LA Observed Notes: Last days of the pre-Trump era

molly-schiot-eephus.jpgMolly Schiot.
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feinstein-on-mtp.jpgShe believes it: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the former chair and vice-chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said on Meet the Press Sunday she believes from her intel briefings that Russia tried to interfere with the election and had an impact on the outcome. "It's pretty clear that the hacking was in both political parties, but with the aim of hurting Hillary Clinton. And then, if Hillary Clinton were to win, the aim clearly was to weaken her." Full interview
arts-district-rails.jpgSubway for the Arts District?: Mayor Eric Garcetti and Supervisor Hilda Solis are pushing a Metro board item for Thursday to study locating a Purple/Red Line subway stop along the river in the Arts District. The tracks already exist behind the One Santa Fe development. It's interesting but complicated, says Steve Hymon of Metro's The Source.
New column in town: A weekly column in the Los Angeles Times by Christopher Hawthorne, "meant to boost a national and international conversation about contemporary architecture." In the first he slams the sentiment behind Measure S as "mourning for an L.A. that is already dead, a city of single-family subdivisions, highway construction, discriminatory zoning and free parking that worked (to the degree that it ever did) only as long as the region continued to sprawl voraciously at the edges." Hawthorne also weighed in on the George Lucas museum coming to Exposition Park.
2024: If Los Angeles is awarded the 2024 Olympics, organizers have revealed they want the opening ceremonies to take place at the Rams' new stadium to be built in Inglewood, with the historic Coliseum a secondary venue where spectators would watch the opening event mostly on screens. The closing ceremonies 17 days later would flip venues. The spin is it would allow more ticket buyers to attend and offer something not available when LA hosted the games in 1932 and 1984. Meh.
Author interview: Molly Schiot, the Los Angeles-based author of "Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History," talks with David Davis about the book and researching women in sports, for a piece in Eephus, the LA Review of Books channel. Sample:

An artist and a director of music videos and commercials, Schiot directed “Our Tough Guy,” a 10-minute short about Boston Bruins enforcer John Wensink for the acclaimed “30 for 30” documentary series on ESPN. But she grew frustrated when the network kept rejecting her pitches about female subjects...
"I grew up in New Hampshire, right across the street from this pond called Eel Pond that would freeze over. My introduction to sports was playing pond hockey with my dad and his friends and all their kids. It became a fun community activity during the wintertime, and then I would play lacrosse and soccer. That carried over up until college. I was one of those kids that was completely ignorant about music and TV and movies and everything else because I was always in the back of a car getting driven around to different soccer fields and rinks and all that stuff."

Copycat crime: Fox News commentator Monica Crowley will not be joining the Trump national security team after all. She was caught by CNN in extensive plagiarism, and even in Trumpland that apparently matters. CNN

Media and books notes

Covering Trump: Friday is inauguration day and the news media is girding for a new era — including possibly a move of the briefing room out of the West Wing, per former LAT writer Peter Boyer, now in Esquire... "As Trump era arrives, a sense of uncertainty grips the world, the NYT headline says... Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan says in Monday's piece that "to those who say let’s wait and see, or maybe it won't be as bad as you think, or stay hopeful, I'm having none of it. Journalists are in for the fight of their lives. And they are going to have to be better than ever before, just to do their jobs."... Team Trump won't be getting an apology from CNN for aggressive questioning by reporter Jim Acosta. "Jim Acosta is a veteran reporter with the utmost integrity and extensive experience in covering both the White House and the President-elect. Being persistent and asking tough questions is his job, and he has our complete support," the network said Monday... Trump passed 20 million followers on Twitter Monday, and is "now the 68th-most-followed user on the site, just behind Canadian singer Avril Lavigne and right ahead of Indian actor Aamir Khan."... BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith explained the decision to publish the dossier of unconfirmed intelligence reports about alleged Donald Trump activities in Russia. Ken Bensinger of the LA office shared the byline on the original post... Wall Street Journal reporter John Carney talks to CJR about his jump to Breitbart News to run a new vertical covering business... Bill lists 10 investigative reporting outlets to follow now.
High Times Magazine's move to LA from New York becomes final next month. "The center of the cannabis universe has moved to California," said Matt Stang, chief revenue officer at High Times... PBS SoCal KOCE said it will launch PBS SoCal KIDS, a new, free 24/7 channel and streaming service "dedicated to award-winning educational PBS KIDS programs."... Alhambra Source is becoming a non-profit with support from Community Partners.
Transition: Davis Dutton, who ran the North Hollywood location of Dutton's Books with his wife Judy and other family members for almost 50 years before its closure in 2006, died Friday at age 79. The Laurel Canyon Boulevard store was in a converted liquor store. Dutton was also the editor of Westways Magazine from 1970-72. His brother Doug ran the Brentwood Dutton's. Daily News, LA Times, Los Angeles... Revisiting the body of work of Carolyn See on the anniversary of her death, at the LA Review of Books... Michael Tolkin, author of "The Player" and "The Return of The Player," has a new novel "NK3" in which a biological weapon from North Korea accidentally strikes Los Angeles. He'll be at Writers Bloc with Chris Kraus on Feb. 6 at the Goethe Institut.
Hollywood: With Michael Lynton leaving Sony, Kim Masters looks at the studio's future and wonders if there could be a sale... The Hollywood Reporter is billing the first interview in ten years with former producer and studio chief Jon Peters: "Peters opens up about his love affair with Barbra Streisand, voting for Donald Trump (and not yet admitting this to Streisand), his feud with Peter Guber and how it feels to collect huge paychecks on Superman movies for doing nothing." During the interview, he kept a loaded gun on the table... The Los Angeles Film Critics Association delivered its previously announced awards on Saturday night.
And this: No copy editors in the LA Times parking garage anymore, I guess:

Kevin Starr

I posted Sunday about the death of California historian Kevin Starr and talked about his legacy on Monday's weekly LA Observed segment on KCRW. Some more links I want to add. At the LA Times, longtime California chronicler Peter H. King wrote about his relationship with Starr and his writings. Also, assistant managing editor Shelby Grad compiled passages that Starr wrote for the paper through the years. For a good read on Starr, I recommend this new Q&A interview of Starr by Boom editor Jason S. Sexton, keyed to the release of Starr's major new work on Roman Catholics in California and the U.S. Starr says in the interview, as he has before, that top three values motivating migration to California have always been "life, the improvement of life, the ability of ordinary people to achieve such improvement for themselves." Asked what today's biggest threats are to those California values, he says: "The growing divide between the very wealthy and the very poor, as well as the waning of the middle class, as expressed geographically in California by the global wealth of the coast from San Diego County to Marin County and the rapid socioeconomic falloff evident in certain interior regions."

Media people doing stuff

SoCal-based talk show host Hugh Hewitt interviewed Trump 15 times during the campaign and now has a book out Jan. 24, The Fourth Way: The Conservative Playbook for a Lasting GOP Majority... Harvey Levin’s right-hand Mike Walters quit TMZ after the two nearly came to blows in front of the newsroom before Christmas, The Wrap reported based on "multiple sources close to the situation."... Las Vegas political reporter Jon Ralston is launching a nonprofit, donation-based news website The Nevada Independent today... LA Times columnist Patt Morrison will moderate the First Friday series of conversations at the Natural History Museum this year, starting Feb. 3. KCRW's Anne Litt will DJ... Dodgers photographer Jon SooHoo spoke and showed pictures to the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California and Tom Hoffarth went along. Jon's grandfather Peter SooHoo was a formative figure in Chinatown history... Mark Heisler reflects on his career covering basketball... The PEN Center USA Literary Awards competition for journalists living west of the Mississippi has extended the entry deadline to Feb. 15.
Couple of jobs: The LA Weekly is looking for a part-time social media editor. "This 20-hour/week position combines journalism with social-media skills to increase LA Weekly's audience and serve as its online public face. The social media editor manages the Weekly's Facebook and Twitter accounts..." Also noted: JPL is advertising for a writer-editor.

Politics and governing

A narrow majority of Americans -- 52 percent -- say Donald Trump should not have to sell his businesses, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Despite Trump's spin that no one but reporters care, 74 percent say he should make his tax returns public, including 53 percent of Republicans polled... At least one in five California members of Congress are skipping Friday's inauguration ceremony... New Sen. Kamala Harris announced she will oppose Sen. Jeff Sessions' confirmation as attorney general... Doug and Sherry Bebitch Jeffe's newest for Fox and Hounds Daily: "What has happened to the Labour Party in Britain should be a cautionary tale for Democrats in America."... High-speed rail isn't getting any easier to sell politically. "California's bullet train is hurtling toward a multibillion-dollar overrun, a confidential federal report warns," Ralph Vartabedian reports in the LAT.
Some politics is local: Councilman Mike Bonin proposes full public funding for LA city campaigns. Last week: Five council members (including Bonin) propose banning campaign contributions from developers... In an email to the New York Times, Mayor Garcetti defended the wisdom of the city's rising minimum wage, despite reports that it will kill jobs. “We never want to see a business leave our city,” he said, “but I’m proud that we raised the wage — because a higher minimum wage means a stronger economy, and more opportunity for everyone. And we know our plan works, because L.A.’s economy is surging.”... Garcetti tapped his City Hall lawyer and longtime aide, Rich Llewellyn, to be the interim city administrative officer during the search for a successor to Miguel Santana... LA Democratic consultants Dave Jacobson and Maclen Zilber get a piece on the Daily News op-ed page enthusing that the Trump era gives Garcetti his moment for national attention... Garcetti and the Police Protective League have endorsed Monica Rodriguez for the open seat in City Council district 7. Karo Torossian, the planning and environment deputy for Valley councilman Paul Krekorian, is running with the backing of his boss, State Senator Anthony Portantino and Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian... The Los Angeles City Council voted to require all farmers markets in the city to accept Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (EBT) as payment... On Tuesday the City Council will fete San Antonio Winery for its 100th anniversary making wine in Lincoln Heights... Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas held his 25th annual Empowerment Congress Summit on Saturday, at USC's Bovard Auditorium... Former state Sen. Isadore Hall was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. That gig pays $142,095 a year.

News and notes

SpaceX successfully launched a rocket Saturday from Vandenberg, deployed ten satellites and landed the rocket back on the barge flawlessly. LAT
The LA County Sheriff's Department launched the country's first police drones. KPCC
Authorities in San Luis Obispo County arrested a man suspected of impersonating a police officer to make a traffic stop, but jailers booked the suspect as a female. CalCoast News
This Gmail Phishing Attack Is Fooling Even Savvy Users. Forbes


How the L.A. Public Library Amassed a Collection of 3.1 Million Historical Photos. KCET
To understand how hot L.A.'s housing market is, turn to West Adams. KPCC
hollywood-sign-house.jpgDesign an Iconic Home of the Future: "The competition asks participants to design a house of the future which demonstrates the use of innovative technology, integrative environmental strategies and capitalizes on the iconic prominence of its site beneath the famed Hollywood sign." Arch Daily
The Neutra Studio and Residences (VDL Research House) at 2300 Silver Lake Boulevard was officially named a National Historic Landmark. "The VDL Research House is the only property where one can see the progression of his style over a period of years and is among the key properties to understanding the national significance of Richard Neutra."
In a new catalogue raisonné from Yale University Press showcasing the work of Richard Diebenkorn, "there is something for anyone who cares at all for visual art." The Heir to Matisse With a Dose of California Cool
Want to get a haircut on a famous Navy battleship? The barber shop on board the USS Iowa in San Pedro will open for $20 haircuts on Sunday Jan. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Valerie Humphrey, a USC alumnus, is the director of development for Westminster Abbey: "the sacred space of every coronation since William the Conqueror in 1066, and the burial place of kings and queens, statesmen, scientists, warriors, writers and musicians." USC
The Cat that Changed America, a documentary about P-22 the Griffith Park mountain lion, will premiere Feb. 10 at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.
Why cougars are coming into cities all over the Southwest. National Geographic
A three-year-old male bobcat in the Simi Hills designated as Bobcat 332 by the National Park Service has died from severe mange. A pic from 2016.
The very first Super Bowl halftime show at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, featured a 22-year-old named Bill Suitor flying across the field strapped to a jetpack. Washington Post

Selected tweets





And one from Instagram

Go to the post.

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