Friday, January 27, 2012

Another ambitious clean air goal for California

California has introduced tough new emissions standards with the goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by a third by 2025.  The California Air Resources Board require that one-in-seven of new cars sold in the state in 2025 be an electric or other zero-emission vehicle. Such a lofty goal comes at a time when the state is struggling to against massive debts and a faltering effort to introduce high speed rail between Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jackson legend lives on...and #Octomom babies turn 3

It's another beautifully warm January day in LA, in a week of weather extremes here.  Some stories in the news today:
  • Hollywood Blvd will be crowded with fans and celebrities as Michael Jackson's children take part in a hand and foot print ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theater, for their late father, the King of Pop. He's believed to be the first star to receive the posthumous honor. 
  • There's an intriguing LA Times story about the LAPD cracking down on real estate agents using drone aircraft to photograph homes from above.
  • The 'Octomom' babies -- the world's only complete set of octuplets -- Noah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Nariyah, Jonah, Josiah, Jeremiah, Makai -- turn 3 today.
Facebook: Peter Bowes reporting from LA | Twitter | email

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Oscar nominations imminent and Condor observing in San Diego

    This is the day in the year when Hollywood folks get up really early... to hear how much they're loved. The rest of the time they just assume it. But seriously, the Oscar nominations are just about to be released.  And it is serious business.  The next few days will see the so-called Oscar bump (at the box office) for those films nominated.  Expects lots of love for The Artist, The Descendants, The Help and Hugo. I'd really like to see War Horse do well, although some critics were luke warm about the Spielberg epic, which may have dented its chances. 50:50 was good too - not really a comedy (as categorized by the Golden Globes) but a moving drama about dealing with cancer. 

    Jennifer Lawrence (a nominee last year) will join The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science chief Tom Sherak to reveal the nominees at 05:38.30 LA time.  

    I'll be on BBC TV - the News Channel and BBC World at 0530 PT/1330 GMT with all the fun. 

    For more subdued viewing I recommend this:

    San Diego Zoo Safari Park has set up a cool webcam - the Condor Cam - to observe a pair of condors incubating an egg.  It's slow but rather addictive. 

    Facebook: Peter Bowes reporting from LA | Twitter | email

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    Rain at last, Oscar buzz ahead of nominations tomorrow

    It's been steadily raining in LA all morning.  No big deal, unless you work in the local media. We're way behind in rainfall this winter, so every drop is welcome. In the news today:

    • The So Cal-based marine accused in the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqis in 2005,  has announced an agreement to settle the case. Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich will plead guilty to a single count of negligent dereliction of duty. The maximum sentence is three months
    • Three films starting with the word, The, lead the pack of Oscar hopefuls.  The Artist, The Descendants, The Help and Hugo are likely to dominate the list of nominees - due to be announced Tuesday at 0538:30 PT. Being so far behind the rest of the world, Hollywood has to get up early to catch the news cycle.  It's usually for a yoga class.   I saw Shame last night and was bowled over by the totally unexpected but exquisite rendition of New York New York, by Carey Mulligan.
    • The head-in-the-park mystery is unresolved. LAPD looking into victim's personal life.  Head, hands and feet of 66-year old man were found in Griffith Park last week.
    Oh and the LA Times' website is leading with the story about Big Ben tilting.  Bizarre. 

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    California today... Etta James dies, Police ID 'head' in the park...

    On my radar today...
    • The legendary Rhythm and Blues singer Etta James has died in Riverside, CA. She was 73 and had leukemia.  She'll be best known for the ballad At Last, which she belted out in 1961. 
    • LAPD says it knows the identity of the severed head found in a Los Angeles park. But they're not saying who it is...yet.
    • Unemployment is DOWN in CA for the 5th straight month. The jobless rate in the Golden State now stands at 11.1%.  That's still considerably higher than the national rate.
    • Red Tails, the film about black airmen, set in 1944, opens today. It's the movie George Lucas said Hollywood refused to fund, because "all black" films won't sell at the box office. Is Hollywood racist?
    • There's a storm heading for LA this weekend.  Much needed rain...

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Will Ricky Gervais make the Globes worth watching again?

    The Hollywood Foreign Press has made a wise choice in Ricky Gervais to host the Golden Globes - for a third time. The British comedian is promising to pull no punches as he roasts Hollywood's finest, on live TV. If last year's performance is anything to go by, he will not disappoint. Despite giving the impression of being oh so shocked and insulted, the Globes top brass know they have to deliver a show that will get people talking and start Facebook-worthy buzz. Bums on couches and the advertising bottom line are all this show is about. Oh and then there are the awards. Ho hum. That's what the Oscars are for.