LA Observed archive
for December 2014

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Bad day to mis-label the Rose Bowl on your map

rose-parade-oops-lang.jpg The Los Angeles News Group's printed guide to the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl calls the famous Pasadena stadium the "L.A. Coliseum."
sal-labarbera-law-castro.jpg When Sal LaBarbera retires on Jan. 31, "he'll leave a legacy as one of the best homicide cops in the history of LAPD, meaning one of the best anywhere," says an LA Weekly tribute.

Snowy vines, a dust devil and a brief history of LA cold weather

temecula-vineyard-snow.jpg It's going to be more chilly than usual for folks staying out overnight in Pasadena for the Rose Parade. Kind of ironic for a parade that has functioned throughout its history as a promotional piece for balmy Southern California cities to sell their mid-winter allure to frigid Easterners and Midwesterners.

Yule log ratings were down this year

yule-log-franklin-ave.jpg Is the right wing's fantasy war on Christmas to blame? Maybe it's just the novelty of a fake TV fire wearing off — or the competition.

Harbor Patrol officer on Catalina killed in windstorm*

catalina-scene-web.jpg The officer was killed last night when he was trapped between a loose boat and rocks near the Green Pleasure Pier.

As a concert venue, the new Forum is fabulous

the-forum-with-lot-lao.jpg The renovated and rechristened Forum in Inglewood, former home of the Lakers and Kings, is a hit with music promoters.

Luise Rainer, first actor to win two Oscars, was 104

luise-rainer-bw.jpeg Rainer won her second Academy Award at 28 then left 1930s Hollywood in a dispute with Louis B. Mayer. Her quick rise and fall are Hollywood legend.

LA's most interesting (and best) coach

Darryl_Sutter-dustin-snipes-lamag.jpg Los Angeles magazine profiles Kings coach Darryl Sutter, who might be the most entertaining coach of any pro team in Los Angeles now that Phil Jackson is gone.

Obits: John Bowsher, Leonard Beerman, Peggy Stevenson

bowsher-lacma.jpg LACMA's VP in charge of getting the Levitated Mass boulder in place. A noted liberal rabbi. A former LA City Council member.

Amy Pascal flying into LAX is now TMZ fodder (video)

amy-pascal-lax-tmz-grab.jpg Of all the ways that Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal's life is going to change because her studio emails were hacked and distributed around the internet, this might prove to be one of the more disturbing.

Long Beach Register formally fades away (video)

lb-register-final-grab.jpg A staff video pays tribute to the sixteen-month run of the Register's presence in Long Beach. The final issue appeared Sunday.

Ezell Ford autopsy details wounds, Beck holds presser *

chief-beck-grab-ezellfordpresser.jpg Autopsy shows that the mentally ill black man in South LA was shot in the side, arm and back. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck met the media and took questions.

Alma mater sees Garcetti as presidential material

garcetti-biden.jpg A glowing puff piece in the Columbia magazine declares Eric Garcetti the "very model of the modern mayor." He blogs, he tweets, he has a mountain bike and he speaks Spanish.

Monday morning news and notes: 12.22.14

Thumbnail image for philippe-sign-lit-lao.jpg Politico in talks with Nikki Finke. Hollywood and Obama. LAPD shows support for fallen NYPD officers. Joan Didion at 80. Philippe starts taking plastic. And more.

LA Times hires the sports intern, Register hires ex-LAT pair

Thumbnail image for latimes-building-aerial-tig.jpg Couple of media move memos from last week involving the local newspapers.

The Interview: Here yesterday, gone today

gary-the-interview-board.jpg Gary Leonard observed a billboard for Sony's "The Interview" at 3rd Street and Gardner. Oops, that was yesterday.

Mexico's 43 missing students: what happened that night

California Sunday Magazine has posted early its January issue story reconstructing the events of September 26, 2014 in Iguala. "Mexico is now a nation in mourning."

Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis dies at 89

rabbi-Schulweis-jj.jpg The rabbi at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino for nearly 45 years was "regarded as the most influential synagogue leader of his generation." "The John Wooden of rabbis," says Zev Yaroslavsky.

Linda Deutsch to retire from AP

linda-deutsch-fb.jpg The trial reporter for Associated Press who got her start in the courthouse as a fill-in at the trial of the Charles Manson family in 1969 will retire on Monday. She plans to write a memoir, AP says.

North Korea behind Sony attacks, U.S. officials conclude

"We have found linkage to the North Korean government," according to a U.S. government source.

Sony pulls 'The Interview' from theaters

the-interview-lizzy-caplan.jpg Sony acted to drop plans for a Christmas Day release of the film starring James Franco and Seth Rogen (with a key part for Lizzy Caplan) after the nation's bigger theater chains said they weren't going to screen the movie because of hacker threats.

Wednesday news and notes: 12.17.14

sony-studio-gate.jpg Sony hacking fallout gets more serious. LAPD adopts body cameras for 7,000 officers and will reform its crime stats methods. Court-appointed panel will monitor LA jails. Dov Charney out at American Apparel. Dodgers axe Brian Wilson. Plus more.

Kurt Streeter leaving LA Times for ESPN

kurt-streeter-twitter.jpg There are recurring rumbles of more prominent departures from the Los Angeles Times as the year comes to a close. Streeter has written often about sports for the Times.

An always entrancing interactive weather map

wx-map-windyty.jpg Windyty is one of those websites where you can lose a lot of time just staring and trying new views.

UCLA prof says freeways are a fitting place for protesters

bruins-close-405.jpg Is protesting on the freeway "historically appropriate," as the professor argues, or "insanity," as then-LAPD chief Bill Bratton quipped. Here's the argument.

David Garth, NY consultant who helped elect Tom Bradley, was 84

david-garth-bradley.jpg Garth, a small, pugnacious political consultant, always said that in a campaign Bugs Bunny beats Daffy Duck -- the smooth unruffled character beats the berserk fool.

City Hall wants LA taxis to become more like Uber

united-taxi-sfv-lao.jpg The New Yorker takes a serious look at the future of Los Angeles taxicabs through the eyes of Eric Spiegelman, the president of Mayor Garcetti's taxi commission, and a believer that taxis can move into the app era.

Larry Cano, founder of El Torito, dies at 90

oc-weekly-cano-cover.jpg Another of LA's chain restaurant pioneers passes away. He 'popularized the concept of the sit-down Mexican chain.'

Monday news and notes 12.15.14

mga-graphic.jpg Waze vs. LA neighborhoods. David Denby out as New Yorker film critic. Bill Cosby has a little to say. LA Times news. Kobe Bryant hits a new milestone. Plus more.

Bill Cosby and rape go together at Skylight Books

cosby-skylight.jpg Photo: The staffers at Skylight Books in Los Feliz leave no doubt how they feel about Bill Cosby and the allegations of sexual drugging and rape piling up against the performer.

Here's who is actually running for City Hall in '15

city-hall-night-alt.jpg None of it matters until this final certified list of the candidates who actually completed their paperwork to run for office and get on the ballot. Only one City Council member is unopposed.

NYT's Risen won't be forced to reveal confidential source

Attorney General Eric Holder has decided not to demand in court that James Risen, a national security reporter for the New York Times, reveal his source for a book that reported a CIA effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Sun has come out over LA

camarillo-springs-slide-es.jpg Is that it? Blue skies outside right now. The rain that blew in overnight was intense and caused the usual problems.

Photo: Grand Canyon cloud inversion

grand-canyon-inversion-nps.jpg A total cloud inversion on Thursday obscured visitors' view of the Grand Canyon. It's a phenomenon that happens every few years when warm air traps a layer of cold air below the canyon walls.

Doozy of a storm up north, now headed our way (video)

An old-fashioned Pacific winter storm that slammed into Northern California has flooded streets and highways, registered some astonishing wind speeds and forced some schools to close. Surfing on Lake Tahoe!

Media notes: LA Times hires from TV Guide for New York

thr-design-grab.jpg Stephen Battaglio, business editor of TV Guide, joins Company Town. KCAL cuts news shows. THR redesigns. Plus more.

Dodgers make a bunch of trades, lose a guy who sounds fun

dodger-dogs-sign-lao.jpg They remake the infield and trade away Dee Gordon, but it's the pitcher who got away who wins the day on Twitter.

Wednesday news and notes: 12.10.14

patty-lopez-map.jpg Civilian oversight (of some undefined sort) for the Sheriff. Isadore Hall wins a state Senate seat. Where Patty Lopez beat Raul Bocanegra. Rep. Loretta Sanchez's holiday card. David Letterman's final late-night show has a date. Dodgers in Mexico create some bad feelings. Plus more.

Sony hackers reveal nasty email exchanges over Steve Jobs biopic

rudin-pascal-emails.jpg Producer Scott Rudin bashes Sony executive Amy Pascal, Angelina Jolie and other Hollywood figures in private emails that some media are covering and some aren't.

DAs in Los Angeles, San Francisco sue Uber over drivers

Turns out that Uber's claim of a serious background check for drivers is just BS to make riders feel comfortable getting into a stranger's car, at least according to the district attorneys. Uber doesn't even use fingerprints to check for wanted criminals.

An oral history of 'Boogie Nights'

boogie-nights-grafic-grantland.jpg Grantland compiles the comments of more than a dozen figures involved in the making of Paul Thomas Anderson's 1997 now-classic Los Angeles movie.

Finally, an atmospheric river flows toward California

pineapple-express-dec2014.jpg Heavy rain and snowfall, blizzards above 6,000 feet and more are expected this week -- in Northern California. But that's good enough for us in the south. The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge has moved out of the way for now.

Tuesday news and notes: 12.9.14

da-vinci-fwy-caltrans.jpg Investigation continues as lanes open around DTLA fire site. What is developer Geoff Palmer's vision? FBI will brief Sony employees on the studio's cyberattack. Pivot TV cancels TakePart Live. California's drought is naturally occurring. Plus more.
Resilience_by_Design_cover.jpg Mayor Eric Garcetti and his advisor, seismologist Lucy Jones, unveiled an earthquake plan for Los Angeles that requires vulnerable pre-1980 apartments to retrofit within five years. Concrete buildings at risk get 25 years.

Pilar Marrero leaving La Opinión for Solis' staff

pilar-marrero-pic.jpg The longtime politics writer and columnist for Spanish-language La Opinión is leaving the paper to become the communications deputy for new county Supervisor Hilda Solis.

Monday news and notes 12.8.14

pot-trimmers.jpg Palmer's under-construction Da Vinci apartments in DTLA burn down. Garcetti to unveil quake plans. Rolling Stone changes its correction again. Humboldt County's "trimmigrants." And more.

LA Weekly discontinues theater awards after 35 years

lost-moon-radio-tim-norris.jpg The Weekly says "our focus for 2015 is utilizing our time and resources towards building, promoting, and evolving events that can bring us profitability for the new year. Unfortunately, this event does not help us towards meeting those directives."

LA Film Critics like 'Boyhood' more than anything

boyhood-poster.jpg "Boyhood" on Sunday won the voting for best picture of 2014 and three other awards by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Galaxy wins 5th MLS Cup as Landon Donovan retires

galaxy-wins-title-site.jpg Robbie Keane scored the winning goal late in the second period of extra time to give the Los Angeles Galaxy the championship over the New England Revolution.
Thumbnail image for richard-alarcon-2013-dn.jpg Richard Alarcon moved up his jail date but was sent home with an electronic monitoring device.

Rolling Stone admits it screwed up big on UVA rape story

rolling-stone-rape-graphic.jpg Magazine's managing editor says "there now appear to be discrepancies" in the rape victim's account of what happened. Rolling Stone put everything on her being truthful by agreeing not to confirm her facts.

Editors and staff of The New Republic resign en masse

thr-masthead-annotated.jpg Most of the remaining editors and contributing writers of The New Republic resigned today, following yesterday's departure of editor Franklin Foer and literary editor Leon Wieseltier.

News notes and good reads for Thursday 12.4.14

bing-crosby-soboroff.jpg Beck says LAPD killing of Brian Newt Beaird was wrong. Reviving civilian oversight of the sheriff. Media and politics notes. Plus a Wilt Chamberlain stamp, an exhibit of Steven Soboroff's typewriters, and much more.

Mountain lion P-22 looking healthy again

p-22-dec2014-nps.jpg Griffith Park's urban mountain lion has recovered from mange and poisoning. But what about the Twitter photo of a possible second lion up in the canyons?

California mega-drought is the worst in 1,200 years

CA-drought-12042014.jpg As the drought deepens, a new study finds, the year 2014 has been the worst single year since 800 AD — and rising temperatures mean it could yet get worse.

Beutner apparently didn't mean to ding LA Times' Biz section

Riordan-Beutner-gary.jpg Times' business editor sends out a staff email with the rest of the quote that Beutner delivered at yesterday's Town Hall LA lunch speech. Plus: More of Buetner's comments on the LA Times' future.

Yosemite Falls roars back to life

yosemite-falls-nps.jpg Three of the iconic Yosemite waterfalls have awakened from the drought — enjoy. Also, the rainfall totals from three nice days of cleansing rain in the Los Angeles area.

Larry Elder out at KABC talk radio - again

elderlarry10-laradio.jpg Elder got the call after Tuesday's show. He was dropped from the station in 2008 as well.

Business-side layoffs today at 'not profitable' OC Register

New publisher who took over for Aaron Kushner says 'the business is not profitable' and announces about 100 layoffs, none in the newsrooms in OC or Riverside.

Instagram becomes more global, but SoCal still on top

dodger-stadium-top-deck-32.jpg Dodger Stadium is now the second most-Instagrammed location in the world, after Disneyland, but SoCal destinations no longer dominate the Top 10 list.

Labor reporter Steven Greenhouse takes NYT buyout*

How many labor reporters are left at major American media outlets? Environment reporter Felicity Barringer is also on the list.

Supervisor Solis' staff has an LA Times angle

peter-hong-fb.jpg Solis' new chief deputy is a former reporter at the Los Angeles Times — and Solis' executive assistant was assistant to the LA Times editor. Plus more Solis and Sheila Kuehl staff news.

LA Times loses DC enviro and energy reporter to website

neela-bannerjee-twitter.jpg Neela Bannerjee is going to InsideClimate News, the nonprofit website that won a Pulitzer for national reporting in 2013.

FBI raids LAUSD offices for iPad project records

The seizure of 20 boxes of documents suggests the feds are investigating the contracts for iPads pushed by ex-Supt. John Deasy and approved by the Board of Education.
watkinsplaza-getty.jpg Tyler Green, the arts critic and reporter who writes Modern Art Notes, has signed a deal to write a biography about Watkins for UC Press.

Buyouts taken by some New York Times veterans

NewYorkTimes-wikimedia.jpg TV reporter Bill Carter and newspaper and magazines reporter Christine Haughey are on the list of those leaving, along with a few who worked in Los Angeles.

Suzy Jack moves from City Hall to Beutner's team at LA Times

Matt-Szabo-and-Suzy-Jack-ocamb.jpg The deputy in Controller Ron Galperin's office will become Vice President of Projects at the Times. She was the youngest deputy mayor in the Villaraigosa administration.

LA Times looking for op-ed editor to replace Sue Horton

Thumbnail image for latimes-sign-sideview.jpg Editorial page editor Nick Goldberg calls the position of op-ed editor "one of the best at the paper." Read his memo inside.

Politics and media notes for Monday 12.1.14

roybal-sign-city-hall.jpg Mayor Garcetti supports LAPD on protester arrests. Hillary Clinton got $300,000 to speak at UCLA. A political consultant advertises. An LA TV veteran retires. Plus Jian Ghomeshi, Cargoland, bacon-wrapped hot dogs and 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