LA Observed Notes: Flags, transitions and good reads

rodney-at-kroq.jpgRodney at KROQ. Facebook.

Our occasional roundup of news and notes. Between posts, keep up with LA Observed on Twitter along with 24,364 followers.

Top of the news

scouts-flags-cbsgrab.jpgLaying of the flags: As they do on the Saturday before every Memorial Day, LA-area Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts placed flags at most of the 88,000 graves in the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood. CBS LA

Mossberg out: Walt Mossberg has been chronicling every new trend in the personal computing world since 1991, then at the Wall Street Journal. He retires from regular columnizing with a piece that notes the disappearing computer.

Angels in the outfield: Angels team leader Mike Trout tore a thumb ligament sliding head first into second base and will have surgery that will keep him out six to eight weeks. There is a reason they tell players not to slide with their hands. LA Times

frank-deford-SIgrab.jpgFrank Deford: The sports columnist for Sports Illustrated, NPR and HBO’s “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” died Sunday at home in Key West, Fla at age 78. He had retired from NPR earlier this month. NYT obit, SI tribute, Sally Jenkins in WashPost. There's also this. In 2004, LA Times reporter Glenn F. Bunting confronted Deford over numerous inaccuracies in his columns. The Column One story grew out of conversations with Bunting's golfing coach at Rancho Park on the Westside. Bunting wrote about the coach, Ed Coleman, for LA Observed in 2015.

Noted: Here is a Go Fund Me page for the families of the two men killed on a Portland train protecting two Muslim women from harassment by a white supremacist deplorable.


Bonnie Kalanick, a former advertising executive at the Daily News, died Friday in a boating accident on Pine Flat Lake in the Sierra Nevada near Fresno. The Northridge resident was the mother of Uber founder Travis Kalanick. Kalanick's father Donald was injured. "This is an unthinkable tragedy as everyone in the Uber family knows how incredibly close Travis is to his parents," the company said in a note to staffers. Daily News, NYT

"With Maggie're watching one of the greatest people to ever do this job, giving a maximum effort." Very good Elle profile of the NYT White House correspondent, who juggles kids with the busiest and most competitive beat in the U.S. news media, and she doesn't even live in Washington.

Frontline investigation: The inside story of Trump adviser Stephen Bannon’s war — with radical Islam, Washington and White House rivals.

The Denver Post parted ways with sports columnist Terry Frei Monday after he tweeted that he was "very uncomfortable" about a Japanese driver winning the Indy 500. Takuma Sato is the first Japanese driver to win the famed race. Post statement, WashPost story, Frei's apology

KTLA Channel 5 is the most watched LA station in the morning and it's not even close. What LA doesn't much watch in the A.M.? Fox, MSNBC or CNN.

Behind the scenes at the KCAL/KCBS news by anchor Leyna Nguyen for career day at her kid's school.

The Media's Best-Kept Secret Was A Free Wall Street Journal Login, And Now It's Gone - BuzzFeed [Reminds me of the back door into the LAPL's Historical Los Angeles Times ProQuest account. Everything back to the 1880s, online and searchable.]

Pink doughnut boxes became a thing first in SoCal, and here's why in 2,000 words from the LA Times' David Pierson. A comment on how the Times flacked it from CNN's Dylan Byers.

Rodney Bingenheimer announced on Facebook that he will be doing his last "Rodney on the Roq" show on KROQ from midnight to 3 a.m. on Monday, June 5. The show began in 1976. “It has been an amazing run, and I will be thanking all of you when I say goodbye to KROQ next week,” Bingenheimer wrote. “I am planning on some special callers and special music as I say a proper goodbye.” Variety

The New Yorker featured the Southern Cal Transit Fans Facebook group in a story: Where Transit Fans Unite

Jerrold Perenchio, who died last week at his Bel-Air mansion at age 86, "inspired a generation of top executives in Hollywood by placing big bets that almost always paid off." LA Times obit

THR's Kim Masters on Brad Grey: 30 Years of Humor, Ruthless Ambition and a "No B.S." Relationship

Capturing life in Los Angeles one shutter click at a time by Luis Sinco, LA Times photographer

Cameramen in Vietnam: How Air Force photographers created a visual record of the war in Southeast Asia, by David Freed in Air & Space

David DeMulle, editor in chief of The Foothills Paper in Sunland-Tujunga, was sentenced to months in federal prison for illegally possessing firearms after advertising a “Guns for Haiti Quake Relief” drive.

What Happens to Nudity Onscreen When You Remove the Male Gaze, from Maria Elena Fernandez in Vulture

Amy Wallace profiles The Marvelous Louie Anderson in GQ.

Steve Lopez in the LA Times goes to bat for the Nick Metropolis store on LA Brea Avenue.

Ruth Reichl left her iPod on a plane and got it back with an anonymous note.

Alex Rodriguez, the retired baseball player, is joining ABC News as some kind of contributor.

An online archive of the Los Angeles Free Press (1966-1976).

Brian and Jamie Stelter welcome a baby.

From the NYT's Norcal-based newsletter byliner:

Calendar items: LA Times food writer Jonathan Gold will discuss pastrami with Langer's owner Norm Langer and Matt Giamela of Burbank's RC Provision Tuesday at noon at Langer's. Free. If you don't know where Langer's is, you probably don't want to go.... Also: The documentary East LA Interchange will have a free screening at the Hollenbeck Park Bandshell in Boyle Heights on June 10th at 8 pm.


Good reads

The Deserts of Los Angeles: Two Topologies - Gary Reger/Boom
"Night falls quickly in Los Angeles,” observes the narrator of Alison Lurie’s The Nowhere City (1965), “as in the desert which it once was.” “The desert” looms over much fiction set in Los Angeles, from Raymond Chandler’s detective novels to Bret Easton Ellis’s decadent rich of Less Than Zero (1985) or the quasi-future city of Steve Erickson’s Amnesiascope (1996). The desert figures powerfully too in non-fictional treatments of the city, like Carey McWilliams, Southern California: An Island on the Land (1946)[2] or Mike Davis, City of Quartz (1990). These invocations of the desert might strike a positivist geographer as strange. The Los Angeles basin is not arid enough to count as a real desert.

More than 1 million tons of rock and dirt have to be moved off Highway 1. But how? - Thomas Curwen/LA Times

The worst might not be over, said field inspectors who had just returned from the slide. Listen closely, and you’ll hear a sound of water running like rain through the rocks and dirt. The slide at Mud Creek is still moving. “This is a big one,” said Rick Silva, a Caltrans engineer who had phoned in for the meeting. “It might be a once-in-a-career slide.”

Rural America is the new 'inner city
' - Wall Street Journal (outside the paywall)

A Wall Street Journal analysis shows that since the 1990s, sparsely populated counties have replaced large cities as America’s most troubled areas by key measures of socioeconomic well-being—a decline that’s accelerating.

A Muslim-American's Pilgrimage to Manzanar - Marya Bangee/LA Review of Books

The morning of the 100th day of Trump’s presidency, I found myself on a bus heading to a concentration camp. To be more specific, I was headed toward Manzanar, the camp where more than 10,000 Japanese-Americans were held during World War II... As a Muslim-American, the day’s lesson felt relevant and personal to me in a new way. In today’s political climate, we must recognize the parts of our history that we would rather forget. We must realize that a wave of fear and hatred has swept this country before, with profound consequences.


"Far from having unconditional love from his base, Trump has already lost almost a third of his strong support," writes Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.

California agriculture's use of foreign guest workers is going up, not down. And the growers want even more - Geoff Mohan/LA Times

The City Council voted Friday for a $16.1-million steel bridge connecting Griffith Park and Atwater Village that was originally described as "free." David Zahniser/LA Times

Roz Wyman talks about the election of John F. Kennedy with Patt Morrison. Wyman also discusses baseball and Walter O'Malley for the National Pastime Museum

The City Council is expected to vote Tuesday to open food trucks to multiple parking tickets on a single day, hoping to force trucks out of illegal spots. We talked about it Monday on the the weekly LA Observed commentary segment on KCRW.

California chief justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye has called on the Trump administration to keep immigration agents away from state courthouses and given "a highly publicized address that reflected California’s jitters about the new president." Maura Dolan/LA Times

Metro dropped its support for the 710 freeway tunnel under South Pasadena - LA Times

Rob Reiner, Hollywood bigwigs and Netflix co-founder team up to give Villaraigosa's campaign a major cash boost - LA Times

Senate President Kevin de Léon is busy raising campaign funds — but for what office? LA Times

Does Los Angeles County need more politicians? Joel Bellman op-ed in the Sacramento Bee.

Missing from President Trump's budget: Funds for California's earthquake early warning system - LA Times

Los Angeles lawns can lose up to 70 billion gallons of water a year, report says - Daily News

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Press release of the week

"LALA magazine, is the new girl in class with the big glasses, funky t-shirt, ripped jeans and converse who is as cool as she is heady. She comes with a tribe of friends who are always culturally curious and exciting beyond reason."


"Led by editor Amanda Friedman Eberstein, a long time Los Angeles resident and former editor of Angeleno, LALA chronicles Los Angeles's cultural transformation, highlights the city's art and design legacy, and uncovers new voices and dynamic personalities leading the city's evolution from a one-industry town to a cultural metropolis.​"


The Big One is going to happen, no matter how much you want to deny it, California scientists say - LA Times

The philosopher-artist of LA: On the life of Noah Purifoy, keeper of the Watts Towers - Literary Hub

Culver City is now home to America's sole romance-only bookstore: the Ripped Bodice - LA Times

Biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong plans to open an L.A. cancer treatment center this summer - LABJ

Temple loses some of its eccentric personality in stylish redesign for Marciano Art Foundation - Christopher Hawthorne/LA Times

California's drought is all but over, but some wells are still dry - Marketplace

OR-7 is alive, well and still bringing home the groceries - Capital Press

Here Are the 5 Most Expensive Rental Neighborhoods in LA - LA Weekly

Amazon plans to put a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the renovated Westfield Century City mall - LABJ

How Cecil B. DeMille Almost Launched L.A.’s First Commercial Airline - Nathan Masters/KCET

Historic Van Nuys hangar from opening scene of ‘Casablanca’ saved — again - Daily News

VIDEO: Pulling off the epic LAX terminal swap - Delta Airlines

‘Encino Man’ turns 25 — but here’s where the ‘90s comedy was really filmed - Daily News

The LA River Recreation Zone in Elysian Valley opened for the season - The Eastsider LA

Former Dodger Gary Sheffield is Commissioner for a Day - The Players' Tribune

Selected tweets

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