Need to know: L.A. Live hotels, Santa Barbara Film Festival and Bald eagle watching

LA Live hotels at the ready

The 878-room JW Marriott and 123-room Ritz-Carlton hotels, to open Feb. 15 and March 15, respectively, at downtown’s LA Live complex, have begun accepting reservations. The hotels share space in a 54-story tower at Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street adjacent to Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, 244 condos priced at $1.3 million to $6 million, will occupy the top floors. The JW Marriott’s L.A. Market restaurant, Glance lobby bar and lounge, the Mixing Room cocktail bar, Illy coffee bar and Ion rooftop bar and lounge will be in operation by the opening. Weekend rates start at $179, weekday rates at $269. Info: (800) 228-9290, The Ritz-Carlton will have a rooftop pool and a signature restaurant on the 24th floor. Weekend rates start at $259, weekday rates at $369. Info: (800) 542-8680,

-- Beverly Beyette

Seeing stars

James Cameron, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Bridges and Christoph Waltz, fresh from their Golden Globe successes, will join fellow nominees Kathryn Bigelow, Julianne Moore, Colin Firth, Emily Blunt and others on the Santa Barbara red carpet at the 25th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday. Among the 200 films that will screen (including “The Hurt Locker,” above, directed by Bigelow) are 18 world and 28 U.S. premieres. The movies will begin as early as 8 a.m. at several locations along Santa Barbara’s State Street. The 11-day festival showcases feature films from Canada’s French-speaking province (“a mini-invasion of filmmakers from Quebec,” said Roger Durling, the festival’s executive director) in addition to the established Latin American, Eastern European and Asian film categories. Individual event tickets and festival passes range from $30 to $1,655. Details at

-- Benoit Lebourgeois

Bald eagle tally

The eagles are landing, but how many? Five so far, but there may be more. On Feb. 13, the Mojave River Natural History Assn. and the state parks department will conduct a bald eagle count at Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area, about 70 miles from L.A. Spotters will scan the skies for the American symbol from 8 to 11 a.m.; afterward, they can stay the rest of the day in the park for free. If you can’t make this count, the last one of the year will be March 13 and will be a potluck. Info: (760) 389-2303.

-- Catharine Hamm

Kids’ ski boots

Children can outgrow their ski boots before the season’s over. Not so with Roces Junior Idea Ski Boots. An easy-to-manipulate lever and buckle system adjusts to changing foot and leg length as well as foot and calf muscle width, allowing the boots to grow with the child. The insulated liner expands to match the shell dimensions. The boots come in three sizes, equivalent to a U.S. 4 to 7 junior, 9 to 12 junior and 13 junior to 3 adult. Available in black, white and pink. Now if only ski clothes grew with the kids as well. Roces Junior Idea Ski Boots cost $135.95. Info: (877) 669-7422,

-- Judi Dash