LA news and notes: Watts +50, bike lanes and Maya Angelou's typewriter

Selected items from the media, our in box and other LA Observed sources. Posted occasionally — often in the morning.

Watts 50 years later

Bill Boyarsky on covering the Watts riots in 1965 as a young reporter sent down from Sacramento, teamed with AP entertainment reporter Jim Bacon. Truthdig

LA Times reporter Doug Smith, the longest-tenured news staffer (since 1970), reads the coverage from 1965 and finds the Times "stunned by the Watts riots [and] struggled to make sense of the violence," then began to cover the sorry state of schools and police relations in South LA. Also: A bold-faced note explained that black ad staffer Robert Richardson volunteered to to cover the riots on the streets. LAT

Previous LA Observed coverage

Politics, cops and courts

The City Council passed Mobility Plan 2035, the new transportation concept for the city's general plan that adds many more bike and bus lanes to Los Angeles streets, eliminates some car lanes and reduces driving speeds. Traffic congestion is expected to get worse in many areas and increase the use of neighborhood short cuts, but the idea is to make streets safer and make alternatives to driving more palatable. LAT, KPCC, LA Weekly, Curbed LA

A 2024 Olympic Games in Los Angeles would cost about $4.1 billion and any bid from LA has to come with a guarantee the city would cover any cost overruns, even though the city refused to give such a guarantee to get the 1984 games. LAT, KPCC, KCRW

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation prohibiting the use of grand juries in California in cases where police officers use lethal force, a response to distrust of the grand jury process following the deaths of unarmed black men in other states. Bee

LA County to relocate some inmates, build a new jail to handle the mentally ill. LAT, DN

Also: The city and county are combining to expand homeless outreach teams on Skid Row, with a goal of cutting the area's long-entrenched population by 25% this year, officials said Tuesday. LAT

And: The Board of Supervisors moved ahead on putting the county departments of health services, public health and mental health back under a single director. LAT

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys expressed its outrage over the parole vote for Voltaire Williams, the conspirator in the murder of LAPD officer Thomas Williams who was the subject of a visiting blog post here last week.

Nancy Reagan signed the invitations to 16 Republican candidates to take part in split presidential debates Sept. 16 at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley. Jake Tapper of CNN will moderate both and questions from Hugh Hewitt will be incorporated. Politico, Fishbowl DC

Jeb Bush will be a guest on the first Stephen Colbert late-night show next week. THR

What non-Californians don't know about Carly Fiorina but should, according to columnist Michael Hiltzik. LAT

Cathleen Decker viewed, and comments on the issues raised by, the new documentary on the late mayor Tom Bradley. LAT, Bill Boyarsky

The city of Long Beach plans to change street sweeping times and eliminate parking restrictions, such as requiring some car owners to move their vehicles at 4 a.m. Press-Telegram

Developer Rick Caruso is pushing through a plan for a shopping center near coastal wetlands in Carlsbad using a novel method that could allow it to bypass many of the state’s environmental protection rules by collecting signatures of residents. Voice of San Diego

Media and books

Carolina Garcia, managing editor for enterprise and projects for the Los Angeles News Group’s nine publications, told staffers Tuesday she will retire at the end of the month. (The group has been gradually reducing the size of its editor ranks.) She came to LA as executive editor of the Daily News in 2008. DN

Fox 11 News live shot protest-bombed again over station labor dispute. Here's last time.

Fox News just had its most-watched week since the Iraq War. TV Newser

Vice Media CEO Shane Smith has paid $23 million for a 3.3-acre estate in Santa Monica, Villa Ruchello, that previously belonged to director Henry Jaglom. Variety

Los Angeles collector Steven Soboroff acquired the personal typewriter of Maya Angelou for $5,000 at an estate sale in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The piece is an Adler electric typewriter. It will go on display at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills. Fine Books Blog, Winston-Salem Journal

Tribune Publishing, the LA Times parent company which disclosed this week it added just 3,000 new digital customers companywide last year, is doing a "top to bottom" review of its digital business led by Denise Warren, the former New York Times digital chief. Capital NY

tnr-cover-new.jpgThe New Republic unveiled a new print design.

How GQ cut its webpage load time by 80 percent. Digiday

Frances Dinkelspiel's next book due in October, Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California, will detail a 2005 crime in Northern California that among its damage destroyed 175 bottles of wine made in 1875 by her great-great grandfather, Isaias Hellman.

The Elitist Allure of Joan Didion. Atlantic

Former LA Times writers Diane Haithman and Dennis McDougal have book excerpts on Nikki Finke's new Hollywood fiction website. Hollywood Dementia

Now 18, Rebecca Black is too famous to be normal and too normal to be famous. BuzzFeed

People on the West Coast People are more likely to use "haha" and "hehe" to laugh on Facebook, while those in the east are more likely to use emojis. Women use more emojis than men. Digiday


The surface of Los Angeles Reservoir is covered with 95 million black plastic "shade balls" to reduce evaporation and chemical reactions. KPCC, DN, Curbed LA

Who's behind the shade balls. Bloomberg

The move of 2,000 artworks into the new Broad Museum on Bunker Hill has begun. An inside look: KPCC/The Frame

Parker Center, the L.A. Mall and the Future of the Civic Center. Downtown News

CicLAvia will return to the heart of the city on Oct. 18.

Family-run Bel Air Camera in Westwood has been sold to an East Coast company, but it's the Holocaust backstory that is interesting. And (not in story) that rival Samy's Camera was founded by a member of the same family. Daily Bruin

Former Los Angeles Rams cornerback Darryl Henley is just halfway through a 41-year sentence for conspiring to traffic cocaine. MMQB

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