LA Observed Notes: Perez bombshell, LAT internment letters and more

lala-land-dance.jpgDo we need this movie right now or what? "LaLa Land" opens strong and wins Best Picture on Sunday night at the Critics' Choice Awards.

Our occasional roundup of media, politics and place notes from assorted LA Observed sources. Join us (and 23,815 followers) on Twitter.

At the top

Saturday bombshell: Former Assembly Speaker John Perez already had a slew of high-powered endorsements for the fast-moving congressional race to succeed state AG-designate Xavier Becerra. But Perez, 47, dropped out, citing a recent medical diagnosis. He offered no details. John Myers/LA Times
Former Times Mirror Square: OnniGroup detailed its development plans for the prime downtown block that has been the home of the Los Angeles Times for decades. Two AC Martin-designed apartment towers, 37 and 53 stories high, will go up in place of the newer buildings on the block, separated by a pedestrian walk from the 1930s and 40s (but un-landmarked) Times buildings. The first floor of the remaining Times buildings would be converted to restaurants, shops and a grocery. The newspaper's lease extends to 2018. LAT
By the way: There's a new book out on Gordon B. Kaufmann, architect of the 1935 Art Deco Times headquarters.
Late-night tweet: The LA Times Twitter feed said just before midnight that "2 letters published in today's L.A. Times Travel section did not meet editorial standards. Our Readers Rep. will address on her blog Monday." The letters defended the internment of U.S. citizens of Japanese heritage during World War II in part by saying they were "housed, fed, protected and cared for."
-30- for Markoff: It's hard to remember a time when John Markoff was not covering tech and Silicon Valley. He took the latest New York Times buyout and left the paper Dec. 1. "I’m retiring from the greatest job I ever knew — but I still believe that journalism will thrive," he says in remarks at UC Berkeley.
atmos-river-dec102016.jpgNorcal only: An "atmospheric river event" is delivering subtropical moisture in the form of heavy rainfall (no, not snow) to the Sierra Nevada and should continue at least 7-10 more days. The Truckee River between Lake Tahoe and Reno reached flood stage this weekend. The California Weather Blog
Rams are trending! I'm not an NFL follower, but apparently the Rams' 42-14 loss Sunday to the Falcons was bad. As in, can't get worse than this bad. "This, one would hope, is bottom," says the report. Fred Roggin of NBC4 on Twitter: "Without question #Rams performance is one of worst in LA Sports history. Penalties, ineptitude, not competitive. Something must change now." Says the LAT's Bill Plaschke: "The honeymoon is way over." At least the home fans didn't boo their boys. Oh wait...

Media notes

Preparing for President Trump: Senators Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Charles Schumer and Jack Reed (2 Reeps and 2 Dems) took to Twitter with a joint statement: "Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American."... Brian Stelter asked Sunday morning on CNN's "Reliable Sources" if the CIA report on Russian meddling in the election and Trump's dismissal of the issue is a national emergency: "And are journalists afraid to say so because they're afraid they'll sound partisan?"... James Poniewozik in NYT: The New Reality of TV: All Trump, All the Time... Jim Rutenberg column in NYT: Television news is going to have to do its part should Mr. Trump and his administration try to make policy based on false assertions... Jay Rosen tweet storm: Winter is coming: what it will be like for the press under Trump... 60 Minutes: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes Trump presidency... Former New Republic editor Franklin Foer is the latest splashy hire at The Atlantic as the magazine powers up to cover the Trump era... AP laid off 25 staffers last week... Fox News is shuttering Fox News Latino.
And locally: Amazon dropped "Good Girls Revolt," the period drama based on the Newsweek woman who rose up against the magazine's male culture, and creator Dana Calvo is stunned: "We were all so surprised because we were a hit." The show may have a future elsewhere... KPCC has a new stronger signal on the Westside of LA that now gets to UCLA (yay!) and reaches up Pacific Coast Highway toward Malibu... Kristen Lepore discusses the lessons learned from the election coverage collaboration she headed this year for KPCC, KQED, Capital Public Radio and KPBS... Debra J. Saunders, for 24 years the conservative columnist embedded at the San Francisco Chronicle (and before that at the Daily News here), signs off in a farewell column: "Over time, my job evolved so that I became a translator who explained conservatives to liberals and the liberals to conservatives."
Winners: The Los Angeles chapter of SPJ will award next year's Distinguished Journalist honors to Hector Becerra of the Los Angeles Times, R. Scott Moxley of OC Weekly, Greg Habell of KNX 1070, Adrienne Alpert of ABC7 Eyewitness News, and BuzzFeed News staffers Ken Bensinger, Jeremy Singer-Vine and Jessica Garrison.
Tis the season: Matthew Belloni, executive editor of the Hollywood Reporter, tweets: "I know film studios covet 60 Minutes but tonight's Lion segment spoiled pretty much every plot point in the movie"... “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” also did well at Sunday night's Critics' Choice Awards... Golden Globes nominations will be streamed Monday morning. Early... The New York Times Magazine heralds the awards season with a cover piece that is somehow about LA noir by running black-and-white photos of actors... Both the NYT Magazine and New York Magazine held parties in Hollywood last week.
And this:

Around the Timeses

Dean Baquet was on "Fresh Air" talking with Terry Gross about covering Donald Trump and the challenges facing The New York Times. He laughed at some of Trump's tweets mentioning the NYT: "Part of it's funny. It's filled with obvious inaccuracies...but this is pretty unusual and creates all kinds of issues that are compelling for us." The whole thing... Top editors at the LA Times were mighty unhappy at the Los Angeles Magazine article fingering editor/publisher Davan Maharaj as a troubled, not very respected newsroom leader. Managing editor Marc Duvoisin, who also didn't look too good in the story, unleashed a Twitter stream, mostly toward CJR reporter David Uberti, that has become the talk of Times alumni. "Even by standards of post-truth era, in which something true if someone said it (even anonymously), this piece marked new low," reads one of the Duvoisin tweets. I've not seen an official response from the Times since the Maharaj statement included in the magazine piece: "We are in very challenging times in the newspaper business. My job is to make sure we produce quality journalism for our readers. Yes, that means I have to make difficult decisions. Running a newspaper isn’t a popularity contest. We and I should be judged by the quality of our work, and by that standard the Los Angeles Times has done very well in the past five years. Our journalism speaks for itself, and it speaks loudly.”
Former digital editor Jimmy Orr, who is quoted in the piece, tweeted his displeasure: "Garbage story. LA Mag had agenda going in. Hit piece."
Also around the LAT: The Times saw a 60 percent increase in new digital subscriptions in the weeks following the election, a spokeswoman told CJR. For the month of November, the paper added more than four times as many new subscribers as it did during the same period in 2015... The Senate approved a bill that would stop the collection of mistaken bonus overpayments to California National Guard soldiers who reenlisted as requested, and pay back those who already scraped up the cash. The LA Times had shined new light on the outrage... State desk editor Bob Sipchen: "I can't recommend this haunting and heartbreaking #Ghostship story highly enough."... The LAT is promoting a new Tronc-wide newsletter, Creature Features, that will consist of "inspiring pet stories and cute animal news from around the nation."

Politics notes

Trump's America: The president-elect told Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace that he doesn't need the daily intelligence briefing unless something big changes... China has flown a nuclear-capable bomber outside its borders in a show of force for the first time since Trump’s phone call with the president of Taiwan, says The Independent... National Review's Jay Nordlinger tweets: "Be clear: If a foreign intelligence operation had worked to elect the D, not the R, conservatives would talk of nothing else. Rightly."... New from Bernie Sanders: "Donald Trump is a pathological liar. We need the help of the American people to build a movement of millions who are following reality."... The President-elect's sit down this week with technology titans will have at least two marquee attendees: Alphabet Inc.’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt... A Pew poll finds Trump's incoming approval rating is 31 points lower than Barack Obama's pre-inauguration rating in December 2008... Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich says on Facebook that he heard this weekend from three Electoral College electors who don't want to vote for Trump. Says Reich: "In my view, electors have a constitutional duty not to vote for Donald Trump."... A 29-year-old Simi Valley man has been arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime after he stabbed an apparent worshiper near a mosque.
Some politics is local: 30-story buildings along the LA River in the Arts District? Yes per Christopher Hawthorne, with a push to get the project through City Hall before the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative vote in March... The Field Poll is shutting down after nearly 70 years. "It marks the end of an era, and it has been a great ride,” said pollster Mark DiCamillo. Mervin Field died last year... The coastal commission voted to levy more than $5 million in fines against two of Malibu's most flagrant flouters of the beach access requirement. LA Times... The top rate for using Metro's ExpressLanes goes up 10 cents per mile on Jan. 9.
So anyway: Here's what the editor of The Economist thinks:

People are talking about...

LA Times profile: "Stephen Bannon found inspiration in ancient thinkers, Ronald Reagan and Nazi propaganda"... Dorothea Lange's photographs of law-abiding Americans being rounded up in Northern California for internment at the start of World War II have some extra resonance now. The images were censored and mostly unseen until 2006. Anchor Editions... Patti Smith performed lyrics and U.S. Ambassador to Sweden Azita Raji delivered remarks from Bob Dylan at the Nobel Prize ceremony, which he did not attend... KQED video producer Alex Ghassan died in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire and was remembered by colleagues... Protect your privacy during Trump’s reign: A hacker’s guide to being cyber-safe. The Conversation
ICYMI: Vogue fires 73 questions at Emma Stone in her LA home.

Media people doing stuff

Joe Nocera, the longtime New York Times business writer and columnist who moved to Sports last year, is now jumping all the way to Bloomberg... NPR reporter Asma Khalid talks about what it was like covering the Trump campaign as a Muslim: "To friends and family, I looked like a masochist. But I was too invested to quit."... Activist Jasmyne Cannick sued the LAPD alleging she was arrested during 2014 street protests in retaliation for stories about police shootings she had done as a journalist... Jeremy B. White [fixed: not Christopher Cadelago] is leaving the Sacramento Bee's Capitol beat to try his hand at foreign reporting in Phom Penh... LA science writer (and scientist) Jason Goldman writes about brainy lions at Scientific American... Novelist Ann Patchett lives in Nashville but she puts the Last Bookstore on her destination list: "When was the last time you strolled around downtown Los Angeles near Skid Row? Never? I’m from Los Angeles and it took the Last Bookstore to get me there."... Lucas Grindley was named editor in chief of The Advocate... Catherine Ho of the Washington Post (and ex-LA Times) will join the San Francisco Chronicle in January as a business reporter... La Opinion's Pilar Marrero responds to Trump's new Twitter slam of NBC News: "The kind of media criticism you hear every day in Venezuela from leftists authoritarians."... Similar thought from former NBC4 anchor Ana Garcia: "Isn't it comforting that Trump is focused on the big stuff"
In the family: Nice profile and pic of LA Observed contributor Ed Fuentes by Nevada Public Radio. He did the Q&A with street artist Rich McCor in Native Intelligence.
Noted: Science writer John Noble Wilford bylined the New York Times obituary on John Glenn -- and the 1969 front-pager reporting that the first man walked on the moon.

ICYMI: A salute from Mars



Why hasn't it snowed in LA since 1962? Nathan Masters at KCET
An "extremely rare sighting" of a large pod of sperm whales, and a transient group of orcas, were spotted off the coast last week. Pete Thomas Outdoors
New Backbone Trail hiking route connects Los Angeles to 67 miles of backcountry bliss. USA Today
Construction is set to begin in February on a new mixed-use project on the site of Metro's large free park-and-ride lot for the Expo Line in Culver City. Urbanize LA
Why there's a shopping center arms race in Los Angeles. KPCC
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses has cancelled its annual horse show, EquestFest, due to an outbreak of equine herpes virus in Los Angeles County. San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Watch Metro's tunnel boring machine for the regional connector line be lowwered into the ground. The Source
Mozza chef Nancy Silverton is featured in a short film.
And this:

Selected tweets


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