LA Observed Notes: Press Club winners and Channel 4 loses a news van

nbc4-news-van-scfire-crop.jpgAn NBC 4 news van didn't make it back from the Santa Clarita fire beside the 14 Freeway on Sunday. Channel 4 says the van fire was unrelated to the brush fire. No one got hurt. Photo on Twitter by Brenda Crezette. Here's video of the van inflagrante.

Our occasional roundup of news and notes. Between posts, keep up with LA Observed on Twitter — with the feed's 24,407 other followers.

At the top

gary-wilshire-grand-workers.jpgSoCal Journalism Awards: The Los Angeles Press Club gave out its awards Sunday night. SoCal Journalist of the Year winners are Danielle Berrin of the Jewish Journal, Daina Beth Solomon of the Los Angeles Business Journal, Mike Amor of 7 Network Australia, Deepa Fernandes for work with KPCC, Lesley Goldberg of the Hollywood Reporter, Randy Lewis of the Los Angeles Times, Derrin Horton of KTLA and Ringo Chiu of the Los Angeles Business Journal. KCRW's Steve Chiotakis won the award for top radio anchor or host. Voice of OC won for best web-only news organization, Variety won for website by a traditional news org. Lifetime achievement winners included Jake Tapper (introduced by Conan O'Brien), Andrea Mitchell (introduced by Katy Tur) and Jaime Jarrin.

Plus plus dozens of other winners, including Gary Leonard for best feature photo for his picture of the construction workers at the top of the Wilshire Grand Center. Congratulations to all!

cody-bellinger-mlb.jpgTime to pay attention: Cody Bellinger is 21 years old and he has played in just 57 games for the Dodgers. But he already leads the league with 24 home runs, and that's a record for a rookie in the first half of a season. The Dodgers have now won 10 straight games and hold the league's best record. On Sunday, five Dodgers scored on wild pitches by the same pitcher — proving again that you can't predict baseball. The Dodgers also have had a bad thing happen: Julio Urias, the 20-year-old future star pitcher from Mexico whose arm they have been carefully protecting since he was 16, turned up with a major injury anyway. Urias will have shoulder surgery on Tuesday and miss the rest of this year and probably next year, with no record of surgical success on this injury to reassure fans he will ever be the pitcher they hoped.

Author news: Roxane Gay appears Monday night in conversation with Ann Friedman for the Central Library's Aloud program, this time at the Aratani Theatre downtown.

In the news

Firefighters make progress on fast-moving Santa Clarita blaze; 14 Freeway is reopened - Los Angeles Times
SAG-AFTRA to Seek Strike Authorization Vote, Citing ‘Outrageous Rollbacks’ in Contract Talks - Variety
Sister Sam, founder of St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, dies at 82 - LA Times

Media notes

Did NBC make a $17.5 million mistake on Megyn Kelly? Variety critic Sonia Saraiya considers the evidence... Brain Stelter on CNN's "Reliable Sources" on how "Fox & Friends" is a daily infomercial for the Trump presidency... Boris Epshteyn, a former Trump surrogate, now defends him as a Sinclair TV pundit - in the Wash Post... Former Wall Street executive Amy Siskind started posting a list of how American political norms are changing since Donald Trump took office and her Weekly List has gone viral, says the Washington Post's Margaret Sullivan... SoCal-based radio host and Republican culture warrior Hugh Hewitt has gotten a half-hour show on Saturday mornings on MSNBC. The Trump backer's national TV profile has been rising since the presidential race... Matthew Toledo, the longtime publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Business Journal, is moving July 31 to be chief executive officer of ProVisors, a "business-to-business networking organization for seasoned professionals" in ShermanOaks.

lyrcs-of-poetry-cover.jpgLyrics as Poetry, a new print "journal of songwriting and prose" from Venice residents Sara Noelle and Erik Hayden, lands this week with pieces from, among others, Gary Calamar, Andy Hermann, Pamela des Barres, Kari Howard, Danny Goldberg, Kevin Fallon, Ken Layne and Maura Johnston. "The first edition of this new journal, Lyrics as Poetry, is a space where songwriters’ lyrics can be appreciated on their own aesthetic merit in print (and free from a hasty Google search to a cluttered lyrics web page)," writes Noelle... Quite a lead in OutSports about an NFL player: "Ryan O’Callaghan’s plan was always to play football and then, when his career was over, kill himself."... Food & Wine Magazine will leave New York for Alabama... Stephanie Miller "has emerged as one of the nation's most influential radio personalities" with her anti-Trump broadcasts from home in Los Feliz, the LA Weekly says. "People (on the right) will say, 'Well, Stephanie is just as ridiculous as Infowars and Alex Jones," Rob Reiner says. "No. Alex Jones says that Sandy Hook was a made-up thing. Stephanie doesn't say anything insane like that. You may not agree with her politics, but she doesn't make shit up."... It has been a year since the San Francisco Chronicle helped launch a team effort of Bay Area journalism organizations to shine light on the homeless problem. Editor Audrey Cooper gives her update.

Fishbowl's Richard Horgan finds it odd that the print LA Times did not put the Lakers' drafting of Lonzo Ball on the front page...Sara Catania, formerly of NBC LA, the LA Times and LA Weekly and recently an editor at Zocalo Public Square, is curating JournoTrust, a weekly newsletter "on efforts to restore the public trust in journalism." In the first edition: Drones, trash journalists and the hoaxy bot-o-meter... Los Angeles Magazine looks back: It Was Spectacular, It Was Doomed: A Look Back (In Photos) at The US Festival... The murder of Mexican journalist Javier Valdez reflects "a systematic neglect of local government that goes far back in the country’s long history," Sam Quinones writes for the Sacramento Bee... An LA judge threw out parts of cartoonist Ted Rall's defamation and wrongful termination lawsuit against the Los Angeles Times...Vacationing KPCC AirTalk host Larry Mantle was scheduled to call in from the road in North Carolina but breaking news forced the segment to be scrapped. "Now I know what it feels like to be a bumped @AirTalk guest," he tweeted... Journalist Tony Ortega’s Scientology gathering began as a joke, says Fishbowl... From Daniel Hernandez, head of news at Raze: "What can I say: The #Westside of L.A. is a great place to live ... after once (00's) never being able to imagine life outside Echo Park lol."... Hollywood journalist Robert Welkos has a fiction piece about film schools at Nikki Finke's Hollywood Dementia.

Transitions: KABC-TV news photographer David R. Busse will retire at the end of August after 37 years with Channel 7 and 40 years in TV news. "I've become an old-timer in a young person's game," he posts on Facebook, to 795 likes so far and counting. "It's time to hand the baton to fresh faces with (hopefully) new ideas."... Sportscaster Erin Andrews and former LA Kings player Jarret Stoll were married in Montana... Dodgers great Maury Wills has retired from the broadcast booth for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in North Dakota.

Politics notes

News that the DWP's biggest union is in line to get six raises by 2021 has reverberated around city politics. A Times editorial asks What happened to DWP reform? Garcetti is silent this time on union pay raises and contract. A Steve Lopez column observed that With millions set to lose Obamacare, DWP workers keep getting a sweeter deal. The Daily News editorial board agrees: DWP pay-raise plan needs more scrutiny.

People are generally surprised — and usually not happy — when I tell them about the changes coming to the way people vote in Los Angeles — including the end of neighborhood polling places. For the weekend, the LAT's John Myers writes that California's big change in voting rules is off to a rocky start for 2018.

Rep. Brad Sherman's move to draft and circulate articles of impeachment for Trump got him weekend ink in the LA Times: "Sherman’s move puts him at odds with House Democratic leaders, who have tried to quell talk of impeachment to keep the focus on the economy, healthcare and the investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election."

Ex-Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt, Trump's nominee to be ambassador to Belgium, was California co-chair of the Trump campaign, hosted a fundraiser for Trump and served on his transition team. McCourt will need Senate confirmation.

Eric Garcetti is included as one of America's 11 most interesting mayors by Politico Magazine. The piece calls him "The mayor who would be president," and they don't mean that in the long-term. The article also likes Kevin Faulconer in San Diego, but the Garcetti blurb is a real gusher. Hold on:

It’s early still, but many top Democrats have started assuming Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will skip that step entirely and run for president himself in 2020. Garcetti has helped fan that speculation, already talking to strategists and big donors about the prospect. And it helps that, as cities step up their resistance to President Donald Trump, Garcetti has been able to jump into the national debate on issues like immigration, health care and infrastructure....

If Garcetti runs for president, he wouldn’t just make history as a rare sitting mayor to do so. He also has the potential to be the first Hispanic and the first Jewish president.

Change is coming for the LA County Board of Supervisors, writes Dan Walters from his new column perch at CalMatters. "For the powerful five ‘kings’ of Los Angeles County, change is in the air," the hed reads. "Even though women now occupy four of the five seats, the royal appellation still applies because of the vast power they wield."... Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford was charged with illegally receiving nearly $500,000 from local consultants and failing to publicly disclose the income on economic statements. He delayed a plea. Two political consultants, Kimberly Anne Shaw and Susan Miller, also were charged.... "Do NOT call my office and use the N-word," Councilman Mike Bonin tweets. "We hang up on hate speech."... Rodeo Road in Southwest Los Angeles might become Obama Boulevard... Why You Can Never Argue with Conspiracy Theorists - Wired video... "Fun fact: Donald Trump was a Kamala Harris donor," tweets Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis... Former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger met with French president Macron on the environment.


• How homeless women survive the dangers of Skid Row - Daily News
• 7 Firms Reveal Plans for Los Angeles River Revitalization - Arch Daily
• Southwest L.A. loves 'Obama Boulevard' proposal but wonders: 'Why not a major street?' - LA Times
• San Pedro’s refurbished hillside pool set to reopen - Daily Breeze
• RIP Cafe Med located in Sunset Plaza - Alison Martino
• Long Beach Lost: The Jungle, DTLB’s Play Den for ‘Immorality and Sexual Deviation’ -
• Manson follower Patricia Krenwinkel, California's longest serving female inmate, denied parole again - AP/NBCLA
• The real-life 'Star Wars' canyon by Death Valley - CNN
• How William Wrigley Jr. brought the Wrigley Ocean Marathon to life - Sports Illustrated

Room with a view

wilshire-grand-mensroomview.jpgThe new 73-story Wilshire Grand Center at Wilshire and Figueroa was hopping all weekend. Friendly guards and guides pointed out the art work in the lobby and car entrance and welcomed lookie-loos to take the express elevator up to the Hotel InterContinental lobby on the 70th floor. Angelenos and tourists stood in front of windows, enthused about the views and named off landmarks visible across the city. The all-day dining room and club lounge on the 69th floor was open for visitors to wander freely and take pictures. The hostess at the dining room even advised a trip to the men's room for the downtown view (above). Photos were encouraged, inside and out. And why not: the buzz about the new tower created a social media phenomenon. It's only the new tallest building in LA on a technicality — there is a spire sticking up 166 feet above the top floor — but people were digging it.

Contrast that with the remodeled Westfield Century City shopping mall, which is partially open with new stores, and actually could use some buzz. When a friend of LA Observed visited on Friday, a guard told her sternly: only selfies. No pics of the mall or the new stores. No free social media activity for Century City. Opportunity missed.

Selected tweets


More by Kevin Roderick:
'In on merit' at USC
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Recent Notes stories on LA Observed:
LA Observed Notes: Clippers hire big-time writer, unfunny Emmys, editor memo at the Times and more
LA Observed Notes: Media notes, homeless ruling, scooters and lion cubs
LA Observed Notes: Times hiring binge, LA Weekly investor sues, media tidbits
LA Observed Notes: Editor moves, NYT steps on JGold turf, jobs and more
LA Observed Notes: Long Beach, LAist, Soon-Shiong and much more
LA Observed Notes: Soon-Shiong era at LA Times begins
LA Observed Notes: Bourdain's LA, Villaraigosa fades to black
LA Observed Notes: After the holiday weekend edition