LA Observed archive
for November 2014

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

southwest-plane-zocalo.jpg Joe Mathews writes that the airline that once made getting around the state so easy is becoming a big disappointment -- and making him rethink Gov. Brown's favorite rail project.

Gangsters in Paradise: Palm Springs' mob legacy

gangsters-in-paradise.jpg A five-part series in the Desert Sun will look at the history of Mafia influence, including the taint on Frank Sinatra and kids who grew up romanticizing the scene.

Sad but true: Sam Zell writing a book called 'Gravedancer'

sam-zell-labo.jpg The man who drove Tribune into bankruptcy plans a "personal and professional memoir [with] compelling stories about his biggest deals and share tips for entrepreneurs who want to follow in his footsteps.” Snicker.

Transition begins in LA County politics

la-county-bldg-commerce.jpg Monday is the day when new county officials are sworn in. Sheila Kuehl has tapped a veteran of Zev Yaroslavsky's office to be her chief deputy. Details of the day inside.

CicLAvia heads south next weekend: map and info

ciclavia-logo-southla.jpg Sunday's South LA event will be held on the 40th anniversary of the first ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia, and the cofounder will be on hand as an honored guest.

Rain is falling and should continue into the week

rain-clouds-malibu-vdt.jpg The big rain should arrive Tuesday. In the meantime, Northern California is getting a reminder of what "normal" looks like.

Bob Baker, Los Angeles puppeteer, dies at 90

bob-baker-rocky-schenck.jpg The beloved Los Angeles puppeteer died today of natural causes, his representatives announced. In lieu of flowers, donations are urged to support the Bob Baker Marionette Theater.

Another 130 arrested in LA protests last night

arrests-dtla-abc7.jpg Activist Jasmyne Cannick, among the arrested, says flat out no dispersal orders were given by the LAPD at 6th and Hope streets. She is tweeting about her experience.

Mancini and Mercer 1961 demo of 'Moon River' (video)

moon-river-grab.jpg In 1961, Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer collaborated on a song for the upcoming film "Breakfast at Tiffany's." This is their demo recording.

183 arrested overnight in downtown LA street protests*

protests-dtla-nbc4grab.jpg The final numbers are bigger than they looked on the live streams I followed last night (and more than reported in the media this morning.) Most arrests were for disorderly conduct.

Still life: Nate 'n Al's on a Saturday

nate-als-stillife.jpg One in a (possibly) occasional LA Observed series.

Second night of scattered protests in LA a bit uglier (updates)

arrests-flower-nbc4grab.jpg A small group broke off from a protest in front of LAPD headquarters to run onto the 101 freeway at Grand Avenue and drop objects from the street above. Traffic stopped on the freeway without any injuries as far as I can tell.

Bestsellers in SoCal (and U.S.) for your book shopping pleasure

amy-poehler-yes-please.jpg If your Christmas shopping list includes books, here is some guidance on what others are reading. As always, the differences between SoCal and national bestseller lists are curious.

Noteworthy baseball items out of, yes, San Francisco

tim-flannery-sfgate.jpg Even fans in LA can appreciate the emotion about Pablo Sandoval leaving the Giants, and a third-base coach deciding to leave the game.

Bratton hit with fake blood in NYC protest (photo)

bratton-fake-blood.jpg New York police commissioner William Bratton, the former LAPD chief, was spattered with red paint during a protest over the grand jury announcement about the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Management change at Skylight Books

skylight-books-inner.jpg Co-owner and general manager Kerry Slattery told the staff last night she is retiring and turning over management of the store to Mary Williams, the events manager at Skylight.

Protesters block two freeways and some streets*

protesters-block-110-fwy.jpg There was no real trouble reported as of 11:30 p.m., just some blocked traffic as protesters laid down in intersections and brief closures of the 10 freeway at La Brea and the 110 freeway by the Convention Center downtown.

Photos: Great LA Walk on Ventura Boulevard

great-la-walk-fleetwood.jpg Michael Schneider's Great LA Walk marked its ninth year by traversing Ventura Boulevard from Woodland Hills east across the Valley to Universal City, then up to North Hollywood.

Garcetti and councilmen at the Great Wall (photo)

china-great-wall.jpg Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, in China on a trade mission, posed at the Great Wall with City Council members Joe Buscaino, Mike Bonin, Curren Price and Gilbert Cedillo

Bocanegra concedes defeat in Valley race (updated)

raul-bocanegra-facebook.jpg First-time candidate Patty Lopez has defeated Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra in a cliffhanger between two Democrats in the 39th Assembly district. Jeffrey Prang wins the Assessor race.

Hanley Ramirez leaves Dodgers for Boston

hanley-ramirez-cbssports.jpg The Dodgers' shortstop and best hitter for the last couple of years is taking his bat to the Red Sox at $22 million a year for four years.

Riordan not a big fan of Garcetti so far

garcetti-in-china-mayor.jpg Former mayor says the current mayor "has a lot to learn” and is surrounded by weak people.

Jim Newton signs off with some suggestions for Los Angeles

jim-newton-lat.jpg The LA Times veteran devotes his final column to a menu of proposed fixes, such as expanding the City Council, abolishing the school board and doing away with term limits.

LA Times staff gets its vacation time back

Thumbnail image for latimes-building-aerial-tig.jpg Read the memo: CEO Jack Griffin's email to the staff late on Friday night rescinds the policy that attempted to strip away accrued vacation time and force reporters and editors to make a case for paid time off they used to earn.

Morning news and notes: Friday 11.21.14

varied-thrush-cc.jpg Rain and mudslides. Trucks end strike. UC regents thrown the ball into the governor's lap. Website comments. Rare varied thrushes in LA. Plus more.
daniel-hernandez-vice-grab.jpg Daniel Hernandez, the former LA Times and LA Weekly reporter, is now in the midst of the Mexico story for Vice News. This has been a big day for street protests and growing condemnation of the government.

Mark Ebner revisits his 2007 warning about Bill Cosby

cosby-pull-quote-ebner.jpg The LA journalist talked to several women who told eerily similar stories about being drugged and raped -- this was back in 2007. His story went nowhere.

Vin Scully offers career advice to Zev Yaroslavsky (video)

scully-zev-grab.jpg Here is the video I mentioned the other day of Vin Scully's amusing send-off to termed-out county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Also: A longer video celebrating Yaroslavsky.

Mike Nichols: Director dies at 83

mike-nichols.jpg The director of "The Graduate" and so much more has won an Oscar, an Emmy, Tonys and a Grammy.
jimmy-ruffin-motown.jpg Look inside and turn up the sound: As I walk this land of broken dreams... I have visions of many things.

KPCC seeking veterans and military reporter

apm-kpcc-opening-grab.jpg The reporter will be shared with public radio stations in Seattle and Raleigh-Durham and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Virus wiping out the sea stars has been identified

diseased-sea-star-ucsc.jpg Scientists think they know now what has killed millions of starfish along the Pacific coast, though they aren't so sure why. The destruction has been quite visible in tide pools.

Jason Collins retires from NBA: 'I'm out'

jason-collins-retires.jpg "I have been an openly gay man for approximately three percent of my life. I have been a professional basketball player for almost half of it."

Yaroslavsky feted at Disney Hall

zev-farewell-podium.jpg Among the speakers were former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former supervisor Yvonne Burke and current board chairman Don Knabe, LACMA director Michael Govan, the former county CAO David Janssen and (via video) Vin Scully. Sheila Kuehl received a very warm reception.

Lisa Saxon is 'the woman who helped change sportswriting forever'

lisa-saxon-angels-uniform.jpg Vice recalls the abuse that Saxon took covering the Angels and Dodgers for the Daily News when there were few women on the beat. Reggie Jackson gave her such trouble that other Angels stood up for her.

Why 'drank the Kool-Aid' is offensive, especially here

jonestown-massacre.jpg A former reporter argues that everyone should stop using the phrase and remember the tragedy that spawned it. A congressman and three California journalists were among the 918 dead in Guyana 37 years ago today.

Patty Lopez' lead grows in the Valley

ad39-votes-grab.jpg The inexperienced candidate who appears to be unseating fellow Democrat Raul Bocanegra in the Valley's 39th Assembly district has expanded her lead to 235 votes.

Born in Kansas City, transformed in LA, murdered in Jerusalem

kalman-levine-jj.jpg Kalman Levine, one of the four rabbis murdered in an attack this morning in the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue in Jerusalem, had strong ties to Los Angeles.

Morning news and notes: Tuesday 11.18.14

manson-prison-2014.jpg In the news today: Jerry Brown, the UC Board of Regents, Charles Manson, Bill Cosby, Austin Beutner, the Lakers and some media moves, plus more.

Charles Champlin: LA arts and film journalist was 88

charles-champlin-thr.jpg Charles Champlin wore a lot of hats on the Los Angeles arts and entertainment journalism scene: LA Times arts editor, film critic, book critic, columnist, author, host of TV programs and more.

Monday morning news and notes: 11.17.14

getty-house-law-maddaus.jpg Getty House uses a lot of water. Live Nation at Grand Park costs the city, it turns out. Marlborough School head to step down. Plus Bill Cosby, Pierre Omidyar and more.

Huge change: No more set vacation or sick days at LA Times

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for latimes-sign-sideview.jpg Tribune Publishing calls it Discretionary Time Off, and says employees may actually get as many paid days off or even more. But to get even a sick day, you may have to convince a supervisor your performance merits it -- and no more banking vacation days. Read the memos.

DWP and Owens Valley agree to finally agree on the dust

keeler-beach-tight-lao.jpg I first wrote about negotiations between the Owens Valley and Los Angeles over the noxious dust that blows off of Owens Lake 25 years ago. So it seems a little bizarre that they finally have a deal both sides can live with.

Streetscape: Santa Monica Swap Meet

smblvd-swap-meet.jpg By Santa Monica, they mean Santa Monica Boulevard in East Hollywood.

Water the grass less -- but don't forget the trees

jacaranda-mar-vista.jpg Drought gardener and blogger Emily Green wants people to remember that they need to deep-water their trees or the drought can have a worse effect than necessary.

Meghan Daum on nearly dying and then telling the story

nyt-grafic-with-daum.jpg Daum writes that her recovery from a near-death illness has brought a responsibility she didn't expect. Plus: Joe Mathews sees a generation gap in California.

Streetscape: Sidewalk homeless colony

homeless-virgil-avenue.jpg A homeless encampment on Saturday on Virgil Avenue, beside the Hollywood Freeway in what the blue signs call Wilshire Center.

Mark Heisler gets another column -- this time in the LANG papers

mark-heisler-dn.jpg After getting dropped after one column by the LA Times, Heisler will now cover the NBA for the competition. His column in the Times, by the way, paid all of $200.

Patty Lopez still leads by 46 votes in the Valley

39ad-results-grab.jpg They are both Democrats so there is not a whole lot at stake politically, but the still-continuing race in the Northeast Valley's 39th Assembly district is intriguing. Incumbent Raul Bocanegra could lose.

KOST FM goes holiday music, KHJ going 'Immaculate'

kost-fm-grab.jpg It's Christmas season already on KOST, and next week venerable KHJ switches to all-Catholic radio.

Distinguished journos of the year unveiled by SPJ-LA

spj-logo.jpg The Society of Professional Journalists Los Angeles chapter names its honorees for the year. Banquet in the spring.

Doc Paskowitz, California surfing legend, dies at 93

RIPdoc-paskowitz.jpg Dorian Paskowitz was a Stanford-trained doctor who raised nine children on the beach in Orange County, surfed the world and even tried to make peace on the Gaza Strip. He "lived the ultimate surfing life."

LA Times also adds a familiar editor

Thumbnail image for latimes-sign-sideview.jpg Bob Sipchen returns to the LA Times as senior editor in the California section. He has been communications director for the Sierra Club and editor of the advocacy group's magazine.

LAT's Maeve Reston moves to CNN political team

maeve-reston-nbc.jpg Reston will stay in LA and cover politics and the 2016 presidential campaign for CNN's digital side and the TV network.

Amazon, Hachette put it all behind them

Gladwell poster copy.jpg Book selling giant Amazon and publisher Hachette announced this morning that they have signed a new multiyear contract, ending their bitter public dispute over book pricing.

When AM radio was the place to discover rock and roll

harvey-kubernik-kcrw.jpg Nice Lisa Napoli interview on KCRW with Harvey Kubernik, the author of "Turn Up the Radio: Rock, Pop, and Roll in Los Angeles 1956-1972."

No, Kim Kardashian's butt did not break the Internet

kardashian-ass-paper-cover.jpg Any web content creator or headline writer who posted that Kardashian's nude pics broke the Internet is a shameless tool. Nice exposure, though, for Amanda Fortini.

¡Ask a Mexican! turns 10

ask-a-mexican-logo.jpg Gustavo Arellano's column in the OC Weekly began humbly -- and now it's a freakin' empire and he's the editor of the whole paper. He celebrates in this week's column.

From the Gary Leonard archive: Richard Duardo

LAO_Durado.jpg I'm reposting this Gary Leonard photo from 2011 of the artist Richard Duardo, who died Tuesday.

Richard Duardo, LA master printmaker and artist, has died

richard-duardo-fb.jpg Tributes to the Los Angeles printmaker and artist Richard Duardo are filling my social feeds. Duardo has been referred to as the "Warhol of the West" for his prints of pop-culture icons.

Politics news and notes: Monday 11.10.14

eliz-warren-variety.jpg Elizabeth Warren visits with LA and Hollywood progressives. City Council races start to take an interesting shape. Still counting in that Valley assembly race, possibly "the biggest political upset of the year" in LA. Monday columns and much more.

Riordan's book lacks a little something, says review

riordan-book-grab.jpg I haven't yet read former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan's autobiography, but Jim Rainey of the LA Times has. Rainey covered City Hall when Riordan was mayor.

Sylmar Cascades open to visitors again this weekend

Thumbnail image for cascades-in-spray.jpg If you missed last year's rare opening of the gates to the historic Cascades in Sylmar, the DWP is allowing visitors on Sunday.

Packing up Yaroslavsky's office (photo)

Zevs-office-boxes.jpg After 20 years on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Zev Yaroslavsky is getting ready to leave his offices in the Hall of Administration.
oc-register.jpg The OC Business Journal reports that two of the investors who helped Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz finance the purchase of Freedom Communications in 2012 say the company is 'insolvent.'

New map puts active Hollywood fault right under Millennium site

hollywood-fault-map.jpg This news from the state geologist won't be good for the developers of the proposed Millennium Hollywood tower or their friends in City Hall.

Getty tries to make some art news today too

manet-spring-getty.jpg On the same day that LACMA introduces donor Jerrold Perenchio, the Getty announces it acquired a Manet painting at a record price.

Remains of Gavin Smith found and positively identified

gavin-smith-thr.jpg Hikers found the remains of the missing Fox distribution executive in the rural high desert near Palmdale last month, according to officials. He disappeared May 1, 2012.

LACMA to announce its largest donation ever*

Thumbnail image for lacma-over-wilshire-zumthor.jpg The museum has summoned the media on Thursday morning to announce what the release calls the largest gift of art in the museum's history. The donor is Jerrold Perenchio.

Sheila Kuehl beats Shriver to join Board of Supervisors

kuehl-av-evry.jpg Kuehl got 52.8 percent of the vote and will form, with Mark Ridley-Thomas and another newcomer, Hilda Solis, a majority of public union-backed supervisors on the board.

Election results, such as they are: We have a sheriff...

Election results are coming in slowly despite the abysmal turnout. Sheila Kuehl and Ted Lieu are leading, McDonnell elected sheriff, more inside.

Robert Hilburn to write biography of Paul Simon

hilburn-richards.jpg Hilburn profiled Simon for the LA Times during a 1987 stop in Zimbabwe on Simon's tour for "Graceland." Simon & Schuster acquired the book at auction.

Mark Heisler's return to LA Times' NBA beat lasts one column

heisler-forbes.jpg Heisler, laid off sort of famously in 2011, wrote one NBA piece last week then was dropped. He says he wasn't told why.

Soboroff acquires typewriter of Superman creator Jerry Siegel

jerry-siegel-art.jpg Siegel was the co-creator and writer of the original Superman comic books. He purchased his Royal portable in 1938.

Republicans win control of the U.S. Senate

politico-grab-election-night14.jpg The Republicans will control both houses of Congress for President Obama's final two years in office.
internet-service-grafic.jpg A new report concludes that LA "has among the slowest, most expensive internet services in the industrialized world."

Election Day news and notes: 11.4.14

nixon-voting-beschloss.jpg The polls close in LA County today at 8 p.m. and mail-in ballots need to be received by today or dropped off at a polling place. A roundup of news items.

Tom Magliozzi, co-host of 'Car Talk,' dies at 77

magliozzi-brothers.jpg Tom Magliozzi and his younger brother Ray, hosts of Car Talk on NPR since 1987, were both MIT graduates. Tom is the one with the garrulous laugh.

NYT report: How Uber is changing night life in Los Angeles

ace-hotel-pool-lao.jpg The New York Times fashion and style section is back with another of those lightly reported Los Angeles cultural pieces.
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