LA Observed archive
for August 2014

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City archive photos put to immediate good use

pe-viaduct-fletcher.jpg Image database we posted about yesterday includes this 1928 view of the corner of Riverside and Fletcher drives, showing a long-gone Pacific Electric Red Cars viaduct.

John Lennon for Tower Records on the strip (video)

tower-records-circa-1988.jpg Lennon taped a promotional spot for the Tower Records store on Sunset Strip in 1974, reportedly while in studio at KHJ radio.

Distracted deputy won't be charged for killing cyclist

Olin-no-charges-streetsblog.jpg Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Wood drifted into a bike lane while typing on his patrol car screen last December and struck entertainment attorney Milton Olin Jr.

Grammy Museum to honor 'Star-Spangled Banner' (video)

grammy-museum-sign.jpg "Oh Say Can You Sing: ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ in Popular Music" opens September 12. Yes, Hendrix at Woodstock is featured. Plus: A bonus 'O Canada.'

Mystery of the Death Valley racetrack may be solved

slithering-rocks-scripps.jpg Scientists observed the sailing stones of Racetrack Playa moving this past winter and think they have finally figured out the mechanism that moves heavy rocks across a dry lake bed.

USC player Josh Shaw admits he made up hero story

josh-shaw-usc.jpg The Trojans cornerback has been suspended from the football team and he has retained a lawyer. Shaw says he was injured in an unspecified fall and lied about it.

Media notes for Wednesday 8.27.14

daily-news-editors.jpg Daily News leadership, a new photo of and a threat directed at Nikki Finke, Heather Havrilesky's column moves, plus more.

Producer's 'detention' by BHPD creates big backlash

charles-belk-msnbc.jpg Charles Belk was at an Emmy event in Beverly Hills when he went out to feed his meter. He was stopped by police, cuffed and taken away as a bank robbery suspect. He says its about walking while black and his Facebook post has gone huge.

Photos from the LA city archives now online

lachs-1st-street-bridge-1890s.jpg The Los Angeles City Historical Society has put a growing database online of selected official photographs from the Los Angeles City Archives. More than 600 images now, and the project's Anna Sklar tells me more are coming.

New local news editors named at the LA Times

Thumbnail image for latimes-building-aerial-tig.jpg Today's memo from LA Times Metro editor Shelby Grad announces a shake-up of the editing team following Grad's promotion from city editor.

Napa quake first in CA where we actually know who woke up

jawbone-napa-quake-grafic.jpg Turns out that almost everybody in the Napa and Vallejo areas got up when the quake hit at 3:20 a.m. and half of those stayed up the rest of the night. Based on data, not anecdote.

Deasy to stop and re-bid iPad deal after email disclosures

deasy-mics.jpg After stories by KPCC and the LA Times, and a critical internal report, the LAUSD superintendent agrees to re-bid the hugely expensive project to equip classrooms with tablet computers.

Dodgers' most notorious historical moment reexamined

marichal-roseboro-annotated.jpg In a pretty remarkable piece at Deadspin, Los Angeles author David Davis annotates the famous photo of the Juan Marichal assault of John Roseboro in the summer of Watts and fills in the backstory.

Monday morning news and notes: 8.25.14

lizzy-caplan-nyt-crop.jpg Napa buildings red-tagged with quake damage. Drought lifestyles of the rich and parched. Paying for LA sidewalks. Routing the high-speed train through the Angeles National Forest. Selective prosecution on politico residency. Lizzy Caplan sex-ed teacher to the world. And more.

Bay Area hit by M6 quake, strongest since Loma Prieta

napa-quake-barrels.jpg The quake centered near Napa and Vallejo woke up the entire Bay Area and a swath of Northern California at 3:20 this morning. At least 70 people have gone to hospitals with an assortment of injuries, and there is damage reported to highway bridges, gas and water pipes, and some buildings.

KFWB talent signing off today

kfwb_logo_225x110.jpg KFWB at 980 on the AM dial is going away as an all-news (or news talk) radio station after today. Tune in and hear your favorite anchor say goodbye.

End of the week news and notes: Friday 8.22.14

wesson-ice-bucket-grab.jpg San Bernardino police officer in critical condition. LAT fails to decertify pressroom union. Council President Wesson and his rubber ducky do the ice bucket thing. Next year's Cicvalvia route in the Valley. Garrett Richards done for the season. Plus tweets of the day and more.

This drought's impact on the West is already big

ca-drought-monitor-82114.jpg So much water is missing that the tectonic plate on which the West sits is rising. And that's not the worst news.

Today's LA newspaper front pages vary a lot

laopinionfront-82114.jpg Here's how four of the local front pages look in print today: Times, Register, Daily News and La Opinión. Just a visual survey, nothing more.

Thursday morning news and notes

tall-ships-rubber-duck.jpg Cops, development, political moves and a giant rubber duck in the Port of LA. Plus Bob Eubanks reflects on bringing the Beatles to LA, a 1985 campaign commercial for Tom Bradley, and the Marvelettes.

Angels ace Richards taken from field on stretcher

garrett-richards-down.jpg Richards hurt his left knee making a play at Fenway Park in Boston. The seriousness of the injury is being evaluated.

Deborah Sussman, Los Angeles area designer was 83

olympics-sussman.jpg Sussman began her career as an office designer for Charles and Ray Eames. She created a distinctive graphic look for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Daily News and LANG hire county reporter from Register

david-montero-twitter.jpg David Montero, who got to the Register last year, will cover LA county government and some general assignment.

LA Times asking readers about a smaller format paper

Thumbnail image for latimes-sign-sideview.jpg The survey asks readers to react to marketing messages that would announce a switch to a "new, compact size" but the LAT flack says it's just marketing research.

The Wrap does the ice bucket meme -- without water (video)*

the-wrap-ice-bucket.jpg "With California in the midst of a drought, TheWrap opted against using water, and instead just waited for some of the ice to melt." Does Sharon Waxman's hair even get wet?

Reporter James Foley, 40, murdered on video in Syria

james-foley-fb.jpg "We have never been prouder of our son Jim," Foley's mother says on Facebook. "He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people."

Beutner makes the media rounds, sounds upbeat

austin-beutner-almeida-nyt.jpg New Los Angeles Times publisher Austin Beutner broke his media silence Tuesday and appeared in the morning on KPCC's "Airtalk" with Larry Mantle, and in the evening on KCRW's "Which Way, L.A.?" with Warren Olney. I gave my response on the KCRW segment.

Tuesday morning news and notes: 8.19.14

letterman-williams-grab.jpg Students planned a mass killing at South Pasadena High School. LAPD officer shot in the leg. All print journo jobs are in danger: "Period." Fixing LA's sidewalks. More media arrests in Ferguson. And Letterman catches up to death of Robin Williams. Plus more.

Another journalist arrested in Ferguson, Mo *

scott-olson-arrest-reilly.jpg Scott Olson of Getty Images was arrested then released after several hours, apparently for not staying in the pen that police set up for journalists. A total of six journalists and more than 30 protesters were arrested Monday night or Tuesday morning.

Strange jellies washing up on LA beaches

Velellas-htb.jpg By-the-wind sailors are related to the Portuguese man-of-war but without the painful sting. Here's a primer from Heal the Bay as the strange Pacific wildlife year continues.

LA Times reporter says au revoir to Silicon Valley

sock-puppet-obrien-crop.jpg Silicon Valley "is one of the most amazing places on the planet," says Chris O'Brien on his way to three years in France.

Sunkist leaving the Valley for, well, Valencia

Sunkist_LynneTucker.jpg The Sunkist building on Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks has been a visual landmark beside the Ventura Freeway for 45 years. "A symphony in concrete," the LA Conservancy says.

Compton OK's assault rifles for school police

assault-rifles-kpcc.jpg With students returning to school today, some residents are unhappy about the new policy that would put an AR-15 in the trunk on some on-duty campus police officers.

Here's what Beutner will be paid as LA Times publisher

Thumbnail image for latimes-mirror-bldg.jpg The 3-year package starts with a base salary of $675,000 a year, an annual bonus of the same amount, and a $40,000 personal allowance each year. Plus equity and more, per an SEC filing.

Renderings of three new residential high rises for DTLA

Broadway-Olympic-lofts.jpg There goes the view of the Jesus Saves neon sign and the rooftop panorama from the Ace Hotel.

Bat watching in Hemet

bats-inhemet-socalwild.jpg Every summer day at dusk, thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats blast out from under a bridge beside an orange grove in Riverside County.

Alissa Rubin's account of her helicopter crash

alissa-rubin-hurt-ferguson.jpg New York Times Paris bureau chief Alissa J. Rubin, a former LA Times correspondent, dictated a reporter's notebook from her Istanbul hospital bed about the Iraq crash in which she was injured. The story runs with a graphic photograph of a bloodied Rubin.

Gary Leonard will talk about LA for a change

gary-lapl.jpg Gary Leonard has been documenting Los Angeles in photos since before he was at UCLA in the early 1970s. He has seen a lot, but what he hasn't done much of is talk about his photographs or the LA he sees. That ends Saturday!

End of week news and notes: Friday 8.15.14

hamburger-hamlet-shermanoaks.jpg Looks like more film tax credits coming. No active faults under Hollywood projects. Ezell Ford shooting and LAPD. Ethics commission suggests paying Angelenos to vote. Hamburger Hamlet to reopen — well one of them, anyway. Plus more.

Robin Williams' daughter quits social media over the trolls

zelda-robin-williams.jpg Zelda Williams has received a ton of warmth but also some ugliness.

Now LA sheriff crime stats will be audited too

sheriff-car-lao.jpg The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday ordered an independent review of Los Angeles County Sheriff Department crime statistics, following on the questions about the integrity of LAPD numbers.

George McKenna elected to school board

george-mckenna-crowd.jpg Retired school principal George McKenna won the vacant seat on the Los Angeles Unified school board in Tuesday's runoff, using his long name recognition and backing by UTLA to defeat Alex Johnson in the divisive runoff.

Lauren Bacall dies at age 89

lauren-bacall-1944-wb.jpg Bacall, the New York model who became an overnight movie star at age 19 after appearing opposite Humphrey Bogart (then 44) in “To Have and Have Not,” died Tuesday of a stroke at her home in the Dakota building in Manhattan.

Afternoon news and notes: Tuesday 8.12.14*

city-hall-with-palms.jpg Chief Beck reappointed. Ballmer becomes owner of the Clippers. Robin Williams hanged himself. Plus more.

NYT's Alissa Rubin hurt in Iraq helicopter crash

The Paris bureau chief for the New York Times, and former LA Times correspondent, has been airlifted out of the region with a concussion and some broken bones. Photographer Adam Ferguson has left the region with her.

Inspector general to investigate LAPD crime stats

beck-villaraigosa-occupynight.jpg The LA Times' weekend revelation about under-played numbers of aggravated assaults has legs — the IG will look into years of LAPD stats and the department put out a statement. Plus more.

Conan O'Brien notifies audience about Robin Williams (video)

conan-robin-williams-death.jpg Conan O'Brien was taping his TBS show this afternoon when the news about Robin Williams reached the studio. Just before the end of the show, O'Brien informed the silent audience.
robin-williams-dies.jpg Marin County officials said the Oscar winner appeared to kill himself via asphyxia. “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings,” his wife, Susan Schneider, said.
beutner-lamag.jpg The former mayoral candidate who looked into buying the Times says he won't be a caretaker or dictate coverage. "It’s an organization that has to change in order to prosper. If they’re looking for a caretaker, they picked the wrong guy.”

Monday news and notes: 8.11.14

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for james-garcetti-on-phones.jpg LAPD caught cooking the books on crime stats. Kevin James as City Hall insider. South LA's school board candidates. Maureen Dowd moves. Plus more news, politics and media notes.

PBS SoCal finally launches a regional news show

studio-socal-debut.jpg Studio SoCaL debuted Friday night as a weekly half-hour that repeats a few times. The first show had former LA mayor Richard Riordan and a discussion of "Silicon Beach."

Breaking up the old team in U.S. Attorney's office

With U.S. Attorney Andre J. Birotte, Jr. as of today a federal judge, special counsel Bruce Riordan is moving to the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section.

If you're working Paul McCartney, plan to go vegan

beatles-stadium-1966.jpg IATSE workers are first told "NO ONE is to bring meat of any kind" to Sunday's McCartney show at Dodger Stadium. The tone has softened a bit, but because McCartney is vegan the menu will be too.

Harry Shearer: Nixon prepares to resign (video)

harry-shearer-nixon.jpg On this day in 1974, President Richard Nixon delivered a live TV address from the White House revealing he would resign. Harry Shearer reenacts the final minutes.

What the LA Times wants in the next sports editor

cup-beach-doughty.jpg The Los Angeles Times needs a new editor to run the sports department. If you're curious what the requirements are, check out the job posting.

Financial Times' man in LA looks back on eight years

garrahan-in-la-ft.jpg Eight years and three children later, Matthew Garrahan is leaving Los Angeles for a new posting as global media editor for the Financial Times. He shares some observations of LA.

Animated Pacific hurricane winds as art

wind-grafic-grab.jpg This screen grab barely does justice to the beauty of the animated graphic. Click to enjoy.

Tweet of the day: Hawaii Red Cross

hilo-red-cross-truck.jpg "The Hawaii Red Cross disaster truck in Hilo was stolen last night. Please call 9-1-1 if seen."

Hamlet in Encino

hamlet-in-encino.jpg Los Encinos State Historic Park, as I've said before, is my favorite history-drenched enclave of Los Angeles. So why not Hamlet on the grass?

Iselle will be first hurricane to hit Hawaii in 22 years

iselle-satellite.jpg Hurricane Iselle is expected to slam into the east coast of the Big Island of Hawaii on Thursday night, with winds of 60 to 95 miles an hour and a storm surge of 1-2 feet. Forecasters predict five to eight inches of rain to fall on the Big Island.

Dodgers organization mourns one of its own

april-thompson-usher.jpg April Thompson, who died on Saturday, was the Manager of Stadium Services at Dodger Stadium. Some may remember her as an usher starting in the 1970s.

Times adds aerospace reporter recently at the Register

melody-petersen-twitter.jpg Melody Petersen joined the OC Register in 2012 as an investigations reporter.

LA Times loses the sports editor and a tech reporter

Thumbnail image for latimes-building-aerial-tig.jpg Mike James announces his retirement, and Robert Faturechi leaves for ProPublica. They join the foreign editor, the lead Company Town blogger and others getting the heck out of Dodge while they can. But the Times is also hiring.

Two hurricanes are approaching Hawaii

iselle-julio-grab-twc.jpg Hurricane Iselle will arrive first, over Hilo as early as Thursday. A tropical storm watch is in effect across the islands.
krenwinkel-nyt-videograb.jpg Krenwinkel, now 66, has been in prison for 45 years for her part in the Manson family murders. She appears on video for the first time since 1994.

Supervisors reject civilian oversight of sheriff

new-sheriff-john-scott.jpg The Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 today to defeat a push by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to create a civilian oversight board that would help guide the troubled Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky cast the key no vote.

News and notes for Tuesday 8.5.14

grape-harvest-cpr.jpg Drought pushes California grape harvest earlier. Chief Beck under scrutiny over his daughter. LAPD holds back homicide data. Mayor Garcetti takes questions. Ken Doctor on the LA Times parent, plus more.

Malibu woman catches tuna with her bare hands

diana-armstrong-tuna.jpg The Malibu Times says that Diana Armstrong was on her deck facing the beach on Saturday night when she a large fish in the surf. She dragged the bluefin out of the water and it became dinner.

Jess Marlow, longtime LA news anchor was 84*

jess+marlow+tv+blue.jpg Marlow had a long career reporting or anchoring on KNBC, KCBS and KCET — 37 years in all, ending with the old "Life & Times” program on KCET.

Kent Shocknek to retire from the CBS duopoly

kent-shocknek-cbs.jpg KCBS and KCAL announced today that longtime anchor Kent Shocknek will retire at the end of September. He has been on TV in Los Angeles for 31 years, most recently as anchor of the 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts on KCAL.

News, media and politics notes for Monday 8.4.14

garcetti-sunset.jpg Garcetti does Sunset Boulevard photo op. Condoms in porn a bust. Sheriff candidate goes underground. Deputy kills the wrong man. Chief Beck's reappointment. Tribune Publishing spins off. and more.

Streetscape: Where in LA is this?*

lafd-engine-39-plaque.jpg I like this red light. There's a palm tree in the background. Where in Los Angeles was the picture taken?

Mayor Garcetti learns the pitfalls of traveling out of LA

garcetti-instagram-hay.jpg Garcetti was absent for a lot of local news during his summer vacation. Plus: Does Garcetti have a big enough vision for LA?

Marlene Dietrich is the latest typewriter get for Soboroff

marlene-dietrich-typewriter.jpg Busy summer for Los Angeles collector (and police commission president) Steve Soboroff.

A little rain, a little flooding, but still drought

county-precip-48hrs-8314.jpg It was very nice having a couple of episodes of soft rain fall on my head (and my yard) over the weekend. But despite the isolated newsworthy pummeling over and just below the San Gabriels, this was not much of a rain event.

Final layer of asphalt goes on Sunset Boulevard sinkhole*

paving-sunset-sinkhole.jpg The sinkhole created by that water main break near UCLA has been filled in and as of 20 minutes or so ago was being paved. Update: Sunset reopened early Monday morning.

30 years ago: Joan Benoit enters the Coliseum (video)

joan-benoit-chinn.jpg My favorite moment of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics came on the first Sunday of the games. Turn up the sound and listen to the roar of the crowd. Plus: Who can forget Gabriela Andersen-Schiess finishing the women's marathon.
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