LA Observed archive
for August 2013

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News and notes for Friday

crane-flat-fire-ynp.jpg Rim fire 35 percent contained. Brian Banks cut by Falcons. Garcetti's police commissioners approved. Sibila Vargas to NYC. Biographies with local ties recommended by Kirkus. A. Scott Berg profiled. LA Weekly's Web Awards. Leon Whiteson, 82. Plus more

Seamus Heaney, Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet was 74

seamus-heaney-guardian.jpg In "Remembering Malibu," Heaney wrote lovingly of the Pacific shore after lunch with novelist Brian Moore on the bluffs. Heaney died in Dublin after a short illness.

Lamar Odom arrested in the Valley for DUI *

Thumbnail image for odomlakers.jpg This is, I guess, a follow-up to the earlier gossip from TMZ and others that the former Laker and Clipper's family feared he was off on a drug binge. His rep said he was fine.

Obama will also speak at AFL-CIO convention here

obama-leno-grab.jpg President Obama's September 9 trip into Los Angeles isn't only to keynote the DNC fundraiser that night in Hancock Park. He also will address the national AFL-CIO convention that will be here for four days that week.

Murray Gershenz, actor and music man was 91*

tmz-gershenz.jpg Music Man Murray is the record collector who has a huge collection of vinyl kept in a building on Exposition Boulevard near La Brea. He became an actor at age 80.

A traveler who actually appreciates LAX

tbit-preview-nedomansky.jpg KCET columnist Elson Trinidad relates to LA's mess of an airport as an Ellis Island of the Pacific where his father first set foot on American soil in 1969, and where he and his friends regularly arrive back home from Asian travels.

ABC closes last TV bureau in Sacramento, lays off Nannette Miranda

nannette-miranda-twitter.jpg The layoff reaper finally came for ABC7's bureau chief in Sacramento. Now there will be no Los Angeles area TV stations with a presence around the state Capitol.

Unusual Rim fire time lapse from Yosemite National Park

The National Park Service posted this time lapse of the Rim fire as observed from the Crane Flate helicopter base and looking north from Glacier Point.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 8.29.13

huff-post-live-set-lao.jpg HuffPost Live closing in LA. Eric Richardson on Blogdowntown. A rumor about MOCA. Rupert Murdoch closes on his Bel Air vineyard and more.

I send along this note from contributor Adrienne Crew

We have unpublished a post about the late author Amy Wallace that was misconstrued as an obituary and offended some of her friends with its tone. "I share my condolences with Amy Wallace's family and friends," the post's author, Adrienne Crew, writes.

Press release o' the day: suggestive enough for Huffington Post

arrangement-finders-board.jpg The release flacking a raunchy billboard for a sexual service says the sign is near UCLA and targets students — but it's three miles away and never mentions students. Works for HuffPo.

Puig yanked from today's game for more gaffes

espn-grab-puig-panel.jpg Don Mattingly, already a man short on the bench, pulled Puig from today's game against the Cubs before the 5th inning. A post-game meeting included those two plus the Dodgers president and the GM. The suits wouldn't talk afterward, but Puig did.

In (further) praise of DTLA's The Last Bookstore

lastbookstore-counter-jg.jpg The latest fan of books to write glowingly about the 5th Street store is from The Paris Review.

End in sight for expansion of the Rim fire

yosemite-overlook-fire-lahti.jpg The burn area now covers 301 square miles, but the spread is slowing and officials predict full containment by Sept. 10. Closures continue within Yosemite National Park.

What LA's deer-killing cougar looked like a year ago

puma-cubs-smmts.jpg P-23 was captured and DNA-tested in the Santa Monica Mountains as a newborn last summer. Newly dispersed from her mother, P-23 was photographed eating a deer kill on the pavement of Mulholland Highway on Sunday morning.

Big-time LA lawyer is also an energy healer and exorcist (video)

ken-klee-wsj-grab.jpg Kenneth Klee, one of the most respected bankruptcy lawyers in the U.S., is profiled in today's Wall Street Journal for his side practice. It won't help deter the stereotypes about Californians.

City Council votes to un-ban murals in Los Angeles

arts-district-mural.jpg The council opted for the opt-in version of the mural ordinance, requiring that neighborhoods take an affirmatives act before murals would be allowed in areas zoned for residential use. A final vote is needed next week.

Ronstadt confirms for NYT: 'I’m never going to sing again'

ronstadt-nyt-aug2013.jpg "If there was something I could work on, I’d work on it till I could get it back," Linda Ronstadt says. "If there was a drug I could take to get it back, I would take the drug. I’d take napalm."

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 8.28.13

rim-fire-map-82813.jpg Rim fire grows overnight, but 23% contained. Obama funder will be in Hancock Park. Hollywood funder for Cory Booker. Garcetti talks production "emergency" on "Today." Monica Ratliff talks to Patt Morrison. NYT website crawls back. Cynthia Fox gets a radio gig. Steve Lopez on still being alive. Plus more.

Tim Leiweke says he'll be back in LA one day (video)

leiweke-lamag-grab.jpg He talks with Giselle Fernandez of Los Angeles Magazine about leaving AEG, his breakup with Phil Anschutz, regrets about the NFL stadium deal and the leadership potential of Eric Garcetti.

Pershing Square reenvisioned as a town square where you want to be

pershing-square-grab-gensler.jpg The design firm Gensler, which will be taking the lead on a project to remake Pershing Square, has posted a video that shows what can be done — and why it should be done. They even keep the parking garage beneath the park.

Blogdowntown is folding into the KPCC mainstream

Thumbnail image for bdownown-print-feb32011.jpg Less than two years after Eric Richardson allowed his site to be swallowed up, Blogdowntown will cease publishing. The archives will remain online.

Mayor Garcetti names a chief of immigrant affairs

linda-lopez-mayors-ofc.jpg Mayor Eric Garcetti has decided to reactivate the mayor's office of immigrant affairs, which existed briefly at the end of the Hahn administration. Linda Lopez, a political scientist who had been associate dean for diversity and strategic initiatives at USC's Dornsife College, will run the office.

Martin Burns, Fox 11 and ex-KCET producer was 56

martin-burns-fox11.jpg Fox 11 News in Los Angeles reported that its investigative reporter and producer Martin Burns was the hiker who died Sunday in a hiking accident in the foothills above Altadena.

Rim fire to close Tioga Road through holiday weekend

rim-fire-space-nasa-82613.jpg You won't be able to go between the Eastern Sierra and Yosemite Valley starting at noon Wednesday. Fire suppression efforts will be going on along the high country road. The fire has now burned across 184,481 acres.

Afternoon media notes: John Henry visits LA Times

joe-francis-law.jpg Ordinarily no one would care that John Henry, the owner of the Boston Red Sox, showed up inside the offices of the Los Angeles Times. But Henry recently bought the Boston Globe. Plus: ABC News settles suit, Joe Francis, KCRW, the Nate Silver track, DirecTV, new LAT obits writer.

Changes and a deleted post at Studio City Patch

A columnist writes that she and her editor have been let go. The editor, however, suggests he has a new bigger role in the downsized Patch empire.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 8.27.13

delta-iv-file-photo.jpg Latest on the Rim fire. Foster families "desperately" needed in LA right now. Murals aren't a simple issue. Patrick Range McDonald goes first person. Don Shirley dings the LAT's theater coverage (again.) Mark Heisler on the missing T.J. Simers. Two sheriff's deputies shoot at each other. Watch for a rocket launch from Vandenberg on Wednesday. And both Magic and Phil send beams to Lamar Odom.

Yosemite's giant sequoias will be all right, expert says

giant-sequoia-and-researchers-ng.jpg The Rim fire in and around the west side of Yosemite National Park jumped Monday to 160,980 charred acres, with new evacuations outside the park. But firefighters were able to declare 20% containment.

The case of the missing underground water

las-posas-basin-map.jpg AP reporters Michael Blood and Elliot Spagat investigated what happened when state water was stored in an underground aquifer in Ventura County — the water vanished.

Time travel: Broadway in Los Angeles in 1902 1906*

broadway-1902-beschloss.jpg Posted to Twitter by historian Michael Beschloss, without explanation. Click to see it big.

Emily Green on the beauty of a found baseball

baseballs-emily-green.jpg "Days when I find lost baseballs never fail to feel mildly enchanted, as if hot dogs and beer are waiting at home," the LA writer and blogger says. "If I could paint, I would paint them just as lovingly as Cézanne painted apples and oranges."
meredith-artley-twitter.jpg The Onion satirized CNN for leading its website with coverage of the Miley Cyrus twerking debacle by posting a fictional letter from Meredith Artley, the managing editor of the network's news website. Artley is known in Los Angeles as the former editor in charge of the LA Times website.
county-fd-motorcycle.jpg It is what the headline says it is. County fire used to use motorcycles to get around.

Obama coming back to schmooze with donors Sept. 9

Thumbnail image for obama-leno-file.jpg Invitations went out today for a very exclusive sit-down with the president at a location not yet revealed, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Dick Gordon leaving public radio's 'The Story'

dick-gordon-wunc.jpg The nationally syndicated public radio news interview program produced at North Carolina Public Radio-WUNC will air over American Public Media for the last time on October 11.

Hugh Laurie's guide to the Los Angeles he loves

hugh-laurie-telegraph.jpg In a piece for the travel section of the Telegraph, actor Hugh Laurie goes against the grain of anti-LA sentiment among his fellow Brits. "I love the hippyness – better still, the collision between hip and yup – all set against the noirish, Philip Marlowe memories of my moviegoing youth."

Piolin files suit against six ex-colleagues over alleged extortion

Eddie Sotelo, the Spanish-language radio host known as Piolin, filed a "civil extortion lawsuit" today in Santa Monica Superior court against against six former Univision employees and their Los Angeles attorneys alleging they demanded $4.9 million or would threaten to go public with allegations of sexual harassment and workplace humiliation.

Rim Fire a feature of California landscape

rim-fire-nasa-82213.jpg Anyone making the flights up and down California this morning could not fail to be impressed and awed by the monster smoke cloud being sent up over the Sierra from the Rim Fire. Check out the view inside.

Morning Buzz: Monday 8.26.13

disneyland-saucers-lapl.jpg Fighting to save the Tuolumne and Merced groves of big trees. Garcetti's DWP moves scored. Murals on homes. Nikki Finke wants Deadline back. KPCC boss loses bid to stay on NPR board. Williams Books to close. Another National Go Topless Day for the media. The old flying saucer ride at Disneyland. And much more.

Bruce Davidson photographs Los Angeles (images and video)

bruce-davidson-beach-2008.jpg The documentary photographer Bruce Davidson is known mostly for his images of New York — and not the softer sides of the city. Recently he has been dropping into Los Angeles for weeks at a time to shoot mostly in the hills and canyons. Palm trees, yuccas and the ivy growing on the undersides of freeway bridges factor in his LA pictures.

Documentary to say five new J.D. Salinger books are coming

jdsalinger-screen-grab.jpg The New York Times says new books could start to appear in 2015. Watch the trailer inside for the upcoming film, to screen in limited release starting Sept. 6.

Tiffany Theater sign will be saved Monday morning

tiffany-theater-sign-letter.jpg Two of the busiest Los Angeles communities on Facebook, Alison Martino's Vintage Los Angeles and Tommy Gelinas' San Fernando Valley Relics, are joining forces to collect and preserve the old sign from the facade of the former Tiffany Theater on Sunset Strip. They invite supporters to come out Monday and help take it down.

Music teacher duets with Kristin Chenoweth at the Bowl (video)

chenoweth-horn.jpg Sarah Horn, a voice teacher in Riverside, just happened to be sitting near the front of the Hollywood Bowl. She knew the words to the song from "Wicked," and now her video is sweeping YouTube.

Weekend news and notes

mark-peel-bravo.jpg Chef Mark Peel in the New York Times, Brian D'Arcy's record as a political strategist, State Sen. Ron Calderon's dicey choice of a spokesman, a couple of rural Sunday morning earthquakes, Julie Harris, Lamar Odom and more.

Current fire conditions in Yosemite: Pretty clear *

half-dome-webcam-82513.jpg Most of Yosemite National Park is not affected by the giant Rim Fire — check out the High Sierra cam from a few minutes ago. The northern route into the park and the area around Hetch Hetchy are closed. Here's the latest update.

Vin Scully's career put in perspective

vin-scully-graphic-bp.jpg Since Scully was hired, 889 different players have played for the Dodgers — the latest being Brian Wilson, the ex-Giant with the long, thick black beard and rat-tail. How many of the 42 shortstops who have played for the Dodgers since 1950 can you name?

Leaving out LA's history of car manufacturing

nhm-car-tourist.jpg The Wall Street Journal calls the 1902 Tourist the only car ever manufactured in Los Angeles. We disagree.

Traffic cop has a record number of complaints: none *

elton-simmons-cbs.jpg Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy Deputy Elton Simmons has written thousands of traffic tickets in 20 years — that's 25,000 traffic stops, says a story by CBS News. They got it from an LA Times story last September.

Dodgers owner looking at LA Times purchase

dodger-owners-garyl.jpg Mark Walter, controlling owner of the Dodgers as chief executive of Guggenheim Partners, says he is exploring the prospect of buying the Times. It's not clear if he has taken any real steps or if the price would be right.

Filner resigns as San Diego mayor effective Aug. 30

filner-resigns.jpg Bob Filner signed a resignation letter and agreed to leave on Aug. 30. The San Diego City Council approved a deal with Filner this afternoon.

Linda Ronstadt says Parkinson's has taken her singing voice

lindaronstadt908.jpg Linda Ronstadt told the AARP website she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease eight months ago, after beginning to show symptoms eight years ago. "No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease,” Ronstadt said. “No matter how hard you try.”

Morning Buzz: Friday 8.23.13

Garcetti's DWP win, San Diego ponders politics after Filner, the porn actress with the positive HIV test comes forward and more for a Friday short stack.

Jurgensen's sign a Westwood history artifact

westwood-1931-huntington-geab.jpg Several LA Observed regulars knew right away that the mystery Jurgensen's Grocery sign posted last week can be found on Glendon Avenue in Westwood Village. There's nothing quite like the Jurgensen's chain in LA today.

Vin Scully will return next season: number 65

vin-scully2010-dn.jpg Think about this: the Dodgers have never played a season in Los Angeles without Vin Scully at the microphone. Add in eight years before that in Brooklyn.

PEN winners include Joan Didion, Chris Hedges, Kickstarter trio

pen-website-grab.jpg PEN Center USA will have old friend Harrison Ford present its lifetime achievement award to Joan Didion at the group's October dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Ed Leibowitz of Los Angeles Magazine wins the journalism award.

Sandra Tsing Loh takes her science gig to UC Irvine *

stloh-uci.jpg UC Irvine has announced that Sandra Tsing Loh will now produce "The Loh Down on Science" with the Orange County campus, as well as KPCC. She will also do some teaching.

KPCC news boss is not a fan of The Wrap, it seems

TakeTwo-martinez-cohen-kpcc.jpg Russ Stanton, the VP for content at KPCC (and former editor in chief of the Los Angeles Times) had an email exchange with The Wrap reporter Sara Morrison over her recent story about the station. He takes a few shots at the site and offers Morrison some unsolicited career advice. She sticks to her guns.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 8.22.13

MLK 1963.jpg Filner deal close. DWP raises deal done. $3 billion bond issue for street repairs coming. Huffington Post will drop anonymous comments. Nikki Finke neither confirms nor denies she's leaving Deadline. Porn production shuts down for HIV case. A new bestseller in fiction. "Meet the Press" to re-air Martin Luther King. And more inside.

Hastings a tortured soul, especially near the end

michael-hastings-memorial-jg.jpg Gene Maddaus of the LA Weekly has a cover story this week on the life and death of journalist Michael Hastings. Maddaus talks to friends and colleagues and finds that there was a lot of concern about Hastings in the days before his Mercedes hit a tree on Highland Avenue.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 8.21.13

tar-pits-mammoths.jpg Bradley Manning sentenced. Marshall Tuck running for SSPI. DWP union deal said to be close. Arguing over the tar pits. Renaming Little Santa Monica. Highest paid TV stars. Remembering a writer's father. The new Producers League meets. And Natalie Portman says what about LA? Plus a tweet of the day and more.

Fin whale stranding on Marin beach turns into opportunity

deadfinwhale-stinson-wired.jpg The sad sight of a 42-foot fin whale washing up alive on Stinson Beach in Marin County, then dying in front of onlookers, has turned into a rare opportunity for scientists. They don't usually get to study the endangered fin whales in this way.

KCRW's job ad for producer of new Madeleine Brand show

brandcrop.jpg Brand shares on Facebook: "Here is the job description for managing producer of my new show." The chosen producer will be asked to "create a unique news and culture show with a strong host presence."

Puig late to game, fined and benched by Mattingly*

puig-firsthomers-dodgers.jpg The Dodgers win some and lose some by having Yasiel Puig around. Today they will try to win in Miami with the fiery 22-year-old sitting on the bench and watching for a change.
Update: He came off the bench and homered.

Andrew Blankstein leaving LA Times for NBC News

anblanx-pic.jpg Blankstein will take his deep law enforcement contacts list to NBC as an investigative reporter based here.

Lt. Garcetti standing down on the active Navy Reserve thing

garcetti-in-whites.jpg Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that he will be concluding his active service with the Navy Reserve at the end of the year.

Michael Hastings died of 'traumatic injuries,' coroner rules

michael-hastings-memorial-jg.jpg Journalist Michael Hastings likely died within a few seconds of his speeding car hitting the palm tree in the median of Highland Avenue near Melrose in June, the Los Angeles County Coroner's office says. Traces of amphetamine and THC were found, but they are not considered factors.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 8.20.13

garcetti-300-tight.jpg Garcetti heads to summer camp, takes on DWP, names education adviser and appoints another fundraiser. New acting Assessor. SFFD rethinks helmet cameras. NYT's Abramson talks with Michael Kinsley. Register's Kushner bets on print. Brentwood News acquired. Who buys the electric cars and more inside.

Elmore Leonard, crime novelist was 87

elmoreatdesk.jpg The master of the crime novel and the writer of many screenplays and books that were turned into movies died at home in Michigan after suffering a stroke. "A modern master of American genre writing," says the New York Times.

Dick Van Dyke's Jaguar goes boom on the 101 Freeway

dick-van-dyke-tweet.jpg Van Dyke was driving east on the Ventura Freeway in Calabasas today when his Jaguar started smoking. The 87-year-old pulled over and needed some help getting out before the car burst into flames. He and his wife followed with tweets.

Case Study Houses finally added to National Register

casestudy22b.jpg The National Park Service listed ten of the acclaimed Case Study Houses around Southern California on the National Register of Historic Places, citing their historic and architectural significance. The Stahl house in the Hollywood Hills is one of the ten.

LA Times to hire bloggers, names Seattle bureau chief

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for latimes-sign-sideview.jpg Blogs on politics, science, sports and other topics are coming, with bloggers expected to add context to conversations already going on across the web. The Seattle bureau goes to Maria LaGanga.

Weather story map in LAT goes with wrong Lancaster

lat-lancaster-map-oops.jpg There was a bunch of hail out in the Mojave Desert this afternoon — those were some mighty pretty thunderheads over the San Gabriels visible from the basin. But it's a long way from the Antelope Valley to the Susquehanna River.

Observing Controller Galperin's salary data for the DWP

dwp-la-scale-lacurrents.jpg The LA Observed segment on KCRW tonight covered the database created by Controller Ron Galperin to compare the salaries paid at the Department of Water and Power to those paid to other city of Los Angeles employees. The LA Currents website has gone further and massaged Galperin's data a bit to tease out easier comparisons.

Morning Buzz: Monday 8.19.13

la-mag-cover-0913.jpg Garcetti updates. The coroner gives an interview. Filner isn't San Diego's worst recent mayor. NPR's latest CEO departs. Teshima Walker, RIP. Long Beach Register debuts today. How the OC Register loves its pay wall. Next month in Los Angeles magazine and much more for Monday.

About Musk's Hyperloop? Hiltzik's not buying it

hyperlooptube-sf-la.jpg There's no evidence that it would be cheaper than the California high-speed train, and plenty of reason to believe it would cost more. And besides, why spend $68 billion to subsidize the transport of the few who need to get from the East Bay to the West Valley in half an hour?

The Ronettes' 'Be My Baby' is 50 years old this month (video)*

ronettes-youtube-grab.jpg Brian Wilson calls "Be My Baby" the "greatest record ever produced. No one will ever top that one.” It came from Phil Spector's Wall of Sound studios in LA with girls from Spanish Harlem whose lives were never the same. The NYT weighs in.

NYT sees a lot of second acts out here this weekend

boyle-heights-musicians-nyt.jpg Boyle Heights, Wilshire Boulevard Temple and Gov. Jerry Brown all come in for some East Coast observation. Brown at 75 "is the oldest governor in the nation and about to become the longest-serving governor in the history of California."

Britain seizes electronics of reporter Glenn Greenwald's partner

Glenn-Greenwald-davis-miranda.jpg David Miranda was detained for almost nine hours by British terrorism authorities as he passed through London's Heathrow Airport while traveling from Berlin to his home in Brazil. "This is a profound attack on press freedoms," Greenwald said.
rfk-hearse-back-lapl.jpg Three photos from the Los Angeles Public Library collection show the emotion of the morning that Robert F. Kennedy died, a day after winning the California primary election and probably the Democratic nomination for president.

Morning Buzz: Friday 8.16.13

lariver-pre38-lapl.jpg Friday short stack: Garcetti vs DWP. Baca challenges. Zebra crosswalks. Register gets creative with a local city. Riordan and Rutten op-ed again. The LA River. And more.

Unhired weatherman sues another LA station

bri-winkler-twitter.jpg Kyle Hunter sued KCBS and KCAL last year. This time he alleges that KABC did not consider him for the job due to illegal sex and age discrimination. The job went to Bri Winkler.

KCRW to hold story contest for radio producers

kcrw-radiorace.jpg Producers of all experience levels from all over the world will have 24 hours to write, record, and edit a non-fiction radio story for possible prizes and airing. They call it a radio race.

Fact checking the Orson Welles-writes-obit tale

Thumbnail image for Orson-Welles-larb.jpg The LA Times did run an obituary right away on the passing of Jean Renoir in 1979. Then a couple of appreciations. Then Welles weighed in, says a copy editor who checked.

KPCC 'grappling with an identity crisis,' says The Wrap

TakeTwo-martinez-cohen-kpcc.jpg Ratings are fine, web traffic is up and KPCC still seems to be on its ambitious rise, but a story says there is grumbling about the newspaper people who are in charge.

Elon Musk the latest in long line of 'loopy LA dreamers'

hyperloop-musk.jpg Financial Times calls the Hyperloop "a marvellously bonkers idea that has been embraced by the tech community but politely dismissed by some California politicians."

Expo Line Fan is revealed and says bye-bye

expofan5501.jpg Dwight Sturtevant has been the unofficial, unpaid photographer of the Expo Line extension from Culver City across the Westside to Santa Monica. When he is credited, it has been as Expo Line Fan. Now he's moving away.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 8.15.13

zocalo-wild-animals.jpg Prop. 8 could be finally dead. Another story on the Hollywood quake fault. LAUSD paying out Miramonte settlements. A makeover for Jordan Downs. Another challenger to Sheriff Lee Baca. Another suit against Chivas USA. Wildlife in LA and the Dodgers win on a walkoff again. Plus much more.

Garcetti changes up police commission (and gives Pleitez a gig)

Steve Soboroff, Paula Madison and two other new faces will give the Garcetti police commission a new look. Emanuel Pleitez gets a pension commission slot.

Advice for Mayor Garcetti from Bruce Katz

city-illo-lamag.jpg Katz is vice president of the Brookings Institution and founder and co-director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. He contributes to The Atlantic Cities and has written a book, "The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy."

LA Times automated quake news leads to non-stories like this

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 11.21.37 PM.jpg The Times newsroom just isn't the savviest place when it comes to using technology. For instance, a robot shovels headlines about trivial earthquakes onto the front web page without any reporter or editor deciding it is news. Often, it isn't.

This may be the first aerial photo of LA

first-aerial-la.jpg This photograph of the fledgling town of Los Angeles apparently was taken from a hot-air balloon in 1887, part of a stunt by William Randolph Hearst and his San Francisco Examiner. Nathan Masters explains.

New York Times website is down, possibly attacked *

The New York Times website has gone dark with only an error message posted. "We are having technical problems." Fox News says it is a big cyber attack.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 8.14.13

alex-cohen-a-martinez-kpcc.jpg City Hall plans for possible DWP strike, you can now block your parkway with a vegetable garden, Mar Vista's crumbling curbs, a new candidate for sheriff, a missing M-16 rifle, leaving the Downtown News, the new bestsellers at SoCal bookstores, a children's book about OR-7 and more.

Then and now day in Dodgers land

mannyfrank.jpg The Dodgers win again to extend their jaw-dropping run since bringing up Yasiel Puig. While their star of a few years ago, Manny Ramirez, was cut from his minor league team and may finally be finished. We say salud.

Garcetti names his airport commissioners

jackie-goldberg-flickr.jpg Included on the politically important panel are close friend Sean Burton, former City Council member Jackie Goldberg and others with connections.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 8.13.13

getty-open-content.jpg Law now bans tickets at broken parking meters. City Hall's director of international trade. LAPD impound policy thrown out. Jason Patric's custody claim. LANG websites re-boot. Rebecca De Mornay at Beverly Hills High and the Getty makes its photos free to use.

Ernest Marquez is a treasure from LA's past

ernest-marquez-grab.jpg Ernest Marquez likes to say that his family lived in three countries — Spain, Mexico and the United States — without ever leaving home. Their home was in Santa Monica Canyon, before the artists and the actors arrived. Nice profile in the LA Times and video of the family's hidden cemetery in the canyon.

Huizar's ex-deputy chief of staff files sex harassment complaint

Thumbnail image for greuel-huizar-guisados.jpg Francine Godoy, who left Councilman Jose Huizar's staff in April for a job with the Department of Sanitation, reportedly says in a complaint that she was harassed and endured retaliation because of her gender and "refusal to engage in sex." Huizar's spokesman said the councilman "strongly and emphatically denies the assertions."

Piolín is taking his act to SiriusXM

piolin-promo.jpg Eddie Sotelo, the popular Spanish-language radio host who goes by Piolín, will next do his thing on satellite radio. Listen for him in the fall.

Matthew McKnight, LAFD captain died on duty at 51

lafd-mcknight.jpg The Los Angeles Fire Department news and information blog announced today that Fire Captain/Paramedic Matthew G. McKnight was found unresponsive this morning inside the Metropolitan Fire Communications Center on East Temple Street.

Villaraigosa to be visiting fellow at Harvard

mavillaraigosa-dc-msnbc.jpg Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has secured at least one university gig for the next phase of his political life. Harvard announced today that he will be a visiting fellow at Harvard's Institute of Politics.

I'm in an email-free zone today

Hey, just so anyone knows who is trying to reach me. I fiddled with my personal email settings last night hoping to tighten the spam screws a bit. Instead, I cut myself off. Facebook looks like a better bet for today.

Morning Buzz: Monday 8.12.13

LAT-oops.jpg High speed train delays. No rail to LAX again. Garcetti talks to Daily News editors. A headline oops at the LA Times. And much more.

When Orson Welles wrote an obituary for the LA Times

Orson-Welles-larb.jpg Steve Wasserman, the former Los Angeles Times books editor, has some fun remembering his friend Orson Welles in a piece for the LA Review of Books. He tells how the Times in 1979 was about to drop the ball on the death in Beverly Hills of director Jean Renoir when Wasserman, then a deputy editor of the LAT's Sunday Opinion section, decided to somehow get in touch with Welles.

Lake Bell makes a movie about the voice-over game

lake-bell-new-york-cover.jpg The movie's funny, she's great and she lands some uncomfortable points about the male domination of movie trailer voice work. The ghost of Don LaFontaine looms over everything, even a party in Reseda.

Jurgensen's Grocery sign

jurgensens-sign.jpg Who knows where this beauty of a sign was revealed by some construction a few years ago? I'll post the answer later. LA Observed photo...

KCOP to drop news from the lineup

my-13-logo.jpg Channel 13 is going to stop airing a re-packaged version of the Fox 11 news next month. Look for more "Simpsons" and "King of Queens."

Did a drone fly through Disney's California Adventure?

calif-adventure.jpg Several employees said they saw a small drone buzz through the park at about 40 feet last week. Officially, it didn't happen.

Soboroff adds Andrea Bocelli's Braille typewriter

bocelli-soboroff.jpg Steven Soboroff has picked up an interesting addition to the typewriter collection we have mentioned here from time to time. It is a Perkins Brailler that was used by the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.

Patch closures and layoffs to roll out over week

But oddly, during a 100-minute conference call in which AOL chief Tim Armstrong said he's now in charge, he fired someone for taking out a camera.
There was a flurry of media yesterday circling the news that actress Leah Remini, famously now a disgruntled ex-Scientologist, filed a missing report with the LAPD on Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Church of Scientology head David Miscavige.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 8.8.13

medallion-2-dtla.jpg Early prison release. Baca reiterates he is running for reelection. LAFD response time. Red flags on Garcetti hires. Time to end the Obamajam myth. Piolin denies harassment. New project for 3rd and Main in DTLA. Gary Cypres looking to place his sports collection. And more.

Margaret Pellegrini, original Munchkin was 89 (video)

margaret-pellegrini-munchkin.jpg The Chinese Theatre, where "The Wizard of Oz" premiered in August 1939, will dim the lights tonight at 9 p.m. Two Munchkins are believed to survive.

Read our lips: New York Times is not for sale *

nyt-newsroom.jpg Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and vice chairman Michael Golden write they were stunned that the Grahams sold the Washington Post. On behalf of the Ochs-Sulzberger family, they wish Jeff Bezos luck but say it won't happen in New York.

Obama dined with Katzenberg in Woodland Hills

obama-leno-grab.jpg When President Obama dropped off the news radar last night in the Valley, he didn't just go to bed and watch Showtime or Evelyn Taft. (Oh wait, they are not on most TVs in Los Angeles this week.)

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 8.7.13

cmc-field-scene.jpg D'Arcy wants action at City Hall. Garcettis mull Getty House. L.A. Alliance for the New Economy praised. Geoff Boucher ankles Entertainment Weekly. Snarky TCA tweets and Downton Abbey. Beverly Hills' newspaper war. That startling Amber Alert, plus new bestsellers, Claremont McKenna raises a lot of money and the Dodgers lose. And more.

Is Obama the first president to sleep in Woodland Hills? (video)

afone-lax-garcetti.jpg We think so! Not counting Reagan in his acting days (because who knows, he was local for a long time, and a lot of actors lived in the West Valley.)

Hastings' widow: 'My gut here is...a really tragic accident'

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 1.21.38 PM.jpg Elise Jordan spoke to Piers Morgan on CNN about the Hollywood death of journalist Michael Hastings and seems to reject conspiracy theories.

Garcetti adds fundraiser Rick Jacobs as deputy chief of staff *

rick-jacobs-dan-cho.jpg Jacobs is founder of the Courage Campaign, a big part of the effort to discourage Tribune from selling the Los Angeles Times to the conservative Koch brothers, and a big fundraiser for Garcetti.
lat-obama-ad-grab.jpg This morning's memo from LAT president Kathy Thomson, about a forthcoming web redesign, sounds like it's preparing the staff for more ad innovation: "We rethought how we present our journalism online and how advertising is integrated."

Obama's visit will have distinctly Valley flavor

obama-leno-file.jpg All of the streets that the LAPD is warning drivers to avoid during President Obama's brief visit to the area today and Wednesday are out in the Valley. Obama lands...

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 8.6.13

polanski-book.jpg Zuckerberg gets political. Actual good news about the 405 project. More Venice boardwalk reaction. A new book on Roman Polanski. A critique of Becoming LA at the Natural History Museum. And more news.
From Marc Ambinder, the Los Angeles-based contributing editor at GQ and The Atlantic.

Curiosity's year on Mars

curiosity-mars-npr.jpg The Mars rover Curiosity landed on the red planet last August 5 — that's why you are seeing all the news packages out of JPL.

Morning Buzz: Monday 8.5.13

peter-capaldi-bbc-grab.jpg Riordan and Rutten op-ed together. LAT urges Baca not to run. No BART strike. Councilman's Facebook account hacked. Still no CBS on Time Warner Cable. A new Doctor Who. HBO looks at Hollywood casting. An opening for a Hollywood reporter. Plus Stevie Wonder and Hanley Ramirez, and more.

Now everyone knows: women are scarce at LA City Hall

garcetti-greuel-alcorn-nyt-grab.jpg I just glanced at the New York Times home page and there at the top were the faces of Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti, standing awkwardly at some long-forgotten debate in the mayoral race. No, it wasn't my web browser's cache or a mistake by the Times. It's a story by LA bureau chief Adam Nagourney.

Driving on Devonshire Street in the Valley 1940 (video)

Thumbnail image for oakie-house-dn.jpg Kinda cool if you know the west San Fernando Valley today as just suburban sprawl and Devonshire Street as a six-lane boulevard. Devonshire in 1940 was a rural state highway through the horse ranches of Northridge and Chatsworth.

How Boston Globe sale could affect the LA Times

latimes-from-broadway.jpg An unhappy losing bidder is San Diego's Doug Manchester. Does this make him a serious contender for the LAT?

Restored Wilshire Boulevard Temple looking good

Wilshire_Boulevard_Temple_jj.jpg Rather than abandon Koreatown for the Westside, the temple leadership decided to stay and fix up the fading synagogue, under the guidance of architect Brenda Levin. Jewish Journal editor Rob Eshman is glad they did.

Conservatives are really unhappy with Kevin James

Thumbnail image for james-garcetti-on-phones.jpg The awkward bed that Mayor Eric Garcetti has made with former radio anger talk host Kevin James continues to be one of the weirdest pairings in City Hall. But it's those who believed in James' right-wing rantings who are the most upset.

Obama's arrival on Tuesday will be a rush hour event

Thumbnail image for clooney-obama.jpg There are a few new details now about President Obama's trip to the Los Angeles area on Tuesday to appear on the Jay Leno show. Here's what we know.

NBC4 and ABC7 lead the way at LA area Emmys

emmys-la-2013-grab.jpg NBC4 at 6 p.m. again was the top daily newscast and David Ono of Channel 7 won three Emmy statuettes. Outstanding news writer: Daisy Lin of Channel 4. Video and link to full list of winners inside.

Arrest made in fatal Venice boardwalk hit and run

venice-bdwk-hitrun-grab.jpg Police said they have arrested Nathan Campbell, 38, on suspicion of murder for Saturday afternoon's horrific incident on the crowded Venice Beach boardwalk. One woman died and 11 other people were hurt.

'SoCal Connected' on KCET may not be finished yet *

Thumbnail image for kcet-control-room.jpg The former team of the award-winning news series has mostly dispersed, but KCET is actively raising support for a sixth season with a tentative launch date in January.

Michael Ansara, actor of many ethnicities was 91

ansara-eden-imdb.jpg Michael Ansara had one of those Hollywood careers that lasted a long time and is fun to examine. Because he was of Lebanese heritage (born in Syria but raised in the U.S.), he went from the drama department at Los Angeles City College into a succession of "ethnic" roles.

Celebrate Reseda's rock and roll history

tom-petty-reseda-show.jpg An exhibit of of photos taken by the house photographer for the late Country Club is bringing some attention to the days when rockers flocked to Reseda. They would buy vinyl at BeBop Records or attend shows at the Country Club on Sherman Way.

Before Whole Foods, DTLA to get an Urban Outfitters

rialto-theatre-lamag.jpg The inexorable shift of downtown's Broadway commercial corridor from immigrant Latinos to New Downtowners is about to reach a new milestone.

Morning Buzz: Friday 8.2.13

magic-johnson-bobblehead-lad.jpg Times goes big (if late) with Hollywood quake fault. Worldwide terror alert. Ellen DeGeneres to host the Oscars. Nury Martinez to join City Council today. Civic Center pit to be filed with federal courthouse. Garcetti has campaign debt too, but a lot less. NPR hires its first staff TV critic. Puig homers again and behold the Magic Johnson bobblehead. Plus more.

LA Times assigns reporters to Garcetti, county and 'clout'

Thumbnail image for latimes-building-aerial-tig.jpg LAT puts staffers on the Garcetti beat, the Board of Supervisors, MTA and a new assignment to explore the use of power here and around California.

Former Times editor named chair of PBS SoCal

Robert G. Magnuson, a former top editor at both the LA Times Business section and the paper's former Orange County edition, was elected at a meeting last week at the City Club on Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles. The location is relevant.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 8.1.13

joan-jett-100-law.jpg Garcetti's appointees make Kevin James president. Daily News editorial ponders the Garcetti "backbone." We can park at broken meters again. Greuel campaign in big debt. Villaraigosa's pension amount. Bakersfield paper lays off its last two photo editors. Kristen Stewart confronts a pap. Plus it's Joan Jett Day on (where else) the Sunset Strip. And more.

Villaraigosa praises LAPD's new anti-profiling program (video)

antonio-villaraigosa-msnbc-grab.jpg Former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa turned up on MSNBC on Wednesday talking with Chris Hayes about the new program, approved by the police commission this week, that lets accusers and cops voluntarily talk out accusations of racial profiling in front of a mediator.

Obama coming back next week to be on Jay Leno

Thumbnail image for av-obama-lax.jpg President Obama is returning to California for a two-day swing that will include a stop at NBC in Burbank for his sixth appearance on "The Tonight Show."

Whole Foods plans move into Downtown LA

Councilman Joe Huizar and Whole Foods made the announcement on Wednesday: the symbol of upscale organic-ness expects to open in 2015 at 8th Street and Grand Avenue downtown.
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