Morning Buzz: Thursday 11.12.09

Back from the holiday with a reading of the Jerry Brown tapes, a conspiracy theory about Charlie Beck, big layoffs at Current TV in L.A. and more after the jump — including the newest inductees in the California Hall of Fame.

  • Reading the Jerry Brown tapes is a guilty pleasure. George Skelton
  • Activist Ron Kaye says insiders are telling him that Charlie Beck didn't actually make the police commission's original list of three finalists for police chief, but was added for political reasons. Ron Kaye L.A.
    Plus:The Villaraigosa and Beck town hall meetings around the city "only serve as fresh opportunities for Villaraigosa to get television time on the issue of crime," the LA Weekly decided.
  • Current TV laid off 80 staffers, hitting the Los Angeles office hardest, and announced a new programming focus. La Figa, Epicanthus
  • The Board of Supervisors named former astronaut Buzz Aldrin as the county's "consul general to the Moon." LA Daily
  • No, Route 66 never did (and still doesn't) extend to the Santa Monica Pier despite new signs going up suggesting otherwise. LAT
  • New inductees into the California Hall of Fame as of Dec 1: Carol Burnett, Andy Grove, Hiram Johnson, Rafer Johnson, Henry J. Kaiser, Joan Kroc, George Lucas, John Madden, Harvey Milk, Fritz Scholder, Danielle Steel, Joe Weider and General Chuck Yeager.
  • Yesterday's L.A. Times editorialized against former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush declining to be suckered into a staged Los Angeles debate neither man sought.
  • Interesting that the legal battle between First AME pastor John J. Hunter and The Reverend Brenda Lamothe, over disputed allegations of sexual abuse, has turned into a battle of high-powered PR agencies: Sitrick (for Hunter and FAME) vs. Englander (Lamothe.)
  • Construction will begin in January on the northbound carpool lane on the San Diego (405) Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass. DN
  • The Orange County Local News Network, planning to launch in January, is hiring. Journalism Jobs
  • California Watch announced an editorial collaboration with KQED Public Radio and said that veteran investigative journalist Michael Montgomery will produce the California Watch reports that will air.
  • Benjamin Schwarz, literary editor and national editor of The Atlantic, sold a biography on Winston Churchill to Random House. Publishers Lunch
  • Daniel A. Olivas interviews Michelle Huneven, author of "Blame." The Elegant Variation
  • The Pat Brown Institute's California Policy Issues conference runs from 8 a.m. to 3:30 the Millennium Biltmore. DWP chief S. David Freeman speaks at 2 p.m. Info
  • Robert Hilburn, longtime music critic for the Los Angeles Times and author of the new book, "Corn Flakes With John Lennon," speaks Times entertainment writer Geoff Boucher audience members at the L.A. Press Club, 7 p.m.
  • Rod Van Hook, 61, a longtime sports broadcaster for KFWB, KMPC and KSPN, died of heart failure Saturday at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. LAT

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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