Morning Buzz: Thursday 12.17.09

Whitman leads the Republicans, SAG nominations, fear of the drinking water and what to do about the bar at the LAPD academy — plus much more after the jump.

  • Meg Whitman continues to lead the two other Republican candidates for governor and trails Jerry Brown by only a few points, a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California has found. Dan Walters, Chronicle
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approval rating has dropped to a new low. LAT
  • SAG awards nominations are out. Variety, LAT
  • The bar at the LAPD academy will stop serving alcohol on payday Wednesdays in the wake of the drunk driving death of officer Kenneth Aragon, says Charles Feldman at KNX.
  • Sheriff Lee Baca ordered the sheriff’s department to upgrade its investigation into the disappearance of Mitrice Richardson to a homicide case, a move that expands resources but doesn't mean she is presumed to be dead. Malibu Surfside News, Jasmyne Cannick
  • Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is considering calls to pare back his $700,000 office remodel in the Hall of Administration. DN
  • Mayor Villaraigosa said some nice things about bikes while in Copenhagen. Streetsblog, KPCC
  • The City Council agreed to return more than $21.2 million to the airports department to settle an FAA claim that LAX funds were misappropriated in violation of federal regulation. LAT, Breeze
  • Residents of Maywood are afraid to drink the city's tap water, according to a video story by Charles Duhigg at the New York Times.
  • NBC 4's Conan Nolan guest-hosted KCRW's To the Point yesterday, with JPL scientist Amy Mainzer.
  • Gavin Newsom is scheduled to talk with Patt Morrison on KPCC on "the difficulties of running for governor, and returning to the less-than-friendly political and media throngs in San Francisco," at 2:20 p.m.
  • Megham Daum defends Kirkus Reviews as "both maddening enough that you were inclined to dismiss it and estimable enough that you really couldn't." LAT

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