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

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 Politics stories on LA Observed:
Balboa Island has to decide if it believes in global warming
Kumar vs Smith: the political power in a name
LAPD, Trutanich add more muscle around USC
Hollywood Reporter gets political
Morning Buzz: Wednesday 4.25.12

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