winner was nominated last week for two more.

Lost Einar Petersen mural from Rosslyn Hotel on eBay

rosslyn_lobby.jpg A 1915 mural of a stagecoach scene that used to hang in the lobby of the Rosslyn Hotel in downtown Los Angeles has shown up for sale on eBay. Part of a set that was removed when the Rosslyn was remodeled, the mural is by long-ago LA muralist Einar Petersen.

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.24.13

sylmar-tunnel-disaster-dn.jpg No gay marriage ruling at SCOTUS this morning. More exit interviews for Villaraigosa. Garcetti vacations in Belize. Dan Walters on LA County corruption. CBS 2/KCAL lose top sports producer to NFL Network. TV producer elected head of the Directors Guild. Remembering the 1971 Sylmar Tunnel disaster that killed 17. Lenny Dykstra out of prison. Gary David Goldberg dies. And World on Wheels was not the last roller rink in LA.

Zocalo: 'Why I'll miss Antonio'

Mayor-Antonio-Villaraigosa-reuters-zocalo.jpg Gregory Rodriguez of Zocalo Public Square calls his exit essay on the mayoralty of Antonio Villaraigosa "Why I’ll Miss Our Flawed Mayor.".
so-cal-connected-honors.jpg The LA Press Club held its annual awards shindig on Sunday night. The local journalists of the year honors are the ones that the media types seem to care about most. Here are those, with comments from the Press Club judges, plus a link to winners and finalists.

Ciclavia rallies to do Wilshire right, says a fan

ciclavia-wb-bw.jpg You might remember that after the recent Ciclavia event from Downtown to the beach along Venice Boulevard, USC professor Clifford V. Johnson had some constructive criticism — some advice to help the organizers of Ciclavia regain some of the day's mojo. Well, Sunday's event was "almost perfect," he says. With photos.

Bobby "Blue" Bland, Blues man was 83 (video)

bobby-blue-bland.jpg Blues and R&B legend Bobby "Blue" Bland died Sunday night at his home in Memphis. The singer of "Turn on Your Love Light" and "Further On Up the Road" was known as "the Sinatra of the blues" and worked closely with B.B. King.

Looks like Doc Rivers will coach the Clippers

doc-rivers-espn-illo.jpg The Los Angeles Clippers have reportedly agreed to sign Doc Rivers to a three-year, $21 million coaching deal and send his current team, the Boston Celtics, a 2015 first-round draft pick, various media are reporting based on sources. Game changer, says ESPN LA's columnist.

An opinionated guide to Ciclavia sights on Wilshire Boulevard

rock-lacma-under.jpg Going to Ciclavia today? I suggest some of favorite hidden gems and lesser-known spots to take in while you are out exploring. Some are taken from my Wilshire Boulevard book.

Making Wilshire nice for Ciclavia

ciclavia-pothole-paving.jpg Preparations for Sunday's Ciclavia are visible everywhere along the route between Downtown's Grand Avenue and Fairfax Avenue at the west end of the Miracle Mile district. On Saturday afternoon, a city crew filled a large pothole at Wilshire and Mariposa Avenue in the Wilshire Center stretch of Koreatown.

Malibu Surfside News suspends publication after 37 years

malibu-beach-scene-vdt.jpg Anne Soble, the weekly's owner, publisher and editor, has developed serious health problems. Her son posted a note saying she cannot continue and asked if someone would like to take over the paper, a fixture on the Malibu coast.

Morning Buzz: Friday 6.21.13

elisa-lam-lapd.jpg Hotel Cecil death accidental. Garcetti in Las Vegas. Obama hires from Twitter. Howard Kurtz jumps to Fox News Channel. Oregon newspaper cuts back to three days home delivery. Register gets into the naming rights business. Michael Hastings still just speeding. California blackbirds in trouble. A new CEO for the LA Marathon and more.

NBC 4, KMEX, 'SoCal Connected' rack up Emmy nominations

Thumbnail image for kcet-rehearsal-control.jpg Here is a list of all 136 nominations for Los Angeles area Emmy awards. Channel 4 received the most. It's interesting to see how the categories are framed and what gets rewarded.

Bobcats of the Santa Monicas hit hard by the Springs fire

bobcat-joanne.jpg The wild bobcats that roam the west end of the Santa Monica Mountains have had it hard in recent times. Now biologists fear profound threats to survival.

David Davis' search for a baseball and more

davis-gibson-grab.jpg Our favorite Los Angeles writer about sports has a poignant story up at SBNation -- "a lovely, lovely piece," says a friend via email -- that on the surface is about the missing home run ball off the bat of Kirk Gibson that famously won a big game the last time the Dodgers were in the World Series. But like the best sports stories, it's really about life.

Whoa: Ray Richmond has a heck of a story about his mom

cliftons-brookdale-facade.jpg The longtime LA scribe writes at the LA Weekly today about his mother's affair with Clifford Clinton, the reform-era City Hall rabble rouser who ran the popular Clifton cafeteria chain. They met when Clinton patronized Mrs. Richmond's shop across Pico Boulevard from the Fox studio where men would show up seeking, and receiving, certain paid services.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 6.20.13 *

bill-rosendahl-mv-100.jpg Women get $4.2 million for Dorner shooting by LAPD. Democrats vs. public records. Tom Calderon speaks. Column One profile of Bill Rosendahl. The parking ticket wars. A new host for Marketplace shows. Michael Hastings' wife unhappy with New York Times obit. Amy Ephron on raising kids in LA. And Manny Ramirez walks out on Taiwan team. Plus more.

LA News Group gets new president and publisher

ron-hasse-lang.jpg Ron Hasse had been senior vice president of business operations. He replaces Jack Klunder, whose whereabouts go unexplained in the memo or the news story.
hendrix-newport-69.jpg Mark Robinson organized the biggest and best rock and roll show to be held within the city limits of Los Angeles. He's now a Newport Beach lawyer. We look back at the first weekend of a historical summer.

RIP World on Wheels skating rink

skates-world-on-wheels-cottrell.jpg The roller rink on Venice Boulevard, a Mid-City institution since 1981, is closing for good on June 23. The adjoining bowling alley is going too.

Is this the worst map ever of LA? Maybe

06.13usairwaysmap.jpg "It is accompanied by a map that is either totally misleading, or astoundingly visionary," writes Eve Bachrach at Curbed LA. LOL — I choose the former. It's pretty hard to mis-locate the San Fernando Valley, 1.7 million people and all, but I especially like "Waterfront" and "Neighboring Communities."

James Gandolfini on 'Inside the Actors Studio' (video)

gandolfini-vulture.jpg From 2004. "He is, as Tony Soprano might put it, a made man in the actor's studio," James Lipton said in his introduction.

James Gandolfini, Emmy-winning actor was 51

james-gandolfini-died.jpg The star of HBO's "The Sopranos" has died in Italy of a heart attack or a stroke.

Guaranteed: George Zimmer out at Men's Wearhouse

george-zimmer-guarantee.jpg Good lede from Associated Press: "Apparently, Men's Wearhouse Inc. doesn't like the way its founder looks anymore."

Ex-LAT editor Sallie Hofmeister signs on with Sitrick

sallie-hofmeister-sitrick.jpg Hofmeister is the latest former entertainment editor and reporter at the Los Angeles Times to try her hand at crisis PR with Sitrick And Company. She was at the LAT for 17 years, first as a business reporter covering media and Hollywood. She later became editor of the Business section, then the assistant managing editor overseeing coverage of entertainment.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 6.19.13

lamag-cover-713.jpg Gov. Brown vs the public records act. Millennium project reduces height but Caltrans still worried. Turnstiles close on the subway this morning. iPads for everyone in LAUSD. Is the Register looking to Long Beach? Los Angeles Magazine does a crime issue. KPFK staffers warned to say "alleged" in a memo. Plus ex-USC professor nabbed in Mexico, road rage on video and Umami Burger comes to the Arts District.

Michael Hastings, 33, journalist dies in LA crash

michael-hastings-rs.jpg "We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone," says Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed. "Michael was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story, and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered from wars to politicians."

Deadline adds Lisa De Moraes, formerly of the Washington Post

Nikki Finke certainly doesn't sound fired. Today she announced the hiring of new television columnist Lisa De Moraes, who spent about 15 years covering TV at the Washington Post.

Villaraigosa: I plan to run for governor and live in Venice

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for melton-mav.jpg Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made his most direct comment yet about his future political plans in a conversation with "Airtalk" host Larry Mantle on KPCC. He doesn't say when he would run for governor, which is kind of crucial. More inside.

KPCC adds six shows to nights and weekends, shifts others

kpcc-molly.jpg The revised lineup, brought about in part by the demise of NPR's "Talk of the Nation," will include a one-hour repackaging of that day's two-hour morning show, "Take Two." There will also be the NPR interview show, "Tell Me More," hosted by Michel Martin, on weeknights.

Fishbowl LA going dark after all these years

fbla-icon.png Mediabistro is calling it a hiatus but says that "within the next few weeks, all existing FishbowlLA content will be folded into the FishbowlNY archives." Current editor Richard Horgan will move over to FishbowlNY "to cover the Hollywood trades, awards season and a broad range of national media stories."

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 6.18.13

city-hall-from-lat.jpg LA to ban plastic bags in markets. Garcetti heads to NYC. A new parklet on Spring Street. IRS goes after Sam Zell's Tribune deal. New LAT bureau chief in Sacramento. Jake Jacoby and the Hillside Strangler et al. Indiewire's Hollywood influencers. When Vin Scully almost became a Yankee. And more.

15-year-old girl told by TSA at LAX to 'cover yourself'

daughter-outfit-boingboing.jpg The daughter of BoingBoing editor Mark Frauenfelder was going through security with a school group at LAX on Sunday when a male TSA officer hissed at her, "You're only 15, COVER YOURSELF!" Not cool.

JJ Yore leaving 'Marketplace,' show he helped start *

jjyore-mpr.jpg JJ Yore was a journalist on the creative team that created Marketplace in 1988, and was the executive producer until moving upstairs to VP/General Manager in 2011. Today the word got out in the Downtown Los Angeles offices that Yore will be leaving.

Garcetti names Ana Guerrero as chief of staff

ana-guerrero-cd13.jpg Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti just announced that the chief of staff in his City Council office, Ana Guerrero, will fill the same role when Garcetti moves down to the mayor's third floor suite. "Ana was the key player in my work to cut budget costs and revitalize neighborhoods," Garcetti said in a statement. "Together, we're going to build on this foundation with new solutions to fix City Hall and strengthen communities citywide."

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.17.13

rabe-tur-kpcc.jpg Murder suspect from the Valley arrested in Joshua Tree, an Obama ambassador from HBO, Metro bus drivers sickened by pesticides, LA grapples with digital billboards, Garcetti breakfasts with Greuel, LAPD buys 188 cars, LA may be part of Rupert Murdoch's soccer plans, Dodger dollars don't add up, plus media moves, Zoey Tur and the 19th anniversary of OJ's slow-speed chase.

Ciclavia route for Wilshire this Sunday (map)

ciclavia-map-wilshire.jpg Wilshire Boulevard will be closed two extra hours for this Ciclavia. On Thursday evening, I will take part in a panel put on by Ciclavia and Hidden LA for the Getty's Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in LA.

James Turrell show at LACMA almost didn't make it

Thumbnail image for turrell-skyroom-hz-iris.jpg This weekend's New York Times Magazine had a long feature on how artist James Turrell has "knocked the art world off its feet," partly by opening three major shows in different cities inside a month. One of those cities is Los Angeles, as we have posted already. What hasn't been covered in LA is just how close the intricate LACMA show came to not being ready on time.

Morning Buzz: Friday 6.14.13

ucla-grad-2013-fountain.jpg Airports chief wants to keep job under Garcetti. The mayor-elect's Reddit chat. Koch brothers fire back at Reed Hundt. Tow truck driver who killed a Metro bus driver did not have a commercial license. Figure much less local snow in the future. Hollywood skyscrapers a big lobbying topic. Schwarzenegger confirms role in 'Terminator 5." Plus unpaid interns, Al Michaels, Levon Helm and it's UCLA graduation day (and week.)

New Metro Rail map of Los Angeles has a lot on it

metrorail-map-2013.jpg Metro's newest route map of the rail system includes the busways and rail lines that are in planning or under construction, such as the Crenshaw line and the Regional Connector downtown. If you are a fan of transit, or just a student of Los Angeles, the map is a welcome glimpse into the future.

Bryan Stow's road isn't getting any easier

Thumbnail image for bryan-stow-tksgiving.jpg The Dodger Stadium beating victim has returned home to Santa Cruz after more than two years in hospitals and rehab facilities. Insurance stopped paying for his care at his latest facility in Bakersfield. Why aren't the Dodgers paying for all of this?

Morning Buzz: Thursday 6.13.13

JesusSaves_half-biola.jpg California's daddy issues. Garcetti returns to Reddit tonight. Glendale to invest in Alex Theatre. Vicente Fox meets Giselle Fernandez. Soledad O'Brien gets HBO deal. Investigating the lyrics of "Louie, Louie." Jesus Saves sign. Andrew Breitbart. Ellen Page. Phil Jackson. Ned Colletti and more.

Chopper pilot Bob Tur says he is becoming a woman

bob-tur-cbs.jpg Bob Tur is one of the city's most recognized news helicopter pilot-reporters, from his coverage of the 2002 riots and the O.J. Simpson slow-speed chase. He told KNX NewsRadio that he is in the early stages of aggressive hormone replacement therapy to fully transform from male to female.
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for latimes-building-from-above.jpg In February of 2011 — yes, 2011 — the LA Times won $35,000 along with the Selden Ring Award at USC. When one of the reporters began asking where's the cash, he got the run around. As of today, the final plans for the prize money remain less than transparent.

Metro bus driver killed in downtown crash*

bus-crash-dtla711-vfal.jpg The 47-year-old woman died after a speeding tow truck slammed into her bus at Broadway and 5th Street. There were no passengers aboard.

Helen Brush Jenkins, early LA news photographer was 94

helenbrushjenkins-rense.jpg Helen Brush Jenkins shot photos for the original Los Angeles Daily News, the long-defunct newspaper whose memory the LA journalist Rip Rense has carefully kept alive. He advises that Jenkins died today in Chicago. More inside.

OC Weekly warns about two women posing as food critics

Two "very drunk and rude women" claiming to be OC Weekly writers were spotted this week at Don the Beachcomber in Orange County. Editor Gustavo Arellano is not amused and advises any restaurants approached for freebies to be suspicious.

Councilman Koretz sings with Dave Davies of the Kinks (video)

koretz-davies-band.jpg Councilman Paul Koretz interrupted Dave Davies' encore at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills to present the former Kinks member with a proclamation — then he sang along on "Living on a Thin Line."

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 6.12.13

aussie-baseball.jpg Leiweke disses Anschutz (in 2009.) DA loosens up on evidence for defendants. Long Beach police chief won't run against Sheriff Baca. Money in LA elections. How LAPD investigates itself. Helicopter noise. Five poems for the next mayor. This week's SoCal bestsellers. WeHo's pink pooch plus the Dodgers reportedly will open next season in Australia and more.

Busy night for Puig: Beaning, brawl, ejection

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 10.25.06 PM.jpg Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig didn't get a hit tonight but did add more "firsts" to his baseball card in a wild game. For instance: He got his first fastball to the face and took part in his first major league fight.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 6.11.13

kinky-books-tonys.jpg Mayoral election "no referendum on anything." Garcetti elected by 12.4% of voters. Villaraigosa met privately with billboard companies. Trutaniuch tries to protect three aides. Tonys audience jumps for CBS. Sale of LA Times "shaping up as a battle of the titans." John Zawahri's longer past. Harry Shearer gets a new title. And more inside.

How KCRW evacuated, reported and stayed on the air

Thumbnail image for kcrw-team-at-nprwest.jpg A post at KCRW's "Which Way, LA?" news blog says that station general manager Jennifer Ferro was giving a small tour of the studios at Santa Monica College last Friday when one staffer, then another, brought the news that gunman was outside shooting. Ferro also started receiving texts from someone at the Santa Monica Police Department. "At that point, I knew it was real," Ferro said.

Puig named NL player of the week, moves to cleanup

Rookie Yasiel Puig began the day by being named the National League's player of the week, then he went out and collected three more hits in the Dodgers' loss to...

Sea lion pup boards boat, hangs with the humans (video)

Back in May, a possibly ailing young sea lion climbed aboard a boat two miles off of Newport Beach in Orange County. He (the video shooters think it was male) climbed up on the seat and spent an hour nuzzling the legs of his new friends.

Harry Lewis, Hamburger Hamlet founder was 93

hamlet-menu.jpg Lewis was an actor who played gangster “Toots” Bass in the Humphrey Bogart classic "Key Largo," then went on to open a number of restaurants that became Hollywood hangouts. Lewis and his wife, Marilyn, opened the first Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset Strip in 1950.

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.10.13

Edward-Snowden-guardian.jpg Who is leaker Edward Snowden. Californians support gay marriage. Police Commission to get report saying hit and runs not such a big problem. Garcetti swamped with job candidates and ideas. Opposing Casden's Pico and Sepulveda project. What Kochs could mean to LAT. Inside the Disney estate in Holmby Hills -- and more.

When the Herald Examiner named the 'Night Stalker'

night-stalker-caught;herex.jpg Throughout the history of American newspapers are examples of editors and headlines affixing catchy names to notorious crimes and criminals. This is one of the few things that newspapers do that can fairly be attributed to the impulse to "sell papers."

Fifth victim of Santa Monica rampage dies

john-zawahri-smpd.jpg Marcela Franco, who was 26, died Sunday after her family decided to remove her from life support. She was leaving Santa Monica College on Friday with her father when they were both fatally shot by John Zawahri.

Universal Studios theme park offers $299 VIP ticket

universal-backlot-flackage.jpg For their $299, guests get valet parking, breakfast sequestered away from the crowds in a luxury lounge, special access to the studio back lot, unlimited line-skipping, a tour guide and lunch. Plus lovely free gifts.

Free tix: Phil Jackson with John Salley

phil-jackson-poster-ltla.jpg The former Lakers coach Phil Jackson will talk about his new book, his observations on the NBA and I'd guess maybe even Kobe Bryant in a conversation with the broadcaster and former player John Salley on Wednesday night. It's a Live Talks LA event at the Alex Theatre in Glendale.

NYT's Carr on Finke and Waxman

Thumbnail image for hollywood-sign-oh-vdt.jpg David Carr emailed Nikki Finke, took 15 minutes of verbal abuse, then tried to get to the truth of her future with Deadline. Last week's story in The Wrap, says Carr, "did not turn out to be true. [Sharon] Waxman, perhaps driven by wish fulfillment, wrote beyond the facts at hand." Waxman disagrees.

Garcettis come out to Mar Vista

garcettiselfie-bonin-eloymendez.jpg Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti has public events on his calendar most days already. On Sunday afternoon, he came to the annual Mar Vista Neighborhood Association block party on Barry Avenue with his wife, Amy Wakeland.

Kings year of the Stanley Cup finally ends

Thumbnail image for cup-manhattan-beach.jpg The Kings played their longest game ever tonight in Chicago — deep into the second overtime period — but lost in sudden death when the Blackhawks scored. That eliminates the Kings from only their third appearance ever in the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

John Zawahri photo at Santa Monica High School

john-zawahri-laobserved2.jpg A student named John Zawahri appears as a junior in the 2006 yearbook. He did not appear a year later with the 2007 graduating class. Those grads would be 23 or 24 now.
kcrw-team-at-nprwest.jpg Video from inside the tense KCRW studios just before yesterday's evacuation. The U.K. band had to cancel last night's show at The Avalon. Will try again Sunday.

Santa Monica shooter had 1,300 rounds, ties to college

smc-gunman-video-grab.jpg One of the dead was a long-time employee of Santa Monica College. His wounded daughter is not expected to survive, the college president says in a statement. Media have identified the slain gunman as John Zawahri, who would have turned 24 today.

Puig homers again tonight

puig-4th-homer.jpg Yasiel Puig hit his fourth home run tonight in his fifth game since coming up from the minors, apparently sent here by the baseball gods to save the Dodgers' season. Puig is now tied with Andre Ethier for fourth on the team in home runs.
body-smc-evangeorge.jpg Police revised downward the number of deaths at multiple locations. They believe the shooter acted alone. KCRW staff was evacuated from the studios and moved to Culver City.
ramirez_108a.jpg AP says that Richard Ramirez has died at age 53 while in prison. No more details are available yet. In the mid-1980s, Ramirez would enter Los Angeles area homes through open windows and doors and murder who he found inside.

Morning Buzz: Friday 6.7.13

san-onofre-nuclear-plant.jpg San Onofre to close for good. Feinstein defends PRISM spying on emails and servers. Garcetti to attend Obama fundraiser. Sunnylands considered and the A. Quincy Jones connection. Tutor Perini gets the contract for high-speed rail. And two first-person perspectives by LA media people, on lesbian bar The Palms and on local politics.

LAPD diver braves the tar pits and lives to tell the story *

lapd-diver.jpg LAPD Sgt. David Mascarenas dove in the murky, bubbling, smelly pool at the La Brea Tar Pits on Thursday looking for evidence in a 2011 murder case. It's not anywhere you would want to go.

Leonard Maltin remembers Esther Williams

photoplay-esther-williams.jpg Esther Williams, the swimming star of MGM's Technicolor musicals in the 1940s and 50s, died Thursday morning at home in Beverly Hills at age 91. "Esther’s movies were sheer escapism and didn’t pretend to be anything more," says Maltin
pussy-riot-doc.jpg The filmmakers "make spectacular use of Russian’s invasive paparazzi-style media freedoms on behalf of their movie, and create of a girl group that might not be the best band in the world, but is certainly the bravest." Trailer inside.

Hey, Coachella has your keys and cellphone

coachella-lost-keys.jpg Coachella music festival promoter Goldenvoice has been trying since April to repatriate hundreds of wallets, cellphones, car keys and other items with the fans who left them behind in the desert. They really work hard to find the owners.

An earlier generation of TV news in Los Angeles

lahti-eye-on-la.jpg Dennis Lahti, a cameraman-editor for KNBC, posted this photo of his father, Richard Lahti, loaded up for "2 On The Town" on Channel 2: "We now do it with a camera, laptop/non-linear editing software, and a video-over-cellular live video transmission backpack."

Oh my: Puig slugs a grand slam

Tonight's addition to the legend of Yasiel Puig: a grand slam home run on the first pitch he saw in the 8th inning. The Dodgers beat the Braves 5-0 behind starting pitcher Zack Greinke.

Dave Davies of the Kinks to be honored Friday at City Hall

dave-davies.jpg That's the Van Nuys city hall, where the Los Angeles City Council will hold its Friday meeting. Davies is in town to perform at the Canyon Club and elsewhere. Vintage videos inside.

Traffic advice for Obama's visit on Friday

Thumbnail image for air-force-one-pictures.jpg As I mentioned earlier, the Obamajam potential for Friday's short visit by President Obama is not bad. He's coming in mid-morning and leaving early afternoon so the driving disruption should be localized. But it's still Santa Monica in tourist season, so traffic could be a challenge.

Beach fires will continue at Dockweiler

dockweiler-fire-jj.jpg The South Coast Air Quality Management District has apparently decided that banning fires for health reasons at Dockweiler State Beach — under the LAX takeoff path and downwind from the massive Hyperion sewage treatment plant — didn't make sense scientifically or environmentally. So a revised proposal for fire rings on beaches will be released today that incorporates "better and more information than we had two months ago."

Morning Buzz: Thursday 6.6.13

mision-and-state-grab.jpg Ron Calderon and the water district. Ratkovich to make over Macy's Plaza. Big LAPD drill downtown this morning. Villaraigosa going to Mitt Romney event today. 25 progressive ideas for Garcetti. No parole for Leslie Van Houten. And Mission and State debuts today in Santa Barbara. Plus more.

Hertzberg moves to lock up Valley race

Thumbnail image for BobHertzberg.jpg Former assemblyman Dario Frommer and attorney David Fleming, a big player in the San Fernando Valley secession crusade a decade ago, are the co-chairs of Robert Hertzberg's bid to get back into elected office.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 6.5.13

puig-firsthomers-dodgers.jpg Union chief Brian D'Arcy says Greuel ran a "crappy campaign." Villaraigosa's transportation legacy. Should AEG run the city's convention center? A segment of Wilshire bus lane opens. Gustavo Arellano apologizes for screwing up. Henry Louis Gates Jr. in Leimert Park. Uncle Ruthie gets ink. Leslie Van Houten has a hearing. Plus Yasiel Puig goes deep twice and the Kings win.

Night creatures: They are out there

barn-owls-oc-fb.jpg Young barn owls and an uncollared mountain lion on video (inside) in the wilds of Orange County.

Antonio Villaraigosa, it turns out, is a Venice kind of guy

villaraigosa-dancing-ko.jpg When his term ends July 1, making Villaraigosa a bachelor free agent, he apparently wants to move even further to the west. A source tells LA Observed that Villaraigosa is looking hard at Venice (or already there.)

FBI raids office of Sen. Ron Calderon in Sacramento

calderon-search-bee.jpg The FBI isn't saying why, citing a court's seal on the search warrant, but media reports say it relates to a corruption probe in Los Angeles County. Calderon is from Montebello.

Obama's visit to LA Friday will be short

air-force-one-pictures.jpg President Obama will drop into Santa Monica on Friday for a Democratic Party fundraiser, but he won't be stopping into the Santa Monica High School graduation like some students hoped. The White House schedule has Obama arriving at LAX about 10:30 a.m. and leaving via Air Force One around 2 p.m.

Empress Pavilion closes in Chinatown

dim_sum.jpg There was a time — actually a long time — when the Empress Pavilion at the north end of Chinatown was packed with hundreds of downtown and Chinese dim sum fans at lunch.

Kelly Soo Park acquitted of model murder in Santa Monica

park-kelly-soo-nbc4.jpg After deliberating for a week and getting some urging yesterday from the judge, jurors acquitted businesswoman Kelly Soo Park in the 2008 killing of model and aspiring actress Juliana Redding. Outbursts of "murderer" and "travesty of justice" were heard in the courtroom.

Feuer transition led by Ordin and Hertzberg

city-hall-from-lat.jpg City Attorney-elect Mike Feuer named his transition team today. The co-chairs are police commission president Andrea Sheridan Ordin and former Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg. The co-executive directors are Miriam Aroni Krinsky and Alex Ponder. Inside: team members and the communications director.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 6.4.13

jorge-ramos-obama-wh.jpg Lockyer makes way. Museums appeal to Brown over USC parking. Block party for Villaraigosa story still has legs. Obama and Cory Booker coming to town. LAT puts Nikki Finke on A1. Univision anchor Jorge Ramos makes Column One. And Milton Bradley goes down while Yasiel Puig comes up.

Read the memo: new LA Times national editor

Los Angeles Times national editor Roger Smith is retiring and will be replaced by Kim Murphy, currently the paper's Seattle bureau chief.

Morning Buzz: Monday 6.3.13

mt-wilson-towercam-6213.jpg Powerhouse fire grows, Garcetti to give up piano, museums versus USC, deputy sheriff wears an FBI wire, Walter Kirn on his friendship with Clark Rockefeller, writers peg "The Sopranos" as best-written TV series ever, Stalker Sarah in the NYT and the Mt. Wilson web cam is beaming mountain scenes again. Plus much more.

Finke won't discuss status, disses Waxman *

finke-deadline-graphic.jpg Finke posts a response in which she neither confirms nor denies that she has been "fired" from her own Deadline Hollywood by owner Jay Penske, as Sharon Waxman reported Sunday at The Wrap. "I am not going to discuss my Deadline Hollywood contract or my relationship with my boss Jay Penske," says Finke. "Why? Because I don’t have to."

Powerhouse Fire kicks up, forces evacuations

powerhouse-fire-lasd.jpg More than 1,200 homes are considered threatened. Fifteen have been damaged, including six that were destroyed. The fire command said at midnight that 22,242 acres have burned and there was 20% containment.

Advice for Mayor Villaraigosa: move to Village Green

village-green-zocalo.jpg Finalists included Hollywood Oaks, Granada Hills, Wilshire Vista and North Hollywood. But the winner meets the only real criteria: easy access to LAX.
hollywood-sign-oh-vdt.jpg The Wrap reports that Jay Penske has fired Finke. Penske's flack says it's not true. But the truth is less black and white...there is a contract negotiation involved...and Finke has reportedly been telling people she is looking to get out.

Magnitude 7.0 quake has been going on for five months

christchurch-earthquake.jpg The strongest earthquake to hit New Zealand's capital of Wellington in 150 years is raising seismic alarms, “but none of the locals are diving under desks or sheltering in doorways,” the New Zealand Herald says.

Dodgers press the panic button and call up Yasiel Puig

puig-spring-grab.jpg After losing 7-2 Sunday in Colorado, the Dodgers return home 23-32 on the season and in last place. Injuries prompt the team to call up the 22-year-old Cuban prospect despite concerns he isn't ready for the spotlight.
sgt-pepper-album-cover.jpg The Beatles album "Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band” was released in the United States on June 1 in 1967. Music writer Chris Morris: "LIke every other 17-year-old in America...we turned the lights down and listened in awe as the last sustained piano chord in 'A Day in the Life' reverberated and died."
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