LA Observed archive
for August 2015

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Gerald Ruben, 80, longtime TV news executive in LA

gerald-ruben-fb.jpg "One of the great news producers of all time, anywhere," says Bob Tarlau on Facebook.

The LA drug education of Oliver Sacks

milch-oliver-sacks-ltla.jpg In Topanga Canyon in 1963, even the doctors got stoned and took acid. Plus: Sacks in the most colorful green room in town.

About 5 million Californians left in last decade, more than ever

bee-map-migration.jpg The net loss to domestic migration is closer to one million. Which destination state was (again) the most popular?

BuzzFeed looking at big expansion to Arts District

ford-factory-shorenstein.jpg Flush with new cash from NBC Universal, BuzzFeed is reported to be looking at the former Ford Model T factory across from Stumptown Coffee on Santa Fe Avenue.

Monday news and notes: Lots of catching up

la-river-main-st-bridge.jpg Items include Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Daniele Watts, Eric Garcetti, Frank Gehry, Aja Brown, Wes Craven, Serena Wlliams, Jessica Mendoza, Claudia Puig and more.
rfk-shot-eppridge.jpg I'm always glad when Steve Lopez goes back and checks on the busboy who cradled Robert F. Kennedy as he lay wounded on election night in June 1968.

Oliver Sacks, 82, neurologist and author dies of cancer

musicophilia.jpg Sacks announced in a February Op-ed piece that he had spreading cancer and was detaching from big world concerns like the Middle East and global warming. "My generation is on the way out…"

Larry King thinking a lot about his final gig

larry-king-nytmag-grab.jpg Over the quarter-century that he hosted ‘‘Larry King Live,’’ King was always asking his guests, ‘‘What do you think happens when we die?’’
ashley-madison-lips.jpg Roughly zero percent of female accounts "had ever shown any kind of activity at all, after the day they were created," analysis of the hacked database finds. Then they realized it was wrong.

Some reasons why LA's rising crime rate is not a surprise

Thumbnail image for homeless-virgil-avenue.jpg Joe Domanick argues that the city's rising poverty and crime rates are related, "coming together in an era of astounding, Third World-like income disparity, declining social services and desperate poverty." And you thought Uber getting into LAX was the big issue of the day.
fireworks-smmirror.jpg Right at midnight, unannounced booms from fireworks barraged the coast cities on Santa Monica Bay.

News crew shot dead on live TV in Virginia*

parker-ward-wdbj.jpg WDBJ photographer Adam Ward, 27, and reporter Alison Parker, 24, were interviewing a chamber of commerce official at a strip mall this morning. The shooter was a former reporter at the Roanoke station.

Another Garcetti press aide leaves the staff

jeff-millman-twitter.jpg Jeff Millman is going to work for the effort preparing LA's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Ex-LAT writer won't do Huffington's research

lauren+lipton+portrait.jpg Lauren Lipton's reply to a request for free help was beyond frosty. The phrase "the rapacious Ms. Huffington" was written.

Uber gets almost-green light to pick up at LAX

LAX-terminal2-parking.jpg The City Council says OK but there are some official hurdles still to jump.

News and notes: Rare Tuesday edition

lamag-bestofla.jpg Politics and media moves. New homeless numbers. Stephen Colbert's guests. NYT newsletters. Kirk and Anne Douglas will give it away. And more.

Daniele Watts ordered to give better apology to LAPD officer

Daniele-Watts-theedge.jpg The "Django Unchained" actress and her boyfriend have until tomorrow to write an apology that actually sounds sorry.

Garcetti takes prop desk outside to sign traffic order

garcetti-desk-left-conan.jpg Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday signed an executive order ordering departments to report back with ways to reduce traffic deaths in Los Angeles -- to zero.

What one key LA Times editor liked in the past week

latimes-sign-sideview.jpg Memo from the ME for editorial strategy praises coverage of schools, Straight Outta Compton and Taylor Swift. Plus more.

Monday news and notes: 673 candidates for president (so far)

merl-reagle-twitter.jpg Jerry Brown on "Meet the Press." Toni Atkins on "News Conference." A crossword creator dies. And much more.

Duke Kahanamoku gets a happy birthday nod from Google

duke-k-goodle-doodle.jpg Google Doodle honors 125th birthday of the Olympic champion swimmer and father of surfing — the subject of an upcoming biography by David Davis.

Fox 11 veteran fired for bombing live shot over labor talks

cheryl-bacon-fired.jpg Local 53 plans a rally outside the Bundy Drive studios on Thursday in support of Cheryl Bacon, who has been at KTTV for 39 years.

Friday news and notes: End of the week

cliftons-lac.jpg LAPD as guardians not warriors. Cheating in Compton. A tax lien for LAT's Vargas. Balls at MacArthur Park.

An entire gray wolf pack now roaming Northern California

shasta-wolf-pack-dfw.jpg Trail cameras have picked up a pack of two adult gray wolves with five pups in Siskiyou County — they call it the Shasta Pack.

LA Times adds another TV writer: Libby Hill

latimes-sign-sideview.jpg Hill will report and comment on TV in the paper, for the web and on Twitter.
ted-rall.png Editors re-explain the decision to cut ties with the cartoonist and add new analysis of a disputed LAPD audio tape.

Gjusta written up by health inspector, given B grade

GjustaReport-7-15.jpg Inspection last month found too many flies, improper food prep and dirty fingernails among other violations. Bon Appetit's top new LA restaurant now has an A.

Midweek news and notes: Trump, BuzzFeed, media moves

trump-thr.jpg Dave Lesher named to run start-up CalMatters. News from City Hall and the county, and much more.

Garcetti's vision thing hits sort of a wall in City Hall

city-hall-from-lat.jpg City Council members have other ideas on some of the mayor's favorite things. Plus: Calling the pols on setting impossible goals.

From gang member to LA probation commissioner

Sal-Martinez2-witness-la.jpg Before he left the gang life as a teenager, Sal Martinez did five stints in juvenile hall, was stabbed four times and shot twice.

Gjusta, Petit Trois make Bon Appetit's hot list

gjusta-bakery.jpg The magazine gets a second wave of publicity with its choice of the 10 best new restaurants in the U.S.

Sam Rubin goes to bat for Garth Kemp* (video)

sam-rubin-grab-garth-kemp.jpg "Viewers deserve more than having someone on the air for 17 years just disappear," Rubin says, chiding KABC-TV. Plus: Kemp's new Twitter feed.

Villaraigosa acting more like a candidate

Creston-Dr-ext.jpg He heads out today to the Central Valley after last night's Hillary Clinton fundraiser -- which at least one neighbor didn't appreciate.

Beutner unveils grant-funded education push at LA Times

lat-education-grab.jpg Timed to today's start of school in LAUSD, the Times is "rededicating itself to coverage of teaching and learning" with Education Matters and new staffers.

Garth Kemp out as KABC Channel 7 weather guy

garth-kemp-dog-fb.jpg Station announces resignation on his official social media accounts. Later in the day his bio dropped off the ABC 7 site.

This day at Woodstock: 'Good morning, people!' (video)

grace-slick-woodstock-dark.jpg Grace Slick greets the dawn on Max Yasgur's farm on August 17, 1969. Turn up the sound.

DWP to pay back all overbilling in class-action settlement

dwp-bldg-flags-lao.jpg The city's utility overcharged by about $44 million while trying to roll out a new, apparently flawed billing system.

Vin Scully undecided yet about next year

vin-scully-2008-crowd-beck-si.jpg Selfishly I hope he returns. But you know -- maybe it's time we all embrace our lifelong friend in whatever he wants to do.

CBS LA gets a new VP and news director

Bill-Dallman-cbsla.jpg Veteran news executive Bill Dallman was named Vice President and News Director of KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV, the CBS-owned duopoly in Los Angeles.

Is the drought killing the giant Sequoias? (video)

giant-sequoia-vpr-romero.jpg For the first time anyone has noticed, the giant trees in Sequoia National Park are showing signs of drought distress. Scientists go for a climb.

Monday news and notes: Box office green, drought and mummies

mummy-head-nhmla.jpg An old byline returns to the LA Times. Plus how Hillary Clinton should be more like Trump.

Herb Wesson begins every day with a bubble bath

herb-wesson-dn-musgrove.jpg He's also the most influential City Council president since John Ferraro and possibly ever.

LA County cafeteria gets its wiggler worms on

worms-la-county.jpg Red wiggler worms now help with the composting so less food waste gets sent to landfills.

Very nice photo fly-over of Los Angeles by drone (video)

bullocks-wilshire-drone.jpg Quad-copter pilot-photographer Ian Wood is back with another breathtaking video of Los Angeles from the air -- including of the Bullock's Wilshire tower.
old-marine-dn-musgrove.jpg Can you help this ex-Marine get her old uniform back? Lots of politics, media and place for a desk-clearing Friday.

The WeHoans: How to avoid traffic on La Cienega (video)

wehoans-logo-grab.jpg What better way to educate Angelenos about the shutdown of a major boulevard than a spoof of SNL's The Californians.

Snake on the steps

rattlesnake-mdr.jpg My favorite police blotter item of the summer, from Marina del Rey.

Mountain lion P-32 killed crossing Interstate 5 near Castaic

p-32-nps.jpg He was the first male lion known to have crossed freeways north out of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Twitter lifts 140-character limit for direct messages

twitter-bird.jpg You can now drone on for 10,000 characters -- more like Facebook. Tweets still must be short.

Antonovich looking at another elected job

senate-district-25.jpg The Republican who goes back to the original community college board in LA wants to follow 36 years on the Board of Supervisors with a term on the state Senate.

Villaraigosa to host Clinton funder in Beachwood Canyon home

Creston-Dr-ext.jpg At $100, it’s the hottest little ticket among Hollywood Democrats because it gives them a first chance to see the former mayor's new Hollywood Hills pad.
tnr-cover-new.jpg A busy day of politics, media and place and another round of Watts riots remembrances.

Exhibit on Chinese-American lawyer Y.C. Hong coming to Huntington

old-chinatown-huntington.jpg Hong was a prominent immigration lawyer and community leader through the middle decades of the 20th Century and helped in the move to today's current Chinatown.

Watts + 50 years: The media reflects

watts-community-garden-lamag.jpg Lots and lots of anniversary stories looking back at the riots and how Watts is a different place now. Plus: Rediscovered photos and a black cop's story of racism in the LAPD.

Beutner says LA Times to expand political report cards (video)

beutner-news-conf.jpg Statewide officials and the county Supes are next. Garcetti is an "earnest booster" who needs to get to the hard work, Times publisher says.

Monday news and notes: 8.10.15

drone-racing-saul-g.jpg Trump vs. Megyn Kelly but not on Fox. Bernie Sanders in LA today. Amazing ratings for GOP debate but not "True Detective." James Poniewozik to NYT TV beat. Drone racing. And more.

LA Times notes: New VP, partnership, data editor and obit

Thumbnail image for latimes-building-aerial-tig.jpg Another VP comes with government experience, the LAT's most senior newsroom staffer takes on a new assignment, and an obit for Larry Stammer.

Hey Fox 11, how are those contract talks going?

fox-11-protest.jpg Channel 11 gets a new general manager but its live-shot gets bombed by a sign about unfair practices at—Fox 11!

Sam Lubell on the Los Angeles he found and leaves

blackbirds-TAN-bullard.jpg At first he mostly saw that it wasn't New York, but the departing West Coast editor of The Architect's Newspaper came to love and respect the LA thing.

Garcetti gets a C from LA Times editorial writers

james-garcetti-on-phones.jpg "Unfortunately, our concerns are becoming reality," the LAT opinion side says in its latest report card.

Coming New Yorker story making TMZ nervous

harvey-levin-twitter.jpg Sources tell THR the magazine is close on an "aggressive exposé — more than a year in the works — about the unorthodox reporting tactics" of TMZ and Harvey Levin.

Thursday news and notes

maria-sharapova-gjusta.jpg City Hall politics, media items, books news and place notes, including Maria Sharapova at Gjusta.

LA to give up Ontario Airport

ontario-airport-signs.jpg Reports are that Ontario will reimburse LA for its investment at the airport and settle a lawsuit alleging poor management.

Don Drysdale threw his last pitch on this day (videos)

drysdale_portrait-lad.jpg The LA Dodgers' first locally born star left the 1969 game with a sore shoulder and announced his retirement within the week. Some video memories.

LA city councilman takes a dive (video)

ofarrell-pool-crop.jpg Council member Mitch O'Farrell jumped in the new Hollywood pool fully clothed.

CicLAvia returns to Venice Beach with changes

ciclavia-venice-815.jpg Instead of 15 miles from downtown, Sunday's 6-mile route begins in Culver City. Here's the map and some tips to avoid bike and car congestion.

LA Times parent company puts on the happy face

Thumbnail image for latimes-building-aerial-tig.jpg Memo from Tribune Publishing boss celebrates the first year out from under the old Tribune.

Criminal past of 4 Uber drivers at LAX looks bad

metro-cab-taxi-lao.jpg Identity theft, manslaughter and driving under the influence were among the convictions of Uber drivers that would bar them driving an LA taxi.

Very nice standing O for Jimmy Rollins in Philly (video)*

jimmy-rollins-returns.jpg As he approached home plate in another uniform for the first time, Philadelphia fans showered him with love.

Tuesday quick news and notes

p-44-kitten.jpg Herb Wesson's report card, Ted Rall fights back and new mountain lion cubs in the Santa Monicas. Plus more.

New gray wolf spotted in Northern California

gray-wolf-cdfw.jpg This new endangered wolf, in a state that supposedly hasn't had native wolves since the 1920s, is untagged. But there is a trail camera photo.

Monday news and notes: August begins

so-close-thank-you.jpg Politics, media and place with a little news thrown in. Catching up from the weekend.

William Finnegan's San Fernando Valley days

barbarian-days-cover.jpg In his new memoir about surfing, the New Yorker staff writer remembers the hot and dry, white, inland place that spawned him. We help him a little with the origin story of Tarzana.
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