LA Observed archive
for July 2014

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

LA Times shifts top foreign, national and metro editors

Thumbnail image for latimes-sign-sideview.jpg Kim Murphy to run both Foreign and National, Shelby Grad takes over Metro, Ashley Dunn moves to National and Brandi Grissom joins the Times from the Texas Tribune.

News and notes for Thursday 7.31.14

hair-krieger-laweekly.jpg Kashkari poses as poor. LA's street woes. NYT switches from "Dining" to "Food." "Hair" at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend plus more.

Jenny Burman talks about 'Veronica Street'

veronica.jpg Our weekly novelist was interviewed by Los Angeles magazine. Meanwhile, columnists Jon Christensen and Mark Gold were both on KPCC today talking about issues around the water main break that deluged part of UCLA.

Water lost in Sunset break doubles to 20 million gallons

dwp-sinkhole-balloon.jpg Enough water to sustain 100 families for a year was lost in the pipeline break that flooded parts of UCLA. More than 900 cars are stranded in underground garages and half of those may have been submerged.
ucla-flood-grab-nbc4.jpg Quite a scene at UCLA on Tuesday. Plus Channel 7 falls for a fake DWP spokesman — but it takes a while.

Vin Scully coming back for season #66 (video)

scully-wife-going-for-66.jpg Vin Scully and the Dodgers decided to head off the usual late summer speculation and announce during Tuesday night's game that he will come back next year.

Garcettis out of state on vacation again

garcetti-wakeland-doting-gary.jpg The City Council returned this week from a summer recess, but the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti informed the media that "Mayor Garcetti will be traveling with his family out of the state from July 25 until August 4."

Truman Capote's typewriter added to Soboroff collection

capote-smith-corona.jpg Capote purchased the Smith-Corona electric here in 1970 and kept it in his writing room at the Bel Air home of close friend Joanne Carson. It was used for Capote's last three books.

30 years ago today: 'Rhapsody in Blue' in the Coliseum

1984-opening-ceremony.jpg During the opening ceremony of the Los Angeles Olympic Games, a dramatic moment came when 84 grand pianos appeared in the peristyle of the Coliseum and began to play George Gershwin.

KFWB going all sports, LA Times needs water, more media notes

lat-drinking-water-pearce.jpg LA Times staffers are restless about halted delivery of bottled water in the newsroom. Plus a veteran NPR voice dies, a SoCal media voice gets married, and more on Mission & State.

Judge rejects Donald Sterling on all points

sterling-roggin.jpg Shelly Sterling is close to receiving the go-ahead on her sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer.

Historian of the Valley hangs up his tour shoes

fernand-vncityhall.jpg Richard Hilton guided his final walking tour of old Van Nuys on Saturday -- so I just had to go along.

NBC4 wins the most local Emmys

emmys-66-logo.jpg NBC4's honors included for investigative reporting and for regularly scheduled daily evening newscast. Channel 4's Mary Harris also won the Emmy for news writing for the seventh time.

Lightning strikes at Venice Beach kill 1, injure several

venice-lightnining-nbc4.jpg Lightning strikes at the water line are very rare here. Which is fortunate, because they are scary.
joe-flint-twitter.jpg Flint will be based in the LA bureau of the Journal. He covered media for the WSJ for seven years before joining the Times.

Bravo: Downtown LA by quadcopter

quadcopter-dtla-easterncol.jpg Every familiar building, landmark, roofline and mural is photographed by Ian Wood. The challenge has been thrown down for quad-flying urban videographers.

Oregon's OR7 has himself a wolf family now

or-7-pup-usfws.jpg The male gray wolf that walked around in far northern California for a year or so looking for a mate — unsuccessfully — has fathered puppies with the mate he found back in Oregon's Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

Obama stops in Canters for some lunch chat

obama-at-canters-crowley.jpg Between the Brentwood high-roller breakfast and Trade-Tech, President Obama made a stop on Fairfax to have lunch and swap some stories.

Mayor's video takes his message directly to LAPD officers

garcetti-video-lappl.jpg Advantage Garcetti: He posts a YouTube message to officers since the union doesn't want him to speak at stations.

Media and news notes: Thursday 7.24.14

colbert-stephen.jpg Drought effects. Bobby Shriver gets an endorsement. Obamajam keeps woman in labor from the hospital. Colbert will keep Late Show in NYC. What happens when film and TV productions are denied California's subsidy. Plus media notes: Maria Russo, Chris Long, KCRW's drone and more.

Alarcons guilty of some charges in phony residence

alarcon-home-dn.jpg Former Councilman Richard Alarcon and his wife were acquitted on most charges, but convicted on enough. Alarcon said he would probably appeal.

Traffic guidance for today's visit by President Obama

Thumbnail image for obama-student4_mid.jpg Obamajam potential looks to be centered in Hancock Park and around the Four Seasons Hotel this afternoon and evening, then tomorrow in Brentwood and downtown at Trade-Tech.

Media and news notes: Wednesday 7.23.14

nick-ut-1972.jpg Casey Wasserman quietly leads LA's Olympic bid. The Mexican-born Stanford Law professor named to the state Supreme Court. Andre Birotte confirmed as judge. Sheila Kuehl gets County Fed endorsement. Plus Ron Calderon, George McKenna, Nick Ut, Donald Sterling, SoCal's bestsellers this week and more.

New phishing scam: E-ZPass collections

ezpass-fake.jpg These fake emails labeled as attempts to collect unpaid EZPass bills are sweeping the land. I received one yesterday.

Santa Barbara news startup Mission & State to shut down*

injunction-protest-missionandstate.jpg The Knight Foundation and the Santa Barbara non-profit behind the investigative news start-up have agreed that "unfortunately...the Mission & State experiment must come to an end."

Talking more about LA's palm trees *

palm-weed-commerce.jpg My Monday segment on KCRW and a collaboration between the LA Review of Books and Flaunt magazine show the ongoing power of the palm in the LA narrative.

Go to jail in the old HerEx building

jail-cell-herex.jpg The Herald Examiner building downtown has not been inhabited by real newspaper reporters and editors since 1989. But some of them may feel eerily at home in the jail sets recently added to the array of location sets available for rental.

News and notes for Monday 7.21.14

new-yorker-illo-note.jpg Hottest six months ever in California. Perez drops recount. Considering California's political cast of cast of septuagenarians and octogenarians. Mayor Hahn now in traffic court. Policing the Metro system. Plus a new New Yorker website, James Garner and more.

Under the 405 in America's Suburb (photo)

under-405-parthenia.jpg Homeless' belongings parked in the shade under the freeway on Parthenia Street in North Hills, in the heart of the San Fernando Valley.

The making of 'Code Black' at County-USC

code-cbooth550.jpg Zevweb has a nice feature on how the documentary came to tell the story of the emergency room at County-USC Medical Center on the Eastside.

A sign of the print apocalypse?

newsbox-apocalypse.jpg News boxes observed, spotted on Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana.

In praise of Glendale's closing Brand Bookshop

brand-bookshop-allen.jpg David Allen, the columnist for the Inland Valley Bulletin, is a fan of the Brand Bookshop in Glendale and isn't happy at all to hear that it's closing soon.

News and notes: Wednesday 7.16.14

sushi-scattergood-law.jpg Water police, Garcetti welcomes immigrant children, yet another new approach to Skid Row, best restaurants in the Valley and more.

I got my invitation for President Obama's visit next week

obama-invite-72014.jpg Actually, what I received was an invitation from the Democratic National Committee to enter a contest to win a trip — to Los Angeles! — during President Obama's upcoming trip. I don't have to contribute to win, though they hope I will.

Soboroff adds a Tom Hanks typewriter *

hermes-3000-hanks.jpg Steve Soboroff's collection of now 23 machines tours to raise money for journalism scholarships. Here are some of the others.

Tribune jabs one last FU in the LA Times' face

Thumbnail image for latimes-building-aerial-tig.jpg In the final email from CEO Peter Liguori, Tribune's newspaper story is a purely Chicago story. No Chandlers or LA Times.

Garcetti names his new fire chief

lafd-chief-terrazas.jpg Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas would be the LAFD's first Latino chief.

Villaraigosa loses votes with eyesore in Moreno Valley

villaraigosa-dump-buzzfeed.jpg Neighbors were shocked to learn that the absentee owner of the decrepit shack on Eucalyptus Avenue was the mayor of Los Angeles.

News and notes: Tuesday 7.15.14

Thumbnail image for prosser-sidewalk-jg.jpg NPR news chief leaves (see memo excerpt.) Perez recount could last until after the election. New editor of Slate. LA's sidewalks. Plus more.
marlborough-web-grab.jpg Since a former student at Marlborough wrote two weeks ago about her English teacher falling in love with her — and more — the scandal has roiled the Hancock Park campus and reached to Pasadena's Polytechnic.

KTLA's Wendy Burch details her pregnancy for viewers (video)

wendy-burch-pregnant-grab.jpg Burch takes to the station's morning show to explain the details of how, at age 45, she decided to go the frozen egg route. The report runs almost six minutes.

The philosopher king and the creation of NPR

npr-west-weekened-atc-room.jpg An excerpt from Steve Oney's upcoming book about the history and future of NPR.

Ex-KPCC VP Stanton lands in crisis PR

russstanton.jpg Russ Stanton becomes a senior executive with the public relations firm founded by his (and my) former LA Times colleague Glenn Bunting.

Downtown LA beach fun

grand-park0beach.jpg On a pleasant Los Angeles summer day, the bouncing fountain in Grand Park becomes a concrete urban beach.

Friday news and notes: 7.11.14

lebron-james-grab.jpg LeBron goes back to Cleveland. The Perez recount begins. Bill allows light-rail in the Valley again. LA crime heads up for first time in a decade. Plus more.

Kushner surveys Press-Enterprise readers about Rush Limbaugh

rush-limbaugh-graphic.jpg No decision has been made about giving Limbaugh a column, but subscribers were asked if they would stick around.

Media notes for Thursday, July 10

tom-hoffarth-dn.jpg Rumor about Murdoch and Tribune papers. Hoffarth goes part-time. New producer at KCRW. Iranian journo gets 2 years and 50 lashes for her blog. "Los Angeles Plays Itself," the ESPN Body Issue and more.

Here are some FAQs about sharks in Manhattan Beach

manhattan-beach-pier-sign.jpg Chances are your favorite media outlet over-hyped what happened over the weekend. Heal the Bay scientists offer the lay of the land.

Media moves and notes for Tuesday, July 8

sigman-house.jpg Claude Brodesser-Akner, Michael Sigman, Zen Vuong, Dashiell Bennett, Robert Salladay and more — including the night the LA Times printed the Herald Examiner.

Duran to endorse Bobby Shriver, LAT sources say

john-duran-weho.jpg John Duran got 16 percent of the vote in the Board of Supervisors primary, a bloc that was coveted by Shriver and co-finalist Sheila Kuehl. Now she says it's no big deal since she already won West Hollywood.

July 7 news and notes

Thumbnail image for scarlett-gets-a-star.jpg Back from a long holiday weekend with some politics, some cops, some media moves and Scarlett Johansson.
maria-shriver-grab-today.png Shriver has effusive praise for California's groundbreaking law, but never mentions who sponsored it. Could that be because it's Sheila Kuehl and she's running against another Shriver?
JohnPerezPodium.jpg The former speaker wants to start the recount in Kern County and go from there. Won't be fair if more counties are not included, says Betty Yee's consultant.

Newport Beach lifeguard dies during surf rescue -- first time

lifeguard-dies.jpg Ben Carlson, 32, had been a lifeguard for 15 years. The swimmer he rescued made it back to the beach.

Diesel Books to close in Malibu by fall

diesel-books-malibu-tmt.jpg Owner John Evans says the store will likely be gone by Sept. 21, months before the lease ends. Not enough business to justify the rent.
tamara-keith-npr.jpg She wrote to Scott Simon 19 years ago — got an answer and more — and this past Saturday filed in for Simon as host of "Weekend Edition."

Puig and Dee Gordon make the All-Star team

puig-espn.png Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke have been to the All-Star dance before, and Puig was voted a starter by the fans. Gordon got there by hard work.

Great news for the 4th of July: Al Martinez is back

Thumbnail image for al-martinez-photo.jpg After three months of hospitalization, Martinez resumes his column for LA Observed. "I was a mess, but I lived. Barely."

Blue whale capsizes boat off San Diego (video)

Hook-whale.jpg Two whale watchers on an inflatable boat were thrown into the sea and rescued. Plus: 5 whales and dolphins to watch for this season.

Louis Zamperini dies at age 97

louis-zamperini.jpg A noted local runner as a teenager, Zamperini competed in the Berlin Olympics in 1936 and during World War II survived 47 days adrift on a raft in the Pacific and years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. He was working on a new book with David Rensin when he died and a film of "Unbroken" is due out in December.

Jenny Burman returns with a novel of Los Angeles

She will be posting weekly installments of her new novel, "Veronica Street," set in Los Angeles with a strong flavor of her old home area of Echo Park. Look for new chapters on Wednesdays through the summer.
gehrig-screen-shot.jpg Because baseball.

Paul Mazursky's table at Farmers Market (video)

mazursky-table.jpg Couple of scenes at the director's morning gathering two years ago. "Lots and lots of dick jokes," says the videographer.

'Seinfeld' turns 25 still master of its domain

Seinfeld-chineserestaurant.jpg As the judge said in the final episode, their "callous indifference and utter disregard for everything that is good and decent has rocked the very foundation upon which our society is built."

Metro's 405 contractor sues the agency over delays

405-ramp-closed.jpg This seems like a twist in the long saga of the 405 freeway improvement project through Sepulveda Pass. Kiewit, the project's main contractor, is suing Metro — not the other way around.

Memo of the day: who bled on the copy machine?

kpfk.jpg KPFK is a quirky little radio station. So this memo that went out to staffers Tuesday maybe isn't so odd.

Mark Katches named editor of The Oregonian

mark-katches-cir.jpg The editorial director of the Center for Investigative Reporting, and formerly of California Watch, used to run the investigative team at the Orange County Register.

Six LA sheriff's deputies convicted of jail conspiracy

Thumbnail image for sheriff-car-lao.jpg The deputies could face up to 15 years in prison for hiding a jail inmate from federal investigators.

Jeffrey Ressner, LA journalist was 56

jeffrey-ressner-billboard.jpg Ressner began at the LA Weekly as a messenger, moved to the Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone and US Weekly, then was a Time magazine correspondent in Los Angeles for more than 10 years. He also wrote for Politico.

Paul Mazursky, director and screenwriter was 84

paul-mazursky-baer.jpg Mazursky died Monday of cardiac arrest while at Cedars-Sinai. Writer Adam Baer has posted a nice piece about "the day Paul Mazursky changed my life."

News and notes for July 1

cahsr-illo.jpg Betty Yee may have beaten John Perez. Diversity at NPR and KPCC. Sterling trial over the Clippers. High speed rail shifts strategies. Garcetti, Galperin, Waldie and restaurant closures. Plus more.

LA cop: Skid Row in a 'mental health emergency'

deon-joseph-dtla.jpg Deon Joseph, a senior lead officer in the LAPD's Central Area, has had enough. Skid Row, where he has worked for 16 years, has "once again become an outdoor asylum without walls."
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