LA Observed archive
for January 2015

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

Site having technical difficulties - stay tuned

The company that hosts LA Observed on its servers has been dealing with a sticky technical issue since Thursday morning.

Matt Miller vacating the center on KCRW

matt-miller.jpg No replacement host or centrist for the long-running show has been named.

Bee chides Willie Brown for urging Villaraigosa to take a seat

willie-brown-hat-640.jpg We are more than a little offended, says the Sacramento Bee in an editorial.

Michael Milken pitches Latinos as economic force (video)

milken-grab-lamag.jpg "The future of California is tied to the future of the Latino community in California," he tells Los Angeles Magazine. "If we don't make capital available to people with ability...our country is poorer."

Andrew Sullivan to give up blogging (and get a life)

sully-cartoon-in-dc.png One of the last of the original politics bloggers wants out before he burns out. He also hopes to write a book.

Joe Morgenstern mourns the news about Vidiots

vidiots-v-annex.jpg Feels like an impending death in the family of film lovers, says the Wall Street Journal and KCRW film critic.

Wednesday news and notes: 1.28.15

baquet-spiegel-crop.jpg Mexico admits students are dead. More jostling for Boxer's seat. Huizar vs. Molina. Bestsellers of the week. Baquet, Leovy, Gold, whales and more.

Q&A with AP's Linda Deutsch at the Board of Supes

kinda-deutsch-kuehl.jpg The retirement tour of trial reporter Linda Deutsch continued today at the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration.

LA mayor picks his favorite movie -- and it may surprise you

airplane!-poster.jpg Zocalo thought he might go for a documentary or an old black-and-white classic. Nope.

Alarcon finishes house arrest, such as it was

richard-alarcon-2013-dn.jpg Ex-councilman could not go in the backyard, but he could drive downtown, take meetings and play a lot of online poker.

OC Weekly has been put up for sale

ocweekly-shtup-cover.jpg Editor Gustavo Arellano says, "Anyone interested in buying this rag gets a motivated band of mistfits, almost all of us OC natives…"

TV reporter praises Rashida Jones for her tan (video)

rashida-jones-sag-grab.jpg Maybe not everyone watching would know that Jones is biracial, but TNT's reporter and producers should have.

Vidiots in Santa Monica to close

vidiots-smmirror.jpg Video store on Pico has amassed a collection of 50,000 titles over three decades.

Monday morning news and notes: 1.26.15

scientology-center.jpg Homicide study. City unions. Running for the council. Going clear at Sundance. Boyle Heights. More Jill Leovy.

Clifton's Cafeteria facade gets new neon sign

cliftons-sign-install-by.jpg The former Broadway landmark has been closed since 2011, so this is progress.

'Birdman,' Redmayne and Moore take home SAG awards

jksimmons-sagaftra.jpg "Birdman" also wins at the Producers' Guild and suddenly has best picture momentum for the Oscars.

Jonathan Gold: Pretense of anonymity ends today

goldpulitzer.jpg With a documentary on him debuting at Sundance, the restaurant reviewer says he will no longer pretend that no one knows it's him.

Villaraigosa's day and more politics notes

gloria-molina-metro-zocalo.jpg Willie Brown urges the birthday boy not to run. The national media is on the Villaraigosa beat now. Plus Gloria Molina.

Sports Illustrated lays off all staff photographers

si-cover-2015-01-21.jpg The magazine will turn to freelance and I guess contract photographers. Here are the final six SI photogs.

Big praise in NYT for Jill Leovy's 'Ghettoside'

ghettoside-cover-nyt.jpg The depth of reporting by LAT reporter makes 'Serial' resemble a book of poetry, says the reviewer.

Tom Steyer won't run for Boxer seat

tom-steyer-twitter.jpg Billionaire environmentalist says it was a hard decision, but climate change is his key fight -- it "will define the success or failure of our generation."

Thursday news and notes: 1.22.15

thom-mayne-kcrw.jpg City National Bank sold, Southwest Museum, more Villaraigosa and Boxer, and Thom Mayne on Bradbury's house.

Social media editor leaves LA Times for RYOT News

stacey-leasca-grab.jpg Stacey Leasca has been the LAT social media editor since last March. Today's her last day.

LA Times runs fire ads with arson photos

lat-fire-ad.jpg Top of the LAT website carries an ad for "Fire without the Fuss" beside a photo gallery on the Da Vinci apartment blaze.

Huntington curator on 'The Bard of LA'

AlMartinez-desk-2012.jpg A memorial for Al Martinez will be held Feb. 8 at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.

Tuesday news and notes: 1.20.15

villa-carlotta-vf.jpg Politics, media, place and some tweets of the day. Plus: The Villa Carlotta in Hollywood.

Hector Tobar, Miriam Pawel on National Book Critics Circle list

untold-stories-tobar-cover.jpg Books by the two former LA Times journalists are finalists for the prestigious American literary awards for 2014.
villaraigosa-dnc-grab.jpg The former mayor sups with Eric Garcetti and Kamala Harris as he tests his prospects for 2016. Many links inside.

LA Weekly's new editor comes from Chicago Reader

Mara-Shalhoup-headshot-law.jpg Mara Shalhoup takes over Feb. 16. "LA has countless stories to tell…we're gonna have fun."

Doug Dowie tries to rebuild career after prison

doug-dowie-at-66-labj.jpg The former Daily News managing editor and head of Fleishman-Hillard in LA, now 66, has one client and some friends.

When Martin Luther King spoke in Los Angeles

MLK-ucla-janss-steps.jpg Three more of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches in the Los Angeles area are in the news this MLK Day.

KPCC's Alice Walton moving to LA Times

Alice-Walton-zocalo.jpg The KPCC politics reporter will split time between City Hall and working on "innovative ideas on how the paper can get its news out to readers."

Hollywood Reporter, California Sunday Magazine up for Ellies

calif-sunday-mag-logo.png Amanda Hess' manifesto about women and the Internet for Pacific Standard is also a finalist in the National Magazine Awards.

Norms statement: No intention to demolish, but...

norms-la-cienega.jpg The owner of Norms wants to stay. The owner of the land under Norms got the demo permit (and an architect) but has no immediate plans.

This week the Jewish Journal is Jewish Hebdo

jewish-hebdo.jpg Editor Rob Eshman says no more "tiptoeing around terrorists’ sensibilities [or] kowtowing to the craziest elements among us."

La Cienega Norms display cases: empty

norms-display-case-vla.jpg City Cultural Heritage Commission votes to take Norms status under advisement.

'Boyhood,' 'Birdman' and six others up for best picture

patricia-arquette-nom.jpg Steve Carrell and Reese Witherspoon both got lead actor nominations for the Oscars, Patricia Arquette for supporting.

Thursday news and notes: 1.15.15

kamala-harris-paul-chinn-sfc.jpg Politics, media, place — a bit of everything.

Demo permit issued for Norms La Cienega

norms-la-cienega.jpg An exuberant example of the California coffee shop type and an expressive Googie masterwork by Armet & Davis, the LA Conservancy says.

Wrecking Crew documentary coming to theaters

carol-kaye-bill-pittman.jpg New poster is here for the film about the LA talent who played on the hit records of the 1960s and 70s.

Bob Hope estate in Toluca Lake back on the market

Bob_Hope_Estate_2014.jpg This time I guess it's a bargain: just $23 million, cut $4.5 million since 2013.

On becoming Zoey Tur

Zoey-lamag.jpg Los Angeles Magazine goes longform on the life transition of the LA news helicopter pilot formerly known as Bob Tur.

Ray Bradbury's Westside home is now a teardown*

bradbury-demolish-jkt.jpg The house is mostly gone already. Architect Thom Mayne may be the owner.

New California website: the Grizzly Bear Project

grizzly-bear-project-grab.jpg Sacramento journalist Anthony York calls the site a passion project to chronicle the changing state.

Just where is downtown Los Angeles anyway?

traffic-pattern-map.jpg Defining the borders of downtown remains an uncertain task, writes KCET's Nathan Masters.

Al Martinez, our columnist, died today

al-martinez-close.jpg The Bard of LA, as he was called, had a long career at the Los Angeles Times and had also written columns for the Topanga Messenger, the Daily News and AARP — plus books and TV episodes.

Kamala Harris to announce on Tuesday, reports say*

kamala-harris-paul-chinn-sfc.jpg The state attorney general will make it official, via online post, that she's running for the Barbara Boxer seat in the Senate.

Gavin Newsom takes himself out of Boxer race*

gavinnewsomusat.jpg Newsom's exit makes the path more open to Attorney General Kamala Harris, but don't forget Democrats Antonio Villaraigosa and Tom Steyer.

Daniel Pearl Award for Charlie Hebdo

paris-hebdo-lyon.jpg The Los Angeles Press Club will announce today that it is awarding the 2015 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism to Charlie Hebdo.

Elizabeth Kaltman, Hollywood PR executive, dies at 41

elizabeth-kaltman.jpg Before moving on to Hollywood, Kaltman was a press deputy to Jim Hahn and Wendy Greuel in City Hall.

Villaraigosa knows how to use the Saturday news cycle

villaraigosa-thumbing-gl.jpg The former mayor said he might run for Boxer's Senate seat and scored a lot of coverage — some even favorable.

Friday news and notes: 1.9.15

dean-baquet-300.jpg Brown's budget pushes back at UC's Napolitano. Dean Baquet engages on Facebook with Marc Cooper over Charlie Hebdo. Plus Maria Shriver, Jack Shafer and more.

Boston, not LA, chosen to bid for 2024 Olympics

The U.S. Olympic Committee today chose Boston as the nation's candidate for the 2024 Summer Games, opting not to push Los Angeles to get the Olympics for the third time.

Tribune plans to 'redevelop' LA Times buildings

latimes-building-aerial-tig.jpg Chicago is seeking a partner to turn the corner of 1st and Spring into some sort of big mixed-use project.

Sen. Boxer will not run for reelection (video)

boxer-announces-grab.jpg Sen. Barbara Boxer announced today that she will not seek another term in 2016. "I want to come home."

OR7 goes Rogue, gets wolf pack status

or7-oregonfw.jpg The gray wolf that roamed Northern California and his pack of a mate and cubs now have a federal designation.

News and notes: Wednesday 1.7.15

art-leahy-metro.jpg Metro boss to step down. But more wi-fi is coming. New CEO for KCET. 55% applying for new immigrant licenses failed the written test. Plus much more and a quirky tweet of the day.
charlie-hebdo-attack.jpg The weekly has been targeted by Islamic terrorists before, and had just posted a satirical cartoon about the head of the Islamic State — and a taunt that the group had not yet attacked France.

New associate editor of LA Times is ex-NYT

LarryIngrassia copy.jpg Larry Ingrassia left the New York Times last year after a stint as deputy managing editor for new initiatives. He was the NYT business editor for eight years.

1939 Los Angeles County org chart*

county-org-chart-1939.jpg Los Angeles County was a much different place in 1939. Boy was it.

Meet the man trying to fix LA's zoning

skyline-from-getty.jpg Tom Rothmann is the senior city planner overseeing Re:code LA, which could rein in some of the confusion and excesses of LA's protection of neighborhoods.

Pedro Martinez, the one who got away, elected to Hall of Fame

pedro-martinez-si-cover.jpg The best pitcher the Dodgers developed between Koufax and Kershaw becomes only the second Dominican elected to Cooperstown. Remember the trade?

Proof that Angeleno drivers crash more when it rains

rain-crashes-graphic.jpg In good weather the region has about 10 reported crashes an hour, peaking in the morning. On rainy days, the rate soars to 15 an hour and is worst in the afternoon. Go figure.

Has postmodernism destroyed journalism and more?

culture-crash-cover.jpg Laid-off LA Times writer Scott Timberg's new book about the pressures on journalism and the creative class is out, reviewed by the Columbia Journalism Review.

Michele Serros, poet and writer about Chicana life, dies at 48

michele-serros.jpg Serros is the author of "Chicana Falsa," "How to be a Chicana Role Model" and "Honey Blonde Chica," among other works.

New sheriff in town goes on media tour

sheriff-mcdonnell-doten-dn.jpg Jim McDonnell visits with Larry Mantle at KPCC, sits with Conan Nolan at KNBC and allows backstage access to photographer John McCoy of the Daily News.

News and notes: First Monday of 2015

inglewood-stadium-rendering.jpg Rams owner says he will build stadium in Inglewood. Inauguration day in Sacramento. High speed rail breaks ground Tuesday. Sheriff says he wants civilian panel to be advisory only. Villaraigosa for governor? Plus more.

Two more big exits from the LA Times: Jim Rainey and Jimmy Orr*

latimes-sign-sideview.jpg Variety sped up an announcement of Rainey's hiring tonight after I called him seeking comment. Orr is leaving for Colorado and a startup.
stuart-scott-patrick-espn.jpg Scott was a popular ESPN anchor. Colleagues are remembering him in emotional on-air tributes.

Is the gang era in Los Angeles ending?

gangs-sam-quinones-ps.jpg Journalist Sam Quinones writes that street gangs have been retreating from public view all over Southern California for a few years now.

No TV station has more experience than these folks

mptf-tv-channel-kcrw.jpg At the Motion Picture and Television Fund home in Woodland Hills, retirees from Hollywood produce, write -- and star in -- their own TV shows.

Inglewood is Curbed's LA 'neighborhood of the year'

randys-donuts-640.jpg Sure, it's a whole city, but Inglewood is on the rise. So it counts.

Violent crime in city going up, LAPD admits

highlcouds-lapd-bldg-pal.jpg For the first time in 12 years, LAPD crime reports show an increase in the statistical category labeled as violent crimes -- just months after the LA Times caught the department understating crime.

News and notes: End of year desk clearing

garcetti-elect-speech.jpg We've got items about politics, media, place, books, food, sports, the weather and even some news. Now 2015 can begin (for us.)
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