Morning Buzz: Thursday 1.25.07

L.A. Times editors are busily trying to come up with a new beat attractive enough to keep Business section rising star Claire Hoffman away from the New York Times. The NYT is said to be offering a pretty good starter gig in the Business section in New York, and the LAT might be countering with talk of a Las Vegas beat. Hoffman is out of the office this week, but newsroom chatter has her seeking an assignment that will further her magazine ambitions — or perhaps a move to the religion beat. She may be the only reporter with a divinity degree to be covering the porn industry and chasing Joe Francis.

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Morning Buzz
Mark Lacter link
Starters
Like a small city
UCLA received 50,694 applications for the fall freshman class, probably the most of any U.S. university. Applications from African Americans rose 12% over last year. LAT
Politics
Hollywood for Obama
Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen will host a fundraising reception for Barack Obama's presidential exploratory committee on Feb. 20 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Ante: $2,300 per person. Private dinner follows back at Geffen's place for the fundraising co-chairs who commit to raising $46,000, says Variety's Wilshire & Washington blog. Geffen adviser Andy Spahn says that Katzenberg has endorsed Obama, Geffen has shown enthusiasm and Spielberg has yet to take a side. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton will visit on Feb. 11 for meet-and-greets with donors at the homes of investment banker Sim Farar and industry mogul Haim Saban.
Mayoral politics
Antonio's three-day swing through Washington. LAT, DN
Save the coyotes
Ed Boks, general manager of Los Angeles Animal Services, argues on the Times op-ed page that the Fairfax area coyotes should be returned to the wild.
Razzing DONE
Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council member (and LAist blogger) Zach Behrens does the empty chair at the debate thing with the city's Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which has refused to answer his questions. LAist
Media
Going local
The Times' web shift will mean much more local coverage online, in an effort to attract more L.A. readers to the website. Some 77% of LATimes.com visitors come from outside Southern California and so are not that attractive to most Times advertisers, website general manager Rob Barrett says in the paper. Yesterday on LAO: Times retools its website again, 'Philosophical clash' at LATimes.com.
Sacred cow in Woodland Hills
For the umpteenth time, the Daily News found a reason to write about attorney and former secession bankroller David Fleming. This time he's ascending to chairman of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the first time ever the chamber has been headed by someone from the Valley. At least that's news.
Urban affairs
Sewage spills have gone unreported
County officials failed to keep records or react quickly in more than 90 percent of 208 significant sewage spills in the Santa Monica Bay watershed in the past five years, according to a report demanded by Supervisor Don Knabe. Breeze. Knabe has posted the dates and locations of every spill and other original documents on his website.
Redesigning L.A.
CityBeat talks to architect Eric Owen Moss and has a cover package on pressures to rethink the city's livability.
Sam Hall Kaplan joins 'Off-Ramp'
The architecture critic, formerly of the LAT and Fox 11, will be a regular commentator on KPCC's Saturday show. This week, by the way,
Law
That's convenient
If Fred Goldman wants to make a claim against O.J. Simpson's earnings on the recent book, he has to file suit in state court in Florida, federal judge Manuel Real ruled. AP
Tragedy yes, crime no
The Oxnard police officer who drove over and killed a beach sunbather last June will not be charged. LAT
Noted
Meeting on gangs
State Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas's Empowerment Congress will host an "interfaith call-to-action on street gang violence" with 200 religious leaders, Chief Bratton and Sheriff Baca at Soka Gakki International Friendship Center on Venice Boulevard.
And in violin news...
Guess who performed live at Amoeba Music in Hollywood? Classical violinist Hilary Hahn. On the topic, local website Violinist.com got written up nicely in yesterday's Christian Science Monitor.

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More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent Morning Buzz stories on LA Observed:
Morning Buzz: Friday 4.27.12
Morning Buzz: Thursday 4.26.12
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.25.12
Morning Buzz: Tuesday 4.24.12
Morning Buzz: Monday 4.23.12

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