LA Observed archive
for November 2013

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LA Times sells out its front page to a Disney movie

lat-112613-front.jpg Only three news stories and no Column One. The rest is a garishly unattractive Disney ad for "Frozen."

Obama meets with victims of LAX shooting*

marine-one-obama-ranchopk.jpg During a half-hour stop this evening at the Beverly Hilton before heading up the canyon to Magic Johnson's home, President Obama met with the family of Gerardo Hernandez, the TSA officer who was killed during this month's shooting at LAX. The President also met with two TSA officers who were wounded.

THR's Stephen Galloway wins entertainment journalist of the year

stephen-galloway-thr.jpg The LA Press Club handed out the prizes it calls the National Entertainment Journalism Awards last night. Here are the winners.

Holiday week posting

With Thanksgiving at the end of the week, and a small medical procedure at the front, I'm going into a lighter posting mode for the week. No Morning Buzz.

Maria Elena Durazo profile names a key name *

durazo-lamag-grafic.jpg Los Angeles Magazine says in the new issue that Miguel Contreras, the labor leader who died in 2005, was having an extra-marital affair with a state senator for nine years.

President Obama's arrival timed to rush hour (again)

air-force-one-pictures.jpg After starting the day in Seattle and San Francisco, President Obama is scheduled to arrive at LAX this afternoon just about the time the peak traffic hits the streets. Here's what we know about how to reduce your risk of Obamajam.

Doug Krikorian back on the beat in Long Beach

doug-krikorian-lbreg.jpg The longtime SoCal sportswriter and columnist (and talk radio host) Doug Krikorian, laid off by the Press-Telegram in 2011, has shown up in the pages of the rival Long Beach Register.

Pacific has gone a little crazy around Monterey too

whale-tail-nyt-jimwilson.jpg Anchovies beget sea lions, pelicans, dolphins and now the whales. Lots of them. Meanwhile: South Bay paddlers are told to stop bothering the great white sharks.

Photo: Great LA Walk 2013

la-walk-2103.jpg Michael Schneider's Great LA Walk marked its eighth year on Saturday with an 18-mile trek from Echo Park Lake to the bluffs in Santa Monica, along Sunset Boulevard and Wilshire.

Service for Mark Lacter to be Sunday *

The funeral for Mark will be Sunday at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park. Details inside.

Wanda Coleman, poet was 67 *

wanda-coleman-2012.jpg The Los Angeles poet "was a key figure in the literary life of Los Angeles....[and] helped transform the city's literature." Update: An appreciation by David Ulin.

Friday desk clearing

Democrat Matt Dababneh of Encino was declared the winner of the 45th assembly district special election, by 329 votes. Plus more.

Finke, Waxman, Penske, Min: Battle of the Hollywood trades

pulp-friction-graphic-lamag.jpg Patrick Goldstein, the longtime Hollywood watcher for the LA Times and others, has a good feature piece in Los Angeles Magazine on the current state of the four main movie biz trades. One of the best parts is the disclosure of his professional entanglements with the players.

It's Jerusalem cricket season in LA

JerusalemCricket-NPS.jpg Like something from a bad B science fiction movie, the sudden appearance of Jerusalem crickets has caused fear and freaking out among humans who know little about this big-headed, bumbling and lumbering creature.

Morning Buzz: Friday 11.22.13

jfkswim600-uclalat.jpg Jerry Brown raises $2 million last night in Bel Air. How city may have missed evidence of Hollywood quake fault. Hilda Solis to Cal Poly Pomona. Sony regroups in favor of television. Lara Logan's mystery husband. Four LAFD firefighters injured. Plus a lot of JFK anniversary coverage.

Lucy Noland leaves NBC4, Chang has her surgery

Thumbnail image for lucy-noland1.jpg Couple of updates to previous stories from the local TV news sector.

ABC7 adds 8 pm news hour -- on Orange County channel

marc-brown-abc7-grab.jpg KABC Channel 7 will begin airing a live one-hour newscast in primetime — seven days a week at 8 p.m. — in January. But there's a twist.

Obama will visit DreamWorks Animation, Magic's home

obama-leno-grab.jpg President Obama is finally making up for the September trip he cancelled and will attend fundraisers next week at three homes, including Magic Johnson's, and speak at the DreamWorks campus in Glendale.

Julie Butcher on the jury that convicted her son's killers

matt-butcher-fb.jpg "I met them at the elevator, stopping the jurors to thank them, to hug them," says the well-known LA labor activist. "One held me and murmured: It was our pleasure."

Kushner deal for Press-Enterprise goes through

Freedom Communications, the parent company of the Orange County Register, today completed its purchase of the Riverside Press-Enterprise for $27.25 million.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 11.21.13

garcetti-poster-opie.jpg Garcetti posters by Catherine Opie. Krekorian not running for Supes. City Hall may allow more cats. Jacob Soboroff goes to Tokyo. Proud Bird to stay open awhile longer. Photos of Inkwell beach. OC vs LA. And more.

Sears store and warehouse in Boyle Heights sold

sears-eastside-edfuentes.jpg The Sears building on East Olympic Boulevard has been a visual landmark on the Eastside skyline since the 1920s.

Writing what you know: crime reporter Michael Krikorian

southside-cover-krikorian.jpg When we last heard about journalist Michael Krikorian, he had written a colorful and revealing op-ed piece about the night he shot some guy in a brawl near Compton. His first crime novel features an LA Times crime reporter who is shot after leaving a bar two blocks from City Hall.

Nice history of LAPL's 'Shades of LA' project

shadesofla_9.jpg Two decades ago, librarian Carolyn Kozo Cole found, time and again, that vast swaths of the city's people and ethnic story were not represented in the LAPL's photo collection. Out of her exasperation grew a project to copy thousands of family photos and take oral histories. It remains a signature achievement of the LA Public Library.

LANG staffers will have a way around the pay wall

asner+at+daily+news.jpg "For our current print subscribers nothing changes," says the publisher in an email to the staff. "As an employee you will have complimentary access."

PBS SoCal drops its Orange County news show

Thumbnail image for laguna-beach-sand-north-lao.jpg "The Real Orange" with Ed Arnold has been on since 1997. Still no news about the station breaking from its OC roots to expand into LA and greater Southern California.

Read the memos: Tribune and LA Times to reorganize, make more cuts

Thumbnail image for latimes-building-aerial-tig.jpg Several functions at Tribune's newspapers will be combined with new executives and about 700 jobs cut. CEO Peter Liguori says the cuts will be mostly not in newsrooms.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 11.20.13

melissa-mccarty-book.jpg More iPad bumbling by LAUSD. DWP gets scrutiny. City Hall still begging for quake data from UC researchers. Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng announce settlement. New Washington chief for NYT. Lottery winner gives to USC Annenberg. Another bicycle advocate gets space from LAT opinion side. Digitizing LAPD murder books. Diane Disney dies. Plus more.

They ruined Venice, but she's not leaving

Getting_Married-rothman.jpg Tibby Rothman returns to the LA Weekly with a piece on all that has been lost as Venice transforms from "an island off the coast of Los Angeles" into what the locals endure today: "They went to bed one night living in a community and woke up in an ad."

Jonathan Martin's Harvard-Westlake (and LA)

jonathan-martin-wolverines.jpg The Miami Herald came to town to explore the prep-school roots of Jonathan Martin, the Miami Dolphins offensive lineman who recently left the team over intensive haranguing (and worse) by teammate Richie Incognito.

LA Times president leaving the building *

Kathy Thomson, the president and COO of the Los Angeles Times, sent around an email announcing her impending departure from the company. Also: projects editor Julie Marquis to Kaiser Health News.

I'm at KPCC this morning * (now with transcript)

steve-julian-kpcc-crop.jpg I'll be going on live at 7:25 a.m. to talk with "Morning Edition" Steve Julian about our colleague Mark Lacter.

Pay wall to go up at LA News Group papers

daily-news-box-200.jpg The Daily News and the rest of the LANG papers will get a metered pay wall as soon as Wednesday, an edict from the parent company. Details to come.

Some USC students wish they were invited to Bush speech

george-laura-bush-usc.jpg There is some unhappiness on campus that more students weren't invited to Tuesday's appearance by the ex-president and Laura Bush. But not a lot of unhappiness.

Still smoking the cannibus at KCAL, I see

kcal-taylor-made-seats.jpg Ouch, it's been a bad run in whatever they call the Chyron department these days at KCAL 9.

National Geographic story picks up more than mountain lions

hollywood-cougar-winter-natgeo.jpg Steve Winter's night photos of a deer, a bobcat, a coyote and a human out in the brush — as well as P-22 in front of the Hollywood sign — accompany the December story, now online.

JFK arrives by copter at Ambassador Hotel (video)

jfk-ambass-tight.jpg Senator John F. Kennedy's helicopter lands on the front lawn at the Ambassador Hotel, possibly in 1960. (The Ames Brothers are on the marquee at the Cocoanut Grove.)

Best thing about next year's Oscars night probably just happened

angelina-jolie-oscar-2013.jpg "Moments like these — emotional, contemplative, complicated — are why we watch the Academy Awards, or used to," writes Mark Harris about Saturday night's Governors Awards. "It's certainly not to see a 10th-anniversary tribute to Chicago or to watch Mark Wahlberg banter awkwardly with a teddy bear."

The beard stands on principle

brian-wilson-beard-dodgers.jpg Relief pitcher Brian Wilson needs a job for next season but he has told the New York Yankees not to bother. He won't shave the beard.

This guy loves him some Joshua trees (video)

joshua-trees-ahn-grab.jpg Los Angeles photographer Sungjin Ahn has captured some marvelous images of Joshua trees against the desert and the sky and put them into a lovely Vimeo time lapse.

Sale of Riverside paper to Kushner fails to close

A.H. Belo Corp. announced today that its deal to sell the Riverside Press-Enterprise to Aaron Kushner's Freedom Communications did not close Friday as scheduled. Belo is looking at its options, while Kushner says the deal will go through.

Fox 11's Julie Chang announces she has a brain tumor

julie-chang-announce.jpg Julie Chang is the entertainment news anchor on Fox 11's "Good Day LA" who joined the show about a year ago from New York. She explains that a surfing accident got her to the doctor.

Morning Buzz: Monday 11.18.13

rick-caruso-nbc4.jpg DDT mystery off the coast. Garcetti to Sacramento. Rick Caruso on NBC 4. Metro station turnstiles won't be everywhere. Anita Busch back in journalism. Doris Lessing and Syd Field die. Police kill 75-year-old man with shotgun in Bel Air. Plus more.

Running 100 miles on Angeles Crest (video)

ac100-bandaids-trail.jpg The Angeles Crest 100 is a 100-mile endurance race through the mountains from Wrightwood to Pasadena. The runners take off in the dark and run on trails for 24 hours. Or so.

Art, artists and California’s ribbons of road

CelminsWindshield-600-1966.jpg This painting of a freeway made in 1966 by the artist Vija Celmins is "a prime example of a California-based artist making work that engages the state’s famous highway system," writes arts journalist Tyler Green. He shows 25 examples.

Joseph Gatto as drawn by Kent Twitchell

joseph-gatto-twitchell.jpg Joseph Gatto is the longtime art teacher at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts who was found shot and killed in his Silver Lake home last week. Gatto was the father of state Assemblyman Mike Gatto.

Raul Ramirez, major Bay Area journalist was 67

Raul-ramirez-office.jpg His death was announced by KQED, the public radio station where he was executive director of news and public affairs. He previously was a reporter and editor at the San Francisco Examiner and the Oakland Tribune.

Garcettis are moving to Getty House in January

garcetti-getty-house-garden.jpg Amy Wakeland, the wife of Mayor Eric Garcetti, attended Thursday night's meeting of the Windsor Square Association to break the news. A new slate of events are on tap, she says.

Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59 *

mark-lacter-600.jpg Folks, I'm sad to announce that Mark Lacter — the creator of LA Biz Observed and the author of 10,000 posts since 2006 — has passed away. He suffered a stroke.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 11.14.13

gatto-home-kpcc.jpg Father of Mike Gatto found murdered in Silver Lake. Ron Calderon claims FBI is getting back at him. Tutor-Saliba blames LAX workers for runway problems. Baca aide relieved of duty over pot shop. An argument that aqueduct coverage was wrong-headed. Museum of Neon Art groundbreaking in Glendale. Plus Los Lobos at 40 and more.

Elk versus photographer (video)

elk-photog.jpg "When he lowered his antlers to me, I wanted to keep my vitals protected and my head down."

Five years later, owner drops plan to raze Dutton's

duttons-wake.jpg Early in the morning of February 25, 2008, I posted an item that I hoped not to ever post. "It is with profound regret and sorrow that Dutton's Brentwood Books must announce that it will be closing...."

Council members at large (photo)

pikes-place-council.jpg Six members of the Los Angeles City Council spotted at Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Inside the hidden immigrant colony of suburban Newbury Park

Jackson-cruz-las-casitas.jpg From the outside, the Conejo Creek Condos look like anywhere else in the Ventura County suburban community. Inside is more chaotic. Immigrants from rural Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras who live packed into the units call the complex Las Casitas.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 11.13.13

jury-line-laist.jpg Ron Calderon. Anne Gust. A staff move at City Hall. PaidContent shuts down. Lalo Alcaraz gets a TV gig. "The Goldfinch" still number one. Too many jurors called in — way too many. The story of The Standells. And more.

David Folkenflik and me on Rupert Murdoch for Zócalo (video)

Folkenflik-and-Roderick-600x467.jpg The media correspondent for NPR calls Murdoch “the most influential and important media figure in the English-speaking world." We talk about Murdoch's motivations, the trial of his former executives in London and the LA Times.

NYT's Brian Stelter jumps to CNN, will host 'Reliable Sources'

Brian_Stelter_wikipedia.jpg Stelter, one of the most high-profile New York Times staffers, produced scoop after scoop on the media beat while this year publishing his first book, “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV." He began TVNewswer in college and got hired full-time at the NYT at graduation.

LA Times printing plant photos

Newhope Resize LAObserved copy.jpg Photographer Julius Chiu doesn't work at the Los Angeles Times, but he managed to get in and take a series of photos at the paper's lone remaining printing plant, on Olympic Boulevard south of downtown.

Morning Buzz: Monday 11.11.13

israeli-rocker.jpg Veterans Day short stack has lots of good stuff: Jerry Brown, Eric Garcetti, Phil Anschutz, Hillary Clinton, Michael Hastings and more. Plus ultra-Orthodox Israeli rockers do "Hotel California." And: Trade Yasiel Puig?

Did Patriotic Hall have a different architect?

Clubhouse Rendering (c1915) copy.jpg Los Angeles historian Jim Beardsley, a scholar in the work of architect Ross G. Montgomery, says his man produced a rendering for the hall ten years before the building opened.

Friday desk clearing

buchman-house-curbed.jpg Mostly good reads that have been stacking up looking for a home, and less news.

Morning Buzz: Friday 11.8.13

lara-logan-on-cbs.jpg "60 Minutes" apologizes for Benghazi story. Register parent's talks to represent city of Anaheim collapse. HuffPost editor helps stop Brentwood demolition. Valley businesses versus the LA River ambitions. Plus more.

Yolanda strikes central Philippines with 195 MPH winds

haiyan-nasa.jpg With maximum sustained winds of 195 mph, Super Typhoon Haiyan (as it is known elsewhere) "is thought to be the strongest storm to ever make landfall anywhere in the world in modern records." President Aquino of the Philippines urged the nation to prepare.

You can visit the cascades through Saturday

cascades-in-spray.jpg Have you ever wanted to see and hear (and get sprayed by) the Sylmar cascades up close? The Department of Water and Power is leaving the gates until the end of the day on Saturday.

Have a question about Rupert Murdoch for David Folkenflik?

folkenflik-grab.jpg I will be leading the conversation with NPR's media reporter for Zócalo Public Square on Monday night in Culver City. Come to the event or shoot me an email.

CBS duopoly swaps anchors Shocknek, Tay, Garcia and Suh (and Taft)

taft-garcia-tay.jpg CBS Los Angeles took a page from baseball and announced today that it is trading some of its big name on-air talent between stations CBS 2 and KCAL 9. Here are the details.

Crumbling historic Wilshire chapel may be at risk

va-chapel-with-stairs.jpg A unusual chapel facing Wilshire Boulevard on the VA campus in West Los Angeles looks worse every time I check in on it. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building was built with separate Protestant and Catholic chapels and is one of the oldest structures on Wilshire Boulevard.

Kent Twitchell murals inside redone Patriotic Hall

twitchell-mural-free-ballot.jpg The county-owned Bob Hope Patriotic Hall on Figueroa Street a bit south of downtown has been getting a makeover.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 11.7.13

hockney-interview.jpg Moves against Ron Calderon. California more poor than previously thought. Simers blasts LAT again but has never told readers he's suing. David Hockney interviewed by Michael Govan. Drinks with Donna Bojarsky. Q&A with Roy Choi. That meteor shower and the close of Blockbuster video stores. Plus more.

Greuel and others pitch Clinton for president (video)

Thumbnail image for greuel-nury-martinez.jpg Last night's Hillary Clinton for president fundraiser at the Exchange club on Spring Street featured addresses by former city controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilwoman Nury Martinez, among others.

What is KCAL smoking?

ktla-cannabis.jpg A reader emails this screen grab: "What were they smoking at KCAL when they wrote this caption?"

Animation: How people move around Los Angeles

travel-within-la-grafic.jpg UC Berkeley planning Ph.D. student Fletcher Foti animated the data from household travel surveys showing how people move throughout the day, hour by hour. You can view the population by income and mode of travel.

Final Wilshire@405 fly-over ramp to open Thursday

wilshire-ramps-metro.jpg When the eastbound Wilshire Boulevard onramp to the northbound 405 opens, the transformation will be essentially complete at one of the city's most painful traffic choke points. The ramp project is done 13 days early.

Catchy hed: Beijing has more billionaires than LA

billionaires-in-chinese-cities.jpg The actual headline at Atlantic Cities is "More Billionaires Live in Beijing Than in Los Angeles." Check out the data.

Last minute free tix in Pasadena: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin poster copy.jpg Doris Kearns Goodwin will be speaking tonight about her book, "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism."

Cougar killed on 101 would have brought new DNA

P12-simi-hills.JPG Analysis of the mountain lion struck and killed while crossing the freeway in Agoura Hills in early October shows that it came from outside the current Santa Monica Mountains cougar population.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 11.6.13

goldfinch-cover.jpg New mayor of NYC. LA City Council to weigh free wi-fi and sidewalk dining. Are transit plans too big for Garcetti? Tea Party Republican runs against Jerry Brown with "sexy" wife. Doubts about Kushner deal to buy Riverside paper. Nikki Finke keeps tweeting. "The Goldfinch" is still #1. Plus more.

Volcanic cinder in Owens Valley

volcanic-cinder-395.jpg Near Aberdeen, CA in the Eastern Sierra's Inyo County.

LA Aqueduct observances can wind down now

cascades-whitewater.jpg For months now, Los Angeles media, historians and civic officials have been thinking and talking about the city's water link to the Eastern Sierra and what it all means. It has been a good and useful exercise. Tuesday's reenactment was itself pretty cool.

Nikki Finke and site she started are 'parting ways'

deadline-grab-finke-out.jpg Key staffers hired by Finke will carry on Finke calls it "a great day" and says she is free to start a new career at a new website.

Wrecking Crew documentary asks for Kickstarter help

hal-blaine-kickstarter.jpg Danny Tedesco says he needs $250,000 to pay the music licensing costs of his film on the legendary Hollywood session musicians.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 11.5.13

nadia-lockyer-kgo.jpg Nadia Lockyer speaks. Garcetti makes more changes in City Hall departments. David Dreier to represent Obama. Dean Singleton retiring. Blogger gets a national gig. PR marketer fired for LAX tweet. Upset at the Palisadian-Post. And more.

Book excerpt: The Valley rises as Mulholland falls

water-comission-lapl.jpg Part 2 of an excerpt adapted from "San Fernando Valley: America's Suburb" for the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

Free Tix: Scott Turow and Brian Dennehy on Tuesday night

IDENTICAL-Cover.jpg If you were a fan of Scott Turow's early blockerbuster legal thrillers, you will possibly remember that in the film version of "Presumed Innocent," Brian Dennehy played prosecuting attorney Raymond Horgan.

Stinky fish balls at Salton Sea. Really stinky.

fish-balls-salton-sea-hand.jpg The key words here are rotting balls of fish flesh and corpse wax. Bon appetit.

Morning Buzz: Monday 11.4.13

arnold-series.jpg LAX back to pretty much normal. A call for Sen. Calderon to resign. Huizar contacted in FBI undercover sting. Nury Martinez on life at City Hall. Ray Suarez lands at Al Jazeera America. Patti Smith remembers Lou Reed. The Schwarzenegger line of supplements, and more for a Monday.

Selected weekend reads: LAX shooter, an Arizona liar and Kareem

esq-cpp-lax.jpg The only thing random about the LAX Terminal 3 shooting is the shooter, says Charles Pierce, the politics blogger who was around the horseshoe in Terminal 7 when Friday's attack occurred.

Part one: LA and its Owens Valley water

cascades-crowd-watches.jpg A couple of the chapters in my book on the San Fernando Valley deal with the Los Angeles Aqueduct and how abundant water changed the city and the valley. It holds up, I'm pleased to say. For this week's anniversary, here's an adapted version.
university-high-hs-lao.jpg In an joint opinion piece in the Los Angeles News Group papers, former mayor Richard Riordan and LANG columnist Tim Rutten write that the Los Angeles schools spend a lot more on students than district officials know or admit — with much lower results than they also will admit.

Kushner sued over disputed funds from Register purchase

oc-register.jpg Former shareholders in Freedom Communications allege that buyer Aaron Kushner has wrongly held back $17 million from the 2012 purchase deal that put him in charge of the Orange County Register. He says they defrauded him on the deal.

Shootings in Terminal 3 at LAX *

lax-terminal-reiter.jpg A gunman apparently opened fire in Terminal 3 this morning. NBC reports one TSA agent has been killed and another wounded. The gunman has been identified and reportedly is in a hospital.

Morning Buzz: Friday 11.1.13

four-doane-lius.jpg Electronics on flights. Santa Monica sues FAA. Lawmakers distance themselves from Calderon. Changes at City Hall. Hillary Clinton in Hollywood. Aja Brown sees Compton as new Brooklyn. Army Corps pressured over Sepulveda Basin clearing. New lawyer at LA Times. 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