The Short Stack: The Los Angeles Week in Review, 11/3/14 – 11/7/14

A news and culture roundup made to order


In with the New
There wasn’t as much action in California as in the rest of the country this election cycle (who didn’t think Jerry Brown would be governor four more years?), but some key positions were decided. Keep an eye on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, whose two newest members, Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl, will bring their pro-labor perspectives to county matters; we’ll also be closely monitoring Jim McDonnell, the newly elected sheriff. Former sheriff Lee Baca (and his No. 2, Paul Tanaka, who was McDonnell’s opponent in the election), left quite a mess to clean up. How McDonnell reforms this department will be a pivotal moment for the city.

Finding Fault
The California Geological Survey had bad news for Hollywood’s Millennium construction project: Looks like the development does indeed sit on a fault line. Slated to be the tallest buildings in Hollywood, Millennium is composed of two buildings (35 and 39 stories) and is one of three skyscraper concepts planned for Hollywood. The developer’s geological consultant has disagreed with the findings. Time to call in Earthquake Czar Lucy Jones to referee.

Walk this Way
It’s getting a little crazy in the crosswalks these days, so West Hollywood launched a new pedestrian-safety campaign, encouraging distracted walkers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones. WeHo Mayor John D’Amico announced the program with a press release written entirely in emojis; the viral cornerstone of the campaign is a parody of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” video. To which we say, :).

Up, Up—and Away
McMansions have never been cool, but up, up, up they go, leaving piles of Batchelder tiles and sweet little bungalows in their wake. Thankfully the Los Angeles City Council is finally siding with home owners who have long railed against these monstrosities. The council voted in new rules that could restrict home sizes and possibly prohibit demos in neighborhoods like Miracle Mile, Valley Village, and El Sereno. It’ll take at least 18 months to implement, which is a lot longer than it takes to tear something down.


Govan’s Big Get
LACMA revealed that former talent agent and Univision honcho Jerry Perenchio is the benefactor behind the largest art donation in the museum’s history. Two stipulations accompanied his bequeathal of $500 million worth of art: 1) He’s got to die before they get it, and 2) LACMA must “complete construction of its new building” as well. Museum director Michael Govan won’t exert any influence over the first stipulation (we hope!). As for the second? The board of supes this week pledged $125 million toward the $600 million Govan is seeking to implement Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s proposed design. Shake the cup, Gov!

Criers Wanted
Cleaning the kitchen will now be a weepy affair. New Yorker writer (and L.A. resident) Susan Orlean (if you’ve never read the piece on which her book The Orchid Thief was based, here goes) has partnered with actress Sarah Thyre to create a new podcast, Crybabies, the purpose of which is to showcase stories that will make you cry. Given that This American Life does that to us without even trying, we’re stocking up on some Kleenex. Crybabies is one of 13 new podcasts launched this week by Wolfpop, which is the sister network of podcast machine Earwolf.

Good-bye, Tom
Clack lost Click (or did Click lose Clack?) when Tom Magliozzi, one half of the famous public radio duo behind Car Talkdied on November 3 from complications of Alzheimer’s. Tom had cohosted the hugely popular automotive show with his younger brother, Ray, from 1977 to 2012; for many of us on the West Coast, theirs were the first Boston accents we ever heard. A new generation became familiar with their patois when they were the voice of autos in Pixar’s Cars.

A Happier Topic
It’s news like this that makes us feel grungy and old: L.A.-based Hot Topic, long the home to anything with a skull and a stud, is kicking off its 25th anniversary. The franchise, with more than 650 stores nationwide, is offering online and store discounts to celebrate. Nicki Minaj name checks the store (and her commemorative hoodie) in the song “I Am Your Leader,” though let the buyer beware: That ditty is full of naughty, naughty words.


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