The Weekly has assembled a special issue commemorating different periods and significant events in the paper's history. "It's safe to say that no other issue of the L.A. Weekly has ever included the writing of all four of its editors in chief," writes current editor Laurie Ochoa in her package intro. "I'm thrilled that Jay Levin, Kit Rachlis and Sue Horton agreed to be a part of this project, and as I read their three very different pieces I realize that there is one thing we all share as editors -- an audacious sense of ambition."

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Rochelle "Rockie" Gardiner, who had written "The Rockie Horoscope" for the Weekly since 1983, died on October 31. She was 70 years old. The column was a very popular feature in the Weekly, and went on to be nationally syndicated. Judging by the outpouring of comments on the Weekly's site (80 at last count), Los Angeles has lost an institution. There will be a public memorial for the late astrologer on November 15, 3-6 p.m., at Boardner's, 1652 N. Cherokee Ave., Hollywood (323-462-9621).

Continue ReadingLongtime L.A. Weekly Astrologer Dies

LA Observed is reporting that the Weekly has laid off longtime editor and columnist Marc Cooper, managing editor Sharan Street, copy chief David Caplan, staff writer Matthew Fleischer, senior designer Laura Steele and assistant to the editor Pandora Young.

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Lays Off A Handful of Staffers

In the twelfth installment of this year's "How I Got That Story" series, Jeffrey Anderson talks about his multi-part investigative series "The Town the Law Forgot," which uncovered shocking abuses of power by government officials in Los Angeles County. He tells Sam Stoker how he started on this thread, and how he kept at it until it all started to unravel for him. Anderson, who wrote the series for L.A. Weekly but has since changed coast and is a staffer at Baltimore City Paper, also gives some advice to anyone undertaking an investigation. "The main thing is you just can't plan things out in advance," he says. "Things don't occur logically sometimes. You just need to be ready to revive things you have let go of. You just can't plan it."

Continue ReadingHow I Got That Story: Jeffrey Anderson

"There's much to admire in the first act of Steven Leigh Morris's intelligent but uneven new play," says New York Times theater critic Rachel Saltz. "Beachwood Drive," written by Morris and based on a true story, has at its center a Ukrainian prostitute enslaved by the Russian mob and then caught by the police in a sting. Though Saltz praises the first act, she says that Morris "gets tripped up in the second act ... hitting his themes too hard and making his play seem more literary contrivance than living, breathing drama." The play is at New York's Abingdon Theater through Nov. 16.

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Theater Critic’s Play Hits Off-Broadway

Mark Gold is executive director of Heal the Bay, a Southern California environmental nonprofit, which can lead to some interesting exchanges with his brother, LA Weekly's Pulitzer-winning food writer. "I am already anticipating the nasty glare I will inevitably get from my marine-scientist brother," J. Gold wrote recently in a report on eating whale in Korea, "[who] has dedicated his life to pretty much the opposite of this." On his blog, M. Gold wonders: "If only Jonathan focused on sustainable seafood for a year, imagine the positive impact he'd have on local restaurants and the dietary choices of the food obsessed." But the food writer (who recently signed on for a column at Gourmet) gets the last word (thus far) in his brother's blog comments. "I stress the local-sustainable-organic trope in my columns almost to the point of self-ridicule," he writes, "and I would as soon amputate a toe as buy meat or fish from a supermarket."

Continue ReadingJonathan Gold’s Bro Asks: What About Food’s Environmental Impact?

While investigating a string of rubbish fires started in trashcans near bus shelters this summer, Los Angeles Fire Department arson investigators caught a break when they found a witness who saw a man with a copy of the Weekly sticking out of his back pocket leaving the scene. Arson investigator John Little found the alleged arsonist strolling down the street, carrying a ripped out section of the Weekly in his back pocket. Little says he also found a "time delayed device" wrapped in burnt pieces of the paper in the trashcan. "It was a real CSI type thing," says Little. "We recovered newspaper out of the trash container and opened it up and saw a matchbook device. The section that was ripped out matched the papers in his back pocket ... He would set the newspaper down there and go across the street and watch." The 64-year-old suspect has been charged with arson. "And to think I believed copies of the newspaper flew off the racks because our readers couldn't get enough of our Calendar section," writes Christine Pelisek. "Guess again!"

Continue ReadingL.A. Weekly Helps Solve String of Arson Fires