LA Observed archive
for March 2015

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

pie-hole-marketplace.jpg News and notes from LA Observed on politics, media and place plus a couple of tweets of the day.

Deadline co-editor does the mea culpa over diverse casting

empire-cast-deadline.jpg Michael Fleming says last week's story suggesting there was too much diversity in TV casting was a big mistake: "Our hearts are heavy with regret."

Missing Berkeley student was killed trying to cross the freeway

eloi-vasquez-ucb.jpg Eloi Vasquez was struck and killed on the 10 freeway early Sunday morning, but did not carry any identification.

Paul Haggis speaks clearly on Scientology and 'Going Clear'

paul-haggis-ortega.jpg The director and ex-member writes about why hardcore Scientologists will just not see, or believe, the truth that the Alex Gibney documentary lays out for them.

New Expo Line stations getting their art

expo-line-west-art.jpg Metro is installing the artwork for the elevated station at Sepulveda Boulevard. Westwood/Rancho Park and Palms went first.

Monday news and notes: Fiorina, Noah, Good and more

trevor-noah-tds.jpg Carly Fiorina likely to run for president. New Daily Show host. Good magazine relaunches. KPCC drops Multi-American blog. Plus more and tweets of the day.

Susannah Hoffs of the Bangles sings karaoke in DTLA bar (video)

hoffs-karaoke.jpg Oh why not? Compliments of New York Magazine's Vulture site.

100 years ago today, the Valley made Los Angeles big

annex-map-sfv-part.jpg Sunday is the centennial of, arguably, the most significant public vote in the history of Los Angeles.

Sawtelle Japantown is now official

sawtelle-japantown-signage.jpg The city's first blue signs for the new district were unveiled on Sunday.

New visitor center and garden at the Huntington (photos)

huntington-garden-new.jpg The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino will open its new $68 million education and visitor center next Saturday, April 4.

Prize season: Journos of the year, LAT and more

cheryl-fair-spj-award.jpg It's all about the acronyms: SPJ-LA, ASNE, ACES and ASJA. Congratulations to all the winners.

30 new species of flies discovered buzzing Los Angeles

30newSpeciesoffly-nhm.jpg This level of previously unknown biodiversity surprised scientists and makes them wonder: what other mystery species are living in our backyards?

Atmospheric rivers she has known

atmos-rivers-peng.jpg Scientist Grace Peng reminds us there was a time when the Pacific inundated California with rivers of free water from the sky.
alejandra-campoverdi-ucla.jpg Alejandra Campoverdi is the former Obama aide named managing editor of #EmergingUS, the Times' multimedia venture on race and multiculturalism.

George Fischbeck, TV's Dr. George, dies at 92

dr-george-fischbeck.jpg Fischbeck was Channel 7's weatherman for nearly 20 years in the 1970s and 80s.

News and notes: Bush coming, bookstore closing & more

RauschLA-hunt.jpg Jeb Bush to raise cash in Bel Air. Supes look to raise minimum age. A new column in Daily News. More notes on politics, media and place.
david-lazarus-twitter.jpg Consumer columnist David Lazarus has been getting more openly anti-Republican on his Twitter feed. So get ready for cat videos.

Q&A(s) with new managing editor for strategy at the LA Times*

mitra-kalita-twitter.jpg S. Mitra Kalita says few jobs in journalism would make her "uproot my family, leave a neighbourhood and friends I love, and exit an innovative startup like Quartz."

Monday news and notes: Brown, Villaraigosa, Apple and more

cuba-truck.jpg Some news and notes of politics, media and place to get the week started.
ave50-monte-vista-hp.jpg In "Viva Gentrification!," Hector Tobar says whites are returning to Latino enclaves such as Highland Park.
starbucks-baristas-640.jpg Starbucks CEO says the order to write "Race Together" on cups ends Monday. Everyone in line says thanks.

Steve Nash retires from the Lakers and NBA

Steve_Nash-kids.jpg In a personal note posted on the web, Nash says "In my nearly three years in L.A., I’ve never met anyone who didn’t show me anything but love and support for my efforts."

LA Times goes for digital innovator in new sports editor

angel-rodriguez-twitter.jpg Angel Rodriguez is deputy editor for mobile innovation at the Washington Post. He had been in sports roles previously.

Young lion P-33 crosses the 101 freeway - going north

p-33-face-nps.jpg It's just the second time researchers have spotted a lion successfully crossing the freeway — and the first to leave the Santa Monicas.
alejandra-campoverdi-ucla.jpg Alejandra Campoverdi will be managing editor of #EmergingUS. She worked in the White House from 2009-2012 and has a media background.

Norms passes another landmark hurdle

norms-alan-hess.jpg The city's Board of Cultural Heritage Commissioners today voted unanimously to extend history-cultural monument status to the threatened Norms coffee shop on North La Cienega.

KCET launches web series on California's crucial delta

bay-delta-landing-page-dwr.jpg Roughly half of California's fresh water arrives in this quirkily engineered, mis-named place, writes Emily Green. 25 million Californians depend on freshwater from the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta.
julie-chang-and-baby.jpg Tobar writing for NYT opinion. Oreskes to run NPR news. KPCC adds veterans and military issues reporter. Plus more.
frank-mccourt-happy.jpg In an interview, former owner (who retains an interest in the parking lots) says "Chavez Ravine has always been a preferred location for the NFL."
mitra-kalita-twitter.jpg S. Mitra Kalita will be managing editor for editorial strategy. This year's addition from the NYT also gets a new title.
AP-DurstCorrex-20150317.jpg Catching up with a full day's worth of news and notes on politics, media and this crazy place we call LA.

Shrinking LA Times quietly drops page count from Page One

latimes-page-counter.jpg The traditional statement of total pages in each day's paper vanished last week from the printed LA Times front page.

SoCal offering to pay its highest price ever for water

calif-aqueduct-sign-lao.jpg With this drought year starting to look like the worst yet, the Metropolitan Water District is offering rich deals and Northern California rice farmers are selling.

More than 700 sea lions now in California shelters

sea-lion-pmcc-jake.jpg Already, this year has seen the most stranding of emaciated sea lions in memory. Warmer waters driving away the food is suspected.

NPR gives some love to Eichler and Balboa Highlands

Balboa_Highlands_OfficeHistoricResources.jpg The early 1960s neighborhood of homes designed by A. Quincy Jones and partners was the first postwar tract in the Valley to be given Los Angeles historic district status.

Obama visit very good for Jimmy Kimmel's ratings

obama-kimmel.jpg Kimmel's audience for Obama was up 30 percent over the previous Thursday and turned out to be the show's fourth highest rating ever.
lapd-car-protect-serve.jpg This officer from Hollywood division was trying to smuggle somebody. Henry Solis is still at large.

Actor Marin Ireland takes on sexual harassment in the theater

Thumbnail image for marin-ireland-parallelogram8.jpg She was hit and given a black eye by actor Scott Shepherd in London, and now leads an effort to make the theater a safer place for the people who on productions.

Doing business on historical properties in LA

the-bloc-sign.jpg Wayne Ratkovich says that getting a historic designation on a building can be a good thing. He should know.

LA sidewalk homeless camp of the week (photos)

homeless-pico-expo-line.jpg Sunday on Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Also: the sidewalk outside downtown's venerable California Club.

Tom Hoffarth remembers Joe McDonnell

joe-mcdonnell-hamilton.jpg On Hoffarth's annual opinionated lists of the top LA sports radio talkers, McDonnell was an easy number one.

LAPD officer sought in Pomona killing

Thumbnail image for highlcouds-lapd-bldg-pal.jpg Police are looking for probationary LAPD officer Henry Solis in connection with a fatal shooting outside a Pomona nightclub Friday morning.

Robert Durst arrested in Susan Berman's murder

robert-durst-jarecki.jog.jpg HBO could not have gotten a luckier PR break with the final episode of "The Jinx" airing tonight.

Joe McDonnell, 58, longtime LA sports media figure

mcdonnell-laradio.jpg McDonnell died today at Good Samaritan after a brief illness. He "worked at almost every sports outlet on the local radio dial," LA Radio's Don Barrett said.

Art Leahy officially jumps from Metro to Metrolink

art-leahy-metro.jpg The board of Metrolink announced today that Leahy will become CEO on April 20 -- soon after he steps down at Metro.
high-hewitt-studio-slav-zatoka.jpg Hewitt is breaking stories, getting the GOP candidates on his radio show and filling the role of most respected pundit by the Republican establishment, a new profile says.

The impossible quest of the fledgling novelist

martin-smith-group-medium.jpg Martin J. Smith writes about a book tour through the West in twin mini-vans. Plus David Ulin on The Offing, a new literary magazine in Los Angeles.

No blurred lines: Marvin Gaye and friends in 60s videos

marvin-gaye-grab.jpg Choose your poison: the Hullabaloo Dancers or the Gazzarri Dancers?

LA Times discovers its inner Obamajam

lat-com-front-obamajam.jpg The Obamajam trope is old and tired, and even I'll admit it was kind of parochial to begin with. But today, the LA Times loves it.

Judd McIlvain, crusader for the consumer, was 73

judd-McIlvain-v.jpg McIlvain was the Troubleshooter on Channel 2 news in Los Angeles for many years. He died Monday.
thr-political-consultants.jpg There's been some shuffling in the lineup of political advisers to the stars and big donors. And a new candidate for the Board of Supervisors.

LA gets the news message

latcom-front-3-12-15.jpg Starting at the top of the home page, I count 22 headlines from various sections before they start steering us to older stories and features deeper on the site.

Obama traffic guidance: Hollywood, Santa Monica, Burbank

obama-student4_mid.jpg The president arrives Thursday afternoon to do Jimmy Kimmel and a fundraiser, then stays overnight.

Report: Metro to tap Denver transit official as new boss*

PhilWashington-denver-rtd.jpg Phil Washington is currently general manager of Denver's Regional Transportation District.

Soboroff adds no. 30 to his typewriter collection

soboroff-typewriter-cohen.jpg The typewriter belonged to Samuel T. Cohen, inventor of the neutron bomb that could kill people but leave buildings unscathed.

Four years later: Japan still recovering from quake and tsunami

namie-house.jpg And in California, the threat of a magnitude 8 quake, the Big One for us, has been raised by USGS.

Whoa: Aaron Kushner resigns from the OC Register*

aaron-kushner-usc.jpg The Orange County Register just announced that Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz, the co-owners of Freedom Communications, have both resigned from all executive duties.

Clinton Global Initiative versus the other CGI

cgi-vs-cgi.jpg Bruce Feirstein, the Los Angeles-based contributor to Vanity Fair, devotes this month's investigative VF chart to a compare-and-contrast.

Mayor Garcetti quietly launches 2017 reelection site

garcetti-2017-grab.jpg The mayor also filed the paperwork to begin raising money for 2017.

Tuesday news and notes: 3.10.15

old-bank-museum-wiscombe.jpg Plans for an Old Bank District museum, plus a big day of notes in politics, media and place. And tweets of the day.

Tech website Gigaom shuts down immediately

gigaom-grab.jpg "Business, much like life, is not a movie and not everyone gets to have a story book ending," founder Om Malik posted.

AEG pulls the plug on NFL stadium for downtown

farmers-field-overview.jpg The company told the LA Times that it's no longer pursuing the Farmers Field project.

Video: Those maps found in a Mt. Washington cottage

glen-creason-video-grab.jpg The story of the LAPL map treasure collected by John Feathers is told in a video for the LA Review of Books.

LA Times also adapts meetings to the digital news cycle

leonardbillboardtimes.jpg Read the memo: Editors now meet at 7 a.m. and 9:30 a.m., with the focus the website more than the next day's front page.

Sam Simon, 59, Simpsons co-creator who gave away his wealth

SamSimon-save-the-children.jpg Simon donated his fortune from "The Simpsons" to children, animals and other causes.

Director Randall Miller takes plea deal in death of Sarah Jones

sarah-jones-ampas.jpg Sentence of ten years in a Georgia jail could result in about a year of time served and a lengthy ban on work as a director. Miller will be the first director to serve time for an on-set death.

Days sound numbered for Norms on La Cienega

norms-la-cienega.jpg The news doesn't really get better for fans of the Googie-style Norms coffee shop.

There's a new Furillo on the sports beat

andy-furillo-twitter.jpg The son of the late Bud Furillo is transitioning to sports up in Sacramento.

Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb leaving City Hall

garcetti-yusef-robb.jpg Read the memo: The mayor's top spokesman is off "to pursue new opportunities."
pipeline-cover.jpg "Pipeline" became "one of Southern California's most recognizable musical exports — an instrumental anthem to riding the waves and living the life..."

Friday news and notes: 3.6.15

antonio-villaraigosa-msnbc-grab.jpg El Niño but so what. LA losing fog. Did Villaraigosa miss his last moment? Harrison Ford's crash. Plus more notes on politics, media and place and tweets of the day.

In the Sawtelle district, a name change that makes sense

sawtelle-hide-sushi.jpg Designating Sawtelle Japantown has more local authenticity than Little Osaka or West LA.

Election fallout: Turnout anguish and Wesson's win

garcetti-martinez-office-si.jpg On the day after Tuesday's sleepy city election, everyone seems to be suddenly concerned that almost no one votes in Los Angeles anymore.

Wednesday news and notes: 3.4.15

skid-row-shooting-grab.jpg LAT parent may buy the San Diego U-T. Steve Lopez still shocked by Skid Row. Who's in the City Council and school board runoffs. Plus more notes on politics, media and place.

Councilman Huizar reelected without a fight *

greuel-huizar-guisados.jpg Councilwoman Nury Martinez also reelected and Marqueece Harris Dawson elected to LA City Council. One runoff awaits.

Villaraigosa buys in Beachwood Canyon for $2.5 million

villaraigosa-home.jpg A year ago friends were saying the former mayor had no assets and was living in an apartment. Now he buys in the Hollywood Hills.

LAPD Skid Row shooting: justified or overreaction?

chief-beck-grab-ezellfordpresser.jpg Chief Beck opens the investigation by saying Sunday's police killing downtown appears justified, while Skid Row residents are upset.

LA politics roundup: day before the election version

city-hall-flags.jpg Some LA City Council, some U.S. Senate, some Republican state convention and more.

Original Wonkette blogger wants you to know she's a Christian

ana-marie-cox-typepad.jpg Ana Marie Cox is still writing about politics and in her latest piece talks about her faith and being a liberal Christian.

LAPD shoots homeless man on Skid Row as many watch (video)

skid-row-shooting-grab.jpg The video shows a skirmish between officers and a flailing man, then an officer yelling to "drop the gun" before shots were fired.
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