LA Observed archive
for February 2014

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

Morning Buzz: Friday 2.28.14

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for lafd-ambulance-41.jpg Brown runs. Harris takes on concealed weapons. LAFD nepotism continues. Kozinski orders a video taken down. Empress Pavilion to reopen (in name at least.) Say hello to a new quasiparticle. And more.

Gotta love the Pacific Ocean

noaa-wx-map-calif-22714.jpg Awesome weather map. The free water will be here Friday morning.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.27.14

pigeon-flyers-sport.jpg How qualified LAFD job applicants were rejected in seconds. But overtime pay jumped for hired firefighters. Garcetti's mission to Mexico. Website squatting in the sheriff's race. The sport of roller pigeons. Watch a 32-story tower rise downtown. Plus more.

Governor vetoes Arizona bill to allow bias against gays

jan-brewer-grab.jpg Arizona Governor Jan Brewer put an end to the public image catastrophe and economic wrath from Senate Bill 1062, which would have allowed business owners to refuse to serve lesbian and gay customers if the discrimination was based on a “sincerely held religious belief.” Both Republican Senators in Arizona opposed the bill.

Los Angeles TV stations go on Sprinkle Watch

nws-rain-map22614.jpg Taking all of the night's news shows together, I figure there were about 30 minutes of coverage for each tenth of an inch of rain to actually fall. But it's still early in the predicted storm cycle.

Three mountain lions at a kill, starring P-13 and cubs

p-30-in-mtns-smnra.jpg The bar for getting us to pay attention to local cougar photos keeps being raised. This new batch from the Santa Monica Mountains meets the test.

Out of pocket this morning

I'm otherwise occupied for the first part of today. Will be posting later.

How Baca and Tanaka let the sheriff's department go bad

baca-grab-lamag.jpg Celeste Fremon has covered for many years the foibles and scandals of Lee Baca's sheriff's department, and in the new issue of Los Angeles Magazine she gets more than 10,000 words to explain for newcomers the "morass" that formed under the management of Baca and top deputy (and now candidate) Paul Tanaka.

Gold coins from 1800s worth $10 million found buried in Gold Country

gold-coins-saddle-ridge.jpg This story seems a bit too perfect to be what it is, but here ya go. The location and the names of the couple who found the coins are being kept private.

LA Times to ditch current reader comments

jimmy-orr-comments-crop.jpg When a new comments engine debuts on Thursday, the banks of readers utterings already posted will apparently just go away.

Journalist Miles O'Brien loses an arm: 'just a flesh wound'

miles-obrien-beard.jpg Science and technology reporter Miles O'Brien ("PBS NewsHour," "Frontline," CNN) was wrapping up a trip to Japan and the Philippines this month when a camera case fell on his forearm. Ouch.

Tony Gieske, jazz reviewer and editor was 82

tony-gieske-fb.jpg Robert Anthony "Tony" Gieske worked for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and spent 18 years at the Hollywood Reporter.
Thumbnail image for philip-seymour-hoffman.jpg It's stunning how fast this all happened. One day, the National Enquirer was posting a bogus story that claimed David Bar Katz was the secret gay lover of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Less than three weeks later, the tabloid is paying for Katz to create the American Playwriting Foundation.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.25.14

alec-baldwin-capitalny.jpg Jerry Brown keeps paroling lifers. Ron Calderon pleads not guilty. Matt Miller in Daily Beast. Venture capitalist claims he's serious about splitting California into six states. Why Alec Baldwin spoke to New York Magazine. SportsNet LA launches tonight. An editor on losing her mother. "Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle" screens in Washington. Police academy cafe closes. Plus more.

Law of averages brings a wet storm this week

nws-rainfall-fcast-map.jpg The blocking ridge of high pressure over the Pacific Ocean off North America couldn't last forever. It just seemed that way. An explanation.

Bree Walker talks about her arrest and that mug shot

bree-walker-happier.jpg Robin Abcarian, the LA Times columnist, stopped in to see her Venice neighbor this morning. They talked about the event that re-injected the former CBS 2 anchor into the news stream last week: Walker's arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence in Anaheim, and the release of a police mug shot that showed her looking, in Walker's words, like rocker Steven Tyler.

Harold Ramis, writer and director of comedy was 69

harold-ramis-ice-harvest-focus-f.jpg Let's stop for a minute to appreciate the comedy of Harold Ramis: "Caddyshack" and "Groundhog Day," "Animal House," "Ghostbusters," "Stripes" and more.

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.24.14

moviefone-kramer.jpg Times says let homeowners pay for sidewalk upkeep. Councilman Parks wants renters to pay cost of earthquake fixes. Beverly Hills still an obstacle to Purple Line. WiFi coming to LA subway. Netflix will pay for clear Comcast signal. Piers Morgan out. Alec Baldwin out. Economist man in LA to get Europe column. Amtrak buys good will from writers. Plus media moves, Moviefone shuts down and more.

Red Cars waiting to be crushed

red-cars-george-mann-vla.jpg Vintage LA on Facebook is posting images released for the first time by photographer George Mann. This cropped photo shows Pacific Electric cars piled up on Terminal Island in 1963

William F. Thomas, editor of the LA Times at its peak was 89

bill-thomas-letter.jpg Bill Thomas was editor of the Los Angeles from 1971 to 1989, a time in which the paper's reputation grew nationally due largely to the expansion in coverage and ambition he led.

Kings and Ducks won gold in Sochi

canada-hockey-gold-vinnick.jpg Canada's gold medal hockey team in the Olympics included four local NHL players: Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, and Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks.

Jason Collins signs with Nets, they beat Lakers

jason-collins-nets-grab.jpg Jason Collins began a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday and got a nice hand from his hometown crowd when he took the floor at Staples Center.

Drug cartel leader El Chapo arrested in Mazatlan

el-chapo-arrest.jpg Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the kingpin of the Sinaloa cartel, is "the biggest arrest in a generation." He had escaped prison in a laundry cart 13 years ago.
ron-calderon-alj.jpg Ron Calderon's charges could bring up to 396 years in federal prison and Tom could face 160 years, if convicted. Tom surrendered this morning and Ron is expected in court Monday.

LAT Business Editor leaves for a foreign post

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for latimes-sign-sideview.jpg Marla Dickerson will become Brazil bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal. Calendar writer Reed Johnson, her husband, is also jumping to the WSJ in Brazil.

In the SoCal mountains with trail camera trackers

cougar-magic-lion.jpg Johanna Turner and Denis Callet are friends who met through their shared pursuit of capturing trail photos of the LA area's mountain lions, bears, foxes and other fauna.

Tim Egan on the folly of California's 'nature-defiance'

calif-aqueduct-122612.jpg He gets that "the whole fantasy of modern California has long been dependent on an audacious feat of engineering." This time is different, he argues.

The other sides of Alex Cohen and Howard Blume

alex-cohen-12-grab.jpg Before KPCC's Cohen was the co-host of "Take Two," she was a 12-year-old game show contestant. Plus: Blume taps on Saturday.

Press release o' the day: Models wanted for free

la-fashion-corner-release.jpg Ladies please wear shorts or mini-skirt. Be comfortable wearing a bikini or lingerie and able to walk in high-heels. Men be prepared to show stomach. No pay, "but great experience and exposure."

A boarding school comes to downtown LA

aup-entrance.jpg American University Preparatory School, which is taking applications from high school students around the world, will open in the fall in the former Laemmle movie theaters and adjacent converted office building at 3rd and Figueroa streets.

Life in the LAPD: Not all it could be

lapd-horses-dtla-bradbury.jpg For a Column One story in the LA Times, reporter Joel Rubin and photographer Brian Van der Brug embedded with a class of recruits at the LAPD academy a few years ago. They followed the careers of several who made it through.

Morning Buzz at night: Friday 2.21.14

regional-connector-map-metro.jpg Money for the Downtown Regional Connector. Garcetti plans Mexico trip. Campaign 2014 moves. USC's curious decision to kill the masters in professional writing program. Finalists for LA Times Book Prizes. Best lede ever? SoCal's secret water control center. And more.

Kushner also speaking at USC Annenberg

aaron-kushner-usc.jpg We're starting to see Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner reach out in Los Angeles in advance of launching his new LA newspaper. He'll be in the journalism school at USC next Tuesday.

Bryan Stow family coming to LA, plea deal possible *

Tyler-and-Bry.jpg NBC and the LA Times are reporting that the two suspects in the Dodger Stadium beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow on Opening Day in 2011 may accept a plea bargain in court on Thursday. NBC4 says that Stow's family will be in court.

Richest, biggest and most valuable in LA

getty-center-view-lawn.jpg I cherry pick some of the more interesting rankings from the Los Angeles Business Journal's annual book of lists.

Bree Walker, former CBS 2 anchor, arrested on DUI

bree-walker-dui.jpg She was reportedly stopped by Anaheim police after running a red light then failed a field sobriety test. Walker was released on a promise to appear in court.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.19.14

AntonioVillaraigosaKimHonigthumb.jpg Another Californian leaves Congress. Garcetti on infrastructure. Villaraigosa has a young NYC girlfriend. A caretaker on the school board. Archdiocese settles with victims for $13 million more. No more free Dodgers TV games. A Trader Joe's for DTLA? Plus more

KCRW buys classical music station in Santa Barbara, will add staff *

kcrw-logo-books.jpg KCRW will get a new stronger signal on the Central Coast at 88.7 FM and produce Santa Barbara versions of "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered." Santa Barbara will continue to hear classical music on 93.7.

Hot ticket: Aaron Kushner to talk about LA newspapers

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for aarson-kushner-ocw.jpg The topic of the Zócalo Public Square panel scheduled March 10 at the Petersen Automotive Museum is "What kind of newspaper does Los Angeles deserve?"
Deadly-Delays-team.jpg “Deadly Delays” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel documented how delays at hospitals across the country undermine newborn screening programs, putting babies at risk of disability and death.

Observatory's Krupp a classic in more ways than one (video)

krupp-camaro-grab.jpg Edwin C. Krupp, the longtime director of Griffith Observatory, bought his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro new when he was a grad student. It's got 479,000 miles and no power steering or brakes. ABC7's Dave Kunz checks it out.

Red tells the story: California drought still big and bad

Even after last week's heavy rainfall up north, the drought maps are still a dry sea of red. And oh by the way, it looks as if the Ridiculously Resilient Ridge may be re-forming out in the Pacific.

A twisted tale: Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel

peanut-filled-pretzels.jpg The trouble began when Trader Joe’s allegedly switched suppliers, cutting out Aliso Viejo’s Maxim Marketing in favor of giant ConAgra Foods. Maxim has not gone quietly.

Morning Buzz and holiday catch up: Tuesday 2.18.14

metropolis-project-renderings.jpg White House to screen Clooney's "Monuments Men." Council members to propose living wage hike for hotel workers. Police commission poised to OK new shooting review shift. Jimmy Fallon debuts and Bob Costas returns. The sad case of Casey Kasem. Gustavo Dudamel in Venezuela. Culver City ice rink still can't reopen. Plus much more.

Occidental, LA's biggest company, leaving for Houston

oxy-hq-westwood-lao.jpg Restructuring Occidental Petroleum will give up its longtime home at the busiest intersection in Los Angeles. “Energy companies feel very welcome in Houston and in Texas,” says the head of the LA Chamber of Commerce.

Two CHP officers killed in crash near Fresno

chp-officers-killed-on-99.jpg The California Highway Patrol announced today that Officer Juan Gonzalez, 33, and Officer Brian Law, 34, died this morning when their cruiser came upon a crash on state route 99 near Kingsburg, south of Fresno in the San Joaquin Valley.

Weekend politics and government

aster_palm_springs.jpg Obama talks California drought — then goes golfing on a lush green course in the desert? Brand-name consultants for Williamson, a Villaraigosa aide joins the LAFD and more.

Free tix: Anna Quindlen and Meghan Daum

anna-quindlen-150v.jpg The Live Talks LA event is Wednesday night in Santa Monica. Claim tickets at the link inside.

It takes a village to replace Nate Silver

Lynn-Vavreck-ucla.jpg The New York Times has been building a new politics and data team to replace Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog. UCLA political scientist Lynn Vavreck will be a regular contributor. Plus more.

Humpback mother and calf off Maui (drone video)

maui-whales-by-drone.jpg Justin Edwards and his drone camera lingered above two humpback whales swimming in the channel off Maui on Valentine's Day.

Cool time lapse of the concrete pour at DTLA's Wilshire Grand

concrete-pour-timelapse-grab.jpg This weekend's pouring of the concrete base for the Wilshire Grand Hotel turned into a fascinating dance of engineering, street-level logistics and photo ops. This piece by David Leonard is our favorite.

Rich of the world once again investing in LA homes

blue-jay-way-home-bloomberg.jpg California mansions are being bought by Chinese families, foreign tycoons and U.S. celebrities as a hedge against currency and stock market disasters or the vicissitudes of politics, Bloomberg Luxury says.

Media watch cement dry at Wilshire Grand construction site

cement-pour-wilshire-grand.jpg Streets were closed all around Wilshire and Figueroa on Saturday and early Sunday to make way for a big fleet of trucks pouring concrete for the base of the new Wilshire Grand hotel, being built by Korean interests as the highest skyscraper on the West Coast.

Ellen Page comes out in a pretty great speech (video)

ellen-page-hrc-grab.jpg "I'm tired of hiding," the actress said in a Las Vegas speech tonight sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign. "And I'm tired of lying by omission."

KCRW's Matt Miller joins race for Waxman seat

matt-miller-bw.jpg The race to succeed Rep. Henry Waxman in the 33rd congressional district just got more crowded. Miller will take a leave from KCRW and his Washington Post column.

This will be a bad traffic weekend around Sepulveda Pass

405-sepulveda-pass.jpg Westside, Valley side or up in the canyons — doesn't matter. Metro officials are urging everyone to avoid driving on the northbound 405 freeway or nearby over this holiday weekend.

Weather to vote aye, that is the question

weather-or-not.jpg The LA City Council wants action on the Weather Channel-DirecTV dispute — weather or not you agree.

Andy Borowitz imagines FAQs from Comcast and Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable Merger-tny.jpg Sample Q: How will the merger affect the price of my cable service? A: We will be introducing financing options, roughly similar to those that enabled you to attend college.

Morning Buzz: Thursday 2.13.14

dtla-parking-structure.jpg Ex-governors to pitch new death penalty law. Why did the AIDS Healthcare Foundation go after Yaroslavsky? Why is the Times obsessed with Ridley-Thomas' garage? City Hall may let your neighbor keep bees. A rival looks back at the Waxman-Berman machine. KCET's dire financials. Jimmy Fallon's crime against California. And the Stratocaster turns 60. Plus more.

Luis J. Rodríguez samples the lowrider life of Tokyo

luis-j-rodriguez.jpg Luis J. Rodríguez, the author and recently announced candidate for governor of California, writes in a new collection about an exchange with lowrider aficionados in Japan.

Parking wars on one street in the Hollywood Hills

Whitley-Heights-Signage.jpg Former LA Times reporter Hilary MacGregor describes quite amusingly the battle between her neighbors on Las Palmas Avenue in the Whitley Heights section of Hollywood, and the drivers who want to park there.

Jillian Barberie, John Phillips to share mid-day radio slot

GooddayMidDay.jpg When last we saw Jillian Barberie, she was leaving Fox 11 once and for all. Now she will do talk radio on KABC.

Exene Cervenka is selling her stuff, starting tomorrow

exene-rickenbacker.jpg Cervenka is putting clothing, instruments, vintage jewelry, vinyl records and other personal items up for bidding in an estate sale that begins Thursday. "She is downsizing and plans on relocating soon," says the website.

Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner: 'This is Your Story' (video)

Caesar and Reiner spoof another popular staple of 1950s TV, "This is Your Life."

Sid Caesar, comedy treasure was 91 (video)

sid-ceasar-grab.jpg Caesar's 1950s NBC program "Your Show of Shows" featured Imogene Coca and writers such as Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and Larry Gelbart. Caesar died today at home in Beverly Hills.

Ten of LA's culinary power couples

gergis-menashe-of-bestia.jpg You've got Suzanne Goin and David Lentz (A.O.C., Lucques, Tavern, the Hungry Cats), Genevieve Gergis and Ori Menashe (above, Bestia) and more.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.12.14

maggie-koerth-baker.jpg Drought politics heating up. An opening coming to California Supreme Court. Herb Wesson endorses Wendy Greuel. Why LA high-rises don't have sprinklers. White House guest list. New hires at Bloomberg film beat and Sitrick PR. And the perp who smashed LAPD car windows while Darth Vader watched.

When Shirley Temple and Cesar Chavez bonded

cesar-chavez-foundation.jpg Shirley Temple Black had a lot to do with the farmworker leader making one of his most famous speeches. They bonded over lunch before the speech at the Commonwealth Club of California.

Bob Costas will sit out Olympics tonight

bob-costas-glasses-olympics.jpg Costas' red and swollen eyes are getting worse, not better. He will be replaced tonight by Matt Lauer.

Shirley Temple Black, America's child movie star was 85

shirley-temple-lapl.jpg For five years during the Great Depression, Shirley Temple was the most popular movie star in America of any age. Her popularity saved 20th Century Fox. She later became an ambassador and prominent Republican.

Leonard Knight, desert creator of Salvation Mountain was 82

salvation-mountain-knight.jpg Leonard Knight spent almost 30 years building a colorful mountain of adobe covered with donated paint in the Imperial Valley desert near Salton Sea. Knight and Salvation Mountain were featured in the film "Into the Wild."

Greuel's new team a little like the old team

greuel-media-mayor-race.jpg Greuel is going with old Villaraigosa hands to run her campaign this time, but Ace Smith and Sean Clegg also advised one of the so-called independent PACs that pushed Greuel for mayor last year.

Sam Rubin's bad day with Samuel L. Jackson (videos)

rubin-jackson-ktla.jpg The KTLA entertainment anchor made a mistake with Jackson on live TV this morning and has been the butt of jokes and social media comments the rest of the day. And probably will be tomorrow too, despite an on-air apology. Bad on KTLA: the video clip inside starts automatically.

Veteran TV types fill the final slot in KFI radio lineup

mark-thompson-espinosa-kfi.jpg Starting today, the 1-3 pm slot is filled by Mark Thompson, the former Fox 11 weather anchor, and Elizabeth Espinosa, the former Fox 11 and KTLA reporter and anchor. Yes, the LA home of angry white guy talk now has a Latina co-host.

This is the year we find out about Yasiel Puig

puig-espn-mag-grab.jpg The Dodgers are in spring training already. ESPN the Magazine profiles Puig in advance of his key upcoming season: no longer a rookie or a surprise.

Reservoirs rise a little after week of rain, but so what?

water-grafic-bang.jpg Folsom Lake is six feet higher, but that only means the reservoir is at 19% of capacity instead of 17%. Nice graphic shows how water use differs around the state.

Last-minute free tix: P.J. O'Rourke with Annabelle Gurwitch

orourke-gurwitch-ltla.jpg I should have posted this sooner, and now the event is tonight at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. But here you go. It's with Live Talks LA.

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.10.14

garcetti-nbc4newsconf.jpg Garcetti first guest on new set of "News Conference." Mayor and Beck split on Dorner officers. Ted Lieu, Jose Huizar, Dean Logan, Lori Gottlieb, Amy Wallace, Bill Keller, Chery Glaser, Sam Zell, Roy Choi and more.

Broad Museum opening delayed until 2015

broad-plaza-rendering.jpg When the museum does open on Bunker Hill, there will be a public plaza and a restaurant whose partners include Bill Chait of Bestia and alums of Thomas Keller restaurants.

Grief has no deadline, an LA writer learns

watts-towers-sign.jpg Jocelyn Y. Stewart used to cover hard news for the Los Angeles Times, an assignment that often took her into the South LA neighborhood where she grew up to cover homicides and other crimes. Then one night, late, her phone rang.

Great new photo of the Beatles' 1964 LA party

beatles-in-la-vintagela.jpg Alison Martino has posted perhaps the most fun picture yet, at her Vintage Los Angeles page on Facebook. It names several current LA figures, now grown up.

Woody Allen has his say in the New York Times too *

allen-farrow-kids-1988.jpg "Of course, I did not molest Dylan," Allen writes. "I loved her and hope one day she will grasp how she has been cheated out of having a loving father and exploited by a mother more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter’s well-being."

Yaroslavsky makes it official: he's not running for Congress

zev-as-lincoln.jpg Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky put out a statement this morning confirming that he will not run for the Henry Waxman seat in Congress. (In case you were going to ask.)

'Atmospheric river' of rain pointed at Northern California

atmospheric-river-grab.jpg As much as 6-7 inches of rain could fall as the ridiculously resilient ridge retreats. SoCal won't be part of the big event, at least so far.

Jay Leno: 'It's just been incredible' (video)

jay-leno-sad-grab.jpg "The first year of this show I lost my mom. The second year I lost my dad. Then my brother died. And after that I was pretty much out of family. And the folks here became my family."

Zocalo Public Square adds a national and science editor

Jia-Rui-Chong-Cook-zocalo.jpg It's Jia-Rui Cook, the former LA Times reporter and JPL media relations rep.

LA Times passed on running Dylan Farrow's letter

dylan-farrow-by-frances-silver.jpg Dylan Farrow's letter that ran on Nicholas Kristof's New York Times blog was shopped around first and turned down by the Los Angeles Times op-ed page.

New sheriff converts Tanaka's cigar-smoking patio

new-sheriff-john-scott.jpg The covered, county-maintained patio where loyalists of Undersheriff Paul Tanaka could enter with a private token and smoke cigars, apparently illegally, will be turned into a barbecue area.

Maddaus: Garcetti stuck in beta mode

garcetti-first-presser-tigh.jpg Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA Weekly politics writer Gene Maddaus have a different view of how the mayor is doing so far. "His head is swirling with ideas, but...his record is surprisingly thin," Maddaus writes.

Hollywood money will be big in the Waxman district

thr-grafic-33rd-cd.jpg CD 33 contributed millions to President Obama's election campaigns. The district hasn't been up for grabs for four decades. And it's home to the likes of Jeffrey Katzenberg and Haim Saban.

Even Silver Lake doesn't want you to call it 'Eastside' *

silver-lake-promo-sign.jpg The old Eastside versus Faux Eastside debate is back, this time at the level of neighborhood council. Silver Lake's council advises you not to call them Eastside (not that we would.)

Pussy Riot charms Stephen Colbert and audience (video) *

pussy-riot-colbert-grab.jpg Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina appeared last night on "The Colbert Report." Nothing is lost in translation.
uscgc-halibu-logo.jpg Two men from Ensenada were convicted of ramming a Coast Guard inflatable, throwing Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III into the water near Santa Cruz Island. He suffered a fatal injury in the 2012 incident.

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 2.5.13

jay-leno-wrap.jpg LAPD officers broke policy during Dorner shootings. CVS to drop tobacco. Villaraigosa endorses Greuel. Sandra Fluke to run for state Senate. Jay Leno mocked Democrats more than Republicans. Sochi sounds bad. BuzzFeed's LA media maven and more.

Tail o' the Pup sighting on the 405 (video)

tail-o-pup-on-405-am.jpg The storied West Hollywood area hot dog stand Tail o' the Pup has been in storage in Torrance for seven years — until Monday. The stand's wiener and bun were placed on a flatbed and launched toward some kind of destination in Las Vegas for restoration.

Photo: Mayor Garcetti turns 43

garcetti-birthday.jpg Staffers had a little birthday spread today for Mayor Eric Garcetti at City Hall.

Magic Johnson, other Dodger owners buy the Sparks

sparks-parker-returns-wnba.jpg Members of the Dodgers' ownership group led by Johnson and Mark Walter are saving the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks from oblivion, the LA Times reports.

Garcetti appoints a city innovation technology chief

peter-marx-meg.jpg Peter Marx has been vice president of business development at Qualcomm Labs and vice president of the technology and digital studio at Mattel.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was 'far from disappointing in person'

pshoffman-david-carr-piece.jpg New York Times media writer David Carr had some things in common with Philip Seymour Hoffman: wrestling, a role to play in the movie promoting machine, and addiction.

Huntington acquires photo collection of Ernest Marquez

sm-beach-visitors-marquez.jpg This is pretty awesome. Ernie Marquez, a member of the land-grant family that owned Santa Monica Canyon, grew up in the canyon himself and later in life became an LA historian and collector of historical photographs.

Morning Buzz: Tuesday 2.4.13

david-cunningham-iii.jpg Hilda Solis and the FBI. City Hall pays nine LAPD officers to work for the union. More candidates declare. Garcetti's mandate such as it is. Judge Cunningham files claim against UCLA police who cuffed him. KCET Departures' new look. Moby loves LA in the Guardian. Dodgers jack prices way up. Plus more.

County nearly finished updating dams for earthquakes

big-tujunga-dam-after-station.jpg Since the deadly Sylmar earthquake in 1971 it has been recognized that the flood control dams in the San Gabriels were not built sufficiently strong to hold up if a severe regional quake hit while the dams retained a full load of water.
vf-march-2014-hollywood-cover.jpg Plenty of stars show up on the cover of Vanity Fair despite Gwyneth Paltrow's ask that her friends shun the magazine. Editor Graydon Carter addresses the whole Paltrow saga in his editor's letter.

Rising to the defense of Mozza's butterscotch budino

budino-mozza.jpg The luxuriant dessert at Pizzeria Mozza threatens to sue over a so-so review. Read the press release.

Time Warner Cable will give you a movie to make up for Super Bowl

time-warner-cable-twc-truck.jpg Rather than require ticked-off viewers to make claims and complete a bunch of paperwork, TWC will give all Southern California customers a gift to make up for losing the Super Bowl feed on Sunday.

New ex-journalist PIOs in the District Attorney's office

jackie-lacey-courthouse.jpg Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey has revamped her media office with a trio of former journalists. Office veteran Jane Robison gets a new title and the office is on Twitter.

LA as a see or be seen kind of place

ciclavia-wilshire-crop.jpg Interesting blog post by law professor and city of Los Angeles ethics commissioner Jessica Levinson on an aspect of the public culture here.

Morning Buzz: Monday 2.3.14

dylan-farrow-by-frances-silver.jpg Dylan Farrow accuses father Woody Allen. Amy Wallace on the Tom Sherak she knew. A major San Diego journalism voice dies. Michael Hiltzik versus today's media and the NFL. Leo Braudy on Pete Seeger. Plus politics, media and book notes and a new spokesman for the sheriff, and some news about the Culver City Ice Arena.

Politics notes for a busy weekend

ted-lieu-grab.jpg Ted Lieu gets in. Wendy Greuel pays down some debt. Remembering the Henry Waxman legacy. Ed Edelman endorses Bobby Shriver. The political tension between Gloria Molina and Kevin de Leon. Plus Dan Schnur, a City Hall move and more.

KNBC says farewell to Burbank with backstage looks (videos)

colan-knbc-newsroom.jpg Conan Nolan, the host of "News Conference" on NBC 4, goes behind the scenes with a camera on the final show before the station moves a few miles onto the lot at Universal City.

Time Warner Cable fumbles the Super Bowl

time-warner-cable-twc-truck.jpg Viewers across Southern California lost the game in the second quarter for about an hour. Time Warner Cable noted helpfully that the feed was still available if you were an HD customer.

Maximilian Schell, Oscar winner was 83

m-schell-judgement.jpg Schell won his best actor Oscar for the 1961 Staley Kramer film "Judgment at Nuremberg.” He later directed “Der Rosenkavalier” for the Los Angeles Opera in 2005.

Seth Meyers signs off 'SNL' with the help of some friends (video)

poehler-meyers-snl.jpg Amy Poehler: "Seth, we are here to take you to the other side."

Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in his New York apartment

philip-seymour-hoffman.jpg The Academy Award-winning actor was discovered this morning with a syringe in his arm and a packet of what appears to be heroin, a law enforcement source told the New York Times. He was 46. More inside.
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